Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30th, 2013

So how have you all been these past few days? I have been enjoying life and just loving everything. It was good to get to talk to a few of you on Christmas. Sorry for not being able to talk to you all of you, I was supposed to be done calling by about 12ish are time. So I will just talk to the rest of you all in person when I get home.
 
This past week has been insane, we had a super busy week of exchanges and Christmas stuff going on.
 
So Monday we were able to get a lot of stuff done and we had to be done with Preparation day at 1 so we could take the rest of it on Christmas. So we went on exchanges with the greenville which was good we got a lot of things done.
 
Tuesday was Christmas Eve and we went and had a good dinner with a great member family, really good food and it was good company.
 
Christmas day we woke up a little early and went down to dayton for breakfast and then made calls and played basketball and then went to appointments and then we had Brownies at a members house in Dayton which was a blast. Got to love Dayton.

Thursday we were on exchanges in Dayton and got to see a lot of people with the two different sets and get work done with them, try to get things moving more smoothly down there.
 
Friday we were told by the assistants to try to go round up one more baptism in the zone, so we went to Dayton again and couldn't get anyone on date. So the was a bummer.
 
Saturday more exchanges and soccer with the spanish branch. Then Sunday was calm, got to go give a blessing.
 
One thing that has been really cool is I have been working with a family that has a really bad addiction to drugs. What has been really cool is they are cleaning themselves up and making a lot of progress on that front. They are now 4 days clean and pushing strong and getting there lifes in order. The Dad actually came to church and it was awesome.
 
That was pretty much my week. Kind of packed full of exchanges and stuff not a ton of time in are own area. So that was pretty much it for us.
 
Well I love you all and hope you have a great rest of your day and happy New Years.

Love
Elder Elquist

Monday, December 23, 2013

Elder Braden Elquist, December 23, 2013

Wow how insane is it that it is pretty much Christmas again and we are getting to talk on Wednesday, it has been insane here with us, we have been super busy with the work just cruzing and getting things done. I can't believe how quick time is flying and we are just super busy with tons of stuff going on.
So one miracle that has been happening here is as a zone we have been struggling to get member present lessons and people at church and so we have been working really hard at changing patterns and getting stuff done. So this past week we actually were at the top of the mission for all of those except one. So we are doing a lot better and it has been awesome to see everything progress.
So Monday was a good day I am trying to think of what we did and I am having a brain fart right now so I am going to cheat and look in my planner. So Monday was preparation day and we got to get a lot of stuff done with that. We spent like 3 hours working out I am not going to lie and so I was getting ripped or attempting to. I actually ran a consistent 3 miles in 25 minutes. So I am pretty proud of that so I am going to continue to step that up and see how quick I can get it down. So Dad get ready to run when I get home.
Tuesday we had a pretty good day we were down in Dayton on exchanges and it is always a fun experience doing that and helping them out. I love working with the Elders down there and I get to see lots of cool people.
Then Wednesday we had a fun day with lots of stuff going on with Christmas conference in the next day. We got a call from President Porter telling us that Elder Thompson was leaving because another missionary went home so they needed him to go to muncie for 2 weeks then he is going to get transferred again.
Thursday was Christmas Conference and got to see a ton of missionaries and so that was tons of fun and had a lot of things happen.
Friday was the ward Christmas party and it was fun.
Saturday I went down to dayton again for and exchange on Sunday. So that was fun. The weather has also been treating us nice, it got up to 68 yesterday and it was awesome. So needless to say it has been a good week. Then to top things off I get to have a way awesome week this next week and we will see how it goes over the next little bit I am sure it will be awesome.
So yeah it has been and awesome few days and the work is going really well and things are taking off and heading in the right direction and getting stuff done. Well I look forward to talking with you some of you on Wednesday and others other times. Love you all and take care.

Love
Elder Elquist

Monday, December 16, 2013

Elder Braden Elquist, December 16th, 2013

Okay so my past week has been a lot of fun and business, for the main part I have been super busy with exchanges and stuff like that. I am trying to get to as many of area's possible in are zone as quick as I can. We have a mission goal that everyone should baptize in the month of december and so I am trying to get a handle on that and get things moving in the right direction.

So Monday we had a really good day and got a lot of work done and got to have a zone activity and got to see a lot of people so that was really good. We also got to see Matt and prep him for Stake Conference. Stake conference was awesome Elder Christofferson came and we got to meet him, so that was really cool. I definitely was super excited to be here for that. He is an amazing speake. Even though I couldn't hear very much it was awesome. I got to say good bye to my trainner who just went home today. It was a pretty sad thing but at the same time we will hook up when we get home and hang out.

Tuesday we got to work in are area and see a lot of different people, we set up a district service activity and got to see help the Pierces get there house ready for the Christmas season. So we will have to see how that goes. There house was really messy and we got to get a lot of stuff done. Through out tons of trash and just got rid of who knows what.

Wednesday was the service day and we cleaned the house. Elder Barnett and I teamed up on the Master bedroom and spent the whole time in there and got everything clean. It looked good by the way.

Thursday we had exchanges with Dayton Elders clear through Friday night and got to help them and get them to get some people progressing and see how they worked so we know how to help them.

Saturday we had zone conference and got to see a lot of people and get a lot of stuff done. So we will have to see how it all goes over the next few weeks to see if the training paid off. Then Sunday I already told you about. That was pretty much are week. Sorry to keep it short we are having to rush because we tons of stuff to do before the end of preparation day and we are at a library and only get a hour.

Well love you all tons and look forward to hearing from you on Christmas.

