April 22, 2013

Hola familia y amigos,

I am so happy to hear from all of you. I love you all and I am so thankful for every single one of you. I have a few comments for each of you. First, I love those pics of the little boys at the lego museum. Blake's face just cracked me up haha. He is just full of great expressions. My sisters are so darn pretty, WOW! That graduation announcment and the pics of Brit and the boys - you both look so pretty. What happened to me? I sure didn't come out good lookin' like them! Those pics of Crystal cup are so awesome! Way to go buddy. I can't believe you are going on a date this next week, that is so crazy. I hope you have the mission on the mind the whole time you are on your date, hahaha. I am such a missionary nerd now. I am glad that Dad could work out his medicine a little better so that you could have your weekends back.

Alrighty, to answer some questions first. I am so sorry I have no pics of penguins, they are actually really far away from us. I don't think I will actually be able to see them before I leave Punta Arenas because during the winter they get even further away. Sad to say Dad, we never go down to see the elders in Porvenir. The poor guys are just stuck out there all by themselves. I am sure that we will be seeing some snow coming here soon, haha it's going to be great!!!!, Yes we will be able to skype yo creo(I think).

Well, now for some news. I am sorry to say that the companionship of Elder Walker and Brown is coming to an end. The spirit has called him another way. This Wednesday he will be heading out to Puerto Varas. I will be staying here with Elder Stanley, a red head. I will tell you a little more about him when I get to know him. I am so sad to see Elder Walker go, but if we didn't have changes we wouldn't be stretched to grow, so we will do what the Lord wants us to do, for he know what's best for his children. Gustavo and family were very sad to hear that. Gustavo even began to cry. It was sad to see, but he will continue to progress and the friendship we have made with them I know will last forever, even after this life and I know that if we all live the gospel all the way to the end we will be together one day. They are amazing. I can't believe how fast this last cambio (transfer) has gone by. I learned so very much with Elder Walker this last cambio, things that will change my life forever. I will never forget this last cambio, it has been one of my very favorites. I look forward to continuing to learn and to see the amazing people here in Punta Arenas keep progressing.

This last week was crazy because on Monday the APs got here to Punta Arenas to stay with us a few days. Some how they talked pres. into letting them come down here because neither of them had been down here and they wanted to go on divisions with us and see how the zone was doing. So, they were here with us Monday until Thursday morning. We had a great time together. We had a zone training on Tuesday that Elder Walker and I did. It was a lot of fun and we got some great practicing in with all the Elders. We love to do practices of teaching with the zone. The best part of the week has to be Sunday though, because 9 investigators.... 9, were there in church this last week. It was so amazing, it was a blessing from the Lord. It had nothing to do with our skills. The Lord is doing his work and once again we sit and are amazed by his great power and mercy toward us weaklings. 9 investigators there in church - it was so awesome. The gospel principles class was totally full haha.The Lira Lopez family (Gustavo and Wendy and fam) are doing so awesome. This past Saturday we had a service project and Gustavo was there helping for about 5 hours. He is so amazing and is a great example to all of us and even more so for the members of the ward. He is one awesome guy. I sure do love him.

I will have to tell all my buds that wrote me hi from this email because we are still not allowed to write other people here in the email, only in this email. SO Jord, Richie and big man Turner, I love you all and I am so glad to hear from you all. I hope all is well. Nothing could be better here in the end of the earth declaring repentance.

Well, fam, I cannot explain the love I feel for all of you and for this work. Really, I know with all of my heart that this is the Lords work. For he is in it and he works his mighty miracles. I have seen them first hand here as I have seen a family of four who had no idea about the Gospel receive it with open arms and immediately begin to live it to the best they can. The Lord blesses us so much. I have learned so much from teaching Gustavo's family. The Lord prepares the hearts of his children to receive his Gospel. I know that if we live the Gospel to the fullest and really love it, it will change our lives forever. This is what I have seen in this family. I love this work and I love the Gospel, there is nothing better in this world. I love you family with all my heart and I hope that all is well.

