¡Ay de ti, fruto de mis lomos! (Wo unto you, fruit of my loins) Salta Week 93

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Well, it’s been an interesting week haha! I don’t have too much to say but I have a few stories haha!
So the biggest thing was that I had to go do emergency splits with my “son”, Elder Carrasco for like 2 days. He’s in Jujuy and it was really weird to be back with him for that short time. Brought back some memories. I went and worked with him Thursday and got back here in Salta on Friday afternoon.
We started teaching the large part of a family: 4 teenage girls, their oldest brother, and their grandpa! We feel a lot more comfortable because the brother and grandpa are there…. haha! They committed to going to church and even woke up and got ready on time but they told us that they forgot they had to go to a baptism of a baby in their family so they didn’t go :'(. Some of the girls are actually interested and a few not so much yet. We found them on Wednesday, and then Elder Salazar went with a latino elder to the house the next day when I wasn’t there. This is how the conversation went:
“Hi we came to visit you!”
“Where’s the blonde one????”
“He’s not here today….”
“When will he be back?”
“Tomorrow”
“Oh……ok”
Sometimes I hate being white….
But, seriously some of them are reading the Book of Mormon and praying and everything.
We also went on a super long roadtrip to Santiago del Estero on Monday haha! 8 hours whooooo!
Livin’ the Dream,
Elder Brundage
fotos: 1. District! Me, Elder McGrath, Elder Towns, Elder Salazar, Hermana Ureña, Hermana Hill
2. Sleepy Elder Towns hahahah
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General Conference – Salta (Week 92)

¡Hola Familia y Amigos!

Well, I’m happy!
Honestly, I loved General Conference! It was very very spiritual and special for me and I was able to receive many answers to repeated prayers, questions, and worries that have been on my mind. I felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders and I’m so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who speaks to us through His modern day prophets and apostles.
I loved the focus of many talks on the spirit and the way the Lord chooses to manifest himself to us. I loved the quote of D. Todd Christofferson (quoted by elder Brough in the saturday morning session):
“Let your covenants be paramount and let your obedience be exact. Then you can ask in faith, nothing wavering, according to your need, and God will answer. He will sustain you as you work and watch. In His own time and way He will stretch forth his hand to you, saying, “Here am I.”
The Lord is ever watching and He will always answer but we need to obey and be worthy for that direction. In a promise that the prophet Isaiah made for obedience to give fast offerings he said:
“…Thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.” (Isaiah 58:8-9)
 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.”
I know that God loves us and that he will ALWAYS BE THERE. We will call and he will answer, we will cry and he will say Here I Am.
Jesus Christ is our Savior! I am still coming to know Him better and will strive to know Him as I live like him. I don’t know everything about Him, but I do know that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
Love you all!
Livin’ the Dream,
Elder Brundage
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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

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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(Salta) Week 87

Sorry mom long day. I don’t have much to write about nor time to write about it.

We went to Tucuman and Santiago del Estero to do splits and it was fun but we are FINALLY DONE WITH ALL THE SPLITS WOOOOOOO. Now we have like 3 straight weeks in our area woo!
Also Elder Salazar started the driver’s ed training with me hahahah. It was a little bit more complicated than I thought and the truck stalled on me a lot haha! But I was proud that by the end I could go from first to second and up to third without it stalling on me! I’m a long way away from driving somewhere but it was fun haha!
Woo! Love you Mom!
I promise you a long very detailed letter next week. I PROMISE YOU!
Elder Brundage

Find Joy in the Journey – Week 86 (Salta)

Hola Familia y Amigos!

I had to do that literally this week because we went on a huge 4 stop road trip to the northern part of the mission. We left Monday afternoon and got back Friday afternoon!
We started off going to Jujuy to do splits in Alto Comedero!!!!! But we missed our bus so we had to wait a few hours and we got there late and couldn’t do any work 😦 But the next day we went and did splits with the Jujuy Centro Zone and that was fun!
After that we travelled like 4 hours to get to Orán in the north of Salta and we did divisions there. They had their zone conference the next day and since the zone is so far spread all the elders in the zone came and I got to see some friends! I even got to see Elder Rich my SON who’s in Pichanal right now! It was awesome!
Then we travelled up north another 2 and a half hours up to Tartagal (Its a fricking oven in this place !  Seriously I was dying). We did splits but one of the Elders, Elder Lewis was suuuupppper sick so I had to stay with him all day and it was seriously so hot I wanted to die. But it was fun anyways!
Then the next day we took the 5 or 6 hour bus ride back here to salta and to celebrate we bought Mcdonalds 🙂
We got to work a little bit in our area this weekend but nobody went to church…. So we’re gonna be in finding mode……. as soon as we get back from our huge trip of the south of the mission this week! Count yo blessings hahah
I’m sorry I have to go, a lot of stuff is happening today and I have to go now! Love you guys!
Livin’ the Dream,
Elder Brundage
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Reunited with Elder Chahalis

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Plaza of Oran

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In Tartagal with Elder Figueredo and Elder Lewis

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Celebrating a successful road trip with McDonalds

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Evidence that the streets turn into rivers when it rains hard

