Elder Keegan Karsten Brown

Elder Keegan Karsten Brown

Monday, March 31, 2014

Southern Romanian by Grace!
Who Dresses Me?

Hey There Folks!

Well, to the surprise of everyone in the mission, and to us here in Ploiesti, NOTHING has changed for the following transfer!  Everyone in the District will be staying here and Elder Dearden and I will remain together.

Nothing has changed with investigators either. Tavi is still excited to be baptized in June.  Florin loves to talk with us, but he won’t come to church.  We had a week of contacting and only two lessons. I wish I could talk more about our investigators, but there really isn’t much more to say! 

Things Romanians Say

Yesterday, we talked with the most insane man I have ever met in my life.  We talked about the Book of Mormon and he knew everything about Mormon (or at least he thought he did).  Apparently the book of Mormon couldn’t have been written 600 years before Christ because the man named Mormon was born 700 years after Christ, in Sweden.  He then explained that Mormon went to the Council in Constantinople (381 AD) and there, he influenced Martin Luther.  Keep in mind that Martin Luther lived over 1000 years after that time.  During this whole discussion, he was only talking to Elder Dearden and left me out of the conversation.  Why you ask?  Because I descend from Russian Heritage and my blood type makes me more suspicious, whereas Dearden comes from Italy and is more receptive.  We talked with him for about 45 minutes because he wouldn’t let us leave.  Finally we just turned our backs and walked away.  When we asked where he got his information, he responded “that all this information can be found at the center of theology in Bucharest.”  Kinda scary! 

Be careful who you talk to out there! 

Well hope everyone is doing well! Love and miss you guys.

Elder Brown

Monday, March 24, 2014

Special Thanks to the Barclay Family!

Dann and Shauna attended Elder Barclay's homecoming, March 23rd, in Paul Idaho.  Jacob's family was so welcoming and made us feel right at home.  Jacob too made time, away from his family, to visit and make sure he shared everything about his partnership with Keegan, telling stories about bloc knocking, line dancing and English breakfasts.  Keegan couldn't have asked for a better companion/trainer and is so lucky to have served a short time with Elder Barclay.  When told of our visit, Keegan said "I love and miss that kid!"  

Thanks to the Barclay family for sharing their hospitality, but especially their son with ours.

Sapte Scuri
Seven Ladders

A Ladder
Who's in Charge of these Kids?

Buna Ziua si Prima Vara Fericit - Good Day and Happy Spring!

This week on our way home from block knocking, Elder Dearden and I were waiting to cross the street in the dark and a car slowly pulls up to us and gets super close to running over my toes on the side of the road.  He rolls down his passenger side window and we look in to find an Orthodox Priest who asked us "who gave you permission to be here?"  We replied "nobody, do we need permission to be here?"  He went on to explain that this is his sector of the city and we weren’t allowed to be there.  He told us that nobody around here wants to listen to us.  I responded and said "actually, not only do we live here in this sector, but we also have members here."  The look on his face was priceless and responded that we had no members here.  Threatening us to never come back here or he won’t be as nice!  It seriously felt like something off of the A&E show "Gang Wars."  Apparently the city is on a system where the Orthodox Priests split up the separate sectors. 

Our investigators are doing alright. Florin still hasn’t shown-up to church but Tavi is slowly working towards his baptism date in June. 

This week we had zone conference in Bucharest. It was pretty good and President Hill had some cool things to say but the thing I took out of it most is that when we go home, we will miss Romania so much!  When I entered the country, a group of Elders left.  Well just three months later, one (Elder Cunningham) returned and sat in on our zone conference. From across the chapel, I just watched as he nodded and agreed with everything President said about the good people of Romania.  He looked so sad, like he was missing something from his life.

This week we went on a hike in the mountains. We had to take a train to a nearby city of Brasov and then walked 8 kilometers until we arrived at our hike.  It was a slot canyon called Sapte Scuri, which means seven ladders.  As you hike through the slot canyon, you obviously have to use seven ladders to get to the top and around the waterfalls.  It was way sweet and I took tons of pictures.

Hope everyone is having a good week and I will see you soon!

Love, Elder Brown

Monday, March 17, 2014

Cake Bosses!
Traffic Jam - Gypsy Style

Some Sad News!

I received a call from our zone leaders letting me know that Elder Barclay (my trainer) had a little bit of a health shock this week and was given the choice to go to Germany and be treated or go home and be treated.  Because he only has a month or two left, he decided to go home early and get treated the right way.  Elder Barclay had heart problems as a child and they have followed him throughout life.  When I was with him, he struggled with sleeping through the night and blamed it on his over powerful heartbeat.  He described it as a shaking in his chest that wouldn’t allow him to sleep.  Anyway, keep him in your prayers as he’s starting to get treated back home in Idaho. 

