Elder Keegan Karsten Brown

Elder Keegan Karsten Brown

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Old Man Now!
Bran Castle

Ultimul Meu Transfer – My Last Transfer

We have only six weeks left and one transfer.  Pretty crazy how time flies but only Mom is the one that'd argue. 

We had a mission conference this week.  The mission hasn’t had one for like seven years or so, because our mission is super spread out.  A lot of people had to come in from 14/15 hours away.  I only had a 20 minute bus ride down the street. J

Monday we arrived in a neighboring city called Busteni.  There, we went on a hike and it poured on us. Then we went back to the hotel to get ready for a super dope dinner at a castle. The Ivory's hooked me and 14 other people up with a view of the mountains just outside the castle because we are all going home soon.  We crashed back at the hotel and had a mission conference the next day.  They are putting a big push on the Book of Mormon; they sent you guys an email to get you in on it.  Then we visited the Bran Castle. 

That was the biggest event of the week.  Not too much else going on here. I’m sticking it out here in Brasov for my last transfer, which isn’t a disappointment at all.  We’re now in a much better apartment and are no longer living as four people in one place. That’s a luxury I haven’t had for about eight months! 

Sorry about the boring email, but I love you guys and hope you’re having fun! 


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Brasov Boys
Reaching the Top!

Inmormantare si Urcare – Funeral & Climb

Well, this week brought some big changes.  Elder Slater Brown from Dallas Texas came into Brasov from Galati this week.  He is a tall kid and played some football in school.  He’s been in Romania about a month and speaks much better than he should.  We are now four elders living in this tiny apartment.  Three of us have beds, but Elder Brown sleeps on the couch.  No AC, no oven, no shower curtain but a lot of food.  We did some flex’n last night as well as leg wrestling, stick pull, and arm wrestling.  We had to get some stress out, but it’s more fun to have four elders in an apartment.  I also had 2.5 hours of conference calls last night, which was . . . 

Just a heads up, there will likely be no emails next Monday.  While I was in the office, President planned a mission conference.  It will happen in a neighboring city to Brasov, named Busteni.  It’s known for its giant mountains and great hikes.  We will be there on Monday and Tuesday and have two devotionals/conferences, visit two castles and go on a hike or two. There will also be a sick dinner held in a castle with all 130 of us, just like some medieval movie.  I will take a lot of photos considering it will be my goodbye to most of the missionaries.  E-mails will come to you on Wednesday. 

This week we attended the funeral of one of our members. Two weeks ago she had a stroke and was taken out of the hospital (Romanian health care system) and put into her home.  On her death bed, we went and gave her a blessing.  She was so grateful for us and it brought her non-member care taker to tears.  I knew she was better-off passing on.  I got a call a week later letting me know that she had passed away.  They don’t embalm people here so her funeral followed pretty quickly.  The family is orthodox, but they knew she wanted a Mormon funeral.  There were two talks on the Plan of Salvation, and the Savior.  Orthodox tradition says that after the ceremony, the funeral procession is led by a priest, holding a cross with the deceased name.  The family just kind’a left the cross in our hands and we didn’t know what to do.  The Branch President thought it should be my job – haha, so they gave me the cross and I just awkwardly walked along with everyone.  We get to the site and the hole was poorly dug.   We Dedicated the Grave and the graveyard staff was ready to put her in. When they lowered her halfway down the hole (4 feet deep MAX) they realized that it’s about eight inches too short!  They clumsily pull the coffin out and set in in the dirt next to the site. Then the homie jumps into the hole and starts digging more.  They try to put her into the hole again and one of the workers has his phone fall out and under the coffin.  So again, they pull her out of the hole and set her aside as they go back-in and fish out the phone, slightly covered with dirt.  Now at this point the family and some members were making jokes - "she always wanted a smartphone" . . . "she never really did have good experiences with answering or using the phone."   What may seem insensitive to us, is everyday speech for them!  That’s why I love Romanians - BLUNT!  For the third time, they try to "dump" her in (for lack of a better word) and they got her in nice and snug . . . AND SIDEWAYS!   They called it good and started burying her.  This is the most cultural and Romanian experience I have had in the past year!  The family treated us to some juice and rum flavored pastries and we were on our way. 

Nothing else too crazy going on.  We hiked again today and I think I might sleep for eternity.  Hopefully, I’m getting sun.

I love and miss you guys,

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Chees'n It!


Brasov Re-Org

Hey folks! 

Good week . . . cooled down a bit, but still is pretty warm. 

Our Branch President has his niece staying with him and last Monday she decided to get baptized before she goes back to her parent’s house near Constanta!   She didn’t really give the sisters too much time to work with, but they taught her everything and talked with president to make sure it was cool to get baptized within one week’s time.  On Friday, I had to give her a baptismal interview (weird) and she was baptized by the Branch President on Saturday.  It was cool to see back to back baptisms the last two weeks and the first time I have seen that on my mission.  The branch is excited to have new people and to participate in baptisms.  Her name is Andreea Gorgiana.  I dont have any pictures unfortunately, but it was cool. 

We've been doing our thing and teaching who we can.  President called yesterday though and had some big news for us.  Brasov is a 6 missionary district (4 sisters & 2 elders) but he is going to split me and Elder Swafford as of this Friday.  We will both be receiving new comps and remain here in Brasov.  Elder Brown is coming to me (not a joke - we also have two Sister Armstrongs together in Constanta) and Elder Erickson is coming to be with Swafford.  Nothing big happened,  just a few changes in the mission and it made sense to make this change.  Kinda bummed I was only with Swafford for a month but we will live together at least for the next two weeks.  My new guy is fresh in the mission. He has been here four weeks so I will train him until I’m done in September. President is just making sure I stay obedient - haha! 

I’m doing good, having fun, learning new things and trying not to think about you guys too much.  Also, making great food! 

Happy Birthday to our girl Pippa!  Wish I could be there. 

Boring emails but I’ll get this figured out by next week.  

Love ‘ya

Conferinta si Sapte Scari – Conference and Seven Stairs

Hey guys... It’s hot! 

This week was quick and eventful.  We had zone conference here in Brasov and it went well.  I didn’t have to do anything and it was nice to sit back and enjoy a meeting.  Elder Swafford and I were in charge of lunch though and fed 30 people.  We went lazy and just had sandwiches.  The conference topic was teaching the restoration better and other stuff. 

We've been doing good, but it’s slowing down.  Everyone in Brasov, this time of year, are tourists.  We have some people he were teaching but a lot are now gone. We're gonna start doing some street boarding here this week and it should be good as long as we don’t get in trouble with the cops.

Today we hiked Sapte Scari which is translated as seven ladders.  It’s a pretty sick hike through a slot canyon and has seven ladders that get you up to the top. We had a good time and took some good photos. 

I heard that dad’s birthday was good. Looks like I missed out on a good one!