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


Zone P-day

Aug 30, 2010

Dear Traveling Family,
    Hey so last Monday was zone p-day. We had a great time throwing a football around and enjoying burgers and soda around the grill at a beautiful Minnesota park. It was nice to have  reflections from  past memories with family and friends. It made me a little homesick however, but nonetheless it was fun and relaxing.
We helped a couple more desperate people move today. I was glad to help, but we didn't get any proselyting time that day. Tina was the woman we helped from 3-8pm, she was in a emotional down slide with her circumstance. She had to be out of her house my 8pm, and with no friends or the proper vehicle, we were glad to help.
Wednesday was cool. We went to the 12th floor in the Mayo building to have Elder Payne's Hernia checked out. His appointment is scheduled for this Thursday Sept 2. I took plenty of pictures from the Mayo building, i'll try and develop them soon.
We found a new investigator! Her name is Stephanie. She came to church last week! She's a young single mother with a 5 year old son. She's seeking for a spiritual family, and a church where she can feel the spirit. 
It was a little awkward at church, but the relief society president fellowshiped  her. After sacrament, she went to primary with her son. I called her after church and it seemed like she had a good time. I hope we haven't pushed her to hard! Our next appointment will be next saturday. We're going to challenge her to baptism next saturday!
So today was transfer day! I awaited for the call from President Howell to find out the real gossip. Missionary gossip is fun like that, it reminds me of sport speculation, with trade rumors and such! Elder Payne's circumstance made it difficult for me to decide if i would stay or leave Rochester. However, Elder Payne leaked out that he was staying in Rochester,  so i had a 50/50 chance. i answered the cellphone this morning and it was one of the AP's. He put me on hold for President Howell. I talked to President Howell, and he told me I'm staying in Rochester 1st ward! My companion will be Elder Barker. (he's been out 8 months.) So another 6 weeks i'll be in Rochester 1st ward! I'm ready for the challenge to take over the area. Elder Payne is moving up to be a Zoneleader for the Rochester zone. They will be in a 3-some- until Elder Payne can recover from his surgery. The three some will contain 2 zoneleaders and a district leader! (that team is stacked)
I'm excited to strengthen my relationships with the ward members, I think i have a pretty good relationship with them so far. I 'm now use to the area, so i'm glad i don't have to start over again. Taking over an area though will be tough, I won't have my trainer to help guide me. I guess President Howell knows i'm ready to grow and develope into a powerful missionary. I do feel like i'm ready though for the challenge, i'll probably be crying next week in my email, and i'll let you know how it's going.
Well Family let me know how your Washington D.C. trip went. Send me some pictures, and a care package would be nice "hint hint"
Love, Elder Browning


Weird Week

Aug 23, 2010

Hey Family,
So its been a weird week. Elder Payne caught the flu last Tuesday and recovered mid Wednesday. I had lots of study/down time- but made the most out of it. I was lucky and i didn't catch the flu, I've been trying to eat lots of fruit and drink lots of water. I also take a couple vitamins a day.We are behind on missionary work, it was our worst week as far as numbers - we taught 5 lessons =(.
We were able to attend a baptism however, John Doolittle is his name. He's a 30 year old man and the sister missionaries found him. It was my first expierence attending a missionary efforts baptism and the spirit was strong at the service. That really pumped me and Elder Payne to continue to work in Rochester SE with faith.
Members of the Rochester 1st ward have given us so much love this past week. They have dropped off food and supplies for us when Elder Payne was sick. Soup and Gatorade was the  perfect source of nourishment we were in need of! The Member really do so much for us. The meals have been wonderful. Some of the best food I've had in my entire life has come from members. We stopped by the Cally's for a dinner appointment. They fed us gourmet steaks with homemade rolls and watermelon with peach pie to top things off. YUM. That's what keeps us alive and well off at the end of a hard working day. I usually get homesick though when i visit with a member in their home. It reminds me of my family and the memories of meals we would have on Sundays! So Dad and Mom, make sure you invite the missionaries over for dinner. And  treat them with a really good meal- it goes a long way.
So today I've been doing some deep cleaning around our apartment. For years missionaries slack off on cleaning and i need a somewhat of a clean area to live in. The tub is sick, the toilet was sick and the floors. I finally stepped in and cleaned the bathroom and kitchen. I feel much better now! Mom, i credit everything to you! I love how you made us clean bathrooms and certain parts of the house. So many people in this world live sick nasty lives. I will forever be a clean freak after the mission!
I'm finally finding a good personality for the mission. I don't want to be the crazy Shelley, ID Brooks Browning. I'm trying to be more professional in my conversations with people- so i can be the best representative of Christ i can be. It's hard to to bash with dumb dumbs who know nothing, but think they do. I just have to keep reminding myself  LOVE. Missonary work only happens if you have real love for one of God's kids. If I find myself not really caring about the person, i usually say something stupid or ignore their needs.
I'm trying not to get "trunky" -a missionary term for going home. There are always spurts of the day when i get trunky. I'm doing my best not to get homesick, but it will come hard at me at some point. I look at the family picture everyday!- Trunky.
Well family, i hope i have better things to email next week. This week was our worst week yet but we've received a couple of referrals from the Lord. I hope you guys have a great time in Washington D.C. Send me a email while you're over their!
Elder Browning


Hello From Minnesota!