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Zone conference

Woooo! I’m Alive (Salta) Week 85

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Well it’s been a long and tiring week to say the least! There’s lots of stuff to do and very little time to get all of it done but hey SOMEBODY has to do it haha!
Also, in a really weird transition like this its been great to have Elder Salazar. Like I said he’s really crazy but he really knows how to work and he puts his all into what he does. A lot of stuff has happened but we always have fun haha!
So that you can get the whole lowdown I’ll go day by day this week

Monday: So yeah we had to do all the transfer stuff and help all the missionaries get to their new areas. There’s always problems in something so had to be on alert all day to answer the phone calls and solve the problems. One example of this: In Ledesma there were some missionaries who had problems with their documents and we called the boss here in Salta of that company and he told us that he would take care of it. He even let us listen in haha! “HEY WHY ARE YOU GUYS MESSING WITH THE MORMONS. DON’T YOU KNOW HOW IMPORTANT THEY ARE? THE MORMONS ARE MAD AND THEY ARE THINKING ABOUT LEAVING FLECHABUS SO FIX THIS”. And 10 seconds later we get a call from that same guy in Ledesma and he says “wow I’m so sorry like I didn’t know. Sorry We’re gonna upgrade your seats for free…” I feel like a mafia boss haha
Tuesday: That morning we woke up early to help the missionaries ending their mission weigh their bags and take their suitcases to the airport to take their flight.
Then we came back and got everything prepared for the new missionaries and for all the stuff we were gonna do like the food for the next day and all that jazz. We then went back to the airport to welcome them here! It brought back a ton of memories haha!
They went to go do some legal stuff and when they got to the offices it was like 7 pm. We then had to talk to them and entertain them until like 11. It was really hard because they were all starving and dead tired but we did some cool stuff. Then we all went and ate at the mission home and in the end we were all in bed at 12:30 or 1.
We didnt get to be in our area.
Wednesday: We have the training meeting with the trainers and then with them both. Lunch and they were off to their area. We actually got to work a little bit!!!!
Thursday: We planned with president for our mission leadership council what we we’re gonna talk about and finished up the planning. Then we did companion exchanges with some missionaries. I went with Elder Osorio (former companion who’s a zone leader now) and we went to another area in Salta and each one went with one of the elders in the companionship. So I didn’t get to work in my area.
Friday: Had missionary leadership council and it went ok. We tried a new format and it got really unfocused so we’ll have to see what we do in the future. Then we went to fill up the baptismal font and we had the baptism of Ricardo! He’s a stud and he is very converted!
Saturday: We did MORE COMPANIONSHIP EXCHANGES WITH ZONE LEADERS. So I went with Elder Cloud (an elder from my district in Famaillá who is now a zone leader). I didn’t get to be in my area.
Soooooooooo yeah.
I’m not sure when I’m supposed to get to know my area but we’ll find time. But not this week because we’ll be traveling until Friday hahah!
We have a truck (a volkswagen amarok look it up it’s weird haha) and it’s a stick shift. At some point before Elder Salazar leaves I have to learn to drive stick shift. WISH ME LUCK AND PRAY PLEASE.
We have a normal ward and area but we work less time and have to be examples of baptizing and confirming so it’s hard haha
Even though it’s tiring I still have so many spiritual experiences. I’m so grateful for prayer. I know that God hears and answers prayers. And that he really is there for us when we need him.
Livin’ the Dream,
Elder Brundage
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Sending some Valentine’s Day love!

A Change of Scenery! (Salta) Week 84

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Estoy otra vez en Salta la Linda!

To be honest it’s been a very tiring weekend haha. This week went really well in Alto Comedero! We were able to visit a ton of people and see more progress with them!

We had a big conference with president, his wife, and the assistants! We talked about how to find more new investigators and a whole bunch of other stuff. Then we had interviews with President and it was NUTS! Everyone was doing their interviews and out of nowhere there was this HUGE hail storm (mixed with rain) and it was so violent and the chapel flooded a little bit. We were using the squeegees to get the water out it was hilarious!

This last Thursday I was saying my morning prayer at 7:05 and the phone rang. I answered it and President said I had to pack my bags because I was going to Salta to be his assistant. I was shocked and the only thing I said was “oh………. gracias”. He told me to be in Salta before 12 so I got all packed and I left.

My new area is called Portezuelo 1 and my new companion is Elder Salazar from Viña del Mar, Chile. He’s really great and really funny! Super crazy but he knows how to work well and he does what needs to be done. We’re gonna do just fine here!

The crazy thing that we had to do this weekend were the transfers. We had to do a couple of huge excel spreadsheets and buy a tooon of bus tickets. It was really stressful hahaha.  We were on the computer on Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm doing this and we were dead but we still got to go out and teach!

I like the area a lot and there’s so much potential! We just need to spend some time working with the people that we have and find some new ones and we’ll have a lot of success! I’m almost sure that I’m going to be here for the rest of my mission! I only have 3 transfers left and the assistants normally finish here in Portezuelo but I’m very happy and I know its going to be a great time!

I love this work and I’m so glad for the part I can play!

Love you all!!!!!!!

Livin’ the Dream,

Elder Brundage

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Elder Salazar and Elder Brundage

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Alan and Braden

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