Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Esta semana

Hey everyone,


This last week has been one of the most tiring ones of my entire life. We had the performances for the Mission Choir in a place called Shopping Estação. It´s a super nice mall and it actually felt really, reeeally bad to be in there - it is completely "of the world", as you might say.


One experience, though: We went from Ala 2 (in the Center) to another bus tube to get to the mall. Imagine ~50 Elderes and Sisteres piling into a huge red bus and you´ll know a little of what I mean. When we arrived, all the Elders freaked out (because it is soo against the rules to go into the mall), and I went in, leading the Elders. It was impressive. Imagine a line of 50 missionaries, suited or dressed, all excited and smiling, and then imagine every single person in the mall looking at them, almost in a jaw-dropped fashion. When I got to the place where we were to sing, I turned around to see if everyone was coming. It was an awesome sight - literally, the whole mall stopped! Girls, men, little kids all looked to see what was going on. Then they showed us the riser where we were to sing and we got ready. We started the program, and I got to introduce the choir, blah blah blah.


We sang Joy to the World, then a small group sang All Creatures of our God and King, then the Sisters sang with the small group Away in a Manger, then Far, Far Away on Judea´s Plains, then the Sisters sang Teach me to Walk in the Light, then Silent Night (we had one Elder read Mosiah 3:5-8 with the choir humming, it was cool), then Beautiful Savior with the small group (the best one, by far), then Angels We Have Heard on High, then While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night, then Joseph Smith´s First Prayer with me and the sisters, then I Believe in Christ with the whole group. It was super cool, and we got a big applause from everyone. It was reeeeeally hot in the mall and we were all sweating a ton. There were a couple Elders who almost fainted from the humidity. Miss Curitiba was there, because she got baptized the week before. President was there and there were a lot of members and investigators. I would say that everything worked out and we have no regrets. It required a lot of energy, but it all worked out in the end.


We (the small group) also got to go to a special presentation waaay outside of Curitiba on the way to the beach to one of the Stake President´s in Curitiba´s work party. It looked nice for Brazil, a little run down for the states - lots of land, nice cabin, etc. We had to listen to the President of the company drone on for a while about the marvelous success that they had and then we heard a Catholic priest talk about Salt and Light. We had to repeat the prayers that he passed out on pieces of paper to us, etc. Very glad to be a member of Jesus´ church. Then we sang and it was warm fuzzies for everyone. Then the little snack and we left by taxi. It was super expensive, but we didn´t have to pay (~R$130 round trip, for two taxis).


It´s been interesting in this time working up until Christmas. A lot of Elders have the attitude that no one will be home and that nothing will work out like it should. We don´t! We´ve been able to teach tons of people, especially with the wonderful deluge of rain that we´ve been receiving recently. We´ve been working to help the Élderes keep their positivity up, and the article that I got from Elder Mott really helped. We´re excited! We´ve got several people that are preparing to be baptized on CHristmas! IT´ll be awesome!


I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that, even though at times we have difficulties and problems, we can find peace in Him. I can personally testify as to the cleansing effect that His Spirit has on us and of the peace it gives us, amidst a very troubled world. It really is worth it to be here, and I love it. Every day is another adventure, and I know now with an increasing amount of reality how little time I have left to serve. I know that while I feel that my sacrifice is small, it is the best I have to offer and I know that it´ll be accepted by the Lord.


Love you all. Merry Christmas, almost!


Élder Brown




Wednesday, December 8, 2010

E aí

Hey guys,

So, at my mother´s request, I will write about some stuff:

  • Please tell me about each investigator you have right now.  I love hearing their stories and progress!

