November 27, 2017
We had an awesome miracle today. One of our investigators had an issue with the word of Wisdom and was afraid of committing to change but he had some spiritual experiences and was able to quit his addiction. And he had some worries about tithing but he decided that he wanted to pay tithing the other day. We are finding prepared investigators, and other great things are happening.
I was thinking back on some small lessons my parents taught me that have been really helpful on my mission. I’ll share one from each of my parents.
A lesson from my Mother:
The lesson my mother taught me was to be interested in the lives of other people. For a long time I only wanted to talk about awesome things that I was doing. But morning during the car ride to high school, as I was sharing something in my life with my mother, she kindly instructed me to learn what was important or interesting in the lives of other people—essentially, to turn outward instead of inward. I heard her advice that day and that advice has helped me all throughout my mission. When I talk with investigators, members, and especially with my companion her advice has helped me foster trust and love in relationships with others.
A lesson from my Father:
My father was a bit more direct in how he taught me this lesson. I had gained the habit of asking people in round about ways in ways to do stuff. I developed this habit since I was afraid on imposing on people. My wise father caught on. One time I asked him if he would like to help me do something in my usual round about way, to which he frankly responded “no.” I was a bit taken aback, to which he explained, “I don’t “want” to help, but I am willing to help. Ask me again, but be direct.” After that, every time I would ask in a round-about way he would respond similarly. Eventually he helped me break this habit and learn how to ask direct questions. This has been an essential skill. As a missionary we are inviting people to do things all the time. And we cannot be unsure or unclear in our invitations to repent, to change for the better. Firm and direct invitations give people the best chance to see the reason to repent and choose for themselves a better way. This has also helped me train other missionaries and work with others. I now use this skill every day.
My parents have taught me so much. There are a ton of other lessons I’ve learned from them, but these two lessons have really stand out to me. I love my parents!
Regards and Merry Christmas from Elder Brown!
December 4, 2017
This week has been stellar. I love December, and while on the mission it just gets better. The Christmas session brings such a wonderful spirit into Cache valley. All the Christmas lights go up, the nativities start appearing and the snow starts to fall. It is the happiest time of the year, a time of joy, anticipation, forgiveness, and peace all wrapped together in a wonderful session. Y’all know that I love snow—and snow really is the icing on the cake which can truly turn Christmas into a White Christmas. Guess What??? It snowed this week, so we are starting December off awesomely.
And speaking of White Christmases, our mission president has a different idea on another way to have a white Christmas—to help children of God to dress in white and make the covenant of Baptism. Our mission has set a goal this December to help over 100 people make that covenant with our Heavenly Father. There is such a huge enthusiasm in the mission right now it is wonderful. And not only the missionaries, but the members are also excited.
One of our investigators got baptized this week. It was really miraculous how his baptism came together. He was struggling on a couple problems for a while and wasn’t progressing. But he started to go to church and suddenly he was able to get over all his problems and become really committed to the Gospel. After that he was baptized in a week. It really helped me see how powerful going to church really is and how being at church is a place for us to receive revelation and guidance for our lives. I was so happy when I saw our investigator receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. There is no better way to spend December.
Regards from Elder Brown.