Monday, March 31, 2014

Nice Weather, Long Walks and Better Health!

Our chapel is in Bracknell, we walk to it for church on Sundays, which takes 1 hour and 10 minutes or so.  My first full week was ok  but people are uninterested, and I can't seem to change that. We went through all of our records, and we stopped by and called a lot of our former investigators, as well as many of the potentials from the records in the area book to find out if they were interested or not, than we updated accordingly. A few of them said they would like to meet, and one of them accepted a specific return appointment, so hopefully we will be able to start teaching and working with them. We also found a few people who gave us contact details and expressed interest as well. We got a new ward list, and are going through it marking active and less active with other info. A lot of people flogged us, one guy committed to church, but he has a really bad memory, so he didn't come. 

We are hoping to get more ward involvement in missionary work here soon. We are planning to call each member at some point in the coming weeks and set an appointment with them to get to know them and teach/strengthen them. We are looking to get members to start doing firesides or cottage meetings in their homes, and hopefully get them excited about the work. I think that the first thing we need to do is get to know them and gain their trust. If we don't I don't think we will see much if any success. We are also going to contact the members who work with family history, and get open houses and other activities going to which we, and the members, can invite people to.

My health is great, I haven't had any health problem since Elder Lamb. It's funny, I got really sick when my comp was a fitness/health trainer, and then when the polish guy comes in, all we do is eat a lot of meat and do hard work, and I am totally great! I think it was just the time of year to be honest. The weather has gotten really nice recently, so I think that helps!  I haven't weighed in for a long time, so I don't know if I lost weight, but I look more fit! Starting to see some abs, a little tiny droplet of abs.

I can't wait to be with you guys again to hang out and have fun, spending time together. You know the things that matter most! If a mission gives you nothing else, it gives you a greater love for family than ever before.

I had a good study about the dedication of the Kirtland temple in D+C 109. That period in church history is one of the coolest periods of time ever, read up on it in our heritage, or on, it is really cool, lots of spiritual manifestations and stuff!

I love you all, and I hope you guys have a great week! Sorry I don't have any pictures this week, It went by too fast for me to take any!

Love Elder Brown

This picture was taken back in October 2013 at a Zone Conference.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bush Whacking!

Spiritual thought:

How Can I Replace Fear With Faith?

Exercise Faith in Jesus Christ

When times are tough remember to pray, read and obey. 
The Lord will replace fear with faith as we turn to Him in prayer,
search the scriptures, and keep the commandments. By doing
these things your faith in Jesus Christ will grow.

D&C 6:36 - "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."

My Companion is Canadian! His name is Elder Fisher. He seems like a pretty good guy. He is in the same MTC group as me. He doesn't know much about the area here, as he has only been here for one transfer and apparently his last companion didn't tell him anything. I have a feeling that his last companion just lead the area, doing most, if not all of the planing on his own. I don't think he really involve him in any of the area information. i.e. the area book, contacting members and investigators, etc. I feel like I have whitewashed into an area where the area book has virtually no information in it. It hasn't been updated in a few months. We have no investigators, we are working with 1 recent convert, and Elder Fisher knows like 2 less active members, and very few members. The only form of transportation we have is trains, so we walk nearly everywhere, and no one is in the streets except in the busier places.  When we travel we use up a lot of time, and there is nothing we can do! Hopefully we can get this area going. Elder Fisher and I have fixed up the area book a bit. (the former's were in the wrong places, nothing was in order, some teaching records were just floating around the flat, etc) We have set a goal to never go a day without updating the area book! Thankfully our ward mission leader is pretty good, and he has set up a bunch of activities, so that's a plus. We just need to find people before we can really do anything. They were teaching about 9 or 10 lessons total a week in the past, and when I came in on Wednesday they had 1 lesson for the week, by the end of the week we had 10, and that is with all of the time taken up by fixing the area book, going through loads of teaching records, and we did a lot of service that took up a lot of time. I think we can teach a lot more in this area, so hopefully we can do that, and as we do everything else will follow suit! Elder Fisher just needs to see some success so that he gets more excited. When we start teaching people he will start to pick up, and I think we can do some serious work together!  

On a happier note, this area looks a lot like home, I attached a few photos for you!  We walked through a forest path to go to service the other day, and it was really nice to be able to do a bit of hiking again. I felt a bit like I was at home, it was really weird!

On Mothers Day I will call home again. We get the choice for English mothers day (Which is this coming Sunday), or American mothers day, so I will do it on American mothers day, because it makes more sense for you guys! I don't know if I will skype this time, or if I will only be able to call, but I will let you know when I figure it out!

