Monday, November 29, 2010

I had my fist tuktuk ride the other day

That’s a ton of snow holy cow; right now here the weather is just about normal. Not too cold and not too hot, a little hotter than cold I think...ha. I was tempted to buy Christmas lights for our room but my companion (it’s his first mission Christmas too) said he’d probably cry every night of sheer bagginess if I did. Oh well maybe next year. And that’s a ton of hair too holy cow it’s a house full of skater boys.

Well............yeah so I already received your Christmas package and the one from the Grigg family, I received them on Thanksgiving Day and have decided to wait on the big package at least until the 8th, the smaller one from the Grigg family I already opened and have already almost eaten everything in it minus the socks haha. My companion Elder Marquez is exited for his stocking too. It just really hit me today that this is my first Christmas of 2, I have an entire year left it only now seems like so much more! Dang...nonetheless I'm not going to be baggy.

I did send you that side bag and it has a couple of last minute things stuffed in too. I hope you enjoy them. Ohh here’s a story; I had my fist tuktuk ride the other day coming back from divisions in Canalitos with Elder Busto. It was too late at night for the buses to be safely running and there was no other choice. Elder Marquez made me a little nervous about riding one by saying that he was scared of doing so. They are small and kinda rickety, in a recent letter I drew you guys one. It’s like a motorcycle with three little wheels that looks kinda like a little baby jeep. They work kinda like taxis but not as expensive. Honestly on some of the turns it was a bit frightening but overall a pretty cool little ride through the jungly Canalitos at night.

Today was a bit fun too. We celebrated Elder Whited´s 20th birthday eating at a member’s house. While waiting for the food we played Jenga and I didn’t lose; I felt pretty good with myself. On one of my turns I took like 3 and a half minutes trying to remove one precarious block. After we started playing ¨Scum¨ which is a Boy Scout camp card game with face cards that was pretty intense. We eventually started playing with added rules and it got even more so. I was king one time and scum the last two rounds, ouch my cards stunk. It was all fun though. We had ice-cream and chocolate cake too it was yummy.

In the work all seems to go alright... we only have one sure baptismal date for this Saturday a young boy named Ever. His whole family is ready except his parents are struggling with a divorce with previous spouses and a remarriage! not all that rare in Guatemala... our other interested investigator had something happen in the family in which he had to move away and only visits randomly once a week. DANG. Pray for new golden investigator families aright? Haha we really need the help the area is very rich and everybody knows ¨Los Mormónes¨ and how to get them to go away. Still trying though!

Well as always super much love to one and to all, hope thanksgiving was great, mine we just ate more than usual and called it good. Take care of yourselves I love you way too much for anything to happen. I dearly want to see you ALL when I get home ;) but I know you are safe, God is watching over you and we have already seen evidence of that right ha. Stay strong in the family prayer and scriptures alright? It’s the basic things that bring the big blessings. Prayer, scripture study, church, tithing. Don’t forget the others but those 4 are pretty important.

Can’t wait till Christmas when I can call you! What a present right?

Elder Bronson

Monday, November 22, 2010

It was the jungle adventure I’d been waiting for

SO MUCH SNOW!!! Dang that seems so weird. Here we're having a cold front but por su puesto no hay neive (obviously there isn’t any snow) and wow you all have grown up so much in the past almost year. 9 months haha. Yeah it is true that Christmas time makes missionaries baggy. I'm not a baggy missionary, but a couple days ago I was listening to some amazing Christmas music coming from the members that live in the same house as us and the day was all cloudy and grey. That morning we went to help a member family paint their house (this was Saturday) and everybody was still sleeping in all nice and cozy. It made me want to be home all warm and happy for Christmas but alas, my duty is here and there is nowhere else I’d rather be. Other missionaries would look at a plane and think Oh I only have 7 months left! I think OH DANG I only have 15 months left, let’s GO elder!

Martin De la Cruz
Last week I didn’t have a chance to send you guys pictures so this week I got you some good ones haha about 26 or so lets see. Some of those were from a very exiting adventure we all had. The first two are from my last day in Santa Elena visiting with the De la Cruz family, and the second is a picture of when Martin was back in the Army being all buff holding a chain gun and wearing gun belts...that’s my convert! We spent a lot of time there that night looking at everyone’s baby pictures and getting ready to miss them like family.

Alright for this adventure. Tuesday, the day after I emailed you we did service in Canalitos with the rest of the zone chopping up with machetes. After all was chopped we walked around the property a bit and there was a path going down the side of a big foresty mountain. We felt very adventurous and went down. At the bottom there was a little passage way with a cave and everything. It was the jungle adventure I’d been waiting for since receiving my call over a year ago, it was amazing! There were even bats in the little cave. I hope to do more of that kind of stuff up north when I go.