We had a cool experience this week on the streets. This guy contacted us in English and asked about our beliefs in Christ.  After our discussion, the conversation quickly changed as I asked where he learned English. It turns out that he is a Romanian Olympian.  He was a 4x400 swimmer in the 1996 Olympics when Romania finished 10th.  His best performance was in a World competition in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, where he and his team finished 3rd. He now spends time teaching kids here in Ploiesti how to swim. 

Missionary work has only changed as far as the weather!  We haven’t done too much more than contacting and teaching a few people here and there.  One exciting thing is that one of our investigators has a baptismal date!  It’s set for June 14th, so I probably won’t be here to see it, but it’s pretty sweet.  He has been taught for years upon years and doesn’t even remember when he was first taught, but seems excited to be finally getting baptized. 

Also, Florin still wants to meet with us but still has yet to come to church.  Our discussions may be philosophical but then again, he hasn’t disagreed with anything we have taught.  He is just a quiet, attentive student with good questions.  I don’t think we will drop him, especially because he feeds us every time – Haha! 

I've noticed that the warmer it gets out here, the more fun and happier I am!  I love the sun and being able to be outside.  I’m sure its warm back home and hope you guys take advantage of it. Romanians love to spend time in the parks, sitting on benches, playing with kids and walking around. 

Gotta tell everyone that one of my buddies turns 5 this week!  Happy birthday Miles!  I love you buddy! 

Romanian Happy Birthday / Things Romanians say

Mulţi ani triască
Mulţi ani triască
La mulţi ani

Cina să triască
Cine să triască
La mulţi ani

Miles să triască
Miles să triască

Hope y’all are having a good week! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

No TV for Missionaries!
Under Deardon's Umbrella, ella, ella

Back to the Buch - Another P-Day on the Road!

E-mailing from Buch again today.  Dearden has a cavity and his mom asked that we come back and get it fixed, so no fun for today.

Had a few experiences this week but nothing too exciting . . . 

On Thursday morning, during our studies, we got a knock at our door. Elder Dearden and I got up and look through the peep hole to find the Jehova Witnesses standing in the hall. We both laughed because we got block knocked.  We grabbed our Books of Mormon and put on our nametags. When we opened, the woman said to the man, "uite, sunt Mormonii" "look, they're Mormons." The guy just got super nervous and told us how glad he was to run into us. We respectfully let him speak and tell us about their religion because we know how it feels to be on his side of the door. I felt bad though, because his hands were shaking and we could tell he felt very uncomfortable. 

Later that same day, we blocked knocked into a woman who said she was very religious! When I asked if she read from the Bible, she told us to stay for a moment as she went to grab something. When she came back, she had in her hands the largest bible I have ever seen. Claiming that it weighed over 7 kilograms and she reads every single night!  The book looked like more like a microwave than a book - It was huge! Didn’t let us talk too much but she was cracking jokes and said she was proud of us. 

That evening, we were on our way home for dinner and passed this particular bloc (next door to ours) on a daily basis. It usually has two dogs patrolling the parking lot, but they’ve never bothered us. They must have been angry because of the rain or something, because they started barking and sprinting towards us!  Elder Dearden used his umbrella to defend himself and I’m embarrassed to say that my fight-or-flight instinct led me running into our bloc scared!  We continue to pass the dogs every day and they haven’t bothered us since then. 

Missionary work has slowed down again.  Other than teaching English twice a week in our chapel, we don’t have too many lessons.  We might have to drop Florin, the man I was mentioning last week, because he fails to keep his commitment to come to church and to read scriptures. Don’t worry though, we are working hard!  Elder Dearden keeps us outta the house and doubling our expected weekly hours. Needless to say, I sleep pretty well at night. 

Things Romanians Say - While block knocking, we get some pretty crazy responses!

Here's one example . . . 
Lady: What are you doing here! 
Us: We are just here to speak with others about the Savior and offer help.
Lady: Don't people in your country sleep at this hour? *slams door*
Let’s not forget that it was 3:30 PM

Love and miss you guys! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ploiesti 'Techno' Cowboy
Um, it's not St. Patrick's Day!

Buna dimineata!

Well, my companion is having some dental issues so we are in Bucharest for the day!  Pretty exciting to get out of Ploiesti, but we don’t have anything else fun planned.

This week was crappy, no pun intended . . . On Tuesday I was crapped on by a pigeon and the following day I stepped in dog crap!  Talk about a great week! 

Missionary work has been slow this week.  We’re offering free English classes in Ploiesti so we’ve been advertising for that.  We first have to get people in the door of the church so they will trust us.  While English contacting this week, a man from South Carolina approached me and asked me where I was from.  When I responded Utah he said "of course."  Then he said "how do the people here take to your religion?" and I just replied that people in Romania are very religious. 

We met with Florin again this week and I feel like he is still our best investigator, but still struggles to get to church; always says he’ll come, but never shows up.

Nothing too special this week so sorry I don’t have anything interesting to write about. 

Things Romanians say - When getting off the bus, you don’t just get off, you descend off! 
eu cobor
I descend 
You descend? 

Love and miss you guys!