Friday, June 29, 2012

New Mission President

Elder Keegan Brown with his new mission president, 
President Kretly and Sister Kretly

Half way done in the MTC!

 Oi! Family and Friends

This week has gone by super super fast which is a good thing. So the new Mission President Seminar was this past week and like I said me and my companion got to pass the sacrament at the special sacrament meeting. So we were in the place where the sacrament meeting was being held, and then 10 of the 12 Apostles walked in. Only Packer and Hales was missing. 

Then we were sitting there for a little bit and then everyone starts standing up, so we get up. We stand for like 5 minutes, but no one comes. So we sit back down. Then a couple of minutes later we stand back up again and in walks the First Presidency. President Monson is such a funny guy. He was joking all the way up to his seat on the stand. The Spirit really entered the room when they came in, and it was such a powerful experience seeing the First Presidency and 10 of the Apostles on the stand. 

Elder Nelson conducted the meeting, with President Monson presiding. So we passed the sacrament exactly how we practiced three times. And I will never forget passing the sacrament with the Prophet presiding and having the First Presidency and 10 Apostles witness it, such a special experience to me. 

 After the sacrament Elder Nelson gave a little of an introduction into President Monson's talk of a story of how President Monson was able to get the communist East Germany main leader to agree to letting missionaries into the country, and allowing East German Missionaries the ability to leave and go serve missions. It was a powerful story of President Monson's example and boldness. After Elder Nelson was done, President Monson got up and talked for over an hour about how to motivate missionaries, as since he was talking to all the new mission presidents. Even though most of the talk was not something that I could directly apply to my life, I did take quite a few notes and found great things than I could apply to my life. He is such a funny man. I love him and know without a doubt that he is the Lord's prophet, and I will never forget that sacrament meeting ever.

Then for Tuesday night devotional, the 10 Apostles came again to sit on the stand but no First Presidency, and Elder L. Tom Perry talked. It was a different kind of talk but a refreshing one. He gave us like a PR presentation of statistics and pictures of temporal blessings of living the gospel and being a member of the church. For example we have a higher life expectancy of the average citizen and because we fast once a month, we are 40% unlikely to have clogged arteries. 

So he gave us a snapshot of what temporal things we are to bring to the people we teach. That we are not just bringing spirtual and eternal blessings, which are still really important, but also temporal blessing which makes this life that were living even better. It was a really good devotional. And then after we had a really spiritual zone devotional review. So that was my experience with with the Prophet and Apostles and I will never forget that, and will always consider myself lucky to experience all that this past week.

Oh yeah then on Saturday night we met with our new mission presidents. So we met with President Kretly and his wife and they are some of the nicest people ever. He said that he will be a little more involved with Angola then President Spendlove. He and his wife are just super nice and great and have a real enthusiasm for the work. I love them already and they left for Mozambique yesterday. So it was also really nice to meet our new mission president as well. 

Anyways for this last week, nothing else to special. We taught our investigators and I had a real spiritual experience with one of them. We were teaching the Plan of Salvation to Benadita and I was explaining, or at least trying to explain in Portuguese, the Spirit World after death. She realized that she could see her dead loved ones again and that she could live with them forever. The spirit then testified to me how important this gospel is and how it can truly bless families and bring them together for eternity. I then bore my testimony of the importance of the Plan of Salvation and about Families, and had a really strong spiritual experience that I know that I will have throughout my mission. 

Let see other than that nothing too new around here. Just another week closer. The temple is being closed down for a couple of weeks, but luckily it opens up before we leave so we can go one last time. There is a lot of smoke and ash in the air from all these fires, so we've been smelling all the smoky air the last couple of days. The language is still coming along, just trying to get better and better each day. Other than that nothing much else to say but that I love you all, and thanks for all the mail and packages! 


Monday, June 25, 2012

Elder Keegan Brown's MTC Pics

Elder BrownEmpire State BldgGrand Central StationGrand Central StationGrand Central Station
Manhattan New York TempleElder BrownManhattan LDS Temple
NYNYFlight to NYRide to SLC Airport


Some pictures of Elder Brown at the MTC and also a few from his quick trip to New York for his visa.  To see all his pictures you can go to his FB wall and look at them.***Ok I just figured out in the above post how to share them with his flickr account so you can just see all of them from the above.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Elder Brown's trip to New York

 Oi! Family and Friends.

