Monday, March 28, 2011

Our investigators are making progressive jumps and stumbling all in the same week

Alrighty another week another email! hey family its been a good week

Our investigators are making progressive jumps and stumbling all in the same week left and right but things are still going alright. We’ve put a little more attention in looking for new investigators through members and contacting and we have found a few. We have even been attempting inviting people to baptism in the door-contacts, its kinda fun haha. Just explain the Jesus called apostles and gave them authority-authority that is absolutely essential to baptize or preach and act in the name of God- that when the people killed Jesus Christ and all of his appointed servants that authority was lost.  Next ask them if they believe God answers prayers (every single person at least in this area already has a religion and will always say yes) then proceed to ask them that if they pray to God to know if what we have said is true and receive an answer if they would be baptized by someone holding that authority of God. Simple enough? We were contacting and out came a 15 year old boy named Juan Fransisco who was absolutely amazing. Do you believe that God answers prayers? Yes, he said with a firm stare. IF you receive an answer that what we just taught is true, will you prepare yourself to be baptized by someone holding this authority? Yes. And he was serious about it. He later told us to come back that next Saturday. We did, and he was waiting for us. He and his little brother Javier listened and offered us 7up, some chips and a banana to eat, sat us down and we began. The spirit was so STRONG the examples that we used were PERFECT and he understood EVERYTHING. About the middle of the lesson their father Rudy came out wearing all sorts of Catholic apparel, but said that he isn’t going to restrict his kids in the things of God, giving us permission to teach even if he doesn’t want to listen quite yet. Oooh! Juan studies a lot but was going to try to make this work because he is absolutely amazing and prepared by God.

Other investigator news Hector Clavería´s schedule has been complicated and we haven’t even seen him in nearly 3 weeks! Hopefully when he once again finds time to talk with the missionaries or go to church he will still have that strong spirit of learning about him and that same interest. The Morales Chaves Family has stopped progressing but we’re going to keep trying to work with them. They believe what we say but I don’t know if they understand it all perfectly.

Better news! GENERAL CONFERENCE THIS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY!!! YEAHHH!!! I'm exited, are you guys exited?? Think of 10 specific questions and right them down, have everybody do so and listen during conference to find the answers. Pray to God that he might help you recognize your answer and how you can use it to become a better person or help somebody else. I’m going to do it! You guys should too! I’m so exited so exited so exited. Take notes! Whoo

Yesterday in church was a ¨cincho¨ (for those new to the game, cincho literally means ¨Belt¨ and people use it to refer to reproving somebody) session. We had talked to the Bishop about how members aren’t helping the work at all, that when investigators come to church nobody even looks at them, much less talks to them. What the heck right? So haha so that entire sacrament meeting the patriarch and the bishop gave talks about OPENING YOUR MOUTH AND CONTRIBUTING. Boom! Maybe some people were listening and will help us out a bit more, maybe. Hopefully.

Elder Winkel told me a story today that I thought was kinda funny. One time missionaries entered into a house of someone who was once a Japanese pilot, who had even fought in the raid on Pearl Harbor. He said that during the battle he saw the Hawaii temple and thought to bomb it, but when we went to bomb it, the bomb wouldn’t release! He turned around and tried to shoot it with his guns and they wouldn’t work either! So he flew back toward his ship and tested his weapons again and they functioned, so he thought to turn around and try again, but the plane wouldn’t turn! Ha! Well if its true or not I thought it was a funny story!

Well another week, see you again after conference! This is the 3rd during my mission and I will have only one more, oh boy. Keep praying and prepare yourself spiritually for conference, I will ask you what you all learned after ok?

God be with you till we meet again

Elder Andrew James Bronson

Monday, March 21, 2011

He really is my friend

alright I guess I just should start with news about changes haha

I'm staying in my area, Lomas del Norte, I’m going to be here a good 6 months just like Elder Winkel! Only the difference might be that he had about 9 baptisms there in those 6 months, and we are still waiting on some investigators to gain a testimony, but no fear...because my new comp his here!

