Oi família e amigos,
It is becoming increasingly more difficult to write in English, which is
actually a lot more welcome to me than a problem. Hope that I can still make
This week was great! Taught about 30 lessons again with nearly all of them
with a member present. It really is the key to have the members not just
involved, but swarming. Once the "swarm" begins, it´s difficult to stop.
I would like to explain a little about how I have watched this ward
developed, the fruits of this development and why it has done so. Of course,
there is nothing more annoying than a missionary bragging about his success,
so this will all be a general explanation so I can hope to keep some friends
after reading this email. It is basically as follows:
When I got here to Santa Felicidade, I wasn´t really sure what to expect.
Brand-new in the mission, you don´t have any preconceptions about what will
be happening, how the ward will be, whether other people will baptize there,
etc. Naturally, fresh out of the CTM, I was "pscyhed" to baptize the heck
out of everyone. I did not know that in the last year they had only baptized
7 people, but frankly I didn´t care. We just went to work.
There is a formula in the process of finding people and baptizing people
that is much more effective than many other ways - through the members, ALL
of them. There are several ways to get their trust, but the best way to do
it is by good, hard, honest and loving work. If you work, people know it.
When you invite them to be a part of this work, they usually want in. To be
clear, I think this is literally the best ward of all time, maybe since
Enoch. It is completely stacked to the ceiling of people willing and able to
do everything possible for the missionaries. So we went to work - teaching
and finding and sweating and loving it. Then people started to come to
church. Then we started having baptisms. Then the ward started to notice.
Then the work exploded. Then...who knows what can happen. All I know is
this: since being here, we´ve had the opportunity to baptize 17 people, with
many more scheduled for upcoming times. This is more than in the last 2
years! Why? Not because we are the ultimate studs of the universe, but
because we were willing to do our part and gutsy enough to ask the others to
do theirs. To be clear: like I said, there is nothing more annoying to a
member than a whining and demanding missionary. Is all you do is ask, you´re
going to get punched in the face by the Relief Society president sooner or
later. You become a burden instead of a strength. That is not exactly what
we want to do as missionaries, in my opinion.
Elder LeBaron and I were talking about how awesome the ward is here and what
else we can do to progress the work here. He basically said that this is the
best and most excited ward he´s seen in the mission. That made me excited -
excited to progress and do more! Stagnancy is the enemy of all missionaries.
If Satan has any battle in the mission, it´s that one. It´s that the
Americans don´t really need to have Language Study. We only need to baptize
monthly - weekly is just too hard. We only need to do contacts on work days,
not Pday. This stuff is crap and we need to give Satan a give in the face
through our obedience. I am positive that when we do our best, Satan
cringes. He is absolutely frady-scared (spelling?) to see the Lord´s
missionaries at their finest. We need to be THAT kind of missionary, not
your everyday kinda good one. Like Elder Bednar said, "I am sick and tired
of people calling this generation the chosen generation!" We need to EARN
that privelege and step up to the work at hand, not give excuses as to why
we aren´t allowed to give our best.
I think I have an addiction to the baptismal font. If I´m not in it every
week, I start going through withdrawals. Seriously, for all you addicts out
there, baptizing is the best stuff there is. Highly recommended.
I also love Elder LeBaron - he´s the man. We´ve been talking a lot about the
ward, our investigators, about everything in general, and it really is FUN
to be working with someone you really enjoy being with. It´s awesome to have
someone with a lot of faith and that wants to set and acheive ridiculous
I love you all and hope you know that I am doing well. All is well here in
Santa Felicidade - let the good waters of baptism flow.
Elder Brown, Santa Felicidade, Missão Brasil Curitiba