Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The big city

My watch broke and now I have a really cool tan

Well, as the title says, I´m in the main city now, in Rosario, in the Azcuénaga ward. My new comp is Elder Argyle, from Draper, Utah (my first comp from Utah).

I had a really... unique first day. Normally, the first day is super spiritual, and there are really cool and inspiring stories about missionary work. We had a sweet lesson with a recent convert, but what really made yesterday unique, wasn´t what happened in the streets, or in someone´s house, but what happened in our´s, about our pensh.

When I started my mission in Casilda, my pensh was terrible. I truly did not like it at all. My first weekend, we stayed in our zone leader´s pensh (we had to travel that day), and I thought that their pensh was the best thing in the world. I thought that their pensh was a palace compared with mine. Their pensh, is mine now (no, I´m not a zone leader). In the last year and 4 months, a LOT has changed in that pensh. When we got to our pensh Elder Argyle turns to me and goes "We have a cockroach infestation." I didn´t think much of it, until I opened a drawer to put some clothes in it, and a cockroach scuttled out. That was just the beginning. Long story short, we ended up buying two huge cans of RAID and we fumegated the pensh last night. We killed at least 100 cockroaches, maybe 200. Because of all the poison in the air in our pensh, we decided it would be best not to sleep there. So, we went to our Zone Leader´s pensh and slept there last night. All in all, I can´t complain because our Zone Leader´s have AC, and that I had an amazing night of rest.

I don´t know it any of you remember Elder Ostler, but he is one of my Zone Leader´s now, and is in my district. I´m really excited for this transfer.

Elder Yaques (my trainer) goes home tonight. I can´t believe he´s already done. It feels like it was just yesterday that I showed up to the mission home in Rosario and we met. We were on the bus ride together from Venado Tuerto to Rosario, I was with him for his last 4 1/2 hrs before he went to the mission home. He was a fantastic missionary. He will be missed.

I love my area so far. We have one investigator who will be getting baptized the 21st. She and her less active boyfriend will get married the 20th of January. Her name is Sandra.

I´m really excited. This area is gonna be great!

Elder Brown

Alma 37:6-7
Now ye may suppose that this is afoolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by bsmall and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.  And the Lord God doth work by ameans to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very bsmall means the Lord doth cconfound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Semana copada










We had TWO investigators in church! Both are super solid and will be getting baptized in the next three weeks!! Junior and Victoria are their names (I have mentioned both before). I´ve seen lots of progress in my time here with the members and their level of interest in missionary work. Our branch president has a daughter the same age as Victoria, and they invited her and us over to their house for a Family Home Evening in their house for tonight.

This week was really unique. We (as a district, given that their isn´t a stake here) got together in the main plaza and we put on a huge event. We had choirs (one adult and one children), dance performances, and a live Nativity. It was sweet. We (the missionaries) participated in the adult choir and in the live Nativity. We were the angels. It was sweet. The songs we sang were really good. Reminded me of the good old days of WFHS. Don´t miss those days too much haha. Being a missionary is way better than being a high schooler, lot´s more stuff to do now.

We had a sick lesson with Victoria in the house of one of the strongest member families (the Rivoira family) in the ward with her friend Florencia (who´s less active). We taught about the importance of going to church, and Florencia and Victoria said they would go. Sunday morning we woke up to rain, and Victoria went on foot. She walked a little over 2 kilometers to church by herself in the rain (unheard of amongst the Argentines). She is really excited to get baptized, and we are excited for her!!

Junior is psyched out of his mind for his baptism next week. I hope I will be here for it. Transfers are next week, and I´ve been in this branch since July. Even though I´ve been in two areas in this branch, everyone (ie all the members and all the missionaries) say I´m gone. I hope not. I would absolutely love to be here for Junior´s and Victoria´s baptism.

I hope you all have a ¡FELIZ NAVIDAD!

