Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Jan. 26, 2015 in Huntersville, NC

Dear Mom and Fam.

You mentioned General Conference talks. I love studying the General Conference addresses, and hearing about them in Sacrament Mtgs. Speaking of Sacrament Mtg, J. came to church yesterday!!!

So for more specifics on J.'s church experience, it all started last week with our weekly planning session. We were trying to figure out how to help J. come to church , and thought of doing a church tour with him. We presented this to him and he was down with it. On Saturday, J., Elder S., Brother H., and I all went to the church. It turns out the Cub Scout Pine-wood Derby was that night, so a bunch of members were there too! J. loves little kids, so he really enjoyed seeing them having fun there. We showed him the building and he was impressed with the pictures on the walls, the fact we don't do a collection plate, and the Spirit in the building. It was a fantastic tour, and we felt the Spirit strongly. J. kept talking about how excited he was, and how he had been praying for a church for a couple months when Elder S. showed up. Elder S. and I gave J. a hug at the end of the night, cause he's the best! He agreed to come the next day, so before church, Brother K., Elder S. and I picked him up. He was super excited, and looked way classy too! He had been afraid because he didn't have a suit or nice shoes, so we told him it would be fine in whatever he came in. Well, he found a classy looking red collared shirt and a gray cardigan and it was sweet! The Sacrament meeting was fantastic, the songs were great, and the speakers were so good!! J. loved it :) The rest of church was also really good, and lots of the members introduced themselves to him. At the end of church he said it hadn't even felt like 3 hours, and that he wants this to be his church!! Finding J. was a miracle. God is so good :)

Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Eternal God. The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of Their word. This church holds Priesthood keys that allow us to access the blessings of eternity. We have a prophet today, and the glorious opportunity to share this knowledge with all our friends, kindred's, tongue's, and people. This I do know and testify of day by day :) I love ya!! You da best!

Elder Branch

ps. Elder S. has some awesome skateboarding skills. The kids in the neighborhood like to learn from him. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Jan. 19, 2015, in Huntersville, NC

Howdy Yall!

So this week was the week of blessings! I loved the spirit that accompanied each one. I'm grateful that we have the Priesthood today, that we can perform such blessing that comfort and strengthen. Blessings are probably my #1 favorite function of the Priesthood, if I had to choose. We gave 4 blessings the past 3 days, and every one of them have been special. Last night we went and visited H. and S. (the couple who feed us black eggs and make sushi for the grocery stores in the area.) They are from Burma, and they are literally the nicest, sweetest, little couple in practically the entire planet!! I love all the people here so much, and H. and S. are sure something special. So anyways, S. had been feeling dizzy at work the past couple of days, and a couple of days ago she was afraid she almost had a stroke!! We got to give her a blessing, and it was a very special one.

J. didn't come to church. He told us he couldn't in advance because he had his grandkids. We're going to do a church tour with him this week so he will feel more comfortable. We haven't been able to meet with D. because his family has been in town. We're visiting him this week though.  I'm excited to see what miracles are in store this week.

Elder Branch

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jan. 12, 2015 in Huntersville, NC

We were able to contact or meet with all our investigators this week, as well as meet a couple new ones. M. hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon, but D. and J. have been!! We are super excited for them. J. plans on coming to church this week and feels like this could be the church for him.

I had an exchange with Elder E. in Mountain Island, and we were blessed to find 3 new investigators after only knocking on 7 doors. It was a really great exchange.

I studied the talk "The Sacrament and the Atonement" by Elder James J. Hamula today. One of the best parts of the talk was where he talked about the Doctrine of Christ! He says:

 "When we receive this doctrine and conduct our lives accordingly, we are in effect washed in the blood of Christ and made clean. Through the sacramental prayers, we express our acceptance of this doctrine of Christ and our commitment to live according to it. Brothers and sisters, the most important event in time and eternity is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He who accomplished the Atonement has given us the ordinance of the sacrament to help us not only remember but also claim the blessings of this supreme act of grace. Regular and earnest participation in this sacred ordinance helps us continue to embrace and live the doctrine of Christ after baptism and thereby pursue and complete the process of sanctification. Indeed, the ordinance of the sacrament helps us faithfully endure to the end and receive the fulness of the Father in the same way Jesus did, grace for grace."

I got the opportunity to help pass the sacrament in Huntersville this past week, because they didn't have enough young men, and I was so grateful to get the chance to assist in that special sacred ordinance. The Sacrament is always the highlight of my week, because I can concentrate on the Savior and feel my sins from the past week being washed away.

With love,
Elder Branch

Some pictures of "tie surgery" from a few months ago.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Jan. 5, 2015 in Huntersville, NC

Our investigators have been harder to contact this week, a couple of them got sick or had family in town. Luckily, they are all still interested. We were able to have a couple member present lessons this last week, and our investigators have all committed to reading the Book of Mormon. We're working hard each day and striving for miracles.

I'm grateful to be companions with Elder S. He's such a solid missionary and has taught me a lot. One of the things that drives him crazy is when missionaries are robotic, and I really appreciate the help he's given me to help me remain careful, while still managing to have fun and be who I am. He helps people to "open up" to us, which is a great strength of his, and one that I am still trying to improve. It's been a great chance for me to learn from him. I'm still not quite sure what I'm teaching him, he seems to know most of it already! Being together has been good for the both of us I think, and we're excited for miracles these next 6 weeks!

The members here are all onboard with missionary work. Whenever we have a scheduled appointment, we are almost always able to find a member to go out with us, even among their busy schedules. We've even have had a couple brothers volunteer to go to lessons with us on their lunch breaks. We will keep working with them and do our best to gain their trust and help them with missionary work. 

Well, I love Yall so much!!! Thanks for the emails! I'll write more next week :) (Good news, I got to reply to a whole bunch of emails that have been waiting! Yay!) :) I sure love Ya!

Elder Branch :)

The pictures at the bottom are from a sandwich shop here that's fantastic. It's called Which Wich and you can write notes and hang them on the wall.