Monday, December 30, 2013

Illness and Chocolate!

Sounds like you guys had an average EPIC christmas with the family and friends! Meanwhile I was here dying of illness, and eating chocolate which probably didn't help. I am not even close to finishing off the chocolate. People keep giving us more!
Did nothing this entire week, because of the illness, so no good stories or pics, sorry about that. Elder Lamb and I both loved our stockings, they are really cool, I was hoping you would do them, and you did!
 
Send me some of those pictures of the frost and snow, we don't get anything but wind, rain, and illness! I would love to see some of them.
Sorry about the skimpy email this week, but there isn't much to say really! Hope you guys have a great week, and I love you all so much! You would not believe how much i really love you guys, I didn't realize how great of a family I had, until I left them for a while, and saw other people's families! Have a good one, and don't gain too much weight!
Love Elder Brown

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sick but going strong

This week was pretty good, I don't have any really cool stories this week, but on Friday Elder Green and I were on exchange. It was pretty funny people thought that we had some sort of class system or something because both our names are colors.
It was raining pretty hard, so we decided to knock this huge flat complex building. It was 24 floors, 144 doors. Out of those doors we taught 14 people! It was pretty epic!

I got over 60,000 calories of chocolate for Christmas. The chocolate over here is soooooo good!

I have been pretty sick. I have been trying to treat it, but it just fluctuates a lot. Sorry, not much time to talk. I will Skype on Christmas.

Elder Brown
 
Elder George, Elder Lamb Elder Manucci, Elder Brown at the Perez family home.


 
 
 
Elder Brown, Elder Manucci, Elder Lamb Elder George
 
Elder Brown, Elder Manucci, Elder Lamb, Elder George
 
Elder Lamb and Elder Brown doing a service project.


 

 

 

 

Monday, December 16, 2013

A reminder of our family!

 We are teaching two free masons. J_____, the 65+, wheelchair bound mason man, is doing well. Teaching him is slow, because he talks a lot, which is pretty funny, because he always says the same things. I think he might have a slight case of amnesia, which might cause a problem. We have decided that the best way to teach him is to either read to him, or watch videos, so it will be pretty different, but I think it will be great! He would love to come to church, but he can't drive and he can only use a specific vehicle for his wheelchair anyway, so we offered to find someone who would give him a lift to church in his own car. He was like super stoked for it. Anyway we found a member who said he would love to help, but J_____ won't be available in the mornings on Sundays until January.  At least he is interested and we have it figured out. The other Mason is M____. He is the Partner(not married but living together) of a La woman. Their family is so great, and they are really ready to be reactivated. We taught him the restoration and the plan of salvation, and he loved the lessons. We committed him to baptism, and he said that if he gets an answer that the BofM is true, he will hunt us down until we baptize him! He won't commit to a date yet, but he will when he gets an answer!
We gave F____ a Baptismal date for Jan 18th, and she accepted! We are hoping to give the same date to her parents soon.
Our ward Christmas party was Saturday, and it was great. We went through our phone and sent the same text to every Less Active, and every investigator in the phone. A lot of them we don't even know, because they have been in the phone since before I ever got here. We had like six people show up and a bunch send us texts back saying thanks, but they are busy. It was awesome. Elder Mannucci was surprised to see some of them, and he was like how did you ever get them to come!
 
We will be at a members home for most of Christmas day.  I get an hour at whatever time would be best for you to Skype. Not too late in the day, or too early in the morning for me though. Remember you guys are seven hours different.
 
My companion, Elder Lamb is also taking driving lessons right now. It is a lot harder to pass a test in England. The test is like way long and the roads here are crazy!
 
This week was non-existent! It went so fast, I don't even know what to do! Got to go to the temple, and man was it epic!! Learned quite a bit.
 
Glad to know that you guys are still living life the way I remember it! You guys all make me laugh so hard!
 
A rice bag, sounds like a wonderful thing to have right now! I have been getting Hardcore sick again, and last night we were out in the most rubbish weather! I was soaked to the core! YSA sounds like it is still a blast! As always! Give my regards to those who know me!
  
I have to tell you guys, We had a Dinner Appointment yesterday with the Compton Family! They are a huge family, like ten kids! Anyway, they reminded me so much of our family, and all of our crazy experiences that we have day to day! It was Great! I miss you guys, and I love you all! This week went by so fast that I didn't get any pictures at all! 

