Monday, December 26, 2011

I love you guys and hope you have an EXCELLENT new year. 2012 baby!

Ah-ha! Camile took my spot I see how it is...
just kidding how was Christmas for you all?! I love you all so much and miss you all a ton. Christmas day was definitely a happy one; the call was definitely my favorite part. Work-wise it has been a bit rough. EVERYBODY IS DRUNK and that means there is no contacting, nobody in their houses, and/or nobody has time for missionaries. Just members haha members and all their tamales. We ate way too many tamales!  Three each Christmas eve and ponche with each one (ponche is a hot fruit drink with all the fruit chunks inside of it, you spoon out the chunks and eat them than drink the hot soupy juiciness). Our fridge is stuffed to the brim with extra food that people gave us; we aren’t even going to buy very much this week for food.

This week has been a funny one. Companion relationship is likened unto a cloudy day. Cloud and then sun and then cloud and then sun. I’m getting all confused but I am at least grateful that there is a little bit of warmth. Not going to lie, I hope we have a change, my sanity will not likely last another month and a half of this partly cloudy companionship weather. I hope that I am not called upon to test that sanity theory of mine.

Last Wednesday was eventful, my companion passed out during district meeting while we were standing up talking about our investigators. We began talking about a certain investigator and it became a discussion about the practicality of being completely obedient to all the rules under all crazy circumstances and it was basically 4 on 1 with everybody telling my poor companion that it’s better to stand up for the rules that it is to make exceptions for every other situation, when suddenly he dropped and started flailing. WE FREEKED OUT!!  We all thought he had some sort of seizure but the doctor said that its natural that someone who passes out is going to jerk around a bit and it’s not a seizure. That sure ended district meeting. Thursday we had a doctor’s appointment to see what’s up with Elder M. We took a nearly half hour taxi ride for 75 quetzals to the area office and 75 more to get back, and for what? So that the doctor could check him and say that the only problem is he isn’t drinking any water. 150 quetzals for a bottle of water! That’s nearly 20 dollars in taxi transport.

Like I mentioned on the phone call our Christmas activity was pretty cool. WE all got there early, the first thing was to listen to some inspirational Christmas talks from the president, and then we filled up plastic bags with things to donate to needy people in our areas. Afterwards we went out and played football, soccer and basketball. Lunch was turkey with mashed potatoes, apple pie being the dessert. We proceeded to watch a Disney movie woohoo! Tangled, haha! It was an excellent movie I loved it. A little more instruction from President Watts and we ended at around 4:30ish. After I had an interview with President Watts to get a new temple recommend. WORTHY! I told him about extending my mission and he said he would talk with the Lord to see what we would decide on doing, we weren’t going to do anything without asking you guys first. I know you aren’t too fond of the idea but if it’s the Lords will? Imagine the difference we could possibly make in the life of somebody. Who knows, only God.

One of the sunshiny moments of the week was Christmas Eve when I bought a plastic chess board for Elder M. and he told me he really cares about me. I wonder how long that will last, hopefully until changes I don’t want to have any more problems with anybody right now. I love you guys and hope you have an EXCELLENT new year. 2012 baby!
Ill see if the computer will let me send photos next week because this one doesn’t want to cooperate, sorry! Much love!
Elder Andrew Bronson


Monday, December 19, 2011

I want to extend my mission.

My my my...My beloved Family!!
Holy cow December went by fast, it’s already Christmas. I’m feeling these next two weeks are going to be a bit harder work wise...everybody’s ganna want to leave home and visit family and the poor missionaries are going to be talking to the dogs in the street for lack of people to teach the Gospel. Unless the dogs go on vacation too I suppose. Everything is possible here in Guatemala...

Less than 2 months now, it certainly feels like I’m counting someone else´s time and not my own. Can the mission ever end? Does one ever stop getting up at 6:30 to go and preach the Gospel all day? What else would you do, you can’t watch TV right that’s a sin. But there´s something that I wanted to talk to you guys about, maybe a little bit more extensively over the phone. Last Sunday (yesterday in fact) Mission President Watts visited our ward to come and talk to me and Elder M. about how we are going in the work, and all went well, but there was something that came to me during that time...I have something to come forcefully into my mind and I want to know how you guys feel about because I’m going to be praying and fasting about it.
I want to extend my mission.
Well in truth I don’t know if I want to, but I feel something about it, like my Father in Heaven will be SOOOOOO happy if I were to do it. Even as a write you guys about it my heart feels exited, but I don’t know! Will I be able to do it? How will you guys react? I’m so not sure but the more and more I think and ponder about it the more and more...well, better I think about it. I’ve heard that one can only extend his mission 30 days, but I’m starting to feel so strongly about it. What is it that my Heavenly Father wants me to do in that extra month; I kinda want to do it. I want to talk to you guys about it first on the phone so don’t worry. We´ll talk.

Sooo... This week has been a bit of a failure work wise, we only found 2 new investigators in the whole week, and only 12 lessons to investigators. Ouch. O well, I suppose it’s better in different places. Things with my companion are getting just a tiny bit better, a sliver of sunshine. We are at least praying together to plan and to leave the house now. He told me when we were fighting that he didn’t want anything from the Christmas package but now that he’s brightening up a bit I’m hoping that he actually does take it. This change ends in just 2 weeks, Christmas and New Years and it’s over. Where will I end my mission, and with whom will I end it?

Our Christmas plans are basically just hope that some people invite us to eat. On Friday we will be having a Service Project as a Mission and a Christmas activity. Saber lo que vamos a hacer. Something good I do so hope! I also hope that the family Christmas party went well, looks like a ton of fun and junk food. Speaking of junk food, we did an activity of visiting the less active members and delivering them donuts, brownies and cookies. The brownies and cookies we made ourselves, us and the sister missionaries and the ward mission leader. It turned out really well and we ended up eating a bit of it too. I hope I don’t get fat again when I go back to eating USA food. yummmmm.

Saturday night we did a something really cool for a less active part-member family. We had planned to cook pancakes with a member family as a Family Home Evening with everyone but things didn’t work out so we ended up being in the street with a frying pan and everything necessary to make pancakes. We passed by an investigator to do it with his family, not home. Other members house, nope. Recent converts house not quite. We finally ended up at the part member family´s house. They were in some need, too many things to be cleaned, husband just got home super tired and without diner even started and kids everywhere. My companion washed the 1000 dishes while I made 10,000 pancakes!! Well not quite that many but they did the trick and we really ended up helping the family. They came to church the next day wooo!!