 

Love

Elder Elquist



Monday, December 9, 2013

Elder Braden Elquist, December 9th, 2013

Well it's good to hear from everyone this past week was a really good one, we had a lot of interesting things happen and so hopefully I can give you a run down of what all happened. So Monday was a normal day, just craziness breaking loose and having a million things to get done, but that is are life.
Tuesday was a really good day, we had Mission Leadership council which went from 8 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon, talk about a long meeting and then having to go on exchanges the next day, we ended up just winging zone meeting on Friday and it turned out really well, we got to see a lot of great things happen and we got to see the work of the Lord all through out the week.
So Wednesday we went on exchanged down in Dayton and it was good we got a lot of work done for them and hopefully we can get the area down there progressing. It has been really frustrating at times because the zone has hit a bit of a slump lately, but at the same time we have been doing awesome and so we are going to be showing the zone what we do and hopefully they can learn from that and then take it into there area. So Thursday we were in are area and it was really good we got to meet with a couple of different people. The big stuff happened at night when I got a call from one of the district leaders in the zone saying they needed permission to leave there area to a place they didn't know. So of course I said no. They went on to ignore that and left the mission and ended up clear down out of the mission. So by this time I am fuming mad and getting after them over the phone. So we end up having them get dropped off some place in the mission boundaries by the person that took them out of the mission. So the assistants pick them up and then we had to go down and pick them back up. So that was fun. Not. So Thursday we got back by 11:30 at night and just hit the hay.
Friday was zone meeting and we got hit with a huge snow and ice storm, so the cars got grounded and so we just made the best of it by working around in the area by the church and then had to go home. So that was fun.
Saturday we had a baptism and it was an awesome experience getting to see Myonah get baptized so we were super excited to get to work with her over the past 4 months. So it was hard work paid off. Then Sunday we were in meetings with church and then Stake Coordination with the Mission President and Stake President so that was really intense and fun. Definitely a long Sunday of meetings. So that brings us to today.
The work here has been going awesome and we are getting a lot of work done, it has been super fun with my new companions and we are just trying to pluck away at the work and get stuff done. I will make sure to send some pictures with this email.
Love you all and take care, keep up the hard work of shoveling back home.
Love
Elder Elquist



Monday, December 2, 2013

Braden's update for December 2nd, 2013

So I am going to start emailing a little differently, I keep running out of time to email everyone, so what I am going to do is send a mass email like this one to everyone that emails me and then I will send shorter emails to everyone answering specific answers to questions and such. So let me know  if you don't like that, most likely I will just do this for know on.
So this past week has been awesome, I have been super busy with tons of different things. So on Monday we had a couple of lessons and Elder Irwin had to get all packed up and get things ready to go home, so we did that. Then on Tuesday was transfer day. So I actually got 2 new companions Elder Barnett is my Junior Zone leader who has been out almost 11 months, and then I got another normal junior Companion Elder Thompson who has been out just over 1 year. The reason for the extra companion is President Porter is worried because most of the zone leaders go home in the next 2 transfers. So they are giving us young zone leaders and young missionaries to go with us because they are convinced we can teach them something. It was pretty funny we had a meeting after transfers with President Porter and he told all of the junior companions to pretty much just do what ever the Senior Zone Leader tells you to do. So that was pretty funny, now I have these two just following me around for the next few months. It has been fun. They are both from northern Utah. So that is pretty funny.
Wednesday was a good day it was busy with bunch of different things going on. The week pretty much was a giant blur and we were able to get a lot of work done and be able to see the Lords Work progress. I always loving seeing everything work out, are zone has been struggling with getting people to church and so that has been a focus of ours. This next week we are going to be on exchanges a ton. Pretty much every day this next week we are on exchanges and so we have to make every second count. It is the mission goal to baptize some one in every area. So we have to get on top of are zone to get things moving in the right direction. So we will have to see how things go.
One thing that I have realized the past little bit of my mission is I am just starting to not really give a crap and just say stuff. I called a missionary out over the phone on zone conference call for making excuses, of why he didn't have some one at church. So that has been kind of fun.
Saturday we had a really good day I was on exchanges with the Assistants and they pretty much just gave me a ton of training that I need to take to the rest of the zone to be able to get them to do things the right way. We have a super young mission and we have to give them a ton of training to get them in the right direction.
So a cool story on Thanksgiving we had an investigator invite us over for dinner and that was a lot of fun. It was good to get to be there and in there house just to celebrate the season. So that was really fun. The cool thing happened later when we were teaching Donald the investigator a lesson and his wife Candice called on the phone that his son Dakota was having to get admitted into the hospital because he wasn't breathing very well. So he asked us to come with him and we went and talked with them a little bit and I was able to give his son a blessing. It was a really short and quick blessing because we had nurses and doctors coming in and out, but I gave a short blessing and then we had to leave to get home in time. So we got going and we got a call from Donald after we were about 5 minutes away and he said as soon as we left and after the blessing, his breathing immediately improved and he was running around and smiling again. So it was an amazing testimony builder to me that the Priesthood is real and is wonderful. So that was amazing to get to have happen.
Well that is pretty much how my week went, a little scatter brained and all over the place, but yeah. Well I hop all is well with all of you and you are enjoying the Christmas season, I know I am. Merry Christmas and everybody should listen to Christmas Music.
Love
Elder Elquist

Monday, November 25, 2013

So I don't have tons of time to write today, but I just want to let everyone know that they need to be thankful for the things they have and not what they don't have. I love this time of the year, it is a time where we get to be thankful for things and focus on the Savior. The beauty of the Christmas season, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and are thankful for what you have.

