Monday, January 30, 2017



So, I am sure in every missionary’s email you will hear about the changes that are going on in the mission, so I won't take the time to explain all of that, but I am so grateful for our apostles and prophets and their kind words and encouragement and revelation. It's a blessing to have such wise and inspired men as our leaders!

So, something super-duper sad happened this week... our amazing Honduran family is moving 😭😭😭! They told us this past week that they are going to be moving down to the Bronx where it is cheaper and they can be closer to work and family. That was a heartbreaker for Elder Frei and me. We loved them so much!! So, Kenneth won't be getting baptized this coming Sunday, but they are so strong and we hope that the missionaries there in the Bronx can help them receive the blessings of baptism and confirmation. Maybe this transfer I will get transferred back to the Bronx and I could teach them still! 😉😉  This Sunday was their last one and maybe my second to last one, and I was able to give a talk and just being up in front of this ward made me want to cry (in fact I did just a little), because they are so amazing! Hopefully I can stay another 6 weeks!

The other day Julian got to spend the whole entire day with us! Haha, that guy is a stud missionary! Anyways, we helped the family with the move and then we went to try and visit as many people as we could. We went to talk to this lady, Rosi. Rosi has investigated the church for like 5 years. She never got baptized, but then lost the fire and now she hosts a different church in her little store that she has. I don't know, but ever since the first time we met with her I have felt like one day she will be baptized. I have no clue when that is going to be, but I just don't worry too much about her because I know that one day she will accept the gospel and be baptized. But anyways, we decided to go see her while we were with Julian. She started off the lesson super closed up and saying that she didn't want to read the Book of Mormon and how she has always felt like the church has pushed her to be baptized, but we just listened and bore short little strong testimonies here and there. She opened up and we began to see her mind-set change right there in front of our eyes! It was amazing! She started talking about how she misses the church and the feelings she got there. We invited her to come to church, but here is the catch....this lady hasn't come to church in 5 years!!!! And now she even holds a church service at her place, but we invited her, and she came! All three of us were stoked out of our minds! She also stayed for the baptism that was after church and she felt it! She felt the Spirit! I'm not sure if she will be baptized soon or when that will happen, but I know it will happen one day!

I know I said I wouldn't talk too much about the mission broadcast we had, but I just wanted to share a short thought that I had about what was said. A lot of times we wonder, “how do I know if I am a good missionary, or a good parent? How do I know if I am good enough for our Heavenly Father?” Well, the wise words from David A. Bednar gave me a lot of comfort. He said, “STOP WORRYING ABOUT IT!” In everything we do, we have the promise that if we forget ourselves and not worry about us that we will be given blessings. When we put away self-motives and let the Spirit work through us, miracles will be more occurring! Elder Bednar blew my mind in the broadcast. I know we aren't supposed to have favorites, but he for sure stole my favorite spot!

So, this might be my last week here - transfers are on next Tuesday. I really hope I stay! Like, I really, really, really want to stay, but I'll go where he wants me to go! The weather is not too warm here. I'm actually freezing my little buns off! Everyone thinks that cold weather doesn't affect people from Utah, cause we are so used to it, but it most certainly affects me! Haha, but we are enjoying every single second of it!
Thanks for everything my wonderful family and friends! 

Con amor, 
Elder Brown 
Caiden and another missionary

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Spirit of the Lord is real.

Wow! It sounds like y’all just had a blast there in Mexico! I wish the weather here was nice and warm like y’all had it the past week. The wind here is terrible! Haha, but I bet you are enjoying cold Utah again! ;)  I'm glad you guys got to have fun though and spend time as a family!! I love you all so much!

So, this week was so amazing! We had so many spiritual experiences with people that will be life time memories!

Story number one for the week: 
A couple Sundays ago Obispo gave us some names of people that he wanted us to go visit. There were like 10 names and so we went to work. NOBODY WAS HOME! We had gone to 9 homes and not a single person answered. Well, the last name was Diego C., and he happened to be home! We didn't get to talk to him much, but we set up an appointment for the next week. Since then we have tried to meet with him so many times, but he never lets us in!! Like, he was home and all, but just wouldn't answer the door. We were kinda mad, haha, but anyways we went to go look him up the other day and as we went into his apartment building we noticed that a delivery man with food was going to his same apartment. Now he is going to have to open the door to us this time! Haha, so the guy gave him his food and he let us in. We had a great lesson with him and he told us how he feels really bad about how he didn't go on a mission, but how we wants to raise his kids up so that they go on missions. It was legendary! Haha, after the prayer we asked him the simple question of when he has felt God's love before in his life and he answered with a thousand different stories that he had in his youth and we could just feel Diego’s desire to come back and have those experiences again. I've learned a valuable lesson after having a spiritual experience that becomes part of you. I believe the spiritual experiences we have make us become who we are. But sometimes we forget. The lack of frequency of these experiences causes us to stop looking and to forget, but they STILL happened! It was a cool experience for us to help us recognize that our Bishop knows his ward and received revelation for it!

