Wednesday, May 31, 2017

This is what it's all about!!


This week was such a rewarding week for me personally. To start off, I want to talk about the experience we had being able to be a part of the endowment of Rigoberto and Justino. What a life changing experience that was for me!! I seriously can not describe the feeling that I got as I sat next to some of my best friends as sacred covenants were being made. As I sat in the celestial room waiting for them to come in I just felt so good. I thought to myself, "what if those two sister missionaries in 2014 would have been too scared to talk to Rigoberto on the street corner", or, "what if Elder Hinckley and I didn't sit down on a bench to pray about where to go on that night in the Bronx and then knock on Justino's door?" These thoughts rushed into my head and kind of scared me to be honest. But, how grateful was I to be in that room with them and to participate in some of the most heavenly joy I have ever felt! I couldn't hold back my tears.

Also heard news the other day that one of my favorite people from New Rochelle is going to get baptized this Sunday. I don't know if y'all remember me talking about Rosi, but she is sooo cool and has finally, after a really long time, decided to actually do it. She actually called me to tell me the news and really wanted me to make it there, so hopefully I will be able to go see her be baptized.

Cool thing... so you remember last week when I talked about that lady that met us as we were walking out of the train? Well, she is awesome! Her name is Luisa (if I didn't already mention that) and this week when she made it to church she was sitting there kind of by herself when right in the middle of someone's talk a lady from the other side of the chapel stands up and runs over to her and gives her a huge hug. Turns out that they were in the same ward back in Dominican Republic when Luisa was super active. So the Hermana was super happy to see her old friend back in church! Small world!

We are teaching a pretty cool new family.  Diana is a member and Johnny her husband is not! They are super legit and we have super high hopes for them. Diana was in a coma for a year and it's a miracle that she is still here today!

Love you guys!! 

Con amor, 
Elder Brown
Caiden with Justino and Rigoberto on the day of their temple endowment!!! (Not sure what Caiden was thinking with that hair cut!!)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Me siento bien!!

Hey fam!

Another great week in the Bronx!! First off, I just want to give a shout out to the best 2 sisters in the world for their birthdays 🎉!! I hope your days were filled with fun and happiness! It was great to see all the pictures of the celebrations and the fun y'all had this week! Thanks for being the best sisters in the world and showing me what it is like to be a disciple of Jesus Christ!! I send my love!
Wow, this week was great! A lot of memories throughout my whole mission came flooding back in week as we attended Stake conference. Almost 18 months of my whole mission have been served here in this Stake, so it was definitely memory lane being able to see all the people this past Sunday and talk and rejoice with them. It's crazy how much a part of my life these people have become. I would seriously do anything for them! I love em.

Francisco’s baptism was awesome. So, I don't know if y'all remember when a couple weeks back I sent you a picture of the baptism of Nordic, Nani, and Jennifer. Well, we were thinking about who could baptize Francisco and we thought that Nordic, who has been a recent convert for like 3 weeks would be sweet. It was a great experience for them both and they were both so nervous because it was the first time for each of them. But, the Spirit was so strong during the service! After the baptism when they were walking out of the water we had a little group hug right there outside the font and Francisco just kept on saying "me siento bien, me siento bien" (I feel good, I feel good) it was awesome! He is going in for eye surgery today, so pray for him please! I love that man so much!
Elder Munoz has been like really sick this past weekend so that has been a struggle, and so we have gone on several splits, so just remember to keep him in your prayers. He is feeling a lot better now which is good but still not a 100%.

Cool miracle this week! So, we are walking out of the train station and the moment we get out of the station a lady walks by us and kind of like freaks out when she sees us. She asked if we spoke Spanish and we said we did and she began to tell us that she was a member, but hadn't been to church in a while, had been looking for the church for a while, but that she never really leaves the house and so she couldn't find it. (that seems to happen a lot in New York) Anyways, we got her info and everything and we stopped by a couple days later and she is sooo legit. She basically just bore her whole testimony to us and she just has so much faith! I just love it when people bear their testimonies! We are super excited to help her come back to the fold! 😊

Anyways... it was a great week. I had an awesome interview with President Smith yesterday, just talking about how we are going to make these last 2 months the best 2 months of the Lord’s mission. Oh, how I love my Savior! The work is true!!