Love
Elder Elquist

Monday, November 18, 2013

I hope you all are doing wonderful this lovely November morning. I can hardly tell you what all has happened in the past week, because it feels like just yesterday I was emailing you and telling you about my last week. Pretty insane, it has caused me to think a lot about this. The thing that has come to my mind on why this is. I think it is are perspective. In reality I understand I have 3 months left of the 24. I have already come 21 months. So it seems super short if you look at what you have done. This has caused me to think a lot on things.
I imagine when we move on to the next life and we will look back on what we did while we were on earth only to see it was such a short period of time in eternity. Most of us will only live until we are 90 or so. So 90 years in eternity, we have no idea how long we were with God before we came her but we know it was a while. He got to know each and everyone of us individually and if you think about that, there are currently 6.5 billion people on the earth and you think of all the people that have ever lived and it is insane. But God knows each and everyone of us personally and he knows how to communicate best, with each and everyone of us. Often times we lose perspective on who he is to us and what  he is going to do for us. Often times we have to count are blessings instead of are trials. We have to understand God has given us commandments to free us not bind us. Satan Binds he doesn't Free, but he wants you to see it as if he frees and God binds. Not the case though.
So after that rambling the thing I have come to realize is we have to count are blessings and change are perspective on things. So do it. Be thankful and look at the positive side of things. Love you all and hope all is well with you.

Love
Elder Elquist

Monday, November 11, 2013

Braden's Update for November 11th, 2013

Wow this past week has gone by super quick, I am starting to just forget to think of something to write about, I hope you all are having a great November day, I can't believe how much has happened over the last week but at the same time I don't know what to talk about.
So the thing I decided to talk about today is sacrifice. This word has different meaning for each and everyone of us, but my own personal feelings have really changed towards this over the last little bit. I have realized that all that we are required to do is Have a willing Heart and a Willing mind. I think the key word in this is Willing. We need to be willing to give up everything, but the Lord is going to take everything from us, he requires a little here and there, but then repays in abundance. We also have to realize how much we have. We are a blessed people and we need to be willing to sacrifice in order to recieve blessings, the Lord will tell us what he needs and if we give, we are blessed in abundance.
Just a thought for the week, another thing I have been thinking a lot about is just the amazing power of the Atonement and what all it does for us, I can't imagine what things would be like if it hadn't been for the sacrifice the Savior did for us, I can only imagine what things he went through in Gethsemane. But I am truly grateful for it, it can carry us all, I have seen the amazing power of the Atonement and what it can do for others. So have Faith and Trust in Christ. Love you all.

Love
Elder Elquist

Selected excerpts from other emails:

"New things in the Dayton Area, the weather has decided to get cold here, I am hoping it will warm up, the forecast says a high of 35 tomorrow. Scary. But oh well. We picked up a Former investigator this past week, so we will see how he progress's, his name is Money or D'Arius. He is pretty cool, he was taught by the last set of missionaries and he is doing well, he is just really flaky sometimes, which makes it a pain to meet with him. The Package arrived safely, so thank you for all that was in it. I always like getting new garments, they smell awesome. There is just something about the smell of new garments that just hits the spot.  Weird I know. Oh also if you find some of my old clothes in any of those places, I would keep them if at all possible. I am pretty sure I will fit in them when I get home.

So this past week for us, was slow but at the same time it felt like we had a billions of things to do, so that is always fun and makes life interesting for us.
Monday we met with Lamar and he is doing really well, he is progressing really well and is starting to gain a testimony on his own. Then we had to organize rides for a Leadership council on Wednesday, I will talk about that more on Wednesday. Also on Monday we had a less active come play Basketball with us and we had a good time with that.
Tuesday we had a slower day, we had to prepare a lot of reports and stuff for Stake Coordination on Sunday. Then we got to see Lamar and it went well, we are focusing with him on understanding the need for baptism by the correct authority. 
Wednesday we had an awesome Leadership council, we had 2 people from the missionary department in Salt Lake come in and trained us and it was awesome, we learned so many things, I had the opportunity to be paired up for role plays with a young missionary, and they are on fire, let me just tell you. The mission is in good hands. It is truly amazing to see all that has happened in preparation for this big boom of missionary work, so it is pretty insane to think about the miracles that have happened to make having this many missionaries possible.
Thursday we had a pretty good day, we planned out zone meeting, only to find out later that day, that the mission decided to move it to Saturday, so they could get us more information, then it got moved on Friday to Tuesday. So tons of fun with that. Then Friday, we tons of service, we are helping to dig a trench to get this spanish Family power. So that has been fun to do. I am learning Spanish while doing it, I am pretty sure this family loves me, they love me coming over and trying to speak spanish. I am going to be fluent when I get home.
Saturday was a slow day, we had a couple of lessons go through with some other investigators, for some reason we were not able to meet with hardly anyone this past week, so we will have to see how it goes over the next week.
Sunday we had a really good Stake Coordination meeting and got a lot of assignments from it, so it should be a good month this next month. 
That was my last week, hopefully it all goes well with you. Hopefully you guys don't have any more cool medical stuff that happens over the next few months. I get to miss all of the really cool stuff. That sucks by the way. Everyone decides to have all these cool things happen while I am gone, Jason breaks a leg and needs surgery and then Kaylee getting her knee fixed, what a bummer missing all of those, I also missed Jason and Alyssa having braces, so there goes my plan to tease them like they did to me. You guys should hold of on anything else exciting like that."

Monday, November 4, 2013

So how is everyone doing this lovely November morning, that is pretty weird it feels like it was just Christmas and everything yesterday. So that is pretty interesting to see how quick it has gone.
One thing I have been pondering as of late has been just the amazing things we have been blessed with. It is amazing to think about how much each and everyone of us are blessed and we get to see the Lords hand in are everyday life. So my quick spiritual thought today is just to count your many blessings instead of looking at what you don't have.

