Elder Brown in Montauban

Elder Brown in Montauban

Monday, February 27, 2012

Explosion of Awesome Awesomeness - February 27, 2012

Yes, I know the heading of this message is a bit redundant, but that's the only way to describe what happened since last monday.  I have NEVER seen a week like this. EVER!  
First off...
Mom, good luck with your new calling!  
Kendra, thanks for getting my housing done!  You have no idea how much I haven't been thinking about that at all!  Thanks for all the stress you went through.  Also, thanks for checking on Craig and Auston.  Jeanelle and Jake!  I might have known; that is SO fun!
Drew, get well soon.
Steph, don't race.
Trev, run fast!

Alright, it's a shame that I don't have much time to write. This week we found just about a million new investigators!  We're going to see la famille David in one hour.  Nicole and Jacques are both about 75 years old; Jacques is very Catholic and Nicole doesn't believe in God anymore since her son dies four years ago at forty years of age.  Later tonight we're heading off to see Christophe Mariette, who came to church this week!  Lydie (an old amie that we re-found this week) came to church as well!  Tomorrow we'll be teaching Madame Castin, a woman of about 70.  She's really...spicy!  She let's you know what's on her mind.  We'll also be seeing Michael and Maria (I mentionned them about four weeks ago) tomorrow.  
Also, we ran into Opeti and Losi again; we showed them the Restoration DVD, and they cooked us (without warning us) an enormous tongan dinner.  I was seriously not hungry at all the next day.  Our other new amis are Rodrigue and Jean-Charles, and I want to tell you a story about the other three...
But first, we taught Quentin last night!  We just rang his doorbell and he let us in!  We're going to see him again on Wednesday to read together.  He's still searching as hard as ever, but not in the right places; he had stopped reading the Book of Mormon. However, last night he sent me a text message in which he quoted 1 Nephi 3:7 and said "I was wondering how I'd manage to find the time to read with all of the schoolwork I've got, and then I read this verse. I called my friend to see what we had to do for tomorrow; nothing!"  
So, as for our last three investigators; we found them yesterday.  We went to an appointment with a man that had wanted to teach him and his wife.  Frère Zambo came with us.  The man wasn't there, but the woman who answered the interphone suggested that we go looking for him at the little fair that was going on.  We searched in vain, but came back and rang again.  He still wasn't there, but I told the woman that we were missionnaries, and asked if we could come up.  She hesitated, then pressed the button to unlock the door.  We went upstairs to meet Jeanne (with whom I had talked on the interphone), Madeleine, Madina, and their mother (I don't know her first name and I won't even try to spell her last name.  La famille N'DIAYE (I abbreviated, I think) is from Mali and Senegal.  After a few minutes of waiting, we managed to have the whole family sit down on the couch as we taught the message of the restoration.  As I listened to Jeanne (she talked the most) explain a bit about her past, her religious background, how she works sixteen hours a day  every weekday to support her five young kids, and how she and her husband are separated since four years ago, I felt so calm.  It was so peaceful as we taught the mesage of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus-Christ.  We immediately laughed together and had a room full of friends.  It's difficult to describe that wonderful feeling, which came from the Holy Ghost.  Jeanne accepted our invitation to be baptized on March 31st.  Her sisters wee more hesitant, and her mom is muslim.  I haven't felt so at peace in a rendez-vous for a long time.
I gottat go, but I am so grateful to be working here in Agen.  The Lord has showered blessings out upon us, to the point that we don't have room enough to recieve them!
I love you all§  Have a great week!
-Elder Brown

Monday, February 20, 2012

Le Soleil nos envoie le printemps

Bonjour à tous!!!

Kendra, Mom, and Drew, it's great to hear from you! As for the rest of you, I have no doubt that it would have been great to hear from you. Happy Valentines day!

Drew, congratulations on getting into BYU! I'm trying to think of suggestions for you, but I don't really have any...oh, yes I do...no, nevermind. Maybe I'll remember something later.

