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



Jun 27, 2011

Hey Family,

I'm flipping out right now. As I've been reading i have become very aware and a little frightened of the experiences the Browning clan has been going through. I'll be praying for you all so much this week! As for my week it has been a mind game more than ever! It's funny to think, but I've been thinking of home lately and i know why now, my family is in trouble! I'm trying to stay focused but it's been a little tough and receiving the latest news from home doesn't help. So much is going on over here too with the transition of presidents and our goal for 60 baptisms which continues to make huge head way! I'm mentally exhausted from everything.

This last Sunday the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission had a wonderful event- the farewell of President and Sister Howell. It truly was the talk of the members here in Minnesota. The spirit rang true in my heart at this fireside. The fireside was a complete hit and President and Sister Howell both gave outstanding talks. Sister Howell talked about the combining forces of member and missionaries efforts. Something that stuck out in particular was MMM stands for MISSIONARIES +MEMBERS = Miracles. It is a true statement. Our members are the best here! We have the highest rate for retaining recent converts, 80%, in the central area (which consist of 18 missions). We are proud to be MMM.

President Howell has been known for developing average missionaries into great missionaries. He talked about the Doctrine of Christ, which has been his main thought for the last year. I have truly benefited from his inspiration on applying the Doctrine of Christ with the missionaries, which makes perfect sense. You have to convert the missionary before you convert the investigator. Stake Presidents through out Minnesota came and attended the fireside. The temple president came as well! The building was packed! At the very end, every single missionary that was in attendance came and sang "This is the Christ". This has been a tradition in the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission. We sing this song together after every meeting with the Howells. It was a fitting ending and great finale. There were close to 100 missionaries, so it took some time for us to scrunch on the stage and the bottom of the stairs. But after the awkward pause to the program, we made it.

President Clements arrives this Wednesday. We're pretty excited. It's crazy, the Howells leave the same day and they'll meet with each other for 2 hours and that's it! Man this really is the Lords work.

Now for the work in Hudson. We'll be teaching Michelle tonight and inviting her to baptism, also Josh hudson -our date set- just passed his interview with President Howell. It was cool seeing President Howell again. We had also a really cool experience with John. We taught him about missionary work- we recieved revelation to do this. This experience was probably my first real hands on exposure to pure revelation. After we taught him about missionary work he pulled us to the side and thanked us and told us he's been thinking a lot about missionary work. He wants to join, but we think his parents are causing a bit of problems. We found out his concerns though which is really good progress.

I'll be praying for you all extra hard this week! I love all of you so much! My scripture this week: Jacob 6:4.

Elder Browning

Staying in Wisconsin

Jun 20, 2011

Hey Family,

Transfer calls were last night-President Howells last transfer call- and Elder Bowen and I will be staying another transfer together as zone leaders. We're looking forward to the transfer together. Since our area has been growing, we're excited to see things change for the better. It's been cool to be more a part of the transfers for I have truly learned a lot. I have enjoyed the relationships I've developed with missionaries in our zone, i'll miss the ones that are leaving. This week has been filled with excitement and I hope yours was too!

We went on a exchange with the Eagen Elders- Baker and Peterson.- this last Tuesday. We blitz their area and did some tracting for them. I have also enjoyed working with other missionaries. Elder Bowen and i paid the price when a rain storm hit us. Yep, and of course we weren't prepared. We didn't have jackets or any kind of rain protection. In desperation i tried using my necktie for shelter. On top of the weather, we were rejected hardcore! We talked to 40 people and only 1 potential investigator. One person called the cops on us, another said "I'd rather eat vomit than learn about your message". One family was nice enough to let us in from the rain, and thankfully i didn't bring my scriptures or anything valuable with me.

The next day we went to the St Paul Temple with the Cottage Grove district (8 elders 2 sisters). It was a glorious day for i truly felt peace while i was there. The temple itself is a small temple, just enough to function really. It shares land with the Oakdale Stake center. I just love how we have temples all over the world all doing the same work. I came to the temple with a couple things in mind. 1- Date set names. We've been working hard to have 60 baptisms in June and we want all of our date sets to go through. 2- Personal/mission goals- I received revelation on my mission goals. I opened up to the Book of Mormon and it led me on what i needed to hear, which brings me to the 3- Doctrine of Christ to be a part of me. More and more I've been able to understand why this gospel is so necessary. It was neat to see my fellow brothers/Elders in white at the temple. Nothing beats the dress of pure white. Revelation is real in the temple and i can testify to that. It helped me regain mental strength.

Now as far as the work in Hudson, we had 3 investigators come to church, the most i've seen here. John and Josh are both young adults and then we have Michelle who is a mom that's in her 40's. Michelle is actually our number 1 progressing investigator and it was her first time to church. We found her through a member referral the Hunt family. Michelle has been looking for something that answers her religious questions. We were able to meet her husband last Thursday which was huge for us! We taught Michelle in her garage. She loves the plan of salvation! She's always wondered why other beliefs can't portray the plan of salvation so simply. We also read Alma 32 with her. Our joint teacher was a counselor in the stake presidency - President Squire- and he helped us a ton.

The next Saturday was a eventful as well. We began our day by locking ourselves out of our house. Yep no cellphone either. The members we live with were on vacation where there is no cellphone coverage. Our neighbor Dan -internagator who we teach at times- helped us get inside. Finally after checking all the windows, doors, and thinking about breaking a window, we used a credit card on our front door. It worked! I guess it's an old criminal trick. We rushed inside and took a quick shower and then off we were to our appointment.

