Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Brandon's Sixteenth Email! November 23rd, 2015


So this week had some ups, and it had its downs!!!!
We started to teach this kid from a part-member family, and he has a baptismal date, but we think he doesn't actually need to talk to the missionaries. We´ll figure that out for sure this week though.

Victor, our investigator was getting more and more committed, and then he died. It was really sad when we passed by his house and his wife told us. We were with him the night before he passed away, but it was really, really sweet what she told us. She told us that this past two months since Elder Rae and I met him he has been happy, and excited to learn more, and told her the night before he passed away how great the family history work was, and how he loves when we pass by, so because of that she invited us to start teaching her.

Other than that, this week was even harder than last week in terms of homeslice. Tuesday he took more food and I asked him to ask me if he wants my food, and he like got mad and was legit mean until Thursday when we had weekly planning and did comp inventory and I just said I think it seems like you don't like me, is that true? And he said no, and since has been like back to what it was last week, which isn't like fun and happy, but sure better than the 3 days..

I got a package from Jill Hoffman!!!! It couldn't have come at a better time because I have like only bus money for the next week, and it had soooooo many treats and goodies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Reeses, M&m's, Oreos, Pringles, and more!!!! I still have the Trader Joe's brittle!!! Thank you so much Hoffman family!!!!!!!

I've had like some sharp foot pain this week starting Wednesday, but I think it's getting better starting today. It legit scares me when something with my body is a little weird cause I would be so mad if I got hurt and had to come home. I never knew that actually happens, but since we walk all day, you can't be hurt and be a missionary here!

The weather is weird. Last week we had a couple days of downpour, then the next day is like burning, but the burning days are 10000000 times better than the cold!!!!!! 

Today we had an activity in Malvin, and the bus was PACKED both ways. Super annoying, literally like just pressed against everyone, so uncomfy, 1hr bus ride haha. The buses are interesting but I'm getting better at them. Homeslice doesn't navigate, like never, so I'm always the one that has to decide where we are gonna get off and which buses to take... it's a little stressful but good. 

I need to figure out a skype acount!!! Idk how skype works! I can't use FaceTime because the people here don't have Mac's, but Christmas is coming up and I do not wanna miss out on that! 

Other than that, not sure what else to say. Trying to be patient with happiness, but sometimes it's hard.

Other random thing, we have lunch from the members everyday, either in their house or we use old ice cream tubs (everyone does) and they give us like food to go. This week we had rice and an egg. Then pasta. Then soup and chivitos. Then pasta. Can't remember the others. 
But I eat mayonnaise and tomatoes ahora!!!!! The food almost always has it, but yep, Brandon Richmond eats chunks of tomatoes.

Okay, gonna try and send some pics, but this computer is a laugh riot.

Top Ten

10. The Relief Society President told us that in 9 years in the ward, we're the first elders to bring back all of the food tubs the members give us the next Sunday, separated and with sticky notes for which family they pertain to, (I do it myself) so that made me happy.
9. I made an alfajor milkshake! Milk and a love play punta bellena alfajor and put it in the freezer! It was dank!
8. I really loved lunches this week! Aside for a day or two it was like super dank ere' day
7. We did tracking in an other area  Like the other week, but we actually got references for the other elders this time, it was good
6. Two kids here in El Pinar lived in the U.S. before and speak english so I like did a long contact in english, it was fun being able to say what I wanted!!!!
5. I'm totally used to not eating breakfast or dinner. Or when I do eat it is like a nice sweet surprise! 
4. My package from the Hoffman's was amazing!!!!! REESES!!!!!!!!!!
3. Letters from Sheridan on Tuesday REALLLLYLYYYY helped during a hard week
2. When we passed by for the house of Victor, it was because we felt like we should, we had planned other things but when we arrived we knew why.
1. Victor is now in a better place, and his wife has the opportunity to experience what he was begginging to. THE GOSPEL BRINGS MORE HAPPINESS TO ANY LIFE, from what seems like a waste to a life nearly perfect.

Love you all, Elder Richmond

Monday, November 16, 2015

Brandon's Fifteenth Email! November 16th, 2015

Hey Family!!!

This week I am developing patience! Homeboy is a little hard to be with always, cause he makes it so apparent that he doesn't want to be with me, or at least acts like it! Haha he like walks behind me, and crosses the street for no reason I think just to walk away from me. I wait for him sometimes or cross the street too. I don't understand. It's a bummer, but it's alright. I'm focusing on trying to help people in El Pinar but then it seems like I'm trying to fight another battle also, which doesn't help. He gets really mad really easily and then for hours it's just him like talking about how people don't know anything. Okay sorry, just haven't talked to anyone in a week haha

Also he took some peanuts that I bought, which isn't a big deal, but they were like totally in my stuff so he went through my stuff I guess.

