Wednesday, June 29, 2016



Man, I can't believe another week has come and gone! This week was another LEGENDARY week! We most certainly saw the fruits of our labors this past week, and it's been awesome to see a lot of people we are teaching start to progress in the gospel! It was great to hear from y'all this week! Your letters always make me feel so happy! So thanks for that! :)

We saw a lot of miracles this week, so I'll just get right to the juicy stuff! This past Sunday ( I don't know why but I feel like all the miracles always happen on Sunday's, Haha) we had planned to go to a place called Monroe, which is like at the bottom of our area and about 40 minutes away from where we normally work. We had gotten out of an appointment pretty late and we weren't sure if we should still go down there knowing that most of the rest of the night would be spent in the car. Well, we prayed for confirmation.....And that's what we got. We have 1 less active member in that area and no investigators. We had gotten a referral from Mexico a week or so before for a lady whose mom that lived in Mexico wanting the missionaries to give her nonmember daughter a priesthood blessing, but we had not yet been able to contact her. So, we had two people that we were going to try and find at home. Well, we showed up to the less active’s house and THEY WERE HOME! Haha, they are never home! So that was a miracle in its self, but the real miracle came as we began to speak to the mother, who had just gotten out of the hospital from a surgery she had on her knee. She was going through a really hard time and felt as if she was just kind of lost. We were able to give them the sacrament and we had the opportunity to give the mother a blessing. After the tear filled blessing, Hermana Paneque (the mom) explained to us that the night before she was praying to receive help from on high-that someone would come and "save her". She knew God sent us and so did we. But the miracle does not end there. As we approach the building of the referral we see a lady walk out. We begin to have a conversation with this lady and turns out that she was the referral we were looking for! She said she had never even heard of the church before and had no clue that her mom was even a member. Then, we two little teenagers who don't know Spanish and had no idea what to say, said, "well, that's okay because we need to give you a priesthood blessing" not realizing that this lady probably has no idea what the heck a priesthood blessing is and probably thinks we are a little creepy. She looked at us very weirdly, actually kind of scared and let us in hesitantly. We ended up teaching her and her family the restoration, giving her a blessing and committing them to be baptized in August! IT WAS SOOO COOL! The only hard part is that they live 40 minutes away from the chapel and have no car, but we have faith and hope that they will be able to make it! Pray for the Garcia family! :)

Recently, President Smith has been talking a lot about change and how we can help the people we teach change, but more importantly, see a permanent change in our own personal nature. I have seen a lot of people change in my 11 months on my mission - members, less actives, investigators, friends and family back home, but the biggest change I have seen on my mission is me. My companion is probably sick of me saying how much I have changed, because I say it every day, but it is so true. Never before did I think that I would love the gospel so much. Never before did I believe that giving every single second of my time to "church stuff" would be so fun and enjoyable, BUT IT IS! And I really feel that way! I’ve seen the healing power of the atonement of Jesus Christ in my life and NEVER, and when I say never I mean it, will I be the same person I was before the mission. I am soooo eternally grateful for that. Repentance is real. I've also seen this change in a young man we are teaching named Caesar. (One of the brothers) He is fifteen and you could say that he used to be "un hombre de la calle" (a man of the street). But what he used to be does not define him. What we were in the past does not mean that is what we have to be in the future. He now reads his scriptures daily, prays daily, and is preparing to be baptized on the 23rd of July. He is soooo great! I love him to death! The only thing we need to do is get permission from his mom to get him baptized, but he is so ready. His mom isn't too big of a fan of him changing religions, but we pray she will turn around. I know she will!

I'm running out of time family! I had so many more miracles to share, but I guess I will have to save them for next week! I love you all! I love the Lord’s mission and I LOVE all the people we are teaching! Thanks for all you guys do!

Love, Elder Brown
So tired at the end of a long day!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"The Love"

Hey family and friends!

