Elder Keegan Karsten Brown

Elder Keegan Karsten Brown

Monday, April 28, 2014

Easter Bunny Came!
2014 Hockey State Champs
Utah Man - KiYi!

Fiti cu Minte – Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen!

It’s been too quick since I've last emailed. Weeks are going way too fast and I’m struggling to keep up!

We have two new investigators: Alin and Gabriel are two young teenagers who live just outside the city. We have to take a bus taxi or "maxi taxi" out to their house to see them. They are technically gypsy and the whole family lives on the same street. The Sisters have been teaching the young girls in the family and referred us to the boys. We have only met with them once so I don’t really know all that much yet, but it should be pretty good considering we don’t have too many investigators. While out in there suburbs, we see horse pulled carts and sheet metal houses. I haven’t taken pictures because I feel like it’s disrespectful, but I will ask the guys if it’s okay next time!

We spent some time in Bucharest for the district conference yesterday and it was pretty sweet.  It felt like I was back home because the whole chapel was filled.  There were probably 300 or more there and it was sweet. There was an area 70 there named Axel Leimer from Germany that talked to us a lot about the priesthood.  He said that when giving a blessing "don’t just say a nice little prayer with your hands on someone’s head. If you are just going to say a nice little prayer, the sisters are better equipped for it. You need to give a blessing and promise people something."  Kind of got me thinking.

Anyway, this week went quick and I’m excited to Skype home soon!   

I love and miss all you guys!

Elder Brown

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fata Musat
Missionary Choir
My Own Private Idaho

Paște fericit - Happy Easter!

I will give ya'll a quick week recap.  It started out slow!  The rain kept us out of luck.  Pretty much nothing happened until the weekend and then the Branch treated us really well for Easter! 

Saturday night, before Easter, is huge for Romanians.  We met the Raducanus at about 10:00 PM to go to midnight mass at the Orthodox Church – don’t worry mom, we had permission to be out late.  We walked in the rain to the church and got there to find a million people just standing out in the rain.  That was pretty much all that happened!  I guess the priests and people of all religions go to Jerusalem and light candles from what they believe is the tomb of Christ.  Then they bring it back by plane to countries all over Eastern Europe.  We show up with our candles and pass the flame around!  It was sweet but my candle only lasted about 10 minutes before the wind and rain put it out - Got home around 1:00 AM. 

Sunday we only had one hour for church, then went back to the Raducanus for lunch.  They fed us ciorba (soup) and lots of other Romanian dishes.  We just chilled and played games with them until dinner.  For dinner, the (Branch) President Musat invited us over for more food.  He is a ‘sick’ guy who has two young daughters and we had a blast.  They also fed us ciorba, but it was followed by grilled chicken and french fries so I was stoked. 

Anyway, I hope all is well with you guys and you all had a good Easter!  I’m doing just fine and am excited to skype home here in a few weeks - It’s gonna be sweet! 

Elder Brown

Monday, April 14, 2014

Palm Sunday
Puppy Love?

Rainy Days and Mondays

How’s it Going Peeps?

Another week of rain which left us doing a whole lot of nothing!  We had zone training this week and that was pretty much all the big news.  Zone training was cool and they were pushing family history pretty hard again.  From the mission and Elder Bednar's talk, It sounds like family history is a big deal.  One cool thing I learned from training though was this challenge called "The Book of Mormon Challenge." Pretty interesting little article by Hugh Nibley showing the difficult circumstances that Joseph Smith found himself in. It’s kind’a long, so I will just put it at the bottom of this email and y’all can read it if you would like. 

We only met with one of our investigators this week.  Lonut is a young kid here who loves to dance and play soccer.  He is a pretty slow learner so we take our time.  We've been meeting with him for a while, but this was the first lesson in about three weeks. He was a little indifferent and not paying too much attention to us, so I told him we would play ping pong for a bit then start our lesson.  Romanians are usually pretty good at ping pong, so I expected a good game. Looking back, I kind’a feel bad for putting the hurt on the poor kid - score: 21-4. Turns out that I haven’t lost my ping pong skills.

