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


Thanks Again!

December 26, 2011

Hey Family,

First of all it was amazing seeing you all on the computer. I have a strong testimony of the gospel and how it brings family happiness. I'm so grateful for all of you and your sweet spirits.

Christmas was a great day. I'm so grateful for the spirit of Christmas. Our saviors birth is a wonderful event to celebrate. My morning for Christmas day was a bit different from the rest of you. We woke up at our usual 6:30am time and Elder Messenger was gracious enough to make breakfast for Elder Watkins and Elder Lewis (zone leaders). It was good being with Elder Watkins again for Christmas, i was with him last year in Eden Prairie. We opened our presents together and enjoyed each others company. We tried keeping each other busy Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

Later that day we had lunch with some members, and they did a good job of taking care of a few lonely people in Duluth including missionaries +). The spirit let me know of my blessings because the lunch conversation was directed to "favorite Christmas memories". A man who doesn't have much shared his favorite experience. He explained that growing up his mother couldn't provide gifts for the kids, but despite their low income, his favorite memory was singing Christmas hymns with his family. It brought me to tears how sincere he was. All of the other memories were no where near as sincere as his basic and simple memory. We then went to church where we sung Christmas hymns. We had 5 investigators to church! Good thing, because we only had around 50 members =(

Christmas Eve was a great day and we were able to stop by most of our investigators and wish them a merry Christmas. Later that evening we caroled with the zone leaders. It was a good experience and we sounded pretty good. =) It's amazing to think of all the great memories i've developed on Christmas Eve being away from home.

Jaunney will be baptized this Saturday! She'll be the cleanest person for the New Year-- a great way to start a New Years resolution. I'm really excited for the baptism. Jaunney has been through a lot and the ward really needs this to boost their morale.

We were able to eat at the restaurant called Grandma's. There's a really big marathon race called “Grandma” up here. The restaurant is right up against the lake-- it is beautiful. I'll send pictures soon. Duluth is a unique city.

Well I love you all! Hope you have fun this week. Thanks again for the gifts. I'm wearing the hat and using the duct tape wallet right now.

Elder Browning


Merry Christmas!

December 19, 2011

Hey Family,

Christmas time is drawing near. It's been so fast that Duluth hasn't received its snowfall! What, a brown Christmas in Minnesota? We're getting close! This week went really well and the biggest highlight was yesterday we were able to help 10 people come to church-- 4 investigators and 6 less actives. What a great sight seeing most of your teaching pool at church! It really helped to build my faith. I'd like to make a special shout out to my wonderful parents happy 22nd anniversary!

As you know we had our Christmas zone conference last Thursday. It was a great day! President Clements really is a great leader for this mission. He had nothing but good things to say about Duluth because Duluth has been tearing it up in the last 2 months. We led in all categories as far as numbers. Oh and the biggest news, we watched the Disney movie "Miracle". Remember the hockey movie about USA vs Russia? Haha first time i've watched a movie in 18 months! I think for now on i'll only be able to see movies with a spiritual sense because i kept pulling out eternal principles and spiritual principles! All of the missionaries had a really good time watching this flick-- a great Christmas present from our president. Haha it's funny what happens on the mission. I was also able to catch up with my boy Elder Filby. He's in Thunder-Bay, Canada right now.

After the Christmas zone conference, i had the chance to go to Grand Rapids and exchange with Elder Campbell. Friday, i had the opportunity to interview one of their investigators for baptism! It was a great experience. I also had another interview on Sunday with one of North Shores investigators. I love being a district leader. I was able to do a few baptismal interviews when i was a zone leader, but that happened only when the district leader was having a baptism. My first training is this Wednesday and it's over skype because my district is so big!

I just left the computer and talked to a family that was kicked out of their home. They have no where to go but the library. They are such a good looking family! My heart goes out to them. We were able to give them a Book of Mormon and let them know the reality of Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas! I hope you all have an enjoyable week together. Make sure you give lots of attention to Tanner this Christmas. Thanks again for everything! I love you all so much!

Elder Browning

P.S. I'm sending ya'll a package and it will need to be wrapped! Thanks-- i'm too poor out here.

Duluth Minnesota

December 12, 2011

Hey family,

I would just like to start off by thanking the family for the Christmas package! I'm grateful to have a family that loves and cares about me. It was a great treat to receive it as i've been trying to adjust here in Duluth.

