Almost Homeless

This week was pretty tough. We spent most of our time trying to figure out our housing situation and de-cluttering our apartment in preparation for moving.

On Wednesday we found out that our lease doesn’t actually expire in November… It expires on Friday. Hopefully the mission office will figure something out but if not we may be homeless. Ok… probably not because the mission won’t let that happen but who knows where we will be living in a few days. It definitely won’t be where we are right now.

So besides the crazy housing stuff, some good stuff happened this week. On Tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder D., our new zone leader and that was really good. Elder D. is a Spanish elder so we were able to visit a bunch of Hispanic investigators and less active members. I was actually able to understand most of what was going on, but the struggle was being able to speak. I am half way decent at understanding the Spanish language, but speaking is another story. I have been studying Spanish lately so maybe there is hope for me.

Probably the most exciting moment on our exchange was when we got chased off of somebody’s property by like 7 bloodthirsty canines. I have no problem with dogs, but as a missionary there are few things more annoying. I don’t think I have run so fast in my life.

We also met a less active named C. who is looking to become active again. He is a super awesome guy who has been a member since he was 19, but fell away because of some drug addictions. He is now in rehab and really wants to come to church again. It is so refreshing to see someone start their life over! He was super excited to get back on Sunday and he is going to be bringing all of his friends from rehab to church!

On Friday we had Zone Conference, which is always awesome. President Turner spoke several times and had some great things to say. We also had lunch provided, which food has been rare lately, so it was fabulous.

A few weeks ago at night we got a prank call, which isn’t too concerning except that it came from the mission office. We were almost positive it was the AP’s so we called them and they were freaked out because they were in the mission office after hours and they were the only ones there. We found out later that there is some website that allows you to prank call people and make it come from a different number, so we realized that it had to have come from another missionary who knows both of our numbers. The AP’s thought it was hilarious but man if that kid gets caught he will get it from them.

B. should be getting out of jail soon. He has finished over half the Book of Mormon last we heard, so he could very well be done with it!

On Saturday we had the baptism of B. G., an investigator that has been working with missionaries for years. Funny story about her. So in my last area, Elder S. would always talk about this golden referral that came from a general authority to the Elders in Ridgeway, the area that was right next to ours and in our district (I spent a lot of time there). Well the missionaries that were in the area when the referral was sent for some reason crammed her teaching record underneath a pile of boxes in the back of a closet. The new elders found it while cleaning the trailer home and on a whim started teaching her. Well, she moved up here to our area and we started teaching her, until we gave her to the sisters because we felt they would be better for her. Now she’s baptized! It’s a small world.

On Sunday night we went by J., the guy we met a couple weeks ago. We talked to him about his life and what we believe in for a while, and even gave him a Book of Mormon which he committed to read. I also played some Frisbee with his son while they talked more (the beauty of being in a three pack). He is going in for a knee surgery so it meant a lot to him for us to come by and talk to him. He doesn’t like the concept of priestcraft, which is super prominent out here, so we are hopeful he likes our church because we don’t sell anything.

Anyhow, on Monday we explored downtown Greenville for fun, and then I took a much needed nap for the rest of the P-Day. Today we will be playing sports in Simpsonville which will be fun.

I gotta get going now. This upcoming week should be crazy. We will see what happens.

Stay crazy,

Elder Jeremiah Brown
Me, Elder Oliver and Anthony Holcombe (Recent convert/ward missionary)

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Downtown Greenville

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Me getting the car ready for inspections

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I am hungry

This week was pretty good. We got a lot of work done and made some
decent progress.

Monday

Today we went shopping, wrote emails, and then drove down to
Simpsonville for sports with the Greenville East Zone. It was pretty
fun, although I am pathetic when it comes to basketball, but I got to
see Elder K. which was pretty great.

Afterward we drove by a few potential investigators and ended up
meeting a really cool guy named J. He was the husband of a random
potential investigator we found in our area book and we talked with
him for a while and then set up a time to come back and meet with
them. It was a good day overall.

Tuesday

Today was pretty slow. We went by a lot of people and really didn’t
have much success in meeting or talking to too many people. We did
knock into a random lady named E. who talked to us for a while,
but it was pretty slow. We also found a less active family named the
F.’s and they were very different people… Let’s just say they
were stereotypical southerners. That was pretty much our day.

