Friday, August 31, 2012

Funny Language Mistakes

Howdy team!

How is everyone?  I am doing just great!  I feel like a lot has happened in this last week, but we'll see just how much I can remember... Hah we have some pretty funny language stories from this week.  We're basically to the point of fluency in gospel teachings (as in we can say whatever we want) but we still make some fun mistakes.  Elder Finley told one of our investigators that "If he LEAVES the church, that is the way he can become happy for all of eternity."  That was pretty great.  We do this thing called TRC on Wednesday nights where we teach return missionaries as themselves, not some random person they act as.  At the end of one of our lessons I was going to give this guy a challenge to read something, but it came out as "I dare you to...."  haha that was funny too.  We also taught two Philippino natives though and we were able to understand their fast paced talking and accents just as well as we understand our teachers!

So as we work hard every single day, we're feeling pretty confident and excited for the Philippines.  We leave the MTC in three weeks!  A group of nine kids left yesterday/today so we had a big illegal sleep over with them on Saturday.  It was super solemn for all of them though because most of them were scared not feeling at all ready to go.  BUT, that is because they admittedly didn't try as hard as they could have.  I hope that our enthusiasm to learn isn't replaced with laziness when we get our flight plans at the end of next week...  I don't think it will (:

There was a small fire kind of by the Y last week.  Totally reminded me that school started for everyone at BYU on Monday!  Also I saw a bunch of friends at the Sunday temple walk!  Anyways, how weird is that?  Most of my friends are starting college, staying up late, doing whatever they want, and I'm waking up at 6:20, putting on a white shirt and tie and working all day. 

Anyways, trust in the Lord!  We all have problems and trials but He knows how we feel.  Trust in Him (2 Ne 4).  I do, and I will for the rest of my life because I know that nothing else can bring me (and my family) eternal joy.

K I love you all!  I'm only here for three more weeks then I pack my bags and I'm off to Asia where I'll be living with Spiders as big as my hand that move "fast than the eye can see" according to my teacher!

Elder Shane Scully Brown

  • Sister Brown,
    I just wanted to let you know that I was volunteering at the MTC tonight and had the opportunity to be taught by your son. He is just as awesome as his brother. He taught with the Spirit and speaks Tagalog very well. The people in Naga will be very blessed to have him. His teacher also speaks very highly of him. She said that he and his companion are very hardworking, are very focused, and are a great example to the rest of their district. I am sure that you already know how wonderful your sons are, but I know my mom was always happy to hear from people who met me while I was serving. Thank you for raising them so well. I am blessed for having known both of your sons.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Live after the Manner of Happiness

Howdy team!

Another great week!  The MTC is so much fun.  There is always awesome happening.  I don't think I've mentioned this before (or maybe I have), but most nights we get back to our room at 9:30 and then have until 10:30 to get ready for bed/prepare for the next day.  Thursdays and Saturdays we have night gym until 9:00 then we get an extra half hour to do whatever.  Most Saturdays we have parties with food from packages and chips/ decent salsa from the Bookstore.  This Saturday however, I went with a Kid in my zone to the primarily Spanish speaking building...  I got to spend 25 minutes with some of my best friends from both high school and BYU!  There are a few kids who are in different MTC's, the feild, or not reported yet, but other than that we had the old gang back together!  And since then I've been back a few times, so much fun.  This morning with decided that we would wake up at 3:50AM  and do our laundry before anything in the day (okay I guess we decided that last night), and that has turned out to be pretty good so far.  We did laundry and got to have breakfast before we went to the temple which never happens.  We go back and took a two hour nap and we're back into the swing of things!

Let's see... Oh!  This is for you Mom:  One of our teachers went to my mission and he was nearly bitten by a 6 foot long yellow cobra that would have killed him in twenty minutes.  Pretty cool huh? (:  Anyways I'm not sure I'll be able to handle that very well because this morning we found a centipede crawling along the carpet and I just about had a heart attack (sarcasm).

Well I wish I could spend Sundays with you guys.  Somehow that's the family activity that I miss - 10 minutes late to sacrament (on a good day), Sunday walk, super good dinner, then watch Seinfeld while eating coffee icecream...  What a nice life.

I got promoted to district leader.  Kid of sad since I'll be going to meetings all the time rather than getting to read/relax with my district.  It's fun though conducting everything though, I'm glad Dad gave me lots of opportunities for practice during family dinners/get-togethers!

I figured out how to live my life - 2 Ne 2:27 "And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness."  Uh... HELLO!  That sounds pretty great, so I'll give it a try.  Anyways, put things off until a later time, because what we do now will determine who we are then.  Thanks for everything!

Love ya! 

Elder Shane Scully Brown 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

As Your Mission Goes.. So will the Rest of Your LIFE!

Howdy team!

How are things?  I can't believe it has already been a week since I last wrote.  But on top of that, I can't believe that I have been here for a month!  Time is flying.  But at the same time, it's still as if I have been here for my whole life.  I'm really getting used to the MTC life.  And I love Sundays.  Usual schedule is read scriptures and relax all morning (one in the same at this point) then go to Music and the Spoken Word.  That is such a great time to listen to hymns/ write letters - on par with listening to Elder Finely play piano as I write.  This always sets the happy and joyous mood for the rest of the day.  We write talks, go to priesthood/sacrament, have temple walk, go to the fireside then finish with a church movie or filmed talk... !e always choose the movie (:  I still can't get over how peaceful all of that is compared with my old Sunday schedule at home.

