20 December 2010

Abraham is rock solid

Abraham was baptised and confirmed this week! He's gonna be rock solid, I can tell. He's already feeling the Spirit work in his life and he's asking questions after applying his own understanding to the doctrine. We don't have to spoon-feed him and he's just a rock-solid guy.
No interesting stories today, though I did want to apologize for teasing y'all about me getting shot at. I thought it was pretty funny, though.
Alright I've gotta dash. I'll talk to y'all on Christmas day! Love you!
And furthermore, I love you guys.
Elder Joshua Brown

13 December 2010

We are having a baptism this weekend!

We are having a baptism this weekend! Abraham is an Ethiopian man, late 20's, with a strong conversion to God. He's having his interview with the Zone Leaders on Wednesday and if they clear him he'll be baptized on Saturday. If they don't clear him, we'll push it back and try again until he either gets baptized or tells us not to come anymore. We're all hoping he's ready. He's amazing and brilliant, if a little quiet. He accepted the commandments with very little hesitation and no resistance, and he's been living all of them as far as we can tell. So hopefully he's ready.
His baptism is both a blessing and a curse because although he will enter the waters of baptism and start himself on the path to salvation, he's also our only investigator who's really progressing. We have several others but one got sick and is out of our area for treatment, one is tied to a church for his college tuition (they hired him from Africa to tell them about life and culture there) and another is only there for every third appointment. Others are listening to us but not really progressing or not keeping commitments. Kinda frustrating.
Highlight of the week:
We went to a Baptist Christmas service this Sunday. It was a great learning experience because it taught me how our investigators feel when they come to our church, especially when they've never been there before. We had to leave in the middle to get to our own church meetings on time, but it was interesting to see the differences that there are between the way that we worship and the way that they worship.  When we left, a man was doing a 'sand story' about the birth of Jesus. (A sand story is where the artist moves sand around on a projector to make the pictures of the story, in case you didn't know).
Also I'm getting better at biking; I only have to get off every two or three miles now instead of at every hill. :) Still glad we're getting a car this week, though.
Yours faithfully,
Elder Joshua Brown
Servant of the Lord

06 December 2010

Shot at, yelled at, and snored at

Howdy all!
I'm much tired this week. I've been shot at, yelled at, and snored at. But I'm surprisingly very happy in spite of it all. 
Ok, details on the past week's happenings: been studying pretty hard so far. I'm very excited to study some more tomorrow. I've learned a whole bunch of stuff that I didn't know before. For example, the ultimate act of charity was the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Did not know that before. Also learned we need to have faith in people; after all, even God was a person once.
So, being yelled at. We were tracting a neighborhood in the northern part of our area, and we found out that there we Jehovah's Witnesses in the same area. Now, it's nothing personal with Jehovah's Witnesses, but we seem to have more doors slammed in our faces after they've gone through the area, so we decided to leave and find a better area to tract. well, on our way out, we ran into a really nice chap from another church who was out spreading the word (modernised gospel of John), and we stopped to talk to him. suddenly this lady comes storming up to us and rants at us for waking her up. I guess she figured we'd woke up the dogs and the dogs woke up all the other dogs in the neighborhood, or something like that. 
we felt bad for her, and it kind of wrecked our day, so when we finished talking to the guy we left the area, pulled over in our car, and prayed for her. we all felt better about life but even more sad for her, because she was obviously hurting inside.
so that was getting yelled at.
Snored at is pretty boring. I won't go into that one.
And lastly, getting shot at; that was actually pretty funny. We were on bikes because our Designated Driver was at a leadership training meeting, and as we cycled out of our apartment complex a couple of kids, couldn't have been more than ten or twelve years old, pointed guns at us and started firing. I was really quite scared for a moment until I realised that they were using laser tag guns. :) Not scared after that.
We found some pretty cool people this week. one chap, by the name of Nuke (cool name, innit?) we met at a bus stop and got to talking. He asked us about repentance, and how people could repent after committing the same mistake over and over. We set up an appointment and taught him about it, and we have another return appointment ... sometime, I'm sure... (nice planning, eh? I know we wrote it down somewhere... oh look, my planner) at 5 on Friday. 
Speaking of Friday, we're going to go visit a local seminary class and teach the restoration at like 6:00 Friday morning. :) 
Love you!
Elder Brown

05 December 2010

This must be God's work

I have a few words to say to Jake specifically,  First get in shape.  Get on a bike and get used to it; I have never biked so much as I have this last week. Easily 30 miles. Easy.  Also get used to hills. Pray your mission area is flat but get used to going up and down hills. I hain't never been so sore. I'm loving the work out here even though it's really killing me. Asthma is an issue when you're biking up a hill and more so when it's cold.  I've been using by inhaler faithfully but still having asthma attacks while biking. My companions are really cool but they're working me to death and I'm sweating buckets. My clothes are soaked all the way through every night when we come in. I have some trouble just walking because my quadriceps are so sore. But I've never been so happy. This must be God's work, because if I gave this much physically to any other cause I'd probably not be able to walk anymore at all. I'd hate it and quit. But it must be God's work because I'm still enjoying it despite the fact that I'm dying while doing it. :)

This is my testimony

The Book of Mormon really does hold all the answers. It answers why God allows bad things to happen to good people and why we are here, where we came from, and where we go when we die.  It answers all the deep soul questions of Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, and all the other deep thinkers. It answers the deep questions of Calvin, the reformers and others. It answers the deep questions that modern-day man asks so often: Who am I? Why am I here? Where did I come from and where will I go when I die? It answers the questions of the heart in ways that modern man in all his scientific glory cannot. The Book of Mormon is a Book of Answers. It brings us peace, hope, and joy.  It teaches us the truths of God from simple doctrine to "deep" doctrine. It truly is a marvelous work and a wonder. I testify that it is a true work, translated as Joseph Smith said, by the power of God. There is no room for doubt in my mind that the angel Moroni really did appear to Joseph and direct him to the gold plates. Read it.

Last of all this is the testimony which I give of Jesus Christ, Savior of the world: He lives.  He was born, He lived, He suffered and died, and He lives again. Let no doubt form in your mind that He atoned for us and pleads to the Father on our behalf. Let no doubt staunch your testimony that He appeared to Joseph Smith and restored, through him, the Gospel which He established while here on earth. Let there be no doubt that Jesus loves us. 

Do not let the clouds of doubt stop up your testimony of the truth of this church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is the true church of God, restored once more to the earth by pure, untainted revelation. It is the only church with the power to seal marriages to last beyond the grave. It is the only church which has the fullness of the doctrine and with that fullness, the power to act in God's name for the salvation of the children of men. 

Thomas S. Monson is the correct and authorized successor to Gordon B. Hinckley and Joseph Smith. He holds the keys. If we follow His counsel, which is the Lord's counsel, we cannot go astray. This is my testimony. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Joshua B Brown
Servant of the Lord