I have had a crazy week this last week. So on Monday we get called into the Travel office and get all the details and information for our trip to New York City the next day on Tuesday. So me and 4 other Elders got to go to New York City for a day on Wednesday to apply for our Visas. Then on Tuesday, President Brown, the MTC President, called me and Elder Hyde into his office and we have been given the privlege of passing the Sacrament in a special Sacrament Meeting on Sunday for all the new Mission Presidents and their wives, and all the General Authorites and their wives. So pretty much we get to pass the sacrament in that meeting and listen to the speakers of that meeting. Its crazy that most likely about half or more of the Quorum of the Twelve will be there and also the Prophet. President Brown also said that most likely we will have the opportunity to hear the Prophet speak in this sacrament meeting. 

I'm really excited for this opportunity, but a little nervous because we have to look sharp as ever. We got all these instructions and there are two practices, tonight and tomorrow night, for this. But it should be a wonderful meeting and I might even be able to shake hands with some of the Twelve and the Prophet.

Anyways on Tuesday Night, we went to the SLC Airport and we flew out at Midnight. We landed in JFK around 6 O' Clock and we called our driver. Our driver name was Chucky, and he was a character. Super funny Italian guy who picked us 5 up in his Lincoln. Haha there were skulls on the back two locks and devil heads on the front two locks, haha but he drives all the people that Church flies in. On the drive into the city, I seriously thought we were going to die numerous times. This guy was such an aggressive driver and all, plus he would be doing other stuff as well. Like one point he was watching a TV show on his phone with headphones filling out a paper on a clipboard as he was driving through the crazy city of New York. 

Well we finally got to the Manhatten Temple where we met some Senior missionaries who would help us for the day. It is a really cool looking temple on the outside. They took us out to breakfast where I had an omlette, and then we got to sleep of an hour in some of the church offices at the Temple. After our nap we were on our way to the Angolan Consulate. We walked a couple of blocks to the Subway, where then we took two Subway trains to Grand Central Station. We got to walk through Grand Central Station and take pictures and such and then we walked forever to the Consulate. It also didn't help that it was high 90's to low 100's that day and super humid, so we were sweating so bad as we walked the streets of NYC. We walked past the UN Building and the Consulate was in another building next to it. We got to the Consulate and it took like 45 minutes for all 5 of us to apply for our Visas. After we got that done around 12, Chucky took us back to JFK, where we had a flight at 3:30. We were also on a flight with some sister missionaries who were coming home from Russia, so that was cool. For my meals I had Mcdonalds, that breakfast place, and Wendys so it was good to get some normal food outside of the MTC. And people would always stare at us and whisper and point towards us which was little funny.

So yeah that was my New York trip, first time ever to NYC and I'll go back someday so I can see everything and have it not be so hot haha. Crazy that it all happened it less than 24 hours. Anyways other than that not much going on, Didn't really get to teach that much because of the New York trip. 

Today im going to send my memory card from my camera back home so all my pictures so far can go on Facebook so everyone can see them. Thanks for all the letters and packages that people send, its much appreciated. Got about a little over a month left to go in the MTC. Over half our zone left this past week so now there is only 13 Elders in my zone. Haha I fought off an onslaught of the departing Elders who wanted to take the Belt to Portugual, haha so hopefully I can hold on to it and take it to Africa. Portuguese is coming along fine, just trying to learn everyday and get better and better and speaking at it. Not much else to say. All is Well here and can't wait to get out to Angola. I love you all!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Elder Brown's Mailing Info when he gets to Angola

Great news! A post office has finally opened in Luanda, and the “Angola Luanda Mission” has opened a post office box. Now our missionaries can send and receive regular letters. To send a letter use the following address:

(Missionary name)
Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos S.U.D.
Caixa Postal 18404
Luanda, Angola

It currently costs $1.05 to send a letter from the United States to Angola. However, it will cost about $3 (US) to send a normal letter from Angola to the U.S. It should arrive in less than 2 weeks in either direction. We have already received 2 letters from California, so we know that it works.