Well that’s a lot of email right there, please don’t be too shocked about the mission extension idea, chill, everything will be perfectly fine, exactly how the Lord wants it to happen. And there is the chance that I even ask and they don’t do it so we will see really how the Lord wants to work this out. I love you all so much more than I could ever possibly say to even attempt to describe. Please have an absolutely marvelous Christmas one and all, stay safe, stay spiritual, I’ll be talking to you on Sunday. I can’t wait to hear your voices!
Just too much love,
Elder Andrew J Bronson




Tuesday, December 13, 2011

the Lord has little by little kept His hand in things reminding me that I am not alone.

ahhhhhmmmmm
...ugh. Companion problems suck. It’s not going well.
Alright today was temple day but I didn’t do a session because my temple recommend expired and I haven’t had a chance to get interviewed. The time was well spent relaxing in peace with my old buddy Elder Segura, remember him? He was my companion HERE in this area a very long time ago...Him and Samuel. Samuel got baptized last Saturday to go to the Quetzaltenango Temple dedication. It’s seriously been an incredible experience with him. Definitely an example of how baptism cleans, and the Holy Spirit sanctifies. He has pulled his life around and hasn’t stopped telling his testimony to everyone he talks to. He is inviting friends to the church, coming out with us to our visits and making the big difference in a lot of our lessons. I honestly love him so much; I am so exited for his future.

Mmm I’m feeling a little down this week, especially today. I admire Elder Loaisiga my zone leader; the sacrifice he made for me this morning has honestly moved me nearly to tears. This morning I and my comp had a clash that ended in him getting really upset and refusing to leave the house to go to the temple. I called the Zone Leaders to come and help me and they came. They tried to convince him to go but he continued to refuse and refuse. So that I could go to the temple, Elder Loaisiga stayed in my place with Elder M. I feel really bad still that I wasn’t even able to get in, seems like a waste for him, I hope to get him something to make up for it. I love him so much. All of today has been really calm, quiet, without contention or stress of any kind. The only thing that has been pressing on my mind all day in the fact that tonight I will have to go back to face him and see how it happens...

Even though I have been going though this tougher time of my mission that doesnt mean I haven't been greatly blessed. More than with just Samuel, the Lord has little by little kept His hand in things reminding me that I am not alone. He is incredibly present in my daily doings and has been very generous with His blessings. This week I was given free lunch almost 3 times, that and a number of tender mercies.

Ok here’s the story of the week- I attended an Evangelical Church last Sunday hahaha. Some of our investigators were getting married and did it in an Evangelical church, the church decided to go ahead and do their entire reunion in the middle of it all. They even went and collected offerings in the middle of the wedding. un poco loco digo yo. Lots of singing and Glory Halleluiah! And the people seemed nice enough, but there was none of that familiar peace and tranquility that we are used to. I felt a little uncomfortable after the first little while and wanted to leave but we stayed for the sake of the wedding. I can honestly see why some people don’t want the pressure of changing churches though, lots of stress and people to leave behind. Samuel himself was approached by his old pasture who asked him why he had run off with the Mormons and he defended himself with his testimony. Way to go Samuel!

Alright to answer your question Mom, Elder Smith is on the opposite side of the mission as I am. In the mission there are two ¨Santa Elena¨ areas, one here in the Cap, the other up at the top of Petén, the both of them are Santa Elena.  As for the video conference call I’m not quite sure that’s a go. The mission president wants you guys to call us from your numbers to ours so that the mission doesn’t have to pay for 200 missionaries´ hour long Christmas calls. I can understand.
I love you all so very much and can’t wait to hear your voices and a little after see your beautiful faces! So much love, take care!
Elder Bronson




Elder Segura & Elder Bronson

Monday, December 5, 2011

10 weeks before it’s over, and only 20 days until the call

Well well well...ANOTHER P-DAY!! Whoo!!
Oh my, Elder McPhee just told me that we only have 10 weeks before it’s over, and only 20 days until the call. What a change right? Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years all in the same change. I’m not a baggy missionary so I have nothing to fear, the only thing I do sometimes fear is getting disanimated for lack of companionship help. Yeah, the situation isn’t getting much better, in fact it’s gotten much worse but before you know it all these hard times turn into valuable memories, stories and sometimes council. I’m just wondering what is it that the Lord can see that I can’t? What am I going to be prepared for by passing through this right now? Keep on working...just keep on working. I have honestly been feeling better today; I started putting my mind on better thoughts and started to push out the natural criticism that jumps into my thoughts for every stupid thing that happens. I need to do MY best in keeping the spirit, and invited him the best I can to do the same. I just wish he wouldn’t criticize me in front of all the people that we are around.

If you want to hear a funny story here you go:
This week we were visiting an investigator, John, and he was outside his house. He was getting ready to leave on his motorcycle. Elder M. knew that he shouldn’t as much as touch the bike, but what does my odd little duckling do? He gets on and gets it going...to fall down a cement decline about 10 feet deep. Some sort of angelic protection left him unscratched and the bike left in good condition with the exception of a nasty looking scrape all along the left hand side. Investigator not so pleased. Only afterward did Elder M. say ¨so that’s why they don’t let missionaries ride motorbikes...¨ yup. That might be why.

Another funny happening has to do with that same investigators family. Max, his brother is a super cool guy and gave us some early Christmas presents. For me, a singing Christmas stocking, for Elder M. a grenade. What, didn’t you know that here in Guatemala grenades are what you give the naughty children? Joking by the way. About the naughty kid’s part, Max literally gave him a grenade. He is a police officer and had one in his house. 2 actually. The thing was disarmed and harmless but afterward my companion went around showing it to everyone...

Last night was pretty cool; it was the First Presidency´s Christmas Devotional. I liked President Uchtdorf talk about keeping Christmas focused on Christ. Also, President Monson's story about the man and the heavenly mansion.

p.s. I got my Christmas package, 20 days until I can open it. Haha...at least that’s better than last year, I got it on Thanksgiving Day, only last time I opened it on the day of the family Christmas party.

Alrighty I think that’s it for today. Next week we will be going to the TEMPLE!!! That means that we will be doing internet on Tuesday. Stay safe and happy for me! I love you all so much more that I can say,
Adios Muchachos!
Andrew


Monday, November 28, 2011

This week included a bit of odd service.

Woohoo! Another glorious pday and time to email ahhhhhh.

Well thanksgiving here was completely normal besides telling everyone ¨happy turkey-day¨ and making them laugh. I’m still mourning over the lack of pumpkin pie, its kinda funny that it reminded you of me, Mom. Yes, I am losing my English, but that is just natural after having 11 different Latino companions for nearly my entire mission.

This week has also gone by really slow... as I have said the days go by fast, the weeks go by slow and the months go by even faster.  As of right now I’m fighting off a little bit of disanimation, but I guess that must be what the Lord wants be to be able to overcome in the future because it’s getting tougher and ever more confusing. One day good one day horrible and it all depends on his mood and how much ridiculousness he wants to pull. The mission president already knows about the situation but I’m even confused as to what to say to him because when it comes to climaxes the game always changes and I’m just losing my wits. Oh well, I’m capable of handling what’s going on, the only thing that bugs me is just planning pretty much by myself, and teaching pretty much by myself. I’m going to keep working.

This week included a bit of odd service. Near the neighborhood where we live there is a Health Center where one of our recent converts needed to go, but in the mornings the line gets HUGE. What was the plan? Us waking up at 3:45am to be there at 4 saving a spot for her in line until she comes at maybe 4:30 or 5. Want to know the joke though? We had to do it twice! The first time was on Thanksgiving and the doctor wasn’t doing the certain exam so we had to do it today also.  Though the sacrifice brings a joyful feeling, I hope not to have to do it a third time...I like to sleep.

