Sunday, November 30, 2014

November 24 - Gilbert

Hello mother and family!
yes all is well in Higley, Arizona. well gilbert arizona. but it almost is a town. i'm still in the same ward as i was six months ago! but i am so happy. we got transfer calls last night.... aaaaannnndddd... i'm staying!! woot woot! i just wanted to stay one more transfer. at least haha. elder baailey and i have really worked hard to pick up the area, and it is doing SO well right now. so we are way excited that we can stay together one mroe transfer. 
yes i heard from kristen that i am the only one that thinks it is a girl! but you just wait... i called jeff and karlee's and i'll call kristen and jeff's! 

how is everything with me? everything is so well! we had 5 investigators at church yesterday which was awesome. Zoe, not sure if i told you about her, she is doing awesome. She was the one that we fasted with last saturday (9 days ago) so she can come to know that the book of mormon is true. she had been blasting through it but could not admit that she knew it was true. she had received so many witnesses/amazing experiences but that still didn't cut it. so we fasted with her on saturday, and she read all of alma from 2:00 to 8:00pm. we followed up with her at 8 and had a quick lesson. we told her "we're not giong to invite you to be baptized (because we do every lesson (probably have invited her 5 times or so...)), but do you believe the book of mormon is the word of God?" and she replied, "yes i do." so two days later, after FHE on monday, she came up to us, and said "i'm ready." so she will be getting baptized on december 6. she is the most prepared investigator i have ever had my whole mission. we had a lesson with her the following day on tuesday, and she said to us, "elders, after we had that lesson last night, i was just so filled with the Spirit, that i went to the temple and just stood outside of it for like an hour crying..." and then she said, "oh have you ever heard of the store, deseret book?" "haha yes..." "look what i got" She then proceeded to show us everything she got. She bought a quad. and a personal progress. and all the seminary books so that she can make up everything she missed while she wasn't a member of the church. she got "jesus the Christ." she got "the articles of Faith" by james e talmage. she even got a preach my gospel! and she read the rest of the missionary lessons and even the missionary white handbook. she is incredible. anyway... then there's Geri. she has been smoke free for two weeks now! progressing toward baptism on Dec 27. doing so well. and a woman named kasey came to church with her less active mother in law that we taught a couple days ago even though she was ill. and then a guy that we tracted into named zach, only a few days ago, came to church as well. oh and frankie did too. a PM family that we found a couple weeks ago. So everything is going well here in the Higley ward and the Williams YSA ward. 

happy birthday padre! i'm sorry i am so bad at writing/wishing everyone happy birthdays. everything goes by so fast! what do i want for Christmas? your guess is as good as mine! i really have no idea. i couldn't tell ya. a couple ties would be good. 

well thank you for the updates! i hope that this email was sufficient.

oh... great that ryan is getting married. but man! 3 years without seeing each other and he goes and gets married. great...

elder bronson

November 17 - Gilbert

November 10 - Gilbert

hello mother. yes i've had an awesome week as always. actually a little stressful. as always haha. haha man you recruit the missionaries quite a bit to teach seminary. but i guess that is good. we teach seminary once a week too. to be honest i don't really like it. but we deal with it. it excites the work. even though it's never for our ward haha. oh man you're in florida? is it as warm as it is here? 

that's cool that the sister missionaries went to hailey's soccer game. hopefully all will work out in the future.

man hailey seems to be a lot better than the rest of the family. we were all quite procrastinators. it seems that she'll excel past most of us! haha. it is a little humorous that she's always a step ahead of everything. and you always had to hound marcus about his homework. i'm sure he thinks it's funny as well. 

that's cool that there are so many hispanics. kinda like arizona. probably not near as much here as there is there, but we do have our fair opportunities to speak spanish. i can carry on a conversation... and refer them to the spanish missionaries. we've actually passed on a few referrals to the spanish missionaries just from talking to the hispanic workers or people we run into. it's actually really fun. i'm obviously not that good. i'm secretly wishing that President calls me spanish speaking for the last 6 months of my mission. 

okay quick updates...

