Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Baptism!!


Wow family, where do I begin! Such a crazy and exciting week! First off, it was amazing to see you guys and talk for a little bit on Christmas! That hour flew by like it was nothing. I really wish I got to say more and that I wasn't a weird, awkward missionary that didn't know how to speak. I promise I'm not weird OK? Haha, but really, y'all look so good and happy! I have such an incredible family.

What a great Christmas. Definitely a lot different from the ones that I have had at home, but seriously, as I look at it, it was probably my best Christmas ever. It wasn't filled with doing fun exciting things all day, or just chilling with family and friends, but it was filled with spreading the Gospel. It was a Christmas more centered on Jesus Christ than anything else. It was a time to reflect and think about our Savior and King. What more can I ask than that? After I talked with the fam we went home and made some brownies which we then brought to people and gave to people on the street. We had a dinner with the Lopez family. The wife and the daughter are the only members, but we all ate and had a good time just talking!

The real gift this year was Justino’s baptism though. Wow... I cannot explain the spirit that was present there. It was so tender and sweet. As we went in to change for the ordinance, he looked at me with a couple tears rolling down his face and said "BROWN, estoy bien happy ahora" (I am now very happy). The feeling that I got right then was indescribable. This man’s life was about to change. He was about to be clean of all of his past transgressions and he was about to start his life over again - a life dedicated to keeping sacred covenants. I was so happy, and I know Justino was ten times more happy than me!! After the actual baptism he had the chance to bear his testimony and he told a story about how he had attended all these different churches and none of them felt right. He had prayed that he would find the right church because he really wanted to follow Jesus Christ, and three days after he prayed we knocked on his door. I didn't know of this before his baptism, but such a testimony builder that we are sent where we need to be sent. After he told the story he kind of started crying and all the people there went and gave hive a big group hug! It was sooooo tender! The spirit was just as strong the day after for his confirmation. Now we are talking to him about being a member missionary and he has already referred us to two people! Haha, it's awesome! Love him to death!

Rigoberto came to the baptism and stayed for one after and loved them a lot! He is still super nervous to get baptized for some reason. Love him to death though! Continue praying for him.

Christmas was awesome! I'm excited for this New Year to be better, to work harder and to be a better servant of Jesus Christ. There's so many things I could tell you guys. So many crazy stories that happen, but time is limited! I love you all!! Happy New Year!

Elder Brown
Caiden and Justino - Christmas baptism!

With Elder Hinckley

Christmas dinner

Spoiled kid!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas! See ya Friday!‏

My beloved family!

I seriously have the best friends and family in the world! I cannot thank you all enough for the kind things you have been sending me! I don't even deserve one present, but you guys are spoiling me beyond belief. Thank you bunches. I have the best supporters ever!

Christmas is in like what, 2 days? That's insane! It seems like yesterday it was August 5th and I was entering the MTC. Time really does fly out here! Can't wait to see your faces and laugh with you guys!

This week has been full with fun activities and lots of work! The mission Christmas party was way fun and way spiritual. Lots of special songs and hymns that really brought the spirit of Christmas and made me so much more excited to share this wonderful message of the Savior’s birth! We then had a great meal and just chatted with missionaries and then went back to work! Really cool to see everyone all together as a mission though! Then the ward party went really good as well! For some reason, all the Latinos like to show up late and so it started at like 8, but it was awesome and we had loads of people there! We had different rooms where we did different activities and then a huge dinner afterward! I love my ward!

But the best Christmas present of all is that Justino is getting baptized the day after Christmas! I guess I already told you guys that, but I am just so happy! He is really just like a perfect investigator. So ready to receive the Holy Ghost and make covenants - I love it! He is so excited and calls us every day to make sure we are getting ready for his baptism, hahaha I love him! Rigoberto and Jose are struggling right now for some reason that we aren't 100 percent sure about, but we meet with them on Christmas Eve, so hopefully we can figure out what is happening! Pray for them please!! Excited to see where some of our new investigators go! Lots of people are out of town for Christmas but we are still staying busy!

Yesterday we were tracting and we found this guy who let us in. We showed him the video and he was like, "wow I really like that... Could you guys maybe teach me more?" Haha, of course we obliged and taught him the restoration. He then wanted us to just teach him the rest of the lessons right there because he was so excited! I love meeting people that are just ready and excited about the gospel! The Lord really is preparing people, we just need to go out and find them! Miracles man... The Bronx is miracleville!

I love Christmas! I love my Savior! He is our literal Savior. Without him we are nothing. I love missionary work. I love you all. I love my area. I love my companion. I love my investigators. Dang... I love everything, jajaja! Have the best Christmas! And remember the Savior!

Love, Elder Brown
At their mission conference they all made these signs, took their pictures and posted them on a Facebook page called "A Savior is Born - NYC". Check it out if you'd like! His sign says "He was born so I could have an eternal family".

He didn't give us any details about this picture. Probably someone from the Ward.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Casi Christmas!!! (Almost Christmas)


It's almost Christmas time! Wahooooooo, who's excited?! I'm excited! Can't way to see y'alls faces on Skype! Just let me know what time would be best for you guys that I can call and we will try and work it out!

