Monday, July 3, 2017

Brandon's Ninety Ninth (AND FINAL) Email! July 1st, 2017

So this will be my last group email from the mission field!

This week has been great, a really good way to finish off these two years. 

We had a stake activity Sunday night with investigators and recent converts and menos activos, and Michel bore his testimony and shared his conversion story and it was so cool to be sitting there seeing someone so strong in the church who has just done what he should. He is such a good friend, I'm going to miss him. 

Hugo came to church and they announced his baptism to the surprise of his wife and older son, who were super confused, then super happy. People were crying and coming up to him happy because it's been like 12 years now since he has been with his wife but not a member. 

Monday we did normal office stuff, but got home early and got some good time in our area. Tuesday we had intercambios with Melo and I was with Elder Guanuna, from Poway, CA. He is literally Gavin Heap!!!! He is so cool, such a nice kid and buena onda! 

Wednesday we were with the Rocha ZL, and I was with Elder Bio from Mexico, and it was good. We had a ward activity and like sooo many people came!! Like 120 or something like that!! Each group did a skit, and we did a funny cooking one, the ZL mostly, but it was so funny!!! Then at the end they had made like a little good bye/thank you video for me. Like a slideshow of pics of me in the mission and it was really nice, but really weird... Like it made me realize that I'm going, and people were coming up to me to say bye and stuff and I was like why are you doing this?? I'm still here! Just wait! It was stressing me out! 

Thursday we were with the Norte ZL, And I was with Elder Hayden for my last intercambio, he's a good friend, I'll hang out with him at BYU I'm sure. We had a great week really, finding lots of new people, having good - no great - lessons with Hugo. He was kind of trying it at first. But he asked us to come over early one day so that he could have us there when his kids weren't so he could be sure to concentrate and learn more. He seems more willing to hold the priesthood and bless others with its power. He seems like he wants to live up to his potential. So he's getting baptized today!!! The baptism is at 7! He asked me to baptize him and I'm really excited! That'll be a really fun way to finish off my last p-day and last weekend as a missionary. 

Sister Eddy treated us to Belgium waffles Thursday morning, so dank! And so today after our baptism, we're picking up the new assistant from Tres Cruces, it's Elder Mecham! I was with him like 3 weeks ago, he is super cool and really calm and kind and manso. So today this morning I packed and got things clear for him to come in and have some room to move in. Then tomorrow after church we're going to San Jose like an hour away to get the new financer, then to President's house, which is like 1.5 hours away to have our changes meeting, good bye dinner with the office elders, and then we start change week. Tuesday we go get the new missionaries. Wednesday I end and we'll go to the temple with the Eddys and have a family night that night. Then Thursday I see the groms (My parents) here in Uruguay!!! It'll be super fun to see everyone with my parents! 

I'm so grateful for all of the things that I have experienced here in the mission. I will never be the same. I just can't be. I am so thankful for our Savior who takes us where we are and helps us be something more. Something we wouldn't be able to be if it weren't for him. I think I've really learned that here. I am thankful for all of the support from friends back home too! Hopefully I'll be able to repay it some way in the future! 

I love you guys! See you soon!  

The Eddys took us for a goodbye lunch, so kind! 

Me trying to block Jake's Peñarol logo... He turned 16 on the 29th!!! 
When the Eddys hit one year here in Uruguay!!!

Michel and Elder Hunt leaving this activity.

Cascarillas de cacao... do we have that in the states? Like cacao shells? 
You pour in hot milk and sugar and it's like dank hot chocolate

My last District meeting!!! 
My district leader Elder Newman, such a good guy! 

Good bye lunch with the Wankiers, they're so awesome! 

Hayden intercamio... 
We found some new nice people to teach and we kinda struck up a friendship and they gave us these mates... 
So the top part they cut off, hollow out, and flip upside down, and that's what you drink the yerba out of.
I cut mine and it's drying out right now.

