Friday, December 7, 2012

December 7, 2012 (last letter)


ola, 
 
I would love to just start by saying thank you to all of you who have stuck by me through these 2 years. I want to thank you for all the letters, emails, and reminders that i have received from all of you! Thank you for all the packages that were filled with more than just candies and missionary stuff but love. I have no way to show you all  how appreciative i am of each and every one of you. I pray that you can feel my love and gratefulness. 

 I can hardly believe that i have gotten to this point. I don't even know where to start. I can remember clearly the first email that i sent home when i entered to the MTC. I only had 30 minutes to write so i always wrote what i wanted to say down on paper first and than typed it out.  I remember getting daily letters from you mom and ash .. i was known as the "most loved" in my district ha. I can still remember the food, my teachers, and all the good friendships that i made in the MTC. I grew to have a testimony of the sacredness of this work in those halls and classrooms. How i loved and am thankful for the MTC! In those 9 weeks i learned a lot about my Savior but  where i learned the most about my Savior has been in the Savior´s mission, a Missão Brasil Salvador. 

As i have served these 2 years  i have learned so much about myself and about my Heavenly Father. Some things were harder than others but every single experience helped me to be better and to learn and to grow.  But in this I am certain, no matter where i was or what i was doing, or who my companion was i have never walked alone in this mission. As i worked with all my heart, mind, and strength, in this choice place, i have never been so blessed. I have learned so much about what the Savior did for me and what He can do for anyone and everyone. 

This mission was never about me but about Him. When I finally understood that, that was when the Lord magnified me in my calling. that was when he trusted me with Heavenly Father´s children.  He is the fountain of our power in this holy calling. It's the Savior that makes all the difference. It's him that changes lives, and it's him that gives people a reason to live. And as i strived to help people to come to know the savior and make them candidates of eternal life all along it was really the Lord who was gently and kindly leading me to be what He wanted me to be. This mission about the Savior, has given me the greatest opportunity: to save my own life. 

It was through Him and this mission that i have found myself. 

 As i tried to repay my Heavenly Father for all that He had done for me in these last 25 months, i have come to know that He seems to find pleasure in not letting me catch up to Him. As I have served Him, He has rained blessings down upon me "that there [is] not be room enough to receive [them]."

i love you all and hope that i have made you all proud. 

-- 
Elder Brown (for 7 more days)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 1, 2012

ola,
 
these last few weeks have been really memroble! we have had a good
time. We had a really great present for thanksgiving this year. The
lord was really merciful with me in that he didnt let me eat rice and
beans for thanks giving this year hah. Sister Hart and President
invited us over to have thanksgiving dinner this them and there
family! .. I am soo grateful for sister and her daughter, who was here
visiting, who prepared a huge feast for us! and i am grateful for
president hart who payed 150 dollars on the turkey! .. Yeah that one
hurt the wallet! ha. but it was a thanksgiving that i wont ever
forget! We sat down as a "family" and we had a great dinner. We
laughed and we told jokes and stories. It was a really great time.
 
Most recently i have been reading about the life of the Savior and how
he ended his mission. i am soo sad to leave this people like im sure
the savior was so sad to leave  His. I dont in any way compare myself
with the King of Kings and dont even have any idea what he passed
through but as i read about his life and how he finished i feel up
lifted and motivated to press forward with perfect faith. I have grown
to know my savior like i could have never imagined. I feel so often
that i was sent to brasil because he knew that this people could teach
me more and help me to know my savior more than any other.
 
How i love Him.
 
sorry that i could write so little. but i love you all so much. i miss you.
 
-- 
 
 
Elder Brown
 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 17th, 2012


ola, 

hey everyone. I pray that all of you are as well as we are here! We are having a lot of fun and working hard. This week we got to go to a ton of zone meetings with all the elders and that was really fun. I love to see them and i always give every single one of them a hug. I have most recently asked President what i can do better, or who he wants me to be?   I am so grateful for President Hart, he is truly the man inspired of God to guide us here and to help us become who we need to become. 

As we took part in some of the zone meetings, we took the opportunity to say a few things. And if you know me I'm my biggest critic or some of you might say my biggest fan ha. but i was trying to follow the Spirit and share with them what i thought. We bore our testimonies, we encouraged the missionaries and everything was going well but i didn't feel like the messages that we were sharing were the messages that the missionaries needed to hear. Until we got to the last Zone meeting this week and as my companion looked at me and asked me if i wanted to say anything i thought of President and the question that i asked him. Who do you want me to be President? How can i be better? .. And as we arose i could feel a difference in me. I could feel as i was inspired; and what Elder Leite and I shared together to that small group of missionaries was the will of President Hart and the Lord. We exhorted, and pleaded with the missionaries and as we talked to that small group of young, learning missionaries the Spirit burned in our hearts. I love President Hart, he teaches me, he teaches all of us, everyday. 