I just want to do a whole wide “thank you” to everyone who has sent me something for Christmas! You are all the best! I will write you guys thank you notes and send them to my Mother and she will pass them out to you guys after the Christmas season! (Hope that's ok mom) :) Love you all loads! It means the world!

This week has been pretty good! We were pretty busy at the beginning of the week, but just the other day Elder Hinckley had to go get his ingrown toenail out. He has been hurting pretty bad which has
caused a little slump because he hasn't been able to walk too well, but he is getting better and the end of this week should be super exciting! We have a mission wide Christmas party this Friday and then a party with our ward and investigators on Saturday so we are pretty excited for a fun week coming up!

Sometimes the mission makes me wonder. We knock on people's doors unexpectedly and when they answer we just start talking about Jesus Christ and our church in our broken Spanish. They can barely
understand us and hardly know what our purpose is but they still invite us back. We come back and they let us (two 19 year old strangers) into their humble home. We teach them. We can barely get our point across because we aren't the best teachers, but they listen and they wonder and they think. We give them an assignment to do and they do it. They listen and act on what we say. They come to believe. This is literally crazy to me! This week I realized how inadequate I was as a teacher. I'm only 18 years old and I don't know too much. I say what I know, but is that enough? Of course it is. I really gained a testimony of how the Spirit is the teacher - not me. Even if I can't communicate everything, even if I'm not the best teacher, if I am worthy of the Spirit then that is what will change the lives of these people! I know that's true! And it's the same in day to day life. If we are worthy of the Spirit and we have His constant companionship we don't need to worry about any decision or any trouble because He will guide us.

Our people are doing more than fantastic! Justino is getting baptized the day after Christmas! In our lesson yesterday with him he said to bring the papers and interview him now because he is ready! What a blessing! Rigoberto is still pushing along! He comes to church every week and does everything, but we gave him the opportunity to pray about a day for baptism and so that's what he is doing. He will get baptized in time. Hopefully before I leave this area or I'm going to be real mad! Hahaha! Willy (aj) is a stud and still pushing along and also praying about his baptismal date. And Jose, idk about Jose, he is struggling right now. He was supposed to be baptized this week but he left town and we haven't been able to meet with him since so please pray for him! Everybody else is doing amazing as ever!

Everything sounds good with you guys at home! I love that about grandpa’s journal! I would love to read that! I love them so much! I haven't heard from AJ, Logan or Zack in a while so idk if he got his call yet or not! I'll see you in a week! Make sure you have your questions ready to fire at me ok mom? Hahaha I love you!

That's all I have to say this week! I hope you guys have an awesome week! Email me questions separately if you have any! I don't like searching through the emails to find the questions! But I do want to answer them!

Love you, Elder Brown

Rockefeller Center

The famous tree and ice rink at Rockefeller Center

Christmas in a missionary apartment

Hangin' with Elder B!

A picture from the Mission Blog on transfer day

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Transfer day today!!

Transfer day today!! I'M STAYING WITH ELDER HINCKLEY!! Wahoooo! We are
pretty excited about that! We are called the district that stays,
because last transfer only one person left our district and now this
transfer only Elder Nutall left and so we are basically the same and
stoked about that!

Christmas is coming up and I am super excited! Like I said last week,
this new initiative thing has got the whole mission so excited and we
are trying to share it with every single person! I'm not sure what
Christmas is going to be like in the mission but I can't wait! What's
better than sharing the message of Christ's birth!?

So, a miracle that happened this week which was pretty cool... Saturday night
rolled around and all of our investigators had bailed for church. We were 
pretty sad about that. Sunday morning we started calling
everyone to see if they could come but nobody could, so we thought
nobody was going to come. But, as we were standing the the doorway
inviting people into the chapel we see one of our investigators named
Justino walking down the hall! We were so happy! He had told us
earlier that day that he wasn't gong to be able to make it, but I guess
something just clicked and he felt that he should come! He said he
knows it's the true church and is getting baptized the day after
Christmas! The only thing he didn't like about church was that all the
members were either sleeping or on their phones. He is ready to make a
change, haha. The members really are looked up to by the investigators
and really do have an influence on them. So we always need to be a
good example!!

Another cool story... We arrived a little bit early to one of our
appointments and so we decided we would just track one floor of this
project building. First door we knocked on this guy let us in and we
showed him the initiative video (of course) and he just started breaking
down. He began to tell us about how his child is in foster care and how
he misses him so much and we showed up literally at the perfect
moment. I LOVE experiences like this because it's just a another
testimony that the Savior guides this work. We are on his errand and
it's incredible how much Heavenly Father's hand is actually in this

Shout out to Sister Fowler! My dad sends me your comments on my blog
and I am so grateful for you and your love for me! Mom I haven't
gotten any packages yet, but I'll probably get it this week! I don't
really need much, but if you could I need another pair of pants. No
worries though. If you can get them. I need a slim fit pair. But don't
stress it!

