Sunday, October 20, 2013

It's a miracle that I'm still alive!


I want to let you know, only about 30 minutes ago, I nearly DIED! It's my companion's turn to be "senior companion" for a week, and as a result of that, he's driving. On our way to the library to write home, he swerved into the other lane without looking and got like 2 feet away from this massive truck which had to slam on his brakes! Tires squealed and everything.... At first I was a little bit mad, but I have definitely made those mistakes many a time when Dad or Mom has been in the car, and I tried to act like they would have. I started to think after this experience, and a thought hit me very hard: Being a parent must be terrifying! So, Dad, thank you for being patient and risking your life daily when I drove:)
Dad! You are amazing! How did the triathlon and everything go? You and Mike P and Mike F are awesome, and I'm pretty sure that Mike P has lost some serious weight since I have been on the mission. That is awesome! Did you enjoy the opportunity?
To answer your questions, I have not been able to sing in church. I don't know if I am supposed to! My companion definitely wouldn't want to do it with me, so I'd have to go solo... plus, I'm not sure when I would have time to practice or anything of the sort. Have I told you that I have been able to play the guitar 2 times since I've been out? It was a saving grace. Both times were in the middle of the most stressful weeks of the entire mission, and I know the Lord provided an oasis where I could de-stress and play a song or two for the less active members and investigators that allowed me to play. It was an incredible opportunity.
I am so excited to get the letters you will send! I cannot tell you how giddy I get every time that I get mail! It is amazing. 
I wanted to share a couple miracles just quickly though! So this week, 19 years after being separated from Church, Chr*s was re-baptized. I can still remember meeting him the very first day I came into Fort Madison. At the time he was bitter and completely opposed to our advances with ANYTHING having to do with the church, but he would always come and help out with any service project that we needed from him.

To see him soften over the past 4 months has been nothing short of miraculous. This man who once was calloused and offended is now tender and testifying to everyone he comes in contact with about the truthfulness of our Savior's divine message. His baptism was powerful, and the Spirit was undeniable. As he stood to bear his testimony, shortly after his confirmation and ordination to the office of a priest in the Aaronic Priesthood, his eyes were wet and he admonished how sorry he was that he didn't allow himself the blessings of the gospel sooner. My own body coursed with joy and electricity as I witnessed him go underneath the water and come back up. He actually was cleaner. I don't know how else to explain it! Elder Adamson, a recent convert friend who recently received his endowments, and the aunt and uncle that Chr*s has been living with have been invaluable assets to Chrs's return to his covenants! He now calls me "Lebrown" as a joke (like Lebron James... Though I'm still bad at basketball). I now call him "brother".
One last miracle for the road. We taught a lesson in Spanish yesterday! We met a man named Ju*n, and he speaks very little English, but we came back to teach him. Essentially all I could say in Spanish was that I know the gospel is true and can help Ju*n! I read him out of the Spanish pamphlet Joseph Smith's experience, and testified again and again. So many times as we were talking, I desperately prayed, "Heavenly Father, I don't know Spanish at all! What is this word?" And suddenly, miraculously, into my mind would pop the exact word I needed to say! Ju*n is so prepared, and so we were sent for one reason or another.
I love the Gospel! I know it is true.

Please, everyone who reads this, go back and read Elder Gerald Causse's talk in conference. Follow his advice! He is correct! I know what he said is true and vital for member missionary work.
I love you all!:) Keep smiling big!
Elder Brown

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