We are learning Tagalog like crazy.  I figured out that I learn vocab about 8x faster than I did at my best point in Spanish, but on top of that, we just about know all of the grammer!  After continual promises from our teachers and MTC Presidency of fluency when we leave, or zone has decided to make those promises a reality.  We SYL (Speak Your Language) 100%.  SYL means use what you know then do something more - go look up what you couldn't say, etc.  My companion and I have been extremely surprised/pleased that, with the exception on random vocab, we can say almost anything we want to, in Tagalog!  I do believe that I can be fluent.  This is...  The coolest thing ever.

I heard a good wuote at somepoint last week, "As your mission goes, so goes the rest of you life."  President Ezra Taft Benson sure motivates me to work hard with that quote.  I can't imagine living my whole life as a Lazy.  Anyways we either move forward or backward, and I promise you that my being here is worht it - because I am moving forward.

Love you all,

Elder Shane Scully Brown

Family to Spy and Learning Tagalog

Hey family!

Thanks for the packages!  I think I have everything I need for the Philippines now.  I can't believe you guys are in Provo right now.  I could probably run to where you are in about 15 mintues.  Hah that's so weird.  Anyways life is good here.  We're starting to really grasp the language pretty well.  We can say most things (if they are churhc related).  I don't know how to say "car" but I can give a twenty minute lesson on the Restoration.  Although the other day I did accidentally tell my investigator that "I lust after the pig". 

We're getting haircuts today!  I'm excited about that but unfortunately we weren't able to do the rice eating competition on fast Sunday becuase we realized they wouldn't have been able to eat as much since they wouldn't have eaten all morning and afternoon.

Something awesome that we've been doing is going into little chapels after meals.  We always have 20 or so minutes before we have to go back to class so we go in there and Elder Finley wwill play beautiful music as I write letters and such.  Last P-Day we spent an hour and a half in there.  It was the best thing ever (and I'm sure I've said that multiple times, or will).  We had our first fast Sunday so there was no Choir practice.  Sorry family, I guess you could have spied on me during temple walk!  Whoops.  Anyways I ate a pack of tic tacs during the devotional, that was nice. 

I told myself that I would try to not talk only about churchy things in my emails, but truth be told, not much happens here in the MTC... Sunday are awesome because even though we have 7 hours of study time, we get to watch movies!  Well, Mormon Messages, so kind of... It's a good break though (:  We watched one that I would like you to see.  It's a great 3 minute-ish clip that applies to all of us, no matter who we are.  Since you're most liekly on your computer reading this (because that's what I would be doing), go to, scroll to the bottom and in the middle click the link for Mormon Messages.  On the first page you'll see Dare to Stand Alone.  Thomas S. Monson (our prophet) narrarates an amzing story that will probably appear to be more applicable to youth, but you will appreciate it, and I would appreciate it if you did!  I would not spend email time telling you that if I didn't know it was important for all of us.  Maybe watch it after dinner for Family Home Evening or something.  It's worth it!

Two things I've learned here are obedience and relying on the Lord.  Basically if we give our all, we qualify for God's grace.  So that means I have to do all I can to have his spirit, because without it, I would NOT be able to learn Tagalog.  It's just worthless to study without having the spirit at all times.  I feel so lame having to request less sarcasm from my roommates (and saying the word "lame").  Hah it's so dumb.  But I have to.    I guess onve I get home and my priority is marriage (within six weeks or I give up (; ) not mission, I will probably become normal again.  Laugh Out Loud!

Thanks for remembering me!  And I say that because even though it's been three weeks I feel like I've been here for my whole life.

Love ya!

Elder Shane Scully Brown


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First Week Fire Hydrant Learning


So much to report on this week, so little time!  First things first, I heard a better analogy to describe learning the language than my "sewage pump" scenario.  The way we are tauight is like trying to drink out of a fire hydrant:  We sip some, but most gets splashed in our faces!  I'm starting to grasp it though.  Our teacher said if we apply ourselves as best as we can there is no reason why we shouldn't be fluent, at least totally conversational, by the time we leave the MTC. 

I learned a bit about my mission last night!  Naga is pretty rural.  There are only two citys (120,000 and 30,000) and lots of farming land, little villages.  We have a volcano in our mission that is the most perfectly formed volcano in the world, also the most active in the Philippines.  Apparently it's not rare to see smoke coming out, even LAVA!!! Yikes.  A kid from the last group of missionaries that went there emailed or branch president saying he taught 17 lessons his first three days, then got robbed a few days later.  So awesome!  I sure can't wait to get out there.

A few updates on my technology experiences:  First of all, I'm finally getting over "phantom texts", though I still keep my camera in my right pocket to keep me from panicking over lack of iPhone.  No more fake text vibrates though!  Everyone in my district thinks that I'm some allstar computer hacker now.  Hah so funny, I love all these kids.  Also I would totally elborate on that story, but I sppent the first five minutes of my email time trying to "hack into the computer" to change the keyboard from German settings to English. 

After talking the other night, Elder Finley and I realized just how similar we are.  Apart from him being a master athelete/musician, we actually have a lot in common! ;)  Both of us love the same movies, to same dumb video games, the same random cartoons to get obsessed with, and we both love to play ping pong!  There's more than that, I'm just lazy.  Whoops.

Anyways the MTC is great!  Dont email though because last week I didnt have any time to even read what you said...  Dearelder me or write me though and I'll try to get back to you in email time or I'll just send you a real letter (:  Thanks for all of the support!


Elder Shane Scully Brown