05 November 2012

Last few days!

I'm super excited to see you all again. 
I'm going to work really hard my last two days so don't be surprised if I come out of the plane on a stretcher.
Ok, maybe I won't work that hard. but I am going to work hard. The job ain't over till it's done, after all.
I'm just about done packing and I'm confident I can make the weight restrictions without leaving very much at all behind. Part of that would be because I packed up and shipped a total of three more boxen this morning. It was pretty pricey, $42, but I'll take that over a $175 overweight fee. :-)
So, my Friday plans are currently as follows:
8:00- temple trip, baptisms for the dead OR possibly endowment session (we'll see).
12:00 lunch
1:00- register for my classes
4:00- prepare
4:30- party time!
8:30- me time
10:30 sleep until I can't anymore
My testimony has grown so much since I saw you last. I know like never before that the Book of Mormon is true and that Jesus Christ is the one and only Savior of the World. This is the True Church, these are the Last Days. The Lord is hastening His work- cutting it short in righteousness- and I'm proud that I was able to be a part of it. The Name of Christ will soon leave my chest, but it will never leave my heart.

Love, Elder Brown

29 October 2012

A week of surprises

It's been a week of surprises.
Tuesday morning I was surprised when I recieved my flight Itinerary. I began packing and sorting and weighing that evening.
President Craven called Elder Thompson and myself Tuesday evening. That was a surprise in itself, but then it got even more so. I was reassigned to Gastonia, North Carolina, to be in a threesome with the Zone leaders. I guess technically I qualify as a Zone leader now. It's been a large adjustment. The reason this came to pass was that an Elder from Brazil was transferred up to our mission. I guess he was having trouble with the language and so they brought him back stateside. President and the assistants prayed real hard and for some reason decided that Elder Thompson would be the best option for him, so I got booted out. Now I'm a Zone leader. Hoo buddy.
Friday, we had a hallowe'en Trunk of Treats (like a trunk or treat, but inside, and only one trunk). The ward put it together and pulled it off with style. We were mildly surprised to be sent home with a large box of bags of chips and some candy. It was a good day.
Another pleasant surprise came today when I sat down at the computer here in Gastonia's Family History Center and it let me compose an email! 

I donated my bike to Elder Egnew, the Elder that came up from Brazil. He was in need of one, and I wasn't, so I gave him mine.
Elder Brown

28 October 2012

Arriving home

Elder Brown will be arriving home to Rexburg, Idaho Thursday, November 8th.  Those interested in attending sacrament meeting when he is speaking, please come 11/11 at 11am to the Rexburg East Stake Center.  Wahoo!!

20 October 2012


Good news this week!  Trudy's getting baptized!  This Saturday, actually at 2pm.  It's a happy story.  She asked me to baptize her.  She'll be the only person I've ever performed the ordinance of baptism for.  That makes me happy.  I get to finish my mission with a hard-earned baptism.

29 August 2012

Mission tour

We went to mission tour yesterday and a member drove us there. He's a chapter president for Mensa, and he spent the whole trip up there trying to subliminally recruit me to join. 
Mission tour was amazingly good. lots of profundity and we learned a bunch. Elders Carlson and Bowen of the 70 and their wives spoke to us. We learned our relationship with Abraham is like unto a Grandpa, and that pure testimony is the statement of things learned by the witness of the Holy Ghost. We also were trained on several missionary-work-related things. A very powerful meeting, all told. When it was over I thought my brain was going to shut off from overload, but it didn't. God knows our limits and never gives us more than we can absorb.

August 20th

So, Monday and Tuesday were fairly boring this week. Wednesday, my bike was making funny noises so we took it into the shop. Turns out I broke a spoke on my back wheel somehow. Easy fix, half-hour wait. While we were waiting there, we got a text message asking if Elder T. Brown was going to be at transfers soon. This was about eleven thirty, when transfers happen at Statesville. So we called them up and asked about it. The conversation went something like this:
"Is Elder Brown coming?"
"Was he supposed to?"
"We didn't hear that he was supposed to be transfered, so, no, he won't be there anytime soon."
"Oh, he's getting transferred, alright. Can he be packed by three?"
Elder Brown wasn't too happy about that. He told them off and said the earliest he could be ready was Thursday morning. They didn't like that, either, but that was the way it was. We spent the rest of the day going to see people, saying goodbye, and packing. Thursday morning we drove him up to Gastonia so he could meet his new companion, Elder Hughs. Now he's serving in Mountain Island, still in our zone. However, in all the hustle and bustle, we forgot to get our church keys and area map from him. Oops. It's been fun the last few days.