This week I conducted my first baptismal interview as a District Leader! It was to a little 9 year old whose parents are active members but for some reason that they didn’t tell me he hadn’t been baptized until now. It was a great experience, so full of spiritual guidance. He pretty much knew all the concepts; I just had to clarify a few things about the law of chastity and the word of wisdom and stuff.

Hmmmm, what else to say? So many things happen every day but as ridiculously random as they are they seem so normal to me now, haha, that I don’t even remember them. One of the kids from our ward that hasn’t been baptized yet escaped from the house to go to church this Sunday with us, we had no idea that he didn’t have permission from his parents but they found out. His parents are inactive members who haven’t come to church in some time, but the father, Manuel, come to church searching for him. WE saw him talking to the bishop so we hope things will go alright, but the kid is going to be punished with a sentence of 5 weeks without going to church. Dang.

Well I’m as exited as ever to see you all again after this Christmas season, I love you all so much! Mom, now that you are done reading the Book of Mormon you should read maybe...yeah the New Testament. I’ve almost finished it in Spanish. Nearly the ENTIRE thing was written by Paul and he has a really strange style of writing in Spanish but I could understand. Its interesting to see how much is actually in the Bible.

Love you guys, please take care, until next week!
Elder Bronson

Monday, November 21, 2011

Did you guys know that J.R.Holland can speak a bit of Spanish?

Wow it is absolutely incredible just how big these boys are, imagine the change that can happen in someone in two years! That’s nuts!
No, you guys can send me as many pictures as you want don’t worry about bagginess; I’ve got that under control for now. We’ll see what happens during the Christmas season.
Well here we have no plans for Thanksgiving, we were thinking of doing something like a talent show with a little Thanksgiving themed buffet but we didn’t get it planned in time and the ward didn’t know too much, maybe for a different time with a different theme.

The families that we are teaching are doing well, some we are giving difficulty finding and others that are just prospering. Samuel B. has felt the spirit and wants to be baptized, he whole heartedly believes everything we teach him and he is putting in his part by reading and praying, we have another appointment with him tonight and I hope everything goes well.  His little brother and sister are also taking lessons but still not as interested as Samuel. This last weekend we had a stake conference (too bad it wasn’t a steak conference hehehe) but guess who gave the talks? Jeffrey R Holland, Dieter F Uchtdorf, Elder Clark from the area 70 and Sister Cook, adviser to the young women’s presidency. Every one of the 4 gave a talk with the theme of the family or the temple, understandable with the dedication of the Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple on the 11th of December. It was great. Did you guys know that J.R.Holland can speak a bit of Spanish?

Companion situation? Rrrrmmm this has by far been the most confusing change of my entire mission. I might be hard for me because I’m not use to having someone not be my friend after being in my dreamland of Coban with some of my best companions for so long. My last 5 were incredible, the best by far. Elder M. is doing alright and he is learning a ton, but little by little. More than anything I think he’s just making it difficult for me. WE had some ups and downs this week that have been pretty acute at points but nothing unbearable; I just hope to finish off my mission working harder than ever.

This week is changes but since we are in the training program we are staying together for sure. This is my SECOND TO LAST CHANGE and second to last planner to go with it. This change embarks Christmas and New years and ends right after. As for my district 2 sister missionaries are being taken out of their area and the area is being closed, I am not quite sure why but oh well, we will see what happens with the district then.

On Saturday we did some service cleaning out a part of a members house that had never been cleaned before, the people living there before had left a junkyard in that back room. We found a ton of spiders and cockroaches, one rat, like 12 virgin Marys and a bunch of other ridiculousness. Other than that nothing too big to report, I hope all is going well on your guys´ side.

So I’m not sure how to do it but I think we can to a video conference thing for our Christmas call, the computers here have cameras so maybe I can talk with mission president Watts or some leader type people to see if I can get it all hooked up, alright? as for sickness I have been a lot better this week, we stopped eating at the restaurant everyday and I’m cooking in the house now, I enjoy it 100x more and I can eat what I want more healthily. My companion? Ramen noodles and frosted flakes, poor guy’s ganna get sick but he refuses my help so there’s not much I can do.

Alright I love you guys way too much, can’t wait to hear from you this Christmas.  Sorry I haven’t sent you guys anything as a present but its kinda expensive to get from here to there haha...and I have no idea what to send. I’ll keep working on those tapes. The days go fast, the weeks go slow and the months go by even faster. Before ya know it!
DEMASIADO AMOR
Andrew Bronson






Monday, November 14, 2011

Family home evening idea on the subject of prophets

FELIZ CUMPLEANOS MAMA!! TE AMO CON TODO ME CORAZON!!

Alrighty then. The package must be the recorded tape I sent you a while back. I hope you all enjoy it. I bet my companion Elder M. will like anything you send him. Lately it’s been really tough with him he has these completely random spazmatic moments where he will say I don’t want to plan, you do it or we're not going to pray tonight because I don’t want to. Just simple little things but I think that’s WHY it bugs me. It’s so simple let’s just do what God wants us to do alright? Oh well, I’m fasting a ton right now, I think twice just this week. I’m kinda a weenie with patience in affliction huh? Haha...ooooyy

This week has also been a toughie work wise we haven’t really been able to find our investigators very well, they just aren’t home when we come by, but there’s no problem with that. We found a new family to teach called the Castillo Family and they seem pretty interested. We’re going to see what we can do about baptismal dates.

Last Saturday we did service chopping down some hedge in the back yard of a member; it was kinda fun I don’t like to miss any opportunity that I get to use my machete! Heheh. So Scott got a job huh? Way to brown-nose, Scott's got some pretty good cookies. I might try something like that when I get back haha...lately we have been eating in a restaurant instead of in the house but I think it’s been making me really sick, so I don’t want to go back. The food isn’t bad but since starting to eat there all the time it’s just been stomach pains and problems. I honestly like to cook anyway and would rather make my own lunch with the hour that we have to do it.

I don’t know if there are any ideas for the Christmas package, I don’t really need anything, but I do have a suggestion for a saved Christmas present for when I get back. I was guiltily talking with a newer elder about a game I was waiting for before the mission called Star Craft 2, if you get me something I’m not going to lie, I would definitely want a special edition copy of that game. Nerdy!

Family home evening idea on the subject of prophets, I was studying in a institute manual about the Book of Mormon and found it, and tested it in a FHE we did with some members subject ¨Have you ever wondered what makes prophets different that other regular people?¨  Start off by asking what are some characteristics of the prophets of old? What quality of people where they? (For example good leaders, humble, with a lot of faith and receptive to the Holy Ghost) Read Helaman 10:5,7,12 and 11:18 where God is talking to Nephi the prophet. What qualities did the Lord comment about Nephi and his work? Now, show a picture of the first presidency and the quorum of the 12 apostles and talk about how men like that exist even today, that God guides his church through these men of power and faith. Talk about how much the Lord wishes that we would all be like prophets. Eat a snack.  It worked out really well for us here, I felt the spirit powerfully and I know that you guys can too; this might help the boys learn a little more about prophets and their importance in our lives.

