Monday, October 25, 2010

Really the work is going alright

Ha! What attractive young ready for a mission! Haha I like the ¨Mr. Happy¨ and ¨Mr. Happy on Eggnog¨ pictures. The picture of the snowy yard and the burb made me think about home...and snow! That will be weird in a year and a half. For the past 3 or 4 weeks now it’s been nothing but sun sun sun here and I love it! Both of my pairs of shoes have holes walked into the bottom so I’m not so exited for rain, one little puddle and DANG my socks wet and I'm subjected to a day of ¨squish-squash squish-squash¨. I swear my socks work better as sponges than anything else. Oh and I'll need to buy a new umbrella; I tossed my old nasty broken one about 5 weeks ago when it decided to bite me when I opened it. Grumble grumble. Who needs you; you don’t protect me anyway! Darn rusty thing. Haha...I mean thanks for working for 1 week mr. 30 quetzal umbrella.

Hmmmmmmm ya last week I was talking a lot about my companion, well things have somewhat calmed down but he still is a little...I dunno. He's been reading this big old report or book or something about these two missionaries in a conference with leaders from a ton of other religions. The entire thing is super bible bashing and what we call in Spanish pelear, or peleando, kinda just like your religion is so wrong because of this and this and this! Oh no YOUR religion is untrue because the bible this and that. He likes to pelear. It’s incredibly frustrating. He has SO much time in the mission but it seems to me like he doesn’t know how to effectively work with people and help them learn. I’m just saying if anyone came to my door and taught me how the Mormons did all these things wrong because Joseph Smith this or Book of Mormon that I wouldn’t listen at all and just tell them to get out of my face and not come back if all they want to do is bite me about my beliefs. We were contacting not to long ago, and came upon a house with an old man. I started out and all was well; he seemed to give just a little interest in what we were saying...until E.V. started to give his shpeel.  I'll skip the rest and say that for and hour and a half he fought with this man saying Catholics this Catholics that, Book of Mormon prophets blah blah blah. He laughed at the man's beliefs and was like ...WHAT?? whenever the man said anything of what he believes. I was dying; so how was he? I’m just sad because now he’s going to think badly about the missionaries and the church FOREVER. So many times it’s ...oh those missionaries only want to throw their religion at me and baptize me! To say the least it hurts.

Really the work is going alright. We have 7 baptismal dates, one with Angelo, Martin's son, for this Saturday. One for the family of Bother Peque and one for a newly found family who is so incredible. They are a very young couple, Alex and Diana, they have one little boy Alonzo (he’s actually the 3rd, but the other two died). They aren’t married and he’s looking for work but they are trying so hard. When we taught them the Plan of Salvation, Alex talked a lot and Diana was so perfectly focused and interested in what we were saying, I guess hearing that you might see your children again would do that. Just a few days ago we taught them about the restoration and after asked them if they would read and pray to know if it’s true, Diana responded that we’ve done SO much to help them already that she already believes what we are saying is the truth. How incredible it was to hear something like that! When we talked to them about their divorce so that they could be baptized we heard the next day that they were already well on their way to doing it. Elder Davis a few days ago saw them and talked briefly. They told him that they were there working on their papers of divorce to they can get baptized. They are golden! I can’t wait to help them change their lives.
I think that’s the biggest news for this week folks, thanks for tuning in. I love you all so very much and I know that the Lord loves you. Keep it strong, I pray for you all by name. Have an amazing week! Go play in that fluffy white stuff that doesn’t exist here!

Les amo mas que puedo decir,

Elder Bronson

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It really hit me with a strong feeling of how real the gospel and the plan is

Today was amazing, we went to the temple! Oh how I love to go to the temple! This temple here in Guatemala is really small but the spirit is the same, though I do have to say that I miss my home, the Oquirhh Mountain Temple and look for it every time there is an article in the ensign about temples, I saw it and also the bountiful temple and it made me a bit baggy... I wish I could go more often but there is work to be done here and I will have time later. During the session the spirit was incredibly strong and it helped that by now I could understand nearly every single word of the Spanish session. I had some sitting down before the session began and so pondered a bit about profound things and it really hit me with a strong feeling of how real the gospel and the plan is. I had a feeling of my importance as a child of God, and all those sitting with me as my spiritual brothers and sisters that I knew before this world was, now sitting with me in a holy temple ordinance doing the Lords work of redeeming the dead. Oh yeah and before we even entered the temple we saw Elder Falabella walk in and I shook his hand (for those of you who want to know why this is noteworthy is because he is the president of the quorum of the seventy for this part of the world, Central America)
After the session we all walked over to Quiznos but it wasn’t going to open for another half hour, so we walked to McDonalds, which was serving only breakfast until the same time. We kept walking until we came to a restaurant Pollo Campero which is like a Guatemalan version of KFC but really expensive for only a little bit of food, and not the tastiest food either but all was well.  Chicken sandwich with fries, water and an ice cream cone. Pday is my day to eat unhealthily; all other days are set aside for oatmeal, granola, fruit, sandwiches and whatnot. Yum!

