Letter from Hong Kong Oct 28, 2012

Hello my amazing family and friends!

well, I am feeling about the same as you all, not a whole lot has happened this last week. The most exciting thing was probably that the Thai member in our ward cooked us dinner again. I sure do love Thai food. We have some awesome members in our ward. It was weird to think, that if I do get transferred to a new area this Thursday ┬áthen I won’t be able to go back to that ward for the rest of my mission. Part of me wants to go and try a new area, but I love this ward and this area. This is the only thing I know for mission work. I guess we will see on Thursday.

So, I have a funny story for this week. I was talking to one of the members in our ward. I started asking him about his mission, and I found out he served in Brisbane Australia mandarin speaking. So I asked him if he knew Elder Allred. He said that Brett was his trainer! Haha, and what makes it even more funny, is that he is my companion, Elder Leung’s cousin. So our cousins were also companions on their missions! It is such a small world! He now told me that he is going to personally help me with my chinese so it can get better than Brett’s. We both couldn’t believe it!

I am excited to see the little squirt’s Halloween costume. It is weird to be over here. People don’t have yards to put Halloween decorations up, so there isn’t any of that really. I am super excited to see how they do it over here. I think it would be super easy to just go to one of the giant apartment buildings and just go from floor to floor getting lots of candy.

We found a new family that we are starting to teach. I have only met the mom and the son. the mom’s name is A– and the son’s name is D–. The mom is super nice, and she has been asking a lot of questions about the gospel. I really hope we can help their family lots! The day we visited them, A–said that her son was super hyper and excited all day waiting for us. then he gave us pencils because we helped him with his english homework. It made me think of me before my mission. I was never super excited to help the missionaries, and I never gave them gifts. After seeing how the Hong Kong members treat the missionaries, I really want to be better when I get home.

well, that is it for the week. Not a whole lot, but here it is. I also thought of a good idea. As you are teaching family home evening using Preach My Gospel, I will give my insights for whatever section you will work on for that week! Just let me know what section will be next week and i will give my insight!

Have an awesome week, stay amazing, stay strong, and feel my love and prayers soaring across the ocean. I feel and accept all of yours! I love you all

Elder Bubba

P.S. Thanks for keeping the blog updated

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Letter from Hong Kong Oct 21, 2012

Hello my beautiful friends and family!

How is everything going over in the big U.S.? It is weird to be emailing on a monday instead of on a thursday. Not a whole lot has happened in the past couple of days. We have found some new investigators this past week, and I think some of them have potential. We will keep working with them and get them closer to baptism. President Hawks has been putting a bigger focus on finding families to teach. Once we have started praying to find families and looking harder for families, we see people differently. Our goal has changed from helping people to get baptized, to helping families get baptized then sealed together for eternity.I am so grateful for the knowledge we have of eternal families. If anything, this gospel brings hope to people sitting in the darkness. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!!!

Tell David congratulations for me? haha I love Caroline, so I am super happy for both of them. It is just kind of a shock… I bet it was more of a shock for you since you saw them the day before. What has grandma and grandpa said about it? do they even know yet? haha I am glad you got to go to dinner with them. I bet those little times with their kids make them so happy.

Mom, I am glad you enjoyed the flowers. I didn’t even know he told his mom. The one day he just asked how you were doing and so I told him. Then the next day he told me he emailed his mom and she was going to send flowers. Elder Wright is amazing and I am so glad I have been able to become friends with him since I started my mission. We don’t live together anymore, but I still see him fairly often. I am excited for sister Ainge to get here, and the other person from springville (who is it?). We will have 7 people here from Springville/Mapleton when they both get here! We are taking over the Hong Kong! I only see Elder Woods about once a week. It seems like a lot, but because our mission is small, you usually see missionaries fairly often.

Yes, I did guess the baby’s name, but I am sworn to secrecy not to tell anyone or give any hints!!! Plus, I am on the other side of the world, I deserve to know some of the secrets. I am super happy to share a birthday with her.

