Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21st

Mi amada familiaaaa. sup.
woahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhwoahwohwoahhh sterlings engaged????? thats nutsss haha my family´s gonna be huuuuuuuge when i get home. works for me!
this week was nuts. i think i broke my personal record for doors knocked in a week. we went alll over the place looking for new people. we found almost none haha. 
-last monday we had changes so every companionship just did their own thing. me and castillo went to a members house and ate pachamanca. (oh and i learned that "pacha" like the guy guy in emperors new groove, means "belly" or "gut" in quechua,which is the native language that all the people from the mountains speak) it was a fatty pot full of chicken, choclo (giant weird corn) and a variery of potatoes and mystery plants. ill send some pictures. as we were leaving, we gave the guy a fist bump "CHOCALA!". So being me, we went to do the same to his little old mom. she was wearing a ring and she punches hard. ill send you a picture of how my hand looked after haha. she drew blood. john fillerup would be proud of that fist bump.
-last week we had changes. the only person that changed in the zone was elder holley, but thats just because he finished his mission. so our new zone leaders name is elder larsen from utah. he started out his mission in Corbins zone down in prolima. 
-.last week we were out contacting in the street and we came across a lady walking with her two kids. as we talked she told us how missionaries had visited her when she was fourteen. Elder Fishbeck. i remembered brother fishbeck form hermosa vista ward had told me that he served in peru. if anyone can get in contact with him and have him shoot me an email that´d be awesome. i want to see where he served and who he worked with. also, the other week we weretalking with the branch president in the zone leaders branch and he told us that about thirty years ago he was baptized by elder bohn from arizona. well my buddy nate bohn´s dad served in peru thirty years ago. smallll world!
-the sisters this past week baptized another family of four. they are the daughter, son in law, and grand kids of the couple they baptized last week. barranca is blowing up right now and its awesome. we are struuuuuuuggling to find new  people who stick around longer than the first visit. 
-we do have a family, a single mom and two kids who are getting baptized in a couple weeks. the son, john, is already talking about how he wants to go on a mission. works for me!
-ah. just remembered. so the other day we got back to our room and my companion went to hi suitcases and pulled out a huge blanket to put on his bed. what was on that blanket? BEARS. he told me they called him oso (bear) his whole life. i proceeded to tell him my life story and show him my pictures with my bear t shirts haha
-the other day i got my package. and yes i already at all my mac n cheese. i also ate a peanut butter banana taco. haha its been a solid week for food. today im taking my goldfish and redvines to the beach so i can pretend its summer.
-welp. starting another week. its gonna be a good one. 
paz y bendiciones.
elder brown

Sunday, July 20, 2014

"eight. eight baptisms." - The Count

this week was another solid week! 
last week on monday we went down to Supe again and played soccer with the zone. theres a machu pichu-looking garden thing with three size foot walls, kinda like giant stairs. elder hackleman looked at it and just decided to throw a front flip off the top level. he did it. i got it on video. he survived. dude`s nuts haha
tuesday was the big wedding day. it was an interesting experience. never witnessed a civil wedding before. the mayor and his assistant came and got Emiliano and Miguiela married. hermana Leyva downloaded some wedding music  onto my usb which we hooked up to the electric piano in the church. i got to play some nice pre wedding music with a nice organ setting on the piano. after the ceremony we threw on none other than "from this moment on" by shania twain. no one understood a thing but you know i was jammin hard. literally every person present took turns dancing with the bride and groom. it was kinda awkward which made it that much more fun. 
on wednesday we had interviews with president archibald. it was amazing. i love the opportunities i get to talk to him. he helped me get more focused in on this "work of salvation" plan from the area that we need to do with our converts and less actives. its some rpetty cool stuff. they have told us how its called the attention of the brethren. we are the highest baptizing area in the world (in which we are the highest baptizing mission) and we are changing up the work so that we have the highest retention. in years past its been "baptize em then move on." so right now we are working to bring back those who have left and hold onto those who weve got. Hastening the work is alott of work. who would`ve thought.
thursday we had a training meeting with president. he taught us about the doctrine of prayer. he told us all to find examples of powerful prayers in the book of mormon and we were then to analyze what aspects of the prayers so powerful. i chose Lehi in the first chapter of the  book of mormon. things we saw in common here all throughout the book of mormon and the other scriptures is that these prayers were always done after long periods of meditation. they were also all done out loud. all of which had powerful manifestations of the spirit as well as other miraculous results. he then went on to tell us the three most powerful prayers of all time. he said "get ready elder brown, this one`s gonna blow your mind. im looking forward to seeing the look on your face." (i am always fascinated by new bits of knowledge or doctrine that i had never even been close to comprehend before). he put 1. 2. and 3. on the board. someone mentioned the atonement. number 1. the prayer and experience that atoned for the sins of all mankind. big prayer. then someone mentioned joseph smith. a prayer so powerful that god himself cam to josephs presence to answer. which led to the restoration of the everlasting gospel of jesus christ. but. he wrote that as number three. ???? ..  he then wrote Eden next to number two. the prayer which brought angels to adam and eve that, for the first time on earth, introduced the gospel of jesus christ. pretty cool stuff. 
friday, i went down to huacho.
saturday. the baptism. it went perfectttt. the tenorio family (ours) and the pimentel family (the sisters´) got baptized together. president made sure to be there to see it. at the end, us missionaries got up and sang "i feel my saviors love" (yo siento su amor). emiliano, and carlos and baudilia pimentel all gavce their testimonies. it was soliddd. the tenorio family are huuuumble people and have worked for a longg time to get all of this completed. good day.
yesterday they were all confirmed. then carlos and emiliano got sustained and received the priesthood later that day. that night they were both in the chapel participating in the branch choir while emilianos daughters were instructed on indexing and made family search accounts. BOOM. 
yesterday afternoon we struggled. EVERYONE was watching the world cup finals (CONGRATS GERMANY!!!!) and it was the emptiest id ever seen the streets. 
haha later that night we wernt to a members house to pick up a guy to accompany us. while we were waiting for him to get ready, we waited in the front room with his son, who had a brain hemmorage a feww years back so he doesnt have it all like he used to. he looked at a picture on the wall and asked "whos that?" pointing to a picture on the wall. i replied "thats jesus" "you see those marks in his hands? he did that for you ruben." he then said "thanks brown" i went to shake his hand goodbye and he held on to my hand, pulled in and kissed it. hahaha thanks ruben. quite the unique experience. we gotta keep on working. theres more families out there waiting for this message and we are the ones to bring it. i love this work and i know this is the one and only true gospel on the earth. families ARE eternal. 
paz y bendiciones
elder brown
please admire my mid-wedding ceremony selfy. kind of impressive.
i tried to get the family to throw up "super chill"s but i think we gotta work on it more.

