Elder Keegan Karsten Brown

Elder Keegan Karsten Brown

Monday, February 24, 2014

Alex Raducanu's Baptism!


Last Train to Buch'ville!
Oxygen Deprivation @ 10k

Buna Ziua Dragi Frati si Surori

The highlight of the week was the baptism of Alex Raducanu!  Super cool kid that Elder Barclay found about a year back.  I had the opportunity to teach him and his family for the last few weeks and I asked that he start thinking of a date for baptism and out of nowhere he caught us off guard and said (last) Friday!  It was a super cool day for him and the missionaries.  His dad is a member but his mother and little brother are not.  They all have been attending church for about a year but the mother was a super strong orthodox member and stumbles on doctrine a lot and has a ton of difficult questions for us missionaries.  I feel like she is testing us, and the gospel, to make sure we have all the right answers. Obviously we don’t have all the answers so a lot is left up to faith on her part.  I say this because at the baptism, Alex asked that his mom come up to the stand and bare her testimony with him.  It was super emotional for her and it was a big step forward for the family.  I can tell the little brother is ready for baptism but is still a little unsure; same with the mother. 

Work, work, work - Elder Dearden is go all the time!  We spend lots of time in blocks and on the street contacting, which is good.  I received my iPod and am pretty surprised with the music selection – Thanks Shanley!  I can now listen to Steely Dan and Don Henley (who the heck are Steely Dan and Don Henley? – Haha!) 

We didn’t meet with Florin (beard guy) this week but he asked that we come over tomorrow to talk with him some more.  The success has slowed down a lot lately but I guess it’s just how things work.  Don’t have too many other strong investigators to talk about but I have hopes for Florin! 

The weather has been a bit chilly and super windy lately! I hope it starts warming up and the sun comes out because I am ready for spring!

Things Romanians say . . . Ce tare - Literal translation is "what loud" but they use it as "cool" or "Sick"
-Uite, am pantofii nou!
-Look, I have new shoes!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Gnomes are Following Me!
Walk in the Park!

Not Sure What's Happening Here?
Peles and Me

Bears at Church?

Sr. Companion

Staying in Ploiesti with Elder Dearden!

Something that we just found out today is that Alex Raducanu asked to be baptized this Friday which is pretty sweet!  If you don’t remember, Elder Harris and I asked him to start thinking of a day to be baptized a few weeks ago.

We also found this guy last week that I didn’t tell you about.  His name is Florin and he has a sweet beard. He also has a speech problem and it sounds like the words get caught in his awesome beard.  Other than being super hard to understand, he is just a cool guy who told us he likes to talk about religion and asked us to come back another day!  We've had two lessons with him so far and I think he is liking it.  Last night he asked "what are you guys doing here, like do you want to baptize me in your church or what?"  I was nervous to respond ‘cause people don’t like conversion here but we just responded and said "it’s our responsibility to share a message to everyone, whether they believe it or not."  Dearden asked him that if he were to listen to all of our lessons, and come to find it to be true, if he would be baptized . . . he just said "se poate" (it’s possible) so he is probably the best investigator we have right now and the one I’m most excited about! 

All that excitement about all the people i met last week died down... Most the people didnt pick up their phone this week! Some of them have been in the hospital and some are just crazy and we decided to not go back to their house. 

We had our branch conference yesterday and it went pretty well!  We had 50 people at church instead of the usual 30.  The cool part happened in priesthood though.  Gott’a say that Romanian men are super macho and have a super tough outside and don’t show emotions at all.  With that being said . . . We started priesthood and the area president from Bucharest (Pres. Doru) asked that we do an experiment instead of a lesson.  He just started to tell one of the members (Fratele Fotea) how much he loved him and admired him.  It got super emotional for those two and they hugged it out after.  Then Doru asked that Fotea choose one of the members in the room and do the same.  Then that person would choose another, and so on ‘till everyone had something said about them.  It was super cool to see everyone go around the room and get all emotional.  Usually, because Romanians are such passionate and argumentative people, priesthood meeting turns into a giant argument where everyone tries to talk over one another.  By the end of the meeting, everyone was just quiet and it was like a fresh start for the branch!  

The weather here is really warming up and it makes it easier to go outside and work.  I’m liking it more than when it was cold and walking through mountains of snow to get here and there! 

Things Romanians Say . . . 

Stai frumous! (sit beautifully) - Everything in this country is done beautifully!  The way you sit, stand, walk, talk, run, eat, and so on.  They even ask beautifully!  Just like little kids say "pretty please" in English, EVERY Romanian does the same thing . . . Va rog frumous (To you, I ask beautifully) regardless of age, you ask in a beautiful manner.  

Love you guys so much and miss you!  

Elder Brown

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mountain Road to Peles
Peles Mountain

Peles Castle
Peles Elders

Actually have stuff to write about this week!

Just to clarify, I didn’t get a new comp this week!  I’m still with Elder Dearden and we figure we’ll stay together for a while.  He sings and hums and whistles hymns constantly and is the most obedient missionary in the mission.  We’ve had some crazy success!

