Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Brandon's Forty Seventh Email! June 27th, 2016

Elder Cristobal is my new comp! 
So Chuy was super fun.  I think we are going at the end of this change too. 
Wednesday I got on the 4:30am bus alone to Montevideo and got off the bus in the city and walked to the mission home. We had a mini conference and then we met our new comps! Elder Cristobal is from Lima, Peru, and is 18, super nice, super calm! It'll be fun to be with him! He is really quiet so I am definitely talking a lot but I'll start forcing him to talk more as we move on this week! 

So we returned and started working like normal. The work here has been really really hard to be honest! I have like my whole planner full from last change with people's direcciones and phone numbers and it's just a little bit of a bummer when it seems you can never get ahold of people or it's never a good time for them. If people only knew that they would be sooo much happier after hearing our message..... EVERYONE! 

So something fun: President early last week was saying members told him that the missionaries talks were good the Sunday he wasn't there (when Elder Bauer and I spoke) and so he was super stoked on us. Kinda random, but it was like for sure the first time I think I've actually been able to speak normally in spanish in a talk-setting. Idk.

I talked to Elder Lockhart who just arrived in the mission also, he is the cousin of someone I know, and knows Travis S. (sorry, I can't spell your last name) and Chase (future brother in law) and Dylan.. super funny! Hopefully I'm in his zone sometime! 

We ate Carpincho last night! So he takes it out of the wood oven and says, "The meat is great, and the fat is the best part, and doesn't do you any harm, so go ahead and eat it all!" Aka taking away any excuse to not eat the fat, and it was easily 1/2 fat! It was actually really good, but I felt like every second was a year melting off my life as the fat melted in my mouth. 

We have walked A TON recently. My shoe has a pretty good hole so I'm just going to use it till it's completely dead because the sole inside had already broken, then I'll throw them away. 

I don't know if much is new. We played soccer this morning, can't say that I love it but it's fun, it'd be more fun with indoor shoes. Running shoes are too sketch. Samba nation (father). 

Anyway. Something I've been studying a lot this week is prayer, and anyone should look up George Albery Smith teachings of the prophets in the section about prayer! It's super good!!!!! Prayer is such an amazing principle that we are so lucky to have!! I am so grateful for prayer! 

Top Ten

10. I've learned how to cook more food foods instead of only desserts
9. I am healthy (don't jinx it) It's a super big blessing that sometimes I overlook! 
8. I traveled alone! Kinda weird, but something not common, so #8 this week haha
7. Friends that I have made in the mission. Like talking to Elder Ford in Maldonaldo makes me so happy, I've met some really rad people.
6. The Brasilian buffet, and Chuy in general was really fun! 
5. We have a conference this Friday with our new mission president!!! Crazy!
4. I have so many cool friends out serving missions or who have recently finished. A lot of great examples
3. I get to be a missionary during this time in my life! 
2. We can pray and speak to our Heavenly Father (God)
1. I get to be comps with Elder Cristobal!!!! He is really nice (Precious as Sheridan would say) and I'm looking forward to having a good start to his mission!!!

Love you all, be safe, be smart. I saw a picture of a wood lathe in one of those teachings of the prophets books and it reminded me: Father, I'm really sorry I broke the nicest thing you've ever made, still feel really bad about that.

Love you all, Elder Richmond

 This is the border with Brazil.... super tranquilo...
But it's funny, the elders house there has ALLL Brasilian stuff because it's way cheaper

 In Chuy at the dank buffet! 

 This is my new comp, Elder Cristobal. 

A pic with Elder Balke, now a zone leader. 
I really like talking to him now that I can speak spanish haha.

 The dangerous corner in my area... I don't know why. Really silly.

 We ate Carpincho! Still don't know what it is. 
From what I understand, the biggest rodent that exists.... 

