Hurricanes and happiness

Week of 5/23/16

Monday

Today we went shopping early in the morning and one of the Sandhills
Elder’s bought Monopoly. You can imagine what we spent most of our
P-Day doing. Fists may have been thrown.

After P-Day hours we went to go visit several potential investigators
and got in contact with one of our long lost investigator’s sons (or
younger acquaintance, you can never tell out here) who said that his
dad would be home next weekend and he would love to hear what we have
to say then. Before that we went and got back in contact with our most
solid investigator who we haven’t been able to talk to lately, S.,
and he was super happy and excited to see us. He will be coming to
church again this Sunday. Double whammy. After that we went home and
planned for the next day.

Tuesday

Today was one of those days. We were on bikes and bike days tend to be
terrible because we can only go so far. Elder H. was still using his
broken bike too because his new one hasn’t gotten here yet and that
really slowed us down. We had DDM (District Development Meeting) in
the morning and got a ride from Brother F., an older member of
the ward. After that we ended up having to drive Sandhill’s car down
to them up from their DDM because their ride ditched them. After that
Elder H. had to get payment problems sorted out with the place he
bought his bike from and then we had dinner. We ended up spending most
of our day working out that issue and then setting up appointments for
the next few days. We also got a super solid appointment set up with a
referral who is very interested in the church. That was pretty much
our entire day. Not the most productive but it could have been worse.

Wednesday

Today we went around and visited a bunch of people. It was actually a
really solid day considering we had very little miles on our car. I
forgot to write a log of what happened today but I just remember it
being a really good day!

Thursday

Today we got a member to come out with us for the first time in weeks!
It was a super solid lesson with S. and we got him familiar with
another one of our members. Today was a pretty successful day and we
got a lot of work done. The member that came out with us has a
convertible sport BMW and he took us for a ride in it afterward. Let’s
just say that I have decided to be rich one day because those things
are freaking incredible. We had a blast.

Friday

As you can probably tell, I forgot to write down what happened the
last couple of days. I honestly don’t remember what happened today but
I do know that we had some success looking back at our area book. This
week has been really solid.

Saturday

Today was meh. It rained a lot and there were hurricane warnings here
so we didn’t get to bike very much. We had Ward coordination tonight
which went pretty well. Our Ward mission leader is very different, but
then again I am just glad he does his calling.

Sunday

Today was good. The last few sacrament meetings have been super good
and man I just have to hand it to the speakers, they have been killer.
We were a little bummed because we weren’t able to get our
investigator S. to church this week. We got to go out with a member
today as well. It would have been awesome if people had actually kept
their appointments, but that was not the case today. We visited five
different homes and nobody was there. It was kinda a let down. After
that we went home and did call ins. That was our day.

This week was super good! We had a ton of success talking to people
and we just got a ton of work done. I was really surprised that we
were able to do so much considering our car situation right now and
the weather lately. It was a miracle I guess.

I guess the most exciting part of this week would definitely be the
hurricane warnings we had. There has been a ton of wind and rain
lately, and I have never experienced a hurricane before so it was all
new for me. Luckily no hurricane actually hit here, but there was
definitely some bad weather.

Spiritual thought for the week:

I was reading in 2 Nephi and I came across a verse that talked about
how in the last days there will be many that say “all is well in
Zion.” That could not be more true. There are so many of us today that
look at our lives and our callings in the church, and we think “we are
doing really good” or think “there isn’t too much room for
improvement, we have the atonement for a reason,” and then we slack
off in our duties.

Let me just say that all is absolutely not well in Zion. It differs
from stake to stake, but out here more than 2/3rds of our Ward is less
active. We cannot stand and say that all is well when most of the fold
has left. We must never catch ourselves thinking that only putting in
the bare minimum is ok.

Anyhow, just a thought.

