Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Brandon's Eighty Ninth Email! April 22nd, 2017

So this week or last the weather has changed a lot and it's totally like leaves are falling, cold in the morning and at night, and kind of raining more. Clothes super hard to dry and everything. We've been wearing sweaters this week! Crazy!! 

So last Sunday, Easter Sunday we had one of the best days of my mission. We actually had soooo much to do, but the Eddys invited us and the other elders from our home over for dinner and a message. So We went to the offices to work, went home and got the elders, went to dinner and it was great, then they asked Elder Vanderlinden to share a spiritual experience from the mission, Elder Peterson to play a piano song, and us to share an easter message. It was really great, with his parents there also, and it was really spiritual there in the mission home. Then President talked for like 15 minutes and it was really awesome to hear from him, his testimony and some thoughts he shared with us about serving the Lord throughout all of our lives. It was something I'll never forget...

Then we took the missionaries home and went back to the offices. We finished all of our work, and got in bed at 1.30am! I was so tired the next morning when we woke up at 5:30 to get ready for the meeting. It all went well though and we had our presentation all ready and it was good. I love the Book of Mormon, I will use it and the Bible all my life as a guide!!! 

Also, we had normal days Tuesday through Thursday.... 3 days in a row!! Normal! It was so weird!!! Like all day in our area! It was awesome, we got so much done! I didn't drive in three days, no office for three days, it was really interesting!! It was also the last time this whole transfer that we will work in the morning!!! Every day this transfer T-F we have a conference, Mondays we go early to do the calls to ZL, and Sat is p-day, and Sundays are church! So like 4.5 weeks with no mornings, kinda sad! 

Conferences start this Tuesday and we'll have them till Friday! And in 3 weeks A GA(General Authority) 70 is coming to our mission to do a three day mission tour!! It'll be really fun! 

So we had miracles this week!! I'm so pumped! Like I've gotten a lot better at wanting the best for people, but not beating myself up too much if THEY don't want the best for themselves.

So on Wednesday we met a woman named Sonia, like 60 years old, and she opened up to us and told us about a lot of sad things in her life. We gave her a Book of Mormon and read a bit together, and invited her to read it and pray about it, ask God if it's true, also to come to this South America Broadcast from Elder Nelson that happened that night at 8pm. She totally came, and we gave her a tour of the chapel and she told us that she had already been reading, and had ALREADY received her answer, she was pumped! She wants to get baptized on the 20th of May. We visited her yesterday and had another great lesson, and she is coming to church tomorrow if everything goes right! 

So the family we teach, the parents Martín and Yenney went to the marriage office and made the request for their marriage!!! Now they have to wait 9 business days and go back, but we're so excited for them, they all came to church on Sunday also! They are planning on getting baptized on the 20th of May also.

Sonia has introduced us and talked about us to a ton of neighbors! I think we'll have a teaching pool of a bunch of nice elderly ladies now!! Haha very fun. We've had great spiritual lessons lately reading about our Savior in the Book of Mormon! I love that book so much that teaches us about the greatness of Christ, and the love of God!! 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!! I love you!!!! You are the best and I'm glad you had a good birthday!! You're the best mom in the whole world and I'm so lucky!!!! 

Love you all, hope that all is well, if it's not, just keep pushing on and do what you know you should! 

Elder Richmond 

 I think that it is so cool how dry beans can become refried beans!! Like they change so much! 

We were teaching a guy about Christ inviting us to make changes in our life, and how that makes us happier. 
We talked about how smoking had been a negative thing in his life and we asked him to stop smoking and he said he'd try, so he let us take his stuff away so at least that day he couldn't smoke, so we took it home and threw it all away. The boxes here have gross sicknesses on them that you can get from smoking, but it still doesn't stop anyone. 

 Rainy day in our area. 
We like never take pictures so we took my camera one day 

 This cool little lookout point we stopped to this morning,
 in between the offices and the Mission home
It's called Malvín beach

Monday, April 17, 2017

Brandon's Eighty Eighth Email! April 15th, 2017

This week was the week of transfers, starting with last Sunday we had the last meeting to finalize transfers, then a DANK dinner with the Eddys, including President's parents who are in town, and they are so nice it's insane. Like so service oriented and just wow, good people. We had enchiladas with all of the great toppings you could think of. 

Monday we had our meetings and it all went well, we had lots of calls to make afterwards in prep for the changes, and it all worked out well. It is kind of long for me when we have to call people, but it's nice when everything goes according to the plans. So a new sister was coming and her plane got messed up so they told us she'd get there at 9am Wednesday, which was a nice little curveball, because she'd miss all of the new missionary orientation. So Tuesday morning we went and picked up the other three new missionaries with the Eddys, brought them to Carrasco, had all of the new missionary stuff which went well. They are all really cool and nice. We had lunch, then the presentations, then dinner and it was all so good! Then after we got to play basketball with the office elders, Brandon and Jake, and the new elder, who was super good. It was so fun!! Then we finished and met with President for the trainer assignments to the new missionaries, which was really fast because there are only 4, and then we slept at the hostle. Wednesday morning we did the trainer training meeting, then the other sister got there. They met their trainers and they went off to Tres Cruces. The sister that arrived, and her trainer stayed and we did all of the new missionary stuff over again with her haha. It would be awkward but she was a good sport and it went well. 

