Monday, June 28, 2010

Fun times with Elder Smith

Haha oh wow I was looking at the pictures until I got to Ethan’s wedding announcement. When I get back he’ll be all married and stuff...ewww (=

Well divisions with Elder Smith were fantastic! Not to complain about my companion; it was a totally different experience for many good reasons. Honestly it felt more like a sleep over with a best friend than missionary work but we pulled it off very well. He was holding on to my package from Vickie with the beef jerky and cookies and he had some music from home, some calm peaceful...LORD OF THE RINGS I was about to die. It was amazing. Well as for the work with us two the difference was real and was big. Unlike when I am with Elder Vargas I felt the spirit testify of our words and I felt it so strong it gave me a desire for the work I was incredibly disappointed when night came. I WANTED to contact I WANTED to teach instead of having to constantly remotivate myself after everything. Our time was cut short too because earlier that day we had interviews with the President that lasted forever, and the next morning was taken up by district meeting so our time was just that one night...and was completely INCREADIBLE I was very disappointed to have to work with my actual companion after that I was feeling a little down and didn’t talk nearly as much, his approach is so different it just doesn’t work for me.

Another Elder is having the same problem with his companion. His name is Elder Anhder and he is another of my very,very good friends from the MTC in Guatemala. He has a Latino companion too and apparently he’s having such a hard time he is seriously considering going home. I have been emailing him a lot lately trying to keep him motivated about the work and promising things will get better. Companion changes are next week. I could be off to Coban or Petén! IN THE JUNGLE or I could be here another 6 months in the land of hard concrete homes and harder hearts. I don’t want to complain, ever, but this area is just so difficult its dragging me down a bit. ANYWAY

Hopefully today we will be off to buy a Cobeja (Bed Cover) and I pulled money out of my card for it, just to be safe and incase there is some other incredibly I cant miss buying this type objects of great desire there, I pulled out 300 Quetzales (which in America is about $37.50) I would have pulled out less but you can only go by 100´s. I sharpened my machete the other day, but its still not sharp at all near enough for service...I told you I got a machete right? Well if I didn’t I did so haha. The machetes themselves can be bought here for as little as 10 or 20 Quetzales! That is like 2 or three bucks for a SWORD. The incredibly amazing descriptive Lamanite style case was a bit more; but fully worth it...I’ll send pic´s when I can.

So work otherwise goes well here I hope you guys have fun in Oceanside without me...we need to go the year I come back alright? Plan on it.

OH MAN I nearly forgot to ask you something REALLY important. I'm deathly curious about who else in our family has served a mission and some of THEIR experiences. Please anybody in the family who knows some or has some send me word! I want to know it would be so cool!!

So Trent was interested about hearing about my mission or was missing me? Tell him I miss him too, he randomly shows up in half of my dreams doing weird things. If he wants I could possibly email him from time to time. I have a favor to ask of you mama, could you find out what some of my friends are up to? I’ve been thinking about a certain friend for a bit lately his name is Alex; I kind of want to know how he’s doing, if I recall he told me once that he was planning to serve.

Well I love you all so very much and I really wish and pray you the best of everything. Have an amazing time at trek you boys you don’t know how much I wish I could join you, with all the walking I do here it would be a breeze haha. It really was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had. Keep up the good work at home, love each other and pray and read your scriptures together every day, ok? Do it for me..?


Elder Bronson

Monday, June 21, 2010

Donut Deliveries


It’s nice to see its warm enough to swim! That’s on the list of things to do after I get back, better not think of it now haha. You guys are really starting to look different it’s surprising what can happen in only under 5 months. That’s all my companion has left, 5 months and he’s out. He reminds me of it every time we see and airplane.

The work is alright this week. No investigators made it to sacrament meeting though, which is a bummer. Hermana Lety is an interesting subject of which I'm not sure what to think. interested-not interested-interested again, prayed to know-and now I’m not sure. She has a problem... she’s not married. And she has kids! You can’t get baptized if you don’t follow the law of chastity, and so far from the 4 months my companion has been working with her she doesn’t seem to have any desire at all to get married. I hope something works out on that subject. As for the ward we haven’t been getting to many more referrals but they seem to be warming up to us. We did an activity just me and my comp where we MADE DONUTS. It’s an interesting process. We then went to each members home, sang a hymn and gave them donuts. The funny part was we would always start by saying we had a huge problem, if they could help us and if we could come in and talk to them. It was incredible to see their reactions. On almost every face you could see ¨OH MAN the missionaries are in trouble! What can I do?!¨ One of the members pulled out his car keys and asked if we needed to go somewhere. Some where relieved when we pulled out the donuts and exclaimed that we just had way too many donuts to eat ourselves and thus needed their help. Some seem to actually be almost disappointed that that was all we needed help with. It was a fun thing to see their love and care though.

