YOLO= you only live once (Jenni's contribution to the name of this blog) Elder Brown is only living once (for 2 years) in the beautiful West Indies, sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the good people there.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Boom Baptism!

Got tons of pictures this week so I might have to do a couple of emails for pictures. First I gotta say that we are in Georgetown for Thanksgiving today! I love Georgetown so much! Such a fast paced life. Get out of the way or you will get hit by a van. Gotta maneuver around the people. Well this week we were learning about how to have effective branch council and how to get the work rolling here. We discussed how to knit together in unity the hearts of the members (Mosiah 18:21) Also this week I held a cute little monkey and I will be darned if that monkey was not the cleanest monkey ever! They said they bathe it daily and it smelled nice. It seemed to like us. Shannon and Korwin got married and baptized. Well Shannon got baptized that is but she is such a great example that her husband wants to get baptized next month. We are going to pray about a date for it. Shannon is such a wonderful lady. Her faith is so strong! She has wanted to get baptized since before we met her. We watched the Other Side of Heaven at an activity and she thought her baptism would be like the one the girl has. It was the opposite. 2 members came and we were locked out of the church till one of the members rode his bike to get the keys from the branch president. I was so upset with the people. I could not believe that only 2 people came but Shannon was so happy! So we got into the church and got the baptism suit and rode an expensive ride to the "beach" and it was all mud. I found a small place of water and went in wearing all white. The mud went up to my knees. It was tough but she was still so happy. I could not believe it at all. She is truly converted even though everything in the world went wrong. Something also that touched my heart is that my other recent convert who is not that smart is getting so smart! The Holy Ghost really does help. I hear they get wiser after baptism. It is so true. We taught her about Temples and told her to prepare for it. She understood it so well when we taught eternal marriage and baptisms for the dead. What almost brought me to tears was after teaching her she said to us "This is a good life. I am happy with the Gospel since I changed." She is so amazing! It touched me so much to hear her say that. Well working with 2 branches is getting really hard though. We have a baptism this week in the other branch called Rosignol but I guess our baptismal candidate has not been going to church. It's hard to know since I can't be in 2 places at once. In Bushlot branch we have been told by the 2nd councilor in the mission presidency (The big guns) that we need to reactivate the Melchizedek Priesthood holders. He told us that he knows we are working hard but to work harder. I almost didn't know that was possible. From the looks of it we have a lot of success but little support. My challenge to anyone reading this is to help the Recent Converts! Help the missionaries! It's not their job alone! People here expect a lot from us but to be honest they give us absolutely nothing! You wanna see a miracle? Be the miracle! Missionaries cannot and will not do it alone. Go fellowship and work with the missionaries. I can't wait to do it when I get home. We had a Bushlot branch council and they usually get way out of hand so I ran it with an iron fist. If they got somewhere else I put them back in line. I stuck to the agenda and asked them why they didn't do their visiting teaching. (The branch is basically a few ladies with 2 Melchizedek Priesthood holders) They all made excuses and I told them that the only reason to not visit teach is if that person is dead. No other excuse will be good enough. Some of the people go to other churches is what they will tell me. I tell them that because we have no visiting teaching is why we have only 26 people at the max. I will not take excuses. Well sad news of the week I found out something that will forever change my life. Wonka discontinued Shocktarts or Shockers as some call them. I have craved it for my whole mission. If I die please tell me they are in the Celestial Kingdom. I want them so bad! Well we are still looking at baptisms to come and just working hard!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Success Smells Funny