This is gabby, the Branch President's son... SOOOO funny. 
Does the craziest faces at me during church and I have to try and like not laugh. 
This is at soccer one night FYI.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Brandon's Forty Sixth Email! June 20th, 2016

So this week is changes, my comp is going home to Peru, and actually President Cook and Sister Cook go home next Wednesday, and President Eddy and his family will come! 

So random things I wrote down during the week:

I made onion rings, it was cool.. haha looking back at these things now I realize how pointless they are dangit.

I made french fries from potatoes a couple times this week. I need to stop deep frying stuff!!!

My comp borrowed some random person's scale to weigh his bags so I weighed myself. I have lost 10 pounds since I left! Kinda weird! 

My first pair of shoes has a hole worn through the sole... I'm still using them and I'll have to see how my other shoes are to see if I need to get them resoled or ditch them.

We made guiso with two investigators, G and Y. It was really easy and fun and super good! I'm excited to do that when I'm back at college and cooking there haha. Really cheap and good! 

They have tambores in Rocha every Saturday night. They're like these giant drums and they get CRAZY! Like lots of people come and sometimes they make a fire (to heat up the drums) and then they like march but like banging the drums so crazily and it's really entertaining! They also pass by the alley of the church every week while we have a soccer activity, so we get to see them.

So we are in Brasil right now. We came to Chuy or Chui. It's the border town here. So everything is SOOOO cheap! Like I can't believe it! Like almost half, everything! 

We are going to go to a Brazilian buffet with lots of meat and just whatever I guess. I'm really excited, I've heard it is REALLY good.  And other than that they have reallllly cheap ferias or here I think feras hahah. It's funny hearing so much portuguese, like in the supermarket before we came here just like the cashier speaking portuguese hahah. Shout out to Sheridan, that's crazy you speak that now. So funny to picture!!!  And dad, that that was your mission for 2 years speaking that!!! 

So this week, the same investigator came to church and it was super cool! She told us she wasn't going to go and then showed up because the flag ceremony (June 19th in Uruguay) ended early! It was suchhhh a miracle!!! 
She still isn't married, so can't get baptized obviously, but we'll see how that goes! 

So I am going to get a new comp tomorrow!!!
I need to go get him in Montevideo, so I am actually leaving tomorrow morning at like 3:30 am ALONE!!!!!! hahah It's like a 4 hour travel to Monteviedo and I'll go alone, because my new comp is just starting the mission, so I'll tell you next week who he is! Lots of Brazilians and Americans and some Latinos! We could see their names but don't know who has who! I'm really excited though, to travel alone haha just cause that's weird, but more to be able to have a comp who is new and hopefully excited and everything. I'm really scared too but It'll be fun! 
So I'm just scared I'm not going to wake up on time haha, but that'll be so weird to just leave the apartment alone and walk to the bus station and get on it and then be in Montevideo alone! 

We almost got murdered by a dog last night! 
This huge dog on a dark street was barking at a fence and then jumped the fence and was coming at me. My comp didn't notice until it was next to him and I yelled ay! Juiiiiccciooooooo (it scares the dogs) and my comp ran and tripped but the dog was coming at me so it left him and I took off my bag and picked up a rock and was like kicking at it, and it just keep coming so we just sprinted haha.

Anyway, I don't have more time to write, but I'm excited! It's cold. Side note haha.

Top Ten. I forgot to write it before dang

10. Onion rings and other unhealthy food
9. Not getting killed by a dog last night
8. How cheap everything here is, I'm stoked for lunch today
7. Workouts have been going well! Can actually do a couple chin ups now haha
6. President cook was such a good president to start the mission with! So grateful!
5. This was a good change and I'm happy
4. It's really fun being on a mission and studying the scriptures for someone specifically, and then you have a lesson and it helps them
3. Uruguay!!!! Although all the kids smoke weed, I love this country and love my mission call!!!
2. Our investigator coming to church, makes church more fun for me! 
1. I'll have a comp who is new to the mission! That'll be a fun experience! 

Love you all! Be safe, please!!!!
Elder Richmond

Random bus selfie on the way here. 

