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


Happy Late Easter!

Apr 25, 2011

Hey Family,

Happy late Easter! What a wonderful time of the year it is--the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. I was in a happy mood this week, wonder why ;). There is a different vibe when you're a missionary this time of season because you can just feel the joy. The weather here is marvelous and i love being outside talking to people about the gospel. No wind and crystal clear skies--last week wasn't so great.

Our ward had an Easter party Saturday night. We were able to meet a couple potential referrals there, and also some eternal investigators (Craig and Kim) came. I really love this ward. I'm so grateful I've been able to learn from so many different people. Relationships are so cool! I will miss Eden Prairie dearly when i leave, my time is coming...

My Easter was wonderful despite not coloring eggs and trying to find hidden treasures. It was much more fulfilling living the gospel to its fullest. We had a great week. We set 4 baptism dates! One with Jack Anderson (self referral) and Heidi's kids. Jack is just a super awesome guy with a super awesome Russian accent. Just yesterday, he wanted us to find him a large print King James version of the bible. He's the perfect investigator and realizes there are things missing in the bible. He's willing to study his heart out to receive an answer. Heidi's kids came to church! Noah and Abraham (twins) went to class with no problem. Estevan had a different idea. He's 10 years old, and lets put it this way..very.. very stubborn. Our primary president pulled us out of our gospel principles class to help her convince Estevan to come inside (he ran outside). We talked with him for awhile and took a walk around the church building to build some trust. I don't know how i had patience at that moment, because if i was in this circumstance a a year ago i would have blown up. We sat in on the couch in the fourier and read some Book of Mormon scriptures comic book style. We took turns reading the exciting stories that were tailored for a kid. He's excited for his baptism and all three kids will be baptized on mothers day.

Jimmy is moving into his new place today. He'll be baptized as well on mothers day which is really neat because he lost his mother at a young age. Jimmy is way excited to be baptized. He has such a strong testimony of this church and its really been neat to see his spiritual journey. He wants to be a missionary so bad! He's dropped his earrings and gangster hats and has gone with a clean look now.

Well family i will talk to you on skype this mothers day! Dial in to talk to your favorite missionary! Sunday after church, you won't be disappointed. haha.

I love you all! have a great week! My scripture for the week Jacob 3:11-- so good!

Love, Elder Browning



Apr 19, 2011

Hey Family,

Alright as you can see i didn't email you yesterday, this was because our zone had a special training. These last months have been way good as far as success. We're trying to give them (Pres & Sis Howell) the best going away present possible--60 baptisms in the month of June. When President Howell started his call here in Minnesota, they averaged 30 baptisms a month. As of late we've been reaching 40s and 50s. President and Sister Howell leave us this June, so the Lord is truly blessing them for their efforts. Elder Hinckley said he would put President Howell in his top 5 of mission presidents. He's that legit!

Miracle report! We received a media referral from HQ. His name is Jack Anderson and is 40 years old. He's from Russia but has been here in the states for 20 years so he speaks perfect English with a cool accent. Jack's been struggling with a divorce. He came to church last sunday with the Browns. He loved church and commented on all of the beautiful pictures and friendly people. He believes there is that one church, and everything so far in the Restoration lesson has made sense in his eyes. He knows he'll get an answer from God through prayer and the holy ghost. We set a baptismal date with him for May 7th. He's willing to set that as a goal. He's been trying to find the truth for some time! We have it for ya Jack!

News on Jimmy. He's finally moving out of his girlfriends house. He'll be baptized next week, April 30th. He's super excited to be baptized. His testimony is strong in this gospel. Jimmy makes sure he bears his testimony to us over the phone for prayer every night! He's been extremely patient through this whole process waiting to be baptized. He comes to us when his girl friend wants to watch a rated R movie and tells us "see the missionaries don't want you to watch that either". He also wants to serve a mission! On the other hand, Orlando has dropped off the face of the earth. Grrr, we can't get a hold of him.

Elder Filby and I have started to run. Yep, first time running in 8 months and I know you're laughing right now, seeing me waddle down the street huffing and puffing. Its been good for us, and it's easier to breath here! The mornings are beautiful. We were able to run 2 miles today! Whoho! Since we're are on the subject, i will now reveal my body type. You know what I'm talking about right? Where your extra fat goes? So there is the apple body type and the pear body type. I am a pear. My butt is taking a pounding! I'm growing in the waist as well! Yikes! Obviously Eden Prairie has been good to me.

Don't worry i haven't been just eating worldly things but also the scriptures. The book of Mosiah is my favorite book in the scriptures. It is just a great story! Tons of good chapters! I read Mosiah 27 today. Talks about King Mosiah's sons being naughty but are redeemed through Christ and are made into instruments doing missionary work.