Kendra, I would love living somewhere near to those fellas, provided that they've repented of their nocturnal lifestyles (Hopefully their missions will have taught them to rise early and to retire early)!

Mom, I love you! I love reading your missionary stories.

By the way, have Auston and Craig recieved the packages I sent them?

We've had a tough week here in Agen. I got the flu on tuesday and put in a good 24 hours of bed rest. I'm way better now! We're working really hard, but let's just say that the fruits are taking a while to appear! But we're sure happy out here! Missionary work is a blast. As for our amis: We haven't been able to teach Louis and Angela this week. Hopefully we'll get to teach Monsieur Noël tomorrow. We haven't seen Quentin, but I had a long phone conversation with him. Other than that, we're kinda back down to zero.

I've had some fun things happen to me this week! Last monday I got an email from Caroline and Matthieu. It had been one year since Caroline's baptism, and it felt so good to read their testimonies. They're about to start the class for preparing to be married in the Temple! We definitely need to include them on our list of people to see. This friday, I got a phone call from a number I didn't recognize. I answered, and a voice said, "Est-ce bien le portable d'Elder Brown?" (she pronounced "Brown" like the americans do) I answered that it was indeed my phone, and the voice said "Bonjour Elder Brown, c'est Anne-Marie Pichard à l'appareil!" I was so flabbergasted that I couldn't speak! I said "Qu--comment--c'est--uhh...--comment vous avez fait pour avoir mon numéro?!" Apparently the missionaries in Montpellier had given her my number! She told me they had recieved my postcard, and then she passed the phone to Pierre! We didn't talk long, but I when I got off the phone and said "what just happened?!" What a blast to the past!

Yesterday we found Lisiade, a cool new ami!

I love you all! Being a missionary is the best! Our message is TRUE!

-Elder Brown

Monday, February 13, 2012

I think the Cold is Over - Feburary 13, 2012

Bonjour, all you good lookins!

Trev, I see from the picture that your black eye is gone. I hate pole vault accidents too. Just get back on that horse and ride it, so to speak!
Steph, looking lovely dans ta robe rouge. Good work in your lazer tag game. Thats what Jeanelle and I did for Tolo, but I definitely didn't get second...maybe second to last! How is Jeanelle, by the way?
Drew, that's one dashing picture of you on the phone! Good work, superman. I hope mom got a video of the halftime dance. How'd the flipping go?
Kendra, you did a facebook fast?! I'm starting to wonder if 2O12 really is the end of the world! Glad you got to talk to Erwan; he's such a great missionary.
Mom, thank you for being my mom! Nobody else could do a better job with all of us rowdy kids!
Dad, je t'aime! Parait-il que t'es plus que débordé par tout ce qui est Zaycon! J'espère que le siteweb 2.0 a été une réussite!

Alright, we've had quite a roller coaster this week! It's still REALLY COLD here, but apparently it should be warming up tomorrow! We've had several bummers this week with appointments that fell through because none of the members could help us and we can't teach single women all alone.
Quentin has had a rough week. He's experiencing a lot of opposition from the whole culture at his school and among his peer group, which tell him that life is about expressing yourself. He told me he is the only one among his friends who believes in God, and yet he is the most unhappy. Alma 41:10. We're going to stay in contact by phone but for the moment we're not teaching him. He gave me an ENORMOUS bible atlas. I haven't looked at it yet, but it could definitely kill a cat (or even an armadillo) if dropped from a height of six feet.
One awesome miracle: On wednesday, I was here in Agen on exchange with one of my favorite missionnaries in the world, Elder Tudor! We worked hard, and just before teaching Quentin we ran into a man and a woman whom I recognized. I said "Angela?! Louis...?" It was a couple that we had contacted the very first week here in Agen. It was a miracle that I remembered their names (definitely some help from the Spirit there)! Five weeks ago we had gone to their house for an appointment, and the doorbell didn't seem to work. Neither did the phone. I had felt really good about them, so I was really sad to see what I thought was a false number and a false address.
It turns out that their son had bitten the phone and broken it, and that the doorbell didn't work. We've taught them twice this week and they're awesome!
I gotta go, but I love you all so much and I love the Lord's work! It's true, and it's the most worthwhile thing I've ever done!

