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


Update for Minnesota

Jan 17, 2011

Hey Family,

I just got over the cold/chills about 2 days ago. I was sick for a couple of days. It did not hinder the work though, we were able to set a baptismal date with Sheri! We are now actually teaching her 14 year old son! His name is Oliver, super mature. Sheri came to church for the 4th time and our newest investigator Emily came to church with her kids! We had a total of 5 investigators to church. Another Sunday making sure investigators feel comfortable, boy is it stressful. I am feeling more and more comfortable dealing with tough situations.

I had a ton of crap in my lungs for a good 5 days. I wasn't able to exercise in the morning because i just felt awful. I didn't want to rest or take it easy because i knew if i did that i would show my lazy side to Elder Smedley. It definitely was hard to stay at it though. Being exposed to the cold made things a lot worse and we avoided tracting those days. I'm feeling a lot better though so don't worry family!

As far as the work goes, we've been directing our attention on those who we feel have a chance to be baptized. We're getting away from those investigators who don't progress --aka a number of investigators. We'll be working hard finding this week. Elder Smedley has been a great companion. He took care of me when i was sick! We have a great relationship, he's like a cool cousin! He has definitely helped me out with the work. Training is so much fun especially when you train your cousin! We're cousins now! It makes things so much easier when you get along with your companion. Really, companionship unity lets revelation come quicker.

We got stuck in the snow last Friday. Yeah, it was bad. For a good 20 minutes we were digging, pushing and struggling to get out. Finally the angels felt sorry for us and pushed us out. I knew it was angels because either i got real buff real fast, or it was angels. I'm definitely going with the angels. =) We were able to make it home on time at 9:27pm! We've seen by being obedient the Lord blesses us with opportunity.

Sorry this is short this week. I love you guys and hope all is well. This week is suppose to be one of the coldest weeks in Minnesota. Keep me in your prayers! I have a scripture 2 nephi 32:5. We used this scripture for our main idea when we taught Oliver.

Elder Browning


Revelation is Real

Jan 10, 2011

Hey family,

It's been a crazy week so far. Guess who I'm training? Elder Smedley!! Jeren and Nelsons cousin! So far we've had a blast. We flipped out when president told us Wednesday night. President had no idea we knew each other, but the Lord did. I do feel overwhelmed at this point. We had a brief training meeting which was beneficial to me in a lot of ways on how i look at missionary work. I was among some amazing missionaries. President Howell told us this is the most important assignment/leadership role you can have as a missionary. He gave us an example of a blank CD. Once you burn media on a blank CD you can't erase the data. He taught that same principle applies to training a new missionary. I was a little nervous but i know the Lord helps the weak! It's been a fun 5 days so far! Elder Smedley is like a cousin! It has been a party to say the least but don't worry we're working harder than ever. Chemistry is so important for a companionship. I've noticed how the spirit guides us together and we're more in tune with revelation. Missionary work is amazing when you get along and have fun! The Lord has to have the opposite in order for you to appreciate the good times.

Sunday was another stressful day. I've caught the fever/chills so I'm not up to full speed. I knew i had to endure the day so Elder Smedley could attend his first church service as a missionary. Sheri came again. We have a couple strong fellowshipers that take care of Sheri at church. For being disabled, she's totally accountable and independent. She wants her 14 year old son to get involved now! His name is Oliver and i was really impressed how he conducted himself. We're working with the Neilsons to get Oliver fellowshiped. The Neilsons have a 15 year old son that enjoys the same hobbies- Basketball, Video Games, food. I was also able to confirm Kevin in sacrament mtg. That was a growning experience for sure.

