Almost 2 months

I apologize in advance, this week wasn’t too interesting.

But, me and Elder K. destroyed this week.

Also, I am really humble.
So today, I have to be quick, we have a ton of shopping to do, and it is the last P-Day of the transfer so we have extra stuff to do as well. We have so much to do it is crazy.
I have not been the best at sending photos. I will send more photos later today, I have a bunch on my iPad that I have not been able to get off. I will be better at taking them though, I promise.
Anyway, this was our most successful week out here in Conway. We have gone from only having 2-3 investigators 6 weeks ago, to having about 25-30 depending on the day. We don’t have anybody close to baptism yet, but we are working on it. I learned this week that goal setting is really huge in our success out here. When we determine how successful we are going to be before we go out and work, we end up achieving that and more.
It has been very cold here. Some of you may have heard about the crazy weather on the east coast. My part of South Carolina hasn’t been very bad, we just got a little dusting of snow on Saturday morning. We are right on the beach though, so the chances of us getting anything big is very slim. The other parts of the mission did get some snow, and when it snows here everything shuts down because people freak out like it’s an alien invasion. Saturday was Elder K’s first experience with snow. He threw a snowball made of flakes he scraped off of the car window at me. It was easily the lamest snowball I’ve seen in my life.
We didn’t bury any dead horses this week, in fact nobody wanted us to do anything because of how wet and cold it was. We were knocking one night and several people told us to go home because we were going to freeze ourselves to death. Southerners freak out about 20 degree weather like it’s a drug cartel looking for it’s next victim.
Me and Elder K got sick this week, so it kinda put a damper on our work but it was still our most successful week out here. My birthday will mark my two month date out here in the mission. (His b-day is February 2).
Here’s the most interesting thing that happened this week:
So on Saturday night after dinner, I thought that I had the stomach flu. I felt feverish and queasy so I told Elder K we were going to call it a day and I was going to bed. I took some Pepto-Bismol before I went to bed, hoping that I would start feeling better. I woke up around 4 in the morning with a terrible taste in my mouth, so I went to the bathroom to get a drink. I looked in the mirror, and I kid you not, I thought I was in a horror movie. My tongue was jet black. I had no idea at the time why that would be, so I thought that I had come down with some crazy mutated version of the black plague. I grabbed a flashlight because our house has basically no light switches and just lamps, and I walked over to my bed thinking that I would just figure out what was wrong tomorrow, but when I shined my flashlight at Elder K’s bed, he wasn’t there anymore. I looked around and he was sprawled on the floor under the side of my bed. I was so spooked. So I went to bed and fell asleep because I really didn’t want to be awake anymore. I found out later that my tongue was black because apparently pepto bismol does that sometimes, but I never would have guessed that and there is no way I am taking that garbage ever again.
Here’s your fun fact about the South for the week:
In the south, you don’t knock on people’s front doors, you knock on their side doors. Front doors are just a “looks” thing. If you knock on someone’s front door they probably won’t answer because that door won’t open or there is furniture in the way of it. Our front door has my dresser in front of it and I don’t think it has been opened for years. It’s kinda weird going into people’s side yards to knock on their door but I guess that’s because I’m not used to it.
Anyway, that’s about all that happened this week.
By the way, I was wrong about the mail. You should send everything to the mission office regardless of if it is a package or letter. My mom will put the address at the end of this email because I don’t know it (right mom?).
This week I will try writing a daily electronic copy of what I put in my journal so you can have a more detailed version of my day to day life.
Until then, stay cool,
Elder Jeremiah Brown
South Carolina Columbia Mission
110 Oak Park Dr. Ste. B
Irmo, SC 29063
Pictures!  (There are no captions from Elder Brown for these, so I just invented my own).
Elders Brown and K. feeding a horse.

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Digging the grave for a dead horse.  (Who’s doing all the work here?)

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The digging crew.

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Cars in SC?

