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

Monday, July 20, 2015

Bits of the LAST Email

Yep the last Sunday at church went super well, and I was really happy to see some people make it that haven't been before (R and P, the non-Roma Slovaks I told you about a while back, they're the ones in the picture).  They enjoyed it, too, which made me happy.  

My plans this week: say goodbye to some more people, teach as many lessons as possible in doing so, and ideally find somebody new.  Wednsday I leave to Leeds after district meeting, and I have no idea what I'll be doing the whole day there.  I start flying Thursday.  I've got some good company the whole flight in E. Hillock, so I should be in high spirits when I see you.

I'm glad Sis. Crowley got in touch with you.  She's doing great things for the sisters in Relief Society, and I've enjoyed getting to know her. 

Editorial Note:  Here is part of the message from Sis. Crowley that Zach is referring to.
I get to work with Elder Brown. I just wanted to tell you that it's been a privilege to know him. He is an amazing and talented missionary. This must have been a very difficult mission. The language is very difficult to learn and it must be exhausting having to translate from one language to another for 3 hours on a Sunday. I don't know how we will manage without him. He truly deserves a medal! I could go on and on singing his praises. I bet you can't wait to get him back. Thank you for sharing him with us for 2 years. x

This mission is the greatest thing in my life in every possible way. The greatest joy, the greatest trial, the dynamic for the greatest growth, the greatest accomplishment, everything. I do not know how I would've or could've faced life without what I have become here. I stand all amazed. Thank you so much for supporting me throughout all of this. I love you so much and am excited to see you and express my love in person.

Zatiaľ sa majte, a čoskoro uvidím vaše krasné tváre :) .

S mojou nesmiernou láskou,

Starší Brown

Monday, July 13, 2015

Goodbyes and Pictures

Zdravim vas,  rodicia moji :) . 

I've had to say goodbye to some members of my Slovak family here this week, which was sad.  Many people are leaving to Slovakia over the next couple weeks to go visit during the holidays.  O and D left, as did V (the elder's quorum president).  More families are headed out this Saturday, like Z and A, and also the P's from Doncaster.  E. Frahm's going to be walking around a ghost town as far as Slovaks are concerned once I leave.

This week has been good, but we haven't had a ton of people coming to church in the last while as far as investigators go.  Some people are being lazy and need to get motivated.  We did have a good miracle while we were in Doncaster to see the P's for probably what was the last time.  P was across the street outside talking to another man when we started heading down the street, and invited him to come in and listen to what we had to say.  He came in, and he actually enjoyed what we were able to teach him a lot.  However, right at the end when we were introducing the Book of Mormon and were about to give it to him, his wife started yelling at him from outside so he ran out the door and didn't come back.  We left a Book of Mormon with P to give him, and P said he'd try and bring him to church as well.  The guy didn't make it to church, but it was still a good experience.  P's great about inviting all of his friends to listen to us.

Sorry about the shorter email this week--I had a lot to write to President today, so hopefully the pictures make up for it.  They speak 1000 words each, right?

Love you lots, I'll speak to you soon ;)

Starsi Brown

Me with V (the Elder's quorum president), M (the relief society president), and some of their family

A sister missionary named Sis. Chee came up to me and gave me a note from my Aunt Elaine, who is from the ward she gave her farewell talk in (American Fork), so we got a picture.

The third picture is me with O and D's grandchildren

O and D and I

Monday, July 6, 2015

I Feel Happy, Happy All the Time

Hello, mom and dad!  

That is good news about the Regent Scholarship, I'm glad that's all worked out.  I feel like I'll be able to apply myself a lot better to my schooling now than I was prepared to do before I left on my mission, so it's good that things have worked out all right for my scholarships, too. 

We've had some interesting changes this week, one being that E. Rogers is now serving in a different ward because a missionary from there unexpectedly went home and they needed someone to pop in and cover for him.  E. Rogers was in a trio and close to the area, so he was the obvious choice to move in there.  That happened the day before MLC, so the zone leaders took the guy going home to Leeds, then just stayed the night there to avoid unnecessary travel.  This left me and E. Frahm out in cold as to having transportation to the meeting early in the morning, and it looked for a minute like we wouldn't be able to make it.  Bro. Stanton saved the day by offering to drive us all the way to Leeds early in the morning, which was quite the sacrifice of time, sleep, and petrol (which is much more expensive here than in the States).  What a champion.  The meeting was super good, and I think E. Frahm gained a lot from it as well.  He's doing a great job with district leadership.

We had M and V come to church this week together with their kids, and that was fantastic.  They all enjoyed it a lot, and I feel they'll be attending as regularly as they can.  We've had a couple great lessons there throughout the week as well, to both of which we had the great blessing of having members there to support.  Bro. and Sis. Crowley came the first time, and they connected easily with the couple in spite of the language barrier.  V was already friends with Sis. Crowley from Relief Society, and M had the chance to meet Bro. Crowley, who he seemed to really respect.  Then Z and A came with us later in the week, and that went great as well.  I think it's what helped M the most in finally coming to church as well, because he was comfortable in knowing he would have friends there at church.  M and V are also making plans to get things rolling with their marriage, so though I won't be here to see it, I'm very happy for them and the progress they're making.

You asked how I'm feeling...I'm feeling torn to be leaving all of this.  I love church on Sunday here so much.  There is the most special spirit here with people whose fires of the Spirit are newly lit and growing rapidly.  They value the sacrament so much, and the reverence is unbeatable.  I love the kids running up to shake my hand in their homes, on the streets, at church, wherever, calling "Starsi Brown, Starsi Brown!"  Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to be with you, my family, again.  It's just going to be very hard for me not to be involved every day in strengthening the faith of these people who I love so much and have served my entire two years.  In many ways, I don't want to leave.  Home is where the heart is, and so much of my heart is here, woven into the lives of these people.  How do I feel?  Joyful for these people and their progress.  I feel inclined to do as much as I possibly can with what yet remains.  I feel glad to have a family that loves me to return to, otherwise I would have no reason to even go back.  I feel happy, happy all the time because I've learned how to be truly happy out here.  It's one of the most valuable things I'll be taking home with me.  It's my hope I can take that and share as much of it as I can with you and everyone else I can.  

You're the best, and I love you so much.  

Talk to you soon,
Starsi Brown