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


Eden Prairie

Oct 25, 2010

Hey Family,

Alright this week has been wonderful and exciting. Eden Prairie is an interesting city and it's been nice driving to and from appointments. It really is a beautiful area with trees and gorgeous homes throughout the land. This fall weather has been just perfect. Thanks for the package from heaven! I love the cds and the conference issue is perfect for a study aid. I'm so grateful to have a family back at home who cares about my needs. I loved the pictures! I was a little homesick, but it was a must to see some faces and new pictures.

Chelsea and Brittany were baptized last Saturday. It was a cool experience coordinating the program with the ward and seeing the results of a successful baptism. It was neat to see smiles of the two girls. I'm happy to see a less active family come back to the gospel with potential to be a strong influence in the church.

Last Monday we met with the Egberts (part member family) for dinner and watched the restoration. They have lots of potential to progress. The discussion went well, and they're all willing to read the Book Of Mormon. We gave them a reading assignment, 3 Nephi chapter 11. We'll be watching the testaments with them tonight as a review. We'll be having dinner with them as well and FYI, i haven't missed a day in Eden Prairie where the members haven't fed us. Wish us luck!

This morning we went to the Nielson family for early morning seminary. We taught a brief lesson on missionary work and how important it is. There was about 18 kids and i was impressed with their determination to attend seminary at 6:00 AM. After we were done, Sister Nielson let us pick 2 boxes of cereal each. They had a huge selection! I l love the members!

So last Tuesday evening was crazy. Our drunk neighbors down stairs in our apartment came banging on our door yelling and swearing. There was a couple of them trying to get in, picking the lock, and they were doing this for a good 5 mins. If you can imagine, i had the kitchen knife ready at hand to do battle! Elder Petersen had a hammer as his weapon of choice, haha. We called 911 for harassment. Nobody was hurt, and they ended up running away. We have a picture of Jesus on our door, and of course they ripped that off. I'll admit, my heart was racing a little bit, but me and Elder Petersen could take them. =)

Mission Tour was last Thursday. Elder Hinckley came and i shook his hand! What a wonderful man he is. He's over the missionary program. He talked about the area book and how important that is, and also the media campaign. Again this media campaign is a huge deal. The church has already seen miracles from the efforts of this campaign. It was amazing to see the prophets son and his determination for missionaries in the church. He really likes President Howell and said he's done an amazing job here in Minnesota. I was also able to see Elder Sorenson- he's from our stake. He's good friends with Kory Shaw and he hung out with the same people i did back at home. Oh we got a new car, Mazda 3. It's a light ugly green. It's a sister car. =p

This Friday we'll be helping out with our fall festival. As missionaries we'll be passing out candy to the little ones in the church. Halloween is usually the day when the climate changes for the worse.

Well family i hope you all have a wonderful Halloween. Don't eat to much candy kids! We come in early as missionaries on halloween night!
Elder Browning


Eden Prairie!

Oct 18, 2010

Hey Family,

So as you all know, I'm in Eden Prairie. Haha I'm glad you researched this place because it's amazing! Elder Petersen is a convert to the church for 2 years! He's an amazing missionary and he's been out for 3 transfers (all in Eden Prairie). He's very organized and down to earth. He's determined about the work and has an awesome relationship with the members - I'll definitely learn a lot from him.

So Eden Prairie is a beautiful place- 50,000 is the population. We also cover Chanhassen which is about 20,000. Eden Prairie is definitely one of the nicest areas in the state of Minnesota. There is lots and lots of money here. It reminds me of Sun Valley or a Jackson WY. I'll definitely send pictures of this place. We work with members and Elder Petersen has developed that nice relationship. President Howell has told Elder Petersen "we have to treat Eden Prairie different from other areas". Tracting is not effective here so we rely on the member referrals. We work with less actives and members. And guess what? We're having a baptism this Saturday! Chelsea and Brittany ages 10 and 8. Gilbert is the father and was reactivated a couple months ago. It's a cool story how the missionaries found him. Gilbert is from west Africa, so he speaks French and English, i love his accent. There's other part member families that could be baptized in the near future. Exciting!

All of the missionaries talk about Eden Prairie and most of them are jealous of this place! So the other night, i had dinner with Fahu Tahi, starting fullback for the Minnesota Vikings (star BYU full back). Cool eh? Haha he's a way cool guy and loves feeding and having the missionaries come over. And you know me, i asked detailed behind the scenes questions about the life of a NFL player. So can you see why this is the number 1 place to live in Minnesota? Most Timber Wolves/ Viking players live in Eden Prairie. Fahu Tahi told us where Brett Farve lives and where Adrien Peterson lives. This place has serious connections! The offensive coordinator for the vikings is also in our ward (Bevett family) totally awesome! We visited their home a couple days ago. It's cool to have these connections. Speaking of awesome members, we received a counter full of food--over 200 bucks worth of food. We eat very well here.

Well family i'm loving it here. It's different from Rochester. I'm looking forward to the adventure that awaits.
I'll let you know how the baptism goes. It will be my first baptism and i was blessed to come at the right time!

I think I'll buy my big coat here. I'll make sure i take a picture of myself before i send the memory card. Thanks for the letter/package =) I love you all so much. Mom i'm glad you're feeling better! I've been praying for you and will continue to do so.

