Proselyting in North Carolina

It has been a crazy week, but it has been awesome! This has definitely
been our best week here in Gaffney.

Monday we went fishing in our ward mission leader’s pond. I caught a
couple fish but I spent most of my time untangling my rod, which
wasn’t a shocker. In the evening we went to family home evening with
the E. family, a less active family in the ward. It was fun, and it
was good to get to know some of the members of the ward. After that we
went to hunt down our recent convert M. who we hadn’t seen in a
while. We didn’t find her but we found her mom and got to talk to her.
She was really nice and showed interest in meeting with us in the
future which was awesome!

Tuesday we had DDM and then Elder H. (our ZL) and I went on
exchanges in our area. It was a ton of fun and we had a ton of
success! We met a lot of new less actives and got some cool service
set up with them.

Wednesday we exchanged back and went and visited a few people but over
all the day was pretty low key. We had ward coordination with Brother
M. at Sub Station II and then we had Book of Mormon class which is
always interesting.

Thursday was good. We did service at meals on wheels in the morning
and then we went and did a bunch of finding in the middle of nowhere.
We found a lot of crazy people and it was fun. We went to visit a
former investigator who was literally right on the border of our area.
Their house was in North Carolina but their mailbox was in South
Carolina so technically they were in our area. Basically we got to
proselyte in NC! They weren’t home though so we will have to try

Friday we went to the soup kitchen and did service there. After that we went out
and did missionary work but nothing too crazy happened.

Saturday we spent a good chunk of the day doing service for one of our
recent converts sons who decided the other day that he wanted to meet
with missionaries! It was really cool and it is honestly a miracle
that he decided to meet with us. His mom (our recent convert) was very
surprised and really excited because she didn’t think it would happen!
He had been previously opposed to religion but now he is opening up.

Sunday we had some extra miles for the month so we decided to go out
into the far outreaches of our area. We saw some crazy people and
beautiful landscapes and it was a lot of fun.


You might be able to tell that my care level and attention plummeted
as I was writing this email. I started getting distracted and then ran
out of time. So sorry if this email was kinda vague.

It was honestly a super good week and we had a TON of fun. I am
starting to like the country now.

Anyway, I gotta go. I will try to have a more solid email next week!


Elder Jeremiah Brown


Cold in the Summer

P-Day was craziness. We had some extra miles on our car so we decided to drive down to Greenville and go to a trampoline park that a member owns and lets us go to for free. It was a ton of fun but I definitely got sore from it. It has been a long time since I have jumped on a trampoline so it was refreshing. We also stopped by a guitar center and played with the instruments there. I discovered that somehow I am naturally talented at the Bass Guitar, which I also discovered is super fun! It was also great to get to see parts of Greenville again. I honestly just love that area! All in all it was just nice to get out of Gaffney and get a break.

Nothing too interesting happened during most of the week. The work was pretty slow.

On Wednesday Elder R. (a missionary who I was with for a long time in Greenville), who went home recently, came back out to visit and drove through Gaffney, so I got to say hi to him. It was really weird seeing someone from the mission who isn’t a missionary anymore, but really cool.

On Wednesday we also went on a wild goose chase trying to find an investigator who ended up cancelling his appointment anyway. We spent probably a solid two hours trying to find this guy. The roads out here are super hard to navigate so sometimes it’s a struggle.

On Thursday we did service for Meals on Wheels and had a lot of fun there. They had us chop up an absurd amount of tomatoes but it was fun and they fed us afterward so it was way worth it!

Friday we had our first interviews with President Innes and it was awesome! It ended up taking most of the day because the interviews got really backed up, but it was still great! President is a really awesome guy and I am excited to have him as my mission president for the last few months. It was kind of surreal when he started talking to me about going home soon and typical mission end stuff. I don’t feel like I have been out here too long, so it is super weird to me.

Saturday we had a Pioneer Day family history activity that got thrown on us at the last minute. Because it was so last minute we thought that nobody was going to show up, but it actually got a pretty good turn out. We didn’t have any non members show up, which was a bummer, but it was good nonetheless.

