Monday, April 24, 2017

The Work Continues for Noellia and Ivan

Elder Adrian, a good friend from Venado Tuerto
Our district

Noelia and Ivan Mir had their baptismal interview´s Saturday, and passed with flying colors!! Noelia is one of the most prepared people that I have taught. Some prepared people accept everything we say without question, and others accept it and apply what we teach in their lives. Noelia accepts what we teach, and does it. She lives what she learns. In the words of our ward members, she is a "dry Mormon," which means she already lives a Mormon life, she just lacks baptism.

Pablo, Noelia´s husband and Ivan´s father, told us last night that he wants to get baptized too!! He has been our main concern with the Mir family. He knows he will have to stop smoking and make a bunch of changes in his life, but, he is willing to make these changes. He said he doesn´t want to do it for his wife nor for his son, but rather, because he feels that this is the true church of Jesus Christ. All his ideas of Christianity are found in the LDS church. It was amazing!

Normally, I don´t like to share that I am a leader in the mission, but, I feel like I should share an experience I had this week.

There are six missionaries in our district. Two are zone leaders. Two are sister training leaders. One is a district leader, and the other is the district leader´s junior comp. The missionary who is the district leader is the missionary with the least amount of time out of the 6 of us. He has been in the mission field for 8 or 9 months. His comp has been out for 15 months. The sister training leader´s have been out for 16 and 11 months. I´ve been out for 20, and my comp´s been out for 16. Our poor district leader feel´s, obviously, tons and tons of stress. I´m sure he feels really insecure. He, with such little experience, has to be a leader of missionaries, who are leaders, with lots of experience. His and his comp´s situation is almost exactly what I had in Venado Tuerto. My comp was pretty new and was a district leader of 5 other missionaries with more experience than he, my comp was even from the same place as our current district leader.

On Saturday, when they came to our area so that the district leader could interview Ivan and Noelia, I felt like I needed to speak with his companion, whom I will call Elder Black, and I will call his comp Elder Silva. I started by asking "How are things going with you and Elder Silva?" He told me that things were going good, but, that the stress seemed to have really gotten to Elder Silva, and that they were getting along really well. I told him about my time in Venado Tuerto, and how I was able to win the trust, confidence, and love of my companion. The spirit was really strong. At the end, he gave me a huge hug and said "This was the answer to my prayers. Thank you." I guess what I am going at with this, is that I learned that the experiences we have in this life aren´t just for us. Gods gives us these experiences for us to share with us, and wants us to record our experiences, especially our spiritual ones. I noticed after the little chat we had, that I had not recorded in my journal what I had done to win the confidence of my companion. So, I will do that today, so that in some future day, I can help someone else too with my experiences.

Love you all!!

Elder Brown

Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-9
And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Full

"A full" (pronounced, "a fool") is a local saying that basically means "super busy," which is what we have been this last week.

We had our Church Open House this week. It was sweet. We learned a lot. I think that the biggest thing that we learned was how to teach someone who doesn´t want to be taught. A man who believes anything he reads in a book went, and everytime someone taught something, he said "But I read in (name your favorite book) that it isn´t like that." And then proceeded to give a speech. All of us missionaries tried to treat him with respect and understanding. There was one sister (not a sister missionary, a normal member) from the ward who didn´t though. She said "Sir, stop focusing so much on worldly things. Don´t look so much for physical proof. What you need to do is get a testimony of spiritual things. Do you have faith?" "No," he said. "To tell the truth, no, I don´t." "Well then, get on your knees, pray, and ask God if the things we have told you today are true." And he looked at her for a second, then said "Finally!! Someone who know´s how to talk!" He gave her a kiss on the cheek (the way men greet women here), congratulated her for saying what she said, and left. I learned then and there that I have to be more direct and bold with my teachings.

We finally got to talk to the Mir family again! They were going through some problems and told their member friends that they did not want to talk with us any more. These members did not say anything to us. We ran into them in the street Monday night. Noelia (the mother) looked kind of apprehensive at first. After talking a bit, she opened up and invited us to go to their house Tuesday for Ivan´s (the 9 year-old son) birthday party. We went for 30 min, met some of their family members, taught them, and Noelia´s mom asked "And when are you going to go to my house to teach?" Sadly, she lives in another area. The Elder´s over there will be very happy with this referral. The whole family (except Pablo, the father, who was working) when to the Church Open House, and got excited again about being baptized and are still wanting to be baptized the 29th of this month. It was a huge miracle. We now need to focus on Pablo and get him wanting to be baptized too.