We talk in like 2 weeks over Skype so I won't say too much, but I hope
you guys know I love you! I feel the Spirit everyday. I've never been
more tired in my life but I've never been more happy!

Love Elder B
The Zone

The Christmas

The District

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ups and Downs

Mis queridos hermanos!

Come están ustedes? This week definitely had its ups and downs, but overall a very successful week in the Bronx! I do not know what transfers are yet! We find out Saturday, so it's pretty frightening. I don't want Elder Hinckley to leave me and my heart is telling me he isn't, but I guess we will find out this week!

It was definitely a bummer losing my wallet this week. I've been without money and basically without food for the past couple of days but it all got figured out, and I have a good companion that took real good care of me in my time of despair. That incident really did put a damper on the whole week, because I was kind of angry with myself. But I felt comfort like I always do when I prayed and read the scriptures. He really is looking out for us even in the small things!

My sadness was taken away when we had the most investigators at church that we ever had this past week! It was so much fun, but very busy. Trying to make sure everyone had someone to sit by and that everyone
was comfortable was a little stressful, but it was the best Sacrament meeting ever!! I don't know if I said in my last letter, but one of our investigators named Jose finished the Book of Mormon and even quit his soccer team so that he could come to church every Sunday! It's seriously so cool to see these people make sacrifices for something they know is true! I love this work loads!

The family reunion sounds like it was a lot of fun and a success! Thanks for filling me in on everything! The pictures were really cool! Keep on sending them!

There isn't much to report on this week really! We have been really busy with a ton of appointments. We haven't tracted in like the past 2 weeks which is really weird because at the beginning of my mission
that's all we were doing. Now we are running (literally running) from appointments! So much fun! The weather is actually pretty nice here right now. Just the last couple of days it has been sprinkling a
little bit but nothing super cold yet.

The Christmas initiative came out this week!!,! Yaaaaayyy. When initiatives come out the mission goes crazy over them! I'm sure you guys have seen it already but if you haven't go look it up right now! Ha nacido un salvador, or, a Savior is born! Pretty dang cool!

The Savior always provides comfort and comforts in our lives and I know that to be true. I was really down in the dumps this week about my wallet and a couple of our investigators, but I probably felt his love the most this week than I ever have! Because we have a Savior we can not only just overcome our sins but our sadnesses and pains. I know this is true. I have seen my Savior's love ever day on my mission and it's something you can't get anywhere else. I am SOOO grateful for Jesus Christ and his sacrifice. He lives for YOU! Love you guys mucho!!

Love Elder Brown
Project Christmas decor!
Caiden and Rigoberto

Elders of the zone

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving and splits‏...


How goes it with my lovely family and friends?! Man you guys really are missing out not being on missions. Really should be jealous because it is a blast and the bomb dot com! It's so fun to hear about all the preparations and stuff that is happening for the reunion. Really wish I could be there, but like I always say I would rather be in no other place than the Bronx right now! Make sure you guys take lots of pictures. Pictures of all the cousins so I don't forget them and make sure you tell gramps that he is skinny for me!

This week was crazy! I went on 4 splits in the last 7 days! So I wasn't with Elder Hinckley that much, but I had a really fun time! I split with Elder Nutall, my homie, Elder Prestwich, a zone leader, Elder Moss, the other zone leader, and Elder Nielson, the best missionary in the world. So I guess you could say I got some gooood training this week! It was quite difficult though, because neither of the zone leaders speak Spanish and so I was stuck speaking all the lessons by myself those two days! It was such a good experience because I was able to grow so much in my Spanish as well as my teaching abilities. We had some of our most important lessons those two days, so I was pretty nervous and scared, but man did the Spirit help me out! The Spirit is seriously like the coolest thing ever! I hope you all know that! :) The Spanish is coming along really well! I feel as if I am at the point where I can say about anything I want related to the Gospel. Other conversations are harder, but I'm getting there paso por paso.

All of our investigators are doing really well! And, in the past week Jose has read all the way to Alma 60, and Justin is in Mosiah now I think. Those two are studs! Everyone else is reading, but not that much! Haha. We have an investigator named Willy who is the coolest guy ever! He reminds me exactly of AJ! Just a little bit cooler! ;) Rigoberto is like a roller coaster. He will have those days where he is so ready for baptism and others when he is hesitant. We are praying that he will enter the waters before the transfers are over. I will probably stay here at least one more transfer, but Hinks will probably be out this one. We aren't sure yet though. We will find out in a week!

Thanksgiving week! How exciting! What an awesome holiday. I'm grateful for so many things. I won't take time to name them all because, wow, that would take forever but I am most grateful for my family, friends and of course the Gospel! Tomorrow for Thanksgiving we will be spending it at the house of Juan Carlo,s which I am stoked about. I will attach a picture of me and the zone outside of his barber shop. His son is like my best friend! Haha, I love him! We also have some important lessons on Thanksgiving so it should be a good day!

