My week in a few words

Overall it was a tough week. I had to say goodbye to Elder S.,
and man it’s going to be hard to fill his shoes. He’s a great guy and
a fabulous missionary and I am glad that I had the opportunity to be
with him for a transfer.

My new companion is Elder H., who’s been out for about 10 months
now. He’s only had one area, Florence, which is in the zone I served
in. He is from somewhere in Idaho I can’t remember and he is cool. He
likes to draw and we have almost exactly the same interests. We even
have the same weird sense of humor. He is kinda quiet and reserved, so
I will probably have to be the leader, but he is a good guy
nonetheless.

Leading this area is going to be tough. I am excited though and I am
having a blast.
Monday

Today was a pretty busy day. We mostly spent time packing and saying
goodbyes to people. J. took us out to eat at Jasmine’s, an all you
can eat Chinese place, for Elder S.’s goodbye. J. is the best.
We also had dinner at firehouse subs with M. L., Bishop L.’s
son, because they signed up to feed us and most of the family had to
go somewhere last minute. After that I pretty much sat around the
apartment talking to the Sandhills elders while Elder S. packed.
That was mah day.

Tuesday

Today was hectic. Elder S. and I spent most of the day saying
goodbyes to members and believe me, it takes FOREVER. We didn’t
actually get in until around 8:00 and then he just packed,
which he had done very little of until now. The highlight of the day
was probably taking pictures in front of the Promised Land Cemetery in
ghetto Windsor Lake. They were fresh. I’ll send them whenever Elder
S. emails me them because we used his camera.

Wednesday

Today was transfers, and I don’t even know what just happened. Elder
S. and I were picked up by Brother H., our recently activated
ward mission leader, around 8:30 and we drove to transfers in Irmo. We
were the first ones there besides the AP’s because Elder S. had
to do his exit interview with President T. and he was the first
one on the list. I sat around for a while and talked with the AP’s and
other missionaries who started coming in. Eventually transfers began
and I said my final goodbye to Elder S. Transfer meetings have
changed now so that there is really no meeting. All we do is sit down
in the chapel and then our names are called and we are told to leave
immediately. Basically all of the fun and the spirit of transfer
meetings is gone, as that seems to be the trend with a lot of policy
changes lately. I got my new companion, Elder H., and we left for
home with Brother H. After that I helped Elder H. unpack and
then I talked with him for a while and got to know him. I spent
a lot of time planning for the week because I am still kinda new here
and the reality of me leading an area kinda hit me today. It’s going
to be really tough filling Elder S.’s shoes because he formed a
lot of close relationships with members and investigators here and I
really haven’t had enough time to do likewise yet. We really didn’t
get much missionary work done because I spent most of the night
briefing Elder H. on our area, which is probably one of the more
complicated ones in this stake.

Thursday

Today I went around with Elder H. and introduced him to our
investigators. I came to the realization today that we need new
investigators. Elder S. had probably the largest investigator
pool in the mission because of how good of a salesperson he was. The
problem is, I don’t know half of them or have any connection with
them. On top of that, the last couple weeks we have been focusing on
our strongest investigators because we had other stuff to do in place
of finding activities as a result of Elder S. leaving. I feel
kinda stuck because we are really in need of some new people to teach.
Elder S.’s way of working here was finding quality through
quantity, which worked great. I just don’t know where the quality is.
I guess you could say that I kinda started to feel the weight of
leading an area as a new missionary and in a relatively new area. The
mission has high expectations of Blythewood, and our district relies
on our area to keep high numbers. My companion is pretty new as well
and he doesn’t know the area, and on top of that is pretty quiet so I
have to be the senior companion here. I’m kinda stressed but honestly
life is great. I came out here to do hard things and that’s what I’m
getting. Despite the stressful time I have, I still really enjoy my
time out here and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Friday

Today we did some weekly planning and then went out with J. I came
to the steady realization that we need new investigators. After that
we fixed Elder H.’s bike and did some work on the area book.

Saturday

Today we had a few appointments with investigators mostly they fell
through. We had a meeting tonight with our ward mission leader and
that sucked up a lot of time. During lunch and dinner I practiced the
ukulele and all was well.

