Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ha llegado el fin.

Dear Family and friends,

Well, this is it! This is Kendall's last email before returning home!! We would like to thank you for all of your prayers, love and support and for Kendall, a.k.a. Bears, these past two years. It has truly been a blessing during his service to the Lord. His email made his momma cry, as he tenderly shares his love of the Savior and his love of Peru. To read about the tender mercy of having his buddy Corbin serving down there and embarking on this journey together has been a blessing for both of them! It always lit them up when they were able to see each other. And now they will return home together on the same flight. I will send out info. to you all regarding flight schedule and Homecoming date and time.

We are thrilled and beyond excitement to wrap him in our arms again!

Love to all!
Mark and Suzie

Welp. this is it. my lastttt email.
last week was a solidddd one. on wednesday i woke up at 4:30 to go to the offices. met up with all the missionaries from my group: mcallister, hackleman, schagel, etc. and we all hopped on a bus and went to the temple. i hadnt been since the mtc and woaaaaahhhhhh. solid stuff.after the session, we went into the celestial room and i just stood there with elder mcallister and thought about where i was and how i got there. i felt the spirit burning inside of me. then we stepped inside a sealing room where president answered any questions we had. i was able to understand things ive never been able to. it was interesting to see the difference in my understanding of the gospel after two years of studying and serving the lord. as we were leaving the celestial room mcallister put his arm around me and said "im grateful we got called to the same mission". me too. its been a huge blessing and it will be good to fly home and walk off the plane together. 
after the temple we went to La Bisteca. its a niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice buffet style restaurant in a part of lima that looks like a nice part of california. i had ceviche for the first time. overrated. i also had a couple plates of sushi, a burger with real meat, and some other stuff. finished with a fatty piece of chocolate oreo cake. 
then we went to Presidents house in San Isidro. the elevator reached the 20th floor and it opened up to a single door. opened it and we were inside the Archibalds apartment., i asked sister archibald if she wanted us to take off our shoes. she said she didnt care. do what you want its your home. so i took off my shoes and fell immediately on the ground and laid face down on their carpet. yes. real life carpet. once we got all situated on their couches, they sat down and taught us allll about life. marriage, studies, work, callings, etc. it was awesome. oh. and they have a fridge. that dispenses ice. crushed ice. and water. i was shocked. honestly forgot what that was like. 
we then went to "el parque de las aguas". its a huuuuuuuuuuge park with fountains and light shows. i got wet. when we got there someone said my name. i looked up and saw the chicken restaurant on the corner was called "Kendall Pollos y Parrilladas". same place i drove by with elder laiche over a year ago. 
we then went back to their apartment and ate ice cream and cake and then had a testimony meeting. i didnt cry. my eyes were sweating. 
they told us they wouldnt be able to be in our weddings so they got us all ties(elders) and veils(hermanas) so they could be there. 
went back to the offices at like 1 in the morning.good day.
the rest of the week was good. i went and did a change with elder castillo, my comp from barranca.
today was my final pday. the first pday i think ever when all my health has been good enough to play real soccer. i was running towards the goal and elder feller, the assistant thought it would be a good idea to slide in from behind to "get the ball". he took out my legs while i was running and i landed flat on my back. necks a little stiff. hahaha almost got away with a normal pday. meh. oh well. im goin to the lake in a couple weeks anyways. 
last week was a good opportunity to look at myself and my friends and who we were and wo we are now, and evvverrryyythingggg we´ve been through to make us who we are. its been the gnarliest ride in my life.
i started my mission honestly not expecting much from myself. i got to this country scared and confused and before my first week was up i wanted out. i hated the culture, the language wasnt coming fast enough and i didnt know how the heck i was going to do this. i hoped for survival haha. but in stead of trying to stand tall, i learned, sometimes the hard way, that in stead of standing, God needed me on my knees. so thats where i went. and through trials and challenges throughout these two years, i have come to know my Heavenly father. i know now more than ever of his reality and divinity. people thinking that you need to see god to know he is real. ive seen Obama on the tv screen. i dont know him. he doesnt know me. seeing isnt ever the answer.  know christ did what he says he did. he chose to come to the earth he created to be killed by his own brothers and sisters, the ones for whom he had shed his own blood. he suffered, died, and resurrected. i may not have been perfect in my mission, even when i tried my hardest; but the One i represented is perfect. he made up for the difference. i know Jesus Christ and i testify that he lives. i often think of my mission, as im sure ive shared with you before, as the experience peter had. he saw christ out there on the water and he wanted to go walk with him. He was called to leave the ship. as soon as he took his first steps, he became afraid. the wind and the wafes looked more frightening and powerful than the One who controls them. he began to sink. Christ was close enough to be able to simply put out his hand and catch peter. He was the one that made the call. Peter wasnt ever going to sink. i am eternally grateful for this time christ has alllowed me to come out and walk with him. and when i have deserved a gentle "oh ye of little faith". he has pulled me up and helped me keep going.  these have been the hardest, most trying, craziest, best two years of my life. i dont think its going to really hit me till i wake up the day after i get home and realize im back. 
thanks for your love and support and sacrifice over these last two years. i think some of the peace youve had in the home since ive been gone is due to the fact that im not there making noise like i always did. but aside from that i know the promise in doctrine and covenants is true. my family has been in His hands. see you next week.
elder brown

