Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hit the ground running as a Zone Leader!

 I love the new responsibilities! Missionary work no longer is stressful when your work as a leader is more intense than anything else you do! LOL. The responsibilities as a zone leader is basically like the difference between a bishop and a Stake president. Same responsibilities, just on a bigger scale, and you lead/train leaders who lead/train others. 

This week absolutely flew by! When you become a Zone Leader, you are truly thrown right into it, full swing, you hit the ground running, and if you don't you end up battered and bruised! LOL.

We had so much we had to plan this week. I arrived and met my new companion, Elder Hare, Wednesday afternoon. That night we accounted with the assistants about how the zone has done this last transfer, etc. Then Thursday we started organizing baptismal date information in the zone and a lot of other stuff for the stake. We planned and received revelation on exchanges with our District Leader's for this transfer. We were assigned a topic to speak on for the Mission leadership council so we had only a tiny bit of time to prepare for that. We accounted that night with the District Leader's in the zone.

Friday we had mission leadership council, which took virtually all day, and then we had to prepare our zone goals. Saturday was our only day to really work, and it still somehow ended up being taken up by planning and service, and more Zone work. Sunday we had a stake young single adult correlation that we go to as the Zone Leader's. After that we did accounting with District Leader's and Assistants with the President's which took the rest of the evening! 

Out of the last 5 days I think we were to bed on time only once. Even with all of that we were able to teach both of our baptismal dates, and a few others which gave us 7 lessons for the week. Busy, Busy, Busy! Has been tons of fun though! Oh... and we also had to go over to council a companionship in our zone that has been struggling with getting along, and obedience, etc. So it really flew by!!

I took Elder Jackmans place, which is really fun because Elder Hare and I automatically had a lot of silly things in common which we picked up from serving with him. Our relationship is super solid already.

The Zone is pretty unique. Elder Hare has been out 14 months and has been Zone leader for only 6 weeks, I am a brand new Zone Leader, We have a lot of very young District Leader's, and one is brand new, the other was emergency moved into being District Leader 3 weeks ago. 

In addition we have two of my past companions in the zone. Elder Alambra and Elder Simpson. Everyone else has very interesting personalities and I think this transfer can really go super well in the zone because of the unique personalities of each missionary here. Also we live in a flat with two other elders who are technically in a different district then us, but they cover the same area, just with the Spanish speaking ward. It should be an exciting end to my mission! Good last area! 

 As for different ethnicity, I can't tell you how many we have come across. It depends on if you count all of the different African countries and even tribes as separate ethnicity. TONS AND TONS is what I would say. It is more African here than anything else. The ward is probably the most born-again ward in the church. The Africans are so sincere, and they have a powerful way of reading scriptures and praying. I love it!!

Peckham London is the best!! Dirt cheap fried chicken and fries sold on every street corner. Public transportation is quick and all paid by a credit card type thing that you just place on a scanner and you use it for everything, buses, trains, and underground railway. There are so many Africans that always love to talk about Jesus! There is a big Young Single Adult ward in the church, and a lot of solid members here! if there was one word to describe London, it would be BUSY.

Monday, March 23, 2015


Spiritual thought:
How can obedience help us in life?
Because it brings blessings from a loving Father in Heaven

Sometimes, we think of the 10 commandments as something over and done with.  We learn from modern day prophets that they are more important than we sometimes acknowledge.  God gives us commandments to make us happy and to help us be free!  As we live them willingly, we will be able to find our way to a more abundant life.

“Sin will always be sin. Disobedience to the Lord's commandments will always deprive us of His blessings. The world changes constantly and dramatically, but God, His commandments, and promised blessings do not change. They are immutable and unchanging,”  ~Elder L. Tom Perry

Elder Brown takes a video of an epic wave.

We only got 1 new investigator this week, but what can you do. The Lord can only bless us as much as we and the people allow. 

We had a couple of cool miracles though. One was bumping into a Fijian couple who we had met weeks ago, and set an appointment with, but they couldn't come and then we lost contact, etc. Turns out they live with a bunch of other people who aren't very reliable and they had only given us their home phone (because they didn't know their mobile number yet.) We had specifically planned to try and contact them one last time, and we prayed that we would be able to see them again. We went to knock on their place, but they weren't in. The next day we were knocking elsewhere, and they saw us and said hello and we gave them are number and they said they would call us soon. And the next day Elder Kastner and Elder Heninger saw them in the street on exchange! I hope that they are able to meet soon. 

Elder Brown out delivering British Mothers day flowers 

We had a good number of lessons and it really was a good week to end the transfer on. Turns out I am moving already! It came as a absolute shock to me, I really thought I would be here for one more, but apparently I am meant to be Zone Leader in the Wandsworth Zone in central London. The only zone leaders without a car! Go Figure! LOL I don't mind, at least I won't gain to much weight there!

