Monday, December 31, 2012

Pictures Week #31

Elder Brown at the Reedy's Christmas Party for the Elders

Happy New Year and 7 Months Down!

Oi! Family and Friends,

This week was pretty good for me. So we had Christmas Eve with that missionary party which was good. And then Christmas which was super good. We went to that orphanage and then to the Ryan´s house to hang out for the rest of Christmas. And I was able to skype so that was truly a blessing for me to see all the ones I loved:) 

Well then it was back to work. We got some solid lessons in this week, a good portion of them with a member present which is kind of hard to get here sometimes. But it was super good, just everyday building up the kingdom of God little by little, step by step. 

It has been a little weird passing the holidays in a different country. It really didn't feel like the holidays all too much to tell you the truth. I don't know why, it just didn't. And now in less than 12 hours here it will be 2013. And it seems like its going to take a long while to get through all of 2013, but it will come and go before you know it. Its just good to finally get 2013 going. 

I have a feeling that this upcoming transfer that I am leaving Viana for who knows where, but we will find that out in 2 weeks. Also news flash, I'm getting home a week earlier than when I was supposed to leave. Because of this whole 18 yr old missionary thing and the MTC cutting people´s times down, were gonna have a 5 week transfer pretty soon, and everyones release date got bumped up a week, haha so it's like two weeks pass this past week. 

I saw the pics from the family, and Keller, don´t wear the beanie with long socks. It leads down a dark road my friend;) Haha and don´t trash talk with Laura´s family buddy, their team won the World Series, haha they can back up their talk with a trophy. 

Sounds like you guys had a very fun week. Disneyland sounds really cool, and looks like you guys got really cool things as well. Ridgely, sucks that you can´t do anything right now because of your knee surgery but the family will take care of you, as well as your friends. Got less than 2 months until we find out about BYU, fingers crossed:) Kaden, just stay cute haha. Dont turn into a teenager! Haha love you buddy. 

And now you guys are in Mammoth right now and Mom and Dad are going to rock out tonight at Imagine Dragons, haha have fun and be safe. Yeah for our new years, will just be in our house making food, playing games, and just talking and such, nothing too exciting. 

Tomorrow all the missionaries in Luanda are going to the beach for a games and picnic activity so that should be pretty fun. Thanks Dad for the NFL storylines, I like the storylines of the league, I just don't need all the scores. And that's so sick that Haws went off, hopefully they will pull it together in League and get some revenge. And also hopefully BYU Football can pull it together this offseason and explode these next couple of years. 

So to everyone Happy New Year, make it one of the best, and really truly help the missionaries in your area, they can knock all the doors they can, but the easiest way for the kingdom of God to grow is through the members. I hope we all make an even better effort this year to building up the Kingdom of God, being courageous and sharing the gospel with our family and friends, and inviting them to sit and talk with the missionaries. Love you all and I am grateful for all the support as I'm out here. Until next year!


Christmas Skype

Skyping with Elder Brown

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Oi! Família and Friends!

The holidays are here! Today we had a Christmas party at the Luanda 2 chapel where we had a white elephant exchange, food, pictures etc. It was super fun. This email might not be as long because the place we usually do email at was closed and I'm typing on an iPad right now so it's kind of slow. But it works right and I will get to talk to you guys tomorrow! 

So the deets for tomorrow, we are going to the orphanage at 10 and after that we are going to Mrs. Ryan's house to do Skype and food and such. So the time for Skype is going to be at 9 a.m. your time. And if it's earlier or later I can email your emails and they will pop on your phone. But for the time being 9 a.m. your time is when we will Skype! 

This week was a lot better than last week thankfully and I'm sure it will continue to get better as time goes on. It's already halfway thru this transfer which is crazy, transfers come and go a lot faster than they usually do now, time is starting to speed up. 