After, someone else picked them up and took them to the doctor and to their area. We stayed and were with the finishing missionaries for lunch, then went to the offices to prepare a few things, then back to our area. We had a great lesson with Yenney, then we had a ward family night, super great, Michel's mom came!!! Then we headed back to Carrasco to get the sisters and take them to a house in Malvin to stay the night. The Eddys have the dinner with the ending missionaries that night and they always leave food for us. Breaded chicken breast and mashed potatoes, and dank bread!! YUM. We didn't think we were going to be able to, but we got to be in the hostle that night too. We had to wake up at 3 am this time, which is better than last change, and take people to the airport. Then at 10, then at like 2. So spread out throughout the day. It all worked out great though, no problems. 

That night we had a great lesson with Martín, and he showed us his suit he has to get married to Yenney, that they've been wanting to do for a while. We are like trying to push them to do the things to actually get married, (go to the offices etc.) but he was super awesome.

Friday we had a good day. We had lessons with some people we haven't met with for a while because of our schedule, and they're doing well. We had invited everyone to be baptized and set a lot of dates yesterday. 

Today we had p-day and played ping pong and made burritos... Super relaxed and fun! 

I love reading the Bible and Book of Mormon. I feel like the Bible gives us such a good example of Jesus to follow, and the Book of Mormon explains really simply why Jesus is so important and how he fits into everything. The two together clarify everything!! 

I love being here and knowing and learning about the simple fact that if we are willing to own up to our deficiencies and improve, accepting Christ as the way to do it, being baptized and honoring that decision, we can be forever happy! Like I am happy doing a lot of things, surfing, biking, being with friends... but nothing other than this gospel will bring lasting happiness!

Thanks family, especially Christie and Daniel for having precious babies! #JackandMilesforprez

Love you, Elder Richmond

 My shoes are dead. I retired them two nights ago. 

 My comp made Chilaquiles... so dank!! 

 Today my comp made burritos of pork with jalapeños (we found them here!!!!!!!)
So dank!!! 

 Sunday night goodbye dinner for Elder Montiel

On Tuesday night after the new missionaries got there, Brandon wanted to play a little basketball with the one new elder (actually from Uruguay, he is going to Salt Lake, and is waiting for his visa. He played on the Urugayan national youth basketball team and is really good.) And it was only 8, and it's kind of just rest time for the new missionaries, so President said we could play for a little before the meeting we were going to have with him, and we played for like 45 minutes and it was sooo fun!!!! Like the first thing not planned that I have done in so long!! And President and Sister Eddy and President's parents came out with chairs and watched and it was really fun! 

We like played full on (half-court) even in our suit clothes, it was funny haha. The new elder is on the far right! 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Brandon's Eighty Seventh Email! April 8th, 2017

Hey family!

So we had a good week, we had intercambios like each day so it is a little confusing for me because I really only know about half of what's going on... But good! We found some new people to teach, we have had some good lessons with the father of this family with 9 kids, which is really crazy, but he is really loving and he puts his kids in highest priority which is really cool to see in a time when we don't really see it that much.

I think I'm a little bit annoyed because yesterday during the afternoon there were SO many hoodrats everywhere just hassling us and making the day kind of hard. Even like on our way home, like 9:20 some kids starting throwing like huge chunks of cement at us. I was annoyed, just trying to practice patience and humility because naturally I'd really love to go and tell them to stop or to make them stop. It's amazing how big of a difference parents can make or not make in the lives of their children. I have never met a kid that throws stuff at us with two loving parents at home who teach them correct principles. I have seen kids without that that still choose a better way, so overall there is more to be grateful for, but I just feel bad for these kids that unless they change something, they will be adults in 20 years doing the same stuff, in the same place, with the same challenges.

I have been making a point of studying more the teachings of Jesus Christ and his examples lately in my studies, and it's been really helping me and I've been feeling really peaceful as I read it. Like of all of the little little things that pass each day, I'm very, very blessed. I love the scriptures because they teach us about our best example, Jesus Christ. Easter is coming up and it's a great moment to reflect a little bit on the effect that we let the life of Christ have in our lives. If we let it, it will guide and shape our lives. We will be his disciples, and we will be happy! Those videos on mormon.org are awesome! 

