Bye Bye Argentina Week 102 (Salta)

 

Hola Familia y Amigos!

I’ve thought long and hard about what I should say in this last letter but….. I couldn’t come up with anything. What words can I use to describe such an incredibly fulfilling experience? How can I express the feelings of gratitude that I have because Heavenly Father called me to HIS work, at THIS time, and in THIS place.
I share Nephi’s words just to express a little bit of what I feel:
“My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.
22 He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.
23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.
24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.
25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.” (2 Nephi 4: 20-26)
Being a missionary is so difficult sometimes. The better you feel that you are, the more you see your imperfections. The more you love your investigators, and members, and companions, the more you feel sorrow when they deny the truth. Just as Nephi did, at times “mine eyes water my pillow by night” for these people that I love so deeply.
But truly the Lord has been so good to me. I have seen so many great and marvelous things here in the mission. Seen so many people change their lives. I have seen real modern-day miracles.
Now, I have another journey ahead of me. It’s going to be so hard sometimes, and I might not know exactly what to do, but I know with all my heart that the Lord will do now exactly what He has done for me in the mission. He will provide and He will make meaningful the imperfect efforts that I give, and bless me with joy and satisfaction for what I have done.
I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that He lives and He loves us. God prepares us for what lies ahead and I know that He has prepared me for future challenges so that I know how to resist and succeed when faced with trial. God answers prayers!
God has made me a better man. A new man, ready for anything.
Lets get started!
(Still Gonna Be) Livin’ the Dream,
Elder Brundage

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Going away party for Elder Brundage

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A great friend, Alan, just sent me this picture he took today with this message:

“I had the opportunity to travel to Salta to say goodbye to my great friend Braden Michael Brundage.  Congratulations for having raised a very good and loving, respectful son.  To say goodby to the tears of joy.  I really thank my Heavenly Father  for putting in my way excellent people like him.  It was a day of walking and shopping.  A huge hug and sent him home to the Brundage family.  Enjoy!  Returning is a man with honors.  With love, Alan”

Week 100 (Salta)

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Honestly, this week was weird and good at the same time. It started off really well. We found a new investigator  named Esteban from a referral from our ward mission leader. He had already given him a Book of Mormon. His sister from Buenos Aires is a member and she had already been talking to him for a long time about the church and he is super prepared. But his schedule is so hard! We can only see him like once a week! He had a baptismal date for the 10th but now he can’t because he didn’t go to church. I feel like he’ll be baptised but it’s sad that it won’t be in my time. I’m excited for him!
We finally finished with all the zone conferences this week by going Tuesday and Wednesday up to Oran and Tartagal. They were good conferences. It was just kind of a repetition of other trainings but what changed every time for me was the last testimony that I had to give.
Because I bore my testimony 11 different times to different groups of people I had to think of experiences and things that I learned in the mission. Looking back and what the Lord has done has been a very spiritual experience for me. It makes me think of a talk that Henry B. Eyring gave on remembrance. My experience is similar to his in the results and the growth.
He tells this story:
“When our children were very small, I started to write down a few things about what happened every day.  I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.
More than gratitude began to grow in my heart. Testimony grew. I became ever more certain that our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I felt more gratitude for the softening and refining that come because of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ. And I grew more confident that the Holy Ghost can bring all things to our remembrance—even things we did not notice or pay attention to when they happened.
My point is to urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness. It will build our testimonies. You may not keep a journal. You may not share whatever record you keep with those you love and serve. But you and they will be blessed as you remember what the Lord has done.”
It really has built my testimony and I know I have been blessed for looking back and seeing how all things were for my good and who I have become and who I can become.
Looking to the past makes me so excited for the future!
I’m so grateful that I have these last 2 weeks to serve my God in his vineyard and I will give it my all!
Livin’ the Dream,
Elder Brundage

Week 99 (Salta)

Hola Familia y Amigos!