So something cool is there are fireflies here! Every night I feel like I'm at disneyland in what is it, Pirates of the Caribbean? Makes me happy haha.

Mom, could you PLEASE send me the recipes that I asked for last week? The Apple Sauce Spice cake and chocolate frosting, and now I am going to add the chocolate bunt cake please!!!

Dad, could you please send me two photos of my CT-70? Thanks!

I made Lemon bars last night with lemons from our back yard! They were pretty good actually!

Things I didn't include in the voice recording were we went to Salinas and handed out Book of Mormons and it was fun!

One funny story!

So we were walking and there was a couple probably about 25 years old and I said hi to them completely normal like I say hi to every one and then like 200 yards later I felt someone behind us and the guy was like fast-walking up to us and yelled, "AYYYYAYYYAYYYY VOS! Tienes un falta de respecto!!!" And he went into this huge rant about how I was hitting on his girlfriend, and he was super mad, but I was like, "No I said hi to YOU, I have my own girlfriend, and as missionaries, we are not here to flirt or find girls," and he ended up calming down enough to shake our hands before he left, but I thought he was gonna punch me haha.

Other than that, our investigators aren't keeping their commitments, which is pretty frustrating. We received like 5 references this week and they are good so hopefully next week I have good news!!! I am happier more and more each week now that I can actually talk and communicate myself. It's more fun to be recognized as a real person!! 

I love studies in the morning, I wish our investigators could see the big picture always!!! 

Sorry I don't have more crazy cool spiritual experiences, but hopefully in the week that's coming!

Top Ten!

10. Nobody can hear us sing in the morning, don't think my homeboy knows how the tunes work
9. I feel like I can relate to dad's flea bites on his mission because of all the bites I have!
8. Open Chapel in San Jose de Carrasco, it was fun!
7. The references we received!
6. When I told the guy about Sheridan he finally calmed down
5. Times when homeboy isn't super cold to me are a nice change!
4. I am developing patience, actually working on it consciously, and it's working.
3. Austin finished his Eagle Project!! Congrats AUZ!!!
2. Sheridan is going through the temple soon! The temple is so cool and anyone who hasn't gone should probably get baptized and enjoy it :)
1. I am enjoying learning the culture, and learning spanish; but most importantly learning more about the things that are sure to always bring us happiness in this life, and allow us to take advantage of all that will come thereafter.

Love you all!!!  

 Silly pictures of us one morning before we started studies!

 Elder Carrol and me

 The Family History Day!

Lemon Bars!

 This was this morning. My foot. So dank

Also from this morning..
This is the super nice stake center

Monday, November 9, 2015

Brandon's Fourteenth Email! November 9th, 2015

Crazy that it is week 15! I hit 100 days this Friday! It feels crazy that I have been out of the house that long, really really crazy!!

So some things I'm really stoked about! We cleaned our room last Monday and organized the bookshelf and it's sooooo much better now!!!!! Like feels kinda homey... (respectively).

Mom, could you please please send me the recipe for the apple sauce cinnamon spice cake and the chocolate frosting. Like a birthday cake? I'm gonna try and start collecting the ingredients little by little until a special p-day!
I took out money, I'm gonna buy a watch at the next available opportunity, I think 3 weeks on Tuesday, but I won't spend it all!

Casey, could you send me a pic of my motorcycle in Mexico? Your film pic?

I'm learning tons of conversation spanish cause I have to talk tons! haha so I'm learning a lot lot faster! 
It's fun, I can like walk up to someone, initiate a conversation, tell them who we are, set up a time to come back, and like say jokes too, haha. It makes it more enjoyable to be able to be a person again.

So today we had to go to Tres Cruces (in the other mission, central downtown Montevideo) to sign for our visas. It really was a bummer. Starting at the beginning of p-day we had to take a 1 hour and 15 min bus standing to go wait in line till 4 pm to take a bus back! Not a very cool p-day, but it's alright!

We had interviews with President Friday. I pretty much told him I felt bad because we haven't had tons of success and he just said it's a lot more like that than people think. Everyone makes their own choices.

I'm really happy, so my zone set a goal to do more contacts, and my comp is kinda excited about that now, so we are going to get to talk to more people now! Also, we are focusing contacts and teaching especially on the Restoration which I love because it is so special, so unique, and needs to be shared!

Our investigator didn't come to church, and isn't progressing much, it's like sort of at the line of if she will keep investigating or not.

