Dear Grandma

 

YSA11

July 24, 2017

Dear Grandma,

It was great to read your letter. You and grandpa have always had a major impact on my life.  The memories that I can remember the most are the ones we made while visiting you and grandfather. I want you to know I love you.

My mother has been such a huge blessing in my life, and I know it is because how you raised her.  I remember as a little kid my mother telling me her spiritual experiences she had as a kid, the ones that defined her love of God.  When I was growing up my mother testimony made me love the gospel.

But as I grew older I have had to stand on my own two feet.  As a teenager, I forgot many of the stories my mother told me.  But those visits we made to see you helped me focus, helped me see the bigger picture than just my own life. I would honestly say more than anything I would not be on a mission right now if it wasn’t for you and grandfather.  How much the gospel meant to you, and how much righteousness means to you sunk deep into my soul and eventually filled me with a desire to know God.

Well, now that I’ve been out on a mission for a year I can say I know God.  And more than that I know why I want to be righteous, why I want to live the gospel.  Not for social reasons, but because I love God, and Jesus Christ who he has sent.  And I’m trying to do anything they ask me to do.  I know I’m not always perfect, but I know I am better off than I was before.

We Missionaries stand on the front line of that war that was fought in Heaven; but just like the 2000 stripping warriors, we have been taught by our mothers and our grandmothers, and what they know we know.

Love, from your grandson, Elder Alexander Brown.

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Live Each Day

YSA16

This photo was taken on my one year anniversary.

 

July 17, 2017

Greetings,

Not much happened this week, except for the fact that I hit my year mark as you might be aware of.

One thing that really surprised me is the fact my outlook on my mission has dramatically changed. When people start telling me I have only such and such months to go it actually affects me now.  Honestly,  the whole thing about how hitting your year marks affects you is super true. I thought it was just going to be another day, but for some reason that major milestone struck me.

It just gives me more of a reason to improve as a missionary and live each day to its fullest.

Regards from Elder Brown.

YSA15

Can you spot Elder Brown in this photo?

Fourth of July and My Half-way Mark

YSA13

Our Zone in a Fourth of July Parade

 

July 4, 2017

So last week I promised I’d tell the story of those new investigators we got last week.  And I intend to keep my promise.

Our first investigator is Carson and his younger brother named Canon.  We found them through tracting. (Editor’s Note: Tracting is the term LDS missionaries use to describe contacting people via knocking on people’s doors.)  We basically were knocking doors just going around trying to build LDS member trust by sharing short messages.  At one home, one elderly lady invited us in. Her son-in-law was home and he was babysitting his grandchildren.  Those grandchildren were Carson and Canon.  We taught a short message on the restoration. Then I felt prompted to ask if they had been baptized. They both said no, and then Canon enthusiastically added, “but I want to be!”  The grandfather started to cry and he bore his testimony on the importance of baptism and said that we were an answer to his prayer.

We went back and taught them again and now they are both scheduled to be baptized in the future.

Now for the other investigator.  Her name is Anna.  She has met with the missionaries many times in then past, and comes to church, she just hasn’t been baptized.  I won’t share the reasons why for the sake of privacy, but we met with her twice and after our second meeting she decided she needed to be baptized. She has some worries, and needs lots of support, so keep her in your prayers.

In other news, we are going to have a super interesting week.  P-Day was moved to the 4th of July this week (which is why I’m writing this today).  We actually are banned from proselyting today, because events people have, like family bbq’s and fireworks and nobody wants to be bugged on the 4th of July.  So instead our Mission President is showing us a movie, it’s called Love Kennedy, and it’s a church movie like Ephraim’s Rescue.  The mission moved the transfer date to Thursday, which is coming up this week.  So, I’ll tell you about transfers next week. We are also teaching a bunch of active members, and this is becoming a scheduling nightmare (I think I need to hire a secretary). Things are looking up for this area.

Regards from Elder Brown.

 

July 11, 2017

So first off, neither I nor my companion Elder Jones were transferred.

Not much happened in the work this week. But excitingly I’m about to hit my year mark.  Which is great, but is also upsetting because it means I only have a year left on my mission.

Here are some stats I’m just going to make up (they are mostly accurate)

  • So far, I’ve seen seven people enter the waters of baptism.
  • In this one year I’ve read the Book of Mormon 2.5 times, the Pearl of Great Price once, 60% of the Doctrine and Covenants, half of the Old Testament, and two of the four gospels in the New Testament. I’ve read Jesus the Christ twice. I read uncountable amounts of LDS Conference talks. I’ve read twelve Ensigns, New Era, and Friends magazines (These are LDS magazines). And I’ve read Preach My Gospel cover to cover twice and I’ve read from it every day at specific chapters.
  • I’ve served in three areas, and have had had five companions so far.
  • I’ve said at least three prayers every day.
  • I’ve planned about 3,650 hours of work.
  • I’ve seen every single video on the LDS gospel library website.
  • I’ve eaten Sushi three times in a completely landlocked state. I’ve been to two Chick-fil-a’s but sadly eaten at Chipotle zero times.
  • I’ve survived one winter in Utah. And I am currently attempting to survive a summer here.
  • I’ve walked a crazy amount of miles and driven even more.

And most of all, I’ve gained something more valuable than all of those wonderful experiences, better than all the wealth in the world.  It’s something that was hard to get, and took intense effort to get—a testimony of Jesus Christ as my Savior.  I’d say my mission was worth it just for that, and I would trade everything else in the world for that testimony; it has gotten me through the hard times and the calm times.  And has brought me the most joy on my mission. My testimony is that Jesus Christ Lives and is at the head of this church, the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, today.

Regards from Elder Brown.

YSA12

My Zone from before last transfers.

 

YSA11

My District from before last transfers.

YSA14

Me after working out at the church gym.