Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 86: Wow! Wisdom Beyond His Young Missionary Years.

Dear Mom and Dad,
I'm holding up all right. No I haven't killed him yet haha just a lot of prayer and service going on to keep that from happening haha. I can definitely feel heaven's help in dealing with this... interesting trial I've been given. Thanks so much for the vitamins!! They literally came on the perfect day! That morning I woke up and took my last dose that was in the bottle and went "Oh crap I'm in trouble" Then they came that afternoon! So I really appreciate that! Those should last me about a transfer. No I didn't get your letter, but I'm sure it'll come today or tomorrow. So good news! I talked to president, and I will be going home August 4th. Plenty of time to get ready for the orientation and get prepped for college. So I have some advice straight from David A. Bednar. 2 Nephi 33:1 And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men. Please note where it says "Unto" not "Into".
We can only teach them so much, then they have to open their hearts and act in order to learn things for themselves. My answer to serve a mission came only after I acted and prayed about whether or not to serve. It didn't come in seminary or any of the classes I was in, as good as those things are. And even saying that, had I not had the intention to act on the prompting I got, I wouldn't have got an answer either. To quote Increase in Learning, we are meant to be learners who are agents who act, not objects to be acted upon. So my recommendation is to try a new tactic, and teach with that in mind. People need to go through the process of learning what's right for themselves, rather than just being told it. Teaching them what's right is definitely important, but it's never enough. If others never learn for themselves, then as soon as they leave the home, they fall away. So my invitation to you, is to re-evaluate how you are teaching, and try a new pattern. Try to leave them something to do. Something that they are going to need to do, that will have them act for theirselves to learn something, and then be sure to follow up.  The drive has got to come from them and there's only so much we can do to help. That works the same for anything else.  Um back onto the week not much is going on. Working here is really hard, because pretty much this whole area is HOA, who really don't like people knocking on doors, to the point missionaries have had the cops called on them.There's been a few times I've been like "Crikey, it's the Indianan Rozzers!" Techinically there's not anything we are doing wrong, but President Cleveland has asked that we not tract here.  So we pretty much can't tract in this area. So we are limited to our area and the help of the members. So we will definitely learn how to work with the members in this ward!! As far as the week goes that's about it. Thanks for all you guys do for me! Love you and we will talk next week!
Love, Elder Braken Park

In my letter this week, I had asked Braken for advice in how to reach those who need our help.  This was his response.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 85: Tough Transfer Already

Dear Mom and Dad,
Speaking of people being the death of others..... My new companion will probably be the death of me so at least we can go to the spirit world together! I have never been so frustrated my whole mission. 
But the ward is super awesome. They would give us the shirts off their backs if we needed it. As far as the week goes, it's been a lot of walking, biking, and actually not a lot of knocking on doors, as Fishers has a city ordinance that prohibits soliciting meaning we aren't allowed to tract. So we are limited to stopping by people in our area book and talking to people on the street. So that's another stress on top of it. But through all of it I've really learned how to deal with people you really don't like. How to keep a level head when you really would like to blow up on somebody. The LifeEz has made an amazing difference. I'm seriously impressed. So I would definitely recommend them to Dad :) I'm really sorry to hear about Jay... That just doesn't seem right we were all kids together and so to hear one of us like that... It's tough. Let me know if there's anything I can do. It seems like every week there's some kind of something going through the house haha. Oh don't worry I know all about that miralax powerade life haha. Sorry bud hopefully he gets better! Well that's pretty much all I've got this week. Sorry for ranting I feel so trapped right now. But I love you guys I'll talk to you more next week!
Love, Elder Braken Park

Braken's childhood friend and neighbor, J. Michael, got into a bad accident over spring break.  He is on life support and not doing well.  That is what Braken is talking about.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 84: Down and Out :(

Dear Mom and Dad,
Well this week has been.... Interesting. If you remember Plainfield I'm in an Area very similar to that. I'm in Fishers. Very affluent, Very wealthy, and there is a city ordinance that prohibits tracting. The only difference is the ward is actually supportive this time. Sorry to sound pessimistic but I'm really burned out with getting sent to these wards where I show up and some stupid missionaries have screwed things up and I have to fix it so I have no investigators, and the members don't trust us. It's happened in every ward since I left Eagle Creek. I'm SOO over it. For once I'd like to go to an area and have at least 1 Freaking investigator. I had hoped for my last 3 transfers I'd get to go somewhere where I could actually do some work, but no. Oh well Sorry I'm not doing very well right now. My new companion is named Elder Bruckman. He is from Layton. He's alright we don't mesh super well but he's willing to work which is good. I'm going to need a lot of support this transfer. I've got another set of Zone Leaders who are gonna breathe down my neck about numbers, and I'm really close to president, so I'm sure I'll get it from him too. I did talk to him about the orientation so we will see what he says there. Um other than that I just need the vitamins. Thanks guys.... Sorry I just kinda needed to vent. I do love you guys and appreciate all you do for me.
Thanks! Talk to you next week
Love, Elder Braken Park

Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 83: Leaving Niles, Michigan

Lame Mom and Dad forgot to write emails this week because we were out of town on Spring Break. So, I hurried and got on the email to see if I could "catch" him.  He was there and we talked back and forth for a while - so there is not a formal letter to post.

Braken is very sad to leave Niles, he has been here for a couple of transfers and has loved it here. He said he has worked his butt off in this area, that he was told wasn't a very good area, nonetheless he has seen good things happen while here and is sad to go.  The people are great!