31 July 2012

02 July 2012

Rock Hill, SC

Lots of news this week! Wednesday, I drove to the city of Statesville, from whence I was taken with the departing missionaries unto the city of Charlotte, yea, the land of Hilliard. And from thence I was driven unto the city of Rock Hill, in the land which is called South Carolina. And the names of my companions are Elder Forsyth and Elder Brown. Now, behold, this did cause no small stir among the people of Rock Hill, for behold, now they have three missionaries, yea, even Elders Brown, Brown, and Forsyth. We joke with them that we should open a law firm after our missions.
Then, on Friday, the temperatures soared to 105 F, which was fine, because we were either teaching or inside all day. We had district meeting and then met President and Sister Craven, who have hearts of gold. Then we got stuck waiting for a ride back to our area (about an hour drive) and had to cancel both dinner and our evening appointment because traffic was moving at the lightning speed of 500 feet in 25 minutes. Bummer.
It got pretty toasty the last couple of days (100+) but we had an awesome thunderstorm last night that cooled things down a bit.
My new adress is:
1926 Brookstone Way Apt 101
Rock Hill, SC  29732

29 June 2012

New mission president-President Craven

I'm being transferred; don't know where to but it'll probably be my last area.  Excited; been in Weddington six months and, as much as I love it here, I'm ready for a change of scenery.

President Thomas reminded us that we need to welcome and support President Craven, our new mission president.

Say hi to everybody for me.
Love, Elder Josh

19 June 2012

6 1/2 sq ft of pizza

So we said goodbye to Elder Muirbrook this week; he's now in Sweden sharing the gospel. Brother Furner in the ward took him to the mission home, and he flew out at 6:30 Thursday morning. He will be missed.
This week we moved a 900lb stone table made of, well, stone (travertine, to be specific) for a lady moving to California. We actually helped move a lot of stuff. We had a great meeting on Wednesday, an all-day training on missionary work. We learned a new finding idea which should be very successful. Had 11 missionaries at District meeting this week, and afterwards went to a pizza restaurant and, between the eleven of us, ate 6 1/2 square feet of pizza. (that's a lot of pizza!)
Love, Elder Joshua Brown

12 June 2012

Bits from the last few weeks

May 28: Everything is going well here. Elder Muirbrook joined us this week. He's waiting on tenterhooks for his Visa to Sweden. He's going to be a great missionary and Sweden is lucky to have him.
Our last Zone Conference with President Thomas is this week, on Friday. Sad, but exciting at the same time.
June 4: Zone Conference was fabulouss. I enjoyed it very much. A zone is two to four districts (a district being two to six companionships).
It's been pretty warm here, though it's cooled down a little in the last couple of days. It's quite pleasant here, actually.
June 11: The work in Weddington is still slow. We have the same two investigators, and Smitty finally came to church last week. He was supposed to come yesterday, too, but he never showed up. We're going to visit him tonight and find out what the holdup is. :)

Elder Josh Brown

22 May 2012

Dug a grave

So, transfer news: Neither I nor Elder Johnson will be transfering this time. However, we are still going to go to the transfer meeting because we are recieving and training a visa waiter. It's going to be a team effort.
Now, this transfer wll only be 5 weeks instead of 6 because in six weeks we are getting a new Mission President. So I will still be in Weddington, but probably only 5 more weeks.
Friday, we dug a grave for a less-active lady who had to put a dog down. She talked to us the whole time and I think it really touched her heart. Tonight we're going over with her home teachers to introduce them and see how she's doing. 
Love, Elder Brown