Love
Elder Elquist


Monday, October 28, 2013

Braden's update for October 28th, 2013

So how is every one doing on this beautiful fall morning, everything is going really good here we are just enjoying it being cold. Not really, I would prefer summer to come back. It was good times with warm weather. 
So the random thought I have for this week is, the Book of Mormon and Bible. This is something a lot of members I believe get a little confused on, we need both of them. They are equal and contain the fullness of the gospel. We had an interesting experience this last week with guy trying to prove us wrong, well it actually happens quite often, but anyways we were talking with him and he wanted us to show him the need for the Book of Mormon. So the answer is simply this, it clarifies and enhances the Bible. And it goes both ways. There are a lot of instances where the Book of Mormon is confusing and we are able to gain clarification by cross studying parts of the Bible. I think a lot of us forget about one or the other, where in reality we need both. We have so much more of an advantage having both of them and being able to study out of both. We have more word, then to add on top of the Book of Mormon we have modern Prophets and Apostles. So there is your random thought for the day. Love you all and take care.

Love
Elder Elquist  
 
Additional info from other emails:
 
"So new things with me, it got really cold last week and then it is warming up again, so that has been fun, I think that is pretty much all from me as far as I know on new things.
 
My past week was a good one, the chapel still has bed bugs, which has really been a pain in are butt. Usually we have 6 or 7 investigators at church and less active members also, but for some reason we can't even get the active members to show up. We usually average at about 140 people in the congregation, but this past week we had 25. So it is like being in a branch all over again.
So Monday we had a lesson with a Recent converts sister Myanna, she is doing well she is in 1 Nephi 19 right now and is progressing really well. She will hopefully be getting baptized on November 9th and it will be a good experience to see her make that covenant. 
Tuesday was a fun day, we met with a former investigator. He was taught a year ago, and for some reason the missionaries stopped seeing him. We quickly found out why on that one. He just wanted to prove us wrong the whole time. He didn't really want to listen at all just bash with us. So we invited him to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it. 
Wednesday we had a really slow day and nothing really happened, it was cold. Pretty sure there was snow on the ground in the morning, but quickly melted and went away, hopefully it went away for ever. 
Thursday we had a really good day. We were able to meet with Myanna again and talked with here about the importance of Church and making sure that we come and partake of the sacrament. Then we also had another miracle happen and a part member family called us up and wanted a blessing, so we talked with them and got to give a blessing and teach them a lesson. 
Friday we had a really slow day, nothing to really report on that one, super cold.
Saturday was super busy and we had a lot of good stuff happen. We were able to meet with Chris, the son of a member he is 49 and likes to drink. Then we met with a couple of other random people. 
Sunday was okay, only had sacrament meeting due to the bed bugs, and then went out and tried to find people to teach."

Monday, October 21, 2013

This past week has been quick and yet at the same time it felt like a normal week. So I don't know really what is going on  time front. It seems like everything is just speeding up and it is going super quick. 
So I don't have much time today to say much, but I will talk about something that is pretty dear to me, and that is the Savior and his example. A lot of you remember me from my young childhood days and remember how much I loved to ask questions. I can successfully say that, that has not changed, in fact I probably ask more questions now. So back to the Savior, in all he did he asked people questions, he would explain what he meant, but usually every answer he gave was in fact a question. So questions make us think. So ask questions people. Love you all a ton and miss you. 

Love
Elder Elquist

Monday, October 14, 2013

Braden's Update for October 14th, 2013

How is everyone doing this fine October morning, I am sure you are all loving it, I am sure loving it, so in other news transfer calls came and I am staying for at least another 6 weeks, so it should be a fun 6 weeks. I can't wait to see what it brings.
So the random thought of the day is just about life. One scripture I have been thinking a lot about is John 14:27. "Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give unto you; Not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid." The reason I have been thinking about this a lot is because, when life seems hard, stressful, tons to worry about, dark clouds hang over you, the Lord has given us this promise. That he would give us peace. Not world peace or things like that, but he would give us personal peace, peace to deal with what lays ahead of us, peace to handle the world. He is always there for us and will always come through on His end. So trust in the Lord and let nothing waver.

Love
Elder Elquist

a few excerpts from Braden's email to me (Mike):

"So Transfer calls came and I will staying here another 6 weeks with my current companion, so that will be a total of 4 and a half months with him, my guess is I will stay here the rest of my mission and die off here. Which I would be happy with, I enjoy being here and it is a awesome area with tons of people to talk with and it makes it a ton of fun. We are pretty much in a humble area and it makes it a ton of fun to be able to talk with tons of people and they always are willing to listen to improve there life's. They have been humbled and are willing to learn.

So This past Monday nothing to exciting happened we saw a recent convert and his sister and were able to teach them, she is doing well, she is reading and progressing well to baptism and confirmation, so we will have to see how that goes. Then Tuesday we got to see them again and also saw some of are other investigators and so that was good. Nothing to exciting that day either. Wednesday we went to district meeting in Spanish land and got to see a lot of cool stuff happening there with them so that is always good to see happen. So Thursday was an average day, really nothing to exciting happened until Friday and that is where the fun stuff started happening and we had interesting experiences starting to happen.
So Friday, this was the super bad part, I had to eat SeaFood. I have had to eat fish before but not to this extent. We had Crab, Lobster, Shrimp and other things. Let's just say that I am not a fan of fish or seafood of any kind. So I just want to say that. To make matters worst the members just keep giving it to us, I thought I was going to be sick, the cool things was watching the member crack and get the meat out of the shells. I honestly believe people take so much time to get so little meat out of it. It seems like a waste of time, doing all that work for such little meat. Just saying.
Saturday we went on exchanges with the Eaton elders and that was a lot of fun as we had tons of zone leader crap to get done that day and even though we were at the computer typing up reports and stuff for a meeting on Sunday we still found 1 new investigator and taught several lessons.
So Sunday was a fun day, it was fast Sunday so we were fasting and fasted from 7pm the night before to 8pm Sunday night. We had a meeting with the Stake president and Mission President starting at 4 and ending at 8. We had to leave at 3:30 and had appointments from the end of church at 1 to then. So that made it a fun day. Needless to say I know what it is like to fast for a full 24 hours. Lots of fun.
So yeah that was pretty much it for my, week. I don't really know anything else to say as of right now. Lot of fun happening here, it is scary that tomorrow is my 20 month mark, where did the time go. It feels like I just got here to the mission field yesterday."