We’ve been doing a lot more contacting lately because all of our older investigators seem to be losing interest no matter how much we visit and teach, I don’t know if its our fault or theirs but Hermana Nataly is very obviously done seeing us, and Hma.s Rosa and Martha are really into the lessons are very faithful but never attend church. Elder Smith seems to be having plenty of success though and I’m happy for him. Tomorrow we will be doing something interesting. We are going to do splits with both the Elders´ Smith. My comp with his and me with my friend. The problem is that neither of us is perfectly fluent in the language quite yet so hopefully things will work out. I know that the Lord will bless us with understanding if we are honest in our work. Overall I’m really exited it will really be a learning experience, and a chance to see a different area.

All seems well here besides that, lots of prayer, lots of work lots of spirit and so I am happy. As for interesting souvenirs...yeah. I bought a machete. I couldn’t help myself! I was only 80 quetzales! (10 bucks) once I can send pics I will but it is NICE. The case is decorated Lamanite style and the blade is long and strong. I heard that you can buy just the machete for as little at 20 quetzales, which are nearly a good whopping 2 and a half dollars! A really, really real machete for all your machete needs for 2 bucks. It’s about 6 bucks or more for a cheep plastic sword back home haha. Apparently I got Aunt Vickie’s dear elder package but right now the mail system is a little out of wack so I might be receiving it today or tomorrow from Elder Smith.

I’ve been forgetting to mention that I got Shane’s Spanish letter, I got it about 2 weeks ago haha. It’s actually really funny some of the translations on it. The word at the end Shane used for prayer, the one that started with an R meant liek the chanting of nuns or something.  Prayer in Spanish is orar, to pray or oracion prayer. We pray is oramos, and we WILL pray is oraremos. Confusing? Its different that English. In English you don’t have to conjugate verbs, but that’s the soul focus of Spanish. Instead of saying everything in a bunch of little words you all conjugated it into a longer one. One of my favorites is we were working = trabajabamos. Haha from the verb trabajar, drop the ar at the end and put abamos for that type of past tense

Transfers for us are in about two weeks, I think on the 5th of July.  It will be interesting to see who my new companion is and where I will be. I could stay here, Elder Vargas could stay here or we could both go to new areas. I’m hoping to go to some place crazy and exotic like Coban, where it’s such a think jungle that you are allowed to have machetes! I CAN’T WAIT TO BE OUT IN THE JUNGLES. It’s what I imagined when I first got my call.

Just so you know I might be pulling out a bit of money today from my credit card to see if I can buy a cobeja, or in English a bed cover.  I’m not sure how much they are but 200 quetzales is 25 bucks and I can only pull 100s at a time from the atm. my shoes are fine, hopefully they will last a bit longer. The weather here has been very nice as of these last few days. It rained a bit, clearing all the nasty pollution and then the clouds parted and the sun came out. I was a Guatemala summer. Blue skies instead of rain, warm sun instead of constant gray.  Its rainy season here so sometimes we go days without seeing the sun.

I hope everything goes well at home, I’m always praying for all of you.  Hope your weather is really nice and your father’s day was a blast. I love you all and pray for the best, work hard, be smart, be safe, read the scriptures and be awesome.


Elder Andrés Santiago Bronson

Monday, June 14, 2010

Please pray for us!

Well I haven’t received any packages; it usually takes about three week for ANYTHING including just little dearelders to get here, were kinda in the middle of Central American nowhere. I’m exited for that super package! Especially for those pop tarts.. I will thoroughly enjoy those....

Well the work has been slow; I still don’t have a single baptism! We have a couple people interested, especially Hermana (Sister) Lety and her family. We asked them to pray to know if what we were saying about baptism is true, she was speaking to my companion about it while we were doing some service for her and I didn’t hear but apparently she got an answer. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to ask more about it so I guess that will be a surprise. Oh please please please...

Yeah this area just needs some serious work, specially the ward. I’m happy as ever to do the work of the Lord but the ward isn’t willing to put in their effort, and just us 2 can’t support it by ourselves. We haven’t received a single reference from them in what may be 4 months.  Not fun.  Plus the bishop is.. I guess feeling unworked or something? I didn’t really understand but I think he’s mad that we don’t have any less active members or investigators showing up for church, and that we have no baptisms. Ummm yeah about that bishop. WE NEED YOUR HELP TOO.  Nobody is willing to reach out to help anybody else and we are working as hard as we can to find and teach, but we can’t do everything. What we need are serious, interested investigators, families, but we can’t find them, so help us out. PLEASE.

I’m fine personally, happy as ever. Always thinking about Christ and always studying to know what next to teach. I know that sometimes, even when you are doing all that you can, the Lord will speed his work in his own time, so I’ll be diligent, and keep trying. My companion on the other hand is feeling a bit down, and that’s not a good thing. If he doesn’t work than I can’t work either.

I would ask for you all to please pray for us to have success here, that the people will open their hearts and listen. I know that if you do the Lord will bless these people, and you. Please add me and my companion, Elder Vargas to your prayers. I also ask that you would pray as families, having scripture study with your family also.

I love you all so very much and I pray for you all always, remember that.