Con amor,

Elder Brown
Caiden and Waldir

Sweet reunion with Rigoberto


The baptism of Francisco

Jokingly says this will be his pant size when he returns home.

Picture from the mission blog taken at Zone Conference

Zone Conference

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Exciting news and Hawaiian miracles!!


It was so great to be able to talk with y'all on Sunday! I love your little faces and I love the spirit y'all brought to the call! Thanks for being amazing examples to me! I love you more than words can describe! By the way... HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!! I hope your day was full of fun things! May is always my favorite month because it is Mom month for me! ☺️

This week was great as always! It has been so much fun and kind of like an exciting adventure preparing Francisco for his baptism this Friday. He lives almost 2 hours away from us on bus and train, and so it's been a struggle to meet with him and teach him everything he needs to know before Friday, but he is legit soooo prepared! Every little thing we teach him he just accepts with so much faith. Like when we taught him the word of wisdom he response was... I drink coffee and tea... but from now on I'm done. He is so legit when he says, 😂 "after I get baptized I am going to fill that church, I am going to talk to everyone about it and bring everybody". I can't wait for him to get the priesthood and go to the temple. Speaking of that... a got a call from Rigoberto yesterday and I get to go see him and Justino get their endowments on the 27th!! I am soooo excited! Oh, how much I love those two guys! It will definitely be an experience to never forget!

Miracle time... so, it was Saturday and we were on our way to this very confirmed and set appointment. It was raining super hard and we were soaked! Anyways, like right as we are showing up to the appointment they text us and cancel. So, there we are, sitting in the rain, thinking to ourselves WHAT DO WE DO NOW?? We remembered a name of a referral that we had received from the visitors’ center in Hawaii and we were kind of close so we went to go check it out. We knock on the door and there opens a man with no shirt on and his huge belly just hanging over the little boxers he was wearing. He starts freaking out and yelling to his wife that it was the best surprise they had ever seen and were just so excited that we were there. We went into the home and they fed us and we had an awesome spiritual lesson with them. They came to church the following day in their Hawaiian shirts and they are some of the coolest, most genuine people I have ever met! Hector and Anny!!

Anyways, sorry this was short. I love y'all so much! Have a great week!

Con amor, 

Elder Brown
That sweet family from the Hawaii Visitor Center, with Francisco in the background

A failed attempt at making a cake for someone!

Ward Correlation Meeting!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Cool people and the first impression!

Hello family and friends! 

First off... shout out to the best mom in the world. Holy cow, I  love you!! Happy Mother's Day and birthday coming up! Can't wait to talk to y'all on Sunday. How does it sound if I call at like 4:15 your time? Could everyone make it over?

Anyways, this week was LEGENDARY!! Definitely one of the best weeks of my mission! BY the way... I love Elder Munoz!! I don't know why I have been so blessed to have companions that always help me to become better and that are just so loving. Man, my mission has been awesome! 😂 
This week was full of some legit miracles. We are heading to the temple now to do a session and so I might not have a ton of time to explain them all, but I'll try my best!

We had just gotten done with a meeting in Manhattan, it was raining really hard and an appointment had just canceled on us. Elder Munoz really felt like we needed to go to the very bottom of our area to work, and so we did. We had one person in our area book that lived down in that area and so we looked him up. His name is Waldir. He opened up and let us into his room. The guy had close to nothing in there, just his bed, a banana and a Book of Mormon. He explained to us his love for the gospel and the Book of Mormon and told us that he had, just a month earlier, finished the Book of Mormon. HE KNOWS LIKE EVERYTHING ABOUT THE BOOK!!! He is the most genius man I have ever met! I will attach a picture of his copy of the Book of Mormon. When we got into the area, it was kind of a mess, and so with all the people we had in area book we would try to contact them a couple times and if we couldn't get in contact we would drop them. Well, we had tried to contact Waldir a 1,000 times, but never could, but something held us back from dropping him. And we are so grateful we didn't. He made it to the multi-stake conference we had this past Sunday and loved listening to Elder Oaks.