Well guys I love you so much and I wish you the best of the best of blessings. Nearly exactly 3 months left until I see you all again, los AMO!!!

Andrew





Notice the toliet?


Monday, November 7, 2011

I think we touched some hearts

Alright email time yal,
notha week notha blessing notha situation but that’s how it goes down here in the mission. Last Tuesday was pretty fun, if the computer had compassion I would have sent you a cool picture but you guys will just have to exercise some celestial-virtue patience for next week hoping that a different computer will be more friendly. We contacted people from 2-6pm just passing out pamphlets of the Plan of Salvation and talking to people that they can see their loved ones after this life, some were really interested and some not so much but some good came out of it, I think we touched some hearts. Sunday was also eventful here; it was voting day for the new president of Guatemala, the options being Baldizon and Otto Perez. They received the news of the winner before the night was over, and Otto Perez is going to be the new president of the Republic of Guatemala, good luck pal you got a lot of work to do.

Situation with my companion is getting a bit tougher but I think it has to be like that always with new guys. I honestly love him so much but it’s one of those situations where well...not all is quite in its place yet, there’s so much more to learn on both ends I’m guessing. Santa Elena since my first time here has been an absolute refining fire for me. Since Elder S. and Elder V. to Elder M. with me as trainer and district leader.  Just a ton of things that are helping me a ton to develop much needed leadership skills and people skills, stuff that must be dang hard to learn somewhere else because it’s really tough here and this is the best time to learn.

It’s all turning Christmassy here too, at least in Wal-Mart just Xmas music and decorations and stuff, but they are the only ones so far.  As for new investigators we found an old investigator named Romulo who absolutely loves to read, he just barely finished reading completely the Book of Mormon! He also reads the pamphlets a lot and understands a ton, Elder M. was super awesome and put a baptismal date with him for the 19th of November, I think he’s getting close to being ready for baptism.

Well I’m sorry but it seems like the longer I’m here the less and less I have to write every week, but it’s all in my journal for when I get back I can remind myself of a ton of fun things for you guys. Next week I think we are going to Central Market to get some cool things we´ll see what cool junk I can find for you guys. I love you guys so much please say safe and take care, quiero que siempre sean espiritual y que hagan todos sus oraciones en la familia, requerden, siempre lean sus escrituras!
Los amo con todo me ser,
Elder Andrew James Bronson

Monday, October 31, 2011

contacting in the cemetery passing out pamphlets and talking about the Plan of Salvation hahaha.

Alright my ideas for the Christmas package are a little smaller; I honestly don’t need much here right now with only a little over 3 months left in the mission. Something for my companion maybe, he is from a very poor family and I’m not sure how big any package headed his way is going to be... I would feel a lot better sending him something rather than to me.  Honestly not to be a bummer I’m trying to fight temptation to eat too many sweets, better off losing weight walking here than trying to there in Utah in winter. What a better idea would be to save the money that you would have spent and buy something when I get back.

Halloween in Guatemala was once nearly the same as there in the States apparently, trick or treating but as the years went on the more and more dangerous became the streets at night, specially here in zone 18 that tradition went disappearing. I’m not sure if other places in Guatemala are different because a year ago for Halloween I was also here in this same area with the same people... the 1st of November is a much bigger celebration here, they have a special dish called ¨fiambre¨ which is like a gigantic salad covered in every different type of meat possible from fish to beef to eggs to pork to anything anything anything meat. It’s also the day in which everybody visits the cemeteries, and so all of us me and my district will be spending the better part of the day contacting in the cemetery passing out pamphlets and talking about the Plan of Salvation hahaha.

We had a baptism here Saturday, Alfredo Paniagua Ortiz. He was already very prepared since before we came in, we just helped him put his baptismal date sooner, he was already ready. Elder Mendiz performed the baptism which was super special seeing that he only has about 3 weeks in the mission, can you believe that? I had to wait nearly 6 months for my first baptism! Besides the baptism the rest of the day really stinked, not a single lesson and during the baptismal service I felt sick. This was my second time in the mission throwing up, but this time I had diarrhea at the same time and had to do a bit of a helicopter movement between the two...but the next day I was feeling perfectly fine like nothing had happened so all is well. Yuck....

al pictures show I was able to do some divisions with Elder Lusty who happens to be my Zone Leader also. It was so awesome! we had a blast, but the best part of all was in the night time we stayed awake talking for hours in the dark about spiritual things, and talking about how our missions have been sealed in time, and we felt like God had said ¨it was good¨ kinda strange but the spirit testified to us so strongly that night about it that I wet the pillow crying. I had not felt my heavenly fathers love so strongly since I can remember! I can’t remember anything more sweet or desirable that that feeling of the Holy Spirit. I imagine that in Heaven when I always feel like that I’ll just go around crying all the time for being so happy. hmmmm

I don’t know why but I seem less animated for the work lately, I don’t know if it’s the start of hard times or if I’m just really old in the mission, but I honestly DONT want to feel unanimated, I want to work with all my mind and strength and I will, so there is no problem.
I love you guys so much and honestly miss you all, be smart and safe, I will see you all soon.
Elder Bronson

Monday, October 24, 2011

I just want to ..I don’t know shout Halleluiah and ¨preach the gospel¨

 Wow sounds like you guys are just living life down there in good ol´ Zion haha.
Here isn’t quite the same story for a lot of people. First of all the weather. Thursday it started to clear up and we didn’t have any more rain for the rest of the week.  Apparently there were a ton of little landslides here that blocked roads and a ton of water damage but life continues as normal. Even though we started seeing some sun during the day in the night time it is FREEZING here! Sheesh it’s cold. God continues to further His work here in this poor part of town, we found a good family who wants to listen to us, he is the guard for our neighborhood and is Catholic and she is Evangelical and they both are listening pretty intently. As for the de la Cruz family I’m not sure what more we can do for Martin, the situation seems a bit tough. Last night we came by his house to talk with him and he looked a little bit sad/nervous so we asked him. He basically told us that he was going to renounce the church because he simply doesn’t have time to go. (bull crap) and we asked further, turns out that he has problems with the Book of Mormon, that and he is just very confused with doctrine...it’s a bit strange trying to talk with him because I just want to ..I don’t know shout Halleluiah and ¨preach the gospel¨ but ...heck I can barley describe it, he’s just really confused. We told him that he needs to begin reading the Book of Mormon again and praying about it, and to help his family to choose the right also. His son Wagner is looking much better. He seems to be animating a bit more and his wife is investigating the church. He came to church last Sunday which was great because we didn’t have a single investigator show up.

We are still living in the same house, the one up the ridiculous stairs and the bathroom and everything down below. Really it’s not too bad of a house we have running water and electricity, owners that take care of any big problems that we have and seem truly interested in our welfare. Apparently they also rent a different house a little farther into the neighborhood that’s a little bit bigger but there isn’t such an INCREADIBLE view of the city like this house has. My companion Elder Mendiz is definitely a bit of an odd little duckling, enough said. Its normal for a new missionary to be a little untrained but he’s got a very unique personality, I’m just very thankful that he has an honest desire to follow the rules. Honestly its great working with him I can see that he will become a great missionary later on, even I was really silly when I started.

