Monday, October 17, 2011


Howdy team:

I have a camera now. Sorry about the missed weeks of pictures, but we're back in business. Thank you to all those who are writing me, I know sometimes I don't have time to respond to everyone, but please know that I love you so much and I love hearing your mission stories, things that are going on at home, and all the things you share. I love you! 

On work. The work is just awesome. We've had a couple difficult days getting punted, but it opens opportunities to find the elect. The family in the picture is the Leron family. The girl is a member and has been helping her family come to church, understand the doctrine, and prepare for baptism. It's the best. They don't have much, but the more time I spend here the more I realize that it doesn't matter if you have a full 5 course meal every evening. All that matters is that you have the Gospel, and everything, absolutely everything, falls after that. These people understand that.

We did a service thing this morning. The storm that came through a few days ago flooded some parts of the city the Zone Leaders work in, so we went around to all the elementary schools handing out relief goods to those who have absolutely nothing now. It's way sad to see, but we've seen many come to the Gospel after being helped in their time of need. I don't work in the area that got flooded, but they get to wade through waist high water every day. It's all about the experience, and doing the Lord's work, right? 

All is well. Thank you for all the support! Love,

Elder Brown

Friday, October 7, 2011

MTC Reunion

So it's been a pretty crazy week. Elder DeYoung got transferred after only 3 weeks in Pila, and now I'm training Elder Guba, fresh from the Manila MTC. It's a whole new experience training, but we are working well together so far. While we were at transfer meeting, President took all the new Filipinos to the mall to buy some extra clothes... which left me, Elder Glenn (my MTC companion, also training this transfer), and Elder Eldridge (lived in our room at the MTC, also training) basically with the whole mission home to ourselves for 4 hours (there were other people there but they were all outside). Basically, we had some great times sharing stories, catching up, and strengthening each other before we were to head out to our areas. I am honestly a little surprised at how close a connection we felt after 8 months of being apart. I guess being attached to each other for 2 months straight is quite a while.

Work in Pila is still.. well, miraculous. Last week I think I told you about Greenchel (spelling changed.. this one is correct). Anyways we went to her house and everything went very well. She is extremely receptive and came to church again yesterday. Pretty much everyone came to church yesterday. People we have been teaching for months, people we ment just this week, almost everyone came to church. If that isn't a miracle, I don't know what is. Not only that, but the service was especially good. It was fast sunday (conference is a week late here), the Spirit was strong in the room, and all have said they're coming back. I'm loving this. There was a joke circulating at transfer meeting that people just randomly show up to church and ask to be taught in this area. It's true. I have absolutely no claim on any success, but I am literally living the dream and so grateful for it. We should have at least 8 of these great people baptized by the end of the month or first week of November, as long as they continue to progress this quickly. 

I got some more packages! Y'alls are the best, you shouldn't have, but I'm so glad you did (: Special thanks to mother and Randog. 


Elder Brown

Twenty and In the Philippines

Dear Everybody:

I love y'alls so much! My birthday was awesome, and everyone seemed to email exactly what I needed to hear this morning. So to those of you who sent me a good word, thanks. This week was SO fast. Last week was slow. But Elder DeYoung and I have been working hard, and once again miracles just dot our days. Unfortunately we just got word that he's transferred on Thursday. It's been a quick 3 weeks together, but we have a random batch of missionaries coming half way through the transfer so we'll see what happens there. 

The hardest part of this week was investigators not coming to church. Many right now are new and still have some excuses (sorta), but the others were just devastating. It's easily the most difficult part of these two years; working with someone and seeing them falter. But some good came of it. We had a full hour of Gospel Principles class to teach Greenselle (spelling). She came to church randomly yesterday with her friend who has been inactive for 5 years and had a spiritual prompting to get back to church this week. All in all, we're excited to have another soul to teach who seems so ready for the Gospel. With a new comp, I'm pretty sure I get to stay here for a few more months. I'll fill y'alls in next week. 

Thanks again for all the birthday love! Sorry we've still got some technical issues with my camera... but pictures will start coming again in the next few weeks. Love,

Elder Brown

Still Smelling Better!

Just because y'alls commented about my deodorant problem in the last email... After a good week of wearing it, I smell better and sweat more. I don't know. But I figured you'd like the update.

Pila is pretty awesome right now. We're working with a ton of really cool investigators, Flor and her husband are getting married tomorrow (nothing fancy.. but they're getting married!), and we've been watching miracles occur everyday. 

The two kids we baptized last week (Justine and Haru) referred their entire extended family to us. Their mom (Mercy) is the 10th of 12 siblings. Five of them have been listening to us for the last week and four showed up for church, bringing their respective families... I am pretty sure over half of the people at church yesterday weren't members. I will never question that miracles occur every day. Anyways one of them is an old pastor in the Catholic church, but yesterday while I was teaching investigator class he was asking questions and basically asked to be baptized. So that was cool. 

We've been super busy the past week with teaching just because of all the referrals people keep giving us. I'm too blessed.. someone go give the missionaries in your ward referrals, we need them and love them and care for them as you would. I'm District Leader right now.. it doesn't really mean anything cool or constitute bragging rights, but I do get to interview people for baptism. That's one of my favorite things to do as a missionary right now. Our zone is really masipag and we've had a few baptisms in the two weeks. It's so awesome to sit in front of a child of God who has repented, learned, grown, and is ready to enter into the covenant of baptism. 

Welp that's about all... I'll be checking out of the teens on Wednesday that should be fun. Love y'alls so much!!

Elder Brown

I Wear Deoderant

The subject line is true. I know you're all going to be disgusted, but I'm at least 15 months away and this will be a funny memory when we all look back on it. I thought that I could better spend P 200 on food and delicious things than deodorant each month.. So for the last 6 months or so that's what I've been doing! It was delicious food, but I got stinky. Go figure. Gong Gong found out, sent me deodorant, and now I smell so good! I forgot what it was like.. and when I got her package it was like magic. I'll never go without again. The world is now a better place.

This week has been pretty crazy. Elder Lacson packed up and left his first area, we went to transfer day, and I came back with a Joe! That's what Americans are called here. But anyways he's been out in the field for a while, we were told it is a temporary fix to the irregular arrival of new missionaries in 2 weeks, and we'll see what happens then. We're enjoying some english, american food, and working hard too.

I like when miracles happen. I mean, who doesn't, right? Yesterday we showed up to church and there was a 23 year old guy sitting, waiting in the priesthood room. There's only like 7 priesthood brethren that show up on time so it's easy to recognize new faces. Anyways we talked to him, and learned that he was investigating the church in Manila last year some time, but that his missionaries got transferred and he moved back to Laguna (where I am). He participated in all the classes and invited us over to his house that night. There, he told us that he loved what the missionaries taught him, he had read through 2 Nephi, and how he found himself at church yesterday morning. He said that a woman called him from Salt Lake on Tuesday, while on break from work, inviting him to come to church on Sunday. He didn't think too much of it, until she called again at 7:30 on Sunday morning. Usually he wakes up at 10. So he decided to come to church, had a great experience, and is ready to be baptized. Score! We're really excited to work with him. That was a miracle for me. It's not often that golden investigators get a call from Salt Lake and show up for church.

Yesterday, we baptized Justine Kyle and Ken Aldrix Custodio. Picture attached. They have little worldy possessions, but a tangible spirit presides in their house. Love those kids. Their mom is a member, doing all she can to be back at church every week.

Anyways love y'alls a ton, 

Elder Brown