Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Brandon's Fifty Sixth Email! August 29th, 2016


Don't have much time! haha classic. Going to write like robotic to save time.

We met an american guy from Georgia knocking doors. His spanish was bad! haha he has been here one year. It was dark and we couldn't see, but from his spanish/accent I knew and said where are you from? Which state? He is here because he came here randomly and started his own church haha.

Can you send me the recipe to Jan Castellano's pancakes? The big flat and eggy ones that we'd eat on Sundays sometimes.

The weeks are getting really nice! Friday we left in shirts only and we were sweating! I was loving it!!! Saturday it started raining and stopped last night haha. It rained like 10-12 inches in these days!!! 
We slept on the roof on my birthday, the Tuesday. We all got like wet and it really wasn't that great haha. I didn't sleep at all!!!!!

My b-day was fun! Totally normal actually, we did lots of contacts, and had one really good lesson with M and M... the husband member and investigator wife! She is doing well, stopping smoking with the goals we had set! We had a good lesson and played Uno, like a family night! At home we planned, then I was making cookies and they got 2 liters of ice cream so we had a fun night!! It was an intercambio with Elder Rosales from La Paloma, and it was all good! 

They told us on Tuesday that Elder Johnson and I had to go to Montevideo on Thursday so we left at 5:50 am and got home at 10 pm

President did like a conference there and it was great! So after we had to wait at Tres Cruces for like 2.5 hours and they had a piano in the middle that todos could play. It's like a huge mall/ bus terminal, and Elder Peterson is like a concert pianist, haha literally incredible, and he started playing these crazy compositions and like he is super humble so it was funny as like 50-100 people gathered around the piano to listen and were filming him and everything! It was sooo rad!!!!! Seriously so cool. And we were like handing out some folletos also, it was cool! 

I got a birthday package from Sheridan!!!! It was so sweet!!! It had tons of sweets and awesome things from Brasil!!! I have fotos from this week but don't have time to send them! Also got really cool letters from Sheridan! One said something her Mission Prez says I think that is, "Don't talk about the truth as if it were a lie." 
This message we have is true. God has again restored the COMPLETE gospel of Christ here on the earth. We need to follow it in order to be truly happy, eternally.

I am so grateful that my family has always had this knowledge because this knowledge makes it possible for families to be closer, happier, and chiller knowing that they can always be together if they live how they should! I'm so lucky and grateful!!!

Top Ten not in order!!!

-B-DAY package from Sheridan!!!!
-Good weather for a little!
-I feel like exercises have helped me be stronger in general to walk without getting so tired and stuff.
-Going to the conference in MV with Elder Johnson
-Elder Peterson SHREDDING the piano in front of everyone!!
-Polonio got baptized (area of the ZL). We contacted him right before they met him
-Fun to see him get baptized on Saturday! I directed the meeting haha
-Good lessons with M and M
-We found three new investigators knocking Saturday night in the CRAZY rain!!!!! We introduced ourselves and asked if we could share our message and they were like yeah. We had a sick lesson and gave them a LDM to read! 
-Uplifting letters from Sheridan to stoke me up because the rejection has still been gnarly. I just feel bad for everyone that rejects this happiness. 
-President Eddy is really cool and I like the changes that he is making in the mission; they all make sense!!

Anyway, that's all! I love you all!!!

Elder Richmond

He sent this picture this week but it's from last week!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Brandon's Fifty Fifth Email! August 22nd, 2016

SO the weather has been super good, until Friday night, then it got cold again, but today is really warm. Seriously bipolar but I'M LOVING the warm, so excited to be sweating in the summer again.

Elder Ford called me this week to ask a question about the districts in my zone, but it was so fun talking to him, reminds me how fun Durazno was back when I was over there. He's really cool. The assistants actually work a ton in their area now, so he is happy.

Seriously amazing packages from the Hoffman's and family! I am loaded with goodies!!!! I don't have time to say everything, but it's seriously all treasure here!!!!! So thanks!

This week has been hard to have lessons, we have been met with SO MUCH rejection, it's seriously impressive haha, but at the same time, have seen more miracles to outweigh it. Our investigator, M. is currently quitting smoking and has been killing it!!! We call her every night to verify her goals, and she has been meeting or exceeding them everyday. She shouldn't smoke at all starting Thursday, so maybe she can get baptized next Saturday. Really great to see her honest and sincere effort to be better and trust in the Lord! We give her passages from the B.O.M. to help her have the faith to carry on.

Although she is quitting smoking, I know that we all need faith to carry on, in whatever it might be that we are pursuing, so I'm learning a lot from her. The Book of Mormon teaches of Christ and what we can do to better follow him! SHARE IT! Seriously nobody actually knows what it is. Everyone calls it Smith's book or our version of the Bible or stuff like that. We need to help people understand what it really is, because I know in the states almost nobody knows what it really is either haha. Almost funny sometimes.

Postitive note: Many people with whom we had planned lessons did not discard the pamphlets when they told us they wanted nothing, and gave them back to us in usable condition haha.

My companion is good. 