Monday, October 7, 2013

Braden's Update for October 7th, 2013

Well I don't have tons of time to email today so I have resorted to pictures this week and then next week will be back at it, on second thought. I just want to say how grateful I am for modern day prophets, and having a modern mouth piece of the Lord. It is awesome to have a open cannon of scripture from Prophets and Apostles. No other church has that, which handicaps them. We have some one who speaks and gives us direction directly from God. He unifies the church. The Closing song yesterday was awesome. You could feel the spirit in the Room as they sang the song Follow the Prophet. There is my two cents for the day. Love you all and take care.

Love
Elder Elquist

Monday, September 30, 2013

Elder Braden Elquist, September 30th, 2013

Well it has been an interesting past few days and weeks, and in fact months and year. I have loved every second of it, but it doesn't mean that it has all been easy or fun. But oh so worth it.

So the thing I am going to rant on this week is a change of gears from the usual stuff I do. I want to talk about what a mission can do for you. So to do that I want to speak on what it has done for me. Truly words can not express the feelings I have about this time and what it has done for me, but what I do know it has done for me is helped me gain a relationship with my Father in Heaven and also my Savior Jesus Christ. I can honestly say if it wasn't for both of them as well as the comforter, I would not be here today.

Another thing I have come to know is true Joy for your fellow brothers and sisters in the world. One of the most amazing things to watch and see is someones life change because of the gospel. Over the past few weeks I have been able to watch an Investigator Donnie start from not religious to sitting down and reading 10 chapters in the Book of Mormon. The change it has brought to his life has been amazing to see. He has a glow about him and has truly been changed.
 
The other thing I have watched over the past few years is myself and what it has done to me. I know that my mission is one of the things my Father in Heaven expected me to do on earth. He had set the bar for me to do it, I can remember from a very young age knowing I would go on a mission one day. It has also been apparent in my life that Satan doesn't want that to happen. He has tried to stop me from making it here, but I made it here and moving through it all full speed ahead. No way I will quit.

I have also seen what it has done for my Family, I have been around a lot of missionaries and I don't know very many of them that have Aunts and Uncles, Grandmas, Grandpas emailing them and even all of their brothers and sisters  and parents emailing them. I truly have come to love and appreciate the closeness of our family, because I know that not everyone has that.

It also is a great cause to want to share it with others, when I see someone on the street I want them to have what I have and want them except it is because I can see what it would do for them.

So the reason I share this is because I know that all of you are affected by missions in one way or another and have an influence on the youth. So my plee for you is to get them ready for what it can do for them. Teach them the basics of praying and having a close relationship with there Father in Heaven and help them to go out. Get them out and it will change them for the better. Hopefully this doesn't bore you or anything. I love you all and appreciate the love and support you give me.

Love
Elder Elquist

Monday, September 23, 2013

So how is everyone doing this 23rd of September. This month has flown by and it is insane how much has happened in the last little bit I don't really even know where to start other than our Heavenly Father is awesome. We have been blessed so much since getting here and it is awesome to be able to just see how much he does for us. So my random thought of the day is just that it is awesome to know who we are. One of my favorite things to teach people about is how we are all children of a Loving God. He is there for us, he cares about us, weeps with us, and rejoices when we do what is right. If you think of what it means for us to be children of God, it is insane, God is this all powerful being and he wants us to pray to him and communicate with us. So communicate with him and above all else trust in him and follow his direction.

Love
Elder Elquist


 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Braden's update for September 16, 2013

So how is everyone doing this fine Monday. I am doing great, just loving life and trying to work as hard as possible. The weather has started to get cold which I don't like, I hate snow and I hate winter. Just saying I am done complaining about cold. So it has been a lot of fun this last week. We had are investigator Robert get baptized which was awesome, he is such a neat guy. 22 years old and has a super strong relationship with Christ. Also super funny. My companion sneezed into his arm yesterday, and Robert thought he was blowing up his muscles, so he started blowing his muscles up. Super funny.
So for my random spiritual though today, I was studying this morning and I was thinking about why some people accept the gospel and why others don't. So I was thinking and I came up with a couple of examples in the scriptures. The first being Laman and Lemuel vs. Alma the Younger. So when we look at these two they were both able to see and angel. But two different outcomes. One straightens out his life and goes on to be the Prophet, the other two go on to be the cause of so much bloodshed and heart ache to thousands of people. So looking at the two the thing I came up with is the Humility. Laman and Lemuel were prideful and didn't want to let God into there life and expect his plan. The other was willing and did act on the things he had planned for him. Humility is a key factor in life, if we have not humility we aren't willing to listen and learn. But we can always learn new things and learn and grow. It is when we think we can't that we are compelled to be humble. So my advice is be humble and willing to act on the plan God has for each and everyone of you.
Well Love you all tons. I included a picture of the baptism and me and my last companion
Love
Elder Elquist


 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Well what to tell what to tell. I can't think of anything to groundbreaking today. It is sunny here today if that is ground breaking. It has actually been really nice weather here for the summer though. So yeah nothing exciting. So for my random spiritual thought for this week, what oh what to tell. Okay so here is one thing that I have been pondering on. Faith and Works. Do we need both one but not the other or what. So as I have pondered a lot about this it is pretty interesting, we need both. Faith is a verb not just a belief. When we have faith it makes us work. In James 2: 18-20 it says:
 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
So the thing that stands out to me, is in verse 19. The devils also believe there is a God, and fear him. So what set's them apart from us, WORKS. You have to have both. So yeah that is just my thought, think about that, the Devil believes in God and Jesus Christ. He does or else he wouldn't be trying to knock us off the course of getting back to him. So what set's us apart. So yeah random thought for the day. It is always interesting thinking through things like that. But let's do some works, act on your faith. Read, Pray, Go to Church, and live like Christ would have us live.
I hope you all are doing well, love you all.

