Monday, August 31, 2015

Brandon's Fourth Email! August 27th, 2015

Well for all intensive purposes I have a month done! hahaha
I only have 12 more days here including today and the days I leave, which is pretty crazy, but I am super excited!! 
To be honest not that much is different week to week. So we went out in our area again and the guy we taught last time wasn't super stoked anymore, so we don't know what's up with him, but we taught good lessons to two other people and that was really fun! There were way less people out this week but it was fun becasue I feel like my Spanish had improved a lot week to week. I think that I will probably end up alternating email times, between my last one and this super early one!  
We have had a good amount of meals with chicken in them!!!!! That was really cool, also, it only rained twice this week!!! We have been playing basketball, but I'd probably call it more tackle basketball because the Latinos do not know that it isn't a "lower your shoulder at the dribbler" sport but whatever haha. We like didn't play for two days cause we were worried someone would get hurt, and then now it's been better! We had the previous group of natives leave, so we get new people today. In my room is someone from Spain, El Salvador, Argentina, and it says England but idk if that is right.  
This week has seemed faster than the last, I think because all the days somewhat blend together, but man the days are long haha. Can't wait to get out in the mission field and starve! But really, I get super stoked taking out the trash because it is the longest straight walk we can do here (about 50 yards)... But I am super excited because we are like 2/3 done with this place. It will just seem so much cooler teaching acutal people than like our teachers, and I'm really excited to see the gospel actually help people in their real lives. So I've never explained this cause time is short but my mission pressident is in Uruguay. The CCM president and his wife are from Arizona. Presidente and Hermana Willis. Then there are two other Americans. The Bedfords, and they're the only Americans here besides missionaries. They are here for a couple hours a day like 5 days a week, and then they conduct English sacrament meeting. Overall this place is getting more tolerable because it's more exciting to think about being out soon. It has been so cold somedays, where like middle of the day I'm shaking I'm so cold, and everyone else is fine, idk what's up with that but whatever. I am excited to go proselyting again his Saturday.. it really helps break up the week. Mon-wed and Friday are almost exactly that one schedule I sent you, and then Saturday follows that schedule till 11 then we go out and come back at like 5 ish. Then normal from 6-9:30. We surpassed our goal for contacts! She said our district had the most contacts per companionship she'd seen almost ever.. then Sunday we have sacrament meeting early, then we have like two classes, priesthood and district meeting, then hour of class, twice, then we have a fireside after dinner, then we study till bed. Thursdays we wake up and email at our specified time, posted the day before, and then we are also assigned a time to go to the temple, and we have a set time for lunch, and class starts at 4:30. Besides that we are free for like 4 or so hours to do whatever... Okay that's all I have for this week... 

Top Ten

10. Banfield Argentina RN is freedom 
9. My teachers (Hermano Peredes and Hermana Lastra) are funny with their english when their grammar is wrong
8. I have four hours of chill fest after lunch today!
7. My countdown to being in the mission field is lookin pretty full!!!
6. More chicken this week!
5. Definitely haven't gained weight
4. My spanish is getting better, hopefully I won't die when I leave here.
3. We get to leave again this Saturday
2. Teaching a lesson to a real person in spanish definitely shows me that I'm gettin good help from our Heavenly Father cause otherwise no.
1. I get to be on a mission and I'm super excited for the experiences that it'll bring me!!

 Elder Cordoso from Sao Paulo

 Elder from Brazil and somewhere else, don't have time to look

 My district... hahah these are a joke!!!!

Comp in class on my b-day. They found a balloon... 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Brandon's Third Email! August 20th, 2015

