Monday, February 13, 2012

Hello one and all,

This week was so so so so so sweet. I guess that many "so"'s isn't quite necessary because we didn't baptize anyone yet or anything, we just had some really cool and uplifting experiences. The beginning of this week went pretty normal. After we got transfer calls the elders heading out of our zone left for Edmonton Tuesday afternoon and we had Elder Vawdrey with us for about 48 hours. We were teasing him and telling him that it was his Zone Leader try outs. He wasn't too please about that. Anyway, we got our new elders here and one of them was elder Keck, and the other is Elder Stanke from Berlin. He is serving in Dawson Creek which is a little hole in the wall town and the BC/Alberta border. He already has been calling us and telling us how much he hates it. He was telling us that this morning during a zone conference call and we basically just had to tell him to suck it up. We explained to him that if he believes President Campbell is inspired and if he believes that the prophet is inspired....he needs to grow up and go to work. I hate confrontation, so that was a little tough, but it needed to be said. Hopefully it will have a good influence on him. He really is a great missionary and I really like him. I'm looking forward to going on exchanges with him and getting to know him a little bit better.

So after that we went back to working as normal and then on Friday we needed to head down to Edmonton for ZLC. We called and asked President Campbell for permission to drive through a town 2 hours south to go and see members of our ward in Grande Cache. It was formerly a branch in our stake, but because of lack of priesthood brethren, they had to close it down. They meshed into our ward, and now they have to do a 2 hour commute on one of the worst roads in Alberta to come to church. So needless to say, none of them do it. We were able to go down there and meet the members and some of them said they hadn't seen missionaries in over 3 years. They were pretty overjoyed to see and to have us bring down this year's manuals. It really made me take step back and think about complaining when Mom and Dad left church when I had a meeting or interview and I had to walk home from church. I am such a big whiner! The members there are so great and really want to live the gospel, but don't have anyone to uplift and support them. We feel pretty bad. The town of Grande Cache itself is one of the most gorgeous little cities ever. It is nestled in among mountains on every side. The town’s logo is a mountain goat, and it is totally a perfect description. As we were driving through the town it felt like we were just going to fall off a huge mountain at some points. I took some really beautiful pictures of the town.

We spent the rest of the night driving and finally got into Edmonton at around 9:00 and we stayed with the assistants.

We got up the next day and went to ZLC at the mission home. What an incredible meeting!?!?! In the meeting we were told about a mission wide fast that was decided on in a meeting called coordinating council. The people who are there are President Campbell, President Card(temple president), Elder Melchin(area authority, and the 6 stake presidents in our mission. It is a powerhouse meeting. The mainly discuss missionary work and they noticed a trend of the convert baptisms in our mission going down by about 40/year for the last 3 years. They talked about what might spark things again and start the trend going upward. They felt that this fast was the trick and so they talked for about an hour and a half about how to make the fast most effective. We took notes furiously and now we've developed a study guide to give to the members to help them prepare for a fast. I'll send a copy of it and you can take a look. It is just about fasts in general, but we want people to get excited and pumped up for the upcoming fast this week. We were thinking about the power behind 6 stakes worth of families all kneeling down at the same time petitioning for missionary work. I think it is cool to think about how much we can really accomplish in that 24 hour period. We're excited and are looking forward to it a lot.

That is about it for this week. We're happy and healthy and all is well. I love you all so much and look forward to hearing from each of you. Have a great week!

-Elder Brown

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