The week ended beautifully. Heidi was baptized Saturday morning and it was a spiritual experience to say the least. The ward was so supportive and I'm blessed to be in a growing area. Transfer calls were today and no surprise, I'll be in Eden Prairie for another 6 weeks. I'm going on my 7th transfer! 9 months! Elder Filby and I are super excited to be with each other for 1 more transfer.
Heidi's baptism started with a bit of a scare. She came late, and then started crying admitting she didn't confess something to our district leader in the baptismal interview. We called president Howell and she talked to him for a bit, and now it's about 10:10. Yeah baptisms are already stressful, and this just added to the pile of problems. After a few minutes however, President Howell gave us the ok for Heidi to get baptized. The first obstacle was hurdled, but now for the second. Yeah so she struggled to fit in the baptism jump suit. Yes, it was bad. We hurried and found a XXL, and it fit. Now it's 10:20. It was bad because 3 full size non-member families were at the baptism which was supposed to start at 10:00. But we finally made it. Heidi's face was finally at a peace and she cried with tears of joy. It was amazing to see. Bishop Ackerman gave a powerful testimony that almost brought me to tears. Another testimony builder!
We met with our newest investigator family, the St. Syr and Pumble family. They have 8 kids. This is a kingdom builder family! We tracted into the son two weeks ago. We had dinner with them last Wednesday. Alisha (mom) and Kaden (14 year old son) are our investigators. We showed a clip about a family loosing a loved one, and then taught them the road of life and the source to make our journey pleasant is with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Alisha was crying as we bore testimony of the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. The spirit was overwhelming and they all felt the spirit as well. The father (David) felt something too. McKenzie (13year old) said she has never been more interested in a religion before. Alisha "wants to research more". She then thanked us from a text later that night. Alisha told us we influenced the whole family even the little 5 year old. I thought of my family, and how much i want them to enjoy the things i know. That's what made this experience really special.
Alright we're still working with Orlando. We brought Kendall Brown with us (he's from Firth) he's our Elders Quorum President. I look up to him a lot. I see myself in him, not only with the last names, but he's in marketing which is a career choice i might like to pursue. The spirit was strong and Orlando just wants to follow the Holy Spirit to the right path.
We're still working with Emely and her kids. We finally were able to get Sister Sagastume with her 20 year old daughter Roxanne. They are from the same country as Emely and they got a long great! It really was the first time Emely felt engaged and comfortable with us. The joint teachers really testified and made a huge difference. We taught her the plan of salvation, and she belives. She commited to be baptized when she knows the church is true.
Well family i love you all and here is a scripture. Mosiah 2: 36, and i've seen this with families!
Alright we had a big week! We've been working hard to implement these new trainings in our daily planning and it's been working wonders. We have literally seen the Lords hand guide us through our days. It's an amazing feeling when you know you have followed the Lords will.
Heide will be baptized this saturday. We are now teaching the kids, huzah! Heidi has 3 boys ages 11-8 (two twins). The lesson was pretty crazy! It's hard to grab the attention of hyper children. We'll definitely bring candy to bribe them to settle down next time. The Volz family and Sister Thomas came with their kids (same ages). I have learned that it's all about establishing relationships. Heidi was actually a member referral in the Lake Nakomis ward. Their music teacher is a member, and she referred us to them. She came to church again and met with bishop so everything is falling into place! We just have to finish teaching the commandments/interview by our district leader.
Okay to start out, Eden Prairie had 10 new investigators this week and that's a miracle in its self. We witnessed the Lord do the work for us. The Lord really takes over--what we have to do is be obedient and have a humble and open heart to do the Lords will. I can't say these new investigators were from our efforts. One of these investigators is a mom (Alisha) who has 8 kids! Yeah we made first initial contact with Alisha's oldest son Kaden (14) the week before. He's one of the most mature teenagers i know. Kaden is just a cool skate board kid that wants to know the truth, and feels the mormons have good values. They go to a Catholic church that doesn't fill their needs. We're going over to their house this Wednesday for dinner!
About 1 hour ago, we taught Orlando. He's a Hispanic man who's looking for the truth. We met him last Saturday as a street contact. I was amazed how the Lord led us to him. As we talked on saturday, i truly felt his desire to follow God, whatever it might be. As we met with him today the spirit was super strong! He told us he just wants the Holy Ghost to guide him to the truth. He's been through a lot of hard times, and has seen the difference when God is a part of his life. Our main message was the gospel and the way to follow Christ. We challenged him to baptism! April 24 is the date. He's willing to work to that but wants to find out for himself if this is true. Golden Investigator! This guy is one of the most prepared and perfect investigators a missionary could ask for. He wants to change his heart (change his worldly ways) before he's baptized. He wants to attend Heidi's baptism this Saturday. This will be a huge step for him. We read Alma 7:15. It talks about coming unto Christ and making a covenant with him, which will lead us to leave our sins behind.
Well family wish us luck this week. I pray that we might be able to retain these investigators and give them an opportunity to search for themselves. I know the Lord will make our lives easier if we let him. We all have our agency, but are we humble enough to take God's path?