Love
Elder Elquist

 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Elder Elquist, September 4th, 2013

So I don't have tons of time but I figured I should send a quick spiritual thought for everyone to hear. The thing that I have been thinking about a lot is of course the Gospel and what it does for us. so the definition of the Gospel is Gods plan for us to have peace in this life and Joy in eternal life. When I found that out it struck me as that is what the Gospel does for us. It goes along things I have shared in the past, but God is always with us and wants us to be happy and all we have to do is to to trust in him and all else will be taken care of. That is pretty much it from me. Take care over this next week. Love you all and don't text and drive.

Love
Elder Elquist

 

Monday, August 26, 2013

So I hit tab and enter and the last sent so here is the link.
http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=1289877050001

Love you all and hope you have a good week.
Love
Elder Elquist

 

So how are you all doing, I am doing great, just enjoying Missionary life and trying to stay as busy as possible. So this past week has been pretty awesome, we got to have Elder Dalin H Oaks of the 12 come and speak to us, which was awesome. The spirit is so strong when you are in the presence of them it is awesome.
So my random thought for this week, has been something on my mind a lot. One of the greatest joys of my mission has been getting to talk with people and here all of there stories, and one thing that has been apparent in most peoples stories, is that they are all hurting. In fact I believe the world in a whole is struggling and it is sad to see. We as members of the church have the cure for the worlds struggles, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The way to gain a Personal relationship with are Savior and Redeemer, It is my testimony that Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ can carry us all through the trials and tribulation and will help us no matter where we are. So I am guessing you all know that I like sharing Mormon messages so here is another one to check out, that I really like.


 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Well this past week has been super busy and as such I don't have tons of time to send out a mass email, but I do have time to send a random thought.
So as I have been out you hear people say I have been "saved". When they say this in effect what they are saying is that they have felt the holy ghost. But it doesn't mean that you can just go on living in sin.
As I have been studying the past few days about Alma chapter 5. It talks a lot about a change of heart. To put things simply it means that you must have a everlasting change occur that makes it so you have no more desire to do evil. As it says in Mosiah 5:2. So my thought is that we have to have this change occur. It doesn't happen all at once like it did for Paul, but it does happen over time. So I decided to include a link for a Mormon message, so check it out.
http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=1452683656001
Hope you all have a great week and keep strong.

Love
Elder Elquist


 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Well where to start on everything, all is going great here just enjoying and loving the work, it is insane how quick Mondays come and how quick time is flying, I guess that is what they say happens, I don't even know where to start about this past week, it has been super busy and we are loving it.
So for my random spiritual thought today I have been spending a lot of time thinking on a couple of things and it is always interesting how my mind works. I still don't know if I have figured out that one. So the thing I have been pondering is the Book Of Mormon. It has been said that it is the keystone of are religion and the thing that it all weighs on. So my thought today is when was the last time we all read it?  If we wish to be solidly anchored in the Gospel, don't you think it would be a good idea to read the thing it is all weighing on. I like thinking of the Book of Mormon in terms of investing in Stock so bear with me here. So when investing in stock it is important that you diversify your assets, so what that means is that you spread where you are investing around because if the company crashes then all of your money is gone. On the other hand if it improves all of your money increases. So in Mans eyes you would not want to bet it all in one book. So the scripture that comes to my mind is this in Isaiah 55 verse 8. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." So in mans eyes you just don't invest it all in one book. But Gods ways he does what ever he wants because he knows that it will stand the test of time.
So there is the random thought the invitation to you all is to read the Book of Mormon and Pray about it. So do it. I love you all and hope all is going well for you.

Love
Elder Elquist


 

Monday, August 5, 2013

So how is everyone doing today? I am doing awesome and everything is going really well, I am just loving mission life and trying to make time for everything that needs to be done. You would think that 24 hours is enough time to get everything done, but it is not enough time to get everything done. We still have things to get done today that we didn't get done on Saturday. So yeah that is pretty fun.
So a random spiritual thought today is about Charity. When we think of this word we often think of service, and while it is this, I have come to understand a deeper meaning of this word. Charity is the Pure Love of Christ, so what does that mean, I will let you know next week. But as for Charity you think of the Greatest thing of all time and it is the Atonement, and you think about how much Love was in that. As it says in John "For God so Loved the World that He gave His Only Begotten Son." He loved us all so much He sent His son to die for us. The most amazing thing happened because of love. So my message is LOVE EVERYONE. You don't get to pick and chose. Love you all and keep up the good work.