This will be my first good letter that I’ve written in a while haha
So these past few weeks have been long! We’ve already gone to 8 out of the 10 zone conferences in these last two weeks! That means that I’ve heard the same training from Presidente Chaparro and Hermana Chaparro and my companion 9 times (including mission leadership council), and I’ve given my “final testimony” 9 times as well! It’s been fun and I’ve been able to see and say goodbye to many of the amazing missionaries that I know and have grown to love so much! Tomorrow and Wednesday will be the last 2 zone conferences and then we get to be in our area for the rest of the transfer!!! Woooo!
Here on the homefront the work is going well. There are always certain people that a missionary teaches that he thinks will progress great and get baptized super fast and then those certain people just stop progressing for some reason. We have a few of those but we are still working so hard with those people to get them back on the right track!
Emanuel and Carolina Marín are now considering marriage seriously! There are some things that they need to resolve between them so that they can be ready for that commitment. They need to repent for some things and forgive each other for some things but I know that they will do it!! They came out to church again for the first time in about a month so we are seeing more progress in them! They have testimonies they are just scared of certain commitments.
We are also teaching an older woman named Rosa who went to church this week! She started taking the lessons at first just to help her son overcome his alcoholism, basically she was just going along to get him there. Now she is finding that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ applies to her personally and will give her a better life. She loved the church and she wants to go back!
One very spiritual experience we had with her was when she told us the story of her daughter who lived 44 years under her constant care. Due to problems at birth her brain was gravely damaged and she lived her life in a wheelchair, not able to express herself or take care of herself. She passed away this year. I was so happy to testify that she would be able to know her daughter as God knows her and that her resurrected body would be perfect and fit to the stature of her spirit. Oh how great the plan of our God!
Really, I feel so blessed and happy to be a part of this work. I feel like lately I’ve been fighting the things that I can’t control. I was resentful that I couldn’t be in my area for my other duties. I was sad that I couldn’t do everything that I wanted and I was stressed for many reasons. This week I went on exchanges with a great elder thats ending with me. In our inventory after the day’s work he told me “You are an amazing Elder and you’re doing a great job. But there’s one thing that is holding you back. Don’t stress too much. Don’t let the things you can’t control, control you. Just be happy and really enjoy the rest of your time here. Just be yourself and do all that you can do and it will all be fine.” In that moment I realized that I wasn’t enjoying my time here. I was looking for the bad and the inconvenient and not looking for the good and joyful. I let my own pride get in the way and I decided to not look for the hand of God in my life.
Gordon B. Hinckley once said “that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight”. I am trying to do that now and I know that it works. The work of the Lord is a joyful work! An obedient life is a happy life!
Love you all!
Livin’ the Dream,
Elder Brundage

Week 98 (Salta)

Well we basically covered everything in the call… and I know that not everyone got to see the call but its fine. I’m just gonna leave it here for this week.

Love you all!

 

(We had a great Mother’s Day Skype)  Braden is doing great!  He was so happy and he looked wonderful!)

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Week 97 (Salta)

Hola Familia y Amigos!