-Elder Brown

Monday, February 6, 2012

BRRRRRR.....I Mean Bonjour - February 6 2012


Whoops, I meant to type "Bonjour", but my hands are so numb that I missed alle the letters in between the B and the r, and then got stuck on the r.

It snowed like crazy on sunday, and riding our bikes to church was NO fun! Those little snowflakes just seemed to be cutting up our faces!

Definitely not on my top ten list of favorite sunday activities!

We've had a lot of cool amis this week! One is Madame Casseron, a cool older woman who has been a widow for several years. Please pray that we'll be able to teach a bit more next time, because she talks a LOT!

Another awesome new ami is Quentin...

On thursday as we were walking down the road, I contacted a young man riding by on his bike. I expected him to look back over his shoulder, realize that we were missionnaries, and keep riding, like most biker do when we contact them. However, he looked back, realized we were missionnaries, and turned his bike around to talk to us! We were able to explain a bit about the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith, and he asked for our number. He didn't want to exchange numbers, so we left him a pass-a-long card. I half expected to never hear from him again, but what a pleasant surprise when Quentin called us ten minutes later to ask if he could see the church right away! I told him oui oui, and Elder Tulley and I ran back to the apartment to get our bikes and meet Quentin à la place du quatorze juillet. We rode to the church together, and once we were sitting down, I asked Quentin "so, what made you want to come right away?"

He pulled out a piece of paper, on which he had written a poem/note to himself just a few hours before in school. It said something like "I am walking in a dark forest. Uncertainty clouds my vision, and I can't see the way. But a dove flies down from the forest roof, to guide me. With it comes a beam of light, illuminating the path before me." Quentin then pulled out the pass-a-long card we had given him.

On the front was the picture from the front of the Restoration DVD; the young Joseph Smith, kneeling in the middle of the forest gazing at a beam of light.

Quentin is so excited! We've taught him twice so far, and he has so many questions! I want to ask you all to pray that his heart will be turned away from sin. It's like what Nephi prayed for when he asked "Wilt thou make me to tremble at the appearance of sin!" Quentin is very sincere and has already set the goal of being baptized on the tenth of March, but he has a lot of work before him. Please pray for him! Let's make this miracle find into a miracle baptism!

And speaking of miracle finds and miracle baptisms...guess who's getting baptized on March 3rd?!


Elder Larson told me the good news on friday at zone interviews! I sent Pierrick a postcard last monday (before I knew about all this), so I'm hoping to hear from him soon! Oh, by the way, my adress is 35 rue Montesquieu, not 37.

We haven't been able to teach la famille Montoye this week, because every time we've gone over for a rendez-vous Alain has been called in to work (he's a security guard)! We're going to stop by their house (and Madame Berthon and a lot of other people) today to give them each an invitation to the branch family home evening this saturday!

Papa, joyeuse anniversaire! J'ai une carte pour toi, mais tu la recevras bien en retard!

Mom, love ya. Thanks for the updates

Kendra, I don't know if Erwan will ever get to come to BYU, but he wanted to. I would love to share an apartment with Logan Lewis, Brandon, Nick. I honestly don't feel to picky, but that'd be cool to be Brian's neighbor.

Drew, dance it up, brudda. Careful with your foot--get it REALLY warmed up before doing any more landing. Make sure mom gets a video because I want to see it in five or six months.

Steph, stomp it good, kid. Take a video too.

Trevor, I love music but band definitely got in the way of more than one track meet. Good work on the bendage. Mom's right though--make sure to focus on the fundamentals.

I love you all, and I testify that the work is true! Have a great week!

-Elder Brown