Number two:
Don't know if I ever talked about a lady named Ruth in past letters, but she was so cool and Elder Hinckley and I met her my first transfer here. She was amazing and on the first lesson she was like, “when can me and my family be baptized?” So, she was legit, but we lost contact with her until Friday, when we felt like we should go try and see her. We had previously dropped her because we had tried getting in contact with her for like 3 months, 3 times a week. We felt like we should set up an appointment where we could bring a third male with us, and Julian came with us on Saturday. We had an awesome lesson with her and she is just so prepared!

I am so grateful for the Spirit. I feel it every day, and it's incredible to see people feel that same thing. Again, this Sunday, the Spirit I felt during the sacrament was life changing. I know our Savior lives.

We are hoping that our boy, Kenneth, will be getting baptized on Feb 12! His parents won't be able to get baptized because they have to get divorced and then married, but we are stoked for HIM! The kid is a straight up stud! He is going to be the best missionary in a short 7 Years. You should hear that 11 year old’s prayers - so sincere and so loving!

Well, that was our week! I wish I could explain better and more of the amazing things that happened this week! My companion is the best! This area is like heaven and I love every moment of it! 

Con amor, 

Elder Brown

He titled this one as "A crazy kid named Mario".

Kenneth, the 11 year old with a baptismal date in February

Monday, January 16, 2017

Revelation and the Book of Mormon

Man, this was a great week! I love this ward so much! The members here are seriously so good to us and even better to the people we teach. The Valencia family, the place where I Facetimed from, invited our Honduran family over to their house after, fed them, watched movies with them and just talked with them from after church until like 10 at night! Haha, we stopped by to share a message with all of them and the Valencias had already shared a message with the family and so basically, we have the most legit members in the whole world! Then we also have ward missionaries that visit with our investigators just as much as we do.... haha, I love this place!

This Sunday was awesome! The confirmation of Noemi went super well! It's been awesome to see everyone in the ward just take care of her like she is part of the family. The Spirit was incredible during Sacrament. One of my personal goals for this year is to make Sacrament a more revelatory experience, so I take a little note card with a question I have, and during the classes and especially during Sacrament I get to write down the spiritual impressions that I receive and this Sunday it was just so incredible! I don't know, it's so hard to explain the spiritual experiences that we have because there is nothing like actually being there, but these past couple Sundays that we have been focused on receiving revelation for what to do with the people we are teaching has made them the best Sundays of my life!

Cool little tender mercy for the week… like I mentioned last week, after all the service and planning for the baptisms and everything, we have had some time to do some finding and getting with some old investigators we used to teach, and we have seen some awesome miracles! A couple months ago, Elder Hinckley and I tracted into a lady. She was super active in her Christian religion and had a calling there and everything. We gave her a Book of Mormon and promised her that she would feel something different when she read. Well, we left, put her in the area book and didn't think much more about it. Then on Saturday Elder Frei and I went to go follow up with her. She opened up with her brand-new baby that had been born a couple weeks earlier and this is what she said, in Spanish of course, "I read the book you left me and something crazy but beautiful happened." She didn't want to tell us then the details of what happened, but wanted us to come over another day when her family would be home. It was amazing to see the light in her eyes after her experience with the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon changes lives. It has changed mine and every time I read it I feel that same feeling!!

I hope y’all are having a fun time in Mexico! Out of all the people from various countries that we get to meet with here in New York, Mexico has got to be my favorite. The food is the most amazing thing in the world! Haha, make sure you eat a lot of tacos with salsa verde! There is nothing like it! And load up on horchata! Mmmmmmm! Haha, love y’all so much! Hope you have a great week!

Con amor,

Elder Brown

Elder Frei and Elder Brown

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Baptism and a change!

I'm sorry, I say this every time I write home, and I'm sure you're getting tired of me saying this, but I love my mission! Oh my goodness, there  was just so many times this past week where I thought to myself that we are so blessed to be able to serve the Lord 100 percent of our time! So, so blessed!