Elder Asencio, my 6th Latino companion in a row but don’t take that as a complaint, just a notice. Elder Asencio is probably the coolest guy I know. He has only a month and a half in the field and I am his second companion, Elder Morrow was his first. So, being his second companion or second trainer that means I’m his ¨Missionary Mother¨ and that he is my ¨Daughter¨. Yay I have missionary posterity! If your not quite up to missionary terms as such...
first trainer-father
second trainer-mother
trained for the first companion-son
by the second-daughter
and the line goes up and down as far as you want it for example my first companion Elder Vargas is my ¨Dad¨ making him ¨Grandpa¨ to Elder Asencio. Yea you get the picture I’m sure. Haha...posterity! And awesomeness! It’s truly a huge change between Elder Centeno and Elder Asencio, the difference is receiving love instead of just trying to give it...and obedience. Obedience is a big ´ol part. He’s still new and really wants to be obedient, more, his trainer was Elder Morrow who was in the office and was thus blissfully blessed with perfect obedience from sheer Time-With-President Torres and taught them to his son. Yay! And WOW let me tell you the difference in the spirit we feel in the lessons! BAM!! Every lesson no matter where or when or to whom it’s incredibly powerful and we see it in the people. He’s incredibly spiritual and also very funny he makes life interesting and I feel like a kid playing with a friend. He really is my friend. We cook together and buy together, teach and preach and joke together there is so much unity right now! I pray frequently that this unity lasts a long time, and that next change I go up to see Petén and serve the people up there, I've never been but I already love it haha.

As you could imagine just this week has been incredible and plenty has happened, the Morales Chaves, Juachín and Santiso/Carrera families are progressing nicely, but for work we have hardly even seen Hector Claveria, he didn’t even come to church...I hope and pray that he’s doing alright. The Morales Chaves family accepted a baptismal date in April and when we asked they remembered it, but weren’t able to come to church because they felt really sick. The Juachín family came again and it was awesome, but not a single ward member talked to them, I was so mad! Open your mouths people! This is salvation! I don’t think they really understand how many people we have talked to who left the church just for thinking that people were giving them evil looks and bad faces, not talking or because of pride caused by money. Ugh! Wake up! Still we must keep trying to bring people, that’s our job.

Elder Asencio came from the area Alameda, probably one of the most dangerous areas of the mission: gunshots everyday and night, plenty of deaths left and right to come here to Lomas where nothing ever happens...until Saturday night! We were walking home in our own residential when a motorcycle with two men went speeding past VROOOOMM!! Followed by a police pickup truck that trying to pull the same maneuver that the bike did was skidding and nearly hit some kids walking on the side of the street! Just min later there was a patrol of maybe 6 cops on bikes circling the residential who pulled someone over and searched them. That was the interesting thing of the week.

Alright I say this every time but I love you all SO MUCH and hope that everything is going well and spiritual at home, stay safe my beloved family and all readers of the mighty weekly Bronson. ¨Don’t fear, just believe¨ Mark...5 something? Or 4...haha I’ll have to find it again but its marked in my Spanish scriptures.

Elder Bronson

Monday, March 14, 2011

SUPRISE! We got news about our changes this morning

Hey everybody, so happy to hear from you all again, I love you.
Yes, I did hear about the quake-tsunami (Earthquake in Spanish is Terremoto, and Tsunami is the same, or if caused by a quake a Marimoto) I heard it from the day it happened and from every single member. We live in an area where EVERYone has a TV and the word spread quickly. Something that I heard también/also is that some nuclear reactors went off down there too... is that true? Dang I feel bad for em, supposedly the waves were to come and hit us here in Guatemala but I doubt anything really even happened. Earthquakes in diverse places

SUPRISE! We got news about our changes this morning....We have a change! The zone leaders and President Torres learned quickly (and not even from me, I don’t whine about these things usually) what was up and he definitely needed OUT. This last week has been one of the absolute hardest of my mission. Since Miercoles/Wednesday I've been one-manning the efforts for the area. We had an interview with the ZL´s where he openly came out and said that he thought our companionship was basura (trash) since about 3 weeks into it and the only way to fix it was a change or, he said, ¨worse things could happen¨ that last part really startled me. When we received the call in the morning and I heard the news I had a shrill of excitement that was just...golden. Strange, but that’s the best way to describe it I think. I don’t know who else will be coming in; I’ve honestly been praying pretty hard for ¨a companion who will love me too¨ haha of all things right. This means I will be in this area for a full 6 months, and by cause of recent events our area is kinda dead from investigators, but we’ll see what we can make happen. Bad news is that my good buddy Elder Whited has a change; hopefully we will see each other again in the mission. I really love him, and already miss him.

