Favorite Scripture: 3 Nephi 5:13

Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

The Lord's Will!

Monday, August 27, 2012

  This week was crazy!  A ton of ups and downs.  It was an emotional roller coaster this week haha.  There is so much stuff that it is just too complicated to talk about or try to explain.  I actually think that I could write a novel on this week alone on my mission.  I was able to figure out the will of Heavenly Father and go forward with it even though I had a different idea that satisfied my selfish demands.  So I am going to explain briefly the things that happened this week.
    We will start of with Joy.  She is a single mother that has had a lot of trials in her life.  I was able to talk about her in my last post.  Well,  we had some amazing spiritual lessons that bore witness to her that she needs to get baptized.  She knows that is what she needs to do and she just needs to do it.  Well, we were able to schedule a date for August 31.  She was so excited and ready.  We were teaching her every other day.  We talked about baptism again and asked her if there is anything that could be getting in the way of her getting baptized.  She expressed her situation with her daughters not approving her faith and what she believes.  She wants them to be a part of her baptism and celebrate it with her.  They are so against it.  She explained that she has the mommy extincts.  How her kids are always first.  That she will not do anything for herself until her kids needs are taken care of.  She believes that she is being selfish being baptized before her kids.  We understand that she feels that way.  We talked about how Jesus Christ was baptized to be an example unto us and to show us the way.  We promised her that she will be that example to her family.  That her kids will have more of an opportunity to accept the Gospel with her being a baptized member with the gift of the Holy Ghost rather then her not being baptized.  The spirit testified what we said was true.  She said that she is still planning on it.  So excited we call the Bishop and let him know and get people ready to support her on this great day.  Flying high as a kite the next day we are in a lesson and I get a text from Joy.  She told us not to panic but she prayed and feels like the 31st of August is not the right time for her to be baptized.  That she wants her kids to be more accepting and be at the baptism and support her.  I went from seeing rainbows and flowers to getting knocked out by Brian Urlacher (linebacker for Chicago Bears).  I was so frustrated.  We did everything we could!  Feeling like a failure we go home to finish weekly planning.  I check in with my Heavenly Father to let him know the event that transpired.  I was able to bring my will to his and felt an assurance that her time is not yet.  That we need to be patient to her needs and just have charity for her.  So I was able to be comforted that it was the will of the Lord and that she will get baptized at a later date.  I don't know if it will be while I am here or not but no matter what she will enter into the waters of baptism.  That is all that matters!
    We were able to get another investigator to progress tremendously this week.  We were able to get Natalie to keep the Word of Wisdom which she has been already been doing for two weeks.  She was able to go to her friends baptism that she knew since kindergarten.  She came to church for the first time staying all three hours!  She loved Young Womens.  She loves everything about the church and feels very confident that she is going to be entering in the water of baptism in the near future! 
   Busy as ever! There is no other way I would like it!
Elder Brown

My New Companion!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Elder Wood from Centerville, Utah

Surprise! Surprise!

Family and Friends,
   Well this week was absolutely crazy!  A lot of surprises!  We were able to meet with an investigator named Joy!  She is absolutly amazing.  Through out her life she has had experiences with the church.   She was almost baptized when she was 14 and then later at 21.  But now 20 years later she is really wanting it.  She has had 2 baptismal dates in the past 4 months but it kept falling through.  She has had some big struggles and trials in the last couple months.  She has been able to really rely on the Lord to deliver her from these tough circumstances and trials.  After she came to church we went over to her house and taught her.  She was able to follow through with her commitments of reading the Book of Mormon.  We talked about baptism with her and what she thinks about it.  She told us that she was ready.  She said prior to this point she always felt that she was not good enough to be baptized.  She always hoped she could be a good person with good standards.  She was able to realize that her faith is growing as she has been reading the Book of Mormon.  That she is becoming that person and that is who she is.  She is yearning for baptism to show Heavenly Father she is willing to stand as witness of Jesus Christ.  We invited her to pray to Heavenly father and ask him what date she should schedule to be baptized.  She accepted!  We are really excited for her! Elder Johnson and I were able to see so many miracles!  It is absolutly amazing! 
   Well this next part is pretty crazy.  We were able to have interviews with President Bowen and everything was great.   We had a good time. Transfers were coming up and he told Elder Johnson and I that we are going to stay together.  So it was kind of nice that we were not going to have to worry about transfer calls.  Well the unexpected happen!  President Bowen recieved further revelation and decided to transfer Elder Johnson out up to Fullerton as a Zone leader in the singles ward.  I am going to be with Elder Wood from Centerville  Utah. He is the Bomb!  I was so shocked. When we got the transfer call we thought Elder Sumsion (the AP) was just messing with us.  Then we found he was serious!  So it was pretty crazy.  Elder Wood has never been a zone Leader so now I have to show him the ropes.  I feel a little bit inadequate but I know the Lord will provide a way.  I am loving my mission and I can't believe this is my 17th transfer.  There are going to be amazing miracles in the next couple weeks I can't wait to tell you all of them! 
Elder Brown

