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


Happy Holidays!

Dec 27, 2010

Hey Family,

Happy Holidays! Hope things have been relaxing the last couple of days. It was great talking to you guys! I'll be honest i was a little distracted when i got off the computer. It was so surreal for me to see the family and talk to you guys. Thank you for the gifts! I just got done opening them and Elder Watkins was grateful too! The Bodylastics will do me wonders in the hard morning hours and i was so excited to see the scriptures. My studies will be more efficient. And a new sonic tooth brush? HA thank you! I'll also try to use the iron man action figures in a visual lesson, haha. Thank you again! I'll admit i was trunky after the phone call, it took me a good hour to get over my trunky mind set.

Right after i talked to you guys, we hurried and ate some Christmas lunch, then took off to see some less actives. About 6:00, we came back and ate dinner with the Larson's. After dinner we visited a guy named Bill. He's an older guy who's very lonely and he appreciated the visit. It was a good Christmas. Nothing exciting or blood pumping from material things, but a nice calm spirit made the day fantastic.

Yesterday, Sheri (investigator) attended church. She's in a wheelchair, so it put a little more pressure on Elder Watkins and I to make her feel comfortable. She seemed to feel comfortable and luckily she has fellowship friends who watched after her. Go members! Church is a stressful time as a missionary. Following up with auxiliary leaders, finding joint teachers, confirming dinner appointments, taking care of investigators, taking the meal calender around, getting to know members, GAH!

Transfer calls are in 1 week. I want to stay here in Eden Prairie. I've seen the growth and i know elder Watkins and I can do some damage. When i left Rochester i was ready to leave, but i know revelation is real in the church, and regardless what happens i know its where I'm suppose to go. So far i haven't been in a area longer than 12 weeks. We'll see what happens!
Mom i hope you have a great birthday, and happy new year! I can't believe 2011 is here! Best of luck with the upcoming year.

Elder Browning


Christmas is Here!

Dec 21, 2010

Merry Christmas family,

Where did the month of December go? It's going by so fast! These 6 months have flown by. The snow continues to fall here what i now call the north pole. We received another 4 inches to add to our 20 inches in the last week. Haha, it's a challenge getting out of our parking lot every morning. Sorry about not emailing monday. We had our christmas zone conference.

This past week has been great, we're growing in teaching. Can i tell ya how fast the day goes by when you have a busy schedule and your not tracking all day? How grateful i am to be busy! Our progressing investigator- Sheri- is coming along great. We met with her for the second time and taught her the restoration. The KEY to a successful lesson is to have a member present. We've brought 2 sisters each time from our ward- they relate very well with Sheri. The spirit was so strong, Sheri started to cry when she saw the first vision picture. The Lord prepares the elite!

So our Christmas zone conference was great. At the beginning, the zone leaders train the zone on a topic out of preach my gospel. President Howell jumped in as Santa Claus and sister Howell dressed up too! Their grand kids also played a role. We missionaries got a kick out of that! One by one we all sat on presidents lap. Ha, we had some good laughs. President and Sister Howell are doing their part to keep us missionaries happy this holiday season. We each received a CD. I'm in love with it. Solo piano- hymns but their exciting, fast, and intense enough to not fall asleep to.

The Zone Conference was obviously about Jesus Christ. I learned a ton about the atonement of Jesus Christ. How crucial it was to have a mortal mother and Heavenly Father as his parents. It all fits in the plan! He had to be a God to endure, but had to be mortal to feel pain and sorrow. He had to experience what it was like to be a mortal man so he could relate to us, and because he had to experience it, sacrifice was necessary. The only Begotten Son, Heavenly Father gave his best lamb to die for us. The old testament/law of moses clearly explains the God heads role. Small things like this help wipe away stupid misconceptions of the trinity. President Howell challenged us to find names that refer to Christ. There are more than 100 different references to Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon. So cool, check it out! Nephi likes to use Lamb of God- one of my favorites. I challenge you guys to try this out while reading scriptures as a family.

Well, family I'm excited to talk to you this saturday! I sent a package for you guys so i hope it gets to Idaho on time! Don't open it! I was too cheap to buy wrapping paper.

Love you all and hope you guys remember the true meaning of christmas! An awesome chapter for christmas is in Alma 7. I like verses 9-13. Check out this beast of a chapter!

Merry Christmas,
Elder Browning


Minnesota SNOWFALL

Dec 13, 2010

Hey family,

I'm sad to hear the passing of Grandma Smith. I truly looked up to her. She was a great example for all and she'll continue to be an example for generations to come. I have focused a lot on what a good example can do for a person. As a missionary i look up to so many people! Grandma Smith was one of the elite. I will be forever grateful for what she did for my mom and the Eliasons. Actions speak louder than words, she led her life with action and purpose.

