Farewell Fielding

 

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Saying farewell to Fielding, Utah. 

 

May 22, 2017

Farewell fielding

Today the roster came out, which means transfers are tomorrow.  (This is so much like opening your call letter).  And I got transferred to Providence South / Providence YSA!  Which means I am now a YSA missionary, which means I cover the entire Cache South Zone! [Editor’s Note: YSA stands for Young Single Adult. In our church we have specific congregations for young adults ages 18-30.]

Before leaving Fielding, I would like to share what I have learned over the past four and a half months I’ve spent here in Fielding.

First off, I have begun to learn about what leadership actually is.  The entire time I’ve been here in Fielding I have been the senior companion. And at first I thought that was a meaningless title, as both companions have to work, and both companions have to plan, and study, and teach, and so on and so forth.  But slowly I’ve begun to learn what my duties are as a senior companion, how I need to set the example, how I need to be teaching my companion, how I need to prepare us for studies.

I also learned the importance of working with members.  Those that were baptized during my ministry had great fellowshipping members far before we even got involved; while those who aren’t progressing don’t have much member support.

Fielding also taught me how to get the Ward and stake leaders involved.  I saw a great change take place in the area in terms of how the leadership worked with us missionaries.

Overall it was a huge learning experience for me. I’m glad I was able to come here and learn.   But I’m excited to try something new, and to go somewhere I’ve never been before.

(Psst.  My new area has a chick-fil-a, yay hooray!)

Regards from Elder Brown.

 

How to Help Someone Going Thru A Faith Crisis

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May 15, 2017

I was recently asked his question: how do I help somebody struggling with their faith? Struggling with faith is a really broad term that can apply to on so many different levels, which is why there is no “one size fits all” kind of answer for this question.  Nevertheless, I am going take the best shot at this that I can.

First, I would like to express the importance of the fact that faith does not equal knowledge. God doesn’t require us to perfectly know everything; so first off don’t expect to suddenly understand perfectly.  And also, know that questions are not bad, questions are good. Second, I need to point out that faith and trust are synonymous, with the only difference being that faith is a trust in God.  In my life I have learned I need to trust my parents and others. Without people around us that we trust, we feel insecure and unsafe.  I’ll share a little bit from my experience.  On my mission I have had experiences where I didn’t trust my companion and it was really stressful. I felt like I had to close myself off, and it was a pretty miserable part of my mission.

But luckily for us, trust can be built—and so can faith!

Ironically, trust cannot be built without us trusting first.  We have to give the person we don’t trust a little bit of trust (as much as we muster), enough for us to see if they are worthy of further trust; then we watch and hope that they will keep their promise.  Most people understand this as it applies to trusting people, but they struggle to grasp the same concept with faith.  We don’t have to struggle. The solution to having a faith crisis is to exercise as much faith as we can.  If you have a question, ask God your question and expect an answer.  If you have trouble feeling the spirit, repent to the best of your ability, and then partake of the sacrament, and expect God to keep his promise. If you feel like you don’t have a testimony, study the scriptures, and pray for the spirit to bear witness to you that the words that you read are true, and expect God to send the Holy Ghost to teach you.

As for those concerned with helping others struggling with their faith, my advice is to love them, and pray for them, and listen to them if they open up with you.  Offer the best advice you can and direct them to put their faith, as much as they can muster, in Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father.

In the name of the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

In closing I’ll suggest some scriptures for your consideration: Alma 32 1 Nephi 8 Either 12 Hope I’ve helped somebody today. Regards from Elder Brown.

Covenants and the Gospel

 

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Hadley on her baptism day–with Elders Brown and Passee. 

May 8, 2017

You might be wondering why I picked this title–it is really simple; we had a baptism this week and I’ve been thinking a lot about the sacrament. So, I’m going to talk a bit about both.

First off the most important thing.  Somebody was baptized!  Her name is Hadley (Hadlee?) Christensen and she is awesome.  She is 9 years old and couldn’t be baptized at 8, so we got to teach her.  After the baptism, the bishop got up and announced that they were going to confirm her (which means she’ll be made a member of her church and receive the Holy Ghost) right then and there.  Which out of the norm.  Normally, converts to the church are confirmed during Sacrament Meeting. For it to happen right afterwards requires permission from a general authority of our church. The bishop asked for permission and got it.  (He did not tell us, so we were a bit freaked out for a while.) It all turned out for the best. The next day was our monthly Fast and Testimony Sacrament meeting (Members fast for twenty-four hours and donate the money they would have spent on food to help the hungry and needy. And instead of speakers, members who feel moved by the Spirit bear extemporaneous testimonies. Hadley bore her testimony.

As missionaries (and to an extent members of the church), we always get excited for baptisms. It’s more than just a social event (as it is sometimes seen as here in Utah). I is a covenant.  And more importantly it is the covenant that makes salvation possible and just as importantly, gives us access to the pure joy of Christ.