Transfer day was a kick in the behind. It really was a growing experience. I was able to catch the bus with 4 other missionaries. Elder Watkins (Eden Prairie companion last year) was coming up to Duluth with me to be my zone leader. My big bag weighed 80 pounds! It cost me an extra 30 bucks from my personal funds! The bus trip was about 3 hours.

I'm not frozen yet! People say the weather has actually been fairly warm. It's really is a beautiful place with Lake Superior. It’s crazy because it feels like an ocean! I was fortunate to come into the area with a baptismal date. It seems like people are a little more receptive and humble up here. Maybe that's because we're in the lower class part of Duluth. Thank heaven i have a few members up here that i'm starting to connect with. The Twin Ports ward is a struggling ward that's lacking in numbers. We had 50 people at church last Sunday. A lot of less actives here! Elder Messenger is awesome and we're getting a long great.

We have a Christmas zone conference this Thursday and i'll be heading to Grand Rapids this week for exchanges. I'm looking forward to the new role of a district leader. My district is probably the biggest district in the mission geographically. I'll have to skype in my district meetings!

Well family thank you so much for everything! I'll talk to you all later. Skype here we come!

Elder Browning

Transferred to Duluth

December 5, 2011

Hey Family,

I've been transferred to Duluth Minnesota! I can't believe I'm going up north of the cities. It will be a 3 hour bus ride from the Twin cities. I'm excited and extremely sad at the same time. My heart and home is here in Rochester. I've developed so many good relationships and friendships it will be hard to leave- I'm sure I'll have some teary eyes. I will be a district leader up there. Duluth has been known in the mission as the wilderness, cold and beautiful. I'll be able to see Lake Superior for the first time. Duluth typically receives more snow than the twin cities or Rochester. My companion will be Elder Messenger. I'm very sad to leave Rochester, but the Lord knows what needs to happen for me to learn and grow. I will do what the Lord commands!

This last week Rochester Stake had their annual Nativity display. It was a huge attraction for the city of Rochester. This was their 11th year putting this display together and they have created a good reputation for Rochester over the years. There was over 200 unique nativities from different countries-- it truly was a sight to see. The stake did not hold back on going all out. There was musical numbers along with light refreshments and a live nativity. Of course there were tons of non-members and we had a few investigators come which was great!

We're putting on a party for Elder Bowen. Elder Bowen has influenced me greatly on the mission. He is one of the best examples and leaders. He leaves for home this Wednesday. We've created a poster board with pictures we'll have a good time together with him playing dodge ball.

The snow is here! Last Saturday the storm hit! It will be cold from here on out. My goodness i'm scared for this winter because Duluth is a bit more extreme than Rochester. I'm grateful for my coat and my warm gloves and hat.

I will miss David, Amanda and family. David was telling us a couple days ago that he bought some handcuffs to keep both Elder Potter and I here. I will dearly miss them for i know why i was sent to Minnesota. I will keep close contact with them, and one day, i hope you all will be able to meet them!

Well Family i love you all! Stay warm and pray extra hard for me in Duluth that i may travel safe on Wednesday at 10:00am. I'm glad Dallin is feeling well.

Elder Browning



Nov 28, 2011

Hey Family,

As you know the crowning event happened last Saturday. I'll never forget that experience. I have a testimony that if you do all that you can, the Lord steps in and always provides a way. I hope you enjoy the pictures! We took a few, and we're making a scrap book for David and Amanda's family.

The baptism of David and Angela was of course the highlight of the week. It was a highly anticipated event for the Stake of Rochester and Minnesota Minneapolis Mission. The turn out was overwhelming. We had 100+ people attend the baptism, and numerous investigators were there. Bishop Larsen commented that he's never seen so much support in his life for a baptism. A big solid family deserves a big support group. I'm grateful for the members in the second ward. As you know to complete the big stage, President and Sister Clements were in attendance for the baptism, as well as President Foote, the Stake Pres. We truly felt the spirit at this baptismal service. Elder Potter sang a musical number "Be Still my Soul" and it was powerful. David and Angela were full of light, and i couldn't but help smile as i sat by their family in the front row. Their whole family was glowing with light! They will be great members. Nothing brings me more joy than to see a kingdom builder family enter the fold. We confirmed David and Angela the same day. David asked me to confirm him and Brother Darsow confirmed Angela. It was an experience i'll never forget. Some big names were in the confirmation circle: Bishop Larsen, President Clements, and President Foote, men i truly look up to. A sister missionary commented after David's confirmation, " His face was beaming with light". Usually they're confirmed during sacrament meeting but David's friend passed away and he had to attend the funeral. I told David that before he went to see his friends in Wisconsin, that it was his duty to be the light and star to lead his friends to the truth during this difficult time. It's been neat to see so many deep relationships that David and Amanda's family have created. That's the only way recent converts will stay active-fellowshipping. Elder Potter and I have a very strong bond, so we'll be going over there tonight to decorate their Christmas tree with their family. =) I'm excited to keep in contact with them.