A little testimony builder:

 Yesterday, we got to a sisters house and the worse thing that could ever happened, happened! .. The sister forgot that she had marked on the calender to feed the missionaries! ha. We, in frank terms, were devastated! ha. And as me and my companion tried to figure out what we were going to eat nothing seemed to right. So we decided that we were just going to work and later we would eat something on the street. So we headed off and as we walked we both thought of a one of our recent converts here in the area and decided to go visit him. As we got there we were well received and the first thing that his grandma asked us was, if we had already ate lunch? we told her, "kind of," and i think she read right through us. ha. She told us to get a plate and eat some of the pasta that was left over from lunch. As we sat down she told us this, "its incredible how we can feel things. Usually, i just enough food for us to eat but today i feel like i needed to make a little more." .. 
-- 

I was really grateful for that plate of pasta and even more for the Lord, having touched the heart of one of his special daughters to ease the burden of 2 hungry missionaries trying their best to save their brothers and sisters. 

amo voces!! ..  

November 10, 2012

Heyy everybody, 

 i guess its been awhile since i have written anything! .. But today ill give you guys a good update. So this last 2 weeks have been pretty good. One thing that i will remember for the rest of my mission was the last lesson that Elder Smith and I taught together. I had the privilege to be part of the last lesson that Elder Smith taught in Brasil, unless he taught someone on the plane ha., and how awesome was that lesson. We taught a young man named Jefferson about Repentance and Baptism. We hadn´t taught together for awhile but we did pretty good and the Spirit was there. He was touched and he accepted a baptismal date. It was a good lesson. And in the end he prayed, and in his prayer pleaded with Heavenly Father for him to show him that this is what He wants for him. My eyes filled up with tears. It was a good lesson and a great opportunity to do what i love with one of my best friends. Elder Smith is a great elder, and will always be. 

Another little experience that i really loved ill share with you. We at a members house celebrating his birthday and i remembered that i had marked with a less active lady that very same night and that she was waiting for us. So i told Elder Leite that we need to go and that i remembered this lady. And she lives in a pretty shady neighborhood and it was really far from where we were at that moment. And it seemed like every time we said we had to go to the, "birthday boy," (65 years old) he told us that it was really dangerous to go there at night and his children asked us to stay but i feel really strongly that we need to go. So we got out of there and went flying to the other neighborhood about 20 minutes away. And when we finally got there, the member told us that she was waiting for us and that she had made something for us to eat. We had a great visit. We laughed together and talked about the gospel. We left the home with a word of prayer. And as we got up to leave the home and shook their hands the less active member looked at us and said, "thank you elders." 
This sister has 9 children, and none of them go to church. Her husband has only gone once but doesn't really want to be tied down to one church so he doesn´t want to be baptized. She goes with her grand-daughter or by herself week after week. I am grateful to be a part of this great work. I have finally found the joy of missionary work. I, with 24 months in the mission, have finally found the true happiness and joy of missionary work. Its not about numbers, its not about lessons. Its about what lies behind those, "thank you´s." Its about loving every single person. Its about bringing a little bit of Christ with you everywhere you go so the people can feel that and desire those feelings for a lifetime. 

 the lord loves me, i know that because he allows me, from time to time, to be guided to one of his precious children and to show them how much they mean to the All-Mighty, the Wonderful, even the Eternal Father. 


i love you all, 

 i wish could write you more but i have to go work!!! .. 

 Pray that i can baptize!!!, Fast that i can baptize!!!!, Put my name in the temple so that i can Baptize!! is all that i ask. 

te amo demais!!!! Feliz 2 years haha. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

October 25, 2012

o how are things with you?  

Im doing really, really good. Im tired but im happy! .. Im trying my best to help my companion and to baptize. We laugh a lot which makes the time pass by even more quickly ha. but makes for good memories. Elder Leite´s mom sent me a shirt from the Paraíba! I was way surprised and excited to get it! He really does have a nice family. You guys can rest easy knowing that we are working hard and doing our best to bring souls unto Christ.  


Would you remind me again of your companions name?

Elder Leite: from João Pessoa in the Paraíba. He lives about an hour away from the temple in Recife. 
His dad´s name is Adelmar and his mom´s name is Liahona. ha sweet name huh?! ha. He has 4 siblings and he is the oldest of his family and of all the grandchildren in his entire family. 

