Monday, March 14, 2011

March 14, 2011

ola,

Well thanks so much for your letters last week. I really enjoyed reading them to find out what is happening with you all and what is up with the NBA and Jimmer ha. It is always really great to hear from you. I'm way grateful to all of you for having patience with me, because I typically don't respond to the questions asked of me in the emails you all send but I am trying to send out letters to people individually, so don't think I just ignore all the questions that you all ask. This week has been an interesting week, but I won't be able to remember all that much because I forgot my old planner because we are on the next transfer now. And yes, Elder Bezona is getting transferred out. I'm not sure where he is going but he doesn't seem to worried about that. The thing that is he is more worried about or the real issue for him is: will he get a car or not? ha. But I think he will survive either way ;) ..

Your probably wondering why the title of this e-mail is, "j-dubbed and arrested, but still kickin .." I think it's a great story, but not so sure I should share that kind of stuff. I should send back huge spiritual experiences and ways that the Lord has blessed me so I think I will just have to let you read that one when I get back in my journal, sorry! .. Just kidding! Here goes...Me and Elder Bezona go walking if we get done with an appointment early and we don't want to end the night early so we start walking down the road talking about some of the things that all missionaries talk about: Kolob, how sweet it would be to have Elder Holland as a companion, and probably telling each other that many people we meet here are talking, "false doctrine" ha. And out of no where a car rolls up and a guy pretty much jumps out of the car and starts yelling at us and asks us if we are religious men. So we say yes. He then asks us if we celebrate Christmas and we respond with yes. Then it gets real interesting, he says to us, "Show me in the bible where it says that Christ's birthday is on the 25th of December." Oh fetch, what did we get ourselves into! After me and Elder Bezona explain a little about that and we tell him we celebrate his birth one day and his life every other day he jumps to another topic. At this point he starts to really raise his voice and try to take control of the situation. So me feeling pretty tough now that I have been out a whopping 2 months in the mission field decide that I'm not going to be tongue lashed by some dude. So I start to get into it with this guy who is pulling out the wackyest verses ever from the bible and the turning point where Elder Bezona told me we need to go and stop wasting time on this guy is when he told us about giants. To sum it up and I'm not trying to make fun of anyones religion at all but "Steven," the Jehovah's witness we were talking to, proceeded to tell me that there were giants killing people so God commanded Noah to build an ark and yatta yatta yatta. Five minutes later he is showing me some pictures off his phone about how they found the bones of these giants in Jerusalem. I turned and looked at him and said, "where did you get these google? wikipedia?" Needless to say he didn't like that comment too much. So finally we start walking off and he said, "I encourage you to sit down with a witness and be open to learning", and I responded, "if I didn't already know that this church was true, I would." What an exchange we had for about 15 to 20 minutes with this guy and I felt like when I walked away that we had "won," but the longer we walked and the more I thought about this exchange I realized I had profoundly "lost." I lost the companionship of the spirit for the rest of that night, I had not been patient with the man and not showed Heavenly Father I had learned something about the Christ like attributes. I didn't fulfill my purpose as a missionary of inviting others to come unto Christ, I might have lost the church some respect in the mans eyes. I probably lost respect in my companion's eyes. I had lost, and Satan had won. Sometimes I feel like Nephi in 2nd Nephi chapter 4:

17: Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.
18: I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.

I have been given knowledge and I never want to waste time on people that are hard hearted and not yet ready for the message of the restored gospel but I did and I might have found somebody that night that needed Elder Bezona and I. It is a relief sometimes though to see even Nephi who was an amazing man and prophet struggle with temptation and sin, but like him I can overcome:

28: Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.
29: Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.
30: Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

I can work to become better, like Nephi, and not give into temptation. I will try my best not to. I am so grateful for the atonement and repentance. I can always become clean and work to be better everyday!! And the arrested bit, me and Elder Bezona got accused of throwing something at some kids car while we were walking home and it was all because I was crossing the street and he needed to slow down so he was mad and called the police. They came and checked out the car and there was of course nothing there, no damage, because we didn't throw anything. Officer K. Vance was on the case and she did a bang up job!! ha. I felt bad later because that was this kids experience with missionaries and when missionaries knock on his door he is going to be mad and remember this experience. Maybe the Lord will soften his heart one day! But I have to say while the guy was chasing us it was way fun running through alleyways and hiding behind cars ha.

Love,

Elder Brown

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