geri is progressing well. she is stopping smoking this week. she's preparing for baptism hopefully in december. she's doing so well. and she's hilarious too. she came to church yesterday... haha she always wonders why everyone cries when they get up to bear their testimony. i'm still wondering that myself... 
we gave andre the aaronic priesthood yesterday. it was awesome. he's such a stud. singles ward guy that got baptizedsept 27. he got his temple recommend for the phoenix dedication this sunday.
zoe, a new investigator, is awesome. she knows everything already. we started teaching her last week. she's in the singles' ward as well. we're teaching her again tonight. reading the book of mormon with her. 
a few others that are in the runnings. the Higley ward is really turning around. there is a lot of missionary work going on, and the ward is starting to catch the fire. i REALLY hope i stay one more transfer at least. otherwise i may have to experience that whole "sewing" without "reaping" thing. not cool. i like to do both haha. 

anyway not sure what else happened this week...  i promise i'll have a better email next week.

elder bronson

November 3- Gilbert

Well hey there mother! always happy to respond to your emails. 
my week? went very well! always does though. there are always frustrations. but everything moves on haha! oh thank you for writing/sending the answers to my request. some other missionaory said he did it and i thought that would be perfect. freezing there? it's been freezing here! i know it's all relative. but man arizona has turned me into the biggest wimp. proselyting last night on our bikes. i had to wear a jacket. because it was 65. and i was still cold. it was messed up. pretty sure your blood thins out over time to acclimate to the dry heat. haha you can still take a girls trip to phoenix. as long as you don't tell me about it. i actually was in phoneix the other day going to the temple open house. took a family through. prettys sweet. not as cool as the gilbert temple thought o be honest. love that place. 

haha the sister missionaries are going to hailey's soccer game? haha that's interesting. well i hope she does well! she's our last hope at a successful athlete! i'm glad you are so willing to allow the sisters to go over and meet your friends. it's difficult getting half referrals from people. the ones that are like, "yeah you can go to that neighbor, but don't tell them i sent you!" so good job mom! keep up the good work! never be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ! in the long run, they're going to ask you why you never told them! there's a missionary named sister caron shared her conversion story with the mission and mentioned that she said to her friend something like, "why didn't you tell me earlier? or at all?" we just never know who is ready to receive the gospel. we just have to invite. and pray for the opportunities. pray with faith for the opportunities. and have the courage to act on them. sometimes it's hard for even missionaries to have the courage to act on opportunities, believe it or not... one of the principles in finding in preach my gospel talks about talking to everyone you see. seems like a no brainer but a lot of times we're late to an appointment, or we have something else on our minds, that keep us from talking to everyone we see. but if we qualify ourselves for better opportunities as we just open our mouths. 

oh yeah crazy how the sister peterson knew hannah hyde. halloween was good. we actually were in the temple from 5-9 anyway. so we didn't even have the opporutniety to open the door. but we wouldn't have anyway. we had to be accounted for because people dress up as mormon missionaries and do stupid things. so president wanted to make sure that he knew where everyone was. i love kit kats. good job hailey.

yikes the ACT is tough. but i feel like if i took it again right now, after brushing up on a few things, i would actually do better. after all the scripture reading, my comprehension has definitely improved. and that's where i lacked before! but yes it's a difficult test. give her positive reinforcement though! i'm sure she'll do great.

tennis is improving? oh good! i'm sure my game is terrible. maybe we'll do that next monday. dad turns 53, huh? wow. my dad's gettin old! any gray hairs yet? 

anyway... love you much! sorry for the little to no update on investigators. we picked up a couple awesome ones last week. so to be continued..

love, elder bronson

October 27- gilbert

Hey mom how are ya?! yes of course i had a great week. well actually i thought it was going to cool down. but it was still in the 90s all week. but i think it'll cool down next week. who knows though. it's arizona. everything has gone very well this week! well geri was out of town the entire week at a ranch. but she got back last night so we taught her. we are having dinner with her and the stake president tonight. so that will be fun. we took her to the temple last week but i think i already shared that with you. however, the family that we had dinner with we took to the temple on saturday. it was so good! the dad who has been inactive for 20 years, was pretty emotional going through the temple. and on the way home. elder bailey overheard them conversing about how he missed going to the temple. and the changes he would need to make to get back. yes he was eavesdropping. but it was good! they will need to take it a little slow though. so i will hopefully tell you more about them later.

