Monday, August 26, 2013


Howdy Family!

It's been another awesome week in "THE GREAT leGATSBI" Mission (...remember that book "The Great Gatsby"?).  Time is wizzing on by!  We got to meet our new mission president, President Guanzon on Friday.  He's a Filipino who used to be in the area 70!  A great experience that made the week go by even faster - somehow we're already at the last week of the transfer! (this week).

With transfer day next week, it's about a 50/50/ chance that someone will be transferred between me and Elder Hatch.  Either way though, Hatch and I sure have had a good time.  So the whole American "Up here" (high five) thing is a really big deal here.  The kids LOVE it.  They'll run across the street or from far away screaming "Ap'eer Joe!  Aap'eeeeeerrrr!" (up here) just to slap hands with one of us Amerikanos.  Well last week we decided it was time to teach them the "Pound it" (fist bump).  Basically, wherever we went, kids would of course always run up shouting and laughing for their high five but each time, we'd show them how to pound-it.  After a week, we finally had kids charging over to us to fist bump instead of the high five!  We felt quite proud of ourselves.  Although we worked so hard to pass that habit (much cleaner), we stopped and gone back to hhigh fives because not only can no one properly pronounce "Pound it", they all say the "Up here" is more fun...

As more evidence that Hatch and I doing well, he finally told me a story of when we first found out I was going to be his companion:  We had shortly met each other once before I got to this area.  He got to the Philippines the same time as my kid (the elder I trained, E. Simmons!) so he saw me at the training for trainers and knew I was E. Simmons companion.  This, keep in mind, was very shortly after I had had a Filipino companion so my accent was a lot stronger than it is now.  Because of that, when Hatch quickly introduced himself and I replied back, he thought that I was Mexican and English wasn't even my first language!  He then went home and everytime he would think of me, I would get more and more Mexican looking in his head.  Hatch absolutely "knew" I was Mexican when he pulled out the mission directory and saw that I'm from "Ranch Santa Margarita, California" - that eliminated all doubt.  Well... he now knows I'm not Mexican and English truly is my first language, but it was still funny to hear as he storied it to me.  

As always, coupled with those terribly exciting and drawn-out things I share every week, I had spiritual experiences as well.  Here's one:  I've been praying and striving to be a more in-tune missionary.  As in, in-tune with the Spirit.  Yesterday, we were teaching a 20 year old who STILL has not asked in prayer is the Book of Mormon is true, we weren't sure why.  As I listened to him, a thought, distinctly not my own, said to me "Nahihiya siya" (he's shy).  What a simple reason.  But it's something I never expected.  With that answer as to why he wasn't praying came a question to ask which helped him to express his feeling of being shy.  It seems like a small thing to stop someone from praying, but I'm glad I had help, because I would not have thought of that on my own, and if that simple reason was keeping him back, it's a good thing we were able to help him with it!  Lesson went great and even in his closing prayer he asked if everything (specifically) was true!

Phew!  That's enough for this week.  Enjoy the pictures and have a great week yourselves!  


Elder Brown

Pictures - 

1.  Our electric fans

2-5.  Some views

6.  When it rains hard, I have to wear my bag in front

7.  Look at this BIG rock!

8-9.  Meeting the new mission president

10.  Riding on a jeep

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