We've been working with a part member family. Tom (the father) is a member and his wife and 4 children have never been exposed to the church. Tom hasn't been to church in 20 years. He's your typical tough guy with a teddy bear inside. It's been hard to get him to church but he came and witnessed a powerful spirit at the baptism. Right after the baptism i talked to him and told him that we wanted this same thing for his family.
We still have a lot of work to do in the two wards. We're dropping a lot of investigators who are not progressing. We'll be focusing on working with the auxiliary leaders this week. We're trying to push the less active work because it's really the best source for teaching and baptisms plus bringing back someone that is lost. How can the Lord expect to bless a ward if they don't take care of their own members? We're pushing a Christmas message with all of the members. We're trying our best to inspire them to invite their friends to activities and try to have them take advantage of this holiday season. Here's the poem we've come up with, we're using this to get our message across.

Sounds like the family had a good time in Utah. Thanksgiving wasn't too lonely for myself. The weather hasn't been too bad here, and the snow hasn't arrived yet. Scary experience for Dallin and glad to hear he's ok.

Love you all and have a great week!

Elder Browning

Thanksgiving/ Upcoming baptism

Nov 24, 2011

Hey Family,

Happy thanksgiving! What a wonderful time of the year--the holidays are here! I'm so grateful for so many things and in this email i'll include a list and the majority will be my expressions of thanksgiving.

This week has been quite the experience but mostly because it's the winding down to David and their daughter's baptism. I have been waiting for this moment and i'm so grateful to be part of this journey with David. I can't wait until you meet him and his wonderful family. We're making this baptism a big deal over here in Rochester. President Clements and Sister Clements will be here on Saturday to attend the baptism. President Foote (stake president) will also be there. We're leaping with excitement because we're both taking part in the program. Elder Potter will baptize David, and I'll be baptizing Angela. The ward has really been behind us. It's been years since Rochester has had a full family come into the gospel. Bishop Larsen has been here for years and years and he can't recall a full family joining the fold. Yes! The hype is hard to control! It's on our mind every day, all day. David will be an amazing priesthood holder. He's been so faithful and has become a great brother in the gospel. I will not loose touch with him or his family.

It's amazing how trials hit before the final leap of faith. A good friend of David passed away from a car crash. David received this news 5 minutes after we left from a discussion. He read 2 Nephi 9 which talks about the plan of salvation, and it gave him a large amount of comfort. David will leave right after the baptism to see his loved ones who are suffering. He'll be a great light to his friends and perhaps trials do happen before something great comes. Amanda’s niece passed away unexpectedly before her baptism.

David has been a rock through his journey to quit drinking and chew and he's still going strong. This is a true miracle and i'll remember his faith and actions forever. The ward is taking some good action to invite them to FHE, dinner, activities, etc. David and Amanda's family are celebrities! They are social butterflies as they mingle with member families.

So Thanksgiving has been good. I'd like to make a special shout out to the Bessett family (ward missionary in 4th ward) for feeding us and taking us. There's a lot of people here right now, and i'm grateful for their willingness to feed two hungry orphan missionaries.

This morning we played the annual turkey bowl. Last year we played with a foot of snow, and this year has improved as far as the weather goes. It was still cold in the mid 30's and windy, but it was a lot of fun. I had an ok game with 3 throwing td's and 1 interception. the interception came at the very end where i made a final dive/tackle to save the interception touch down and redeem my horrible throw. I landed on the ground pretty hard, and i felt sorry because it was an older man that i hit and he was a bit dazed after. My left ankle suffered the consequence of my actions, and i can hardly walk. Then my right arm took a bang also. My turkey bowl career is over as a missionary. Haha.

