Monday, October 28, 2013

E-mail to All the Family

To Fwd:
Dear, My Awesome family,
This week from my experiences, I will leave you all some words of wisdom: Love those who are around you no matter what! They may irritate you and drive you crazy, but when they're gone you'll regret not getting to know them better. I hope you all are having a wonderful week, and thank you all for your emails. I'll try to get better at writing more of you individually, but I am a very slow typer, so please bear with me. I love you all and have a wonderful week.
Love, Elder Braken Park

Week 9 E-mail Home

Dear Dad,

 I think I'm finally getting the hang of being a missionary. On an unrelated note you know how I was hoping to lose weight? Well apparently the people of Indiana love their fried food and buffets. KFC, Pizza Hut, and, Papa Johns, all do all you can eats out here. That threw me off quite a bit I never knew they did that. When we eat with members, we have an 80% chance there will be something fried on the table. Something else I've noticed is there is a large number of the population who fit into Gabriel Iglesias' 5th and 6th levels of fatness ("Dang!" and "Oh Heck Nah!"). The people of Indiana definitely enjoy their food. Luckily with the amount of walking we do I've managed to stay pretty even at 207. Also I've found what I never want to do as a career: Farm. We mucked out one of the members barns as a service project..... Not fun. Imagine about a foot and a half of..... fecal matter covering the floor of a barn. I'm surprised none of us has worms or anything. but still it was very rewarding to see Sister Chambers smile when she saw it was done and that she didn't have to do it alone. That's the real reward of service, seeing the smile on the person's face. I hope that you would strive to lead the family towards that happiness with each other (I know you do but still I'm a missionary I like to leave Commitments!). I am truly sorry I haven't been writing as much as I should. I thought if I didn't write as much and didn't think about it, it would help fight off the homesickness. but I've found out it doesn't work so I will do better. I found some members down here who love quads and told me when I get off my mission to come back and they'll show me some Indiana dunes. We could even take the Midlife Crisis! haha just kidding but still I think it would be fun. Only one problem though: They're honda guys.... Oh well the atonement is for everyone. I love you dad and hope that this email is better than my last few. Take care, and keep our family strong.

Love, Elder Braken Park

Dear Mom,

 I'll send you some pictures today as I've given up trying to get the libraries computers to read my camera. I'll just take them to walmart and print them there. Technology sometimes ugh! So I should tell you about when Rob came it's actually a funny story: So we were at a member's house eating dinner and our phone starts to vibrate. Well I look at the number and I see it's a Utah number and think oh crap. Then I realise it's a Utah number I recognise and think oh crap again. So I ignored it and figured we would call them back. Well then the other set of missionaries that was eating with us, their phone rings. So now I'm thinking that somebody is getting sent home, and then he calls our phone again, and I have my companion answer it. Well, it was Rob. He said he was outside the apartment. Now in the white missionary handbook it specifically says no visits from friends or family. So now I'm thinking I'm dead, and one of the other missionaries had an experience with the last mission president similar to this that didn't go well..... So hesitantly I called President Cleveland to let him know what was going on. He answers and I let him know what was going on. He then asked, "Do you have a lesson tonight?" I answered yes. Then he shocked everyone in the car by saying,"Take him with you then!" I don't know who was more surprised, me or Elder Rowberry (the previously mentioned missionary). So we had a good laugh about that on the way back. It definitely through me for a loop seeing him in Indiana, but it was enjoyable. Now whether we could get with that a second time, I wouldn't count on it hahaha. But anyway, I have developed some new speech attributes native to Indiana. It is no longer a couple of things, it's a couplethree of those things. Hey youns come here! You don't vacuum your carpet you sweep it with the sweeper. So if I mention any of these in future letters don't be surprised hahaha. Indiana is definitely a.... different place. I have seen more people that fall under gabriel iglasias' levels 5 and 6 of fatness ("Dang!" and "Aw Heck Nah!") than I thought existed. They LOVE fried food here. KFC here has a buffet! We went there with a member once..... I think I gained 10 pounds just standing there, not to mention what I actually ate. I have stayed pretty regular though at around 207. Luckily we do enough walking to keep me lean hahaha. Anyway, I love you Mom. I hope that this letter is better than the last one. Again I am sorry about the previous emails. Tell Peyton I love him!

