Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June 20, 2016 in Statesville, North Carolina

Hey buddies!

So we are doing great! N. accepted a baptismal date of the 9th of July!!! We got to teach her 3 times this week, all with members, and she has been reading the Book of Mormon. She had started kind of slow, so we read a chapter with her and we told her how she could insert her name into verses where it used someone else's name, and yesterday she told us she has been doing that and really really liking it! Hooray!! Please pray that things will continue to work for her, as she is still in a very tough situation. She is having to live with some members for a while, and moving back and forth, so just pray.

J. is also good, and plans on coming to church with us this week! He likes the Book of Mormon, but doesn't seem to understand that it is scripture just like the Bible. He keeps praying and asking God if it will be ok for him to read more of the Book of Mormon, thereby taking away time from the Bible. I love how much the south loves the Bible though, it has given me new respect for it since serving.

Happy Father's Day! It was fun here, we got to go eat with the P.'s, some of my favorite members, and the awesome B.'s are having us over later this week. We took Father's Day pictures with D. and Bro. B. :)

Thanks again for the fun fun stories! I love hearing from you :D

Elder Branch :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

June 13, 2016 in Statesville, North Carolina

Hey there!

I'm 20! No longer a teen! You asked if I feel any different? Nah, not really.

Anyways, I realized this morning that I only have one month left. And honestly each day it gets closer I get less excited. Maybe that will switch during the last few weeks, but for now I guess I'm like "I can be normal for the rest of my life! I only have one month left to be a missionary! And that right there is a sad thought.

J. is doing great! He is still reading, and this week we were able to read some with him. That went really well! He had said that he was having some trouble understanding, but after reading first Nephi 16 with him all about Lehi's vision, he really enjoyed it! He said he understood it really well and it is interesting him a lot! On top of it, he actually asked his pastor about going to our church and the pastor said it was fine as long as we taught about Christ. So keep praying for him.

N. is also doing good, though she had a real hard week this week. She wasn't going to come to church, but the Bishop's wife texted her and encouraged her that hard weeks are when we need to come most. She agreed and came, though it was tough for her. She is moving in with 2 sisters in the ward, so we are going to be able to teach her a couple times, which is nice :)

D. took us to work out with him on my birthday. We got permission to go with him to the YMCA and we did a tabata class, which means that we bounce back and forth between circuit work-outs (which are tough but I like), and exercise bikes (which are absolutely awful, because the trainer is driving you hard). At the end of the workout I all of a sudden got light headed and almost fainted. I rested and drank gatorade and water, and ate a granola bar that the trainer lady
brought. I got feeling better, and later that day gave a baptismal interview. That was super fun! D. went out with us a couple times later on in the week and it went great! He's the best!

You asked about district activities. As far as the district goes, we are too spread out to do district activities every week, but we do at least 1 district activity and 1 zone activity a transfer. Today though, for p-day, we are at the church and playing games with D. :)

You asked about the new "My plan" online training. It's really interesting, essentially you take 1 class per week and it includes videos and quotes and places for you to answer questions. I actually really like it. This week I am suppose to be signing up for institute, and 3 of the teachers are Brother Crimin (10th and 11th grade seminary), Brother Hardy (9th grade seminary), and Brother Craven (President Craven's brother)! Wahoo! So btws, what does my school schedule look like again so I can register for institute? Thanks :)

Thanks again, sounds like a blast of a week! Sure love y'all! :) :)

Elder Branch

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June 6, 2016 in Statesville, North Carolina

Hey there everyone,

Wow, what a week! Transfers were Tuesday and my new companion is Elder B. He's a great missionary and a good teacher. We're getting along great. Elder H.'s new companion is Elder T. and he is from Idaho Falls. In the rest of the district, we got an Elder J., and Sister L. They are both great, and our district in general is really good. We have 3 or 4 people wanting to be baptized this month! One of them is going to be this Saturday, and on Wednesday I get to give him a baptismal interview! I couldn't ask for a better birthday present!

Speaking of which, let's move on to our own area! So we got to teach the M.'s again, but unfortunately they just seem to be too wrapped up in the end of the world. (Literally). We encouraged that as much as being prepared physically is good (they loved the 1 year food storage), the most important thing is to be prepared spiritually. We're sure trying and praying for them to understand.
D. came with us for that lesson and he is so great! We didn't get to see J. as his brother overdosed this last week.   :(
We have a new friend we're teaching named N. She is from Japan and was friends with a Sister missionary there. She moved out here, but stuff went down and now she is really struggling. Her friend called our bishop and asked him to contact her. He was able to do so, and she was able to come to church. We have taught her twice now and she is super. We got 4 referrals at the very end of this week that we're excited to contact too! The B's got the Book of Mormon Reader and are enjoying it, thanks! Thanks for all the super fun stories!!!! 

Love ya,
Elder Branch

Elder B.