Wow, I can't believe Mckenzie got home! I swear she just left! Haha, tell her she better wait to get married until I get home so I can meet the guy! The shoes fit great mom and I got the Thanksgiving package! Thank you so much! I needed that stuff real bad! So thanks!! I am so grateful for you! Don't kill my truck on the drive to Kanab OK? I want that thing to be there when I get back! Love you guys so much! I know this is a kinda short letter, but I don't have a ton to report on just now. I love y'all bunches!! 

Love Elder Brown 
Caiden with a friend

Splits with Elder Nutall

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Prayers Are Answered!!

Family and friends!

First off,  thanks Britt and Wade for the package! Thanks for the letter Sister Norris! You are too sweet! And thank you Aunt Vickie and fam for the letter as well! It really does mean a lot!  Hey and Dad, could you send me my patriarchal blessing by email and also hard copy when ever you have the chance?

Man,  I love people! Haha, I think that really is what sums up my feelings about this week! THERE ARE SO MANY COOL PEOPLE HERE, IT IS INSANE! I'm not sure why I love the people here, because to be honest they are all pretty mean. But I have never felt more loving! Haha!

So, many prayers were answered this week and I would like to thank all of you for your prayers because man did they help! We had a lesson with Rigoberto on Friday and the Spirit was incredible! Obviously we talked about attending church because that is the only thing he needs to be baptized, so we really focused on that with him. After the lesson we felt prompted to ask him if he wanted a priesthood blessing to have the strength to come to church and that his back would not hurt so that he could make it. We had the member that was with us give him the blessing. By the end we were all crying and he was so grateful for that. He kept kissing our hands! It probably was one of the best experiences on my mission! Then on Sunday when we stopped by his house to see if he wanted to come to church he was already dressed in his suit ready to go! It was seriously such a blessing! It was the primary program that Sunday and he said he felt so good afterwards! We are getting him interviewed for baptism this week! Thank you so much for your prayers. Wouldn't have happened without them!

We have a really awesome less active family that we visit named the Arandas and they are like 30 and have 2 little kids. They are the best people ever. The father has been here working for seven years while his family lived in the DR. They just barely reunited and it's so awesome to see the love they have for each other! They are always so excited to have us over and to see us! They think of us as missionary's so highly and we have to hold ourselves to that standard. We can't be slacking off ever. We need to always be acting as if the members are watching, but more importantly we need to act as if the Savior were watching us. I love the Arandas though! Haha!

That's awesome that Mason got his mission call!! Tell him I want him to write me! That about Nate and Tanner is insane! So cool! It was awesome to meet your friends mom! They were so nice to me and it was fun talking to people that you knew! Dad, you are going to be the best home teacher, I already know! You're awesome!

We had a huge Thanksgiving dinner today as a district! It was super fun and that is why this letter may be a little short, because I haven't had much time to write, but today was really fun, I love my district so much and it's always going to be sad when we lose somebody during transfers. I hope you guys feel the love I have for my mission and how much I am enjoying it. The mission is definitely hard, but I like to focus on the good things and always just be happy! The Savior helps me so much every day! I am so grateful for Him. Love you all tons! Keep being member missionaries! 

Love Elder Brown
District Thanksgiving dinner

Caiden with Brother Peso, one of his favorite members

View from their apartment

Thursday, November 12, 2015

After The Trial of Your Faith‏...

Qué pasa familia? 
This week was a really good week! We had a good zone conference yesterday where we learned to be the best missionaries ever! More and more about the importance of planning! Wahooooo, fun fun! But as we learn about the logistics of missionary work and the ins and outs of how to do it effectively everything always come back to the Savior and I love that! 

Ether 12:6 says we don't receive a witness until after the trial of our faith! I am a witness to the truthfulness of this scripture! Like I said last week, we had a kinda hard time with our investigators, but we showed our faith and kept working our hardest, prayed more fervently than ever, and doing everything possible for our investigators, and it worked! Nobody bailed on us this week and we have a lot of people progressing and wanting to learn more! Prayer is probably the coolest thing ever! God really does answer prayers! It's not just something people say, but it really does happen! I love it! Rigoberto is well as ever! Didn't come to church again, but neither did any of the members because it was stake conference and so early in the morning. He is going to come next week we just know! Natan has a hard time focusing but we read with him and explain things simply so he understands and pays attention. Still hoping for his baptism later on! The sad thing is we had to drop the Estevez family! :( We haven't met with them in like a month and every time we go over they never answer the door! It's so sad, but I know they will accept the gospel later on in life! We have a ton of new people who I won't take time to talk about but keep these people in your prayers.

We seriously see miracles every day here in the Bronx. People stopping us on the street in tears because of how much they need what we have and finding people who are ready to receive the gospel. I want to talk particularly about a miracle and tender mercy given to me. The other day me and Elder Hinckley had to stop by the chapel to grab some things and as Elder Hinckley was in the bathroom, a worker who was working on the basketball hoop (might have been me that broke that, hahaha jk) stopped and asked me if I was able to give him a blessing. Obviously, I said yes and so when Elder Hinckley got done we went to the Bishop's office to give him a blessing. I guess his family was struggling pretty bad and he was like deathly sick, but he had to work to support his family. The Spirit was incredibly strong during the blessing, something I had never felt in my life. He was so grateful afterwards to me and Elder Hinckley for being there at that time to give him that blessing. What a great privilege it is to be able to hold the priesthood and be able to give blessings! I am so grateful!