Love
Elder Elquist


 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Braden's update for July 29, 2013

Well Hello everyone! So first of all I go transferred to Dayton Ohio into the Englewood ward. So if any of you know where that is at than good for you, everyone else you should look it up on the map. So I forgot to tell my mom this but it is pretty cool. If any of you know Austin Ith, I am actually serving in his last area before where he is at know. Pretty cool huh? I have heard once from him, through a chain of people, he is in the mission right next to mine.
It has been a pretty crazy week this past week, my companion and I got double transferred into this area and it has been a crazy few days with getting everything set up and moving smoothly. We are also having to move apartments this week and so that is going to be fun getting it all done this week. That is pretty much it from my end. I will attach a couple of pictures. To make up for the lack of random stuff.
So on a spiritual note, I was thinking about it this past week and the Gospel is awesome, if you really think about it, it is a pretty basic thing we believe in, Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, Enduring to the End. That is the basic thing we believe in. All the other things are just off shoots of these things. So my suggestion is to do the basic things because the Gospel is pretty basic. Read your Scriptures, Pray, and Go to church. Do those things and you will be a lot happier than if you don't.



Well Hello everyone! So first of all I go transferred to Dayton Ohio into the Englewood ward. So if any of you know where that is at than good for you, everyone else you should look it up on the map. So I forgot to tell my mom this but it is pretty cool. If any of you know Austin Ith, I am actually serving in his last area before where he is at know. Pretty cool huh? I have heard once from him, through a chain of people, he is in the mission right next to mine.
It has been a pretty crazy week this past week, my companion and I got double transferred into this area and it has been a crazy few days with getting everything set up and moving smoothly. We are also having to move apartments this week and so that is going to be fun getting it all done this week. That is pretty much it from my end. I will attach a couple of pictures. To make up for the lack of random stuff.
So on a spiritual note, I was thinking about it this past week and the Gospel is awesome, if you really think about it, it is a pretty basic thing we believe in, Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, Enduring to the End. That is the basic thing we believe in. All the other things are just off shoots of these things. So my suggestion is to do the basic things because the Gospel is pretty basic. Read your Scriptures, Pray, and Go to church. Do those things and you will be a lot happier than if you don't.

Love
Elder Elquist



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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Well I don't have tons of time but I figured I better just email everyone really quick and let you all know. I am going to be leaving my current area to a new one. I got transfer calls and well it was pretty exciting to be find out. I will most likely go to Ohio some where, it should be a lot of fun. I am interested to see what these next few days have in store for me. I can only imagine what they will bring. It is going to be fun though. Tons of work to do. Well I hope everyone is doing well. Take care and keep up the good work.

Love
Elder Elquist


 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Braden's pictorial update for July 15th!

So here are the pictures as promised. That is pretty much all I have for this week, sorry.
Love you all and take care.
Ohio pictures and Amish people


 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Update for July 8th, 2013

So how many of you have been to Ohio? I have now accomplished that. I know that is was all on your bucket list's so I beat you to it. Chances are you probably had it on there.
So after living in Indiana for 17 months, I finally stepped foot on to Foreign soil, Ohio. It was insane to see the difference, it is a lot more hilly there than here. It is insanely flat up here and then Cincinnati was all hilly.
So everything has been going good for me just enjoying missionary life and staying busy, It is insane for me how quick Mondays come. It feels like just yesterday I was emailing you all.
So my gospel topic to rant about this week, is Prayer.
This past week I have gained an even greater love of prayer. I honestly don't know where I would be if it wasn't for prayer. I don't think I would even be sane. So you all better be thankful I have it. It is amazing to see how when we realize what are true identity which is that God is are Father and we are his children, then prayer becomes a natural and yearned for. It is away that we can align are will with God's will. It is insane how much a difference prayer can make in are life. So I would challenge you all to pray. So do it. It will bless your life and help you overcome challenges and concerns.
So for all of you who are extremely jealous that you haven't made it to Ohio yet, I will include some pictures. The one house closest is the mission home.
So actually I forgot the cord to my camera, so you will have to wait until next week, the suspense will kill you.

Love
Elder Elquist

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1st 2013 update

Well I today I was thinking and It has been a long time since I have been able to email you all I know I am a slacker, in all fairness the computers only give me and hour and so I don't have loads of time.
I was thinking about what I wanted to say and then only thing I can think to share is about something I have been studying lately.
Agency, or Free will is the greatest gift that God has given us, it allows us to chose to obey him or to follow the adversary, it allows us to chose what we want to do when we do it and a bunch of other things. In the end there is really only 2 choices we have, give it back to God and follow him or give it to the adversary and become subject to him, which leads us to misery and pain. If we look at our own life's and think about it we can not blame anyone else for the circumstances we are in besides yourself. I am not saying that God does give us trials, but we chose to be miserable in trials. Put a smile on your face and follow God who provides everlasting joy and happiness. I prefer to serve God and follow his plan for me, personally Everlasting joy and happiness sounds a lot better than misery and pain.
I hope this helps you all gives some insight into my eyes for a little bit. Love you all and hope everything is going great for all of you.

Love
Elder Elquist

 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Braden Update for June 17, 2013

Well This past week has been super busy and way insane how quick it has gone, I got sleep in my bed 2 nights this past week because we had tons of meetings and exchanges. But it is super fun and we are doing great. I decided to send some pictures this week so hear you go.

Hey just thought I would do some advertising for this, you all should attend, it is going to be sweet.
http://www.lds.org/church/events/the-work-of-salvation-missionary-broadcast?cid=HPL2P05W01025






Monday, June 10, 2013

So just a quick email letting everyone know where I am at, my address is:
1226 Elmwood Ave
Fort Wayne, IN 46805
So that means that I am going to the new Cincinnati Ohio mission. Should be a lot of fun and interesting things going on here, I also found out that instead of going home on February 11th like they had told us back in January, I will be heading home at my original date of February 18th. So there is also a quick update on my life. Also for all of you who heard me swear that I would never drive a mini van. Guess what the zone leader car is here. A Dodge Grand caravan or a mini van. Great right? Now it is not going to be me yelling at the mini van, some one else is going to be yelling at  me in the mini van.
So there is a quick update just letting you know where I am at and stuff.

