Monday, September 18, 2017

Perspective (9/18/2017)

Today I asked Brandon to share some of his perspective on the mission. This was his quick response:

I would say my perspective has changed a lot. I came out here with the thought of, "Well, I have waited for this time all my life and I want to be here, so I better give it everything." That's not a bad perspective to start but my perspective has become something a lot more personal and spiritual.

I have gotten to know people here. It is amazing to see how open people are when they don´t even know you. They share things with you, so that if you really listen, you can feel their sadness, their pain, and their need for the Savior.

I have learned through my own experience the true meaning of repentance and need for my older brother. Knowing that feeling of hopelessness is something I can´t bare for another person to feel, so if there is just some way I can help them feel less sorrow, less pain. Well...that is why I am here. I want people to find our Eldest Brother. I want them to find the infinite atonement of Christ. I want them to know of the wonderful, ever so loving plan of the Savior. So you ask me what my perspective is on serving.....It isn't a burden, but rather a way to help take away the burdens of another, one of our siblings, by showing them who is it that can truly relieve them of their pains.

E-mail (Dated: 9-18-2017) TRUST IN THE SAVIOR

It went pretty slow this week with missionary work as far as lessons go. I have had some time to think this last week.

We had splits twice this week, one of which was with Elder Ramierz from Kentucky, and another with an Elder May from Cash Valley Utah. It went really well with both of them. Especially my time with Elder Ramierz. He is half Mexican and actually spoke Spanish before the mission. He is kind of a funny kid and one thing he has going for him is his ability to talk with everybody. I have lost my fear of talking with people, but I still sometimes shy away from talking to people that I pass. But with him this day we literally talked with everyone that passed and it felt so good! I am grateful for that day that I had with him, for him to remind me not to shy away and to talk to all!

Then on Tuesday, we had a zone conference with President and it went really good. We talked a lot about why we are here, and what kind of person we want to be. Then we all received letters from one of our parents, based off of what President asked for. I want to say thank you Dad, and I am working to become that person.

We all have a goal as to what kind of person we want to return home as, at least I do, and I will just say that it is something that I am still working towards because I´m just human. We know we aren´t perfect, but there is this constant desire to want to be better. On Wednesday, we had interviews with President, and he helped me a lot with some tips with studying and some other insights on the mission. He said something to me, that I just want to share. He said, ¨Elder from the moment you came on the mission, I have noticed that you want to be the best missionary possible, not because you want to be better than others, but because you know exactly why you came here.¨ I have struggled knowing if that is true until he helped me realize it is. I am truly thankful for my President and the help he is and has given me.

Now, after the meeting with Pres. we went and passed by Costco and just looked around on the inside because we still don't have a Costco card, but we actually ate chicken bakes and hot dogs as well! So just a bit of home in that moment!

Now, as for the rest of the week, it was pretty rough. We only had about four days in my area, but I got hit pretty hard with pain in my stomach on Thursday. In fact, I called up the doctor to set up an appointment. The next day we went and I got about 4 different prescriptions. He said that if I´m not feeling better in 7 days I need to go have more tests done. Then the next morning I woke up with a high fevor, with chills and pain in my throat, and a headache and it was so awful. I called up the doctor to let him know that I feel even worse today, and turns out I got an infection as well in my stomach, so he put me on another prescription. So after three days in bed, it is now Monday and at least I was able to leave the house today. I am still hurting a lot, but a lot better than two days ago. I have received a blessing and medication, so now I am just in the Lord's hands and I trust that he will help me.

I read a good passage from the Liahona from this month, based on happiness. It is natural for us to all look for happiness and try to force it into our lives, but that´s not how it works. It is something that comes when we most likely don't expect it. It shares a message about a butterfly, if you chase that butterfly, it will just keep escaping your grasp, but if you leave it be, it is most likely to land right on your shoulder.

Something I am working on this week is to know that good things come from hardships. Maybe not exactly from that hard thing, but it is that trial that will help you see things that are better.

I love you family and friends, MWAH

Audio Recording

Monday, September 11, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 9/11/2017) THE SPIRIT WILL BE THE JUDGE

This week was pretty tuff in the way of missionary work, but we had a lot of good as well. As far as appointments and contacting, it was sad. We probably got rejected this last week in just about every way possible. But like I said, there was also a lot of good. Good always outweighs the bad, right? So, this week it rained super-duper hard. The streets were flooded but we decided to stay out and contact anyways for a bit. Sad thing is that I thought my backpack was fully water proof, but I found out the hard way that it isn´t. It’s okay, I got my things inside to dry. It´s been awesome having a camera that is water proof! (thank you, mom and dad)

We then visited a lot with other less actives and members this week. It was good to bond with a few more families. What is really cool is that they load us up with a ton of referrals. This week in fact we went and contacted a few of them. Some of which were at 9am in the morning. Truth be told, when we arrived, they didn´t answer. We will keep on trying to contact them.

