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!

Monday, August 15, 2011

I’m not baggy; I just want to work effectively and find some souls to save

Alrighty Boy Scouting fun. Eagle project time, I remember mine...and how I got my award how many days before my 18th birthday? Like 3? Heheh...

Well the work is going...and going...this week none of our serious investigators showed up for church, just one little boy of 17 that doesn’t even live in our area but is really interested in the church, we are hoping that all goes well for him (Pablo). Wily still needs to get married so he will not be getting baptized the 20th, but Jose Barrios has a bap. date for the 27th, to do so he neeeeeeds to come to church this week, keep praying please. The twins from the Morales family didn’t come to church just because they didn’t feel like coming....lame. It’s hard for them they are only 11 and their mom doesn’t want to help them get baptized at all.  Every Sunday we see her taking off on some motorcycle with some guy we don’t know. In the opposite direction of the church. Why? no lo sé.

Things are going very well with my companion Elder Turcios, he has almost 3 months in the mission but knows how to teach really well and we have a blast. We are always laughing together about something it’s a great time, and we feel the spirit strongly in the lessons and when talking with people.  Changes are only a little over 2 weeks away now it’s starting to go unbearably fast, just 6 weeks by 6 weeks like taking steps right left right left...then it’s over, 6 months more! Only 4 changes! But don’t you worry I’m not baggy; I just want to work effectively and find some souls to save. It’s harder than it sounds. Feel the spirit!

I’m working on another letter; it will be coming in a little package with a couple cool little trinkets. I’m sure you´ll like it. Have you sent a birthday package yet, or are you going to save the money for something when I get back? It might be better that way, but I’m not sure, do what you guys feel would be best. It hasn’t been raining quite as much lately, some days we have left our umbrellas in the house, but there are good storms about every other day. I’m fine, healthy, skinnying pretty good, but I feel really weak.  All my muscle melted away and my arms feel like sticks. I’m doing only about 35 pushups in the morning and in the night, and fighting to keep it a habit. We are trying to eat healthier but it’s kinda tough sometimes, oh well.  The bug bites you see on my legs in some of the pictures are from a flee problem that I had a bit ago, the solution is simply DONT TOUCH DOGS even clean house dogs will donate a couple of his happy parasites to you, and when they get in your bed they get stubborn and don’t want to leave.

This week we have interviews with President Watts and after that we have zone conference, two days of work lost! But excellent instruction gained.

Well family I love you please keep yourselves safe and strong, I hope to receive letters from you guys also, I will be sending my soon.

love love much love
Elder Andrew Bronson

Monday, August 8, 2011

Life is going all right here in Coban, Guatemala

Ouch ninja star pains, that’s gatta sting a bit, I too am proud for the manliness in not freaking out, but I think I would have played it as a ninja ambush. ¨when I finished him with a jump kick he got good in the foot, that’s how it happened! ¨
(Andrew's brother Wesley stepped  barefoot on a Ninja Star and ended up getting stitches in his foot)

Life is going all right here in Coban, Guatemala.  A fair was passing by and nobody was home all week, but we had a grand total of 7 investigators (Wily Contreras, Jose Barrios, Brian and Staci Morales, and America and Maria Macz) come to church, 4 for the first time! Some of them even left to go to church before we arrived to pick them up. We might be gearing up for some baptisms soon! Wily has come to church 3 times and his ¨wife¨ is somewhat warming up to us, they might actually get married! Jose has been amazing as ever and accepted a baptismal goal for the 20th of this month, it seems pretty sure too. The two Morales Twins Brian and Staci have been visited by missionaries for AGES but with the help of some great return mission presidents that live next door to them they came to church for the first time and loved it.

Last Tuesday we did some service moving two giant piles of dirt with little tiny shovels and our backs were sore the rest of the week, but we felt good for being able to help. It was lots of work. Friday we did a zone activity of contacting in the central park of Coban for a bunch of hours and I go burnt crispy but it was great.  Right after we did divisions with the District Leaders in their area and got even crispier haha. Their area is all just hills and hills and tons of hills.

Hmmm I’m getting kinda nervous for when I get home, I’ll be the littlest guy instead of the biggest! Even little Wesley is going to beat me out easily with his kungfu military training, dang. Well I can’t think of too much more news this week besides that God really does answer prayers, and He will really keep all His promises. The power of fasting is great, and that’s not just for the missionaries but for every one of Gods children. I love you all so much and I hope the best for everyone. Make sure the boys read their scriptures, even if it’s just a little bit. I love you so much I just want to say it over and over, please take care and I'll write you all next week.

Adios amada familia mia hasta luego
Elder Andrew Bronson

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We have been seriously blessed here

Wow it really surprises me just how much talent we have in our family, every kid a specialty. And every kid getting shape!
Shane skating
Scott lacrosse
Wesley Marine training
Andrew Guatemala.
I finally found some new pants, my old ones were just dying with giant holes and a bunch of paint stains. I traded one of my two gym shorts for some of my comps jeans, but all his jeans are tight jeans! AND THEY FIT REALLY WELL.  I’ve really lost so much weight here... it helps that I force myself to do whatever limited workout available, 35 pushups morning and night, sit-ups when I can get myself to do them and now we are even eating better. Last week our house was full of ramen noodles and hotdogs and junk, this week we are cutting down and bought a ton of fruits and veggies. Anything from pineapple to like 20 bananas to broccoli. Yum!

We have been seriously blessed here, protection from the rain and with investigators. When we leave a house the rain stops, when we enter a house the rain starts again until we leave the house. Coincidence? Try a week strait of house in house out rain on rain off. It’s absolutely amazing! Investigators are progressing a bit and we are finding a bunch more interested people to teach, IF THEY WOULD JUST COME TO CHURCH. Oy.

As for birthday packages I couldn’t tell ya, I can think of one thing though. Remember that neat little blue CD player you sent me about a year ago? My last companion Elder Umana used it to death and now it doesn’t work at all, busted. Something cheap would be nice, just to play CDs for the last little bit of the mission, and as you guys already know I’ve always happy to receive music. hmmm maybe not as many sweets I got a little chubby on all that tastiness, pop tarts are good, maybe it would be just a lot cooler to save money for when I get back, to buy me something fun to use when I can use it right? Haha just that simple CD player is all I need. If I think of anything else I will need I will right in the following weeks. When are you thinking of sending one?

Please just keep safe, make sure that every one of the boys has a firm habit of morning and night prayer, remember that God isn’t just a repairman that comes at time of sporadic need, but a loving Heavenly Father that wants to hear and communicate with his beloved children. If you have nothing more to say than thank Him do it. I love you all so very much I want you all to be safe, just having a family member signing up for the Marines makes me tremble. We have an eternity after but our time here is so special I can’t imagine going so long without a brother or a friend or a family member. PLEASE KEEP SAFE remember that God is obligated, I repeat OBLIGATED  when we do what he asks us, but as we all know, when we do not what he asks us, ninguna promesa tenéis. You have no promise.  That promise is something really special when you really are in that time of sporadic need. I love you I pray for you all I worry for you all, chose the right I’ll be back before you know it.

Andrew Bronson