Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Father & Son Poem, Transfer


First things first: I'm transferred! I couldn't believe it myself when my ZL told me last night so I had to check the transfer list early this morning.. and yep, I'm out of my first area already. Crazy. But the address you've got to write me is still the same everything goes to the mission office anyways.

Second: I gave a talk. Yes I've been teaching for the last, I don't know, 6 months, and given a few sacrament talks since then, but those were all in Tagalog. It's very different in English. Last Wednesday was Zone Conference, which means about 100 missionaries gather together at a stake center and President gives workshops and we eat food and it's a big party. But it also means that 2 junior companions and 2 senior companions get chosen right before it starts to give a talk for the opening excersizes. This conference it was on Alma 5:45-46. I had a feeling I'd get chosen, so I wrote a little outline about how we need to gain a testimony for ourselves, and how I've done that. Anyways Sister Anderson walks up and let's me know it's my turn to speak, so I hurry down to the last row of pews to make sure my talk is sufficient. It was... lacking a little. So I thought of what made my favorite talks so awesome, and realized I needed to write a poem... so I did. And this is the result of 5 hurried minutes as I huddled over my note book in the last row of pews in the San Pablo Stake Center.

A Father and His Son

The Father, a puzzle maker, had mastered His trade.
His son, still young, had but seen what he'd made.
The son, looking up, desired to learn;
His Father, reaching down, saw his heart yearn.
The puzzles were many, the son favored a few;
Though it would be a trail, the son started anew.
He picked one to start, depicting a dad and His boy;
The finished piece, pictured on top, would be more than a toy.
He covered the table with pieces of color, so small.
He studied them closely, made sure he knew all.
He sorted them out: red, green, orange and blue,
But struggled to fit them together, this his Father knew.
The Father, a master, smiled at the drive.
He gave His son hints, where mysteries would hide.
The process was slow, took more than just a day;
But when it was over, this gained knowledge would stay.
Be it 10, 50, or 100 pieces with which you start,
It can be done, if desired by heart.
The pieces will fit, they're made by a master;
But seek His heavely aid, it will go faster.

I've got little time to explain; search it yourself. This is how I learned, for myself, that the things I preach everyday are true. I am but a boy, seeing what my Father has made. I desired to know for myself that what I've seen was true, that the puzzle pieces fit together. So I spent hours, days, carefully studying all of the pieces I'd been given. I looked at the primary answers, pictured on the top of the puzzle box. My Father gave me hints, as I studied, as to where pieces would fit, where pieces I didn't see were waiting. The sure knowledge came slow, like water to a boil. But the puzzle is finished, and I know for myself that I am His child--that we all are His children.

I liked giving the talk. It was fun, I finally felt relaxed and comfortable as I stood in front of 100 of my mentors, missionaries that have been here longer and seem so wise. Go figure: I've learned how to like giving talks on my mission.

Third: Well, again, I'm transferred. I really loved the people of Siniloan, Laguna. I can honestly say I gave my all here, and will leave more prepared to do so the same in my next area. It's sad to leave, to have to say bye to investigators and members I have worked with for over 4 months, but I have hope, faith, that we will meet again. Our family, Rellosa, is still progressing well. The son, Frincer, is ready to be baptized and asked if he could next Saturday. Hopefully I'll grab some pics with the family this week before I leave.

Anyways love you all lots!!! Keep up the good work at home, and be missionaries.

Elder Brown

PS.. I've wanted glasses all my life, because I feel like they make you smarter. So on Saturday I saw some that I liked and bought them. They have no grade at all. But I feel so smart when I wear them.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Smemmories!! SIX MONTHS!

Hello. Well, this is going to seem outrageously early, completely unexpected, and though two days away, 100% true. I've been a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for six months. SIX MONTHS. six months. Personally, I don't believe it one bit. It has to have been at least six years, and at the same time could have been but six weeks. There is so much I want to say for the "six month" email home. But here's the problem: I've simply learned too much, experienced too much joy, led too many hands down the baptismal font in Siniloan to attempt a summary email. For items like those, I advise hitting the "Next Post" or "Previous Post" button, becuase this week is different. I hope you smile.

