Moving, Not Moving


February 27, 2017

We just got the transfer roster today. After careful review I  discovered that I am still in Fielding!!!


I am so glad for still be here. I love the Fielding stake the members are really great and there are a bunch of potential here in this stake.  It has been a bit of a change from North Ogden East’s tiny one square mile area, and the huge mountain to mountain area of fielding, but I have truly enjoyed it so  much here.  I have huge hopes for this area, and really want to give my all to help this area.

I will have a new companion. His name is Elder Passey. I don’t know much about him, but I’m excited to get to work with him.  Hopefully we can both work together on making fielding a great area.

In other news, we are moving apartments again.  If you remember I moved last week, so it is very odd to me that I am moving apartments again, without moving areas.

Regards from Elder Brown.

Tender Mercies



What am I thinking?

Well I’m about to turn 19.  One year older and wiser too.


Today I would like to share something completely unrelated to my birthday.  It was a cool experience that happened last month. One evening, we went over to a LDS church member’s home for dinner while I was still in North Ogden area. During dinner, we started talking a lot about heritage and the subject quickly moved into me telling this whole family about my grandfather Kepas who is from Greece.

We talked about this for most of the dinner.  It was wonderful to talk about how awesome my grandfather was. Anyways latter that Monday I learned that the dinner on that day was exactly on the anniversary of my Grandfather’s passing.  I was astonished that God gave me such a tender mercy as to remember him on that day, even if I was unaware. Regards from Elder Brown.


Panorama picture of my new area.



My Zone at the Temple.

Fielding, Utah


No, that is not my car; and yes, it looks like it tried to jump the snow bank.


January 30, 2017

Hello. I figure that many people have been wondering what Fielding is like, as I haven’t spoken about since I was sent here. I decided to let myself grow into the area without talking about it first so I could figure out my bearings and learn more about this place.

First off, Fielding itself is a tiny part of my area. There are many towns in my area: Riverside, Collinston, Beaver Dam, Plymouth, Portage, part of Garland, and yes Fielding. What is odd is that all the towns are on the same grid system, expect for Fielding; it has its own grid for some reason.

[Editor’s Note: Unlike towns and cities in North Carolina, towns and cities in the Utah are plotted on a grid system, with each location having North/South coordinates and East/West coordinates. Consequently, once you get oriented it is fairly easy to find any address.]

Instead of Ben Lomund, we have Plymouth Peak (which I don’t have a picture of—yet).  It is a very distinct mountain, and it sits north of the entire valley so it makes navigation a breeze.

Unlike North Ogden East area, which was only 1 square mile, the Fielding Stake is massive. It is one of the largest mission areas in Northern Utah. We go all way from Garland to the border of Idaho. Which means I have a car.  And since I’m finishing Elder Whitby’s training, I’m doing all the driving. In the snow.  I have determined that I like walking areas better. It can get really stressful worrying about miles, and about icy roads and fog.  But I’m pretty much used to it already.

As I mentioned I am finishing the training of Elder Whitby.  Which means a lot more work, because he doesn’t know everything that he is doing yet.  So, I really have to take lead on a bunch of things, and still allow him room to grow. It’s a hard job; but it’s also a ton of fun. That is my report of this transfer so far.

Regards from Elder Brown.


I spy with my little eye…a car!

Let Your Light Shine


Elder Brown, Brother Adams, the Adams dog, and Elder Brown’s new companion at Bishop Adams home.


January 23, 2017

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  Matthew 5:14-16

Today I would like to talk about this scripture, and more importantly the personally significant it has in my life.

This is a very famous scripture.  It is directly from the lips of the Savior himself, spoken during his sermon on the mount.  In this scripture light is used as a symbol (as it often is) to describe how we as followers of Christ are examples.

The nature of light strike me as wondrous. When light enters a room, it fills the darkness which allows us to see. Darkness doesn’t overpower light. Yet there is a limitation to light—it cannot travel beyond an object.  No matter if it be a wall, or a covering, or us—light simply cannot move past something that is in the way. A bushel, as used in this scripture, simply means something that covers or blocks the light.

