Monday, November 24, 2014

We also had innards soup this week. It is basically just a soup but it is the insides of a chicken (like the organs) instead of the regular meat.

Christine I knew you would be ready for Christmas early.  I am sure you have watched Elf ten times.  The time is flying by. We have changes the 10th of December and I believe that I am going to have changes and get a Latino companion. It will certainly help out my Spanish. We have been having a bit more success in our area lately. We have been able to talk to people we haven’t in the past and are finding more people who are interested in the gospel. My companion was born in Texas (near Amarillo). For one of our lunches this week, my companion and I taught V---- (the cooks grandchild, he is 15) about centripetal forces by using a cup of water. He didn’t move the cup of water in an arc over his head fast enough and all the water fell on top of him. It was great. I was also offered coffee for the first time on my mission this week. (was wondering what you would do.  Just kidding) We told her we couldn’t drink it (after we had found out that she had made it) and asked for something else. She said "The only other thing I have is water... but it is cold" me and my companion thought that was great, but the Guatemalans we were with (we brought members) thought it was the worst. They don’t believe in cold drinks or something here. Even after service and you are sweating they all want hot drinks and that is what they give us. We also had innards soup this week. It is basically just a soup but it is the insides of a chicken (like the organs) instead of the regular meat. It did not taste bad, but I had a fun time guessing the anatomy and which organs I was eating. We found two people who are already close to being baptized. One of them, K----- just wants to wait until she feels ready, which is great and respectable, but sometimes things happen during the waiting time, things which give missionaries nightmares. The other one, O------, was told by her pastor at her church that she can’t go to our church. This is good because if she does the things she needs to, she will gain a strong testimony and could be better off than some recent converts when she gets baptized, but trying to not go against her pastor’s words could prevent her from progressing. Love you and  I am thankful for your prayers for me; they definitely bring miracles.


Note from Christine- Bret's English is getting worse.  It is funny to see words he is having a hard time with.  He also spells baptize with an s (baptise)  which is how his brother who served in England spelled it. 
Bret is making these ties.  The purple one is one he bought.

Patriotism in Reu!

Visa Hermosa

Monday, November 17, 2014

I learned a lot about how to take out tree stumps

Hi Everyone,
To answer Christine’s questions-we can go to the temple, but we have to be close and it has to be something the zone does for a pday as a reward if we do something good for the month or something. So we can go but it is not very often that we get the chance. The baptism fell through on Friday night. C---- (the investigator) said she knew what we are  teaching is true but her husband convinced her to go to the Catholic church with him instead of him going to the LDS church. On brighter news, the husband from the convert from last week (he is not a member) brought someone to church with him and she said that she liked the church and wouldn’t mind being baptized in the church. It is kinda strange because he usually doesn’t go to the LDS church. A few times we have seen him standing in front of the Catholic church contemplating on which church to go to, but since his  wife got baptized I think that is helping him come. We think we could baptize him soon because the only thing stopping him is weird questions like ¿Why do you throw out the bread after the sacrament if it is blessed bread? The only problem is that the men work a lot so they don’t have time to get taught (especially when they live in small towns like where me and my companion are serving because they have to go to the bigger cities to work. A lot of the time the fathers come home Saturday night, then leave Sunday after church to go to church with their families). I really think that more Priesthood in the branch would do it some good.
We did a lot of service this week. We carried bags of wood down this super muddy, narrow, and slippery path on the edge of a mountain. It has probably been the most dangerous thing I have done on my mission so far. We also leveled a side of a mountain to put a house there. The house was for an old woman and she called a bunch of people to help, but only 6 people showed up. I learned a lot about how to take out tree stumps though. The wedding was great.  I am attaching some photos.
Random flock of sheep

This little chick followed us from the top of the mountain all the way down.  Tell Dee he was asking for her.

Getting ready for your Christmas package.  (Lots of chocolate kisses.  Right Christine?)

Newest member and her family

My companion made star tortillas.