Monday, July 7, 2014


¡¡habla bateria pe causaaaa!!
the dun dun dun dunnns is the wedding march thing on the organ (no sweat jeff, this ones for the people we have getting married here on tuesday). and the spanish is just a typical greeting from my street people. im kinda hood.
so yeah Emiliano and Miguela are getting married on tuesday. FINALLY. we´ve been working with them for a longgg time. they´re really humble people and have been working forever to get heir papers here.welp.  they´re all ready to go. they with their two oldest daughters elida and evelinda will be getting baptized saturday. the hermanas also have four baptisms and the zone leaders have one that day as well. its going to be NUTS. souls #saved. you can tweet that if you want.
ah. mom. i got mason riveras letter the other day. if you can, let him know i say thanks and that i got it.
Welp. on monday we went to Puerto Supe to play soccer at the church with some other elders. one of the elders that came down here with me is now in barranca, elder hackleman. i had the great privilege of leaving american soil sitting next to him. we talked about how nuts this was. before long, he noticed the nervous look on my face, then pulled out a giant bag of his "emergency skittles" and filled up my plastic cup. haha i survived my way down here because of him. so it was a solid day hanging out with him and some other elders in the zone, just getting rocked by the latinos in soccer. i almost had a goal.
on wednesday we went to finish up a service we had started out the week before. we played shovel-rock baseball while we waited for the loads of dirt. I did a jay bell reenactment of the world series winning hit. i hit a rock over a mud wall into a farm about twenty yards away. Be impressed. We also added on to our previously-started lord of the rings remake.
this past week, i printed out a few talks. one of them was "Live in thanksgiving daily" by elder joseph b wirthlin. it was solidddddd.if there´s one thing im learning (verrrryyyyyy slowwwly) is how to live in gratitude. if no one wants to listen to us, if my back gives out, if our baptisms fall through, and if i have to eat rice every day till next year, i can still live happily. im still trying to figure out how to fully set that attitude in place. for some reason, we as humans have an inexplicable need to tear ourselves down, as if disappointment isnt enough, we all too often kick ourselves while we´re down, thinking that it will soften the blows life gives us, or that it will strengthen us or prepare us for further disappointments. but, the reality is that such discouragement is the very self-destructive tool that satan uses to weaken and debilitate us. it amazes me to see how everyone always tells me how happy i am or how optimistic i am. i laugh and wonder who they´re confusing me with haha knowing that inside im not very nice to myself. but im learning (time and time and time again until i get it right) that happiness is a choice. gratitude is a choice. accepting failures and disappointments and using them to better (not destroy) oursleves is a choice. its one we can and should make. its one im fighting to make. so your homework this coming week. live in thanksgiving daily, and, come what may, choose to be happe and love life. "men are that they might have joy." god sent us here because he wants us to be happy. he wants us to enjoy life. ive spent toooooooooooooo much time fight and struggling for that "happy life" to come along. but, the key is, ITS HERE. look for it. if we look for the bad, we WILL find it. its everywhere. but dont let it blind you to the good. so. wish me luck in my new search for optimism and gratitude. haha it may take a while. but im getttin there. 
have a solid weeek! ill be sure to send pics next week of the wedding and baptism. CHAO!
elder brown
here´s hackleman. the little dog that tries to eat my leg every time i enter that house. presidente chamorro fixing the crotches of my pants. they all got kinda worn down. and heres my fourth of july feast. fruit loops for breakfast. pancakes for lunch. and pizza and root beer for dinner. word.