Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 5 E-mails to the Family

So, Braken is currently writing two e-mails home.  The one he addresses to "My awesome family" is for all the Park and Draper family members.  The other, of course, is to Greg and I.  Just hoping to clarify that for everyone.
Dear My awesome family,

Thanks all of you for writing to me. It's really awesome to feel your love and support.   I will try and reply to all letters I recieve from you guys. I love you all!
So, I have an awesome story to tell, read in my letter to my mom and dad below:

Love, Elder Braken Park

Dear Mom and Dad,

Hellloooo! La la laaa. It's great to hear from you guys. This has definitely been a great week to be a missionary. I think I'm finally getting into the hang of it now. Our investigator Christina got baptized and confirmed this week, and is so excited to go to the temple haha. We had something awesome happen last Saturday:  So we were walking down the street after tracting a neighborhood, and we saw a phone fall off the hood of a car driving away. We picked it up and found there wasn't a lock on it, so we called some of the numbers and found out whose it was and it turns out they lived in the neighborhood we just tracted and were looking for a church! We told them the address of the church and I'm pretty sure they came on Sunday! The Lord definitely moves in mysterious ways hahaha. I loved what you were saying about not ignoring promptings because we were walking down a street headed home and the spirit said to go knock on a door. Well me being tired of being in the rain said no they probably won't answer. Well then my companion said,"Hey lets go knock on that door." Well in the mouth of two witnesses shall the truth be manifest so we went and the guy who answered was really interested and wants to watch general conference with us so.... Never ignore a prompting! Hahaha anyway, I do have some things I found out you can have on a mission that I would like sent out, Mason willing. There's lots of missionaries who get together on p-day and play magic, so if Mason is willing could you tell him to send my Grixis (blue black and red), Dragon (red and green), and Scavenge (green and black) decks, a 20 sided spin down and my counters? I know I left them to him so it's completely his choice whether he wants to or not I would just like to join the magic games. Let me know what he decides. Tell Peyton that I said hi and that I love him! Also Dad, enjoy your midlife crisis haha. I love you all and look forward to hearing from you.

Love, Elder Braken Park

Monday, September 23, 2013

First Day in the Mission Field --- Braken with President Steven C. Cleveland and his wife, Sister Kip Cleveland at the Mission Home in Carmel, IN after arriving from SLC. August 27, 2013

Letter sent home from President and Sister Cleveland after Braken's arrival in the Mission Field.

Week 4 e-mail home

Dear Mom and Dad,

Well it's week 4 and I'm still out. There's some good news at least. My anxiety has gotten much worse as now it's really interfering with my ability to feel the spirit. I'm really starting to feel weighed down and discouraged. I talked with Sister Cleveland and they gave us all a booklet that's supposed to help with stress but it's just not working. Hopefully it passes soon. But to answer your questions last week we taught a few lessons but got dropped by most of our investigators so mostly we just prepped for the baptism. My companion is a guy who you could leave in the middle of nowhere with only a gun and he could survive indefinitely. He was a farmer in Idaho and is a big time hunter. as for what we do on P days we have an ongoing game of risk I inherited from a previous missionary that we get into everytime we get some free time. And I did know about Jesse working on her papers but I haven't heard from her in a couple weeks so if you could tell her I'm wanting to hear from her I'd appreciate it. Thanks for being willing to support me and to help me along. I love you guys and appreciate all you do.

Love, Elder Braken Park

P.S. Thanks a lot for the salsa I've really missed it
P.P.S. I'll have to use a bit of the personal funds to get a new watch because mine is broken. I'll find a cheap one.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Week 3 E-mail home

Braken's e-mail to all the family:

Dear My Awesome Family,
Thanks for all your emails, it's really good to hear from you guys. Well as a status report, if all goes to plan me and my companion will have a baptism next week. It's always nice to be able to pick up where someone else left off hahaha. I've really enjoyed my time here and am really looking forward to the coming months in the field. Now for a rebuke, I recieved no letters this week! It actually doesn't bother me too much hahaha, it's just nicer because I can read them any day and I can only read email on monday. So if it's not too much trouble, I would appreciate one or two letters. But enough of that. Just stay true to the faith and blessings will come. I love you all and wish you all the best.
Love, Elder Braken Park