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No hablo español

unspecifiedFirst off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ABBY YOU ARE SO OLD NOW AND SOON YOU WILL BE WRINKLY AND RETIRED AND YAY!!!!!

Anyway, this week was sweet. Not too much changed from last week, but we basically doubled our pool of investigators and we witnessed a miracle. I will explain said miracle later.

Most of this week consisted of knocking doors and contacting random names that we found in our iPad. School just started back up at CCU so there are college students EVERYWHERE and I feel like I am at BYU again, except not at all. Numbers wise, this has been our most successful week in Conway.

My area technically is Conway, but we mostly cover the outside of Myrtle Beach. In fact, we only have one neighborhood in Conway and the rest is in Myrtle Beach. I have yet to see the eastern ocean. Maybe next P-Day.

It is getting cooold here. Most days are in the 40’s-30’s. Today and tomorrow are 30’s -20’s. There has been lots of rain too. We actually cleaned someone’s gutters out in the rain which was fun. It was dumping so hard that I couldn’t open my eyes for a time.

Honestly, this week went by so fast I can hardly believe it. I don’t even know what to say because all the days are blending together here and I can’t remember what I have and haven’t told you. On Sunday we had a special meeting instead of Sacrament meeting. It was the North America South Eastern Area Conference, so we had several general authorities address the congregation from SLC. Elder Rasband, Elder Hales, and one other person I can’t remember spoke. They all were great.

I am on a weight train out here. I put on ten pounds during my first 4 weeks of mission life, but now I have lost almost all of that, gained it back again, and now lost it again. My body hates me.

We found an investigator on Saturday that doesn’t really speak English. I should have paid more attention in Spanish 3. Her husband just recently passed away, and she is looking for something else in her life. Unfortunately we can’t tell her what that is because all we can say is hello, goodbye, I need to use the bathroom, and I don’t have any money.

We are having a member of the seventy give us a training next week, so that should be pretty cool. I can’t remember who it is, but it’s a seventy nonetheless.

I heard that Snape died.

Now for the miracle. So the Sister Missionaries in our ward called us Wednesday morning sounding frantic. One of them, Sister B., tweaked a nerve in her spine and was basically having convulsions, couldn’t move, and was going numb in the legs. We rushed over to give a blessing, but it seemed like she was going to have to go to the hospital. As soon as the blessing was done, Sister B. was able to move again. Not one minute later, she was standing up and moving around like she had never been injured. I was shocked. She went from lying on the floor disabled, to walking around the room a minute later. It was incredible. In the blessing, Elder K said that through her faith she would be healed, and boy did she have faith. Sister B. is a convert of just over 18 months. She and her sister are the only members in their family, and she has a stronger testimony than most returned missionaries. It was crazy. The priesthood is real people. You always hear people talking about how their mom’s, dad’s, sister had an experience like this happen, but rarely do you actually experience it. Now I can say that I have.

Thats about all of my week. Sorry that this week’s letter is shorter. There wasn’t a ton that happened besides on Wednesday.

Until next week,

Elder Jeremiah Brown

 

Not sure what week it is…

Alrighty so I apologize that last weeks email didn’t get sent off, there is a story behind that.

