Elder Brown 27 March 2017

Malo e lelei!

President came around and interviewed everyone in Vava'u today in preparation for zone conference tomorrow, and so we ended up waiting in the house for hours. We would have emailed if we knew he would have been late. I've been limited on time for a couple weeks in a row now so I'll do my best.

We went earlier this morning to M'ounga Talau, the highest peak in Vava'u. It's one of the prettiest views I've ever seen and We got some cool pictures. It was awesome.

The work here's very different and a lot of fun; I'm really glad to be in an area like this and I'm loving it. Vava'u is a lot slower, and there are a lot of less actives. There are a couple of families we are working towards and we are still teaching a lot. We're working a lot with the less active members, and we got one family to show up and they brought someone who hasn't been baptized yet, so there's another baptism potential there too!

The members love us and would do pretty much anything for us. We love them and they love missionaries. They would let us eat their food, use their car, kiss their daughters, take their boats, whatever we want to do they would let us do it and no one would ever find out about it. Integrity is important!

I love it here! 'Ofa atu!

'Ofa atu!
Elder Brown

Elder Brown 20 March 2017

Malo e lelei!

I have been transferred to Tu'anekivale, Vava'u and am companions with Elder Langi from Kolomotu'a. This has been a major motivation booster and I couldn't be happier right now. I know Elder Langi from before, he used to be in my zone when I was a zone leader and I love the guy. We're very excited to work here. Lots of people tell me that this is a slower area, but I've already met a cuople of the members and I love them. It's cloudy here, but if it wasn't I'd send you pictures. It's really beautiful here.
That's all I can get off today; They've got internet here so I'll be able to email weekly as long as it's cooperating. It took a little while to get the pictures uploaded, so I'll fully update you next week.

'Ofa atu!
Elder Brown

Jennifer Brown

To learn more about me, click here!

Elder Brown 16 March 2017

The internet was down for a few days….so happy to hear from Elder Brown this week!

Malo e lelei!

A good week this week! Our efforts centered around teaching Tangikina 'Olevao and working with her family. They have returned to activity and I have high hopes for them; I have no doubt that they will make it to the Temple in the near future and become one of the great families in Folaha. Teaching her was a lot of fun and working with their family was a very motivating experience. I love them very much.

We're still doing the normal thing over here, and working towards the 'Olevao family has the Folaha first ward excited. The second ward is feeling the heat and came up with six referrals during a ward council meeting (which we forgot to go to). The transfer is next Monday, so if I stay at least I'll have something to do.

Brother Truman G Madsen of BYU gave a series of 8 lectures about the Prophet Joseph Smith, each about 45 minutes long. I downloaded them all and listen to them while I shower, iron my clothes, eat, and whenever we have time at the house. He also has a series on the prophets of this dispensation, and I've listened to the Joseph Smith and Brigham Young ones, and this morning I skipped John Taylor and listened to the Willford Woodruff one, which is a favorite of mine. I love the prophets and apostles of our dispensation and it's amazing to see how the Lord worked through them.

I've thought a lot about what the early saints had to go through, and what it did to them. The same goes for the early Christian saints, the Israelites, seemingly every Book of Mormon prophet, and others. When we read about it, it seems clear and inspiring why things happen the way they do. When it's happening to us, however, it's not so fun.

It certainly would have made things a lot easier for Job if, before he lost everything, he got to see the conversation between Satan and the Lord, and learn exactly what the Lord had in mind for him. It would have been easier had he known the Lord would double his flocks and herds, or if he knew the date and time that the struggles would end. But he held on to his faith and waited it out, ending up a better man in the process.

I've gotten a lot of good advice from my dad and other friends about this topic, and I've been thinking about it a while. It would be nice to know why I'm here, why I was put with my companion, why I've been here so long, and when I'm leaving. Sometimes it's hard to sit still and say "when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." We see this pattern in the scriptures and we've definitely had some remarkable examples among the leaders of our dispensation. We all experience trials, big and small, and I think it's safe to say that no one can expect the kind of blessings we read about in the scriptures without being absolutely to keep being faithful and obedient till it's over. 

