Monday, July 31, 2017

My Last Week in Argentina

My last week in the mission field was amazing. We were going at it at about 1000 mph. It was an awesome week.

We started it off right on P-Day, with almost 10 kilograms of asado. We also played TEG, which is the Argentine version of Risk. I thought playing that would be kind of boring, but, it was actually pretty fun.

We also had lots of really good lessons. Jeremías Mendoza was on fire. It was so amazing to see his progress. He passed his baptismal interview, and was baptized on Saturday afternoon. It was a solid last Saturday afternoon. I feel so blessed to have been able to see the baptism of someone that I helped find and that I started teaching.

His baptism was really powerful. Jeremías is from a really poor part of town, and all of his cousins do really bad things. He is the only one of his male cousins that doesn't do anything that could get him sent to jail. The only remotely bad thing that he did, he stopped doing when we told him that it was a sin to do it, even if lots of other people do it. His grandma is really catholic. Usually, religious relatives are opposed to baptisms in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She's not one of those though. She supported his baptism and was more in favor of his baptism than I was haha. She was just SOOO thrilled that one of her grandkids was choosing to follow Christ, and not the things of the world. She thanked me and Elder Jiménez so much for helping her grandson. She took a lot of family members to the baptism.

After the ordinance of baptism, Elder Jiménez and I gave Jeremías a suit, white collared shirt, and a tie. When he walked in the room wearing all that, his grandma burst in tears. She was so happy, and Jeremías was too. He's a pretty quiet kid, but after his baptism, he was talking and joking with all the members that were there. He was baptized by a recent convert named Cristián Fábrego. It was a really great last baptism.

I also had a surprise baptism. So I interviewed a little girl named Melany for baptism. Later on in the week, the elders that taught her and her family asked her who she wanted to baptize her, and she said that she wanted me to baptize her. That experience taught me how to win the trust of little kids. She was really timid and shy, and it took a lot to get her to open up. Once opened up though, she didn't stop talking. It was really neat.

As some of you may or may not know, I have had the wonderful privilege to spend this last week with my parents in Argentina. We started off going to the Iguazú Falls. Then we saw a bit of Buenos Aires. Both were amazingly beautiful and unforgettable experiences, especially the falls. I think, however, that the best part of the time I spent with them wasn't going either to the waterfall that dwarfs Niagara Falls, nor seeing the fanciest and most bizarre cemetary ever. The best part was going to say goodbye to some of the families that I have worked with and helped during these two years. I won't share what happened in every home, but, I will share what happened in two.

The Medina's. I contacted them July 30th of 2016, a year ago almost to the day. We visited them the 29th of July, 2017.

When we went, I perceived that something wasn't right. He was really, really quiet, and is normally super talkative. So, I asked what was the matter. I believe that my parents being able to visit and go with me was inspired. What he was going through was something that my parents have gone through, and they were able to give perfect advice. This also helped him to feel that he is not alone, and that everyone goes through hard things. Afterwards, he seemed really resolved and determined to press forward, even with the trials he is passing through.

The Medina Family

Lorena and Ulises. Lorena is Ulises's mom. She is the ex-sister in law of one of the best converts that I have ever seen. I started teaching them when I was in Rosario, and they got baptized shortly after I left the area/ward of Azcuénaga.

We show up, I clap, and she comes out real nervous looking. I got to thinking, when you see someone that helped you out a lot spiritually, and you are living the commandments, you get really excited. If you are someone who helped you out a lot spiritually, and you're not keeping the commandments, you get nervous and don't want that person to be there. I definitely got the second impression from her. We talked a bit and she said that they were eating, and we said that we would come back later, after they'd finished eating.

We went back afterwards, and we had an amazing discussion outside her house. We, or better yet, I, spoke to her about parenting, specifically about motherhood and bringing your kids up in the church. I used two wonderful examples. I spoke of the sons of Helaman and what they did and accomplished thanks to what their mothers had taught them. Then I used a more tangible example: my own mother. As I was standing right next to her, in front of Lorena and Ulises, I decided to take advantage of the situation and use my childhood as an example. I felt the spirit of love and charity so strong towards them, stronger I think than in any other moment of my life. I really just gave it my all to love them, understand their situation and try to help them come back to church so that they could feel the joy and the peace that they had once felt when they went to church. We must have done something right, because they went with us to their neighbors house for a Family Home Evening with the missionaries of their ward. It was amazing.

I truly love Argentina and the Argentines. I will sorely miss them, in fact, I already do. I love this church and this gospel. I know that this is indeed the one and only true church of the Lord Jesus Christ. I love him. In my two years as a missionary, I came to know him. I still haven't seen his face, but, I know he lives. I add my own testimony to that of Jospeh Smith and Sidney Rigdon, "That he lives!" (D&C 76:22). I testify of all these things and do so in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Brown

John 3:16

Monday, July 17, 2017


It snowed!!⛄ But not in San Nicolás 😔. Everyone´s saying that it snowed in Rosario, it´s too bad that I´m not up there. Oh well, this coming winter I´ll see plenty. We did see some frozen dirty water on a dirt path. Something I haven´t seen in years, since the last time I visited the cabin in in winter haha.

It´s been I while since I´ve written a good letter. I´ll do better today. But, no pics today. This computer doesn´t read any memory cards or flashdrive´s.

