Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The End-May 26th 2014

Oi Family and Friends!

Well this is it. It's over. I'm coming home. It's too surreal. Well the only thing that I can write is my testimoney. These two years will forever change my life. Its been the hardest thing I've ever done, but one of the greatest blessings in my life. I've learned so much, things that I hope to apply in my life for the rest of my life. I love Angola, and it will forever have a place in my heart. I know that this is the Work of the Lord, I know it. I know this Church is literally the only Churh of Jesus Christ on the face of the planet. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, I had the privilege to read it 7 times on my mission, and I love it, I love it so much, and I'm excited to even expand more of my knowledge in the gospel here soon. I love you all and I'm excited to see everyone, thanks for all the support these last two years. Until here soon.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Final Countdown-May 19, 2014

Oi Family and Friends!

Last week of the mission here, whattt crazy. Just as of late trying to take it in and enjoy the last bits and parts about Africa, even the crazy and hectic parts. This past weekend we had our mission conference with Elder and Sister Renlund which went real swell. Learned some cool things about leadership and such. 

Yesterday was our Pday so we played soccer all as a mission because the Lubango and Huambo Elders were here, and that was fun, all 5 of us who are going home made a team so that was fun. Then the internet place yesterday was broken so we had to wait to do it today, kind of annoying. But life is going good, gearing up for the big change and all, and seeing my parents here in Angola. Can't wait to see everyone, cant wait to tell everyone what has happened to me in the past 2 years. Love you all! 

My last email next Monday will be my testimony and last bit of thoughts that I have. Love you all, and have a great week, until here soon!



Monday, May 12, 2014

What up!

Oi Family and Friends,

As these last couple of days are rolling to a close, I've been very unmotivated to write alot in my emails haha. But life is good. Mother's Days was way cool talking to my family and such. So weird that I'm seeing you so soon. 

This past Saturday I got to baptize one of my old investigators from my last transfer, Arsenio. Such a funny guy. Always remember him. We have mission conference coming up this next week with Pres. Renlund so that will be way cool. Only have one week to apply what I learn but it will still be good. And because our mission conference is on Monday our Pday next week will be on Tuesday. So I'll do emails and all that good stuff on tuesday next week. 

We've been working alot with recent converts and less actives this past week, and it's something we have been focusing on. Like this past Sunday, we had two of our less actives show up which was way cool. We were excited. Every soul is precious, even when numbers don't show it, there just as important as investigators. 

But life is going good. I'm a bit nervous to come home and have a whole culture shock and life shock, but it will be good, I'm excited too. Sorry this email is short, but my brain is mush, we played a soccer tournament in our zone this morning and I'm way tired. But we won the championship so it's all good. But I love you all, can't wait to see everyone! Have a good week! Stay close to the Savior always!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Keep on Going

Oi! Famiy and Friends,

This week was alright. Haha life has been a little rough as of late. The area is going slow, the branch is kind of falling apart, just good ol Angola haha. But it's all good. Something that also has been impeding the work a little bit is the rain. Its been raining a bunch as of late. And Angolans and rain don't mix. For example our branch only had 83 people show up because it rained that morning. Ai. It can be frustrating at times. So because of rain, two of the days this week, all of our compromissios dropped. But life goes on. 

One cool story that happened is that we met an old lady, who is a member who can't leave her house because she is completely blind. Her name is Celeste, and her house, even though it was just like any other Angolan house, it reminded me of Grandma's house. And she was so funny and sweet. The church leaders have pretty much forgotten her, she hasn't gotten a visit in forever. So were going to start passing by once a week to just talk her. She has already been through the temple and she still wears her garments, and doesn't let anyone else wash them. Way faithful member, she is just old and blind and can't remember everything all the time. But it was way cool to sit with her. 

We also found a new guy named Leandro, who came to church for the first time this past Sunday so that's also exciting. But life is going good. Elder Marqueza and me are doing great, he is a funny lil guy, and I don't know why but all natives love to play and repeat over and over again the same music. 

So for Mothers Day were planning on doing it at President's house at 5 pm our time. So I don't know what time that is there, so you guys can figure that out. Weird that I pretty much only have 3 weeks left. Kind of surreal. But life keeps going on, to bigger and better things. Love this Gospel, love my Savior and my Heavenly Father, even though I'm weak and falter, they are there for me every step of the way. Love you all and have a good week!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Pictures Week #99

Elder Brown and a monkey
Helder and Ana's family
Silvio getting baptized 2 weeks ago
Baptisms from 2 weeks ago
More Baptisms

Keep Chuggin along

Oi Family and Friends!