I also got two letters today from Uncle David and Aunt Valeri and I was happy to get a picture of Mae:) and I also got the letter/package from Grandma and Grandpa Brown and I was so thankful for the letter and the candy as well as the RM bank account and the old pictures of our family,brings back a lot of memories! 

Last Monday we had a family night at President's house and we had to walk this family there from their house. Little Luisa, the little girl in the pictures I have sent held my hand all the way there and wanted to be with me and play with me all the night long. Haha, she is like my little sister, there is also Jo who is also like my little sister. Haha I love both of them. 

The Ward Christmas party was a lot of fun on Saturday as well and I got some good photos and videos as well. Well that's it for now I guess until tomorrow! That's way cool you won that concert, haha I never win anything as well! And it's good the Cougs could at least finish off on a good note and kvan could dominate like no other. Well I love you guys and I will send pics and such in my next email!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Pictures Week #29

Elder Brown at an orphanage

Elder Brown and some sweet little kids

A little boy from the orphanage

Elder McAllister and a little boy who was crying
African Sky


P-Day (photo courtesy of Sister Thompson's blog)

Working up an appetite on Thanksgiving(photo courtesy of Sister Thompson's blog)

Hard Week

Oi! Family and Friends,

This week has been hard and tough. But its over, done and gone. On Tuesday I woke up with a very painful and stiff neck, I guess from just sleeping on it weird or something. It was hard to handle walking around and everything this week. But it's pretty much better for the most part. 

On Wednesday we went to this Orphanage in Estalagem, where some of my pics came from. It was really fun to play with the kids and just have a good time with them. We stayed there for like two hours. Then the rest of the day I was just in bed not feeling very well, it stunk. 

Last Monday at our family night, Paulino killed this huge centipede at church, and picked it up and started to chase us laughing like a madman. That kid is a maniac, haha but I love him. Also this week while we were in Vila, Elder McAllister got pickpocketed out of his backpack and lost his his wallet. Luckily he noticed and we chased the kid down and got it back. Haha he said it was on the ground and we should give him duzentos. Haha we were like nada and left him. 

This week has also been tough on us because no one really could sit with us. It was quite annoying. But life goes on right. On Saturday the young women had this activity which was fun to be at, Johnny was teaching us how to dance some Kudouro haha which I will get before I get back to the states. 

That's really sad what happened with the elementary school, something I learned when people always ask out here why does bad things happen to good people? I use 2 Nephi 2:27 And I forget the other right now, but the one talking about there needs to be an opposition in all things. Sometimes life is hard and has tragedy and suffering, but it also has joy, happiness and love. 

As far as our house it's two per room, and I don't have bed bugs like the other Elders. Elder Richter´s comp I don't think is going to get here this transfer. But I also don't think we will be going to the Ryan´s. I think we will be going to Amandios house, and I think we will do Skype there and hopefully his internet holds up. Nothing is for sure right now, but next Monday I will give the final details, what time and everything on Christmas. So next week you will get the details. If its skype, can you just make me a skype account there and send me the log in info next week? And if it's facetime, I forget my Apple ID and password. 

Packages haven't gotten here yet but I'm hoping they will in the next couple of weeks. Sounds like everyone partied hard this week. Hope everyone has a merry holidays. Well I'm just glad I can put this week behind me and I'm hoping so much to have a better week. 

For Christmas Eve we will spend a couple hours at President's house, and then Christmas not to sure yet but I will let you know for sure next P Day. Love you guys and I miss all of you so much! Haha also I found something to put on my B-Day list, the game Bang!, the western card game, haha I would love to have that out here:) Well Love you guys and have a good week:)


