Biking mayhem and stuff

So this week was kinda hard and very slow. Lots of crazy stuff happened.

I have less time than usual to write today, so I will just highlight some of the stuff that happened this week.

The biggest announcement is that I am no longer serving in Windsor Lake Ward. I didn’t get transferred or anything. On Sunday the Stake reorganized a large majority of the ward boundaries here, which included dissolving both Sandhill’s Ward and Windsor Lake Ward, and combining them into a new Ward called the Summit Ward. My 5thish area! Kinda.

So right now we aren’t too sure what our area boundaries are or what is going to happen to our area. We now share the ward with the former Sandhill’s Elders. We might get a car and a bigger area, or we might get an even smaller area and stay biking. We aren’t sure yet. Elder N. and I will be staying together though, so that’s good.

Other than that the week was filled mostly with bike problems. My bike pretty much exploded this week and now I have to fix the chain, the brakes, the cables, and the bearings in my back wheel. It seems that the bike has been worn out evenly. On top of my bike breaking, two other bikes I borrowed from the Zone Leaders broke as well. I’ve just been having terrible luck with bikes I guess. Hopefully I will get my bike fixed today.

We worked super hard this week and we have not been having a ton of success. I am staying positive though. I don’t feel too bad though because I know we are working our hardest.

Anyway, that is most of the week. Things should be picking up this week I hope. There is definitely change coming.

Lurvs

Elder Jeremiah Brown

Email yay

I honestly don’t know what to title this week. This week was pretty good. It was pretty slow, but we worked super hard so I don’t feel too bad about it.

On Monday we had to go to Charleston for a doctor appointment for Elder N. So we spent a large majority of the day in Charleston exploring downtown. We went shark tooth hunting in a little stream and I found a bunch of little shark teeth. Then I accidentally dropped them all so I didn’t get to take any with me.

On Tuesday we did a TON of biking. Probably the most I have done on my mission in one day. We went to some wack places but we really didn’t have too much success. We had an appointment with Brother M. as usual tonight. It went really well and he told us that this week he would pick us up for church on Sunday. On the way home some twerp drive-by silly stringed us while we were biking down the road. At least people know we exist.

Wednesday was fun. We helped the L.’s (a less active elderly couple), move a bunch of antiques out of their storage shed. After that they took us out to Little Pig’s BBQ. It’s like the most southern all you can eat buffet you can get out here and it is good stuff.

After service with the L.’s, we had an appointment with one of our investigators C. We hadn’t been in contact with him for a while so it was good to meet with him. He is very enthusiastic about the Bible and it was really fun to talk with him about it. I have hopes that he will be receptive to what we have to teach.

After the appointment with C., we started traveling to another place and we were going to bike through a shortcut I thought I had found on the map. It ended up taking us to the weirdest place ever. It basically took us to a ghost town. There was this weird abandoned mill and what looked like a town center with a whole bunch of roads and church and everything, but it was super run down and everything was vacant. It was weird too because it wasn’t like the place was restricted or fenced off. We looked around for a bit and found a couple active government facilities that were deep inside this wasteland, but that was about it. We decided to leave because we felt like we were being watched and it was kind of a creepy place. That was pretty much our entire day.

On Thursday we did service for SBP as usual. Then we went to the very top of our area to do some proselyting, but we didn’t have too much success in the process. That was about all of our day.

On Friday we had ZTM which was good as usual. The musical number I played the piano for turned out pretty good. I didn’t get a recording from it this time because we only performed the whole thing together a couple times and my part wasn’t anything special.

The rest of the day was kind of lame. We did a lot of work and had an appointment cancel and not too much success. I also started feeling a little sick.

Saturday I was sick. I think I worked myself into the ground this week and my body decided it was done, because I wasn’t functioning. So we spent the day cleaning up our area book and doing weekly planning because that was the only thing I could do.

Sunday was awesome! I started feeling a lot better and we had a great turn out at church. Brother M. (armored car guy) came to church, as well as several other less actives and the family that we met with last Sunday! Honestly, this week was pretty difficult for finding new investigators, but we did have some great success with less actives. After church we had several meals with members (because Easter is one of the few days we are allowed to eat with active members), which was refreshing. The food was great and all, but it was just nice being able to sit and get to know members of the ward for once.

This week was pretty hard but we worked our rear ends off so I don’t feel too bad about it. I honestly tired myself out this week, and I am really glad that we had Easter otherwise I don’t know if I would have made it.

Anyway, I think that is about all I have to say this week. Thanks for all the emails and stuff.

Gatos,

Elder Jeremiah Brown

Elder Brown mentioned in his personal email that his knees are aching so much he can hardly kneel or squat down, probably due to all the biking!

PICTURES!!

Me in front of the abandoned mill or hospital or whatever it was.

DSC00080

Elder C. and I in front of the armored vehicle a few weeks ago.

