Last Dinner Appointment with the Neilson Family- July 2, 2012


It's Way Exciting to be in Minnesota!

Jul 26, 2010

Dear Family,
 Whooho! It's way exciting to be in Minnesota!
It was nice talking to the family Wednesday. My head was in a million different places at the time -sorry if i was all over the place. The flight over was safe, and we had zero problems come up. The Lord was definitely  with me. I actually  had a conversation with 2 non members! And of course i sat in the middle! So i had my first REAL mission experience. I talked to Doreen for a good 2 hours. She grew up in Wisconsin, and is an older lady (50-60s). She's very kind and has respect for the LDS people. I simply told her that our church is all about the family. If you want more details on the discussion, let me know. I challenged her to read the Book of Mormon, and i was able to testify that its a book from God.
So we arrived in  Minneapolis around 12:00 central time. President and Sister Howell came and found us in the airport. The 9 of us missionaries felt like lost sheep in a new world until our mission parents found us! President Howell is amazing! He gave the elders massive hugs! I really felt their love and care for us. Everything from there was go go go. We were on the 12 passenger van in less than 20mins upon arrival. President Howell sat in the back seat with me and Elder Kotoa! and let Elder Hoffermin sit in the front seat. So that just kind of gives you a taste the love they both have for their missionaries. Brother Howell is very out going and funny, as well as sister Howell. 
We then went to take a picture at a beautiful park with a mini lake. It really is beautiful. Minneapolis doesn't have the slightest feeling its a big city. Trees, lakes, and hills make it seem open and free. After the picture we ran off to the mission home. There was a good amount of missionaries there-because of transfers. We newbies definitely felt like the special children of the mission family. We were basically escorted inside for a gourmet meal. Chicken alfredo yumm! 
After that we received letters from home! What a nice surprise that was! So much was going through my head but thanks for the letter at the mission home. We each had interviews with President Howell after lunch. Then our trainers came in! There was 9 of them. I had different thoughts run through my head, thinking to myself, " I wonder who's my trainer". President Howell read off a little about me then told me I'll be serving in the Rochester AREA with ELDER PAYNE. Elder Payne is amazing! He's from Utah. President Howell picks the best of the best to train the "goldens" that's what a greeny is around here. "golden"
So Rochester is about 1hour and 30 minds down from Bloomington. It's about 2 hours from the twin cities. We loaded my stuff, and went with a member down to my new area Rochester. Rochester is known for the Mayo clinic and IMB. Lots of diversity here by the way.
Finding has been scary! My first time was a big gangster! Elder Payne pushes me to work hard and i like it. Elder Payne obeys with exactness--Mission first. When i got to the apartment, i didn't even unpack until the next day. 
Well i love you guys. The libary only allows 1 hour, and i need to write President a weekly report. Write me back!
Love, Elder Browning


Second Week

 Jul 14, 2010
Hey Family,
My second week has come and gone, i only have one week left!
Thank you for the letters and the beast of a care packaged i got. I'm grateful for a family who loves me and thinks about me often! The snacks have been a hit with my roomates! They also recieve a ton of food, so we have a buffet menu in our room. I'm really enjoying the time with my disrict. All of them have different characters and styles of life. From athletic, to smart. We all play a role in the Lords work.
This last week has been exciting. We all have the feeling of the missionary work in our blood. As much as i want to stay here, i want to get going in Minnesota, ASAP. I feel for the Europe guys who have 4 weeks still, and have been here for 5 weeks.
My main focus has been the scriptures as far as study time. I didn't realize how everything comes from the scriptures. There is so much GOLD that needs to be discovered and it just takes time to realize the hidden treasures. My chapter of the week would have to be 2 Nephi Chapter 2. Dang! that's all i can say! Everything revolves around the Atonement of Jesus Christ. If you have a testimony of the Atonement, Book of Mormon, and God's love,when it comes down to it,that's all you really need for a basic foundation. Devotionals are a great addition! Yesterday was especially awesome! Elder Halverson ( i think that's the name) spoke to us. It was about giving ourselves to God and not just giving ourselves, but everything we have.We don't know our potential unless we give it our all.This week is a little scary because it's the last time i have to really dig deep into the docterine and prepare myself for the mission.
So i hope 4th of July was amazing. I bet the firework show at the Browning's was a hit. Everything here is go go go, so i had zero time to think about the 4th. They keep us busy.
So it sounds like the yard is coming around. I can't wait to see it when i get back! The grass edition will be a big hit by the tramps. I hope Tanner and Josh have been able to have a little fun with friends and family. I do miss the summer activities we once did as a family. Keep me updated on the activities!
What was Nathan's talk about? He actually reports at the MTC today, so maybe i'll be able to catch him and say hi.
So as a district we recieved our travel plans. I leave July 21st at 5am. I will be giving you a call between 6:30 and 11:00. So be ready.
My companion -aka- Marine has these sweet Bodylastics, thats what they call them. They are way cool. They have  packages from 50-100 bucks. Maybe for an early Christmas present you could send me some? They are called Bodylastics.
Well take care family. I'll have 2 hours on p-day to write on email. So i won't be rushed anymore. I love you all and wish you the best!
Love, Elder Browning


First Email from MTC!

Jul 7, 2010

Hey Mommy!
I miss you so much! I can' not believe its been a week! Continue to keep me in your prayers!
So today is my first P-day. We've been looking forward to this day as a district. It's been nice to catch up on "me" time, but really i love not thinking about anything other than the Gospel. I've grown so much this first week. All the Elders say, the first week is as long as the remaining time in the MTC. Everything goes down hill now i guess. =)
So hay fever season is back for me. I thought i had a cold the first couple of days, (and maybe i was right) but now i know i'm suffering from hay fever. If you have anything that could help me, please send. My nose is always plugged to the limit!
So I love and miss you! i recieved the letters yesterday from the fam. I enjoyed getting 5 letters. ( My district was jealous.)  Keep the letters coming!
My companion Elder Woolley and I had our first lesson with an investigator. The programs are sweet here. They have a bunch of actors and they play different roles and people so it seems like a real life situation. Our teacher Brother Pinilliao, watches us through a hidden camera. I'm going to try and set up a appointment again!
Everything is keep it simple here at the MTC. It's really hard to teach a lesson and have it be simplified. Elder Woolley and I gave him a little too much detail i think.
The food here is great! Its all you can eat and with little work out time, i think i'm gaining a few pounds in the hips! Finally a little hip action!
I love hearing about the small things back at home. So keep the details coming! Daze is gone huh? From Foodnetwork star? HAHA. Keep me updated.
Well i'm running out of time here. i love you mom, and i'll write you tonight. I'm thinking about you!