I love you guys. I keep telling people about all of you. I keep a picture of our family in the front of my scriptures so I can show everyone! People always think that Delphine is my sister... Looks like she is already fitting in to the family!:)
Dad, I love to hear about your bike ride in Bidwell park, and I'm excited to go with you when I'm home. It's super weird to think that I've almost been out for a full transfer. I hit my two month mark in two weeks. Bizarre... As for the temple being a place where you are close to mom, I completely agree. My favorite memory of Mom from all time is being in the Sacramento Temple Celestial Room with her at the very beginning of May. I feel almost too blessed to have had that beautiful opportunity with that wonderful woman. She still is such a big part of my life. Her story is one I have told to many an investigator, and it has never ceased to touch my own heart.
So! This week I received that package... I LOVED it! It made me start leaking out my eyes again... but hey. It happens. That picture you sent me is so beautiful, and let everyone know how grateful I am for their letters. Tell Aunt Kristen that I'm glad she didn't get hit by that bear:)
I'll launch into the week now. So! the Highlight of this week is that I met 86 year old black former minister J*sse. He is my favorite person in Iowa. On Sunday night, we got a call from a Nauvoo member that wanted us to set up an appoinment with this man that he met in Aldi's(the grocery store). He hadn't gotten his phone number or address, but he got his full name, so he searched him on Google! He gave us J*sse's info and told us to call him. We did and set up an appointment for that night.
J*sse is so sincere! He really is humble to be learning from these young missionaries and having them tell him that he needs to change. When we asked if he would be baptized, he said, "well, if the Holy Spirit leads me that way, I've just GOT to follow!":) We are keeping up with the follow up. I love this work! The people I get to work with are phenomenal.
Also, I get to work at the Nauvoo Pageant for the next four weeks! I'm super excited. We are going to be asking for referrals and such.
Now, for an experience. I just received this quote from my MTC teacher, and I thought of a scripture I really like.
"However dim our days may seem, they have been a lot darker for the Savior of the world. As a reminder of those days, Jesus has chosen, even in a resurrected, otherwise perfected body, to retain for the benefit of his disciples the wounds in His hands and in His feet and in His side-- signs, if you will, that painful things happen even to the pure and perfect; signs-- if you will, that pain in this world is not evidence that God doesn't love you; signs-- if you will, that problems pass and happiness can be ours." Elder Holland
Before all of this occurred with Mom, I definitely had a testimony, but in all honesty, I had a hard time getting the Atonement from my head down into my heart. But now...Jesus Christ has become more than just a picture on the wall. He has become my Savior. He has become my strength. He has become my Miracle. Mosiah 18:30 really rings true for me. I feel that my "wilderness" where I learned the gospel has been my mother's cancer. As dismal and dark as this moment in all of our lives really is, I can honestly say that I have never felt more light all around me. I can say with the people of Alma, "All this was done [in the trial of cancer]... how beautiful [is this trial] to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever. I'm never giving this up. He lives!
I love you all. Keep studying. Keep praying. I'll be working hard.
Love, Elder Brown
PS. The samurai sword and watermelon is a long story. Lets just say that the 4th of July was a pretty good night...:)