I gotta go, so until next week,

Stay classy,

Elder Jeremiah Brown

 

A cool moth I found.

image4-2

A goose family outside of our apartment.

image2-8

Bunny rabbit I keep trying to catch.  I will get it one day.  Believe me.

image5

Little Texas.  Yeah, those are Texas bird baths.

image1-9

 

 

 

Advertisements

Lots of water

This week was pretty good I guess. It was pretty unproductive the first few days because it rained a ton and we literally couldn’t do anything on bikes because it was super dangerous. It cooled down a bunch this week though, which was good.

Monday

Today we spent most of the day playing frisbee and basketball. After we had finished up eating and writing emails we did some service for a less active and then played some basketball with him. It was a pretty good day.

Tuesday

Today I honestly can’t remember what happened because I didn’t write it down, but it clearly wasn’t anything too important and it rained most of the day, so people weren’t as interested.

Wednesday

Today was ok. It rained off and on and we were on bikes so we had to be careful where we were going and at what times. We did a lot of calling and made a lot of future plans because we didn’t have much else to do. Days like today are the ones you forget about on your mission I think. Most people didn’t answer their doors because for some reason Southerners are scared of rain and water in general, which is funny because they live in water basically.

Thursday

I really never knew what “pouring rain” looked like until I came to the south.Today it pretty much did not stop raining. There was about an hour at the end of the day where it sprinkled for a bit, and then it went back to pouring non stop. I am glad that days like today don’t happen too much because honestly I would go crazy. There is nothing worse than wanting to go out and work hard but not being able to because of the weather. If our car had miles it would be a different story because we would be able to at least travel to places safely, but that is not the case for us. The Sandhills elders used most of this month’s miles at the beginning of the month so we have to bring our bikes with us on car days and only use the car to get to the general area we need to be in. Luckily the hour that we had where it wasn’t raining as hard we got a lot of work done and got to talk to a lot of people, but it was still frustrating. We finished our day by treating ourselves to Taco Bell (Steak quesadillas are a good remedy for crummy days).

Friday

Today was a huge improvement from the rest of the week. It didn’t really rain today, however it did mist the entire day. We were able to talk to a lot of people and we even found new people that we could teach, which was super awesome for us. There wasn’t anything too cool or huge about today but just being able to do normal missionary work was awesome. We finished the night with Ward Coordination meeting and then we went home. That was our day.

Saturday

Today we had a lot of success. We knocked on this one random house and a super nice guy came out who was house sitting and he was apparently from North Carolina but he was meeting with the missionaries and was super excited to see us. He wanted us to teach his friends (who lived at the house he was watching) and gave us super solid referrals for the people who lived there. Hopefully we will get in contact with them in the next couple of days. We also found a few other people to talk to and visited some potential investigators around our area.

Sunday

After church today we went out with a member to make some visits. After that we had another appointment with a member but our investigator had to cancel so we didn’t get to have that. We finished our day by making some calls and then putting our call in report together. It was an alright day as missionary work goes, however church was awesome and we had a great ward council beforehand.

I guess you could say that this week got better as it progressed.

On Thursday something crazy happened. Elder H., my District Leader who I have become friends with got a call from the mission president and he was asked to be an Assistant to the President (AP) immediately. So he was emergency transferred out of our district into being AP, which never happens. We aren’t sure quite why that happened but Elder H. is a really good missionary so I’m also not too surprised.

Anyway, that is my week. Thank you for all the letters and emails you all send me! I really appreciate them!

Later,

Elder Jeremiah Brown

Sunburns and bug bites

This week was a HUGE improvement from last week. We had a lot of
success with finding new investigators and just overall the morale was
higher this week.

We also had two member meals this week! That is a new record, and,
well, it is 2/3rds of the member meals we have had out here.

It was wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy hot this week, although now it has cooled down
a lot. It’s sad that I am already getting sunburned and the summer
hasn’t really even started yet.

The other thing that happened this week was that the mosquitos came
alive. And we died.

So I am covered in sunburns and bug bites, but that’s ok because this
week was awesome and I am super happy.

We were able to teach a lot of lessons and for some reason people were
actually answering their doors.