Monday, December 10, 2012

Here We Go Again

Oi! Family and Friends,

This week was pretty busy with just everything. Well for starters we had to help the new guys move in, set up beds, set up their bedroom, etc. That was a pretty hectic day but we got through it. So the new elder from the MTC is Elder Chatwin from Mesa Arizona. He's pretty cool, haha just he is in that adjustment period of being here in Angola with a foreign language and all. But he will get into it before you know it. Since me and McAllister and Richter are in a tripla, Elder Richter helped out the other two get to know Viana, and their area, and some investigators that they inherited. And me and Elder McAllister walked in both of our areas that we have to cover, Viana A and B. And that's what's going to be difficult with this transfer, is that our real area really needs to be built up and we need to do a lot of finding, but we won't have the time that much to do it because we will also have to be teaching the investigators in my old area and helping make sure that they are progressing as well. So it's going to be a topsy turvy kind of transfer but we will get through it, like always. Anyways we had some really good lessons and I really like walking with Elder McAllister as well haha. 

Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Benham for the 50 dollars, I think I'm going to buy this sick Angola flag watch with that money, haha I really want it. We had a good P Day today, haha I love all the Elders here, friendships will carry over after this is all said and done. Yeah Gildo is super sick, but that Sara girl I have no clue who that is. 

Yeah so for the Christmas thing, don't know exact details yet because if Elder Richter's real companion gets here, it will be them two going and not me and McAllister. But it will most likely be us. So when it gets closer to the day, we will set up the time and all that. Yeah everything is decorated for Christmas here, or as much as they can do. Yeah they don't have Christmas trees really, some people do but not all. 

Sounds like your concert week went so freaking good. Haha I'm jealous. This past week my testimony of Joseph Smith grew so much from reading his teachings of the president book. He was such an inspired man and a man of god, and I gained an even greater perspective and greater appreciation of his calling that he had all the way from the pre mortal world. Wow, I can't wait to meet him someday, and I will defend him and testify of him till the day that I die. 

Sounds like sports are winding down a bit. It's crazy that Christmas is in two weeks. Time is flying by. Before you know it I will be stepping off a plane home to a regular life. Life is crazy. I've seen some crazy stuff out here I would never have seen in my life. And I'm having experiences like no other out here. Sometimes it doesn't really hit me that I'm in Africa teaching the gospel and all that, I've just grown so accustomed to it that it seems like normal life. It's weird. Especially since my Portuguese is a lot better and I'm still learning and growing with it. Well I love you all and am so grateful for all of you and all the support you give me! Love you all!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Pictures Week #27


Elder Brown and Elder Richter in Kilamba

Elder Brown in Kilamba

Elder Kearney and Elder Brown

Did Somebody Say Dream Team???

Oi Family and Friends!

Well today we found out about transfers, and I'm staying in Viana, but moving areas. And me new companion is............. Elder McAllister, hence the title of the email;) It should be really cool and we should get a lot of work done. We are also having 6 missionaries in the house now, me and Elder McAllister, Elder Richter is going to train this Brazilian Elder if he ever gets here because he has visa problems, so Elder Richter will be in a triple with us till then. And then Elder Tilly is coming and he is going to train one of the new elders, so its gonna be a party in Viana now, but it will be good. 

This last week went by pretty fast. It rained a couple of days but especially on Friday. Me and Elder Sande were on division, and as we were leaving this recent convert´s house, its started to sprinkle a little bit, and then massive pour down. We were soaked, and we were so far from the main road that we waited under this roadside shack for like an hour and a half till it slowed down. Rain here is crazy, and makes things complicated here, haha but what's the mission without a lil challenge;) 

We were able to get a lot of new investigators this week so hopefully they turn into solid investigators. I am really glad that I'm not leaving Viana yet, I love this area and branch so much, the members and the primary kids, everything. It's gonna be a sick transfer. 

And for Christmas were going to go to Elder Richter's friends house to do Skype and such, so when I get more details we will coordinate the times and such for all that, I'm excited for that. I did get the Christmas packages, and I was so happy about what was inside. Presents, snacks, pictures, music, etc. I especially loved the pics and music:) They weren't wrapped when I got them, but they didn't seem opened I will take pics of me with them and send them next week for you mom. I also got a package from Aunt and Uncle Scott, and from Grandpa and Grandma Brown today, so I don't know what's in that yet. But I wanna say thank you so much for those things! 