Well it's another hot week in Guyana. Nope it never gets cold here at the equator. I am going to have to go up to Utah when I get home and jump right into a pile of snow. Well we are looking at some big success for the upcoming week and next week. In the 2 branches we cover we have a baptism for Bushlot branch this week and then a baptism for Rosignol next week. Lots of success coming and it feels nice. We have been working hard and it just gets a bit old going back and forth between Rosignol and Bushlot. It's a 30 minute van ride between them both. This Friday our investigator Shannon is getting her money to get married and then baptized on Saturday. We are so excited for her and she has been excited to be baptized even before we met her. Surprisingly she actually likes the reverence we have at church. People in the Caribbean usually like the loud yelling and singing. One of these days I want to just walk into a church that is yelling and ask them "Why are you yelling? I can't really feel the spirit." I probably wouldn't literally do that but I wonder what they would think about that. We live near a church and every week we just hear a man yelling while preaching. Just put a disco ball in there and it would be a club. Or just put padding on the walls and the floor and give everyone a straight jacket and it would be a mental asylum. Next week Jack is getting baptized in Rosignol branch and it makes me so happy to see. He is a little strange but a really nice guy. He loves Jesus and tells us about every 5 minutes. While contacting this week we met a guy who seemed somewhat normal but he ended up being kinda crazy. I don't know what point he was trying to prove but here is what he talked about. He asked what color Jesus was and I ask him what he thinks. He said he isn't too sure but he watches a lot of documentaries and some of them say Jesus is black. I told him I knew a scripture in Revelations that Rastas use to prove Jesus is black but since Jews are white that Jesus was more than likely white. He then told me that the Leonardo Da Vinchie painting of the Last Supper was Leonardo's dad and 12 prisoners used as the model. Then he said that in Psalms 46 (I think it was 46) That it says Shakespeare. Every 46 words it says it. First 46 words is Shake. The next 46 is Spear. He marked it up and all that. I told him that it was a different "Speare" instead of "Spear". He had his universe shattered. Then he left us with some "advice" He goes on to tell us "I have come to the conclusion. Anything that you see is a deception. The things that you cannot see is reality." I asked him if the tree next to me was real. He was just confounded. I am not too sure what he was trying to teach me but it was interesting. He saw my new ring that I got finished and he was confused a bit. There are no real Zelda fans out here so I explain that it's God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. It really stands for Courage, Wisdom, and Strength. Well things are going good here. I should be getting my gator gear soon. I will have to send a picture of my gator scripture case when I get it. Also my animal picture of the week is this random pig. Speaking of pig my recent convert fed us pork curry but she was a little scared because her husband who lives in New York is Muslim and she didn't want her neighbors to know that she made us pork. This week while eating at Church's chicken I was eating my food and CNN came on. It was strange seeing some stuff going on in America. The Vice President was doing a soldier funeral and it looked really neat. Made me proud to be an American but at the same time I realized how much is going on in the world. I read this card that has good missionary inspirational quotes on it that I got a year ago. I keep it in my wallet and I was thinking about it. One quote I like says "Most things in life are neither important or urgent. Sharing the Gospel message is both."
Just kinda hit me when I saw the news. What I am doing is of eternal importance. It was such a neat experience. Don't ever suppress a generous thought is a nice quote I remember we had by our fireplace at home. Never miss an opportunity to share your testimony. Well that is about it but I look forward to sending baptism pictures the next 2 weeks.

Love you all.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Crazy vs Normal; What is normal?