We taught the restoration to the family history guy and it was great, but he also didn't come to church! So frustrating! 

I have been loving reading Preach my Gospel, and Jesus The Christ. Such good books (in addition to the scriptures). Really is a great start to each day.

I'm loving how I'm getting more and more accustomed to being here every week. Really nice to get more used to it idk... Kinda hard to explain.

That's it for now, sorry. Hopefully there is more exciting stuff next week!

Top Ten

10. Focusing on the Restoration!!!!
9. Romans 8:38-39. Sheridan sent me this and it's been something that some of our investigators have loved.
8. Finally the weather warmed up!!! So much more enjoyable!!!!!!
7. The house is wayyy cleaner than last week. More home-like. Sorta.
6. Contacts! Help break up the day and hopefully we'll find more people!
5. Hit 100 days! Idk why but it's a fun milestone.
4. Everything is going well, the zone plans really should help my comp and me be more efficient!
3. Spanish is getting better!
2. I got so many letters from Sheridan this last week! Really helped after a long week!! 
1. Settling in more and more, getting more used to walking and being a missionary and studying and just everything... the mindset, the routine. It's nice.

Love you all!

 I was making this face as a joke! I'm happy!



 We made brownies and frozen dessert this week! It was so enjoyable

 Today in Tres Cruces 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Brandon's Thirteenth Email! November 2nd, 2015

This week has been tough in some ways, but good in some ways.
Okay first of all, I don't have enough time, and this keyboard is broken and really difficult to use, so sorry this is going to be short. 

Things that are random. Last p-day I cooked a pizza with homemade dough, and also mom's chocolate chip cookies, and later in the week I cooked these dank brownies the mission president's wife makes!

Yesterday we had lunch with a member and they drove us... and they have a BMW X3!!! 2013! It's nuts cause only like 10 people have cars in our ward, if that, so we were trippin.

The weather is so weird! Tuesday and Wednesday were really hot and enjoyable. Then it's been really cold since then again!!!! So annoying! I want the hot!

I keep getting new blisters! Almost impressive! I have pics but these computers are horrible...

Sorry, not going to be any pictures... It won't work anymore on this computer... just freezes. 

I have no time to type but this week was slow. Tons of plans fell through and new homeboy isn't as work excited so it's been a little hard in that sense. We are going to do more contacting this week to try and find more people.. our investigators are more or less progressing, but it's kinda frustrating.
I am loving reading The Book of Mormon every day.

Top Ten

10. My family and loved ones 
9. How much study time we have
8. Being here in Uruguay
7. The work that we get to do!
6. The fact that we have a prophet.
5. Getting used to speaking spanish 24/7
4.Teaching in spanish is pretty funny!
3. P-days and talking to family!
2. Our zone is sweet and really encouraging with everything
1. The weather should start getting warmer

I'm really sorry this email is so, so bad. The keyboard barely functions.
It was a slow week though anyway.


Hey, we had a couple more minutes because before we didn't have a full time because we had to rush to our zone activity, which was sand boarding and hanging out at the beach san dunes! The sand board didn't work great but it was fun to be at the beach! Some things I wanted to mention... Halloween was a normal workday but in the night we went to this family's house and had snacks and they had costumes and it was fun! The Familia Moreno. And earlier in the day Sister Acosta gave us these fun Halloween cookies, so that was good. My comp is good, but reallllly quiet. Can't tell if he is mad at me, but it's hard sometimes because he isn't totally willing to help with my spanish, he just says yeah a lot if I ask him if it's correct even if I know it's not. I do a lot more now in terms of talking to people I think because he just doesn't love talking to people haha. 

I am learning a lot. Not just spanish but how to talk to people and what we need to do as missionaries...
I learn so much more from the scriptures now too. Studying with a prayer and a question really does something different. It's been good though.

It's crazy I'm 1/8 done already! Our Ward mission leader is so intense. He lectures us a lot on things that aren't in his realm of control, and that's kind of frustrating. Thank you mom for the pictures of our family and the one of me and Sher at Phils!! Love them all!!! And this week was REALLLLYYYY slow as far as lessons go but one thing we're focusing on is the sabbath day... and one spiritual thought that we used this week was 2 Nephi 32, about prayer and reading the scriptures. It's a great chapter and it really is so true and spot on.. love you all! Going to try and send a few photos... but who knows.

My Companion


 The beach 

Our sleeping room! 
We disassembled two bunks and cleaned sooo much!!
 It's actually sick now!!!

Our House

Us at the beach

Brownies I made this week

    A Blister