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


Good Week!

Feb 28, 2011

Hey family,

We had a great week! It was a busy one! The highlight of the week, Jimmy (our investigator) got a job! He's super excited and it was because he fasted and prayed to find one! Now he can move out and be baptized. We are also close with another investigator named Heidi. She's been shy about going to church but we handled that problem when we introduced a private church tour. Her fellowship family (Harris family) brought her to experience the peace/ spirit our church buildings bear. I felt the spirit as we took her around. We have Stake Conference this week and Heidi is excited to attend the adult session. Emely and her kids came to church which made it a good 5 investigators! We were happy with that. Members made them comfortable and they seemed to enjoy church once again.
We then had dinner at the Lymans home. Super solid family and i've really enjoyed developing a relationship with them. Their two oldest boys however are struggling with their testimonies. I just want to do all i can to help them realize the importance of this gospel.

We taught Emely and her kids at the Muirs home the following evening. It was our second dinner for the night=) We mapped out the "road of life" for the kids and they seemed to comprehend the main message. Basically its a summary of the plan of salvation and the doctrine of Christ. They know they must be baptized, it's just a matter of their dad not getting in the way.

We're having a lot of fun right now. I'm having a fun time doing missionary work. They days fly by and it really really helps if you have a legit companion. We're seeing blessings as we fast and pray; obedience helps too! I was able to talk to Elder Smedley last week on the phone (he stole our dinner calendar) it's like a new mission for him. I miss working with him, but i know that the Lord needs him in St Paul.

This Pilot Program for new missionaries continues to amaze me! Revelation central for real! We study really hard for our investigators and it keeps us on our toes trying to solve different barriers our investigators face. I would say that half is role play. Now you guys are probably wondering how could that help? Oh it helps! I've learned as you try everything you can for the situation the Lord enlightens the mind and the spirit of revelation comes. I read dad's email about his trainings and i found one thing that was similar, asking inspired questions. Yeah this allows a missionary to focus on the investigators needs and teach according to those needs instead of babbling like a retard.
My favorite chapter this week is Alma 42. Atonement central here! It explains to the doubters perfectly! Check it out!

Thanks for the pictures! I'll send you guys some pictures next week!

Elder Browning

Winter Wonderland Returns

Feb 21, 2011

Hey family,

The last couple of days have been crazy, a combination of a new companion, weather storm, and these new missionary trainings. I'm here writing you today in a lovely winter storm at this minute, credit goes to mother nature, Minnesota!

My new companion is Elder Filby. (fill-b) Great missionary! We're having a good time with lots of laughs to go along it! We have similar personalities so it has really been fun. We met each other thursday the day after transfers. He's quite a guy, humble and hard working and really funny! Just a well balanced missionary. I've been blessed to have good companions for the last couple of months! (knock on wood)

Alright so about these new trainings. As you know, our mission has been picked to pilot these new trainings for brand new missionaries. The goal and idea is for a brand new missionary to be able to train within 12 weeks. We've received guide books that have a step by step program on materials (scriptures and preach my gospel) we study each week. All i can say so far it has amazing potential to go world wide. I'm learning so much! The trick to this new system really is focusing on the essentials and tailoring your studies to your investigators needs. No more deep doctrine studies! Our whole study is about role plays and revelation for our investigators. We witnessed this for the first time when Brother Graham came and observed our companionship study. Man there was some big pressure! There were a couple of them that came straight from salt lake city. Boy he knew his stuff, and he explained how versatile preach my gospel is. He was with us for about 2 hours. I can tell when we focus out entire study for our investigators, we will learn more plus our investigators will benefit more.

Jimmy came to church, We just need to push to get him and Sia to be married so Jimmy can be baptized. We're thinking March.

Today was a huge struggle to go shop/email. Basically from 10-1 we pushed and helped people out of our death of a pit parking lot because of the 16 inches we received. We sure helped people out, but they didn't return the favor for us. Finally we prayed for guidance. After things settled down, a guy named Ty came and talked to us. Ty was also helping us push cars out of the snow. He has some crazy views on religion, but we got talking and discussed about the restoration. I don't know if it will go far, but i know the Lord wanted us to wait and talk to him. After going inside, 5 minutes later the snow plow came through and we were able to leave. The Lord wanted us to stay and help.