Saturday evening I started getting pretty sick, so I took some cold medicine that I found in the cabinet in our apartment late in the night. It must have been some really powerful stuff cause it knocked me out cold the entire night and I didn’t wake up at all in the morning. The only reason I woke up was because my companion got up. This stuff worked so well that I literally could not stay awake at all during ward council and throughout all of church. I was falling asleep standing up. People thought it was pretty funny though and were understanding. I honestly don’t remember much of Sunday though. Drugs are bad.

So yeah… I randomly have a cold in the middle of the summer. It’s a pretty bad one too. Luckily I’m starting to feel better today.

Today for P-Day we are going fishing in our WML’s bass pond. I enjoy fishing so today should be fun.

Anyway, that was the week. It’s probably hard to tell, but it was significantly better than last week. Things just move really slowly here.


Elder Jeremiah Brown


Here are many weeks worth of pictures I have not been able to send out until now


IMG_0509 (1)


The random house one is a house we found here in Gaffney. Look closely at what it is decorated with.







More Gaffney

So this week’s email is going to be short. I hardly have any time to type this out. We went down to Greenville today to go to a free trampoline park and we are just now getting back.

It’s been a hard couple of weeks. The work here is difficult but we are staying positive.

Anyway, here it is.


Today for P-Day we didn’t have much to do so we went around and hit all of the pawn shops in the area to see if we could find some weights for a bench press we have (which we never found). In the process we almost drove out of the mission on accident. Luckily we realized we were on the border right before hand so we stopped. We did, however, take this opportunity and get pictures in front of the North Carolina border line. And if you were wondering, no, I did not walk into North Carolina and leave the mission boundaries. That’s bad juju.


Today we had DDM and I trained on the subject of diligence and happiness. This is one of the hardest districts in the mission and it is really easy here to get unmotivated and lazy because the work is a little slow and literally nobody else is around to make sure we are behaving. The missionaries here lately have really been struggling and the overall morale is pretty low. Basically I am trying to get things moving forward here, so at DDM I tried to help the overall positivity of the district. I think it turned out ok.

Nothing else super noteworthy happened today. It was pretty slow in terms of proselyting.


Today we started the day by doing service for Habitat for Humanity. We helped mow some lawns and do some yard work. After that we went to ward coordination/lunch with Brother M., our ward mission leader. It was really good. He will be a great ward mission leader. We talked a lot about what had been happening in the ward lately and we found out a bit more about what went down before we left.

Afterward we did a little bit of proselyting and then went to Book of Mormon class. That was basically the entire day.

Thursday we did service for Meals on Wheels in the morning which was fun. We cut up like 30 different honey baked hams they had donated to them. It was good stuff. After that we went and did a ton of proselyting. We talked to a lot of people, which was good, but we really didn’t see a ton of success. Nothing too crazy happened besides us almost getting stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Friday we had weekly planning in the morning and took our car in to get it fixed. That took up a good chunk of the day and then we spent the rest of the day tracking. We talked to some cool people and made a little bit of progress.

Saturday we went to Spartanburg for a Zone DL meeting. It was pretty good and we learned some new things. The rest of the day we spent a lot of time in the country. Lots of crazy people and stuff. We set up some appointments which was good.

Sunday I gave a talk in church. I talked about how the Atonement of Jesus Christ can and should motivate us to do missionary work. I think it went pretty well and people seemed to like what I had to say.

After church we went and worked our rears off for the rest of the day. It paid off because we found some new people and got some great appointments set up for next week.

Anyway, sorry I was kinda vague and short with this email. I’ve had hardly any time to type this out.

Gotta go


Elder Jeremiah Brown

From his personal email to us:

Honestly things are kinda rough right now. The last few weeks have been some of the hardest weeks of my mission. We are doing our best to stay positive though.

Don’t worry about me too much though! I will be ok. Just keep me in your prayers because I will need them.

Another week in the magical land of Gaffney

Well this week went by fast. It was kind of a boring week honestly. I look back and it is hard for me to pinpoint what happened. Time moves really weirdly out here.

On Monday we slept and I “skinnied” ties for P-Day. I have a whole bunch of fat ties I am trying to work through. It was a pretty low key day overall. In the evening we went to a family home evening with a less active family in the Ward. It was pretty cool and we got to know some more of the members here. Plus we got free food so that’s always good.