Weird random house in the city in our area. Super big and old looking. 
I love the architecture here, so random. Like a kilometer away are like humble houses.

Our apartment is LITERALLY right in front of the liceo (high school) those are the front doors. 
So many crazy kids doing wheelies on motos always! 

Pizza I made this week when we didn't have lunch!

 I made egg nog last pday!!! And okay, these are alfajores, like chocolate circle things. 
You can bite on each end and suck milk through it. 
It's super unhealthy but a lot of Americans do it because it's similar to a brownie.
 But we sucked the egg nog through it haha.

 I made tortas fritas (typical of Uruguay)

I took this photo at the tourism post in Rocha. 
The mate, and the gaucho get up. Reminds me more of Paso de los toros.

Brandon's Forty Fifth Email! June 13th, 2016

This is going to be short and sweet haha. 
We were playing soccer today and my lip got split.

On Tuesday we had zone conferences. My comp and I gave a 45 minute workshop, then after we were at the house and my DL was like do you want to do an intercambio so I was just like yeah, and we went to La Paloma and had a really cool day! 

Friday we had an intercambio with the ZL. I stayed in my area and it was a good day.

I've been sick with like a cold and cough, but I think it's on its way out! 

An investigator finally came to church!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Haha I also gave a 20 minute talk on love! It was really nice. She is like 26 and her boyfriend is going to come next week with their kids! She said you had a light when you were talking up there, and I was like yeah they put the lights aimed at the speaker, and she was like no not physical light, and I was like ohhh haha, just read the scrips and that light will always be there! It's so true!!! The scriptures enlighten us!! With God's wisdom, which is always better than man's. I read a lot of my favorite scrips about how we can love others! 

This is the last week of the change, we have pday on Tuesday next week. We are going to chuy or chui in Brasil.  It should be fun! 

It's been cold, today isn't so bad, but I'm kind of used to it. The shower has no curtain and it has a broken window above the shower so it is breeeezy and really cold hahah. 

I've finally gotten back into a good workout routine every morning. Where I actually have time to do everything I want to.

We have been contacting, passing for people, but it's just been really slow. I'm not getting bummed like I did in El Pinar because it's fun doing everything I can. 
I like what Sheridan said in her email last week, it's satisfying knowing I'm doing everything I can to help people, so that's what I'm happy about for now! 

This transfer has gone by SOOO FAST it's crazy. And my boy Joseph Camargo is officially home. And ready to mingle hahah. That's cool!

Top ten.

10. I can make pasta sauce from scratch now!
9. Elder Bauer makes really good banana bread!
8. I'm getting used to being cold!
7. I have gotten to know the area really well in a short time. It's pretty small
6. We cleaned the kitchen realllllly well this week, really nice!
5. The talk by Ezra Taft Benson on pride is amazing!
4. La Paloma was so fun! We got to go up in the lighthouse! 
3. Working out has been fun again
2. I liked preparing for my talk (even though it was 1 day notice) because love is so important in Heavenly Father's plan!
1. We finally had an investigator in church!!!! 

Anyway, I pray for you guys all the time! Love you!
Elder Richmond

 Lighthouse Pictures 

Dead cat

Monday, June 6, 2016

Brandon's Forty Fourth Email! June 6th, 2016

This week was pretty similar to last week!

One funny story to start things off.
We were walking and were trying to talk with EVERYONE haha so there were two girls shoveling dirt and I was like, "Wait, hey do you need help! We can totally shovel that for you."
"No we're fine," she said.
And I was like, "Are you sure, we are free and it'd be real quick." 
And then the other looks up with like crying eyes and said, "We're burying my dead dog! It died! We're good, thanks!"
My comp and I just started walking away like... what are the chances hahah. Really awkward and I feel bad haha.

Also, random question, what's it called when you have a bagel with cream cheese and salmon?

