Monday, March 17, 2014

Zoning Out

So this week was pretty darn awesome. We had a lot lot lot of miracles right in a row. There is a little family that had been taught by missionaries a few times in the past, and we picked them back up back in early December. The lady, A***, is so neat! She has been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and she just came to church for the first time yesterday. One of the reasons I love their little family so much is that she has a 12 year old boy with Down Syndrome that I keep teaching to do cool handshakes with me. Now every time I see him, he shakes my hand and then pretends like my arm is a rifle. He grabs it with his other hand and makes an exploding noise. I've never enjoyed being shot so much in my life! haha

Now, completely unrelated, we knocked on the door of a couple of college kids right before finals week, and they talked with us for like 5 or 6 minutes. It was weird, cause I was practically street preaching because there were so many of them. Probably 7 people were sitting on the couches just listening to us talk and throw truth at them. Anyway, the girl who lived in the apartment said we could come back. We stopped by on Saturday night and knocked again, and we were able to teach her the whole plan of salvation. I've never felt the Spirit confirm my own words back to me when I was speaking than during that lesson. The Plan of Salvation is so real and true. It makes so much sense! I love it. I didn't have to talk about mom or anything, but I was able to finally, finally tell somebody just how much the plan means to me and why it is so amazing. She listened pretty intently too. When we were about to leave I said, "Well, sorry we took up so much of your night!" And she replied, "No, I actually really needed it. I was super stressed and frustrated before you came, but you guys helped me to calm down."

Those types of comments are what missionaries live for.

I also spoke this Sunday. I've realized a trait about myself on the mission that I never knew about before. I really like to talk for extended periods of time. Elder Ontiveros says that "Elder Brown can fill the air." Now I have finally realized it. I talk way too much.

I love you all! Thank you for the letters and your love!

Elder Brown

Monday, March 10, 2014

Back to the River

Just a heads up. The Mississippi is still as nasty as it used to be. BUT DAVENPORT, IA IS A BIG CITY!:D
Welcome to Davenport, IA, 100,000 people live here on the banks of the catfish hangout of the Mississippi River. And guess what! It has SUBURBS! After I got called to Iowa, I didn't think I would hear the word suburb until I got home, but I am in a town the size of the Home Land! Good old high rise apartment buildings never looked so grand.
Now, I do have to apologize. Monday was our P-day, but it was President's day, so the Library was locked down. Now usually, Tuesday would be a GREAT day to email! Except that we had this big old stressful meeting on Tuesday with President called Mission Leadership Council, where we talk about what the mission needs to know and how green Elder Brown still feels and we spend a full day out of our area! But, I'm not complaining.
I've never been this busy in my mission. Between new meetings and getting to know my new area, I feel like I haven't even been a missionary for the past week. But let me tell you about my new companion.

Elder Brown and Elder Roybal

Elder Ben Roybal is my new companion. He has already been here in Davenport for the past 3 months. He is such a good missionary, and he has been out for 18 months. Now, I've gotta tell you the back story on this guy. He was in my original zone back in Fort Madison, and Elder Adamson and him were really good friends. They are both SUPER funny, so being around them was a blast. He also trained one of the people who was in the MTC with me, so that is a cool connection as well. I'll include a picture of him. He is so loving to the other missionaries. I want to learn from him how to care for the missionaries. He is a humble, loving, laid back Elder, and I love the guy!
Elder Ontiveros is still back in Kirksville. He's a stud like usual.
There really isn't much more to add. We are just preparing for a big old Zone Training Meeting today for like 3 hours, and then we will FINALLY get to go knock on some doors! Whoohoo!
One of his favorite families in Kirksville:)

I don't think I've ever been this excited to go finding in my life, but I'm just so stressed when we are out of our area this much.
Sorry this is so scatterbrained, but a quick experience.
Yesterday after MLC, I went up to President Jensen and thanked him for giving me Elder Roybal as a companion. It helped to relieve so much stress. He mentioned that he had prayed really hard to know where to put me, and he said, "I felt really strongly that you needed to be in Davenport, and then I felt that you and Elder Roybal would be good companions. I had no idea that you knew him before!" President Jensen is so stinking close to the Spirit. That man receives clear revelation from the Lord. He is teaching me so much about how to follow the Spirit.
Keep on reading, praying, and going to church! To those of you that don't do that yet, Give it a shot! It works every time:)

Love you all!

Elder Brown

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Fast Sunday!


"Hey, Elder Ontiveros."


"Why do they call it fast sunday if it always goes by so slow?"

"Funny." (Just a conversational gem between me and Elder O this week :) )

How are you family?!

I love you guys and I am so grateful for your emails and letters! It is such a joy for me to receive your communications and to feel of your love each week! Dad, I am especially grateful for the Memoirs of Mom that you have been sending recently. Each one highlights such a true characteristic of Mom. It's interesting to get inside of each person's head and hear of the things that stood out to them about Mom's personality and features! Some things that I never considered now are standing out to me and I admire them so much more.

As for the weather out here, we just received a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for this week. It's supposed to snow a boatload and a half tomorrow, and we very well might be trapped again. We have been stuck inside probably 5 times this winter already, and everyone is saying this is one of the coldest winters we've seen in a long time! Last night on our way home, it dropped down to negative 4 outside.

That's disgustingly cold.

But though the days are cold, our hearts are warm with the light of the gospel! It's cheesy, but it's true! We had a fantastic sacrament meeting yesterday, and my fast was based around a desire for the spirit to be powerfully manifest at our church meeting. Heavenly Father sent in the big guns for this one.

1: On Tuesday, Elder O and I went to the temple with the other Elders, and we had a chance to stop by a little LDS bookstore. I found some SWEET missionary action figures ("with proselyting action!" Says Elder Ontiveros) that I bought on a whim and brought home.

2: President Jensen calls on Friday and tells us that he will be at church on Sunday along with Elder Reall, the presiding area authority seventy in the area. Elder Reall bore a POWERFUL testimony on the importance of family and the reality of the resurrection during testimony meeting.

3: We stopped by Ch**s's house to wake her up during the Sunday morning round up and, on an impression, I gave the missionary action figures to her two boys. It kept them entertained throughout sacrament so Ch**s could listen. After the meeting, she comes up to Elder O and I and says, "So, when am I getting baptized again?"

4: Our previously excommunicated investigator came to church! IT WAS AWESOME! That was a stinkin miracle.

I love this work!

Now another tidbit. After sacrament, I was able to snag Elder Reall for a minute or two to talk. I told him about Mom's passing. His wife passed in June, just like Mom, and I wanted to seek some much needed counsel from him. He told me something I want to share. He said to me, "Sustain your father in every action. Let him know how much you love him, and let him know you approve of his happiness. Tell him constantly that you love and appreciate him, and tell your sisters to do the same. They will have the hardest time accepting the loss."

I testify of that statement! I know all of you people are amazing, but tell Dad how much he means to you, and sustain his righteous actions!

I love you all, and you are constantly in my prayers.

Elder Brown