Hello Family and friends it's Braden here.
This week has been a week of learning and finding out why I'm here. I've had so many struggles and I felt like I wasn't good enough to be here. I would find myself always mad and thinking about my own needs. But, it was right then I realized why I wasn't happy. Because I was thinking about myself and not the people of New York. When I'm thinking about the people and really start loving them, that is when Iam the most happy. When I forget myself and get lost in the service of God, that is when Miracles Happen. And I've seen that this week. Also I've seen how important obedience is. If I'm not doing my part then how can I expect to be happy, and help others feel the truthfulness of the gospel? I can't, the only way is as our mission vision says:
"Through my Exact obedience and perfect faith miracles in others will happen".
I've come to know how true that really is. So obedience is what I have been working on this week.
This week at church we had so many investigators and less actives come. The lady I talked about in my last letter, her name is Mary and she showed up, another guy we have been teaching for a week showed up, and four less active members we invited all showed up! It is so great when they keep the commitments you extend. It shows they really have a desire to be better. And Mary even told Bishop she wanted to pay tithing! She's not a member but bishop let her pay it anyway. She is really progressing! We have another lesson with her next week.
We taught that family of four again this week. We taught them about the restoration and the Book of Mormon this week. The spirit was so strong in that lesson. We asked them to start reading the Book of Mormon and sincerely pray if it is true. They said yes and you could really see their desire. It was so great.
Also we taught another lady. She is 73 years old and her husband diedabout a month ago. This was our third visit with her and this time we talked about how there is eternal life. She said she didn't believe in that. So we told her that she can know for herself that there is eternal life. We talked about how she will see her husband again and can be with him and her family forever. She told us that this is very comforting and she wants to learn more. We even sang "Families can be Together Forever" to her. We have another lesson with her .
Now one of my most special experiences so far.
Elder Barola and I were just about to head home after our lesson. It was about and we got a call from Martin, who is a less active member. He said "Hey can you guys come over and talk with me for a little bit". We knew he was moving the next day so we thought maybe he just needed some help. So we got to his house and we asked him how he was doing and what was going on. And he said "I'm really nervous about this move and I just really need someone to talk to". We talked for a while just about random stuff to calm down
his mind. But then I got a prompting to ask him if he wanted a blessing of comfort. He said yes but he didn't really know what it was. So I explained it to him and then he asked me to give him one. In that blessing I was prompted to say that the move will go smoothly and he doesn't need to worry. And also that he is never alone and is
always being watched out for. After the blessing he became relaxed. He told me when I was standing Behind him it reminded him of a movie about guardian angles. He said he felt like there was a guardian angel there to comfort him. It was so special, but it got even better. I talked about how we really do have guardian angels. I told him about my uncle Micah who I am named after and that he died when he was a baby. And I also told him about my uncle Bryce who died a few years ago. I told him how they are always looking out for me and there to
comfort me. And I know that they are serving their missions through my brothers, cousins, and I. Then Martin told us that he knows someone is looking out for him. He shared a very personal experience with Elder Barola and I, and we are the only ones that he has told. It was such a spiritual night. I thought about my patriarchal blessing where it talks about how my uncles will always be with me, and I will have times on my mission when I know they are with me. And I know that they were there that night, I felt them so strong. It was such a sacred experience.
We saw Martin at church and he was telling us that he was so happy that the move went so well. I know that priesthood blessings are from God, and I believe that Martin knows that now too. Now I know I belong on this mission! The spirit has shown me. All these amazing experiences have shown me what missionary work is really about. Now I have the desire to be obedient! Because I know that miracles in others will happen. That is such a special promise that I know is true. My testimony has grown so much and I'm thankful for this gospel. The Lord has truly been good to me this week!
Thanks for all the love and support
*For security purposes, names have been changed*