Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June, 15, 2015 in Greensboro, NC

Dear Family,

You asked when the Cravens are returning home and the Alexanders are arriving. Haha, funny thing, the Cravens called last Monday and wished me a happy birthday! I asked about them leaving and Sister Craven said that the Alexanders come on the 29th, but she didn't say when they leave. From what we have heard though, the Cravens only get probably one day with the Alexanders. They have been very hush hush about it, which is a lot like the cravens.  :)
We had a good week this week. We are doing a "missionary mingle," essentially we are going to a members house and sharing a 10-15 minute message about Jesus Christ, then we are going to have refreshments and socialize. We are inviting lots of friends, so we are excited for the turnout.
One good thing that happened was every Priest graduated! So on Saturday lots of them had graduation parties (did we have one when I was graduating? They make graduation a HUGE deal out here, and I don't remember it being as big at home), and anyways, we were invited to one that had some new friends there who we got to meet! It was a great way to introduce ourselves and hopefully have a future family home evening with them or something. One other fun story was that an elementary school across the street from our church got to hold their 5th grade graduation in our gym, and we got to usher. We didn't get any new friends names there but it was still great to have 500 people all inside the church for the first time!

So on Sunday, Elder G. and I were at church waiting for ward council meeting, while Summit's sacrament was happening. At about 11:30 these 2 guys and a boy walked in and asked where they should go. Turns out they were invited by some Summit ward members who play basketball at the church Wednesday nights to come to a service!! It was so fun to see them show up, and we hope that they follow up with the Summit Elders :)

Things are continuing to happen in Summer-field, and we are doing our very best each day. We know as we continue to plan diligently and look for those who are prepared, we will eventually find those who will receive us and we will be able to feel the joy the gospel brings to their lives! Thanks for all you do!

Anyways, thanks for the fun stories!! I sure love y'all!!

Love, Elder Branch

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June 8, 2015 in Greensboro, NC

Dear Family, (written on his 19th birthday)

I got my Eclipse 6 CD and it is too great!!! :D Evening Prayer is great, and in my last apartment we did a lip sync to All creatures of our God and King, which is a super fun video! I'd say my favorite is probably Go With Me, all about the Restoration :)

I got my package and presents and they were a blast! Also, I heard from Kaylene and Corbin. That was a blast! Everyone and their dog have been giving me birthday gifts, everyone's been so nice! I got cupcakes, pizza, I will get a milkshake later, and lots and lots of Facebook notification emails! So it's been fun :)

We got back in contact with J.!! We are seeing him tonight :D we also are getting lots of appointments set up with families that we are hoping to start teaching.

Last night we had dinner with the B. family. He is in the stake presidency and they have a bunch of kids who are all in their teens or their 20's. We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ using scriptures and core experiences, and at the end committed them to pray for opportunities to share it this week. They started talking about missionary experiences they had already had. Then they invited us to their son Z.'s graduation party this Saturday to meet a bunch of their friends!! It was great! 

Other than that, this week was a hard one pretty much across the whole Zone. A. and A. aren't interested, and we had a couple other good contacts but nothing super huge.  But as the prophets say, there isn't any real way to measure conversion. Probably one of the greatest things we did get to do was go out with a bunch of the Priests. We got to give them all a little taste of missionary work, and it was lots of fun :)

Elder old man Branch

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June 1, 2015 in Greensboro, NC

Hello Family!!

J. was in the hospital this week, so Elder G. and Elder P. visited him on exchange and gave him a blessing. He is getting better and we have a lesson with him tonight with some friends.

I was on 2 days of exchanges with Elder L. and then Elder R., and I just love all the missionaries in this mission! Elder P. left me a great note for when I got home.

I definitely agree with dad where he said some of the most fun parts in church service are getting to be with your friends and brothers/sisters. 

So we had a Zone Conference this week, and it was the Craven's last real training with us. It was super good, and super tender. They pretty much touched every part of Preach My Gospel missionary work and tied it all in to our future even after our missions. Then President gave a great training about doctrine (the what), principles (why), and application (how). He talked about how doctrines and principles in the church never change, but applications may. He then tied it in to how the second the Alexanders arrive, they preside, and how even though things will change here, it will be for good, and it will be alright. He committed us to keep moving forward.

It made me think of how sometimes a great young women's leader or a scoutmaster will be changed and how you may hear people cry or reminisce on how great they were. But sometimes we forget that the people who are called were called by revelation, and they will do a wonderful job too, if we give them that chance. It will be sad to lose the Cravens, but I am looking forward to the Alexanders too.

Thanks for the emails and fun stories, I sure love ya! God is good!

Elder Branch :)

Life has been grand here, we just got done playing soccer in the gym for p-day (normal soccer, not chair soccer), and it was a party!