Elder Bronson

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Letter written sometime at the end of May


Hurray you have received another letter! Haha… So things remain good here. Hot, humid, Guatemala. I just got your email saying that you guys were getting some nice weather. 80 Degrees is probably close to where I’m at. Minus the humidity. How does it feel to be in the sun and not sweat instantly? It’s really not that bad here, mild. In Peten or Coban (up north in the jungle) it can reach 120 degrees with complete humidity. Now THAT must be hard.

What would you guys think if I came home knowing 2 new languages? If I get transferred to Coban – no, Polochik, I’d have to learn Kek’chi, and if I have to learn that I might come home not remembering English at all! Wouldn’t that be crazy. Not much use for Kek’chi outside of the jungles of Guatemala though. Another thing I might come back home with is the ability to run for 5 miles strait! That and dark skin. ;)

Ok, I’ve got a bit of a story to tell. Now you’ve got to promise not to freak out because it not as bad as it sounds. I got bit by a stray dog. I was walking down the street, you know, as missionaries do, and there was 1 of the 10,000 stray dogs up ahead barking at passerby’s like they do. I’ve learned not to pay attention to them, it just makes them more anxious. So as I passed by I looked away and paid no attention to its barking. Bad move for this dog I guess. I looked back just in time to see it jump at me in the side of my vision. I was able to smack it’s head hard enough that when it bit it didn’t really bite hard. No puncture, no bruise, all good. I was pretty mad at it though, it hurt! I’m going to honestly say that if it had tried to attack again I would have done everything I needed to defend myself. I didn’t attack back, that’s not my style. The rest of the day continued without further incident.

It’s really unusual for dogs to even bark at people, especially do anything more than that. I don’t expect anything like that to happen often, if even again. It’s all good.

The sunsets here are absolutely beautiful. Elder Karr was right about the buses here, they are nice. 1 Quetzal per ride, that is a good $0.12. Nice when you don’t want to carry a weeks worth of groceries up a mountain. You just have to be careful because they rock a lot when they stop and go. They are all really old stick-shifts and stop and go very, very quickly. It is so violent, the stops, that if you aren’t holding on you will most definitely go flying…and look like a total greengo.

2 years is really starting to sound like a long time. A REALLY, REALLY long time but that’s ok. I plan to enjoy being “Elder Bronson” for a while. I really do love being in the service of the Lord and I have so much more to do. It’s weird to think I’ve learned so much Spanish so quickly. After 2 years I’ll be beyond pro-skill. I might even have to/get to learn a 3rd! My companion, Elder Vargas, knows Spanish, Kek’chi, some English and sign language. I’m starting to think that it would be a great idea to make a second language required in school. What if everyone in America could speak English AND Spanish? Or Chinese?

Once again my beloved family, I plead with you to make good choices, for the choices are given unto us to make. ESPECIALLY IN FRIENDS. It is SO IMPORTANT that you choose your friends wisely. They effect you in so many ways. If one of your friends ever tries to get you to do something you know is wrong or know is bad, stand up for your beliefs! The will respect you for it, and if they don’t respect your beliefs are they really looking out for you as a friend? Defend who you are and what you believe. 3 Nephi 12:10-12 the Lord himself said this and it is true. I testify of these things to you my dearly beloved family in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Bronson

(This drawing was included in his letter.  It was doodled on a scratch piece of paper with the words "Yo se que vive me Senor written on the bottom.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Things are the same

Hmmmm so far this change has been going a bit slower, my comp is still not always the friendliest guy but he works hard and so it’s easier for me to do so also. I feel Spanish is coming more and more and it’s a good feeling, though I'm so far from perfect. It seems like nobody can understand what I’m saying when I ask questions. The grammar is so darn different that it makes it hard to think of what to say and say it well.

Sorry for not emailing yesterday, we had a surprise zone meeting that lasted ALL DAY dang it was long and a bit dry but we were able to power though it haha. Things are the same here always. Warm, grey with a little green. Every storm is a crazy lightning storm and there is at least one off in the distance somewhere at all times. I can’t wait to send you guys some pictures.

I’m exited for that package, who knows what kind of wonders it may hold... I’m missing home a lot but I know I can’t leave. Some days it hits me that I already have 4 months. I only get 2 years to do this and then ITS OVER. Other days it like... I have 2 more years of this..? But those feeling pass quickly. I really hope to see more of Guatemala I’m getting honestly tired of where I am. Here it’s all just broken concrete streets and broken concrete houses full of people who don’t want anything, but sill I am diligent in my studies and in my searching. I think this area just needs a new senior companion to start things over. We are nearly out of good investigators and it seems like no one can keep an appointment.
Enough complaining back to seriousness.

I’m losing an incredible amount of weight my belt I’ve been using is on its lowest notch and its not really helping my pants at all! Lots of walking. Speaking of lots of walking I’m exited to hear about trek! I wish I could go on trek. It seemed a bit long to walk at the time but now it seems like a normal day. Easy haha.

Well I love you all very much and I pray for you every night. Be safe, be smart, love each other and pray and read often ok?

I want to refer you to a passage of scripture I found about a day or so ago.  Mosiah 2, the last verse in the chapter. It begins with something about the blessed and happy state of some people who do something ;) haha

LOVE YOU ALL Elder Bronson