Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013

Hey, Everyone!

Wow. Crazy day, crazy week. The mission just changed a ton. Completely new standards of excellence, complete changes. Everything is much more simple now, and I’m really excited to apply the things we learned from consejo today!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First things first... it’s been a crazy week. Started it off with going to Quirihue for the day. It’s three hours of travel, super out in the fields, and mountains, and forest, super pretty. So great.

Then we came back to Tome and had some good days. Elders coming and staying with us in our house for a new conference they had. We did some divisions, and then stake conference was also this week! Elder Saenz and I asked the assistants if we could go to Penco (Penco and Valle Hermoso are part of the same stake as Tome but they hold two different sessions, in two different buildings), and they gave us the green light--SUPER AWESOME!!!! We saw all the VH members, reminisced, and then went in the afternoon to Tome for the second session and didn’t have seats, so we had to spend two hours standing, watching from the corner.

So, good times. Super busy, super fun, very stressful, and not much sleep. I’ve been running, which is good, and hopefully it will start to get warm soon. Tome continues to be awesome, tons of hills, but it is all good. We are super excited this week to keep working hard and being obedient.

This week I studied Ether 12. Fabulous chapter, I really love vs. 19 and 21, about how things we see with the eyes of faith become reality by our works, and how as we see the finger of the Lord, He will reveal to us the rest. Start the reaction, and see the rest take off and EXPLODE! Great stuff. Now I’m going to apply it with the ward. 

Love you all a ton! Say hi to everyone! I’m doing well. Skin is... better..... legs at least. Now it’s just the face... dry from the cold. Ugh. 

Love you all! 
Elder Brown
Julian and Valeria, "golden!"

"Service project with Sergio and Luis. In flannel--yes, I did become a lumberjack in Chile."

Loving Tome!

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013

Hey, Everyone!
It has been a fantastic week. I LOVE TOMÉ!

Not to brag, but this has been one of the greatest weeks of my mission, finally getting out of that hole of a house and getting to Tomé, the prettiest city in the mission! Seriously, it’s awesome. Things are good, and it’s great to be with a Latino again that can help me out.

My skin is totally getting way better. I’ve been washing it better (now that we can get somewhat hot water) with antibacterial soap, taking antibiotics and cream that we got from the hospital that we went to. Another brush with Chilean health care--it actually was not that bad. Just long waiting.

Honestly, the last two cambios have been super tough. Especially the last one. I have had tons of skin problems, not a ton of success as far as the work goes, just as I feel that I have been working my hardest and becoming the best missionary that I can be so far during my mission, everything just stopped.  For those who don’t recognize it, that was actually a quote from The District 2-- I really quite identify with Elder Murray... ha ha, not. I’m working super hard to change things, but nothing has been working out. I finally saw some glimmer of success that last week, then I was out to Tome. And salvation!!!!
This house is ridiculous. It took two days to clean it, but what a sweet house! There is space to move! It is warm! There is warm water for showers! It is easy to clean! Such wonderful wonderfulness, I feel like I have died and gone to heaven, as they say.
And the sector-- absolutely enormous! Never in 6 months here do I think that I could contact every house! Super pumped! We are going to be finding and baptizing como locos aqui! And being with Elder Saenz again, ah what a blessing. Our lessons go well, we teach together, with good solid commitments--this is the mission at its best. 
Back with Elder Saenz!

Tome is super nice. It’s a beach city with tons of hills, and there are tennis courts here! Super awesome. Really excited to maybe even play one day! But this is the place to be.
This week has been crazy. Monday was spent with Elder D, running around Conce, packing, meeting Elder G’s mom, then saying bye to all the VH people. They are so great. I love them all. Then on Tuesday, I had to go to Conce to meet Elder S. We had to wait there for all the new missionaries of the zone to get there. They are whitewashing a bunch of sectors here, putting hermanas in--the whole zone is going to be new, which is awesome, it will be really moldable. So Tuesday was crazy. We went to the hospital, as well, because my skin was really bad, swelling, allergic reactions and stuff. And guess who showed up in Tomé? Li’l Hermana G--what are the odds?! Kind of neat.
We had a good Wednesday--ate mole with a cool member, ran all around the zone doing stuff; it was hard to fit in time to really just work. So we are working on planning better and really using our time wisely. But Elder S is great and we are having tons of fun. I can’t believe it’s only been a week, though--I have never done so much, driven in so many buses and taxis, and had so much fun! Things are going great. All the missionaries here are really willing to work, and now it’s just on us to all do our best and help the kingdom grow here!
It’s been super fun, and this next week we are going to make changes so that we make our relation better with the ward and find some great people to teach!
And the mission office called. It’s time for me to renew my carnet, my visa. That settles it: I’m officially old. Dang. Too much to do, too little time.
I gave a talk yesterday in the ward (big ward, big win) about how to stop spiritual leprosy. Leprosy is a disease that causes loss of feeling, so I talked about how the best way to return to feel the same spirit of conversion and power of the Gospel and the Atonement is to share it. Hopefully it animated the ward to help us out with the work—it’s up to us to make it happen!