My scripture of the week is Mosiah 4:3, and the scripture i found in the temple is Moroni 7:37-38. I hope Martins Cove was awesome! Tanner is an Elder! Crazy! Progressing is so awesome.

Love you all,
Elder Browning


Crazy Times

Jun 7, 2011

Hey family,

The past week has been a crazy one, more mental than anything.

We've had 3 trainings in the last week by President and Sister Howell because our mission is awaiting for the transition that will take place in 3 weeks. These meetings make me so tired! They're pretty stressful when you think about it. President Howell told us when the mission receives a new mission president they usually drop in number across the board. This has been a great concern for the mission, hence why we've had 3 trainings to help us with this transition. At this point, the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission has been at its all time high. We gotta keep this success going! President Howell and Sister Howell do a great job motivating us missionaries. To start out the meeting, they showed us a video clip. This clip showed team track and field Jamaica and Bolt (the fastest man alive) break the world record in a sprint relay. It was awesome to see a sports clip! Every single missionary was into it! They showed the hand off for the baton and how it has to be smooth. They related this to missionary work-- its crucial that we have to keep ourselves going full speed with this transition. It was neat to see President and Sister Howell tailor certain parts of their training to the struggling missionaries. We have one missionary that wants to go home. That's a huge lesson I've learned being out here that President and Sister Howell care about the individual struggles of each missionary. I was also able to catch up with my boy Elder Filby. Eden Prairie is rocking the house! They have 4 dates set! They actually tracked into someone and set a date! Also Heid's kids are getting baptized this Saturday.

Our goal for 60 baptisms is on track and looking good. We had 17 baptisms last week with lots more to come! There has been tons of hype in the air. There is a really good brotherhood feel here on the mission that i haven't felt before yet. This week will be miracle week. Each of our district leaders will be having a conference call prayer with their teams. We're having every team report miracles big or small. Our zone is struggling to pull its own weight. I hope we can have some miracles this week.

As far as the work in our area, we were able to set a date with Joshua Hudson. He's a 17 year old young man, way cool humble guy, and his mother joined the church about 2 years ago- missionaries tracked into this family. We also had dinner with the Hunts( member family). We taught their neighbor/friend (Michelle) for the second time. We taught her the plan of salvation. She believes everything that we said! Our church would help her family so much! Right now she's a Lutheran but is looking for a different religion. Dang thanks to our members giving us referrals. Can i say that this ward is very missionary minded? We actually have a couple of member families who are working with their friends. Example, we helped our members-the Squire family- help their friends move. What an easy way to introduce the missionaries! We've had a lot of these scenarios going on. Its been nice to wear jeans! I've been wearing more regular clothes this transfer than my entire mission! Lots of service opportunity. We also had a awesome church tour with our progressing investigator Brittany. We challenged her to baptism but she's not ready yet. She's so close to making the commitment! The spirit was strong as we taught the Restoration while giving a church tour.

Another miracle to report, Buffalo Wild Wing has a lunch deal 9 bucks for all you can eat wings! Haha, missionaries are diving into this deal! We had a p-day lunch with some of the Elders in our zone, it was a lot of fun. HAHa

Well family i love you all! This next week is going to be crazy! We're heading to Eau Claire tomorrow to blitz their area, its about a 2 hour drive into East Wisconsin. Its probably the furthest east our mission goes. I can't wait for the sleep over! It's fun working with other missionaries.

Elder Browning

Scripture-- Isaiah 41:10

Hudson Wisconsin

May 16, 2011

Hey Family,

My first week in Wisconsin, it has been a great experience so far! I'm glad i have the chance to grow and to develop my missionary skills. It was hard leaving Eden Prairie, but i know the Lord wants me to stretch and grow.

The Hudson area is pretty massive. Hudson itself is 11,000, and has other small farm towns that surround Hudson. It takes me back to good old Shelley Idaho-farms as far as the eye can see! The lay of the land is totally different from Eden Prairie! We're right next to the river that's basically the border for Minnesota and Wisconsin. Oh and lots of bars, Wisconsin loves their beer!

The Ward is super supportive and we have a good amount of members. The missionaries have done a great job in this area with the members. We live with members- The Groth family. They're an older couple that's retired. They love missionaries and they have been kind enough to let us live in their basement. We cover a singles branch too! So we attend 6 hours of church! I love it! The Singles branch is pretty sad. We have 7 men and 4 women? haha it will be cool working with the singles though.

Elder Bowen is an amazing missionary! He's 25 years old, super mature and really buff haha. He's a way good companion that's melo and bold at the same time. He's showing me the ropes and helping me be a zone leader. It has been a humbling experience thus far. Of course, i knew this would happen, but I'm seeing humility at a new level. It's a totally different situation coming from an area that you're use to, and training the last 41/2 months. I have to take the back seat and learn from an older and more wise missionary. It's neat to see how perfect Elder Bowen is for me, he'll help me in my overall growth. I'm grateful for this time to serve as a leader but the best part about leadership is helping other missionaries out. It's been a neat experience working with different teams. We get to travel a lot more and help other areas that are struggling. Our zone conference we'll be this Wednesday. President
Howell has asked me to conduct. I'm excited and a little nervous at the same time. We're also going down to Redwing tomorrow to bliz their area. It's fun being a zone leader!

Alright family i miss you and hope all is well! I can't believe that story Dad shared with me about the Jones family! It's so cool that the Lord watches over all of us at the same time! I'll continue to pray for you all! I'm looking forward to this next week, We're going to be pretty busy.

My scripture of the week is 2 Nephi 9:41.

Elder Browning