Monday, February 23, 2015

Feb. 23, 2015 Transfer to Rock Hill, SC, New Companion, Elder A.

Hello! :D

So Elder S. returned home. I'm so happy you got to go to his report! He's awesome!

I was transferred to Rock Hill, SC and my new comp is Elder A. He is way funny. He's happy all the time and just makes you smile :) There are 4 of us in the apartment, Elder A. who came out with me and was trained by Elder Z. for 1 week before I stole Elder Z.  Elder S. who was trained for 6 weeks by Elder S. and is in charge of special musical numbers for the mission meetings. Elder B. who I was with in Concord!!! Haha, it's way fun being with all these elders that all have tie-ins with each other.   All of the elders I'm with now are big into scouting, so that's pretty fun too.  :)  :)

Elder S. and B. have a person getting baptized next week so that's exciting.

More news about my new area: It's a very different culture here than in Huntersville. We got told twice in Walmart today that we should renounce our faith or we're damned, so it's been pretty wild and we have work to do.

I appreciate your prayers and know God will help us here :) "Do Gods Will and Accept His Timing."

Thanks for the emails!! Yall are the best!! The church is true!!

Love Elder Branch :)

Another picture of J. - love him. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Feb. 16, 2015, J.'s baptism and my last week in Huntersville, NC

Hello yall!

J.'s baptism and confirmation was great!! On Saturday, Elder S. and I got a ride up to the church with Brother D. and then started setting up. We filled the font, set up chairs, got the programs out, and everything else ready. Then at 12:30 Brother S. came and brought J. We showed J. the font and the Relief Society room where we would have the rest of the meeting. People started coming and filled the chairs we set up, and J. loved all the people who came :)

Brother M. gave a talk on Baptism. It was super personal and loving, and he told J. how much the ward loved him and wanted to support him. It was great! Then we had J's baptism. We went to the gym and all the kids sat up front while the adults sat and stood in the back. Brother R. and S. were witnesses. Elder S. prayed and then lowered J. into the water. As soon as J. came back up he raised his hands in the air and started praising Jesus! "Thank you Jesus, oh, thank you Jesus!" We were all stoked, and I'm pretty sure our Young Men's president clapped! Someone did! Haha, it was great! We went back in the Relief Society room, and I played 2 Mormon Messages on a TV while Elder S. and J. got ready and joined us. After they came back in, Brother M. gave a great talk about the Holy Ghost and Brother B. in the bishopric welcomed J. into the ward. Then J. took a minute to thank everyone and bear his testimony, and at the end of his testimony, he said "In Jesus Name," and we all answered with an "Amen!" It was the best.

J. told us after, that he was going to go call everyone he knew and tell them how great he felt :) It was perfect. Then on Sunday I got to confirm him, and feeling the power as I said "receive the Holy Ghost" was just great. I'm gonna miss J., but we will definitely get to see each other again :)

After the confirmation on Sunday, Elder S. got to bear a departing testimony to the ward, and it was super. He's such a great Elder. I'm grateful I've had the opportunity to be companions with him. And the best part is he's so humble and charitable. I've learned lots from him.

Yesterday, Elder S. had his departing interview with President C., and in the course of it, President told him that he was replacing the Elders with Sisters in Huntersville. So I have no clue where I'm heading! I'll let you know next Monday, but it won't be Huntersville any more. I have mixed feelings about leaving here, because the ward is super fun with lots of friends here, and J. just got baptized! So it will be good, but bittersweet still. I wonder who I'll get for a companion next :) What fun a mission is! I love sharing the gospel with the people I get to meet :)

I sure love yall! Thanks for the email! You da best!
Elder Branch

Monday, February 9, 2015

Feb. 8, 2015 in Huntersville, NC

Howdy Howdy Howdy,

J. was able to come to church and is being baptized this Saturday!!! :D   He is the best!! We talk about how it seemed like we've known him for a long time.
We got to work on Bro. S's yard project more this week. It was pretty fun, and a bit wild.

Another story is that our mission is going on a 40 day fast the next 40 days! Everyone picks certain things in their life they want to sacrifice. It's going to be hard and awesome.

Love ya lots!!
Elder Branch

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Feb. 2, 2015 in Huntersville, NC

Saturday morning, Elder S., Brother C., and I got to help Brother S. with a yard project. It was a sweet way to end the week for sure!

Yes, I'm keeping a journal on my mission. I heard a quote recently and it said "It doesn't matter how often you write in a journal, it just matters that you write one." SO I've been doing that, and just writing maybe twice a week while Elder S. is doing district leader call ins, and it's been pretty neat.

Yes, we download videos from the gospel library app and use those (Mormon messages and such). Its way handy!

These past weeks in Huntersville have been very positive. The members are excited about going out teaching with us. Probably the biggest blessing for the area has been J. He came to church last week and this past Friday he accepted a baptismal date for the 14th of February!! Everyone here is so excited for him! Throughout teaching J., I've learned to rely more on prayer and the Spirit. As we pray and plan with the Spirit how best to help J., we have seen Heavenly Father's hand in the work. He has helped us know which lessons to teach, what members to bring with us, and how to help J. come to church. He has also been answering J.'s prayers. The day after accepting his baptismal date, he told us he was reading in the Book of Mormon in Alma 34:3-5 and he felt the Spirit tell him that he needed to get baptized, and that this was the right step! It was the best!!. He loves the Book of Mormon, loves the members, and loves the feeling he gets at church. We are so excited to see him make this, and future covenants. He has some health concerns so please pray for him and his health.

Well, I sure love ya! Thanks for the emails and pictures and prayers!! Please pray for J., and for more people for us to teach! Thanks so much! Ya'll are the best!