Friday, October 29, 2010

Morôni é o cara dos caras!

This week, we are trying to put something big into practice - be just
like Captain Moroni! As we read in Alma 48, he was strong, powerful,
of a perfect understanding, faithful, etc. We are trying to better
develop these atributes by first stydying them and then setting
meaningful goals to help really put them into practice. It has been
working! Instead of talking about things that don´t have much to do
with missionary work, we talk about Moroni and what he would talk
about/be like/eat for dinner (deep-dish lion lasagna is my thought).
We´ve found some really good familes in our area and several people
are preparing to be baptized this week and in the following weeks!
We´re trying hard to organize our time a little better so that we
spend a little less time walking and more time inviting people to be
baptized. It´s worked out and we´ve had some great experiences!
Some bullet points:

- my comp. and I went to a less-active woman´s house and tried to help
her out a little. Her name´s Zilda and ela é da Bahiiiiia ( I love
Bahianos). We had a great lesson and she ended up going to church that
week. Also, she had this sweet poster of Bruce Lee that my comp. had
his eye on. She asked him if he wanted it, he said yes, and 3 minutes
later we were doing contacts with it. It was awesome. Turns out that
Bruce Lee is a great way to find new investigators!

- I was able to go back to my 2nd area and do a few interviews. It was
amazing. There was a lady named Ivone, and she didn´t really feel like
she was ready to be baptized. One thing that I´ve learned in doing
baptismal interviews is that you really need to let the person feel at
home and comfortable, with a strong Spirit in the room. I let her talk
and after a while, she started really going deep with things she´s
done in her past, her regrets, etc. She started crying and I almost
did, too. When I asked her if she ws ready to be baptized she wasn´t
sure. I ´ve gained an enormous testimony of the scriptures, and that
when we study them the Spirit will show us EXACTLY what we need and
when. I read her Alma 7:11-15. She cried. She was baptized with her

***I REALLY would like some photos of the family and of me when I was
younger to show investigators. People will not leave me alone about

- my comp. was petting this cute dog and then it jumped up on his lap.
He then grabbed the dog and raised it up over his chest. He then
started to sing the Circle of Life and the recent convert (Aparecida)
and I couldn´t stop laughing.

- we are teaching a guy named Wagner who looks EXACTLY like Frodo from
Lord of the Rings. It is seriously creepy - I´m expecting him to hear
"it´s getting heavier,´s calling to him...", etc.

- We went to the temple today! Even though my comp and I couldn´t go
into the session (because he had a little problem with his recommend)
we were able to do initiatories. It was soooo cool! I love the Spirit
of the Temple and the peace that it brings.

- Choir´s going better. Everyone´s staying more focused and actually
learning, which is showing some great progress.

- drunks are our best supporters, by far. Everywhere we go they´re
yelling our name and saying "yeah! Go get´m Americans! Speak German!"
and the like.

I know that Jesus is the Christ. I have seen Him change my life and
the lives of others. Thanks for your support - you will be blessed for
every ounce of effort.
Elder Brown

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Monday, October 25, 2010

What a week!

As it says above, it has been quite a week.
Bullet points, to start this stuff out:

- I did an interview for a lady named Karla in Autódromo, my second area. She has been receiving the lessons for a while and she was just struggling a little to know that she really was ready to be baptized. Last week I challenged her to be baptized on the 24th, but she felt that she was a little more ready a little faster than we thought she would be. BUT, she said she still didn´t know that the BOM is true. I challenged her to pray in that second and that she would know - she cried. I saw someone receive an answer. It was amazing. There isn´t another feeling like it. She was baptized.

- We were walking on the train tracks (our area has a huge train station that ships stuff everywhere) and we ran into some drug dealers, who happened to be at that moment on Cloud 9, if you´re picking up what I´m laying down, yo. They were actually really happy to see us and as we got their addresses, they asked if we were the cops. They were pleased to find out that we were not. So were we.

- There was this crazy swarm of little ants with wings all over the city - it´s like there was some mass breeding and they came out. They all went towards the lights and it was gross/cool.

