Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Fam bam,

What an incredible week this was!! Really nothing too exciting really happened, but for some reason the Spirit was so present and so noticeable. You know when you just feel good? Well... Haha that's how I feel!

First off, just another “thanks” to everyone who thought of me on my birthday! I know I say it always, but I really do have the best family and friends there are. ¿Que más puedo pedir? (What more can I ask for) I've sent a few thank you’s out already, but for sure I will get the rest sent out this week! You guys are awesome! I love you! And wish I could do more for you guys!

So, the birthday went well! It actually wasn't the best day ever to be honest... All the lessons fell through. One of my favorite families said they didn't want to take the lessons anymore and things just weren't going too well! But you know what? It was one of the best days, because I got to spend my birthday being a missionary. I know that sounds corny as can be, but it’s true. There just is nothing like it. Especially when you spend a holiday like Easter or Christmas, where you are so focused on the true significance. So
overall the birthday and Easter were super amazing! We made a cake, but it was super gross... So we gave it to the other Elders, haha, but seriously, my birthday was awesome and so was Easter!

So, cool story... The other week when we were walking down Webster, which is probably the sketchiest street in our area, tons of projects and a lot of fights, anyways we were walking down the street and a fight started, and to be completely honest, me and Elder Frei stopped for just one second to see what was going on. Well, as we were standing there a man come running up to us. And long story short, he ended up being a member and has been living here for 2 months and every day he has been walked around looking for the chapel because he hasn't been able to find it the whole time he has been here. We gave him the address and stuff and that was about it. I didn't think too much about it. Well, anyway, just a few days ago we were tracting this building and met this young kid who seemed pretty interested and wanted us to talk to his family. So we went to the apartment below his to meet his aunt and family and turns out that same guy we met on the street was there and ended up being this kids uncle. He told us he tried to come to church but ended up way out in the middle of nowhere and was praying that he would see us again. So now we are meeting with him and teaching his nephew. It was such a cool experience and just a
testimony that everything happens for a reason. I know that we were meant to be on Webster walking that day and that we were sent to that building to tract and find him again. Prayers do get answered. Gotta love it!

The sad thing about this week though was that Onacy didn't come to church!!!! Man, it made me so sad. We haven't been able to talk with him since, but we are meeting with him tonight. Hopefully we won't
have to drop him!! I love that guy so much and you know how hard it is to know that something could help somebody but they just don't do it. Super frustrating, but I have faith that he will come around. Continue to pray for him!

I love Justino! Seriously, he is the coolest guy! I have probably never met anyone with more faith than him. He is so willing to just put everything aside and give everything to the Lord. Whenever we need a member present Justino is always ready and excited. The other day we called him to see if he could come to a lesson with us and he said he had a doctor’s appointment and so we just decided we would bring someone else. 30 seconds after we put the phone down Justino calls back and said he canceled his appointment and wanted to come with us. He said the Lord is more important than any other thing that could be going on. Now that's consecration! That’s what I want. I want to be so willing to just drop everything and serve the Lord. I'm so grateful for examples like Justino and all of you of what consecration is.

We are at the MET museum right now and I am walking and typing, so it's really hard and I don't have too much time, but I love you all! I AM SO EXCITED FOR CONFERENCE! We are going to learn so many cool things. Like Amos 3:7 says, the Lord thy God reveals his secrets to his servants the prophets. This weekend we are going to be hearing the Lord’s servants, so OPEN YOUR EARS everybody and buckle up. It's going to be a fun ride :)

Love you all! Have the best week!

Elder Brown
Celebrating the big 19th birthday!

He didn't explain this, but maybe it was a birthday dinner.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"The Drop Talk"

Mi familia que es la mejor!! Les quiero muchísimo.

First off, I just want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes and birthday packages! I have got the best family and friends there are. I have yet to open most of the packages because I want to wait till Friday and so I will get thank you notes written out as soon as possible. The cool thing is that Elder Frei’s birthday is on the 24th, so we get to celebrate our birthdays together which will be kind of fun!

This week was a really good week! A lot of good things happened, but I don't think I am going to remember anything, haha, so sorry about that!

