Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I heart Arizona

Dear everyone,

This week went by incredibly fast. We had out quarterly interviews with President Griffin and like always, I felt the Holy Ghost testify of this great work we are engaged in as he gave me great words of wisdom and things I can personally work on for this upcoming transfer. Pretty cool stuff. During studies this week I relearned that as humans we easily take the things we are constantly surrounded by-for granted. Sadly sometimes I take the strong influence of the spirit for granted and there were several times this week where I was reminded of the power it can have on a person, the interview was one of them. 

Sunde, (the construction contractor from the south who's friends with the Randalls) is really progressing well. We had a couple of texting lessons and in the second, she accepted to be baptized! The only problem is that she doesn't understand why a testimony of the restoration of the Gospel or the book of mormon is needed but we're pushing past that obstacle. It was really funny when we went over to the Randalls and she asked us if we knew where any good lakes were because she couldn't find the one she wanted to be baptized in. The next plan we have for her and most every other investigator we have is getting them to the Mesa Temple Easter Pagent this week. Unfortunately as missionaries we can only go one time so we've spent most of our brain power figuring out members that can accompany each investigator and getting as many of the Rama to the spanish night.

Tonight we have our monthly Noche de Hogar as a branch and this time (thank goodness) the relief society is in charge. Now the activities will be planned more than 20 minutes in advance :) On top of that we have the spanish night of the Pastorella this saturday and most if not the whole branch is going to be going together. I'm super excited for that and all the investigators that will be attending. 

This last week since we've been getting close to our monthly limit for car miles and also more lessons then we can handle ourselves, have been on splits with members for four days and man it was awesome. The only regret I have was not prepping myself emotionally for the car ride with the rama missionary who is half blind and quite old. Multiple prayers were answered and our lives were spared several times. Next time, I'll let Elder Nistler go with him. It's been so beneficial for my spanish skills as with the splits we separate to our english and spanish appointments and each time I went to the spanish side. I felt confident as we contacted a family from Guadalajara who'd only been here for three months. It's incredible how generally nice the culture is to someone who attempts to speak their language. I couldn't believe how kind and supportive they were as they helped me find the more complicated words I wanted to get across like ash. We have a return appointment for tomorrow so we'll see how they take our message. 

I have enjoyed this last transfer and am excited for the upcoming one. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Bryan

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Happy C- lucky-ness

This week Edwin was baptized! He really hungered for the truth and went beyond what we would commit him to do. After his baptism he asked us what he should do to prepare to receive the priesthood. Made us so proud of how far he's come. Hermano Roman, who we had never seen since his work schedule is afternoon to night, gave the talk about baptism. He was an amazing speaker and we wish he could be around for more lessons. He spoke from the heart and helped make that experience an amazing one. Nathan Roman who's preparing to serve a mission in the summer, baptised Edwin and did great especially since it was his first time. 

On Sunday when Presidente Tavizon asked us who was going to confirm Edwin, Elder Nistler without hesitation said I was going to which of course made me nervous. Felt a little awkward being in the front confirming him in spanish, the best part was the man holding the microphone kept moving it away from me so I spent a lot of time fishing in the dark trying to find where he was moving. Luckily it doesn't matter than people couldn't hear half of what I said, Edwin was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that's all that matters.

To top it off with the Romans, they were down on the list for dinner Sunday and the whole time we could see how much happier the family was as a whole, they're a family I could hang out with because all of them are full of dry humor and quick wits. Plus they make awesome mexican food.

This last saturday the sisters in our district got a service opportunity with a member out in Tonopah (the place where the cowboys and dudes who like to be by themselves reside) to get their chickens prepared to be ground up for feed. My first time doing the whole process, the hatchet, the plucking, and other preparing goodness.  Of course my chicken cried out "Ouch" when I didn't separate his head properly, what a baby! The next time I get to do that service, I'll have some experience under my belt and maybe I'll use the sharper hatchet as well. The one thing I wanted was to let the member know that I had absolutely no idea was I was doing so I didn't look dumb when I pretended to be a pro. Turned out really well that way! AND.. I didn't pass out because of the blood and guts so I think it's safe to put away that rumor that this guy can't handle it :)

We started teaching the entire Cortes family this week after Antonio (the older boy) started to see a change in his life. The coolest part was when he looked at us after discussing Alma 32 and said, "Its true isn't it." My favorite sentence right there. They as a family decided to come to church but when they saw that they were going to be late, decided not to come. We helped them realize that we don't lock the doors right at 12 and that it's better to be late then not to come. The two boys really want to go to mutual and are excited for each lesson. It's awesome when people tell us the difference they see and are anxious for the next day. 