30 April 2012

Miracles are real

We have a great story this week. On Friday, we tracted into a Chinese lady named Crystal. We weren't able to communicate very well, because she has trouble hearing English, so she got her laptop out and we used a language translation program on it, and we were able to briefly share about the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon with her and invite her to church. We had to find a ride for her though, because she doesn't have a car yet. Thanks to the Lord's tender mercy and a string of small miracles, we were able to connect her with a family in Waxhaw who speaks Mandarin Chinese. They gave her a ride to church on Sunday and she loved it! The Waxhaw Elders will be teaching her on Friday, and she'll attend there, but I'm just grateful that I was able to play a part in her conversion
Miracles are real. They do happen. I know this because I saw one. There was no way that finding Crystal and getting her to church could have gone so smoothly and easy without the Lord's help. So there.
Love, Elder Brown

25 April 2012

Bacon grease does not shine shoes

Elder Stanley, one of the assistants, came on exchange with us this week. He was quite a help, and showed us several ways we could become better missionaries.
So, after a long lapse in fun stories, I finally have one again!

Smitty, our main investigator, was very hesitant to read the Book of Mormon because, as he said, "I'd rather be a 100% right [with only the Bible] than 50% wrong". We sat down with him on Monday last week and began to go in the same circles that we usually do. But this time, something was different, and we had the spirit with us, and we were able to get him to pray about it. Such a sincere prayer! He waited for 3-4 minutes on his knees to get an answer. He didn't recognize it but he got one, and we were able to help him recognize it after the prayer. On of the last things we heard him say was 'it should be alright to read the Book of Mormon.' :D awesome. we were going to meet with him again on Wednesday but his wife had a baby (healthy baby girl, 7 lb 10 oz) and things got a little crazy, so we rescheduled for today. I'm excited and hope he's read!

Oh, and I spilled bacon grease on my shoe today. that was awkward. :D There's still a little in the seams but I got it off. Note for future missionaries: bacon grease does not shine shoes. 
Love, Elder Brown

09 April 2012

All I did was sit down

This transfer cycle Elder Thomas is going to go open a new area that's never had missionaries before. :D Ho boy! Glad that's not my job.  I know he's going to do a great job of it, he's a great missionary. I'll be staying as senior companion, getting a new companion and working it up in Weddington.
We taught Smitty, who is our best baptismal prospect, the restoration lesson over again and he said he believes the Book of Mormon is true. We invited him to be baptized and he said he wants a solid confirmation before he fully commits. 
I broke a chair this morning. all I did was sit down. I'll send a photo of the wreckage next week, it's kind of intense...
Elder Joshua Brown

03 April 2012

Baited breath

Happy Easter this week!
Conference this time was powerful!  I told several people that it was a bit like sitting down to a bowl of Cheerios and finding out it was really a four-course dinner with steak and ribs. It was good, I learned a lot and felt the Spirit strongly. One of my favorite lines was that trials are not to punish but to polish. I also liked the talk about how folks oughta write missionaries letters. :D
Transfer calls are this weekend. Both Elder Thomas and I are waiting with baited breath to find out what's happening. I know that after this transfer things are going to really speed up. I'm recommitted to work hard and help the mission as best as I can during my last five transfers. we will go onward, ever onward!
Love, Elder Joshua Brown

26 March 2012

Insert dancing and rejoicing

We had an LTM (leadership training meeting) this week, to which all the missionaries in Charlotte were invited and we learned a bunch about how important the spirit is in missionary work. We have a good appointment set up tonight, with Wendy, which we hope will go well. She's our best baptismal prospect right now. Oh! I found out that Beda G., from Gate City Spanish, got baptized with her daughter Miraya! YAY! I was extremely happy *insert dancing and rejoicing*.

Love, Elder Brown

19 March 2012

So...you know how bike tires are supposed to be round?

Wendy didn't make it to church this week but we have an appointment with her tonight, and we understand she's still really excited about getting baptized.
So, um, you know how bike tires are supposed to be round? Well... my front one isn't round anymore... in fact, it looks more like a Pringle than a tire. :) I wrecked it trying to get on the road on Saturday. Brother Brown, the member who's helping me with the brakes, is a bike guru and said he'd take a look and see what he can do. Don't worry; no serious damage to me. Only things that broke are my front tire and my pride. :D
Elder Larson got his visa Monday after my email and shipped off to Argentina on Thursday. As far as we know, he got there alright.