Love, Elder Braken Park

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 8 E-mail Home

Dear Mom and Dad,

It's been good in Indiana recently. We've been having a hard time finding new people so we've been doing a lot of less active work. In a ward of 300 members, maybe 100 active members? That just was way too many. So we started working with less actives. yesterday we had 3 less actives that we talked to at church and one of them brought his non-member wife, who we are now teaching. The hastening is definitely not just finding new people, it is also bringing back those who have lost the love of the gospel. 

I'm sad to hear about Jake, but I know that if we have faith he will pull through. Tell Jen and Wayland that he is in my prayers and that they are as well. 
So I did not get transferred, my address is still the same. I am a little disappointed though, you guys, Christy, Jamie, and Grandma and Grandpa (Both sets), are the only ones who have written me since being out. Get the word out that I would like to hear from more than 4 people about what's going on. Sorry been a bit lonely this week. I'm glad to hear that everybody was safe at the dunes and that Dad enjoyed his midlife crisis. I love you all and look forward to hearing from you.

Love, Elder Braken Park

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Week 7 E-mail Home

Dear Mom and Dad,

First thank you for sending all the things I requested I really appreciate your love and support. It's great to hear you guys are having a good time and that Mason is able to ride Hal hahaha. Things have been going well here. We got to help somebody with his car the other day and that was fun. We did a lot of finding this week and found 3 new people we think will be willing to listen. Story time! So every night we are supposed to text the district leader and say that we are in. Well last night we forgot to do it, and then we forgot our phone in our apartment and went over to the other set of missionaries apartment and were talking to them. Well word got up to the assisstants to the president that we weren't in, and they were calling us and we didn't have our phone. So eventually they called the other set and we then realised that we had forgotten to text in. Now we are constantly checking to make sure one of us has the phone. Hopefully we got back to them before they worried President Cleveland about it hahaha. Anyway thank you for the letters and emails. I look forward to hearing from you all.

Love, Elder Braken Park   

Braken in front of his Martinsville, Indiana Home - October 10, 2013

Braken got a surprise visit from his former YM's President, Rob Memmott.  Rob was in Indianapolis on a business trip and was able to go see him.  I was soooo jealous, but so happy Braken got to see him.  Rob was one of our Heavenly Father's instruments in helping Braken get out on a mission.  He was a great YM's President.

Here Braken is with his companion, Elder Clapier (Braken's left), and Rob Memmott (Braken's right).  The other 2 missionaries are companions that live in the other side of the duplex Braken is living in.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Week 6 E-mails Home

To Forward:
Dear My Awesome Family,
Thanks for all your support first of all. I really appreciate all the love I get from all of you. I hope everything is going well with all of you. For those of you in the Duchesne area I met Elder Foster at Zone Conference. He is much taller than I expected hahaha. I wish you all a pleasant week. Love you all!
Love, Elder Braken Park

Dear Mom and Dad,
It's great to hear you were able to watch general conference. We don't have a TV, so we were at the church for all 5 sessions. It's amazing how much better you pay attention when you watch it at the church. I loved being able to focus more and take notes. 80,000 missionaries.... wow. To put mom's mind to rest yes we eat at members a lot. In fact it's rare for us not to eat at members homes. The ward here is really good at feeding us, we just wish they were as good at getting us referrals hahaha. However there are some recipes I would like:
-Chicken Enchiladas
-Taco Pizza
-Cheeseburger Soup
This last week hasn't been super productive but still has been good. A lot of people like what we do and really admire that, but are happy with their own religion. Hopefully they'll come around though. Thanks for your letters it was great to hear from you. I hope you guys have a great week. I love you!
Love, Elder Braken Park