What i'm grateful for:
I’m grateful for technology that allows me to email and keep in touch with my family. I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father and Savoir Jesus Christ. I've been able to really appreciate their influence in my life. I'm grateful for my testimony, it has tripled as i've been out here. I'm grateful for my family, I truly have the best family. I have realized the importance of goodly parents. It's really cool to see in the Book of Mormon, how Lehi teaches Jacob, and then to see Jacob teach and testify of the same things as his father. I'm so grateful for my mission. I have learned and grown so much. I'm grateful for David and Amanda and their desire to come close to Christ, and it's been the crowning event of my mission. I'm grateful that the Lord allowed me to be part of their conversion journey. They will be baptized this Saturday at 2 o’clock.

Have a great week family. i love you all and i'm grateful for your prayers and support! Have fun in the sun in St George Utah! Well i better go, Thanksgiving dinner calls!

Elder Browning


Crowning event

Nov 14, 2011

Hey Family,

Sorry this will be short again, but i had wonderful week again. David (Amanda's husband) is doing wonders and i'll explain details shortly. But truly right now i'm at the crowning moment of my mission. Also it's neat to hear about the exciting news that Jeren is coming home. I can't believe that. Time really goes fast! Also that's great news that Nelson is going to California.

David is doing super, he's amazing. He'll be a kingdom builder for sure. David commited to live the word of wisdom and has stuck to it! Chew and drinking will not longer be a problem. The cool miracle was the joint teacher we brought Brother Buman. He was perfect because he was able to relate to David's situation. Elder Potter and I didn't know the real reason why we called him, but the spirit told us to. David commented and said, “Boy you guys are good at what you are doing (bringing over a perfect joint teacher that relates)”. We told him it was God. The neat thing about this whole process is David is keeping himself busy. He's doing whatever it takes to stay away from temptation. He even moved his work schedule around so that he can make it to church to receive spiritual strength. It has been the best sight to see David and his family sit together. The ward is jumping all over this and they're really excited about missionary work. It has truly been a great experience. I have found my family! I’ve been praying for this moment on my mission. We got special permission to go to the gym a couple times with David and Amanda, to help keep David focused and busy. David and Angel will be baptized together on Nov 26. It will be a great day! I look forward to come back in one years time and see them get sealed in the temple.

I'm so grateful to be a missionary at this time. I'm loving Rochester! Elder Zwick of the 70 will be coming for a mission tour this Friday, and also he'll attend our Zone leader council. That will be really neat! I'm pretty pumped for that!

Guess what? I'm still running! Brother Buman has been pushing us to the limit, and the other day we went 8 miles! Our goal is 10 by the end of the transfer. It feels really good to run!

Well family I love you all! Give Jeren a big hug for me! He was an amazing missionary.

Elder Browning


Nov 7, 2011

Hey family,

This email will be a quick one. Elder Potter and I had a great week! We set a date with David! This will complete the family. David is the husband to Amanda. He came to church and has received a spiritual answer. David has told us of his spiritual conversion. Every time he reads the Book of Mormon he said in his own words, "The whole household gets quiet and peaceful. The kids even asked, “Daddy can we go to church again? It felt good".

This week has changed my life and brought me so much peace and love for those I'm serving. We committed David to the Word of Wisdom. He's grown up on this stuff, so it's a challenge for him. We brought over the perfect joint teacher, our Elders quorum president. He was able to relate to him really well because our Elders quorum president went through the same thing. We'll be working out with David at 8:00 at night to help keep his mind of the beer (that's his usual temptation time).

Sorry family i'm running out of time! I'll try to send another email!

Elder Browning


Happy times in Elder Browning's life

Oct 31, 2011

Hey Family,

I can't believe Tanner is going to Russia, I'm so excited and thrilled to here this news. He'll be a great missionary. My heart raced has i read Tanner’s well put together letter of his experience opening his mission call. What a great time for the Browning family! Russia is a little more extreme i think than Minnesota! But none the less to my defense anything is foreign when you're raised in Idaho. We're all called to different assignments for the Lord. I know Tanner’s call to Russia is from God. It really brought memories of that day when i opened up my mission call. I was so excited i couldn't even pronounce Minneapolis! Great memories, and that's a great tradition. I realize that i'll be second string when Feb 1st comes when it comes to letters. Haha Jk.

