29 November 2010

First week in North Carolina

I'm grateful for y'alls prayers and faith. The week has been trying and long but it's almost done.
I have two companions; Elder Fronk is the senior companion, our current district leader, and very engaged in the work. The other, Elder Fox, is waiting for a visa to Brazil and is helping us here in Charlotte in the interim. we practice Portuguese in the mornings when we have time. it's actually kind of fun.
Excited for the next week. We have a car this week. :D My poor companions have to put up with an asthmatic biking companion. They're very good about it though, thankfully. They're more patient with me than I am.
I'm in the Carmel area of the Charlotte NC mission (NCCM). It's the southern half of Charlotte proper, and it's got more hills than anyplace I've ever seen. Up and down are the two favorite directions to build a road in. I don't mind the down parts so much except that I know I'll be going back up 'em later that day. :) it's ok though. I can anticipate the opposite for the uphill slopes. :D
Tracting isn't near as bad as I thought it would be. the People of Charlotte are very nice. it's not very effective, though, and we're trying to think of some better finding activities besides the ones in Preach My Gospel.
so in my last letter I sent an acorn, right? Well here in Charlotte I've seen three different kinds of Oak trees and small acorns that are orange in the inside. They also have pecan trees down here; I opened a pecan with my bare hands. :)
going shopping soon; food and then goodwill. We're going to get an old tie, cut it open, find out how it was made, and sew a new tie from some other fabric. :) don't worry, I won't send dad any of the truly ugly ones. }:-)

The members down here are awesome. The members we ate with last night run a cleaning business and they are hoping to share a Book of Mormon with one of their customers. The husband also teaches English as a second language and has been sharing the gospel in some of his lessons. Very cool when members do their part.
Speaking of post, President Thomas has asked us to ask our families to send any Christmas packages straight to our apartments. I can't remember our address right now so I'll tuck it in the letter that I'm fixing to send to you, hopefully you'll get that before you send anything. He also said to remind everybody that letters/packages need to have 'Elder Joshua Brown' in the address, not 'Elder Brown' and especially not 'Elder Josh.' :)
Elder Brown
Servant of the Lord

24 November 2010

Josh with his mission president in North Carolina

Portions of the letter from Elder Brown's mission president, President Thomas:

We are pleased to inform you that your son arrived in Charlotte and to the mission home safely and in good spirits. He was a little tired from arising early and a long flight. Sister Thomas fed him a nice warm meal which included Banana Pudding dessert, a southern favorite.  I had the privilege of interviewing him. He is full of potential! Our assistants did a little training and our office Senior Missionaries were able to join us for dinner and an introduction to the new missionaries.  We are so glad that he was assigned the this mission. He slept with his group overnight in the mission home.

He has been assigned a ‘trusted’ missionary to oversee his introduction and training into a proselyting area. Hopefully, when he arrived at his new apartment, they opened the door just far enough to push his luggage inside, and then went out to work! He will make a difference here as he puts his feet on the ground and yields his heart and will to the Lord and his sacred call.

Boy, will he love it here! The landscape is so beautiful and the people of North Carolina are wonderful. Southern Hospitality is alive and well. Members and leaders of the branches, wards, and stakes love the missionaries and we are working hard as a mission to assist them. 

We recognize that the first 3 months of his mission will be personally demanding and rewarding as he makes many adjustments. We will do all we can to help him get his feet, shoulders, and heart established here. We are extremely loyal as a mission which means he has many strong and loyal friends already. Supportive letters absent the affairs of home will help him cultivate a strong start.

We are laboring with our might, completely dependent on the merits and mercy of Jesus Christ, in a unified effort with the Stakes of Zion here; to help gather Israel and establish both Zion and a Zion people. Additionally, we will do all we can to help your son grow, change, and progress into a bold, humble, and charitable missionary who is “fit for the Master’s use.”  We love our missionaries!  We will love, watch over and care for him, as if he were our own. 

Thank you for helping him prepare. Thank you for the sacrifices you have made on his behalf.

17 November 2010

Doing well still

It's been two weeks; how crazy is that?! I'm doing well still.   Say hi to all.   FYI I will probably be able to call you guys around 10:30 (give or take 20 minutes) on the 22nd on November.   love to Katie, Naoms, Jake, Dad, and all the rest! maybe I'll send a paper letter, too. love you guys!!

[We'll hope for a paper letter.  Sigh.  At least he is "doing well."]

15 November 2010

Things are great at the MTC

It's been awesome here.  Already I've learned a ton about how to teach.  Learned that we have to teach Doctrine because Elder Bednar gave an awesome talk about "The Answer is the Doctrine" also to follow the Spirit or the lesson will not be successful.

P-day is on Wednesday and is the only day we can write letters/emails.  I'm writing a letter because I'm sending the smallest maple leaf ever seen to you guys.  Maybe an acorn, too. :)  I've never seen a real acorn before!  They have massive oak trees here.  It's only snowed once and it's not really that cold so there are leaves Everywhere!

We went to the Provo temple today; it's right across the street...then we got to do service in the laundry room.  I matched up shoes and saw a size 5!!! SIZE 5!! lady's shoe.  Only one though.  Hopefully there is a matching shoe in that big bucket of shoes. :)  Also saw a size 14.  Only one guy I know with size 14 and he's my roommate.:)  My companion's shorter, Asian, and not terribly mature; name of Elder Max McKean.  Elder Flaherty is about 6'3" and has huge feet and the size 14 feet.  He's Irish, too. :)  He actually has ADD too, but no meds and no diagnosis, so also no training.  So he's a bit fun to be around, but as we all know, that can be tiring as well.  I'm trying to remember my training so I can help him.  Elder Chad Davies is our District Leader; he reminds me a lot of Captain Kirk.  Leader type, witty tongue, a bit headstrong and red red hair.  Same facial structure, too.

Taking lots of pictures.  Awesome mountains here, probably basin/range with volcanic (Basalt) rock origins and a healthy dose of limestone from the old lake Bonneville.  Also learned a very awesome photography trick to make light sabers/energy beams...

Food's decent but not amazing.  Most of it typical BYU cafeteria food or buy-in-bulk food.  Right now I'm eating a hoagie with turkey and swiss cheese.  And cookies-and-cream milk.  Like chocolate, only cookies and cream.  Which is really tasty, actually.  Not too great is the food, but there is plenty.

We've been here a week!  It's actually gone pretty fast.  We taught our first lesson on Friday and it was really lousy.  Our second was better, but not very much.  We practiced street contacting, too.  Then our third lesson was much good.

Met Elder Wasden [our neighbor's son] and have seen another good friend from BYU-I.  Another elder in my district loves to sing almost as much as I do and we harmonize to hymns often.  It's awesome.

Send stories about my ancestors.  Also send food, candy, cookies or any other tasty goodness you can contrive.

Remember that the answer is the doctrine, not principles, not applications, but doctrine.  True doctrine will allow folks to govern themselves.  So teach doctrine.

Love Elder Joshua Brown, servant of the Lord

03 November 2010

First Day at the MTC

I'm in the MTC and learning lots! I have much learned that I have tons to learn. Already learned how to teach much better. I don't have very long, but I wanted to tell you that I'm alive and doing well.  This work is much bigger than I thought it would be but I CAN"T WAIT!!
The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath annointed me to preach the gospel...
Luke 4:14(?)