Tuesday was really fun. We had Zone conference in Greenville and got to meet President and Sister Innes for the first time. They are super awesome and I am excited to have them here for the next few months. They showed us a talk given at the mission presidents seminar by Elder Holland it was incredible! Easily one of the best talks I have heard him give and it really made an impression on me. You can’t get the full thing on but you can read part of it there. It is awesome.

At Zone Conference I got to see a lot of old missionary friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time, which was really cool. After Zone Conference because it was Independence day we had to go home for the rest of the evening. Basically it was a day of no missionary work.

On Wednesday we spent a good chunk of the day doing service for the L. family in our ward. We helped them clean up a bunch of scrap metal on their property and it was HEAVY. We had to move two old Ford engines that were probably about 50 years old and put them on a trailer. I am still a little bit sore from picking those up. We found out later that one of the engines weighed about 700 pounds and the other about 500. Crazy stuff.

After we did service we had to take our car in to get fixed. It was really dumb because we had to drive all the way down to Spartanburg and then they told us that we were going to have to come back another day, so we wasted a whole bunch of time. That took up most of the day and then we did a little bit of proselyting in the evening, but nothing too awesome happened.

Thursday we did service in the morning for Meals on Wheels, a non-for-profit organization here that delivers food to disabled people. We spent most of the time doing food prep and then they had us organize their walk in freezer, which was a lot of fun because we were freezing in the 105 degree heat. It’s pretty hot here, but luckily the upstate isn’t nearly as hot as Columbia so I am getting a break.

We did some proselyting for the rest of the afternoon and then we taught a mission prep class at the Bishop’s house for the rest of the evening. It was pretty good and I think we made a good impression on the Bishop and his family.

Friday we worked in a soup kitchen in the morning. We do a lot of service here in the mornings because there isn’t a whole lot to do in the early hours of the day. The soup kitchen was very interesting. Lots of interesting people and it definitely reminded me how poverty stricken some people are. It also reminded me that some people just choose to be that way for some reason.

The rest of the day was kinda slow. We have been going around trying to contact all of the formers and potential investigators in our areabook, which has proven to be either very eventful and crazy, or very, very slow.

Saturday morning Sister S. called and asked us to give one of her member friends a blessing, so we went over and did that. Afterward we worked the area around there, and I discovered new areas to never go to. There are some really really bad places in East Gaffney. We basically spent the entire day in East Gaffney visiting people and trying our best to get a feel of the area. The area is really odd geographically so I am still trying to figure out what this place is like. Lot’s of crazy mean people, lot’s of crazy nice people, but not a whole lot in between.

In the evening we got hit with a really bad thunderstorm and it made missionary work really hard. We ended up sitting in the car for over an hour waiting for it to be safe and smart to go outside to talk to people. We found a couple cool people and met some less active members which was good.

Sunday was alright. There were a lot of people at church, or at least it seemed like a lot because last week there was hardly anyone here. We spent a large chunk of the day inside because Elder N. was not feeling well, so I spent a lot of time putting together plans for the week.


Not the most interesting week for sure. On the bright side though, I saw fireflies for the first time and freaked out because I have always wanted to see them. I turned into a little kid for an evening.

Something really stood out to me this week in my studies. I was reading through Jacob chapter 5 and I had the thought that this chapter must have been a lot of work to write. Then I thought about how the chapter represented the labor the Lord has put into saving his children. The Lord really must love us if he is so willing to put so much work and love into “pruning his vineyard.” We are so blessed that the Lord is so long suffering and doesn’t just burn his vineyard to the ground, because honestly that is what I would be inclined to do. We should always strive to be the fruit that does not cause the Lord to mourn.

Anyways, that is all. Thanks for all the emails and I will talk more next week!

Bark bark,

Elder Jeremiah Brown

1. Me, Elder Volmar, Guzman, and Neff before we left Columbia. Guzman and Volmar were our Zone Leaders in Columbia.


2. Greenville and Greenville East Zones with President and Sister Innes


Into the wild

Well let me just say that it has been one heck of a week, and it’s probably going to be one heck of a next 5 months.

So Gaffney is wild. I understand now why they call it Gaffrica. It is easily the most backwoods area I have served in and quite possibly one of the most backwoods areas here period. I thought that I had fully adjusted to the southern accent and then I came out here and I am honestly having trouble understanding people. It’s like another language.

