26 September 2016

          Malo e lelei!
We have quite a time limit now for emailing, so rather than write 5 lines and quit I've decided to copy and paste parts of my letters to the mission president. If it seems out of context or worded strangely or it there are any Tongan words that don't translate directly to English, I apologize; bear with me. I love long letters from other people, so I'll write a long letter back, to the best of my ability.

We have well over 20 investigators in the pool, which we're quite proud of considering the 0 we had a month ago. People know I like it here so the transfer rumors keep on coming

We had ward conference yesterday in the Te'ekiu second ward and 17 nonmembers showed up!! a new record!

We're going with the zone leaders to go fishing. There's an abandoned boat floating in the water near in our area, so we're waiting to hear back from the ap's whether or not that's ok

We've been teaching a lot and doing a lot of work! I'm getting fat again because the members here feed us really well and our area's really small. I really like it here.

I got my absentee ballot from the office! I don't know if it's too late but it's worth a shot! #buildthewall!

I've been going through 'missionary work' in the topical guide and I've found some of the coolest stories and learned some of the coolest truth. I've begun reading about the life and ministry of the apostle Paul and all he went through, his powerful conversion story and the strong witness he bears, I've always loved Abinadi, Alma, Ammon, Amulek, and all the rest, so I've been having a grand old time during personal study.

I've also been studying chapter 4 (regognizing the spirit) in a new depth and with a more real-life application in mind, I guess. We teach such a broad pool of investigators (everyone from Baha'i to Muslim to Pentecostal to Athiest) that I can't get anywhere using only my brain and the understanding I have, just because there's so much ground to cover and my mind doesn't work that fast. I've found myself getting overwhelmed when I try to think and devise clever ways to find faults in their reasoning, and that often leads to either 1. poor teachings or 2. visits where we do little more that have a nice gospel conversation. I consider this section from preach my gospel to be a revelation to me:
How you approach an investigator's concern will depend on the nature of that concern. Determine whether the concern has come up because the person does not have a spiritual confirmation of the truth of the Restoration or whether the person does not want to commit to living a true principle. Understanding the source of the problem in this way helps you know whether to focus on testimony or commitment. (preach my gospel, chapter 10, help people resolve their concerns).
Looking at it this way makes my purpose seem more clear to me, and a lot simpler: teach correct doctrine, help them know for themselves, and invite them to repent and bring their lives into alignment with the Father's will. This is why they wrote the book, and was among the most enlightening finds of the week.

I also learned quite a bit from reading in the 'listen' section of pmg chapter 10. I have a testimony that we receive words "in the very moment" if we ask in faith, teach in love, and try to render ourselves worthy of that gift. I really try to understand people and love them, and it works!!

kou fiefia he faingamalie kuo tuku mai kiate au ke u ngaue ki Tonga ni. Ko e me'a fakafiefia mo'oni kiate au pea u 'ilo'i ko e ngaue eni 'a e 'Eiki. 'oku ou ofa lahi atu ka moutolu!!!!

This is the true Church and I love you all!

Elder Brown

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