I haven't met anyone in the zone yet. We are having a Zone training on Wednesday  though, so I'll be able to meet everyone. I only got to meet the sister missionaries in our ward. Our district consists of two wards, so I haven't even met the district leader or his companion yet. Sister Brittain was in my MTC district, and she is in this ward, so it's cool to see her a again. Her companion is Sister Anderson. She is danish, but because of american TV she sounds more american than I do! She has only been out 6 months, so this ward now has some very new missionaries. 3 in the same group at 7.5 months, and one from the group after at 6 months!

The flat I am in is really nice. It is huge, and well kept. It is relatively new as well. We live right above a small shop, so anytime we need a few things, we can just stop by before we head upstairs. Got to do a lot of service this week, so that was good.

My companion Elder Fisher makes funny faces pretty much anytime you look at him! I attached a photo of him for ya. 

All the pictures were taken on the way to service for a member. We walked there and took a shortcut route through a hiking trail, It reminded me a bunch of home! I knew that mom would want a good picture of me so I sent this one!

No funny experiences really, we just got lost in the middle of nowhere, while trying to take a shortcut to a service project with a member, and we ended up being a half hour late! We ended up bushwhacking it for the last ten minutes, so that we could make it back to civilization!

Keep up the missionary efforts back home. Invite your friends to be taught, give the missionaries referrals. They will love you! When I think back, I realize that II could have probably gotten half of my friends to be taught by the missionaries, and they probably would have enjoyed it. They asked me a lot of questions, and I had so many opportunities. Don't make the same mistake as me! Pray for opportunities and take them! I wish I had.

I love you guys, and hope you have a wonderful week! Cheerio!

Elder Brown

Monday, March 17, 2014

Moving on!

This week was pretty good, although we have street contacted in the same place for tooo long I think. I recognize most of the people there, and I have stopped most of them multiple times. Very few people listened to us on thursday this weekThursday was pretty rough. We had no appointments planned at all that day, so we had to do finding for 8+ hours! And because I have knocked nearly every road here, and it isn't very effective, we street contacted in Bitterne shops for most of the day using our whiteboard. By the end of the day, we were so fed up with the ingnorance of most of the people, so we changed our whiteboard to suit the situation! LOL (I attacehed a photo of it). But, I don't ever have to work that area again! I'M MOVING!!!!! I'm going to Reading stake! I thought that I wasn't going to move, but Elder Wilkosz and I are both going. He is being a Zone Leader in Welling (near London). This area is having a total switch. Elder Kopishke, Elder Mannucci's companion is now the new AP, which is cool, and Elder Green is also moving. So this ward is geting 4 missionaries switched on them!
They released Brother Whitehead? Wow! He has been Scout Master for so long, I thought that would never happen, but due to circumstances, I guess it makes sense. He is still in scouting though. That is clearly his calling! 
A few people here speak like pirates.  I haven't really thought about it too much. A lot of people here drop there t's and h's and no one pronounces their r's. Southampton becomes sou-ampon! The people who talk like that are basically poor people. But thankfully these are the people who seem to listen to us because they are humble, They are hard to get progressing, but when they finally begin to progress the gospel benefits them and they begin to change!  
I will let you know who my new companion is next week but this is where I will be at.
The Reading stake covers Witney, Oxford, Abingdon, Littlemore, Emmer Green, Newbury, Reading, Basingstoke, Bracknell, Farnborough, and Woodley. It is about 50 miles North of where I am and closer to London. 
 Elder Wilkosz

Did I ever tell you to look up "Mr. Mormon - The Solar System and the Scriptures?" if not you should check it out, It is really mind-blowing! Anyway, love you lots and hope you have a good week!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Singing in the Street!

Spiritual Thought:
How Can I Find Strength in Hard Times?
Have faith in Jesus Christ and rely on Him
When we rely on the Savior, we can overcome even the
hardest of times. Remember to trust in Him and know that
with His help you can do all things. There is no trial in life
that we cannot overcome when the Savior is by our side.
Philipians 4:13