We were at the Reedy's today for food and she put together like a gift game, and I won this cool toy airplane, I'll show it next week. Oh yeah weight update, I've lost 15-20 pounds here since the MTC. Crazy huh, but I think it deals mostly with how much we walk everyday, and we don't get to eat as much as we do in the MTC. 

UM, well that's all I can think of this week. Paulino gave his testimony this past Sunday, which was a little funny because halfway through his testimony he launched into a talk on the Law of Chastity, haha. It was funny but good, he is kind of like a child but he is such a solid member. Well I think that's it. I love you all and thanks for all the support!!


Monday, November 26, 2012

6 months down!

Oi Family and Friends,

This Week has been pretty good for us. We got a good amount of lessons , and our investigators are progressing really nicely. So our Thanksgiving was pretty sweet not gonna lie. Well first we went out to Kilamba, which is this new city that has already been built and there still adding to it. There is everything there, with just 100s of buildings, but no one lives there, no one. There is maybe like 5-6 buildings occupied because right now it's just too expensive for anyone to buy, which I think they are keeping the prices too high until they completely finish. It was just so cool, so quiet, kind of like a video game. It was also cool because we will always be the first ever missionaries to walk in that city, and it will be cool to come back when its a huge bustling city and see the difference. But we taught Edvanho there who is a recent convert, and just helping him get strengthened. 

After for Thanksgiving dinner we went to President's house, which was super good. We ate turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes etc. It was super good, best food we have had here in a long time. It was also a beautiful day. After we watched a mormon message on Mormon Helping Hands with the New York City Hurricane and a slideshow of some pictures of us in Angola. It was a good Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving Dinner at President Thompson's

Matthew, the Ethiopian, has been having some struggles in his life. Its been difficult but we are helping him through with it, and luckily a member in our branch was able to hook him up with a place to stay for a little while. Just keep him in your prayers, he deserves it. Yesterday we also met with Josilde who was about to be baptized in Naimbe but he had to leave before his baptism, but he found the missionaries here in Angola miraculously, and we set a baptismal date with him for the end of the year. 

Crazy that the end of the year is already here. Tell you the truth I'm just ready to get 2013 up and starting. Well for me this is the last week in the transfer so we will find out about transfers next week I'm pretty sure in my next email. 

Sounds like the family had a lot of fun out in Vegas for Thanksgiving and also at Universal Studios. The Christmas decorations look amazing as well, so great job. The shirt from Chicago to Provo looks so sick and I wish I had one haha. Well that's about it for this week. Devon is going into the MTC this Wednesday so I wish him the best of luck as he starts out his adventure for 2 years! And this week I hit my 6 month mark which is crazy, but reminds me I still got alot of time and work ahead of me. Love you all and thanks for all your support!:)


Monday, November 19, 2012

First Video from Keegs

                                            Thanks Elder and Sister Hartman for the video!

Pictures Week #25

Elder Brown's first baptism with Paulinho

Elder Toleman, Paulhinho, and Elder Brown

Viana Gang

Jo in the manga tree

Minga and Luisa

Elder Wilson and Elder Brown

Mais ou Menos Week

Oi Family and Friends,

This week was interesting. Well I will first start off with 

Paulinho´s baptism. So we get there and first off the font isn't really filled, because someone forgot. So we had to fill the font with water from the well. Took alot of bucket trips haha. Also the person who was supposed to baptize Paulinho, who was Amandio, he couldn't make it. So I had to do it. Man I was so nervous, especially since I was unprepared since I didn't bring any of my baptismal clothing or change of clothes or anything, as well I didn't know the baptismal prayer in Portuguese yet. But it all worked out, and it was super cool and spiritual and something I will never forget, so that was super cool. 