We also opened up the Area Book this week to do some deep digging. It went really well. We called over 30 numbers and about half accepted our call. They also invited us to come to their homes this week. How awesome is that? One of them actually answered and said, “The Elders??? Awesome! Glad you guys called! When is the soonest you can come?” That made us feel really good! So, we will be going to those appointments this week!

Let’s see--we got haircuts this last week, ha-ha. It was done by a member that just opened a business and doesn´t know how to cut hair super well, ha-ha. He learned from his wife. I wanted to see how he would do, so we went and let’s just say the next day we went to another barber to fix some of the errors. I guess we learned a good lesson that day.

On Saturday, the assistants to the president had an interview that we needed to do for a baptism. On the way, they asked if we wanted to go to IHOP with them. I was like, YES!!! So we went there and it was really good. I never liked IHOP before my mission, but now it has a new significance being here.

On Sunday, we had the chance to go to the baptism of these new converts for the assistants because we have grown close to the two investigators there were being baptized.

Now, today I had a zone activity with the President and it was really fun! We played volleyball and basketball and a bit of frisbee and then had Costco pizza. I have grown a lot closer to a many of the Elders and Hermanas here, it has been a cool life experience.

After the activity, we left and got on a bus. We were standing next to two older ladies who were seated. Then one of them started shaking and passed out and the other people around couldn´t wake her. In that moment, the bus driver pulled over the bus and evacuated everyone, but Elder Macias and I decided to stay. We both had this overwhelming feeling that she needed a blessing. Elder Macias asked her friend if we could and at first, she said no. Then, I knelt down and said, “we are MISSIONARIES OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS. We can give her a blessing if you let us, it won´t cost anything, but I promise it will help.” In that moment, she said yes. Elder Macias and I put our hands above her hand and gave her a blessing. It was short, but we could feel God using us as his instruments in that moment. A couple minutes after the ambulance arrived but the friend didn´t want to take her to the hospital but then in that moment, the lady that had passed out came to and was able to walk off the bus. She still probably needs to see a doctor, but in the moment, we were able to see the work of our Father in Heaven. We saw the miracle of his power.

It was a refresher to know that God will guide us, and we can be his hands here on this earth, but we need to learn to trust and act in the moment.

I love you family and friends, take care and remember to follow in the steps of our Savior!

Video1 - Working in the RAIN

Video 2 - Working in the RAIN

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 9/4/2017) THIS IS HOW WE DO IT!!

Wow, this week was a good one.

So on Tuesday, I went on splits with Elder Filmore who is like my step mom in the mission, because he is Elder Morales' trainer from the mission. I was in his area and I learned a lot. He has 6 months longer than me in the mission and I had a lot to learn. We got along pretty well, and together, I did my first hitch hike ever, haha. Fun experience.

On Wednesday I got back to work in my area and we were focused on finding new investigators and contacting our references. We found 5 new investigators this last week. They are a family.  Our lesson with them was 2.5 hours long because of all of their questions and stuff. We originally went there for a girl named Abigail who is 21 and we then got the attention of her family...her mom, grandma, and siblings. We really connected with her and she asked us if we could come back and teach her. So, we left her with commitments and with an appointment to go back this Thursday. We are excited.

Then on Saturday, we had the baptism of Juanita. Not for Daniela because of problems that were occurring with her husband. But we ended up having the baptism of Juanita. There was a lot to organize and figure out, but we made it happen. It was really cool because her husband Juan was able to do the ordinance. Very humble and nice couple. Juan was baptized about two months ago and it was just so good.

Then, later that night, I was pretty upset about Daniela not being able to have the opportunity because of her husband and the fact that our zone leader said she wouldn´t be able to be baptized. So, called up the president and told him the situation. He then gave us the permission to talk to her to let her know that if she wanted, she could be baptized without the consent of her husband. So we ran over on Saturday night and told them. Later that night, after they talked about it, she called and said, "I want to be baptized!" So, we planned the baptism that night and had it Sunday morning. When we arrived, and we had the same situation with the water that we had at Francisco's baptism, and on top of that some of the interviews weren´t going to go through; however, we had the assistants in our church building and with them, we were able to figure everything out. It was just so awesome!
On Sunday, we had the opportunity to watch Daniela be baptized by her Dad and then we were able to participate in the confirmation of both Daniela and Juanita.

So, just some tenders blessings. We have prayed for them to make this decision and it is an answer to our and their prayers to have had them enter the waters of baptism!

So just so happy!

I love you all! Have a great week!

P.S Starting contacting by baptismal invitation - trick from our assistants.