This week was kind of slow work wise. Our area is pretty much starting over from scratch. We had two baptisms this past Saturday with Dadinho and Mano, kids of a family who has an older brother who is a member. So that was pretty cool. And then I got to go to the other baptisms and see Deucalino, Ju and Maria get baptized. So this past Saturday I had 5 baptisms which was way awesome to see. Way spiritual. 

Also this week was General Conference in Portuguese. Haha not my favorite, because Portuguese kind of ruins the talks, but it was good. I already downloaded most of the talks on a pen drive, as well as we're borrowing the discs to watch in English. There were tons of way good talks, haha love General Conference. 

So pretty much the only thing worth writing about this week was my division with Elder Yeanoplos. So while we were walking in this busy paragem, I felt a bump on my backpack, so I turn it around and two of my zippers are open. I check all the pockets, and they didn't have anything. But they did take one thing, a pocket dictionary, which was actually Elder Garcias that I was going to give back to him. So now officially I have gotten "robbed" here on my mission, haha so I should be good for these last 4 weeks. 

Also I had to go give this baptismal interview to the wife of a member. He said we shouldn't come because there was too much water, but we said it would be fine. Well it's a bit of an obstacle course the first part but then we get to a part where literally you couldn't go any further unless you went through the nasty black water, with who knows what's in it. Haha he wasn't kidding. So I made the decision, and I really wasn't thinking that much, that we would take our shoes and socks off, roll up our pants and walk through the water to his house. I wasn't really thinking of the possibility of getting infectious bacteria or viruses, or stepping on glass or who knows what. But we walked for a good 5, 10 minutes through the neighborhood in the water until we got to his house, and then when it was over, walked back through it. Very cool memory, thinking back on it, really gross too. 

But yeah I'm loving it. I'm loving Elder Marqueza, haha he talks alot, and we mess with each other tons. He is one of my best companions I've had. Way funny. I'm going to try and get more videos of him these last 4 weeks. But life is good. Just got to keep my head down and keep going, stay close to the spirit and build my testimony. So weird that Andrew is going home today. Ai! Glad the family had a good trip to Utah and got to see everyone, can't wait to see everyone as well. Well I love you all, have a good week!


Monday, April 21, 2014


Oi! Family and Friends,

This week has been pretty good, kind of long, but good. So on Tuesday I showed the Assistants my area because they are taking it over and there were people getting ready for baptism. So that took all day, but it was good, rode in the truck all day. Then at night when all the Elders who were leaving were having their final dinner at President's house, we were invited to stay and eat as well. It was way good, way good ribs and such. Haha weird that will be me here in like 5 weeks. I still don't feel like I'm coming home. It still hasn't hit me and I don't think it will until I have like 3 or 2 weeks left. 

And it also weird walking in this new area, because I feel that stress of having to know my area 100% but then I really don't have to because my companion Elder Marqueza is staying and I'm not. I don't know, it's weird. Speaking of Elder Marqueza, haha he is so funny. I already love him, he is awesome. He is still Mozambican, but he is one of my favorites. It will be a fun 5 weeks, especially with Elder Yeanoplos and Elder Money in the house. 

Last night, me and Elder Money just talked forever about sports and BYU sports. Ah I miss BYU sports, way awesome. Well my Area is pretty cool. Very dirty. But it's cool. People in this area don't like white people that much, I've already been yelled at and such, but I don't care. Just love them. 

This week we are going to have two baptisms which is way cool. Two kids who are 11 and 12, and for some reason haha I'm baptizing one of them, so that's exciting. As well as Deucalino, Ju, and Maria are also getting baptized this Saturday from my old area, so I get to go to that as well, so I'm way excited, so pumped. Just trying to do my best and power it to the end. 

Yeah the Easter video is so awesome, I love it, I can not wait to come home and watch all the new Bible videos, they are so cool. Glad everyone Easter was good. All about the Savior, everything in our lives is centered in Christ. On our way here to the cafe, we were getting ripped on by a 7th day Adventist about Saturday and Sunday. It's just like people, open your eyes! Who cares if it is Saturday or Sunday. It's all about Christ, and will forever be about Christ. That's the gospel, the Atonement. I've said it before and I will forever say it, the thing I learned the most about on my mission is the Atonement, and I still don't even know alot about it. I love the Savior and what he did, and I will try to honor his name as best I can, always. On and after the mission. Well love you guys! Have a great week, and travel safely! Until next week!


