Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 31: Email Home - New Companion, Elder Lawrence from Oakley, Utah.

I had told Braken about a mom in Indianapolis who was at his transfer meeting this last transfer and was taking pictures.  She got one of him.....

Dear Mom and Dad,

I didn't know that about transfers! That's really cool! I did get your letters and your package and I am very grateful for those! Thanks so much for having me on your mind I really appreciate that. Anyway, my new companion's name is Elder Lawrence. He is from Oakley, Utah (near Park City), and has been serving now for 16 months. A funny thing about him is that he has been living in the same apartment as Elder Clapier for the last 6 months. He apparently heard a lot of stories about me from Elder Clapier so it feels like we kind of already know each other. This week Tommy made a big leap in his progress as he has agreed to pray about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, and said in a couple weeks he will be at church, which was huge because it's been a big struggle to get him to church. Also this week we found a new Investigator, who's name is Antwjaun. He played basketball in college so he wants to come play with us sometime. He is super excited to learn about the gospel and read from the Book of Mormon. Hopefully he keeps that desire as we continue to teach him! Could I get a copy of that Family History book? I've been interested in learning some of our ancestor's stories because Family History opens a lot of doors that otherwise would never be open to us as far as people go. Let me know because I think that would be a great opportunity for finding people! And Dad, This is why we can't have nice things! Just kidding it sounds like you had a good time at the dunes! Just make sure mason doesn't get too attached I want Hal back when I get home! ;) Anyway I hope you guys have a great week!

Love, Elder Braken Park

P.S. Sorry I didn't have any pictures today I totally forgot my camera I'll have plenty of pictures to give you next week! 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

3-26-14 Picture of Transfer Day!

A very sweet mission momma, Melisa Walker Petty, took this picture of Braken and Elder Foster at the church on transfer day.  Elder Foster got transferred and Braken stayed.  She brings cookies to the transfer days and takes lots and lots of pictures.  I'm grateful to get this one.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 30 E-mail Home - Transfers . . . Losing Elder Foster :(

Dear Mom and Dad,
So this week was transfers and Elder Foster is leaving and I am staying in Eagle Creek. This was a tough one to swallow as I have really enjoyed Elder Foster and I was sure they would keep us together. Ugh another new companion I really hope it's not according to the pattern I've noticed where I like one companion and then the next I don't like. Anyway I'll work through it. We've been teaching a Japanese guy this last little while his name is Tomahiro, but he likes to go by Tommy. Fine by me hahahaha. He's an interesting fellow as he is very new to christianity, and so is very open to new ideas and meeting with us, but he likes the church he goes to and was recently baptised in that church so he feels like he doesn't need to have it done again. We've been emphasizing priesthood authority, but it doesn't really sink in as of yet. But he's attended 2 baptisms and a fireside on the second coming that the ward had last night. He reads from the book of mormon all the time, he just doesn't really understand it. We are going to try and get a japanese one from the mission and a children's one as well to help him understand. Hopefully once he starts understanding the BOM he can gain a testimony and start to want to be baptised. Anyway thanks for the letters this week I really enjoyed them! I haven't gotten your package yet it might be here today or tomorrow. And I'm in the middle of Indy so there's every kind of store around so I'll just grab a colts hoodie or something from walmart. I actually grabbed a new pair of running shoes and a pair of shorts from burlington for like $40 together and they are super nice. The ones I came out with are pretty trashed the pockets in the shorts were torn out and the shoes are starting to tear. Oh well stuff always breaks huh?  And Dad your quad totally is the Prodigal Son. I am forever naming it that hahaha. I hope Hal is still in good condition. The first weekend I get home we are going to the dunes. Looking on it now that is the thing I miss the most about home. So take care of my baby! Hahaha just kidding but seriously I want to have a quad when I get home. Anyway I hope you guys have a good week. I will look for your package in the upcoming days! Next week I'll have a new companion so I'll let you know how that went!
Love, Elder Braken Park

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 29 E-mail Home - Still Going Strong!