What a great spirit that is felt on the mission, and I couldn't be more happy and grateful for this opportunity to serve. Love you guys so much and I hope you have the best week ever!! 

Much love elder brown 

Answers to questions 
1- I'm pretty sure I turned those in forever ago.
2-- No I haven't bought a lot of stuff... Stuff is just left in the apartment from other missionaries 
3--lip is just perfect 
4-- for Christmas the only thing I can think of is comfy soles for my shoes... I really don't care! 
5--clothes are just perfection. Wash is going great! 
6-- I clean the apartment every week. They call me the clean freak! 
7-- just from friends here and there... Not any constant weekly ones 
8-- haven't got too cold enough for the coat yet! Just the sweater and other stuff I have found in the pad.
9-- oh of course I know that!
These pictures are from today! We went to sleepy hallow! It was way cool!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Update from the Bronx‏!

Como están mi familia? Yo espero que tuvieran un bien semana!

Well, this week was filled with a lot of things that made me happy and a lot of things that made me sad! I'm still thinking about Tressler and how much I love him. President Smith even called me this week to see how I was doing and to give me a little bit of comfort. (I had mentioned Tressler's passing in my weekly email to him) It's so awesome to have a mission president who loves and cares about his missionaries. I love the Smiths!

The week was tough, I won't lie! At the beginning of the week it seemed like all of our appointments were canceling on us! I seriously can't explain how much I hate that! Come on guys! We are trying to help you!! LET US! I eventually, after about 20 misses, got a little angry! I was wondering what the problem was... Why weren't these people answering their door. In morning studies the next day I saw one of those little quotes Mom and Britt sent me by Thomas S. Monson, it said "Formula for your success-- first: search the scriptures with diligence; second: plan with purpose;  third: teach the truth with testimony and fourth: serve the Lord with love". Yeah, I was doing these things, but I wasn't doing them good enough! I prayed more sincerely, I studied the scriptures with more intent, and I did all I could so that these investigators wouldn't bail on us... No, not everyone stopped bailing, but little by little I was seeing more progress in our work and in the people. President Monson sure does know what he is talking about! Haha

Halloween was good! It sounds like everyone back at home just had an awesome time with lots of candy! Mom, thanks so much for the package you sent! It got here right on Halloween, so it was perfect! We had to be in our apartment by 6 on Halloween, so all the Elders just came up to our apartment and played dominoes and chatted and stuff like that! It was pretty fun!!
Hamming it up on Halloween!!

I want to give a few shout-outs to some lovely people such as my grandparents who sent me an awesome letter with some way too much generous money! I love you guys so much! Also shout out to Sister Fowler! My dad sent me what you posted on my blog! And I really appreciate your kind words! Thanks for everything! Just thanks to everyone who has been so supportive and nice to me my whole life! You're all seriously the best people in the world!

This past couple days and this coming week we are focusing a lot on the less active members as well as part member families. We have started doing this thing where, if we get done with an appointment or something we look up all the members in the area and just stop by, say hello, share a quick spiritual message like a scripture and get out of there! This has really grown my relationship with the ward members as well as bringing people back to church to renew those sacred covenants once again! That is seriously one of the best things when you witness someone partake of the sacrament for the first time in a long time! Chills run down my back every time! Haha, I love it so much! My Spanish is progressing which is good! It's funny that when you actually put in the work to learn certain things then you learn them.... Hahaha, I was just over here waiting to receive the gift of tongues when I wasn't putting in the needed effort. But as I have continued to work diligently at trying to speak as much as I can and not really caring if it's wrong, things are just starting to come!

We need the Savior in this work... I've really realized that this week, when I was humbled down to my knees. Right when me and Elder Hinckley start to think we are the best because we teach the most lessons and get the highest numbers - BOOM! - our investigators stop answering their doors and their phones like I was talking about earlier!  I'm so grateful for my Savior. What we do as missionaries is nothing without our Lord and Redeemer. I'm grateful for the chance I have to get back up when I fall, to keep becoming a better missionary every day, and to continually repent through the Savior and his atonement. Man, everyone needs the gospel! There isn't one person I know or have met that couldn't benefit from our message, or that the gospel can't better their lives. This gospel brings so much joy and peace.

I hope you have the best week ever! Mom, Dad, or anybody, if you have any questions you need me to answer just shoot me an email and I will answer it very directly for you! Haha, I love you family and friends!

Les quiero! Elder Brown

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A tough week here at home...hard news for Caiden.

