Monday, June 24, 2013

June 24, 2013

June 24, 2013

Hey, Everyone!

So, it has been an absolutely crazy week. We have been working really hard in our sector this week to start making things happen, but it’s still not just all coming together. Really excited for this week, though, to really start making things happen. Good stuffa.

We had a great chance this week to hear that satellite transmission, live from the Marriot Center. Unreal--especially all those missionaries! Allie in there somewhere, too. That’s pretty neat. But that was great to watch, and we are going to change our work with the ward; it has been just a huge blessing for us already as we have worked better with them, but there is so much to change with them. They still are just not hugely animated to get out and work with us, to make things happen. 

Elder Carter and I had to go to Conce last night to watch it there, so that then we could practice a special musical number there for today with some other missionaries from Chillan. So we watched it there, were spiritually fed, then practiced until like 9:30pm, then ran back to Penco late. It was really great. That’s definitely Elder Carter’s natural habitat--made a cool arrangement, it went real well.

All this afternoon we have had preparation day because President’s farewell conference was this morning. We got up at 5:30am to get to the place in time, then it didn’t even start for like another hour. Frustrating. We ate doughnuts, which never happens. Never. Then we got flu shots, took pictures, Sister Humphrey and President Humphrey both spoke, and we played our musical number. It was “A Childs Prayer,” Elder Carter-fied. Pretty neat. Very bittersweet-- the Humphreys are so great. But I am very excited to get to know President Arrington, as well. 

Also this week, Lirquen A (better known as Aubrey Glazier´s cousin), is going to pull through with a baptism! H., who we have been working so much with, has finally been able to handle his smoking. He is such a good guy, and he is so excited. In that interview, I just felt so sure that he was ready. It was great. Earlier that day, I also did another interview but, in that case, the lady was woefully unprepared. It did not go well, she had tons of doubts, so I just left her with the commitment to pray and stop smoking, and then, later that night, she called Elder Carter and said she was done with the gospel. So that was disappointing but maybe mas adelante she will be more prepared. 

Other things that went on this week—I’ve just been working hard with Elder Durrant to really train him well. I really want to help him talk more, give him more chances and set him up for success, and hopefully by doing that we will see some more success. I am feeling pretty badly that I am not being a better example for him as far as how much we are teaching and how well our sector is doing, but I am determined that I will at least be the example of hard work, energy, and dedication to the work of the Lord. So I am going to make those changes in myself so that can really happen. 

I am very excited for this week. I am seeing changes in myself, and I want to keep going, being more and more diligent and really just finding those daily miracles, like we have been focusing on in the district. And the love. In the end, all you need is love.

Loving the work, loving being in this sector, loving the food (way too much, need to really start dropping the pounds but winter is hard), and loving the people. I really suggest Alma 8 to study-- we read it as a district and I think it helped us all learn how to improve. Sometimes we just have to go in by a different way!

Have a great week, enjoy all the blessings!
Elder Brown

Sunday, June 23, 2013

June 17, 2013

June 17, 2013

Hey, Everyone!

Elder Brown and Elder Durrant here in Valle Hermoso, Penco, Chile. Having real good times. Elder Durrant is a stud! Still working a lot on that language, so keep us in your prayers there.
We have had a fun week, highlights including a baptism in our ward yesterday, of Manuel whom the zone leaders have been teaching. He is a really great guy, and a really great young family, the wife was a less active. Probably the greatest experience of this week and up there on my list of coolest mission experiences was doing the baptismal interview for him--he had been having a lot of doubts and didn’t feel like he was ready to get baptized, just for the doubt that he wasn’t completely sure yet, felt nervous, and didn’t want to do something that he wasn’t sure he would stick to after. So I came into it knowing all that…so I went through all the questions with him, made sure he was good, but then went back. It was amazing to just feel so led, I just felt like I had taken some Felix Felicis and just knew exactly what to do. We read the whole Elder Holland talk from this conference together, said a kneeling prayer together, and talked it all out. He finally decided he was ready. He got baptized Saturday and confirmed Sunday! Everyone in the ward was super happy about it, and he is really going to be a very faithful member. So that was very neat there.
In our own sector, we have been having a tougher time, especially getting people to come to church! We were able to find some more people this week that seem interested and willing to make changes in their lives, but were unable to bring anyone to church, which is always depressing. So we will be working on that for next week.
Let’s see... We made another oven for Pablito this week, it rained one day, had a great minicambio with Elder Blomfield, saw Elder Saenz in the office this morning, got an email from Elder Ulibarri, and have spent all week loving the packages we got. All in all, we are having a great time. Elder Durrant and I have been runnning a bit more, which is needed.
Say hi to everyone for me! I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!
Elder Brown

 These are "fish cubes" that were dropped off by a woman in the ward for their lunch. Zach said he was extra grateful that they weren't eating it in their home because he didn't have to eat it all in order to be polite. They were not the greatest.
 Manuel, just before his baptism.