Dear Mom and Dad,
Thanks for the letters this week I really appreciate you taking the time to write them! So I'll start off by answering your questions you had in your letters. First off the way a baptism works is that the person being baptized chooses the person who baptises them. Brother Gunnel is a member of the ward here and him and Aro really got along well so he wanted Brother Gunnel to baptize him. That's why Brother Gunnel baptized him. Also in the picture the really tall missionary is Elder Foster, and the one on my left is Elder Dodd. We all got in the picture with him because we were the ones that had taught him. So Dad it sounds like you're having a rough time? I totally get what you mean when you say you're missing me. I miss you too a lot especially since we really started to build our relationship. But it's only a small portion of my life that I'm devoting and before long, I'll be home and it'll seem like I never left. Just think I'm already 7 months out, only another year! and then a little more, but still we are going strong it won't be long now, and we will be back at the dunes together :). That's so cool you talked to Elder Rowberry's mom! I really was hoping to serve with him but he decided to switch to Spanish speaking, so not much of a chance anymore. What picture of me in the car did he have? I assume it's the Martinsville Subaru. Anyway I'm looking forward to getting your package! I do have a list of some things I would like though: Some more fry sauce, one of my hoodies if there are any still around, and that's pretty much it. I love you guys! Have a great week!
Love, Elder Braken Park

Friday, March 14, 2014

Indiana Indianapolis Mission Office

I got this picture from the amazing Indy Missionary Moms from the Missionary Mommas Facebook Page.

Elder & Sister Roberts far left, Elder Roberts standing, Sister Roberts sitting. They are currently not in the office anymore.
Back Row Next:  Elder & Sister Hodges, Sister & Elder Smithhart, Sister Smithhart is President Cleveland's Secretary.
Front Row Next to Sister Roberts:  Elder Sorenson, President & Sister Cleveland, & Elder Callison. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 28 E-mail: Baptism Day!

Dear Mom and Dad,
This week has been absolutely insane! In both good and bad ways hahaha. First off Aro's baptism was super stressful because it was scheduled to be at 3:30, but he didn't show up until about 4:15. At least he's got the idea of Mormon standard time down. But other than that it was a great service! The spirit was definitely strong and he was definitely ready. He is super excited to recieve the priesthood and get a calling. Also he spoke at a Why I Believe which is a fireside put together by missionaries for recent converts and he was able to speak at it. His testimony was awesome because he spoke about how his brother didn't want to answer the door when me and Elder Dodd first came but he felt something in his heart tell him that he should answer the door. And of course the rest is history! Its funny we met him on the 10th of January, so it only took him 2 months to get baptised, which is super fast. He is going to be a great addition to the ward. Haha it's funny Dad has to get a CPAP machine. One of my companions Elder Cathcart should have had one of those. His snoring was far and away the most unholy thing I have ever experienced. Hahaha anyway I really hope that helps him and you because I'm sure it'll be quieter now. Anyway I'll get the pictures I have of Aro's baptism sent to you! I love you guys and have a great week!
Love, Elder Braken Park 
L-R:  Elder Foster (Braken's current companion from Duchesne, Utah), Aro, Braken, and Elder Dodd (Braken's previous companion that helped find and teach Aro with Braken.

Aro and Brother Gunnel from the ward.  Aro and Brother Gunnel have hit it off and Aro wanted Brother Gunnel to baptize him.

All the missionaries and everyone who came to Aro's baptism.

The big, bad missionary.... Look out, he'll convert you!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Week 27: E-mail Home

Dear Mom and Dad,
First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! YOU ARE OFFICIALLY OLD! Hahaha jk :) If I can I'll send something I think you'll like ;) This week has been great Aro passed his baptismal interview so he will be baptised this saturday! It's been awesome to be here for all his lessons and all his progression. It's different to find someone, teach them and see them baptised all while you are in that area! Other than that it sounds like sickness has been all over half our district has been hit pretty hard this week, Elder Foster and Elder Zeyer especially. Luckily I haven't been hit to hard yet a little mucousy but I'm way better compared to some of the others hahaha. Kalen we've been having a hard time getting ahold of this week so we really don't know how he's doing as of now, but we have a new number for him so hopefully we'll get back in contact with him. Other than that It's been a pretty boring week very very cold...... again hahaha. It's been like 3 weeks in a row now. Maybe that's why everybody is sick? I don't know. I did get Jen's letters and I loved them! Tell them thanks for me! I would love to get some letters from you guys too if you could find some time. I know you guys are busy so I'm not going to pressure you. I'm very sorry to hear about grandma. I will keep her in my prayers.  She'll pull through she's tough. :) Well I love you guys and look forward to hearing from you again! 
Love, Elder Braken Park