The language feels like it is coming along a lot better this past week. It is weird being in such an international mission. It makes it hard to learn the language, but having a native companion is helping a lot and I am not even super worried about it. I can carry on conversations for the most part. God helps me a lot when it is needed most.

Well, I don’t have any strange foods for this week. I have started liking Tofu which is something that I never thought I would ever like! It is amazing when you try new foods, your tolerance level goes higher.

That is about it for these past couple of days. Kind of short, but hopefully still helpful to some and informative to the rest! Love you all

Love, Elder Bubba Brown

Letter from Hong Kong Oct 17, 2012

Hello my amazing family and friends,

Another week has come and gone by over here in Hong Kong. I can’t believe time here on missions. Somebody said it perfectly when they said “the days feel like months, and the months feel like days” or something like that. it is starting to get a little bit colder over here. When I say colder, I just mean you don’t start sweating immediately when you walk outside. But it is manageable weather now! I am so glad you are all doing better. Ok, so here is some weird news, this is my last thursday p-day. They are switching our p-days to mondays, so be ready on your sunday nights now!

I think I would call this week the week of the crazies. We have met so many crazy people. We met this lady named Ad–. Her life is pretty messed up, and she has had so much happen to her. I feel bad for her, but I love how this gospel can help anyone in any situation. We also met a crazy man from columbia. He is a member, but on the way over here, he decided he would celebrate with one drink…. One led to another and the next thing he knew, he was in the middle of Hong Kong sleeping on a bench because his clothes, money, and everything was stolen from him. We helped him a little bit and gave him to the police to take care of since we can’t really do anything. We also met a man who claimed he sees visions a lot…. This is my crazy week for all of you! haha

On monday, I had a feeling to call one of our old investigators who hasn’t answered our calls for a couple of months. I called and he picked up! He said he was at work, but would sneak away for an hour to meet with us. It was an awesome lesson and we were able to catch up and help him restart his reading and praying habits. It was good to be able to see him again and try to rekindle the fire he had when he first met with us.

I heard about the Utah State BYU game. One of the nice things about having white americans meet in the same chapel as you. They know you are interested and are always willing to tell us news about football! haha they won’t tell us any other news though.

I am glad Grandma and Grandpa are doing well enough to take everyone out to dinner. It seems like they are doing fairly decent. I haven’t heard any stories about them so that makes me super happy. I am also excited to see Kieth’s new house when I get back. I am super excited for him, that area is so awesome! I also want to see pictures of this giant pumpkin in our yard! I always loved seeing how big they would get their pumpkins!

Conference was awesome. I loved all the talks! President Hawks also asked that all  missionaries watch it in their native tongue, so I got to watch it in english! (except for the priesthood session). It was so good, and I honestly loved all the talks. I have been reading Jesus the Christ, so I love Elder Hollands talk about the apostles. He is one of my favorite speakers anyways, and I enjoy his talks no matter what the topic is. Haha. I also love Elder Oaks talk. They are all so inspired and it is awesome!!!

well, that is my week for you all. I hope you are doing awesome! I love you all so much, stay strong

Elder bubba brown

Growth Week

Hello my lovely, eternal, family and friends.

I hope everything is going well for all of you. This week has been unusually interesting. My testimony has grown more in the past week, than any other week of my life. After hearing about all of the accidents going on in the family, I was having a bit of a hard time staying focused. I prayed harder than I have ever prayed in my life. I fasted, I did everything I could. I guess the main thing, was being on the other side of the world while everything is going crazy back home. Sister Hawks called and asked me about my back, (which is better now), and she could just sense that something wasn’t right. I guess my Hong Kong mom has that motherly instinct while she is taking care of me. So I asked her if she had any suggestions for me to stay a little bit more focused. She said prayer, fasting, scripture study (the things I have already been doing), and she also set up an appointment for me to talk to her husband. I didn’t think it was that serious, but I agreed. Within the meeting, we talked and he gave me some of the most amazing advice. He shared some very personal experiences, and he just helped me so much. At the end, he gave me a priesthood blessing. It was one of the most amazing blessings I have ever heard. He covered every single one of my concerns, even the ones I hadn’t expressed to him. The spirit was so strong in the room. The way he allowed the spirit to talk through him was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever been a part of. In the blessing, he said “You help God’s family here in Hong Kong, and I promise he will help your family over in America.” It was such an amazing experience, and has made all the difference.