So.. We´ve got Noemi E Gelson. They need to get married. Their kids were baptized and confirmed a little while ago but they need...desire and reason to get married. She wants to, he doesn´t. But they´ll work out ok - they love church and what it´s done for their kids. Then there´s Iuza and Dirciu. He needs to stop drinking and being a retard, and she has an issue with someone at church. It´s great fun. They´re ok, but they need to go to church. Then there´s Adriana and Igor. We found them last week and they have a baptismal date for CHRISTMAS!!! Whee! She called us the other day to say that she received her answer and that she wants to give her Padre (Catholics) the Book of Mormon. We will surely oblige and baptize her whole church. Then there´s Manoel and his Family, Henrique and Janete. They´re from São Paulo and they are SUPER elect, with dates for Christmas as well. They have got to go to church and continue to give us delicious cake. Then there´s a member reference named Ana who´s ready for baptism, we just need to find her at home and she needs to cut smoking, which she´s already doing. There are other people, but these are the best ones. They´re pretty amazing and we´re finding new people every day.

  • Please share your spiritual experiences and testimony in your mass email- to me it is like a spiritual shot in the arm!

The Spirit experiencezão for the week would have to be yesterday. We were teaching a lesson to a media reference and it was going, well, pretty machine-like. I got a little frustrated when she said that she had already been baptized (Catholic...blah) and didn´t need it again. We left the lesson and we both felt...a little empty. We decided to testify of Christ in some contacts, and we instantly felt better. The Spirit is the ONLY WAY to go on the mission, and in our lives. Without it, LIFE DOESN´T MAKE SENSE!!! Without it, this isn´t the true church and the BOM isn´t true, etc etc etc. We need it! If you don´t feel the Spirit, start keeping the commandments and you will be baffled to see that you feel it! Wow! What a concept! Sorry for the sarcasm but that´s just how I´ve been feeling lately. But in all seriousness, it is amazing and it was great to see/feel His presence a little more.

  • How are you doing this week? 

I´m ok. We´re helping the Zone to be a little more excited because they were a little dead. We had a Zone study in our chapel about Charity, followed by a mountain of brownies, juice, and baskeball. The Americans also, as I am proud to announce, destroyed the Brasilians in soccer. HaHA. Take that.

  • How is choir? 

Good. It is very good.

  • When do you perform?

Today, Friday, Saturday, and a few other performances that are being scheduled. It´ll be great!

  • How are your clothes/ shoes holding up?

Great. Holding up well, and I´m seriously getting a lot skinnier.

  • Did you buy new socks?

No, I decided that I really didn´t need them - we´ll use these ones until the end. Maybe I can use the $ as an emergency fund.

  • When you receive your Christmas package please open it as soon as you get it! I want you to be able to enjoy it right away.  I hope it comes soon!

Me too.

I love you all. More bullet points:
- there´s a dog that likes to eat grass. It´s funny.
- we found a PENNY on the street. Weird.
- we heard Brasilian AC/DC. Needless to say, it was horrible beyond reason.
- there was a dog that peed for a good minute straight. Impressive.
- we taught a lesson in a "
SPiritual Center", and, actually, the medium there was super cool. SHe´ll be out of town on Christmas, but later she´ll be baptized!

The Church is super duper true. Jesus is the Christ. He loves us. He knows us. Trust Him.

Élder Brown

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

whoa no time

Subject says everything.
- I did a contact with a midget the other day. He was reeeeally small with a normal-sized head. Weird.
- this was probably one of the craziest weeks of all time. For example - renewing the visa, having to give the secretaries a bill for over 840 reais from an area in the zone, etc. Fun stuff.
- I saw Christmas lights and they made me feel much better
- We saw this crazy drunk guy Sunday. He asked us in tons of slang if we had any girlfriends/concubines/etc. He then asked about the Law of Chastity, and when he heard that you can´t do "the stuff" before marriage, he got all worried and said "Nossa...então minha mãe está pecando legal" (Wow...then my mom´s sinning cool, literally). Then his friend who has herpies on his face came up and started applying this crazy purple stuff to the sores. One of the better experiences of the misison.
- The freakin numbers here are ridiculous, just to say it again. 15, 2, 3,444,000, etc. Go organization.
- we saw a weed that was over 10 feet tall. It was very big.
- we pushed this guy´s car to help him start it, but he decided that the brake was the clutch and the car wouldn´t start. We let him figure out his own problems after a few tries.
- we have an investigator named Élcio. He´s cool and really wants to be baptized, but has to get married and stop drinking and smoking. His father-in-law was totally smashed and kept making these crazy noises during the lesson (woowooooooo!!!!). It was difficult to concentrate, but we did.
- We met a guy who is convinced that the world will be destroyed in 2015. He´s pretty cool and we´ll try to teach him another day.
- choir was better today! We felt the Spirit! Yay!
I know the Church is true. This isn´t just the "Mormon" church- this is Christ´s church. We have His authority and we´ve got to use it as such.
Love you all!
Élder Brown

Cião Élder Pettegrew!