no i haven't ran into any of the families that you have met on vacations. but you never know! two new sister missionaries from utah, huh? mom i feel like you just say these things to make your son feel good! haha that's awesome that hailey is doing so well in extra curriculars wouldn't expect anything less! but i've been doing a bit of soccer playing myself here on the mission. sometimes on pday, some of the missionaries in the msision go to this indoor field. it's so fun. and i don't even like soccer! but i'm gettin pretty good so watch out hailey! started tennis again? i haven't played in so long! but there is a sister missionary in our zone that wants to play so maybe we'll make a zone activity out of it! haha she actually is from boise too. yes we will not be out on hallowee. this year though we will be in the temple from like4:30 to 8:30. it will be pretty awesome. president said that we could do other ordincances following our endowment session. pretty pumped! i realized the other day, that i not only had not done baptisms for over a year, but actually had not been immersed in any sort of water regardless of ordinance work for over a year! pretty nuts. maybe i'll take a bath tonight an put my head under the water. haha just kidding.

hahaha that is so hilarious that dad announced that in singles ward. that is definitely the dad i remember! i'm sure she was so embarrassed. you hear weird jokes like that across the pulpit every other sunday. sometimes people cry during testimony meeting about how they are not married. others talk about when they were on their mission, their mission president promised them 40 virgin wives if they worked hard. weird stuff like that. kinda uncomfortable sometimes but you live with it!

 thank you for all that you do! and all the updates and inspiring words! love you much!

elder bronson

October 20- Gilbert

Mother and family. i think i start out every email that way. hope it doesn't get boring... oh you're at courtney's again? oh that's right for the baby blessing! how was it? did calvin do it? was it good to have the family together? you've been doing a lot of traveling to NC ever since andie got here! yes it is so crazy how fast everything changed. they all had like 2 years to have a baby but they chose to wait until i left to have 3! what in the heck! but it's okay. no worries. and marcus is a giant now. and hailey looks way older too. everything is just weird haha. in a good way though of course. 

church yesterday was good! Geri was not able to come though. she was on vacation. and will be until next sunday so we cannot teach her this week. wouldn't it be nice if every time we got a new investigator they stopped life so t hat they could keep all of our commitments and get baptized quickly? haha just kidding. but she is progressing quickly. the ward is really pitching in and it is such a blessing to watch. many have gone by to meet her or to drop off gifts for her birthday and such. one lady in the ward said that she was almost in tears when she brought her something. anyway it helps so much to have the ward involved! get to know your missionaries' investigators. and do something for them. the missionaries will definitely appreciate it. on top of t hat we took her to the phoenix temple open house yesterday. way good experience for her. it took forever though as it is an hour outside of our mission. but hey we got a miracle for ya! sorry i say "we" all the time. it's a habit. but we've been trying to get in with this pm family forever! less active return missionary. two kids. anyway.. we finally got in by askking if they could feed us one day. after one cancellation they finally had us over for dinner. anyway... it was a good dinner... elder bailey and i received revelation earlier that we needed to talk to him about his mission. it was a really cool story just how we came to that conclusion (we were in trasnfer meeting and president nattress said "nobody ever forgets about their mission." and this man came to mind. i thought, "man we gotta talk to him about his mission." and then elder bailey turned to me and said, "elder bronson. we gotta talk to bj about his mission." it was awesome). so we talked to him about his mission at dinner. and it sparked conversation about miracles and such. at the end of dinner he began tlaking about his wife's health how it's not that good. pretty young couple too. and talked about her current physical ailments, and then with tears in his eyes said, "we were actually wanting to ask you guys if you could give her a blessing before you leave." of course we said we would. she invited us back for this wednesday for dinner. and we texted her the other day and she said she wante dto go to the phoenix tmeple open house with her family. major blessing. anyway... lots of miracles this week. figured i better take mom's advice and email some stories to you because i don't keep a journal.

anyway... forgot to answer questions. good to hear kellie is taking the ACT again. hope she does well! am i interested in summer term? well i can choose between going home june 23 and may 12. so i'm pretty set on june 23. yeah i guess i would just try to earn a few bucks before fall semester and not go to summer term. unless you have any other ideas. i don't even know what else i could do. but i'm not sure i want to think about it anyway. suggestions for family vacations? umm how about gilbert, AZ! haha i don't know anything would be fun. whatever you choose is perfect! 

okay i think i answered all the questions. oh! so guess what i did this morning! i took elder anderson's promise in conference regarding reading "the testimony of the prophet joseph smith" pamphlet and recording it in your own voice. i've only listened to part of it. but it really does put a whole new perspective on it. you really understand the sincerity of his words. and it defiinitely helps to increase your testimony in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. anyway... it takes ,like 20 mins to read but it is a really amazing activity. do it! it's a little weird listening to yoruself. but you'll realize the significance when you do it. 