I'm not frozen yet, I'm still alive! This week as been a crazy to say the least! As you have heard, Minnesota was dumped on by mother nature. Mission head quarters let us know not to drive Saturday and Sunday. The mission is pretty good when it comes to letting us know updates on severe weather conditions. It was a perfect time to tract! Elder Watkins and I took advantage of the severe weather morning/early afternoon. We knocked on as many houses as we could on foot. People thought we were crazy, but i had fun trying to survive the elements and a negative wind chill to go with the day! We also shoveled driveways- what a perfect time to show charity. Somebody let us in and we taught a lesson because we served first. We were able to talk to tons of people during the storm and the aftermath of the storm. However, we were not able to travel to our appointments in Chaska. Other than that our numbers our still on the up and up. My winter gear is holding up and i'm staying warm and dry. I love my coat, and my Scott gloves are amazing! The ecco snow shoes are doing well.

The work continues. We're progressing with investigators and lessons, the Lord continues to provide for Eden Prairie. We're starting to build our schedule in advance to give us a cushion. Two weeks ago we struggled to find things to do in a day. Now we're struggling to find travel time! The days go by fast when you're busy, that's a natural law.

It's amazing to see the Egbert family grow! Estella (the mom) is ready to be baptized. She's given up coffee and wants to obey the commandments big and small. Kevin is the 13 year old and he was a tough one at first, but has softened as we've taught him stories and brought God into his life. He now wants us to come over and teach him one on one! He has his Book of Mormon in hand ready to learn where as before he had no interest. This gospel is real.

We also picked up 2 new investigators, Sheri and Leonard. Sheri has big potential. We had two sisters from the ward joint teach with us when we taught her. Members are everything when they're present for the lesson, and they made the difference. It was a spiritual experience. Leonard was a former. We gave him a call, he was pumped to hear from us. He calls us his bible study peeps. We'll see if we can turn that into a Book of Mormon study.

I must tell you about the Neilson family. They are the best member family! I hit it off with their sons who love jazz basketball! They're from Boise Idaho! Our families have huge similarities! They are just classy and chill. They're missionary minded too! Quailty Idaho family!

Allright family i hope you're enjoying the Christmas spirit! I know I am! Drink hot cocoa!
My scripture this week is 2 Nephi 29. This explains what the world thinks about the Book of Mormon, and what God thinks about it.

Elder Browning


Eden Prairie Update

Dec 6, 2010

Hey family! 

I'm glad things went well for thanksgiving. It's a winter wonderland here, and I'm breaking out the big time snow gear. Minnesota had another snow fall of 8 inches! I'll let you know if i get frost bite. A storm is coming Friday, i think? My driving skills our sufficient for this snow!

Things are starting to pick up here in Eden Prairie. Things haven't been the same since the boundary change. We've been working hard to fill our schedule and we met and broke the ice with a lot of less active/former investigators. Now we'll be teaching a couple more families on a regular basis! We also picked up a couple new investigators! It's nice to see the progress of our labors as we realize it comes from the Lord. We met with a less active man named George. His wife and daughter are not members but have been exposed to missionary lessons before. We also contacted Chris and he's looking to get active again in the church with his family. He's 20 years old and a way cool guy who's been lost in the world. We totally hit it off! We have the same taste of music! He knows the band Digital Summer! Way cool guy. It was important for us to develop that trust with him. I'm really close with the Hawkes family, this has definitely been a tender mercy for me to witness. He came to church!

We had dinner with Jay and Andrea and we definitely broke the ice. They are just awesome! We shared the Book of Mormon with them, and also discussed what makes our church different. They know that there's something different with mormon families and they respect how we live. They know the church leads to a good path. I just hope they know the real reason we're there. Kingdom builder family! Wish us luck this week!

Ok so we taught the Egberts last night. And we have a BAPTISMAL DATE! Estella is ready to be baptized Dec 26! We fasted for them! We came in and told her with boldness and love that we wanted her to be baptized this Chrismas season. We basically said this was her gift to Christ. I truly have love for their family and poured out my feelings with them. She's ready and is willing to give up coffee! They also went to church this week. Carla and Kevin are not ready at the moment, but we'll be working one on one with Kevin for baptism. Their mom is the sweetest Mexican lady ever! She's always cooking us authentic meals and offering treats and hot chocolate. I've been teaching this family for 6 weeks and I've grown attached to them. Kevin is a big tough 13 year old that looks likes he's 17 and never seemed that interested in the gospel. Something was different in his eyes this time around. We asked him straight up if he believes that baptism could help him. He said yes but isn't ready and wants to know for himself.

Well, family I've never been more excited. i know the Lord can soften any heart. I'm really loving the people and i'm seeing a pattern. That was a hard principle to develop--true charity and love for the people. I'm now not focusing on my personal needs or desires. Even when i use my personal study it's for the Eden Prairie people and what they need.

Stay warm in shelley! Minnesota has been in the teens with a foot of snow on the ground.

My scripture for you is 1 Nephi 22. I've learned so much about the House of Israel and how important it is to learn the historical back ground to understand true missionary work.

Elder Browning