Jesus said in 3 Nephi 27: 15-16:

And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works. And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.

This is Jesus saying that those who repent and are baptized are promised the gift of the Holy Ghost, and if they endure to the end they will live with Heavenly Father again, and be free of sin.

No other covenant, no commandment, no other way is prepared for salvation.  The Only by the way of repentance unto baptism, and baptism unto the Holy Ghost, then endure with the Holy Ghost unto the end.

There are many people who understand this–we need to be baptized to be “saved.” But many forget that once baptized we now have access to the greatest joy, which I don’t even know how to express in words. That joy comes from the Holy Ghost, and has honestly it is the reason I wanted to write this.  It is a feeling of being clean, and a feeling of limitless potential.  It has made new members of the church weep with joy, and men stand upon their feet and prophesy (JSH 1:73).  It has made those who have traveled across deserts be calm in affliction (Oct 2015 General Conference, Joy and Spiritual Survival), and those who are lost feel found (Luke 15).  It has filled a soul so much that there is no more room for hatred (Oct 2013 General Conference, Wilt Thou Be Made Whole), and has lifted those depressed from the depths of sadness to the heights of joy.  It is the joy of Christ.

When we take the sacrament we make the same covenant we made at baptism.  And we can experience that same joy if we are prepared for sacrament.  It is not just simply eating and drinking the sacrament; it is being willing (and perhaps even already making steps) to forsake our sins and to repent.  We often just take the sacrament ; but do we actually partake the sacrament.  Do we let Jesus wash away our sins?  Do we let the Holy Ghost fill us with the joy of Christ?  Or do we rush by it all, and forget our Savior?

I have a challenge this week: do whatever is necessary to be prepared for the sacrament, and meet the requirements Jesus Christ has set to be forgiven and receive the Holy Ghost.  If you follow this course then you will come to be filled by the Joy of Christ.

I leave is with you in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Regards from Elder Brown.

A Busy Week

May 1, 2016

We had a very packed week this week; but it didn’t start that way.  The beginning of the week was fairly normal–we had meetings and were looking for work (people to teach or serve). But as the week progressed things got hectic. The District leaders wanted to go on exchanges with us (which means one of us goes to their area, and one of them comes to our area).  But the day they wanted to do the exchange was the day the Zone leaders also wanted to do an exchange with us.  So, we pushed back the Zone leaders to Saturday and went on exchange with the district leader.

Afterwards, we taught a lesson with a young girl named Hadley who is going to be baptized soon.  We found out they are quite booked as well, and we scheduled the rest of the lessons we were going to teach that day.  But something came up in their family so we have no idea when we are going to be able to teach those lessons.

Also this week a recent convert named Trinity got back into town so we were able to teach her  We set up a lesson; but we thought it was with Hadley.  Fortunately, the grandfather caught us as we were working that day, and told us we had the lesson setup with Trinity.  We taught her a lesson on the plan of salvation.

We also had three parties this week.  We could only get to two parties, and I was exchanged away for one of them, but it was a way to meet people and get to know our community.

Sunday was insane.  We gave two talks, one presentation, and attended one of the parties.  And everything was on opposite sides of the stake.  We had to drive so much on Sunday, which looking back on it was really ironic.

But that was my week.

Regards from Elder Brown

Fielding 9

El Doggo Tres

 

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Me and El Doggo Tres

 

April 24, 2017

Hello from Fielding,

This week not a lot has happened in terms of missionary work, but things are moving along.

It rained a lot this week; and everywhere we go you can almost hear the internal screams of all the people, as they scream “we don’t need any more rain!”  What makes it worse is that the it is a really cold rain.  So, when we work out in it we get wet and we get cold.

I have a funny story this week.  We get followed by dogs a lot out here. One of the in-jokes Elder Passey and I have when this happens is that we call this random missionary-following dog El Doggo (because who wouldn’t name a dog El Doggo).  This week we had another El Doggo follow us; but, this one was a bit different. This El Doggo only had three legs. It sort of bunny hopped after us. Naturally, we named this dog El Doggo Tres.  When we knocked on the first house on that street, we asked if the dog was theirs and they said yes. Great! We found El Doggo Tres’ home. That would be the end of Tres’ following us. But no! After we left that house the dog still followed us, house after house, mile after mile.  We even went back home and guess what El Doggo Tres doggedly followed us there as well.  We left it outside our place, figuring that the dog would be able to find its way. Well he next morning we awoke and we found El Doggo Tres still waiting outside where we’d left him. For the next half hour we struggled to lure it back home before giving up on that idea. Instead, we put him in our car and drove him home. (Thankfully, we knew where that was).

That’s all this week.

Regards from Elder Brown.