Another Week Bites the Dust-(Tucuman) – Week 13 (somehow we got off track)

Hmmmm. So you can basically guarantee that I will be surprised at how fast the week has gone by every single week. So I’m not going to say it anymore haha!

Nothing too crazy happened this week so I´m going to talk about the culture. Sound good?
Bueno. So how can I describe Argentine culture. Different. Yup sounds about right.
People: The people are very very open to talk and receive you in their home. Your average street contact is about 30 seconds and it goes something like this.
“Hola! Que tal? Mi nombre es élder Brundage y mi compañero es Elder Huaman. (Hello! How are you?
Cual es su nombre disculpe? (standard latin name or some italian name like alfredo) Bueno. Un gusto a conocerle. Somos misioneros y compartimos un mensaje sobre JesuCristo con las familias y nos gustaría conocer usted y su familia. Esta bien si puntamos sus direcciones para visitarle? Bueno, vamos a estar pasando! Ciao”
Boom. It’s literally that easy. But when we get to their house it’s a little different because they are “busy” or something other. Most of all these people are good and they have their problems and struggles but they are so good. Love em.
Flip I have like two minutes left.
Here´s what I know. I don’t know a lot of things, but these things I know.
I know God loves us and wants us to be happy. I know he sent his son Jesus Christ to atone for the sins of the world and because he did that, we can do anything. I know I can do this work because I have been called by a living prophet of God to do it and I have the Savior and the right on my side.
Love you all! Miss you tons!
-Élder Brundage
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¿Hoy día es Lunes ya? (Is it Monday Already?)-(Tucuman)–Week 11

So weird that its already Monday. I feel like nothing has happened…

Another week in the life of a missionary I guess!
Recap of last week: So I went to Salta to take care of my visa there and on the way back we were on a collectivo (bus) and we saw these federal policemen on the side of the road and Elder Huaman explained that they were federal police and in the past they have asked Elders for documents to show they’re legal and if they don’t have anything they got taken in for a bit until Presidente could call or send someone. And I didn’t have jack squat because all my stuff is in Salta. So these policemen stop the collectivo and board the bus, one of them is staring at me (and i’m just sitting there trying not to look like a gringo) and we make eye contact, I smile, a second passes with more eye contact… and he smiles and moves on. Whew. Hahaha my brush with the police.
-The investigador that left is still lost haha. We haven’t been able to find him or his family for the past week. What’s crazy is they were so prepared.  But what are you gonna do? That is the life.
Tucumano Basico de la Semana: Chegusan=Sandwich
Investigadores: Our golden boy is Bruno Bonanno, big dude, father of 4 hijas. He was supposed to be baptized this Saturday the 26th but he was sick so he couldn’t do it so he has to wait until the 10th of October along with one of his daughters Jessica. He is incredible! He stopped drinking, stopped smoking, reads every day, and is happier than he’s ever been. And something that is incredible is that he understands repentance. He told us last night that he’s going to repent because he couldn’t go to church. Elder Huaman said that nobody in his entire mission has ever said anything like that. Incredible that man.
Crap i dont have time to explain others. But to answer a question of my mom, we have tons of baptismal dates but it is EXTREMELY common that they don’t happen on the day because they have to attend church 3 times. If we baptized every person we set a date with, we would have like 20 baptisms by now. So it’s a little sucky that we aren’t having the success we really want but it will come. October will be a golden month!!! Vamos a bautizar cada semana si somos fieles!
I speak spanish pretty dang well for my time here but I need to have a larger vocabulary so I´m working on that. Ummm yeah. Love you all sooooo much!
Livin´ the Dream,
-Élder Brundage

(His District-I'm assuming)

(His District-I’m assuming)

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Empanada!

Empanada!