We also received 3 new investigators this week. Matt is super solid. He's in his 30's, and he's going through a divorce and wants some spiritual help. Boy do we have a message for that! The Lord works in mysterious ways. Actually 2 weeks ago, there was a young member family (Ellis family) who i really felt like there was a investigator waiting for us, and the connection was the Ellis family. We ate dinner at their house, and they told us to tract their street, we did so. We then came back to check on the potential investigators from the previous night and well there was a guy walking his dog. We were just about to leave when the spirit said to go talk with him. It was Matt, and he let us in. We talked and he's interested in investigating our church. Its cool how the spirit can guide you to people who are waiting. But oh, how silent the holy ghost can be sometimes. D&C 9 is amazing for direction.

Well family i'm pretty tired from pushing helpless cars out of the parking lot. Sorry if this email is short with minor details. The weather was wonderful but took a 180 degree turn! Wish us luck this next week.

Elder Browning


Big Change in Minnesota! Transfers!

Feb 14, 2011

Hey Family,

Alright Big change here in Minnesota! Even the weather is changing for us! We've been wearing just our suit coats in the 38 degree weather! It literally feels like Summer! It's so warm I love it! The week was a slow week until the weekend. I'm afraid we've lost some ground on our teaching pool, but we're not a numbers team.We focus on those who are receptive and keep commitments which is a lesson i have learned while serving in Eden Prairie. We had two investigators to church, one was a surprise. Tammy is her name and we've been struggling to contact her, but she came to church out of no where! Jimmy (which has a date set) enjoyed church as well. He's really letting the gospel sink in, its a beautiful thing to see.

Ok so i didn't let you know last week, but transfers are here! Elder Smedley and I received a phone call from the assistants to the president during our dinner appointment with the Brown family. (Bro Brown grew up in Shelley ID) They are a great young family, we enjoy spending time with them. However i talked to the assistants and they told us to drive to the mission home in Bloomington asap (President Howell wanted to meet with Elder Smedley). Speculation hit hard and we knew a change was about to occur. We hurried and ate and the Brown family were kind enough to let us sit, eat and leave. The 20 minute drive was a little stressful and as you can imagine we were trying to play it out in our head, mission gossip/rumor! (By the way, this kind of emergency stuff doesn't happen a lot.)
As we arrived, President Howell then interviewed Elder Smedley. Elder Smedley has been called to serve in the Karen language mission! Crazy stuff! 1-4 missionaries get called to speak that language. The Lord definitely played a role in this. Elder Smedley is a super missionary already and he'll be phenomenal at this Karen stuff and i guess he'll spend most of his time in Saint Paul.

Right after Elder Smedley's interview president called me in. He told me I'll be training again this transfer! This time will be different though. The church is coming out with a new approach to train missionaries, a new system if you will. The Minneapolis Minnesota Mission happens to be the pilot mission for these new trainings. That's right, our mission! Basically they have created a system/ step by step book for new missionaries which we'll apply in our 2 hour comp study (instead of 1 hour). The Church will be looking close at us and they'll also have a person to evaluate my companion and I that will come straight from Salt Lake. Now i don't know a whole lot of details but i do know we'll be getting a DVD player to watch video clips. Haha. I'll let you guys know more at my training this Wednesday. I'll be without a companion for a day. They're changing it up where the new missionaries sleep over at the mission home.

I'm sad to leave Elder Smedley. We've had such a good time together that i can't even put it into words. We have both lifted and helped each other this transfer. I'll be forever grateful to the Lord and this tender mercy. I still have not had a companion more than 1 transfer. What's wrong with me?! Haha I'll be here for sure though for 12 more weeks with the new training system.

Well family, i hope its as hot in Idaho as it is here. Change is wonderful! Spring is coming! This church receives revelation from God. I know this, and have practiced and studied to witness it. The gospel improves my life each and every day as i mature more and more. Being in tune with the spirit brings more joy! I like to look at the worldly joy as "fools gold". It looks pretty and can seem exciting, but when it comes down to it, your limited with fools gold. Real gold can get you places! Let us go forth and dig deep to find the real gold in this life!

Elder Browning