Tuesday, July 29, 2014

First week in North Carolina

Hey y'all! Sorry, I don't have time to answer all the questions in their fullness, but I'll do my best. 
So the plane was awesome, I love flying! I didn't teach anyone on the plane but I gave a fair effort with a man sitting next to me ;) 
I got 2 trainers, Elder K and Elder B. They're both great. We're a 3 member companionship.

So there are quite a few 3 member companionships throughout the mission. We have been tracking and teaching and it's been really great!  I'm trying to work on contacting, asking questions, and not saying "um..." ;) the food is great! Hunter and Em will be jealous.
It's amazing how much you feel the spirit every day out here. It just never seems to leave you, which I suppose is how it's supposed to feel all the time, not just on a mission ;) so yeah it's been crazy but good overall! We have a couple of investigators and a few show potential, so I hope we can help them feel the spirit. I've learned since being out that the missionaries purpose is all about the Atonement and the Doctrine of Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end), and helping people come closer to Christ through those steps. And it's amazing!
I haven't got J's letter yet, hopefully it got sent to the right place! I. Excited for it though!

It was super great to hear from all of y'all! I've been cussed out a couple of times and I can't take my iPad out in a couple of areas for fear of getting shot but other than that it's been awesome! (Sorry mom, don't mean to scare ya) ;) the church is true and God loves us!

Elder Branch

Friday, July 25, 2014

Totally Awesome Brother Whiteley!

Today we received the following email from a totally awesome Brother Whiteley! What a guy!

When my youngest son was serving in the Pocatello, Idaho Mission (Spanish speaking) some local members sent us some pictures of our son at a local event. 
Elder Branch and his companions were at our house for dinner on Thursday and I like to take pictures of the missionaries and pay forward the kindness that was shown to our family. Here in the Concord Ward of the Charlotte Central  Stake we will endeavor to take good care of your son and keep him busy. Enjoy the pictures.
(Brother) Whiteley
Concord, NC

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Address in Concord

Elder Branch arrived in North Carolina on July 21, 2014.

His address is:
Elder Zachary Branch
3020 Hilliard Dr.
Charlotte, NC    28205

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 16, 2014 (Email from the MTC)

Hahahaha!! Those were great jokes! And even better letters :) Thanks for all ya'lls support ;) Here's some entertainment for you:

-- Look up a song about Noah. I don't know the name but the chorus goes something like this: "You got your green alligators and long neck geese. Some humptiback camels and some chimpanzees. Some cats and rats and elephants, but as sure as your born, Don't you forget my Unicorn!!"
Haha we've been singing it and a number of other songs all week (don't worry, we've been singing hymns too). Our district (4 companionships) love to sing like, all the time. We decided to form an Acapella group called "The District." :) We will be singing Nearer My God to Thee in our branch's sacrament meeting this week as a district.

Now for a bit of vocabulary: A district is on average 4-5 companionships. Above the district, there is a Zone. A Zone is anywhere from 2-4ish districts. And a Branch is one Zone, plus a Branch Presidency and their wives. Our Branch's second counselor actually taught J business at BYU!! His name is President L, you can ask if J remembers him :)

So as far as your questions:

1. My companions name is Elder D from Chandler, AZ. He loves hockey and lacrosse. He will be sending you a letter some time soon :)

2. Food is super good usually!! It's pretty much just like the Canon center at BYU. It's buffet style and they usually have 3-4 options. And they have BYU creamery ice cream on Wednesdays and Sundays, and pizza Fridays. Also there is a cooler of Ice cream sandwiches and pop cycles every meal. And a soda machine with caffeine free everything (MTN Dew, Dr. Pepper, etc). I am like seriously worried about getting fat, cause I haven't been able to work out much D: Haha but its good

3.I already mentioned a bit about my district. Some other info is that in the room with Elder D and me there is one other companionship. There names are Elder J and Elder P. Those two are also our Zone Leaders for this next week. The other companionships are Elder B with Elder H, and Elder L (from Canada) with Elder G.

4. A spiritual experience was when our district read Matthew 26 together and had a discussion. No teachers or anything, just us Elders. Ya'll should read it.

5. Our teachers are sooo amazing! I'll have to tell you about them in a latter email. And like I mentioned earlier, our district is sooo good!!!!! Elder P is the one who taught us the Noah song and he's really great, but literally, I love all of them.

Thanks for the love and support!!! AND FOR THE SHOES!!!!!!!!!! :D :D The Church is True!!! I LOVE you all :)