Elder Zachary Brandon Brown
England Leeds Mission
Lister House, Lister Hill
England LS18 5AZ

Monday, January 27, 2014

Today's Email

This week's been really busy and full of much to prepare for everything that went on this weekend.  Friday we had the baptism of T, and investigator of the church since 2011.  Over the years he really struggled to accept some foundational principles of the gospel, but years of missionaries who never gave up on him and family members and friends with great testimonies always were there to keep helping him out.  He's been switching his life around for the past couple months without the missionaries knowing about it, receiving a lot of support from the members.  He gave up alcohol and cigarrettes, and then started coming back to church.  He quit playing soccer (called football here) on Sundays and addjusted his work schedule so that he could come to church.  Now he's been baptized, and Sunday he recieved the Holy Ghost.  He's a brilliantly smart man with a lot of potential for teaching others, and has a great knowledge of the scriptures, reading them often.

On Saturday, we had one of the most anticipated weddings I've ever encountered.  For seven months, F and A have waited for their passports to return from the government so that they could get married, needing their passports or other ID to do so.  A couple weeks ago they received their papers, and so we have been helping to arrange things with the government and church to set up their marriage.  After an exceedingly busy Friday, we finally had everything all in order just barely in time to be ready for the next day.  Saturday was the wedding, which went fantastic.  After overcoming a few more unexpected roadblocks at the last minute (having to break into a safe containing necessary papers for the registrar to use, for example.  It was his own safe and he couldn't get it open the normal way, who knows why).  I translated for the registrar off to the side while the branch president performed the marriage ceremony.  Translating the script beforehand took an entire two hours of Elder Sindylek and I slaving over it, trying to make sure it was a perfectly precise translation.  It was only two pages long.  But in the end, everything worked out and everyone who was able to come enjoyed themselves thoroughly.  We are now working things out for the married couple's baptism, which will be sometime in the next two weeks!

God has provided for us, his missionaries, this past week yet again.  Knowing that we'd now have more time in the next few weeks, we prayed for help in finding some new investigators, and midway through this week, we did.  We were looking for a referral's house, and ended up knocking on two wrong doors and finding three new families to teach before we actually got the correct door.  We're teaching that family now, too, and are very excited about it.  They walked to church on Sunday in spite of heavy rain and wind, which astonished me.  They already have a great spirit about them, and clearly have a desire to come closer to Christ however they can.  I know that God is looking out for us in what we're doing out here, and I am so thankful that we are finding people here who are prepared to hear and accept His gospel.

That's my week in a nutshell, and it's one I'm going to remember.  It's not easy hearing about grandma at all, but I know that she loves me and I love her too.  I have no doubt that I will have her support from the other side.  She is in my prayers, as are all of you.  Love you much, I'll write again next week :) .
Elder Zachary Brown

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