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Monday, May 6, 2013

Sirens, Walking and Hamburgers

May 6, 2013

Hey Family!
It is me again, you know, Elder Browning? I hope I haven't been forgotten yet. ;) The work is going great in the Dirty East. Elder Bickmore and I have been contacting a LOT of people this last week. We spent 5 hours alone in one part of the ward. There are 515 members of the Valley View Ward, but only 110 are active. The ward area alone is as big as the Shelley South Stake. So, we have got a lot of ground to cover.
You might be wondering about my email title. Well, let me explain. You hear sirens constantly, we walk until our feet fall off, and for the past five nights we have had some sort of cheapy hamburger for dinner. That is the life of a Dirty East missionary! Apparently, this area has a very high crime rate. You can tell by just looking at the surroundings here--pretty shabby stuff.
On Friday, one of our less-actives (Trish) kinda blew up on us. We accidently forgot that we had an appointment with her, because we were in a meeting with the Relief Society president. Somehow our appointment with Trish didn't get written down in our planner! We felt awful and rushed to call her. For the next hour we were chewed out. It made us feel horrible... But, E. Bickmore handled it very well. He listened to her, and didn't try to make any excuses, he just listened. That was the best thing we could've done at that moment. The next day we went over to her house to apologize. At first she wasn't interested in us, and even threatened to "drop us". Lo and behold, she was happy again! Haha, she even came to church yesterday. We were thrilled that she made the right choice to still stay in contact with us and come to church. I know that the Lord guided us with her for without Him, I am sure that she would have dropped us.
President Nicholas announced that we have to park our car and walk 2.5 days a week. Fun... This means that we will come in contact with those who, let’s just say... who don't "agree" with us all the way. But, he is the president, not me. So, we are going to be walking a lot now. Our area is so big, so this is not going to be very fun. Oh well. We will walk with a pep in our step, and smiles on our faces. :) By walking, we have already come in contact with people we wouldn't have if we were in a car the whole time.
For the first week here, we had only one dinner appointment. We now have someone in the ward whose call it is to sign people up to feed the missionaries! Praise the Lord! I have been getting real sick of pasta and alfredo sauce... with delicious frozen veggies. So, for the past five days we have had hamburgers, haha like every night. Bless their hearts, but they are those really cheap ones you get at Walmart with Kraft Singles. No one has a lot of money here, so I am grateful for what I get. :)
This coming Sunday I will get to Skype! We haven't gotten a member to host us yet, so I am not exactly sure what time you should expect my call. It will probably be around 2 or 3 pm. Would that work okay?
I love being a missionary. I really do. My dream has come true! I am a represenitive of Jesus Christ, and I take that very serioulsy. Yes, I do get homesick, but I have learned how to pray very hard to get relief from that, and to forget myself. I am a missionary. Everytime I say that, I get the chills. I hope everything is going well with everyone. Good luck Alex with your play this week! I am bummed that I won't be able to see your awesome skills. ;) Have a great week family, and don't be afraid to write me a letter. ;) I love and miss you all!
Hurrah for Israel,
Elder Browning

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