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


Good Week

March 26, 2012

Hey Family,

It's a cold windy day in Duluth, but I'm happy as a missionary right now.  The work continues, as missionaries, we're excited to feast upon the words of our leaders this week with General Conference coming up, also we have a specialized training by President Clements. It will be a great week to learn more from our leaders.

P-day has been great. We went to a catholic cathedral, and it was beautiful to say the least. We looked at some of their doctrine on baptism. If you're Christian, and you want to join their church, you can usually just sign up, but if you're a non-Christian, or Mormon, you must be baptized. I think it's so funny, we're the only church that falls on their list of being re-baptized.

We had a bit of a miracle this last Saturday. Lidea (investigator) accepted to be baptized. We're not sure when the date will be, but we're super excited! Miracles have fallen before us. The first one was the first initial contact. We called her about  2 months ago out of the area book, and it just so happens that she was praying for guidance right at that very moment. She acted on the answer and let us come teach her. Then she had a dream that she was baptized into our church. Lidea texted us, and invited us over for dinner last week. We had some members over there that basically got her to contemplate baptism.

Oh my goodness, Missy still isn't confirmed. We're tripping over here. She's been very sick, so she won't be confirmed till April due to conference. Yikes. We're into some new investigators, though. We received two member referrals which resulted in two new investigators. We're pretty excited to work with them. We're trying to really concentrate our efforts with investigators that can progress and keep commitments. Ahh it's not an easy task.

I had the opportunity to do a baptismal interview in Grand Rapids. It's always a great experience traveling a bit and seeing other areas. We have a really good district up here in the north land. I did my District meeting training again over skype, this time in Grand Rapids, haha. It was a big pain the the neck. Oh well, we're the biggest district in the mission-- missionaries, and geographically.

I'm happy to hear about Cecily, I've prayed for her this week. A lot has gone on while i've been gone! I'm really impressed.

Well i love you family, and enjoy conference. It's going to be a great meeting.

Elder Browning


Great weekend

March 19, 2012

Hey Family,

Great week in Duluth. We had a baptism. Missy was baptized on March 15. It was a wonderful experience to witness. I live for these moments as a missionary, and hope i can witness a couple more baptisms in the next 3 months.

The baptism attendance was great for a small Twin Ports ward. Missy's mom, younger sister and brother came to the baptism. It was really good to also see her husband-he hasn't been in church for a while. Missy is a great example to her entire family, for she's has broken the ice and is taking the lead in accepting the gospel. Missy was so touched the day of her baptism. She called us the morning of the baptism and told us she cried for joy as she knew her baptism was here. Missy has had such a strong desire to be baptized, her attributes of faith and humility truly brought her to make this covenant of baptism. I'm grateful that i was sent to Duluth to witness the experience, to see the power of the Atonement, and to see the gospel influence a family. I love my mission! Missy asked me to confirm her, that will take place next Sunday.

I gave a talk on Sunday as well. It was a missionary themed sacrament meeting. I spoke with President Miller - councilor to President Clements in the mission presidency. My talk’s focus was: engaging in gospel conversations and answering questions with greater confidence. What's the formula? Relying on the Holy Ghost and being lovingly bold. It was a good experience. I also included my experience at Piano Gallery where i had a missionary experience--remember when i lost control of the trailer sliding down backwards? I will always remember that experience. The Lord provides situations for us to engage in gospel conversations.

We continue to teach a good amount of people, We're trying to move on the elect and focus on those who can progress and be baptized. A lot of people don't have jobs or cars. Now I'm not saying that we shouldn't teach them, but the ward needs a kingdom builder -someone that's self reliant. Everyone needs the gospel some people just aren't ready. We're teaching an awesome investigator who's very strong in her faith and she's interested and fascinated about the Book of Mormon.

This week i'll be heading to Grand Rapids for district meeting and a baptismal interview, Grand Rapids is a good 1:40 minute drive. 