Elder Brown

1. Service project - we built that little room in a few hours ha. Gustavo is the one on the far right and the rest are members.
2. The sun is so strong here that it burns your skin. This is us and the APs preparing ourselves with our battle paint (sun screen) and our weapons haha (Book of Mormon) I told you we were nerds.
3. Punta Arenas is the city of rainbows. If there is rain there is always a rainbow.

April 15, 2013

Hola Familia y Amigos,

Man I sure do love you all so much. I feel so full of every good feeling that one can possibly feel that in the end it's not worth trying to explain, I just can't do it. All I can really say is that I love my family and I love missionary work. That is the best I can do, anything else sounds cliche or kinda dumb because I am bad at explaining. I cannot show enough gratitude to the Lord for all that is happening here and for the great family that I have. The Lord has for sure blessed Elder Walker and I so very much. I know that this is his work because some how, with two knuckle heads from Utah, he does great things. Elder Walker and I were talking about this and we decided that we felt as if we were in a football game trying our best and not doing so much and then watching the Lord come in and do his work as we sat on the field and watched him work his mighty miracles. What a blessing to be able to be on the front lines to watch him work. We can for sure see his hand in all that is happening here. Well family, I am so glad to here that all is well. I can not believe that once again the crystal cup has broken. When I get home me and him are going to work together to get some meat on those bones. I am sad to hear that Dad is not feeling so great on the weekends. I hope you can work that out with the Doctor and start feeling better.

Well, I don't remember very many questions that you asked me. Mother, I am not sure if I really need anything. I would like more HLJ things to give to kids. They sure love that. In one of the pictures that I am going to attach you will see that I am using those great necklaces that you sent me. I am actually pretty much out of those. I would like some more of those rings to give out though, that would be cool. Dad, those are the apartments, the green ones with the yellow roofs. We live in the second one that is parallel with Manantailes. That's all the questions I can remember. Oh yeah, if you would like mother you can just send me my friends emails here on the email.

WOW, another amazing week come and gone. We are now starting our last week of this transfer. Can you believe that?! I sure hope that Elder Walker and I stay together one more cambio (transfer) because we have not even been able to reach a little bit of the potential that this place has. The family of Gustavo is doing so amazing. I cannot believe that I have the chance to teach that family. They are so awesome. It is a great blessing to be able to teach them. The whole family is progressing wonderfully, you will hear more about that in the recording that I attaching here. Wendy, the Mom, feels great about going to church now because this last week the members did a wonderful job of making her feel at home and welcoming her. Wow, am I grateful for the wonderful members here in Patagonia. The work is progressing greatly, we have found some great new people and we continue to invite everyone we possibly can to be baptized. Here is a cool story. We went to a lady that we had taught one other time, and as we got there she immediately invited us in. As we sat down she sat down amazed and said "I knew you guys were going to show up because I dreamed that you came to teach me". Wow, that was crazy. We invited her to be baptized in May and she accepted. The Lord works miracles, ha, and once again we sit and watch him do his work as we try to do as much as we can which for God is quite little.

This weekend I had a wonderful unexpected opportunity. There are two little 8 year olds that were baptized in our ward this past weekend that we have been teaching a little to help them be prepared. Well, when Saturday came around we found that the real Dad, who is a non member, didn't want the little girls step dad that is a member to baptize her, so, I was asked to baptize her. So I was able to baptize little Elena and then little Nara was baptized by her Dad. I was also privileged to confirm her and give her the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a great little opportunity and both of them loved their little necklace with HLJ.

