Thursday, April 30, 2015

Turning Cucumbers into pickles

Hey Famili-o!

This week was a big mountain of fun. Exchanges with the zone leaders
was uplifting this Saturday. Elder Hamilton who's from Burley Idaho is
a soft-spoken spiritual giant that when he talks you can feel he means
it. It's sad that he and a whole bushel of incredible missionaries go
home in the next two transfers.

Elder Nistler and I spoke in Sacrament meeting.
I learned how different a talk can be when its prepared when you use
prayer and study. I used Elder Bednars talk on Cucumbers turning into Pickles and made it personable. I felt the support of the Holy Ghost stronger than usual and couldn't stop smiling when I saw Jimmy sitting in the back. He knows the gospel is true but with the health challenges he's facing, he wants to wait until he's up to "100%" to make that next step.

This Sunday night after we had prayed that we would be able to accomplish our goal of finding the four people for the week we went to
work. With the help of wrong directions from a inactive woman's son we
found a potential investigator as well as Lily, who wasn't the inactive member but agreed to learning more after watching, "He Lives"
from our ipads. Later that night we taught Lisa and her two children who had a outstanding relationship with the elders in Alaska. Caleb,
15,  is so prepared it's super fresco. He's a very intelligent guy who asks questions that are the next point we would cover. At the end he
told us that this was what he was searching for subconsciously.

With that lesson we found all four new investigators and hit 'standards of excellence', a missionary way to gauge progress. We found out this morning that we were one in 6 companion ships that made
it this week which reaffirmed what we had said a few days earlier. We felt like the plans we had put in progress in February was beginning
to really take place and change the current. It's awesome.

Elder Bryan

Monday, April 27, 2015

Small Miracles and haircut mishaps

This week was full of small miracles that really help assure us that
we were doing ok.

While we were driving from an appointment in Tonopah we got some texts randomly from Jimmy who we thought had left us flat after a firm talk on the law of chastity and how to recognize how God will help us with our concerns for our family. He told us how even though it was hard and very time consuming to drive from his parents in Peoria to Verrado, he felt close to God and that he was on the right path. We had been worried that we had mistaken a prompting for our own thoughts but that message came at the perfect time for us. We also saw as we were searching for good examples of social media profiles and posts for the Verrado fireside on May 3, a Facebook message from Michael popped up, expressing his desire to meet with us again. It was awesome to see all of these things coming together.

So I am starting to get the hint that I'll never get this haircutting
business down. Last Wednesday when I woke up I felt very upset about how long my hair was getting so I grabbed the clippers and set everything up while elder Nistler showered. Elder buckway came in to the kitchen and offered to cut my hair for me. I assumed (the mistake) that he was familiar with the scissor and gratefully let him go for it. When I saw the first huge clump fall in my lap, I asked for a time
out, grabbed a mirror and realized that he had never touched the
shears before. I thanked him, asked if I could finish it so he could
eat and then finished the deed. When elder Nistler finally saw my
fuzzy head he froze in horror. Turns out elder Nistler used to do his
own hair before we were companions.

We have been teaching the Swann family who are very close to being
baptized with the exception of church attendance. We have a really
good connection with them and their three boys who love Boy Scouts.
When they told us that only the youngest boy would be available to go
to church it was ok but we knew it could be better. As the meeting
started we heard the curtain screen thingy being pulled back with made
the entire congregation go into cardiac arrest since the the Ward had
been split 3 times and was wondered if they would ever be able to even
make it to the curtain- dividing screen-thingy. Sitting in the first
row was the Swanns! It was so cool and we couldn't hide our smiles.

Love everybody and hope you all eat your green veggies!
Elder Bryan

Helping a family clean their pool.

Elder Bryan with companion Elder Nistler and two other missionaries at Spring Training game with their Ward Misison Leader

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April 13

Hey so I had to borrow an iPad cuz mine was left at our apartment. Feel a little goofy and all.

This week we've started to ask people to fast for missionary work and specifically for set lessons so we can take them with us to them. This was something that came to both elder Niatler and I during zone conference this week. It was coo, because our Bishop was on board and told us he was trying to think of something too to help out the work. This area is a super missionary minded area which is so cool.