Let me just say I love my companion! Elder Frei is literally one of the coolest guys! Obviously, because I think we are so much alike we "debate" a lot, but I think he has definitely become one of my best friends. He is such a great example to me and his testimony is incredible! The time I have had with him I am so grateful for and we are going to make the most of the next 4 weeks as much as we can! It was so funny, one of our less actives named Joel was saying a prayer the other day and this is what he said "I ask that Brown and Frei stay in this area together longer because I think they work really well together and they have helped me a lot", haha! That’s exactly how I feel! I love my comp. It will be a sad day when I leave Elder Frei and the area with all the people I have gotten so close to.

Something cool happened this week with Onacy. Since he wasn't able to come to church and we didn't see him coming in the foreseeable future, we were going to make the attempt to give him the "drop talk", basically where you tell them they have to start acting on some stuff or we have to stop going over. These are probably some of my least favorite things because when you get that close with someone it's like saying goodbye to one of your best friends forever. Well, we went in there and shared the Hallelujah video and just bore the little testimonies that we have, and, I don't know what it was but something clicked inside that man. He said "that's exactly what I have been waiting for to come to church"! Elder Frei and I looked at each other a little bit confused because we didn't do anything different than we had been doing the whole time. I am so grateful for the Spirit in this work. I know that without it we are useless, but as we are conduits for the Spirit to flow through us, that's when lives start to change. Please pray for Onacy that he will keep that spirit and be able to come to church this next Sunday!

Kind of on the flip side of that, we also had to do a drop talk with one of our investigators named Reyes who is an old Dominican man that I absolutely love! He is the sweetest guy. Well, we sat down with him and told him that he kind of needed to start giving things a try. He ended up saying that he probably was never going to change, that he is going to just stick to his own church. To say the least, we were bummed out. It's the hardest thing seeing somebody you know has felt the Spirit and not accept it. I have faith missionaries will knock on his door someday and he will accept it!

I don't have much time today... We are out and about today, but I just want to say that I love my mission. I know I say that every week, but I just can't say it enough. I'm so blessed with the family and friends I have and I'm so blessed to be here in this area at this time. Thank you all for everything and have the best week ever!

Love Elder Brown
This one he just titled "Friendship"

This one he called "Dinner with the members, haha!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Alcoholics/Prayers answered! Soooo basically - the Bronx!!!‏

Hi guys!

Man this week was a good week! I never really know how to start off these letter thingies besides saying that everything is AMAZING! I learned a lot about myself this week and a ton about missionary work.

We kind of had some crazy experiences this week in the streets of the Bronx. Let me tell you... There are A LOT of drunk people and for some reason they all feel inclined to stop us, maybe cry a little bit, ask us for a prayer, or threaten to do something crazy to us! So, like I have said before, we get a lot of bible referrals and we were looking one up and a couple answered the door and you could just tell they were soooo drunk. Well, they insisted that we come in and teach them. As we were sitting there watching these 50 year old people act like 2 year olds, I just felt sad inside. It's crazy how much the temptations of Satan and the things of the world can destroy people's lives. But it also made me feel so grateful for the gift of repentance. Anyone can change and I know that's true. Just like the new Easter initiative says "we can find new life in Jesus Christ". I'm grateful for a Savior and a friend. I'm actually super stoked for this new Easter initiative! I LOVE THE VIDEO! It's got the best message ever and it's perfect to tie in baptism, and that is always a plus! I just want to encourage you all to share it with as many people as you can! And just share your testimony. Simple truths change lives.

We were able to have interviews with president this past week. It's always cool to see pres. I only see him like once a month, so whenever we have the chance to see him and talk to him it's super cool! He told me I might as well get a calling in the ward here because I have been here for so long, hahaha! He told me I was for sure getting transferred next cycle, so that's pretty sad.

This past week Rigo’s brother passed away and he was pretty sad about that. It was pretty hard to see him down in the dumps, because normally he is such a happy guy, but the loss was kind of hard for him. We were able to go to the funeral, and it was so cool to see a bunch of members support Rigs and give talks at the funeral. Well, basically all of his family is Pentecostal, and so it was so tender to hear him stand up when he gave his talk and say "I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I am proud of it." I love him!

