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

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