We also did interviews with President Turner on Friday and that was
good because we had a great conversation about my area and our
companionship. He told me some really interesting things and gave me
some great suggestions.

Yesterday we had a member meal with the Bishop’s family which was
awesome! We had fajitas with a non-member family. They are Catholic
and we didn’t get to teach them much, but we made friends with them
and now they want to have us over for dinner at their house! It was a
great experience and reminded us of how fun having dinner appointments
are.

Well, I gotta go. Sorry this email is really short and uninformative.
I will have to make my email more informative next week.

Later,

Elder Brown

Missions are hard

We really enjoyed visiting with Jeremiah over Skype on Mother’s Day.  He looked great and despite having had a tough week seemed to be in good spirits.  We caught a glimpse of his companion who said a brief hello before going to call his family.  The time flew by and we didn’t remember to ask half the questions we wanted to.  Here’s a picture Jeremiah took of himself just after the call:

 

image1-7

And now for the email from this week:

05/02/16

Monday

Today we didn’t really do much. Elder W. was getting ready to go
to his next area so he just packed all day and we went shopping. We
went to lunch at Zaxby’s later in the day because the Columbia Elder’s
were with us and they were leaving as well. So we had a goodbye lunch
I guess. After that Elder H. and I hung around our apartment not
doing much, and then we ended up having to stay in the rest of the
night because we were on bikes and there were some really dangerous
thunderstorms coming through the area. Thunderstorms here are freaking
crazy. I have never seen so much water come out of the sky at once.
Biking through walls of water on a road with no bike lanes is not
safe, let alone with South Carolina drivers who can’t see through the
rain.

Our mission President has an awesome quote about South Carolinian
drivers. He was talking about how everywhere you go, people always
claim that other states have the craziest and worst drivers, however,
when people say South Carolina has the worst drivers, they are
actually 100% correct.

“I have been around a lot of places, and I have never seen drivers as
bad and crazy as they are here in South Carolina.” -Butchered quote by
President T.

Tuesday

Today not a lot of work got done. Elder W. and his companion have
been using the car non-stop to say goodbyes and to wrap things up
before he leaves, and that leaves us marooned on bikes. The weather
has been really bad lately and so biking sometimes can’t happen. Such
was the case for a good portion of today. We did get to go see a
potential investigator and we set up an appointment for this upcoming
Friday, so hopefully we will have a good lesson then. Other than that
we spent a lot of time in the evening with the Sandhills Elders
helping Elder W. to pack his stuff. Tomorrow is transfers and we
will get to find out who goes where.

Wednesday

Today was transfers and we spent most of the day biking around our
area, looking for people to talk to. We weren’t super successful but
we did get to talk to a few people. The new missionary here is Elder
N. He is from Utah (shocker) and he is cool. Not much else
happened today.

Thursday

Today I honestly can’t remember everything that happened. We spent a
lot of today driving around looking for a new bike for Elder Hope and
we think we finally found one. The rest of the day was spent trying to
contact less active members, which we actually had some success with.
We met a guy named W. who’s non member wife has stage 4 cancer.
He is a really good guy and really wants to be at church every week
but has to take care of his wife. We are hoping that we can
potentially convert her before she leaves this world, so keep L. in
your prayers. That was pretty much all of our day.

Friday

Today we had a morning appt with that one old investigator we ran into
a few weeks ago. She didn’t show for the appointment though, so that
was a bummer, but really not a shocker because no-shows are as common
as trees here. There are a lot of trees here. Afterward we spent our
afternoon doing weekly planning.

Here in Blythewood there is a giant underground gas pipeline that runs
right through the center of the city. They are required by law to keep
it undeveloped and large enough to drive a car through it, so
sometimes we use it as an alternative to biking the suicidal roads
here, however, sometimes the grass is really tall and we avoid that
because there are some nasty things that can live there (try gators,
snakes, broken glass, ticks, etc.). Anyway I decided that we should
take the off-road route today and that led to an interesting
situation. We got shouted at by this random lady about how we aren’t
allowed to be here and how there is no soliciting in this area and
yada yada yada… What made me laugh is that we were just biking
through the neighborhood and she has the nerve to assume we were
soliciting just because we are in shirts and ties. Plus people don’t
even know what soliciting actually is.  Pretty much that was our day. It was kinda discouraging.