Monday, April 14, 2014

6 Weeks Dead and Gone

Oi! Family and Friends,

This week went by fine. Elder Castleton despediu tons of people, lots of member dinners and such. Which kind of took a chunk out of our days this week but that's ok. Well for transfer news I'm getting transfered to Luanda 1 also called Terra Nova with Elder Marqueza. He is a Mozambicano who just got here so I'll be finishing up his training this transfer. And I'll be living with Elder Yeanoplos again as well as Elder Money. So offcially I will have served in all the branches here in Luanda. I'm happy and sad for the change. Sad because we were going to have a lot of baptisms this transfer and I have to leave a lot of people that I already love, but I'm happy because Luanda 2 isn't my most favorite branch to work in, and I'll explain why when I get home haha. 

So yep finishing off my mission in a new area, in the most ghetto place of Luanda, and where everything bad usually happens haha. Pray for me! Haha nah I'll be fine. 

This past weekend we had the baptims for Silvio and Monica, way cool. I baptized Silvio and gave the gift of the Holy Ghost to Monica. Way cool experience. And also yes my birthday, it was good, nothing too special. Went to Belas for lunch and I got some sushi, to keep the tradition alive haha. But overall it was good. Made the tye dye cake, turned out good. I would send all these pics I have but for some reason this computer won't read my card, hopefully at the new place where I'll be doing internet will be better. 

I'm kind of ancy as well to read all the talks from conference, just want to know ja. Haha glad that Spring Break went well for everyone. My mind is going to be blown when I see all my siblings again and how old they have gotten haha. Weird weird weird that it's close. But I'm just going to work hard and do my best and these last 6 weeks will fly by haha. Well I love you all, have a good week, and stay as close to the spirit as you can, that's the only way to live!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Good Week

Oi! Family and Friends,

Sorry this is a day late, yesterday we didn't get back until late, and all the internet cafés were closed. But I'll give a brief recap of our weekend. So on Sunday we went over to the mission home, and we prepared our part of the potluck dinner. Had some dinner and then watched conference live, way good. Pres. Uchtdorf and Elder Ballard´s talk was really good. As well as I really enjoyed Bishop Stevenson's talk about the Olympics. Well Elder Bednar had just started his talk, and the power went off. And we weren't exactly live with the conference because we paused it so we could eat and all that. So when the power went off, we couldn't go back to his talk or Pres. Monson´s talk. That was too bad. 

So while we were waiting for the afternoon session to start we watched part of the Saturday morning session. And Elder Holland's talk. Wow. haha hit home for me hard. I can't even explain it, just those kinds of talks that just hit you personally. Way good talk. Then we watched the afternoon session live, and then slept at the mission home. 

Woke up the next morning went all the way out to the safari place. We were late so they sent one of the their drivers home so they only had one truck. So the people who never went, went on the truck, and the rest of us went on a boat ride in the river. It was cool, didn't see much, but a cool experience. Then the long trek home. Very fun weekend though. 

Already this morning we taught Maria, a sister to a member who is progressing really well to her baptism on the 26th of April as well as we taught José, a son of a member, where we had a really good lesson with him on the Word of Wisdom because he has some troubles with smoking and drinking. 

This is Elder Castleton's last week, crazy, last week of the transfer. Next P Day I'll find out my last companion. Nervous to see who it is. But overall life is good with me. This Saturday we also have two baptisms in Silvio and Monica, we are excited. It's starting to hit me lil by lil that I'm going home. It's weird. 

But thank you to everyone who sent me Bday wishes. Can't believe I'm turning 21 in two days. Love you all! Study the words of this past conference and I promise you, you will find peace and answers to your problems. Hope you all have an awesome week!


Monday, March 31, 2014

Pictures Week #94

Manuel's birthday lunch
Elder Bernardo, Elder Brown, and Elder Rodrigues 
Elder Brown, Maria, her friends, and Manuel
Vladamir's Family

Good Good Week

Oi! Family and Friends!

This week has been a good one for me. Not as much work as we had last week but it was still pretty good. So someone cool that we're working with is called Decolino. He is a guy who randomly showed up to church who lives in our area, he is pretty much blind. He can see big things and get himself around, but if he lived in the States, he would be considered legally blind. And at first I didn't really get him, like what he wanted from us or in life. I was confused, so we invited him to baptism and he accepted a date for the 26th of April. So he is doing really well and we're having a member pass by him to read to him throughout the week, so we shall see how he continues to progress. 