In 2 weeks we want to go to Chuy on p-day. 
It's about a 500 peso round trip, and you go to buy stuff, so mom, in total could I use like 1000 pesos? (33 dollars) 

I got randomly really sick on Friday and was throwing up and really dizzy and just not feeling well at all and Friday is our laundry day so I still had to hang my laundry because if not it would get gross obviously, and we hang our laundry on the side of the house. We have a cord that runs along the house (second story, like 15-18 feet) and the ledge is about 18 inches wide. And I was hanging my laundry this day and was on the ledge inbetween the balconies and got REALLY dizzy like I thought I was going to fall. I rested my head against the wall and closed my eyes just trying to steady myself and was like come on Richmond, this is game time, this is when it counts... then I like made myself get to the balcony haha. Not a good idea, not going out there dizzy again.

This week, we had an intercambio. Elder Larsen the DL came here and it was fine! It was fun with him but the day we kind of did contacts and references because we don't have really a lot of investigators who are steady or legit.
That's been the hardest part of this area, just the lack of progression. We've been working really hard to try and get things going but it's just been slow.

I really enjoy doing contacts always and automatically, it makes it easy. You never need to decide, you just do it.

We found some hopeful potential investigators this week, so we'll see if this week we can find them and follow up! 

It's really cold, like see your breath 24/7, our shower curtain broke and the window is broken so It's SUPER cold haha. But when we sleep the room heats up, which is nice!

I currently have a cold that is really not fun. Headache, stuffy everything, head pressure, but at least I'm not barfing!

We are giving a 45 minute workshop tomorrow in our zone conference but my comp like doesn't want to, so I think I'll pretty much be prepping it all. Wish me luck haha. But it's on Ezra Taft Benson´s talk on pride, which is super cool! Everyone should read it!!!
Rochita could use everyones prayers... so please help us hah. But seriously, prayer is so important. It's cool thinking that members of the church can still pray for a confirmation that these things are true and God will answer them! Everyone should pray! hahah There are so many Catholics here who say they believe in God in their own way. And then say he is there when they need Him or want Him and never more. It's like ummmm....
and then lots say like I say this prayer every day 3 times a day! And then recite a prayer, and I'm always like I think he has heard that prayer a lot! He wants to hear from YOU Manuel!

But everything is great, hope everything at home is great! I pray for you all, I love you all!!! 

Top Ten

10. I stopped barfing!
9. Elder Johnson bought a pull up bar! I'm working on it haha.
8. I bought french fries and they are dank!
7. We made burritos for lunch yesterday (with fries)
6. My over-extensive first aid kit is paying off now
5. Contacts have been super fun this week!
4. I have been ponderizing scriptures and I've actually been able to do it! Quoted one without the LDM yesterday in my testimony for the first time ever!
3. Elder Larsen helped me out so much when I was sick! I had started to cook beans but I like couldn't smell them or I'd barf so he totally did it and it was great!
2. After such a long, bad day of being sick, the ZL came home from Montevideo and had a ton of cards from Sheridan and one from Jessica! They were all so great and comforting and encouraging following such an urt day!
1. Every opportunity that we have to feel that spirit! It is especially true at church! But we can up that even more by prepping ourselves for church! I'm definitely not perfect, but each time I've tried to prep myself and have a good experience, I have! 

I know this church is true. Everyone can know really simply, just read The Book of Mormon and pray and ask if it's true! 

Have a great week!

Elder Richmond

This is Victoria from Paso!!! 
Couldn't return for her baptism but happy it worked out!

 So much mold in our room because it's always damp!!!

 The branch president sells potatoes!!!

 Getting barreled on the mission

 Cool map. Chuy is the border with Brazil and we're going in two weeks for p-day! 
You actually go in Brazil and they have free shops and It's sooo much cheaper than Uruguay!

 We found this sketchy walkway thing! 

 Elder Larsen! 

 Funny writing with bad grammar!

 My comp and me haha

The Elder of Rocha Rocha rama