Monday, April 25, 2016

Hey all!
This week has been kinda rough. We did not have very many lessons, and we were not able to talk to a lot of people :(  I really hope that this next week will be better! We weren't able to talk to Kaden, because their family got sick. However, we were able to meet with Lili, but her boyfriend, Steve, was not there, and all we have left to teach her is tithing. When we met with her, we watched the video "17 Miracles" with her. Her daughter, Espy, joined us, and they really liked the movie. It made them really emotional, and it opened them up to talking more about the history of the church. We are going to have to move her baptism to another date because her daughter scheduled something on the same day that  Lili's baptism was scheduled. We will get it figured out though.

This week was Stake Conference, and it was really good! We heard from President Mullen, and also from some other people. We were in the very back because we were late! President Mullen is a very spiritual person and he is also very inspirational.

Elder Murphy got sick yesterday, so I went with Elder Parson. He is a Spanish speaking missionary, and so when we went into the lessons, I didn't not understand a word that was said!

So that was basically our week!

I love you all so much!!! Have an amazing week!!!

Elder Braunstadter

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

All is going well here. We were able to go on exchanges again this week, so that was really nice! I am very excited for transfer calls in a couple of weeks. Maybe I'll get a new area or a new companion. I'm ready for a change! Anyways, I am getting used to the weather down her a little bit, but it is super HOT! I'm pretty sure that it has gotten up to 100+. We parked the truck in the shade when I was on exchanges, and when we got back to the car, it said that it was 108, but I think it was from the heat of the engine.

Then, when I went to the other missionaries apartment, I was sitting there reading my scriptures and I looked at the time. Behind the clock there was a lint roller. Guess what was on that lint roller???... A cockroach! It was hilarious, because he was stuck there, and he tried SO HARD to get off, but he just couldn't. That was the best thing that happened this week!

We have been talking to Lili for a while now, and she has been coming to church and is basically ready to be baptized. I am super excited!!!! I hope that she sticks with it, and doesn't want to push it back any farther. We also got Brother Bibbes who has been coming to church for YEARS to finally set a date. He says that he knows that it needs to be done, so we will just have to work with him more to get him there. He has gone through about 100 missionaries or so. I hope that he will get baptized also!!! We have not had a whole lot of luck this week with getting new investigators, but we have been teaching a lot of our old ones.

I hope that we will get iPads soon! I think that it would make everything a lot better.

Sister Disanza (my house share owner) is awesome! She is so willing to help anyone in any way possible, even though she can hardly move! She is a very inspirational person to talk to!

I've received some letters from Brother and Sister Mortensen's class, and they are super awesome!! I really appreciate their support. I'll try and write them personally if I get time. Thanks so much!!!

I love you all so much! Have a fantastic week!

Elder Braunstadter

This poem really hit me this week:

Testimony of a Missionary

The following event took place in a ward in Salt Lake City in 1974. It occurred during a sacrament meeting and was told to me by a Regional Representative of the Twelve Apostles who was in the meeting. A young man, just before leaving on his mission stood in sacrament meeting and bore in essence the following testimony:
"Brothers and Sisters, as you know, the past two weeks I've been waiting for my mission call. During the time I was waiting I had a dream. I knew it was not an ordinary dream. I dreamed I was in the pre-existence and awaiting my call to come to Earth. I was filled with the same anticipation and excitement that I had before I received my mission call. In my dream I was talking to a friend, and I felt a special closeness to him, even though I've never met him in this life. As we talked a messenger came and gave me a letter. I knew it was my call to go the Earth. In great excitement my friend and I opened the letter. I gave it to him and asked him to read it aloud. It said,"You've been called to Earth in a special time and to a special land. You will be born to the true church and you will have the priesthood of God in your home. You will be born into a land of plenty, in a land of freedom. You will go to Earth in the United States of America."
My friend and I rejoiced as we read my call, and while we were rejoicing the messenger returned. This time he had a letter for my friend. We knew it was his call to Earth. My friend gave me the letter to read aloud. His letter said,"You've been called to go to the Earth in circumstances of poverty and strife. You will not be raised in the true church. Many hardships will attend your life. Your land will be fraught with political and social difficulties - which will hinder the work of the Lord. You will be born in Costa Rica."
We wept, my friend and I, as we read his call. My friend looked at me with tears in his eyes, and said, "When we are down on Earth, you in your choice land and me in Costa Rica, my friend, please come and find me."
Then this young missionary, with tears in his eyes, said, "Brothers and Sisters, I have received my mission call. I am go to Costa Rica."
There is a sequel to the story. About a year after the sacrament meeting, the bishop received a letter from the missionary in Costa Rica. The letter had one sheet of paper in it and on that sheet was written in capital letters were four words:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