Wow, I can't explain the way I am feeling right now... The news of Tressler's death hit me really hard. And, at this point I can't really stop crying. I loved that guy so much, and he was such a great example to me and I will never forget that or him. I'm so shocked, I am at a lose for words really. He was always so nice to me. I always payed special attention to Tressler and the little things he did. What a great man and what an amazing leader and example he was for every single youth in the ward. I am seriously so sad. This is really hard for me. I loved him so much and I could go off about how amazing of a man I think he is, but I'll just leave it at I love him. I really do and I am and will be praying constantly for the Tressler family. Make sure they know my love for them and the example that Spencer was to me.

It's kind of hard to say anything else, really, after hearing that news and talking about that, but I am sure you guys would like to know how my week went, so I will fill you in a little bit. It really was a great week! I know I say that every single week, but it's true! Constantly meeting new people who are ready for the gospel and literally every second sharing your testimony with someone. The power of a testimony is limitless.

The confirmation of Lily went really well! I did the best I could and the Spirit was there and that is all that matters. The Spanish has its highs and lows and right now it's at a low, but all I do can do is continually work on it and hope that when the next high comes it stays! Spanish is so cool though, I love it. It's crazy to think that 3 months ago I barely knew how to say como esta y ahora, puedo entender y hablar con todos de los nativos. Gift of tongues sure is a real thing!

I want to tell you a little bit about all the progressing investigators that we are working with really closely right now and are looking for baptisms this transfer, because I don't think I have really talked about them too much. They are the best people so they deserve to be talked about! Hahaha.  We have Rigoberto, who still is hurting a lot and isn't able to get around and come to church, but we meet with him every Friday and call him everyday! He is so ready. He just needs to heal fast! We have Natan who we are working with pretty steadily and preparing him for baptism asap. La familia Estevez! We are now teaching the whole family and they love having us over. They want to take it slow though because they want to know it all before they dive like head first! And we have Fauso who we found when we were doing a look up and he is awesome. I love him to death! He is like 65 and loves reading the Book of Mormon and we plan on setting a date with him this week! We also met this kid named Michael the other day who is awesome!! He is 15 and met with the missionaries before! He also loves reading the Book of Mormon and we are setting a baptism date for him tomorrow! There are so many other people I want to tell you about but there just isn't time. This area is so alive. More than it has ever been and I am so excited for this next transfer to just kill it! I love these people so much! I can't explain in an email or even in words the joy I have when these people feel the Savior's love. That is why I am here. To show people how much the Savior loves them. Because He loves every single person no matter what they have done, no matter who they are, and I have seen that love so strong here in the Bronx!

So yeah, today is transfer day! We just finished with the meeting and are at Buffalo Wild Wings right now! Two people left our district which was sad. I get really attached to people and that is why it's so hard for me to say goodbye to people. I can't imagine what it's going to be like when I leave the Bronx.

I love you guys amazingly! The grace of the Savior is so amazing. Use the atonement everyday. It's not just for sins, but for everything. The price is already paid. I love my Savior. I love this gospel. I love my mission. And I love you all! 

Elder brown
Me and my best friend Junior, a member from the Dominican Republic

The "boys" at the Brooklyn Bridge

District Selfie

Friday, October 23, 2015

Things can get rough in the "Hood"!

Wow another crazzzzzyyy week here in the Bronx! I'll start off with kind of the bad news I guess. As we were playing basketball with the local studs, I got on to play my first game and I got elbowed in my face. I fell to the ground and blood just started pouring everywhere, all over the ground, all over my clothes, everywhere. I ran to the bathroom to see what was up and I guess I had bitten all the way through my lip! So we called Elder Gardner, who is the medical senior missionary, and he told us to run the hospital and get it stitched up. We waited at the hospital for about 4 hours and by the time I had gotten stitched up and back home it was 1:30 in the morning. Such a long and crazy night. They only ended up giving me three stitches on the outside because they didn't want to sow it up on both sides and get the infection trapped! It was a fun night! :) I'll attach some pics.
Waiting in the hospital

Inside of his lip

Outside of his lip

So, Lily's baptism was on Sunday and it was seriously so awesome! The Spirit was so incredible and you could just see the happiness and excitement on her face that day! I don't think there was a happier day than when I saw her enter into the waters of baptism and to start a new life. Such a joyful experience and one I will never forget that is for sure! The Gospel truly does change lives and really does bring a happiness that you can't get anywhere else. All these people in New York are so caught up in the things that bring worldly happiness and I just sit back and laugh because if only they knew the eternal happiness that gospel brought their lives would be significantly better. That's why I am so happy to be out here and to be a missionary; to share the happiness I have with others! Man I love it!! Still really scared to give her the Holy Ghost on Sunday, so pray that I have the gift of tongues hahaha.
At Lili's baptism
I love all the people here so much, it's insane! I love my district tons, but it's sad because this week is transfers and lots of them are leaving! We have gotten so tight and I'm going to be sad to see them leave. I am probably staying here for a couple more transfers. Well, I hope at least. I have gotten to know and love all the members in the ward so much and I have a huge love for every single person we teach! We are praying that Rigoberto's back starts to heal up so he can start coming to church again and get baptized. So keep him in your prayers! We also have baptisms planned the beginning of November for Kelly Estevez (hopefully is wife and kids too) and for this awesome kid named Natan that we met not to long ago! He is awesome. He just moved here from the Dominican Republic and loves learning about the gospel! Continue to pray for them!