If you want to send a package via the US Post Office please follow these instructions exactly:
If the package weighs less than 1 kilo (2.2 lbs.) it will arrive at the Post Office where we have a post office box with no problems. If the package is over 2.2 lbs it must be sent “Express” so that it will be delivered to our Post Office.

If you send a package please DO NOT put the missionaries name in the address. This will make it very difficult for us to claim the package unless the recipient missionary actually goes to the Post Office. PLEASE NOTE: If you are sending a package put the missionaries name at the beginning of the return address. Then we will know who it is for. For example, the package should be addressed as follows:

Elder Smith
Smith Family
123 Elm Street
SLC, UT 12345

                         Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos S.U.D.
                         Caixa Postal 18404
                         Luanda, Angola

We have not yet received packages so this is an experiment for us all, so please don’t send anything of value yet. We would be interested in knowing how much it costs to send packages to Angola via the U.S. Post Office. If there are any customs fees, they will be the responsibility of the missionary.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Week #2 MTC

Oi! Family and Friends

So another week has gone by in the MTC and it seemed like it came and went by pretty fast. I´ll first talk about the BBC thing. So a guy from operations in the MTC about a week ago on Friday night came in and told us that BBC was going to be interviewing our district. We then went through about an hour of public relations training of how to answer questions correctly and such and we were told we would be interviewed on camera on Monday.

So Monday comes along and we´ve shined our shoes, cleaned up our classroom, got flags from Angola and Portugual, and made sure everything was all good. Then the BBC guy came in and it turned out to be an interview for the BBC radio about Mormons and Mitt Romney and such. And before our district he interviewed another district going to Mongolia about Missionary Work, so he just wanted to ask questions about us growing up in the church and misconceptions people have about the church. We weren´t really prepared to talk about that, but I thought we did really good. Since 4 of the 6 missionaries from my district are from Utah, he asked me a lot of the questions because I grew up outside of the "Utah" culture. I really don´t remember what I said to tell you the truth, but I know that the Lord helped me and my district through this interesting experience. I do remember mentioning Thomas a little bit and my friends in high school, just because he was askign how my school was without many Mormons and how I dealt with people at my high school drinking and such. But yeah it was good, the radio program aired this past Wednesday so maybe you can find it on the BBC Radio website. And if not then they told us that in 2-3 weeks that they will show us the clip of us so then I can see if I can get it for all of you. Elder Clifford has the only camera of pictures from that day just because it was super fast, so sorry about that. So yeah hopefully that radio program touched people's lives and opened doors for other missionaries out in the world.

The rest of the week was pretty same old same old. We wake up at 6:30, Breakfast at 7, then we have either class or language study or personal study till 11:30 which is when lunch starts. Then after lunch we check for mail and thats when usally handwritten letters and packages are usually picked up. Then we have class, or more languager study, or more additional study till 4:30 which is when dinner starts. Then after dinner we check the mail and that when we get our DearElders for the day. Then just more class or studying and such till 9:30 where we go back to the residence hall and just chill and get ready for bed at 10:30.Then we have gym times everyday randomly, where we placy soccer, and I have scored some goals so I'm getting better haha.

On P-Days we go to the Temple in the morning, so last week I did a session and right before this I did initatories. Then we come back and have lunch. From Lunch till Dinner we write emails, write letters, laundry, and anything else that we need to get done before the upcomign week. It goes by super fast. Sundays its alot of studying with ourselves and district, mixed with sacrament meeting, priesthood meeting, and a fireside. We also get an hour after sacrament meeting to walk up to the Temple and take pictures on the grounds and just relax. So thats about a typical week for me in the MTC, about 6 more to go.

This Monday and Tuesday we lose the majority of our zone as they are traveling to their mission fields. All of them are going to Portugual except for two. One is going to New Jersey and the other is going to Cape Verde Islands. I really do love these guys and its gonna be sad to see them ago. We will then only have 13 missionaries in our zone for a couple of weeks till the next transfer of missionaries come in.