Happy Birthday Macy! It sounds like things warmed up enough for some outdoor activities which is completely awesome! You guys are the best!

Elder Bryan

Monday, March 9, 2015

Two letters worth March 1/4 the way through.

Dear Family :)

Something that Elder Nistler commented about this week was that he's
seen in his experiences that right when the work is rolling forward,
Satan puts on the heat in the form of sickness. For us, after visiting
many sick families, we came down with some flu deal for half of this
week which put a roadblock in the way but we were able to find
solutions. Both of us didn't want to be holed up the whole time and we
didn't feel terribly sick so we decided to go out each day, take it
easy and see how things went. Everything turned out great. Most
everyone we had appointments either canceled or were more sick then we

We had Elder Malm from the 70 come for the technology initiative which
was awesome. Felt so pumped after that meeting. I love the safeguards
that we are putting in place and the order, first starting with
ourselves and our desire to commit to to whatever is asked of us. We
got our new ipads and training pamphlets. Super awesome stuff.

We had two lessons at the same time so Elder Nistler and I did splits
with hermano Favela and hermano Enriquez who reminds me of someone dad
would be good friends with. I went with hermano Favela and we had the
longest conversation I'd ever had with him. It showed how much our
relationship had improved. He asked me about my spanish and gave some
tips that he found useful as he's learned english. It's awesome to be
in good standings with the people we need to work closely with. Things
are really turning around.

I've enjoyed this week. Love you guys!!
Elder Bryan

March 2, 2015

It's March!


One of the members of the branch teaches spanish at the Buckeye High
so we decided to ask him what would be the best language plan for me.
Going in a different way then I thought would work (starting with
subjunctive and ending with preterite) but I've felt a improvement in
my conversational and in lessons we've put me in charge of starting
and guiding them. Such a help with my confidence which lacks at times.

        Noche de Hogar

We had the first family home evening as a branch this last tuesday and
it was great! A member taught a short lesson then everyone piled into
the cultural hall for some classico games like relay races, the good
stare game while everything is being set up, and everyone's favorite-
popular mexican musical chairs! Presidente Tavizon remarked to us how
there was as many people there as would come to sacrament meeting.
It's been really cool seeing less active families coming to church
again. the castro's who had the huge pig at their house have been one
of our focus familes especially since the youngest is above 8 and
unbaptized. Eddie, (19) was always on his phone every time we came
over but Monday night when we taught the Restoration, we asked for
everyone to add us as friends on facebook. This caught his attention
and throughout the week we were able to send mormon messages to him
for the whole family to watch. On Sunday he told Pres. Tavizon that he
wanted to go on a mission which made him the happiest I've ever seen

The lesson I learned was that when both parties stay pessimistic,
nothing good will ever get done. We focused on doing all we can to
show the members that we're making progress. We had Hno Favela come to
a few lessons Wednesday night which softened his opinion of us. It's
nice now having good relations with members and local leaders! Having
meetings where things happen are the best!!


We have been having two lessons a week with Edwin so we can get
everything needed done before his baptism on the 14th. When he brings
up questions he quotes the verse that he doesn't understand and then
explains what he thinks it means. I haven't met a nineteen year old
who's as dedicated as him.

This week I humbled myself and man was that hard. It's no fun when
you're always wrong but when your companion is a little older and has
had a career it's bound to happen. I have come to realize that
missions are like marriages but you match much more often. It's got to
be a two way deal. Luckily Elder Nistler is a great guy and very
accepting of my flaws. I feel like we're rocking it out here.

Love you guys!
Elder Bryan