My scripture is Alma chapter 12. This chapter is amazing and explains the fall perfectly.

Elder Browning


Hello Family! Goodbye Rochester

Oct 11, 2010

Hey Family,

Thanks for the updates last week! I'm glad mom is feeling better, she's makes the top spot priority wise, all day everyday in my prayers.

So I'm getting transferred! I'm going to Eden Prairie, MN. It's actually the "heart of the mission". It's right in the center, close to the misson home. I've heard it's a car area, so I'm excited about the timing in the climate change. Don't get me wrong, i loved the bike area, but with a Minnesota winter coming around I'll take the heated seats. My companion is Elder Peterson-he's been out 4 months.

Rochester is changing for the better! We received another 8 new investigators,making a total of 15 new investigators the last 2 weeks. We also taught 21 lessons,making it the most productive week I've encountered.
Our ward mission leader said the area hasn't been able to reach the mission goal( 20 lessons) in 6 months.

Summary of Rochester 1

I'm sad to leave the area when things are picking up and the future is bright, but i know the lord needs me elsewhere. Rochester is my birth place on the mission,and I'll never forget the memories and hardships i went through. Everyday i felt i was growing in the gospel. I learned how to study the scriptures and i would say this place confirmed my testimony of scripture study--it is so important!

My patriarchal blessing says if i study diligently and feast on the scriptures, that's how I'll take my testimony to the next level. Patriarchal blessings are essential! I'm grateful i was given a great trainer to spark my mission for the better, Elder Payne is truly a wonderful Elder and he'll do great being a zone leader here. Elder Barker is great, we're very different, but I've learned to look for the positives in my companion. He's lucky to take over the area at a terrific time.

Rochester 1st ward is a wonderful ward, small in number, but big in testimony. I'll miss developing those relationships. I was also blessed to have a ward mission leader who took his calling seriously. We went joint teaching with him last week and i was impressed by the balance of love and defense for the gospel. Well time to pack my bags and begin a new chapter in Eden Prairie.

Well family, i love this gospel. It truly has changed my testimony. I thought i had a big testimony before, but i think I've tripled it in the 12 weeks i've been here. I still have a lot of things to learn, but i know with the Lords help all things are possible. My scripture for you guys this week is Jacob 4:13. It talks about the real spirit of prophecy.

Elder Browning



Oct 4, 2010

Hey family,

So i hope you all had a wonderful week listening to conference. Our leaders are truly inspired men that have huge spiritual buckets of energy. I've seen miracles during conference weekend, I've had some hard questions and thoughts that have been bothering me, but they were answered perfectly! I would like to share some highlights of conference that i thought were helpful and straight up amazing. I have a testimony now that when we prepare to receive God's word and do all that we can to work towards our answers, he will make it known to our understanding and comprehension.

My favorite talk would have to be

Dallin H. Oaks ( Personal & Priesthood lines) (Sunday morning)

He starts out --God has given us 2 lines of communication, priesthood and personal. We need both to develop in the gospel.

The personal line is our testimony and our own witness/experiences with the gospel.

The Priesthood line is that set foundation of truth Jesus Christ, Church, Leaders ( natural laws, 10 commandments).

If our testimony isn't where we want it to be, we're failing in one of the two lines. We need a balance to bring his work.

So if we rely too much on the personal line, we let the natural mind take over our thoughts and justify commandments and lose true doctrine.

If we rely on the Priesthood line, we don't develop and grow and learn from our own experiences. I think of it as relying on your parents testimony or church leader.

We need to have both lines connect to our spiritual router for us to really progress. There are too many people in the world who rely just on the personal line. I've talked to so many people who have justified themselves so much, it seems convincing at times. That's why we have the Priesthood line, it keeps the personal line in check.

This was my favorite talk. It will help me and my foundation in missionary work for what's right and what's wrong.

October 1st we went served all day and helped some of the people with the after math flooding. We took upon ourselves white jump suits and had at it. Basically we gutted out everything from drywall to insulation. Everything was a complete mess. The flood height was 6 feet and 6 inch's of water and entire basements were underwater and some middle floors! It was a messy job to say the least. They transported us on a school bus and when we arrived it looked like a war zone. I have an idea of what Hurricane Katrina aftermath felt like. It was a small city but there was a lot of work to be done. It was cool however to see helping hands. Food and supplies were provided for the less fortunate. There was a good 300 volunteers! We helped out a lady whose basement was completely engulfed with water, we worked hard. The citizens noticed the Mormon missionaries.

We've had a great week as far as numbers. We picked up 7 new investigators and taught 13 lessons which is really good for this area. We have some promising investigators who came to the church right after the afternoon session on Saturday. Abby and Dan. Both graduated in 08, so we can relate well, and both notice how members of our church conduct themselves and really like how Mormon's live their religion everyday.

Well family i hope you're all doing well. I'm doing excellent here. Transfers are next week and i want to stay here in Rochester for another transfer. I can't believe it will be transfer number 3 for me! I've been talking to Philip Sutherin and Jeren on email! Tell Cameron and Casey to write me!

Mom i hope you're feeling better and i'm praying for you every day and night. My scripture for you guys would have to be Alma 34: 8-10 it's a beast of a scripture!
I love you guys and have a great week.

Elder Browning