Aish. This week felt long. But I made it and I’m out here knocking doors!
Francistown is nothing else I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen only 3 other white people here, and that’s the other few Elder’s here. But it’s been crazy.
To start off, it’s hot here. Really hot. And nobody has AC. So that’s been kinda brutal. And for Sunday, we are supposed to wear our suits. So that was also brutal. Especially walking out in the sun with them for hours afterwards.
We had a baptism on Saturday, so I was happy I was able to witness that. The people here are so faithful. But the font was like a tub with all these leaves and grass in it. And if the person being baptized was my height, I have no idea how that would be possible.
As far as the food goes, it’s good. And they like feeding us. A lot. And I like to claim that I can eat a lot. But with this food… Aish. The first food I had, was a couple hours after I had breakfast a few hours before and they cook up this huge fish and probably 2 pounds of pap and a couple chicken legs. My goodness. I thought my stomach was gonna rip open. I’ve never been that full in my life. I hear the secret is just to chuck it all down your gullet before your body can tell that it’s had too much.
And before you eat, you wash. And they pour warm water on your hands. Except, it’s right off the fire, boiling lava, and my goodness. I thought it was going to melt my hands off.
But other than that, I’ve been well! The gospel’s true, the book is blue, and everyone should read it! There’s such power in it.
I love you all and hope everyone has a good week!
The past 30 hours have been so crazy and this hasn’t been anything like I ever imagined. Right now I am in Gaborone Botswana, and I just drove 5 hours to get here this morning after staying the night in Pretoria. And we have 5 more hours to go until we get to my first area, Francistown! I feel super blessed that I get to go into Botswana right off the start. There hasn’t been very many missionaries let in lately.
But I’m here, and I am the only white person I’ve seen at all. My companion’s name is Elder Motlhankanyane… Yeah, I don’t know how to say it either. But obviously he’s a native from here, even though he keeps telling me that he’s from Idaho. He’s a really cool guy and has been on mission for 21 months, so he’s gonna train me, and then be done.
But we woke up at 4:00 and drove to Pretoria and at the mission office. There we met with the two senior couples who did all this orientation with us. And then they took us for a drive to test how well we would do on the other side of the car and road. And it was trippy as all get up.
When I was driving, the Elder who we were with told me to take a U turn in this complex and started driving the other way until we see traffic coming in our direction on a one way street. So that was kinda scary, but a good laugh.
As far as all the other missionaries here, first of all, they all sound whack. Weirdest inflection going on with their voice boxes man. But second of all, they’re all really cool.
This mission is so crazy young. In a couple of months my group will be the 3rd oldest group on mission. Which is crazy to think.
Everything else is good though. These next weeks are going to be the craziest weeks of my life and I still don’t really know what to expect. I hope everyone is doing well and I love you all!
P.S. Sorry for no pictures again. This computer doesn’t have an SD slot, so I need to buy a USB plug. So next time, maybe!
My stay at the MTC has come to an end. And I’m super happy to leave. I’m really going to miss my district. They’ve been awesome.
I don’t have like any time to email, but we’re leaving at 5:30 AM tomorrow morning to go to Pretoria and then we’ll get assigned from there. But there’s been problem with white Elder’s in Botswana, so a lot of their visa’s have been being revoked, so I’ll probably start off in South Africa. But other than that, I’m so excited to get out!
Our MTC experience was awesome and I love the people here already. The people are so ready to hear the gospel, and the little time I was out I was handing out Book of Mormon’s left and right. But we were in a small area where the houses were just tins. And this is JoBurg, where everything is top quality. So they said Botswana will be even worse. It’s crazy to see how different the city is here. Some areas are nice and then others don’t even have walls. But they’re so humble.
Sorry I don’t have a good email. They’re giving us 15 minutes to email. So I’ll talk to you later!
Love you guys!
Ya Elda, -Elder Browning
October 10, 2018
My good heavens this place is crazy. It’s been such a crazy day and it’s felt so long but so short also. It’s dark already and my mind is still feeling like it should be noon right now.
But to start off, I landed in Atlanta and realized that my ticket didn’t have a gate number on it, and I saw that my connection started boarding right when I landed. So, I booked it out of the plane and had to take the underground subway to the other side of the airport. I ran up and saw all these Elders standing there. And was able to breathe.
So I was the last of the group and immediately boarded the plane. My goodness that plane was HUYGE. I sat next to a native couple from South Africa and trying to talk to them was a wee bit of a struggle. Way too quiet and way too fast and all this jimble jumble was going on. But then we landed.
We got a really good group of guys here.. Got off the plane and were met by Brother Joseph. This hilarious African man who works here at the MTC. There he took our passports and gave us our name tags. And that was such an awesome experience putting that on. The spirit was so strong putting that on my chest.
I didn’t know that the english here was gonna sound this crazy. Everyone I’ve talked to I haven’t been able to understand at all. So… yeah.
But then they drove us to the MTC and the wheel and cars on the other side made for a scary drive.
Oh yeah. A lot of us got our stamp for less than two years and I was one of those. So they took my passport and hopefully everything will be fine with it. It’s only 18 months right now.
I’m next up for getting my interview so I better sign off. I’m so happy to be a missionary and i can’t wait to get started. I don’t think I’ll sleep tonight.
Hurrah For Israel!
Time is fast approaching the departure date for Alex. So we are trying to do as many things as possible to take advantage of our time with him.
Time on the tramp with his Utah Jazz loving little brother…….
…breakfast at the fams favorite Cracker Barrel……..
…and for his last supper he picked Sonoran hot dogs and a large strawberry Eegee! Those two foods sum up Tucson…Tucsonans understand.
Now for the setting apart from President Walker of the Arizona Tucson Stake.
HOW COOL! We have a President Browning, an Elder Browning, and a Sister Browning all in the same house. Haha!
Talking with two older brothers at the same time over FaceTime….. giving last minute advice!
Epic family picture to always be remembered.
Since Elder Browning will not come home to Tucson, it was necessary to get a selfie with our dear friends the Saguaro’s.
Our little Arizona Tucson Mission family.
What a picture perfect day for sending off a missionary!
And now off to the Tucson airport to get Elder Browning to South Africa.
May the Lord watch over you in such a far away place. Be obedient, love the Lord, the work, the country and the people you serve. If you do that, you will be just fine.
Love and adore you Elder Alex Browning…..see ya in two!
It’s here! It came! Alex is opening his mission call… well, actually he has to wait until Sunday evening.
On Sunday, May 20, right before Seminary Graduation, Alex gets to find out where he will be spending the next two years of his life. Crazy…
OK, let’s not wait any longer……
This picture of Alex’sface is the best expression of how we all felt about…
the Botswana/Namibia Mission!!!!!! Alex couldn’t even pronounce it, haha!
He reports to the South Africa MTC in Johannesburg, South Africa, on October 11, 2018. He will be speaking English.
Wait a minute! That is five months away!!
And now, we need to head to Seminary Graduation.
Congratulations Alex on being a dedicated seminary student and especially your last year in Tucson with early morning seminary. We are proud of you!
Here is Emma and Alex, the early morning seminary duo. Emma’s first year and Alex’s fourth and last year.
As we were taking this picture, we couldn’t believe Alex will be heading for Africa! Ahhhhh!