What Christ is saying is that we need to let the light which we have shine, so that darkness can be chased away, and we can see. And just in case you didn’t know this, that light is the Gospel, or a testimony of the Gospel, depending on how you look at it.

Yet in my own life I struggled with this.  Growing up in areas that are not predominantly LDS made me feel like I stood out, or a Christ put it, it made me feel as if I was set on a hill.

And for me as a nerdy little kid growing up, I did not want to be the center of attention, I wanted to enjoy my life and be happy; and I believed that being in some kind of spotlight would shatter the happiness I had.  So, I hid my light.

Since I was little I always had a testimony of the Gospel: I believed in Jesus Christ, I knew I had a Heavenly Father, and I even had a pretty good witness that the Book of Mormon was true, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. That testimony—that light, which I had was precious to me—in fact it was sacred to me.  Yet I was afraid that if I shared it, it would be cast aside and that nobody would see how truly important it was to me.  So I hid my light.

As time went on and I grew up that light which I hid  was definitely fading.  My testimony was fading.  I still believed, but not with the same heart I did when I was younger. To me, the Gospel made sense intellectually and I  basically I decided that if I had to bet on if God was real or not, I would bet on him being real, as I didn’t have much to lose if I was wrong.  Reflecting on this time it amazes me to see that when a light is hid, it does not stay the same—it shrinks.

Perhaps Christ thought of this when he used a candlestick as the source of the light, or, to be more plain, fire.  Fire is symbolic in so many ways, but in this case I see the importance of fire in two different ways.  First, fire gives off light.  Second, fire will go out if it doesn’t have oxygen. If you cover a flame it will use up all of its oxygen and die. Therefore,  in the case of this scripture it is possible to lose that light, or testimony, but only if you keep it covered.

Which I did.

So, that testimony suffered, and probably the only thing that keep it going at all was attending church.  But I soon found that a dim light covered by fear doesn’t help much.

In high school I went through a really rough spot in my life, that as far as I know nobody knows about.  I don’t wish to go into detail about it here, but I’ll just say I didn’t have much hope in myself at all. My light was on the verge of going out, and it scares me, I didn’t know what to do.

But God knows what to do.  And as it happens, one day in AP United States history, near the end of the year we had a project in which we could research any part of American History in depth and make a presentation on it. Earlier that year we spent about ten minutes covering Mormon history, and since I am a Mormon it made me really excited to study that.  So when it came time to pick a project, I picked a project about the Mormon pioneers.

Without a doubt in my mind I can say that that was one of the most important decisions of my life.  For the first time in such a long time I was going to be open about my heritage as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  My topic, Mormon pioneers, did not even touch really religious subjects like prophets or faith, but to me I was never more excited, or more scared to present anything.  It was the project that I researched the most for, the project that I read the most sources for, and most importantly it was the project I cared about the most.

I will never forget that project; not for the conversations that it opened up about religion—it didn’t lead to much discussion; not for the grade which I got—yes, I got an A; not even for what I learned from it—a deep admiration for Mormon pioneers. I will never forget this project because what it represented to me. This project was me casting the covering from off  of the fire and letting it breath.  This was me letting my light, no matter how dim or unkempt, shine.  This was me putting my faith in my savior and saying I want to return to live with my Father in Heaven again.

And I was amazed.  That light, which I had hid and covered, grew. And though it may have only affected me, I felt like I could finally see again.  I felt as if I had again a hundred witnesses that God lives, that the Church is true, that Jesus is my savior, that I am a son of God! That increase of light which I got from that project has grown since then.  It has only been fanned as of late.  To me the Gospel is real. To me it is real because I saw it change me, and I saw light come back into my life.

I want to finish this extremely long post by declaring my witness, that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world and Redeemer. That his scriptures contain the words of eternal life.  That Joseph was called to be a prophet and restore the light of Christ to the world.  That the greatest joy I have ever felt in my life came from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen

And just because I want to take up even more of your time today.