Also Arsenio, someone who was supposed to get baptized on the 12th dropped because his parents doesn't want him too..... He is 25 years old and living with them. So we had to delay his date for who knows when. But my goal is to see him get baptized before I leave. Hmm who else. Oh yeah there is Vladmir who is way cool, but I'm just going to wait until I get home to talk about his situation. It's pretty personal and I don't want that on the internet, but I'll for sure talk to about him when I get home. Also this past week was Manuel, one of our less actives, birthday so he came and walked with us in the morning and then we took him out for lunch, I think he had a good time. 

Also this week we got a new dupla to our district. An Angolan named Elder Bernardo, he is waiting for his visa to the Dominican Republic so he started his mission here, and he is with Elder Garcia in our district now, so that's pretty cool. 

I know Mom will like to hear this, my birthday packages from both Grandma and Mom, as well as my Easter package got here:) So thank you for that:) On Thursday me and Elder Castleton helped out President and Sister Merrill with the new Family History Center that there trying to get together here. Moved a lot of broken office furniture that's been sitting back in this one room, way dusty and nasty. Way gross. But it was fun, And it will be way awesome for Angola once that gets up and going here. 

Happy Birthday to Kell and Ridge! They just keep on growing, hope its a good one for ya guys! Weird that we're going into April here soon, and I'm going to be 21, I'm getting old. Also, cool thing next Sunday we are going to President's house for Conference to watch it live and stay there for the night. And then we are going on a Safari the next day! So way sick and coolness coming up. Well I love you all, another week come and gone, and not many more to go. Hope you all have a great week!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Pictures Week #93

Levi's family and the Elders
Elder Brown, Elder Wilhelm and Elder Cafferty
Elder Tilley and Elder Brown

Hard Working Week

Oi! Family and Friends,

This week me and Elder Castleton worked way hard to build our area up, and the work paid off. It looks like I should be able to see 5 to 10 baptisms in this area before I leave in 2 months which is way exciting. There are some really cool people that we're working with like Arsenio, Juquim, and Carla, Silvio, etc. Transfer is going well and crazy that by this Wednesday that it will already be halfway over. And I'll be in single digits of weeks left..... crazy. But that's not what I'm focusing on. haha. 

I'm also way excited for General Conference here in a little under 2 weeks. I have grown such a love for the words of the Living Prophets, they are seriously the words of God for us in these days. And now I'm always looking forward to the conferences now, and studying the talks in the months after it. This past week we also had a zone conference which was way good. We talked about finding, and studying and teaching, and Sister Merrill did this way cool training on being positive about ourselves and keeping Satan out of our lives, it was way cool. 

I also had to say goodbye to Elder Wilhelm and Elder Tilley. Crazy that they are gone. It was sad too. Elder Wilhelm was one of my best friends out here, and he is going to BYU Idaho, booooooo, so I won't see him for awhile. But I love him, and Elder Tilley. 

It's been raining a bit here which stinks because after it rains, it is incredibly hotter because of humidity. So hot here in Africa haha. But I'm surviving it haha. 

Also a Happy Birthday! To Mom! Thanks Mom for being the best mom ever and supporting me throughout my life especially out here on my mission:) I love you! Overall trust in the fact that I'm working hard day in and day out until the end. Also weird that my 21st birthday is coming up. I'M getting old.... Overall I'm good, and I hope everyone else is doing good. I love you all! Have a good week!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pictures Week #92

Elder Brown and Elder Hanson
Elder Brown and Elder Cafferty sporting glasses
Elder Brown and Elder Cafferty
Family Night
Elder Brown and Elder Yeanoplos
Cassequel Krew
Elder Brown and Elder Domingos
Arsenio, Elder Brown, and Juquim
Marinete and her family

Learned alot this week

Oi Family and Friends,

This week was an interesting one. We started off the week with a family night with Claudio, Tania, and Juelma. That was pretty fun, left a little message and played agua na cara, haha they really liked it. Tuesday I had a leadership meeting that was really good by President and Sister Merrill. Really helped me learn about leadership in the church, and really how Christ leads. A training that I will forever use the rest of my life in the church as I have callings and such. 

But also sad news on Tuesday, I found out that Sebastiao, me and Elder Cafferty's way awesome investigator, his daughter that we gave a blessing had died. Way Sad. I called him, and made sure other branch members called him. He told me that the moments before she passed away, she said that she wanted the Elders who gave her the blessing to be at her burial. 

So on Saturday, we went to the Cemiterio de Alto Cruzes. And man, did it hit me hard, walking through that cemiterio. I've never really walked through one before, I know I've probably have, I can't remember though. But the rows and rows and rows of tombstones and dead people. Dating back all the way to the 1850s until these days. Grata was getting buried near the back, and we got back there just in time as they were just starting to lower the coffin into the ground. Africans, are very emotional people, especially about death. As the coffin was going into the ground and beginning to get buried, her Mom, Celeste, and other people were going berserk. Crying screaming, sobbing, etc. its a very vivid memory to me. Alot of people crying, while others were singing hymns and African spirituals. She was buried, the tombstone was made and was covered and covered and covered in flowers. 

Sebastiao, after came up to us 4 missionaries as well as some of the awesome members of the branch, one by one he shook our hands, and gave us a hug, and in choked up tears, said thank you for coming in English. I almost lost it. I love that man. After the cemiterio we went back to his house for the obito, where we talked and had some food. There were tons of people there but pretty much Sebastiao spent all of his time with us and talking with us. Goes to show what's most important to him. He did have plans to go to America and work, but he has changed those plans, and is retiring in November 2015 and then giving the rest of his life to Christ. He is one of the greatest men I will ever know. I feel like one of the reasons I came to Angola was because of him. He just needs to get married first and then he can continue his journey to baptism, priesthood, temple, etc. 

I'm staying in contact with him for the rest of my life, in this world and the world to come. That was the thing that impacted me the most this week. Reason why is because while I was at that burial, I wasn't sad, I was only sad for the pain people were feeling, but overall, I was feeling the spirit so strong throughout the entire thing. I am so grateful to my Father in Heaven for the knowledge I have of the Plan of Salvation. Death is hard, but it's not the end. Our Savior made sure of that. This experience sincerely strengthened my testimony of the Plan of Salvation because I saw it in action. 

But overall our area is going good, and has a really good future with some new investigators and baptismal dates. Yesterday I gave Marinete´s kids baptismal interviews and that was a marathon. Especially when I was filling out there fichas, they didn't know how to spell there own names? Really. So I had to redo their fichas this morning. But it's all done. 

Pretty much Pdays is nothing special. We study, we clean, we go shopping, we have lunch, we do internet, and then we just chill until our appointment at night. Nothing exciting. But that's way awesome about BYU, way cool. Everyone keep going strong, love you all, and keep building your testimonies every day and become converted to this great work. Love you all!


Monday, March 10, 2014

Burning Up!

Oi Family and Friends!

This week has been good, and tiring. First off, it's been really hot here, way way hot. I'm ready for a winter season haha. But other than that things are going good. So I live in the Condominium Cajuerio and it's just a really nice apartment. Lot more nice looking than the one in Cassequel. It's just me and Elder Castleton who lives in the apartment, which is a little strange because my entire mission I've lived with 4 to 6 person houses. And it's like 10 to 15 minutes from the Mission Home. But it's alright. My area is pretty nice. Most of our area is in Projecto Nova Vida, where there are just tons of houses and buildings. Always somthing to do haha. 

Elder Castleton, Elder Garn and Elder Brown

And they already have some cool people, and were always trying to find more. One really cool guy is Arsenio. Very very happy guy, where the gospel just makes sense to him. He came to church and he will probably be baptized here in the coming month or so. 

Yesterday at church, Luanda 2 Branch and the Benfica Branch meet in the same building, I got to see a lot of my favorite people, and I will be able to every Sunday until the end. Haha it really made me miss being in that branch and seeing all them always, that was a great part of my mission. 

I recently read Elder Holland's talk from October 2012 conference, which is one of my favorites. How we have to be Christ´s disciples forever. Leave the things of the world behind because we really love God and Christ. And that's something I'm trying to recommit myself to do. Put off the Natural Man, and serve because I love God and I want to make others happy, and just be like Christ. Missionaries, like Christ, go one by one, family by family, giving the people the attention as if Christ was there. That's what I am learning. But yeah its going good, life is going good. Hope you all have a good week and always choose the right! Love you all!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Pictures Week #90

Taxi ride
Sao Paulo
Elder Brown and Cahilo on the bus
Elder Brown and Amarildo
Elder Brown and Gildo 
Elder Brown and Nefi
Elder Brown and President Sebastio
Playing Bball on the Marginal