The Work is Real!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Family and Friends,
  This week was amazing!  The Lord is blessing me and my companion here in the Westpark ward.  I want to talk about one of our investigators Natalie.  She is so ready to be baptized but her mom didn't know that she was meeting with us.  We knew that she could not progress anymore unless she told her parents.  We went through the ten commandments and the 5th commandment is to honor your father and mother.  We told her that the only way she can progress and come closer to be baptized is by honoring her parents by telling them what she knew to be true and wants to do.  She got emotional.  She is such a sweet spirit that would do anything to make every one happy.  She knows that telling her mom that she has been meeting with us would disappoint her.  We prayed for her and she told her right after she met with us.  She texted us and said the reaction was bitter sweet.  That her mom is disappointed she is looking into another church from the one she grew up in.  Sweet part is that she will not stop her from meeting with us.  So we are really excited about that because now we can truly work for baptism with her.  Little by little, precept upon precept.  Little miracles every where.
   So this week we had a lot of people scheduled with appointments and of course they all got cancelled.  So Elder Johnson did so much finding.  We contacted a lot of people each day. But nobody was interested.  We reached a goal of having 30 solid contacts in one day and we got it but none of them were even potentials.  I just think that is just how the cookie crumbles.  Well, yesterday on Sunday, miracles happened.  We were able to schedule appointments with some potentials in the area book.  One was with this family that is from Indonesia.  Culture there is that every one in the family has different last names.  So we just call them the Indonesian family.  Very humble and sweet all of them.  They had us come in and share our message with them.  We focused every principle on the restoration of the family and how the gospel blesses the family so much.  They have a christian background and go to Saddleback Church.  It is a huge church down here in orange county that every one goes too.  We were able to bear testimony about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  You could see the excitement and curiosity from the mom Lorita.  She has a little bit of broken English but she is sincerely looking.  They accepted to do the things necessary to find out if the Book of Mormon is true.  We were able to set up another appointment.  The Lord blessed us with a new family to teach which I am so grateful.  We then went to another individuals house name Sophia.  She is Korean and speaks very good English.  She was wearing a Utah State t-shirt as she just got back from Utah for business.  She is Christian and had a lot of amazing questions that are questions of the soul.  We had the opportunity to share with her what the Book of Mormon was to her and her son Justin.  She was so excited to hear that all the questions she has (what happens to us after we die?, What do we have to do to be saved?)  are in the Book of Mormon.  As prophets have testified of these things that the words they say are true.  We were able to testify that we know that they are true by the Promise Moroni gives us in end of the Book of Mormon Moroni 10:4-5.  We were able to get a return appointment to answer more of the questions she has.  I didn't do anything different from Monday to Sunday.  I know that Lord is going to bless me according to his timing and will.  He was testing Elder Johnson and I if we were going to work hard through out the week.  He blessed us with 5 new investigators in one day more then I have ever gotten in a week on my mission.  This work is real!  The lord is preparing many to hear and accept this Gospel and I am so grateful that I am worthy and able to be the instrument in his hands to bring about his righteous purposes. 
I love you all! Mission Life is the life, serving and doing the things what Christ would do if he were here.
Elder Brown

Miracles have not ceased!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Family and friends,

  This week was really fun a lot of good things happened.  We were
able to finally get a hold of some investigators that we have not been
able to meet with for a couple weeks.  We were able to teach Cathy a
wonderful lady that is married to a member.  We are working on her
testimony of the Book of Mormon and committed her to read it every day
with her husband.  She accepted and was really excited to do that.  We
are really excited as she came to church with us this Sunday.
 Last week we were riding our bikes down Paseo Westpark and we made 
goal that we would talk to everyone that we see.  We see this chinese
lady walking her dog on the sidewalk.  So we stop her and tell her
who we are.  We explained that our message is centered on Jesus
Christ.  We got her name and it is Rachel and she is from China.  She
said she would love to meet with us and learn about God.  Well we
called her up and she showed up to an appointment at the church!  I
was so happy!  That is very rare to get a lesson out of street
contacting.  She grew up in china and was taught that there is no such
thing as God.  We helped her understand the nature of God.  How he
created and loves us.  We shared the Restoration.  I have never
taught a lesson to someone that has zero religious back ground.  The
spirit was so strong.  The First vision proved to be powerful like it
always is.  We asked her how she felt.  She said, "I believe its true".
It was a great lesson.  We were able to pass her to the Mandarin
Elders as she speaks better Chinese then English.  She is going to get
baptized.  We exercised our faith in finding and the Lord literaly put
some one in our path.  I was able to go on exchanges with Elder
Leonard.  He is the funniest kid ever.  So he is from Mobile, Alabama,
but he grew up in England for most his life.  He is speaking
Vietnamese in the Vietnamese branch.  So a Southerner speaking
Vietnamese in a British accent.  Pretty sweet!!! haha.  I love this
Elder we had a good time.  I was there for their English class they
had for all vietnamese people in Garden Grove.  I was amazed at how
big the classes were.  They have 70 students and there are 4 Elders in
their young 20's teaching these huge classes.   That is a lot of
responsibility.  So I had a good time attempting to teach all these
people English.  It was crazy fun.  Helped them pronounce words, it was
a great experience.   I am amazed at how many vietnamese people are
here in Garden Grove!  It is like little Saigon.  The rest of the day
we were in the Long beach mission finding vietnamese investigators. 
 It is so weird to leave the mission.  I had a great time.  Missionary work in
different languages is totally different then english.
 It was a great week, really enjoyed serving the Lord.  It went by so
fast.  Miracles have not ceased my friends.  Press forward with
steadfastness in Christ and see the blessings shower upon you.

Elder Brown