With that little note, here we go.  In the last seven days we have been allowed into four doors!  We have about eight potential investigators and are planning for six or seven lessons this week.  We used a whiteboard in our apartment and accounted for 18 people/families!  They are either new investigators, less active, recent converts or potential investigators.  Elder Dearden says he has never heard of this much success for anyone and was pretty stoked!  I guess we will start doing ACTUAL missionary work for the next few weeks – Kind’a exciting! 

It was weird when I had to actually teach someone the restoration in Romanian.  It made me realize that I don’t know squat - Haha!   I need to do better on studying.  I had my first dream in Romanian which was weird . . . Devan and I went to Vegas to record at the studio and sat down for dinner with Paul and Chance. The people next to us were Romanian and I just started talking to them.  Chance went nuts when they spoke Romanian.  It was really weird, but . . . 

We did some fun stuff this week!  We took a train up to a small city about an hour away for P-day.  The city is called Sinaia and reminds me a lot of Park City.  Very nice, expensive homes and cars nestled into a little ski city!  We went there to see "Peles Castle" and it’s pretty sweet!  It’s super nice inside and has a ton of woodwork and all kinds of antiques.  I have no idea on the history because we took the tour in Romanian but feel free to look it up if you want to know more.  We also took the ski lift to the top of the mountain just for fun and some pictures.  We had to walk all the way down though because we didn’t pay for the ride down and obviously didn’t have skis . . . I was slightly tempted though – Haha! 

I still don’t know my investigators well enough to give you that much info . . . But I’ll let you know next week if we start having some good lessons with people.  Maybe if people ask to meet with us more than once, we can get some progressing investigators! 

The weather is warming-up in Ploiesti and I’m excited for the spring - NO MORE SNOW! 

Love and miss all you guys! 


Monday, February 3, 2014

Shoveling Out
Walk in the Park

Ploiesti's Soras
Ploiesti Four

Transfer Number Three - In Four Weeks!

How is everyone doing this week? 

Hope all is well back home and i miss you guys!

Well to start, for the third time this transfer, I have a new companion!  You guys know I started with Elder Barclay. Then the emergency transfer and I went with Elder Harris in Ploiesti.  Now, there has been another change!  Of the four Elders here in Ploiesti, two weren’t getting along very well.  It got so bad that President decided to separate them and switch with Elder Harris and me.

My third companion this transfer is Elder Daniel Dearden from Northern California.  He is an extremely diligent and hard-working missionary that believes in one way of doing missionary work.  I will be working extremely hard these next few weeks and getting a lot of contacting in.  Let’s recap a little bit:  Two weeks with Barclay; two weeks with Harris; and now for the remaining two weeks of the transfer with Dearden!  Haha – yep, this has been a little crazy for me!  One good thing though, I didn’t have to move because Deardon came to me.  This all happened on Friday and I have only been with him for a few days. 

As far as investigators go, I lost all of mine because of the switch and we will now be teaching Elder Dearden’s. I haven’t met any of them yet. We also had interviews with President Hill this week and I survived - Not too exciting.

We’ve done a lot of shoveling lately which has been fun. The Musat family, who are members, invited us over for lunch this week which was really good!  She is a good cook and I enjoyed the meal!  We had soup and their version of spaghetti which isn’t what you would think; pretty much just noodles with ground pork in it.  For desert though, it was a different story - not nearly as good.  They gave us more spaghetti noodles with egg, sour cream and sugar - mmm yummy – not!  As we were leaving, Sister Musat said that we wouldn’t need to take our scriptures and bags because we would be doing more shoveling at her house.  She was very sneaky in getting service out of us but it was totally worth it for the food!

We had a pretty interesting block this week.  The first door we knocked was a "homeless" guy named Bogdon.  The reason I say "homeless" was because even though he had a home, he may as well had been homeless.  Of course he invited us in and all he had in there was trash, carved wood crosses and beer!  He was super drunk and started crying to us about life. He told us that he dug a grave for money earlier that day and has been trying to drink and smoke less.  After about five minutes Elder Dearden says "well, we gotta go.... but... uhhhh..... ya, God loves us" and we stood up and walked out.  As we neared the end of the block, a lady started yelling and getting mad that we were trying to convert everyone.  She said "everyone is orthodox here, and we don’t want to change!"  Out of nowhere, I just started explaining to her about why we are here and on missions.  She was shocked that I said we just want to serve people and help them out . . . We just continued back and forth and after I had pretty much said all I know in Romanian she stopped.  All she said after that was that she wishes us health and a good night!   Then walked away.  Elder Dearden looked at me and said "I can’t believe how well you handled that" then laughed and said "usually when I talk to people like that, they just get super mad and kick us out of the block."  It was an interesting night!

This week has just been a big long blur for me, so I don’t have much to write about! 

I love and miss you guys so much!  Hope you had a good Super Bowl Sunday and we can all be happy because Denver got wrecked! :)

Love Elder Brown!