Love, Elder Brown

12 March 2012

"Lord, you are awesome"

We did indeed have a lot of fun adventures last week. We weren't able to get a picture of the Plan of Salvation that we drew because the police officer asked us not to. I was a bit sad but not enough to argue with the police. :D
We had Hap and Wendy, two of our three investigators, come to church. Yay! Wendy is a member referral and is doing well. Her life had fallen apart and now she's trying to understand her relationship with God and is searching! I am confident that she will be baptised.
Hap is also beginning to progress much better than he has in the past. We introduced the Doctrine and Covenants to him to help him understand the Priesthood and it worked! I was a little apprehensive about sharing the Doctrine and Covenants but it really helped him a lot.
Things are going a little more smoothly within our companionship. Elder Thomas still gets a little frustrated with me from time to time but we're getting along much better.
This week when we taught Annie, our other investigator, we asked her to pray and she just jumped right into it. during her prayer, she said "Lord, you are awesome' and it was really cool the way she said it. It made our day and we all wrote it in our journals that evening. It was funny.

Love, Elder Brown

10 March 2012

Adventure and drama

Howdy howdy howdy!

This week has been a fun one, full of adventure and drama.  Well, honestly, it was pretty boring until we were biking home on Thursday night.  Elder Thomas broke his back tire on a cement pipe (it was either the pipe or oncoming traffic, and he chose the pipe).  He was able to ride it home, but the wheel snapped in two places so he didn't dare ride it further. Friday we got a ride to the bike shop and Elder Thomas ordered a new rear rim, then we walked around and stopped by a couple of old investigators, saw Hap, and walked home.  In order to trim off some travel time, we hopped a fence (that was fun) and I only got a little bruise from it.

Saturday brought more fun.  We had a great idea for proselyting activity that wasn't just knocking on doors; we thought it would be good to draw the Plan of Salvation on the sidewalk in the park. Only problem with that, at least that we could see, was that to get to the park we'd have to go through the greenway, which, because we were on foot, would take an extra 20 minutes.  Well, apparently Elder Thomas knew a shortcut through some woods that the greenway runs through.  So we went bushwacking.  There was, in fact, a shortcut, but it wasn't accesible because we've had a lot of rain lately and the creek was flooded.  So we went around...a lot.  Probably 1/2 mile of woods have my foot prints in them.  All kinds of thorny pricklers in those woods, too, of course.

Finally we made it to the park and we draw out the Plan of Salvation with sidewalk chalk.  It was beautiful, too.  We had a lot of fun drawing it.  Just as we were putting on the finishing touches I looked up and there was a big black man standing there watching us.  It took me a second to realize he was wearing a police uniform.  He was real nice and cool about it, but he told us we were defacing public property and we could have gotten in a lot of trouble.  He told us if we cleaned it up he'd call it off.  So we did.  Bummer.  At least we didn't get in trouble.  We also didn't bushwack back.  We took the greenway home, even though it took longer.

Sunday night, we went tracting and at this one door, an old guy with a really cool beard answered the door with a double barrel 1/2 gauge shotgun.  I thought it was a toy until we were talking about it afterward.

We aren't having tons of success but Hap did finally come to church.  Pretty decent victory there.

Tell everybody I said hi.
Love ya'all
Elder Joshua Brown

04 March 2012


I am doing well. Zone Conference was amazing; it had a bunch of messages that were timed just perfectly for me and it really helped me out a lot. President Thomas asked two of the missionaries in our mission to collaborate and write out a song for the theme of this year. They did a really good job and there's going to be a CD with that one and the mission song on it for those who attended Zone Conference. :D
Transfer calls came and went again, and I'm staying in Weddington for another Transfer with Elder Thomas.
We have  a new companion, Elder Caden Larson, a visa waiter bound for Argentina. He's a really cool kid, works hard, and he's going to be an excellent missionary. President Thomas has asked me to train him while he's here, which is expected to be for a month or so. It's a lot of responsibility and here goes!
We found a new investigator that dropped us. Taught some former investigators about quitting smoking- that was awesome. It was hard for the husband, but he finally committed and we know they can do it. Please pray for them; their names are Jeff and Erin.
A little less than eight months left. gotta work harder! Here goes...
Elder Joshua Brown

21 February 2012

New Mission President

We had a really slow week this week until Friday. I went on exchange to Monroe and while I was gone, Elder Thomas and Elder Peterson found a new investigator and got four other lessons. So good things happening there.