The biggest thing we realized was that our faith was a little waining. We felt like we were being realistic but after one cool companionship study of Christlike attributes, we came to the conclusion that being realistic is being optimistic.

The other set of elders had an emergency transfer so we picked up elder shepherd while our mission president decided on what would happen and so we for four days were a tripanionship. It was awesome. Even though it took a little more planning we made it work and fairly successful.  It was a sad day when he got his new companion and we had to take our necessary stuff back to our apartment.

I can't believe elder Browning is now home. That's just crazy. Love you cuz!

Elder Bryan

Monday, April 6, 2015

The peace that conference brings. Happy Easter.

Dear family and friends,

General Conference was a very peaceful experience. After telling
everyone we are teaching about it and figuring out how we can get each
one to watch it with a member, it was really nice to actually act on
our plans. For the afternoon session we went to the Cahills,
a part member family, and helped build a mini park for one of the
girls school project. It was awesome to see the dad, glued to the
television, focused on the messages being given. He then invited us to
Easter lunch with most of his extended family who are in similar
situations as their family. It's such a treat to see how grateful
people become to the gospel and the blessings it brings. Every time we
saw him and his family they were visibly happier. So sweet!

With Jimmy and his girlfriend Dionne, things have been up and down for
the last couple of weeks and this week things went really up and then
down. We finally got a short powerful lesson with the He Lives video,
which is such a wonderful tool that we have. Not many people are in a
tight enough schedule that they can't spare 3 minutes. Unfortunately
Jimmy still has a concern with the law of chastity and prioritized
family over God. I learned that the devil is constantly trying to get
us do do wrong, or at least something less then the best things. We'll
give them some time to see how things turn out. He still wants to go
to church but wants to bring the whole family instead of just Destiny,
Dionne's daughter. He has the heart so we're sure he'll turn around.

The Mesa Temple Easter Pagent is a pretty big deal here in the valley.
Just like the temple being a state attraction, the easter pagent is a
local tradition for people of all faiths. It's held on the lawn in
front of the visitors center and is visible from all around since the
stage has parts 3 stories high. Before and after people were allowed
to go in the center and watch the He Lives video and talk to
missionaries. Wonderful door opener.

For last Sunday, in the Spanish branch besides giving my testimony, I
was asked to play the organ as the pianist was leaving after
sacrament. I agreed, but agreed to the hardest possible hymns ever. I
felt blindsided. So did the audience as we suffered together through
each verse. Afterwards when I gave my testimony I briefly talked about
sometimes we are reminded of a weakness we have, sometimes painfully,
but Christ is always there to help. The investigators present
definitely looked more comfortable knowing that this was a perfect
church full of imperfect people. It was also fun to see Brother and
Sister Randall sitting in the chapel and silently laughing with Elder
Nistler and the family Roman. I'm grateful for the awesome companion I
have who can help ease tense situations.

In other news, Elder Nistler and I have fully committed to being
healthy. Which is utterly terrible. The extra running and workout
during lunch isn't too bad but everything Mexican has something to do
with bread, or diabetes, or both. Dad you probably know how hard it is
to say no to soda, especially when that's all there is to drink. We
decided after a very rough week to control what we can and minimize
damage when we can't. Our fridge looks quite green and now it's
getting to the fun part of being healthy where I don't feel tired as
fast and all that.

I love you guys and have confidence that things are moving right along.

Elder Bryan

Friday, April 3, 2015


Here's the weekly update!

This week for some strange reason the temperature has increased.
enough that we have all three fans running in our apartment. The
locals call this time, "spring".

This Saturday we got to go with the Roman family to Spanish night of
the Mesa Temple Easter Pagent. Super cool experience that we got to
share with the Romans who are returning to activity. It was a great
door opener for a lot of people that I met.

We got Sunde on date!
We had a lesson with her Sunday night and after ten minutes we stopped
and realized that we needed to ask the baptismal questions to see
where she was. It was awesome because we learned that she didn't have
traditional Christian beliefs such as the trinity. We extended the
invitation to be baptized and she accepted. It's perfect timing
because she said that if there was an opportunity to hear our prophet
live she'd love to tune in. Thank goodness for general conference
being right around the corner. More than pumped.

Today Brother and Sister Randall took us and the elders that live with
us to a white socks/Indians game. Which is why my email is short and

Love you all!
Elder Bryan