Sunday, August 30, 2015

Halfway through the MTC?!?!‏

Hola familia!! Como esta?!

Man, I cannot believe I am already more than halfway done with my stay here at the MTC. When I first got here all the elders always told me that the days would seem like weeks and the weeks would seem like days. I never really believed them, but wow, it is so true!! It seems like yesterday I was bawling my eyes out saying goodbye to everyone, but at the same time it seems like yesterday morning happened 20 years ago!! It’s insane how time flies when you are having fun!! :)

So, I guess I should address the THOUSANDS of questions mom had in her email!! Haha jk mom, I love you sooooo much!! I have tried to take as many pics as I can, but here at the MTC there aren’t that many opportunities to get a ton of good pics, but I sure am trying!! The camera isn’t the best there is... all the pictures are way blurry and stuff. It is probably just because it has already been through the ringer! Haha Mom don’t stress about the white strips or the shout cleaner. I got it all figured out! The wash is going fine. The first week was rough, but now I am getting the hang of it! Thanks mom and dad for the poster!! It was most certainly for cuters. Mom, always being so creative! I love it!! I did get my hair cut last p-day. It actually turned out pretty good and basically exactly as I wanted it to be, so I am pretty happy about that. Not even close to on the level of Mads haircuts though!! ;) I was able to see Andrew Keeley this morning, but I have not yet seen Nater boy! I’ll keep a good look out for him though! It was so great to hear about their farewells and how amazing they did! That’s cool, the story about Josh’s car wreck. Seriously... we are looked after if we are obedient. It’s so true - the blessings we receive when we do what is right! I hope you all have the best time at Strawberry this week! You guys are so lucky!! I miss that place! Have fun and be safe! Make sure to send me a bunch of pictures!! Oh and thank you Brittany and fam for the package!! You guys are seriously so sweet! It’s the best part of my week when I hear from you! Thanks to Lacee as well for the “Dear Elder! I hope you are getting settled in and are doing great! BE SAFE!!! “Dear Elders” are the best... just letting you all know ;)! 

How am I really doing, you ask?? I’m seriously being dead honest when I say I am doing amazing!! Obviously there is going to be struggles and hard times, when you say you want to quit, where you just want to take that stupid Spanish book and throw it at the wall because it doesn’t make sense. However, even thru those struggles you feel the Savior’s love. It reminds me of that story that Grandpa and Grandma have in their downstairs bathroom. I’ll give a quick run- down of the story for those who don’t know what I am talking about. The story kind of goes like this... Ahh, it’s hard for me to remember the details, but basically there are two pairs of footprints in the sand.. one is the footprints of the man and the other is the footprints of the Savior. The Savior is always with us. But the man notices that during the hard times of his life he only sees one set of footprints. He asks the Savior, "Why during the hardest times of my life are you not there? Why do you leave me to fight the struggles by myself?" He is kind of angry at the Lord. The Savior then replies to him, "Those times when you only see one set of footprints are when I picked you up and carried you when you were struggling." Obviously, this isn’t how the story exactly goes and I know I didn’t get it exact, but I hope you get the basis of it. I think that story is a perfect representation of how my stay at the MTC so far has been like. Yeah, I have had some hard times. There are times in the lessons where we just stare at the investigator because none of us know what the other is talking about. Or times when kids in the class are being annoying and won’t let you study. Or even when you are just sitting there missing home. Those are the times that the Savior carries you. I have felt it and I know that it is true. A mission would not work solely off the power of an 18 year old kid, but with the Savior we now can do anything, just like Philippian’s 4:13 says. So, how am I actually doing? I’M DOING AMAZING!! I’M BEING CARRIED BY THE SAVIOR! WHAT’S BETTER THAN THAT?!?! (I hope that kind of puts it into perspective for you mom! :)

Here at the MTC, you don’t teach real investigators, but you do teach your teachers who are acting as people that they taught while they were serving on their missions. We teach this lady named Ines! I love her to death. And even though they aren’t real investigators, that love is still there! At first when we started teaching her we were kind of doing rough. Elder P. wasn’t really saying much and so I was trying to answer her questions when I barely knew what she was asking. It was really hard and I was very discouraged with myself. One of my teachers noticed that I was discouraged and brought me aside and we talked and he gave me a lot of good advice about what I should do and how I should approach my lessons from now on. So we changed the way we planned and we changed the way we looked at our investigators and we prepared in a way that would invite the Spirit into the lessons. The next day we had another lesson with Ines and I was pretty nervous. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. I honestly couldn’t tell you what was said in the lesson or even what we taught about but I do remember the Spirit that was there. We asked her to pray, which she did willing, and then she just broke down in tears... embarrassing to say, but so did I! Haha! We invited her to be baptized and she said yes, and wow, I can’t explain just how much joy I felt after that lesson. Although she might have just been my teacher, I know the Spirit touched Ines's heart as well as Hermana M’s. All of our lessons after that day have gone great! I know the spirit guides us as missionaries. I know that it isn’t the words of 18 year old boys, but it is the words of God. 