On Saturday me and Elder Hinckley and some other missionaries from the city had the opportunity to go to this huge mega mutual thing in Harlem and supervise. It was awesome to see all the kids from New York come together on a Saturday and learn with the missionaries. We talked about the importance of being missionaries right now! Even if that be just sharing your testimony with a friend, invited them to meet with the missionaries, or simply just posting a scripture or short spiritual video on Facebook. The difference you can make is seriously unmeasurable. I know you all have strong testimonies, so put them to work! I want to invite you all this week to share a quick spiritual thought on Facebook or whatever social media it may be! Let's change lives! Smiling face with open mouthSmiling face with open mouth

I can't explain the love I have for my mission even though I have only been out like 2 and a half months. I really do have the best mission in the world! Nothing can compete. The people here are awesome! The food is great! And it's just the best! I still can't express all my feelings to the people, but I pray and hope that through my broken Spanish testimony that the Spirit can touch their heart! Guess what? THE SCRIPTURES ARE SO AWESOME! Getting the chance to really pick them apart has been something I cherish in my heart. The Book of Mormon truly is the word of God! It is evidence of the restoration of the Gospel, that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and most importantly, that our Savior lives. Just like it says on the cover - Another testament of Jesus Christ. And it sure is that! I love it so much! And I love you all so much! You are seriously the best people! Love you with all my heart!! 

Elder Brown

Oh and P.S. Mom, these black shoes are already holey as can be... Like you can see my idk what to do about that.
A couple of pictures from the President's wife's blog when they ran into each other at the Manhattan temple on P-day

Missionary shoes a little over 2 months in

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The weeks just keep getting better and better!

Man, the weeks just keep getting better and better! More tiring and tiring, but certainly more rewarding. Yeah, it rained a couple days down here. One day it is pouring and the next it is so hot. Kind of reminds me of Utah in that way. I live more closer to Yankee stadium. When the games were going on we would be able to hear all the shouts and screams from the games, but they lost and don't play again till next year. Hopefully I will get to go a game in a year! Oh, the "bodegas" are the best thing ever! Those are the little treat shops. There are as many of those as there are churches in Utah! I basically get like one sandwich a day from there because they are literally so incredible!!

So, the average day as Elder Brown is basically the one of any other missionary... Get up at 6:30, do a slight work out ;) get ready for the day and then start studies at 8:00. 8 to 9 is personal study, 9 to 10 is companion study and 10-11 is language study. After that... Half the days of the week we have to do this thing called "twelve weeks" which is basically just training for new missionaries. On those days we pretty much stay in the pad until 12. That's something that is really hard for me because I always want to go go go, but that's something I've learned from Elder Hinckley - it's important to just calm down and to do some things that mean a lot even if that means staying inside until 12. But after that we would normally go tracting, contacting, or do some look ups because no one is really home in the afternoon, they are all working, so we don't have that many appointments.But in the night time our schedule is packed with appointments and lessons and meals and all that fun stuff!  Then we go home at about 9:00 and hit the beds as fast as we can! That's basically what it is like!

This week has been filled with a ton of teaching! It has been so great! Got a lot of new investigators and I am way excited to see where they end up! MY FIRST BAPTISM IS THIS SUNDAY! I am so excited! She is getting baptized on Sunday because her mom wouldn't be able to make it on Saturday. So then the next Sunday I get the opportunity to give her the Holy Ghost! I'm really excited but also pretty nervous because I have to do the whole thing in Spanish! It's pretty cool though that we have a baptism this early... A lot of Elders have been out here like 16 months and haven't gotten one, so that's pretty cool! Lili is awesome though! She has been ready for baptism for a while, but she just never read the Book of Mormon. So we pushed that and now she has a testimony, so it's all just dandy!! :)

A lot of cool things happened this week, but I am at the temple right now and I don't have my journal to look at everything to recall because everyday kind of is like a blur! I get to go to the temple for the first time today though! I am stoked! Manhattan is a lot different than the Bronx. It's a lot more crazy and up beat. A lot more white people too! I'm kind of in love with the Bronx, but I think that's what it is going to be like for all my areas. I get so attached to things and people. It's going to be so hard for me to leave the areas! Ahhhh, I hate thinking about that! The first cycle is almost over and some elders in my district are leaving their missions! It's really sad because we have all gotten pretty close!