Aug 16, 2010

Hey Family,
So week 4 has rolled around,and I'm a little tired to say the least. The week has been another hard working week, but the work continues.
So my exchange took place last Wednesday-Friday - with Elder Steel and Vance. Elder Steel is a Zoneleader and is an amazing missionary! This was my second exchange and i learned so much! Just the different styles of missionaries was nice to see. I learned a couple different approaches. A Book of Mormon approach, and an authority approach. I can't wait until i have these imprinted in my brain, so i can discern what people need to hear.
I was in charge of my area while Elder Payne was gone. I'll admit i was a little nervous, but the Lord was definitely with me. I was in charge of all the little things, how to get there, what to teach,and how to conduct the lessons. I was also able to drive my first mission car! A Toyota Corrolla 2008 .

We've been the missionary movers! Last Thursday we helped 3 people alone move! I coughed up a few hairballs that day! (infested with cat hair.) I swear, everyone has a cat that moves! We always go at it in our dress slacks and white shirts! Serving is wonderful, and everytime someone has us help them move they need it. One person we helped will be living in her cargo trailer for a month =(  I've been given so much in my life, and it's hard to see others suffer. That's what keeps me serving with all my heart might mind strength. The Lord really does bless his people with temporal things when we follow his path.
Everyday i get an extra hour to study. I'm trying to make the most of it. People on the street throw a lot of curve balls at you, and a lot of it makes me think about my views. For the first 2 weeks i was thrown back on how people can come up with crazy viewpoints on religion! Elder Payne is awesome with dealing with weirdos that try to throw different stabs at us. The one thing i've learned is that the gospel can handle anything! It's so perfect, even the most brilliant men can't disown it!
 Well i must head out! I'll try and send some pictures!


I Have Tons to Tell You!

Aug 2, 2010

Hey Family,
So two weeks have flown by here in Rochester! I have tons to tell you!
So let me get to the good stuff. Me and Elder Payne have had tremendous success, as  far as finding goes. Everyday day we rack up a average of 8 potential investigators. This last week, we were able to get 4 new investigators! Elder Payne has never had 4 new investigators in 1 week before. (he's been here for 14 months-3 in Rochester)
We have both been working really hard, to the point where we skip meals to make our appointments. Yesterday was fast-Sunday, so i thought biking in the hot sun would be an issue for my health. But the lord provides a way some how! For example, we skipped dinner last Saturday,  (before fast Sunday) The Lord blessed us for our efforts. Our land lord invited us for dinner at 9:30. He just so happened to make to much food, and precisely at the perfect time. The Lord takes care of his servants!
Rochester is a pretty diverse place. Tons of Muslims,Hispanics,Blacks,Asians, anything in the world really- the Mayo clinic is a big reason for that i think. FYI the Mayo clinic is the 3rd best Hospital in the world, something of that nature. I'm in the south east part of town, and me and Elder Payne cover most of Down Town Rochester.
Minnesota has big things coming! The church is launching a advertising campaign here! Everything from TV ads, billboards, radio. You name it. The Church has big things coming!
And it's a  been privilege to be here right when the blast is happening, perfect timing by the Lord. The new training are showing results as well. Entern-igators  Aka investigators who are slow to be baptize, are showing progression for the first time. As long as we do our best, the Lord does the rest.
Our district is an awesome district. There is 9 of us. 5 sisters, and 4 elders. According to Elder Payne, Rochester has been at ground zero as far as missionary work. President Howell has stacked Rochester with really good missionaries to work up the investigator pool. The stage right now is primarily finding.
So i've met  tons of crazy people, and it really is sad how many people are lost. Be grateful for what you have! Shelley is a huge bubble!  We get a lot of honks and waves on the streets. The majority of the people here have respect for the LDS missionaries.
Well Family, i continue to mature in the gospel. I'm glade you all had a great time at the reunion. Please send pictures. and mom if you ever have the time, i could use a homemade cook book. I'm sending some mail today for you guys. Well take care until next week! Keep the letters coming, tell Emma and Preston thanks for the drawings.
Elder Browning