Speaking of our Zone, right now I hold the belt in our Zone for Stare Down champion. Its when two people stare down until one the people cracks a smile. Last night I faced Elder Diaz to protect my belt. He is the best one in the Zone and has held the belt for the majority of his time here in 8 weeks. It lasted over 4 minutes but I defeated him, and now many other people want to face me. Haha I just need to hold it until they leave so they don't take it to Portugal. So thats one of those fun things that our zone does.

This week I have memorized the First Vision and the Baptismal Commitment in Portuguese. It took a lil while but I did it, and have used both in our investigator lessons. Right now we have two investigators named Bendita and Chines. Bendita is a 60 year old woman who can't read and has strong Faith in God and Christ. So far we have taught her twice, getting as far as the Restoration. Thats when I was able to recite the First Vision by memory to her. It was a really powerful experience to me. We are teaching her again tonight about the Book of Mormon. Chines is a young guy who doesn't really have a religion. We've taught him 4 times and he has said once he goes to Church and get an answer to his prayers then he will be baptized.

These role playing investigators are really helping me in teaching the gospel and learning the language. I can pretty much understand everything said during the lessons and can talk about the Gospel pretty well in Portuguese. Just every day and every week I will continue to grow in the Gospel and in the Language. Also this week we got our Malaria Pills/Instruction, but I don't know why we got them this early. No word yet on the New York trip, though it should happen in the next week or so.

I love you all and thanks for all the support that you have given me. I just can't wait to get out to Angola and start my adventure!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Dear family, June 8, 2012

I had to write this quick letter to you guys because we found something out in our night class tonight. My district is going to be on BBC. Tell mom and dad on the phone. By the time you get this I will have already been interviewed on BBC because it's being done this coming Monday.

Put it on my blog also. We're getting filmed in class and interviewed by BBC and it will air probably within the month. So watch out for a Mormon program or a Mitt Romney program on BBC in the coming month. When they get it done, I'll get a clip sent to me. So I will be able to send it out over email once I get it to you if you guys don't see it. But yeah let mom and dad now okay? Love you guys.


***Unfortunatey Erik and I were in Barcelona and the kids didn't see this letter in the pile of mail so we didn't get a chance to see the program but we are hoping to catch it again!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Oi! Friends and Family 

Well this is my first email for my mission and its seem like its already been awhile. I got into the MTC, got my badge and ID card and such and then we went to our classrooms for orientation. Right off the bat our teacher, Irma Hart, only talks to us in Portuguese, which was hard at first but was a real blessing in my life. Then we went to some firesides and meals and so forth until bed time.

Those first couple of days were really hard for me. They werwe really long, and hard to adjust too, and I was going through a rough time. But each day it got better, and now I'm all good and know I am supposed to be here:) Thanks for all the letters and packages I've gotten since I have been here. They are real morale boosters for me, so thanks my Family and extended family, and friends for your support.

Alright so there are 6 Elders in my district. Me, Elder Hyde, Elder Clifford, Elder Lee, Elder Tyler, and Elder Singer. The last three are going to Portugual and me and the other two are going to Angola. We came in with another district who had the two New Zealanders, and the English elder. One of my zone leaders is also English so its pretty funny to hear their accents and all. I like alot of guys in my zone. There are a lot of funny kind of guys in our zone that make its so nice and funny. It will be sad when they all leave in 11 days.

Since we have some internationals in our zone, every gym time we play soccer. I`m still trying to get the hang of it, and I have scored like three goals total, haha but I`m not very good. Once all the soccer elders leave I will probably go and play Basketball during gym time.

You said you saw that photo of me and my companion and thats because hisd aunt and uncle were there for one of the devotionals so they took a picture of us with their phones. The only way to send pictures I have heard is to just send the memory card, which I will probably do after my New York trip. Which by the way im going to New York on June 20th with the other 4 Angola Elders. We have to go to the Angola Embassy in New York for our visas, so we will be in NYC for a day.

