Friday, July 29, 2016

July 25, 2016

Hello,

This week was hot!!!!! It only got up to 118 degrees, so that's not to bad!! (HAHA) But it is not fun to ride our bikes in.

We met with Lydia and Leo 2 times this week and the lessons went really well! I love talking to them because they are super cool, and Lydia will be baptized soon. They just need to come to church. They have not come out yet, but I think that they will next week. I really like talking with the people that are super receptive to the Gospel.

We also talked with a guy named Clinton, and he is like 85 and he is black! He is super cool, and he already has a testimony of Joseph Smith, which is actually surprising, but we just have to get through all of the lessons and then he has to come to church also.

We talked with several other people that seemed really cool, but they fell through, and they said that they don't want us to come over anymore, so that was super sad. I hope that one day, they will want to talk to missionaries again.

We seem to have a problem with getting people to come out to church. I hope that our investigators will start coming to church soon. I also hope that we can get more people to teach, because we do not have that many people to talk with that are solid right now. Elder Manson and I have been doing a lot of work, but we seem to be going nowhere. I hope that things pick up here soon.

We have transfers next Monday, so I think that I am going to leave this time. I don't know where I am going to go, but hopefully I will get a car.

That is about all that we did this week. I will talk to you again next week and let you know if I get a transfer and if so, where I'll be going.

Love you all,
Elder Braunstadter
Elder Manson and I during Pioneer Days!

July 18, 2016

Hello,
So this week was pretty slow. We were not able to meet with Lydia and Leo, because they are having some issues with their relationship. It is really sad to hear, but they are still really interested in meeting with us. So, no news on them, but we did met with Robert, and we finally went over a lesson with him! We talked about the plan of salvation, and he really liked it. He is a really great guy, and he says that we wants help, because he is going through a divorce right how, and he is really hurt by it. We have been setting appointments with him, but when we go over there he is always busy and he tells us to come back another time. We keep telling him that the message that we share will help him as he goes through this trial in life. After we told him that, I think that it changed him a little bit. I hope that when we go over then the next time, he will not forget and he will make time to talk to us.

We also talked with a guy named Gavin and he seems really solid. We gave him a Book of Mormon and we taught the restoration to him. He agreed with everything and he said that he will read and pray about it. We also met with his wife, Alyssa, and she is really cool also. I think that as we meet with them more often that they will find out that everything that we talk about is true.

On Saturday, we had a huge blitz for 3 wards and our ward was one of them. Each ward had to find people tat would be willing to come out with us missionaries, and we would all be on splits, which is just where the companions split up and go with another person from the ward. I went with our ward mission leader and as we were talking to people, I ran into somebody that lived in Hawthorne, NV!!! I was super weird, that said that my Grandma and Grandpa babysat them! It is such a small world. His wife is from Eureka, NV also. It was super cool to run into them, because nobody down here knows that there is anything outside of Las Vegas in Nevada!

That is about the most that is going on right now in my life here in So. Cal.

Love you,

Elder Braunstadter
This is the coolest family in our ward - the Calcagno family!!!

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Me, Elder Manson, Elder Benson, Elder Jones and Sister Disanza!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Hello,
So since last Monday was the 4th of July and we weren't able to send out any emails, here's kinda what happened the past 2 weeks.

We have been teaching Lydia and her boyfriend, Leo, and they are a super cool couple! We have been talking with the for a couple of weeks, and they have a lot of questions, which is good, because we can answer them and they accept the answers that we give them. Lydia wants proof of everything, so when we show it to her in the bible she just agrees with us! It is GREAT! We had Brother Calcagno come to one of the lessons and it was a great lesson. The Spirit was really strong, and I invited her to be baptized, and before I could finish the question she said "YES"!!! It was super cool. I think that she will go through with it, because she has been reading the Book of Mormon, and she is really sincere. Leo is more conservative in listening to us because he has very strong beliefs about what he grew up with, but I think that he will also realize that what we say is true. They do not have a very good relationship though. They really don't like each other ad they said that they are waiting for their baby to turn one before they break up. It is super sad to see people that don't like each other, but they are together for other reasons. I really hope that they can get something figured out because they just about start fighting almost every time we try to teach a lesson.