The last two weeks were fantastic. There has been a huge turn around from the lame first few weeks of the holidays to now. We have a pool of new investigators, and they are solid!
Remember the “satan worshiper” I was talking about a few weeks ago? He is our most solid investigator, and he is a solid one at that. We invited him to Book of Mormon class this week and he came. I was expecting it to be awkward and for him to not like it, but he told us later that he really enjoyed it and he felt like home around us! He wants to come back and he has some great potential.
His name is E., and to be honest when I first met him, I never would have guessed he would ever be where he is right now. It just goes to show that the gospel is for everyone, regardless of who you are.
E. is a big black guy. He plays football for the local college team, CCU. Although CCU is a smaller school, he is a really good football player. He had offers from Alabama State when he was in high school, but he was not able to accept them because of racial persecution.
Racism is real down here, especially in rich white areas. E. knows there is something missing in his life and we have made great friends with him.
We also put a member’s granddaughter on date! She is a super solid investigator, but won’t be baptized until she is 17, per her mom’s request.
We went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders this week, and that was actually really good. The Zone Leaders were impressed with Elder K and I, and our district as a whole. We did get scolded for our Frozen poster. But it was worth it (thank you Owen). We are making friends with the members, and we are gaining their trust which is really necessary. Basically the last two weeks are what make me glad I am a missionary, because they were a ton of fun. We have also received several member referrals that are really solid. I don’t want to brag or anything, but we are ON FIRE. Time is going by soooo fast out here. It feels like just a couple weeks ago I was leaving for the MTC.
My favorite item of study this week was a talk given in the MTC called “Becoming a Consecrated Missionary.” Even though not all of us are missionaries, it can be applied to anyone. I will attach it in this email, and as you read it, try to replace “missionary” with “member.” It is a very eye opening talk.
Also, if you have never heard Brad Wilcox’s talk “His Grace is Sufficient,” listen to it. A lot of people have heard it before, but it is something that everyone should listen to.
In the Book of Mormon, my favorite reading was in Enos, basically the whole chapter. The part that stood out to me most this time was verse 9. After Enos had received a remission of his sins, it says that Enos felt “a desire for the welfare” of his brethren the Nephites. That got me thinking that we can know we have been forgiven of our sins when we have a desire to help others. The atonement makes us more like Jesus Christ. When we have correctly and completely used the atonement in our lives, it will make us want to bring the cleansing power of the atonement into others lives as well, because that is what Christ would have wanted. Just a thought.
The craziest thing that happened this week would definitely be burying a dead horse. Yep. You heard me right.
A less active member had a horse die and they needed help digging a hole to put it in, so we spent almost all of Tuesday digging a 5 and a half foot deep hole to put it in. The hole was probably 10×12 feet in dimension. The horse was nasty too. I will refrain from too much detail on how we got it in the hole, but lets just say it involved a car, a hitch, and a hook strap. Elder K, who lived in Hawaii, had only seen a horse once before, but now he can say he’s gotten real close to one. Really close.
He actually enjoyed playing with the living ones, until he found out he was allergic to horse hair. You know that part in “Hitch” where Will Smith drinks Benadryl with a straw? Imagine that without Benadryl.
At ZTM this week I met Sister S., who is from our area in California. That was kinda cool.
Last week I wasn’t able to get my letter out because we had a lesson go long and we were actually late home. The black box knows all.
Fun fact about the south: “Screet Talk”
Since Elder Pickett gives a lesson on the Czech language every week, I figured I would give one on my language. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone talks with a southern accent out here. In areas with more poverty, there is also a lot more variety in accents. One very popular element of poor area speak is “Screet Talk,” or Street Talk. Every time you have a -str- sound, you replace it with -scr-. The possibilities are endless with this one. Screet, Scrawberries, Descruction, conscruction, etc.
Have fun with that.
Anyway, thats my week. Thank you so much for all of the letters and packages you have sent me! I really appreciate them! If you were wondering, my address for letters is: 440 West Coxferry Rd, South Carolina. If you have packages you would like to send me, make sure you send them to the mission office via priority mail unless they are directly from Amazon. I won’t get them otherwise.
Have nice lives,
Thanks,
Elder Jeremiah Brown
Quote of the week: “A referral a day keeps the missionaries away.” -Elder Jeremiah Brown

Week 4

(This week our family received several small personal letters from Elder Brown.  However, the promised email detailing the events of the week never arrived.  I will include here a snippet from the email we received to fill in the gap).

I will be trying to send out a lot more photos in the next
few weeks. I have been taking them, I just have not been able to send
any of them. This week was awesome. We had some really great lessons,
experiences and we have some new investigators! Anyway, you will hear
more about that in the upcoming letter.
Love you guys. Happy new year!

Elder Jeremiah Brown