The Baptism this weekend went amazing! She was so nervous and it was hilarious! It was so tender when she stood up to give her testimony after her baptism. She explained how hard it was for her to get to that point and be baptized and it was such a spiritual experience. She talked for about an hour, haha! So I can't really go into everything she said, but it was so cool to hear her explain everything in detail about her getting to her baptism. She had a lot of opposition from friends and had bailed on 2 baptismal dates before this one just because things were too hard on her, but she explained that one night after we had a lesson with her when we gave her a priesthood blessing that she felt the need to press forward and to take the necessary step and be baptized. Being able to teach Noemi has changed my perspective on how people can turn their lives around, but more importantly how when we seek the guidance and help from the Lord we can endure hard things. Before something great is about to happen, we will always pass through trails. That's something I have learned from President Smith, and how true was that with Noemi! She is so amazing! Her sons were able to come to the Baptism and feel the Spirit as well! We pray and are hoping that they too take the step and are baptized! The members threw a massive party after the Baptism with way too much food!! Haha, I really enjoyed it! :)

Noemi's baptism. What an awesome day!

So, we have this less active lady in our area that hasn't been the nicest to us. We have always tried to visit with her and she will visit with us, but she has never been one to open up and tell us all about her life. Well, we hadn't visited her in a while and we felt the need to go over. We stopped by and she had just recently had surgery on her mouth. She couldn't talk a lot because of the surgery, but with the voice she had she really opened up about her story of coming into the church and why she stopped. We gained a really good relationship with her and now she is our little Abuelita(Grandma)!! The people here are amazing!

A lot of the time this week was spent planning and preparing Noemi for baptism, but it was such a good and rewarding week! Weeks like this make the Lord's mission LEGENDARY!

Love you all so much!

Con amor, Elder Brown

Who knew that they give gifts on "El Día de Reyes? (The Day of Kings)

Zone Conference happened again last week.

This guy always has a great smile on his face

Monday, January 2, 2017

Amazing families!

Mis queridos! (My Dear Ones!)

This week went by like crazy fast! I can't believe it is already time to write again. Everything this week has kind of been a blur, so sorry if this letter doesn't have much solid material in it! I have also been legit terrible at writing in my journal (please don't kill me mom, I promise to be better), so I can't really look back at that to see what has gone down. But obviously, like every week it was amazing!! It's so insane that it is 2017! I am so excited to be able to start another year and to accomplish goals! It sounds like y’all had a really amazing and busy time over the holiday. On New Year’s Eve we had to be in by 8 o’clock but we did spend a little bit of the night before hand with our Honduran family! They are soooo funny!! Haha, I love them. That's the family we put the tree and presents for on Christmas! There is 6 of them - Mayra and Aldo (mom and dad), Mariana and Bayron (niece and nephew of Mayra), and Genesis and Kenneth are the kids!  They are like my family away from home and it has been amazing being able to get to know them. They aren't married yet, so that will have to be a process until they get baptized, but we are working towards it and someday it will happen! We ate some dinner with them and shared a message with them on New Year’s Eve and then we had to head home for the night. A really great new year! 

So, a while back me and Elder Hinckley met this guy on the street who stopped us and told us that he used to be a member in a Dominican Republic. He said we could come visit him and his family and so he gave us his address. Well, we had tried forever to get a hold of this guy but we never could. We decided we were going to look him up one last time. We went and rang this doorbell to the apartment building where he lived and a guy comes down. It wasn’t him. Rewind a week. So, like a week before Julian Valencia, our Elder’s quorum president, said he has this Friend named Abel that was going to go on a mission but got caught up in bad things and just slowly fell away from the church. He wanted us to go visit him, but didn't know his address. Okay, now back to the guy at the door. We asked for the member named Mario and he said he didn't have any clue who that was, and then he said, "where you guys from? Utah I am guessing?" And we said of course! How did you know?  He began to tell us he is a member and he said his name was Abel! Me and Elder Hinckley just died laughing! Now this was a straight up miracle!! Legit, like 3 days before Julian had told us about Abel and we had just randomly knocked on his door. Well, we taught him that day, but we hadn't been able to get with him since. Then this past week we were taking Julian to a member present lesson and it had fallen through. He called Abel to see if we could come over and we had a great lesson with him! His wife isn't a member and so we are going to start working with the whole family.

Keep praying this week for Noemi and her baptism this Sunday! She wants to do it so bad, but there is a lot of things Satan is using against her at this crucial point in her life. So please pray that everything will fall into place!

The whole last transfer was filled with service and we had like no time to find anybody and so we are super stoked for some freed-up time to be able to work with the members and go out and find some amazing people! I really do know that the gospel is meant for everybody. Doesn't matter who it is, but that the Spirit of the Lord brings about change in others. I pray that with this new year we become more Christ like and that we strive to help others do the same! I love everything and more about the Lord's mission. I really do!

Con amor,

Elder Brown

Some less actives they are working with

These last 2 photos are from MLC last week