Fleas

I don’t even know where this week has gone. Time goes by faster and faster the more you’ve been out.

Monday was a pretty run of the mill P-Day. We went shopping, got some mexican street corn and then played bored (I mean board) games. There is just not much to do in Columbia. Today should be fun though cause we are going to hang out with the Columbia Elders.

Tuesday we had DDM, however, because there are only four Elders in the district now we had DDM at the park and it was more of a discussion. It was a lot of fun and pretty cool to have a meeting outside. It was also super hot in the sun today and I roasted. We biked a ton too, so that didn’t help.

On Wednesday we had SBP, so we got to help out at a house down the street from us. We painted and did paint prep for most of the day. That was about all we did though.

Thursday we did service at PAALS as usual. We helped them put down pine shavings in their training facilities. After that we went to visit some people but didn’t really get to meet with anyone.

Friday was interesting. We went to do some service for a guy in our ward who has a rental house that is wrecked. He was letting a friend of his temporarily stay in it for free until he found out that she was just using it to store all of her cats and dogs in it. So basically for five months straight she let her animals do whatever they wanted in there, and only stopped by occasionally to give them food and new water. It was NASTY. The carpet was so soaked with fecal matter and urine that it stained the concrete underneath. He told us that he wished the place had just burned down so that he didn’t have to clean it up and he could just collect insurance money from it, because apparently he isn’t able to get much money for the damages that were caused.

He neglected to tell us until AFTER that there was a chance there was still a flea infestation, so we left worrying that we might have taken some with us. Luckily, we did not take any with us, to my knowledge at least.

Saturday nothing too cool happened. We had weekly planning and a bunch of other mundane stuff like that.

Sunday was pretty good. It seemed like we spent a large majority of the day in meetings but it was good. President Turner came to our ward council and trained them on how to do the new missionary program the church is putting in effect here.

Later in the day we had Stake Priesthood meeting. It was pretty good.

After that we went to go visit some people and had a cool experience. I felt like we needed to go visit this one person that we have tried by a ton but nobody ever answers. As usual, they didn’t answer, but then we felt like it would be a good idea to visit someone nearby that we hadn’t had contact with for a while. I guess this put us in the right place at the right time because as we pulled up to his house he was backing out of the driveway. He was happy to see us and said that he would love to meet with us next Sunday evening. It was a cool experience because we definitely would not have been there otherwise.

Anyway, that was about all that happened this week. I was reading through some of my old emails and came across ones from Greenville. Man, those emails were way more exciting. Sorry if these aren’t.

Gotta go, talk more next week!

Con Huevos

Elder Jeremiah Brown

Biking, more biking, and even more biking

Lots of biking this week. I probably logged more miles on my bike this week than I have any other week of my mission. Honestly it was a fun week though, and the weather was great too. I wish that I had more success to talk about, but unfortunately this week nothing too crazy happened in the world of missionary work.

On Tuesday we had DDM in the morning, which was kind of weird because of how few people were there. Luckily we had more people than usual because the W.’s, a senior couple that travels around, came to our DDM. Fun fact actually, they told me that they lived in Payson and I found out that they know my Grandma! It is a small world.

We then spent a good chunk of the day cleaning out the Spanish Sister’s apartment. We got to take all of their food because there won’t be people living there for a while. You can imagine we were more than happy to help with that. Whilst doing so, my ¬†companion found a lighter and some rubbing alcohol and almost burned the apartment down. Afterward I went on exchanges with the Sandhill Elders and that was good, although our ride ended up making a “quick stop” on the way to their apartment that ended up being 3 or so hours and also ended up being 20 or so miles out of Columbia. Exchanges can be adventurous I guess.

On Wednesday we had a ride fall through so we ended up doing a longer exchange than planned. Elder LeCh. and I went to dinner with a part member family in their ward, and we had beef sandwiches which were WAY good. The non member father is a really awesome guy who comes to church every week and even participates. Honestly I don’t know why he isn’t a member already. He told us that he is still looking for answers, but I think he doesn’t realize that not all the answers come until you take a leap of faith, whether that is baptism, or any big decision you make spiritually.

On Thursday the majority of the day was spent at PAALS doing the usual dog service. Nothing else too crazy happened.

Friday we did a TON of biking. There were a bunch of people way up at the top of our area that I wanted to go see. In all of Elder C.’s 9 months here, he had never been up to this spot because of how hard it is to get there. We found a way up but it was super inconvenient and we had to bike through some really rich parts of our area, in which we are very strictly forbidden from knocking doors in, so everybody gave us dirty looks. We found a few new less active members up in the top of our area but that was about it. We were super exhausted afterward so instead of biking home for dinner we went to Cookout, which was pure, inexpensive bliss. After that we biked around a bit more and then went home. We probably logged a good 25+ miles, so I slept very well.

Saturday was filled with a lot of busy work. There wasn’t too much cool stuff that happened besides in the morning we did a work out session with Brother Watts and I am still feeling it today. He’s got a pretty cool set up in his garage so we did some boxing and such.

Sunday was pretty good, although we did a ton of biking again. The C. family had their inactive mother over for dinner so we biked up there and had dinner with them. It was good food and it was great being able to get to know some members better. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to have a meal in a members home, so that was fun.

I honestly don’t know what else to talk about. It may not sound like it but it was a pretty fun week.

Anyways, I gotta go.

Later

Elder Jeremiah Brown

Snow

So many things happened this week. Where do I even begin?

I saw a man with golden teeth. Just thought I would get that out.

On Sunday, mother nature decided to surprise us and give us SNOW. Where was this three months ago? Great question. Most of the days this week were in the high 70’s, low 80’s and then one morning we woke up and there was snow falling. Now snow in March may not be uncommon for people out west, but in the south, snow in general is rare, let alone in March.

