Howdy Team. It's been quite the week here in sunny Calapan. We've experienced flash rain storms, intense sun, about 564 hours of travel, and have had such a good time! On Wednesday morning Elder Navarro called me at 6:33am (good thing I was up at 6:30!) and announced that my companion, Elder Pascua, would be transferred the following day. I guess they're going for the element of surprise in transfers nowadays and we won't know until the day before. Anyways we were kinda bummed cause we were having such a good time together, but orders are orders. All said and done, we left our house Thursday morning, had district meeting, traveled to mainland, and were home Friday night with almost half of our zone replaced. My companion is Elder Caubalejo.. pronounce it like you would if it were Spanish. He's an extremely hard worker, has had a huge learning experience in a super difficult area right before this, and is now ready to step up as an effective zone leader. We're excited about the whole thing and have been happy so far.
As for our loved ones here in Calapan, we've seen good reactions to the switch in missionaries. The Ordanza family finally made it back to church. Brother was all fired up to read the book of mormon after we taught about the atonement from alma 34. We met another familiy, Cunanan, who has been inactive for 8 years. Even so, brother was glad to receive us and expressed his desire to come back to the fold. The story was similar for the Sarsona family. I have felt very good teaching these three families.. they will be our focus in the coming weeks as we hurry to the rescue. We are also looking diligently for new investigators.. talking to absolutely everyone we can. I love this work so much! I love y'alls dearly. I love our Savior.
Mother!! I sent shane more info. I'll think of other things he'll need this week. For things I need.. well do you still have my teeth whitening kit? the trays that were in the green container? if you could send those with some gels that would be outstanding.. i want to be all ready when I get home to be at BYU again ;) also can you let me know what shane is leaving in the clothing department? I assume I get to wear some of that stuffs.. or at least have something to wear when I get home! Yes I can absolutely buy some clothings here for cheap.. thank you for the extra $50 last june i just noticed that was there! I spent a good amount of money this last month on getting my tagalog scriptures rebound with a rad personal case (that's all I really want as far as souvenirs go.. it'll be done in august and i'll send a picture:). Do you think you could research a little bit on scholarships for me? If there's any rich people out there in the world who want to pay for a poor RM who's all stoked about life and studying.. that's who we need to apply with! hah. Oh! If you could send a couple ties.. cheap ones from DI or something.. that would be cool. I keep giving them away to less actives and recent converts..
ok love you lots mother! thank you thank you for everything (: i love you,
This week has been one full of grace, and blessings. I love the Lord, seek His arms of safety and His goodness. I'm super glad I wrote lots of journals this week cause I've got no time for email! I feel like internet time gets shorter and shorter.. and that's cause it does.. we just got home from helping the Pola elders move to a new apartment (they live 2 hours from us).. I got my haircut.. ate some food and here we are! Anyways I didn't get to write last night. If I did, it would have gone something like this:
The Sarsona family came to church!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That was awesome. We got to the chapel at about 8:15 (sac at 9) and waited outside for investigators and less active members to greet. 8:55am rolled around and they were no where to be seen! Then about 8:59am the Ferreol family arrived (we asked them to drop by the Sarsona's house to invite them early), but no Sarsonas to be seen. We were pretty bummed, but understood they must have had something come up or maybe it just wasn't time yet. We walked up the stairs to the chapel, waited an extra moment, and walked in. Seated in the back right of the chapel were, you guessed it, Brother and Sister Sarsona! For the first time in maybe 15 years they made it back to the Church, partook of the sacrament, felt the redeeming love of our Savior, and were blessed with His Spirit. It was special to see their smiles throughout the whole three hours, and they were excited for us to continue to teach them. These are the parents of Brother Efren, whom we hope will be helped by his parents being active in the Church. We're actually about to leave to teach them right now about the Plan of Salvation.
We've met so many people this week, set many return appointments, and are looking forward to see who will truly progress in the Gospel and towards our Savior. I do love these people so much. I don't feel I am a foreigner here anymore. Missionary life is real life, and I haven't just accepted that but truly let it become me. This is the greatest work, which brings the greatest blessings to both those teaching and those receiving.
PS shout out to Elder Hill, who gets released this week and has continued to lift me through his emails over the past year and a half. Love you Scott, FTSM!!
My mother! It must be hard/exciting/spiritually awesome to see another Elder Brown suit the nametag and walk as a representative of our Savior. I do love you lots (: To be honest this week has been so so awesome and I have been so lifted by our work that going home in six months just doesn't seem real anymore. I love this work! I am blessed each day I serve and am willing to do so as long as the Master calls! But that will most likely only be till december 12 ;D Thanks for the ties (: about the bleach.. that's just the thing.. I don't know who I'm getting ready for.. so it's all more important that I'm ready! haha. Don't worry I will fill you in on all the details when I have details to share, just like my service here as a missionary!
Spiritual thought just for you (and dad)!
This week I read Helaman 5 and one day hope to be able to teach it to brother Randy, one of the guys I met last friday night. He is looking for guidance and peace in his young life (25 yrs old). When Nephi and Lehi were in the prison, all those present (except them) were overshadowed by thick darkness, so severe as to depress the soul. I suppose all of us have felt something like this when pressed by sin and trials in our lives. It just destroys hope. Good thing Aminadab was there to teach the 300 what to do to get rid of the darkness. Pray until we have faith, and then when we have a little faith, act on it by repenting and following God. That dispels the mist and invites the Holy Ghost to wisper to us, "peace, peace be unto you for your faith in [Jesus Christ]."
Love you mama! Elder Brown