Here's the new Transfer Schedule.

2012February 29
April 11
May 23
*June 27
**Aug 15
Sept 26

Nov 7

Dec 19

'course, I'll be home before the last one, but hey. whatever.

Here's a bio on the new mission President:
Rebecca L. and Ronald L. Craven
Ronald Lunt Craven, 54, and Rebecca Lynn Mitchell Craven, five children, Park Ward, Centerville Utah North Stake. Brother Craven serves as a stake missionary preparation instructor and a high priest group instructor and is a former counselor in a stake presidency, stake clerk, stake executive secretary, high councilor, counselor in a bishopric, counselor in a Provo MTC branch presidency and missionary in the England London and England London South missions. Senior partner/project manager, The Boyer Company. Born in Provo, Utah, to Rulon Gerald and Donna Lee Lunt Craven.
Sister Craven serves as a Sunday School teacher and is a former stake missionary, Young Women president, Relief Society president, Young Women adviser, Relief Society instructor and Cub Scout leader. Born in Chardon, Ohio, to Corless Walter and Linda Louise Kazsuk Mitchell.

So, yeah. good stuff.

Found out that we're getting a Visa Waiter in Weddington. I'll be responsible for training him while he's here. Yikes?

Zone conference is tomorrow, should be good fun. Take care of yourself.

Elder Brown

13 February 2012

Got our ears lowered

This week was a bottom-of-the-bucket week. We didn't have a whole lot of success, although we did get some potential investigators that actually have potential. So could be a better week this week. We talked to one lady from south Carolina who was really interested but is moving back soon.
In other news, right after I emailed last week we went and got our ears lowered. Poor Elder Thomas got a lady who read some anti book and asked him every question on the list. He also lost most of his hair. b=But he still looks good with a millitary cut. 
Love, Elder Brown

06 February 2012

Experimental Dinner

Not so good this week. We lost our best investigator and her two potential baptismal date children. :( Otherwise, we could have actually reached Baptismal Date and Sacrament Meeting goals. Oh well. Onward.

I do have one fun story:
We went to a member's house for dinner on Thursday. Brother Coombs welcomed us in  and we walked into the kitchen. There was a kinda funny smell but I didn't think much of it (a lot of places smell funny to me). He mentioned that we were going to have an experimental dish that evening, since his wife was out of town. Hoo boy. Well, there was this big white thing in a pot on the stove, and Brother Coombs started talking about this African chap who told him this was a delicious thing to eat and you boil it, skin it, fry it, and eat it. At this point, we were starting to get a little concerned. After a few more minutes of conversation I realized what it was. Cow tongue. I've never seen a cow's tongue outside of a cow before. That was quite an experience.
It tastes like beef, only less so, and there's a lot of fat and gristle on the bottom part of the tongue. I ate a good portion of mine, but let's just say their dog and I are friends now. :D
I hope all is going well. Best regards to everyone!
Elder Joshua Brown

30 January 2012

I might have to get a monkey

We had a great week in the Weddington area. We had two great lessons with Hap where the Spirit was strong and another great lesson with Carlie, a new investigator, who has a desire to quit smoking and bring her life in order with the Gospel. She also has a monkey. :) It was pretty cute and I might have to get one myself. :D But not for a while.
Elder Thomas is the best. He works hard and inspires me to do more than before. He's an outdoors kinda guy; enjoys rock climbing, fishing, lacrosse and anything with two wheels and a motor.  He's been out about three months and is doing great as a missionary!
Elder Brown

23 January 2012


It actually was a pretty funny prank. but only in hindsight. :D
I have been transferred to the Weddington NC ward. It's actually just south of Carmel, which is now Providence and Pineville 1st, since they split the ward. So I got to see some of the old faces in the Providence ward, since they meet in our building.
My new address is:
7925 Vinings Oak Lane # 937
Matthews, NC 28105
Don't really have any stories from this week. Bummer. Maybe next time.
Elder Joshua Brown

