Monday, May 2, 2016

Brandon's Thirty-Eighth Email! April 25th, 2016

My dearest friends and family, this week has been super insane. hahah

Well first of all I received two high def photos of al pastor tacos from San Felipe, so now I am very hungry. Al Pastor.... 

So, just to paint the picture of the week, it has rained every day except for Thursday. The dam called El Rincon is like 10 kilometers upstream from Paso and is like too full so they are now letting water out of the turbines because they don't want the dam to get messed up, BUT, the  river was already flooding before they did that, so now it is just nuts!!!! They have the military taking people out of their homes that are flooding by the river. There are like 40 people in the church right now with their expensive furniture or things that would get ruined. It is crazy the water has arrived one block short from our house slash the church. So about 50 meters... so crazy!!!! Like 50 years ago they evacuated Paso because they diverted water from the dam because they were worried about it and it flooded everything! So pray it stops raining because even on our way to cyber we just got SOAKED to the skin... it won't stop!!!! So that's just been like a part of this week, like people having to take stuff out of their house and let it dry, then put it back in. I guess luckily the houses are just straight cement here because it doesn't actually ruin anything structurally. So that is just the weather. It's been pretty hot and rainy, but one day and also today have been cold. I hate the cold dangit. I miss the summer already.

So now on to more work type stuff... We had District meetings Wednesday! They were planned for Tuesday but there was a red alert so nothing was open like the buses. So we had them Wednesday and showed these funny videos we had filmed during p-day. Like me filming and being a missionary and Burgess being a contact I do. But like while riding bikes, on the bridge, just funny things. So there was a red alert last night/this morning also I guess, but it was pretty low key. 

So I don't really remember specific days or anything but this week we had two great lunches, we've been working out really hard and I am getting in better shape so that's fun, been cleaning a lot and like consolidating my stuff, so that's been good to kind of work on habits. 

This week the two major cool things were: how many new investigators we found, and how many people are on track to get baptized/came to church!

So during the week we had lots of lessons with new people where we just talked to them and would end up sitting down, praying, teaching and praying again and everything... Like it was so funny. Our contact to lesson ratio was more than half! People are nice and we were having tons of fun and it's so fun to meet new people. I'm not confident in myself or my teaching but I do know what we have to share speaks for itself, it just needs somebody to present it! So I felt like no pressure just talking to people and asking, "Hey can we sit down and tell you about this. It's really important, because I know it is." And then having them be like yep sure! haha 

Also, we have a baptism scheduled for this coming Saturday at 7 so pray it goes through! It should. The family is awesome, so this is the family that has been less active for a while but their girls who are 11 and 8 are getting baptized and they have gone to primary a good amount over the last couple months. The dad hasn't been to church in a long time, but they came as a family yesterday for the first time in years!!! It was so great to see and the ward was stoked! So seriously I think the rain/flooding is the only complication.. They live close to the river... 

Then we had a lesson with the reference from the stake president's wife and she was SO cool. We got to know her, chatted for a little, then taught the restoration like completely and gave her a B.O.M. and she came this Sunday and had her Book of Mormon in a protective plastic sheet and had marked some stuff!!! And the stake president's wife named Laura sat with her and it was awesome. She came to all three hours with her 8 year old son!!! We were going to have a lesson all together yesterday but Laura got a little sick, but it will be awesome! She is excited to learn more!!

Then we had two other ladies in church who come often but still need to get married... kind of a bummer that doing the papers is the only thing they are missing!

Then we were sitting there before sacrament and thought hey, we can go knock at Ramiro's and see if he is home. He is like 19 and super cool and a good people-person. So we went over and he was like yeah I'm coming so we showed up and everyone was talking to him and he was really cool and normal with everyone!! 

Milton and Miguel and Valentine didn't go to church this week all for their own kind of excuses but I was just trying to be happy. I had to think of Sheridan's good attitude in her email when everything didn't go well so then I was able to appreciate everything good that was happening. Valentine didn't own a pair of shoes so he hasn't been going to school and wasn't going to come to church, so Saturday we spent like 1.5 hours tracking down shoes and Nicolas ¿Young mens? gave us an old pair so we brought them to Valentine. Sunday morning Maria wasn't there at 9 so we cruised to her house on the bikes and she was trying to get Valentine up, but he was being a pill!! Maria was being really cool actually, sometimes she is somewhat short tempered, but it was cool to see her working on patience and stuff! But he ended up not coming but Maria still did. She hasn't missed a Sunday since se started coming! So anyway, we had like 6 investigators in church so it was fun, we were always doing something. 

The three people who didn't come to church were actually the ones scheduled to get baptized on the 7th but that won't happen now. If they keep doing what they should they'll get baptized the weekend after...weekend after I leave... kind of a bummer, but whatever. This Saturday should be fun! 

Today is Elder Burgess' birthday so I'm making another cake and then we will just have a good day! He turns 23! 

On Wednesday we have interview conference with President in Durazno so that should be fun! Trying to think of other things.... oh, Saturday night we went to Centro (kind of reminds me of El Cajon center street thing) and people just sit on the benches lining the street and drink mate.. So we just walked down the line and in like 30 minutes did like 15 contacts and it was super funny. People like knew it was their turn when we started leaving the previous group.. but super cool, there is a guy we are going to have a lesson with, we just need to call him. He was super interested. 

But anyway, all is good! I taped in a photo of Christ and my family in the front of my Trips Scrips (triple combination scriptures) and I'm like unusually stoked on it haha. And a pic of the SLC temple in my Bible. 

Anyway, crazy week! Pray it stops raining, or at least they can give the water to California or something haha...

Top Ten. 

10. Elder Burgess' birthday!!!
9. All my family and friends who are such good examples!!
8. Having two pedals on my bike is like magic
7. I filled out everything that we had been lacking in the area book so now it is suppper crisp
5. Working out really hard sets such a better start to the day
4. The water hasn't reached our house yet
3. All the new people we taught this week!
2. We have a super selfless bishop who has been helping people SOO much this week
1. Investigators in church!!!

Peace, love, 
Elder Richmond

P.S. literally sitting in soaked jeans right now 

 Valentine with this nasty fish with gnarly teeth! 
We had a sick lesson on the river back under some trees
 on a table and it was like from a painting! So beautiful

 The river spot! 

This is Francisco with his squashes!!!!! Look how legit they are! 
He has SOO many more too, he grows them in his yard cause he always makes guiso with them...

 This first pic was like on Wednesday, we thought that was nuts because so much had flooded. 

This second pic is that same road, but totally underwater!!!
And it's raised like probably double since then even!!

 This street is really steep so it's safe, but where all that water is down there, there is a house and volleyball and picnic tables.. where I sent the photos from with the painted walls!

Terezinha taught us how to make arroz con leche! So good!

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