Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February 18, 2013

February 18, 2013

Hey everyone!

So I think any news I can possibly give for the week has been one upped. Dang it, Mags. It was a pretty
great week, too. Here goes.

On Monday, we made lemon cheesecake bars and ate American pizza. Too much deliciousness, even
though we didn’t really eat a lot. Good times.

Tuesday, we had district meeting and, after, I got to chill with Elder Landa and Elder Froerer, the
newbies from our zone, in our sector. It was really weird being in a triple with a new Mexican who is
really, really excited in all his contacts and a new gringo who speaks 0 Spanish but we found some
people that we might teach later on. Then we got in a bus and headed to Conce. The bus broke
halfway there and we changed buses. Got to Conce and went to stay with some missionaries in Collao.
It was fun and then we went to the capacitation in the morning. Elder Landa is super funny; he always
says "es en serio" and talks about how cold he is in Conce (kinda great weather there--I am feeling
jealous) and talks about Mexican food. Little round ball o’ fun. But then the next morning we had no
idea where we were going and when, and then the zone leaders called and told us we were late, and
we got thrown on a bus and told to get off at a statue of a priest with two kids and then find the Mormon
chapel.... It actually turned out okay. We got there a bit late, but, oh well. After the training that day we
went out to work in Collao, me with Elder Dasilva, and we got locked in a building-- we had to climb
over the balcony and around the gate on the stairwell back onto the stairs. Pretty adventurous.

Then on Thursday, we had some more training and then came back to Talca. Elder U had been chillin’
in other sectors so getting’ back to our sector meant there was tons to do, and we had no one for
church. Bummer. So we were fasting and really hoping to get something going here for Sunday; also,
the church got broke into on Friday and the computers stolen, and it rained really hard on Saturday
strangely and has been pretty great here weather-wise since.

But on that Saturday afternoon, we found Claudia. We knocked her door randomly and she opened
the window and told us she was atheist. We talked to her and, after a little persistence, she opened up
the door and we taught her about Jesus and stuff. We shared some inspired scriptures, asked some
inspired questions, and then invited her to baptism, and she totally wants to. She will have to make
some changes, but I think this is the first really good new I have found here since Sandra. She could go
far. She ended with the prayer, and it was very sincere. Very exciting.

Also that day, we ate breakfast with the Pulsiphers (senior missionary couple) to plan this activity they
were doing in our ward the next day. We ate French toast and potatoes and bacon in their super rich
American apartment and I thought I had died and went back to the United States slash heaven.

Then on Sunday, Fabiola came to church with Monce, but Rayen didn’t come. But I will take it! I love
that family; they are some of my favorites. Elder Pulsipher gave a great presentation to the whole ward
in the third hour to animate the members and get them more involved in finding us investigators--there
is a great clip from Elder Bednar about how we are the full-time teachers and members are the full-time
searchers. If it only worked like that....

We had a fun p-day today, too--went to Constitucion this morning, about an hour away--a beach big
city. Some cool rocks and stuff. Just ate some picnic with the other elders and took pics. Kinda cool.
Got a haircut. Good stuff. Good p-day stuff.

What mission is John Pearce going to in Peru? Does he know that all Peruanos are thieves and liars,
according to the Chileans?

Now, let’s get to the interesting news. I hear that my 21-year-old sister, who is just barely old enough
to even be serving a mission, has made the decision to wed herself with a certain Jeffrey Hubert
Humphrey Hammond. While this takes away all chances Elder Conti had with her, which is a great
thing, some serious questions must be brought into the picture. How good looking is this guy? Does
he make bank? Will his spawn be cool and worthy to be my nephews? Does mom realize she will be
a grandma soon? How does that make her feel? It should make her feel old. There it is. Just throwin’
that one out there. Are we going to have a wedding in our backyard and I’m not gonna be there? Are
they gonna drive away in a yellow Lamborghini that costs more than all of Talca? When will this said
wedding be taking place? Will Allie be representing me there or are you gonna wait ‘til she is outta the
picture, too? I need answers. I want the truth! And yes, I can handle it.

