Running into relatives and other beautiful insanity

This week was AWESOME!!! This area is seriously amazing!! I have so
much to talk about here because there is so much good stuff going on
here!

Maybe it’s because my last area was pretty tough, but this area keeps
getting better and better!

Like literally there are so many awesome things that have happened
this week I think I might forget some.

Let’s start with Monday:

Monday

So today was a lot of fun. We started our PDay by shopping at the
Walmart down the street and writing our emails there. Luckily we
didn’t have to carry our groceries home because the Zone Leaders came
and picked us up to go play frisbee at their place. I had to buy $60
worth of groceries because there wasn’t much food here when we got
here and I eat a ton more now that I am biking every day.

We are in an interesting situation here. Our area is not supposed to
be a bike area. It is really biker friendly, but our area is HUGE. We
have the largest bike area in the mission by at least 3x. The car got
taken away here temporarily a while ago, but they never gave it back.
So basically we are bike elders in a car area. I am not complaining
though, because this area is soooo awesome! As a result of this we are
going to be reorganizing our boundaries with the sisters who share the
Ward with us, so that we can actually manage our area.

Anyway, we bike a lot of miles in a day. I think the most we have
biked so far is about 35ish miles in one day, which in a mountainous
area can tire you out real quick.

We ended up staying inside with the Zone Leaders at their place and
playing Star Wars Risk because it decided to dump rain all day.
Afterward we biked to a few potential investigators, got cussed out a
bunch, and then biked home. It was a good day.

Tuesday

Today we spent a lot of time biking and trying to figure out where we
are going to move to. Along with the boundary madness here, we have to
find a place to move into before the end of September. Yay.

In the evening we decided to visit some less actives along the way to
the Bible study class we do every Tuesday evening. We decided to go
visit the H. family, who are part less active and part active. We
met Ad., who lives with his parents right now while he goes to
school. We talked for a good while about life and everything, and
somehow we got on the subject of family history. Well after a little
talking, we realized that we were flipping related!!

Let’s just say that the last thing I expected to find out here was my
3rd cousin. So whack. (Mom, dad, I will explain in more detail in a
different email. No need to bore people over our family history)

Anyway so we ended up missing bible study that night, but oh well.
Nobody ended up showing up anyway and we weren’t the ones teaching
that night.

Wednesday

Today we spent most of our day coordinating and doing some research on
where we are going to move. As much as there wasn’t a ton of
proselyting today, we were still pretty successful with missionary
work.

Our Ward Mission Leader gave us a call before he came to pick us up
for Ward Coordination, and he told us some super exciting news! He had
a friend named B. that he had shared the gospel with a long time
ago, and the friend pushed away from it. Well just earlier today he
was having a conversation with him and found out that B. was in a
really low point of his life and he asked if he could learn more about
our church! We video called him that night and he was SUPER solid!!!!
He was super humble and wanted to change his and his son’s lives. He
wanted to come to church and even wanted to fast with us this fast
Sunday! It was amazing and I still can’t believe how prepared he is!
It just goes to show that when we share the gospel we may not realize
how much of an impact it has until years later!

Thursday

Today I had to get to the Church early to do a Baptismal Interview for
a little girl the Zone Leaders were going to be baptizing that
weekend. Afterward we did weekly planning at the church for a while.
While we were there we got a call from a member of another Ward who
was moving into our Ward. He needed help moving some stuff into his
new house so we agreed to help him. He came and picked us up and we
helped him out with it. A., the new member, is a crazy awesome
guy. Elder Mitchell new him from his last area and he is a HUGE help
to missionary work. Like literally, he is HUGE. A. weighs over
400 pounds, and has lost a ton of weight. He told us that at one point
he weighed over 600 pounds, which means he has lost more weight than I
weigh!

Anyway, after we helped A. we finished weekly planning, had
dinner, and then biked to visit a couple less actives with little
success. Afterward we biked back to the church to help with Spanish
class which we were in charge of that night. Spanish class isn’t too
hard to teach because all you do is point to pictures and words and
have them repeat the words in English. Luckily we also had a Spanish
speaker there.