Braken's e-mail home:

Dear Mom and Dad,
Well that was faster than I expected haha. Geez I'm gone a month and you start buying crazy things, I don't know how you guys are gonna stay in the black for two years hahaha. Anyway It's awesome to hear from you guys. I'll try and send the rest of the camera stuff. But things have been getting better. Another week and I'll have a baptism under my belt hopefully. Being out here and being around people who have never felt the gospel in their lives has really given me an appreciation for the blessing I had of growing up in a home centered on the gospel. I can see know the many blessings I've had because you made our home a gospel centered home. I hope dearly that all is well and that all the boys are behaving well... but of course I know the boys so probably not haha. Tell dad that I'll be making fun of his "mid-life crisis" to my companion. I do think that that is incredibly hilarious. Stay true to the gospel and blessings will come. I love you all and look forward to hearing from you more.
Love, Elder Braken Park

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 2 e-mail

Here is Braken's Letter to us:

Dear Mom and Dad,

I sent you an email you can forward to everyone sorry I can't write to anyone I just don't have the time. It's good to hear that you're all OK and I'm glad you found those notes from Jesse I couldn't find them before I left so thank you. It sounds like things are getting crazy there if you could get me garret's email I'd really appreciate it. Things are going alright here, I'm really enjoying teaching people and sharing the gospel, but my anxiety is getting worse. I guess it just shows how there is opposition in all things. Anyway, I thought I'd give you a quick summary of the people we are currently teaching. We currently have 4 people we are teaching. A woman named Christina who is a totally awesome investigator and will be baptized on the 24th, another woman named Adrianne who is a little unsure about a lot of the doctrine but is very open to what we teach. Then there's Luke who is 9 years old, and basically teaches us the lessons haha. He will get baptized as soon as his mom lets him. Then there's Elvis, he has a smoking problem but really enjoys feeling the spirit and really likes us missionaries. It's been amazing to see the effects of the gospel in these people's lives and be a part of their learning the truth. But I have even better news, President Cleveland says they have resources to help with anxiety so I may be able to get over this. but anyway I was able to get a bike from my grandfather (the elder who trained my trainer) Elder Lowe for $20 which included a helmet, bike lock, and pump. The area I'm in doesn't really bike a lot (we mostly walk or drive), so I figured it was a good idea. Thanks for all your love and support and I really look forward to hearing more from you.

Love, Elder Braken Park

Draper / Park Family Letter

Here is Braken's letter to all the family:

Dear My awesome family,
It's good to hear from all of you, I really appreciate everything you have all sent me and especially appreciate all the love and support you all send me. And for those of you in duchesne, I am in the same district with some elders who know a certain elder foster who you have told me dated emily. I'll have to make sure I see him at mission conference so I can give him a hard time haha. I hope my mom has given you all my new address if you don't have it just let her know. Sorry I can't write everyone individually there's just not enough time I do apologize. Anyway I love you all and look forward to hearing more from you.
Love, Elder Braken Park 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Week 1 First Area, Martinsville, IN

Dear Mom,

I would have emailed yesterday on pday but it was labor day and so all the libraries were closed.
Let me first say happy birthday to Garret! 15 years old its a big day you can get your learners permit now don't crash the car haha. I'm in my first area now here's my mailing address:

1439 S. Marion Martinsville IN 46151

The members here in martinsville (my first area) are super nice and love the missionaries. We have more leftovers from meals than we do at home and they are always willing to help us out with referrals. I can see why my patriarchal blessing says i will serve more than one mission. I'm sure when I'm older I'll serve a senior mission. I just hope I'll be able to make it through my normal one. I love you all and once again wish Garret a happy birthday. I'll send dad's shoes and the camera as soon as my next pday comes next monday. Love you all so much and wish I had a camera with which to send pictures!

Oh I almost forgot I am serving in the last area Elder Brady Knowles served in and my trainer is one of the missionaries he lived with Elder Clapier. There is 4 of us living in a double house thing and I thought it was cool to find that out and thought you'd like to know that. Sorry I forgot to include that. love you all and look forward to hearing from you.

Love, Elder Braken Park