Guernsey is an Island that is really far away from the rest of the mission, it isn't in our zone. It is like the outcast area! LOL! It is closer to France than it is to England. President Millar was talking to us at one point, and he told Elder Lamb about a new sister that came in not too long ago. He said she was way too attractive to be a missionary, so he sent her as far from the rest of the elders as possible. He sent her to Guernsey!

Have a great week,
Elder Brown


Monday, December 9, 2013

Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree

Sorry about last week. We didn't have internet access. I made it up with loads of pictures this time!
We haven't had any snow yet, and probably won't for a while! It feels a lot colder than 50 degrees. The cold here is worse I would say, because it is really wet and you don't get the snow that comes with it!   However it is warm enough for Elder Lamb and I to run about 10 minutes to the gym and back at 6:00 every morning in shorts and a t-shirt! The first time we did it was about 2 weeks ago, and it took us 15 min there and the same back. we got it down to 9 once, but we get about 10-13 usually.

I got the Christmas package two weeks ago, wrapped it up and put it under our tiny little 3 ft. Christmas tree. It looks like Charlie Brown's Tree, it is so skimpy, but it is better than most missionaries get!



This is our flat decorated. 
 


 Here are pictures from a wedding that we were the ushers for
 


 
This is a picture of the river at low tide, to show you how different it is!
 
 
 This is a castle that is down the street from us.
 
 
I didn't get to watch the devotional! I never even heard about it! I wonder if it is because of the time difference that they don't announce it or something!
 
Should be able to Skype on Christmas, I don't know what time it will be at yet, but I will try and find out from the members who have us booked for meals!
 
Missionaries don't get days off! But there is no public transport on Christmas, or boxing day (the 26th of December is called boxing day over here, and it is almost bigger than the 25th! That's when the majority of presents are opened) so we can't do much proselyting, and no one wants to be taught at that time most likely, so probably a day off basically!
 
I love you all and miss you lots! We currently don't have any progressing investigators, because we can't get anyone to come to church! We are teaching two free-masons. One is an elderly guy who is a self referral, and the other is the boyfriend of an inactive member. We are hoping to have 7 baptismal dates by the end of this transfer which ends on Christmas day. 5 of those will be a F____ family, who all have been taught everything, but just need to come to church, and quit smoking, get married etc. They will take a bit of work, but they have great potential. The other two are an African couple, who we have only taught once, but we both feel good about them. So hopefully the work will explode here! we had a great Zone conference a couple weeks ago, where Elder Tuxiera of the 70 did a presentation. Absolute rebuke, with a lot of mind blowing simplicity to make us all excited! We also get to go to the Temple Tomorrow, and have a Christmas dinner with the Mission President! Pretty exciting stuff!
Hope you have a good week!
 
 
 

Monday, November 25, 2013

No weight gain this year for Thanksgiving!

I am going to miss Thanksgiving holiday,  I totally forgot about it because they don't really do it over here, so I don't know if I'll have much of a Thanksgiving. Elder Lamb and I went running this morning, and I just about died, I am so out of shape, but at least I won't gain ten pounds at Thanksgiving this year!

Work has been going well. We got this new investigator. He was a self-referral. He called the chapel and luckily brother Jackson was there to answer! He said he has a Book of Mormon, and that he had the Deseret Book magazine and wanted to buy some books from it! We called him a few days later, he said he wanted three books in specific: "The Mormon Codex," "The Old+New Testament, by Gerald L. Ogden," and "The Joseph Smith Papers!" If you don't know already, those books are like heavy, deep, doctrine. I think the Mormon Codex talks about scientific laws combined with Gods laws, and how miracles are performed, which has to do with molecules and stuff! ( If you want to know a bit about this I could send you some scripture references that would blow your minds! Or you could download and listen to Cleon Skousen's atonement talk) Anyway we said we could try to get those for him, and then we asked him if he would like us to come by and teach him more. He said he would love that. He is wheel-chair bound and doesn't get out much, so he has lots of time to read and discuss! We met him at his home, and he is pretty cool. We gave him a triple-combination, and Truth Restored, by President Hinckley for now, and told him he could order the books he wanted online from the website in the magazine, or on e-bay, etc. He was so grateful and excited about the books we gave him for free. He is totally a Free-Mason, and we were a bit worried because of that, so we called President Millar and asked him if a Free-Mason would be allowed to get baptized. He said that it isn't a problem unless he is a grand-wizard. So we are totally going to baptize a hardcore Free-Mason! Hopefully we can help him get to that point, but the only thing that might be a problem is that he is confined to a wheelchair, so obvious concern there, but if he is committed enough he will totally do it!
 Our other investigators are really busy, and it is hard to get in contact with them unfortunately. We had three less-actives at church, and one 11 year-old investigator.  She has been coming every week, but her family have never come. She is ready for baptism, and the rest, except her dad, want to eventually, but it will take some work for them to be ready. Her mom has a smoking problem, and her sister and her sisters boyfriend need to get married, because they have a kid.
  