Sigh...unfortunately not all goes well with my companion Elder V.  He just simply doesn’t like me and to be honest, I don’t know why. I can’t say I'm perfect of any wrongs but I can’t think of a single instance that would have dampened our relationship, but its kind of just been that way from the start. Just a few days ago I asked what he was going to study back at home because he’s been so set on studying lately (even though he only has 2 months left on the mission). He asked me why I wanted to know and I responded for curiosity, and for something to talk about because it’s quiet. He told me then that he doesn’t want to talk to me and that I should stay to my own business. Ouch. I tried to talk to him about it because there seems to be little unity in our companionship and want to be his friend honestly so that we can work together and feel the spirit. He told me that he doesn’t want to talk to me or even try to be my friend, that’s not what his mission is about, it’s about preaching. ... I continued to try, or at least figure out if there was something I could change to improve our relationship, if there was something I was doing that bugged him. He said to me that if I don’t know what I’m doing wrong by week three then there was no hope of me ever figuring it out, and refused to tell me anything, or hardly speak at all afterwards. It’s been a hard three weeks as you can probably guess. He sleeps in, we don’t study together, and his teaching methods are more of an attack than sharing a Gospel of love. I don’t know what to do; the Zone Leaders have even talked to him about it. Ugh... Honestly we work hard, we had 30 lessons last week and some new investigators, but without the companionship unity and spirit there’s nothing productive, I’m not seeing our investigators progress very much.

Ok time to find some better news....I saw a clown the other day. And a guy in a gorilla suit and skull mask wearing a magic Mickey Mouse hat. That was fun. For souvenirs I only really have my machete WHICH IS AWESOME and my new leather bag WHICH IS ALSO AWESOME. I’m thinking of looking for some cool wristbands soon if I can find some but I dunno, I'd have to find some first!
Christmas we are going to have some sort of super awesome activity with ALL of the missionaries of the Guatemala North Mission. ALL of them. MEANING ELDER SMITH TOO. I’m exited! I don’t know about work that day, if missionaries (for example we will say Jehovah Witnesses) showed up at your door on Christmas would you talk to them or say, another day, today is for my family? I can’t see much happening that day. As for a Christmas list I don’t have much right now but what I am thinking of are the following English Hymn Book, Reese’s, more later.  I'll try to write it down for next week.  The little gifts for kids are kind of fun, I think they like it. I gave the rings to little girls and some of the necklaces to cute little kids, bouncy balls for the boys.

Tons and tons of AMOR!! gozo y paz sea dado a cada uno de ustedes! les AMO!! sed fuertes en la fe y tenid vuestra unidad y caridad siempre!

Espero por una buena semana por todos, hasta proxima semana,

Elder Andrew Bronson

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm trying to work hard enough for 3 people

Well with my new companion Elder V. things go alright... he’s not the most perfectly obedient or hard working missionary (for example he’s on facebook with headphones on right now...I betcha I could find both those things in the mission manual pretty quick) but we get along fine and I’m trying to work hard enough for 3 people ha! I think I've said this but he’s Guatemalan, really short and his way of teaching is more like a frontal attack than sharing the gospel, and we don’t have companionship study and some days even a morning comp prayer. I too still have a lot to improve but little by little right? When I was with Elder Vargas we cooked for each other for a while, with Elder Bowman we were together lunches but breakfast and dinner were separate. With Elder Segura and now with Elder V. we eat separately, its just easier that way because I like my things and he likes his things, and really after working hard and walking so much we’re too exhausted to cook a big meal so we cook our separate small quick ones. Life here has improved just a little bit with the addition of a Microwave in our kitchen! Really I enjoy better using the stove but the microwave has a timer that lets me know how much time left I have to munch! I haven’t had really any companions who like to tract (or as we say here more often Contact) but we do our share, there’s a new rule that president Torres indicated just last Wednesday that every contact should and needs to include an invitation to be baptized! This will lower our new investigator count and contacting but will result in investigators who are ready and willing to comply with commitments and aren’t a sad, but true waste of time. It’s sad when people don’t receive us but I believe it’s more like we are a gift, and if they don’t want it now there will be other missionaries later.

As for cake or the things you guys sent me I haven’t had a chance to make anything because I don’t have an oven, but the muffin mix said it can be used as berry pancakes with flour and eggs so I'm going to try that. The toys I haven’t had a change to hand out, maybe I’ll carry some around in my bag in case of an opportunity.

That’s incredible with the call! Congratulations Justin! And what a mission! I suppose its English but alls well haha Honolulu, that’s almost a good a call as mine! Sorry pal but mine has Book of Mormon sites, jungles, volcanoes, Spanish, drunk guys and stray dogs. Can’t top that. ok Ojalá Brandyns next, that kid needs to get his big fat bum on a mission! I’ll be reading his email next so I don’t have too much news for on that subject, los siento.