Okay so this week has gone by quicker than the last two!! This place is not paradise but it is moving along!!! Hahaha, okay well let me go through my notes of things to say, and then I'll see if there is anything else to say. SO first of all my CTR ring bent on like the first day also and it is super super sharp on the outside and inside so once I see a ring I like I'm getting it haha. Also, letters take 3 weeks to get here so unless you sent one yesterday, don't send it to the MTC. You can either send it to the mission home, Mom, you should have that adress, or you can pouch mail it. If you want to pouch mail, there are very specific directions, but you can look them up online I'm sure if you type missionary pouch mail. My address is Elder Brandon Roberts Richmond, Uruguay Montevideo Mission, POB 30150, Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150. That will get to me in less than a week I think and only takes one U.S. stamp but you can only send one plain page one sided! So whatever. 
Basketball here is so sketchy, it is practically tackle haha. It is fun cause I'm one of the bigger guys but it is also like rugby-basketball. Maybe I'll get more used to it, like literally full on shoulder checks when you're doing a lay up. AND I'M HALFWAY DONE WITH THE CCM! (MTC in Spanish) So first of all, I don't go back to Atlanta, the church just has to make that reservation for immigration purposes! I leave in 3 weeks from this past Tuesday, so the second Tuesday in September I think... 
When we leave, we will email on the Thursday before that Tuesday, but won't have pday for 11 days until the next Monday which is a real bummer but it is what it is.... Also mom, can you call visa and tell them that my card is out of the country so when I need to use it they won't cancel it!!! 
The food here is pretty intense. Every day it is huge huge chunks of red meat and some form of potatoes and always hard stale bread!! When the meat is too much to eat, sometimes I'll take bread and dip it in bbq sauce and close my eyes and pretend it is bbq chicken pizza... hahaha.... I have actually not eaten much bread and I only take a dessert once a day if that. They have them at all three meals. And I don't know how to do parenthesis also on these keyboards.... 
So Saturday was super sick!!! We all were soooooo stoked! So me and my comp got dropped off in our area and it was maybe a mile or 2 long and a mile wide. We walked soooooo many miles haha cause we were just walking the whole time and talking to people and we taught 2 legit lessons in the street!! One guy was mig welding this super sick metal car toy thing and I stopped and with my limited spanish told him how cool it was and told him I weld with a mig welder with argon also, same setup as him, tried to teach him something but he wouldn't listen because he said he just was going to drink beer with Jesus.... so that wasn't super succesful...
BUT then we talked to this one guy for like 30 minutes and taught him a lesson and he was like kinda into it but we got his contact info and stuff, (which go to the elders in that area) and then we talked to this guy who was super super into it!! My comp is having kinda a hard time with spanish so I was mostly teaching, but we taught the whole first lesson in spanish and like prayed with him at the end and we are probably going to meet him this Saturday at the same place!! It was super cool!!! We were so stoked! He kept saying how nice the message was and how he wanted to hear more. He said he would read a passage we gave to him in the B.O.M. and pray about it. He asked for like the 3 main pamphlets to read also so we'll see if we see him again this week!!! That would be really cool! I forgot to say but I gave a talk two Sundays ago in sacrament meeting here! It was about enduring to the end, in English though haha. Not much else is super new.  
One funny thing that happened while we were out was I meant to ask someone if they would like us to help them because they were working on their house but instead I asked if they would like to help us. They both turned around and were like estamos ocupados, (We are busy) like super meanly, and I was so confused until I realized I had mixed up the order of the pronoun and conjugation... oppppsssss
I know once I get out in the field I'll have more exciting things to write about!!!! Still spending 9 hours in a classroom!!! hahah but my spanish is still progressing but slower so hopefully I'm not stalling...

No pictures this week, just every other week.

Top Ten

10. I am kind of getting used to having more red meat in a week than someone should have in a year.
9. I am still learning spanish!! Stilll a million miles to go though.
8. My district is cool, which is nice because we are always together. Just 6 guys.
7. My companion went to the Napoleon Dynamite high school.
6. My companion caught racoons this summer and kept them as pets.
5. 3 more weeks till I am in Uruguay!!!
4. We got to leave the compound and we will get to again this week!!!!
3. It has only rained once since Monday!!!!!
2. I am stoked to be here and my knowledge of the scriptures is growing tons
1. We actually got to teach our first lesson, all in spanish, and prayed and everything! It was so fun!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Brandon's Second Email! August 13th, 2015