So, let me tell you something about here in the Concourse ward. We live FOREVER away from the chapel and so it is super hard for people to get to church because, well, they are not the wealthiest of people. I
mean, we still have tons of members come as well as a good amount of investigators, but it's just harder. And we have this investigator named Enrique who has a baptismal date, but lost his job and has not been able to make it to church due to that. We have been praying and praying for the past three weeks that he would be able to make it somehow, and week after week he wasn't able to come. Well, this week we received an answer to our prayers. HE CAME!! We were so happy and so grateful that he was able to have that amazing spiritual experience at church. The other day we asked him if he has seen a change in his life since we have been teaching him and he went and grabbed a bunch of papers with his thoughts and feelings about the gospel. It's so cool to see people's lives change little by little. I LOVE IT!!

Well, that's the letter for this week y'all! Have an amazing week and start preparing for conference! YAYAYAYA! Love you all more than you know!

Elder brown

#1 Do you enjoy reading your friends mission letters?
Of course I love that!! Haha
#2 Don’t forget to fill us in on your Facebooking.
So, with the Facebook... Everyone in the mission gets Facebook and basically it is just to talk with less actives/inv. There is such thing as a Facebook lesson so sometimes that happens and then when you leave an area you can send letters of encouragement to recent converts.
#3 What’s the weather like there? Cold some days, hot other days... Really off and on right now to be honest
# People have been asking if you know how the man, Tom, that you met ended up with a Book of Mormon for 10 years without ever meeting the missionaries. Do you know?
He didn't really explain how he got it but said that he picked it up in the streets... Not sure what that exactly means, but who knows, Haha!
Birthday cake from Clemente

P-day visit to Yankee Stadium (To bad he won't be there during baseball season)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Week

HOLA! Buenas Dias!

This week was a lot better than last week! We have been seeing a lot of success recently and it just warms the heart knowing that the work you put in is doing something.

I learned a lot about humility this week. I was preparing a talk about it, and there are a lot of things that stood out to me. I learned that without the help of our Heavenly Father and loving savior Jesus Christ, we are absolutely, without a doubt, nothing. That's kind of harsh, but just think about it  -  everything we are and everything we can become is dependent on God’s plan in which the atonement is central and essential. ESPECIALLY as a missionary! One can fight and fight and teach and teach, share as many scriptures as they can with their own ability and knowledge, but no one will be converted to this gospel without the divine intervention of our Father in Heaven. I've had a hard time while on my mission believing that I, little ole Elder Brown from Orem, Utah can help people overcome problems that are way bigger than me. But I've gained a true testimony that God performs miracles, that as we submit our will to Him, He can make us strong, convincing mouthpieces in this wonderful work. He loves us and He wants that from us. Haha, sorry that's my little spiritual snippet for the week.

We ran into a miracle this past Sunday night. As we were knocking some doors, this white man answers and immediately says he doesn't have time to hear us out. We said ok and said we would stop by another day. As we were walking away he said "wait, what church are you guys from?" We said who we were and he told us to wait just a second. He came back with an old Book of Mormon marked more than any Book of Mormon I had ever seen in my life. This guy had read the Book of Mormon over 10 times, but never once met with the missionaries. In fact, we were the first missionaries he had ever seen. As we taught him the restoration, he continually would say how much he wanted to be baptized and become a Mormon. Haha, what an incredible man! His name is Tom. He only speaks English so we had to pass him off to the English Elders (which seems to happen with all the prepared people we find, haha), but it was super cool to see someone so enthusiastic and excited about the Gospel. It made me happy.

Ok, so let me tell you guys about some of the people we teach. I wish I could mention everyone because I love them all so much, but I'll just keep it to a couple. So, there is this guy named Onacy - We call him Onasty.. Haha, he is soooo cool! He is from the DR and the most classic Dominican you will ever meet. He loves the gospel so much, but has the hardest time coming to church due to work and family things and so that is why he isn't baptized yet. I've actually been teaching him since like my second month here and we have gotten really close. Pray for him that he will be able to come to church and be baptized! :) The person that we teach that is probably closest to baptism is named Flávio! Such a faith-filled man with a desire to do God’s will. He actually just got out of jail like a year ago and is trying to turn his life around and make a better life for his family. I really, really hope I will get to see him baptized before I leave. Darn, I wish I could mention more people, but we just got back from Manhattan and I'm running out of time. Just know that we have AMAZING people that we teach! LOVE THEM!