Additional Resources: Scriptures:

– Luke 11:33-34

– 3 Nephi 18:24

– D&C 50:24

– John 3:16-21

see JST – D&C 88

General Conference:

“Joy and Spiritual Survival” By President Russell M. Nelson, Oct 2016

“Sharing your Light” By Neill F. Marriott, Oct 2014

“Converted unto the Lord” by Elder David A. Bednar, Oct 2012


Patterns of Light: The Light of Christ

Patterns of Light: Discerning Light

Patterns of Light: Spirit of Revelation

Regards from Elder Brown.



My North Ogden East District Selfie. I have not mastered the art of looking into the lens while taking a selfie.


January 16, 2017

So, for the first time in forever, I actually got transferred. I will no longer be in North Ogden East area. Which makes me sad considering that this has been an awesome place, and a great place to serve in. But I am happy to leave and go to something else. I need change honestly.

Before I say where I am going, let me tell you my recap of this my time in the North Ogden East Area.

The Days of Short:

I remember first coming here to North Ogden East, still intimidated about being a missionary. I had no idea what to expect.  But I took one look at the suburbs and Ben Lomund mountain and I just knew I was going to have a great time. My trainer, Elder Short, was exactly what I needed, someone who was like me and who wanted me to be the best missionary I could be. We had a great time those three months. We baptized, found people, taught, walked, and we were missionaries.  Those summer and fall days helped me get used to Utah. The odd abundance of trees in this area also helped.  It felt like home the moment I got here.

New companion and New Work:

When Elder Richardson arrived things changed a lot. This was the first time I didn’t have my trainer here to guide me, and the first time I had to take charge of the area for myself.  During this time I learned to love this area and the people here. These last weeks were some of my most spiritual experiences that I have ever had.  I learned so much about Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, and very importantly I learned more about myself.  And after this past six weeks I know for a fact that God is our loving Heavenly Father, that Jesus is the Christ, that the Holy Ghost is our guide, and that I have been called and prepared for everything that God put in my way.  I learned how to give support, how to care more about others than myself, how to teach people, how to put first things first, how to study scriptures, how to call upon God in my trials, and how to lift myself up.

Finally, without further ado, I am going to Fielding Utah.

I will be finishing the training of Elder Whitby. This will be a car area, because the Fielding Stake is huge. Also there are polygamists in my area so yeah, this will be fun.  The area is very rural and there are only seven companionships (fourteen missionaries) in the whole zone. But that is really all I know, so yeah.  It will be fun.

I have a lot to pack, and not much time to pack, so I won’t be able to message anybody else today sorry.

Regards from Elder Alexander Brown

P.S. My New Mailing Address is:

Elder Alex Brown

Box 95, 15307 N. 5475 W.

Riverside UT, 84334

More Pictures:


My North Ogden District from left to right: Elder Bower (district leader), Elder Hansen, Me, Elder Richardson (otherwise known as my twin), Sister Ricketts, Sister Schultz.


Snow drifts in North Ogden.


Snow Problem


Did I mention that I like snow?


January 9, 2017

So, this week has been a very weird week, and that is mostly because of the snow and then the lack of snow. We were forced to stay inside our apartment because the temperatures were so low it was dangerous. (Apparently). So that was weird.


And I met a turkey.

Then it started to warm up, and then rain which caused massive issues across the valley, because now we have ice everywhere once it froze.  The ice caused me to slide on my side down a steep driveway, which actually
was kinda fun. (Besides falling in my side, and losing a cookie I was holding).



I really, really like snow.

But now things are cooling down again, so more cold weather.

Not going to write much this week, but next week is transfers.  So.  It begs the question, “Will I stay or will I go?”

Regards from Elder Brown.


Guest Post From My Mom


Me loving the snow and looking like a powdered donut.


January 2, 2017

Growing up I have been very pleased to have two wonderful parents who are very spiritual people.  They have always shared their experiences with me and have taught me a lot.  Today I asked my mother to write for the blog, and to talk about how she feels about me being on a mission.  I hope that this post today will help somebody. I might ask others to write for my blog as well in the future.

