I love you all sooooo much! I keep our big family picture in the front of my Book of Mormon so I can show everyone else how amazing my family is. I really do feel blessed to have such an incredible group of people that I am related to. I'm sorry I didn't get to write you yesterday, but it was Labor day and the library was closed up. So we instead have permission to write you on Tuesday!
Dad, thank you for your kind encouragement. I think more than anything I just need to work at it all before I really can feel comfortable in any calling. I love how you said the part about "congratulations". I definitely feel as though when people say congratulations it's like they are patting you on the back for getting a promotion... but it just doesn't click for me the same way. Sure! It feels good that the Lord trusts you enough to call you, but at the same time, I didn't really WANT to have to tell a bunch of other people how to do a job that they have been doing a whole lot longer than I have. Regardless, I'm going to do my best, and I'm going to love the time that the Lord gives me to serve Him in ANY capacity He needs.
Now being a trainer, that is a whole different story. Elder Lindhardt is my new companion. He is 18 years old and he is from St George, Utah. He is extremely enthusiastic and ready to do missionary work. To give you an idea about his personality, he reminds me a LOT of Drew Boyles. He is really funny and has the greatest laugh I've ever heard. He makes me feel good about myself because he laughs at all my stupid jokes. It's great! He is a really good missionary. At the same time, training is kinda crazy. I feel like I still have no idea what I'm doing, but my companion still hasn't been out for enough time to make any decisions in any way, so it's all on me at this point. He'll pick up quickly, but I'm a slow learner. He still has the attitude of "Father Knows Best" in all situations. I have an attitude of, "Wherever the car takes us"... Which hopefully is influenced by the Spirit! I love growing so much though. It is kinda painful at times, but it is so good for me.
An experience for you though! A few weeks ago, a recent convert of a little over a year introduced us to his 11 year old cousin Josie, and she started meeting with us after we invited her to be baptized. She has come to church twice and is really excited, but her parents, who we have talked on the phone with multiple times but never met in person, began becoming a bit antagonistic. So, we felt impressed that we really needed to set up a meeting with her dad specifically to meet in person rather than just with phone permission. As we talked to him on the phone, he said, "Elder Brown, I just want to know what you are teaching my little girl. I want her to know the Lord, and I don't care where she goes, I just want to know what you are teaching her." We are meeting him tonight and hopefully we can invite him to investigate as well. I just see that as a miracle! The Lord sometimes works through His younger children to influence the older generation. I am excited to meet him.
Chase, thank you so much for your incredible example. I know that I can do it because I am related to you. Many times I have wondered how you must have felt on your mission, and I have looked to your example to carry me through the hard days. I am so grateful for you and Delphine both. I will make sure to follow your advice.
Michael, I love to get your letters and I am sorry I don't have a ton of time to reply each week, but I will do so when I can! I love you and your little family. I am excited to see Gwen when she is up and walking in 2 years!
Aunt Becky, How is living with Brooke and Lyle? Are you and Brookie having a blast still? I remember how often she loved to go to your home and hang out with you during the summers.
I have such a profound love for each one of you, and I can feel your prayers like they are tangible hands lifting my spirits each day. I can't quite express how I feel in words! Just remember, this family is eternal! I have a testimony that we are feeling celestial glory each time we work together as a family unit. I love you all!