* Tell us about your new area and your new companion
Last week I told you all about my comp and area, Elder Marquez, and Lomas Del Norte. It’s a very rich area that’s very hard to contact but theirs a lot of members there and a ward mission leader. Even the bishop seems pretty cool. Me and Elder Marquez laugh a ton and always are joking around but working so hard! Saturday when we were contacting when trying to find investigators we started laughing so hard that we actually had to stop and sit down for a couple of minutes.

* How are your shoes? Are they fixed?
No I haven’t done anything about my shoes but hopefully I’ll have a good opportunity tomorrow.

* Do you have any new investigators?
New investigators we taught one and he even came to church on Sunday. We put a baptismal date with him even. His name is Hugo. Besides him we only have so-so possibilities.

Well I’m going to use some time trying to work photos so I’ll end here. Love you all and pray for you every day and night, hope you all have a good thanksgiving! Christmas is just around the corner!

Elder Bronson

Monday, November 15, 2010

I feel like a missionary again!


Much love
Ahhh bueno, another Monday and another email! Haza, again happy birthday!

Alright the moment you have been waiting for...transfers...

Got a new area! And a new companion too haha.

My new area is called Lomas Del Norte, and Mrs. Winkel might recognize that name. Elder Winkel served in this area for nearly 6 months and now it’s my area.

It was really a surprise to me to hear that I was the one with the change I expected to be in that area for a lot longer to help out the family De la Cruz. I was kinda sad because by the time we got the call and had the chance to visit everyone I wasn’t able to see Martin and tell him goodbye, only over the phone. Tuesday when saying goodbye to everyone we stopped at the De la Cruz house for a diner goodbye where we had hotdogs! We ended up spending nearly 2 hours there; they really are my family away from family. We spent some time going through baby pictures of Angelo and the family, it was awesome! One of the pictures was of Martin maybe 20 years ago or more when he was back in the army. Holding a chaingun and being buff! Yup, that’s my convert. I was so sad to say goodbye but I had a reassuring feeling that my next area would be good for me, better.

From Juana de Arco up the hill to Santa Elena back down to Lomas del Norte, back to zone Atlántico. My new companion is Elder Marquez (mar-kez) who was one of Elder Winkle’s companions and has the same time as us both, 9 months. Oh ya! Change conference was our 9 month mark, 9 MONTHS MAMA. Last Sunday was your birthday, which also means that it’s my 1 year mark for having my endowments out.

Elder Marquez is from Honduras like my first companion Elder Vargas, he’s super humble and super fun. He reminds me a lot of Elder Winkel because he’s so happy all the time, sure easier to be happy when your companion is too. The house is nicer and bigger, the computer isn’t being very nice and isn’t letting me use my camera to send you pictures so hopefully next week. I remember how the computers here in this area kinda stink...anyway. We found a ton of church pictures and put them up everywhere. In the kitchen there is a sink, and in the bathroom there is also a sink!! We have a ton of pots and pans and cockroaches...yea dad remember before my mission you always joked about cockroaches everywhere? Well in Juana de Arco we had a fruit fly problem and almost a cockroach one, in Santa Elena almost as well with the flies and mosquitoes and now it’s a big cockroach problem! I constantly have to squish em. Eww.

The area is nice, it’s big and really much more beautiful than all my others because it’s much richer. Contacting is hard but there are a TON of members and the ward leaders seem really nice too. Instead of begging for help announcing stuff we just suggest it to the ward mission leader (who in this area is active) and he takes care of it and really helps us out. The colonia lomas del norte looks just like a suburb with LAWNS and everything! It’s incredible! Already I am loving the area and my new companion, we constantly are laughing and teaching, obeying the rules and PLANNING. I feel like a missionary again!

No I have not repaired my shoes and now even my spare pair have wholes in the bottom, lots of walking ha! Today we are going to check out this little shop we saw in our area with a few shoes so hopefully something.

I've been healthy, healthier and healthier trying to eat to a better diet and now my companion was to try eating healthier, I just need some good healthy food meal ideas. We bought another blender so things should go easier. The only thing is just today after our pday activity of dodge ball my stomach felt kinda weird...then I ate taco bell and that didn’t help! I was at one point in the bathroom wondering if I was going to throw up but all was well nothing happened and I'm feeling better. The power of prayer!

I already told you that my new areas hard for contacting, lately we’ve spent a good deal of time looking for new people and nothings been happening. We hardly have ANY investigators right now and we’ve only really visited less active members lately and been asking for references. Hopefully some news soon! Last Thursday when getting to know the area during the day we were offered cake four separate times!