love, elder bronson

October 13- Gilbert

Mother! yes i am doing very well! i loved seeing all of the pictures from nauvoo. that is so cool. how far did you say it is again from our house? we should take a trip there. yes i can imagine that the house is a little quiet. that is crazy that there are only 3 kids left in the home. you two are gettin OLD! haha but don't worry mom. it doesn't show! oh the family you met lives nearby the temple? if they are very close to the temple then they are in the williamsfield stake. and i am in the higley stake. so just one north of them. but our singles' ward covers a few wards in the williamsfield stake. what ward are they in? i will know their missionaries. we took out a couple mini missionaries with us the past few days from the williamsfield stake. they were so awesome. our last minis were good... but these were awesome. just so ready to work! brother packer and brother zoller. just good missionaries. obviously they didn't have the common teaching skills developed while on the mission. but they had what they needed to quickly develop those skillls... humility. they were so teachable! just an eager desire to learn and ask questions, and accept advice. i kept thinking to myself... "man, could you imagine how easy it would be to train if misisonaries didn't go to the mtc?!" nah i'm just kidding... but i know i had a big head when i got out of the mtc so i know i was probably difficult for my trainer. but all in all they were great. i can forward a picture or two to courtney or something. 

yes we went to cafe rio on our own. dinner bailed on us again! haha we've been planning in a lot of dinners with less actives, investigators, formers, potentials, part members... hence the frequent fall throughs. no just kidding they've been good though. seen some real miracles from doing it. we picked up a couple formers from 8 months ago so that's good! and looking forward to picking up more this week. anyway..

anyway... yes that is so cool that this week is on prophets. general conference wass all about that! one of the underlying themes for sure. elder nelson, president eyring, YW lady... and 2 or 3 more. all about sustaing and following the prophet. probably also because president monson is going down hill a little bit mentally. 

the other missionaries at the general conference picture were elder tagg and elder nelson. elder tagg is the tall one. elder nelson with the etcha sketch. elder tagg just got the call yesterday though. he's leaving. me and elder bailey are staying! woot woot! pretty pumped. elder bailey is awesome. such a good missionary. we get along super well. i've been lucky pretty much my whole mission getting good companions. so anyway.. 

oh yeah... quick events that happened this week..

elder bailey sat on elder tagg's desk chair with him and it broke.

we saw the prescreening of meet the mormons. awesome movie.

we had a super stressful saturday. don't want to tell you about it because it was so stressful.

geri (who watched conference with the plewes last week) attended church this week. 

brittany is getting baptized oct 25.

it's cooling down. 80s now. pretty nice. 

and i can't remember what else to share. i know there was more but love you!

elder bronson

October 7 - Gilbert

mother and family! yes dad told me that you were on the road. 8 hours? that's not even bad! we'll have to go see when i get back too. YES I LOVED CONFERENCE. definitely the best conference i've ever heard. so many incredible talks. elder christopherson's was so good. and elder bednar of course. but really that conference was legendary. man all that food sounds great. we are about to go grocery shopping and i think i just found my shopping list. yes ryan emails me and told me about her. who knows! we'll see. holy cow i can't believe dad has lost so much weight. it was always up and down for him. awesome that he can put his mind to it and accomplish it. and just in time too! when jorge something of the seventy said that one of the things we can do to be confident in the sight of God is to exercise and be healthy! that was an eye opener for 50% of the church haha. anyway i don't think i have any questions to respond to. i think i answered them all. which stinks because i've only written like 10 lines. umm... this week was great. we taught a TON. we set some hefty goals as a companionship and as a zone. and we accomplished them. it's amazing when you can set a goal that is perfectly on the fence between impossible and barely possible. makes you stretch. accomplish. set new goals that will help you to progress. so quite a successful week. we found some new investigators too. and a lot of potential as we put forth our faith and diligence. elder bailey is an awesome missionary. i learn so much from him. humility. patience. it seems that i always get to learn from the best! thankfully... because there are plenty of missionaries who get tough companions. i've had maybe one. anyway... good things are going to happen this week. keep your eyes open! oh hey wasn't it crazy how many talks were on sustaining the prophet? it's natural to feel a bit uneasy about his mental condition but he's still the prophet of the Lord! follow his counsel. it's a commandment!

