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



Nov 25, 2010

Hey Family,

Ok so sorry family for emailing late, obviously the mission moved our p-day to Thanksgiving. We just got done having our Thanksgiving dinner at the Maudens, there is so much food here! This means we have a lifetime supply of food! Eden Prairie is amazing because i don't have to buy groceries, ever!

So i gave it away-- transfers happened Tuesday. And...i'm still in Eden Prairie. Elder Petersen left me and went to Bloomington. Elder Watkins is my new companion and he's legit! We were in the same district in Rochester so it was cool to know my companion before hand. He's only been out for 3 months but we get along great! I'm really looking forward to the transfer. We've been on exchanges together in our Rochester days and we make a good team. :) He's way smart, he actually went to BYU Hawaii. He's a surfer from California so he doesn't know what to do with all this snow. He knows how to work and he's not overbearing like a lot of missionaries.

Today has been way busy and fun. At 8 o'clock this morning we were part of the ward turkey bowl. It was 7 degrees i think? Yeah i couldn't breath. Gaining weight might have helped with that as well. =) After we went on tour to people we wanted to catch home. We knew everyone would be home so we stopped by with DVDs as a gift and a personal card. It was cool to make a difference and we visited a couple people who were alone for Thanksgiving. We actually caught a former investigator home and got a return appointment! YES! We're building our teaching pool slowly but surely. Then we had dinner with the Maudens and the Myers (also members). The Maudens know how to cook so it was a privilege to attend and spend Thanksgiving with them. They were a less active family until we came around. Sister Mauden is single with two kids, Lora is 23 and Jeff is 18, and we're still trying to get Jeff to church. They are so great! Now i find myself emailing you guys this very moment.

Now the good stuff, the work. We taught the Egberts on Monday. We focused on faith and how faith means acting upon something. We read the scripture story about nephi building a boat and how action led to true faith. Our biggest problem with them is church attendance. I hope they'll apply this story (1 nephi 17). We've also been meeting with members. We'll start teaching member lessons on a daily basis. It feels like a brand new ward at times, but we have some amazing strong mature families.

We had a miracle yesterday. Elder Watkins and I prayed on where we should tract. We felt the road Redwing dr was where we were suppose to be at 3-4 o'clock. It started to snow and the roads turned into snow! We had a choice to either park our car in a parking lot and call it a day or fight the elements. We decided to go on and to continue to work. We knocked every door, but not a lot of success until our very last door. The couple let us in and told us they were trying to get a hold of the mormon missionaries. So Jay -the husband- his best friend is a member of the church. They are really close and his mormon friend's mother past away last week. This sparked an interest and they want us to come over for dinner next week! It just shows that if we do our best and truly give it our all, the Lord will provide.

Well family I'm really looking forward to this transfer. The last transfer was another growning experience, but this transfer should be another growing experience as well. My scripture for the week is 1 Cor 2: 9-11.
Love you all,
Elder Browning


First Snow! So Much Change!

Nov 15, 2010

Hey family,

So last Saturday Minnesota was drenched with 12 inches of snow! I knew it was only a matter of time before mother nature hit Minnesota upside the face. Elder Petersen was really excited about the snow( he's from Las Vegas) so this is new for him. We were excited to face the elements with our gear. Our Mazda 3 got stuck in the heavy wet snow in the parking lot. Our adventure didn't get far. We had two appointments fall through because of the weather, and one was with our newest investigator Kim.

We walked to the nearest neighborhood and tracted. We had a couple good discussions with people, and a few promising return appointments. The Lord's work continues vs all odds in the Minnesota weather! It really was chaos though. People were sliding all over the roads and a semi truck was hit by a train right by our apartment making it so we couldn't cross the tracts. The snow is melting now but now i know what a Minnesota snow fall is all about. Oh and my Ecco snow dress shoes are amazing! Elder Petersen is so jealous! My coat is extremely warm and my gloves couldn't be better. Thank you again for the support.

The boundary change has really slowed us down. Our teaching pool shifted with the boundary change, so it was a really slow week. We only taught 10 lessons, yikes. We practically lost all of our less actives and half of our investigators. For the next couple of weeks we'll be rebuilding the teaching pool. Mary (our investigator with a date), was transferred over to the Bloomington ward. She was not happy with the change because she was finally developing strong relationships so she'll be coming to the Eden Prairie ward until she feels comfortable. We're going to have dinner at President Howells house this week. We want to introduce Mary to the Bloomington bishop at the dinner.

Our Ward is huge now! It doubled in size and now feels like the Wakonia ward (our neighboring ward). We filled up the entire chapel. It was really overwhelming! I just got use to the original families in the Eden Prairie ward, now i have to learn names again. There are lots of mature families with youth and lots of leadership. It feels like an Idaho ward! The transition will be a bit rocky at the beginning, but i hope it will turn out for the better. We'll be getting to know members this week. Man there has been so much change for me! There's no such thing as a comfort zone here in Eden Prairie. The best word i can describe the situation with is --awkward.

The Egbert family didn't come to church, which was a huge disappointment. We helped paint their house and really thought that was the ice breaker. We'll be meeting with them again today for dinner and a lesson. That's how this week has gone. It's just one of those weeks.

