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


Going to work in Rochester

Hey Family,
This week was far better than last week! It definitely helped that we were in our area for 5 1/2 days! We're starting to see the work improve in Rochester. I'm feeling more comfortable with the direction of balancing two wards. I've had a cold/fever for past 5 days. My noise is so annoying right now! i've probably gone through 10 rolls of toilet paper because of my stinky noise. I always can't breath at this time of the year!
A big unfortunate event happened in Rochester. The Stevens family from the Rochester 3rd ward lost their 19 year old son a week ago. He was hit by a car trying to cross the highway in Minneapolis. We'll be attending the funeral today after emailing.
We started off the week in Preston, Minnesota, a place very close the Iowa border, so it was a bit of a drive for us. Elder Potter and I had a really good time traveling the road and working with the Preston Elders. We were very impressed with the success in their area. What impressed me the most is Preston is a beastly 1,500 people with a few other small surrounding towns. They have all the odds against them for not teaching a lot of lessons, but they actually teach the most out of the whole zone! The Preston branch consist of 25 active members, which shows that if you have quality over quantity you can achieve greater heights. If an area is dead, it's not because of the people, or the city circumstance, it's always the missionaries.
As far as the work in Rochester 2nd and 4th ward goes, we picked up 3 new investigators. We're pretty excited about that, because we've been struggling to teach. Becca is a young single adult and she's solid. There is a cool connection here as well. Her grandma is sister Schmitt, and sister Schmitt is a member of the Rochester 1st ward (my first area). I taught she and her husband. I was very close to the Schmitts. We tried to get them both totally active again. Sadly, Brother Schmitt passed away a couple months ago. Right before i left for Eden Prairie, Brother Schmitt was diagnosed with cancer and they asked for a final blessing from me. That experience has been one of the most powerful experiences i have had on the mission thus far. Just a couple of days ago, i called Sister Schmitt again to talk to her about her granddaughter Becca investigating the church. Sister Schmitt opened up to me and thanked me because of the blessing I gave Brother Schmitt. It gave him the strength to come to church. A week before he died, he bore his testimony for the first time at a fast and testimony meeting. I'm grateful i was able to be an instrument in the Lords hands to bring about his work.
Yesterday i gave a talk in the 2nd ward. It was a last second notice that came on Friday night. I was happy to do it! The main point of my message was becoming more spiritually self reliant through the 3 basic resources -spiritual CPR (Church, Prayer, and Scriptures). If you'd like, i could mail a copy of my talk.
Elder Potter and I were able to meet with the Stake President, President Foote. He’s really missionary minded and has a desire to help the missionaries out. I have so much respect for the leaders who are spiritually self reliant.
Nick came to church again which was really cool. He loves coming to scouts and learning about God. Not a lot of 13 year olds have the drive to find God! He's one of a kind. We taught Nick with his mother Amy as well and met their father for the first time. YES! I think we were able to break the ice with him. Amy is such a good woman that wants good values in her home.
Juhnie (one of our 4th ward investigators) also came to church. He's been blind for 5 years! He came for the primary program and loved it! The spirit was strong as the kids sang songs.
Hey family i'll be sending you some pictures ASAP. Have a great week!
Elder Browning

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