Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Week 26 Email Home: Need More Fry Sauce! :)

Dear Mom and Dad,

First off Dad, I'm sorry to say it is awesome you're coming to Indianapolis, but in the white handbook it says specifically no family visits because they can really distract from the work and can Influence me a lot emotionally. I'm sorry I would love to see you but that could be very detrimental to my focus on the work. I'm very sorry about that. And I understand about the Ipod its not a super big thing Elder Foster has some good music so I'm good for at least this transfer. One thing I would like though is some more fry sauce if you could do that :) I used my last bit of it this week so I am a very sad missionary... Just kidding but still hahaha. Thanks for the scripture though! Hopefully I am a better missionary than Corianton (the first time hahaha). Me and Elder Foster are doing great this week. We made some real progress with Aro and we think he will make his date of March 8th. Kalen though has been a real struggle. We have been unable to meet with him, which has been really frustrating to say the least. He has the desire to be baptised, but a lack of commitment. As far as the work goes that's been about it this week. Been pretty slow with a lot of tracting. And yes Mom I know about the emails. I need to get better at it. I will do my best to answer all emails. It sounds like life at home is progessing in a good direction. Everyone sounds like they are doing well. I will email Garret on some pointers for school (because we all know how good I was at that ;) ) But maybe I can help him out. I love you and hope you guys have a good week.

Love, Elder Braken Park

(In my letter to Braken this week, I kindof got after him for not writing people back and this was his response back to me.  I also had shared with him a great missionary scripture found in Alma 42:31.) 

It says:  
 31 And now, O my son, ye are called of God to apreach the word unto this people. And now, my son, go thy way, declare the word with truth and soberness, that thou mayest bbring souls unto repentance, that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them. And may God grant unto you even according to my words. Amen.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Week 25: E-mail Home. Braken has hit the 6 month mark!!

Dear Mom and Dad,

Yes I noticed that too! It doesn't seem like it's been that long though.... I need to burn a tie! (It is tradition that you burn a specific article of clothing every 6 months) It's gone by so fast... And I've only been in 2 areas! I feel like I haven't really changed that much, and then I look back on who I was before the mission, and I realize how different I really am. Not a bad different, a more faithful, more confident different. Crazy things.... So my new companion..... You may have heard about an Elder Foster from Duchesne in my mission? Well he is now my companion and it has been a fantastic first week together. I have high hopes for this transfer. We teach well together, we enjoy each others company, and we have a similar view for missionary work. I am really looking forward to the rest of the transfer and maybe even a second transfer with him. It's good to hear Garret is doing well, and that he has accepted that call. I see good things coming in his future now that he has set his course in the right direction. I am sad to see sickness invading your home too! I got hit with the flu pretty hard this week but I'm coming out of it so hopefully I can kick it. Well I hope you guys have a great week! I love you and be safe!

Love, Elder Braken Park

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Week 24: E-mail Home

Dear Mom and Dad,
So transfers were this week.... Ready? Drumroll going!! I am........... Staying in Eagle Creek! But sad news... Elder Dodd is leaving. I will be very sad to see him go we were getting along really well, but I'm sure whoever they bring in will be a lift to the area. So I've got a lot of pictures coming! They are from my last day in Martinsville, to Luke's Baptism, to the snow in the Zone leaders tub, to our apartment. And they one with me is my hair, which has been frozen solid due to a sudden snowstorm that hit me and Elder Rhoton while we were on Exchanges. I was only wearing earmuffs at the time so my hair ended up frozen solid! Indiana weather is something else! So onto the news! Aro is progressing at a solid rate. We are sure he will make his baptismal date of March 8, perhaps even sooner than that! We have had members inviting him into their homes, and the outcome has been fantastic. I have personally seen the power of member missionary work and it is something amazing. we are teaching another guy who's name is Kalen. He is committed to be baptised, but recently we have had trouble meeting with him, because he found out his mom has Breast Cancer. If you could remember her in your prayers, I would really appreciate that. He is having a really hard time right now, but has been doing his best to apply the Atonement and I can really see it working in him. So something I learned this week I'm not entirely sure on but I think is cool and makes me look at the sacrament a whole lot differently, is that when you take the sacrament, you are actually renewing all of the covenants you have made, Including: Endowments, The oath and covenant of the priesthood, and sealings. I'm not entirely sure that's doctrine, but it did make it a lot cooler to think on my temple covenants in addition to my baptismal ones. So my challenge to you will be to try and view the sacrament a little differently this week. It will bring the spirit anew and give you a newfound ability to keep your covenants. It's great to hear Garret is doing well. I'm not going to lie he has been a big worry to me since coming out. I'm so happy to hear he wants to change. Tell Peyton I love him as well! He is so cute! Also How is Jake doing? I haven't heard anything in a while. Let me know how he is doing! So I do have one request for today though. Today could you put an extra $100 on my card? The white handbook says to keep a reserve fund, so my goal is to start keeping one. I'd like to pull it out today if that's possible. If not I understand, just please let me know. Thanks so much for your love and support in this great adventure! I hope you have a fantastic week!
Love, Elder Braken Park
This is Brother & Sister Astleford.  They are the ward missionaries in
the Martinsville ward Braken served in.  This was his first area.
Braken worked closely with the Astlefords and thought they
were awesome!