I'm loving the weather here in Duluth. We had close to 70 degrees. Most of the Elders in the mission got to take their suit coats off, except the Duluth zone. =(

My word, i can't believe what’s been going on with the family this last weekend. Things have been nuts over there. Hope things start dying down.

Love you all,

Elder B Browning


Duluth is burning up

March 12, 2012

Hey family,

 It’s been a Hot week in Duluth with the weather- 60 degrees the last two days. The work is also on fire. It's been a great week to witness. We're starting to gain new investigators because we've gone as far as we can with our current teaching pool. So we're excited for some fresh meat.

Missy is doing so great and she can't wait for her baptism. I'm so excited! This has been quite the long hall for Missy. We're almost there, this Thursday March 15th, will be her baptism. Her uncle will baptize her. We're very excited for this and we've needed a baptism here.  Missy was really worried about her interview, which she had yesterday. She called us Saturday night pleading to go over them once more. She really wanted to do well. She understands the doctrine but as most new converts, struggles to put it into words. We'll be seeing her today. She's been off smoking for 15 days now! GO Missy! She's never been able to do this in her life. The Atonement is real. She has seen the power of prayer. One experience in particular i'd like to share came a few days ago. Friday i felt prompted to call her at 9 o’clock in the morning. At that moment, Satan was really working hard on her and she just about gave in to a cigarette. Luckily we gave her a blessing the night before to be able to withstand temptation. She knows it was because of the blessing that she was able to hold on just long enough before we were able to get on the phone with her. She was grateful that we called. We had a short scripture study over the phone and had a prayer. As we continued to talk after the prayer she had a new energy, a spiritual strength she didn't have before. Prayer and scripture study are powerful and can repel the attacks of the devil.

I was able to Skype in a Leadership training. Only two missionaries skyped into this meeting, me and Elder Dillard in Thunderbay, Canada. There was probably 60 missionaries in all. All of the district leaders and zone leaders came to feast on the training. President Clemence does such a good job! He's so real to the situation at hand. I'm always amazed after his training and i know they are of God. The main theme of the training was Love. President Clemence has a mission theme,  FLOW = Faith, Love, Obedience ,Work. Right now the focus is on love. I personally need to do better at praying for charity--the pure love of Christ. In chapter 7 of Moroni it talks about this.

Member referrals are starting to come in. We received two of them yesterday. Members are bringing their friends to church! We met with one of them yesterday. He wants to be baptized and feels the power of the Book of Mormon. It was so powerful, i love teaching at members homes. The stage is set though and we have to execute as missionaries because the members rely on us to bring the spirit into their home. We'll be meeting with another member friend this week. I have noticed that when we sincerely want to use our time most effectively, the Lord will bless us for our desires. For example, we're teaching a lot of people that aren't really going anywhere, so we've been trying to find more, trying to find someone that can build the kingdom.

This Sunday I'll be opening and speaking with President Miller (counselor to President Clemence) the theme will be missionary work obviously. I'm excited for the opportunity to speak with President Miller and get the ward fired up about missionary work.

It was great hearing from Elder T Browning. Seems like he's doing great things in the MTC.  I hope Cecily's surgery will go alright, she's in my prayers for sure. Congrats to Dallin, he leaves the day after i get back!
Cool to hear Grandma and Grandpa Browning will be going on a mission! The Browning's will flood the earth and teach all tongues and people.

Well family i love you all and have a great week.

Elder B Browning


Snowy week

March 5, 2012

Hey family,

I' m still alive over here in Duluth. This last week we had a crazy storm that dumped 2 feet of snow on us--it was the highlight really. It sure put a damper on the Lord’s work though but we should be able to recover somewhat. We had 1 investigator to church because of the weather. It was embarrassing, primary cancelled because there weren’t any kids! Haha.
March i guess is when the heavy snowfall comes. This last week i've been shoveling non stop for people. I really want a snow blower haha. It's been a great experience though and it feels like Duluth Minnesota! I'm glad we have an AWD vehicle to handle to roads. Transfer day was delayed until Thursday. Elder Godfredson is a great missionary. He's from West Jordan Utah. He loves to hunt and be outside. He's a big fan of the Browning gun. =)

Again we really had a hard time with keeping appointments. It seemed like everyone cancelled on us. It's amazing how flakey people become when the snow comes-it's their crutch out of the gospel.