Hmm what else to write...random stuff that comes to my head I guess. I can do a pretty good set of pull ups now; I don’t have anything to do it at home but when I have the chance its pretty fun to do so. Oh work wise, in our area there lives a family, Peque (peh-kay) who has listened to the missionaries for a good long time now, since maybe 3-4 transfers ago that were progressing but stopped, and now with the help of the Lord and Elder Davis during divisions they have been a bit more animated. The father Edy hadn’t come to church for a good long time. He works making things out of leather and baking a bit of bread on the side to support his family of 3 kids. Luis doesn’t come to church because he likes to play soccer on Sundays and doesn’t want to give it up just yet. The other two are daughters, Dairin and Joselin of around 9 and 8 that have come to the church about 14 times and attend English class regularly, but they can’t be baptized without the permission of their father. So during divisions with Elder Davis we finally got in to talk to them and we talked about baptizing his two daughters. He said that since he’s not at this time attending the church he wouldn’t be comfortable with his daughters being baptized, separating the family religiously. We talked about it with him and clarified some points of doctrine, some doubts, and for the first real time he accepted a baptismal date to work toward. Later we visited with Elder Valasques and taught him about the Priesthood and invited him, if only for an hour, to come to church with his kids this Sunday. Came Sunday and we didn’t have time to pass by to remind them or bring them, just pray for them a bit haha. Lo and behold we found him at the church with his daughters before we were even there. I believe they are very close to being ready for baptism, just have to clear any doubts and worries.

Also Angelo, Martin’s son is attending the church and I heard from his teacher later that he wanted to be part of passing the sacrament! This kid is incredible and I can’t wait to teach him more.

That’s all for this week folks I still have to attach pictures and email Brando, essential. Love you more than I can possibly write or say, pray for you every moment. Have a good safe spiritual love filled amazing week.

Elder Bronson

Monday, October 4, 2010

I nearly fell out of a speeding crazy bus

Bronson Baggy
Oh man that first night with the package, looking through the pictures of not only you guys, but us made me BAGGY (term for homesick, in most other missions its Trunky). With all the pictures of Brandyn Josh and Kinsy, all of you guys and haha all the random stuff it was like a weight on my heart that I could physically feel. I just now got done watching the videos; unfortunately they didn’t work on my camera so I had to wait till today to watch them on the computer. Yeah that first night was rough; I had to say a pretty good prayer for help from my Heavenly Father to focus on the mission, luckily that came pretty quickly. I miss you all and love you guys a ton, thanks for the package and haha for the Pokémon cards its good fun.

Ok changes. Elder Segura left for a different spot in the capital in Zone 6. I'm not sure exactly where that is but it’s in the cap. My new comp is Elder V. and he’s....hmmm well I hope we get along. I haven’t had too much of a problem with him and he seems alright to me.  He’s Latino and has a good 21 months in the mission, senior companion.  He says ¨freak¨ but that’s fine by me. Throughout his whole mission he’s been moving from one area to the next very fast, almost 1 area per change and I've heard (but don’t know) that it’s because he has problems with girls. HE BETTER NOT or he might just have found the wrong companion because I’m not wasting a single second of my mission chasing women. NOT HAPPENING. He sleeps in but so did Elder Segura I’m used to it and know what to do to help them get out of bed. Blast the music and be REALLY noisy making breakfast haha! This change and the next will be his last and if he stays here for the two and so do I, I might be here a whole 6 months. Nearly everyone I know has changed to far away areas. Winkle as an office, elder Bowman somewhere else, Smith in Petén. I do have a new district leader though, Elder Davis. He reminds me a lot of Dad. He’s a really big American with a football players build and we already know each other a bit so it helps. Tomorrow we will be doing divisions and I will be with him. I don’t think this change will be so bad I’ve already had a couple good days.

Conference was AMAZING. I was able to watch every session IN ENGLISH and we even had 2 investigators come to the first session. I can’t remember how many pages of notes I took but they were fewer than last time. Maybe...1,2,3,4,5,6? Maybe 6-7 pages of notes more or less. I absolutely love listening to all the sessions it was incredibly spiritually empowering! I hope you guys enjoyed it.

I don’t have much of a Christmas list quite yet but I have been craving peanut butter cookies or Reeses; there isn’t much peanut butter down here. OH and an ENGLISH hymnbook would be spectacular haha. Thanks for the music and the packages they really help.

Oh something random this morning I nearly fell out of a speeding crazy bus. It swerved in between a couple of cars going top speed and I didn’t expect it I lost my footing and nearly fell out the door! Luckily I have a pretty strong grip so all was well. I am pretty sure there was divine help there too. Dont freak mom I’ll be more careful haha.

As always I love you all more than I can say and I miss you. Can’t wait till Christmas your voices seem so much different in the videos, deeper. Much love Elder Bronson

Elder Spencer Karr, Elder Bronson, and Wendell & Debbie Karr
neighbors and friends