1 Month Down Son-(Tucuman)-Week 10

Hey everyone! I have like 5 minutes so yeah.
This week was good but nothing really incredible or horrible happened haha! Just another week in the service of the Lord! No biggie. I honestly can’t believe that I have a month in the field. Too crazy. It’s amazing how fast time flies when you are working hard.
Our investigators are doing well! We had 3 in church this week and it was awesome. The gospel principles class just so happened to be about tithing and I was thinking “are you flipping kidding me?” We hadn’t taught theses particular investigadores about tithing yet. But it was extremely spiritual and they both said after that they loved the lesson and understood completely the importance of tithing. What a miracle huh! Their faith is INCREDIBLE.
So I’m just going to give you little teasers of stories you’re going to hear for next week. Sorry I can´t tell them today! Like seriously….sorry
-I almost got taken in by the federal police
-An investigator came to church with us, went to the bathroom, and just straight up left. There’s more, trust me.
Now something spiritual: President Monson: “As we strive to place Christ at the center of our lives by learning His words, by following His teachings, and by walking in His path, He has promised to share with us the eternal life that He died to gain. There is no higher end than this, that we should choose to accept His discipline and become His disciples and do his work throughout our lives. Nothing else, no other choice we make, can make of us what He can.”
Love you all so much!!!!!
Livin´ the Dream,
Élder Brundage
P.S.  Elder Huaman told me one morning that I was talking in my sleep and I asked him “english or spanish?” and he said “about half and half” Wooooohoooo progress!

Tucumano Basico and One Heck of A Week–(Tucuman) Week 9

Hey Everybody!!!

All is well down here in Tucuman! I´ve decided that because castellano in Tucuman is so weird I’m going to include one bit of “Tucumano Basico” that I learn each week!

Tucumano Basico Week 1: Mata-Burro=Diccionario=Dictionary (Tucumano=Spanish=English)
Anyways I’m going to write the regular stuff and then the spiritual.
Just so you all know I’m the same weird Braden (that’s Elder Brundage to you) you know and love.  I am including one of my random thoughts this week. So, people here clean in front of their house with a bucket of water and a long squeegee and they just push the water like a push broom. So we were wating for a collectivo (public bus) and I see this lady push water with her squeegee with one hand, arm fully extended, and her back foot comes off the ground and the first thing that I thought was “Man, she would be a heck of a shuffleboard player” hahahahaha yeah…
Other random stuff in list form:
-I went on Divisiones on Wednesday and I learned some stuff: 1. Our apartment is probably the best in the whole mission ¨(not even kidding, 20 or so missionaries have said so) 2. Elder Huaman is an amazing teacher and 3. Some people go their whole missions sounding like gringos :´(
-Everybody has like at least 4 cats and some days im dyyying
-Another bit of tucumano basico. usually carro=car but here auto=car and carros are horse drawn carts which are everywhere lol
– The stray dogs are the extremely nice fun dogs and the ones who have spent their lives behind a fence are the devil and want to kill you
-Friday was the 20th anniversary del Barrio Parque Guillermina and there was a dance/activity. We stopped by for a bit and the music was BLASTING  and they had a HUGE subwoofer and at one point the song “Shots” came on and I asked the DJ (an elder about to report for his mission) “Sabe que significa Shots?” y el me dijo “Sí pero no hay nadie aqua que sabe” (Do you know what this song is about? Yes, but no one here does.) hahahaha
Anyways, spiritual stuff.
This week was Great and I know why. I recognized a fatal flaw in what I was doing, corrected it, and strove to be better at it and the blessings came.  Joseph Smith said “No man can preach the Gospel without the Holy Ghost” No exceptions. I felt that absence last week. I couldn’t speak, I was exhausted, and I couldn’t find joy in the work. So I self evaluated and nothing really happened in me until I read these words in PME Ch. 4 ” If we do not heed the gentle feeling, the spirit will withdraw and wait until we come seeking and listening and say in our manner… “speak Lord for thy servant heareth”. And also an explanation of what is a spiritual prompting from President Hinckley. The words hit me like a ton of bricks. All those times I passed a house and thought about knocking it but didn’t because I was afraid to fail, or in a lesson and something popped up in my head but I didn’t say it for one reason or another, were promptings of the spirit. Plain and Simple. I was praying everyday to be led to those who are prepared for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but I wouldn’t let Him lead me. So I made a promise in a prayer at that moment. “Give me those promptings again and they won’t go unheard and I will not fail to do them”. The promptings came once again and we contacted like mad because I couldn’t seem to pass by these houses and not offer them our message. I spoke whatever thoughts that pressed in my mind in lessons and I found that I could speak well and without fear, and my words had a power like they hadn’t before.
It is “by their fruits ye shall know them” and the fruits of the spirit are now present and they are sweet and delicious and fill me like no other thing can. I have started to feel real, genuine love for these people like I hadn’t before. It´s a new dawn in my mission and I´m glad that it only took 3 weeks to figure out!
I´m so grateful for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this work because it makes all the difference. I know that God love us, his children, and for that he gave his son to suffer and die for all the sins, pains, and grief of the world. God´s work is progressing and I can’t believe that I’ve been called of Him to help in it.
¡VIVA ARGENTINA!
Livin´ the Dream,
Élder Brundage
(I asked what he does on PDays.  Here is his response:  wake up, clean, play futbol with other elders, wash clothes, eat lunch, study, write, work, sleep. Yep!