I forgot my camera cord and card reader, so I totally can't send pictures. I only took like three pictures anyway and they weren't that good anyway. This week was pretty much all over the place and it flew by!
 
If you want to read a good book that will be possibly the most exciting book you have ever read, buy "Visions of Glory" from Deseret book.  Elder George said that even if he knew nothing about the church, and he didn't have a testimony or even a basic belief in it, it would quite possibly be the most exciting book he has ever read.  I can't read it until I am off of my mission, but it is on the list!  
 
I love you all, and I am sorry I didn't give you any pictures this week, I will try and repent so that I can do better next time! Hope you all have a great week!
Elder Brown
 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Great new companion

My new comp is Elder Lamb. He is from Ireland, but virtually without an accent. He sounds more American than anything else. He has been serving the same amount of time as Elder Mannucci, so about 18 months. We get along great, he is super fun! He is more committed to exercising than Elder Mannucci which will be a good thing for me, hopefully. He likes music a lot, and he wants to go to school for engineering in medical robotics, as in like "I-robot" style prosthetics. We have decided that we should end up working together after the mission which would be cool.
Nothing super interesting this week, it was all over the place, so the work wasn't great this week, but we had a cool roadshow in our stake that all the missionaries were a part of! We did teach M____ and his family the plan of salvation and it went pretty well. We are teaching them tonight at 6:30 the restoration and committing to baptism so it should be good.

I don't have a lot of time to e-mail today because  the library was closed, so we all had to share the chapel computers, which means we couldn't take too long sorry.
 
Me on the Itchen River Bridge 

 
Elder Lamb (My new Companion) on the Itchen River Bridge.

 
A giant boat train we saw this morning! At our flat on the Itchen River


Random information:
-England doesn't have Veterans day but they have something similar. It is called Remembrance day and it was November 1st.
-No snow yet, but that's ok.
-It takes a while to get stuff like packages from the office, because we can only get it at zone conferences, etc.
 
This is a picture of a sign on someone's door saying no JW's and No Mormons. Had to laugh at that one! 
 
 
 
I love you all, and hop you have a great week!
Elder Brown

Monday, November 11, 2013

Training is over!

It may seem peculiar to others, but in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we take on whatever responsibility we are called to, which responsibility we neither seek nor decline, for we believe that the calling has come from the Lord through his appointed leaders. We are happy to serve, with all our hearts, wherever, whenever, and however the Lord wants us to (D+C 4:2). In so doing we find we are blessed with the skills and qualities that we need to fulfill these sacred duties and so we grow as we serve (Mosiah 2:17). That is how the lord bulids both his kingdom, and his people!

 
This week was pretty good, we found more people, and we are finally getting some teaching appointments set up! I have a great feeling about where the work is going to go pretty soon. Transfers is Wednesday, and my training is over! Elder Mannucci is going to be Zone Leader with Elder George, which is funny because it means he will still be in the same ward, and we will go on exchanges! I will get to see him at least once a week! My new companion is going to be Elder Lamb, who is from the same MTC group as both Elder George and Elder Mannucci! It should be pretty cool, because they will all know each other already. I can't believe it has already been 3 months! It is so weird!
 
Elder George and I doing Dishes
 
If you want to build your testimony, bear it often! Also study every day for an hour or so. If that is too much, then do less, but when you study the scriptures everyday it becomes more and more exciting, and it becomes easy to lose track of time!
 
We haven't had any snow yet, but it is very wet which makes the cold seep into your bones no matter what you are wearing! Very different kind of cold from back home.
 
Thanks for all of your love and support! You guys are great. Here are some pictures of us eating fattening foods. 
 


 
My favorite service project so far is trying to break apart an old desk for someone. We did it with our feet. It was pretty funny especially when Elder Fingerle was unable to break the wood! It just bent, It was more like a cardboard piece then wood. Then he tried a thick piece that was to thick and only hurt his foot but he finally got a piece that broke.
 
video
 
This is a picture of the worst waffle I have ever seen. It looks like a five-year-old made it! Basically a waffle with peanut butter M&Ms and chocolate drizzled over the top with ice cream on the side!
 
 Hope you guys have a great week! Miss you lots!
Elder Brown

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Church is True, and nothing can change that!