We have transfers coming up this Wednesday, so we will start to have that stuff to do again. I'll keep it more brief because you've already heard it thee times, but we'll go over changes tomorrow afternoon, have dinner with the Eddys and the office elders. Then Monday we do a lot of preparations for changes like calls, etc. Tuesday the new missionaries arrive and it's really fun, but this change only 4 come so it'll be a little bit unique. We'll do the presentations for them, then for their trainers, then they go off. The leaving missionaries get here, which there'll be six, and we take them to the airport on Thursday. The first ones leave at 5 am, so a lot later than last time, and that'll be it. We'll have a meeting in preparation for the leadership meeting next week so we can prepare our workshop, and apart from that it'll be a normal week! Haha, it's always really interesting and it goes by really fast. It's hard because we won't be in our area much at all and so we'll try and keep some of our stuff alive by calling and talking to our investigators.

I have a pair of shoes I think I'm going to retire tonight, they're pretty jank. I had them on the other day and a little boy said, tus zapatos están rotos, vos no tenés otros? And that kind of killed me haha. 

This week we had to go to ciudad vieja so my comp and Elder Ucañaan, the secretary could pick up their cédulas. So Elder Childs and I got a smoothie at this place called tropical smoothie. I guess it's in the states, and it was really good!! That was a fun little treat for sure, and after a meeting with President yesterday they treated us to pizza and it was the best pizza I've had in 20 months!!! It was so dank! Like extreme pizza, that place that closed down by home.

I got to do an intercambio with Elder Vallecillos on Tuesday and it was really fun, he was a really good comp, like a really good buddy. It'll be fun to see all of them of those that are going up to Utah for school.  

Top ten not in order

10. That pizzaaaa
9. Thanks Christie for registering for me! 
8. Intercambio with Elder Vallecillos
7. Tropical smoothie
6. Another transfer week coming up
5. Teaching people how to repent and follow Christ is so gratifying when they see the improvement
4. We should have various people at church tomorrow
3. General conference was great and has been helping a lot my studies 
2. God protects us from all of the dogs and gurises that toss us things
1. I actually got to do excersizes this week!! haha it feels really good to feel sore

Those aren't in order right? 

Well, I love you all, have a good week,

Elder Richmond

 The above pics are at hat place Cuidad Vieja. 
We had to park in the center plaza independencia... pretty cool. 
It's so crowded there it's crazy! 

 The tallest building in South America at one point I think.... idk

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Brandon's Eighty Sixth Email! April 3rd, 2017

So, Uruguay's most famous person, the soccer player, Luis Suarez... I saw him last week driving his car... It was really funny... I was like I think I just saw Luis Suarez... his face is EVERYwhere here so it was funny to actually see him in real life. He was driving a really nice Audi drinking mate with a friend.

A couple weeks ago we had an asado and it was super good, BUT, we also ate cow intestine... It was pretty ehhhhh... I don't know why but it had a really weird taste! 

This week was good. As I said last week, on Tuesday we got up early and went to 33, had the conference, did divisions there with the ZL, then went to Melo, did divisions, and spent the night there. In the morning we continued divisions, then made the long drive home to Montevideo! 

We had a really good day on Thursday..
Wait, so last Sunday the family we started to teach with 4 kids (from the cake) came to church and really liked it! It was awesome. They left a little early because the kids were getting a little crazy but the kids and the parents loved it so much! They are like totally planning on getting married, they started quitting smoking, so that they can get baptized! But the lady, Yenny, introduced us to her neighbors and we had a lesson with them and they also were very receptive so that was awesome that Yenny liked it so much she already wants to share with her friends! The kids are really cute.. We went over there and the 8 year old Lucia jumped up so happy and ran over and hugged us and was like, "Are we going to talk more about Jesus?" And it was so precious! 

So very sadly they didn't come to conference this week because they legit had nothing for their kids to eat... They totally had said they were coming, planned on it, the night before we had a great lesson, but then they left to go try and find food for the kids. Very sad for a couple reasons! I know that when they make the firm decision to always go to church that God will bless them with their needs.

We only had one person come to conference which is so sad because it was SO awesome!!! I loved it. I felt a lot of impressions, like things that I thought God wanted me to learn from the things that were being said. I am excited to review my notes and apply the things I felt! I think that it is so special that we have a prophet and apostles to do this work! They can help guide us just in the way that the prophets of old did it. 

We rearranged our house on Saturday morning during our half p-day and now I'm writing during my other half... on a Monday which is super weird!! I do not feel well at all right now which is always annoying, but as Elder Peterson says, "There are worse things," haha.

Shoutout to my family for trying to figure out BYU classes and getting all that fun stuff figured out! I also made a voice thing but somebody took my connecting cord so shoutout to them too! 

This week we have intercambios each day, it'll be fun! It goes by really, really quickly! I can't believe we are already in the last full week of this transfer!! My comp only has 7 weeks left! That's pretty sad! 

Also Shoutout to Sheridan for teaching and baptizing like 5 million people! So exciting to see so many people changing their lives like that! 

I've been reading the teachings of Jesus from the New Testament lately and I like seeing how the Book of Mormon does not add or take away anything from the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught in the Bible! 

I love being a missionary for the true church of Jesus Christ. Feeling like I am doing the best I can to serve Him who has saved us is a good feeling. 

Love you all!! 

Elder Richmond

 The night of President's birthday!