This is Luke Kachelmeyer and his dad, Eric.  Luke had to have Braken and his
companion teach him the discussions so he could be baptized
because he didn't get baptized when he was 8.  He is 9 yrs.
old.  His dad baptized him.  

Braken and Elder Dodd pulled this prank on their zone leaders.  They
took shovels and filled the tub full of snow, then turned the heat off
in their apartment.  It took their zone leaders 45 min. to thaw so
they could take a shower the next morning.  

Elder Dodd, Braken's companion.

Braken's hair froze solid while out in the weather.  He forgot
his hat. 

These sister missionaries snuck Braken's camera and took
a picture of themselves.  What's funny is Braken said
he didn't even know them and they are not in his

Braken's Zone

It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt :)

L - R:  Elder Rhoton and Elder Dodd
Elder Rhoton's mother roomed with Braken's Aunt Lisa
in college.  Small world.

Braken and Elder Dodd's bedroom.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 23 E-mail Home: Braken's Apartment Was Broken Into, Scary!

Dear Mom & Dad,

First off I have not been getting bank statements, as we set it up in the MTC, so I have no idea where they would be. Definitely call Zions and talk to them about it. I'm sorry you guys have all been sick! This has definitely been an Interesting week. Tuesday we were splitting our area up and that meant a couple days inside and a whole lot of paperwork. So while our zone leaders were away, we decided to pull a prank on them to break up the monotony. We took a couple shovels and filled their tub with snow, and then when we left that night Elder Dodd turned their heater off, so it didn't melt. The next morning one of them went and started to get into the shower and saw it. It took them a good 45 minutes to melt it all!   They were mad at first, but then they realised how funny it was.  So that's the fun stuff from the week! 

In missionary news, our Nigerian investigator, Aro, hasn't missed a Sunday yet, and he actually asked if there was a pre-baptism program he could be a part of. We promptly told him he was in it. He is super excited for his baptism!  So, this week we are teaching Aro in a members home twice so that'll be awesome.  We are so lucky to have found him. He lives across the street too, so we can teach him whenever!   We picked up a couple of HQ referrals (people who requested missionary visits) so we'll be visiting them to. We will probably do a lot of tracting as well though we are expecting a lot of snow the next couple days. Hopefully someone will let us in! 
The members haven't been feeding us as much as in Martinsville, but here there are 3 sets of missionaries to this ward so its understandable. 

In other news we have a new address:   4637 Lynnfield Road, Apt. 970,  Indianapolis IN, 46254. We got broken into the other day, so they moved us.   We were out working and when we came home there was a bootprint on the door next to our picture of Jesus and the door was ajar and the doorstop destroyed. Luckily they didn't take anything except for my little bowl on my desk I had with laundry change in it.  All in all,  about $4 in quarters.  But still, a huge hassel to get the cops to come down, do a report, and then move everything 2 weeks before transfers. Oh well life happens. We are in the same complex,  just a different apartment and much nicer though. There's a lot of work here so I wouldn't want them to move us far.   All of our investigators live within .5 miles of us.

Today we have planned to have preparation day until 6 which is do laundry, go shopping, then when we get done we are going to the church to play basketball.

So I'm finally sending that package I said I was sending a month ago. I'm really sorry it's taken so long the post office is outside our area so we can only make it on our way to the library to email. Tell mason I'm really sorry it's taken so long. Well that's my week I hope you guys are doing better and that you guys have a great week!

Love, Elder Braken Park