Right now its been a little tough with the lessons and things with these contacts, because half always fall through and just waste a part of our day but were trying our best. There is this Ethiopian guy who we are teaching in English and he is so super prepared it blows my mind. He has so much faith, and it was just by chance we met him. Our second lesson with us, he called us Angels... Wow that really touched me and how important this work is. He said the closing prayer for that lesson and was tearing up during it. We set a baptismal date on the 15th of December and he will make it, as long as he comes to church, super cool. 

On Friday it was boiling hot, lessons fell through, I slipped and got my foot up to my ankle in mud, haha but it was good day. It has a rained a couple of days here, and it rains hard. Nothing else like it. Also I am going to miss the sunsets here and the skies at those times, they are indescribable, it's so beautiful. 

For Thanksgiving, I don't know what were going to do. Rumor is that all the missionaries are going to Presidents house for Thanksgiving but I guess we will find out. And yeah if I am still in Viana for this next transfer for Christmas were going to Elder Richter´s American friends house to eat and do skype and all that so we will see. 

Seems like BYU sports are going down the tubes, but that's ok, when I get back they will get back to dominance;) Seems like you guys always go to Vegas now haha. And that's really cool that you met that football player at that play. Sounds like the boys had a lot of fun at the campout and was passed out for the rest of the day haha. 

Mission life just keeps on going. It will be interesting to see how long I actually stick it out here in Viana. Did you guys get that small video I sent? Can't wait to get the packages:) Love you guys and miss you all!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quick Email

Oi Family and Friends,

This email is gonna be kinda short cuz the internet has been sucking here, so no pictures this week. But I will write fast. This last week was really good, but unfortunately two of our solid investigators are slipping. But we will work even harder to get them back on the right track. 

This last week we had a really cool zone conference with Elder Hartman who is a mental health person for the church. We talked alot about personalities and how they work with the mission, and how we can use our knowledge of our personalities to get better as a missionary. It was super cool, I was a primary color white (which means peaceful) with a secondary blue. 

I also went on divisions with Elder Sande on Friday which was a little difficult because no one wanted to sit with us that day. But we did teach this Ethiopian who speaks English and it sounds like he is really going to sincerely try to see if this is all true. We also on Saturday got threatened by this old guy. We were contacting this guy and this old guy on a cane started yelling at us and at the guy talking to us because we were foreigners. He had a nice big rock in his hands and wanted to throw it at us but we just walked away. And unfortunately Elder Eckman and Elder Wilhelm got robbed on Saturday. It's Elder Wilhelm's second time in 6 months and his second camera stolen which is pretty sad. I feel for him. 

Also Paulinhos baptism is this Saturday so there will be pictures of that next week. Sorry this is scatterbrained. Yesterday was the ward's primary program which was pretty funny to compare to one in the states but it was good. Also we have district conference this next weekend and I'm singing in the choir for one of the sessions haha so we will see how that goes. 

Well thats all I can remember right now. Sounds like Dad and Mom are having a blast traveling, Keller is growing to fast, Kaden is good, and Ridgely is actually missing me;) haha. Christmas is coming fast. For pictures it could be of anything really, just random pictures. Anyways I love you guys and next email will be a lot better than this, sorry, dang angolan internet haha. Love you guys!!!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

More pics from Sister Thompson's blog

Priesthood Session of General Conference:
Elder's shoes reflecting their hard work (love this pic)

Priesthood Session of General Conference at the Thompson's

Elder Brown in line for yummy food

Watching Priesthood session of Conference

Zone Conference:
Zone Conference with President Kretly (Elder Brown is far left)

Break for lunch

Taking a stretching break

Thanks Sister Thompson for the pictures! The Thompson's blog is if you want to read about Elder Brown's mission.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week #23 Pictures

Kids wheelbarrowing babies
Elder McAllister and Elder Brown's Halloween Costumes

Elder Brown and his favorite family