Saturday

Today we got to serve at the Special Olympics in Blythewood and it was
a lot of fun! We didn’t get to do much but the Sandhills elders who
came with us got a new investigator so there was some good that came
out of it. Afterward we went around and visited investigators, mostly
unsuccessfully. That was our night.

You know, it was interesting, we really tried hard this week to be
successful and we failed miserably at having any tangible success. I
think the Lord has made this time in our missions a time of testing
because we are having a really tough time. All we see is success
everywhere else in our Zone with missionaries who aren’t working too
hard or aren’t very obedient. It’s kinda frustrating. Tonight Elder
H. and I were really discouraged so we said a prayer, asking for a
missionary miracle. Not 1 second later we got a text message from the
Zone Leaders. And another, and another. When missionaries put someone
on date for baptism, the ZL’s text it out to the whole zone, and that
is what we got. By the end of the day, our zone had probably put over
12 people on date for baptism, which is way more than I have ever seen
at once in a long time. I was hoping for it to be some magical
referral or something along those lines, but it wasn’t. We continued
to have little success tonight and I realized that this was an answer
to our prayer. It showed me that the Lord is testing us right now, and
that the miracles we are looking for are not meant for us right now.
So we did get a miracle. Kind of.

Sunday

Today we had a really good sacrament meeting and afterward we got to
call home! That was a lot of fun and time flew by really quickly.
After that we started the 10 mile walk home because we didn’t have the
car, but luckily Sandhills came to pick us up halfway through the
walk. After that we had some dinner and then made calls for the
upcoming week. We didn’t have a lot of success with calls though
because it was Mother’s Day and nobody wanted to talk. That was our
night.

This week was really hard. Quite possibly the hardest week of my
mission. It’s all good though, I am staying positive.

I think that is it, though. Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!

HAGS

Elder Jeremiah Brown

On the walk home from Mother’s Day calls.

image3

And another…

image2-6

This 90 year old guy in Ridgeway has hundreds of milk jugs full of water all over his yard.  We think it is part of one of his conspiracies.

image4

 

 

I lost 7 pounds

Well the lack of member meals is starting to take a toll on me here. I have lost all of my MTC chubbiness and I guess you could say I am back where I started. Except I have way more leg muscle from biking so much.

This week was pretty normal. Transfer call came out this morning and Elder H. and I will both be staying here for the next 6 weeks. Elder W., one of the missionaries in our apartment complex and our car-share is now leaving so we will be getting a new missionary there I guess.

That is pretty much everything big that happened this week. We spent a lot of time this week trying to contact less active members and most of them were either do not contacts or they had moved away.

This upcoming week we actually have some member meals planned! It will be awesome actually eating real food for once. Things wouldn’t be so bad here if we had a crock pot, but the one we have is broken and the mission doesn’t provide them. We are trying to get one from members though.

We did not have very much progress with our more solid investigators this week because we weren’t really able to get in contact with them.

On Friday we were driving down the road and then randomly this kid flipped us off. I was having none of it so I asked if he wanted a Book of Mormon and I don’t think that was what he was expecting. He wasn’t really excited to talk to us though, so we left.

Anyway, that was really all my week in a nutshell. I don’t really know what else to talk about because it was a pretty slow week. I guess it rained a ton this week. Whoop whoop.

Until next week.

Later,

Elder Jeremiah Brown

Pictures!

Elder H., Elder H., Elder B., and I at isle of the palms in Charleston on PDay.image1-7

House we knocked.  You can’t really see it because of all the trash.

image3-3

It was raining really hard so we watched as I played the uke.  You can’t really see it but all the haze is a wall of rain.

image2-5