Wednesday

Today we had an appointment with M., the paralyzed Hispanic guy we
have been seeing. That went well, and afterward we took the car to the
mechanic to get the brakes fixed, which took a few hours. While we
were there they had the news on TV, and the little bits and pieces I
picked up from sitting in the store was just depressing. Let’s just
say I am glad that I don’t have to worry about that kind of stuff
right now because it just seemed painful.

After that we went apartment hunting and we think we found a place to
live finally! Hopefully we will be moving in the next couple of weeks.

Thursday

Today we stopped by a TON of less actives. Most of the people we went
by were either not home or they had moved. We also spent some time
figuring our new boundaries out with the sisters now that we are
moving.

Afterward we had dinner with the B.’s, a part member family who is super awesome! We just recently started working with them and there is a lot of progress being made there. We also played a game of ping pong with them, which was a ton of fun!

Friday

Today was pretty slow, and our only solid appointment with an investigator named S. fell through. Hopefully we will get another appointment set up soon. We went by a lot of less actives and that was pretty much our day. Not a whole lot of contact or sucess.

Saturday

Today was also a little slow. Two of our appointments fell through (one of them being Ja. who had to cancel because his mom was in the hospital), and we spent most of our time visiting random people and then prepping our apartment for moving soon. Nothing else too notable happened I guess.

Sunday

Today was awesome! We had a good sacrament meeting and Elder M. gave a talk which was good. After church we had dinner and a lesson with D. T., one of our really solid investigators. He is super great and we are really excited to see where he goes. He bore his testimony in church a couple weeks ago on Joseph Smith, which was really cool. We had dinner at the J.’s house, a family in our ward. They are super fun and awesome people! Sister J.’s daughter and her son in law live with her and are musicians. They started an electronic music group called Car Pool Party that is starting to get big and they are really talented.

We talked with D. for a long time and decided to put him and his son on date for October 29th, which is great! That pretty much wrapped up our night and afterward we went home and I gathered numbers and prepped for weekly call-ins.

So this week was good overall. Everything kind of came together on Sunday, which is always nice. A few crazy things have happened this week. The other day a gas pipeline ruptured and cut off the supply of gas to Greenville, so almost all of the gas stations are out! It was kinda crazy driving around seeing all of the people scramble to get the last few gallons they could before everything was out. It was an eye opener to see how dependent we are on gasoline. Most of the time when we run out of gas, the biggest problem we have is how expensive it is, not if there is any in stock. It makes me worry about what would happen if one day there was no more. Craziness.

I think that was pretty much everything that happened this week. I am a little brain dead right now so I don’t know if I am missing anything. Anyway, I hope you guys have a great week!

Until next week,

Elder Jeremiah Brown

(Jeremiah wrote a few more details in his letter to me this week, which I will include here since its nothing personal and because it maybe ties in with the subject.  Maybe?)

Elder O. is doing good. Sometimes we tire him out I think, but he is learning. Elder M. is doing good as well. He goes home on the 1st of December so a day before my year mark.

Training in a three pack is good. It can be hard at times but it is still really fun!

We have heard about B. lately actually! That is something that I forgot to send out in this week’s email. He is doing really good and is reading the Book of Mormon a lot. He is already halfway done with it and is super excited still to be baptized! He could get out of jail as soon as 9/30, but most likely the first week of October. He is staying strong despite his negative surroundings.

I have been working on studying Spanish. Luckily for some reason the old Spanish Elder’s study books were left in our apartment so I have been reading through those. Also, we have google translate, which works miracles.

Meeting up for sports on Monday was fun! Elder K. goes home this transfer, so he only has about 4 weeks left. He actually had his mission extended an extra month and a half for some reason, which came as a surprise.

We don’t eat with members too often. We are lucky if we get one meal a week. If that. This week we got a lot more meals than we normally do I guess.

(Because these were not labeled, I can only assume they are from Elder Brown’s recent hike to Table Rock, which he’s hoping to do again so they can make it to the top!)

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Just another week in Greenville

Well this week has been crazy. We have had a ton of stuff going on and a lot of it has not been missionary work.

First off, we got our new companion on Wednesday! His name is Elder Oliver and he is from Pocatello, Idaho. He is awesome! Elder Mitchell and I are convinced that he is actually an undercover experienced missionary sent here to train us because he is a natural at everything and is a better missionary now than a lot of experienced missionaries out here.

