February 19, 2018
This was an amazing week. Lots of things happened this week. We had a Zone Conference and the Hansen family from “Love, Kennedy” came and spoke to us. In case you don’t know “Love, Kennedy” is a movie based off a true story about a family in which their oldest daughter, named Kennedy, is diagnosed with Batons disease, which eventually kills her, and the miracles that the family and she experienced and how she was able to share the Gospel despite her afflictions. It was a really inspiring Conference, and I learned a lot from it.
Later President Allred taught us and so did Elder Larsen, an Area Seventy. We also got the chance to give talks this week in church. With one of the talks we had a week to prepare, with the other we found out Sunday morning. But it was a great experience, and it was Elder Nettles first talk on his mission. He did a great job.
We have had a lot of miracles in the work this week. There have been issues that we have had a hard time working around. But for a couple days we had issue after issue resolved and have been able get a lot of things set up for this week. It has been cool to see the Lord reward patience.
We met a lady who is Greek at a dinner and we had a wonderful conversation about all things Greek. That was such an awesome moment this week.
Another lesson I learned this week is that happiness is a choice, and we choose that happiness as we follow Christ. It doesn’t matter what goes on in our life—as we choose Christ we gain happiness. We choose Christ as we live His Gospel. Coming unto Christ, by living his Gospel, is the only path that will bring lasting happiness. That happiness is available to us and to our family. God gave us our families. They are ordained of God and provide the best place for the children to learn and grow. The love we feel for our families is some of the greatest love we can feel in this life. As such. family relationships can bring some of the greatest joy, and some of the greatest sorrow.
Look at the example of the Kennedy family, they experienced so many sad moments as they watched their daughter suffer. But on the other hand, all the good that Kennedy accomplished brought miraculous joy into their home, as well as into the homes of others.
God’s plan provides the way to forever bless our family; through the Gospel of Jesus Christ families can be together forever, and all the sorrow we suffer will be healed by Him and we will receive joy. Broken homes, broken hearts can all be healed by Jesus Christ, as individual members of the family accept and apply His Gospel. Or as the prophets have said, “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (The Family: A proclamation to the World)
Regards from Elder Brown.
February 26, 2018
This week has been good. I have learned a lot this week, and I have had opportunities to apply the things I learned, which doesn’t always happen. We didn’t have any special meeting this week unlike the last three weeks so we finally had a district meeting. It was a really good District Meeting in which Elder King and Elder Hudgins trained the district about planning better.
We got to go up to Logan today because of an appointment at the mission office. So, I worked on my Ecclesiastical Endorsement. It was a lot of fun to be able to come back up to Logan and see my old stomping grounds, even if it has only been a couple weeks.
A long time ago (about 2-3 years) my parents taught us about “Ponderizing” the Scriptures and we set a goal to do that; they showed us a general Conference talk by a Seventy in which he taught the benefits of meditating on the scriptures. I don’t remember how long we remembered to ponderize ( I think we stopped after a few weeks).
Fast forward to this week—and as I was thinking of ways I could improve my study of the scriptures the word “ponderizing” that my parents taught us to came into my mind. So, I started that up again this week, and it really blesses me with improved mental health.
Ponderizing is simply to memorize 1 scripture a week and think about it while you memorize it.
Anyway, it was cool to see how something my parents taught me a while back came back to my memory and had an impact on me this week. It’s always interesting when old things that we have treasured come back to us. My favorite video game is one of the first I played. Right before my mission it was rereleased; to play it again after years of missing it was so sweet, it felt like reconnecting with an old friend.
We all have a special place in our hearts for nostalgia. It is a powerful feeling. It can influence us to go out of our way to try and rekindle those past feelings. And it is one of the most rewarding things to successfully bridge the gap between past and present, and recover that which was lost.
But could we become nostalgic for spiritual things that mankind once knew and cherished the same way a teenager is nostalgic for a video game he played as a kid? Yes.
God has taught to us his Gospel from the very beginning of the world, from the days of Adam. It is one of the oldest things upon the face of the earth and is the most cherished thing by all that have received it.
Yet mankind has lost it on many occasions.
The Gospel has always been taught by prophets. Prophets are men that God has called to preach his gospel to all the world, and whom God has given priesthood authority to do so. Prophets receive revelation from God, from which they receive the Gospel, then they share it to the people. All prophets teach about how Jesus Christ will come to save us from our sins and free us from death.
There have been many prophets on the earth: Adam, Noah, Moses, Abraham and many others were all prophets and taught the Gospel to all that would hear it. However, over time the people eventually distort, disregard or reject the Gospel. Sometimes they even kill the prophets. When this happens, God removes his prophets from the people, and Gospel becomes lost, and mankind is left to his own devices. We call that state Apostasy.
God removes his Gospel until his children are humble enough to accept it again, God won’t force anybody to accept the Gospel. Over time people will begin to yearn for the blessings of the Gospel that their fathers held, and God will send another prophet on the earth to teach the Gospel anew. And thus, the Gospel is restored.
The Bible shows many instances of people rejecting the Gospel; and it also shows many instances of the Gospel being restored. Any time God has a prophet on the Earth is called a Dispensation.
I have found that as I have accepted the Gospel, which God has restored in our day, that a joy has come into my life, and it has felt to me that I have found something I have lost for a while. Christ invites all to come and try his Gospel,
“Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive” (3 Nephi 9:14).
Regards from Elder Brown.
P.S. I found out that my return date is June 27th, 2018!