Transfers-Week 30 (Mitre-Salta)

Hola Familia y Amigos!

This week was good (at the end haha)! So the first 2 days were poop but whatever. We tried to do better and the next few days were only a little better but we kept being exactly obedient, and really diligent and everything and our fruits finally came on the weekend! I’m going to tell you guys about yesterday because yesterday was better than the whole rest of the week combined!
So. after church and studies and stuff we went to our first 3 appointments and they all fell through (that is so common that we weren’t even phased by it). Then at the 4th appointment we got in the house and we found 3 new investigators! It was a good lesson! Short and sweet about the plan of salvation and we felt great when we left!
We were going to a Family home evening that we were going to have with a family in the ward and we both just kind of slowed down at this one house that caught our eye (a lot of times when a house “catches your eye” it’s a spiritual impression) so we went and clapped at the gate and a teenager named Mauricio let us in. We get in and invite his fam but they don’t come at first so we just get going. We said a prayer, got to know him a little bit then his brother and sister came in. We caught them up and we just kept going. This lesson was textbook for what Elder Erickson and I like to do for the first lesson with people so I thought I´d share.
Anyways, so what we do is we get to know them a little bit, figure out what they want in their lives and find their big need if there is one. We then explain that as missionaries we are here to help people achieve exactly what it is that they want (a united family, to be happy, etc.). We say that there are some things that we need to do to be able to get those blessings that God is WILLING to give us. We ask if we can read a scripture. We explain the BOM in like 15 seconds then we read a scripture about baptism. We explain and ask questions as we go along and if we have the Spirit with us the people understand really quickly. Then we just straight up invite them to repent and be baptized. Most people recognize their need to be baptized to a certain extent. A LOT of people say that they have already been baptized (if they’re catholics then we can get them to understand in like 20 seconds why they need to be baptized again, but if they’re evangelical christians it takes a little bit more time). Mauricio and his siblings (the Familia Chiri) just said yeah we do need to be baptized. We then put down a baptismal date and that usually takes like 5 minutes because it scares people to have a goal for 3 weeks in the future. La Familia Chiri just straight up accepted a date for Feb. 20th. We then invite them to read and pray about the BOM as their first part of their preparation to be baptized and to got to church. All that takes about 25 minutes! Whooooo
After the we went to that FHE and the family invited their neighbors just like we told them to do so we found 2 more investigators there! We also ate tacos with guac and everything!!!! It was the closest thing that I have eaten to mexican food my whole mission and it was incrediblllllee!
So yeah 3 lessons, 8 new investigators, asado for lunch, and tacos for dinner! Éxitoooooooo!
Ok also we got transfers….
We are both staying here in Mitre 1. So that means a few things. Elder Erickson is going to end his mission here and I´ll be able to see him off because it is almost a certainty that I will be going to the mission offices halfway through this transfer to be the mission Financial Secretary (Financiero). It’s almost certain because I fit all the qualifications:
I have the right amount of time, I´m here in Salta really close, I am staying with Elder Erickson for a 3rd transfer which isn’t very normal, aaaaand my Dad works for a bank (thanks pops haha).
If that happens, I am almost guaranteed to stay here in the city of Salta like another 6 months so basically one call just gave me my destiny until I have a little bit more than A YEAR in the mission. But whatevs. (Mom note:  I’m sure this is all missionary speculation)
All is well! I love you all!
Livin´ the Dream,
Elder Brundage

Week 29 (Mitre-Salta)

Elder Brundage didn’t write a letter for the blog this week.  He wrote all his family individual letters….new letter coming up!

I only have one thing to tell you – Week 28 (Mitre-Salta)

Hola familia y amigos!!

So this week was a slow week. Some good stuff. Some bad stuff. Some people progressing and some people falling behind. Just a normal week!

Because this was basically a mediocre week I don’t really have that much to say to be honest but there is one story that I want to tell you guys.

The taxi driver: So we were late one night getting home so we took a taxi. We get in and see that he has one of the pass along cards “Ha Nacido un Salvador” and we just said like “nice man!” And he was like “yeah I worship a living God man” and then he just started to talk. His name is Carlos, and he was born catholic. He LOVES religion and has always wanted to study theology so he read literally any book that he could find about any religion he could find. He studied and studied all the different religions, what Jesus Christ taught and all that. And his knowledge of The Great Apostasy is INCREDIBLE. He told us, “yeah the Jehovah’s witnesses tried to preach to me but I just said ‘You took stuff out of the bible and changed it all so you guys have no authority to talk about this.” He then starts to explain about how there are 2 churches: The mormon church and the catholic church. The catholic church says that Christ died and his gospel and church stayed the exact same until today, but they changed EVERYTHING so that makes no sense at all. And then the mormons who say that all of that was lost, the world changed it, and then God put back on the earth again in its perfect form.

