Disease

So this email is gonna be short and lame. I am feeling terrible and it hasn’t been that spectacular of a week. Basically my companion and I are diseased and feeling terrible, and I am just not feeling it right now. On second thought actually, I am feeling it right now. And by feeling it, I mean feeling endless rivers of liquid death coarse through my intestines as I type this. Also, please forgive any choppiness in this email, as I am having to frequently leave the computer and cast out demons in the bathroom. Sorry for the detail, just be glad you aren’t me.

Basically this week consisted of us getting smartphones, facebook, and yeah basically that’s it. Ok, so I guess it is a big deal, but I never was a huge fan of facebook in the first place and I thought I was taking a two year break when I came out here. Having Facebook is officially the weirdest thing. When I got on for the first time in almost 2 years, I was kinda expecting the world to have changed. I think being cut off for so long makes missionaries form wild ideas about how much the world has changed and how cool it will be to get back into it, but, as you can imagine, I was kinda dissapointed. Basically everyone just got older and had babies and stuff. The world didn’t change that much. It made me less excited to go home than I had been previously. I mean, I love it out here, but it is natural to sometimes be excited about things back home. Getting on Facebook took a lot of that away. But yeah, it’s fun stuff, and it’s really useful for getting information on less actives and investigators.

Having smartphones is way nice though. We are spoiled to say the least.

The last few days have been a complete blur of sickness. Elder S. came down with a really bad cold (ironically right after he got the flu shot) and I came down with who knows what. We’ve been off and on resting and going out and working. We’re kinda pathetic honestly. Two diseased guys in nice clothes going from trailer to trailer trying to talk to people.

Anyways, hopefully we start to feel better soon. I don’t think I can handle it much longer.

Again, I apologize for the content and quality of this email.

Well, I gotta go! I will talk more next week.

gatos,

Elder Jeremiah Brown

p.s. Never swallow jalapenos whole.

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And another email

This week went by way fast and I don’t even know what to say about it. It was good I guess. Nothing crazy happened.

Monday we went to Spartanburg for P-Day and went to Guitar center and Barnes and Noble and basically spent the day playing around in those two stores because you can basically live in them.
Tuesday we had DDM and it went good. We talked about having the Spirit in all aspects of missionary work. After DDM we went and visited a ton of random less actives and former investigators, with little result. Lots of grumpy people. Ward coord got rescheduled to today and we had it at Brother M.’s house in the evening. We ate pizza and had lots of peppers. Brother M. is a spice nut and just chomps on cayennes and jalapenos like they’re carrots. I always leave there with my insides burning because when you have a bunch of guys around hot peppers, dares always ensue. After that we went to Sister B.’s and had a lesson with her. She just got her temple recommend back for the first time in 5 years, so we are way happy for her!
Wednesday we did service for one of our investigators, E., and it went pretty well. We cleaned out his gutters and then I climbed into a tree and cut a few limbs off for him. I now have respect for tree-cutters because not only was it a bit unnerving being up high, it is super exhausting. After that we cleaned up and went to Book of Mormon class, which was interesting as always. That pretty much ended the night, although Brother M. took us out for milkshakes afterward. (From a response to my asking about Book of Mormon classes here’s more info.:  We basically read from the Book of Mormon and discuss it as well as go over the lessons in the Book of Mormon Institute manual, which is awesome by the way. Usually it’s less actives that come to the class but every now and then we get investigators).
Thursday we did a TON of driving and visited a TON of people in the wastelands (which are beautiful by the way) of our area. We found this one less active who hadn’t been to church in over 25 years and had a great discussion with him. He had joined the church because of a girl he was dating, and when that didn’t work out he stopped coming. He told us that he had been thinking about going back to church lately, and decided that he would start coming back now. So basically, without any effort at all, we got this guy to commit to come back to church in 2 weeks. It was pretty awesome.
Friday we did service at the soup kitchen in the morning and then from there we went to visit Brother M. to do some yard work for him. After we had finished with this, we went and visited Sister S., a recent convert who went through the temple last month. She had just gotten out of the hospital and wasn’t doing the greatest, but was happy to meet with us and we had a great discussion with her. We also gave her a blessing, which was good for her because she hadn’t had very many and didn’t understand how they worked.
Saturday we had CONFERENCE!!! It was awesome. All the talks were amazing and I got a TON out of it. Probably one of my favorite conferences yet. During our down time during the day I practiced the piano for Zone Conference on Tuesday. People just assume I can play anything they ask because I can “play the piano.”
To all the piano playing future missionaries out there: LEARN ALL THE HYMNS BECAUSE PEOPLE WILL THINK YOU MAGICALLY KNOW ALL OF THEM EVEN THOUGH YOU CAN ONLY PLAY CHOOSE THE RIGHT BECAUSE IT’S THE EASIEST HYMN IN THE HYMN BOOK.
Anyway I’m done with that rant.
Sunday was awesome as well. General conference continued to be awesome. We went to the B.’s, a family in our ward, for the final session of General Conference and we had delicious crepes. The final session was very good and it was shocking to hear about Elder Hales passing away, but very cool to hear about Elder Nelson being in tune enough with the spirit to dash away from conference and be present while Elder Hales passed.
That was about all that happened this week. Next week should be very interesting. On Tuesday we will be getting smartphones and Facebook. I am trying to decide whether or not I like the idea of using Facebook. Regardless, expect some turmoil from me on there. Basically I will be going on there and cleaning up all of the junk, unfriending those random people you kinda met once, and unfollowing (not unfriending) EVERYONE. Don’t be offended, it’s what the church has us do, and it is just temporary while I am a missionary. Plus, I didn’t care to use facebook back home so it shouldn’t affect too much.
There were a lot of really cool themes this conference! One in particular I noticed was the importance of the Book of Mormon. Probably my favorite quote from all of conference was by Elder Nelson, who said, “I promise that as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions—every day.” 
It’s crazy how simple of a promise that is, but it is awesome! Literally we are promised by an apostle that if we just read the Book of Mormon every day, we will be better every day! How blessed we are to have prophets and apostles today who can promise us blessings when we do the simple things the Lord asks us to do.
Anyways, I don’t have much else to say. Thank you all for the support and prayers you send my way!
stay hydrated,
Elder Jeremiah Brown
Pics
1. The old post office in Kings Creek (an old town in our area where missionaries were mobbed and killed, and then in turn it never developed past a small stop on the side of the road)
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2. The now abandoned childhood home of former MIT President James Killian, in Kings Creek.
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3. Me in front of the town’s shop built in the 1800’s, and abandoned for years in Kings Creek.
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Moral of the story is don’t kill the missionaries.