IMG_0369

Graffiti we found in Charleston

IMG_0350

Us eating at Taco Boy in Charleston
IMG_0347-2
The Columbia Zone
IMG_0354
 In front of the “Cafeteria” in the weird ghost town place.
DSC00085
No explanations on the following pictures, but my best guess is:
More graffiti. 
IMG_0351
And:  Outside a Columbia, SC church building.  Love the pants tucked in for biking!
DSC00063

Life without brakes

This week was crazy. It was pretty awesome, but it was crazy.

My new companion is Elder N., from somewhere in Washington that I
can’t spell or even say. He is pretty cool, and really wants to work
hard and get a lot out of his mission, which will be great! Elder
C. ended up going to Spartanburg, which is next to Greenville.
He will have fun there.

So Monday we decided to go to the church to play sports, which was fun
because we got to see a bunch of missionaries from the Columbia area.
It was around 4 o clock when we got a call from President Turner who
told us that we couldn’t leave the church until 6:30 because of
tornado warnings. So basically most of our evening plans fell through.
We spent most of the evening packing and cleaning.

On Tuesday we did service at SBP for a large majority of the day.
Afterward we had a super busy evening. The brakes went out on my bike
part way through our day’s travels, and it took like 10 times longer
to slow down than it normally would. As a result I wrecked my bike 3
different times, although the worst was when I was being dumb and
decided to ride down a super steep gutter on the side of a gas
station. I did a front flip though so at least it was cool.

We had an appointment with Brother M., the guy who had the armored
vehicle and everything. That went well and he told us he is making it
his personal goal to get back to the temple.

After that appointment we went to the W.’s so Elder C. could
say goodbye. It was a really good visit and Elder C. promised
W. that if he got the priesthood he would see more blessings than
ever. W. really needs to get the priesthood, because it will
strengthen his family. We are just trying to help him see that.

Wednesday was interesting. We went to transfers and were told to go
straight back home after we got our new companions because of the
dangerous storm coming in. So we did, and then we got put on lockdown
for the rest of the day. Lockdown as a missionary is terrible because
its not like we can just play video games, watch TV or read Harry
Potter all day. We just sit around and do nothing. I guess I got to
catch up on some sleep, but that was about it. I felt bad for Elder
N. too, because it was a pretty dumb first day and impression of the
field.

Thursday was rough. It was sunny and warm outside but it was SUPER
windy. There were points during the day when I was almost blown off of
my bike. I hate wind as a bike Elder. Nothing too notable happened
although we found a new investigator named T. which was good. It
was a pretty rough and exhausting day, and Elder N. was probably
really discouraged because his experience in the field hadn’t been too
great so far.

Friday we had weekly planning for a good part of the day. We visited a
bunch of people but didn’t get to talk to very many people. The
weather was a lot better though. I found out that I am doing a musical
number this ZTM. When people find out you play the piano it never
ends.

On Saturday we did a TON of biking because the weather was beautiful.
We got to have a doorstep lesson with D. which was cool. She
actually has some interest in what we have to say, however, she has
some major concerns over blacks and the priesthood. Hopefully she will
read and pray about the Book of Mormon and that concern will go away.
That was definitely the most notable thing that happened today.

Sunday was awesome! Sacrament meeting was super awesome and W. got
up and bore a super powerful testimony. I am starting to really love
this ward!

We had an appointment with a member whose records weren’t in our ward
after church. She texted us and asked us if we could come and visit.
We brought a member with us and it was a great lesson! She has three
teenage boys who are really awesome people. They stopped coming to
church a while back because their family was cutting them off because
of their beliefs, but they wanted to start coming back! It was really
cool and I am really excited to see what happens with them.

After that we had a dinner appointment with the W.’s, which was
fun. That finished our evening.

It was a great week overall. I had a lot of fun and I am looking
forward to next week.

Anyway, I gotta go! Talk more next week!

Later,

Elder Jeremiah Brown

Child #2

So transfer calls went out this week, and I will be training a new missionary here in Windsor Lake this transfer! I am super pumped. Wednesday this week will be transfers so I will find out who he is then.

Putting that news aside, this week was awesome! A ton of really cool things happened this week and it’s probably been the best week I have had here.

P-Day was kinda lame on Monday. We were supposed to do stuff with the Columbia Elders but then they ended up not being able to so we just sat at home and played board games… again.

Tuesday we had DDM, which I think went pretty well. We actually had a decent amount of people because the W.’s (senior missionary couple) came and the Zone Leaders as well. I talked about how we can dedicate ourselves more to missionary work and we had a good discussion about things we could do to become more consecrated. After DDM, I went on exchanges with Elder B., one of the Sandhill elders, here in WL. Most of the day was pretty slow, however we had a really awesome experience at the end of the day.