Without further ado, here is my mother:

Alex asked me to write about how I feel about Alex being on a LDS mission. I reluctantly accepted. Reluctant because I would much rather hear from Alex. He is the missionary after all.

I am not sure how being a mother of a missionary differs greatly from being a mom of a freshman at college or in the Peace Corp or things like that. Sure, I do not get to talk to Alex except on Christmas and Mother’s Day. But from talking to friends whose sons are at university I don’t think I am missing out on a lot of conversation. It turns out that young men newly sprung from the confines of home don’t call their mothers nearly enough.

Instead I will mention a few things about mothering in general.

I expect my son to learn and grow—on his mission, in school, in life. I expect Alex to do his best and try his hardest at everything he does. And I expect that he will mess up or fail frequently. When that happens, I expect him to pick himself up, dust himself off and try again.

I have this saying that I would recite to my kids to try and motivate them. “When you do your best, your best gets better.” I have no idea where this phrase comes from or where I first heard it, but I would recant this saying as often I as could hoping it would have an impact. I wanted my kids to understand that improvement requires effort, steady effort over time and pushing ourselves to do our best strengthens us. I hope that when Alex gets home from his mission he has applied this principle to his life and strengthened his compassion, faith, love, knowledge, wisdom and work ethic. I hope he learns to not shy away from a challenge.

I do not worry about how he is doing. I am sure he is getting enough to eat and has a warm, dry, and hopefully clean place to live. I admit that I have occasionally looked up what the weather is like in Ogden, but not more than once or twice. Sure, there are dangers out there, but Alex would face most of the same dangers at university or at home. I am glad—no—I am extremely happy that he chose to serve.

And I really hope that he is SERVING. There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon about service that goes like this: I tell you these things that you might learn wisdom, that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. (Mosiah 2:17) I hope Alex learns to forget about himself and focus on others. Learning to forget himself and help others will serve him well for the rest of his life. Jesus Christ taught this when he said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s sake, the same shall save it.” (Mark 8:35).

Raising children reminds me of the myths where the hero tries to capture a shape-shifting god to gain some boon. The hero grabs hold of the god, who instantly changes form—horse, bull, snake, goat. Only the hero who could hold on through all the changes receives the reward. Believe me, there have been times during these years of mothering when it was all I could do to keep holding on. But then you get to the point where the rapid and wild changing stops. It is time to let go; and instead of the tiny infant you held to your chest all those years ago, you are looking at a man. Fully grown and confident. And you have your reward.

With regards, from Chapel Hill

Helene Brown

More pics:


The Greatest Gift


We had a lot of snow for Christmas.



December 26, 2016

Christmas has come and it has gone. What a wonderful time of year.  I really love Christmas. Too bad it went by so quick this year. Thank everyone for all the kind gifts and cards, I really appreciate them.  

And with today I would like to reflect on something I have learned on my mission.  I’m torn between talking my experience with charity, or talking about what I learned about Christ this Christmas. But due to the time of the year I’ll talk about Jesus Christ.  And you can expect me to talk about charity sometime soon. 

I wish to talk about many aspects of Christ’s life here, why he was born, and what is our relation to Christ.  So, expect me to talk about this a while. Anyways I’ll start with talking about one tradition that most people have on Christmas, which is the giving of gifts to loved ones. We all do it, and it takes up a lot of our minds thinking about what we are going to get, or what we “need” to get people. 

These gifts we give are symbols of something that happened a long time ago, when our Savior was born—not the gifts of the wise men; no, even those are symbols of a greater gift, the greatest gift.—The gift Heavenly Father gave to all of us.  The Prophet Isaiah writes in Isaiah 9:6 

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace

The gift God gave us is his son, Jesus Christ, to come into the world for us.  This is one of the most amazing thing about Christmas. Jesus was sent to be perfect a perfect example for us and to open the way to return to Heavenly Father. This was his mission.