I want to share one last thing. There is something that I really loved when Elder Ryan Ham gave his farewell and I remember it very well. He said in the scriptures it never once says fun. But it does say joy over 500 times. This applies directly to what I am doing here on a mission. I’m not here to have fun. That’s not why we are sent across the world. But they do call it the best two years for a reason. The joy that I felt after we taught that lesson to Ines is what the mission is all about. I will say it a thousand times and I won’t stop, but I love the quote in our living room about what a mission is. A missionary is someone who leaves their family for a short period of time so others can be with theirs for eternity. That is why I am out here, to bring people the same happiness that I have because of this gospel. I’m not going to New York to see Times Square, or to get really great pictures, but I want to share joy. I hope you guys feel through this letter the passion I have about this! This is the true gospel and it does bring happiness to every single person who lives its teachings. I want to share my testimony with you guys that our Savior lives and loves us. He is carrying us. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and it does bring joy! I love you all so much!! Till next week! 

Much love, Elder brown 

Laying down during Temple walk

The zone

Ugly tie day. Sorry Mom!

The living quarters. (Sorry so messy, I have messy roommates!)

My nicely made bed every day!

The tie exchange box, hahaha!

The dudes

Friday, August 21, 2015

August 21, 2015


Hola como esta mi amigos!! El CCM es mucho divertido! I don't know really where to start with this letter!! I guess I will start off by answering some questions that mom had! Haha, Yes mom, we do weekly tie trades, and as zone leader I have to be involved, but I promise you all my ties are looking suppppppeeeeerrrr sickkkkkk!!! It was really fun to talk to the Thomas family during member TRC though!! (TRC stands for "teaching resource center" and that is where you do all the teaching) Obviously, we were supposed to meet with them in Spanish, but because they were my neighbors and I knew they spoke English and I couldn't talk in Spanish, so I just gave them a message in English! Haha! It was really cool to see some familiar faces though!! On p-day, besides write letters, we normally will wake up, go work out for a little bit, eat breakfast, do laundry and write families and friends, go to the temple, relax, eat food and feel the spirit! Class starts at 6 p.m. on p-days. I hope you guys got my letter. Mom, I put some things I need in that letter! You can see AP test scores online, I am pretty sure! And yes, all of my friends email me weekly! :) I hope that covers all the questions!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! to my father and to my brother!! You guys are both so old it is insane!! Dad, I hope you had the best day, and Tanner, same goes for you! I really wish I could be there to celebrate with you all!! But, it sounds like you had a fun time! Make sure you guys send me pictures of everything you are all doing in your busy lives!! LACEE! MESSAGE FOR YOU! BE SAFE! Don't get in any trouble on your daily commutes from SLC! Drive the speed limit and don't get in a crash please!! 

Life here at the MTC is pretty repetitive! Basically you go to six hours of class in the morning, teach a few investigators and then have three hours to study at night! Although we do the same things every day, I am still loving it!! We teach this investigator in TRC that is named R___. It is really hard to understand her Spanish because she talks super fast and super soft but we try and get every little detail and come up with a response. The first couple lessons we had with her were kind of rough. We didn't really understand what she was saying so we basically bore our testimonies and got out of there. So, as we prepared our lesson to teach her for the third time, I was pretty skeptical of how it was going to go. I was nervous and frankly, I didn't think I had the Spirit with me. I decided that I needed to say a prayer. I went into my closet, got down on my knees and prayed that the Spirit would be present in our lesson.   After we talked about how her week was and how her daughter was, I felt prompted to talk to her about the Book of Mormon, and to ditch the whole lesson we had previously planned. Then, my mouth just started speaking. Who knows if what I was saying even made sense in Spanish, or if I was saying a bunch of random words, but something I do know was that the Spirit was there. After I asked her if she would read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, she said she already had and that she knew it was true! WOWWWW, was basically what I was thinking. She said that while she read Ether 12, the chapter we previously told her to read, she felt peace and comfort and that she felt that it was true. They tell us that the Investigators at TRC could either be a member or a real investigator, but we don't know. R___ could be a member or she could not be, but whatever she is, I know that the power of the Spirit touched her life. The Holy Ghost is incredible. Missionary work is not done by the power of the missionary, but the power of the Spirit and that is the most important thing! The gift of tongues is real. I have felt it while I have been here. Just like Philippians 4:13 says, we can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me!

