Monday, December 30, 2013

Week 18 Getting Transferred!

Braken is getting transferred this week.  He is pretty sad about saying goodbye to all the neat people of Martinsville he has met in the 4 months he's been there and sad about not having Elder Davis as a companion.  He has really enjoyed him.  I will post his new address when Braken gets it to me.  He will transfer this wednesday.                                                                                                                                

Pictures from Braken

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This is Braken's Companion Elder Davis.  Elder Davis' family sent him and Braken this little Christmas Tree.
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Elder Davis
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Braken, Elder Clapier and Elder Clapier's Companion

Week 18 E-mail Home

Dear Mom & Dad,
This week has been pretty slow honestly. With the holidays around not too many people are wanting to take a break and listen. I do have some slightly sad news. The assistants called last night and I am getting transferred. So make sure the word gets around that my address is no longer the martinsville address. As soon as I know my new address I will let you guys know. Thanks for all the gifts especially the GPS. Going into a new area will be a lot better knowing I'll be able to find things. Sorry I've been using so much personal I had to use it for all the christmas and mason's birthday stuff, and because I had to get my suits cleaned (they were pretty nasty). It'll be better now that it's over. Oh and did you get my Christmas package? It said it'd be there monday but I wasn't sure what time. My surprise is on top for you! I'll send you a letter with a better explanation as I don't know if you do have it. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Martinsville and I am sad to leave, but I'm sure I am needed elsewhere. I am a little bummed that if I'm not within an hour of Martinsville I won't get to go to Luke's baptism..... But oh well me and Elder Clapier signed the back of a tie that Elder Davis is going to give to him at his baptism. So at least he'll have a memory from us. Well I love you guys and I'll send you a letter from my new address when I get there!
Love, Elder Braken Park

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day Skype with Braken!

           Braken called us from his cell phone last night to let us know we would be able to Skype with him on the computer.  That was way awesome to talk with him so unexpectably.  I saw that the call was from Lafayette, Indiana but didn't really think about it.  I was soooo excited to hear his voice.  It was Great!
            So, we had to get a little help from Susie to get skype working, but it worked and we were able to talk face to face and it was wonderful.  The very best Christmas present we could ever get!  Braken looked so good. He looks really happy and has a wonderful missionary glow about him.  He told us he has never been happier in his life than right now serving the Lord.  That is all I needed to hear.  I can be at peace knowing he is where he is supposed to be doing what he is supposed to be doing and loving it!
           We are so happy, proud, and grateful that Braken made the decision to serve!!

--Posted by Shelly Park--

Monday, December 23, 2013

Week 17 E-mail Home . . . . Getting Ready For Christmas!

Dear Mom & Dad,
This week has been pretty good, although none of our investigators made it to church. We taught a couple really good lessons and picked up a couple of new investigators, Danny and Jeanne. They were a referral given to us by a member and they already wanted us over for dinner! We agreed and taught them a very good lesson. Elder Davis is doing great, and we are getting along great. We got all the packages you sent and finally today got all the packaging cleaned up hahaha. We may be able to skype depending on what the members we will be spending Christmas with have. I'll let you know before I get off whether or not we can skype. I am really looking forward to talking with you guys! I love all of you!
Love, Elder Braken Park

Week 17 E-mail Conversation . . . Sweet :)

On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 11:41 AM, GREG SHELLY PARK <> wrote:
Hi bud, its mom . . . 
So, you got all of our presents?  did you have a christmas party with Pres. Cleveland?

Braken wrote:
Yea and we finally got the apartment habitable again.... Elder Davis got a bunch of packages too.  our apartment was a mess.
and, yea, kind of a party... a big meeting with the whole mission.

On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 11:43 AM, GREG SHELLY PARK <> wrote:
Did you get a package from us at the meeting?

Braken Wrote: 
Yes I did, also a card from the Garlicks.

On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 11:45 AM, GREG SHELLY PARK <> wrote:
Good!  I was worried it wouldn't get to you because I forgot to write 'Christmas Package' on the outside of the box.  
That was nice of the Garlicks.  Did you get any notes from our ward?  Also, will we get to skype with you on Christmas?
Braken wrote:
              Um... a christmas card from bishop. I'm sending your package today, sorry, I couldn't get it out sooner but it wasn't done.

Ok thanks, we will have to do a call though as the member isn't back with us. so we will call probably around 12:30.

On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 11:52 AM, GREG SHELLY PARK <> wrote:
Our time?
 Braken wrote:    oh sorry our time. so probably 10:30.

Week 17 Continued E-mail Conversation

On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 11:54 AM, GREG SHELLY PARK <> wrote:
Ok, we'll be here of course.  if things change and you're able to skype, just call us and let us know on Christmas, then we can get on skype.  Is that OK?
Braken Wrote:
 Yea that'll be fine. I'm really excited for it too!

On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 11:57 AM, GREG SHELLY PARK <> wrote:
Do you have a cell phone?  Is that what you would use to call us?

Oh, sweetheart!  We are all SO EXCITED to hear from you!  We can't wait!  That is the very best present we could ever get this year!
Will you be at a members' home when you call if it's just a phone call?  or at you house?

 Braken Wrote:
We will be at a member's house and yes, we have a cell phone.  we will just call you from that.  That's as techy as we get.

On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM, GREG SHELLY PARK <> wrote:
OK, How long will you be able to talk with us?
Braken Wrote:
 about an hour or so

On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 12:05 PM, GREG SHELLY PARK <> wrote:
Sorry, Dad wanted to talk with you this morning but we have had several snowstorms over the last few days and we are buried in snow.  He is out plowing the driveway before getting to work.  He says "hi" and he loves you and cannot wait to talk with you on Wednesday.
Braken Wrote:
Sweet, I can't wait! 

