Blessings–Week 91 (Salta)

Hola Familia y Amigos!
Too many of my friends are finishing their missions 😦 #ImNotReadyForTheRealWorld
Crazy week this week! I described what we did in this week last transfer so I´ll just do a brief recap of the week!
Monday: Transfer day which is basically just us recieving a ton of calls from missionaries with problems with their buses. Some of the reasons are: they couldn’t get their ticket, missed their bus, the driver doesn’t want to let them on because of their documentation, etc.
Tuesday: Dropped off the missionaries ending their mission. Then we went to the mission offices and prepared everything for when the new missionaries came. At 4 we were at the airport to pick up the new missionaries! 11 sisters and 4 elders! I always get so excited with them. They go do some legal stuff and then we share some thoughts with them. After that we waited and talked to them until Presidente finishes his interviews. Then we ate a huge dinner cooked by Hermana Chaparro. 🙂
Wednesday: We had a meeting with the trainers then the meeting with the new missionaries and their trainers.
That day we had to meet with Presidente after to plan of the Mission Leadership Council (MLC). Then we practice role play things that we were going to demonstrate and what we were going to teach to the leaders. I introduced the new Easter Initiative that starts on Friday! Stay tuned!
Thursday: Prepared a lot of MLC and went out to teach a few lessons.
Friday: MLC in the morning and out to teach in the afternoon!
Saturday: Finally a full day of work!
Sunday: Miracle Day!! Last week we were able to find a less active family that has some of their kids that aren’t baptized and this week we started teaching another part of the same huge family, 6 in total: the dad, Jorge, and the kids from ages 9 to 16, Elelia, Kevin, Yennifer (like Jennifer), Aylen, and Brenda! They were really excited and committed to go to church but when we went looking for them everyone in the house was sleeping! We didn’t have a single person at church when it started. Then a young woman walks in in her street clothes and sits down. Then another man walked in that we didn’t recognize either. We went over and talked with them after sacrament meeting. The woman is called Veronica and recently moved to Salta from Jujuy for school. She came to church without any invitation or any friends, just because she needed it! Last week she came to stake conference alone and this week to our sacrament meeting. When we asked her why she said “I don’t know. I just felt like I needed to come”. Her grandma took her to our church when she was little and was never baptized. We taught her and she accepted a baptismal date!  The man’s name is Alejandro. He’s a relative of a member of the ward and he almost got baptized a while back but things got complicated right before. He’s looking for a change!
Going into Sunday we felt like we had done our part. We are more obedient, we’re working our butts off when we can get in our area, and we’re becoming better teachers but just about nothing was working. With this experience we learned a valuable principle, that “…we labor diligently” but in the end “…we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”.
And we can paraphrase that like this as well: It is by grace that we receive blessings from heaven, after all we can do.  We can receive nothing for our own acts BUT if we do act, the Lord and his grace intervene and blessing fall from heaven. Our own strength, intelligence, diligence, cunning, or charisma will never be enough to see miracles in our lives and take us back to God. But, if we do all we can do, he will make up the difference!
I love my Heavenly Father. I know He lives and loves us.
Livin’ the Dream,
Elder Brundage
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Transfer Day – Salta (Week 90)

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Alright we were able to see a little bit of progress in our area!
A young couple with a baby that we’ve been teaching went to church again! Their names are Emanuel, Carolina, and baby Logan! This week we invited them to a Family Home evening in the house of a family of members, la Familia Liendro. (See pic below of that FHE)
Then we went to the adult session of the Stake conference on Saturday with them! They couldn’t go Sunday morning because Emanuel suffered a paralysis of the left side of his body. Like his lung wasn’t working and he could only move that half of the body with a lot of pain. Crazy stuff. We gave him a blessing yesterday so we’ll see how he recovers.
For the stake conference we had Elder Mark Bragg of the Seventy! He is so great and really spiritual! It was a nice conference and I got to see a bunch of the members from Mitre in the conference!
Sorry guys there’s no more time. Transfers are killer!
Livin’ the Dream,
Elder Brundage
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A pic of salta when we climbed “El Cerro de la Virgen de los Tres Cerritos” (The hill of the virgin of the 3 hills haha)

T-Minus 3 months – Salta (Week 89)

Hola Familia y Amigos!

IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN DE NA NEH NOO
3 months from today I finish the mission! It’s coming up so fast and I don’t know how to handle it but I’m just doing my best where I’m at.
So I’d like to answer my mom’s questions first. She comes first.
“How does the driving thing work?” We are almost certain that I’m going to be with Elder Salazar for his last transfer of his mission so I still have plenty of time to learn how to drive. I asked my companion if I needed an Argentina driver’s license and he said I just needed my American one so it’s cool. It’s not like they are gonna pull me over or anything (because traffic laws are basically a myth here)
“Do they celebrate St. Patricks day?” I wasn’t sure so I asked my comp. He laughed and told me to stop messing around because that only exists on TV. When I told him it did exist he was surprised.  So,  that would be a no.
“Are you 4 in your apartment?” right now we are 5. Me and my comp. Elder Towns, the executive secretary, Elder Erickson, the financial secretary, and Elder Mcgrath who will soon be replacing Elder Erickson as Financiero.
“Are you liking your area?” I like my area a lot! There’s a ton of potential here and a ton of people. Here’s the thing. Because it’s an assistant’s area there are like whole neighborhoods that have been baptized but that we don’t know. So we’re trying to find all the converts of those flippin’ missionaries before haha! The ward is great! We have a ward mission leader and they just called like 7 ward missionaries this Sunday so we’re gonna have a lot of support! The ward funtions on its own without us haha!
By the way my companion kindly informed me (after doing it like 4 times) that it was against the rules to run at night SO now I go running and do exercise outside with my companion. He gained like 25 or 30 pounds in the mission and now he’s trying to take it off haha!
We are still doing our best to keep finding but NOBODY GOES TO CHURCH. We woke up at 6 on Sunday to go and wake everyone up and a bunch told us that they were getting ready but nobody went. It’s time to preach a little repentance.
Anyways! I love what I am doing here. It’s so fulfilling. It is preparing me so much for my life ahead. I know that I have potential and I know what Heavenly Father wants me to do to achieve it!
Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World and HE LIVES!
Livin’ the Dream,
Elder Brundage
ps. sorry I’ll try to take pictures this week!

Taking Control (Salta-Week 88)

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Well it was a good week for the most part!
This week here in our area we basically focused on what we CAN control instead of what we can’t. Lately we’ve been thinking a lot about things that are basically out of our control. We’ve been visiting and serving the members, asking for referrals, planning activities, and all that jazz so that the members of the ward get excited about the work and it hasn’t really borne fruits just yet. It’s a process so we decided to double our efforts, to keep doing all that but to search more actively on our own as we search for new investigators that will progress towards baptism.
We basically have 0 investigators that are close to baptism and don’t have any huge obstacles in their progress so we desperately need more! This week we were able to find 18 new investigators and it’s a great start! Of those 18, I would say that 4 or 5 of them are truly interested in changing their lives and being converted! I’ll keep you guys updated if they actually progress! So, we are taking control of new investigators!
I’m taking control of my driving skills too haha! I went in my second excursion in the mission truck with Elder Salazar. We had to go to a little town like 45 minutes away from Salta called Rosario de Lerma. So he drove like 10 minutes just to get out of the city and onto the highway and pulled over so I could give it a shot. What he thought was just highway was actually a little series of small towns so I got to practice a lot and it went really well. It only stalled on me twice haha!
I’ve also taken control of my health lol. The majority of the days we are here in Salta we have to wake up early to go and do something for the mission so it has been kind of hard to get some good exercise in but I started this week to run at night with one of the office elders, Elder Towns. It’s a lot more fun now because I can actually do it hahaha! Before, running was basically a healthy controlled heart attack but now I can run for a while without a problem!
Random stuff:
-We went to have a girl in the ward who has her mission call help us with an activity and we talked to her mom for a little bit. I asked her “What do you think about your daughter leaving?” and she said “I’m so happy for her but I’ll miss her so much”. And Elder Salazar answers her with this gem haha “Here’s something that might comfort you. Just know that after about 2 months in the mission she’s gonna forget about you. At the beginning of my mission I thought about and missed my family but after about 2 months I woke up and said ‘Oh yeah I have a mom and dad’ for a while I was fine with the fact that I was alone in the world haha”. The sister just like looked at him blankly and walked away. I told him “Elder, that would NOT have comforted me hahah”. He’s such a goober
– Today we played soccer and I scored the most goals out of everyone #MessiStatus
Spiritual moment: I’d like to cite 2 lines of the last stanza from the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley
“I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul”
These two lines are very profound and very true. WE are the masters of our destiny. WE decide if we are to be happy. We choose happiness or misery. Whatever happens to us, no matter how many trials we might face, we decide how things will go!
“27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
 28 And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit”
We can take control of where we end up and how we are, we only need to trust in God and in His son Jesus Christ and follow them. I love the gospel!
Livin’ the Dream,
Elder Brundage
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