Not too much happened this week. I guess Birthdays weeks are always better. We went and saw a member who came back from New York and asked her how it was there. As she was telling us all that she loved about it she wanted to get to know me. She asked how long I have been out and I just tell her "I go home in April." She replies "Oh so you are a Zone Leader?" Oh man stake to the heart. At least she didn't keep asking things like District Leader? It was funny because my companion just looks at me and laughs. Oh well that's not what it's all about. Later in the week we saw one of our baptismal candidates in Rosignol. He is a little crazy but then again out here who isn't crazy? In the middle of us teaching him about prophets he tells us that he used to be Hindu (Second time he told us) and that Jesus cured him of HIV. Funny enough he isn't the craziest person around. The members think he is normal too. He wants to be baptized so I guess we will just teach him and go through with it. We have another baptism hopefully coming up in Bushlot too. The lady needs to be married though. It will cost her about $35 US which out here is a lot of money. I just hope she will make that sacrifice because she really wants to be baptized. On Friday night I got really sick and had a throbbing headache/fever and all my joints were stiff and it hurt to even get up. I got my companion to do everything for me. I could not drink much because I would go to the bathroom and it would all come out. I stayed in whole day Saturday and most of Sunday. We went to church and I still felt sick I took some medication and had to do a weird diet of flat 7 up and saltine crackers and some probiotic yogurt. I could not get the medicine I needed out here so I just bought some Nyquil and some fever reducer. Being sick always makes you miss your mom. We went to the other branch too because one member (Who is actually pretty crazy and reads out of the dictionary for his testimony) went up to the stand and cursed at the branch president and his wife and just went crazy. I guess they took him to the police station but I don't know what to think of it. It's hard to find people who are a bit more normal. I am feeling much better now though but our budget for this week is way low. I decided to do a Ramen Noodle diet. I will have 2 packs of Ramen every day this week. They only have chicken flavor though so this will be interesting. I have actually been craving Ramen though. I will let you know how that diet goes next week!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fun Birthday

I never thought that Guyana could be so much fun! All the fun is in Georgetown though. I could not sleep knowing that I was about to be 21 though. I watched the clock till midnight. We got up at 4:30 am so that we could catch a ride with the rest of Berbice Zone to Georgetown. The Zone Leaders drove us all for a bit of a price. It's about a 2 hour drive to Georgetown though so we had some fun conversations. On the way to Georgetown something really freaky happened. A car came at us real fast swerving and almost hit us but as we got to the other side of the road this car hits a light post and jumps and spins a full 360 and then another 180 making the car face the opposite way. Looking out of the windshield and seeing that happen looked like something that happens on a movie. It really was a scary few minutes. We pulled over and saw the man just knocked out and the front tire is off. That car was totaled bad. The man was swollen in the face and bleeding a bit just from the initial contact. His girlfriend was freaking out in the passenger seat and got out unharmed. The adrenaline probably helped her feel no pain. People gathered around the smashed vehicle and I tried to tell them to leave the man alone. I have heard that you should NEVER take a body out of a crushed vehicle unless it's on fire or something, but a man went up the the guy going in and out of conscienceless and took off his gold chain. I don't know if the man stole the chain or what but then he took the body out of the car and put it on the side of the road. Another car came quickly and they loaded the two people in and they drove off somewhere fast. We didn't even stay as witnesses or anything but it was just a crazy thing that happened. It rained a lot on the way to town too so we drove really carefully and we were low on gas too. Finally we got to town and played some basketball at the church. I played some Domino with some other Elders and had a good time. Then we had some good trunky talk. We talked about favorite old video games. We had the big question be: Who is your favorite Smash Bros. Character? Fun talking with people. From there we went into town and went to OMG which is a steak house I have wanted to go to since I began here in Guyana. I had a steak for about $12 US and I have to say it was a decent steak. Nothing like a good old American one. The tab we made was a ton! We had like 16 Elders there so it was about over $100 US. Then we went to Brusters which is my all time favorite ice cream place in all of Guyana. From there we got back late and are going to email real quick so that's what I am doing now. Also we went to a store with a bunch of American electronics and games. I got to hold the iPhone 6 Plus. That thing is huge! I might just have to go with the iPhone 5 or just 6. Well tonight we are going to watch Mobsters and Mormons with our recent convert and some close families. The message will actually be good for the branch though. Without fellowship people will not become members of the church. Everyone needs to support people. We went to Bushlot branch yesterday and we had 20 people there. Not bad. Last week without us was 4 people. We discussed a branch activity and the people cared more about what we will eat than who we will bring. We need to get to work here. Lots of work in these two areas I got. Plenty of baptisms should be coming if we stay diligent.

Great idea for old car seats

Iphone 6+ (on a no shave birthday)

My birthday steak