On Tuesday there was a devotional and Elder Echo Hawk of the seventy spoke. (What a sick last name, am I right?) Well anyway, He talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon in missionary work and using it to teach by the Spirit. This is exactly what I needed for R___, and as I said, his message really helped me in my lesson! 

A new district came into our zone on Wednesday and they seem like some really good guys!! I am really tight with one of the elders because he knows all the kids on the BYU soccer team, so we spent some time talking about that. Oh, and about BYU..., do you know anything more that is going on there? Like who the new coach is or anything? Just let me know! 

Thanks Britt, Wade and family for the letter! I LOVE hearing from the boys! It seriously makes my week! Tell Blake that his Lego creation look soooooo good and that I think he is going to be a professional Lego builder when he grows up! Tell him good luck in 2nd grade! He is so big! Love you guys so much! Keep keeping me updated on everything! 

Not much more has gone on this week besides the usual! I promise my letters will be a lot more exciting with stories and stuff when I get out to New York! Love you all so much!! I want to leave you with a scripture... Matthew 7:7-8. The Lord hears us and He answers our prayers. I know that if we pray with a broken heart and contrite spirit He WILL answer us! The Savior lives! He loves you more than you know, more than you can comprehend. Just remember that always!! Pray, read the scriptures, love our Savior, and the Church is true!! 

Much Love, Elder Brown! 

 Me and Pugmire with Brooklyn Briggs... Remember her?

Me and Elder Selph in my zone

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Our across the street neighbors bumped into Elder Brown while they were serving at the MTC today! He gave a discussion to them in Spanish. They said he did great and looks great.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

August 14, 2015


Wow! Where do I begin?? This week has been insane! So fun and so hard! There is nothing that compares to the spirit that is here. It is so unreal how in-tuned and in love I am with this gospel!! I guess I will just start off with telling you guys how my week went. Oh, and today, Friday, is my p-day. So, here’s more about my companion and my district. My companion’s name is Elder Pugmire, he is from Gilbert Arizona and I am learning to love him a lot!

Elders, Frandsen, Call, Shawgo, Southwick, Escobar, and Rust are all the Elders in my district. Me and Elder Frandsen are like best friends and get along very well. He is from Salem Hills and is really good friends with Jake Ence. The Sunday after I got here I had a meeting with the branch president. Me and my companion were called to be zone leaders. He said it was very rare to call such new missionaries, but he thought we were the Elders for the job. It is kind of scary though because we know, like, the least Spanish in the whole zone, but we are supposed to lead them. I know that we will be blessed through our hard work and obedience.

Thanks Mom and Britt, for the first package and thanks Mom for the second one! All the Elders crowd over my candy and are all so jealous of my amazing family! The Spanish is going better than before, of course, but obviously it is as difficult as before! We have a couple of investigators right now and basically all I do is teach by the Spirit and the gift of tongues because I don’t really know what is coming out of my mouth. But how amazing is that? I just got here like a week ago and I am already teaching people in Spanish how amazing Christ is and how incredible this gospel is! It’s amazing how the Lord blesses you when you are obedient.

Sunday was amazing. We call it spiritual P day. We got to listen to a talk given to missionaries from Elder Bednar that is called “The Character Of Christ”. If any of you have not seen this talk I strongly encourage you to go watch it because it changed my life and I know that it can change yours. I also watched a talk given by Elder Holland about the Book of Mormon, it’s called “Safety for the Soul”. OH MY GOSH. IT’S AMAZING. Stop reading my letter right now and go watch it because I know that it will benefit your life a ton. THIS CHURCH IS SO TRUE IT INCREDIBLE HOW TRUE IT IS!! AHHHHHHHH.

I guess more on the answer question side... I have gained 10 pounds since I have been here. And that is not a joke! I really am trying to be healthy though, I promise. A lot of my friends emailed me. It is always fun to hear from them and what life is like back at home. But, tell people to “dear elder” me and write me letters. Those really mean a lot and I can read them not on p-day for a little extra encouragement. My leg is all better and all there really is a scar there and a few scabs, but it healed up pretty nice.