September 29 - Gilbert

hello there mother and family!
all is definitely well on this side of the country! yes another picture from the woodwards. yes it was a pizza place. best place ever. it's called "sal's" an italian pizza place. way good. they have these garlic knots they give you. and i can't remember what it's called... but the garlic bread thing with basil and tomatoes on top. so good. and yes it was tomatoes. but still so good. i don't know how they did it! or maybe i'm growing up or something... not really sure where we are planning on watching conference. we always watch it at the stake center though unlesss an investigator is at a member's house. we asked the plewe family to invite geri (a neighbor we've been teaching) to their house for a session. so hopefully that goes through. she wasn't able to make it to church this sunday. so we have to wait two weeks to get her there now! church is the best here in gilbert. the members are so great. they help so much with pushing investigators along. the fellowhip, the family. i didn't like it as much down south of gilbert because of the sense of family for investigators is not as prevalent. but i'm back. freaking gilbert.
yes i saw pictures of your palmyra trip! so amazing. just like the pictures in the quad haha. haha i love that although you had an amazing time at palmyra and wish you could take the kdis, in retrospect you still choose the beach! classic madre. don't worry i'm right there with ya!

 the miracle was definitely andre.  andre was baptized on saturday and confirmed yesterday. what an awesome testimony. that guy gives the most amazing prayers. so sincere. sometimes investigators, by listening to our relatively wrote prayers, think that eloquence and experience make a prayer powerful. wrong. nothing is more powerful than an investigator offering a sincere and simple prayer at the end of a lesson. so we're working on setting a baptism for the dead date next. and he's in singles ward so we won't set a sealing date. he can work on that. 

yes we get to go see the meet the mormons movie. in fact, salt lake wants us to know what's going on in the film so that we know how to advertise it. so they sent a copy to mission president and we should be watching it probably a week before it comes out... boom. yes it's always a tough decision to make whether you play on sundays or not. but always leave it up to the individual. if they make a mistake, they make a mistake. you and dad were always good at making sure that we learned from ourselves, rather than forcing righteousness upon us. 2 nephi 25:26 i think. i love sharing that scripture. 

anyway love you too mother and family! hope all is well in the ole tennessee. i tried to use that the other day. "oh you're from tennessee? oh that's great i'm from *SLAM! aww dang"

haha love you!

elder bronson

September 22- Gilbert

on your way to palmyra? that is so awesome! president and sister nattress have mentioned a few times in their testimonies the time that they went to the sacred grove. so that's pretty awesome. tell me how it goes! oh my district leader is from canada! his name is elder tagg! sometimes we call him elder "tague or taig" though. just because canadians say "bag" like "bague." haha anyway.. whoa that is awesome that grandma passed away on that date. and that you'll be on the hill cumorah on that same date too. you should try to find out the time. man that is cool that karlee gets to teach seminary for a few days. i love teaching seminary. we only do it for like 10 mins per class but we do like 8 classes. once a week though. i always like getting called on to teach unexpectedly. we taught this week again in higley ward because someone bailed. we taught last week too. but this week it was on missionary work so of course it was passed off to the elders. haha but it went really well. elder bailey shared an awesome story that you may have heard. it's called "testimony of a missionary." it's pretty sweet. sounds a little cheesy and you may have heard it before. and obviously it may not be depicted exactly like this. but the message is cool.
anyway... this week went well. everyone is doing awesome. andre is getting baptized this saturday. he is so solid. oh i would've left it at that but i just read your part of the email that said i have to write details about investigators' conversion because i don't write in my journal... so... andre is awesome. when we first met with him we taught him the restoration and talked to him a lot about change. and asked him what he was looking for. he replied "change." so we taught him about the doctrine of christ. how that's what it is all about. progressing to become better. talked about the role of the holy ghost in conversion a little, but focused more on helping him make commitments that will bring about change. we were pretty upfront and clear with him. telling him that he will see change as he begins to obey God's commandments and such. put him on date for sept 27 on our first lesson. and he's been pretty solid since. he's had a few questions regarding receiving revelation. some things that helped him were like alma 5 verse something when alma is talking about his conversion and how he knows for hismelf. and "patterns of light" by elder bednar. good videos. so yeah. hopefully that's good enough. 

yes my feet are better. i won't give any details on that. but maybe i'll send you a picture to freak you out haha. oh i do have a couple pictures to send. a couple with elder bailey. he's hilarious. love the guy. we do good work together too.  anyway love you much!

elder bronson