Los quiero,

Elder Brown

Alma 7:10-13
And behold, he shall be aborn of Mary, at bJerusalemwhich is the cland of our forefathers, she being a dvirgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and econceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God. And he shall go forth, suffering pains and aafflictionsand btemptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will ctake upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.And he will take upon him adeath, that he may bloosethe bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit aknoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the bflesh that he might ctake upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

John 3:16
For aGod so bloved the cworld, that he dgave his eonlybegotten fSon, that whosoever gbelieveth in him should not perish, but have heverlasting ilife.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Achieving Goals


Our sunday school class (I thought I wouldn´t fit in the picture beside my comp, so I went behind everyone when I started the timer on my camera)
gluten-free pancakes and homemade syrup



Lately, as a mission we have been trying harder to meet our goals. Last week, Elder Hill and I met our goal for New Investigators and Investigators with a baptismal date. This week, we met our goal for lessons taught with a member present!! I think that is the first time in 14 ish months (I´ve been out for 16) that I´ve met that goal!!! So, are pretty hyped.

We had the primary program yesterday, and the chapel was PACKED. I don´t think I´ve seen that many people in church since Gilbert. I think we had more than 100 people present (I didn´t count, that is just a guess). One of which was Ezequiel Dicecco.

Ezequiel Dicecco is an investigator of ours. He is the pareja (what we call someone who lives with their boyfriend/ girlfriend w/o being married) of Carina Galeano (less active, who also went yesterday). They´re son is Benjamín. He was part of the primary program, and they went to see him sing and say his part. Poor kid started crying when it was his turn to speak. But, I think that helped Ezequiel to feel the spirit. Ezequiel went to he Córdoba temple open house a few years ago (Córdoba is the province right next to the Santa Fe province, where I am), and said that more than anything, he wants to go back to the temple and get sealed with his family. Unfortunately, in his words, he is "kinda stubborn when it comes to going to church" (not sure if that makes sense in English). But, he went yesterday. That´s the first step, and it´s completed :)

Unfortunately, nor Junior nor Victoria went to church. Victoria´s grandma got sick and she had to stay home to take care of her. Junior´s mom (who before last week never tried to do anything with him nor fulfill with her responsabilities as a mother) called out of nowhere and said she needed to be with Junior for the weekend to do something with him (something about some papers). So, he didn´t go. It was an even bigger bummer because he had memorized his part in the primary program and everything. I don´t know if I mentioned this last week, but, the little capo stood up during sacrament meeting (he was the first, he even beat Hna. Allende who always is first) and bore his testimony. He is such a capo.


When we were leaving church yesterday, Tomás and his mom (who is also a convert) stopped Elder Hill and I, and asked us if we had a lunch appt with someone. We told them that we didn´t, and they invited us to eat chicken asado!! It was awesome! He and his mom are still active (he got baptized in September, and she in August). So they are fighting really well! I am really grateful to have been part of their conversion process (not just for the food they give us, hehe). It is always really rewarding to see people make these types of changes and keep going!

Have a great week!

Elder Brown

Alma 34:32-35
 For behold, this alife is the time for men to bprepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of cthis life is the day for men to perform their dlabors.And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many awitnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not bprocrastinate the day of your crepentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the dnight of edarkness wherein there can be no labor performed.Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful acrisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth bpossessyour bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become asubjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth bseal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Nuevos

Some delicious gluten-free treats and asado
This week was just plain awesome.
We found 10 new investigators this week, and every single one is really solid. We have three investigators with a baptismal date. Victoria Sosa (whom I mentioned last week, and we haven´t been able to pass by her house since then), Junior, and Angel Coronel.
Junior. I mentioned him a few times. He is the 9 year-old in-law of a less-active member, but, he lives with the sister of his sister in-law, and she took him to church yesterday!! If he goes to church these next two Sunday´s, there will be a baptism this year in our area!!
Angel Coronel. He has gone to church twice of his own accord. I had heard from my last companion that Angel is a little crazy. We went by this week, and had awesome lesson. He learns really fast. He, along with Victoria, accepted the baptismal date of the 7th of January.
We had 4 less-active members in church :) it was really sweet!
I don´t know if I have mentioned Alan Galeano or not, but, he is a 22 year old member. When I got to this area, he was less-active and addicted to League of Legends. Then there was a huge problem with his cousin, and we took advantage of the situation and tried to teach him. He was really receptive, accepted everything we said, and is now preparing to serve a mission :). He probably won´t be ready until November or December of next year, but, it´s still really cool.
Los quiero a todos,
Elder Brown
Moroni 9: 25-26
 My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto adeath; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and blong-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your cmind forever.
 And may the grace of God the Father, whose throne is high in the heavens, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who sitteth on the aright hand of his power, until all things shall become subject unto him, be, and abide with you forever. Amen.




Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Progreso

So for a few weeks, we had been without solid investigators. We pretty much spent all our time contacting. On Thursday, we did splits with our Zone Leaders, and the elder that I was with taught me a lot. We started aplying what we had learned, and found a lot of really good potential investigators. One of which is proving to be really fruitful.
Victoria Sosa (20ish) and Griselda Ramírez (56). We contacted Griselda on Saturday, and went by her house on Monday, yesterday afternoon. She has had a really tough life. Lost her husband. Both parents. A few of her kids. A few aunts and uncles. All of which she cared for in their last moments of life. She currently lives with two grandkids and a son and a great-grandson. One of these grandkids is Victoria (her grandson went into his room when we showed up, so I don´t know his name). So, we struck up a conversation with both of them. We were about to start the lesson, when we heard someone clapping out front, and Victoria said "Oh! I sure hope that´s Florencia(19)! We are planning on taking our babies to the park today!" (they both have baby boys that are one month apart) She threw open the door, and I thought it would be some random girl named Florencia, but, to my surprise and grand excitement, it was a less-active member with whom we have been working for a few months.
We started the lesson with Florencia, and she proved to be a great ally and a HUGE help. Towards the end of the lesson, I thought about inviting them to be baptized, but felt scared because Griselda didn´t seem really interested in changing religion. But, I decided to invite them anyways. And Victoria said "Yes. I went to a Jehova´s Witness church before, but, something about it just didn´t feel right. Florencia and I are gonna go to your church this week, and, if I like it, then yes, I´ll get baptized." She is probably the most solid investigator that has accepted a date in this area. And she already has friends that are members, and Florencia was able to be a tool to help us, and hopefully this inspires her to start doing the right things again and making some good choices to be and example for her friend, Victoria. She has a date for the 7th of January.
I am loving this area. I hope I will still be here in this area for her baptism. The work here is really picking up!!
Elder Brown
Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and of a good acourage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the bLord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not cfail thee, nor dforsake thee.

One More Door

Saturday July 30th was tough day. Elder Sousa and I taught probably the two best lessons I have ever taught in my entire mission. SUPER strong spirit in both lessons, and yet, both people straight up rejected the message of the Restoration. The rest of the day was spent contacting, with ZERO success. We got the worst rejections that day than any other day of my mission. At 8:50, we were about 10 minutes from the pensh, and started heading home. At 8:55 more or less, we saw a family in the street, and I thought "I should contact them." Then I thought "No, but we´ll get home late, and they probably won´t be interested anyways. They´re probably Roman Catholic and don´t want anything." I felt then really strongly that I should contact them, and I thought, "Why not? I´ll give it a shot." I gave it a shot, and the dad, named Sebastian, said he would go to church the next day. He showed up with half an hour left in the last hour of church. We found out that he lived in another area, and sent his address to our Zone Leader to send it to the corresponding Zone Leader or area or wherever it had to go, and I forgot about Sebastian.

We had a District Conference (there is no Stake in Venado Tuerto) this weekend, and, on Saturday I met a ton of members from other Branches in the District. On Sunday morning, a short man came up to me and asked me if I remembered him. I recognized him, but, did not remember him, and figured it was a member a I had met on Saturday. He told me he had gone to that church building about a month and a half before, but currently goes to another branch. I then remembered this man and where I had met him. I had met him about a month and a half before, after a long and very dissappointing Saturday in July, and I had not seen him since he showed up late to the church services on Sunday July 31st. I was talking to Sebastian. He informed me that he had been talking to the missionaries for the last several weeks, gone to church a few times, and on Saturday, he will be getting baptized. I was speechless. I felt soooooooooooooo happy and joyful and glad and grateful and excited. He thanked me for talking to him that day and told me he had had some doubts that week about his church and my talking to him led him to the church that has all the answers. He kept thanking me and saying "Thanks to you, this all started. Thank you so much." I am so grateful to have been a part of this man´s conversion process. On Saturday, the 17th of September, he got baptized. In October, his daughter got baptized. And Saturday the 12th of November, his wife got baptized. My attitude towards street contacts has totally changed. I used to just think of them almost as a chore, now, I view them as a priviledge to help out my brothers and sisters. I testify that if we give it ALL we got, and then, a little more, that God will bless us with miracles. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Smooth Week




The pole vaulters of the Argentina Rosario Mission

Saying bye to Elder Cook

Elder Hill gained in 3 months what I gained in a year and 3 months haha

"Service"

Lots of progress in this area. We are seeing a bunch of miracles.
We found a family of 5 on Monday. They seemed really promising. When we went back on Saturday, the told us that they had read what we had left in the Book of Mormon, but, had a lot of questions. So, we took the time to read with them and answer all their questions. We then taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson (faith, repentance, baptism, reception of the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end), and the spirit was super strong. We taught that lesson super well (with the help of the holy ghost, of course, it wasn´t just us, otherwise we would not have been able to teach that well). At the end, we extended them the invitation to get baptized. When we did, the wife grabbed the Book of Mormon, looked us in the eyes, and said. "I would say no to that." Then she and her husband proceeded to go off on tangents about how all religions are the same, that there is no "One correct religion", and the the JW´s, Catholic´s, and Evangelist´s are also the true church, adding "Even though the Evangelist´s are REALLY weird and have REALLY strange rituals, they too are a true church" (no offense intended to anyone who is Evangelist). Long story short, we had to drop them.
On Wednesday, we were walking to a less actives house during the siesta when everyone is sleeping, and I felt like we had to knock on a door of a house where very obviously either nobody was home or sleeping. We did anyways, and when no one came out after a few minutes, we continued on our way. We then ran into a lady to whom I had taught English in August who was just barely leaving her house to go to work. We talked for a few minutes, and she invited us to go back on Saturday.
On Saturday, we went back. We got there just as a friend of her´s was leaving. This friend upon seeing us, asked "Do you teach English classes here too?" (I didn´t translate what she said from Spanish to English, she asked us that in English). She apparently had taken English classes from some missionaries in Rosario and had recently moved here and wanted to keep taking the classes. She used to work in a Call Center for HP. I don´t know if any of you have heard of the man who called HP to ask how to fix the cup holder in his computer that had broken. One of her friends from work took that call. If you haven´t heard of that, look it up. Anyways, she asked us to teach her English classes and said she´ll bring some friends. So, next Saturday we are gonna teach English classes to someone who currently speaks more fluently than me haha.
Sorry for all the really short emails. I don´t know why I never seem to have time anymore.
Elder Brown
Joshua 1: 9

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the aLord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Programado

Transfers came in, and, Elder Brown stays in Venado Tuerto!! Elder Cook went to Rosario, and Elder Hill came and is my new comp. He is from Yreka, California. He´s my third comp from California. He went to BYU for a year before the mission and is pretty new out here, just recently finished his training. He ran cross country in high school and we agreed to run every day >.<  I don´t know what I was thinking when I agreed, I just know I gotta do more workouts, and he will certainly help with that.
We have a sweet investigator named Junior. He´s 9. He´s the brother in law of a less active family. He has a date to get baptized the 10th of December and is really excited, and we are too!!! He is really smart and learns fast and it sticks. He doesn´t just learn and forget.
Sunday we had and investigator in church!!! She said she loved it and wants to go back again!!
Sorry for the worst email in the world. The lady that owns this computer cafe wants to sleep the siesta and is telling us to leave.
Elder Brown
1 Nephi 3:7-8

 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I awill go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no bcommandments unto the children of men, save he shall cprepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
 And it came to pass that when my father had heard these words he was exceedingly glad, for he knew that I had been blessed of the Lord.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Much better week

We had a sick zone conference on Tuesday. Pte. Zanni is a really inspired man. I feel really blessed to have such a great mission president.

This week we had some really great lessons.

On Tuesday, we were walking to visit a less active lady, and we heard "Hello missionaries!!" We looked, and it was an 87 year old lady who we take the sacrament to on Sunday´s. She called us over and invited us in for a little bit. We walked in, and not even two minutes later her less active grand-daughter showed up. We read some scriptures with her and she said "The scriptures just have a way of telling you exactly what you need in the perfect moment." It was a really great lesson. I loved it.

We had 6 less-active members in church today. It was awesome. Now, we just need their non-member family members to start following them to church.

Remember that 87 year-old lady? Her name is Ester Allende (we, of course, call her Hermana Allende). Hna. Allende has innumerable family members. She is a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and a great great grandmother. Over half of her family members are members, but all are less active. This Sunday was the first Sunday in a long time that the doctor said she could go to church, and she did. We were sitting on the same bench as her. As we were singing the sacrament hymn, her youngest sister showed up (for the first time since I´ve been in Venado Tuerto), snuck up behind Hna. Allende, and gave her a big hug. The look of suprise and joy and happiness on Hna. Allende´s face made my week. It was incredible. It reminded a little of the look on my grandparent´s face the times I have ran into them in the temple. It was really, really sweet and memorable to see those two aged women embrace in church.

Last night, we taught the Taberna family. They are some recent converts who have trouble understanding what the Book of Mormon teaches. Last night, we felt like we should read 3 Nephi 14 (one of the chapters when Jesus visits the America´s) and at the end, the dad said "That was the simplest chapter in the Book of Mormon! I understood it all!" Then he explained what he learned, and he really did understand it all. He almost recited the whole chapter after just reading through it once. It was amazing to see that.

I am really grateful for the chance I have to serve a mission. They say you mature 50 years in these two years (or 1 1/2 for the women). This past Monday, we were eating with some recent converts, and the father (who is 50 ish) said "When people get to my age, they start to realize all the stupid things they did as a kid, how bad they treated their moms and just how much their mother´s really helped and loved them. People my age start to apologize to their mother´s for how bad they treated them as teenagers and try to fix all those things they did wrong." I don´t think that there is a single missionary in the world that serves a mission and doesn´t write his mom some sort of apology letter during his time as a missionary, apologizing for how dumb he was as a teenager and telling her how much he loves her. The mission really has helped me out in lots of ways that I can´t describe. I 100% recommend it to anyone who has the chance.

Elder Brown

Doctrine and Covenants 16:6
 And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Sweet week

Things are picking up! We were finally able to drop an investigator of three years, and things have picked up drastically since!

We found three solid new investigators.

First: María de los Ángeles Taberna. She is the neice of a less active family that we are trying to reactivate. She took the discussions before from the sister missionaries, and said she wanted to be a missionary. This, however, was before her aunt, uncle, and cousins were members, and her parents didn´t allow her to get baptized. Her parents seem to have warmed up, at least a little bit, to the church. We hope to baptize her the last week of November.

Second: Braian Bazán. 22 year-old guy who lives with his brother, sister, and his girlfriend :(. That is the great challenge of Argentina: marriage. Almost nobody gets married because of something the goverment did in the 70´s and has had a lasting effect. Anyways, He goes to night school to finish high school (almost nobody finishes high school the first time around and everyone goes to night school to finish high school). He fishes a lot. We had a sweet lesson with him. I don´t know why, but, my spanish when we taught him the first time was terrible. It was as if God totally took away the gift of tongues he had blessed me with for the first year of mission. But, at the end of the lesson, he asked if he could keep the pamphlet to read it (we didn´t have time to teach about Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon). We´ll go back Wednesday.

Third: Daniel Aguilar. An older man who´s wife died 9 years ago. He blew out his knee and tore his miniscus and ACL a few months ago, and has been without work since. We taught the Plan of Salvation and about how God has a plan for him and how his wife is still alive, and how he will one day be able to see her again. It was a sweet lesson.

Baked a lot this week. Made a bunch of cookies and a cake. They turned out really good.

Los quiero a todos,

Elder Brown

Moroni 7:33
 33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.