Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Now that Brett's been home for almost two months I thought I'd put up these two pictures from right before he left Birmingham.

This one is of mission football. His Zone didn't win this year.

This picture is the group that was leaving the mission the same time as Brett.
There are 19 of them, along with President and Sister Ogden.
Brett is in the back on the right.

We love having Brett at home, but I know he's missing the mission, his recent converts, and companions. Coming home is always bitter-sweet.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Brett's Home!

It's so wonderful to see him. He has an accent that is undefinable. Not English, not Irish, and definately not a New Yorker either. He arrived about an hour later than expected which left us anxiously waiting and watching at Terminal 1 in JFK. One of Brett's good friends who attends college about 20 minutes away from JFK was also able to come to the airport, which was a great surprise for Brett. We hit traffic leaving NYC and ended up getting home just after 7:00 p.m. (just when his flight would have taken off from JFK for ALB). Family and friends were waiting to greet him and hear all about his experiences.

We're so happy to have him home!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


We are driving to JFK to pick-up Brett. He was going to fly into Albany, but they changed his itinerary and he ended up having a six-hour layover in JFK and we knew that we could be down there and back in six hours. We asked Brett what he'd rather do and he said: "Yes, please relieve me from a 6 hour lay over in JFK. I would love that! It would just give me an opportunity to see good ole home again, and 6 hours to talk! That is my final answer!"

So we're leaving at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Lauren and Jared are coming too. We are all so excited to see him and have him home.

Three more sleeps!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Last E-mail of Brett's Mission

Brett said that he thought this would be the last e-mail he'd send us. He did say that there was a possibility that he'd be able to check e-mail when he was in the office next Tuesday. But that if he didn't get a chance, this is it.

In our letter to Brett we told him about how many bags he could bring home, and how much Delta charges for the second bag. I was worried because when he left he was packed to the gills. But he just laughed and said that he wasn't worried at all. He said he didn't have much left that was worth bringing home. I remember that feeling - you'd been wearing the same clothes (for me 18 months) for two years and they just don't have enough life in them to make it worth the effort to bring them home.

I guess that we'd better be prepared for a major shopping trip when he gets home.

As it turns out we are going to be driving to JFK to pick Brett up. His itinerary got changed and he ended up having a 6 hour layover in JFK. We decided that we could drive to JFK in three hours and have him home in six, so that's what we're doing. I imagine we'll be home around 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5th.

Brett said that it is definitely a lot harder than he though it would be to finish his mission. There are so many mixed emotions. Happiness because you're going home, but also sadness because you're leaving the country and people you've grown to love.

He said that he's really trying to finish strong. Which I'm sure his companion appreciates.

His last day of "missionary work" will be Sunday, May 2nd. On Monday he will pack. Tuesday he goes into the mission office for his exit interview and any other business that he needs to take care of. I imagine that Tuesday night he will have a nice dinner with all the departing missionaries. And then he catches his flight from Birmingham to Paris at 6:25 a.m.

Brett thanked us for "making my mission a good one and for always giving me help when I needed it".

Then he said he'd see us next week, which is amazing. Where has the two years gone?

His P.S. said: "I forgot all about root beer till just the other day and now I'm really craving it!"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Is it Derby or Darby?

We got a great e-mail from Brett today. He said that he and his companion are going to Derby so his companion can get a pair of "boots" for a mission football (soccer) game they're having on the 20th of April.

He also said this about Derby: "Well if you look at my subject you would probably wonder what I was on about? Well... I was making fun of the spelling of Derby. If I was to read this word I would read it like Derby - as in the pine wood derby. But in this country apparently Derby is pronounced Darby."

He said that the weather has been "simply beautiful" lately. I'm sure after a long, cold winter he's really appreciating Spring.

Brett said that this past Monday was Zone Conference #17. And that could only mean one thing. He had the opportunity to bare his testimony. He said it was a long walk to the front of the chapel and up to the pulpit. He said that he had a million thoughts running through his head like: "What am I doing up here? How can it possibly be my turn to do this? And help me know what to say!" But he said that after a split second the words just began to flow as he was prompted by the Spirit and he was able to bare testimony of the things he knew to be true.

He said: "I felt this burning in my heart and I knew that what I had spent time doing and being involved in was what God had wanted me to be involved in!"

What a wonderful feeling to know that you've done what you were called to do, and done it well.

Brett also pointed out that this e-mail is his 3rd to last e-mail before he comes home. He actually arrives home 3 weeks from today!!!!! But who's counting? So write those letters if you're going to. You don't have much time left.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Elder Brooksby in Brooksby

Here's Elder Brooksby's letter which we received today.

"Well Today is P-day and for P-day we had a member pick us up to go out to the town of Brooksby! And, well, it took us a while to even find it, and when we did we got there and had a look around it wasn’t very big! But nonetheless I've been to the town where the Brooksby name originates from and I've probably trod on the same ground that my ancestors have trod on! I'll include some pictures for you to have a look at! So that was the highlight of today! And the best part is we still have some of P-day left!

Well I'm looking to be baptizing again on the 17th of April! A Young man [who] is quite interested in the church. The first time he came he said that walking home from church was the first time in a long time that he had felt really Peaceful! So its looking good We still have to teach him more but we have taught the first 3 lessons and all has gone well so I'm looking forward to teaching the rest! Keep praying for him and for me!

Well serving with an Englishman is sort of interesting, because my accent kinda gets muddled up with his accent and I think I begin to actually pick up an English accent on some words and other things! So it will be interesting. I'll just hope I can manage an accent before I return! But as for everything else, things are fine. I'm really getting tired … but nonetheless I just plod on!

Not much else is new with me its been a pretty slow, fast, slow sorta week! I'm still alive still doing missionary work which is good. All I'm doing is just trying to last and to do my best! It's good that where we live there isn’t much air traffic because today I saw an airplane and thought just for a second "it won't be long till I get to enjoy flying again!" So I'm holding out as best I can!

Well that’s it for me. Nothing else really exciting. Sounds like everyone is well! And I'll tell you the thing which has been of most worth to me at the age of 19-21 has been my mission! I don't think there is possibly anything better that you can do than to go on a mission! It's not been easy and I don't think that it will ever be easy but it has been worth it for the things I've learned in my life! I love my mission and even despite all the chav's I love England!

Well I'll hope to hear from you next week! Love you all and thank you for all your support!

Love and cheers!

Elder Brooksby

P.S. I got Melissa's Package! Tell her thank you! And tell her its okay if she smells of Africa. I quite like the idea anyways!

P.P.S. The last picture is of Brooksby Hall! I should have looked into whether or not I could have inherited it! ;)

If you too would like to (virtually) visit where Elder Brooksby stood, visit the map below. Drop the street view icon (it looks like a little man) at the intersection of Thrussington Rd., Brooksby Rd. and Main St. and turn around for a bit. It's like you're right there with him! (Even more fun in "full screen" mode.) You can even don your 3D glasses and view it in 3D for the full effect.

View Larger Map

Monday, April 5, 2010

The latest - from Elder Brooksby's LAST area

This week was transfer week for Brett again. This was his last transfer in the mission. His companion was transferred to his old area in Wolverhampton. His new companion is Elder O'Brien, and he is an English native. He will be Brett's first and last British companion. Brett said that on P-Day a member will be able to take him to the town of Brooksby, so he may finally get to see it after all. He said, "I Am sooooo sooo excited. I've wanted to go for a really long time and now I get to go. So I will take lots of pictures and I will also go and look at the town parish records and try and see if I can get any rubbings from and grave stones!"

Time is getting very short for Brett. If you've been waiting to write to him, wait no longer. You've only got 30 days!