Monday, April 28, 2014

Observing the Sabbath day.

Spiritual Question and Answer:

How Can I Strengthen My Faith in God? Through Communication with Him.
Just like a relationship with any other person, in order to gain a relationship with God you need to communicate with Him. By doing so you can come to know that He is your loving Heavenly Father and that He listens and answers your prayers.

S___ came to church with her husband, and her friend as well, they all enjoyed it a lot. We helped her with her Questions on the sacrament but she has more questions, and we will see how it goes!

Address unknown is a project that the first presidency just recently started in most missions. Basically Mormon techies find Less Active members addresses that are unknown because they moved without the knowledge of any other church members, and their files were not transferred. The techies use software, internet, etc. to find where these people might possibly live, and then missionaries go to the address and get as much information, and teach people in the area. The Full time missionaries report miracles that happen as a result, and any information on the lost-member. 

We haven't found anymore people to teach, but we have some good ideas on finding that we want to try out soon. Not sure about when we can talk on mothers day or how yet, I will try and find out soon!

One scripture in the bible that talks about man becoming as god is Romans 8:16-17. It talks about being children and heirs of God. Just as a child grows up and starts his/her own family, so it will be in the eternal realm and in the spiritual sense. Other scriptural evidence is found in the Book of Mormon, D+C and teachings of modern prophets. 

Scriptures that relate to the Sabbath being Sunday, and not Saturday are after the Ascension of Christ, the members of the Church, whether Jews or Gentiles, kept the first day of the week (the Lord’s day) holy as a weekly commemoration of Jesus Christ's Resurrection (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10); and the observance of the seventh day was eventually discontinued. The change from observing the last day of the week to the first day of the week is not as important as the concept/principle of the Sabbath. In either case, the Sabbath is symbolic of the mighty works of God. (i.e the creation of the earth, the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead) The original apostles of Christ held the 1st day of the week (Sunday) as the Sabbath. As they were given the authority to guide the church of Christ I think it is safe to assume that they were doing it right. Further evidence can be found in the words/teachings of modern day prophets and in the rest of the standard works. 

Sorry I don't have any photos this week, I forgot my card reader again, so I can't send any! I love you guys lots, and hope you all have a great week!
Elder Brown

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April showers drench unprepared missionaries!

Q:  Is There Life After Death?

A: Yes, Because of Him

This Easter, ponder on the significance of what Jesus Christ has done for you.  He lived, He died, and was Resurrected. His body and spirit were reunited, never to be separated again. Through Christ all of us will live again. We will receive a resurrected body of flesh and bones. It is His gift to all mankind.

 I wasn't able to write to you yesterday as it was a bank holiday and the library was closed. This last week was very good. We were able to get two of our investigators to come to church, S___ and R___, and they had a great experience! S___ has a big concern with the sacrament, because of what she was taught about it when she was young, but we are going to address it with her tomorrow, so hopefully that all goes well. We were able to help out a new family that just moved to the ward, the Hamiltons, and the father told us he would set apart at least one time a week in which he will always be available to go with us to teach, or meet with us, etc. I am really excited to work with him, and he seems to trust us a lot already, which is wonderful! 

Our finding this week didn't go very well, but we are hoping to pick it up this week by contacting a somewhat active family that we felt impressed to start working with. Neither of us have met them yet, but we talked with our ward mission leader who thinks it is a great idea. The work here is really starting to pick up, and we have gotten an assignment from the first presidency of the church, which they call the "Address Unknown File." I think it sounds like spy work, but I haven't had a chance to read over it just yet!

My trainer goes home today! Along with Elder George, my first zone leader, and many others I know. Crazy how fast time goes!

I can now play the tetris theme song on the piano. Elder fisher can play guitar by ear, and I know enough about the piano and guitar to be able to tell what notes are what. I can go from one instrument to another, It is pretty cool! We can figure out nearly anything together!

 We were trying to find a less active, and instead found her pet!

I am getting seriously fit compared to before! All of that walking, and we have been downing about 15 eggs a week as a companionship! my health is doing good, but April showers drench unprepared missionaries! We got caught in a serious downpour with lightning, thunder, and the whole shabang! And I didn't have a coat or umbrella, or anything! But I am still not sick! My allergies are starting to act up though! Another springtime curse!

I love the pictures from home, and just so you know, I haven't been homesick yet, and I don't think their is anything you can do, say or send that will make me homesick. Of course there are things I miss, but the gospel is so real to me that nothing even phases me anymore. I have reached a point/attitude in my life, that I never thought I could, and it surprises me every time I think about it! Thanks for sending me Easter treats, I am excited to receive them. And thank you so much for being a wonderful support to me and the other kids! I had a member ask about our lineage and I told her about Amanda Barnes Smith (who, if you don't know, is actually pretty well known by church members. Her story is in the missionary library book "Our Heritage") and how she is one of my ancestors, and she told me to tell you that you come from "good stock!"

Anyway, love you guys lots, here are a couple pictures one is a really nice worldly object, and the other is a real-life minecraft company!
Elder Brown

Monday, April 14, 2014

Lots of Success!