Missy is doing awesome! She's been smoke free for 9 days now! Her baptism is on the 15th of march. It's been a great miracle to witness her progression. We're having her over at Bishop’s house tonight for a Family home evening. I'll be interviewing another person for baptism tonight. It's been a great experience being a district leader and having the chance to interview those who have accepted the resorted gospel. There is always a special spirit.

We had a growing experience during church, Elder Godfredson and I taught Gospel Principles class. Usually it's not a big deal to teach, but a family in the ward brought 3 of their friends to class. It was a bit stressful because we had to deliver and bring the spirit -opportunities don't usually happen like this. We taught lesson 9, about prayer. One of them is considering investigating the church. Yippee!

It was so great getting that letter of Tanner's first email. I'm really excited to start emailing him every week. I'm sure he's feasting spiritually and of course physically!

I hope the family is nice and healthy. Well family i love ya all, and keep me in your prayers!

Elder Brooks Browning


Transfers and updates

Feb 27, 2012

Hey Family,

 It's been another crazy week that has flown by. The snow has come to Duluth. We were hit with a good amount of snow Sunday and more to come this Tuesday and Wednesday. We had an outstanding teaching week, and we were able to involve a lot of members in our teaching. We had a great turn out at church, 6 investigators witnessed the dedication of the remodeled Duluth building. Both bishops from the Twin Ports Ward and the North Shore Ward gave wonderful talks that really spoke to our investigators. One was about why a church had to be organized and the other one was on sacrifice.

I'd like to first hit on transfers! Elder Olaveson will be leaving Twin Ports and we'll be going to Crystal. We were both surprised with this! We thought for sure we'd be together. I will dearly miss Elder Olaveson. He's been such a good companion and i respect his talents and his consecration as a missionary. My new companion will be Elder Godfree. (not sure on the spelling). I'm looking forward to the new transfer! I'm still the district leader and it will be great! We're having a new set of elders coming into North shore! My district is now even bigger! I'll be going on exchanges every week! We have 8 total teams in this district (biggest in the mission-usually an average zone = 8 teams).We've seen a lot of success as a district.

Missy is hanging in there. She hasn't been able quite smoking yet. There have been some real drama issues in her family right now, her mom is a roller coaster on how she supports Missy. Lately it hasn't been good support, she created a rumor about Elder Olaveson and I being Missy new boyfriends. As you know, this isn't true, and Satan is doing everything that he can to make things complicated. Missy is determined to be baptized, and we feel confident that she'll be baptized in the month of March.

Dan and Angie are now praying about their date. We invited them last Saturday. Dan is really sincere about getting baptized, and both are quitting smoking. We didn't even bring up the word of wisdom! I tell ya, the Lord prepares people for the fullness.

We also met with a woman who has been prepared, she has received a couple signs of the truthfulness of this church. A cool thing about this mission is revelation and how it works. We picked a couple joint teachers that were perfect for her. They were able to relate so well! The spirit does guide us and backs up the truth. We'll invite her again to be baptized.

We've been working with another couple which we feel could be a kingdom builder family. Elder Olaveson and I have been putting a lot of mental/spiritual energy to help them come closer to Christ. Both of them are educated. Kabe is going into Business and Christa is going to be a nurse. We found them tracting! They are interested in our message and they want to know for themselves what happens to them after this life. We taught them the plan of salvation last lesson. Both don't have a faith in Christ at this time, and really are skeptical about organized religion.

We're meeting with a couple of others that are coming along. I truly have enjoyed the relationships that i have developed in these past 2 transfers. It's amazing how attached you get to the people. 

Well family hope everything is going well over in Idaho. Keep me in your prayers!

Elder Brooks Browning