So this last week has been a up and down week, hmm that's funny, there is a pattern here! We've been busy, but other days have been slow. It seems like the weather follows this inconsistent week. Gah!
Ok to start off with the highlights. Heidi has a baptismal date! March 27 is the date. She's been reading and she came to church yesterday plus stake conference. She's been struggling with a faith for her kids. The spirit was strong when we challenged her. Our barriers with her will be modern day prophet and authority. A little background from Heidi,she home schools her kids! We were able to relate to each other right from the start. She has a strong desire to find truth, but we need to make sure she believes this is the one and only true church, and that God leads and guides the church. Jimmy is still searching for a job so he can get baptized and we'll have to push back his date again.
Yesterday was a busy day. We ran to our dinner appointment to have dinner with the Neilson family (one of my favorite families). President Neilson was just called to the stake presidency. This family is amazing! They also had the Bevell family over ( ex offensive coordinator for vikings now seahawks). How grateful i am for solid families! The Lord blesses them for their service. We then went and taught a member referral. His name is Mitch and he's 17. His mother is a member. He's way mature for his age and we challenged him to read the Book of Mormon and gave him his own copy. We talked about the Holy Ghost and how he's a guide to truth -John 16:13. For the longest time he had zero interest in investigating. I want to help him so bad! This gospel can help him so much. Brother Jones was bold and he taught by the spirit and towards the end the spirit was screaming! After Mitch, we went and taught @ a members home. Emely and her family were there (also investigators). We're really trying to push to have members present or better be in the member homes. The kids want to be baptized but the father won't let them.
Our ward is so strong! One of the strongest wards in Minnesota if not the strongest. We have multiple strong strong families. We've made it a goal to work with members more this week. We're going to try really hard to improve our dinner discussions and make sure we teach each member @ all dinner appointments.
Alright family i'm going to give you a challenge. Create a mormon.org profile. This is our main message to member families! I know if you do, someone around the world will be touched! Who wouldn't want their testimony to be online 24/7?
Hey my scripture for the week would have to be Moroni 7:19-- it talks about the light of Christ and how we need to recognize those things that are good and evil. The light of Christ is fact, and it's real.
Well family i heard about the earthquake in Japan. My prayers are out to the people. I know that God is watching out for them, and they'll come out of this.
Love, Elder Browning
P.S. i need grandma and grandpa Eliason's address and Cameron and Casey.
Alright this week has seen change! First off, the Minneapolis Stake Presidency was released and they called a new presidency. President Schneiber (Eden Prairie ward) is the new stake president, and his first counsler is President Neilson (also from Eden Prairie). This of couse brought me back 2 years ago when dad was called to be stake president! Elder Jensen and Payne were present from the 70. We have seen change in some of our investigators- small miracles if you will.
Stake conference was just amazing! We had a mid-west broadcast to the stakes in the mid-west. Elder Eyring and Elder Cook had wonderful talks. I love when the big guns come out and speak spiritually! Spiritual giants!
President Schneiber was called to be the Minneapolis stake president. Actually his family just moved to Minneapolis a year and a half ago. He's in the same boat as you dad! Not a whole lot of people knew his family to begin with. It reminded me a lot of your experience Dad. We actually went joint teaching with him the night before he was called! Haha we also helped his family move into their new house the week before. Elder Eyring talked about how we must strive to be perfect to keep us enduring to the end.
We've seen some small miracles with our investigators. I have seen miracles with these new trainings. This new system for companionship study is amazing! We call it revelation central. Craig and Kim have been investigating for the longest time. They actually live in our same apartment building. They've had a past with mormoms and they have had a really good relationship with missionaries. They do not have any kids, so they take the opportunity to take care of us. I have developed a deep love for them. We have tried and tried to get them going spiritually. Kim as always, has been a little more intrested in the mormon faith- Craig not so much. With these new trainings were are seeing miracles with them. They read the Book of Mormon now and we got Craig to pray for us! He's even cutting down on his beer! He also says he doesn't swear as much when he watches sports. They really respect what we do, especially Craig. That's what keeps them interested, to see how 19 year old kids can be so disciplined. It kills me sometimes because Craig is a big sports fan and one time the jazz were on ESPN. HAHA but he shut it off for the lesson. They are taking us out for dinner this week!
We actually had a pretty good week as far as numbers. We're getting close to baptism with Heidi and she came to stake conference. Her fellowship family has been doing wonders for us! Love members! We're close to teaching 20 lessons a week. Mission standard goal!
I thought it was really cool how you guys had a missionary week. And the coolest part, you taught a lesson out of preach my gospel. Continue to practice in FHE. Role play, that's the best way to practice and begin to develop a style and teach! We role play for a good hour each day for companionship study. It has helped so much! I challenge you guys to set aside a little bit of time in FHE to practice.
I heard the family is having a girl! I'm actually grateful the family is having a girl. We have too many boys!
Well family i love ya. Here is my scripture of the week: Mosiah 5:2. Great meaning and it talks about true repentance, and a change of heart!