Podéis sentir esto ahora? (Can you feel so now?) (Tucuman) Week 8

Well here´s to another week in Argentina!

No lie, this was a long week. (There are no bad weeks/days, only long ones). Every time we feel like we finally have made a breakthrough with an investigator/less active/ Recent convert (almost always less active as well, something comes up and their progress is slowed or stopped. BUT there is ALWAYS something good about every day and week. We only had 1 investigator in church this week which is much less than we want, BUT we rejoice in the fact that Bruno Bonano has that desire to learn more about The Savior! Enough so that he postponed work to go to church with us. It’s an amazing thing and I can see how the Gospel of Jesus Christ is changing him and (part) of his family.
So in our mission we strive to be “360 degree missionaries” meaning we don’t just work to baptize, we strengthen the barrio (ward) by working with less actives and trying to get them back to church, and with Conversos recientes (recent converts) to keep them in the church. So we work a lot with less actives, of which there are many, and I’ve seen a pattern in why they have stopped going to church, believing, etc. They have gone inactive because the Gospel lost its luster for them. They forgot the feelings of peace and joy that they found in the church. And above all, they were complacent in their conscious efforts to become better every day through the atonement of Jesus Christ. So I ask all of you: What are you doing right now to become better than you were before? And what are you doing right now in order to feel the joy that comes from internal progress through the Gospel and especially the Atonement of Jesus Christ? Missions aren’t about numbers but we still keep track because we cannot afford to be complacent in this work. It´s the same in all of our lives. If we are not constantly self examining and striving to improve and be better, then we become complacent believers and none of us can afford to do that. It says in Alma 5:26 “Y ahora os digo, hermanos míos, si habéis experimentado un cambio en el corazón, y si habéis sentido el deseo de cantar la canción del amor que redime, quisiera preguntaros: ¿ Podéis sentir esto ahora?” which in english is “And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?” We need to always be striving to be better and thus renewing our love and testimony of the love and power of The Savior. That is my challenge to you all. Look at your lives and see what you can do better, then do it! Always call upon the power of the Savior and his atonement to help you in your efforts. He will never let you down! I love you all and I know that this Gospel is true. Jesus Christ is the head of this church and leads it today through the prophet Thomas S. Monson. I love you all!
Livin´ the Dream,
-Elder Brundage
(Answering some of mom’s questions)

P.S.  -I bought toilet paper and I am a happy man!

-The reason that the bathroom was all messed up was because there was something stuck in the drain. The plumber pulled it up and IT WAS A BAT. LIKE WITH WINGS AND SUCH. Anyways our shower works perfectly now!

-Sorry for the lack of pics, I can’t take pictures during proselyting so I don’t have any good ones haha!
-Spanish is hard, Castellano is harder, and Tucumano Castellano is flipping nuts but I´m getting it haha!

-I have tried an empanada and it was bomb but i’ve only had one so that stinks

– At home I only drink filtered water but I can’t do that outside. so I’ve had a lot of water and juice (water with flavor packets) but everything’s good so I’m happy about that haha