Sunday

Today was Easter. We didn’t really do much because we didn’t have any
appointments and people take Easter really seriously out here, so that
means no knocking doors. It’s kinda like Christmas I guess. It was
also pouring rain and we were on bikes so yea. We had a dinner
appointment at 7 we had to bike out to which was 7 miles away. Elder
H.’s bike broke though so we had to call them to cancel and they came
and picked us up instead. After that we made call ins and then went to
bed.

Overall it was a pretty difficult week I guess. It was still good
though. We had a lot of meals earlier in the week because of Elder
S. leaving so I got fed.

This week my favorite scripture was John 15:13

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for
his friends.”

I thought it was interesting that I’d never heard this one before, so
it was kinda like a gem to me.

Welp, I gotta go. Talk to you peeps next week.

Vote for me,

Elder Jeremiah Brown

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Staying in Blythewood

Basically this week consisted of goodbyes and more goodbyes. We had a lot of goodbye lessons with investigators

Transfers are on Wednesday so I will let you know next week what my new companion is like. Also, I will be staying in the area, which is a little bit scary because now I have to lead the area for the time being.

The major highlight of the week was having a ton of food to eat because Elder Snelson is going home.

Fun fact about the south, pollen is everywhere. There is so much pollen in the air from all of the trees that EVERYTHING gets covered in yellow. Literally our cars, bikes, clothes, and the roads are covered in a yellow powder. You can see it in the air. I wish that I had taken a picture of it on Saturday because it was horrible. It rained last night so its all been washed away.

I got $130 dollars worth of ties for $25 yay.

Now that I know I am staying, things should be back to normal next week. We weren’t sure if I would be staying because President Turner likes to whitewash areas with missionaries who are going home, but that is not happening here. I should probably be here for another few transfers so Blythewood will be my home for a while.

It’s kinda weird sending someone home from their mission, but it is super weird sending them home to your hometown. I can’t really explain how it feels but it is weird for sure.

Elder S. has been a very easy missionary to send home because he is still pretty focused and we have been doing a lot of missionary work, but it feels kinda different and we go about things differently than we would if he was a new missionary. Anyhow, hopefully my next companion will be a new-er missionary who likes to work really hard because that’s what I want.

I have surpassed my time now and I gotta go, but I will send a detailed, juicy email next week. I hope you guys are doing well. Sorry again about this email.

Later,

Elder Jeremiah Brown

Me and Apollo

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The T. Family

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The next three pictures are “the best pictures of Charleston.”

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Almost 3rd transfer, almost 3rd companion

I’ll be honest, don’t expect too much from the next couple of emails. I am killing (ending a missionary’s mission) Elder S. soon so we have a lot of stuff to do, and most of it isn’t very interesting.

Today we are spending his last real P-Day by going roller skating. Wish me luck I guess.
This week was very different I guess. We have to go about missionary work differently now because we can’t knock and since Elder S. is going home we have to start saying goodbyes to people. We visited a lot of less actives and that was pretty much our entire week.
Monday
It was P-Day and we went to the zoo. The zoo here was pretty cool but I didn’t get to see the birds so I’m kinda teed. We spent the rest of the night working on our un-finished map.
Tuesday
We had DDM and I don’t really remember what happened today because I forgot write in my journal today. We had lunch today with the Ridgeway elders after DDM and then went and visited a whole bunch of less actives and got to know them better.
Wednesday
Today we were on bikes so we did a lot of less active work in Winslow, the neighborhood closest to us. We knocked doors around the less actives houses because we are allowed to do that. We ran into a RM from a different ward who is now a salesperson selling solar panels. He offered to take us to get some soda’s so we went with him and talked for a while. We were even able to get a referral from him! Later tonight we went and visited C. and had a bomb lesson with him. He is so solid that it honestly has me flabbergasted.
Thursday
Today was a party! Elder S. and I had to drive to Mount Pleasant in Charleston for a doctors appointment, and Mount Pleasant is like 3 hours away from us so we basically got to go on a road trip for the day. We have a bunch of pictures from the trip that I will send you guys in a bit. Charleston is super cool and Mount Pleasant is basically the Carmel of California. It is gorgeous and there are a TON of rich people living there. I got to see a whole bunch more of SC’s landscape and it is gorgeous. It made me wish that I had a camera that was actually good. Also, I got to pick cotton from some random field on the side of the road so I was tickled pink.
We didn’t get home until around 8 pm so that wrapped up our day.
Friday
Today we had a lot of goodbyes and less active work. Honestly I can’t remember the details right now but it was pretty dull, especially compared to yesterday.
Saturday
We got ambushed by the Sandhills elders and I really have no clue what happened. The pictures should explain it all.
We went and visited F. for dinner and that was whack. F. is the oldest living person with MS, and nobody honestly knows why she is still alive. She is handicapped and can barely lift up a bowl of strawberries, and she tried cooking for us. It was delicious but we had to help a lot as you can imagine.
After that we had a brief lesson with C. and then turned in for the night.
Sunday
Today our ward mission leader, Brother H. finally came to church! We have no idea what our bishop said to him but he was at church and he was actively participating. It was almost obnoxious how much he acted like he hadn’t been less active for the last 6-7 months. After that we went home, had dinner and then went to a seminary fireside about why we need the Bible and the Book of Mormon. That wrapped up our day.
So that was my week. It wasn’t the coolest but whatever. Pictures are to follow.
Love,
Elder Jeremiah Brown
Pictures taken at District Development Meeting (I think).
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Someone left a sandwich on Elder S.’s bike…
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The Sandhill Elder Ambush…
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The Capital Building in Columbia, SC.
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Apparently I’m Fat