My sister is engaged. This is a big step in my life. Rachel is gonna be one of those weird kids that is an
aunt while she is in middle school. And I don’t want to hear anything about how there won’t be children
yet when I get home. Ask yourself what the prophets have counseled and what the purpose of marriage
is. Ask yourself how righteous you are. Then pray and multiply and replenish the earth.

Sounds like Duke is droppin’ the ball a bit, though I’ll take a UNC win. I hope Allie is doin’ well. Happy
Valentine’s day from me. I am working on my Portugese. Kinda. I am working on my Portugese accent,
at least. Just make weird throat sounds and keep your teeth together. Good stuff.

Congrats and go eat some delicious things for me to celebrate. Enjoy yaselves. And send me more
pictures, especially more like those ones of that one girl on Valentine’s Day that you sent me. That
would be cool.


P.S. Tell Allie hi for me. We are still the cuter couple, right? Right. Say hi to Tom and Cars, too! And the
Jacobs, of course. When is Sam gonna leave on the mission? Elder U says that if I don’t hurry, he is
gonna beat me with a stick, which is stupid because he doesn’t even have a stick. Unless it’s the stick
of Ephraim, which I think he has in his backpack.

Chao pescao congrats again cant wait for more details next week and maybe news about cambios!

P.P.S. We went to Independencia on Sunday and met this great family the zone leaders just baptized.
It’s hard not to be jealous of these golden people other missionaries find. Instead, we just have to be
more worthy to find those prepared people in our own sector. We are getting there. Poco por poco. We
are working hard though, and working smart.

P.P.S.S. Is Maggie just super excited? Is Jeff great? When is this probably going down? Which temple-
- they are getting married in the temple, right?

Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11, 2013

Hey folks!

Hope everyone up there is enjoying the large amounts of snow and coldness. It is nice
and toasty here. We are eating watermelon (with toasted flour, a weird Chilean thing
that is okay) and peaches and blackberries almost daily. Lots of fruit, lots of sweat, and
lots of talking to people. We are still really building that good investigator pool here,
trying to find those people that really have good desires. We are getting lots of
possibilities but everyone seems to be hiding in the mountains from the Talca heat or at
the beach. Everyone has fled Talca Centro and only the Mormons are left…

We have had a pretty not interesting week. Elder Ulibarri is losing his weirdness touch.
We found some good people--a lot of new missionaries are in the zone that got here
this cambio. Lots of people fresh from the MTC. It is weird. It doesn’t feel long ago that
that was me, but I hope I was never as clueless as these guys. There is this Mexican
missionary in Cancha Rayada now who still doesn’t understand the Chileans--even
though he already spoke Spanish. That should give you some idea of the language
down here. These crazy Chileans.

Had a minicambio this week--Elder G. from Jardin del Valle came up with me to work in
our sector. We really worked hard, and I really had to push him to be animated and
obedient. We studied together our missionary purpose and what it means to be a
successful missionary. He has been feeling pretty disanimated, so I really worked hard
with him to study diligence and how to effectively use time, and, as we do so, how we
can really feel more joy and satisfaction in our work. It was kinda a depressing and hard
two days and made me extra thankful for Elder U when he got back. Also very nervous
for my next companion-- the time with Elder Ulibarri has been almost too good to be

We are working hard and doing lots of good things here. Hopefully this thing in Conce
goes well with this week. I feel like I am reaching a new phase in my mission where I
have seen most everything and experienced a lot and now am just constantly looking
for more ways to be more obedient and develop myself better and qualify myself better.
I think that that really comes with the realization of the power we have in our calls and
the power we have to touch people’s lives. We have talked with lots of people this week
who have been very rude to us, some who have been very nice to us, and some who
couldn’t care less. But we are finding those few that are truly interested in knowing the
truth for themselves. It’s always nice to find those people, but even few of those people
really progress in the gospel because they are not willing to guard their compromises.
Keep commitments, I mean- in Spanish it’s “guardar compromisos.”