I want to give a shout out to Emma! You're awesome Emma! I can't wait to see pictures when you get baptized. I hope you got some cool gifts for your birthday.

Love you all,
Elder Browning


Elder Browning is Loving the Weather

Apr 11, 2011

Hey Family,

The weather in Minnesota is perfect! I'm talking 60 degree weather! Oh my goodness I am happy. This week was an average week though with nothing too big to report.

First off, we've been teaching Heidi's kids-- Heidi was baptized 2 weeks ago. Elder Filby and I call them "Hellions". These 3 monsters are something else. They have no father figure in their life which means no discipline. Guh! The last lesson was awful. We were barely able to have a 5 minute lesson with them. Two of the kids wouldn't even participate. You guys would laugh seeing the situation. Elder Filby and I just looked at each other like deer in headlights. We had zero control. Noah (Hellion #1) started to literally tear the house down. He knocked over books, and ripped up paper. It was just chaos. We left laughing about the experience. All I can say is, it's better for kids to be mega shy than to be Hellions.

Church was awesome. The big highlight was Peter Smith, a recent convert giving his farewell talk. He was baptized a year ago and is now heading to Fresno California to serve a two year LDS mission. His family isn't supportive, and actually they're quite anti.

The gospel is true! It was neat to see Estela, Sheri, and Heidi all in the same room together for gospel principles. Knowning i helped them come closer to Christ was cool. Our Gospel principles was packed last week with non members. I have truly enjoyed my stay here in Eden Prairie and working with people of all backgrounds is just a neat thing to experience.

We met with Mitch last night. He's 17 years old, and his mom is a life long member. But Mitch has never been involved with church. He's still looking for an answer if God is really there. We went over how to receive answers and the things that might be distracting him from those answers. We were able to have him pray for the first time out loud! His mom had a little tear in her eye, because it was the first time she had heard him pray. This is a big step for Mitch because he struggled before to pray out loud, but now he is showing his faith in God. We also gave priesthood blessings to Emely (an investigator) and Sis Sagastume. That was a spiritual experience. Thanks for the oil container. I was ready for the call!

Well family, the Gospel is real. Time and time again it testifies to me that this work is real. Hope you all have a great day/week! My scriptue for the week is Alma 13:27-29. It says to me, don't put off the gospel but use it! I've also been eating up Mosiah. Mosiah is my favorite book right now. I'm loving the chapters after King Noah is killed. Mosiah 20-22 it's way cool!

Elder Browning


Conference is a Beautiful Thing

Apr 4, 2011

Hey family,

Conference was this week. We were able to have revelation for our investigators. I remember the days when i struggled to watch conference but that day is no more! My testimony was strengthened as i watched our prophet speak. It is amazing to see the difference when you are spiritually in tune. I'm grateful for conference and our leaders are men of God. I came with one question to conference and left with an answer! Elder Bednar was my favorite speaker on how revelation comes and the process of revelation. I love how he compared the sun rise with revelation. The sun comes slowly, but you can notice the change in your life, same with revelation.

It was cool to see Heidi (the lady we baptized) cry durning conference. She has a deep love for the Savior and has realized that this is the Savior's church. Jimmy also enjoyed conference. I felt like a babysitter trying to keep an eye out for those who aren't so accountable with conference. We called all of our investigators to make sure they watched conference. I can relate because i was once there and i didn't want to watch conference! It was like the NFL superbowl for us missionaries.

So we had a rough week with conference. We ran out of miles on our car, so for the first 3 days we were on bikes. All i can say is, i'm out of shape. I haven't biked for 7 months! We also struggled to teach investigators so it was a down week. But we'll recover this week.

So yesterday after conference Elder Filby and I were shewed off someones property. Yeah, this isn't the first time. The man told us "I'm head of the association here, please leave." Every time we tried to get a word in he would interrupt saying "Please leave!" He said this like 6 times. As we were walking to our car he said "i'm taking your license plate number and calling the cops!" Elder Filby and I were pretty mad but made a joke out of it. I was joking with Elder filby saying, "Oh thanks for calling the cops, we love referrals" =)

Alright so we've been teaching Orlando and he wants to be baptized. Super religious guy, and he knows the role of the holy spirit. He's so cool that he made lunch for us and wants to go joint teaching! The only thing we're struggling with is authority with him. He believes all men with faith have authority. Which is scary because he could easily go to another church and get baptized. We're having him pray about Joseph Smith and if he did restore the gospel. He's loving the Book of Mormon! He's so prepared that he quit drinking, smoking, and he wants to get married before he gets baptized. He told us all of this before we told him it was a requirement! Soo good!

Well family i love your letters. Hope all goes well! Its windy here too. It seems like you guys are always sick! Elder Filby caught a cold two days ago. Yikes, we are taking my vitamins.

Love, Elder Browning