We had the opportunity to have a member of the Seventy come to our mission this past week! His name was Elder Arnold, and man was he powerful! We talked about how important members are in missionary work and how we need to utilize them. I also really enjoyed when his wife talked about being genuine, and about how we need to not put in the effort to be fake good missionary or to be fake obedient, but how we should just take that effort and actually be good. Sometimes I think we all put so much effort into putting up a good front, when in actuality if we just took that same effort and put it towards being genuine things would just be better. Let's all try and be a little bit more genuine this week! :)
He didn't send any pictures this week, but we got this off the mission blog, taken at the conference he talks about above

This week I am pondering the scripture Alma 36:3 "Y ahora bien, ¡oh mi hijo Helamán!, he aquí, estás en tu juventud, y te suplico, por tanto, que escuches mis palabras y aprendas de mí; porque sé que quienes pongan su confianza en Dios serán sostenidos en sus tribulaciones, y sus dificultades y aflicciones, y serán enaltecidos en el postrer día." I think this applies so much to my mission. There are a lot of trials and you simply can't do them with just yourself, but as I put my trust in the Savior and give my will and all my efforts and time to Him, then these trials will be lifted! I love the Savior so much! And I love this gospel so much! I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to serve this wonderful mission! It's so great! I love you all so much! You're all the best! Have an amazing week! 

Much love, Elder Brown 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Hollllaaa mi familia! 

What a week! A hard and draining week but seriously such an amazing week! Mom, I am so sad to hear that you are sick! I kind of feel your pain a little bit. I have been a little bit under the weather the last couple of days, but nothing like what you have! I'm praying for you guys every single day!! I got your package two days ago! The coat is awesome! You guys did an amazing job at picking it out! And you know me too well with the brownies and the donuts. Love youuu! I don’t think I ever did thank Lois McKay and family for the package they sent me in the MTC! So thanks so much for thinking of me and being so kind to send those sweet socks and gloves and treats! Hinckley will probably be my comp for three cycles because normally your with your trainer for two and then the last cycle in the year is really short so we will probably stay together. The Spanish is coming along better. I'm not even close to fluent but it is coming!

General conference was so amazing!! To be honest it was probably the only time I have stayed awake for all five sessions, but man was it great! We are not supposed to watch conference at member’s houses or investigator’s houses and so they broadcast it at the church. We watched it in English so we could comprehend every little thing. I'm not sure who all came out of the Spanish members because they were watching it in the chapel as we were watching it in the relief society room. We were in there with all the English speakers and three members. Words can't describe the love I have for the prophet and his apostles. These are men of God. The words they spoke this past week are the words of God! It's crazy to think that we just received revelation. That is something that in the past I have most certainly taken for granted. The talk that I really took to heart was Brother Devin Durrant, the one about engraving and ponderizing a scripture every single week. What a great way to keep our minds focused on something good. When our minds and thoughts are idle then the devil can attack us. But when we have this scripture and we think about it whenever our mind wants to be idle it leaves no room for bad, just like Brother Durrant said. I chose 2 Nephi 1:23, it says "Awake my sons, put on the armor of righteousness. Shake off the chains by which ye are bound and come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust!" I have this on the screen of my iPad and on sticky notes all over the house and I have already seen the impact of it. If you haven't chosen a scripture... DO IT NOW!! Haha, it will bless your life! There were so many good talks! I loved them all, and yes mom, I cried during the mother one as well! Hahaha, it was also really hard for me to watch President Monson struggle at the pulpit, but one of my friends sent me a story that was really cool about it...

"Most of you probably did not see what was happening behind Pres. Monson at the end of his talk today.  
I was on the floor, just a few rows from the very front of the conference center with a clear view of the scene. 
You might have noticed that Pres. Monson really struggled to finish the last couple minutes of his talk and especially the last 30 seconds.  I was afraid for him.  I thought he might faint, pass out, or something worse.  And then... my heart melted when I saw, behind Pres. Monson was: Pres. Uchtdorf…
....on the edge of his seat, almost half way standing up, with his arms stretched out, ready to catch the Prophet at any moment if he fell.  
You could see the worried expression on Uchtdorf's face as well as focused determination.  He was on high alert and ready to catch him.  
...As soon as Pres. Monson said "Amen", Uchtdorf was immediately at his side and carried him back to his seat, safe and sound.  
What a great analogy and correlation to the love and support that exists and has existed between these men and all the leaders over the years. 
Elder Bednar also spoke of this love in his heart felt remarks.  
...I know that likewise, the Savior is on the edge of His seat, ready to catch us if we fall.  
I am so grateful to have heard so many beautiful words today...
And to have SEEN such precious love and care displayed.  
I won't soon forget"

How cool is that!? I love the connection she makes with the Savior. Like I have said time and time again, He is there and will catch us if we fall; Every time. Conference was a great experience and I am so excited to read them over and over again.

Okay, so Lili and her baptism interview was last night and she passed, so she will be baptized this month and I am so excited. She was an investigator they had before I got here, but I have gotten to know her really well. She is so funny and is always cracking jokes! Her ultimate goal is to go through the temple with her husband someday. The gospel has changed her life.

There have been so many great experiences this week, but mostly I have gained a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. I've read it and I know of its truthfulness. I've seen it bless lives and I know without a doubt in my mind that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and his son Jesus Christ. He was called of God to be a prophet and I know that! I love you guys and all your examples! Hope you have the best week! 

Much love Elder Brown
Me and Juan Carlos's kids.. With the rings mom sent. They love them

Me and another one of Juan Carlos's kids... He is my best friend! Haha

Just at the subway chillin'