And that’s the story of how less than a centimeter of snow shut down South Carolina for a good part of the day. It’s always fun to look at the bread and milk aisles at the store the day after it snows, because they are always cleared out. For some reason these people think that a centimeter of snow that doesn’t even stick to the road will keep them in their house for weeks on end. (See picture below)

Aside from the crazy weather, we had a pretty busy week. Nothing too crazy awesome happened in missionary work, but it wasn’t exactly a bad week. I often miss Greenville a lot because the work was much faster paced there. Columbia can be pretty slow sometimes. I am managing though, I’ve survived Columbia before.

On Wednesday we had Zone Conference and Elder C. and I did our musical number that we had been working on. I think it turned out pretty well, especially for an original piece. I didn’t record the actual performance of it, although I did record a bunch of our rehearsals so I will send the best sounding one out.

I also got volunteered to play hymns for Zone Conference and that was an adventure. Kids who play piano, learn to play hymns because when people see you play the piano they just assume that you can also play hymns as well. Learn from my errors so you don’t have to play “Come Follow Me” over and over again because it’s the only song you know.

On Thursday the most notable thing that happened was us doing service for PAALS. This time things were a little bit more exciting though because we had to give all the puppies baths. That was an adventure and I soaked myself.

On Friday we spent a lot of the day biking to far away places. Unfortunately, we didn’t have too much success. I had the idea that we should start a bible study class and then advertise it like crazy, so we spent our evening putting that together.

On Saturday Elder C. was feeling sick for a good part of the day, so we didn’t get to do much. We did get to visit a few people before he started feeling sick, but they rejected us. That’s ok though, because now we won’t waste our time on them.

Sunday was fun. They cancelled the last 2 hours of church as nobody showed up because of the snow. Dumbest thing ever. We ended up going to the Spanish group because they needed someone to play the piano (their pianist didn’t show because of the snow) and I was volunteered as tribute.

After church we did a lot of biking and fully utilized our extra hour of daylight! As a bike Elder it is so nice not having to deal with the dark as much. We went by a bunch of former investigators and found one who seems to have a lot of potential. We will be trying by sometime this week and hopefully we’ll have some success there.

That was the week. I can’t think of anything else to tell you about my life right now, unless you want some creepy TMI’s.

Later

Elder Jeremiah Brown

In response to Mom’s request to know what he eats on a regular basis for breakfast, lunch and dinner here’s his response: ¬†I normally eat cereal for breakfast. For lunch I normally eat a sandwich or something like that. For dinner usually we make some crock pot chicken or pizzas or pancakes or cereal when I am lazy. I don’t eat too terribly though and I try to get fruits and veggies when I can.

Here’s what he had to say when asked if his allergies have improved: Yes, my allergies are a lot better now. I am not sure if it is the medicine or if it is the fact that all the snow killed the blooming flowers.

Picture:

Southern Stores after a snowstorm.

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Very pollen, such sneeze

Sooooo much pollen.

Just walking home from church yesterday coated my shoes in this yellowy powdered sugar from hell. You can literally see it in the air, and it doesn’t do my respiratory system any good at all. I may as well be inhaling razor blades while the corporate world of medicine harvests my pain in the form of overpriced nasal spray.

Anyway, sorry for that rant. This week was pretty good. I guess I say that every week but I don’t have bad weeks too often. I neglected to keep a daily log of my week so I will just give the highlights of everything.

As I said last week, we went to Charleston for p day which was fun. I have been to Charleston a lot but it has been a while so it was good to go again.

On Wednesday Elder C. and I were asked by the ZL’s to do a musical number for Zone Conference in a week. We are doing a piano/violin duet and it should actually be pretty cool. We were going to do an arrangement we found on lds.org but instead we decided to make our own arrangement for “If You Could Hie to Kolob.” I was really worried at first about what we were going to do and it didn’t seem like we were going to be able to put anything together. Luckily we figured something out and it seems like it will be really cool!

On Wednesday we also found out that the Spanish Sister’s area in our ward is getting shut down, so we will have one less set of missionaries in the district. I am not sure what this means because it will make our district super small, so I wouldn’t be surprised if our district gets reorganized. We will see what happens.

Wednesday we were tracting in a neighborhood and a young father and his son were walking down the road a bit ahead of us. He seemed pretty friendly and we started talking to him. Something seemed off right off the bat because he seemed way too friendly, almost like he had his own agenda. Then it all made sense when he said he was a member of First Baptist and asked if we knew where we were going after this life. Honestly I am so sick and tired of having this conversation. I was super tempted to just say “We’re going to hell!” in a really cheery voice but then I remembered I’m a missionary and probably shouldn’t do that. We had a really superficial conversation with him and then went on our way.

We did service for PAALS on Thursday as usual. Nothing too crazy or abnormal happened there.

On Friday we had ZTM (not Zone Conference). It was pretty good and it was fun seeing the entire zone. We also had interviews with President which was cool. Afterward the ZL’s and us went out to lunch at Little Pigs all you can eat BBQ. It was soooooo good. It was all you can eat southern food and man I wish my stomach was bigger. The ZL’s said they saw an ambulance outside of the place the other day and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone died from excess food intake.

Those were the cool things that happened this week. Nothing too awesome happened in terms of missionary work. Lot’s of people not home and such. A less active family we have been working with lately finally came to church though! We were super pumped about that.

Anyhow, that’s my week. Talk later.

peace

Elder Jeremiah Brown

The Columbia Zone (Elder Brown is on the back, 6 over from the right)

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