Elder Keegan Karsten Brown

Elder Keegan Karsten Brown

Monday, May 26, 2014

Rose & Ralph
Mac-n-Cheese From Home

Vara a venit - Summer came!

It’s been a good week here in sunny Ploiesti.  The weather is pretty warm, but usually we have a breeze to keep us cool.  It really only gets hot when you are on public transportation, with 50 other people.  Quick culture fact: Many Romanians believe that the movement of air (current) into the open hole of your ear is the leading cause of cancer, common colds, back pain and any other bodily ailments you can imagine.  So to fight this horrible deathly air movement, people either stuff their ears full of cotton, or they keep all windows shut.  Now imagine a bus with a capacity of 55 people packed with just over 70. Then imagine that all the windows are shut and it is a little over 25 degrees Celsius outside.  What you come up with is me and the lady next to me mixing sweat between our exposed arms pressed up to each other on the bus. Plus the eager man, who clearly forgot his deodorant, behind you trying to get off the bus 150 yards away from the stop. 

If you don’t remember, I spoke in church about two weeks ago.  It was the first time I have had to speak in church in Romania.  Well on Saturday night at about 9:00 PM we were in the store getting stuff to bake banana bread, when the branch president called and asked that I speak again the next morning!  Tavi, our investigator, came to church again this week which is cool too!

We also had our zone conference up in Buch this week which gave us time to get outta Ploiesti for a day. It was nice to see that I was taken care of by my mom when I found a package full of Kraft mac n' cheese. It’s amazing what you'll miss after 7 months in a foreign country. 

The language is going alright. I wouldn’t say that I’m near fluent yet, but I do understand almost everything that is being said now.  The grammar is slowly coming and I need to work on some more vocabulary. 

Love you guys and have a great week! 

Monday, May 19, 2014


How’s it going everyone? 

Well I have a new companion. Elder Rose is 20 years old and originally from Bountiful Utah. He lived just west of the Mandarin and moved when he was in the 9th grade all over the place, now finding home in eastern Texas. He is a big boy and very intelligent. He spent his freshman year at Harvard before coming to Romania. He has been on his mission for 22 months and knows what he is doing. He actually was a Branch President in his last area (Galati). 

We did some service this week. There is a member who works at an animal hospital and asked that we do some cleaning. I think we were all expecting something really gross considering we have seen some of the hospitals here for people. We got there and it was surprisingly clean and nice.  It was easy work, just cleaning windows and mopping floors. I asked the member where I could get clean mop water and she took me back to this room with a giant metal table with knives around the whole room.  She then looked at me while filling up my bucket and said "this is where I work - dissection.  I only work with the dead animals . . . cadavers!"  As creeped-out as I was, I managed to say "cool, very interesting!" 

The weather is slowly working its way out of the craps.  We've had a few thunderstorms here and there, but it’s alright.  We’re also getting our new English classes ready and advertising for that but nothing too exciting. 

Remember Tavi?  The investigator with a baptismal date a few weeks back.  He showed up to church yesterday which was cool.  If you remember he told us "I don’t really have time to meet anymore, but if I have time on Sundays I will try to make it."  It was cool of him to show-up.  I guess we will just see what comes of that. 

Hope you guys are doing alright! I love and miss ya! 

Elder Brown

Monday, May 12, 2014

Farewell to our Senior Missionaries
Dancing with the Stars

Happy Mother’s Day!

It was sweet to Skype most of you yesterday!  It’s weird to see faces and voices I recognize!  Hope all the momma's had a good day and know that I love you.

This week was contact marathon. We literally walked over 30 miles and spent lots of time contacting people.  It’s been pretty slow for work though.  The only lesson we taught this week was to Paul.  He is a guy in his 50's who is all about gathering information.  He kept explaining to us what other religions believe, along with the big bang, Darwin's theory and everything else going on in the world.  He talked for an hour straight without us getting a word in (a typical Romanianism). 

We had a surprise activity on Saturday for the senior missionaries that are going home.  About half the branch showed up and it was a pretty big deal for everyone.  After we ate and people spoke, we had traditional dancing and music going on.  I was the only guy that jumped in on the dancing with the ladies (kind’a dragged in).  All the other Elders were laughing and taking pictures of me. 

Mother’s Day went well.  Dearden and I had flowers for all the widows and old ladies in the branch, which is more than you think.  I also had to speak in sacrament meeting for the first time on my mission.  A little intimidating, but was told I only made two mistakes in Romanian and I spoke as a Romanian would.  We Skyped for the rest of the day and played Settlers of Catan while our companions were Skyping. 

Hope everyone’s doing okay and know that I miss you guys!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Futbol Rally
Rock n Roll

Good to talk to you guys again!

It’s been a long week. You remember Tavi right?  He was the investigator of ours that had a baptismal date.  Well it’s been hard to get a hold of him lately and when we finally did this week, he said he was just too busy for our discussions – yikes!  Luckily we are still meeting with people like Alin, a young kid from Barcanesti.  We take a 10 minute bus ride out from Ploiesti to a super humble little street with tons of people, trailers being pulled by horses and neighbors building each others houses. It’s been sweet and we are excited to keep meeting with him. 

The culture here is another world entirely.  It was illustrated perfectly this week by a man I spoke with on the street. You know that Romania has just busted the chains of communism and is still fighting the formally corrupt society.  The man explained that after the revolution, people had no idea what to do with their "freedom."  To better explain that idea to us Americans, he said that it is the same thing that happened when Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves.  They only knew how to be slaves and pick cotton. Romanians are climbing their way out of this rut and trying to broaden their abilities and mindset.  It’s still funny and unusual to get cut in line at the store by an old women, or have someone wave their finger in your face as you try to speak with them. 

Not much to tell of this week.  We had our last interviews with President Hill and find out next transfers this Saturday!   

Super excited to skype this week and talk with most of you!  You guys are awesome!  Have a great week! 

Elder Brown