On our ward list there is like 630 members. I wish that many attended, but just over 120 attend each week. SOOO, we have a lot of people to work with,😊 and we have a goal to get to know every single member in our area. And we have seen so many cool things. We met this lady, her name is Stephanie. She was super receptive to meeting with us and loved the missionaries and the church, but hadn't been in like 15 years. We invited her and she said she felt something. She committed to come. And she did!! It was so cool! As we sat down she explained to us that she was so scared to come to church again. She said that she stood at the corner outside the church for like 15 minutes deciding if this was something she really wanted to do. The Spirit touched her, she said, and she came in. Always listen to promptings of the Spirit. It truly is what guides us in this life. She is sooooo cool! And, super excited to progress in the gospel once again. 

Attached is a picture of us with Juan! We were able to round him up some church clothes and he looked so good! 😂😂 He has completely stopped smoking and is progressing little by little. Gotta love him! 

Anyways, I love you all more the anything! Mom... you are the best thing in the world and you are a super hero!! See you on Sunday!! 

Con amor,

Elder Brown
Caiden, Elder Munoz and their buddy Juan

This is Waldir's Book of Mormon

He made no comment on this picture. Looks like the district or zone.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A testimony of the Savior.

Buenas tardes familia!!!

As always, I don't have that much time today to write emails and all that, but I will do my best to explain the great week we had! Another transfer has come and gone. Transfers are passing by like days. It's crazy I only have two more left. But, I get to stay with Elder Munoz for another transfer and I am super excited! I have really grown to love him so much and he has helped me progress in so many ways. To say the least, this should be an amazing transfer!

This week was a get down and dirty week where we hit the pavement and tried our best to find some new people to teach and we saw a lot of miracles! We have also been working a lot with the members of the ward to find new people, especially less actives, and we have grown to love the people here in the ward so much! They are so good to us and so loving. To be honest, we didn't see any huge miracles this week, but I really felt like I came closer to the Savior in the past 9 days. One thing I have seen is that if we want to strengthen our testimony of the Savior and His atoning sacrifice the best thing we can do is to bear our testimonies of Him. A lot of the people we teach struggle with addictions, mental illnesses, and all sort of issues and I've seen my testimony of our Lord grow as we have solemnly testified that through Jesus Christ we can be healed. I LOVE "THE LIVING CHRIST"!  That is literally one of the coolest things ever. If you haven't read it in awhile go and take a look at it. The young men in our ward went to Palmyra this weekend and Jeyuri knew how much I loved “The Living Christ”, and so he brought me one from Palmyra and signed it for me! Haha, I love missionary work!

We teach this sweet old lady named Norma! I love her to death! She can talk your ear off and she tells the funniest stories ever! She was baptized awhile back with her family, but once all her kids moved out they all just stopped going. Our first day in the area, when we didn't have any idea of what to do, we knocked on her door and she has been a blessing to us ever since! Life isn't the same without the gospel. There is just something different. And when you see someone make that reconnect it is a tender experience.

We work with a couple young boys that got baptized not too long ago, and every week we do a challenge with them. This week was to bear their testimony. (We had fast Sunday this past week because we have a multi-stake conference this next Sunday) Well anyways, they are both really shy kids and they were super nervous to give their testimonies, but when they did the Spirit was just so strong. After church their less active mom came up to me and thanked us for helping them bear their testimony and told me that because of the strong testimony of her kids she wanted to do all she could to strengthen her testimony so the next fast Sunday she could bear hers. They are the most solid kids I have ever met! Yovanny and Amado.

Anyways, I love you all so much! Thanks for everything!

Con amor,
Elder Brown

Caiden and Norma

Yovanni and Amado

He says he is officially a Grandma now (I guess the knit hat makes it so)

Caiden's prized possession - "The Living Christ"