Elder Keegan Karsten Brown

Elder Keegan Karsten Brown

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Baielli at Hunnedoara
Gabe (car) aka Jason Bourne

Sorry I haven’t e-mailed for a while, life has been a little crazy!

Loving life here in Arad . . . It’s A-rad place (senior missionary couple joke).  We have been literally all over the place!  When I first got here we were finding a place for the senior couple to live, then our focus went to the zone training meeting this week, and now our focus is on moving the church meeting building and maybe even moving ourselves as well. This next week will be just as crazy. 

I gotta explain a joke that I’m sure is found in other missions. When you are training and walking around with your new missionary, you look up to the sky and ask him . . . "how far off do you think that plane is from us?"  He responds with "a few miles" or "I don’t know" then you tell him "no, it’s about two years away."  Then you laugh at them – hahaha!  Well that isn’t the case for Baielli and me.  We are going to Mission Leadership next Monday and we’ll travel down by train. On our way back, for whatever reason, President Ivory felt the need for us to fly back to Arad!  It’s not usual for missionaries to fly EVER!  Everyone is pretty jealous and I’m stoked!  It should be pretty sick. The flight is really only 45 minutes, but still . . .  

Just so everyone is aware of my safety, I’m taken care of here in Arad by the Romanian version of Jason Bourne . . . yes, the movie character. His name is Gabi (Gabriel) Bauer Oanta (pictured).  By far the most interesting man I have ever met!  When you ask him where he works, he says he takes care of flowers but his flowers walk and talk!  He has legit passports for over like ten countries and has like five cellphones. He never tells us specifics, but has been everywhere on earth!  He showed us pictures of himself with the Mayor of Madrid Spain. This man is amazing . . . he came over to our apartment today and made traditional langos and home-made doughnuts.  He knows just as much about the church as I do, but is not a member.  He has heavy influence here in Arad . . . anytime we have a problem, we just call him and it is literally fixed in ten minutes - Amazing!

We went to a castle yesterday, it’s called Hunnedoara and it’s pretty freaking sick (also pictured).

Now missionary work . . . people are more open here for sure.  We do have a few people we meet with regularly, but nothing too serious yet.  The last baptism in this area was like two years ago, but that is changing soon.  There are some promising investigators in Arad, just not working with us sadly. That’s the update.  If you are feeling real Mormon, check out a movie trailer: "Meet the Mormons."  It looks like a pretty good film and not too doctrinal, but just shows the life styles of a few members of the church. 

Love you guys! 


Monday, August 11, 2014

Arad is Hot but not Arid

Well everyone else's week was full of some pretty sick surprises (Pippa & Chicago), so I’m not sure how interested you will be in mine.

I’m excited to hear the kids will be sticking around Centerville for a little bit longer and they’ll be around when I get home. Plus we have ourselves another little Frey running around and I get to meet her in just over 14 months!  Pretty insane!  Still don’t know how to pronounce the name, Pee-pa? po-pe? Who knows... I’m just gonna call her Kathleen till I figure it out.

Living in Arad is a new world. I was told that it’s very mexico-ish and it’s pretty true!  It’s been freaking hot every day since I've been here, with high humidity.  All the buildings are pretty sick with super bright paint on ‘em.  Actually reminds me of Puerto Rico a little bit.  The architecture and city in general is far more interesting than Ploiesti.  If I wasn’t sweating like a chicken at KFC then I’d be pretty stoked.  It just needs to cool down a little bit.

Working for Ivory is a stress. The man is all business and expects a lot, which is good. He is pushing us being positive after his daughter labeled us as the most negative mission in the world – Haha!  He is human though. In our Mission leadership meeting, he bailed early to go play some tennis with his 11 year old son who is living here with them.  He was just like "well I gotta tennis match with Ellis, so we gotta wrap this thing up."

Elder Baielli is sick.  He moved from south western Italy to Idaho when he was 16, and miraculously didn’t commit suicide upon arrival.  Who would move from Italy to Idaho? Haha!  He speaks English really well though and is pretty blunt with me!  It'll be good.  He returns back home in December.

I speak in church this week and we are helping the new senior couple find an apartment as well. This week will be pretty busy, with all kinds of meetings and places to be.  We might travel to Oradea, which is a short train ride away, for some area work with church leaders.

Sorry, but I’m at an internet cafe and it won’t let me download photos, so maybe later this week or next time!

Love ya,

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ploiesti Farewell!



4th of July BBQ

Getting Tubed Early!

Salsa King - Kennedy!
Tour de Romania

Go West Young Man!

Sorry I missed y'all last week.

Well if you haven’t heard, I’m leaving Ploiesti to move to Arad. It’s a smaller city on the west side of the country about 10 kilometers from the Hungarian border. I’m pretty stoked to get out of here and see new places. My companion is Baielli (By-EL-ee) and from Italy. He moved to Idaho at age 16 and speaks English pretty well. I will be able to travel between two other cities as a Zone Leader and I hear this area of the country is a lot prettier.

Ploiesti has been pretty low key lately. All of our branch left yesterday to go on a temple trip to Freiburg Germany. I said goodbyes yesterday and took some pictures. Haven’t been meeting with too many people but we met a guy named George who is hilarious. He often complains about stomach pain and over eating. The other day I was just standing waiting for George to come out of his house and this 4 year old kid named Alex came up and threw his soccer ball at me. I kicked it back and he returned the ball. We sat there talking and playing pass for 10 minutes and it reminded me of Kari’s boys.

We also had a salsa making competition within our district this week. I felt pretty confident going in with only one real competitor being Sora Barrera from El Salvador. We took an anonymous vote; I won, but rigged it so Elder Kennedy won instead. The victor had to wear a sombrero we have at the church, for some reason, and be pictured with the winning salsa (see picture).

You can tell we struggle to find fun around here but I’m alive! Time is moving quickly and I’m excited to see what’s going to happen.

Everyone, please keep me updated on the new baby and I will see you soon!

Love ya,

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I'm Out!

I'm now a Zone Leader now in Arad.  It's on the west side of the country 10 kilometers away from Hungary.  My new Companion is Italian.  Honestly surprised with this transfer.