This week we have been doing pretty good. We didn't get as much done as we thought that we would, but that's OK. There was another funeral this week. It was the member's son who killed himself. It was really hard for the family, but they are doing alright.

Lili came to church and she said she is really excited about being baptized. We found out that her and her boyfriend have broken the law of chastity. It was the most awkward lesson that I have ever been in. By the way, he is a return missionary... It just goes to show you how powerful Satan really is!!!

We have had really gloomy skies for the past 4 days. It tried to rain once, but it didn't hardly do anything at all. I really want it to rain!

Hello to all of the kids at home that are putting in their papers to go on missions. I love you all and you are going to be awesome out there!

I think I'm gaining weight, but I'm trying to keep all of the sugar to a minimum. I am going to have to try really hard to stay healthy with all of the food that the members keep feeding us.

I get frustrated everyday, but reading the Book of Mormon helps a lot and so does praying whenever I'm having a really hard time.

I don't have a lot of time today, so I've got to go (eat again!) I love you sooooo much, and I hope that you all have a great week!

Elder Braunstadter

Thursday, April 7, 2016


This week has been pretty crazy. We didn't get to talk to as many people as we would like to, because of General Conference. We were at the church on Saturday from 8:30 am to 7:30 p.m.! It was a very long day. On Sunday, we were there for the 2 sessions and then we went home to do our studies. My favorite talks were by President Uchtdorf (I already knew that German was the Celestial language!!! HaHa) and Elder Holland. 

We visited a member who's son killed himself a couple days ago. It was really hard to know what to say, but he has found a lot of comfort because he knows about the plan of salvation. It was sad.

We have not had much success as far as teaching people. This has been one of the slower weeks. We have been doing quite a bit of work with moving people and things like that, but that is about it. However, we do have Lili on date for May 1st, so I really hope that she will stay with it and will be baptized. 

It's been kind of cool lately, around 85 or so! I know that sounds weird because at home 85 would be hot!

Anyways, I hope you have a great week, and I love you all so much!!!

Elder Braunstadter

More great food from the members - Yum!!

Look! This is the street I live on - oh yeah, that's at home not here!

Cool cactus plants right next to the road.

More beautiful flowers along the road too.

OK, OK I won't go in there and get cancer!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Hey! We have been having a lot of success this past week! It was the first time that we hit standard on everything! We have been doing really good in this area. We had transfers on Monday, and I am still with Elder Murphy. I will probably get a new companion in 6 weeks. They have transfers every 6 weeks, but occasionally we have them 7 weeks long. My last transfer was a 7 week long one, so I will come home one week later than I went out. It kinda sucks, but it doesn't really matter. I will probably come home on the 5th of February 2018 (Happy birthday Mom!)

We have been working with Lili for a while now. She is the one who just showed up at church, and I think that she will for sure be baptized. She is the most promising person right now, but I hope that we get some other people that will want to be baptized in the future. We have put Brother Lopez and Steve on pause because they are not doing anything to progress, and they need some time to do those things on their own. I hope that they will come around soon, but I don't know if they will.

I am really racking up the miles on my bike. It is pretty impressive, because the area is 4 miles long at the longest point, and we have put over 200 miles on the bikes. I have had some flat tires, but it is a pretty easy fix.

I am really excited for General Conference this week. We go to the Stake Center to watch it, and all of the missionaries in our zone go there. It will be really cool.

I weighed myself the other day, and I have put on 5 pounds since I left home. It is good that that is all, but I am going to try to loose some weight.

I hope that you all have fun in the snow! I really miss it! It has been getting down to the 60's and I get cold! I am turning into a Californian!!! (Yikes) I am so sad.  Just kidding, it is fine but it is very weird because I love the cold and snow so much.

Anyways, have a wonderful week! I love you all so much!!!


Elder Braunstadter