Hey ya, hey ya. All right, all right, all right.
We had transfers, Élder Pettegrew went home to St. George, I will now work
with Élder Rasmussen, my trainer and many companions also went home, we
baptized 2 more people last week (Paôla e Pablo), I apologized to the bispo,
we found some new people to teach, everyone´s excited to baptize 150 people
this month in the mission. Other stuff (because of the lack of time):
- I saw these two guys giving this kid a super wedgie in the middle of the
street, and holding him up by his pants. It was insane. The kid was
screaming and the other two looked extremely satisfied. It went well up over
his head.
- we can´t drink a drink called chimarrão here, but I bought some for Élder
Pettegrew so that he can drink it at home. Alex says it´s horrible. Cião,
love. Boa semana para todos! A Igreja é verdadeira! Elder Brown

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hey hey´s FAAAAT Élder

Actually, I´m losing weight. Yay!
My comp. just found a scripture that has my name in it! Genesis 30:40! Weird.
To sum up, this last week was absolutely nuts. We had about 18 interviews to do and it was really crazy, but in the end it all worked out. The zone baptized 25!!! We´re stoked! We´re also dreaming of a White Christmas (Natal Branco) and we hope to baptize around 20 people in one day. It´ll be fabulous!
Bullet Points:
- we practiced caroling on the side of the road, waiting for the bus after a Zona activity called a Blitz. We then sang on the bus and in the terminal and we received both looks of horror and utter delight. That´s the mission for ya.
- we saw the weediest garden of all time. I would not want to weed it. Not at all.
- we definitely ate some pigskin for lunch, and it was not that delicious.
- We met this guy on the street who called himself 8ball (bola 8). He had this huge growth on his neck and he was weird. We sidetracked his weird musings by telling him to be baptized. That seems to work really well with people that want to talk to you.
- there´s an Elder from Paraguay in our zone who has over 20 siblings and 150 cousins! Sheesh.
- We were walking down the street looking for an address when this crazy old lady screamed at us to come to her house. She invited us in and told us to teach her crazy drugged-up son about Jesus. He was actually really cool and accepted a baptismal date! He´ll be baptized on Christmas!
- there was a girl running down the street and I decided to do a contact with her. I sucessfully got her address and wrote it down - running. The handwriting is tough to read.
- There was a pack of 3 or 4 super gays walking down the street. I really needed a missile launcher at that point.
- we knocked a door and the guy inside invited us in - he was washing dishes and his kids at the same time. Turns out that he used to be a huge druggie and his life was saved by church. Unfortunately, he´s a member of an apostate church and must learn the real stuff. He started "teaching" us about how we´re unlearned and need to understand the scriptures more as he explained to us why Jesus, God and the Spirit are all in one body and, at the same time, not in anything. Yep. But we were pleased because we just explained the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he couldn´t deny that. Sucka!
- we had choir today. It´s getting right up to that point where God has to send the angels, but we know that it´ll work out. We got to break mission rules with Presidente´s permission - go into the mall. It was weird.
- my comp. is looking at chapels on the church website. There are SO many in Utah! Seriously!
- we watched The Testaments yesterday. I invite everyone to watch that movie with a friend - they will feel the Spirit! There was one quote that I loved: "Em todos os anos como um dos féis, você nunca sentiu algo tocar no seu coração?" (In all your years as a believer, you never felt anything touch your heart?) I know that we all feel that it´s true, and that´s why we stay with it. There is a purpose to all of this, and He loves us more than we can know. Always.
I love you all. I love this church. I know that Jesus is the Christ. This is His work.

Good week! Church is good! 
Elder Brown

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.