Sunday, May 20, 2018

Flame of Faith

Hello Everyone!!!
SO in case you are unaware, I am no longer in Bandung but have moved to SOLO to serve here for my last three weeks in Indonesia!

SO Elder Fradella and I are whitewashing again in Solo! We've been here this whole last week and it has been really good! We actually started the week stuck in the house but luckily we were able to go out on Wednesday and start lighting up SOlO. It's been difficult because we have literally started from null. And the people in Solo are a lot different from the people in Jakarta haha

But it has been an adventure and we have seen miracles! It's been hard to keep the flame of faith burning, but as we have done our best, the Lord has shown His hand. It is always very humbling. We've been singing a lot with people. We've decided that if people reject us, we will ask them if we can sing a song for them first. We want to leave a good spirit with them.

So Elder Fradella and I are happy and working hard and I really enjoy working with him. He is always positive and really funny!!

Anyways, we met this man and he is really cool and he wants to be baptized!! Please pray that he will have the faith to come to church and that he will understand the things we are teaching him!

I love you all!!

I do know that this is the Lord's work and I am so grateful that I had this chance to be part of it!!

One more time, I love you all!!

Elder Brown

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Have I Done Any Good

Hey Everyone! Sorry this won;t be too long!
But I hope everyone knows that Bandung rocks and so does Elder Fradella!!!
We've had so many wonderful experiences. Whitewashing is hard, but a great experience! We have seen many miracles! 

One great experience - 
We went down to this area that was a little far to look for some addresses that we had and we ended up in this hue neighborhood where we were pretty lost and it was hot and dusty and I said to Elder Fradella that there had to be a reason we had gone down there. We ended up finding a former investigator that we weren't looking for, but afterwards I still didn't feel like that was the reason we had gone down there. So we decided to check one more street to find if that was the address we were looking for. And it was! But right as we came up to the house of the investigator, we saw a 89-year old lady walking or trying to walk down the street with a cane in one hand and the other trying to hold a wall. So we offered to help. I held her hand and helped her along. And then, because we live in Indonesia, it just started pouring out of nowhere. Like torrential rain haha and so we took her under a random porch. and the person inside was yelling at us through the window to take her to a different house, but they wouldn't even open the door. SO we just kind of ignored that haha. But then we realized that our investigator had a car, so we decided to go ask him for help (though we hadn't actually met this man before). So we knocked and we asked and he just didn't want to help. He walked back inside and his family member invited us in, and he was just on the phone and everything was just super weird and awkward. Eventually he got off the phone and we asked for help again and this time he grudgingly agreed. So we got her in the car and took her home. The miracle was that after that the Investigator was much happier and much more open with us. We sang "Have I done any good?" with him.
And after that we realized why we had gone down there and why the Lord needed us there at that specific time.
We've seen so many miracles like that!
Another great thing was we had the opportunity to go see the BYU Singers when they came and performed in Bandung. They sang two songs in Slovenian which was a real treat!!!
Zone conference this coming week. That will be fun!!!
Love you all so much! I do know that God lives and this is His work.
Elder Brown

Monday, April 23, 2018

Old Sewing Machine

Halo selamat siang semuanya!!
Apa kabar??

We had a wonderful (and very busy week) this week. We had some very long days in the office as it seemed every time we almost finished with something we were given something else to do haha... man, but it is such a privilege to be able to help out where we can. And we still were able to go out and see the Lord working miracles. So no complaints here, just grateful I get to be here!

We saw a lot of miracles this week. One that I want to share is about a family. We were finally able to meet with them. I really feel like the Lord guided us as we figured out what we needed to teach. Eventually we read 1 Nephi Chapter 8 together about Lehi's dream and how we need to hold to the iron rod "berpegang erat" if we want to make it safely to the tree and eternal life. After we taught we invited them to be baptized and they accepted! Hebat! The real miracle to me is that I met the father of this family on the bus just about 10 months ago when I first moved to Jakarta (the first time). At that time we let the assistants teach him and now I have the opportunity to teach him again. It's really amazing how the Lord works with and builds people little by little. Please pray for them.

Well this is the week! I am moving! I am headed out to serve in the city of Bandung for my last couple months!! Wahoooo!!! I will be training a new missionary which is really awesome!! I am excited! I actually won't leave until next Monday. It will be a blast!

I will miss Jakarta as it has been my home for quite a while now and I will miss Elder Nordwald but he and Elder Smith (my replacement ) will do wonderful things!
In other news, within the hour my beloved ex-comp Elder Johnson will be here with his whole group. They are going home. Gila! :0 So crazy. But President Subandriyo is bringing all of them to Taman Safari and Elder Nordwald and I are invited. SO that will be way fun!!! We are excited!!

In other news....

