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

Monday, September 15, 2014

Many Difficulties but Plenty of Good

Hey mom and dad :) .   

I don't know if I like how transfers went.  My companion is still the same as last transfer, which is really good because I like him and couldn't handle a difficult companion on top of everything else.  There are a lot of struggles in the branch right now, and a huge portion of the load falls on me.  There are many things out here I never thought I'd ever encounter on my mission, but there it is.  By the way, Leeds (where Elder Frahm got sent) is really far away from here, so anyone found and taught there won't be a part of this branch.

In spite of the many difficulties and challenges we face, there have also been plenty of good things to be grateful for.  We taught a lot of lessons this week, scheduled some surprise people for baptism, and found some new people to teach in both Sheffield and Doncaster.  Church attendance was a huge disappointment (easily the most difficult commitment to get people to keep), but the rest of the week was pretty successful.  In one lesson in the Gleadless area of Sheffield we were teaching a lesson with some people we found there a while back when their 22-year-old son came in, who we'd not taught before.  He stood there for a bit, listening, then sat down.  He asked us why so many people said bad things about this church, and this led into a really good conversation.  He listened well and asked further questions that were also quite good, in the end telling us about an experience he'd had with another church (the one preaching against us).  Basically, the pastor of that faith showed up at their house one day before church and verbally forced L (the name of the guy we were talking to) to come.  Immediately upon entering the building, L felt terrible about the atmosphere and things that were going on there, so he ran outside and walked all the way home alone in the dark.  He asked me what that was, and I explained that it was God warning him to leave, and that he'd done well in following the prompting.  L listened more to what we taught, and when we invited him to be baptized, he readily agreed, accepting a date as a goal as well.

We also ended up scheduling the 25-ish year old brother of a lady we scheduled a couple of weeks back, which was a total surprise.  We went there with Brother N to teach her, but she wasn't home and her brother was, so we started teaching him.  Our Elder's quorum president wandered into the lesson partway through and ended up bearing great testimony of baptism.  Also present was Ludo's (the one we were teaching's) father, who was baptized back in December, and he was a fantastic support as well.  God was there in strength, so it felt quite right to offer him the baptismal invitation as well, which he accepted, and then accepted a date as well to work towards.  In essence, good things are happening in our teaching, but we need people to be taking steps of their own by doing things like coming to church.  That's what we're really working for and having a hard time coming up with results, so we'll keep pursuing that as best we can.

This week's been busy, but it's been good as well.  I know God will help us with the things we need as long as we keep striving to do and be our best.  Thank you for your prayers; they are heard by God and felt by me.  I'm so grateful for you, and I love you very much.  I look forward to reading your letters :) . 

Love you lots!
Elder Brown

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