Then he says “I know that yours is the true church. You just need to look at the facts. It’s literally the only religion that makes ANY SENSE. But to be sure I read the book of Mormon and prayed about it and I also know that it’s true.”
At this point we were thinking to ourselves “THIS IS THE CRAZIEST THING I’VE EVER HEARD” but we were also like this guy is such a stud!
We asked him how long he met with the missionaries and he said that he never had. HE LEARNED EVERYTHING FROM HIS OWN PERSONAL STUDIES.
So we asked him “Well Carlos, why aren’t you a member?!?!”
“Satan just keeps me out man. It’s like a smoker. He knows what he is doing is killing him but he keeps doing it. I know I can go there and be happy but I can’t change myself.”
We were like ok we can work with this so we asked him if we could visit him but he said no, that he never had time (uber typical excuse).  So we pay him and he just says “Wait I want to show you guys something.” He stands up, puts his leg up on the seat and on his calf is…. A HUGE TATTOO OF THE FIRST VISION. He gave it a good slap like he was super proud of it and we literally DIED laughing. It was literally the craziest experience that I have EVER HAD. I hope Carlos finds his way one day hahahahahahahahahahahha

Anyways, I love you all!

Elder Brundage

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The Tattoo that Carlos had on his leg


Argentines are afraid of water-Week 27 (Mitre-Salta)

Hola Familia y Amigos!!!

So this week was a little bit of up and down but I´m still super excited!
So there are 2 experiences from this week that make me say that Argentines are scared of water.
Experience #1: So some member gave us this referral who was his aunt. We said ok lets go visit her see if she can accept. We get there talk to her for a bit at her gate and she lets us in. As we talk, it turns out that she has talked to the missionaries before so we basically ask our series of questions to gauge where she’s at.
Do you have a Book of mormon? Yes
Did you ever pray about it? Yes
Do you think it is true? Yes
Do you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet? Of course
Ok, do you believe that this is the only true church of Jesus Christ here on the earth? Yes.
And you never got baptized? No no no
Ok……….(reads scripture about baptism) Will you be baptized? No….
After that we were digging and asking questions for a while and we find out that the only reason she was never baptized was because she is SUPER afraid of water. Like even in the shower. She said that she went to the baptism of her daughter and she saw what it was and she swore that day that she would NEVER do it.
She wouldn’t accept a baptismal date. Nothing.
So basically we´re working on that.
Experience #2: Alright so you guys have to know. This week was IIIIINNNNCREDIBLE. Seriously, by the numbers, how excited we were, the people that we were teaching, how they were progressing, and everything else was incredible. The best overall week of my mission FOR SURE. We were going to have sooooo many people in church. We committed about 14 people to come to church and the way that these people were progressing made us think that literally every one of them would come. Then sunday came.
We were soooo stoked in the morning. We got up and started getting ready so we could bring people to church from their houses. Elder Erickson checks outside to see what the weather is like and he says “ELDER…. está lloviendo” (It’s raining) and I was just like Noooooooooo! I looked too and it wasn’t bad rain or anything just light rain. BUT, to the people of Argentina, it was a reason to not come to church. If it rains here, people don’t go to church, or work, or leave their houses.
Still determined to have a good day and end the perfect week we went out and looked for our miracle family, the familia Cruz-Flores (more about them in a second), and a few other investigators.
Nobody came. Not a single one. It was super rough and I literally haven’t been so discouraged in my mission than in church this Sunday (I was fine after and we had a good day and we were excited but it suuuucked)
Also the church attendance dropped from what it usually is at 130 or so down to like 80 just because of a little bit of rain.
So that’s why Argentines are afraid of water.
La Familia Cruz-Flores: They are awesome. So, we were walking around on Monday just going along to another plan that we had and we walked past a house. I felt strongly that we needed to knock it so we went back and did. A woman named Gabriela let us in and SHE WAS THE MOST PREPARED PERSON I HAVE EVER SEEN (the most prepared that Elder Erickson has seen too). So we have a SWEET lesson and she was accepting everything. She told us that the morning before and that morning she was praying for Him to put somebody in her path that would lead her to Him. She was recently married to her husband, she has 5 kids, 3 that are above 8 years old. We invited her to baptism and she said “Yeah I would love to get baptized”. Oh wow. So we challenged her to read the book of mormon and we came back in 2 days. She told us “I was reading and I felt exactly what you said and I know that this book is true. Also, I shared it with my husband and he read and I asked him if he thought it was true. He told me I really think it is!” We then taught her and her son the restoration and at the end we asked her some questions. One of them being “Do you believe that this is the only true church of Jesus Christ?” And she said “I do. I really really do” And just about giggled right there haha!
We haven’t met the husband yet but we are going to their house today so I think we will be able to meet him. They didn´t go to church either but she called us and told us that because she has a 3 month old baby she couldn’t let it get sick from the walk there and back.
Anyways, everything is gonna be good! I love this work!!!!
Livin´ the dream,
Elder Brundage