Rochester, Minnesota is doing well! We've been able to teach and pick up 6 new investigators. It's been a great blessing and of course the Lord has a hand in it. I'm grateful we've seen such great progress. The biggest update for Rochester is that Amanda's husband and entire family came to church. It was one of the most amazing sights to see a family of 6 come into the church building. We're super close to set a date with Amanda's husband. He's super cool, he's one of our buddies, and wants to be baptized while both Elder Potter and I are still in Rochester. This will be my first full family coming into the gospel. Another great update, Nathan received the priesthood at church. It will be amazing to see him pass the sacrament at church next week. There has been so much peace and joy in my heart.

We've seen a lot of success this last transfer. We're working with 20+ people and had two baptisms, We've had some pretty powerful first lessons with our new investigators and we had a church tour with one of our investigators. Church tours are great, especially when the investigator is shy or slow to come to church. It's a great way to slowly warm up to the church attendance habit. Rochester 4th ward had a Halloween party where they invited the missionaries to have a marshmallow contest. The goal of the contest was to stuff as many marshmellows in your mouth as possible. It was a lot of fun, and i was able to get 15 marshmallows in my mouth before i started gagging uncontrollably. Elder Potter was able to have 20! He doesn't gag easy though.

Well I gotta go carve pumpkins. Love ya’ll. Happy Halloween!

Elder Browning

Baptism in Rochester! And staying in Rochester!

Oct 24, 2011
Hey family,
Oh my word this week has been filled with so much emotion. I can't wait to tell you all of these miracles in person! It's hard for me to describe myself and express the joy i have over an email, but I'll do my best. This week has been the crowning event of my mission so far. Oh and i'm staying for another transfer! Rochester is home away from home.
It's killing me that i can't say their names over email--it's a new rule. I'll use fake names for the email.
This last Saturday Rochester 2nd Ward had two baptisms. Amanda and Nathan, were baptized into the church. It has been an amazing experience being able to witness and experience a true conversion. From the start, they both had very little knowledge of the gospel. I would say the best part of this whole miracle would be David, the father. He has accepted to be baptized and believes that this church will help unify their family. The whole entire family came to the baptism, They have 4 kids total, a 10 year old girl, 4 year old boy and 2 year old boy. It was amazing to see! The ward was very supportive and the attendance was great at the baptism. The whole entire Relief society room was filled.
I had the opportunity to baptize Nathan, and Brother Darsow baptized Amanda. The spirit was there, and it's something i will never be able to deny. I asked Nathan how he felt afterwards. He gave the usual response, "cold and happy!". I then confirmed Amanda and Bishop confirmed Nathan. It was another powerful experience. Amanda was so grateful that she shared the powerful influence of peace she had with us after the baptism. The church is true!
Alright, now what really touched me this week was David's progression. Last Monday we taught David with Amanda and Nathan. We originally prepared a lesson to prepare Amanda and Nathan for baptism but David surprised us and came down and sat in on the discussion. We of course being some what intelligent, geared the lesson toward him. We introduced the Book of Mormon, and gave a short Restoration lesson. David was rather quiet but you could tell he was feeling the spirit. I then extended a baptismal invite during the end of the lesson. He said yes! Amazing! The spirit was ultra strong and for the first time on my mission i felt the spirit of unity coming together with a family. Yeah it's true, i haven't baptized a complete family yet. Later that week we had a church tour for David. We invited the Buman family (Elder Quorum president) and Brother Darsow who has met David before. We set up pictures and used the building as a visual aid to teach about the restoration.
So let me explain what this church tour consists of. On this church tour, we start in the fourier and talk about the spirit and have a little mini lesson on the Holy Spirit. Then we go into the chapel and testify of the sacrament and talk about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and that he sent his Only Begotten Son to be the ultimate resource. Then we talk about prophets and show various pictures of prophets in the Old Testament. Then we take them through the gym and have them realize the distinction of the light vs the darkness and what happens to the world when evil men reject the prophets. Then we have a room full of light with Christ and his earthly ministry and then show a clip of the Restoration. Then we have a room set up with all the modern Apostles and Prophets today with a big picture of Christ in the middle. The spirit was there and David felt the love and peace of our message. David then came to me after the tour and said "I'm 99% sure that I'll be baptized, i just have to tell my family." Ahh! He then told us his reading in the Book of Mormon was coming along great. He said "I usually have a hard time retaining what i read, but the book of Mormon is different-- it makes sense." That is another testimony to me that the Book of Mormon is true. This experience has truly changed my mission and faith. I'll never forget this last weekend of miracles.
I can't believe Tanner will be receiving his mission call soon! I think he's going to Jacksonville Florida- that's my number 1 guess. Out of country would be Argentina. I'm flipping out and i'll be thinking of Tanner this week!
Elder Potter and I are staying for another transfer together. I'm so happy! We both wanted to stay and be here for David’s baptism which should be next month.
We woke up at 6 to go on a 5 mile run with one of our members. It about killed me! The weather is still reasonable here, and I’m still trying to stay in shape--it's difficult.
I love you all and hope everything is going well.
Elder Browning