Well fam, I sure do love you all so much. Oh yeah mother, Elder Walker and I one day were talking a little bit about our mothers and some how we started to talk about our mothers help during school and we talked about how every morning you would prepare my breakfast no matter what it was and my lunch every single day since I started school. I have no idea how you learned to serve so much or how to love and have patience but you are the greatest example there is for me in this life of those three principles along with my dear father. I can not give you enough thanks mother for all that you have done for me in my life. When one looks back at all you have done it is ridiculous the amount of service that you have given me and the amazing part is you have done that for not only me, but 3 other kids and more so you have served a lot of my friends. I love you mother so so so much. I will never be able to pay you back and thanks to your selfless service you have created a bond in our family of love that will never be broken, not even death will break it. I know that thanks to the Temple we will be together forever. I am so glad to have that blessing in my life and be able to share it will others here in southern Chile ( Gustavo, Wendy, Jauquin and Sofia). I love you all so much.
Elder Brown

1. Elena in her baptism
2. There the two little girls are with there necklaces.

April 8, 2013

Hola Familia y Amigos,

I really feel as if I don't have room in my soul for the joy and love that I feel here in the mission; for the mission work and for my family and amazing friends. There really is not enough room for all of it nor words that I have to explain. So, as simple as possible I will say, "todo bien, todo MUIY bien". I will tell you a little more about this phrase because it has a lot more meaning for me after yesterday haha. I am so very happy to hear that all is well in Zion ha. Crystal Cup seems to get older and older and more and more fragile, haha, Love you Caiden! Looks like Britt and fam had an awesome time there in Cali. Those pics of the two boys sure cracked me up. They are so cute. I love them so much. I haven't heard from my lost sister Lacee in forever and I sure do miss her and love her.

Wow, what a great week we had. Every week is coming faster and faster, just as the weather changes so fast here. Ha, it's like Utah; in the morning it's nice and a little later it's blowing wind and rain so hard and then once again it is as pretty as can be. It has gotten a lot colder here and yes, mom, I have now broken out my big boy jacket. Haha, it's as warm as can be. I have a hat mom so don't worry about sending one. Dad, we live in Manantiales, right in front of a huge mall. I don't know if you have seen that. It's far away from the ocean. Our apartment buildings are big and green. I can't remember many more questions except for about conference and I will be answering those a little bit later.

Wow, what an amazing week once again. I can't express the feelings of gratefulness that I feel towards the Lord for all that He has done for us in this sector. His hand really is in everything that is happening here and I am just grateful to be able to see Him go to work. All we do is try our best. Though it is very measly, He always puts in his hand and works mighty things, as we sit and watch Him work salvation. We had district meetings on Tuesday and now, I/we, as Zone leaders really don't do anything. The District leaders do everything and we just participate, but we did have good meetings and we were focusing a lot on helping as many investigators get to church as possible. That was our focus as a zone this week. Friday Elder Walker, me and all the district leaders had a leader council where we talked about a few things that we can do better. We talked about a few things that Elder Walker and I have been thinking about since the transfer started. One of the main things being the question... "What do we really love? For what we love determines our desires, our desires determines what we think about and what we do and what we are and what we become". This question has changed the way that I look at missionary work. When all that we do is based on the love that we have for the Lord and the love that we have to do His will, that is when we are really blessed with the power to become the kind of missionaries that the Lord wants to make of us. It's not so easy to change the things that you really love, but as we change them to be the things that the Lord loves we will be changed and blessed. I have been working so hard on this the last little while and I have seen the blessings. I hope to be able to apply it for the rest of my mission and my life. What we love determines who we are and who we become... so what do we really love? After that meeting we went on intercambio (exchanges) and I was with an Elder named Cardozo from Argentina. It was awesome and we taught a lady who told us that she had been praying to find the right baptism. We then told her that we were sent by God to her house to tell her that this was the right way. We invited her to be baptized and she said yes. It was a miracle.