It is crazy that you guys studied Doctrine & Covenants 138 extensively this week, because I did too. It was one of my favorite morning studies so far! Our miracle investigators were pretty sick on  Sunday, so they didn't make it. We haven't seen them since the first time, but I think that they will be great! This week flew by! I don't know why it went so fast, but it did. We did a lot of knocking, but we had very little success. We finally met with a potential investigator that we found knocking a few weeks back. He is from Chile, and we taught him the restoration lesson. When we introduced the Book of Mormon to him and had him read the invitation and promise in Moroni 10:3-5
Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
The spirit was so strong, and it was absolutely silent. In Preach My Gospel and 12 weeks (the missionary training booklet) it talks about being comfortable with silence as you teach, it is referring to this kind of silence. It was comfortable, powerful, and no one wanted to break the silence. R_____, the new investigator, took the invitation and committed to reading and praying. It was a great lesson, and it rejuvenated and excited both me and Elder Mannucci! R______ lives quite close to our flat, so that will be nice!
If a week goes by and we don't have a spiritually uplifting experience, it becomes so hard! That is what keeps you going on a mission. People ask "how do you do it?" And that is the answer. If the church wasn't true, no one could do what we do! Without seeing miracles, and watching the amazing change that you help others make in their lives, you wouldn't be able to serve a full mission. You probably couldn't even do it for a month!
 
The church is true, and nothing can change that! I can honestly say right now, that nothing will ever make me believe otherwise. I know God's plan and I refuse to reject it. If someone was to come up to me with a gun to my head and threaten to kill me if I didn't deny that the book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet, that we have living prophets and apostles on the earth today, that this church is the one and only true church of Jesus Christ, or that God loves and cares about ALL of his children and wants them to become as he is, I would not deny it. I would rather let them take my life!
 
Hopefully that doesn't happen, but I am just saying If it did I am ready!
 
We were knocking on doors, and when it got a little later in the evening on Halloween, people started to open the door with a box of candy ready for little kids. We were like "sorry we aren't trick or treaters!" Many of them were like "oh well, take some candy anyway!" It was awesome! 
The time changed here a while back. We got an extra hour of sleep, but it didn't feel like it, which was disappointing! Oh Well.
 
 
 
I am developing an amazing taste for church music but what goes on in my head is always some crazy epic EDM version of some of my favorite hymns. I am going to have some of the coolest productions going on when I come home! My next Ep will be EPIC and spiritual at the same time. It will be entitled "Mission Accomplished" most likely. I honestly can't wait! 
 
Dinner appointments are epic! Think about how much food Mom always made when she had the Elders over, now multiply it by 6 and cut the number of people eating it down to 4 and add three bottles of soda in the mix. That is our average dinner at a members house! Somehow I have managed to be eating all of that, and still losing weight which doesn't make any sense!
The most unhealthy thing I have eaten here is pictured below! We got it with our Fish + Chips at a local shop. It is a deep fried Mars Chocolate Bar! It was so heavy! We split it and each of us only had a half of it, but it destroyed us for nearly the whole day. Elder Mannucci and I went proselyting and we could hardly walk up a slight incline! It was one little greasy fried chocolate bar, and it took us out for half a day! I couldn't believe it. My fat American side says it wants more, but I don't think I can take it!


 
One real weird thing will be when I come home and I am using slang form over here instead of USA slang. Like, I miss you to Mate! INN'IT
 
I think what I miss the most is the freedom to take a break and do something I want to do with out feeling bad about it. I can't even sleep in when I am sick without feeling like I am wasting the Lord's time.
 
Elder Mannucci in front of a poster of a new game that he can't wait for!
 

 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Miracle investigators

Mount Everest is one of the most challenging mountains to climb and many have been defeated by the task, but Erik Weihenmayer succeeded- even though as a teen he went completely blind! When asked how he overcame all of his challenges, he said I just stayed focused and took a step at a time and refused to give up! This is what God has directed us to do in Mosiah 4:27. We don't have to be fast, we just need to move steadily, following divine guidance from our father in heaven, and we will be surprised at how high these "mountains" can take us. Psalms 19:105 and D&C14:7.
 