Then after that back to the MTC for a couple more weeks. My teacher Irma Hart is really good, so I can pretty much understand Portuguese and I`m also starting to get the hang of speaking it. We finished with our first Investigatior Rodrigo, who turned out at the end to be our other teacher. Like I said the first lesson was a train wreck, but by the end of the last lesson it went really well. I can bear my testimony and say prayers in Portuguese, and also teach parts of the lessons. Our first investiagtor was a really great experience and a spiritual one. I felt the spirit so much when I extended the invitation to baptism. I have really grown already in the spirit since I have been here. I know so much more about the gospel and and my testimony has grown so much. I can't wait to get out to the mission field and share this message that the Angolan people deserve to have a chance to hear.

Our first devotional speaker was Elder Jensen, and he talked about just random missionary wisdom. One thing that I got the most out of it was when he talked about opening your mouth that it maybe filled by the Lord. And I have a testimony that that is true, that if we just open our mouth to our neighbors and friends that the Lord will fill them what to say according to the spirit.

Anyways my time is almost up so hopefully this email is long enough for you guys haha. By the way, since I only get 30 min. to write email try to just send handwritten letters or DearElders so I don't have to waste time reading email. (I think he means don't put your email in to send the extra copy on dear elder because he gets them everyday and doesn't need the email version of it too) Once I get out to the field then we can email and such:) So DearElder me or write letters of things you want to hear about in my next email. Sorry if I forgot any questions, haha its just really pressured to get done within 30 min. Well I Love You All, and Hope All is Well.


Elder Brown

*I edit Keegan's letters, he sends parts that are for just the family :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Dear family, June 2, 2012

Well today is my first P-day but we can't email yet till my next P-day which is next Friday. The language is coming together a little bit. I can mostly understand what is being said to me but can't really speak it as well.

We taught our first investigator, Rodrigo, yesterday in Portuguese and it was kind of a train wreck. Hopefully in subsequent visits it won't be as bad.
I'm already sick of the MTC food, so it's going to be hard to eat it for the next eight weeks or so. Thanks for all the letters, they really help. I'm so far the guy in the district that gets the most letters. The guys here who have been here for like six weeks seem much older than me, it's weird.

We have a couple Elders from New Zealand and a couple of English Elders in our zone so it's fun. Scored a goal in my first gym time in soccer, so that's cool. Today an Elder left our zone for Brazil, and it seems that day will never come for us.

Let everyone know that I love them and miss them. Oh btw, we just got to start checking the mail yesterday so I was able to read everyone's letters finally. Now we check regularly after lunch, then after dinner, with dearelders coming after dinner. So I can read your letters but I can't respond until my P-day. But thanks for all the letters. It's been hard and long already, but I just have to take it a day at a time. Soon enough I'll be in Angola, and then time should be flying! Love you guys. Tudo Bem!

Elder Brown

Monday, June 4, 2012

Our first picture of Elder Keegan Brown and his companion Elder Hyde. Our sweet friend Marianne was able to get this picture for us because Elder Hyde's family lives in her area.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Dear familia, May 30, 2012

Well I'm only writing a hand written letters to you guys because my P-day is on Friday's but since this past week is weird I won't be able to email until next Friday on the eighth. With my first email I will tell loads of stuff with one and a half weeks under my belt. Just know that I am well, little homesick about you guys, friends, and Laura but I will be fine.

Pretty much straight off the bat we had to speak and understand Portuguese. So that was a little hard but I kind of got the hang of it. Everyone says that we just have to make it through Sunday and we will be fine. My companion is really chill. His name is Elder Hyde and I'll talk more about him in my first email when I get to know him better. I met all the other guys going to Angola and they said they were going to New York on June 20 for visa stuff? I don't know but I'm sure I'll find out soon .

(few sentences of things he needs)

Anyways wait for my first email, it will be a lot longer than this just because this is supposed to be brief. Love you guys!

Love Elder Brown

Friday, June 1, 2012

Mailing Information

Elder Keegan Brown's mailing information:

Elder Keegan Brown
MTC Mailbox #107 Moz-Map 0801
2005 N. 900 E. Provo, UT 84604-1793