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.
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!