Tuesday, April 29, 2014

week #17 - Montego Bay & an Easter Letter from Pres. Brown

Hey fam,

This week we worked very hard.  We did a lot of good finding and working with members in order to get referrals.  We have gotten some good referrals out of members, and are going to begin working with all those who just got back from the temple trip to the Dominican Republic.  Aside from referrals, we spent a lot of time in Westgate, one of the extremely wealthy areas in Montego Bay.  It is generally very hard to find people there, but the Lord provided for us.  We were able to talk to quite a few people up there and are still trying to set up appointments with them.  One exciting prospect is Bro. W.  We found Bro. W in Westgate two days ago.  We talked with him for a while and he invited us to come over and share our message.  We will be going over tonight with Allison to teach him for the first time.  He has a nice house, I assume a family, and is kind and well educated.  Things are beginning to turn over here.  It took a renewed commitment, but through very hard work, things are happening. 

Tuesday, we spent the whole entire day finding.  It was a great testimony builder for me.  As we walked up into Westgate Hills, we found several people who were outside and willing to talk.  Contrast this with almost every other time we have been up there.  There is NEVER anyone outside, and even fewer willing to talk.

I am beginning to see for myself that miracles only come through consecration. It is as Elder Cornish said at a meeting in Sav (Savannah La Mer) months ago.  "Obedience will not qualify us for a miracle. Consecration will."  The Lord requires us to do all we can, but when we do, he covers the rest. I would challenge you to pray and find a friend to extend the gospel to.

We also got Prince baptized this week.  It was great to see him take that step.  He is going to make a great addition to the branch.  He is old enough to head out on his mission in one years time.  He has a strong testimony and is going to do great.  He came to his own baptism late.  You tell people 8:30 so that they will show up by nine, but by the time things are going, it is 9:30.  Welcome to Jamaica.

We are still trying to link with a lot of people that we found over the past week, but everything is beginning to pick up here. 

P day today. We are going to grab our machets and hike into a gully that Elder Hall and I found while searching for a shortcut into Rose Mount.  The gully is cool, shaded by trees, and full of huge briars and nasty decaying thorns and vines.  It is a sweet place. 

Here is some exciting news- There will soon be a stake in Jamaica!  The first stake will be organized in Spanish Town on June 7th & 8th.

Nathan- I miss you too! I will be back soon though. 
Some jamaican for you- when you want someone to bring you something, you say "carry come" (cyarry cohm).
I love you all. Thanks for the advice again dad. Thanks all for the support!


Pres Brown sent this letter to the missionaries and members in Jamaica for Easter 2014-

Elders and Sisters,

This season is a special opportunity for us to embrace again the reality of a living Christ.  He is risen, from the dark tomb of a rich man to the royal courts of the celestial realms.  To His unmistakable presence in our lives.  "He lives. He lies who once was dead. He lives the ever living head."

 He lived a life of poverty some would say, humble birth, humble occupation and certainly he grew up with humble parents ( Mathew 13: 55). He suffered the anguish, pains and sicknesses of every human being that ever lived or would ever live in this world and other worlds of an unfathomable number (Alma 7: 11-14; Moses 1:33) .  He, the one perfect son of the everlasting Father experienced what he never deserved or earned.  He really lived for us.  Acquainted with grief, sorrows and pain, the Son of God lived. ( Isaiah 53:3)

In all His life he did not experience the thrills of mortal pleasures and riches.  He choose the better part: to live for others.  Then came the night of sincerity and utmost integrity. The night this mortal God had to face His divine destiny.  He might have said:  Can I do what I said I would do?  "Here am I send me", said almost a millennia ago. Can I do what I promised my Father, what I promise my brothers and sisters?

My Father isn't here and it hurts- remove the cup- I cannot, no I cannot....but I must.
Three times he plead, "remove this Cup, nevertheless...".

He for whom there was no back up plan, followed through on his promise and fulfilled the central act in the whole plan of salvation.  His suffering in the garden, which was rudely interrupted by the betrayer, had to be completed on the cross.  The one indication we have that His suffering there could have been even more intense than in the garden was this pain riddled plea: " My God My God, why has thou forsaken me".  He was separated from His Father and for those long hours, hung alone. (Matthew 27:46)

At the end, through the compassion of a rich man he was placed in a tomb meant for royalty.  Almost a contradiction of his entire life and yet fitting.  He would emerge A king, A God who overcame all.   He would emerge from that tomb having conquered all.   He who really lived and who really died, lived again, making it possible for all to so live (Helaman 14:15).

Many of those closest to him abandoned him, lost faith, forgot the many references made of his death and resurrection. Even on the morning of His Glorious resurrection the angels declared that he was no longer in the tomb and that he lived.  Those who heard the angels only heard one part of that message: " he is not here". They ran back bearing a half truth.  The full message was: "Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is RISEN: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee.."

It is true today as back then. The devil and those who serve him promote this evil propaganda.  He is not here.  He is dead.  He is gone.(2 Nephi 28; Alma 30)

Through the glorious restoration, God the Father as he has done at least four times before declared: 
"This is My beloved Son HEAR HIM". The Saviour and redeemer stood before the boy prophet Joseph Smith in the flesh.  The resurrected Lord taught this young man what he needed to do to proclaim to the World this glorious message. As Light chases away darkness, let us declare as did Jospeh:

"And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!"

May we this Easter season consider not how our Saviour died, but how He lived.  May we internalize the strength of His character, the power of His sacrifice, the love of His heart.  I humbly submit my life to Him as a token payment on a debt I would never be able to repay.  I know He lived, and I know he lives for he Lives within my heart, my life, my family and He lives in this church, in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Sister Brown and I also want you to know how much we love and appreciate each of you.

Kevin Brown

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