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


Miracles do Happen

April 30, 2012

Hey Family,

 What a wonderful week to be a missionary in the Plymouth Minnesota area. I'm in love with the fact that the Lord is over the work here in Plymouth! I'm grateful to have challenging weeks and faith building weeks. Let me expound a bit.

 We were able to to set 2 baptismal dates with Ann and her son Jamel. Ann's family have been my joy in the Plymouth ward/experience,and so this makes 4 total dates. We found Ann by approaching her at her door. She let us come back for a return appointment and she's been receptive ever since. This family is very special. Ann and her 3 kids, 10,7,18months, came to church for the first time this last sunday. It was great to see them! We were able to engage some members early in the teaching process  which enabled them to have an immediate friendship. The whole family had a great experience at church. After church, one of their new member friends invited them over for dinner. We were also able to attend and teach a lesson at a members home. In this meeting we invited Jamel (10year old) to be baptized. He said yes with energy. Great experience, they'll both be baptized in June. Ann was telling us during the meeting that she has always been receptive to the spirit and can feel truth.

 We've been making a effort to get to know the members in Plymouth. This ward is comparable to a Utah ward. Very strong with lots of youth and leadership. We've taken the simple approach of stopping by our members, introducing our self and offering our services. It's paying off somehow for the members of the ward are coming up to us and asking for copies of the Book of Mormon to give to their friends. Go members!

Mini miracles happen every day, we just have to recognize the Lord's hand. We were led to a certain house and this lady was house watching when we knocked the door. She said she was praying for guidance on what to do with religion. We talked to her for a good 30 mins on the door step and told her that the Lord's hand was in this. We'll be seeing her next Wednesday. These things happen all of the time on the mission. =)

 You know to be honest we're not teaching a whole lot right now, but the investigators we do have either have baptismal dates or have really good potential to progress. Some days really do lag, but we continue to be smart with our time.

 One of my more interesting tracking experiences happened this last week. Before our dinner appointment, we tracked a few houses around the member. Well we ran into a old man who was an atheist. He first ran out of the doorway passing us on the steps and told us to follow him to the garage that was in front of the house. He opened up his garage and started showing off his sweet high end Audi car (super worldly huh?). I thought it wasn't going to be bad, until he changed the subject. He then got in my face and started telling me how stupid i wasjm and that, "you've wasted 2 years of your life, why don't you think for yourself?" I kept my cool though for the 2 minutes of taking the verbal abuse. The only thing i could respond with was that this gospel and church has given me peace and joy. This guy was a modern Nehor. I didn't want to argue because he wasn't even polite or mature enough to have a discussion. It got to the point where i just said, "You don't know me or this gospel, and how can you be so ignorant and disrespectful?" It was interesting, because i just read Alma 14 that very day which talks about the saints being killed and thrown into the fire. Truth will always be rejected by some.

Tanner seems to be doing well, I'm glad he can see the strength in praying for one another. I sure felt that same thing when i first came out on my mission. I continue to pray for all you every day.

Love you all,

Elder B Browning


Loving the Change and Challenge

April 23, 2012

Hey Family,

This week has been a great week! I'm really enjoying the work and finding a lot of joy in the change that has taken place. I'm loving the new faces and new challenges that await me this transfer. It was a great week. The weather is up and down but today is rather nice.

Paul was baptized! Elder White was working with him for sometime, and i was grateful to be part in the home stretch for him. The Bishop in the Weaver Lake ward baptized him. It was a great turn out from the ward. Paul gave a great testimony, he'll be a great member. He shared his latest scripture study notes with us from his iPad. I just love how investigators are using these tools to learn more about the gospel.

I had the chance to go on exchanges in Eden Prairie-my old area! I served 7 1/2 months there so it was quite a treat to visit again. My roots are deep for the love of the people. I was able to visit Jimmy, the Egbert's, and the Peterson's. These are the families i taught when i was in Eden Prairie. It was great to see them again.

I'm really enjoying the work here. It's a challenge in juggling two wards, you have double of everything-- meetings, Joint Teachers, etc. It's been hard to make the distinction between the two wards, for i get members and investigators mixed up on who belongs where and in what ward. We  actually corner two stakes so i also have two stake presidents to deal with. Goodness-- this is a steeper climb than my experience in Rochester with covering two wards. I feel bad for those Utah missionaries who cover multiple stakes.

We were able to set two baptismal dates! Kaylee (14yrs) and Jordan (9yrs). It's been a miracle to say the least how this family has come back into the fold. Their mom is a member that has been less active since she was 8 years old. God has lead her to truth once again. Elder White and Elder Dobbins, a week before i came, found this family tracking. The mom wasn't home, but her kids gave her a pass along card. She visited the site and looked up the location of the church and times. The information on the website for the location was correct, but the time was wrong (11Am). It so happened at that time it was General Conference and the sunday session was going on at the church. So it all worked out! Now, tell me that that's not a miracle and a half!? I'm grateful for the Lord letting me be part of this miracle and playing a small role in their journey back to the gospel.

Well family i love you all, and have a great week!