The mission is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. I'm sorry my letters are all like my testimony and stuff like that but I like you guys to know how I feel! I know I don't give too much information on the little things, but I promise you can get all of that in a year and a half when I come home. The Gospel heals wounds. I love you all and have the best week ever!
Mucho amor,
Elder Brown

Are there any toiletries of any kind that you need me to send you?  I know you can get everything there but I would be happy to send you anything like that? No, I have all of that kind of stuff
Are you craving any special treats I can send you? Haha, I'm cutting down on the treats... I'm sticking to fruits! Haha
Seriously, do you have any of the ties left you took on your mission? Yes Mom, I have like 4
VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION...I can't remember what size of white shirt you wear.  Will you give me your neck size? 16
Have you been staying pretty healthy?   Healthy and strong as can be!
Caiden and a little girlfriend

Pizza while making a p-day trip to Manhattan

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

La Fe (Faith)


I hope all is going well back home! I really enjoy all the letters and hearing about how you are doing and what goes on back in good ole Utah! It sounds like everything is going amazing! I just wish Boston wasn't so sick all the time! That makes me so sad! Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRIDGER!! I hope you had an awesome day buddy! I love you so much and I miss you! Don't get too big!!

Soooo, TRANSFERS were this week! They happened yesterday and I will be.........staying in Concourse with Elder Frei! Hahaha, I literally was so excited when I found out I would be staying another transfer here! It was a shock though, that is for sure. I was saying goodbye to all the people and getting a lot of pictures and then Saturday night we got the call that we would be staying. So basically, Sunday I got to let everyone know that I wouldn't be leaving. It really is a blessing to me that I have this opportunity. I know that I'm staying here for a reason. And, I'm super excited. So, when I leave Concourse I will only have a year and 3 months left in my mission basically. That is literally so insane! TENDER MERCY!!

Not going to lie to you all, this week has probably been one of the hardest weeks so far on my mission. We felt as if all of our investigators were losing interest. We couldn't find anybody to save our lives, and things just weren't going too well! I was honestly quite bummed out. We have spent more time on our knees than we ever have, and for a little while I thought that none of our prayers were getting answered. We still could not find anybody - door after door - street after street. We talked to a lot of Catholics, but nobody was interested. We were discouraged to say the least. We teach that, as we keep the commandments and do what the Lord says, He will answer our prayers. We felt that we were the most obedient we have ever been, and then everything just started falling apart. I was confused. But my whole mindset was changed last night as we were tracting doors and ran into a less active that had not been to church in forever, but was still reading and praying every day and just didn't know where to find the chapel. As we shared a message about prayer, we talked about how the Lord answers our prayers in His time. He knows so much better than us about what we need. As we submit our will to the Lord, our faith will be strong enough to know that even when they take a little bit more time, the answers will come. She said she had been praying for 7 months to find the opportunity to come to church, and that us knocking on her door was what she needed. I know that for me even as a missionary my faith waivers. The mission is hard, but every day I see the tender mercies of the Lord. It is such a testimony to me that He is there, and that we have a loving Heavenly Father who cares and gives.

The past couple of days things have been really picking up though, and we have been able to get back in touch with some people that I taught like my first week in the mission. Some people with some serious

Something that I have really enjoyed so far on my mission is district meetings. This past week we were talking about the 2000 stripling warriors. Such dope guys! "yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them." Alma 56:47. Wow, how lucky am I to have a mother (and father of course) like I have who taught me to do what is right. I'm so grateful for all the examples I have in my life of people who did not doubt, who put their trust in God no matter the situation. Una fe fuerte!(strong faith) I strive to be more like them.

Love you all!

Love elder brown

PLEASE send ideas of what we can send you for your birthday!  I need to get working on that fast! Maybe like a slim fit, skinny white shirt... And maybe do you think there is any way possible you could send me that grey suit I had before my mission? I miss that thing. I don't really need much to be honest.
2.  Did you know it was President & Sister Smith's anniversary yesterday on Leap Day?!  Saw that on the mission blog! Haha, I didn't know that...that's cool!

3.  Who have you been getting letters and packages from? Just friends and family... The usual.
Caiden with a member and an investigator

Dinner at the Clementes

The zone!