I don´t remember if I mentioned this before or not, but our Ward Mission Leader is from Utah. His wife is from here. He met his wife when visiting some family members here in Rosario. Anyways, when we go to his house or speak with him on the phone, we always talk to him in English (for him, were it for us, we would keep talking in Spanish), and apparently, my English is terrible haha. Every time I say things in English, everyone looks at me weird and my comp makes fun of me haha. I can now say that my Spanish is better than my English :).

Elder Brown

3 Nephi 27:20
  20 Now this is the commandment: aRepent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be bbaptized in my name, that ye may be csanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand dspotless before me at the last day.

Crossing the river is the Santa Fe mission. That river is in my area

Birthday cookies :)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Rainy Season

Last year, it rained every single day from March 31st to April 21st. This year, I thought we would luck out a bit, cuz it didn´t rain for the first few days of April. Well, that was just the first the first few days. The rain has begun.

This week flew by. We finally started finding new investigators. We have broken the curse. In this last week, we were able to find 10 solid new investigators. Unfortunately, when it rains, everyone here sleeps in super late. It doesn´t matter what the occasion is, nobody does anything. So, we didn´t have any investigators in church, yesterday, but, we have made a plan to get people to go rain or shine. We shall see how well it works.

I think the biggest thing I am learning from this area is how to be truly humble. My main referrence for humility has always been Mosiah 4 :11, in which it is stated "would that ye should remember, and always retain inremembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingnessand his goodness and longsuffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even inthe depths of humilitycalling on the name of the Lord daily," without ever taking into consideration what Jesus said "Thou shalt love thyneighbour as thyself." (Mat. 22:39). I had always taken what King Benjamin had said to mean that I had to see myself lower than everything, even other people. What I learned this last week, is that yes, I should see myself as nothing compared to the Savior Jesus Christ, but that I still need to love myself. Pres. Uchtdorf said in a general conference, quoting C.S. Lewis, "True humility isn´t thinking less of your self; it´s thinking of yourself less." I had misinterepeted that one too. I had taken it to mean I should love and think only of others. I now know that I need not only to love and serve and think of others, but, love and help myself too. That is the way to be a leader. Love and serve others as you love and serve yourself.

Love you all!!
Elder Brown

Mosiah 3:19
19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

Mosiah 2:41
17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the serviceof your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

Monday, April 3, 2017

General Conference Weekend

General Conference was awesome. It was by far my favorite. I learned alot. Especially about humility, even though it was a topic that wasn´t spoken of very much. I will include links to two of my favorite talks.

We had ward council, and it was the best ward council meeting that I have ever gone to. My comp said that it was pretty bad by comparison with the others when Bishop is there. He has been out of town for the last two weeks. They´ve been in Utah, visiting Park City, Salt Lake etc. and went to the conference center to watch conference. I´m excited to meet this guy when he gets back.

The Mir family is doing great. Pablo was sick when we went to visit them this week, but Noelia and Ivan are doing great! Supposedly, they watched the Sunday Afternoon session of conference with Noelia´s parents. I sure hope that their internet was working (we had a storm yesterday, and lot´s of people lost their internet) because Elder Joaquín Costa gave a great talk that I think would really speak to them.

We had a frank chat with some eternal investigators, and they started to show true intent. They started really listening to us, and reading the Book of Mormon. They are a young couple with two young kids. The best part? THEY¨RE ALREADY MARRIED!!!! So we won´t have to have that talk with them, and we won´t have to overcome that stumbling block. They are the Acevedo family. Their names are Diego (26), Nadia (22), and I can´t remember the names of their two and five year-olds.

¡Los quiero mucho!

Elder Brown

Remember the Godoy´s? Well, they live in my new stake, and I saw them in the church during general conference. It was awesome to see that they are still active and going strong.