Monday, May 18, 2015

The final mission letter from Elder Brown

I am so sorry! This whole week I've been kicking myself.
Happy birthday to Brookie Nelson on the 8th!
Happy birthday to Chelsie Price on the 12th!
Happy birthday to Chase on the 16th!
I thought about it all week but I wasn't proactive enough to write it in my last email... sigh...
I have cried enough in this email session. I've felt pretty foolish trying to hide my tears from the man playing "Bejeweled" on the computer next to me. I think he thinks I'm just a big baby.
I'm not going to write much. I don't have much to say.
Christ said, "Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life." (3 Nephi 15:9)

President Jensen said recently, "To Father in Heaven, it matters very very much how we finish."
May He grant us opportunity to prove our devotion through endurance. May we step up to the challenge.
See you all next week. I love you.
Elder Brown

Monday, May 11, 2015

The World has Need of Willing Men and Women


My emotions are close to the surface. I can't believe all that has transpired in the past two years, but I can't express my gratitude for the blessing of it all. We are too blessed by our Father in Heaven. I could not have imagined at the outset of my mission the spiritual feast that has been laid before us. My greatest joy is to look at each one of my wonderful siblings and see how faithful each of you are to the gospel. I am practically brought to tears when I think of the faithfulness of these beautiful families. Can we possibly imagine the joy that we will have when we meet our family that has passed on from here?

I know, I'm getting sappy. But I just can't help it. And none of you can interrupt me because it's an email. So I'm sorry, but I just love each of you.

I'll have the chance to go to the temple with the nine other missionaries that I will depart with tomorrow, and I look forward to renewing my covenants there. Temple worship is something that is an infrequent thing on a mission. I'm grateful for the restored blessing of temples.

I don't have much to add. I'll have all of the stories to tell later. This week we were blessed to meet a single mother of 5 named Heather who has been seeking out spiritual direction. We hope to be able to help her! 

We also taught a young lady who yelled at us through her window as we were walking down the street. It's so cool to be a missionary!

I love you all!

Alma 37:37

Elder Brown

Picture: We found this place while contacting a potential one day. As we were walking up, Elder Swainston said, "Do you feel like this belongs in a Call of Duty video game, or is that just me?"

Monday, May 4, 2015

What do Old Ladies and Corn Have In Common?


The weather here in Iowa is finally holding! It's become warmer and warmer. The humidity is out in full force today, and it's pretty thick outside! It's wonderful to experience.

Right before coming to email today, we went grocery shopping. On our way in, a lady in nurse scrubs was standing by the grocery carts, rubbing two coins together. When we approached, she said, "Do you guys have any quarters by chance?"

"No," I replied, "But I can go back to the car and get one!"

"Oh! I'm sorry! Do you not work here?" She replied, a bit embarrassed. We explained who we were, and she released us, saying, "Ok, I'll go ask this guy!" She proceeded to ask a different man for a quarter.

I felt a bit bad for not inviting her to learn a little bit more about the Restored Gospel. We began to shop. Suddenly as we came around a corner, a woman spun around and looked me right in the eye. "Where is the cottage cheese?"

I was a bit startled by the abruptness of the comment so I paused, then I responded, "Uh... I don't really know. Maybe by the other cheeses?" I pointed in their general direction in the store.

"Do you not work here?" Queried the woman.

"No, I'm sorry!" I responded, chuckling a bit. She went over to where I had pointed. I thought to approach her about the gospel, but my companion had already moved on, and I justified my decision away.

Feeling now DOUBLY bad for not "Talking with Everyone" as PMG tells us to, especially with such soft ball opportunities, I sent up a prayer of repentance. That was when we were approached a third time.

"Where are your coffee beans?" Asked an old woman pushing a cart. Now, lest you be confused, this is MAYBE a once a month occurrence. It never happens three times in one visit to the grocery store. I got the hint. Circumstances weren't veiled enough to slip past THIS time tested elder! (More than twice... hahaha)

We started to talk with her and shared a bit of the Restored Gospel with the lady. Her name was Rita, and she was so pleasant! She invited us to her home to share with her the message.

So, despite my hardheadedness and timid nature, the Lord's work in Iowa moves forward! Turns out that here in the Midwest, old ladies and corn are both harvested when the time is right.

Hope that analogy wasn't too much of a stretch... haha

Love you all!

Elder Brown