We had a good week! Tried out a new finding idea. Nerve racking, but it was fun! We went to our busiest street, and started singing hymns and literally preaching to people like in the good-old days! It was funny to see some peoples reactions,  and I think I saw a guy videoing us as well. We had a LA member come up to us as we were doing it, and we set an appointment with her for this week, said a prayer with her, and she got pretty emotional. Most of the people who came up to us were a bit contentious though, so I'm not sure how effective it really was. We found a few promising families who we have appointments set up for this week. We started teaching a few people who seem like they will keep their appointments, so hopefully things will start picking up with them, and we can find some more soon as well. Thanks for all the prayers!
I am doing great, I feel like I have been able to improve a lot this transfer, and I feel a bit more comfortable in every stage of the work. We prayed with a young family in our ward after teaching them the restoration. We prayed to know who they can share the gospel with. The spirit was very strong, and one of the daughters in the family got very emotional after/during the prayer. She told us that as we knelt she thought to herself that no-one will come to her mind, but as we prayed she saw vividly in her mind the face of a coworker. It was a powerful experience and we will see what the outcome is!
I know that the Lord is with us, and I can honestly say that there is no doubt in my mind that the gospel is true! We were talking to a lady on the street in the dark at about 8 pm one night, and she said something like you don't know, you only believe, and I responded with "I am 99% sure, I almost know," but when I said it I felt like I was lying! I was shocked really. The more I think about it, I come to realize that there really is no doubt in my mind anymore! Honestly no doubt at all. The mission has really changed me. A lot! Thanks for bringing me up the way you did. You and Dad don't know how good you are!
We have had really nice weather this week! Tons of sun and very little rain! I even wore a short sleeve shirt for the first time since I first got here. We usually find out transfers on Monday, but because I am the district leader's companion I often hear it on Sunday instead. I am telling you right now, with the spirit of revelation, that I am going to stay a bit longer! Elder Wilkosz was told that he won't finish his mission in this area, and he only has two transfers left after this one ends. If he goes Zone  Leader he will go now, If he trains he will go now, and I doubt that he won't do one of those two, so I am probably still going to be here! We'll see though, you never know!
I am glad you guys have had success back home, hopefully the people being taught can and will change.
I love you all so much!!! I miss you tons, and I am glad you guys are all doing well. I hope you guys have a wonderful week!
Love Elder Brown 
 Elder Dailen Brown on Exchange with Elder Ye a Chinese Missionary
 This is one of the finding tactics we have done a few times over the last few weeks.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Changing is hard to do!

Spiritual thought: How Can I find Peace in my Life?
Watch this link

Patrice loves the feeling of singing at the top of her lungs in Australia's theaters, but she's most grateful for the feelings of peace that come from knowing she will see her loved ones again. God gives her the strength she needs to endure the trials of life and remembers what matters most.
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." - John 14:27
The Southampton district Feb.2014
Back row-? ,Wilcosz, Manucci, ?, Green, Brown, Ye
Front row-?, ?, ?, Wilson, ?      .

I am supposed to start using family history in my missionary efforts. The biggest problem is that I have gotten so used to not introducing it that I forget that we were even going to try, and I can't help but think about how I would react if someone came up to me about family history. I probably wouldn't be all that interested initally, so I don't have much hope for success using it except with older people! I will do my best, but I don't know how involved our ward is on it or not.
This week was pretty good. We had a lot of street teaches and lessons, but we are struggling to find people who are committed enough to change. It seems like the majority of the people we speak to undersand what we are saying and what we are clearly and bolding testifying of, but they just don't want to change or find out if we are teaching truth! We have a lot of people say they will come to church when we invite them, and they seem sincere, but then they don't come and we can never seem to get in contact with them afterwards. We are going to focus on seeking refferals from members this week to see if we can find part member familes and friends who will be open to the gospel and allow the spirit to touch their hearts and help them to change.
I am focusing on simple teaching, using preach my gospel and testifying to try and help people to feel the spirit and our sincerity. We have been able to get more lessons, but havn't had much success yet. Hopefully we will be guided to those who will accept the gospel.
Elder Wilkosz is pretty tall! I'm not sure exactly how tall, but 6 ft. 4 inches sounds about right! The sunset picture from last week  was taken down in Weston on the coast-ish. It is near the large flat-tower I knocked with elder green! 
You know six weeks goes by so fast in the mission field! 6 weeks is one transfer! I have been here for nearly 5 transfers now, and it went by so fast! 
Wow, glad I am here and not there, the weather sounds intense! When I tell people I am from the states they ask where? and I say, Montana, kinda north west, and there like, oh wow, did you hear about the snow and freezing! Some of them mentioned that Nigra Falls froze!? I don't know, but either way they all think I come from a place where it is always the end of the world! Here it is like spring, we have had a lot of nice sunny days, with a few bouts of rain, but it hasn't been to bad for the most part.
I love you all, and hope you have a wonderful week! 
Here are a few not so serious pictures of the district