The Lord was merciful, I wasn't feeling hot at all. Our 8 olcock appointment cancelled on us. That means i would have exposed my sick body in the cold elements in Minnesota.The Lord is watchful however! Leonord called us up and told us we could come over.We had a super spiritual lesson with Leonard a 50 year old black man. We found him in the area book. Elder Smedley is a great teacher and our teaching styles compliment each other. Leonard has really enjoyed the Book of Mormon. We shared Ether 12:27 with him. That scripture hit home for him. He said, "this book has given me the chills." We've also been showing him the relationship in the bible and he loves the bible, so he's really made the connection that the Book of Mormon is Gods word. He's been reading the Book of Mormon every morning. We told him "You can feel this same spirit at our service. Will you attend our service next sunday?" He's totally down and says he'll try to attened. We changed our lesson plan and the spirit guided us on what to say. I'm grateful i didn't have to spend time in a cold environment while being sick. I'm not feeling too good today either but its p-day so maybe i can catch up on some sleep.

I laughed pretty hard Dad when you told me about your skiing trip/death experience. People talk about skiing here but i laugh. There is zero mountains or hills- I call them bumps in the terrain. Thanks Tanner for the band picture. Elder Smedley was also able to see the picture and see his cousins! =) I'm glad new years was a blast!

Alright have a great week family and stay warm! Minnesota's real winter is around the corner! I love this chapter about why we go to church. Moroni chapter 6. Too many people like to justify not going to church.

Elder Browning



Jan 3, 2011

Hey family,

Estela and Kevin were baptized this last Sunday after church. I had the privilege of baptizing Kevin. Estela was baptized by (Bro Fernandez). It was a great turn out. I would say half the ward attended the service. It was a beautiful thing to be part of their spiritual journey. It did take a lot of work and stress on our part and I was stressed out of my mind. I felt so inadequate to do the job. I'm only 19 years old and i don't have any experience. Sunday is already a stressful day and to have a baptism on top of that, ultimate chaos! When you try something out that's not familiar to you it's always difficult/scary. But things get easier as we continue to experience the same things and learn from our mistakes. It was amazing to witness the baptism. It literally looked like their sins were washed away. The spirit of the Lord was definitely there and it again strengthened my testimony. Sheri, (one of our investigators) also witnessed the baptism. Everything moved so fast and we weren't able to take pictures! I'll take some soon and send them your way sorry =( I asked Kevin how he felt after. He said with a smile on his face, "Happy and wet". Even though Kevin doesn't understand why we ask him to do certain things, he knows there is something better down this path. They will be confirmed next sunday. We could not have come even close if we had not received assistance. Elder Watkins and I are still pretty green and I've only experienced 1 baptism before this. So basically we both lack in experience. We tried our best though to communicate. We had a beastly ward to help us out. The ward was amazing and they took over, which is what should happen. As missionaries, we are weak. We don't know a lot, but the lord provides different avenues for us so we can complete difficult tasks. The Lord carried us through big time!

I got a phone call from President Howell last night and I was not expecting the call. He has asked me to train the next transfer. That was the last thing on my mind! I'm super excited though. I don't feel adequate enough to train, but the lord makes weak things become strong. I'll be staying in Eden Prairie. Elder Watkins got his phone call today and he's going up to north branch -2 hours away. I seriously thought we were going to stay together because good things have been happening here in Eden Prairie. We've also been getting along great and i will dearly miss Elder Watkins. He's a great missionary and contributed a ton with the baptism and the progression of our investigators. I really need to be on the ball now. My trainer set me off on the right foot, and i want to do the same. Haha it would be hilarious if i were to train Jeren and Nelson's cousin. I'll definitely see him though Wednesday. President doesn't decide who trains who until he interviews the new missionaries. He then receives revelation on who's the best fit. I just pray i'll be a worthy instrument to set a missionary on the right foot. I'm looking forward to this transfer. I'll learn a lot!

Well family i'll keep you updated. We hope to set a date with Sheri this week. The work continues. 2 Nephi 31: 17-18 explains why its so important to be baptized. I always had the hardest time figuring out why we have to get wet to be baptized. The real reason we get baptized is because Jesus Christ did and we don't have to worry about why. That's why when we have a testimony of Jesus Christ and put our full trust in him, we don't have to worry about the small worries or doubts. We just do it.

Love, Elder Browning