Alright since i'm all about the Book of Mormon and Bible relationships, I have a scripture for you guys in both books. 1 Cor 1:27-28 and Alma 37 :6-7. I've been doing this lately, and it has strengthened my testimony of both books.

I love you all and keep warm! I'll be thinking of you guys as the holidays roll around.

Elder Browning


Change in Eden Prairie

Nov 8, 2010


So Eden Prairie and the Minneapolis stake went under some construction as of yesterday. With the whole process I thought of you dad and the Shelley South Stake. We lost a lot of young families, but gained a good amount of leadership. However, we lost our best investigator who's been investigating for some time. She has a baptismal date for December 11. Her name is Mary and she has quite the story. She's friends with Justin Osmond (Justin is the son of one of the original Osmond brothers). She wants him to baptize her and he won't be around until Dec 11. This is a prime example of what Eden Prairie goes through. So I'm excited for the change, and the opportunity to meet and work with new members. Things will even out. I think we're receiving a few new investigators from our neighboring Wakonia Elders. Whahoo, I'm always meeting new people!

The work in Eden Prairie has been awesome this week. We had a great week with less actives. This area is doing well bringing members back to church. The pictures you received were from a part member/less active family. I think activating an inactive member is just as good as a baptism in my opinion. We had 14 less active lessons this week, and 6 of them were at church. Yesterday we taught the Egberts (part member family) the gospel. We asked them if baptism is something we can work towards and they said yes. We're struggling with finding but perfecting the saints has never been so great! This week will be crazy with the change though. I'll keep you guys updated.

Alright so people keep telling me there is a winter here in Minnesota but I'm not buying that! This last week i put on my jacket once. It's near 65 degrees here. I feel bad after buying my expensive coat and not being able to use it. So as of yet, i have not experienced a really cold day in Minnesota but I've witnessed the rain fall and the humidity.

I've been really focusing on the Book of Mormon and Bible relationship. We are trying to show those we teach examples both in the Book of Mormon and Bible. When we show the relationship and hard evidence they seem to understand the Book of Mormon's role. Try it at home! I wish we would have done that while studying as a family. I've seen it help me understand certain principles when i read from both. I highly reccommend doing that as a family.

Elder Petersen and I are getting a long great. The first few weeks were a little shaky but maybe due to the fact he felt i was intruding on his turf. He's been here for 6 months and its his first area. I have respect for him and i continue to clean the bathroom and show service. I think we're over that awkward hump that most companionships go through.

Alright I'm sending you guys a package with a CD with a bunch of pictures and also a the memory card I've been using. I'll take a nice picture of myself. My scripture for the week is Mosiah 4: 27

I love you all and miss you guys!

Elder Browning


November Already?

Nov 2, 2010

Hey Family,

Thanks for the big updates in Shelley Idaho. I can't believe what's going on with the stake, but sounds like the Lords hand was with the changes. Speaking of change, the Minneapolis stake is making ward boundary changes too. They'll be having a meeting for the members to notify where the changes will take place. Haha what are the odds of the Minneapolis stake and Shelley South stake making changes at the same time. It will be interesting being a missionary when this actually takes place.

I liked how you guys said "change is necessary for growth", and its true. That's why missionaries are transferred so they can grow. This transfer has helped me grow and mature both in the gospel and socially. And there will be another change this week!

Eden Prairie had their Fall Festival last Friday. It brought back memories of home! Elder Petersen and I decorated our door for the Fall Festival. It was a missionary outfit with white shirt and a complementary name tag and the members were impressed. We ended the night with chili and pie. We had a few less actives show up to the activity so that was a plus. Getting to know members can be awkward and fun at the same time. I'm really trying to gain the members trust, first impressions are important. Speaking of members, the bishops wife is related to the Browning's. I think we're 3rd cousins? Anyway, I've enjoyed getting to know members and I've especially enjoyed having meals every night.

So we had 5 investigators at church. Whoohoo! The primary program does wonders. We also picked up 2 new investigators this week. Actually a cool story. Jennifer -our newest investigator- was talking on the phone with her Mormon friend about the missionaries. Right as she hung up, we knocked on the door. She let us in and told us that was a sign from God. She's married and has a 7 year old girl. She wants a conservative based religion-- hehe. I almost cried, i just witnessed the Lords hand!

I bought a North Face jacket. It's incredible! It was on sale so i had to buy it. I also bought a nice hoody/face guard. It was expensive-- it cost me $ 150.00, but i don't want to freeze this winter. It gets down to -20 degrees. It's really thin and stylish. Elder Petersen bought one as well and so we're matching for the investigators. =)

Hey if I'm catching you guys in a good mood you may read on. (Read with caution, contains Christmas present ideas.)
If not, wait to read =)
---a mini quad set of scriptures (red). It would help me study, and i would probably take those around to appointments because they're so portable.
--- a GPS that can plug into a house outlet (if there is such a thing). It would help me be more of an efficient missionary.

Well family i love you dearly. I've been loving the CDs you sent me (its my work out music every morning). Thanks for the pictures, i really enjoy looking at our happy family. I'll try and take a photo of myself today and send you guys out my memory card.

My scripture for the week: 2 nephi 26:33. Check it out!

Elder Browning