I have been being more bold and friendly and loving with people this week. Yesterday
we were doing some contacts between lessons and this Catholic guy opened his door
and we introduced ourselves. He wouldn’t shake our hands which is really rude,
especially to Chileans, but just stood there listening to us, shaking his head no. He
waited until Elder Ulibarri stopped talking, then said ¨"Son plasticos" or that we are
plastics. I have only ever heard that term in Mean Girls so I was kinda offended, and
then he slammed the door. I rang this poor guy´s doorbell again. He answered it again,

all mad, and we bore some powerful testimony to this man and told him he should be
more like Christ and not slam doors in people´s faces. But then he did it again. Oh well.

We are having fun here and learning a lot! It is really cool to see the change that
obedience and diligently searching ways to improve makes in the work!
Have a great week! Say hi to all the Duke people and Allie and the Jacobs for me! I also
don’t remember if I mentioned I got a letter from Cody--good guy.

Love you all!
Elder Brown

Monday, February 4, 2013

February 4, 2013

February 4, 2013

Hey, Everyone!

I had heard about the earthquake up north, Chileans love talking about their earthquakes. We felt nothing. It’s not that bad here, and most of the bad buildings have already been knocked down. So we are pretty safe I would say. And we are missionaries of the one true God of Israel, so we kinda have extra blessings and protection and stuff like that. Or so I hear.

So we have had another fun week. Not teaching a lot of lessons. Searching for creative ways to find people to teach. Inviting people to do family home evenings, working with members, menos activos, basically anyone who will give us a reference. We know that someone out there, there is a family that is just waiting for us. So, onward, ever onward.

We had zone class on Tuesday. The entire mission is kinda suffering. We are making a lot of changes, though, and things are gonna pick up, especially as we take the initiative to make things happen in our sector. This week is gonna be great. Then we ate Mexican food at Alejandro’s house. There was this old Chilean lady there who had definitely never had it before. They were... tacos. Very exotic. It was fun, though! He also taught me how to make aji de gallina, a peruvian dish, which is my favorite. Really, really good.

On Thursday, we had a great day. Taught five lessons, which is like a normal day from before but these days it was fabulous. We totally showed up at Sandra, our convert’s house, and she told us she had just been hoping we would come by. She had been feeling sad because her sons have just ditched her, but we told her to read and pray and she is great. She is so great. So at least I have done something awesome here. Hopefully more to come in February. Lost Cristofer, but Claudia is still pretty active. She called us this morning crying and would only talk to me. I had no idea what she was saying. So we are gonna visit her tomorrow and hopefully she can hold on ‘til then.

That was pretty much our week. Good times. If you want to know how a mission in Chile really is, just go sit in the oven all afternoon. That’ll give you some idea of the afternoons here. But you have to do it in a tie and white shirt and carrying a backpack. Real good stuff. I changed my mind-- I am definitely losing weight.

I am learning a lot about sacrifice and gratitude. We aren’t taking anything for granted here anymore. Ever. And charity-- learning to love everyone is hard but as we work at it, pray for it, and keep it in mind, it kind of just helps the whole day. We are pretty blessed. We are called of God, with the same power and authority Peter and Ammon had, to literally bring thousands to the truth. Working on the thousands, but I have at least one on the road to conversion-- myself. It’s something we all have to do for ourselves, because when it’s hot and you’re hungry and thirsty and tired and your legs and feet hurt and no one wants to listen to you, if you are not converted and have charity, it’s gonna be hard to be a good missionary. "Conversion. Consecration. Sacrifice. It’s what we do." That should be the missionary motto. I submit that to whoever you submit those things to.

Love you all!
Elder Brown