He makes the dankest pancakes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
And Sister Eddy gave me a buttermilk syrup recipe and it was awesome! Great day.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Brandon's Ninety Eighth Email! June 24th, 2017

So this week overview... we don't have a baptism today sadly because our family didn't come to church... but we're hoping that they will be there tomorrow and will be baptized the following Saturday, but it's hard because they're being really flakey, and it's hard to help when we aren't having more contact with them.

We had two people at church, this one husband of an active member, and he yes, is planned to get baptized next Saturday. Then this 14 year old girl who is really cool and like came and found us in the streets when we were passing by other people's houses.

Last Sunday night the Eddys invited my comp and me over for dinner and the Olsen family was there also from the mission and we had like a Father's day/Joe's welcoming dinner!! It was really dank and really nice to be with two really cool families!!! 

Monday we had the normal office stuff, Wednesday we had a conference in 33, then we went back with the ZL to MINAS, Elder Bess and Elder Bailey and I had a few hours of intercambio there. I was totally sick, I don't know why!! I threw up that night, and we had to wake up at like 4 am to catch a bus back to Montevideo. I felt really sick that whole day too but we had a good day. Yesterday we had conference for new trainers. Today we had a fun p-day; We played soccer at the mission home, and a little bit of basketball, then Sister Eddy had lunch for us, and we had french dip sandwiches!!! It was sooooo good!!! I've missed that so much!! 

This week we have three intercambios, Tues-Thurs, then Saturday we will get my replacement!! Then that next p-day will be my last!! 

Parents, maybe you could bring bigger bags so I have a little bit of space to pack souvenirs? Like as a precaution? But if not it's fine....

So excited for AUSTIN!!! Leaving on his mission this week!!! I'm so pumped for you!! It'll be something that always changes your life!!!!! 

I'm typing really slowly today and it's bugging me, so the beginning of the week was really cold, like 0 degrees celsius, and now today it was like comfy and toasty and humid!! 

Congrats to Sheridan for killing it training and I think has a baptism today and is the best missionary ever!! 

Love you guys!!! Can't believe how cute Jack is turning two!!!! 

This photo is with Elder Montiel, from my group from the MTC. Going to miss him!!!! 

P-day fun today!

Brandon's Ninety Seventh Email! June 17th, 2017

Well this week was really good, like ups and downs, like always. So first of all, Jenny got really sick this week and was in bed barfing so they weren't able to have enough time with us to get ready for their baptism, so we're thinking last week. Last night we had like the most serious lesson with them where she also shared her fears of being baptized, and later falling short of what is expected of her as a member of the church. She was our last concern, but we were really happy to see how serious she takes it. We left her scriptures to read and pray about last night and will see tonight. They all came to church on Sunday and even brought the brother of Martín and he is the last person to expect in church, so it was super cool that they invited and brought him! Jenny has shared the gospel with more of her neighbors and friends than like anyone else combined! It's amazing! 

We also were so happy because the husband of an active member in our ward whom we've had lessons with these past two weeks came to church! They have a cute little family with two boys, 8 and 12, and a little precious baby girl who is 1. We had a really good lesson last Tuesday and he said that if he felt God responded to his prayer, that he would go to church. So we had an awesome lesson with him this week and he accepted a baptismal date of July 1st. He is super cool, nice good dad, and that makes me so happy!!!! 

So on Monday, we went BACK to the intendencia and Elder Hunt got his license... So we went through the McDonalds drive thru to celebrate!! So rad!!! First time in so long in a drive thru!!! 

The next day, Tuesday, we did a lot of driving to switch a sister in a special change. We had to wait at the bus central station for like 2 hours with my comp and one sister and it was really weird because there are always members there and we like all ate lunch and were like sooo she'll get here at 4... So then we got back in our area just in time for two awesome lessons!! Such a blessing!! 

I had two intercambios this week, one with elder McMillan and one with Elder Estouco. I love Elder McMillan!! Such a homie! We're finishing together! And Elder Estouco!! He is awesome, he has like a year. We spoke in just portuguese all day!! He was really patient haha....

So going to start planning when you parents come, that'll be so fun!! 