As always, this week was a stellar one! I just want to express my gratitude once again for the opportunity to be a missionary! When people say that it's the best two years of your life I think I agree! Never has there been a time in my life that I have enjoyed more than this past year! Not a lie! And the time is passing by so fast... I hate it!

Like I said, this past week was really good! We saw a lot of success and we taught LOTS of people! We had a meeting with president and the assistants on Friday for the new missionaries and it was awesome! I love meetings with President Smith! I always get taught from on high! We talked a lot of love! Love for the people, love for the mission, love for our companions, and most importantly, love for our savior Jesus Christ. The love we show for others leads to everything else. We don't always have to show our love by saying "I love you". That's something that I think I struggle with. I'm not the best at telling people how I feel about them, but I pray and hope by the way I act and treat them they can feel of that love!

A picture from the mission blog of Caiden and Elder Molina at the "new missionary" meeting he was talking about
I really do love all the people we are teaching though! We have some really AMAZING investigators. We teach these 4 brothers that are so awesome! They are all between the ages 14-18, and they love soccer. Turns out that two of them play goalie as well! I told them that I used to play goalie and they got super stoked. We now go "train" with them a couple times a week at 5:30 in the morning! They are wayyyy good too!! Basically, they are like our best friends. Haha, they love everything about the church and so now we are just praying that they feel ready to make the next step of faith to baptism! Pray for Caesar, Kevin, Fernando, and Jesus!

Something that we have been struggling with this past week is finding new crazy cool investigators. We have tons of investigators that are progressing and doing super bien, but it's just been hard this past week finding MORE of these souls. In my 9 weeks here in Newburgh I feel like I have talked to about every single soul that walks the streets and that I have knocked every single door. So, we decided that we were going to do a fast asking for help to be guided to someone who would accept the gospel in their lives. Well, that didn't happen. Something even better happened, the person sought us out! Hahaha, how cool is that?! Something we do here in the area is hand out cards with our number and the church address like candy! And the other day as we were driving to an appointment a man called us on the phone, he explained how we gave him a card during a very crucial part of his life and he wanted to start making changes. He asked if we could come to his house that very second! We pushed back our one appointment and hurried on over. We had one of the most spiritual lessons with this guy I have had in my whole life. Lots of tears were shed. His name is Roberto!! Such a cool guy! I've gained a strong, strong testimony of the power of the fast on my mission. The Lord blesses us when we sacrifice. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven! I KNOW THAT’S TRUE!

I love the people of Newburgh with my whole heart! So genuine and so humble. There will always be a special place in my heart for these people! The people are seriously the best part of the mission! I love you guys!

Love Elder Brown
Taking selfies!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Attitude makes the difference!!

Family and friends!

Hey y'all! It was so good to hear from y'all this p-day and here all the crazy stories that happened to you guys! Mom... It sounds like Orem Utah is more dangerous than Newburgh!! I cannot believe that happened to you! That's so sad! You still look beautiful as always though! Your eye will always be in my prayers! Just another shout out to Blake! Happy birthday!!! You are the coolest eight year old I have ever met in my life!! I seriously do love you all so much! Sorry if I am repetitive with that, but I just want to get it stuck in your heads! Haha :)

Happy Father's Day dad!! I'm writing you a letter, but it probably won't get there until after Sunday, so I just wanted you to know that you seriously are my hero! I love you more than anything, and I am so grateful for all the things you have taught me. I would not be a missionary today without your influence! You’re my best friend and the best dad there has ever been! Love you!

I've never been one of those missionaries that think the mission is like the hardest thing in the world, because it really isn't... It's actually super fun and enjoyable and I love it to death, like I always say, but this week was just a tough one! And by tough I mean long! We felt as if no one was interested, people were just being rude and things were just going downhill. But, something that we noticed was that while all this was happening our attitudes were going down the drain. We decided to change our attitudes and just be full of hope and happiness, and I bet you can guess what happened! People starting being nicer to us, they started letting us into their homes, and began accepting the gospel more in their lives. Attitude changes everything. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to repent and become a better missionary every single day. Man, the atonement of Jesus Christ really rocks, doesn't it?