This Saturday we will be having a baptism. Alfredo was already prepared by the other missionaries here but we put his baptismal date a little forward (from the 12 of November to the 29th of October) because he’s already ready to do it. We don’t know who is going to do the baptism, he are honestly hoping that Marvin our ward mission leader does it. He is the one who gave us the reference and is also his next door neighbor and a great friend shipper so it’s only smart to do it that way. Contacting in this area is really difficult but we are working it alright. I don’t remember if we have been able to get into more than one door in our time here...

As for the cassette tape I guess I never sent it.  I'll look for it this week, I forgot to look for it last week sorry. Don’t you worry...
My temple recommend is about to expire, can you imagine that? It’s been a while right? My driver’s license already expired a while ago.

Well my beloved and bountifully blessed family I wish with all my heart the guidance and protection of God in all that you do, stay faithful I can’t wait to see you all again!
Elder Andrew Bronson

Monday, October 17, 2011

It’s true, I know it’s true. The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ, everything. It’s all true.

Haha your sunbeam class looks fun, that Milk and Cookies book brings back memories. And you got my package! Whoo! Sorry for not sending the cassette tape I don’t think it’s finished yet...wait I think I finished one and there is another in the workings? Did I ever send you the one from when I was in Lomas Del Norte? If not I’ll go look for it and see if I can send it on back.

Well the changes were very surprising this time; it was COMPLETELY different than what I was thinking it was going to be. It looks like I will be spending the next 3 months (or ending my mission) in Santa Elena. Remember good ol' Santa Elena? I’ve been there before...ONE YEAR AGO. I was there with Elder Segura and Elder Velasquez, and now I’m there training Elder Mendiz, from Peru. He’s a loveable little character and wants work. He learns quickly which is good because there is a lot to learn, on both ends. I have now been called to be a District Leader over a district entirely of sister missionaries, 4 of them. And the phones don’t work yet so we are trying to work around that problem.

It’s definitely weird being in this area again I recognize a ton of people and am trying to remember names and places. The harder part is looking for the newer investigators that the other missionaries left and the recent converts. Remember Martin de la Cruz, my first baptism? Well he long since went a bit off the path but now that I’m back I’ve made it a personal mission here to help him come back to the church. Him and his family.

This week has gone a bit slow, I’m not used to not knowing a ton of people to visit, and the rain. THE RAIN. It’s been raining loco here all week and it’s been 10 times colder than Coban. Today I went to the supermarket and bought another blanket...and a watch, just not having good luck with those nasty watches, but so essential! Man this week has gone by a little ¨lento¨ it seems like last Monday was FOREVER ago. Haha coming down from Coban we stayed with the office elders in their big nice house. Upstairs they have a ton of beds for missionaries that stay the night in such occasions and I’ve always been a bit of a ¨top bunk¨ guy. I guess one of the top bunks was old and weak and when I jumped up on it...it broke and fell! I’m sure glad I just happened to fall on a mattress haha. I’m even happier that nobody was below me.

I want to share a special spiritual experience that I had this week. Last Friday we were visiting the de la Cruz family and talking to them about the Restoration of the Gospel, knowing that if they can find a testimony that will help them more than anything to reactive and go to church on Sunday. I offered the final prayer. I have heard of instances when the missionaries would pray together with their investigators to help them receive an answer from God about the message, so it came to mind when I was praying. In my prayer I asked, ¨Father, is the Book of Mormon true?" Was Joseph Smith a prophet? ¨ even before ending my question I felt inside me, for the first recountable time in my life that great peace. I’ve felt the spirit a thousand times but never an answer like this.
It’s true, I know it’s true. The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ, everything. It’s all true. It felt like something in my chest, a peace that rose from within me and filled me from the inside out. I could tell that they could feel it too, in the way they smiled after the prayer. I spent the rest of the night with the largest smile that my face could possibly fit, and a little bigger. Now it’s time to really testify to these people, I hope you all do the same. Ask God, if you have never really received an answer, ask him with all sureness of heart, confirming  your faith, not asking in doubt but already believing, just asking for a confirmation, and remember, that once an answer is received God requires that you share that testimony with others. I advise and invite every one of you to ask for yourself if you never have, and if you have to share it whenever possible, it’s the greatest joy you can feel.

Well with that I think I’m going to end, I’m hoping to have plenty of crazy stories for you all next week, I love you all
Elder Andrew J Bronson


Monday, October 10, 2011

a TON of young men got up to bare their testimony of missionary work and how strong was their testimony!

I’m writing a bit early today because...
I HAVE A CHANGE!!

They called me yesterday right after lunch to say that I’ll be headed to the capital...to train a new missionary! My fourth child, second son. Who will it be...?

Yesterday was spent saying goodbye to everyone and that took all day, the area is really big and there were a lot of people to say goodbye to. Even just saying goodbye to everyone I found more people to teach than my companion (we were doing divisions with some young men in our ward). It’s incredible to see how much the ward has changed since Elder Opazo came in; I swear he has some sort of gift as a missionary. We did an activity with the young men giving a prize for those who come out the most with us. One star for coming out, 2 stars for all day and 3 stars for Sunday all day or nasty nasty weather. We had some good competition going! We had been doing it for one full month now until today, and yesterday something incredible happened. It was fast and testimony meeting, and a TON of young men got up to bare their testimony of missionary work and how strong was their testimony! Some of their testimonies were so strong in fact that some of the investigators whom we sat by were amazed at just how animated and strong our young men are. It really touched me because some of them really had tough times when we left like not finding investigators all day or horrible weather, but man! and it’s such a difference that what it was before...before we couldn’t get any of them out with us but they keep on asking us now, ¨when are we leaving next? when are we leaving next?¨ last night I was with one of the young men named Emerson and all night he was telling me that now that I was leaving he needed a new companion...awww I'll miss him. I hope to do some cool missionary action at home, I wonder how differently missionary work works in Mormonville.

This change has been super fast, but this last week waiting to hear changes has been super slow, I can’t believe it already ended. Off to the cap again! Who knows maybe in change conference they will send me to Petén still or if I’m destined to die (end my mission) in the capital city of Guatemala. honestly it doesn’t matter too much to me where I work, I had my time outside the capital and it was absolutely fantastic, I’m going to miss all the green for sure...owwww

Can you guys believe that I only have 4 MONTHS left in the mission? Only 3 changes and 2 of those will be with my new companion who I will be training. today I leave at 2 on a big ´ol bus called Monja Blanca to the cap for like 5 hours to sleep in the house of the assistants and the office elders to (hopefully) eat a ton of pizza, and tomorrow....TEMPLE oh how I miss the temple...

Hey Wes,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE BROTHER!!
Officially a MAN. Congratz little bro, I can’t wait to see you again. Tonight, I party for you.