Best weekend ever in Rochester

Oct 17, 2011

Hey Family,

Oh my goodness i have so much to tell you! However, my writing is weak, “therefore i cannot write but a few words which sufficeth me”.

As you know, Elder Cook came to Rochester! I had the chance to hear from him Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I can testify that he's been called of God. The quorum of the twelve apostles is the organization that Christ established for the latter-days. Let me try to convey this weekend.

Friday was a tender mercy. President Clements invited the city of Rochester to come up to Bloomington to hear from Elder Cook. We arrived early for interviews, which made it difficult because the anticipation was killing us for Elder Cook's arrival. After some study in the chapel to prepare for Elder Cook’s arrival, the time came and Elder Cook came through the door with his wife. I was so pumped to see my 150 brothers in arms with an apostle in our presence. Elder Cook's main message was "You're doing the best thing right now as a missionary". He shared some early church history experiences with the first missionaries. He talked about how all odds were against the first international missionaries, but they were able to have their first baptisms a week later after the arrival of missionaries in England. Sister Cook talked about the power of testimony in music. " What's stronger than truth? Truth in a musical setting". That really hit home because my passion for music has increased tremendously out here on the mission. I believe i was born with this passion. I know I'm a late bloomer to music and mom i should have listened to you and kept with my piano lessons.

Saturday was a super day as well. President Clements had Elder Potter and I help him in his talk to the Stake and ward leadership meeting with Elder Cook and Elder Payne of the Quorum of the 70. I sat right behind Elder Cook! We helped president set up the computer for the power point display before the meeting, and during the training we helped with the power point. So there are some perks to being a zone leader.=) It was the coolest thing because Elder Cook had an open question and answer conversation at the meeting. Elder Payne and Elder Cook went back and forth answering questions like Batman and Robin! It was amazing to see the wisdom and knowledge they had. Questions like, the future with missionary tracting, countries opening up, computer usage for missionaries etc. It was legit. Oh and during Presidents talk/training he shared the miracle of one of our (Elder Potter and I) investigators getting their answer after listening to Elder Cooks last conference talk.

That evening there was also an adult session of Stake Conference. We were able to get two investigators to go to that. We got the first two rows on the side and we made sure they would get a good view of the apostle. Both of our investigators loved it and took notes. The meeting was amazing and the talks truly talked to our investigators. Elder Cook then came down to shake our hands - we made sure we were first. I still remember what he said to our investigator, "Are you investigating the church?" -yes, "Have you felt the spirit today"? -yes, "Listen to these missionaries, whatever they say. You're on the right path". How cool is that? An apostle of the lord being able to testify to our investigator!

I'd like to finish with the miracle i might have mentioned. Due to the new rule, i won't be able to say our investigators names anymore over email.

One of our investigators came to the last session of conference and got her answer to be baptized after Elder Cook's talk. With this, we were very excited to have her listen to Elder Cook while he was here in Rochester to finalize that answer that she received two weeks ago. She wasn't planning on coming, due to health and late hours at work. But we we're able to testify of the need to hear Elder Cook speak in person. It was amazing how everything came together. Satan turned her alarm off, but she still woke up out of the blue on time and was able to come to Stake conference at 9:30 am after working late hours of hard work. Then, every talk applied to her. President Foot’s talk was about life after death and comfort of the plan of happiness (our investigator’s loved one is going through a hard time) and lots of things were answered. At the very end of Stake Conference, President Clements was able to get Elder Cook to meet out investigator. I was doing a baptismal interview at the time, so i wasn't there. But it's amazing how the Lord works! We have two baptisms this Saturday, Oct 22nd!

