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