Last Saturday I was weekly planning and I was going over lists of people in our area. I felt oddly, but very strongly inspired to visit one person on the list, specifically on Tuesday. We almost ran out of time on Tuesday. It was getting late and this less active member was on the other side of our area. I remembered how inspired I felt though, and I resolved to go. So, Elder B. and I went and visited said person. When we pulled up the first thing we saw was a HUGE, military vehicle parked on their driveway! Like I have never seen one of these in person, let alone parked on someones driveway. I wish I had gotten a picture of it but it was dark, so I will have to get a picture of it later. It was a six wheeled armored vehicle that had to be as tall as the house. The wheels on the thing came up above my chest. I was a little bit terrified to go knock on this guys door but we did anyways. I am so glad that we did. The less active member answered the door and warmly invited us in. We talked for a while and got to know him. He told us about the armored vehicle and how his father, who he takes care of now, is really into military weaponry and on a whim he bought it from a magazine. It was made as one of a kind in the 1980’s and was used in several of the middle eastern conflicts, apparently as a command vehicle for military leaders. It can drive through 7-8 feet of water without damage and has over 250 square feet inside of it, along with a sniper turret on the top, a wench, and a lift. He would have given us a ride in it but it was dark and he didn’t know how to turn the headlights on. My new goal in life is to have one of those. So sick.

That wasn’t even the cool part! We started talking to him about his life. He told us about how he had become less active, and how his 21 year old son had died a few months earlier in a car crash. He expressed guilt for becoming less active and wanted to know what would become of his son, who had not been active in the church either. We had an amazing conversation about the Plan of Salvation and what the Savior did for us. The Spirit was very strong, perhaps the strongest I have witnessed on my mission, and I really felt love for this man. He told us he wanted to start coming back to church, but needed a push to get there, so he offered to start being our ride to church on Sunday. It was so awesome. As we finished up talking, he told us that the last few days he had been contemplating suicide, and that we had definitely been inspired by God to come and visit him. I am so glad that I actually followed the prompting I had. It would have been very easy to just go visit a few people close by and then go home, but we would not have had the experience that we had. Following the Spirit is so important.

On Wednesday we exchanged back. We had a difficult time finding a ride but got Brother Lewis, a less active member, to drive us to exchange back. He brought his dog with him and during the ride his dog puked all over the car, ate it, puked it up again, and then, yes, ate it. Oh and I got spattered in the process. Yummy.

After we exchanged back went and did service for SBP, which was good. We put up insulation and I officially hate fiberglass.

On Thursday we did service for PAALS. It was pretty normal but it started dumping rain part way through so we took the puppies inside to play instead. That was a lot of fun but it was super crazy.

After that Elder H. (one of the ZL’s) and I went on exchanges and had a pretty good night. We found a cool lady named D. and she agreed to meet with us in the future. We were about to go home and I suddenly felt like we needed to visit someone kind of random. It was a part member family that I had only talked to one time before, and I really didn’t know why we needed to go. It was around 9 and we stopped by, and for the first time in a long time we actually got to talk to them a bit. I explained why we came over and they seemed touched (either that or they thought I was crazy), that we would feel like we need to come by. They told us to come by in the future, so hopefully that goes well.

On Friday I found out I was training. That was pretty much the only notable thing that happened.

After Sunday evening session ended, we went to visit the W. family. Their mom (the crazy one who sings) came in as we were talking with a big bucket of catfish. She found some random pond and started fishing in it and got a ton of fish. Elder C. grabbed on of the catfish and almost the entire family screamed and ran out of the house. It was absolutely hilarious!

General Conference was pretty great! I really enjoyed all of the talks and it just seems like I get more as a missionary than I did back home. Maybe I just care more. There really seemed to be a theme of growing and purifying ourselves through Jesus Christ. I wish I could quote a few of the talks but they don’t have the text versions put together yet.

Anyway, my time is running up. Hope you guys have a great week and I will talk more later!

LUVS

Elder Jeremiah Brown

Also, I almost forgot. This link should get you to the recording of the musical number Elder C. and I did. Hope it works.

https://www.icloud.com/attachment/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fcvws.icloud-content.com%2FB%2FAS6IcRyHnBRFM121DoVOgKjAH1AQAYjG3d508iNBCJOk6iITa6ztVcLy%2F%24%7Bf%7D%3Fo%3DAp0yaSmNOoctq3YJoeuggpvbR7pnev4mA0jgxrvnq0IZ%26v%3D1%26x%3D3%26a%3DBa2rtKSIwTptA4a5OgEA_wHIAP85DDEP%26e%3D1493218861%26k%3D%24%7Buk%7D%26fl%3D%26r%3DB1FFD61C-454A-48BC-84DD-AFE5FAD9111E-1%26ckc%3Dcom.apple.largeattachment%26ckz%3DFB5A2873-6CB7-499B-BF93-522CEF26DE36%26p%3D50%26s%3DRqV3ZTitVprt7YL-8WFP7jGnaJc&uk=1oF8B4yPuikunC4BCaNYnw&f=IMG_0312.MOV&sz=373823203

Pictures:

That was the park DDM. Elders LeCh., B., C. and me.IMG_0326

Pizza with Elder C.

IMG_0346

IMG_0347