Pranking the missionaries

So, I got a phone call last night [Jan 15th] about 9:40 or so from an Elder Brown in the office staff. We chatted for a few minutes about geneology and then he said, "I have an assignment from President Thomas. We had an elder get hurt and he'll be out of commission for a little while. You'll be going to take his companion and open Stuart, Virginia to proselyting." Oh boy. So I pack and get everything ready, stress out, go to bed. I was thinking it sounded a bit like a member from the ward, but it was pretty a thick southern accent and I didn't worry about it. I get up this morning at 5:30 so I can be ready for the pickup at 6:30. Shower, finish packing, finish off my boiled peanuts (sounds gross? they're AMAZING) and Elder Brown calls again, saying he'll be a little bit late. Well, go figure. So I call the Lakefield Elders that live across the parking lot, and we all go down to the gatehouse to wait for him. Well, about five minutes before Elder Brown's supposed to get here, a member from the ward, Brother Skipper, who's notorious for pranking the missionaries, pulls up and quotes a scripture about 'prove all things'. That's right. He got me. And it was kinda funny, too. Then I found out that he got Elder York and both the Lakefield Elders in on it.  It was kinda funny but I'm going to miss those hours of sleep that it cost me. We're all feeling it.
I am being transferred to a new area, though. All I know about this area is that it's a car share area in the NCCM and that my new companion will have been out only 3 months.
Elder Josh Brown

11 January 2012


When we go on exchange, we spend roughly 24 hours together and offer each other suggestions afterward on how we can improve our missionary skills.  They're fun. I'm going on exchange to Lakefield tonight. :D
Transfer calls are this saturday; if I leave, it'll be on next wednesday (the 18th).
Not much has happened since I wrote last. I bore my testimony in Spanish over the pulpit yesterday. Beda, an investigator we've been working with for quite some time, finally came to church and had a very good experience. huzzah!
Please tell everybody hi for me!
Love, Elder Brown

05 January 2012

Feliz Ano!

Feliz Ano para tu!
Welcome to 2012!
I've really enjoyed speaking Spanish for the little time I've had. I hope to be able to maintain it  over the years and perhaps even learn more. 
I was really glad to see Brenda baptised. Her story was almost incredible. She'd given up literaly everything to find God.  And at last she did. 
I did a bold and daring thing this Monday. I made my own bread. It was good, too. a few things to work on still- like letting it rise a bit longer, not making 4 giant loves, and maybe buying a bread pan- but it was tasty, and I think i'll even do it again.
I went on three exchanges in the last two days and it's good to finally be back in my own apartment. I'm still pretty tired though. I feel like i could curl up in a sock drawer and sleep for days.
I've just discovered the coolest thing ever. if you sign in to LDS.org with an LDS account, you have your very own online study notebook. It's super cool. You should try it out, if you haven't already.
Elder Josh Brown

Dec 29, 2011 We taught a lot this week

This week just sort of disappeared. I don't know what happened. We have taught a lot this week. Brenda, from Lakefield, is getting baptised this week and we're going to go see it.  Got interviewed by President Thomas this week; he says I'll probably be going back to English after this transfer. Don't want to, but when President says...
I'm feeling a lot better. I think it may be partly allergies. we'll see, though.

Elder Joshua Brown

Dec 18th, 2011 Feliz Navidad!

This was probably the most surreal week of my mission. Just a lot of wierd stuff happened. For example, my Companion's mom sent me a stocking... which, during the journey to us, had had two oranges molded onto it (and by molded, I mean that mold had grown out of the oranges and into the fibers of the stocking). 
Both Elder York and I have been a bit under the weather. We got new phones as a mission that wouldn't activate (we did finally get that fixed). We spent a large portion of the week inside for various reasons. Just a few examples. But it ended well: the Ortiz girls and Jose were all baptised and confirmed. Halleluja!
The Spanish Missionaries are still part of the North Carolina Charlotte Mission. Our area boundaries are the Stake's boundaries, and we are full-car, which means we don't have to share with another companionship(s). But we still have to get out and bike some.

Elder Brown