The other day we had one of those days where all of your appointments fall through. To be honest, I love those days! It's such a trial of your faith and as we all know... The coolest miracles happen those days! And that's what happened! Haha, we had not taught a lesson all day and the night was winding down. Another spiritual prompting came to knock a special door and just the coolest family opened up! As we were teaching them the whole time the only thing I could see was these two parents in the temple together in all white... It was seriously like the weirdest experience! I tried shaking it out of my head so I wouldn't look so weirded out while we were teaching them, but it just stayed! They are the coolest people in the whole entire world! Please, please pray for Herme and Maritza!

The conference with Elder Bennett was seriously like the coolest thing ever! That guy is a genius like I have never seen in my life! The main focus of his whole training was that missionaries are awesome! He talked about how we are never going to be perfect missionaries. Sometimes I think I struggle like that. I feel like if I am not teaching perfectly, or if I'm not always just a huge ball of sunshine then I am letting my Heavenly Father down, but it's not like that. He knows that we aren't going to be perfect, but he accepts our efforts and it's enough! If we just give it our all we will be just fine! I'm grateful for that!

The Savior’s mission that I am on is amazing! This work is true. I know it with all my heart! I know that people's hearts are being prepared right as we speak! So what are we doing here writing emails?!?!? Let's go find them!! ;) Haha, love you all! Have the best week ever!

Love Elder Brown

Truck ordeal... Umm it is completely up to you! I think selling it would be the best option, because I don't want to drive a gas guzzler around everywhere when I get home. I will have to try and buy a better car when I get home. Really, it's up to you. If you sell her, make sure she knows I love her! (Side note - we are replacing the old truck that Caiden used to drive around, and he just wants me to kiss her goodbye for him!)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

We are where we are for a reason!!!

Hey fam!

So sorry I didn't let you guys know that p-day would be today. Tomorrow we have a general authority from the quorum of the seventy coming named Elder Bennett! So they changed it to today! Today we are doing a tour of West Point and so I won't have much time to write, but I just wanted to check in with you guys and tell y'all I love you!
A panoramic shot of West Point

This week was great as always! As always, we saw a lot of miracles! I've already learned so many things from Elder Molina! I think President knew I needed a little bit of extra training and so he gave me the missionary that is basically already a veteran missionary. Haha, he is seriously a stud muffin! I'm super happy to be able to be his companion! :)

Everyone one is doing super well here in Newburgh! We had the opportunity to give Carlos a blessing this week, which was a really tender experience! He is going through such a hard time and it's been so awesome to see the impact the priesthood can have on people's lives. Please pray for him that he can give up his addictions and be baptized!!

I don't know if I mentioned Hermana Solis last time, but she is soooo awesome! She was a member referral from a less active actually, and she is SO PREPARED! The only problem is that she also is living with someone she is not married to. One of the most classic problems here in the Spanish program, Haha, but we have some super high hopes for her to be baptized this coming month! She is basically like my mom here in Newburgh! She takes such good care of us! Haha.

This past week we decided we were going to spend a day in an area we don't go to very often. So we went down there and looked up ALL the investigators and members we had down there and NOBODY was home! It was a bummer because it takes like an hour to travel down there and we didn't want to just leave without seeing anybody, so we took the list of all the old investigators that the missionaries used to teach in the area and prayed to receive revelation for which one of them to go see. Well, one of the names popped out to us and we went to go see them and nobody was home. We knew that the Lord had led us to that certain door for a reason and we weren't going to leave until we found out that reason. We knocked the next door neighbor’s house and there opened up our reason. We found a super duper awesome lady named Debbie who we are going back to see tonight! God puts us where we are for a reason, the situations we have in life are the ones that he knows we need. Everything he does is for our own benefit. Because he loves us!