Well i most go golfing with one of our members love you all!

Elder Browning


Rocking Rochester

Oct 10, 2011

Hey Family,

Last week was a crazy good week, and we saw a lot of success. We were able to set two dates for oct 22! We set these dates when the Assistants came down and blitzed our area. We saw a lot of miracles when they were here -great missionaries. I'm really excited for the future of this area, and Rochester 2nd ward is really excited about this great news. It was just a good week overall. We added 9 new investigators to our teaching pool this week with more to come, and a big chunk to that big number is a family of 5. We're pretty excited to teach a family-it's a rare occasion. We found them in the area book. The Area book has many hidden treasures that missionaries can find at any given time.

I don't know if i mentioned in my last email, but Elder Cook from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is coming to our stake conference this week. We're trying to take advantage of this by letting our investigators know. Elder Cook will also be talking to the missionaries in the Bloomington Chapel on Friday @ 12:45. This is exciting news that just hit our mission! Missionaries in Rochester have been invited to attend. We're super excited for this! President Clements has a close connection with Elder Cook. I guess President Clements served under Elder Cook in a calling for a time. Our luck now is that the Rochester missionaries get to see him again for stake conference this Sunday the 16th.

We continue to work with various backgrounds and people, and helping them come closer to Christ. One particular challenge is a young man who's a member and is thinking about committing suicide. I received a phone call from his relative one night and she told me that he was in need of some spiritual guidance. Now i know missionaries aren't here to council, but i had to do something. I ended up calling the young man who wasn't happy with his life. I read a scripture that came to mind in Timothy chapter 4, "let no man despise thy youth, but be an example of the believers". All i could do was testify that he was on this earth to be an example and to help others, and that nothing should stop him from contributing to the kingdom of God. We met with him a day later and set goals and talked about the 3 Rs of choice (President Monson's talk in last years priesthood session). We'll definitely be turning this challenge over to the bishop and the ward.

I still have a stuffy nose and have come to a conclusion that it's the leaves or it could be something i'm allergic to outside. This time of years is always a bit of a challenge for me. Elder Potter had some food poisoning last Saturday, and he threw up a couple times on our way to a meeting. We actually had to make an emergency stop so he could open the door and let his insides come out. I ended up having a conference call with the our ward council over the speaker phone. The sisters and other missionaries have been sick as well. Something always goes around this time of the year.
This week is packed with various activities. Tonight we're leading a missionary FHE with the young singles in the area--that will be a lot of fun. We've thought of different activities to do and we'll be helping them be better missionaries. Then we'll be heading up to Sparta Wisconsin again for another baptismal interview and we'll exchange with the Winona Elders. I love a busy schedule.

Well family hope all is going well. Have you called Jon Shirley yet? Have Tanner call him and invite him and his girl friend Natalie over for dinner. He was our miracle baptism in Hudson. I would love for the fam to get to know him while he's at BYU Idaho. I gave you his number in one of my emails.

Have a great week!

Elder Browning


Spiritual Feast

Oct 4, 2011
Hey Family,
I'm really happy about this week! What a blessing it's has been for me to grow in the gospel. A major part of that was General Conference, and another was ZLC. It's been a really good week! Time is just going way too fast.
What a powerful weekend it was with conference! We were able to watch it at the stake center in Rochester for all 4 sessions. It was a blessing to say the least. It sure makes a difference when you prepare spiritually for conference. My favorite talk would have to be Richard G Scott. His testimony of the scriptures helped me a lot. I've been able to see the impact of the scriptures and what they can do is remarkable. I’ll never go back to my normal life of lame 10 minute scriptures studies.
Because missionaries are so close with the spirit, we have a unique perspective with the things that our leaders are saying. We can see the blessings clearer than most and that's because we've lived and experienced the gospel challenge for ourselves. Elder Anderson’s talk was a tender mercy. One because it talked about a sensitive subject that our family has been through (having another child), plus it was really appropriate that out of all the general authorities to give the talk, it was Elder Anderson. What a tender mercy!
Some of our investigators came to conference, Amy and Nick. Amy commented at the very end of the session that she felt that Elder Cook’s message was true. Out of all of the messages, she liked Elder Cook’s the best. How cool is that? It's neat to see the Lord prepare the hearts of his investigators. Elder Cook is coming to our stake conference in two weeks and I'm way excited for that spiritual feast. I also loved the Priesthood session. Whoa, talk about super missionary minded! I thought it talked a lot about preparation of the priesthood and becoming more spiritually self reliant.
Zone Leader Conference was really nice. We left Rochester right after conference, and it took us close to 2 hours to get there. Areas that are far from the mission home arrive the night before for convenience. We then had interviews with President Clements. I know this man has been called of God and he truly receives revelation for this mission! We were up late helping the assistants. Other Zone leaders from far areas spent the night as well helping the assistants prepare for ZLC the following morning.
The next morning, we had our usual morning breakfast with the Clements family and they're pretty good at feeding 18 elders! (Every zone leader companionship eats breakfast.) After breakfast was meeting time! We learned a lot about creative finding, social media, Family History, and service. President Clements also told us to have more confidence in our message and be a little more bold in our contacts and extending commitments. I wish i could go more in depth but i don't have a lot of time.
Sorry this is short! We're going to help a less active member milk some cows on his farm, and then the assistants are coming into town tonight to exchange! Love you all!
Elder Browning


