Monday, November 12, 2012

Liver, Big Fish and Beauty of the Philippines

Hey team!  

We had a good week this week!  We continued with our hard work, doing good, and of course playing basketball on Monday mornings.  However, I did get the opportunity to branch out from the regularity:

I had the opportunity to have my first taste of liver, and eat a fish - just a whole fish, laying dead on a plate.  Hah I was a little hesitant at first, but it ended up not being so bad.  The liver, with it's sauce on rice, was actually one of the most delicious things that I've had in a while (:  

Turns out, I've been here for just about as long as I was in the MTC for.  Doesn't seem like that at all.  To me, I feel as if I was in the MTC for two or three days, then I came over to the Philippines and I've been here for about a day and a half - which means I gave me farewell talk in church just last week.  Crazy how that works out.  I've really loved it though.  Of course I'm reminded that I'm a completely different world quite often - stray dogs/cats everywhere, rundown buildings, huts for houses, constant rain, and all that coupled with indescribable beauty, the lush green, the fire flies, the ring of light around the moon every night -  but I'm starting to really feel at home here.  I love it (:

Thanks for all the support, I love you all!

Elder Shane Scully Brown

Pictures - 

1. That's me walking (Thumbs up sign)

2.  Most of the elders in my district.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Elder BROOWWWNNN you're White


Good week! Was there a hurricane or something in the US? It was plenty warm here in the Philippines. Wednesday was intimidatingly hot, Elder Fronk said that it's just a hint of what is to come in the summer so that'll be fun. I feel like I'm getting used to the heat here though, of course, it's still wet season until January. But I'm adapting quite well here to the lifestyle. Minor obstacles for my complete immersion into the Philippine culture would be adjusting to the roosters waking me up every morning. There's nothing like a few "cockle-doodle-doos" to get me up early in the morning. Tagalog is going great! When I first got here, people would ask me if I knew Tagalog and replying back in my very broken language I would explain that I'm learning. On Saturday though, one of the little kids I always talked to asked if I know English! Apparently my Tagalog now pasts the test of an 11-year old!

Because last week was transfer week, our District Leader (12 missionaries in our district) was transferred so Elder Fronk became the new DL. Really doesn't mean too much for me, BUT, I get to go on exchanges once a week now! Basically for exchanges we meet up with another companionship on Wednesday at lunch then one companion comes with me back to our apartment, and the Elder Fronk goes with the other back to their area until the same time the next day! Super fun to get to meet other missionaries and hear their stories.

Not sure if I mentioned this before, but because of the change in the minimum missionary age, our mission is going to go from 154 missionaries to 250! President said we'll start to see that in June or July of next year as all of the people who are in school right now finish up. So maybe, a lot more of you still waiting to serve will come to the Philippines!

Was Wednesday Halloween? Thursday for us was All Saints Day. It's a huge holiday in the Philippines. So huge in fact, that we had to be back in the apartment at 6:00PM (instead of 9) so as to not get too involved in the festivities. Anyways, every goes to the cemeteries to remember there dead. How was Halloween in America? I remember the day I decided I wasn't creative when thinking up costumes so I became a "Professional Scooter Rider" for I think four years in a row. Hah I would just throw on a motorcycling jersey with some pants and call that my costume. Never would have thought that for Halloween this year my outfit would be a white shirt and tie. But oh how I love it. Rather gorging on kit-kat bars and other assorted chocolates, I've been able to enjoy the sweetness that comes from spreading the Gospel. That sweet, pure joy.

Love you all and I hope the pictures make up for my degrading English!

Elder Shane Scully Brown

Pictures -

2. The Cemetery during All Saints Day, wish I could have gotten a better picture!

5. Some kids that love to say hi to "ELDER BROOOOOOWWWNNN" (Ai! But you are white pala!). Sorry the sun is so bright...

Week 6 OCT 28th Bananas

Howdy Team!

How's everything going doon sa America? I hope it's great, but I'm pretty sure it can't be as awesome as the Philippines (: Even though it was my mother's birthday last week. Oh I forgot to announce that in my last email, my mother's birthday was last week, make sure you don't forget! I celebrated by buying some bananas. That's my new thing. Bananas. They are so much better here than in America... and cheaper. I eat them with pretty much everything (: I'm sure I'll get sick of them pretty soon, but you can rest assured that I'm eating healthier for the time being! There was a huge storm last week, luckily the bananas survived.

The first transfer is over! I can't believe I've already been here for one... Time sure goes by fast. After this next 6-week transfer period I'll officially be done with my training! Not that I won't have more to learn of course (because learning is a life-long occasion) but it means new companion, and possibly a new area.

Being on a mission has really helped me to keep working hard and doing good. I've learned though that I should always be "anxiously engaged in a good cause." (D&C 58: 26-28). Of course it's easy for me to say now that I'm here, but I wish I would have let myself be more involved with service and things like that when I was home. Now I have a set schedule and it's a lot easier to know how I can help, but I have a renewed desire for service here - I love it. Anyways, just some food for your thoughts.

Well our area is going great. Despite opening it up from scratch we were able to hit the mission standards of excellence this week in terms of lessons taught. It's amazing to see how much hard work coupled with prayer and faith can do. We're doing lots here, and I could go on and on about everything that we're getting done, but you know that "pictures say a thousand words". That being said, I've attached 4000 words for you to look over after this short little update (:

Love ya!

Elder Shane Scully Brown

OCT 21 College Kids Church Tour


Another week in the Philippines. This is the last week of my first transfer... Crazy how fast time has gone. I can't imagine how fast it'll have gone by after being here for more than just one month! I've hit some great milestones already (not really). First, we finally started cooking a lot. Basically we make some tasty meats with yummy vegetables and throw it on some rice. Not too bad the more we do it. Also, you know the game kids play where they clap their hands together and sing something like "Lemonade (clap clap clap) Crunchy Ice (clap clap clap)"? Well I learned a Tagalog equivalent of that. Pretty fun. We played a bunch of Filipino games in our district meeting today as well so when I come home I'll have a bunch of new exciting things for you to play.

Oh, something I forgot from last week - On Friday we were doing our weekly planning and the Assistants texted us saying that there was an emergency and we had to get to the chapel right away. We left right away and when we got there we saw huge group of kids sitting outside the church just talking. We went into the office and the AP's told us that we were doing a church tour. I guess the stake set this thing up for the religion classes of a college to tour a bunch of churches and learn about them. Long story short, I got to bear my testimony in front of a million people and then after we watched a video about the Restoration of the Gospel, we did a question and answer. Pretty fun!

Tuesday, everyone who is in training met up for a halfway point review type of thing. As part of it we had to practice inviting people to be baptized and things like that. For one of the role plays we taught the President. Hah we had to do it in English and for some reason I had the hardest time talking about churchy things in English, especially teaching a lesson. So I wonder how messed up my English will be when I get home... I should get a Filipino companion in December after training so that'll be fun.

I read a cool scripture this week. There is so much to discourage a missionary here (and so much more to support), then I read Mormon 8:22, "For the purposes of God shall roll on, until all his promises are fulfilled." So it doesn't matter what people try to do to stop this work. It'll go forth, by the power of God. Heyo, I wouldn't want to get in the way of that. I really appreciate the opportunity I have here to help the work progress, to help people progress. Eternal life is the goal, I hope to be a tool in the Lord's hands to bring as many as we can to that knowledge.

Good to hear from everyone! Dearelder works here if you want to send a letter!


Elder Shane Scully Brown (Hah I forgot that I have a first name... Elder Brown na lang).


1. My whole district at our activity this morning for the last week of the transfer

2. Elder Cobing, Elder De Dios and I