I love you all so very much! Happy anniversary to my amazing parents! Thanks for being the example of what 2 parents should be like. And for showing me what love is! I love you more than you know!

Have a legendary week! Make it the best one ever!!!
Love Elder Brown
The companions

Thursday, June 2, 2016

"Train The Trainers"

This is a clip posted by the mission president's wife on the mission blog. Whenever they call missionaries to be trainers for the first time, they hold what they call the "Train the trainers" meeting. This is what she said, and a couple of pictures of Caiden from the meeting.

"In preparation for next weeks Transfers we held the Train the Trainers meeting on Friday. Dave and I both felt a sweet confirmation from the Spirit, as we walked in the room and looked at these trainers, that they are the right ones.  The Lord is pleased with their calls.  It was so cool because we talked about it and realized we both received it at the same time.  Those tender mercies are such a blessing and remind us who is really in charge of this work."

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

"THE" transfer ends!!!

Well, the transfer came to an end! It is literally insane how that just happened! I literally swear last p-day I was writing the same thing about last transfer and here we are 6 weeks already into the area of Newburgh! Crazy crazy crazy crazy! I don't like this whole time going fast type a thing.
He calls this "The Legends"!

Well, I'm sad to say that my time with Elder Nielsen has come to an end! That literally makes me soooo sad! I love that guy so much, and he will forever be my best friend! He is heading off to the city of Manhattan, in Harlem, and I will be staying here in Newburgh, and I received a brand new missionary! He actually got here yesterday and his name is Elder Molina! He is from Oregon! Such a great missionary! The guy is a stud and a half! We seriously couldn't be more different in personality and interests, but it's awesome to see how two totally different people can come together with one purpose and achieve it!
I'm SUPER DUPER excited for the next couple transfers with him!
The new companion, Elder Molina

After we found out that Elder Nielsen was leaving last Wednesday night, we decided that we were just going to go super hard for the last week together. Obviously, we went hard every week, but this week was just a little bit different! And we saw a ton of miracles! We definitely saw the fruits of our labors! Just to share a few short miracles we had this week...It was getting late one night and we were heading to our last lesson of the day, Carlos and Gladis. Well, when we got there they were in a pretty big fight and didn't really want anything to do with the missionaries. So, as we were walking down the street we decided we were going to say a quick prayer for Carlos and Gladis, and a prayer for guidance to know where we needed to go for the last 15 minutes of the day. After the prayer we were walking up the street and we saw this family sitting on their porch. As we began to talk with them we found out that the father was baptized when he was like 8 and went straight to less active after that. Doesn't really know anything about the gospel and is super excited to learn more. His wife and three kids are non-members and always really stoked about the gospel. God really does put prepared people in our paths. Well, after that our day was about over and as we were walking to the car, literally, and this is not even a joke or anything, a street name and a house number was whispered to us. Haha, it was like the weirdest thing but it's true. So we went to the house and knocked the door and this awesome lady answered! We had the coolest lesson with her and she said she will be baptized on July ninth! Her name is Maria and she is so prepared! Miracles and spiritual promptings are real!!! So those were just some of the miracles that we experiences the past week!

Everything is doing super awesome here in Newburgh! People are progressing really well and we hope to see the baptisms start coming in! I love you all so much and I love hearing from you guys! Even though I am in my “ghost year” don't forget about me! IM STILL HERE! Haha, just playing with y'all! You guys are the best family and friends anyone could ask for! I pray for you guys always! You mean the world!

One scripture that I have loved on my mission is 2 Nephi 5:27, “And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness." Haha, I love that! We have so many reasons to just be happy and just love life! So
let's do it!! Let's love life everybody! Let's make the most of every second of every day!

Love, Elder Brown
Picture from the mission blog on transfer day

"The District" I guess that is Caiden over there second from the right in the "thinker" pose?