Oh I stole... or borrowed... Sister Rowley's old sewing machine and I used to fix my tan pants, so now I have a whole three wearable pairs - woohoo.

We also rode bikes again and that was super fun!

Life is great and I am so grateful to be here!! I love the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that I have been called here to Indonesia by Him and that this is His work.

I hope everyone takes a little time this week to ponder the Savior and what He truly did for us and to think about how you can share His love with others this week.

I really love you all!

Shout out to my adorable niece Emma!! One year old! Happy Birthday!

Elder Brown

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Joy of Missionary Work

Hello everyone!!

We had a great week this week. Lots of fun. One highlight of the week - we rode bikes!!!! So much fun. So on Sundays there is something called "Car Free Day". Pretty self explanatory, but one of the main roads is closed off to motor vehicles. So we decided to take the extra bikes we have and it was awesome. Then we rode the whole day. It is a whole different experience biking in jakarta!! We think we may be the first missionaries to ride bikes in Jakarta haha. All the members were quite impressed. We were riding right alongside motorcycles and cars and trucks. We felt like we owned this city (which we basically do). I'll put pictures in the drive!!

Other highlights...

There was a family from Vancouver Canada, the Sala family. They are a family of singers and they came to Indonesia to do a series of firesides. We went to that with some investigators, which was really fun! Turns out the know Paul and Amy Jensen really well. So that was really cool to meet someone who is friends with my friends haha such a small world. IT was really fun to watch them sing though. They invited everyone that new the EFY theme song "Come Unto Christ" to come up and help them sing, and no one was getting up, so just like you taught me Mom, I jumped up and ran to the front. In the end, I was the only male singing except for Brother Sala haha. Fun day though and then three of those investigators that went to that showed up for church on Sunday too.

We've been working really hard on transfers this week because there are quite a few going home (including my beloved ex-comp Elder Johnson) and we have 15 new missionaries. FIFTEEN!!! Really excited about that. But we've been putting some serious thought and prayer into that because we know how greatly it affects God's children here in INdonesia. It's been difficult to balance everything, but one wonderful thing I was reminded of was the joy of missionary work. It is such a wonderful experience to be a missionary and to help bring God's children closer to him. We were talking to President Subandriyo about how we as missionaries should all be happy and joyful. Sometimes we get stuck on how hard missionary work is, and yes we do work hard, but we sometimes forget to see the joy in the work. It's so important to remember. As I've tried to focus on the joy, it has helped me through some times that could have been quite rough. But the Savior always carries us through.

Anyway really good stuff this week. We have been blessed with so many wonderful investigators that it has been pretty difficult to find the time to teach them. But we are trying our best and I have seen over and over and over again how the Lord blesses, supports and helps them beyond the abilities of just Elder Nordwald and I. It is pretty amazing.

Hope everyone just had a wonderful day. I testify that God is a real being. He does live and we are His children. Never forget why we are here on this earth. God does love us in ways we don't even understand.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Life is great!!

Hello Everyone! Salam dari Indonesia!

We had a really great week this week!! Really busy as usual haha seems like I say that every single week.

We had kind of an interesting experience this week where we totally forgot that there were four local missionaries who were coming in to be set apart by President Subandriyo... oops. So we were a little surprised but luckily we were reminded just in time it all turned out okay. Though because of helping them and a fireside with them, we didn't actually leave Senopati (the mission home) that day which is always slightly depressing haha buuuttt it was also a huge tender mercy! Because two of those Elders were from Malang where I used to serve and one used to go on splits with us and the other was inactive when I was there and then since I left, he became active and is now on a mission. And that is just such an incredible thing to see. Really lifted my spirits and helped me remember how true the Gospel really is. Amazing!!

And how about that General Conference huh?? Way good! I loved all of the messages from President Nelson. I know he is truly called of God and the things he is changing truly are inspired of God. I especially loved Elder Durrant's talk and Elder Causse's talk. Really wonderful messages. From Elder Durrant, I just know that those decisions to have family prayer and scripture and family home evening will bless families everywhere undescribably. I am so grateful for my experiences as I grew up in a wonderful family with parents who actively applied those principles (thanks Mom and Dad!! You rock!). I also loved the simple testimonies of the Savior and the divinity of His Atoning sacrifice. The things that Elder Causse spoke about. How the Gospel is all about the People. I love that - helps put into perspective what it means to truly be a servant of Christ.