Monday, June 10, 2013

June 10, 2013

Hey, Everyone!

It has been a great week, although a very humbling week, possibly the slowest of the mission. We have seen a lot of trials, a lot of rejection, but we have been working super hard and obediently and still have that good attitude; I think that this new week is going to be excellent.
This last week we had some great opportunities to go to a leadership meeting with the assistants and president. We really learned a lot and got to see Elder Saenz there as well, great times. We left Elder Durrant in the sector with another new missionary, Elder Clawson´s new comp, and they just contacted all morning! They found a lady that we are going to go visit tonight, could work out well! Hopefully will--we would really love to find some more people here to start teaching.

In other news--Wednesday was Elder Durrant’s birthday--it was great! Pablito wanted to do a surprise party so we just talked in Spanish and planned it all and no one was the wiser. Ha ha! It was fun and really gave Elder Durrant a boost, I think. We spent all day avoiding the subject, not saying anything, but then at the end of the day it was super cool.
Anyways, not really any other news. Pablito is a champ. He loves us so much, and we love him. Great little old man with a huge heart--he asked the bishop if he could give a talk in the ward and the bishop let him, so we helped him prepare it all and it went super well! He was really nervous, but very excited. He wanted to come with us all day Saturday to invite people to it. Pablito read his little paper (he doesn’t read very well), and lost his spot and the bishop helped. But then, at the end, he just bore a super strong testimony. It really taught me that it’s a lot better and more powerful to really open up and share what the Spirit prompts you to, than to try to read a rehearsed thing. It’s like the difference between Preach my Gospel and the old discussions. It’s all about the heart.
Stressful week but we are really trying to be a great example of attitude, humility, and really following the Spirit. We know that as we are really obedient, the Lord is going to bless us and we are going to see miracles on miracles on miracles, which is exciting.
I got a great package two weeks ago, and another one today! I feel very blessed. I’ve been sharing well, gave some licorice to this family in our ward that had asked me to have you send licorice, they were very grateful. Winning points with Chileans: priceless. Also, that trail mix from Trader Joe´s-- like a chocolate, peanut butter, cherry, cashew, peanut mix? Fabulous. Maybe my favorite thing ever. Temptation mix or something like that, I think it’s called? Anyways, good stuff. Thanks for all the love and prayers! Pray for Elder Durrant’s Spanish, as well!
Elder Brown

June 3, 2013

Everyone! HelloOO!!!!
It has been an excellent week, full of rain and cold and clouds. The people here are showing their nice sides now, though; they invite us in for a warm cafecito these days. Sometimes. Other times, they just tell us to “hit the road, Bucky,” but we are still having fun. I think Elder Durrant is really opening up and learning a lot. Very excited for him; he is a great companion and a great missionary. We are really trying to be SUPER obedient with everything, and I really am just trying to help him progress and feel confident with himself. It’s coming along.
We saw great blessings this week in the form of finding lots of new people to teach. We are very excited for the possibilities we have. We are really going to keep working hard to help these people really feel the love and importance of the gospel and progress in their understanding. Very excited.
We pulled off Felipe’s baptism this week--it was great, a very spiritual experience. As was Romina’s, in the end, but with this one I don’t think it gave me an ulcer. Elder Durrant has 2 for 2 with his weeks in Chile baptizing, so that is something for him to feel great about. He is a pleasure to work with, really making me push myself to try and be the example in every way.

Also being a lot more involved in all the reporting of the key indicators, thinking about the numbers, and really just focusing more on these people is helping me see a little more of what really goes on behind the work and it’s really a challenge sometimes to keep focused on these people for the right reasons. So we are thinking a lot about that-- our purpose as missionaries and what we are really doing here.
We are here to invite everyone to Christ, to help them receive His gospel through faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and persevering to the end. When that is really our sole motivation, I find the mission is a lot better--a lot happier, less stressful, and more good times. And that is what it is all about. I also think, as God’s purpose becomes our own, that is when we see conversion and really are changed as people.

So it has been a great week, and we are looking forward to another great week! This week is going to be absolutely crucial for us to find families so that we can keep seeing the fruits of our work this month, and we are super excited! Keep praying for us, especially Elder Durrant and his Spanish!

Have a great week everyone!

P.S. Pray for us to not get caught out in the rain a lot. And to be healthy and stuff. 

Felipe's baptism: