Thursday, February 27, 2014

High Blood Pressure


I don't think I've ever been so stressed in my life!

But I think I say that quite a bit, so no need to be alarmed.

Ever since last week I have been rather concerned about the lady that passed out in church, and we weren't able to get in contact with her allllllllllll week! It was ridiculous. I am pretty sure I have a bald patch from all the stress and all the hair that fell out as a result of it. Luckily, we got to teach her again yesterday, which eased my mind a bit, but not nearly as much as I would have hoped for! You see, we were figuring out all of her marriage plans once again and solidifying them and everything, and all of a sudden, her mom comes out and starts saying that God would be angry at us for making her daughter get married. 

Preaching to every creature

Needless to say, I prayed for charity during that entire lesson. We ended up leaving the woman with a commitment to research the monetary issues of the wedding and figure out exactly what would be lost if they got married and so forth.

The miraculous part of the ordeal was right after that. We went to dinner with some members, and as I sat there I continued to feel tense and uneasy, but the longer we were there, the more peaceful I felt. I realized that it was simply the Spirit within the home of the members that was truly able to calm me down.

This area has been quite the experience for Elder Brown. I feel like I've thrown myself at this place and given it all I have, and boy has it pushed back. I have learned quite a bit about charity and humility. I think I'm starting to understand why I was placed here. I am a really prideful person! My real question is... Which one of you was supposed to tell me about this before my mission and forgot to?! You could have saved me some stress, whoever you are.

I truly am grateful for the pressures and trials of every area and situation I've been put in. It has been a truly unique experience to be on a mission. You deal with different issues than you would have ever thought possible. The Lord tests you in ways you simply don't understand, and you have to learn to be ok with that.

I'm learning. Slowly, but I'm learning.

I love you all so much. Remember that the Spirit is strong within a member's home. Keep that place as a sanctuary. Invite your friends there! Next to the temple, it's the most sacred place in the world.

Keep reading the scriptures! Don't forget to pray. Go to church. "In this there is safety and peace!" I testify that God is our Father. Jesus is the Son of God. Joseph Smith is His revelator in this day and age. If you don't know that yet, you've got to ask. Please do. Don't put it off.

Elder Brown

Hair cut

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Sorry about not getting to email yesterday... It was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so everything was closed. It's actually kind of a miracle that I got to email today! We have interviews with President Jensen in an hour and a half, and after that we have to drive back to Kirksville, so it's been difficult to find time. It's just been a stinkin miracle. Thank you for being patient:)

So story time. Every week I am in Kirksville my life seems to get weirder and weirder. This week I planned a wedding, cleaned up dog poop to get someone to church, and one of our investigators passed out in church and had to be taken out of sacrament in a wheelchair.
You know the only part that's weirder than that?
All three of those experiences were with ONE investigator in less than 24 hours.
I'm really not sure how to describe all that happened, but essentially the lady I talked about last week has a lot of health problems, and I struggle to know how many of them are made up cause she is nervous around large crowds, and so I push her pretty hard to do things. Getting them to church last week was a great example of that. That was a miracle! But the problem is that when it actually IS a health problem, she passes out in church...
So here is the story in a nutshell. On Saturday night we went over to her house to share a message. She is living with her boyfriend and she wants to get baptized, but if they get married, their social security check that they receive from the government gets decreased, and they were worried that they wouldn't have enough money to get by. Elder Ontiveros and I prayed really hard to know how to help them reach the waters of the covenant of baptism, and the answer that the Lord provided was that He wanted us to dig deeper. That wasn't really the problem.
So we went in on Saturday night and read Mosiah 18 with her, talking about the covenant of baptism and what blessings are associated with it. When we got to the line, "What have you against being baptized", we asked, "What blessings do you want from baptism?"
She went on to list all these blessings that she wanted so badly, but she couldn't have them because of the marriage situation. The Spirit in the room was powerful as she expressed her desire to get baptized. Inspiration came to share a personal experience, and we promised her that if she would have faith enough to get married, the Lord would take care of the money.
"It's not just the money..." she said after a pause. It was interesting to listen as she expounded on some of her fears. I won't share them here, because they are really personal, but her boyfriend told her how he was there for the long run. We told her all about how much the Lord blesses those who keep the commandments, and set a date of marriage on February 8th. 
She wrote it in her planner. In PEN. Boom Shakalaka.
Then she had a dizzy spell in church the next day and passed out. Way to go Elder Brown.
Well, that's all I've got for you this week!

