This is it

So this week I am going to forgo the daily updates and just give a rundown of everything that happened this week so that I have more time to talk about other things.

This week I had to deal with a lot more going home stuff than I planned, which was a bit of a bummer but we got some good work done.

The biggest story of this week was probably the terrible bike ride I had on exchanges on Friday.

So I’ve been on a bike for a large majority of my mission, and I’ve biked through some pretty bad weather. Snow, hail, massive thunderstorms, and searing humid heat did not prepare me for Friday’s bike ride. So I went on exchanges in Spartanburg 1st ward with Elder D., and we were doing some service for a thrift store when it started snowing outside. I wasn’t too worried because I had biked in snow before, so we kept working and lost track of time until we noticed it was starting to get dark. The guy in charge of the thrift store recommended that we leave because the weather was going to get worse and it was getting dark. So we left and headed home, and then it conveniently started sleeting. Getting hit in the face with sleet doesn’t feel too good, but biking head on into the storm with an uncovered face is a whole other thing. It killed, like I half expected my face to be bleeding when we got back home because it hurt so bad. The worst part was that I couldn’t cover my face unless I wanted to wreck on the icy, rush hour traffic roads (which we almost did a couple times). I also was wearing shorts and a long sleeve shirt because I didn’t bring quite enough warm clothes for the exchange. Let’s just say it wasn’t my greatest moment.

When we got home the mission put our zone on lockdown for the rest of the evening, which was good because I had already made the executive decision to do that. I spent the rest of the night defrosting my hands, which it took until about 10 for the pain to go away fully.

Anyways, the other highlight of the week would be our final appointment with B. and J. They were really sad to see both of us leave at the same time, and they were really apprehensive about getting new missionaries. We made them promise that they would give the next guys a shot, so hopefully they follow though on that.

For the sake of time, that is all that I am going to mention for this week.

Today is my last P Day, so we are going to spend our day in Greenville and see some places in my old area before I leave.

It is really breaking my heart to see my mission ending. I have learned so much, had so many cool experiences, and had so much fun and I don’t want to see it go. I love South Carolina! This is a new home to me. I am really going to miss everything here. The thought of leaving here is just as weird as leaving home seemed before my mission.

It is cliche, but though I have been serving the people of SC for the last two years, they really have been serving me. I would never trade my last 2 years here for anything in the entire world. Literally the mission is the single best thing that has ever happened to me.

There is so much I now know. I have gained a lot of knowledge here on my mission, but I also have received a spiritual witness of many things.

I have come to know that the Book of Mormon is true. I have come to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I have come to know that our church today is led by men who are called of God. I have come to know that families can be together forever, and I have come to appreciate more the Plan of Salvation and all that it offers. But most of all, I have come to know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that his sacrifice is the single door to true and never ending happiness.

That is probably the single greatest lesson I have learned here. I know for a fact that the Gospel of Jesus Christ works! It just does. I cannot explain it in any other terms than that.

I have made a lot of mistakes on my mission. I think that we all have incorrect perceptions of who missionaries are. We are still human, or at least I definitely am. I cannot fathom my life, especially my mission, without the atonement of Jesus Christ. I could never have fathomed how something that I can’t see or touch or even comprehend has brought me so much peace and lasting happiness.

If you haven’t experienced the joys of the Atonement, and felt the love of the Savior, I encourage you to ask in prayer to feel his love and feel these joys. It is the best thing you can do.

And for all you young people out there, the other best thing you can do for yourselves is to go on a mission. Take it from me, the kid who was truly, deep down inside, a little apprehensive about coming out on a mission. It really is the best two years.

Well this is it. Guys, I am so grateful for everything you have done for me. I’ve said it before, these two years have been the greatest two years of my life. I wish there was more I could say to convey this. I love this work! It has taken me to the end of my mission to realize how much I enjoy and will miss serving the people of South Carolina. My call was inspired, and I feel like this place was made for me.

Anyways, I should probably stop there. I look forward to seeing many of you in a few days!

Until then,

Love

Elder Jeremiah Brown

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Second to last weekly email you have to get from me

Sorry guys, I procrastinated emailing again. I’ve had a lot on my mind and it’s been depriving me of sleep, so I just needed to take a mental break today.  I promise next weeks email will be really good, cause it is my last one. This week was good, though I don’t have too much to talk about. Life is getting really weird lately, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about this “home” thing everyone talks about.

Anyways, Monday was a lot of fun. We spent our P-Day filming our district Christmas skit, which should be good. I won’t be here to see it at Christmas Zone Conference,  but I still get to make it and honestly that’s all I really care about. After we filmed the majority of the video, we hung out with the Gaffney and Union elders and then went to ward coordination with our Ward Mission Leader. He had been very sick for the last few weeks, so we hadn’t been able to have a Ward Coordination since I had been there. It went really well, and we had a lot of good things to talk about.
Tuesday we had DDM and then we had exchanges with the Spartanburg 1st elders. Elder S. and I stayed in Spartanburg 2nd, and had a really good exchange. We randomly got to talk to a lot of people and set up a couple appointments for the future so it was a great day.
Wednesday we did service and stuff as usual. Nothing too new or crazy happened.
Thursday nothing too fantastic happened until the evening. We had an appointment with B. and J. M., and they had their non member friends over and we had a lesson with all of them. Their friends had some great questions and I wouldn’t be surprised if we start teaching them too!
Friday and Saturday nothing much happened. I honestly don’t remember most of what happened but I had to take care of a bunch of going home stuff and we had a couple appointments in between. I’m trying to get all of that nonsense taken care of first so I can focus on working my last few days.
Sunday was good. We had Stake conference in the afternoon in Greenville which was good. After that we had dinner and then went to another appointment with J. and B. It was pretty good though not as good as the last one.
Anyways, that’s a really quick run down of everything that happened this week. Sorry it’s so vague. Next weeks email will be good I promise.
The end of my mission has really snuck up on me. To me, this is normal life, and I really can’t comprehend doing anything else. All I really want to say today is that the mission is the single greatest thing that has happened to me. I am eternally grateful for the lessons I have learned out here and the things I have experienced. Even the bad experiences. On exchanges with Elder S. (who is in training), we talked a lot about missions and he asked a lot of questions about my mission experiences. What I came to realize there, was that all of my experiences were something I could learn from. I look back with fondness at all of the things I have been through, even the horrible things. It made me wish that I had known, in the moment of trial, that my trials would pass, and would just add to my experience (there’s a great scripture in D&C about that, though I don’t have time to quote it). I look back with fondness at what has happened on my mission. I would never trade any of my experiences here for anything, not even the bad ones. I think we can apply this to life as well. One day, we will be in our heavenly home and all of our trials and experiences will be something we can look back on, and maybe even laugh at! Remember this in the moment of trial, and I think that we will be happier people.
Anyways, P Day is almost over and I gotta get this off. Talk more later!
Love,
Elder Jeremiah Brown