This week if Jenny can overcome her fears, we'll have a baptism on Saturday. They've done so much, and she said, "Like we got married, stopped smoking, and we're ready, but I don't know if I feel ready..."

I'm loving it here. My comp is really cool and I love being able to work with him. 

Joe Eddy just got home from his mission yesterday!!! So I'll probably meet him soon, the Eddys must be so happy!!! 

Love you all so much, and Happy Father's day and Happy Birthday Kayla!!!! Have a fun day!!!

Before Elder Mora moved on... :(

Monday, June 12, 2017

Brandon's Ninety Sixth Email! June 10th, 2017, I'm co.. cooo.. colddddddd (This was the subject for his email!)

Anyone who doesn't understand the subject should just ask Austin if he likes peanut butter!

But really, the other day there was a weather billboard and it said it was 93% humidity!!!! That's too much I think!! And the air is cold!! My hands are numb RN...

So on Sunday, we got to go out in our area with Brandon and Jake Eddy and it was really fun! They are such studs, have never been to the MTC or anything but totally were jumping in awesome talking to people and in a little lesson we had! 

Monday we had our meetings, Tuesday was a good intercambio day! Well first, I went to my first district meeting in like 4 or 5 months I think!!!! That was cool! It was edifying!!! Then in the afternoon I was with Elder Zacarias and it was great. We found cool new people to teach, one nice young single mother, always sad, but she was cool. 

The next day was cool!! So we dropped off the ZL at the bus station in the center, had to pick up the financers, then with the secretaries we all went to lunch at this peruvian place because we had to go to the Cédula office right after and it's on the same street... so it is really dank!! I got tacu tacu with lomos saltados!! My comp got his cédula, then we went to Medilab so they could get the test for their driver license and then we went to the intendencia, but it was closed!! Each one of these things takes time so it took a while! We dropped the others off at the office and went to our area. We had a great day. The young single mom from the day before was home with her whole family and a neighbor so we taught all of them and they were like 7 people, then a ton of little kids!!!! It was really cute and a good lesson.... Hopefully she comes to church!!! 

Thursday we had a conference in Florida, it went well, but we arrived late at President's house by like 8 minutes and I felt so bad!! He was in the car waiting... there was so much traffic for the schools, so we'll have to leave a bit earlier now!! We got home and had a short afternoon because Florida is a couple hours away, but in the nighttime we returned to the mission home to have cake with The Eddy's because it was Sister Eddys' birthday!!! It was really fun. I really love the Eddy's so much, they are like such a sweet family. They even got food from the restaurant they went to so we could have dinner too before the cake! 

Yesterday we had an intercambio and it was a good day. We could have a lot of people in church, like we had a lot of good follow up lessons yesterday, anddd something super awesome!!! Martin and Yenney since getting married have totally taken a new interest!! I got them a pic of the temple in Carrasco and wrote them a note on the back. On Tuesday intercambio my comp went by and he had the pic, they saw it and read it and were like we do want to be a family always together! And they want to get baptized on the 17th! That'll be super soon, so we'll see if they make it for that date, but they seem really sincere so we will be praying that they keep being awesome! I love them so much!!! 

This morning the office elders went to a park and we played two hand touch football. It was fun! Super out of shape but whatever!! Fun nonetheless...

Elder Mora totally has a girlfriend and I'm super happy for him!!!

I love having just a good long week and looking back at all of the little miracles that have passed along the way... it's really amazing. I think it's crazy how we talk to SOOO many people, well it's actually kind of crazy, but how the Book of Mormon literally teaches something of interest for every person. It really is from God, he wants us to have it and to treasure it, read it and study just like the bible!!! I read some accounts from a book of Elder Mechasm, who I was with yesterday (super cool!!!!!) and they were so deep. One was called like how much do you love the people you serve and it almost made me cry but I was like nope hahah not on p-day... just kidding, but it was great. I really do feel a profound love for Uruguay and hope that I can always remember how God works in the lives of all people, regardless of location. 

I love you all, I feel so blessed to be part of such a great family! 