Ok, now to the weekend, the best part! We got to see all sessions of conference, but that is not the best part. The best part is that we were able to see it with 9!!!! of our investigators! WOW, what a miracle! We focused all week on making plans on how they were going to get to the church, who they were going to sit by, and plans like that. Sunday morning session came and one by one the investigators started to arrive. Even better is that as every single one entered a member took them and said come sit with me and my fam and explained to them through out the conference any questions they had. We watched conference in another room so we could hear it in english. So, after it was over we ran back to see what all the investigators had thought. They all loved it. The family of Gustavo was all there which was awesome. They even all brought note books to write the things they felt. They are such an amazing family and we have only taught them like four times. I sure do love them. Then all of a sudden, one of the members comes up to me and says "Elder there is a couple that says you invited them to conference in the street and they came". WOW, how amazing is that. We found this couple in the street and we invited them and they said they would come and sure enough there they were. I was so tired after that session because we were running around trying to talk to everyone ha. What a weekend full of miracles, not to mentioned all the things I learned in conference. I forgot to bring my notes to share my favorite parts, so I will just tell you a few I remember.

In one talk the Elder said that there is almost nothing more powerful than a mothers prayer. I know that is true because if my mother hadn't prayed as much as she has and does I don't think I would be where I am. It's all thanks to my mother's powerful prayers. Another Elder said that a mission was a family affair, and I know that is true because many have helped me to be here and I am eternally grateful for their help. I learned so much from conference I will have to share more with you next week. I love you all. Dad, if you could send me some more cookie recipes I would love it. Remember, everyone, to let your light shine to a world that is in darkness. Love you all. I know that this is the Lord's church and yesterday we heard a prophet, called of Him. I KNOW IT!!! The stone cut out of the wall without hands is for sure filling the whole world, even to the ends at Punta Arenas!! I love it!
Elder Brown

Ps. I said "todo bien" had a special meaning because last night we invited an investigator to pray right there, and ask if he should be baptized this next week. He asked and it was silent for a good 5 minutes. The Spirit was powerful. Then he said "thanks for hearing me" and ended his prayer. He stands up and being a very simple man of few words looks at us and says "todo bien" (It's all good). Haha, I love that man, Jose. What another miracle! Haha, so many I don't have room to write them all.

PSS make sure Elder Stewart knows that I sure love that guy. I am so grateful for his great example to me. I love him a ton. I will always remember the cry fest that we all had the night before he left haha.

1. Elder Walker and I the two utahans
2. Elder Walker left me a little gift on my bed after making it for me while I was in the bathroom haha
3. Punta Arenas

April 1, 2013

Hola Familia y Amigos,

Well, I just have to tell you all that I sure do love being here in the mission. The Spirit that we were able to feel this last week has to have been the strongest in my whole entire life. Ha, I really do not have the words to explain it. What an amazing blessing to be here and feel those kinds of things. It is something I will never forget for the rest of my life. I love it so much. I am so glad to hear that all is well there, except for "crystal cup" has been damaged again, or in other words Caiden! It seems like every week he gets hurt again. Obviously I didn´t beat him up enough before I came out on the mission. I will take care of that when I get back haha. Sorry Dad that you haven´t been feeling so good, that's no fun. I cannot believe that Caiden is a priest, that is crazy. Those pics are way cool. Elder Walker and I decided that Caiden looks like a surfer dude, haha. We both got a good laugh after deciding that. Thanks for these pics Dad, they're awesome. Oh yeah who did Caiden ask to Prom?

Ok, now to answer some questions. Elder Walker is from Tremonten, Utah, but he is going to live a lot closer because he is going to be running for UVU. So I have actually been helping him with his papers to be prepared to go back there and run. How awesome is that. So he will be living like 5 minutes from the house. I already invited him to Sunday dinners, haha, I hope that's ok. I love being with Elder Walker, it is so much fun and he is really helping me to continue to grow and improve in a lot of things that I am not so good at. Dad, we live on the street, Manantiales, in the green apartments. I will post a pic of our apartment on the inside. Yes. the cookies are good here, mother, but not like crazy amazing, but they're just fine for me. Our investigators are doing great. We have 16 people who have dates for baptisms. There are so many great people here. I think a few of those dates might fall, because we haven´t been able to find them all. That man that we found that day the open house failed is so amazing. Him and his two kids now have a goal to get baptized and we are going to visit them today and hopefully put her with a goal to also. They are such an amazing family and we love them so much. They are a family that was prepared and ready for the Gospel. I think I answered a majority of the questions. I hope I did.