To further illustrate how amazing his task was let me share a scriptural story from the Book of Mormon. A little context: a group of recent converts to Christ, called the Anti-Nephi-Lehites (or the people of Ammon), had just broken off from a nation called the Lamanites, who wanted to kill them. The Anti-Nephi-Lehites had no way to defeat the Lamanites; they would be annihilated.  The Anti-Nephi-Lehites fled to the people of Nephi, who worshiped Christ as well.  The people of Nephi are asked what they will do with the people of Ammon, this is their response (Alma 27:22-24):

And it came to pass that the voice of the people came, saying: Behold, we will give up the land of Jershon, which is on the east by the sea, which joins the land Bountiful, which is on the south of the land Bountiful; and this land Jershon is the land which we will give unto our brethren for an inheritance. And behold, we will set our armies between the land Jershon and the land Nephi, that we may protect our brethren in the land Jershon; and this we do for our brethren, on account of their fear to take up arms against their brethren lest they should commit sin; and this their great fear came because of their sore repentance which they had, on account of their many murders and their awful wickedness. And now behold, this will we do unto our brethren, that they may inherit the land Jershon; and we will guard them from their enemies with our armies, on condition that they will give us a portion of their substance to assist us that we may maintain our armies.

The response of the Nephites is amazing.  They not only welcome those foreigners, but they gave up an entire land to them.  And not just any land, the land they gave up was their best land. And not only did they give the people of Ammon the best land but they also put guards around the Anti-Nephi-Lehites to protect them, from an enemy that the Anti-Nephi-Lehites could not defeat.  And all they asked of the people of Ammon was for them to give part of their food to be guards, so the guards could better protect them.  

If that is not a completely selfless offer I don’t know what is.  

Those Nephites protected their new refugees.  As recorded in the next chapter (Alma 28:1-6):

 [B]ehold the armies of the Lamanites had followed their brethren into the wilderness. And thus there was a tremendous battle; yea, even such an one as never had been known among all the people in the land from the time Lehi left Jerusalem; yea, and tens of thousands of the Lamanites were slain and scattered abroad. Yea, and also there was a tremendous slaughter among the people of Nephi; nevertheless, the Lamanites were driven and scattered, and the people of Nephi returned again to their land. And now this was a time that there was a great mourning and lamentation heard throughout all the land, among all the people of Nephi– Yea, the cry of widows mourning for their husbands, and also of fathers mourning for their sons, and the daughter for the brother, yea, the brother for the father; and thus the cry of mourning was heard among all of them, mourning for their kindred who had been slain. And now surely this was a sorrowful day; yea, a time of solemnity, and a time of much fasting and prayer.

What price did the people of Nephi pay to protect the people of Ammon!  How terrible, how destructive, how sad!  Those people paid a huge almost uncountable loss, and a great day of mourning!  And they suffered that loss for others, not for themselves!  

This is exactly what Jesus Christ did for us. Like the Anti-Nephi-Lehites, we face a challenge that we cannot defeat, that will destroy us. Our only hope is to ask for help, and we ask Jesus Christ, as he is the only one who is capable.  He is the only one who can make the offer, and protect us and keep us safe.  And not only does he offer to protect us, but he gives the best blessing that he has, and the inheritance of living with Heavenly Father again.  

And what does he ask of us? Follow him, keep his commandments, honor our covenants.  And here is the kicker, all of the things he asks us to do is for our good.  

He alone paid the price needed to defeat that which would destroy us; he atoned for us; he sacrificed himself for us.  The world itself mourned his death. Heaven and Angels wept as he suffered on the cross, his disciples cried at the loss, and perhaps nobody felt more sorrow than Heavenly Father who saw perfectly the pain and suffering of his son; yet, had to allow it to happen so that we all could be saved.  

We owe a great deal of gratitude for Christ, for the gift Heavenly Father gave us. For the inheritance we have been given. And we must remember that the gift of Christ is open to all who accept it.  Let us accept this gift, and strive to honor the great sacrifice of him who died for us.  

In the sacred name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 Regards from Elder Alex Brown


Snow and Ice


Elder Brown and Elder Richardson at a dinner appointment.