Love Elder Elquist


Monday, June 3, 2013

Wow what a week, it has been amazing how quick time has flown over the past little bit, I can not believe it was transfer calls again last night. The big news is that I am getting transferred, So I have to say good bye to Winchester Indiana. It will be sad to say good bye but oh well. Also I got called as a zone leader and I am super nervous about that, so it should be good to learn and to grow over a couple of transfers. I wonder what will happen. Chances are now that I am going back to the boundaries of the Indianapolis Indiana mission. So that will be nice to stay in the same mission my whole mission. Also the mission president is changing and President Cleveland will be here in less than a month. I have to pack and stuff and So I don't have tons of time, but I want to spend a little time talking about the best thing about missionary work. Miracles.
One thing I have truly been able to realize is that miracles happen all around us everyday and all we have to do is notice them, it has been a testimony builder to me, to notice each day the little miracles the Lord does for us. I would challenge each of you to try to notice the small miracles that happen every day around you, and if you think about it, no miracles is a small miracle.
Love you all and hope everything is going well for you. 

Love
Elder Elquist
Here are a couple of pictures
The first one is a robin egg we found on the street.
The next one is a drunk guy that passed out right outside his house. 
The next one is some interesting plumping done in a stair way up to an apt.
The final one is us waiting for transfer calls.



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

So how is everyone doing this lovely Tuesday afternoon, I guess morning for you guys but hey, it's afternoon for me, so that is all that matters. The work is going great out here, things have really started to pick up, it is always fun to look back and see just how much an area can improve in 3 short months and it is amazing to see how much the Lord has blessed you and helps you out from Day to day.
With recent things going on back home it has caused me to really contemplate on the Plan Of Salvation and what it does for us. I believe it is much more than just letting us know that we can be with are family again. There is a key thing in that we forget, We will be together with them again in Paradise. If you think about it we should be jealous of them in a way. They are in Paradise with God,  how awesome is that, they longer have to suffer or go through pain and sorrow but are free from all temptations and trials. They are in paradise. 
Now yes it is a very sad thing that we don't get to see them again but the cure for that is Given to us which is the Comforter which is sent forth to help comfort us in these times. So it all will be taken care of. God has a rhyme and a reason for everything that he allows or causes to happen. I hope this helps you all. I love each and everyone of you. 

Love 
Elder Elquist


Monday, May 13, 2013

Braden's update for May 13th, 2013

It was good to get to talk with a lot of you yesterday, it is always good to get to hear your voices so that I don't forget them, I am betting that is why God put it as a missionary rule to call you parents 2 a year. So that you don't forget them. I don't think I could ever forget any of you. You have all made a huge impact in my life and I appreciate all of you.
The work this past week has gone pretty well, we were able to go on exchanges with the Stake President of the stake we are in, it was awesome, we got to see an investigator and teach her which was awesome, The area seems to be doing well, things are definitely picking up. It has just taken time and we have to be patient in all that we do. 
I want to share my testimony of the Book of Mormon, if any of you are struggling with your testimonies I am guessing it is because you have forgotten to read and pray as of lately, I can not tell you how big of a difference it would make in your life if you read and pray. This book has changed my life. I would not be here to day if it wasn't for that book. It is the word of God and tell us clearly what is needed in order to make it back to Our Heavenly Father. I would challenge all of you to read it and ponder what you are reading, Study it, and then Ask God if it is true. I love all of you and wish the best for all of you.

Love



Elder Elquist






Monday, May 6, 2013

It seems like time flies from Monday to Monday and it seems like so much has happened in that amount of time to all of you as well as me. The work is going great here in the huge ton of Winchester, that was a joke there are about 5,000 people here but it is a great town and I love the people here. I don't have much time But I hope you all know that I am doing well and the work is really progressing well. We have started to find investigators which is awesome it just shows have the right attitude and it will get better in time you just have to put your good foot forward and do the work and it get's better. Love you all and keep strong.



Monday, April 22, 2013

So this week has been pretty amazing I don't have tons of time so I am going to tell a story of what happened to us:
So a little background is that are ward has 1 young woman and 2 young men. So they were planning a cook out for this next week and they didn't have enough young women to do it and so the Young women had been praying for some one to be able to come. So here is where we come in. We had been trying by some potentials and found a record for a less active lady and we got to stop by and teach them this last week and she has 3 kids who aren't baptized and we taught them a lesson, and at the end the daughter a 17 year old ask, can I come to church at your church? We were shocked you don't just have that happen. So we were super excited to have it happen, so we found her a ride and the Young women were super excited to see there prayers answered. The daughter is going to becoming to the activity this week. God hears anyones prayers!


Love
Elder Elquist

Monday, April 15, 2013

Well it has been a while since I have sent out an email to everyone and So I am asking for forgiveness for not doing it. But I honestly don't have tons to say right now, I know shocking for a lot of you that I don't have anything to say, but I will try to tell a much as I can, Maybe I will just increase the line spacing and font to make it look like I wrote a lot. Maybe there is an idea. So how did everyone like conference. Isn't it amazing to hear the words of a living Prophet and receive guidance and direction for these days. And the message is don't worry, God is with you always. Even through Trials and hardships may come are way, God is with you and loves and cares Deeply about each and everyone of you. Trust in God. As it says in Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine Heart and Lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths. Trust him with all your heart. As the world get's darker and darker, we have to let are lights shine brighter and brighter. He is with us all and will support his people in the last days. Be thou and example of the believers! Reach out and rescue those who are wondering in the dark, that the gospel could bring peace and joy to. Love all of you and hope all is well.

Love
Elder Elquist