¿Cómo te puedo explicar? (Tucuman) – Week 17

Hola!

Bueno, cómo te puedo explicar que nada pasó esta semana? (how can I explain to you that nothing happened this week)
Yep basically nothing really exciting happened this week. We have a LOT of new investigators this week because basically all of our regulars aren’t progressing so we’ve had to leave a lot of them behind and focus on other people out there that can progress and are prepared to accept the gospel in their lives. We were able to find 14 new investigators this week which is a pretty dang good number (6 more than our goal this week) and there’s a lot of new people really interested and prepared to receive the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives.
Since nothing really happened I´m going to explain one part of the culture here that is pretty funny and great. Something that is huge here are parties. Whatever kind of party you can think of there will be a ton of people, alcohol, and a ton of food. Seriously it’s amazing. A kid turns 4 here and I´m not even joking you there’s a hundred people there, music is blasting, the adults have their cerveza, the cake is huge, and everybody is dancing from 10 at night until 7 in the morning. Not even a joke.
A girl in our ward had her 15th birthday party last week and we saw videos and it was nuts. The parents rented out this big party hall type thing 2 years in advance, they hired a band, and this drum performing group that plays music typical in Uruguay. The lights are low but with strobe lights and other flashing lights, the music is blaring, and there’s like 250-300 people at this party. Its nuts.
Also Christmas will be a party. Everyone stays up until midnight and everybody lights off fireworks at the exact same time at 12:00. Then they all party and drink and exchange presents until like 5 or 6 in the morning.
So yeah that’s a little bit about fiestas Argentinas!
Next week is transfers so the next time I get to talk with you all I might be in another place!
Love you all!
-Elder Brundage
P.S. I kept track of all the dogs I pet this week and it was 39 🙂
P.S. (mom note:  I asked him about getting a new companion next week and this is what he said:  There are 4 options for transfers. I leave and Elder Huaman stays here and finishes his mission (he extended a transfer). I stay and he has one transfer in another area. Or we both stay and Elder Huaman finishes and I´d be guaranteed to stay here for that transfer and the next one to train the next elder in the area. Or we both leave and Presidente washes the area but that’s not gonna happen because we work well here. So there isn’t a problem. But yeah I´m excited for a new companion and new experiences!
PPS (mom note:  I asked him if he was happy.  Here is his reply:  Yes I´m happy! Very very very happy! There literally isn’t anything I would rather be doing.

No, I didn’t feel the eartquake!-(Tucuman)-Week 16

Hola todas!

To answer all of your questions, no I didn’t feel the earthquake because I was in a bus. And literally everybody and their mother and five pet cats asked me if I felt the earthquake. Feel left out 😦
Haha jk. This week was good! I don’t think I can really have a bad week to be honest. If I wasn’t looking for the small victories and tender mercies this wee,k I would have missed most of them and would have said that this was a long (bad) week. But they were there and were the way that my Heavenly Father was telling me that he, and his angels are with me every step of the way.
We got turned away a lot in contacts, and by a few of our investigators also. It stings but you just need to keep working and walking and praying for the strength to make your next steps. If you try, trusting in the Lord, he will deliver you. I really have seen that this week.
Here are some of the victories from this week:
-Yesterday Bruno received the Priesthood!!!! HURRAH FOR ISRAEL! He continues to learn and grow everyday!
-His wife has committed to quitting smoking (a fear that she couldn’t do it is what has kept her from baptism so far)
-I continue my streak of having pet at least 3 dogs every day of my mission so far
-We have to move, but we found a sweet apartment in our area really close to the chapel and all of our investigators!
-I can do good missionary work on my own! (we went on splits with members in our ward and I had to do all that missionary stuff on my own and it all went smoothly)
Welp thats all folks! Love you all so much!
Livin´ the Dream,
Élder Brundage
San Javier

San Javier

El Cristo Statue

El Cristo Statue

La familia Palavecino! A family of less actives with two of their teenage kids as investigators!

La familia Palavecino! A family of less actives with two of their teenage kids as investigators!