- we were knocking a dog and this huge dog came out of the corner, just looking at me and Elder Pettegrew. Elder had a lot of dogs before the mission, so he promptly began to tickle the dogs chin, in a half-mocking way. I saw the look of utmost hate and bitterness coming from the dog, but he couldn´t do anything about it. It was hilarious.

- there was this guy walking down the street really fast, punching the air and making growling noises. He was weird.
So, these were more of the semi-pro things that happened. Now for the bigger stuff>

- we have marked about 15 baptismal dates in this last week! It´s awesome! We just leave the house with a little more faith, believing that we´ll be able to find people, and the Lord provides. Now we just need to help these people progress until Exaltation.

---THE BLITZ!!! So in a few areas close to us, the Elders are lacking a lot of people to teach and it´s been frustrating for them because they´re actually trying, just not getting a lot of material success. We decided to get all the Elders and go to that one area and work there for a few hours and find some new people. It was awesome!!! We were able to teach, in 2 1/2 hours, around 10 first lessons, several familes and mark 8 baptismal dates, as well as a slew of contacts. We challenged the Elders to be just like
Moroni - a challenge we all received from Presidente Cordon - and I can sincerely say that we all felt like him for that time. We got back afterwards, talked about the succes, and filled out the Teaching Records for each person, then gave them, with days to go back and follow up, to the Elders from that area. Whoever had the best/most detailed Teaching Record got a prize and whoever taught the most lessons, marked the most dates, did the most contacts, got other prizes. We had a quick testimony meeting and it was cool - there were a few problems with people in districts and such but they were all figured out. All in all, a success and we want to do it in every area here. Some other things that happened during the 2 1/2 hours: 1. we (my comp. and I) went to the richest part of the area to knock some doors down, but no one was home. We said a prayer to find someone and then we were able to at least meet with some people, but no one could meet with us. Then, after a few minutes, we found two people (who live on the street) making out on the grass. We decided to interrupt and them teach them, and they accepted a baptismal date. Also, as we were heading back to the chapel, there was one guy who only had 10 minutes to hear a message. We were leaving the message with him and it was going well, and then I started to say the First Vision. As I said it (his eyes were closed to focus on his feelings, not his surroundings), his dog starting biting me. In the crotch. (sorry for any females who read this). It was awkward, but we were able to mark a date with him too. Then, as I got up to go, I put on my backpack, and as I reached down to pull up the strap with my left hand, I felt something wet. The dog´s poop. Yes Dad, I have now been pooped on. Trumped, I believe. Enfim, the Blitz was awesome.

- I got separated from my comp for 30 minutes! We were deciding to get or not get another bus and he ended up jumping out right as the doors shut. It was terrifying (it was this morning), but we´re ok.

This week has been great. I hope all weeks will be this way, and I know they can if I´m obedient, work, love, etc.

Love you all, more than you know. It´s true - the good stuff, at least.
Elder Brown

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Doce É O Trabalho!! (translated is...)

Sweet is the work!

This last week has been absolutely full of awesome experiences. It really is weird to me that when you just go to work, not thinking of yoruself and of your own problems, everything seems to work out and you always have enough energy to keep pushing on. I also am comforted by the Spriit and by how much it blesses us here in the mission field - for those who have or haven´t experienced it, the greatest feeling in the world is that of being led by the Spirit and knowing that you´re worthy to have Him operate because of your good works.

Bullet points:
- choir is getting better every week! It´s really cool to see how the Élderes do their best and how much we can feel the Spirit. We put in a few special musical numbers for a small group and it´ll be amazing (Beautiful Savior and All Creatures of Our God and King!)

- there was this crazy guy with an awesome old-style corduroy hat, sitting in his outside garage on Sunday, with an electric keyboard plugged in. He was playing it and making Stevie Wonder-like faces. The best part: he didn´t know AT ALL how to play - he basically just hit the keyboard at different rythyms, making different faces as he went. Hilarious. He let me play the Maple Leaf Rag and after I was done, he muttered something under his breath that sounded like "...doesn´t even play nuthin´." Silly rabbit. Good times.

