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.
Livin´ the Dream,
(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!