We are working well and working hard, not getting discouraged even though it's been a little hard. 

I feel really blessed with the love I feel for some random people sometimes. Sometimes it hits me hard and I realize it's just a blessing for being on a mission.
I had had one experience like this before my mission, praying for somebody who I didn't necessarily like, but now even when people are jerks I don't get annoyed.

Top Ten.

10. We have temple conference in like a few weeks.
9. Weather warming up!!!!
8. I love being a missionary. Studying, talking and sharing; It's just fun.
7. I love the Uruguayan expressions and sayings. Not sure how I'll say some stuff when I return.
6. JESSICA GOT MURRIED!!!!! Doesn't feel real but whatever haha
5. The power of the B.O.M. to make righteous decisions
4. I was looking back on my mission journal. I'm really glad I decided to write every single day, it's awesome having it.
3. All of the crazy amount of treats I have.... fat.
2. Gastòn and Yesica came to church together as a family!!!!! For the first time in like 6 months!!!
1. The progress that M. has shown!!!!! SO legit! 

Love you, 

Elder Richmond

Brandon says these pics are 4 weeks worth of pics. Also, they download in random order so the captions don't always make sense with the sequence!

 Fotos from the DANK Brazilian place 3 weeks ago! 

 One sendoff night for the elders 3 weeks ago

 Elder Cruz, new Zone Leader

My comp always lays down when we have 1 spare second

 Fun MOA copy sandwich I made 2 weeks ago

 Moldy belt!!!! SOOO MOLDY!!! I have to shine it

 We walk a lot haha

 My package attack

 I made my comp make Tortas Fritas with me last week 
because he always just wants to lay down haha

 Last p-day in La Paloma! We played soccer and rugby! 

 My package! New insoles! SAMBAS!!! So stoked on everything!!!

 The La Paloma chapel!!!

 The district minus the Zone Leaders who are also in our zone

 Meat sauce I always make because we never have lunch two days a week haha

 My new agenda! The DON haha nobody will understand why it's funny.

 Thanks for the tie Hoffman Family!!!!!! And the rest of the package! So many yummy treats!!! 

 A seafood lunch we were given, testing me haha

 Chorizo last night. 
We had some really old chorizo frozen and wanted to use it

Brandon's Fifty Fourth Email! August 15th, 2016

Hey Family!!!!!

So not a lot of time to write (every week right?)

Some like 8 year old kid in the street open hand slapped my comp straight in the face this week! We were knocking a door and he came up and started hugging us and we were like hey stop what are you doing and he looks up at my comp and slaps him and I was like HEY! Where's your mom, walk back to your mom. And my comp luckily stayed calm, but super lame haha. Really random

Just a random fact. I eat oatmeal and soy protein for breakfast. Who would've thought they'd see the day... kind of gross but cheap and filling.

Every adolescent here plays "Pokemon go," like you track Pokemons on your smart phone.. so literally everyone is running around looking at their phone. Is that a thing in the states?

I got so many fun surprises this week!!!!! So Tuesday I got a lot of letters from Sher, cause they hadn't delivered them for a while... so that was one.

Then Thursday night we arrived at home, and on the floor there is a MEGA package from mom and the fam, ANOTHER package from the Hoffman's, and one bonus cards from Sher hahah!!!!! Seriously it was like Christmas, or my B-day hahah so thank you everyone, really unexpected and fun!

I can now do a Rubrik's cube in like 3 minutes haha not going to be my thing ever.

I'm so excited to hear about all the crazy stuff going on at home. I don't have any more single friends haha 

This week was a little slow for different meetings or stuff but our investigator M. is totally progressing!!! She came to church for 3 hours, is reading and praying, and is praying about a baptismal date for the 27th! We've had really good, spiritual charlas (NO idea what he means here) with her!!!!

Okay I don't have time, but I feel like my testimony is growing so much as I read and study each day, and that's something I'll never stop doing. I'm so grateful for the scriptures, and the living prophets that we have on the Earth! I love this perfect gospel!!! I love the sacrifice Christ made for each of us!!!

Top Ten

10.  I made lunch (Sat and Sun) of rice, beans, chorizo, and fried potatoes and it was dank!
9. The weather has been a lilttle warmer randomly this week!!!!
8. Fun intercambio with Elder Sarkady here in Rocha this week
7. La Paloma activity that we're going to have today! (Play futbol, football, and rugby on the beach)
6. The letters I got are so happy and encouraging
5. Packages I got this week
4. We had lessons with some members that we've never been able to have lessons with before!
3. We had 3 investigators in church for 3 hours! 
2. M. is progressing so much spiritually towards her baptism
1. Jessica gets married in 6 days!!!! WHAT THE!

I love you all, thanks for all of the support
Elder Richmond

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Brandon's Fifty Third Email! August 8th, 2016

Hey family....
So I took out my belt after about a month in the closet. SOOOO moldy and nasty. Thank you San Diego for not being so humid. The city would look so much different here without mold. Everything white is grey.