I’m really happy about this week! We’re working really well here and have seen so many miracles. Elder Curtis is a great missionary! He’s very obedient and dedicated and that’s helping me out in these last weeks when there are some moments that I’m just tired haha!
He’s from Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. He’s used to a lot of outdoor stuff and exercise so he’s gonna be my personal trainer for the next 5 weeks. Gonna get wedding ready ya’ll (mom note: sister’s wedding is 2 days after he gets home).
It was a crazy week with the transfers and all that jazz. The new missionaries are super studs to be honest. The mission is in good hands. These last 2 transfers I watched Elder Salazar run around this whole week super stressed and stuff and I always thought “why is he like that?”. Well this week it was my turn to get stressed and run around freaking out and Elder Curtis was all care free haha! He’ll understand someday.
I had to give my “Testimonio de Fiel” (Testimony of the faithful, the last testimony of the missionaries finishing their mission) in this last Mission leadership council. It was really weird and I didn’t feel like it would be my last. I’m leaving with 11 other mission leaders!
So I’d like to talk about a miracle we saw this week! We are in finding mode right now and we have been doing everything in our power to find as many people as possible and we’ve been praying a lot to find people ready to accept the gospel and be baptized.
We felt that on Saturday we needed to go and visit our ward mission leader. We went and started talking to him about some stuff in the ward and what we want to do differently. At the end of our discussion he says “Elders, I have a perfect referral for you! My sister in law is named Emilce and she used to listen to the missionaries and went to church for a long time but never got baptized. Last night she talked to me and said that she feels like she needs to be baptized and go and serve a mission but that she was waiting for someone or something to show her that it was the time.” We invited her to join us because she lives in the same house and she listened, accepted the Book of Mormon, we shared inspired scriptures, and committed to going to church.
Yesterday she went to church and while she was there another young woman was talking with her for a while outside of their class. They went back into the class until the end. When Emilce came out she told our ward mission leader that that girl had given her the sign and confirmation that she needed. We taught her again later that day and she accepted to be baptized the 20th!
I know that the Lord is in the details. He cares about the small and insignificant work we do on this earth. Jesus Christ is so powerful and I truly can see that all things testify of Him.
Livin’ the Dream
Elder Brundage
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Presidente Chaparro and his Assistants, Elder Brundage and Elder Curtis

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New Comp – Week 96 (Salta)

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Well, for Elder Salazar this week it was basically a countdown. Tomorrow I’ll be dropping him off at the airport!
Basically, the biggest news of this week is that now I’m with Elder Curtis! He’s from Idaho and he has 1 transfer less than me. He’s a very obedient and diligent elder and I’m excited to have him as my companion.
I have very little time (forgive me pls) so I’ll share an experience. Elder Salazar and I decided to go and find some new investigators this Saturday morning even though we had a good excuse to stay in the office and wait or do other things. But, we went not really knowing where to go or with whom we should talk. We contacted, asked for referrals and nothing happened. But we kept going for another hour or so and we decided to go to a different street and knock one more door. A very smiley man answered the door and let us in. We shared with him the Book of Mormon and he loved it. We could see that the man understood its importance and he expressed to us his interest and real intent to read the book after bearing our testimonies of its truth. He has been reading  the book every day these past two days and will be going to church this Sunday! A truly chosen and prepared son of God!
I love this work. Obedience to the commandments of God and following His Son really can set us free and put us on the path to our Heavenly home!
Chau!
Livin’ the Dream,
Elder Brundage
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Elder Curtis and Elder Brundage

Week 95 (Salta)

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Well the weeks are blending together!
A lot of traveling and doing splits with the zone leaders.
Elder Salazar is now in his last week and he’s feeling it haha! My new companion will get here this week on Thursday or Friday!!!!!!
By the way, we never had time to learn how to drive sooooooo yeah. But it’s cool even if my next comp doesn’t know there are other ways to do what we need to do. I’m not stressed about it. (He’s talking about driving a stick shift-mom note)
I’m honestly really sorry for the crappy letters lately! Ill try to write something about every day of the week from now on!
I LOVE THE WORK OF THE LORD! I’m so happy and even if I don’t have much time left, I am here and I am happy!
Livin’ the Dream,
Elder Brundage
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Pictures because we had to travel today-Week 94 (Salta)

Sorry fam no big letter today (not that my letters are ever that big…)

BUT HERE’S SOME PICTURES
We went on a big trip to Tucumán to do divisions with all of the zone leaders there!
IMG_0721Us with the branch president (Famila Nieto) in Monteros tucuman. Elder Salazar’s second area (and part of my district in Famailla)

IMG_0722Me with the Familia Juarez and Elder Gianini. I LOVE THEM

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Braden and Alan

IMG_0725Elder Salazar and I almost lost (missed) a bus because there was an Easter parade. So, with our luggage we got out of the taxi and ran like a mile to the bus terminal. The results below: P1030342