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