Being in a three pack is weird… I’m not used to having an extra person to keep track of and I dunno… it’s weird. Good weird though.

I feel kinda bad for Elder Oliver because he is having to deal with us finding a new apartment, getting our car fixed, and other busy work that is not too regular.

We have had some cool experiences this week. Yesterday we went by an investigator that we had referred to us by the old Spanish Missionaries that used to be here. We weren’t expecting anything too awesome, especially because the last missionaries didn’t seem too impressed by them and we were pretty sure they wouldn’t speak much English.

Well, it turns out that H. (the investigator) spoke perfect fluent English! His family is American and speaks english as well! They enjoyed having us over and wanted us to come by again next week. They said that they had been looking for a church but hadn’t found anything yet, and they haven’t been to ours yet! H. told us that he didn’t like a lot of churches because they had paid ministries and taught things different from the bible.

We was like yo H., have we got the church for you.

Hopefully things go well there. I have high hopes for the future of this family.

We also found out that B. will be getting out of jail hopefully around the 15th of October. It will be good to start meeting with him again and work toward a new baptismal date.

We met with M., the paralyzed Hispanic guy, again this week. We shared with him a chapter from the Book of Mormon en Español and it was good stuff. I am continually amazed by this man’s state of happiness considering the state he is in. He can’t move anything except his arms and his head. Because his hands and fingers don’t work he has a phone strapped to his wrist with hair bands and he uses a stylus with his mouth to navigate the phone. He has pretty much zero control of himself and has to be fed by others.

It is incredible how someone in such a bad condition can be as happy as he is. It just goes to show that it does not matter what your conditions are, you can still have happiness in your life.

Lately I have been brushing up on my Spanish because I have been having to use it. I never thought that I would have to speak Spanish in SC of all places, but this place never ceases to amaze me.

That was most of my week I think. It was a little slower than I would have liked but I think it turned out good. Last Monday Elders R., H., M., and I went to hike table rock. Unfortunately Elder M. got exhausted and needed to turn back so I had to turn around with him. So I didn’t make it to the top, but I am going to go with Elder O. sometime and leave Elder M. with another companionship because I really want to hike it.

Today we will be playing sports with the Greenville East Zone, so I will most likely get to see Elder K. today! It will be a party.

Well, I think that is everything. Hope you all have a great week!

Hugs not drugs,

Elder Jeremiah Brown

Here are some pictures I was blessed to receive today from Sister S. who is serving in Elder Brown’s district.  Her mom forwarded them to me and it was timely because Elder Brown unfortunately forgot to bring his camera to download the pictures he’d taken.

 

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Getting a baby

Well today I have less than 20 minutes to write this, so sorry if it
is short. We are going to hike Table Rock for P Day and we have to get
an early start so we can be back on time.

Table rock is a really high look out point in the Blue Ridge Mountains
of SC, right on the border of North Carolina. It should be really
cool.

Not much happened this week. It was probably the slowest week of my
time here in Greenville, however, it was still good!

We spent a lot of time cleaning up the ward directory and visiting
people to see if they still live there. It’s not the most exciting
thing but it helps missionary work a lot and we get to use it as a
door approach for people who we know don’t live there anymore.

So I’m about out of time, but let me get down to the cool stuff that
happened this week.

On Thursday we got a call from a less active named M. He wanted us
to come over. He doesn’t speak much English so I had to butcher the
Spanish language really badly with him. He is paralyzed pretty much
completely aside from being able to move his arms and head. He can’t
even move his fingers. We read the Book of Mormon to him in Spanish
and then talked for a little bit. I also had to hand feed him oranges,
which was kinda weird. Anyway, it was a really cool experience
overall.

On Friday we had ZTM and President Turner came. It was a really good
ZTM and afterward President asked Elder M. and I to come talk to
him in private. Uh oh sirens went off. It was a good thing though.

He asked us to train a new missionary coming in, so we will be getting
a 3rd companion fresh out of the MTC! This doesn’t normally happen,
especially with a brand new missionary, but there are a ton of new
missionaries coming in so some of us will be in 3 packs.

Anyway, next week you will be hearing all about a new missionary we
are getting.

I gotta go now, but I will talk more next week!

LUVS

Elder Jeremiah Brown