Elder Reechmunt

Elder Mora taught me how to make refried beans before he left so I've made them like 3 times these past weeks. We had bean and cheese burritos, and I made spicy ones and he had them with rice and I love them so much! So excited for Mexican food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our super fun p-day last p-day!!

Hahah pics with just a guy comp for two years is funny! 

This place is called Punta Ballena.

The famous fingers in Punta del Este

Last week we got to go out with Brandon and Jake for the afternoon

Then Sister Eddy´s birthday on Thursday!!!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Brandon's Ninety Fifth Email! June 3rd, 2017

This will be very short because I don't have like any time.
Last week I forgot to write to President so I need to do that, but we are going to Maldonado in a minute with the Eddy family! It'll be a really fun p-day. I'm not exactly sure what we're doing, but their family is so sweet that it's always fun! This week was good, we had a multi-zone conference, had to go to Ciudad Vieja, had a new district leader training, and Martin and Yenney got married. This other girl came to church who is not a church frequenter which is like a miracle and Jack is still the cutest. I'm loving it here just enjoying every day and I will send more details next week!!! 

Love you all!!! 

Mission counsel from last Friday! 

Ciudad Vieja waiting for my comp (took like 3 hours) 

I made lots of jello to connect to my stereotypical mormon culture

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Brandon's Ninety Fourth Email! May 27th, 2017

So apparently Brandon (I think he is referring to the Mission President's son Brandon?) had a music group with his friends named chilicheesedawgs, and today that's what we had for lunch!!! Elder Caudle recieved a package his last day, well actually two, and gave us 5 cans of really good chili, Tillamook cheese, so we had dank chili cheese dawgs!!! 

So this week was the really busy transfer week! I always get fat this week, so the next 5 weeks will be working that off yay!! hahaha So we got 13 new missionaries, they're all cool and really impressive! Wednesday we got the trainers, had the actual transfers, stayed up till like 12 helping Valientes pack and weigh their luggage, and talking to my friends going home. Four went home. Woke up at 3 to take Wesley Xavier and Elder Bustos to the airport, then we left straight from there to pick up 4 more. Then we got back, did lots of pushups to not fall asleep and die, showered, got ready for breakfast at 9, then we were having a meeting with President every time we had like 20 minutes or more to plan our meeting on Friday. Then we took like 3 more, then had lunch at McDonalds thanks to the Eddys'. Then we just returned, got the luggage for the remaining four, and took them! It was sad saying bye to all my friends! We were SOOO tired!!!! I felt like a fussy baby who just wanted to nap, but together my comp and I had a really productive 4 hours in the office and did all of the stuff for consejo. 

Friday we had that meeting and it all went well! Each time it's a missionary's last transfer, they share their testimony with the group, so I did that, and then we had to send out more emails and get stuff ready for this coming transfer, then went home. We had a great night of 1.5 hours and got to teach someone again finally!!!! I get so happy teaching after being in the offices for long periods of time!!! 

This week we'll have multizone conference divisions, and will be pretty much cruising in our area! I'm excited! Elder Hunt is awesome! It's getting cold again here in URUGAY!!! VAMOARRIBA URUGUAY URUGUAY NO MÁ!!!!!!!!!! hahah

I sometimes get overwhelmed with all of the things we have to do and I've been trying to practice better patience. I was reading about patience and read it is the ability to handle demoras or trials without reacting negatively, including anxiety and I was like well I'm not doing well at that... so I'm going to work at that. I know that we are here to learn and to grow, so I know that I will receive help from my loving Heavenly Father who will help me! He just wants to help us become better so that we can be happier! 

Elder Richmond

Michel is so rad!!! 

Took a picture before we took down the stuff from our meeting yesterday...
Luckily everything worked out and we didn't forget anything

Yay my comp playing the piano

We went to Estadio Centenario... 
The stadium for the country's soccer team because it's a museum...

We had to go to this hospital near a main park for the secretary Elder Ucañaan, 
so we walked around and took photos while we waited....

Right before Elder Mora left back to Mexico :(