I am at this weird part of my mission, where I can understand a lot of the language, but I personally have set my expectations to high, so that has been rough. But once again, the Lord helped me through this. I went on district companion exchanges for a couple of hours to go finding. I got put with an elder who has only been here for about 3 weeks. I was scared to death, but from past experiences, I know the Gift of Tongues is real. So I went at it with faith. We started teaching this lady. She was amazing. She even started bearing her testimony about prayer half way through the lesson. It was awesome, and the spirit was so strong. I knew for sure that she was going to be a golden investigator. Then, at the end of the lesson when we asked her for her number, she just stood up, said “sorry I’m not interested” and then walked away. We both just stood there speechless. I honestly didn’t know what to do! I felt so weird after that lesson, because I didn’t really understand. Then the thought came to my head, she just isn’t ready yet. So I will wait patiently and hope she accepts the gospel at another time.

This morning, we got to go to the temple. The promises and blessings really hit me strongly this time. The spirit was so strong, and it honestly felt like God was sitting there talking to me. Every time I go to the temple, I have a specific question in mind that I would like to have answered. This time, the question was very unique. I honestly had no idea how God would answer it. When I walked into the Celestial room I said a little prayer, then opened the book of Mormon. The very first verse I read answered my question as clear as possible. Just to make sure I had recieved the right answer, I opened to another random scripture, and it gave me the exact same answer. I know without a doubt that God answers prayers. Even if he doesn’t answer a prayer right away, be patient, it will come. I promise God is there and loves each of us enough to give us specific answers to our prayers.

So, that has been the best and the worst of my week. It has been some of the best and worst moments on my mission. Like mom always says, the bad made the good seem even better. I have felt closer to my savior this week. I have felt his love, his atonement, his mercy, his grace, and his willingness. I read a quote this week by Elder Holland. I don’t have the exact quote but it says something like: The path to God is going to be painful to start on, you will have bumps in the road, and sometimes you will get lost. But if you are willing and wanting, the savior is standing with outstretched arms, ready to take your hand and lead you back home.

In Hong Kong, conference is a week behind because they have to translate it, so we get to watch it this weekend. I am so excited! I also get to watch it in English, because President Hawks wants each missionary to watch it in their native tongue. I am so ready for another week of spiritual fulfillment. I am ready to take on this week with whatever the world is going to throw at me. Overall, I would say this week has been pretty good. I am happy and smiling, and I know what I am supposed to be doing. I love you all and I am so excited to hear from all of you next week!

Love, Elder Bubba

Mid-Autumn Festival

Hello my amazing and dear family and friends,

I hope everything is starting to calm down a little bit over there. Sounds like it has been a crazy past couple of weeks over at the brown house. Things here in Hong Kong have been… well, very mission like. It was Mid-Autumn festival on Sunday so that was really fun. We went finding at a park, and there were tons of people having picnics and running around with lanterns and Chinese music was playing, and there were tons of glow sticks. It was pretty awesome. It was one of the only times that I have felt like I was in “China”. I also got to eat LOTS of mooncakes. They are pretty good except for the egg yolk in the middle of them. I didn’t get to go to the fireworks on Monday, but I will get over that.

This week, we have been visiting a lot of members at their homes and really getting to know them. My companion has 3 cousins in the ward, so it is pretty easy for him to get to know them, but they have all been so nice and our relationship with them is improving so much! Some of them have such amazing stories and experiences. I am humbled with almost every person I meet here. Maybe it is because I am paying more attention to people’s lives. I have tried to learn something new from each person that I meet. It has been hard, and honestly I haven’t really been able to do it. But the effort has had some very good results. One lady in the ward is divorced and has two little kids (5 and 2 years old) and she is there every Sunday with them. We went to her new house that she just moved into, and she doesn’t even have a bed for herself yet, it is still at her old apartment. The only bed they have is for her kids. It is very humbling, but she is so nice and the ward is helping her so much. I have come to find that when you join this church, you join a heavenly family and you are never alone in life. It is pretty amazing.

