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!