We are also teaching some Jehovah's Witnesses. They are very interesting. At first, we were teaching 2 sisters from their congregation but they said that they wanted us to meet an Elder from their church. When we met with them we just share our different beliefs and try not to get into an argument. But when they bring up scriptures we find other ones that contradict what they just said. We are not trying to bash them, but they just bring up weird points that don't really make sense. We are going to meet with them again this Saturday.

Those are the people that we are teaching the most, but we do have a lot of other people that we are talking to but they do not seem as solid. We go talking to people on the streets and we see if they are interested. If they are, then we return again and wee if they were just trying to be nice on the street, or if they are actually interested in talking to us. So that's basically what our everyday life has been for the last couple of weeks.

This week was not as hot as it has been, but it is still very uncomfortable. I HATE the heat! Even though it is in the 90's and low 100's, being on bike is not fun at all. And, since we are in a retirement community, people like the heat, and a lot of them don't even use their AC!!! We were in one home and there was a clock that had the indoor temp and the outdoor temp. It was 100 degrees outside, and 97 degrees inside! I was sweating the entire time.

Anyway, I hope that all is going well for everyone! I'll talk to you next week!

Love,
Elder Braunstadter



Elder Manson and I!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Hello,
This week was pretty good. My new companion, Elder Manson, is pretty cool. He is a great missionary, and I have learned a lot from him! He is from Arizona, but he came out from North Carolina, because he moved there his Senior year in High School. He has been out for 20 months, so he is getting ready to go home! He is going home to Texas because while he was in the mission, his family moved.

We were able to find a couple of people that seem like they are pretty interested in learning more about the Gospel. We met Lydia, who has a lot of questions, and we talked a little bit, and we actually agree on a lot of things. Once she found out that the rumors of Mormons that she heard were not true, she was really interested. We are going to meet with her again tomorrow, so we will see how that goes.

We also talked to a guy named Robby, and he seems pretty interested also. He has some back issues, so he can't sit for longer than 10 minutes at a time. We taught the Restoration to him and he seemed to understand everything pretty well. I hope that he will want to learn more in the future.

We talked to a guy named Gus and his wife Veronica. They are really cool also. They go to a church called Revival. That is a pretty big and well known church down here in So. Cal. I've never heard of it until I came here, so I am not sure how worldwide it is, or if it is just down here. They have a really strong belief in God and they are super involved in their church, so that is good. I wish more people were like that. They seem interested, but since they have such strong beliefs, I am not sure how they are going to take the lessons.

Sal paused us for a little while. He said that he needs to get his ducks back in a row, because he has a lot going on in his life right now, and he will let us know when we can come back over again. President Mullen says that when people do this, or if we put them on pause, it has to be at least 6 months, or until they contact us. So that was super sad.

Kaden also does not want to talk with us anymore, but if his mom invites us for dinner, then we are going to have a lesson with him, so we still get to talk with him.

Katherine is pretty cool, but she said that it would take a miracle to get her to go to church again. She has gone through a lot of trials in her life, and she doesn't want to go to church anymore. We are still teaching her, and we hope that something will change so that she want to go to church again.

Steve, that we met back in March, finally came to church yesterday! It was super cool to see him there, and He said that it was good but he said that he wants to talk later, so we will see if he actually like it or not. It will be interesting.

It's nice to have at least started talking to people again!

Love you all! Have a great week,
Elder Braunstadter

Elder Gulbranson and our "Mini" missionary!



Still trying to make those contacts!

Elder Gulbranson!!! (T-rex style!)

This hawk was sitting on Sister Disanza's fence.


This crazy little chicken was loose and just running around the neighborhood!

Us on P-day getting to write home!!! (My new companion, Elder Manson)