Una semana de diez-(Tucuman) Week 15

Well how can I begin…

This week was long as could be but seriously we didn´t notice.
It started off on Monday where we did “tramites” (government stuff to make me legal lol) in centro. I sat around for 4 hours (and literally did nothing), ate lunch, wrote home, and then did divisiones and ate at the McDonalds that’s in our area which was pretty sweet haha! Seriously, it was soooooo good but soooo expensive! 120 pesos for 2 burgers and 2 fries.
Tuesday, we did tramites again and we actually got all of my stuff done so that was sweet.
Wednesday: We had our usual English class that I teach at 7:30 (have I told you all about that yet? Yes, I teach English and yes, it´s weird) but nobody came 😦
I´ll skip to Saturday. BRUNO BONANNO WAS BAPTIZED BY MEEEEE!!!!! An experience I´ll never forget!
So it was really cold that day and Argentines are wimps so not a single member in the ward other than our ward mission leader, bishop, and first counselor in the bishopric came to the baptism. We had most of Bruno’s family and other investigators BUT NO MEMBERS. I was so ticked, but it was ok! We had hot water, the font filled in time and we had a simple little service for Bruno and he was baptized by someone with the authority of God and I´m so grateful that I was able to be that person. Oh, also his daughter Jessica said the closing prayer and this was what she said “Thank you for letting my Dad get baptized and for his decision to follow Jesus Christ. Please bless us that, as a family, we can follow the path of Jesus Christ just as my Dad has done”…………. Uhhhhh I about fell out of my chair!!!
Yesterday was great because Bruno got to church early and was confirmed by a member in the ward and we participated in the confirmation! It was a great weekend and it made all this work that we have done worth it. Now he´s going to bring his family with him. I’ve been told by people that it is extremely rare to baptize an older man like Bruno. Some missionaries go their whole missions without baptizing a man.
He has come so far and it is amazing to see his progress. The first time I met him he was drunk out of his mind and asking us about Joseph Smith from stuff he had read on the internet (never a good sign). He was always a supporting character in the visits we made to the family but he was always there and was always listening. Then he started to pray. Then he started to read. Then he started to go to church even when his whole family kept sleeping (he went alone the Sunday of his confirmation too). He drank less and smoked less and eventually stopped doing both entirely. He started to see the blessings in his life so he did those good things more. He got stable work, he was more patient and loving with his wife and children. He found that things just seemed to be working and he knew what the catalyst was. He is a new man because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And if he keeps doing what he is doing now he will become different and even better. It is amazing to see the difference of a life, a home, and a family without Jesus Christ, and then with Him. It is always better and more happy and more blessed.
Now I´m crying a little bit in a weird gas station that has internet. Such is the life of a missionary I guess.
I love you so much my dear family and friends! This gospel changes lives. I have seen it first hand!
Livin´ the Dream,
Élder Brundage
PS. Spanish is going really well. Its getting hot and I´m getting scared of it haha!
PPS. I´ve lost about 40 pounds since the beginning of my mission so thats pretty sweet!
PPPS. Ciao
Bruno and his family minus 2 of his daughters

Bruno and his family minus 2 of his daughters

Elder Ruminot (de Chile) and I on Monday doing tramites (visa stuff)

Elder Ruminot (de Chile) and I on Monday doing tramites (visa stuff)

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Bruno

Bruno

Bruno

Bruno

Attendees at Bruno's Baptism

Attendees at Bruno’s Baptism

¡Vamos Profeta! (Tucuman) Week 14

Hola mis queridos family, friends, and fans!

This week was a good one. As you know this weekend was General Conference and there were tons of amazing messages and revelation to be had!
So, we actually had 4 investigators come to conference with us! On Saturday there were’t any investigators that could come so I got to watch the sessions in English with the other gringos y gringas which was amazing and I learned so much! By the way, most people work on Saturday here so they couldn’t come to the stake center to watch it which is what most people do. But on Sunday there were sooooo many dang people in that stake center. Every room was taken and filled with people to watch the conference! On Sunday, one of our investigators, Bruno, came to conference and it was the perfect session for him because he had doubts about the prophet before but after, he felt good about what he said and heard and felt like he was a prophet of God! I was honestly praying that President Monson would speak Sunday morning because that was the only one that he could go to and the session was incredible! Right after conference was over he had his baptismal interview and he is all set to be baptized this next Saturday!!!!
In the session at night, I watched it in Spanish because we had 3 investigators and an inactive member of 20 years come with us to conference and it was soo great. 2 of them are the family of Bruno (his wife, Antonia and his daughter, Jessica) and before the conference they weren’t very interested and were slow to listen to our message, but now they are progressing in a very real way. It’s amazing the miracles that can happen because we have a prophet of God and his apostles!
Other things that happened this week:
-A lady wanted us to expel a demon in her child when she didn’t have a demon in her child (her daughter is mentally handicapped)
-I almost got hit by a motorcycle
-I hit my 3 month mark this past Thursday!
I love you all sooooo much!!!!
Livin´ the Dream,
Élder Brundage