Alrighty alrighty alrighty, you all know my love, my peace be with you, my peace I give unto you ¨CHILL¨. Hehe hey I love you guys a ton and can’t wait to see you all including you Charly, will you remember me little buddy? I bet ya so...

Take care everyone, till next week
Elder Andrew James Bronson

Monday, October 3, 2011

One of the most important skills I have acquired is that of recognizing the spirit, and following it.

Kinda fun how all of Gods children have such distinctive personalities, and His ability to love everyone´s without exception.

Well I was thinking of something to say but the internet place I’m in just started playing Blink 182 (a rock band) and I lost my train of thought. Sorry guys, missionary or not, I’m exited to listen to my music again. I love mo-tab and everything but there is something about drums and guitar.  There is some stuff that I still won’t be listening to though... it’s a lot easier for me now to discern what’s good from what’s bad now that I've been away from such nasty stuff. Ok I’m done, sorry. Spirituality.
Heheh...

Ok! General Conference! I took my 15 pages of notes, a little less than usual. Can you believe this was my LAST ONE?? Does my email sound really baggy right now? I shouldn’t, I wouldn’t give up the mission for the world. I want my full two years and nothing less. Bring me some investigators! G.C. was really cool, the thing that got me deepest was when one of the apostles was talking about following the Holy Spirit. He said that in life we will all make mistakes, but when we are about to make a giant one, the spirit will ALWAYS warn us, we NEED to be attentive to that voice and follow it. During my experience in the mission one of the most important skills I have acquired is that of recognizing the spirit, and following it. Lessons have absolutely no effect on the people if they don’t feel and recognize the spirit testifying.

Throughout G.C. I was thinking a lot about you guys, and investigators, I’m so glad we have the opportunity to listen to all those talks, they are so inspired I can’t believe it. I hope everyone listened to them. This week has been kinda tough, lots of walking in the rain; it’s been raining everyday down here without fault. And now my umbrella died but there’s no problem, I’ll just buy another. The problem with rain is that there aren’t as many people in the streets, or even home, and if they are they don’t much want to get soaked talking to some missionaries. Their loss heheh.

There is so much that happens throughout the week but I never remember it during email time, it all just seems so natural now. Spiritual lessons, crazy stories, good people, crazy people. Oh! I did receive a letter from you Mom, and the package of the CD player. I specially got a kick out of how it’s the old one I used to use at home. The music was nice too.

Well guys it’s about time to head out, I love you all and I ask God that he keeps you guys safe and sound. I’m waiting for the day that I will see you all again...and speak only Spanish!! ¡¡Jajajaja!! ¡¡solo español saldrá de me boca, y risa!!

Take care, till next week
Elder Andrew Bronson

Monday, September 26, 2011

A good missionary birthday for sure

Wow Brandyn's got the beardy look now, that’s a bit new...for me at least. Sorry bro I can’t grow a beard to match ya...
whoooo!
I’m 21!!
It was an incredible day, we didn’t get a ton of diner but that’s not what matters... we woke up at 6:30 as always and got out of the house at 7ish to get everything ready for the baptism of Brian and Steicy Morales (Wily´s date has gone back to the 8th, but really whatever day they want to be married) and it was good we did, we were busy! The water from the fount came out all nasty green! We finally decided that we would have to empty it and fill it again to see if it would clear up. We then left to help B&S´s mom prepare for the refreshments, pupusas! (Kinda like tortillas but filled on the inside with pizza cheese and beans and some meat) YUM lots to do, then to look for our appointments to teach. A busy but fulfilling day for sure. The fount filled up again, but still green! O well we did it anyway and everything was great. For lunch I called for pizza, Dominos had this special New York style pizza that was pretty tasty, and came with a coke that we couldn’t drink. We gave that away to some neighbors. All in all we came back to the house satisfied. A good missionary birthday for sure.

Today was pretty eventful too; we went to semuc champey again! Btw I found out that semuc chamey is Kekchi for ¨the river that hides under the earth¨ cool huh? The rides in the buses weren’t as fun but nothing big to complain about, all fun goodliness.

This week is GENERAL CONFERENCE!! Who’s exited? I am! And guess what...

It’s my last one here

The next after that I will be recently home and comfy to see it heheh. It’s going to be great.

No letters or packages yet but really I don’t mind not receiving them, the finish line is close (not to sound baggy). I’m kinda short on what to say this week, it’s been pretty normal, all goes well in the area lots of new and really good investigators. We just barely got off the bus from semuc champey and that’s why we are writing so late.

I’m so sorry for not having much to say but my mind seems a bit scrambled right now with the rush to get back to our area, buy food still, write emails and get to important appointments! I love you all so much and I hope to write you guys a bigger better email next week, take care!

Elder Andrew James Bronson






Monday, September 19, 2011

A wedding birthday baptism with lots of pizza

Sounds fun that you guys are having some good weather; here it’s been pretty rainy, lots of umbrella use. It’s been a really good week for the work, lots of young men left with us to our teaching appointments and we had tons of lessons with members present. two of our investigators had plans to be baptized the 3th, but wouldn’t have been able to be confirmed until the 9th of October, so with a little help we were able to move the date up to....THE 24TH OF SEPTEMBER baptism birthday! Wily also has plans to be baptized the 24th but he needs his legal papers before he can be baptized so we will see if he can pull that off. A wedding birthday baptism with lots of pizza.

Last Saturday was fun also, the sister missionaries in our ward had a baptism, and being sisters they can’t perform it. The boy, Sergio, wanted me to do it, so I did! The pictures I’m sending are from the baptism. He’s such a funny kid to haha the life of the party, I was just happy to be able to do the baptism; it was my first for quite some time...                                                                         

As for letters and things for my birthday I haven’t received anything but mail comes a little late here, I’ll keep my hopes up that something comes through, but it’s not such a big deal, mail is so few and far between (something natural for the mission) that I don’t worry about it. Haha this week I’m going to be 21!! Mom, your boy is 21 years old, oy I should just go buy myself a walker and retire. I hope the party at home goes well; I’m not going to ask you to save me a slice I might just buy myself something here.

Sorry guys but I’m not sure what more to write about today, last week was good but not incredibly eventful. One story came to mind:

Yesterday our last lesson was a family we contacted, a reference from their neighbor who is an investigator herself. It was really dark, only by candle we talked. We came into the house and started talking with just the wife and her 2 little kids, someone in the background was praying/weeping creepily, I already could imagine what kind of alter might possibly be stationed in that room...ugh. Well we start talking with the mother about eternal families; how she can see her kids forever even after death. Next the father came in; he was the one praying in the other room. He sat down and asked us kindly what our purpose was in visiting. I responded that we are missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. ¨oh, the Mormons.¨ he replied, I’ve heard about you guys...seven wives right? I don’t believe that’s good, I don’t want that, I’m not really interested.¨ We continued to teach about how the family was about one father and one mother, married for eternity but I’m not sure that he really understood. He told us that he had recently changed his life and came to Christ by joining his Evangelical church. The real message was that he wasn’t interested. Alright, prayer and finish. I knew that I had felt prompted to knock that door, but I didn’t know why until their oldest son Hector came out of the shadows of the bed in the corner of the room. He had been listening the entire time but had been lying down because his tooth was hurting, but now that we were readying to leave came out and commented that others have passed by before, but didn’t teach quite as clearly. When we taught he understood, and he liked what we had taught. He asked if we had a church nearby and if he could come and see it. He seemed like a shining speck of hope among the family. We hope that we can find him this Sunday where he told us to meet him, that would be a really cool turnout.