Just to keep you guys informed on my every move and action. I made chicken tacos this week!  Doesn’t sound too interesting, but it’s super hard to find taco seasoning. Good food that reminds me of home! 

Things Romanians Say . . .
This week while walking down the street, a man came up from behind us and said, "can I ask you guys a question?"  Of course we stopped and talked with this dude. He asked if our church supported inter-racial relationships. Elder Dearden replied yes.  The guy went off on Dearden saying, in the Old Testament, God commands people to not marry outside their race. He then explained that Dearden shouldn’t exist as a blonde in Romania and just went all racist on us.  Watch out for the interesting people in life! :)

You guys are the best!

Elder Brown 

Book of Mormon Challenge

"Since Joseph Smith was younger than most of you and not nearly so experienced or well-educated as any of you at the time he copyrighted the Book of Mormon, it should not be too much to ask you to hand in by the end of the semester (which will give you more time than he had) a paper of, say, five to six hundred pages in length. Call it a sacred book if you will, and give it the form of a history. Tell of a community of wandering Jews in ancient times; have all sorts of characters in your story, and involve them in all sorts of public and private vicissitudes; give them names--hundreds of them--pretending that they are real Hebrew and Egyptian names of circa 600 B.C.; be lavish with cultural and technical details--manners and customs, arts and industries, political and religious institutions, rites, and traditions, include long and complicated military and economic histories; have your narrative cover a thousand years without any large gaps; keep a number of interrelated local histories going at once; feel free to introduce religious controversy and philosophical discussion, but always in a plausible setting; observe the appropriate literary conventions and explain the derivation and transmission of your varied historical materials.
"Above all, do not ever contradict yourself!  For now we come to the really hard part of this little assignment. You and I know that you are making this all up--we have our little joke--but just the same you are going to be required to have your paper published when you finish it, not as fiction or romance, but as a true history!  After you have handed it in you may make no changes in it (in this class we always use the first edition of the Book of Mormon); what is more, you are to invite any and all scholars to read and criticize your work freely, explaining to them that it is a sacred book on a par with the Bible. If they seem over-skeptical, you might tell them that you translated the book from original records by the aid of the Urim and Thummim--they will love that!  Further to allay their misgivings, you might tell them that the original manuscript was on golden plates, and that you got the plates from an angel. Now go to work and good luck!

"To date no student has carried out this assignment, which, of course, was not meant seriously. But why not?  If anybody could write the Book of Mormon, as we have been so often assured, it is high time that somebody, some devoted and learned minister of the gospel, let us say, performed the invaluable public service of showing the world that it can be done."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Eating Well with the Elders
April 4th - Great Day for Women!


I apologize in advance, but not much happened this week. 

Well it turns out that everyone except for Tavi dropped us.  We kept calling people to set-up with them and everyone told us to wait for them to call us.  Which means that they are no longer interested.  So we just did a ton of block knocking and we rarely had people listen to us. 

I got sick over the weekend and it sucked!  We still went out and contacted and stuff ‘cause I hate just sitting in the apartment, but I was miserable!  It was just a cold but I was feeling like crap.  I just pumped myself full of medicine and it worked out.  Now I’m all healthy again other than some sniffles.

The mission is pushing family history a lot and it’s been kind of cool.  People (especially old ones) love talking about their ancestors. Sadly none of them trust us with their information, so they don’t really have an interest in it.  It’s amazing how paranoid everyone is because of communism!  

People will do the weirdest things.  Like, if you are in line to buy a pretzel or something and leave a little too much room in front of you, an old lady will surely cut you in line and nobody will make anything of it. 

Unimportant headline - Everyday on our way to the bus stop, there is this woman screaming at the top of her lungs across Centru!  We have no idea what she is saying or wanting, but from her 7th story window she just yells at everyone in the street.  Just for the fun of it, we went and bloc knocked her door, but didn’t receive a response!

Hope you guys are having a great week! 

Love ya!