This Week was pretty good. We taught a less active couple who were really cool. They still have very strong testimonies, but for some reason they aren't coming to church regularly. We are trying to figure out exactly why, but I think part of it might be school, and the wife had to go to the hospital as well. I believe that they will become active soon, as long as we continue to help them do so.
We got three new investigators this week. One came to church and was a referral from one of the Ward missionaries. The other two were a miracle! Last night we rang their flat bell, and the let us into there home. It was a couple from Mexico that just moved here at the start of October for school. They actually come from a place very close to Mexico City! They were extremely nice, and very interested because they have been looking for a Christian church to go to since they got here. They don't have a specific denomination, and in the past they have just gone to whatever seemed good. They are excited to come to church on Sunday, and they committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. They gave us both of their phone numbers, and were just great people. They never stopped smiling and actually gave us some chocolate!  We were absolutely shocked at the invitation in, and definitely about the chocolate.
 
Elder Manucci and Elder Brown in Sailor hats
 
 
I am pretty much over the sickness, but it wasn't anything big for me, it was just annoying to have a dry throat in the mornings, and evenings.
 
Interesting story about the bank card. As you know, it doesn't work in the shops(or at least that specific one, I haven't tried since) but we needed it to get our prepaid train tickets. The office had to prepay for our train tickets to zone conference, because they were expensive and we didn't have enough money. We had to go to London and switch there in order to make it to Staines. So I have seen the London waterloo train station. Huge, absolutely huge!!!! anyway, in order to get the prepaid tickets, we had to use a card for identification, and then enter a passcode. Well neither me or my companions mission card worked, so we tried the one I have from home, and guess what! It worked. I don't know weird. It of course only uses the card for ID, but it still should work in shops I don't know.
 
A sign just outside of the London train station. (we had to go through London and change trains to get to zone conference. The sign is quite famous, The Book of Mormon Musical. One of the biggest ones in England!
 
 Elder Brown and  Elder Rolz (from Germany). We were on exchange.
 
Picture of the Library, finally checking out the right book.

 

I don't miss school at all. I get to study the scriptures for two hours a day, and every time it is really good. That isn't sarcastic either. It is really, really good! 
 
I got asked by another person who visited our ward, if I was related to Sister Brown. Said I was fairly certain that their is no relation. Crazy how I met a member of the ward she is serving in. Small World!  
I am getting some of my piano skills back surprisingly I am not as slow at reading music as I thought. Still have a lot of work though. I am getting better quickly!
 
Having tons of fun here! We played chair football, which is football(soccer) with everyone vs everyone, and if the ball touches your chair you are out, and have to sit down. If the person who got you out gets out, you are back in! Got pretty intense last Monday! 
 
They do celebrate Halloween here. Josh, my recent convert, went to a YSA dance for Halloween, and he went as Santa! LOL for Halloween! He is so cool. I was telling Elder Mannucci about how much I miss homemade doughnuts. You guys are lucky! Even if I had the recipe it would take me three hours to make, which I simply can't do! Oh well! I have my raisins! Say hi to Myndi and Caleb for me! I got the seminary classes letter a few days ago. It takes a long time to get to me because it was sent to the office and then to me! I will send a letter back as soon as I find time! Prepare for an epic answer to that question!
 
I love all of you and hope you guys have a great week. Update me on the situation with the government if you can I still don't know much!
  
 
 

Monday, October 21, 2013

The "man walk/challenge."

Melissa's baptism was great, I am so glad to have had the opportunity to perform my first baptism! I really felt the spirit there, and I know that Melissa did too. However, when we went to fill the font the boiler tripped, and can't be fixed till Wednesday this week, so we had nice cold water for Melissa.
 
Elder Brown, Melissa, and Elder Mannucci 
 
 
Funny story for you. We went on exchange, and Elder Probst and I ended up lost in east Leigh, looking for a bus stop. We eventually just ended up walking back to the Southampton flat in the avenue from there. It took us nearly 2 hours. Elder Probst and I are now officially men. We are calling it the "man walk/challenge."
  Elder Probst and I right after our long walk
 
Not feeling a whole lot better yet, but its getting there. Elder Mannucci is getting quite sick though, and well, he is just struggling hardcore. He feels like his entire body is ready to shut down on him. I can't complain, an I don't want to because it feels so selfish when people around me have it much worse. 
 My favorite door rug/mat

Finally started reading Jesus the Christ, and man I love the gospel!    I love you guys, and hope you have a great week!
Elder Brown
 
 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sore knuckles! and sickness!

This week we had stake conference and our mission president had one of the talks. He talked about Jacob 5, and how the promise that God will hasten his work in his time is being fulfilled now. He is hastening his work, and now truly is the time for members and missionaries to work together. It was awesome. 
 
I only have a few pictures this week, and they are all of a rainbow that I saw one morning. I will for sure send you a picture next Monday! I will be dressed in white!
 