So this week has been much much better than the last as far as knowing what to expect for each day... 9.5 hours in the classroom!!! hahahah So it has been raining like almost everyday. We measured in this fountain that was empty and after the rain it was 11 inches deep, then it rained even more!! So it is just crazy!! So this week we got to go to the hotel across the street from the temple and practice speaking spanish with families going to the temple and Saturday we get to go somewhere in the city for 5 hours and just meet and talk and teach people which we're all super stoked about! My spanish has been getting steadily better but it is hard to distinguish words here when they all do the SH thing for LL, and I just wish I had a better vocab. 
We teach these fake lesson things which are really good practice, but it is definitely difficult and every word is like a struggle. We always pray and stuff in spanish, and this week I was saying a prayer in spanish and realized I wasn't even thinking in english first. 
So last week there were 70-80 people here and for the past two days there have only been 20 missionaries! hahaha it is so funny how small and empty it feels. And there are two different time schedules and there is one American district and one Brazilian district on the other time schedule and then our district (6 boys), on the other time schedule. SO during workout time outside, which is very sad to say the least as far as things to do go, it is super bummer cause there are only 6 of us so all of our games are super janky! We have also been bummed cause the rain has been raining during workout time and practically all week. It rained soooooo hard Sunday and we were bummed cause that was when we got to go to take pics by the temple but it stopped litterally for like the 45 minutes we had to go walk around so that was great.  
We have a pretty busy schedule so I'll upload a pic of my planner to onedrive to see, but I am into the planning if I do say so myself. So my companion is super funny and is from Preston, Idaho. This summer, he caught two racoons and had them as pets. He is actually from Franklin, about 10 minutes outside Preston. It is funny asking my companion to come with me to do everything but you know I guess that's just how it is. It has been so cold the last two nights and I'm like shaking right now hahah. 
The classes go great and our teachers are awesome. Hermana Lastra in the morning and Hermano Peredes at night; they are really cool and both got off missions like a year ago. It's funny, everyone here is learning spanish on their mission by talking to companions so a lot of it is we can understand them but it isn't english, but they mostly teach in spanish now anyway. (NO IDEA WHAT HE WAS TRYING TO SAY IN THAT LAST SENTENCE) 
I don't have much else to say. This place is practically the same every day. Thursdays are P-day and we email any time from 6:30 am to 4 pm and we don't know when it will be until Tuesday each week. Saturday WE GET TO LEAVE !!!!!!! For five hours. Sundays are pretty chill!! We have lots of time to study and also practice spanish with natives. So we had 3 natives, and 1 Brazilian in our room but they just switched them so now we have 2 new Brazilians and we will get two spanish speakers I think? It's super confusing when they speak Portuguese cause it sounds similar to spanish but totally isn't.  I have gotten way better at putting on church clothes and mom, you were right, some of those pants I got were too short. We didn't unpack all of our clothes, we only took some of each and left the rest with our bags, so I haven't worn like half my stuff. It's funny how excited we can get to speak english now. Like this guy was here for one day from Utah to fix the font in the temple and it was nice to speak english and then sometimes, like maybe once a day we will say one prayer in english and it feels so nice to be able to say whatever I am thinking and not have to water it down to what I know....  
Saturday 2-7 my time I'll be out so I'm super excited for that! 4 more weeks here. I have a pretty sick countdown in my planner, I migh have put a picture of that too. I don't resent this place because I know I need to prepare to be a worthwhile missionary, but it definitely makes it difficult sometimes. I have been working out really hard for like 20 minutes out of the workout time, trying to not get fat. 
Pray for me on Friday, they told me I need a hircut and this stylish guy comes every Friday and he looks legit so let's hope he doesn't do something crazy. 

I love you all, here is my top ten 

10. I have only thrown up once this week
9. Finally learned what me te le nos and les are, makes listening to stuff way more realistic.
8. I can understand 99% of what my teachers say in spanish and like 80% of what the natives say. 
7. I can read verses in the scriptures in spanish and can usually translate it pretty close
6. I have been able to remember a lot more scripture references than before, haha I'm thinking that the 9.5 hours in a classroom Mon-Wed and Friday are helping
5. I have been very good about not getting super annoyed at people, even if what they do is annoying hahah.
4. We get 5 hours of chill sesh after lunch today so I can nap and do stuff.
3. We got to go to/take pictures at the temple
1. I am on a mission serving the lord, and my testimony is strenghtened everyday even if I am frustrated/tired/over the classroom/annoyed, so I know it is spanish (I don't think he meant to say spanish?)

Elder Richmond