I love the gospel, and (at least in a small way) I'm doing my best to wait it our and pray for a few things to change. I know the Lord will come through for me, and that he expects me to be willing to go through whatever he has in mind for me willingly, and that after I have patiently endured, I will receive the promise. (Hebrews 6:15, thank you Jacob for that verse)

This is a lot of fun and I love Tonga very much. Thanks for all the Letters!


1. Battle damage sustained while engaged in the war against sin
2. Folaha
3. Elder Hirinuki and I in Longoteme
4. Teaching Tangikina, along with every other kid who wanted to come. She's the one in the gray and pink dress, and her two brothers, Maloni and Tu'a, came with her. She was pretty shy at first, so teaching her with her friends helped a lot. It ended up being a lot of fun and she got to meet some of her primary classmates, which is a great thing.
5. Baptism of Tangikina! Her family is a great one, and her parents are some of the kindest people I know. It was a lot of fun to teach her and to meet her family.
6. There was no internet on P day, so we went to Vaini. The internet ended up being dead there too, so we went to one of the members houses and played ping pong and cards. Then we found boxing gloves (just three of them, 2 left and 1 right) and had a series of one handed boxing competitions. With any luck, we'll find the second right hand glove and the shenanigans cup will be filled to overflowin

'Ofa atu!

Elder Brown

Elder Brown 6 March 2017

Malo e lelei!

I just got a camera today, and I was able to get a few pictures off of other people. It's not a whole lot but at least it's something!

Another slow week, but we have a baptism coming up! We've been working with a less active family who've started to come back to church, and they want us to baptize their daughter! They're a good family and they were very willing to start coming back, all they needed was a reminder.

The below picture was taken at Hufangalupe a couple of months ago with (left to right) Elder Wolfgramm, Elder Brown, Elder Tavo (now in Vava'u) and Elder Lasalosi, my old companion who has finished and gone back to 'Eua. This is the coolest place to go in our zone and we got a few pictures. Elder Vaisa (not pictured) was with us at the time and is the one taking the picture.

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing and outdoor

Last week we cleaned up around the Palace and helped to paint the fence (I'm not much of a painter). This is me with Elder Lesueur, who was in my first district. We're good friends and it was a lot of fun to see him again; he was in Niuatoputapu (where Kolipoki was trained) for several months and then moved to Vava'u for several months more; it was a lot of fun to see him again

We've visited virtually all the houses in Folaha and I can't help but feel like I've done what I could do here. We're having a more fun with Longoteme, which is easily the most Catholic are I've ever served in; We're teaching people and we have a couple of hopefuls, but we experience a lot more subtle opposition that I'm used to. I've never been spit on or slapped or shot at, nor do I ever expect to be; people respect ministers here, no matter what church. But it's harder there than I've ever experienced.

I'm sure there are plenty of places in the world where the missionaries aren't so lucky; I tend to think such is the case everywhere but the Islands. I love it so much here; this isn't an easy job but I know it could be worse. These people are special to me and I'll love them forever.

I was reading in Alma 17 last afternoon after church and couldn't help but wish I was in a more dramatic situation having more of an 'adventure' and getting thrown in jail and shipwrecked and shot at some more; that's what I always hoped my mission would be like, something like what Ammon or Aaron saw. Later that night, I came across the lyrics to 'I'll go where you want me to go' in the English hymnbook and found my answer once again. I'll have plenty of time for adventure after the mission, and whether or not the next several months have any of that in store is not up to me. I do know that I will be happier and more productive as I work hard, so I'll keep that up and see what the next month or two blows by way. I've heard a lot of advice on this subject over the last months and years, and once again it's made it's way into my heart over the last week. 

I love the Savior and I know that this is His church. I love the Book of Mormon and I feel closer to the Savior whenever I read it.I love it here and time is flying. Thanks for all the letters! I love you all.

'Ofa atu
Elder Brown