The rainbow went All The Way Across The Sky. taken from our flat balcony early in the morning.
 

 
I am trying to practice the piano more, when ever I have the time, and I wish I had some music to play. Mission is going good, but we really need to find new people to teach! Unfortunately we are teaching almost no one. We have been knocking on so many doors that Elder Mannucci keeps saying his knuckles are so hard he could kill someone with them. 
 
As for transfers, our district is totally changed. It used to be Elder Mannucci(District Leader) + Me in Hamble River Ward, Elder Lam + Ng (chinese elders) in Southampton Ward, Elder Buglass + Munson in Southampton Ward, Sister Nenadovic + Bolinder in Winchester Ward, and the zone leaders Elder George + Fingerle in Hamble River Ward. The district opened two new areas, Hedge End and Romsey! Because of this, the district was split. It is now Elder Mannucci(DL) +me in Hamble River, Chinese are the same, Munson+Buglass replaced with Robinson(right out of the MTC)+Probst, New elders in hedge end are in the Hamble River ward, they are Elder Clark +Elder Rolz(Right from the MTC as well). Zone Leaders are still the same as well. The sisters are now Sister Nenodovic+Swain, and they and the Romsey Elders are in their own district. Which is kind of funny, because Romsey and Winchester are in the same ward, so district meeting must be like a correlation Meeting instead! The new elders in our district are great, and  we already have had a lot of fun! 
Our next Transfers won't be until the 13th of November, I think, so who knows if I will move or not. If I don't, I will be here until the end of January. The transfer date after November happens to fall on Christmas day, so we are going to have two transfers in a row where no one will move.
  
I did hear about the whole government shutdown thing. In fact the new ward mission leader forced me to watch the news with him to hear a little bit about it. I don't understand much of what is going on, or how serious it is because all I heard was Obama's speech on it that basically bashed on the republicans and did nothing else! I would love to have more details on it, so it would be great if you guys could explain the situation and the impact of it for me! I didn't even think about the national parks being shut down! That is huge!
 
We have never spoke in church! We just bear our testimonies on fast Sunday! We have a  Baptism coming up, and yes we probably will use buckets again! But it is worth every bit!
 
There is only one funny story/situation that I can think of right now, I had Kraft mac + cheese for the first time here and we didn't have butter, so we had to use margarine. It was still good, but It was Elder Mannucci's first time. He was like halfway through his bowl when he said this tastes like it is very unhealthy, and I told him it was basically death in a bowl, and he was like, " what the heck, why are we eating it then! This isn't pasta! This is a disgrace to Italian invention, why do the Americans have to turn something great into an abomination. Pasta isn't even that hard to make! Why would you eat this!" or something like that. it was pretty funny!
 
I miss Pot stickers, but that is ok, we have tortellini all of the time! In fact last Monday we went to ASDA (Wal-Mart here is called ASDA) and there was Giovanni Rana (which is the number one brand for Italian foods in the world as it says on the package, confirmed as such by my Italian companion) Tortellini on sale for £1 which is way cheap, it is usually like £3 or so. We cleared them out! We only left about three in the store! It will last us weeks!
 
I am getting pretty sick! I almost threw up this morning, and my throat is killing me! It is really bad in the mornings, and GSE doesn't seem to be working, but that is understandable, because I don't have time to take it every three hours. In fact I only have the chance about once or twice a day. I tried some cough medicine we had in the flat, but it has the same problem, it is supposed to be taken every three hours. I have been drinking herbal tea in the mornings to sooth my throat, and it helps, but it seems to be getting worse every day!
 
Anyway, one more funny story for you. We were heading to the Edwards's house on Sunday, and we were supposed to be there at 5. we got there at about 4:50, but Elder Mannucci called Tina and said that I had fallen and hurt my ankle and we needed a ride. When she came running out with Mellissa, we jumped out from behind the Hedge and scarred her! It was great.
  
I love and miss you all!
Elder Brown
  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Miracle of epic proportions!

When teaching investigators, remember to avoid deep doctrine, feed them milk before you give them meat, even when as a baby, they want their bacon first! My favorite quote so far from General Conference is, of course, from Elder Holland. "When the bitter cup does not pass...DRINK IT!" So powerful!!!! I don't really have any good teaching experiences from this week, but I will tell you a miracle of epic proportions!
 