So this week’s email is going to be different. I didn’t really have
time to keep a nightly log of my week because this week has been
complete and utter madness.

This was quite possibly one of the hardest weeks of my mission. Why?
That’s a great question.

I’ll get straight to the point. This week we received a new policy.
Member meals are no longer allowed. We are not able to accept any
food, money, or offers for dinner from members unless an investigator
is present and it is between the hours of 5-6. We will not be
receiving any increase in monthly funds.

This wasn’t the only change. We no longer are allowed to knock doors.
We are only allowed to visit our current investigators and less active
members and use them to find other investigators. This makes
missionary work kinda hard in Blythewood because literally all we do
here is knock.

I totally support my mission president and his vision for the mission,
but honestly Elder S. and I, as well as many missionaries here
are distraught. When I thought of missionary work as a child I
imagined knocking doors and eating meals in members homes. Now both of
those are gone.

I am trying to stay positive but I am not going to lie, it is really
difficult. I could really use your prayers right now. I expected my
mission to be hard and I expected success not to come easy, but never
did I think that I would have a problem like this.

Besides that, this week was not bad. It did rain a lot and we didn’t
get too much teaching done because we are preparing the area in case
of a whitewash. This includes making a map of the area and updating
the area book.

We did have a miracle with our investigator C. He has become a
super solid investigator and he will probably be baptized before the
end of our month. We knocked into C.’s girlfriend and she seemed
super solid, however we didn’t think much of C. His girlfriend
ended up moving away and C. immediately became super solid. He is
super excited for his baptismal date and is counting down the days. He
did have a word of wisdom problem, but he is totally down to fix that.
We think it’s a miracle that we were able to find him, but he thinks
it is a miracle that we found him because he is seeing a change in his
life.

We had the bishopric change this Sunday. Our new Bishop is Brother L.

Other than that, our week was kinda meh. We didn’t find any new solid
investigators and now we are not able to knock doors.

Here are some highlights of the week:

– I got to replace the second floor floodlights on someone’s roof and
I went Spider-Man status on the side of their house.
– I bought a rear view mirror for my bike helmet so I can see cars
behind me. I am questioning if this was a good idea because now I just
constantly see how bad the drivers are here and middle fingers.
– I am learning the Ukulele. One of the Elders here has a Walmart uke
so I am teaching myself.
– A less active member took us off-roading in the woods on the way
home from an appointment and it was terrifyingly awesome.
– I bought three South Carolina limited edition seersucker ties. Two
of them are going home to Ethan and Dad. These ties are like currency
in the mission and they are super hard to get. There are now only like
5 left in stores so feel lucky. (Don’t worry dad they aren’t that
expensive)
– Today we are going to the zoo.

So that’s about it. Next week I will be more detailed I promise. I
also will try to add a spiritual part of my email. I just kinda
realized that I haven’t been doing that.

Later,

Elder Jeremiah Brown

It is warming up here now which honestly I would
rather it be cold. I hate the heat.

I am going to be starving in the coming months. Living off of $135 a
month is going to be difficult. Especially because we only have an
hour to make and eat food. I will probably lose weight.