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

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Extra, Extra! It's a Handwritten Letter!

Dear Family,

Thank you so much for writing me letters.  It is a real comfort to open a letter from home.  I am very distanced from everything out here, and every connection to you is supremely precious.  I'm glad you're doing things together even though things are so busy.  Going to concerts, performances, movies, family get-togethers- it's all good to hear about.  It means my family is strong and maintains love and unity, and that's something not enough families do.  Thank you for that.

I like how mom mentioned that you're reading Bible stories now as a family on Sunday's.  It's close to my own studies of the scriptures.  For awhile I've been making my way through the Old Testament and though my rate of progression has slowed a lot since the added time restraints of being a district leader were given to me, I still continue to learn a great deal from it.  I was familiar with the well-known stories and verses, but there is much more besides that I've never studied before.  I'll soon be finishing Psalms, and I'm certain I'll continue to find great things.  The later sections of the Doctrine and Covenants are still my favorites out of anything though, so I'm not sure if the last half of the Old Testament will top it.  I guess I'll have to read and see.  :)

I'm writing this letter on P-day (well, P-day is actually over but Elder Misslewitz is throwing up pretty bad so I had to cancel our plans for the day).  I actually had a decent stroke of luck while we were at the Allen's house.  Their garage is full of flogged missionary clothes from all over the mission that have built up over time in various flats but have now been gathered to the Allen's garage.  There was loads of stuff, and for some reason Elder Misselwitz was really interested in finding something he could wear, so I figured I may as well take a look through it while I waited for him.  I was looking through some suits and found a jacket that fit really well so I checked the pants that went with it.  The waist was one size down from what I usually wear but I tried it out just in case.  Turns out, I've lost weight out here and the lower size fit me fine.  Now I have a new suit (I believe it's English too, which are much better than the American ones) for free and it looks pretty good.  Score!  I don't have to waste a P-day doing extra shopping nor do I have to spend any money.  I like it!  I was kind of needing a new suit anyway because our mission president recently sent out a ruling that suits are to be worn at all times except in the maybe three days of summer where it actually gets hot enough to warrant white shirts and ties only.  Two suits for 24/7 use is a bit insufficient so this was a pretty needed blessing.

I filled my first journal this last week and I must say that it's now one of my most treasured possessions.  I have learned so very much from keeping it.  Many priceless memories are captured by my pen on it's pages.  I'm also able to see how much I've grown already by flipping back once in a while to read older entries.  I know when mom has shared entries from her journal about me at a young age I've always thoroughly enjoyed hearing them (even if they were sometimes completely embarrassing).  I think it would be fun sometime when I get back to get together for Family Home Evening and share some good journal moments from each of our own journals.

I'm quite exhausted all of the time (which I have none of) but I can't complain because it means I'm helping get a lot of good things done, and that's what I signed up to do.  I would only be worried if I was well-rested and had nothing to do.  Some of the time investments that I make are ones I don't have to do but choose to do knowing it will bless my future.  Others are ones I could make excuses not to do, but if done I better fulfill my responsibilities and build others up.  My time is completely prioritized and by doing this, I make every second count.

I'm about out of paper so as always, I'll close with my love for you all.  You are always in my prayers and often in my lessons that I teach because I both love and admire each and every one of you.  I love hearing from you whenever you write- it's my connection to the family I'm to be with forever.  Please keep being loving, keep being together.  Laugh, hug, smile together!  Keep the Love!!  Love for each other, love for God and His plan.

Elder Zachary Brown

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