Sunday, March 15, 2015

2 semanas.

i have two weeks left of my mission. still hard to believe. even more wild officially seeing my flight plans. i get in just in time for lunch! sounds good to me.
so before i continue in this email i just thought id warn you that im using a sketchy keyboard with a "l" and "c" that decide when they want to type. so if you see word that dony make sense, just fill in one of those letters and it wiill make more sense.
i got Grandpas letter this last week. THANKS. he talks about the priniple of how the way we serve our missions reflects how we will perform in life. i thought about that when he first told me that when i was about 17 and then again when he wrote it to me here at the end of my mission. ive worked veryyy hard. not anything ose to perfection. in fact if the atonement wasnt such a good eraser, id probaby walk around depressed thinking about all of my trias and faiures and weaknesses. but as i look back i feel peace. despite my weaknesses. my performance hasnt been perfect, but christ has made up for what i havent been able to do. thanks grandpa.
ahhh. on top of the messed up keys, the wire connected to the screen doesnt want to stay plugged in so i have to wiggle it ariound every time it shuts off.
so last week the end became more rea as i said goodbye to eder lewis, one of my best friends from barranca. im not a good goodbye person. i aso had to say bye to elder beckstead, one of my friends from my seminary class my senior year. 
this past week we had another mission council. president brought the hammer. it was rough but it was good. we then had a district meeting onwednesday which we taught. missed my time as a district leader. then on friday we had my final zone meeting. good stuff.
last week was probably the hardest ive worked in my mission. jeff told me that this is when i need to work the hardest. so i applied it. more obedience. more diigence. the works. and it was exhauuusting. but i feel good. its a bummer that most people get to this point and literally just give up because its "the end". or. you an take advantage of being more prepared than any other time in the mission and give satan heaven. 
this week is our despedida so i hope to be able to put in the same effort afterwards. everyone has told me that one president gives the going home talk its lights out. welp! we´l see how it goes haha.
thanks for everything. love you all. dont get trunky mom. and remember. in the airport, if you cross the security line, that dude standing at the entrance will take you down. 
elder brown


march is a good month. pie day. st patricks day. kendall comes home. yep thats it.
so it was another good week. we had a baptism on saturday. Daniel Gonzalez is one of them mormons now. i got to baptize him. and i think it was my last time in the faunt here in peru. but it was a good experience. i love hearing people talk afterwards aboutt he cleansing power of the spirit as the enter and leave the water. they all describe a warm feeling rush over them (as they get immersed in cooold water) and come out feeling like a new person. 
so yeah tomorrow we have mission council. then wenesday district meeting. then zone meeting on friday. gonna be a fun week.
oh and last friday was my last time dealing with zone mission money. DONE. 
we went to one of the areas here in palmeras last week to sign a room contract with the owners. we were sitting in their living room chatting (yes, im a fuly trained businessman now) and i looked over and saw a picture frame with names engraved on it with a picture of a family with a couple dogs. one of the names was "zoe". i asked who zoe was. she told me it was her dog. Zoey lives on in Peru!!!!!
yes momma dearest. mixed emotions about finishing my mission. im still tryin to work as hard as my mind lets me. haha its slowllyy going home wthout me. this week was actually better. the week before was crazy hard to focus. but yep im still going strong. as fonzi told me, its the last ten meters of the swim race! 
sooo the gozzer family couldnt make it to church but the asistants caled me last night saying they ran into them at the city buiding by the offices, telling me how awesome the family was. oh and i dont know if i told you. elder feller, my zone leader from back in el olivar, is the new asistant with elder larsen. he finishes with m in a couple weeks.
speaking of which, my comp reminded me this week so i thought id ask ya. do you know if they already have my topic for my talk? do they still do that? here its weird. they come back, they have them go give their testimony, and everyone acts as if the  missionary had been there the whole time. meh. welp. love you all. stay healthy and safe. and for my flight info, the church doesnt buy it till like this week or the next. but every gringo goes home tuesday at like two in the morning so ill be there tuesday the 24 at like noon to afternoon ish.
elder brown
 oh and here´s my desk-top furby and my burritos from last week. get at me.