Elder Kastner delivery British Mothers day flowers

Love you all to bits!!!! 
Elder Brown

Monday, March 16, 2015

Determined to work harder!

Elder Brown on Guernsey shores

Our new investigator family from last week has already dropped us. They felt that it wasn't for them. No baptismal dates, we are really hoping to get one this week. We are getting desperate and are ready to work harder than ever this week, because we are sick of letting the  adversary win. 
We set goal for 10 new investigators to drive us to work our butts off this week. 

Our hot water is back, all sorted out. The Zone conference was quite good. It was really encouraging.

The My Family booklet is strongly encouraged in our mission, but I haven't used it at all. It just seems to take me quite some time to get it done, and I think it has been the same for a lot of missionaries. Any family history information on the four generations previous to me is perfect.

Found out this week that our mission is getting I-pads in April!

I love you all! Have great week.
Elder Brown

Pictures of a little tiny crab shell

 A leaky window, and Elder Kastner's solution

 Elder Brown
 Elder Kastner

       Elder Anderson making taffy on our fireplace mantle!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Blessings of Fasting!

We had a really good week! We really saw the blessings of our branch fast in our own area. We were able to see miracles as we followed plans we had set in weekly planning, and as we followed the council of our zone leaders. 

We got a new family to teach who are really sincere, and will do anything to keep the family strong, even to the point of getting rid of all modern technology and just living off the land! They really liked the restoration lesson, and want to know if it is true, so hopefully this next lesson will go just as good. 

We also started teaching a referral from the other elders who is from Zimbabwe and although he lost his faith in the past, feels like meeting with us will bring him back on the right path. When we taught him the restoration, he asked if he could have a Book of Mormon! 

No Baptismal dates yet, but we are hoping for 3 by the end of the week! We had a bit of adversity at the end of this week, and we had a lot of random things hinder us from having success during the weekend. Because of internet issues, Stake conference virtually didn't happen for us, but we were able to watch a talk with the branch instead. None of our investigators showed up, and a few cancelled the morning of. Probably was a good thing, because it wasn't the most uplifting of our Sunday services. 

Our weekly planning took a lot longer than it should have because we ran out of Kerosene and had to have a guy come check it all out. Doesn't make sense to us, him, or the Kerosene company, because the last time our tank was filled was Feb. 1st, and it was supposed to last us 3 months, and it is all gone! We haven't done anything different, in fact we use less hot water, because it is warmer outside now (the heaters all run on hot water over here, kinda weird) and Elder Kastner usually showers relatively cool (lukewarm-ish). There is no leaking or anything like that though! Really weird! We still don't have hot water. I took a bath this morning, heating up water on the stove. Somehow, we still all made it to studies on time! I will send a photo of all the pots on the stove when I get the chance. So it kinda sucked. Makes things interesting though! We have to be grateful for experiences like these, because without them life would be bland. 

When I was on the main Land I was a part of lots of plays, but the stories take too long to tell, and I never think about writing about them to you. Fun to do though! Just little role plays and things to illustrate a point of doctrine or a method of missionary work. 

You will be very proud to hear that I went to the dentist this week (because we met this nice German guy who went to Utah as an exchange student in school and stayed with members who took him to church for a year, and although he doesn't want to join, he is very appreciative of the church and does free basic dental care/procedures for missionaries whenever he can! I just had him do a check up, and he said for not seeing a dentist for nearly 2 years, I have absolutely beautiful teeth and gums! No cavities, and no problems with any of my fillings or anything! 

We are all excited to fly up to England for Zone Conference on the 11th. We actually get to go there in person this time! Normally it is through Skype, but an Area authority is speaking to us. 

The Camo tank  picture I sent you last time is just an old one left behind by the Germans and now is a historical site.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Umbrella's and the Restoration!

This week has been good in some areas, and bad in others. We were able to have members with us for every lesson we taught this week, which was very good! However, our teaching pool has diminished even more, and we are struggling to find new people to teach that last more than one lesson before they drop us. 

We did some creative finding as a district though. Elder Heninger came up with the idea to paint the plan of salvation on an umbrella to help make contacting in the rain more appealing. They have used it a few times, and reported that it works and is fun! We have started to make our own, but to illustrate the restoration instead. 

We also came together as a district and planned with the Sharpes for some ways we can soften peoples hearts through creative finding and service. We came up with a variety of ideas, and each of us has an assignment this week to prepare what we need, and to get info for some activities. Hopefully these new methods will help bring greater excitement to us, and have the desired effect on the community. 

We have set a goal in faith for 5 new investigators this week, and will work as hard as we can to speak to everyone.

I need to start doing my family history a bit more, because they are again emphasizing the my family packet, which to be honest I have done almost nothing with yet.