Hope you all have a great week with school coming up and everything! I pray for you all always.
Elder Brown

August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013
Hey, Everyone!
Another cambio has come to an end. That is scary. And with that cambio, I enter the double digits of cambios. I have now used out nine agendas--this is my tenth. Gotta live it up!
Big news in the world of Mision Chile Concepcion--a whole lot going on! These cambios were crazy for us. I will be.... drumroll, please.... going to Tome!  A great beach city that they say is even prettier (but just as Evangelical) as Penco. And I will be with ELDER SAENZ AGAIN!!!!! WE ARE BACK!!!!!! President A actually called me last night to tell me that, such a nice guy, he said he hadn’t known that but that he was excited for us and knew that we were going to work our best. Which are all true things, it’s just nice to hear it from President, too!
And the entire Penco zone is changing. The ward I was in, Valle Hermoso, is losing two missionaries. Elder C is back in the States as of tomorrow, and I am out. Elder D and Elder M will be combining resources there! Super bold cambio--that is going to be great for them and great for the ward. Very inspired. Elder M will now be district leader there, and they are moving in two elders to be zone leaders in a different ward in Penco, the Krav ward. So some fun changes coming up, should help the zone a lot.
I am actually going to be taking the spot of Elder G there in Tome! So that is really cool as well. I just am super excited-- packing stinks and saying goodbye to this ward is tough but this is going to be great. Tons of fun.
That’s about it in Chile news. We have been having lots of fun, I made a huge cake with Pablito which was neat, my skin is in the pits with some weird rash (stumped the doctors again, go me, spent the entire morning Saturday there with no results, so that was fun). But they say that just washing it with antibacterial soap really well might help, which I’ve been doing, and it seems to be helping. Maybe a bit. So hopefully that gets figured out.
Excited for this next cambio! Sounds like everything is going well at home, busy with M&V stuff. I’ll be praying, hopefully it all goes swimmingly. Or at least dogpaddlingly. Ha ha. Yeah, I’m pretty clever.
That’s about it from my end. Love you all. Hopefully I’ll have good reports of a great progressing zone next week! Have a great week, everyone! Say hi to all the Duke people--how crazy that you saw Bro Rogerson! He is the best--they all are!
Chow chow,
Elder Brown

So long, Penco!

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013
Hey, Everyone!

Thank you for all the wonderful well wishes and kind words. It has been an unforgettable birthday, not just because it’s probably the only birthday I will ever have where it was pouring and freezing the whole time, but because it was a birthday where I could think a little bit less about myself and focus a little bit more on others. We had a pretty fun day. Elder Marte was sick and Elder Durrant stayed with him in the house almost all day, but Elder Carter and I got stuff done at church. Victor and Lesley gave me a cool Chilean hat, the Primary kids sang to me, and Pamela came to church again! She is great; we just need to get Cesar on board and we can get this train MOVIN’!
It has been a fun week, although it has been super tough. We have been getting into very few houses--not sure what’s going on there, but we are going to make the changes to really see the blessings this week. I want to have this week be the best that I have ever had here in this sector because cambios roll around at the end of the week, and, more than likely, I won’t be here next week, which makes me very sad but very excited for Elder Durrant (and more than anything excited to leave this nasty house behind) and excited for the progress I have seen with the ward, the people, and in myself.
We have been studying the Christ-like attributes section of Preach My Gospel; I think hope and patience have been my favorites. Anyone who doesn’t have a copy of Preach my Gospel, I invite to go out and get one and read it; it is definitely an inspired book.
I had a neat experience yesterday. At night, we did an FHE with Pamela and her hubby, Cesar, and their daughter, Starlyn. They made us sopaipillas, we made them an Oreo dessert, and we all watched the Restoration--but I saw it from a different perspective this time--there is an underlying message in that movie that targets the fathers, the slackers. There are like three scenes that are randomly in there that talk about Joseph Smith, Sr., that were perfect for Cesar, and the scene of him getting baptized at the end--it was good stuff. I’m excited for this next week!
Anyways, we are going to be working hard, trying to stay dry and warm, trying to fix the large amount of skin problems I am having, and just have a great week. So pray for us, especially Elder Durrant! He is in charge this week. I’m going to let him lead the sector! I’ll just be sleeping in the back seat. Ha ha, just joshin’. We are going to be working like dogs to get some people progressing towards baptism!
Have a great week, everyone!
Elder Brown