I love you all!

Elder Brown

Sunday, February 2, 2014



Boy, have I got a story for you this week! We had an incredible Sunday morning which led to an incredible Sunday afternoon. I have to give a little background on things so you can be clued in to what I am talking about.

About three weeks ago, Elder Ontiveros and I knocked on a door which looked rather decrepit and worn down. After what sounded like 7 or 8 dogs barking at the door, we heard a loud bang and somebody screamed, "SHUT UP!" The dogs stopped barking for a few seconds, and a gruff voice said, "Come in!" So, we opened the door, and the dogs began to bark once more. Lo and behold, 7 or 8 dogs came running at us and started to jump up and lick us. We looked around for the person who had spoken, and eventually we saw an old man laying under a pile of blankets on the other end of the room. My initial thoughts were not extremely positive or excited about how this man could progress, but we taught him, and we have continued to teach him. He is a Vietnam Veteran who can now hardly move because of an early exposure of his body to "Agent Orange".

Well, this man named J** now has a baptismal date of February 15th, and he has been reading the Book of Mormon. When we first talked with him, I was sure that he was never going to progress, but as we have taught him all about repentance, and as he has changed, I have seen a bit of light start to creep into his eyes which were so dull the first time we met him. As we have struggled with the idea of him coming to church, he has put forth a lot of effort and desire, but as of Saturday night, we were still unsure of how he was going to get there. He can hardly walk with assistance, but he has a wheelchair. So, we put our faith in the Lord to help us perform the miracle of getting his son to church.

Now comes the OTHER part of the miracle. There is another lady and her daughter that we have been teaching for about 5 weeks now, and they have been progressing, but they were sick for church twice and church was canceled because of snow another time. So, this week, we had a strong desire to get them there to help them to begin to progress.

So, Sunday morning rolls around. We arrived at the home of the woman and her daughter at 10 am to wake them up for church. One of the people in the house (a lot of people live there) opened the door and said, "Hey, I'm not sure if they are going to church today. They had a pretty late night."

"Can we talk to her?" I asked.

"Sure," the person gestured toward the back room where I could see the woman's feet hanging off of the bed.

"Hey, Sh**la," I said. She grunted. "Hey! We don't have our car today, and we really need your help getting to church. Since you guys are going, can you give us a ride?"

"Guys, I have a really bad head ache. I don't think I'm going today." She mumbled.

"Hey no worries!" I responded, "Church doesn't start for another hour and a half. You have plenty of time, and your headache could go away by then!"

After much fanagling, she said she would go if I could wake up her daughter. So, Elder O and I went into the front room where the 11 year old daughter was snoozing on the couch. We woke her up by telling bad jokes until she was so annoyed that she got off the couch just to get us to stop! Once she was up, we said we would be back in a half hour to get our ride, and we needed to go get our other investigator up for church.

So, back over to J**'s house we went, excited about the miracle we had witnessed. We arrived at J**'s, were serenaded by a chorus of yappy dogs, and eventually got in to talk to J**. He wasn't looking very good, and he told us that he had been having dreams about the war all night. We read him some scriptures out of the Book of Mormon and his countenance relaxed. We asked, "J**, we have a ride all set for you. Can you still come to church?"

He didn't respond, he just started to get dressed.

So, back over to Sh**la's! We get in the car and start to drive to J**'s to help him and his wheelchair into the car. As we got to the house though, Sh**la said, "Is this J**'s house? Is J** coming to church?"

"Yeah," Said Elder Ontiveros, "Do you know J**?"

"Of course I know J**!" Shouted Sh**la excitedly, "My cousin lives in the back of his house! He should ride with us!"

So, we loaded J** into the car with us. It was a sheer miracle, and all three of them, J** in his wheelchair and all, stayed for all three hours of church. If that's not a miracle, I don't know what is!

It was amazing. I love missions! Ether 12:12 has been my motivator this week.

I love you guys!

Elder Brown