I finally got to a computer that accepts my camera so this will hopefully be a week of photos. I filled the card and had it sent last week so hopefully that’s on its way soon, I'm sure you will all enjoy that one a bit.

Today for an activity we all played volleyball, I think that has to be the funniest sport to play with friends. I suck at basketball and soccer and baseball is too serious, all sorts of funny stuff happens in volley. Elder Trunick clotheslined himself and did some funny stuff going for the ball, Elder Whited and Elder Letner were being dorks the whole time and made it hilarious...however you spell that. I felt pretty cool too. I won two of the games and managed to successfully spike it for the first time haha! It was INTENSE.

Hey boys remember my favorite band back-in-the-day, The Rasmus? of all bands and all songs and all music I never imagined to hear it down here in Guatemala, but one day after doing service building a house we had some extra time and went to pizza hut where they always always play good music even journey and the cars, but then came on MY SONG I couldn’t help NOT dancing a little bit to I was very glad to be in civi-clothes not to give a bad impression of the missionaries.

Well next week we’ll see who’s here with me alright? Only time and Wednesday will tell! I love you all so much and cant wait to see you all again, stay safe stay strong, read, pray, focus a little more on Jesus Christ and you will see you life open up much more. Until next week,
Elder Andrew James Bronson

more pictures, some from service. the last one, the sign we found in a newer area that says not to throw trash or rubble, and has a funny picture on it. 1000 quetzales is about...$125.

(I questioned my boys as to what they thought this picture was, and they didn't guess that it was about trash, hehe)

Monday, March 7, 2011

The work continues to roll on

Sounds pretty crazy! Super lacrosse Scott monster!
Well sorry to say but I almost got to send pictures this week but I had to play Chinese fire drill computer-style and once stuck with one that doesn’t recognize my camera. O well, that’s alright because this week I’m sending you...
I'm sure you will all be exited for that one; its got pictures all the way back to my trainer Elder Vargas in Juana de Arco until just today all the adventures in-between, nearly my whole mission! The card I’m using now might last until the end of my mish unless I get sent to a very beautiful place like *cough-Flores Petén-cough* that lake is beautiful.
Yeah, I’m not sure what to think about changes, one week more. I don’t want to be counting down the days that would be kinda jerkish. I honestly would have no problem with him if he would just obey the rules so that I can more easily do so. I don’t like being afraid to suggest things either.

The work continues to roll on. Hector Claveria is busier than ever with work but with absolute amazing signs of progression in spiritual matters. He has come to church without fail for the past few weeks, even when I thought there was no chance of him coming for the same reasons. This last weekend he only had a few hours of sleep for coming home from work so late but still came to church on his own, and loved the class and wanted to me look for a chapter in the Book of Mormon that talked about that sort of thing. We had talked about the ways we use the priesthood in blessings, especially in the home for blessings on the sick and blessings of babies and homes, I gave him Alma chapter 13 where it talks about being preordained to hold the priesthood, hopefully he finds that interesting haha. Something else that happened Sunday was fast and testimony meeting, there are open windows and a little bird flew right in and started doing circles around the room haha! Poor guy trying to bare his testimony, but everybody was away for when I gave mine. God gave me another surprise too this Sunday. Familia Juachín came also on their own for the first time even! The husband is an inactive member (for work) and his wife is Catholic but extremely interested in the church, they also have a little baby girl named Abby. Tonight we will be having a GIANT family home evening with them and maybe, hopefully, about 3-4 other families! Much prayer.

Today is Elder Centenos birthday, 23, he is also accomplishing 6 months in the mission, hopefully things go well haha nothing to strange I hope.

Well not too much more happened this week...please know that I am fine, I've gone through worse remember, a least Elder Centeno hasn’t abandoned me yet, and he works that’s requirement number 1. Honestly I could so easily have him as a friend of mine but I guess circumstances have just kinda driven us apart.

That’s about as much as I can think of for this week, just don’t worry too much things will work out I’m pretty sure God knows what He is doing, whatever it is, its the best for everyone even if we cant see it yet. I love you all more than I can say, tengáis paciencia! no os turbéis Dois está sobre todo. I love you so much, have a good week, please be safe and spiritual you know how much it means to me.
Elder Bronson