The rest of this week was great. We had the privilege of going on splits with the Surabaya Zone Leaders. I split with Elder Darby a new Zone Leader reminded me of myself a year ago when I was in his shoes. Crazy - but he is SO much more prepared than I was haha. Really good to see how awesome the younger missionaries are. I learned a lot from him. We had a cool experience. We wanted to eat dinner and he wanted Ayam Goreng (Fried Chicken) and I was like "Well we can eat this normal Ayam Goreng... or we can walk over that way and eat Ayam Gepuk (the most delicious kind of Ayam Goreng)" so of course we chose the latter because Elder Darby's not a scrub. Then when we went there, in addition to the delicious food, there were three boys who were very interested as we taught them about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Kind of cool to see how the Lord uses my favorite foods to help us meet His children who are searching for the truth.


We also had MLC this week!! That was great! President Subandriyo made some changes for last time and we all learned a lot from President Suabndriyo. IT was sa lot of fun. This time, we bought Carl's Jr. Burgers, which was wonderful. On Fridays, it's buy one, get one free. So we each got two burgers - it's fun when you are the one in charge of ordering the food haha :)

Anyway life is great!! We had quite a few investigators come to General Conference and that was a great. Some of the girls from our English class came as well and after that were asking us about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. That was a miracle for us for sure! Everything is going great!!

I do know that God lives and He loves us. I know that the messages we received at General Conference truly are from God.

I love you all!!
Elder Brown

Monday, March 26, 2018

Time on our Hands

Hello selamat pagi semuanya!!

Apa kabar?? Semoga semua kabarnya luar biasa!! Semoga anda semua sehat dan bahagia!

I hope everyone had a really good week! I hope you all had the chance to feel the Lord's love in your life and had the chance to share that love with others as well!

I had a great week serving with Elder Nordwald. Man he is such a good guy. Definitely a change from Elder Johnson, because he's just about as good a missionary that you could find anywhere and i sure do miss him. That being said, Elder Nordwald is a stud!! We had a lot of fun this week.

It was a good week though we all-of-sudden weren't nearly as busy as we have been the last three weeks with no zone conferences, no transfers and no traveling and to be completely honest, I was way confused what to do with all our time. The last three weeks we only had time to go visit our progressing investigators and no one else haha So that was a nice change. Turned out really well and we saw a lot of miracles!!

One miracle - Sunday after church we went to our friend's  house and finally found him at home. So that was wonderful to see him. We tried to remind him of the feelings of joy he had when he had been active at church before. Please pray for him.

Other things that happened.... let's see

Cuci motor gratis - we did this at the church where we washed people's motorcycles and cars for free!

This is a family and we have been helping to pray together and we met the father and invited him to make a reminder and he sent us a picture of a wonderful sign that he had made and it made us so happy. I feel that our efforts are actually making a difference which is a wonderful feeling!

Lemper celebration - It was the 176th anniversary of the Relief Society which in Indonesia "Lembaga Pertolongan" or :"Lemper" so after church we had a celebration and we all ate really well :) That was fun! and all of our investigators stayed and enjoyed it - that was wonderful!!

This morning, we also got up and played basketball as a district - super fun!!!

I love you all!!

Elder Brown

Monday, March 19, 2018

This week was...TRANSFERS!!

Hello family and friends!!!

How is everyone?? I hope you are all had a wonderful week! We sure have :) Though once again crazy again!!

This week is ... TRANSFERS!!! And no, I am not moving, but my beloved companion Elder Johnson is :( Which makes me really sad - I will miss him to no end. But the thing is, Elder Johnson is such an amazing person and missionary, I dont really have to do anything and we know that "there is no growth in the comfort zone". And I think the Lord knows that I need a whole lot of growing!

My new companion is Elder Nordwald, and he also is a wonderful man so I'm excited for that.

This week was awesome. Yesterday was a special Stake Conference with Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. That was really cool. I got to meet him briefly and quite a few of our investigators came and we're able to meet him as well. That was great! He taught us a lot of great things. One thing that made me think a little bit was when he said "our boys were like your boys". I meet so many people that one do what is right and won't make an effort to have family prayer and scripture study or to work for their families or so many other things. As I looked at Elder Stevenson, I saw that he was a successful father and husband, not because his path was easier but he was wiling to try despite the difficulties. He said "God doesn't expect us to be perfect, he just wants us to try." I see so often people who won't try because it is hard, but I know that it is in the moments of when we try that God gives us His power. Even when our efforts aren't enough, he carries us through. But, we have to try. So even this great Apostle, he has had and still has similar trials and challenges as we all do, but through reliance on the Savior and His power and grace, he makes it through. I think that's pretty incredible. We can all make it through, if we but try our best and give Him the rest.
Anyways, everything has been going great! Our investigators are doing well, I just wish we had more time to teach and help them. But the Lord is sure helping us, so I am grateful for that!!

I am really excited to be with Elder Nordwald. He's coming here soon!! I have a lot of respect for that man!

I really hope every one is doing well this week. I hope you are all HAPPY :D - "Men are that they might have joy"!

I love you all so much!

Elder Brown