Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hello all,

Pretty dang good week this week. I guess to start out, we found a new investigator! His name is Abner and he is from the Phillipines. He is an awesome guy and we're looking forward to teaching him for the first time this Saturday. Please pray that his heart will continue to be soft and that he won't stumble across any people or things that would dissuade him from wanting to meet with us. Hopefully we'll have one more baptism before i leave this area. We also finally got back in contact with terry. It was great to talk to him again, and we're hoping to go over tomorrow night. Hopefully this stretch of no investigator lessons is over! I can't handle it. We also had an incredible meeting at church this week. We had some great speakers and for the last two weeks the sacrament has just been particularly strong to me, for some reason. I have been doing a lot of pondering and study over the principle of "renewing" our covenants this week and reading them in conjunction with the sacrament prayers. Every week i am overwhelmed at how generous of an offer our Heavenly Father has given us to truly allow us to refresh/renew/start over WEEKLY. I feel kinda dumb that i'm just realizing this now. I don't think i have ever felt closer to God than I did these last two weeks during the sacrament. I felt as though i could honestly turn my burdens over to the Savior and try again. It seems like every time I do this my feelings are torn between a sense of urgency to be better, and gratitude for the opportunity i'll have in just 7 more days to do it again. What an incredible blessing it is to have that on the earth in our day. We truly are such a blessed people.

To round out an already monumental Sabbath the Young Men's president organized what was coined as the "We Believe" fireside for all the youth to inspire them and give them a jump start on their own personal testimonies. I couldn't believe how strong the testimonies of the members were. One of the testimonies stood out more than the others and that was Sister Joanne Van Bruggen's. Both her and her son spoke and i couldn't really understand what was going on but i almost immediately just had an insatiable desire to be better. I didn't know how or what to do to accomplish that, but the feeling to just be better was all i could think about. I was blown away, and then to top of a great meeting they sang the EFY medley.  I was strongly opposed to singing it when i first heard about it because i thought it would flop, but it turned out really well. Without any practice or prior training it sounded as if it were a polished performance. I really just felt uplifted and renewed in pretty much every way. I think being able to see the family will be the push i need to get out there and burn myself out for these last few months. It talks about in the Preach My Gospel DVD's we watch that "an elder's last six months is his time to shine." The elder in the video goes on to say something to the effect of: for 18 months now we've been studying, trying, failing, being tried, succeeding, learning, preparing, and training....now you put it all to the test." The mission has adopted a pretty simple motto that most missions have and more and more President Campbell will say it to us. All it is is, "Find, Teach, Baptize." That's it. That's what i want to do. I love you all so much and am so grateful for the support. You're the best family and friends i guy could ask for. Be good, have fun.

-Elder M. Brown

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