WOW!!! Another awesome week here in Patagonia. We see so many miracles here in Punta Arenas, but first I am going to start out with the bad news. Monday after we wrote the fams we got together, all the zone, to play soccer and basketball and just be more united. Everything was going great, we weren´t playing competitive or anything to avoid injuries, and then the bad happened. Hermana Lopez from Brazil was playing soccer and someone stepped on her foot and her foot stayed there while she kept going foward and injured her ankle. She acted like she was in a lot of pain so we decided to call a member and take her to the hospital. So Elder Walker and I lugged her out as she sat on a chair. Ha, good thing she is little. We went with her to the hospital and it turned out to be a break. They had to operate on her that night. She is now staying with the Stake Pres. while she heals up a bit. There was space in Pres. house because their son had left for a mission Tuesday, haha, so that's why we found a spot for her there. We are not sure what is going to happen with her but for now she is healing there in their house. That was the bad news, the rest is really awesome. The week went by so fast though that it is making it kinda hard for me to remember. The time is like the wind here, haha, so strong and fast that it about picks you up and throws you. Really though, the wind really is that strong here. There are cables to hold on to in centro because it gets so strong. I have never felt wind so strong before. Ok, to tell you the one thing that sticks out in my mind more than anything else is the powerful lesson that we had with that man that we found that day after the open house. He is so prepared, and we had a lesson with him Tuesday and it was so powerful. The Spirit was there testifying so strongly, not only to him but to us, that the Lord has much in store for Gustavo and his family. They are amazing. Elder Walker and I left that house and we could not say anything. We kinda just walked in profound silence and gratitude for what we had felt and what we continued to feel as we walked away. We began to try to explain to one another what we were feeling but we really just couldn´t do it. We tried and tried and then in the end we decided to just call it profound Joy. I can say it, but it just doesn´t really explain how it really felt. I can honestly say I think it was the happiest I have ever felt in my whole life. It was amazing.

Other than that all I can remember is how great this week was. We were able to finish it eating lunch in the house of the Stake Pres. yesterday with his fam and Hermana Lopez that broke her foot. Their family is so so amazing. They now have 2 kids out on the mission and their 18 year old daughter is getting ready as well to head out, so they will have three missionaries soon. They are such a great example of service. Right after having their son leave on a mission, taking in a broken hermana to take care of and feed. Then even more, so invite us two problems (haha) to come and eat at their house. They are so amazing. I sure love their fam so much. What great examples of selfless service and charity.

Fam, I can´t really think of what else to tell you. We are doing good as Zone leaders. We have just been in here on the computer for like 2 hours putting in numbers and goals and forms on how all the elders are doing, it's been a long one here in the cyber. I just want all of you to know that I know that our Savior Jesus Christ was ressurected and that he lives. I have come to know him so much better in the last year and so and I know with all my heart that through his atoning sacrifice that we can be changed. That is the central plan of our Heavenly Father, CHANGE!! We can change. We can become like our Lord as we repent and come to know him better. This Easter was a lot different. I did not feel that it was Easter, it was more just the Ressurection of Jesus Christ. There were no baskets, no eggs (except a couple chocolate ones that members gave us yesterday), or gifts besides for the wonderful gift that we have to invite all to follow the Living Christ who died and arose again for us. There is no better blessing. I love you all so much.
Elder Brown
1 our apartment
2. One of the churches here in Punta Arenas is right next door to a Catholic church, haha funny, huh?!