 It is so fun to hear from everybody and how all your weeks have been going. Nothing is better than a good ole letter from home. I hope I answered all of your questions and concerns. Time is kind of limited, so I try to fit everything in and remember all that I wanted to say. If you have any questions just shoot me a dear letter and I will try and get back to you ASAP. You guys are the best and I love you all so much. For some reason it won’t let me attach any pictures, but I will keep trying. Pray, Read the scriptures, love our Savior and the church is true!

Love, Elder Brown
Elder Pugmire

Elder Frandsen

At the temple Left to Right-- Rust, Escobar, Frandsen, Southwick, Call, Shawgo, Me, Pugmire

Elder Frandsen

Friday, August 7, 2015

August 7, 2015 - First few days at the MTC!!

Hola Mi Familia!!!

Wow! So the MTC is really like what they say... Drinking from a fire hose! I like to think of it has a spiritual water hose and how all of this water I am consuming is more and more knowledge and love about the gospel! I'm not going to lie the first few days at the MTC were really hard. We are either in the classroom or eating and when we are not doing that we are in bed trying to get a little shut eye before we have to wake up in few hours to start the next day. Even though it has been tough I have already learned so much and am so grateful that I am here and learning. 

The language... Well it's basically what I expected. VERY challenging. Right after we dropped off our bags my host took me to the classroom and from then on I haven't heard anything but Spanish come out of my teacher's mouth! It's so fun though! Like, I am so excited every day to go learn and grow. So basically I know how to bear my testimony and say a prayer in Spanish but that is pretty much it. The real crazy thing is me and my companion, i'll tell you about him in a minute, are planning a 30 minute lesson today that we have to give to this lady tonight and it has to be in all Spanish. It is pretty scary but i think we are prepared and that we will do a fine job. But about my companion, he is really cool! He is really into sports just like me and we have got along great so far! My District is pretty awesome as well! We all get along great and already are joking around and having fun! (But of obviously we are being obedient mother. No worries!!)

I've seen so many people i know here it is insane! it seems like I am just walking down the halls of Timpanogos again! Me and Elder Ham (Ryan) have been able to spend some time together which has been really fun. We normally eat meals by each other and iron our shirts together. It's nice to see someone you are comfortable with. 

I'm in love with the food here! I'm pretty sure I have gained like ten pounds in the last 2 days! It's like unlimited food! What is better than that? But hey mom in my first package will you send me like powerades and treats and stuff like that because man I am already craving all the treats! 

I want to thank you all for all the amazing letters you guys wrote and I really wish I had time to write a letter to all you and thank you for the amazing examples you have been in my life but the schedule here is so jam packed you barely have time to think! I haven't gotten the opportunity to take that many pictures yet because the first week here is so hectic but I'll attach the picture of me with Elder Ham in our dorm. 
I know this letter is probably really short and scattered but give me a break it is my first one OK? But I promise that once I get settled in and actually find out what is going on in this place I promise to write AMAZING letters! I will just leave you with my testimony that I know that this is place that I need to be. I know that even though it may be hard at times it will all be worth it. I know that our Savior loves everyone and that He lives. This is the only true church on the earth today and I am so proud to be able to be a servant in this wonderful work! I love you all so much and I am grateful for all of your examples. 

Love, Elder Brown 

August 5, 2015 - Entering the MTC

Caiden was set apart as a full-time missionary on the evening of August 4th. He had some friends over for the last goodbye's and some treats. Then later, the stake president came over to the house to set him apart. It was a very neat experience. Caiden's parents, siblings, Bishop Maxwell, and the Humphries were there. President Oviatt had Caiden go around and introduce everyone and say why he loved them, then he had each of us say why we love Caiden. It was a a very sweet experience.

Elder Brown started out the day on August 5th as a missionary, waking up on time and everything! He was able to give his mom a priesthood blessing. Then the family gathered together for a little brunch and the last goodbye's. It was certainly a tear-filled morning, but we are all so excited for Elder Brown and know he will be a fabulous missionary!

July 19, 2015 - Farewell Talk

Caiden gave a wonderful talk in church today. He made us laugh and cry! We had a nice meal with lots of friends and family afterwards. We ate J-Dawgs (hot dogs) and a variety of salads and desserts. It was a wonderful day and luckily the weather cooperated. Our family felt so blessed to be supported by so many friends and family. Thanks everyone for your love and support!