Going to work in Rochester

Hey Family,
This week was far better than last week! It definitely helped that we were in our area for 5 1/2 days! We're starting to see the work improve in Rochester. I'm feeling more comfortable with the direction of balancing two wards. I've had a cold/fever for past 5 days. My noise is so annoying right now! i've probably gone through 10 rolls of toilet paper because of my stinky noise. I always can't breath at this time of the year!
A big unfortunate event happened in Rochester. The Stevens family from the Rochester 3rd ward lost their 19 year old son a week ago. He was hit by a car trying to cross the highway in Minneapolis. We'll be attending the funeral today after emailing.
We started off the week in Preston, Minnesota, a place very close the Iowa border, so it was a bit of a drive for us. Elder Potter and I had a really good time traveling the road and working with the Preston Elders. We were very impressed with the success in their area. What impressed me the most is Preston is a beastly 1,500 people with a few other small surrounding towns. They have all the odds against them for not teaching a lot of lessons, but they actually teach the most out of the whole zone! The Preston branch consist of 25 active members, which shows that if you have quality over quantity you can achieve greater heights. If an area is dead, it's not because of the people, or the city circumstance, it's always the missionaries.
As far as the work in Rochester 2nd and 4th ward goes, we picked up 3 new investigators. We're pretty excited about that, because we've been struggling to teach. Becca is a young single adult and she's solid. There is a cool connection here as well. Her grandma is sister Schmitt, and sister Schmitt is a member of the Rochester 1st ward (my first area). I taught she and her husband. I was very close to the Schmitts. We tried to get them both totally active again. Sadly, Brother Schmitt passed away a couple months ago. Right before i left for Eden Prairie, Brother Schmitt was diagnosed with cancer and they asked for a final blessing from me. That experience has been one of the most powerful experiences i have had on the mission thus far. Just a couple of days ago, i called Sister Schmitt again to talk to her about her granddaughter Becca investigating the church. Sister Schmitt opened up to me and thanked me because of the blessing I gave Brother Schmitt. It gave him the strength to come to church. A week before he died, he bore his testimony for the first time at a fast and testimony meeting. I'm grateful i was able to be an instrument in the Lords hands to bring about his work.
Yesterday i gave a talk in the 2nd ward. It was a last second notice that came on Friday night. I was happy to do it! The main point of my message was becoming more spiritually self reliant through the 3 basic resources -spiritual CPR (Church, Prayer, and Scriptures). If you'd like, i could mail a copy of my talk.
Elder Potter and I were able to meet with the Stake President, President Foote. He’s really missionary minded and has a desire to help the missionaries out. I have so much respect for the leaders who are spiritually self reliant.
Nick came to church again which was really cool. He loves coming to scouts and learning about God. Not a lot of 13 year olds have the drive to find God! He's one of a kind. We taught Nick with his mother Amy as well and met their father for the first time. YES! I think we were able to break the ice with him. Amy is such a good woman that wants good values in her home.
Juhnie (one of our 4th ward investigators) also came to church. He's been blind for 5 years! He came for the primary program and loved it! The spirit was strong as the kids sang songs.
Hey family i'll be sending you some pictures ASAP. Have a great week!
Elder Browning