Alright guys I love you take care, keep me updated on anything cool that happens up there in Utah and at home, until next week!
Elder Bronson

Monday, September 12, 2011

Here in Coban everything is beautiful

Wow you guys have some incredible sunsets. Here in Coban everything is beautiful, but there are hardly any sunsets, sorry mom.

Haha wow I miss Brandyn SO MUCH. I honestly miss him as much as I miss you guys; a member of the family is he! Man I miss him; it’s going to be awesome to see everyone again.

Alrighty for the week, my companion was sick last Monday and we didn’t leave the house, on Tuesday we had important appointments so we left, but came back to the home early for the same reason. Sunday we didn’t leave the house either, September 11th here was voting day and seeing that this isn’t the United States of America and the passing of power is a little crazy at times we didn’t leave the house either. It was by far the most calm relaxed Sabbath day I have had in so long... since my first area in Juana de Arco. My companion decided to put the Day of Rest into action and slept for like 5 hours, I studied the Book of Mormon in English from Ether to Moroni 10, took some well needed time to just ponder about things and studied. I looked at what the Gospel Principles book says about what is the day of rest, what it said really helped me clear my view, maybe it will enlighten you guys too. At first I thought it was a day to just take a break right? Go to church worship God and take it easy, but it turns out that we do all that so that our minds will be clear and free to think about God and spiritual things. It’s a day to remember our need for spiritual nourishment as well as the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We can do service even though it is a labor because we do it thinking about God helping others is helping Him. Anything that would distract you from the Lord would be inappropriate, but anything that would bring your attention to Him would be perfectly good. It also talked about how it ISNT a day to just sleep all day, because that would be very unproductive, and in the same way wouldn’t be focusing on spiritual needs. It’s that focus that matters.

Last week a member gave us a reference to her niece that is now living with her, that wants to be baptized. She’s only 8 years old but her story isn’t a very happy one. Her parents are abusive and don’t care about her, they abandoned her to her aunt Marcela, and even her aunt isn’t always the most understanding person. When Marcela, the member, told us the story Olivia, the 8 year old broke down crying. She jumped on me and cried on my shoulder, I didn’t stop her, poor little Olivia. The day before that, Tuesday, we were going into our first teaching appointment with them but they weren’t home, so we came back in the night to see if they would be. It was already very dark, and they only have candle light. We came up to the door and Olivia answered but said something about someone being in the ¨Santo¨ (or I guess you could say Holy Place) but didn’t mention that her aunt wasn’t home. We came in and followed her deeper into the house, I had just entered, Olivia already disappearing down a hallway I stepped on some dry sticks. How cliché. Next moment some not-so-friendly guard dogs came charging into the room through a dark doorway.  All I had in my hands was my Book of Mormon and my companions too, I’m pretty sure if Olivia didn’t come back to drive them off I could have been dog chow. Saved from 2 hungry canines by an eight year old. ¨El Santo¨ turned out to be a big room with walls covered in newspaper and a little closet with a sanctuary of candles and Jesus Idols, complete with some Kekchi lady chanting something creepy in Kekchi. Ummmm... see ya Olivia, well be back tomorrow when your aunt is home! Haha the thing is the lady doing all that was the groundkeeper, and not a member. Still really creepy.

I had a crazy dream the other night that as a missionary I had fallen to my death, SPLAT.  But being a missionary when I died I became an angel and was still in the service of my God, watching over other people and putting my hands on their heads giving them blessings when they were weak. Later on I saw God on a throne, but it was something silly like in an office building, I went back to my angel duties of floating around. It was kinda neat, sorry for the randomness.

 The pictures this week are of something that we did last week exploring a little place called Las Islas (the islands) it was pretty neat but my computer didn’t want me to upload them last week so I did this week. This week just today we went to some waterfalls about an hour out of Carcha, it was really cool but we got soaked just from the heavy spray of it.  It was so HUGE. And my camera was out of batteries. Ugh. But my companion took some with his so I will still have some hopefully.

Love you all so much please take care this week and use you time productively, know how much God loves you and just wants you do make right choices, that’s basically the only reason why we are here on earth anyway.

LOVE,
Elder Bronson









Monday, September 5, 2011

I’m hoping for a birthday present from above of a baptism that day, how great would that be!

Alrighty then another change another companion...oy more companions. You are right Mom I have been highly blessed to have so many good companions in a row, my new companion is named Elder Opazo, from Chile, South America. ¨the only country to fit inside a tortilla¨ and its kinda funny here in Coban there is a special type of chile called Chile cobanero, and that has basically now become his new nickname. He was trained by Elder Bowman, my second trainer so it looks like we are mission ¨brothers¨. He’s an amazing guy and we are really focusing in on baptizing this change. Last weekend we fasted for baptismal dates and the Lord sent us 5, and two of which are very sure for the 30th of September. My birthday the 24th falls on a Saturday and I’m hoping for a birthday present from above of a baptism that day, how great would that be!                                           

Just today we went to explore some little tiny waterfalls but we got to go in Pday clothes and I got some really good pictures. I won’t be able to send them this week because the computer is being lame but maybe next week you will see my epic slingshot vs. wooden sword battle with Elder Hale, from Las Vegas. Intense with the raging water down below!

 Change week was a little crazy, Tuesday night I spent the night with Elder Umana again in our house in Coban 2, he said it was really weird being back there. We waited all day Wednesday for our companions to arrive but there was a teacher strike that blocked a couple of roads and they didn’t get here in time and I spent the night with Elder Umana in his place. If you are wondering how the living is here, in my house at least there is running water in two sinks, one kitchen one bathroom, the house is kinda small but we don’t need much space. Plenty of light, one of the better houses I think. I really like it.

Well I too have come to the point in not knowing what more to say. Plenty of things happen every day all week but they seem so normal now that nothing spectacular come to mind. I’m emailing Elder Pincock every week something small, Hawaii sounds fun too, they might just have as many chickens there as we do here. Did you know that he knows how to hypnotize a chicken? That’s one that I don’t even know how to do. Well my beloved brethren I hope all goes really well back in the summery states, I love you all so much and can’t wait for next week to write you all again. Take care!

Elder Bronson

Haha I had a little bit of extra time and found an email that you guys sent me one year ago on Labor day.  I was still in Santa Elena with Elder Segura, I had just received a package of music and peanut butter and jelly and pop tarts. How strange is it to think that far back, but it seems like it was only just a little bit ago, time has gone so fast.

Love you all

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Lord has once again been answering our prayers and fasts

You guys aren’t going to come pick me up? Esta bien... I’ll be waiting in the airport for you all then. That’s still a long ways away.  That’s pretty awesome that you guys did something so big for Wesley’s Eagle Scout Project and that you found a cool camera. Bonus!

