Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sweating Popsicles!

June 29,  2015

Grandpa Bryan would love Wickenburg. It's a cowboy town for sure,
complete with gold mining days in February, maybe I'll be here then :)
Full of wild animals as well: jackrabbits, quail, snakes, and
scorpions are all over out here. There's a couple people who promise
to cook us up a good scorpion one of these days. We'll see what that's
like, from what they've said it's pretty good.

It's been hot, Sunday was full of porch lessons and appointments. The
sun was unforgiving. To make a illustration, imagine someone putting a
hose over my head. Needless to say we made a short pit stop at home
before dinner.

In the last lesson we had with her we asked the baptismal questions
again, set up the interview and set a temple date to do baptisms for
the dead. She was so excited and told us how she's already been doing
her family history and has found some names for when she goes. She'd
be a perfect new convert but there's one hang up- she's moving out of
our area, by 50 feet. Kind of a bummer but the other ward will take
care of her, that's what matters most.

This Sunday, it figured out that elder Vidal would go to the branch
and I stay. It was weird not being with my companion for half of the
day and translating kicked my brain. The talks were all about the
forth of July. Unfortunately I never read the "US holidays" section of
my Spanish books, well, ok so they don't have that section but I was
really wishing there was. Translating poems and the national anthem
into Spanish probably turned out like a Picasso piece but it seemed
like they got the jest of the theme. A reminder to put all I have into
the language study every day. Elder Vidal is teaching me the peruvian
words which is really cool, their Spanish is clearer and makes more
sense. I've realized some of the things I've heard were English but
with a Spanish slur to it, truck-a and the like. Spanish on!

One morning we received a call from a member about this older lady in
Congress who collects all sorts of things and then donates them to
local churches and sells some so she can get more. The member told us
she usually brings a trailer up there every week and takes it to the
DI in Surprise but couldn't this week. I wasn't sure what exactly to
expect when we started up the road. We pulled up to her place and
woah, this huge garage/shed bigger than great grandpa Bryan's sat in
front of us, full of anything and everything. Brenda is such a cool
character. We quickly filled our truck with the boxes of clothes and
as invited, we took a mini tour of the place. Every Thursday night she
pushes the racks of clothes to the side and teaches line dance classes
to the community. This is on top of taking care of her terminally sick
husband. I've met some powerhouse people on the mission and for some
reason they seem to be the most booked, overburdened, and most caring.
She asked us to come back next week to pick up another load and
explain a little about our church. The many examples of righteous
living of her friends after years and years has lead her to this
point. It might take some time but she's already heading in the right

I asked Brenda if I could take a picture with her and she agreed. She
threw her arm around me like an old friend. I didn't feel like it'd be
a good idea to jump away or whatever, so that's why my arms around her
too. Yeah I'm probably the worst missionary ever but I was panicking.
You mom, might be the only one to see the fear in my eyes. Haha


Stay cool!
Elder Bryan

June  22, 2015

It's been quite an experience here in Wickenburg this past week. For
starters Elder Vidal is awesome. He's only been out 6 months but his
English is really good, we've tried to balance talking in Spanish and
English as equally as possible so we both grow. I guess a rumor got
spread somewhere down the line that an Argentine was coming to this
area. Most everyone I've met do a triple take. The first is that I'm
not elder Garcia, who was here for 13 months. The second is that I'm
white and not Argentinian, followed by a suspicion of doubt, "maybe he
really is Argentinian". Then I talk and yep he's a gringo. Wickenburg
is a very tight knit cowboy town, Congress is more like Tonopah, lots
of people who don't like have too many people around them. And
somewhere to the west is Wendon where we have a branch.

Friday we had dinner with an elderly member in the retirement
community where her and another member live. It was such a treat to
"hang" with the old people and see what it was like on the other side
of life. I met sister Carter who was 95 and was really kicking. She
talked my ear off about all these cool spiritual experiences she had.
When we were walking out of the dining room area she was fast. So fast
that even tall guy (me) had to stretch my stride to keep up with her.
Blew my mind how sharp someone could be.

For church we stayed here in Wickenburg so we could get to know more
people. Elder Vidal has only been here for a transfer and didn't get
to know a lot of the members (vacations, etc). Since there's a group
that meets with the ward for sacrament meeting and then splits for
separate classes, missionaries translate the first hour through
headphones. I guess I didn't understand Elder Vidal on Wednesday
because when we were finished setting up the equipment he gave me the
headset and left to talk to our investigators who came. Woah I am
supposed to translate? Wait hold up, this isn't the language they
taught me in the mtc!?! After a very heartfelt prayer, the meeting
started, the Spanish members looked at me, and boom, I translated.
Yeah I stumbled on some words (scout camp, stake business's words, and
what the hymn was in Spanish) but I did it. Even the returned
missionary who gave his testimony in Portugese.

On Thursday, Duolingo (Spanish learning app) kicked me out and I
couldn't remember my password. As I made a new account I made the
mistake and put my primary language as Spanish. Of course I wasn't
going to learn English from Spanish that's goofy so I picked
Portugese. It was easier than I thought and had been studying it the
rest of the week. So when the testimony in Portugese came, I felt a
little *God loves you* kind of kick and man, it was the easiest part
to translate. Now I don't know if all that was for me, but
I do know how good I felt and confident in the power of faith and
prayer. My testimony of how real this whole thing really is was

As Dad would always quote, "the time passed away with us, and also our
lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream". I feel it to be
more true now then ever.

Elder Bryan

P.S. Remember when I made that title about the gross fake ice cream made
out of marshmallows? Here's a picture elder Smith sent. I was sick for
most of the day and couldn't finish.

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