After that Brother S. gave us a ride home and I finished up the
night by making calls.

Friday

Today we had ZTM in the morning, which took up a large portion of our
day. Afterward we tried to visit some potential investigators with
little success. From there we went to dinner with Brother M.
(our WML) and B. It was awesome! We had a great lesson with B.
and he was very receptive to what we had to say! We spent a long time
talking about the Restoration and it was so cool. After that we went
home and finished our day.

Saturday

Today we spent a long time moving A. into his house. He was
officially moving today and had asked the Elders Quorum to come help.
Nobody but us and his old Bishop showed up, which was a little
annoying, so it took a long time.

After that I had the interesting experience of answering a call from a
less active member of our Ward. He was going through a tough time in
his life and I literally had to talk him through it while he sobbed on
the other end. It was kinda terrifying for me and I was a little
shocked by it, but it ended up ok. He ended up coming to church on
Sunday and he was doing a lot better. Not much else happened. We
planned on visiting a few less actives that night but it ended up
getting really stormy so we worked on our messed up area book for a
while.

Sunday

Man oh man today was awesome. I don’t even know where to begin. I’ll
start by saying that I have never been so overwhelmed at church
before. We had 6 different investigators and several less actives show
up to church today and it was madness. I have never had more than 2
investigators at church before so it was crazy. We also had a linger
longer after church, which was nice because I was so ready to break my
fast and we were running low on food at home.

At church I talked to one of our investigators, who told me he
believed in everything and wanted to be baptized along with his son
who would be coming home for the summer in a week or so. So awesome!

Right after 3rd hour we met with one of our investigators (who I will
call Evan to protect his privacy) and it was sooooo weird. He had been
here for the summer with a member friend and was meeting with us to
learn more. He was a super nice guy, and believed in everything we
believed. Why wasn’t he a member, you may ask? Well, he is a member of
one of the groups that split off of our church. So basically he
believes in the Book of Mormon, in Joseph Smith, and in pretty much
everything we believe in, but not our authority. Normally I am used to
telling people to read the Book of Mormon or pray to know if Joseph
Smith was a prophet in order to know the church is true, but he
already did!

We ended up giving him a blessing, and I told him that he should read
the teachings of our prophets and apostles, and decide for himself if
these men were not of God. That was the only thing I could think of.
Evan just now left to go back home to Utah, but I really hope he finds
what he is looking for because he is a really great person.

Anyway, after that we had a lesson with B. (who came to church with
his son and loved it by the way), and it was really good. We ended up
giving him a blessing because he was going through some really tough
times and needed some help. That pretty much ended our day. I had to
get back home early so that I could finalize the district’s numbers
and do call in reports.

This week was amazing. I have never been so busy before on my mission
and it is so much fun!

Fun fact, smack dab in the middle of our area is Bob Jones University.
For those of you who are not familiar with Bob Jones, it is the world
capitol of anti-mormonism. It has the second largest collection of
anti-Mormon literature in the world, and is known for teaching its
students to be hostile to members of the church. The funny thing is
that guess who has the largest collection of anti-Mormon literature in
the world?

Oh ya, BYU.

Just goes to show that that stuff is garbage. Anyway, we get a lot
more people shouting mean stuff at us here. I think it’s funny how a
religious university who claims to follow Christ also teaches to be
horrible to people they believe are “lost.” Logical right?

Anyway, this week has been a ton of fun, and a lot of awesome things
have happened!

This week I was studying in Ether 3 and I had a re-realization of
something. I forgot about how when the brother of Jared needed a way
to light the barges they were traveling in, he first came up with an
idea and then presented it to the Lord. It got me thinking about how
often we pray and ask for help with something, and just expect the
Lord to take care of everything. When the brother of Jared needed help
lighting the barges, he didn’t just say please light up these barges,
but he brought an idea to the Lord and asked for help in accomplishing
it.

We need to remember that the Lord requires us to put in effort and
work in order to see miracles in our lives. Anyway, just a thought.

I think that’s about it, but I am sure I will have a ton more to talk
about next week.

Until then,

Vote for me,

Elder Jeremiah Brown

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