      We just got new Elders serving in our ward in Hedge End, which is a part of our area, so we are currently trying to figure out how to split the area the best. One of the missionaries is just 3 or so months in, and the other is brand new, straight out of the MTC, so we decided to pull a little prank. MUHAHAHAHAHAHA! We asked James and Julie Edwards if they would like to have a little fun with the new missionaries. They, of course, said yes. We called the Hedge End Elders on their first day in the area to give them some referrals. One of them was a true referral, for a potential investigator that we met. And the other was the Edwards, who are ward missionaries! We told them that we met this strange, but very promising couple. We told them their address, and gave them the names James and Julie Edwards. We told them that we had knocked on their door, and that they were excited to meet again. We emphasized how important it was, and that we had a specific appointment set for Friday at 7 pm! They went, and the Edwards did what anyone who had the opportunity to be fake investigators. They TORE THEM APART! They offered them coffee, tea, and beer. They asked crazy questions, they bashed a little, and then all of a sudden they started to be really interested, and were asking all of the right questions, and being what we would call "Golden Investigators." Then they revealed that they were actually members of the ward, and in fact ward missionaries. It was a good laugh for them all! Then they had about 15 min before the bus came, so James went to go knocking with them. They didn't even get to the road they wanted to knock, when they met this lady in the street. The lady said, you're Mormons right? they responded "yes!" She broke down in tears and said that they were exactly who she needed to see, and started talking about how poorly her life is going, and that she knows meeting them in the street tonight was exactly what was supposed to happen, and that they were truly sent by god to be in this place at this time! Elder Clark, the trainer, bore testimony that God loves her, and knows her situation. They talked further about God's love, and then Brother James Edwards gave a powerful bold prayer, which basically said that he was happy for her, and the choices that she is going to soon make, and that she will soon be happier than ever before, for she has found the truth. She cried more and said thank you. She gave them her address with a return appointment for Tuesday (tomorrow)! THE LORD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS!
Josh is doing pretty well. He went to every session of General Conference, and he enjoyed it! He is really happy. He told us that now that he has the gift of the Holy Ghost, his happiness level is way higher than it was previously! M____ is doing well also. She has her baptismal date for the 19th, and she is getting so excited. She doesn't show it when we are around, but her mom says it is all she talks about, and she has been talking with her friends and teachers about the church a lot! 
  
I haven't seen any Reisens anywhere but European chocolate is cheap here, and it is soooooo good! I am lucky. I do miss US candies, but only the fruity ones. Fruity gummy candies are kind of rubbish here. What I have been craving though, is unhealthy 'Murican Captain Crunch. There is only one place to get it here. It is only found in a candy shop called "Americandy," and it is super expensive! Bacon, unfortunately is quite expensive, and we are already eating enough fattening food, so Butter Bacon Pasta is a no go. I have thought about it a lot though! English pumpkin pie doesn't exist, because no one here likes it. 
 
I wish to know what happened to our football team. They are not supposed to be winning! You are seeing more miracles than I am! 
  
I always have fun with the brits, especially when they give me their best "smile" when I say hello. Never stop having fun!
 
Here are a few photos. One of them is of a picture frame that Tina gave me (Elder Mannucci got one too)! I just have to get some photos for it.
 
 
 The other two are of this dope footpath shortcut that we took to get to the bishop's house faster! The footpath was on the map, but it was hard to find. We were not expecting it to be so narrow!
 
 
 
General conference was EPIC, I love how President Monson said it was one of the most spiritual ones he has attended. We saw the sat morning one live at 5 pm on sat, and the priesthood one recorded at 10 am on Sunday. Then we saw a recording of the sat afternoon one on sun at 1 pm, and the live Sunday morning one at 5 pm. We didn't get to see the Sunday afternoon session, so if there is anything cool, let me know! I remember how back at home conference was easy to sleep during, and it always seemed so long. This time, I was like what, that was the last talk?! What, its over?! 
 
Alan Peak is the new ward mission leader here!  The new missionaries got here on Wed. and they are great! Our district lost two missionaries from the same area in Southampton. The area was whitewashed. Also we no longer have Winchester, which was sisters, because our district got split because they opened two new areas! Our district is now comprised of 8 elders plus the zone leaders! That makes ten elders serving in the two wards in Southampton. Imagine having ten missionaries for just Columbia falls and whitefish! 
 
