Ok so first off, sorry for last weeks email. The day was complete madness and we had barely any time to actually write.
This week was pretty great! Things picked up a lot here and we had some good successes. My only complaint is that for some reason I unintentionally hurt myself an absurd amount of times (sun burn, spider bites, ant bites, other unknown bug bites, breaking a blood vessel in my finger, catching my second cold of the summer, getting snagged in thorn bushes, cutting myself with a gardening tool, the list goes on and on). Maybe I’m clumsy or maybe my brain has it out for me.
Monday was a BLAST! Last thing Sunday evening we got permission to drive down to Greenville to spend the night because of historically bad traffic forecasts for the next morning, caused by literally millions of people trying to cram into a 100 mile strip of land. We saw more out of state license plates than in state ones I think.
Anyway, we spent the night which was fun, although I had to sleep in a hammock and I think it gave me spinal cancer or something cause my back hasn’t been the same since. Monday we kinda emailed and then we sat out and watched the eclipse which was DOPE! There literally aren’t words to describe it completely. I feel like it must have been something like what people experienced when suddenly the sky went dark in the middle of the day when Jesus was crucified, minus the near apocalyptic destruction and chaos (although I did really have to go to the bathroom during the entire thing).
All I can say is it was really cool. 9/10 would recommend. 1/10 wouldn’t recommend because 1 burnt his eyes out and can’t type up this review.
After the eclipse was over we went around Greenville but didn’t get to do much because the traffic was so bad. We started heading back early but the traffic was so thick it still took us 2 hours to get home. We spent the rest of the evening making calls and trying to get stuff set up for the week.
Tuesday was a good break for me because I didn’t have to do DDM as a result of zone conference being this week. We had ward coordination with Brother M. which went good. We worked on trying to get a new program going in the ward so we can start getting to know the ward better. Other than that, nothing of great significance happened and I honestly don’t remember too many of the details.
Wednesday we had President Innes’s first Zone Conference which was awesome! We talked about a lot of good things and got to hear President’s ideas for the mission. Good things are definitely in the future here, although I don’t know if I will be here for most of them. Zone conference almost lasted the entire day, including driving. Honestly, I am kind of glad it lasted that long because I was so exhausted after 10 hours of meetings I don’t think I could have done much more work after that. Something about meetings just takes it out of you.
Thursday we did a TON of service. We started by helping Sister S. (one of our recent converts) unload a grocery shipment she was getting, and then went to meals on wheels for a couple hours. After that we went to help an elderly member of the ward cut his grass, which ended up taking a whole lot longer than we expected. His yard was significantly larger than I thought. We try to avoid spending our entire day doing service but today it just turned out otherwise. By the time we were done with everything it was 6, so we took our dinner and worked for the rest of the evening. I was thoroughly exhausted to say the least.
Friday we worked at the soup kitchen. I’ve come to realize that there are two different types of people who go to soup kitchens. One type is really nice and grateful and they always are polite despite their raggedy looking conditions. The other type is literally just a bunch of people who are there for a free meal so they have energy to keep kicking baby animals and burning down orphanages. Usually, despite their conditions, the humble ones are happy people, whereas the other group is never happy. Anyway, some grumpy guy cussed me out and I wanted to be un Christlike and tell him to get a job but I just decided to walk away.
After the soup kitchen we did a lot of cleaning up of our area book because it got unintentionally messed up by previous missionaries. We tried by a bunch of people’s houses but hardly got any answers.
Saturday we did, yet again, more service, this time for a non member who needed her yard worked on. Her field was absolutely wild and the lawn mower I was using was getting jammed because the grass was so thick. I uncovered some gnarly ant hills and they in turn, graciously decided to see what I tasted like. Other than that though, the service went well and hopefully we will have a new investigator soon. After that we weekly planned and then went to an appointment with M. B., which went a lot better than the previous one. We had it in the home of Sister R. and I think that helped a bit. She seems to be doing a lot better. Also, I discovered that I actually enjoy green been casserole (queue the “I told you so” from mom and dad).
Sunday we went out with the young men’s president and visited a bunch of less actives. We went into a lot of backwoods places with no luck until finally we met a guy who seemed to have some potential. He was super nice and we talked to him for probably an hour or so. He is really attached to another church he goes to currently but I think we may be able to get him back into the fold. It’s interesting that most less actives out here don’t stop going to church when they go less active, they just go to a different church. I have met very few healthy southerners who don’t already go (or claim to go) to a church.
Anyway, I think that was about everything that happened this week. It was a good week overall. Definitely a lot more fun than previous ones.
This week at zone conference we watched a talk given in General Conference a while back called “The Divine Call of a Missionary.” It was given by Elder Rasband before he was called to be an Apostle. A lot of the things he said in it really touched me. He shares the awesome experience he had being able to witness the assigning of missionaries with Elder Eyring, and saw truly how inspired the calls are that missionaries receive. Its always an awesome reminder to realize that despite the church’s large membership and the general authorities’ ability to delegate responsibility to other numerous leaders, they still take upon themselves the responsibility of assigning literally tens of thousands of missionaries to their prospective missions through divine revelation. It truly goes to show how important missionary work is in the eyes of the Lord.
Elder Rasband finishes his talk by quoting the following scripture in D&C 15.
4 For many times you have desired of me to know that which would be of the most worth unto you.
5 Behold, blessed are you for this thing, and for speaking my words which I have given you according to my commandments.
6 And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen.
Regardless of whether or not we are full time missionaries or just normal members, it is important to remember that the Lord has advised us that the thing that should be of “most worth” to us is spreading the gospel. If you are like I was before I came out to the field, and don’t have a huge desire to spread the gospel, the best thing you can do is to ask God for the desire. He will give it to you if you sincerely ask for it. In fact, I am sure that he will be overjoyed by your asking.
Anyway, that is my thought for the week. Thanks for all the support prayers you send my way! I appreciate every bit of them.
Elder Jeremiah Brown
Lots of pictures of us at the eclipse. Picture of the eclipse (unfortunately due to the unsatisfactory quality of my camera, I cannot take credit for the picture. photo creds Sister Christensen). Picture of a microwaveable container that decided to not be microwavable anymore, although the chicken still tasted good.