Wednesday, April 27, 2016


A butterfly


Found a place that sells Skittles!
Found a new hobby... baking! Baking is such a blast! It´s super chill, really easy, and, you always get a treat or something delicious at the end! So far we´ve only made some cookies, but, cakes and banana bread our in the near future. Who knew that baking was so rewarding?

In other news, Domingo and Liliana both came to church yesterday! It was so sweet! It got kinda scary after the first hour though. Liliana went to the bathroom and started singing, and a lady, not knowing who it was and thinking it was her friend and wanting to make a joke, said, "What a terrible singing voice!" So, Liliana grabbed Domingo and they left. Luckily, that lady has a good heart, and came up to Elder Ostler and I, explained what happened, and asked us if we could try to catch them before they got on the bus so she could apologize and we could get them back in church. So we went to the bustop, and found them there. The lady apologized, and they walked back to church arm in arm. So we found her a friend :).

Anyways, don´t have a lot of time today, but hope you all have a great week!

Elder Brown

Ether 12:27

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Good News and Bad News

So it started raining on March 31st, and it has rained every single
day since. No one really knows when it´ll stop. Everyone says
something different. Some people say it´ll keep going all year, some
say it´ll stop Wednesday, other´s say Thursday. We´ll see I guess. All
I know is that it´s really hard to clean and dry clothes.

Some of the good news. we´ve had a pretty great week. From what I´ve
seen, the most miracles in a companionship happen the last week their
together. This last week was the last week in the transfer, and
miracles were pouring down. When they called on Friday night to say
who was going and who was staying, I was positive they were about to
say that one of us was out. But, we´re both staying another transfer
in Empalme. I´m pretty excited. I like Empalme.

The bad news. Rewind to 8 weeks ago. Juan José is GOLDEN. Reads the
Book of Mormon for 4 hours a day. Invites friends to read with him.
Invites friends to go to church. Totally golden. Fast forward to three
or four weeks ago. Juan José gets accepted into school. Gets super
prideful and totally blows us off and throws away his Book of Mormon.
Later gets kicked out and super sick. Fast forward to two Saturday´s
ago. We talk with him and he basically blames all his problems on me
and the fact that I came to Empalme and that Elder Ostler´s old comp
left. So, we decide to fast for him that God will humble him and he
will be more receptive to us and listen to us more. Monday night, we
stopped by, and he was super sad and depressed looking. He told us
that his best friend died. Best friend for literally the last 27
years. Wow, fasting is really powerful. So we, naturally as
missionaries would do, got excited. Outward, we mourned with one that
mourned, and had a solid lesson with him that night. He recieved
everything perfectly and completely. We stopped by twice more that
week, and each time he seemed better and better. We stopped by last
night, and told us he is done with "Everything Mormon". So, we talked
him out of that, and got him to agree to read 3 Nephi 11. Then some
Jehova´s Witnesses showed up, and he kicked us out so he could talk
with them. That man worries me.

In much, much better news, a less active guy yesterday told us he
wants to get active again. Yesterday morning, we decided to stop by a
less active guy´s house to see when we could come help him build his
new house again. He told us, "Just today I talked to Bishop and told
him that I want to become active again. I want to return to the
Gospel. Not the church, but to Jesus through the Gospel and the
Church." I was so, so excited to hear that. It was awesome.

Other great news, we finally got somebody to come to church!! Liliana
and Domingo have been so clutch. Liliana is Domingo´s nurse. Domingo
is a less active old man that got baptized when he was young, and then
went inactive when he moved. This guy has gone through a lot in his
life, and it has taken a toll on his mind. However, he is still a
capo. We showed up late to church because we went to grab some people
before heading over to the busstop. Nobody felt like getting up and
going with us, and the bus system here is really terrible. So we
showed up a few minutes late, and, lo and behold, there was Domingo.
Sitting there next to a member in priesthood. It was awesome. That day
in church, D&C 18:10,15-16 got a whole new meaning for me. It is true.
The worth of a soul is great in the sight of God, and, if we should
labor all our days (or, in my case, 8 weeks) and bring save it be one
sould unto God (or sacrament meeting), great shall be your joy with
him in the kingdom of our father (or in the chapel). It was an amazing
spirit. That really made me appreciate a whole lot more what I took
for granted in Casilda, that is, investigators in church at least once
or twice a month. I am super grateful that we couldn´t get anyone to
come for 7 sundays, but, that the eighth, some one did. I felt full of

Sorry no pictures, this computer keeps spazzing out when I put in my
flashdrive. Had some other cool experiences, but, I don´t have much
time to write about them. Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Brown

Alma 26:27

Monday, April 11, 2016

Finally Teaching

Tilled this guy´s back yard

Asado with Bishop

Refrigeration done right

Juan José

The crew getting hype for the priesthood session of conference

So this week was a pretty good week. Finally were able to sit down and teach some people.

About a week and a half ago, we did a division with our district leader´s. Usually, when we do division´s, the district members go to their district leaders area and we split up and do double work in that area. This time, our district leader came out to our area. Elder Ostler went off with the district leader, and I with the other. About 2 hours later, we ran into each other (cuz Empalme is really, really small, like about a mile long and half a mile wide) and they were going nuts and super pumped. They had found an older couple who had been reading the Book of Mormon and had been wanting to know more but hadn´t known where to go! Their names are Liliana and Domingo (Spanish for Sunday). It´s been really cool teaching them this last week. Turns out, after meeting with them getting to know them, she is just his nurse (he is kinda old and senile and loosing it) and he got baptized when he was a teenager. She has accepted the invitation to get baptized and we hope to do so before the end of the month. What´s more, she is kinda boy crazy (weird to say about a 50 year old) and has a crush (also weird to say about a 50 year old) on Juan José. So we´ll see where this goes ;) we hope they both get baptized, then get married, and then get sealed next year.

Speaking of Juan José, he is slowly starting to read the Book of Mormon again. He also has told us the main thing he wants in life is a woman who loves more about God than anything else (describes Liliana perfectly), and who will be totally faithful to him (sounds like Liliana). To be honest, playing matchmaker is pretty fun :).

We have also started teaching two other women. Patricia and Lourdes. Patricia is Lourdes´ mom, and Lourdes is a college student (I don´t remember what exactly she studies). We contacted them in the street, and I did not think anything was going to come of it. I thought it would be just another failed appointment. The opposite happened. We had easily the best lesson we have ever had (prolly the best of my mission), even though both Elder Ostler and I struggled a bit with our Spanish. We taught the Restoration. The spirit in there was literally electric. It felt like being near something super high voltage, just safer. After we told of the first vision and quoted the scripture, she rolled up her sleeves and said she had goose bumps. It was really, really awesome. They also have accepted the invitation to be baptized.

Definitely learning that attitude is everything. Our mission president asked everyone at the beginnig of March to pray and ask if it´s possible to baptize every month in every area that we´re in. So I did, and I got an answer that it is possible. When we didn´t baptized in March, I felt a little like I´d failed as a missionary, especially since I knew that baptizing every month is possible. So, I started reading in my journal to figure out what I was doing different during my first three months when I was baptizing every month. I realized that I had a much more optimistic outlook on things. If someone gave us the time of day, I assumed they were golden. Lately, I had developed the bad habit of assuming that pretty much everyone we talk with and accepts a visit from us, won´t be home when we go by and that nothing will happen with them. So, I´ve been trying to change to the way I was when I started (I think there´s a life lesson to be learned there), and we started teaching Liliana, Domingo, Patricia, Lourdes, and we have people with a baptismal date. Also, just having a bit of fun and joking around makes things so much easier and enjoyable.

That pretty much sums up my week. Hope you all have had a good one!

Elder Brown

Alma 27:26

Monday, April 4, 2016

The week of Less-Actives

A TON happened this week. We were totally busy the whole time, and, of course, the thing we had the least amount of time to do was proselyte.

On Monday, we washed dishes for 2 straight hours after P-Day for a less active lady. We had planned just to go and teach, but, when we got there. She asked us to wait while she washed dishes. She had a four-foot tall stack of dishes. We knew that if we just sat there, we would waste over an hour waiting, so, we helped. And washed dishes for two straight hours. Afterwards, we had a sweet lesson with her and her less active sons, and her 10 year old son who is not a member, César. As is common with lessons, at the most spiritual moment, the crap hit the fan. The two year old fell down, smacked his face on the tile floor and lost it. The dogs started barking. The 3 year old grandson started throwing food. The nonmember dad lit up some cigarrettes, so the whole place smelled like smoke. And the less active lady had to attend to her newborn daughter who just woke up and started crying. It was the definition of a disaster. Then, out of nowhere, it stopped, and my comp pulled up the Easter video from last year, and the spirit totally flourished. It was awesome. We were able to commit the son to a baptismal date. He is the first we have had since Juan José kinda fell through the cracks. We went back later in the week and we saw a big change in the less active sister. I think it was because we washed her dishes, and she saw that we were there because we care about her, not just because we are missionaries and are supposed to visit people.

On Friday, we had an amazing lesson with a less active guy named Juan Pablo. His wife and daughters are not members. We passed by them before and have had great lessons, but, his schedule got recently changed at work and it has been totally impossible to find and teach him. Totally impossible, that is, until Friday. We started reading Ether 12 with him. About half way through, the power went out (a HUGE storm was raging). So we couldn´t finish. I felt like we had to read verse 27 though. So, I pulled out the phone, and, in the very dim light it cast, read verse 27. Then Juan Pablo started talking. It was really hard to stay awake. The light was dim, it was warm in the house, and we had just eaten lunch. The perfect combo for dozing off. Just at the point where I was about to lose it, the spirit reminded of a story in Preach My Gospel about two missionaries that almost fell asleep, but pushed through and the lady ended up asking when she could get baptized. So, I pinched myself as hard as I could, and, luckily, the lights came back on. As soon as I did that and that happened, he told us about his nephew that had been kicked out the house a few weeks ago, and recently found dead in the streets of a nearby city. He had been murdered. Then, he told us of many more family problems he has been having along those same lines. He totally opened up to us. It was so sweet (not that his nephew died, rather that he felt comfortable enough around us to tell us that). He promised to come to conference and then to church the Sunday after. There was an amazing spirit in there.

It was Elder Ostler´s birthday! It was a sweet day. We helped a member till his garden and had two meals with a member, one of which being an asado. It was a pretty awesome day.

Genceral Conference, as it alway´s is on the mission, was super sweet. I hope you all watched every session. If not, I invite you to go back and watch what you missed, because it really was awesome. I don´t usually like every talk of conference, but, this time, I did. I even really liked Elder Bednar´s talk, which was filled with big words that I didn´t understand.

Hope you all are doing well. The work in Empalme is slow, but, there is progress, so I am happy with that. Have a great week!

Elder Brown

Helaman 5:12