Smell, pala, is one of our strongest senses, intimately linked to our long term memory. Check wikipedia for the facts, cause I'm just going off what I remember from Psych 2 years ago. When we smell something familiar, we can be taken back to very specific moments in time, where our booger-ridden noses first encountered that smell. Can you see where this is going? Although I am literally on the other side of the world, typing in an unknown internet shop in a small Filipino town as now a grown 19 year old man, I have been taken back in time on multiple occasions over the last six months; I call these memories "smemmories". They range from walking the curb of Santa Maria on the way to find my best friend Kathryn, to learning how to ride a bike, to working for La Jolla Group just 7 months ago. And I've written a few down. They're in the order I smelt them, not lived them:

Running to the 'creek' and back at Salt Creek Jr. Guards; trying to fight through feet of loose sand on a 100 two-stroke at Johnson Valley; taking pictures with Meredith Chapman at the ocean museum thingy in Dana Point; waiting in the sun for Space Mountain with McKelle Coleman; sitting on my bed resting, while watching my dad try to paint my room red and blue (you need to be careful with bright colors); eating curly fries and drinking Dr. Pepper after a night swim in Laguna; snacking on a gooey, warm Pedro's quesadilla with Michael Rex after we drove to T Street on a cloudy day; walking from Fat Burger to the Aliso Creek Regal to see Harry Potter 7, redbull in hand; mom pouring melted button on popcorn out of the foofy Christmas mugs we used year-round; trying to pry off a small wetsuit on a cold morning in the T-Street bathroom before middle school started; reading the Book of Mormon on the downstairs couch, waiting for Mim to pick me up for Jr. Guards; struggling as a 4'6" boy told to mow the lawn with a push-mower; opening up my gear bag to find smelly socks that had festered in summer heat for 3 months; walking into the Kimball's house at who-knows-what-time (thanks Cherbs); stealing Presto's shirt for Lost Connection 2009; painting posters with Avery Miyahara for Clash of the Classes; stumbling into an outhouse at the Whiting reunion; playing Brawl with Shane; sitting on the top of the world 2 years ago with my best friend; running through swarms of mosquitoes with Presto after a sunset surf at lowers; visiting Aunt May and drinking a cold Gatorade in the shade of an Arizona parking garage; standing on the Springville skate park mini ramp, scared to drop in for the first time; strolling the RSM lake; basking in the december sun with a pin in my finger at Park City Mountain Resort, M&M's in hand; pulling the "Mobster" (Pop's car) into the parking lot for the Loft; waking up to pancakes in Ocotillo...

I think you get the point. And if not.. here's what I was getting at. I really, really love this work. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and if you're not reading it, my dear friends, start now. I love all of you so much and though I am completely focused on my friends that I teach every day, my nosey senses can't help but remind me of how awesome you are. Keep up the good work.

PS - we went hiking today. it was fun. and the people are doing well, hopefully we have two baptisms on Sunday.

Out of time! I love you!

Elder Brown

Lessons from my Mom

Hello! First things first, all is well. There was a little storm that came through but it just brought some cool weather and a nice drizzle (Filipino style).

I was at Jollibee this morning (sorta like McDonald's) and really wanted a Pineapple float. You know, pineapple juice with soft serve ice cream on top. Not too difficult, right? Wrong. At Jollibee, they sell pineapple juice, sodas, coke floats, and soft serve ice cream among the normal McDonald's types of things. But they will not, under any circumstances, change a menu item to fit your needs. You can't have it your way. So I gave in and just bought the items separately (for more money) and mixed them myself. I'm hoping to take my plea to the manager next monday morning, it really is a problem that they don't have pineapple floats. Point of the story: I think my mom is the best. I've clearly inherited her need to change every food order to make it fit my personal taste. And the Jollibee workers think I'm crazy.

Our family (Rellosa) is doing well. The son (14 - Frincer [yeah his name is frincer, not the Princell we've been saying for 2 months, oops]) is still coming to church every week and we're still waiting for Tatay Dennis to finish up work in the rice field so he can start coming to church. His crazy wound is all healed up for the most part. Frincer brought his cousin to the lesson last week and he's expressed a desire to be baptized too. They're the best. Dennis always shares experiences and the thoughts of his heart while we're teaching. Last night while teaching the plan of salvation he asked, "But what about the people that haven't heard the gospel, but repented and were good people, but already died? They haven't been baptized though, right?" It was awesome to explain the infinite atonement made and how his loved ones are hearing the gospel right now. So that's good.

Sorry not much time but I was more masipag about taking pictures this week so enjoy the adventures of Brown and Dioso!


Elder Brown