 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Starbursts and Tithing

This week we taught M______ about the law of tithing and fast offerings. We used starbursts as an example. We gave her ten and told her to pay her tithing if she was willing. She gave us one starburst back. We then tossed a whole package of starbursts (one of the big packs with like 50 or so candies) into her lap and said that God will always pour her out a blessing, so large that she won't have enough room to receive it. It worked out perfectly, because her mother had just fed us an amazing meal, and I don't think any of us had room left to receive starbursts or anything else! We committed her to live the law of tithing and the law of the fast and she accepted! I don't know if I mentioned it last time, but she has a baptismal date set for the 12th of October! We might change the date to the 19th because the 12th is stake conference so it might not work on the 12th very well.
 
 
Elder Brown eating tacos


 
I love apples, and I am jealous of all of the tasties you guys are having. I don't miss American chocolate though. The chocolate here is soooooooooooooo much better! When I get back I am going to miss it! You know Cadbury, like the Easter egg chocolate? It is the most common brand here! Imagine if they replaced all of heresy's and nestle with Cadbury. that is what it is like! EPIC right? 
I am going to be quite fat when I get back.  I have been fed so well that I don't know what to do with all the food! I don't know if I told you guys yet, but when I weighed at home I was about 172 , and when I weighed on my last day at the MTC I was like 184! LOL I haven't weighed since, because we don't have a scale, but hopefully all of the walking has helped me go back down a bit.
 
Eating with Zone leaders
 
 
 Elder Mannucci is pretty funny! I was reading back in the beginning of my journal, from when I first got into the field. The only thing I wrote about elder Mannucci that first day was that he is Italian, and he laughs a lot! He has been out about 17 months. I don't know how I lucked out. The ward here is amazing, I get to go on exchange all of the time, because my companion is the District Leader. I get to work with the ZL's because they are in the same ward, we are getting new elders in our ward on Oct. 2, so we will soon have six in the same ward! It is so awesome! Also we have Dinner Appointments nearly everyday, and sometimes we have one for lunch and dinner on the same day as well. This is the best area ever!
 
Elder Mannucci (district leader) and Elder Brown and other district leaders
 
Elder Mannucci has one brother and one sister. his bro is like 21ish and his sister is 4. Elder Mannucci is like 22. He is from La Spezia, which is pretty close to Pisa and its famous tower! 
His brother went to the branch president to talk about going on a mission. But his branch president said he is not needed because there are already so many missionaries serving. We were all shocked and pretty upset about it. We are going to call our mission president, and we know that because our mission pres. is awesome, he will most likely call that branch president and see what he can do. The Lord needs everyone he can get, and no worthy young man should be denied the opportunity to serve the lord!
 
I have had some crazy dreams, somehow here and home meld together and become one. The possibilities become endless when you have two different areas, and cultures coming together in one strange situation. I have seen so many weird things that I would still be typing at the second coming if I were to tell you all of them! It suffices to say that some people don't understand, and when we offer to explain they refuse to listen. I love knocking doors! THAT IS NOT SARCASTIC! It is so much fun! I love getting doors slammed in my face, and seeing how people react. They are like little children, its hilarious!
 
The pictures are of me and this statue outside of the library here! Elder Mannucci just thought of the idea of making a picture with us taking a BofM out of the wall next to the statue, so maybe there will be more sometime!
 
 
 
 
On Tuesday this week we stopped a guy in the street at about 8:20 at night. His name is B___ We talked with him for about 10-15 minutes in the street! That doesn't happen often. We gave him a chapel card, and he gave us his card with his address and phone number! He seemed pretty interested, but so do a lot of people who we never see again. Well this Sunday was fast Sunday, and I fasted that we might be able to find new investigators who will be committed, because recently most of our investigators, and potential investigators have been hard to get a hold of, or they never give us an exact time for an appointment, and they just haven't been very committed. Well, that man, B___ came to church at 12:30 on Sunday, and we gave him a tour while everyone was in their classes! We talked about the restoration, and the BofM. We gave him a copy of the BofM and he seemed pretty excited. He has read tons of religious texts as well as the bible, and he has always enjoyed them, but he has no clue what is about to hit him.......MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! He is going to be slapped in the face by the spirit, and he is going to finally find the truth that he didn't realize he was searching for. At least that is what we hope. I think that he is going to be a good investigator, because he kept telling us that he really wants to meet us again soon! 
 
I love you guys, and I can't wait to hear from you again.
 
PS: I am super excited about General Conference, and I don't know why, but for some reason I have a feeling that something big is going to be announced, or that something huge is going to be mentioned, or hinted at. I don't really know. It is probably just me getting all excited because I haven't been so eager to hear what the general authorities have to say in well....forever. I can't wait, and I know that it is going to be really good!
 
Elder Mannucci and Elder Brown
 
Dailen and Zone leaders