Elder B Browning


Plymouth/ Weaver Lake

April 16,2012

Hey Family,

Hello From Plymouth Minnesota. I really have enjoyed these last few days. Change has always been a challenge for me, but I'm taking all of my experiences and things that i have learned and I'm applying them in this transfer. It's been a really neat experience and i have so much joy right now being a missionary. I came in with a baptism coming up! His name is Paul. Super awesome guy and his interview went great! We're also working with a part member family that was found by a child giving the mom a pass along card. They unexpectantly came to conference and have been to church ever since then! We'll be setting two baptismal dates with the two kids -12 year old girl and 9 year old boy.

My new companion is Elder White. He's an awesome elder- He's been out for about 14months. I'm a huge fan of his personality. He's probably the most polite and Christ-like person i have dealt with for a companion. I'm really excited to serve with him this transfer!

Plymouth/Weaver Lake wards

I'm covering both Plymouth and Weaver Lake. Both wards are very strong wards with lots of leadership and youth. Mainly the members work for General Mills and Target. And a majority of the members work in marketing and sales! I really feel like the Lord is leading me down that avenue. I remember Sister Asay talking about her family being here in the Plymouth area. Could you guys do more research for me on that? It's a beautiful area, reminds me of Eden Prairie I'll be able to visit Eden Prairie because they’re in my district! I'm going their tomorrow on an exchange with Elder Loyae.

District missionaries joke around and call me the Relief society President -instead of district leader. The reason for this is there are two sets of sisters in my district, which is very rare for our mission. HAHA 
There are 4 total teams- 3 of those teams are training. Very young district, I'm excited for district meetings.

The weather had been something else here. We've had a few Tornado warnings the last couple of days. Today is pretty lousy.

I've been thinking a lot about Elder T Browning. He's leaving tomorrow? Crazy, he's in for a life change. I'll be really praying hard for him.

I'm glad you guys enjoyed my trunky package home. I really need to lose a lot of stuff.  I'll be sending a couple more packages home before i'm done.

I got a letter from Cameron Martin. He still doesn't have his call, but is expecting it any day now. Too many things are changing, just heard that McCall Hobbs is getting married, crazy.

Love you all,
Elder B Browning



April 9, 2012

Hey family,

 Oh my goodness a change has happened. I will be leaving Twin Ports and be returning to Minneapolis. The new area is Plymouth, Minnesota! It's right by my old area Eden Prairie, and both are very similar--wealthy strong wards. My new companion will be Elder White. I'm excited for the new adventure. I'm still a District leader-president wants to keep me on my toes my last two transfers. Elder Gottfredson will be getting Elder Snyder. I know Elder Snyder really well and he'll do great!

 I will miss Twin Ports, definitely some unique characters and some really faithful characters. I'll be staying in touch with a few of them for sure. Goodbyes are always hard, my goodness, I'll probably shed a few more tears in the next two days. Wednesday is when we catch the bus to Minneapolis. It's a 3 hour drive.

 It sounds like you all had a great Easter! My Easter Sunday was great, very spiritual. We had quite a few investigators at church- 5 investigators came. Elder Gottfredson and I taught the gospel principles class due to our ward mission leader having to leave for personal matters. Jon, one of our investigators we picked up last week, came to church. He's a super cool guy and he has a lot of potential. We'll be meeting with him in a couple hours today. After church we headed home and had a sad Easter Dinner at our apartment. i didn't really have any food -week of transfers we hold off on food.  I ended up eating some pasta and heated up some canned tomato sauce. Yumm =P

I'll be sending a package back home. It will contain most of my winter stuff. Thank you for the Drivers License form. I'll be sending that today. Wish me safe travels. Sorry, my emails become shorter and shorter.

Love you all so much,

Elder B Browning


Spirit = Power

April 2, 2012

Hey Family,

What a spiritual week is was for me. I was able to feast upon the words of Christ that were provided by our modern leaders, this also includes President Clements training. It was a great strength to me. I've noticed that if it wasn't for these spiritual boosts I'd be dried out! The Spirit = power that allows us to overcome our weaknesses and struggles.

We had a specialized training by President Clements- he has to travel a bit to make it up here. It was a great training and the focus was working with members on the social aspect of conversion. That's really the first step to our investigators testimony’s- feeling comfortable with friends. We had the Grand Rapids Elders stay the night, and I went on a exchange with Elder Johnson (he's been out 1 month).

Conference was just so great! I really have to review them again to find out what's my favorite. Some talks that i really enjoyed would have to be, Elder Oaks on Sacrifice. Elder Hallstrom’s talk was really good too!  A Blast of spirit overcame me as i heard Elder Uchdorf’s testimony in the morning session. It hit every fiber in my being. I'll never forget how simple his testimony was. It was when he was testifying of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, as he said the words " they are real" that i felt the power of the Holy Ghost testify. It's amazing how much more we can receive when we prepare ourselves and live the commandments. Especially when distractions are gone! This has been a huge blessing and faith building experience, as i have witnessed time and time again how important conference is. My testimony always increases in our leaders and the church.

The month of march was a really good month for Twin Ports, a rebuilding month but none the less good. Members have been referring their friends! Jonra, a recent convert that was baptized in January, is sharing the gospel with all of her friends! It's amazing to witness! Other members have referred their friends as well. We've got 5 referrals that have resulted in new investigators and are now part of our teaching pool. We're excited for the future.

Well family, take care. It's windy and cold here. I hope everything is going well. Elder T Browning seems to be doing great. The Work continues here in Duluth. Next week will be transfer calls, and i'm not sure what's going to happen to me.

Elder Browning