December 19, 2016

Well, this week has had the most random weather I have ever seen in my life. First it snowed, and that was great because I like snow. Then it rained. Normally I like rain; however, when there is snow on the ground and then it rains, that is a different matter. A huge amount of water gets dumped into the system all at once.

So much water.

Later in the week it snowed, rained, hailed, dropped sleet, got foggy, and much more. I believe that in one day I experienced ever kind of precipitation that there is (and being outside a lot doing missionary work I had a much more personal appreciation for precipitation than I have ever had before).


Deer in the fields.


One funny thing is that Utah has a bunch of water retention ponds all around. Usually they fill with snow or water, draining too quickly to freeze into ice. But this week the weather was so crazy that the water in the retaining ponds froze.  Elder Richardson and I had a ton of fun with that. (See Videos)

Ice Experiments, Part 1

Ice Experiments, Part 2

We also have a new investigator named Eddie. He is awesome! We found him through street contacting. Street contacting is when we stand outside with church literature and try and start conversations with people as they pass by. Funny thing is that basically nobody in the entire ward even knew he lived in the ward. And the ward he lives in is super small, so I’m really surprised by that.

The lesson we gave him really helped him understand about how he can know what we are teaching him is true. It involves prayer. (See Moroni 10:3-5). Honestly, he learned exactly what he needed to learn, but he has a hard time getting to church. We will help get him to church, so he can learn the truth for himself.  Then we will help him receive the ordinance of baptism.

Regards from Elder Brown.




Elder Brown and Brown. Me and another missionary at our zone sports P-day game.


December 12, 2016

Hello, as many of your may have heard, I had a hard time last week.  But this week has been very good.  I relearned the importance of obedience this week, and from that I have found great power and great joy.

Today I also want to fulfill the #LIGHTtheWORLD challenge, which is about teaching. Since I learned so much about obedience this last week I would like to focus on that.

First I would like to start with a question.  Why does God have rules and commandments?  Here is a scripture that gives me an answer. It is Alma 42:16-24 and it says:

Now, repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment, which also was eternal as the life of the soul should be, affixed opposite to the plan of happiness, which was as eternal also as the life of the soul.

Now, how could a man repent except he should sin? How could he sin if there was no law? How could there be a law save there was a punishment?

Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man.

Now, if there was no law given–if a man murdered he should die–would he be afraid he would die if he should murder?

And also, if there was no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin.

And if there was no law given, if men sinned what could justice do, or mercy either, for they would have no claim upon the creature?

But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.

But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works, according to the law and justice.

For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved.

What this scripture means to me is that if there was no law then we would not be motivated.  We would be so confused and we would not be able to tell what was harmful to us or not. And I bet we would want some guidelines on what to do.

So basically, the commandments are for our good.

But as a missionary we have far more than the commandments; we have the mission rules as well.  And there are a lot more mission rules than commandments.  One might ask, “why do we have mission rules? Shouldn’t the commandments cover all that?”  The reason is simple, missionaries are expected to represent the Savior, and thus they need to be as the Savior was and that is to be obedient.

Jesus Christ did everything Heavenly Father asked him to do. Even when he was afraid he submitted to his Father’s will. He literally underwent the most painful experience ever, because he was asked to do it.

As missionaries we are not asked to do things that are remotely as hard and painful as what Jesus did. The things we are asked to do are not difficult. In actuality, the things we are asked to do are really good for us. And if we can’t do those really easy and simple things, that literally only benefit us, how can God trust us to help others and do something that is selfless? He can’t.

I truly believe that missions are made not only so that we can bring others unto Christ; but also for us to build trust in God and do whatever he asks. And if we can do that, if we can put our full trust in God, and do what He asks of us, then we will be prepared for anything.

Regards from Elder Brown.



Ben Lomond Mountain (view from our apartment)


Mule Deer. We were just on the other side of the fence and they didn’t budge.


This “lake” is a soccer field during the summer. We call it Lake Torres after a Spanish Elder who just completed his mission are returned home.