This week was also a little eventful for us here. Last night we were waiting to hear about changes until about 10:30, nearly going absolutely crazy. So crazy in fact that we started goofing around, at one point we were even pillow fighting. Can you imagine how loco that wait made us? I think my companion won the pillow fight too. When they told us we were both in shock. I have been here in Coban 2 a total of 3 changes and Elder Turcios just got here, but HES leaving, and for the capital! provecho... this will mean my 8th companion in 8 changes.  It’s getting a little bit loco. It would be nice to just stay with someone for more than just 6 weeks for once right? Now I need to show him the area, get to know him hope to get along with him. I can get along pretty well as long as they are obedient, more than that nothing bugs me too much.

So guess what happened just today, I bought a new hoodie for 20 Quetzales and lost it already. We were waiting for a bus and I left it there on the bus stop. Nooooo! It was fairly cheap and I guess someone needed it a little more than me so I guess it’s alright. I didn’t even like it too much anyway. More than that I have diarrhea, nastyishly. It should only last a couple days and then go away, but I think it might have been from eating a funny banana after shaking hands with a drunk guy whom we were helping rolling in motorcycle home so that he doesn’t crash. Maybe it was that.

The Lord has once again been answering our prayers and fasts by helping us find some really interested and really good families to teach. Nothing too crazy to find them just contacting but some good references from members. Some of them have asked us were the church is because they want to come see how it is. This morning we had a treat from Wily Contreras. He works in a place called Pollo Campero, it’s a chicken place kinda like KFC but a little smaller. Here it’s huge. He was working a morning shift and invited us to breakfast. It was really tasty, a bacon omelet with beans and cream and cheese, bread rolls... he even threw in a big ol peace of fried chicken! As a dessert he gave us some French toast sticks covered in cinnamon and strawberry syrup. All with orange juice and some water. We even got to take a picture with him while he was working. He’s honestly such an amazing guy who has made an incredible change in his life. His wife on the other hand makes it really hard for him to be baptized. Why can she just accept to be married? They have kids and they are happy together!

The pictures are of us doing some service for a member family, the Rodriguez´. And no we are not being mean to the chicken, it’s a local custom. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the household chores here
Sweep the floor
Walk the dog
Abuse the chicken
Nah I’m just kidding but we really didn’t do anything to the poor creature just give it some loving attention with our cameras. It took forever to catch the little girl, she’s really speedy. Image 8 is my companion’s broken umbrella that he lost 3 weeks ago, and broke 5 min after finding it again. And image 9 is some soup we made for lunch, it was TASTY but by around 5 o clock we had to go back to the house to grab something to eat we were so hungry...

Well my beloveds I still have a while to go but I will see you all soon. I only have 4 changes left, just four agendas more to fill and than it’s OVER nooooo!!! Stay safe, keep reading the Book of Mormon, if you aren’t reading the Book of Mormon, repent and start reading it now, and say your prayers. All you guys are so grown up now and I just want you all to be strong spiritually as well.

Take care, till next week
Elder Bronson










Monday, August 22, 2011

Priesthood power

Thanks for the letter mom, I have one ready but it’s a small package and I need to wrap it first haha.

There was a hurricane? Man this whole missionary bubble thing would be nice to see through so I know when to bring my umbrella. Yesterday was when it happened right? Story time. We were walking around with a member, a priest named Junior; we were exploring and knocking doors in a completely new part of the area. It’s an area that I have seen from a distance but had never visited, one of the really poor on-the-side-of-the-mountain villages that reminded me of how the Polo´chik supposedly looks. I had brought my umbrella luckily, and a nylon covering to wear as a cape so my backpack wouldn’t get wet and I’m REALLY glad I did. We had just climbed a long tall bunch of stairs made out of dirt (more accurately clay) and had stopped to knock a small sheet metal door when the rain started. Imagine your craziest microburst there in Utah with a little bit more weight. The stairway we had used just literally 2 minutes before was now a nasty little waterfall, impassable. We went toward the left where we saw more houses as the hill went upward. Maybe 10 min later we found our way out and the rain stopped. I was dry from the knees up, knees down I might as well have been walking in the waterfall. Know what? It was awesome. No new investigators from that experience though...

As for the birthday package I don’t know if I will be having a change in about a week, I think I will but I have no idea for where. I was actually thinking that instead of a great package or putting it in my account you could save it at home for something really special when I get back, and will be able to use it haha. No, I won’t feel bad for not receiving a birthday package.

Sunday morning we passed by Jose Barrios´ house but his mom came out saying that he left about an hour ago he said he would return in 10 min, but didn’t. He didn’t take his cell phone either so we were unable to call him. The bap. date fell, but I’m sure it’s all about time, no worries. Wily and his ´wife´ were unable to come either for work problems with the two of them, but the Morales Twins Brian and Staci came. Staci told Elder Turcios that she wanted him to baptize her, and Brian told me. That will depend on if I have a change or not. This Saturday the sister missionaries have a baptism of a cool kid named Sergio; he said that he wants me to perform the baptism for him. Sweet!

Also last Sunday (I guess a lot happened Sunday huh haha) we gave an interesting blessing. During priesthood meeting the sister missionaries came to us and told us of an investigator that they brought who wanted a blessing for some type of disease, I don’t remember what it was. The thing is that the sister missionaries also told us the real reason she wanted a blessing. Apparently she has a boyfriend whose father is what they call a brujo, like a wizard or something that supposedly curses people’s illnesses. Pure devil work. The investigator felt strange afterward, afraid and almost...not alone eeeesh. I and Elder Turcios went to a quiet room beforehand to offer a prayer asking for guidance in what to do. When we went in nothing seemed strange, her boyfriend was there also with his necklace with a big ol´ cross on it. I anointed with oil and Elder Turcios sealed it with a blessing. Nothing out of the usual more that that she would be cured slowly but surely from her disease according to her faith, be made whole. After the blessing we took a step backward and waited for her to get up or say something. We waited maybe 3 or 4 min until I broke the silence asking how she felt. She began to cry saying she felt the presence of someone who loved her, like giving her a hug, she felt clean again. the sister missionaries and us all bore our testimony and shared a little bit about how if we keep the commandments God will bless us and prosper us. It was very spiritual; in the end she offered a prayer. During the prayer she started crying so hard saying how thankful she was that she had to stop and breathe for a min or two.  Priesthood power.

Those are the exiting news that of the week.  For the friend requests on facebook the only name I recognize is Luis Rey, the others only by a photo I might recognize them, I know a lot of Ricardo’s and Floras here.

Well my beloved family you know how much I love you and wait anxiously for a Christmas call. No, there are no volcanoes in Coban, just rolling hills, so I wouldn’t get my hopes up for another emergency home phone call, sorry mom. Keep safe everyone, please just trust in God, sun or rain they are His great purposes. I love you,

Until next week
Andrew James Bronson

p.s. the photos of the couple signing papers is from a wedding-baptizm that the Elders from Ward 1 had and invited us to. yum!