So last week on Tuesday after I emailed we went to a brazilian meat house and I had the best food of my mission and maybe the best meat of my life. For sure something super unique. A really fun experience... I had a really fun p-day last week, and it was fun talking to people who speak portuguese, I was messing around and saying some stuff because a man in a store couldn't understand spanish really.

So Wednesday morning we woke up at 4am to go to the bus station and help with luggage for Elder Delgado and Elder Perry. It was sad saying bye to them! They were like my two closest friends in the zone, and Elder Delgado is gone gone so I won't see him again. He wrote me though and is super nice. He told me, "Look on your desk when you get home," and he had left me a super cool tie and an Uruguay cup! Super nice!

Hymn number 226. In english. I was reading the hymnbook a little after Sher's last email and I felt like this hymn was chastising me for complaining about the winter, so I take it all back! hahah 

I got my suitcase fixed by a less active member for 100 pesos!!!!!!!!!! If you can't get them to church, I guess you haven't failed if they save your life when it comes to transfers! 100 pesos is like 3 dollars and 30 cents, so nothing. He fixed like all of the zippers.

My comp emailed President last week and included the pregunta aceca de mate and the mission president said there is no rule he has seen that says we can't drink it so we are like allowed to drink it now! hahah funny, I don't even really want to drink it because it messes up your teeth if you don't brush right after, but just a fun lil change.

This week Mirna came to church again and is super legit! Other than her we have been visiting other people who haven't been following through with what they said they'll do, so we'll try and help them do those things so they can also know that this church is true!!!

I'm loving the Book of Mormon, reading it in lessons more, in contacts more, I've been carrying it always in my hand and it's helped haha.

I don't know, I wouldn't say we've had tons of success in this area like my last, but I'm happier by a million times than I was in El Pinar because I know that if I'm doing everything I can, that's okay, and that is what's asked of me. I have told so many people about the scriptures and Jesus and I know that that is something that can help all of them. Obviously it's sad seeing people reject something that would help them so much, but maybe they'll accept it later. I'm happy that I've been able to realize what are the things I can do and what are the things other people need to do. I am still excited for this 5 weeks here to be able and try and do everything so that we can help all of the people we've talked to be able to go to church! We can always do a little more!

Top Ten.

10. It's been kind of warmish some days!
9. The bathroom is getting more complete and won't be nasty!
8. I made a dank sandwich they sell in the MOA that I thought was nasty when Sheridan first showed it to me, but now I love it. Apples, ham and cheese and like cinnamon. I probably didn't make it right but it was good! 
7. Fun things at home. I think every person I know got or is getting married this summer.
6. I got a new missionary agenda, love getting a lil fresh start every 6 weeks 
5. The DANK lunch in Brasilllllll
4. My comp completed his first change in the mission!!!
3. We found a new investigator last night. We arrived after he had heard about his friend passing away and it wasn't a coincidence
2. The Book of Mormon is such a special and unique book
1. Mirna is progressing a ton! We are going to invite her to be baptized on a specific date in our next lesson

Love you all, love Uruguay,

Elder Richmond

Bathroom destroyed

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Brandon's Fifty Second Email! August 2nd, 2016

Hey family and friends,

We are in Chui, Brasil ahora and we will be here for p-day!

We had p-day today because it is the week of changes (my comp and I stay).

We got vaccinations this week from the mission. It was funny, Sister Paul (a missionary who studied medicine before and is the mission nurse) gave us the shots. 

We had two investigators in church, and one is really cool. She is totally reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it and I think that she will get baptized. 

We use the Book of Mormon like always now, contacts, every lesson, like everything and it's great because the Book of Mormon is great! It's the word of God that teaches us the truth! 

Elder Delgado (my Ecuadorian friend) is going home tomorrow! I'm sad because he is super fun and funny and we're good friends. He was trained by Elder Rae also! So that's kind of all that I really have to write this week, but a ton of crazy stuff happened. We had a lot of great lessons but it's stuff I wrote in my journal. I am really loving it here, except the cold, and the mold. Tang here is 6 pesos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So cheap!!!! 

Anyway, I love you guys! Totally didn't think of anything to write for my top ten. Oh they totally are destroying the bathroom in the house right now because it was leaking so there is a little short guy in the house working right now haha.

Top ten not in order! 

Chui cheapness! 28 pesos for a loaf of sliced bread, in Rocha it is 120 pesos!
Sheridan hit 6 months
My comp is doing well, talking more etc.
Made garlic bread yesterday (really exciting I know)
Mirna is really reading and studying and learning from the Book of Mormon and you see it in her. Coming to church on her own account and everything.
We will have a new bathroom!
Going to eat a really good lunch today!
Some people this week said "sos Uruguayo no?" So they thought I spoke well haha. On the other hand, some lady said "I don't understand a word you say from your North American mouth." haha 
We handed out LOTS of Book of Mormons this week
My family is doing great and that's always nice to hear! 

Love you guys!

Elder Richmond

 Tons of oil in the supermarket 

 Kisses cookies


 Random things

 Cinnamon rolls

We have to have a chair on this button so the oven works, super annoying