Week 17 Continued E-mail Conversation . . . .

On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 12:09 PM, GREG SHELLY PARK <> wrote:
It is a winter wonderland around here.  Almost a complete white-out.  Fog and everything.  How about you?  Have you had any storms there?  snow?
Braken Wrote:
 Rain actually..... lots of rain...

10:12 AM 
To: Elder Braken Park
Really?  Wow . . . Is it cold?
Braken Wrote:
Well, yes, actually....

Alright well I'm out of time. Love you!

I Wrote:
Love you to! See you Wednesday, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Week 16 E-mail Home

Dear Mom and Dad,
This week has gone pretty well, although we weren't able to have the baptism due to inclement weather. It snowed quite a bit up in Indy, where a lot of his family was coming from, so we cancelled it until the 11th. Lucille missed church again though but we are set to meet with her tuesday so we can maybe find out why she's missed so much. Nick just recently got a new job so it's been really difficult trying to meet with him especially with the holidays. But good news! We were able to find ourselves a new investigator! Her name is Shawnda and she is super prepared. She told us how her husbands church was too strict and her church was too rowdy and they were looking for a happy medium. She wasn't at church but we think with a couple more visits, we can get her out there. It's good to hear that Jake is doing well. I regularly pray for him. So get this I got a stocking from Elder Davis' Parents, and you'll never guess what was inside: Mont Blanc Legend Cologne. We jokingly now call it money in a bottle. I'm working on a package for you guys for Christmas, hopefully I can finish it this week. If I do I'll get it sent off sometime this week. I won't be able to indivually wrap everything so I'll just send you a box that MUST NOT be opened until Christmas. I'll label everything inside. Well I love you guys, I hope you have a great Christmas!
Love, Elder Braken Park

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Week 15 E-mail Conversation with Braken. We "caught" him on the computer!

Mom:  sorry, i lost track of time this morning and just ran in here to see if you were still on

Braken:  Yea I'm still here probably for another hour....

Mom:  Ok, I can probably only talk for a little bit this morning.  So, who is Lucille?  And, the other investigators?

Braken:  Lucille is the wife of mike, a less active who hadn't come to church since he was 12. We've been working with them and they were coming pretty regularly. the other is nick. he is a childhood friend of one of the members here and he just recently started investigating.  Lucille is not a member but she wants to be.

Week 15 E-mail Home

Dear Mom and Dad,
This week has gone OK. We are having real trouble keeping our inivestigators at church. Lucille missed her 2nd week in a row and we haven't been able to meet with her at all to teach. Luke is set to get baptised this saturday, so we are super excited for that. I'll send you some pictures when I get them. It's good to hear you all are enjoying the snow, we've got quite a bit here ourselves. The humidity makes it feel like it's 10 degrees colder than it actually is. But still the work moves on! We've been able to find a few more investigators through the members. The members here in Martinsville are awesome for helping the missionaries. And despite the constant feeding, I have been able to drop to 195 pounds. Which is awesome considering I came out of the MTC weighing 215. 20 pounds in 3 months isn't bad at all. Also Elder Davis is from Spanish Fork, Utah. So really not all that far from us. We haven't done much in the way of decorating for lack of time, but apparently Elder Davis' family is sending out some stuff that should help though hahaha. I am excited for Christmas though as we'll be spending it with the Stumpfs, who are fantastic cooks. And no cats this time! The call will just be a phone call I'm pretty sure, but I will let you know more details as I get them. Well I love you guys and I'll be on till about 12:30 so I will be waiting until then to hear from you!
Love, Elder Braken Park

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 14: E-mail to Mason

Dear Mason,
Hey Mase, I'm excited that you got the new pokemon game. Hopefully when I get home I'll be able to play it. If you want to play magic the guys at blakfyre will normally play with you if you ask. Just keep on trucking and things will get better. I love you bro and have a great week.
Love, Elder Braken Park

Week 14: The Work is Slow - But, Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Mom and Dad,

This week has been a little rough. Most everyone we try and contact isn't home because of the break. We weren't able to teach anyone really this week, but nevertheless, I had an enjoyable holiday. The Goodnights fed us on Thanksgiving and they are very good cooks. They also played some games with us which was quite enjoyable as it reminded me of our family's get togethers. As for me and my companion, we are getting along very well. We have similar interests and hobbies so really it's been a very enjoyable companionship. As for the christmas season, not many plans other than Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we are spending with members. I will join you in your "What will I give the Savior" I think it's a great idea. Also, when you do names for presents in the family, could you give me someones name? I would enjoy being able to still be a part of that tradition.  So Dad borrowed a RZR and wrecked it? I think it's a sign not to get one. Haha just kidding. Sorry if I don't seem as upbeat as normal it's been a hard last couple of days with the lack of progress. But hopefully things will be better this week. This week all I really need is some love and support which of  course our family has been wonderful at giving. Thank you far all you do and the support you are willing to give to me. I hope you all have a wonderful week.
Love, Elder Braken Park

P.S. Lukes Baptism had to be pushed back to the 14th so I will send you pictures when it comes.
Also I will get some pictures sent out today.


Hey Everyone!
This week In the mission field has been a little slow, lots of people gone for Thanksgiving, but still going well. Me and my companion are getting along well and are enjoying life together. I hope everyones Thanksgivings were good. I was able to spend it with some members so that was a lot of fun. I hope everyone has a good week this week and remembers to be thankful always not just during the season!
Love, Elder Braken Park