28 March 2011

Transfer this week

Elder Bringhurst and I are getting along just fine. Plenty of sparks but at the end of the day we're still glad to be companions.  Kinda how it's been the whole transfer, really.
I'm being transferred this week. I don't know where or with who I'll be serving. but I do know I'm going to have fun. I'll miss the folks here in Carmel but new friends ahead.
The Carmel Ward of the Charlotte South Stake doesn't exist anymore. Yesterday they changed the name of the ward to Providence Ward and changed the boundaries quite a bit from what they were. Good thing I'm leaving; I don't have to deal with that. :D Poor Elder Bringhurst. He's also training a high-functioning autist, and the result of the next three months will determine whether or not the kid can stay on a mission. so he's pretty stressed, too.
We were able to help Bonnie again. It was raining and she was pretty impressed that we still came and helped her on our bikes. So we had a huge positive impact on her.
Yes, the Catawba Indians are in our mission. That's all I really know.
Good solid counsel for a missionary: stay positive and know that success does not equal baptisms.  
Love you guys,
Elder Fruitcake
(for thus I have been christened by Elder Bringhurst).

21 March 2011

She called us angels

Our investigators are mostly doing well. We lost contact with Liz, but we're going to try and get reconnected soon. John and Melinda are just as ready as they're going to get but we still don't have the clearance to re-baptize John. It's a little frustrating.

We found two new investigators this week. One we found while tracting a road where nobody liked us. (Brad, age 20, unemployed, Anime fan). The other we found Saturday when we went to go see a do-not-contact (who, by the way, wasn't home). We knocked a couple of doors and then saw a lady trying to move some rocks for her garden. We offered to help and she said "Oh, you're too clean". Well of course we did it anyway. She called us angels. I guess she'd dislocated her shoulder during the last year or so and she was mighty grateful for our help.

Also, Saturday, we got five more hours of service when we helped Mike stain his deck. We had a lot of fun with them while we did that.

Nice weather up there, huh? Here it's green and windy, and the pollen -oh, the pollen!- is everywhere. Including in my nose. I've never had allergies before. It's miserable. I heard that eating local honey is supposed to help with that. I've got some local honey, and I'm eating it. so... I guess we'll find out.

Love, Elder Brown

19 March 2011

Saturday was a good, good day

Probably the coolest thing this week was Saturday.  Saturday morning we went to a specialized training with Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  I got to meet him and shake his hand.  Then we had a two hour meeting where President and Sister Thomas both spoke and gave us instruction.  Elder Gay of the Seventy talked about member involvement in missionary work, and Elder Oaks spoke to us at length about personal revelation.  Something that really stuck out to me was that the scriptures are a personal Urim and Thummim.  I'd never really thought of the scriptures in that way before.

Then at four o'clock that evening we watched the baptism of Bill Grey, our district's most recent convert and one of the purest souls I've ever met.  John and Melinda Bennet came to the baptismal service and the sisters in that area had a pleasant surprise when one of their own investigators came unexpectedly.  It was a good experience for all concerned.

Finally, to top it off, we had an awesome lesson with a single member in a restaurant (Firehouse Subs, good food). I won't go into too much detail but I will say that it was among the best lessons we've had recently.  Saturday was a good, good day.

Sunday was good, too.  We were blessed to have three investigators come to church.  One of them was LIz, who I've told y'all about before.  She came at the invitation of her member friends, the Berrys.  From a missionary perspective, there is just nothing cooler than an investigator coming because members asked her to.

All told, this was one of the best weeks we've had yet.  Another cool thing that happened Sunday was that a part-member-sort-of-active family came to church and brought the non-member-sort-of-active part of the family with them.  To make it even better, the non-member-sort-of-active-part invited us to come over again.  We'd been there once before and didn't think we'd had too much of an impact, but hey, we can be wrong.  We can take it.  We can cope.  Especially when it comes to a new investigator. :)

Something that's been of immense benefit to me is a talk that Elder Bringhurst and I had during a rainstorm on Monday.  Thanks to Elder Bringhurst and his exceeding great stubbornness I've discovered that being happy is a choice, and moreover, it's a choice you only have to make once.  I made that choice.  It made a difference.  I'm happier, I can take more crap from people (Elder Bringhurst), and I don't have to struggle with it.  It used to be a battle for me every morning. I used to let the little things weigh me down.  Now I don't have to.  It wasn't a magic cure; I still feel sad for people.  But I'm not sad for me much anymore.  Which is good, because I don't have time for that.

Elder Fronk gave me a tie that matches my fedora. :D  It is a pretty sweet tie.

Well, I gotta got now.  Elder Bringhurst wants to throw a frisbee around.  I love y'all, though, don't forget.

Love, Elder Brown

07 March 2011

Making soup in our shoes

It's 70 degrees, and we have all the sun you could ever want down here. Most of the time, at least. I think if I ever live down here I'm going to get a duck car- one that can cross rivers- because every once in a while we have amazing torrential downpours.
Monday night we got the most incredible storm. It came out of nowhere and poured down in torrents. Mike W. our team and most amazing member, was driving us around during that and we couldn't see through the window except a little after the windshield wipers did their wiping. It was awesome! And the lightning! Oh, I wish I could just send you some, it was so awesome.
And yesterday, we got another one. It rained a lot Saturday night and we hoped it would be done, but it wasn't. We got out to go tracting and there was a light drizzle, so we took our raincoats and umbrellas and went a-walking for to preach the word. We got to our first street and we were a little wet. (It was a beautiful road, by the way. The forest just grows everywhere in Charlotte, and you know how beautiful a forest is during a rainstorm) so we tracted it, and then walked through the little forest twice more (I got us turned around and we had to go back. Oh, and we saw a lake in the little forest too.) And then we were wet. But we were diligent and didn't go in. No, we walked another mile and a half to our next road, and my companion has the brilliant Idea of saying "Is this all you can do? That's pathetic, rain! Do your worst! I can take it!" So of course it did. We were making soup in our shoes on the way home. I poured a quarter cup of water out of my shoes when we got home and just threw everything I was wearing into the dryer. Thank goodness for electric dryers.
John and Melinda are progressing. Still waiting though. We're teaching Liz this week.
Thanks for your prayers. we need them.
I love you all! 
Elder Joshua Brown