Looks like I´m never gonna get a hold of this language. It´s been raining a lot lately. Here, when it rains, everyone stays inside and everything shuts down. The other day, we were walking in the rain, and saw a man outside smoking. So, I contacted him. As I started talking with him, I tried to say "Even though the weather´s bad, we would like to talk to you" (or something like that, in Spanish it doesn´t sound so weird), which would be "Aunque esté feo, queríamos hablar con usted." But, what I said was, "Aunque sea feo, queríamos hablar con usted." So, what I said was "Even though you´re ugly, we want to talk to you." Hahahaha! Elder Jiménez died laughing afterwards when he pointed out my error. So, my having said "sea" instead of "esté" changed everything. Hahaha

So last Monday, we really felt the Lord´s protection. Normally, we leave at about 8:15 on Monday´s to go do P-Day things. Habitually, we go downtown to write our families, buy groceries, and look for soy milk (it´s really hard to find XP). But, when we were about to leave, I had to use the bathroom (I never have to use the bathroom so early). So, we left a little later than usual. When we got to the busstop, we realized that a bus had recently passed by (because we were the only ones there). So, we waited for about 15 minutes, and then the police blocked off the road, and sent the next bus that we were about to board down another street where buses never go. So, we went running to the side streets to catch a bus. We boarded the first we could, and the busdriver started explaining to everyone what had happened. He said that there had been a wreck just a little ways off from where we were. Sure enough, when we went by a field where we could see the wreck, there was a bus pointing a way that busses on that street shouldn´t point. I know that the Lord blessed us so that we wouldn´t be on that bus.

This last week was awesome. We found 19 new investigators, and had 13 member present lessons. It was awesome!!

Jeremías Mendoza will be baptized on Saturday. It´s gonna be sweet! It has been such a blessing to be able to help him! He, and we, are really excited for him!!!

Monday, July 10, 2017

I Must be Getting Old

Cebiche, with squid

Elder Brown friendly dulce de leche!

A new knee brace

I feel like an old man. I injured my knee just by standing up wrong.😆 I´m better now though. It was a flare from my wrestling tendonitis.

Sick week! We had set the goal to find 10 new investigators, and, on Sunday, at 5 pm, we had only found 1 all week. So, we decided to go to a part of our area where we almost never go because it´s pretty isolated. And between 7 and 8, we found 9 NEW INVESTIGATORS. Two families. It was awesome!

We had two investigators in church. Jeremías Mendoza and Gustavo Fábrego. Jeremías will be baptized next week. We are pretty excited for him. It´s gonna be sweet. We haven´t been able to work too much with Gustavo because lately he hasn´t shown much interest, but, we will start anew with him!!

Love you all!!

Elder Brown

Omni 1:25-26

And it came to pass that I began to be old; and, having no seed, and knowing king Benjamin to be a just man before the Lord, wherefore, I shall deliver up these plates unto him, exhorting all men to come unto God, the Holy One of Israel, and believe in prophesying, and in revelations, and in the ministering of angels, and in the gift of speaking with tongues, and in the gift of interpreting languages, and in all things which are good; for there is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord; and that which is evil cometh from the devil.
And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption.  Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.

Cebiche, with squid
Elder Brown friendly dulce de leche!
A new knee brace

Monday, July 3, 2017

Seeker's and Bludger's

Time really flies when you´re having fun. It also flies when you work hard. It flies even faster when you do both. Time is flying by really fast, but, I don´t think I´ve ever felt more stressed in my life than I do right now.

Have you ever met someone who plays professional quidditch? I have. His name´s Sergio. This last week, we went to Rosario to go on splits up there. We got in a bus after lunch to head back to the pensh of the other Elders, and I saw a guy sitting down with a volleyball. So, I asked him if he played volleyball and he said, "No, why do you ask?" I pointed a the volleyball and said "Cuz you´ve got a volleyball." I don´t think I have ever gotten a bigger look of "For reals bro? Are you that ignorant?" from anyone. He looked at me as if I had just asked him if he were pregnant or something dumb like that. He then said "It´s not a volleyball, it´s a quidditch ball." ...    ...  ... Hahahaha I don´t think I´ve ever had such a strong temptation to bust up laughing. I didn´t though, because I know how it feels. So, he started talking to us about quidditch. He contacted us haha. He gave us his card and everything. His team is called "Wild Wolves Rosario." Look them up. You might find something interesting haha.

Anyways, this was a good week. We acheived most of our goals!!! It was awesome!!

We had a sweet lesson with a new couple, Eliana and Hector. They are 22 and 24 years old. They aren´t married, but, have plans to do so! They are one of the very few none-married couples that is in the process of getting married. We taught the Restoration, and Eliana said "I haven´t been baptized in any church. I want to be baptized though." So, we invited her to be baptized, and she said "Yes, but, I want to go to your church first." 😄 We invited her to pray and ask God if she should be baptized and she said "How can I recognize my answer from God?" So, we explained how the Holy Ghost works. They didn´t commit to a date, but, they are ready and willing to act.

Nahuel Rodríguez. 17 year old that we started teaching about a week and a half ago. We had a similar experience with him as we did with Eliana and Hector. He too asked about how he could know if this is what God wants him to do (get baptized and serve a mission). It was sweet.

I had my first investigator in church here yesterday!!!!! Jeremías Mendoza. The other Elder´s in our ward committed him to a date after soccer last Monday. They said "Jeremías, if you get baptized, God will be happy. If you don´t, God will be sad. Do you want god to be happy or sad?" "Happy." "So what are you gonna do?" "Get baptized." "Will you get baptized July 22nd?" "Yes." 😆

I love this work. IT is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Elder Brown

D&C 18:15-16
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many soulsunto me!