There are pretty much no neighborhoods here. Everyone lives in a trailer or a small home on a private plot of land or a trailer park. This place is wacky but I like it.

This week I drove all the way across the entire state of SC. Lots of driving and trees.

Anyway, Monday was when we found out about the Emergency Transfer. We found out right before we were about to check out our groceries from Walmart, which was good otherwise we would have wasted a lot of money.

Pretty much the rest of the day we played basketball, wrote emails and said goodbyes. In the evening we spent our time packing and cleaning up our apartment for the new sisters replacing us.

Tuesday was complete madness. We had to drive down to Charleston (which is a 2 hour drive) to get some prescriptions filled and then come back quickly so we could finish packing and prepping the area for the new missionaries. Charleston was fun though because I got to have lunch with Elder O. who is in Charleston now as a Zone Leader (da’s my boy).

After Charleston we finished up packing and then for dinner we went with the ZL’s to Pawley’s Front Porch, a really good burger place in downtown Columbia that they had been wanting to take us to for a while. The West Columbia ZL’s and the AP’s showed up as well which was fun, except that the AP’s had to leave early and we had to cram both sets of ZL’s in our car and drive them home, which was complete madness and we didn’t end up getting home until late.

Elder C. had to come down to get his car fixed so he stayed the night here and I got to see him, which was fun.

Wednesday we spent the morning finishing the cleaning process and then we said goodbyes to the ZL’s (Elder V. and G.) and started our journey to Gaffney. It was sad saying goodbye to those guys. They were really good friends and I will miss having them around. Elder V. is one of 2 other Elders in this mission going to BYU so I will get to see him there.

We arrived in Gaffney after dark and started unpacking for the rest of the evening. The apartment was pretty nice minus the giant holes in the ground. There was hardly any food in the place but I found some weird frozen Chicken Cordon Bleu that didn’t look too bad so I ate that.

Thursday we shopped and finished unpacking. A. H., a member of Greenville ward who still keeps in contact with me, found out that I got to Gaffney and came to visit. He was almost 600 pounds when I was in Greenville with him but then he got a gastric bypass and has been losing a ton of weight. It was great to see him and I almost didn’t recognize him because in less than a year he has gone from 580 lbs to 185 pounds. He has lost so much size and weight that he is having to remove 35 pounds of extra skin. It is really cool to see what people can do when they put their mind to something. He told me all about how Greenville ward was doing and stuff. Greenville has honestly become probably one of my favorite places in the world. I just love it there.

Anyway, that was fun. The rest of the day was unpacking and then we got to visit a couple new people and explore the area.

Friday we spent a lot of time cleaning up the areabook and figuring out the area. It is very rural.

Saturday we started getting the missionary work ball rolling. We visited a few less actives and every single one I have met is a character. We met one guy who lives in this trailer in the middle of nowhere and has like 15 guns just sitting around the place. He moved a couple off the couch so we could sit down and just handed them to his 6 year old son like it was nothing, and told him to put them away. I love the south.

Basically the day consisted of lots of guns, confederate flags, crazy people, cool people, etc.. There was a nasty thunderstorm that hit and our apartment got struck by lightning and set the fire alarms off. It was probably the loudest sound I have heard in my life.

Sunday was pretty good. Literally everyone in the ward is related. EVERYONE. It is just a big religious family reunion. It kinda worries me actually.

After church we went out with Brother M., a retired member of the ward, and he took us to visit a whole bunch of members and showed us around the area. He is a really awesome guy and does a lot with the missionaries. We spent most of the day with him. He took us to visit his home teaching families, who are literally his family in one way or another.

Anyway, that was the week. Honestly this has been one of the weirdest weeks of my mission. I guess it’s just a lot to take in but I am going to have to do some adjusting for sure.

It is truly Gaffrica. Today for P-Day we are probably just going to take naps and sew ties. That may sound lame but there isn’t much to do around here besides going to see the giant peach water tower that is the image of Gaffney. If you don’t know what I mean look it up or wait for me to get a picture with it.

Well, wish me luck.


Elder Jeremiah Brown

Here is a picture of the state of South Carolina so you can see how far Elder Brown had to travel to go to Charleston and then up to Gaffney:  


Here are some images I found online of the peach water tower he referred to in his email: