Friday, April 12, 2013

Prayer to Heal to Teach


Big news!  You know how my mission was supposed to split on July 1st?  With the changes and everything they need to take a few more experienced people from my mission (before it splits) and put them in the American missions that have Tagalog Branches (New York, San Francisco and San Diego)... Well guess what.... Elder Shane Brown has been officially reassigned to the San Francisco Tagalog Speaking Branch!!!!!!!!  I fly out at the end of June!  I'm super excited except for that is just an April Fool joke!  Yep.  Just a joke only! But, there still is some big news:  My father, Todd Brown, has a birthday tomorrow!  I'd reveal his age, but I think I will not... Anyways, had a good week:

We work out "buns" off this week.  I'd talk more about it, but first, you should know that the heat has been brutal.  I'm sure I've never sweat more in my life...  The best is when we have brown outs (no electricity) at the apartment and even just in shorts and a thin shirt I begin to over heat the instant my fan turns off.  Summer is only supposed to last until May though (they say).  On the bright side, we tripled our investigators this last week, so that's got to say something about our diligence this Easter season.  We've really felt the Lord's help in our work too.

One of the coolest experiences was actually last Pday after I emailed home.  Elder Simmons and I  had returned to the apartment and we had about two hours before we would go out and work at 6 PM.  Simmons mentioned that he thought we may have to change plans to go visit someone (we'll call him "Joe" for story's sake) and with that he went down to wash his clothes (with a wash board and bucket of soapy water of course).  As I sat at my desk, I pondered if we did need to change everything to go teach Joe.  In that moment, I too felt a powerful witness of the Spirit that yes, this was right.  However, as I pressed on with my studies I began to feel sick (about 4:30 PM).  When Simmons finished washing around 5 PM, I felt so awful (headache, vomit, all that good stuff) that I had to just lay down to avoid what I thought to be an immanent death.  Simmons looked at me and said, "I hope you get better, because we are going to visit Joe."  As I lay there, miserably trying not to lose my lunch, I too knew we needed to visit Joe.  In a silent prayer, I thought it out... Hadn't I received undeniable instruction to go visit Joe tonight instead of others?  Wasn't that what the Lord wanted?  Then why was I sick (and getting worse) if that's what we had to do?  I rested my eyes and pleaded, "Look, I know you told me to do this thing, but I cannot even get out of bed.  Please... Take this from me..."  Three seconds passed and every form of illness was instantly gone.  By this point it was 5:45 PM.  I shot out of bed and announced it was time to go immediately.  Got ready in a flash then headed out the door to what turned out to be the most inspired and spiritual lesson I've ever been in on my mission.  So, so amazing.  I can't say more...

In terms of other announcements... We were both super hungry while walking the other day and I let myself think of a big feast.... Hah, at home, I probably would have imagined steak, twice baked potatoes, In-n-Out, Chic-Fil-A and more.... But I guess 6 1/2 months of the Philippines has really  had an effect on me because I instead pictured my big feast as a little plate of meat with a humongous bowl of rice.  That's great.  Also, turns out, Elder Simmons can sing (also great)!  He sang in a performance at the MTC so we're always singing hymns.  Hah, he does, however, still need to adjust to the random (and frequent) cockroaches here.  My poor ears take it hard when I hear a good shriek from Simmons about some big bug or another.  Also, I wish you could have been here on Wednesday because that morning we got called almost all out usual names all in one walk:  Joe, puti (white), malaki (big), matangkad (tall), Americano, babae and animals - accompanied with all the usual questions ("Hey man wut's up?" "Where you going?" " Wash yer name?" "Brethren (or brud), you want shot?") and we had some "caveman" noises made at us too.  Classic.

Okay, have a good week and April's Fool day.  Remember my father's birthday on April 2nd!!!  And my birthday (May 7) is approaching so if you'd like to join me in saying goodbye to the teen years, this is the last week probably to send a letter if you want me to get it before that day!  Love you!

Elder Shane Scully Brown

Pictures -

1.  How I sleep (the electric fans)

2.  Best Easter gift ever from the members with a sibling in America  

3.  Our sweet living room, kitchen, dining room, and den

4.  Cute little sink

5.  The Master Bathroom (the big barrel and ladle is how we shower)

6.  Mayon from afar

7.  Me pointing

8.  Another Shot of "The National Highway"