 Cool scenery around here

Elder fisher and I aren't sure who the senior companion is! Nobody told us, so we just kinda work together, and it all works out. I had assumed that he would be, because he has been in the area longer, but not much was happening when I first came in and he didn't know much about the area or the members, because his last companion didn't really pass on a lot of information. So I kinda just suggested things to do and we started doing them and we finally had success this week! We had a wonderful week! We had a lot of success, and saw some really cool miracles! We found a new investigator who committed to read and pray, and had really good questions. Because we can't answer all of his questions at once, he has a desire to meet with us more, so we can meet with him multiple times, and he will hopefully progress. We will be teaching him for the second time today. We met a man in the street, and we were unable to share much with him, but we mentioned modern prophets briefly, and he invited us to his home for 5:30 that same day. About a half hour after we met him, he called us back and asked if we could come to his place in 5 minutes instead of at 5:30. We said sure, and came to his place to teach him, his wife, and two of his friends. They all committed to read and pray, we gave each of them a Book of Mormon, and we set another appointment for the same week, on Saturday. When we taught them on Saturday, all of them had started to read, and one of them had already read 16 pages! We had to keep the lesson very brief, but we taught a bit of the plan of salvation, and the word of wisdom. They committed to live the word of wisdom, and to come to church on Sunday. Unfortunately they didn't show up to church, but we have set up to teach them twice in this week! Two of them had accepted the soft commitment to baptism, but we didn't extend a date yet. We also stopped by a less active member who invited us in, told us he hasn't been to church in 14 years, but he wants to be fully active by a year from now, and his partner has a Book of Mormon, and they both want the discussions! He told us that our visit will probably provide him the push he needs to come back. So that was really cool as well!

I am doing really good. I have a lot of hopes for the work here, and we are striving to work with the members more, and get to know them. We had a really good fast and testimony meeting. Many of the members thanked us for our testimonies, and said they would like to have us for dinner soon! That is a true miracle for us as we haven't gotten many appointments with members at all yet. 

We do like..... a lot of walking, I would say at least two hours a day total, maybe more. It depends on where we go. Apparently they used to have bikes here, but the mission stopped it for some reason or another. It's not bad though, because as we walk we often meet people along the way, we just have to make sure we leave early so that we don't have to rush so much. 

I met Elder Gugyelka at zone training about a week after I got here, so I have seen him a few times now. He was like oh, Elder Brown, my grandparents are in your home ward, and I was like oh yeah! That's crazy!
Remember President Utchdworf's talk on gratitude? I was thinking about it on that Saturday right after conference, and ironically our train home didn't stop at the station it was supposed to so we got off at the next one it stopped at which was two stations away from the one we wanted. We had no cell service, so we had to walk about 2 hours back to the flat and got back at 10:20 pm instead of 9 pm! The whole time though, it just didn't bother me, because of his talk which was really cool! Normally I would have been super irritated, because nearly everything that could go wrong, went wrong. But I just remembered his talk and realized that the experience would be a tiny blip in about a week, so in the long run, it is nothing. His talk really helped! 

Some more cool scenery around here.

Here are pictures of the Broadmore hospital, Which is a hospital for the Criminally Insane! It is so guarded, and security is so important that they test the alarms every Monday morning at 10 am! it is about a 45 min walk from our flat, and the alarms are so loud!

 This is a pregnant pepper that we sliced open!

I saw possibly the nastiest sounding ice cream I have ever seen! 
Barkhane Blue is a type of Blue Cheese.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Conference was absolutely wonderful. I was able to see it all except the last session, just like last time! I might be getting a bit excited, but it is fun to point out that many of the talks mentioned "gathering" (of saints, of Israel, Zion, etc), at least two mentioned "the glory of the second coming," and president Monson announced that after 2015 no new temples will be announced until the completion of the ones already announced, and until they can find locations for new temples! Also if you think about it, the general theme of the last conference was hastening the work, and this conference was focused on a hastening or escalating of a different thing, namely destruction, rejection, and persecution. It kinda seems to resemble the scripture that talks about armies being gathered on both sides of good and evil, and many other scriptures that talk of the last days, just before the second coming of Christ! President Uchdworf even warned us not to sleep through the restoration. One of the few places in the world where the church already knows they will be building a temple, namely Independence Missouri, formerly known as ZION, just needs a bit more time, before the church is finally able to purchase all of the required land from the f-lds group, which presently owns the small portion that the church dosn't currently have. I am probably getting a bit too excited about this, but I think we are a lot closer than we often think!

My week was ok. We got in contact with most of the less actives and others that we had stopped by, but they have no interest. We have a few people set up for next week, that seem promising, so hopefully. We got to do a lot of service this week, which gave us the trust we need form the members. We are working to excite the members, to inspire them, and then to reap the souls of those that they are acquainted with. (That sounds a bit creepy, but ya know what I mean!) We will be seeing success in this area soon, I promise!

I think one thing a mission helps you with is to realize how hard life would be without knowing of the plan of salvation. How much it will suck if we aren't able to make it in the end. AND how glorious it will be when we a reunited with those we love and care about in the Resurrection! Imagine! HOW GREAT WILL BE OUR JOY! The church is so true, and I am so happy that it is!You guys have a wonderful week!
Love ya!Elder Brown
Two photos of our stake center, which shows the persecution! 
It was egged.

 I figured that because I ended so spiritually, I should probably send some worldly things your way, ya balance things out! I attached a few photos of some of the local cars here!