I also would like you all to keep a family we are teaching in your prayers. We have seen a lot of miracles with them this week, but we have also seen some setbacks. They are the Chan family. The 13 year old son is a member and he brings his 7 year old sister to church every Sunday. We have been teaching the mom and dad, but the dad has stopped meeting with us and has even started trying to interrupt our lessons, so pray really hard for him. The mom is still having a hard time; she is in a pretty tough dilemma. She only gets one day off a week, and takes Saturdays off so she can take her kids to all of their different activities. So she isn’t able to come to church. She wants to come to church at times, but she can’t really see that it is more important to have Sundays off, so pray for her. Ok, now for the miracles with this family. Last Friday, she called us because her boss decided to give her Sunday off because of midautumn festival, so she was able to come to church! Also, we had an amazing lesson this week, with a member who was in the same situation as her, but she resolved it. She bore her testimony and the spirit was so strong in the room. It was so amazing! Also, her parents live with her, and they haven’t ever really been super nice to us, but this week they talked to us before the lesson and were super nice to us. They are starting to open up, and it feels good to be more welcomed in their home!

We were also able to teach brother Yuen, the person we baptized a couple of weeks ago. He is doing awesome! He is preparing to get the Aaronic priesthood now. He has a calling in the ward and he is loving being able to serve people. He has even started going to the missionary guitar class so he can help them teach lessons after. It is amazing how a member of 1 month sometimes has more faith than a member of 20 years. The lesson with him was awesome, he started bearing his testimony at the end, and tears filled his eyes and he had goose bumps on his arms. It was one of those moments, where all of the hard times really feel worth it!

We also have another new investigator, or actually he is more investigating English. He is really funny, and I hope that we can develop a sincere desire in him to learn more about the gospel. His name is Marco. He calls almost every day, just to talk with us. He also said he is reading the book of Mormon, but can never remember where he read… Haha He is our interesting investigator that we are dealing with.

Our English class is really something to write home about. We have the strangest variety of people that come; we could honestly make a tv show about it. We have Mac, the Christian artist who is like 60 years old and I would call him a Chinese hippie. We have Lai Yi who is this 85 year old woman who is just Hilarious. We have Nori, a Japanese man who doesn’t speak Chinese and barely speaks English, I am not quite sure how we teach him, but he keeps coming back. We also have A-Ming, the fisherman. So this is our interesting English class. It is so funny, and the way they interact with each other is honestly the funniest thing I have ever seen. Mac the other day, came up to me and said “your voice is so… powerful…. it must be a gift from the God, I am just in awe whenever you speak…” then he went home about 30 minutes early. And that is how my Saturday nights go, I just love it!

Last week, we were playing basketball, and I fell and my back felt funny, but I didn’t think anything of it. Then, that night it was really hurting. I took some pain medicine and went to bed. The next day it was really bad too, but I just toughed it out. Then on Monday, it was feeling a lot better, so I went to play soccer with the ward. I was doing great, but then I shot this one goal, and jolts shot up through my back. It hurt so bad (but I did make the goal!) It has been constantly hurting since then. I called Sister Hawks, and she has me on limited activity. Hopefully it will get better soon, so I can go and give my all again. Sister Hawks calls me every day to make sure I am doing ok. She is just like my mom over here in China. If it isn’t better by the end of the week, then I will see the mission doctor. We will just have to see. I am fine though, nothing too serious to worry about!

That is pretty much it for my week, just another week in the life of a missionary. I have been studying a lot about prayer lately and how I can develop my prayer habits and make my prayers more meaningful and sincere. The difference has been amazing! I love you all, and hope you all have an awesome week! LOVE YOU!!!

Love Elder Bubba