- We were walking down the street on the holiday ( I can´t remember which - they´ve got quite a few here) and there were these really, ahem, "gangsta"-looking guys on the other side of the street graffitiing (spelling? Oh well.). One of them, who had a riDANKulous afro, came over and talked to us as we admired their work. It was really cool. We didn´t ask to teach, we didn´t interrupt them, but just let them know that we liked their stuff. I´ll get a picture of it later.

- There was a drunk guy passed out on the street yesterday. Groaning and moaning. Beer= bad.

- we had a crazy emergency transfer for an unknown reason. Elder Askins (one of the other Elders that lived with us in our house, who was comps with my trainer, Elder Duarte) was transferred to another area to train some of the Corto Prazo (the elders that come before being called for a few months to learn the ropes) and Elder Miguel got transferred in to Capão da Imbuia. It was crazy, but that´s life.

- we ate Mexican food today. Ohhhh yeah.

There is really a big difference between working just to work and working because you love it. I have discovered the difference and it is becoming even more of a joy to work every day. It´s not just "one more day", but another opportunity to do my best and help others receive the blessings. I love my comp! Before we were companions we were great friends and now it´s a pleasure to work with him. People have a difficult time telling us that we can´t come into their houses! We win them over with our crazy American craziness and they love it, feel the Sprit, and yeah! It really is all true! This work isn´t just for fun, or just to suffer and say that you did. It´s because peope really need this. Every day when people say that they don´t want to hear or that they don´t need to, it´s becoming easier and easier to say that YES, you DO need this!! I love telling that Catholics that the Pope needs to be baptized in our church - it makes them crazy mad sometimes, but at least they know. I also love bearing my testimony. I love being able to study the scriptures and learn more about the things that I´ve "known" for a long time, but never really dug into. I can´t wait to be able to continue to learn and apply this stuff - now in the mission and later on in life. There was a time when I would count down the days until the end, but now that it´s starting to come up, I don´t want it to come! Go away!

God lives. THIS IS His church. He loves us so much. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for us and pave the way for our Salvation. EVERYONE needs this restored Gospel. EVERYONE must be baptized by the authority that we have been bestowed so graciously. I don´t always understand everything, but the things I understand are good enough for me, and enough to keep me going.

Love you all. Let´s keep it up!
Elder Brown

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

uma semana mais louca (one crazy week)

Sheesh. That basically describes this week. Because it was AWESOME!!!

Bullet points (for lack of time):


- I found R$32 on the ground!!! I consider it a blessing, a blessing from the Lord (God be praised).


- I tried a new way to do proselyting this last week: get into the really rich places of our area. They´re all protected by gates and guards, so I decided to walk up with a professional style and present our message. I then pulled out my temple recommend and flashed it to them like the guys in the FBI: "Good afternoon - Elder Brown, missionary of the church of Jesus Christ. We were informed that there are some people in this residency that desire baptism in the Lord´s church....". It was fun, even if we didn´t get in. Next time, we´ll try getting at least one lesson marked. Then...the rich men WILL enter into the Kingdom of Heaven!!


- I got transferred! I now work in an area called Vila Oficinas with Elder Pettegrew, one of my best friends on the mission! I also live with my trainer and his comp. in the same house!!! My comp. and Elder Duarte are going home next transfer! AAHHHH!!!! It´s a pretty rich area and I KNOW that there will be some rich guy who can´t resist baptism by fire in the Lord´s church. Perhaps dozens.


- I did my first Dan Jones. It wasn´t as cool as I wanted it to be, but basically we were on the tour bus going around the Centro de Curitiba and I started yelling at people with the Book of Mormon when the bus stopped. It was awesome, and the next time, it´ll be in a church. And my comp. will be totally in on it.


-         we were challenged by President Cordon to be just like Moroni this month! We´re totally going to do it!!! Let´s baptize around 500!!!


Let me, there is too much. Let me sum up: I love the mission. I love being able to serve and feel the Spirit all the time. It is awesome to be obedient and feel that you are making a difference. I love the Savior. I love His Spirit. I love the Book of Mormon. I am starting to recognize that I won´t always be a missionary, and it MUST be taaken advantage of. I love you all and pray for you.


Keep the procession into the pia batismal rollin´.

Elder Brown

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