Have you been traveling a lot?
No, not a ton actual. President and sister have been doing a lot of traveling though. I don't know how they do it. They work so hard and rest so little, President Hart really is a machine. I admire that man so much. 

You healthy? 
Of course! ha. The Lord has really blessed me with great health during my mission. 

You getting plenty to eat?
Yup, I eat a lot! I will really miss the brazilian food!! .. I love beans hahaha. If i go one day without them i pretty much die. ha. The other day, at lunch, i made a plate just of beans and something that we call, Farinha, and hot sauce. Ohh baby! it hit the spot haha. 

Have you used the money that Brother Spencer gave you (100.00) to spend half on yourself something you want to bring back from Brazil and the other 50.00 on someone there in Brazil? 
I really have been looking around to find something that i can do that will really make a difference. And i promise that i will use it well and bless someones life. 

 
I told the Bishop when you will be home (Dec. 10 or 13)  He would like you to report on Dec. 16 which works out nicely because family will still be here.  Is that ok with you?
thats awesome i would be honored to give a talk. But i can´t garantee that it will all make sense haha. Because i dont speak english anymore, it probably has been a few months that i have really spoken english with someone. ha. ( i talk to sister in a language that i dont even understand ha. Engliuese.)


How do you like to spell Brazil?  Here we spell it Brazil.  But I see there they spell it differently? (Brasil?)
Yup, brasil here is spelled with "s" and not "z." So i use s. 

Anything you need me to send?  More ties?  Candy?  food?  Please let me know!
Ummmmmmmmmm .. maybe something for my companion. He really likes football and he used to play at home football for a team that was pretty good. He brought a football on the mission so maybe something for him would be nice. Im doing great. All my clothes are doing well, my shoes are holding up. 
p.s.: He is a cardinal fan ha. ( He has a Cardinal´s jersey ha.) 

--
Elder Brown

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 8, 2012-Extension

Hey mamma,

Soo i talked to president today and he told me that he got permission to extend my mission at least 30 days and depending on if the the church lets him or not i could stay until the end of the year!!! isn't that exciting! .. its gonna be great another Christmas doing the lords work what a blessing!! .. ha j/k don't have a heart attack ha. i will be coming home the 10th or the 13th 

love ya mom,
Elder

October 6, 2012

ola,

 So i promised you that i would tell you about something that happened to us this last week. So here we go.

I don't know if you remember the story of Adriana. So I'll remind you a little bit. So one night after teaching a pretty disappointing lesson, disappointing because the man dreamed about his church that he goes to and he felt like that was his answer so we dropped him, i was pretty sad and my companion saw that and told me everything would turn out alright. And we set off to teach a less active family and as we got on their street, my companion felt impressed to knock a door and so we followed his prompting and we knocked. We taught one of the best lessons that we had taught together and the spirit really testified to her that the things we taught were true. After that lesson we were way excited to come back and see how she would progress. And on one division, I was with Elder Smith in my area, we had marked to meet with Adriana and her daughter and as we got there we found the home empty. They had left. So i looked at Elder Smith and we decided to hit the doors around her home to see what would happen. And as we went we talked to a missionary from a different church, we talked to a women from the Catholic Church who would not let us in that day and the next door we hit we talked to a women named Ernestina. She came to the door looked at us and told us that we could talk.   I did the contact at that door and it was surprising easy talk to her and they ended up letting us in. Elder Smith and I taught her the first lesson and we quickly found out that Ernestina had little education. We had to repeat and repeat what we were saying again and again just like this sentence that keeps repeating and repeating  haha. But finally after a hour and a half of teaching she understood and we were felt like we would leave.
We have gone back several times to the home of Adriana but something or someone has gotten into her head and put bad feelings into her heart about the church. But as we continued to go back and teach Ernestina, even though many people have gone to her and talked bad about the church she didn't´t ever listen! .. Even with little education and little talent to read or write she has been able to keep all the commandments, that includes reading the scriptures everyday, and this last week in-spite of all the difficulties that she has passed through decided to follow the Savior by being baptized!
She is soo special to us. We love her so much and want to see her in the temple and the Celestial Kingdom someday! President said something the other day that i had not thought about.  He said that the great mission of the church and Heavenly Father is to seal everyone on the earth together, creating ONE beautiful family. And now Ernestina is one step closer to being part of that family.

The Lord knew that Adriana might not accept the gospel right now but he sent us to find her to teach her so that one day, when she wasn't´t home we could find the one person that was ready and waiting for the good news, Ernestina.

Eu amo Brasil!!! Eu amo o povo Brasileiro!! .. 

amo voces ..

Elder Brownzão