Hmmm I can’t remember really if there was something awesome to tell you guys or not, I'll have to write it next week if I remember it later. Once again sorry for no pictures, dang computer. Oh! One thing is I’m sure you will hear soon from Elder Smiths mom is that he’s going to Polochik! To learn KEKCHI!! You know what that means don’t you? It means that he’s going to be there FOREVER AND ILL NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

We will....eventually...well in the meantime I express my love for all of you, there’s a scripture that really hit me yesterday Moroni 8:16, ¨un amor perfecto desecha todo temor¨ or a perfect love casts out all fear, a great one for missionary work! Much love siempre, más que puedo decir. Please take care of yourselves, I love you.

Elder Bronson

Monday, November 8, 2010

You could imagine a whole bunch of grandpas and grandmas and how they would react to a couple of handsome young men, one from their native country

Andrew's Artwork
 What do you want for Christmas?
Christmas...well my list isn’t that big so you’ll have to be a bit creative filling it up but here goes, mostly just silly things
-more music from Jon Schmidt
-more socks ;D
-a booster pack of awesome yugioh cards for my ever geeky companions...and my ever geeky me.
-an English hymnbook
-lots of prayers for the people in this area

Did you get your shoes repaired?
As for my shoes I haven’t had them resoled, I did look for new ones today but they hardly have Americanly sized shoes here and the ones they did have weren’t up for a year of walking or were just plain weird so I'll keep looking and get a pair resoled. My socks are dying too because of the holes in the bottom of my shoes that let nasty water in and when it dries it hardens and is really kinda gross. I'll get right on fixing em if I can find a place.

Did you get to baptize the other Martin?
No the other martin I didn’t baptize, during the week they picked somebody from the ward to do it and that’s fine with me, I hardly knew him. On Sunday it turns out that he didn’t even show up, either sick or nervous I don’t know. The sister missionaries didn’t seem so happy that day.

Tell us a spiritual experience you had this week.
I'm using my new agenda now so I don’t have all my spiritual experiences that I’ve written down during the week.. Hmm alright I have one for ya. I was doing morning divisions with Elder Davis and he was playing some music that was so incredibly amazing, it wasn’t specifically church music but it was talking about Christ and I felt the spirit so strong! Afterwards I went home and after eating lunch I was pondering about Lehi's dream and the iron rod. The words of our last general conference came into my head I can’t remember who but the sister said to ¨hold on the to the rod with BOTH hands¨. I remembered something that they talked about in seminary like picturing yourself there with the numberless multitude holding on to the rod. I instantly had an image jump its way into my mind of me holding on to the rod with all my might, both hands held firm, then me reaching up and partaking of the fruit of life when the spirit hit me so strong with a confirmation that if I hold on to the rod like I am doing right now I WILL PARTAKE of that fruit. I sat there at my desk with tears streaming down my eyes for a good few min.  That experience has definitely been a huge help to me lately, now more than ever, I KNOW that this gospel is true. I KNOW with all my heart and feeling that God loves me, and so does his Son. I want so much to give this joy and happiness to so many others that I thank my Heavenly Father every day for the opportunity to be here.

There is a ward member in our area that owns a taxi so he gave us a lift to the area office pretty far away from where we live, down in the big city. We got to the building and inside saw my first bishop from Juana de Arco who commented on how much weight I've lost. He told us the doctor was on the 3rd floor so we went, and they told us that he was on the fourth. We get up there and they said the he is on the fifth floor teaching a Spanish class so we went. On the fifth floor was a small office type thing that said that he wouldn’t be in the class and he might not even have arrived yet, so we could go into the class to wait for him if we wanted. We entered and it was a group of senior missionaries learning Spanish. You could imagine a whole bunch of grandpas and grandmas and how they would react to a couple of handsome young men, one from their native country. The teacher was one of the teachers from the CCM and she had us come up and tell where we were from, what mission we were in, and after bear our testimony having the older couples listen for words that they recognized. Their Spanish was so little that it reminded me of when we were in the CCM and didn’t know a thing, I kept almost wanting to correct them but I decided not to look dumb and interrupt and make them feel inadequate so I didn’t but it was a great experience and there was a lot of love and a good spirit in that room, people really wanting to serve the Lord. We went back down to the 3rd floor and found the doctor and he fixed everything up within 5 min and we were out again.

I love you all so very dearly and hold that each and every one of you will work so much harder on holding on to that rod! God loves you and wants the best for you, always trust in him and you will never truly be sad, even Lot had that eternal peace when he lost everything, and in the end everything he had was literally doubled.

Please keep yourselves strong and safe, follow the spirit, strengthen your
families with the gospel, it’s the greatest thing you could ever do, and after my two years in heaven are up and I will see you all again.

Until then my God be with you, I love you,

Elder Andrew James Bronson

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween exists here but they don’t do much because it’s so dangerous at night!

Yay another pday and time to write my beloved family...

Halloween exists here but they don’t do much because it’s so dangerous at night! ...and nobody has a ton of money to spend on candy. Instead they have some sort of holiday today the 1st of November. I'm not sure what it is but it makes the guys running the bus demand double. A whole 2 quetzales! That’s like 25 cents!! Sheesh.
Drawn while Elder V. was bible bashing with an
investigator about angels
I am not always sure what to say about my comp because one day it will be terrible and the next it will be just fine. This is the first relationship in my entire life where when we fight we get along better with each other. This has happened twice. I've honestly learned a ton because of him (I don’t know if I'd say from him but because of him maybe) about how to improve and be more Christ like in even the little things that don’t seem to matter, but really make all the difference. Changes are about a week and a half away and I’ve already received secret news from Elder Davis that he’s going to get a change and I’m going to stay here. I really like this area and there is SO much more I need to do here so I’m super exited to stay longer.

Last Saturday we had another baptism! Could you guess who it is? Angelo de la Cruz, son of Martin de la Cruz whom I baptized about a month ago. And who performed the ordinance? HIS FATHER. The kid is incredible. He was the only one of his family besides his mother who hadn’t already been baptized and he might be the most faithful next to his dad. The water was cold and his dad had to do the ordinance a number of times because he didn’t have to prayer perfect (he only has a month being a member so I don’t blame him). Nonetheless by the time they got it Angelo the poor little guy was shivering like crazy. What a real trooper. the next day on Sunday they weren’t planning on being able to make it to church for some super big thing with the family (martins very first time being absent since we found him about 2 months ago) so bishop Paredes wasn’t planning on doing it, but Angelo came to church anyway, just a bit late for a usual confirmation. The bishop knowing he was there didn’t do anything about it and even though Angelo was present they didn’t confer upon him the Holy Ghost. (Our bishop isn’t very helpful...even to the sister missionaries) when Elder Davis heard he was MAD. He told me that even though Martin and everyone were in a super hurry they where running to church and when they got there (E. Davis was outside) his dad told Angelo Go! Go! Hurry for your confirmation! Run!..But the bishop didn’t do it. Ugh. Angelo the incredible spirit he is didn’t murmur or anything, what a trooper.

During church also one of the Sister missionaries investigators, also named Martin, told me he wanted me to be the one to baptize him (sister missionaries don’t have the priesthood and so cant baptize), his baptism is scheduled for next Sunday early in the morning.

I am using the oils from time to time specially the roll on oil for acne. It has been helping a ton. As for more essential oils right now I think the supply is still good, no need to worry.

Something funny or awesome hmm? Well I just continue the email I guess

So! One thing, on Tuesday 2 things really. One was my companion doesn’t know the meaning of COMPANIONSHIP even after 22 months. He abandoned me 3 times in one morning going over to a neighbor kid’s house to do who-knows-what. One minuet studying, the next I’m alone and he’s nowhere to be found. I tried to talk about it and he got MAD. Aye-aye elder...2, when we were walking the hill back home in the night there’s a bus that parks up there and they gave us a lift up the hill, a small act of random kindness. Saturday 2 things as well. 1 I spent the morning with Elder Davis while both of our companions went on a little division to help somebody repair their car (Elder Plata, Davis´ companion is a great mechanic) me and Davis talked a ton, he’s an incredible missionary and I’m SO glad he’s here in the same district as me. The other, when we passed by Martin to walk with him over to the church for the baptism we came in the sheet metal door and the first thing he said when he saw me was ¨ah! mi salvación!¨ haha it feels incredible to have helped someone come to the knowledge of the restored gospel, I really feel like I already accomplished a lot on my mission, and I still have like 15 months. SO EXITED!

Alright one last thing I think, buying groceries today was a little different. When I was talking to Elder Davis part of it was about how he’s trying to keep healthy, and has replaced all his nasty foods for healthy things, like fruit for snacks and stuff. I went shopping with him today and tried the same. Practically all I bought was fruit, veggies, granola and oats, yogurt and all sorts of deliciousness. And a cheap blender. SWEET. That and I’m working out every day now minus Sundays haha! I’m hoping to really change my body and get fit and healthy, maybe when I get back we can have a ¨who is the healthiest¨ contest ha!
Well love you all and keep it safe please, I always pray for you. An interesting scripture to look up is D&C 35:13. Oh and I have a question for the day:
¨according to Lehi, what flavor was the fruit of knowledge of good and evil? ¨ the answer is in 2nd Nephi 2:15


Elder Bronson