Love you,


Friday, November 14, 2014

It was the first time in my life that I have seen a 40 year old man hide under a bed. It was pretty sweet.

I got a package this week from Christine and Dad! I learned quickly that you don’t open packages when there are other missionaries; it is the quickest way to lose your stuff. We had a baptism this week for C------ She has been an investigator for years, but the missionaries always dropped her. When me and my companion came to teach her, I guess things just clicked with her and she wanted to be baptized. I don’t have any pictures because I couldn’t get my camera to work for the baptism, but she also got married this week and I have a bunch of pictures of that (Guatemalan people don’t smile when they take pictures). We also have a girl named C------ who wants to get baptized this week. She has a lot of problems with her husband, and that prevented her from getting baptized in the past. This week she just got fed up i guess and one day we stayed up helping her move out of her house while her husband was at the bar. No one else is really progressing but i am hoping that we can get some more support in the area with these baptisms because they will be the first baptisms in the area after years since the last one. Our next changes are December 10th, but I have no idea what will happen. I think the mission president might want us to stay in the area for longer, but my companion has one change and a half in the mission and I think he will change since he has been in the area for 6 months now. 
Cool story: this week we went with a kid in the ward to a reference in Siquival. It was late at night and the path we took had a lot of trees so we didn’t have the light from the moon. My flashlight stopped working so the only light we had was from the fireflies (which was super cool). The path was also filled with a bunch of dogs (which is never a good thing), but we just walked with rocks in our hands and we threw them at places where we thought there were dogs). When we got to the house, all his lights were on and he was cooking, but as soon as we called his name, he ran under his bed to hide from us. It was the first time in my life that I have seen a 40 year old man hide under a bed. It was pretty sweet.
The work is slow in my area (well at least that is the rumor about my area), but at least we got a baptism this week and are planning to have another this week. We give a lot of priesthood blessings but I usually only do the anointing of the oil because my Spanish isn’t good enough to do the sealing part. The ward is good, but it is hard because it seem as though a lot of people on the edge of being a member. For example, we use to have around 300 people at church but a stake president gave a harsh talk and now we only have 75 people coming to church. We started to teach a family English (because they wanted to learn it) and while we were at their house the father called and wanted to talk to us. He said (in English) that he is in the U.S. right now building a house for his family (he builds houses for a living) and that he was super grateful for us because we were teaching them English because he couldn’t do it. He said that because he was so grateful, he is going to give the house to the church so the missionaries in the San Antonio Area (my area) don’t have to pay for housing. It reminds me of our Heavenly Father. He wants to bless us and give us stuff because we are doing something that he can’t do right now (not saying that God cant preach the gospel himself but it would be harder for people to walk with faith if they knew God existed). In return, we get a reward that is much greater than our efforts should have given us. Hey, why isn’t Joey doing the face-offs now?

Love, Bret

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A few photos

Here is that photo you wanted Christine.  Handsome?  Right?

Pump... Pineapple Carving

My  pineapple

A typical day in the mountains

So be bought pineapples and carved them since there are not any pumpkins.

For changes, me and my companion stayed together, but my companion is now the district leader. It is nice because now we have a cell phone and can be a lot more productive since we don’t have to go home to call people. There was a giant bike race in San Pedro (It is basically the big city in are zone) so we got stuck there sometimes because they close off the streets and taxis cannot get into the city. For Halloween, we returned to San Pedro because we had to get something from the Zone Leaders, but we got stuck there again because there was a bunch of people preparing themselves   for the next day (Dia de Muerte). We had to stay at the zone leader’s house so be bought pineapples and carved them since there are not any pumpkins. Dia de Muerte was the next day and it was great and horrible from missionary work. Everyone and their families were together and it was easy to talk about the plan of salvation, but everyone was with their families and didn’t or wouldn’t talk to us. I also bought some Decorte (it is basically super special Guatemalan woman material that is handmade), which is pretty expensive, but I am making them into ties. A lot of missionaries do it. We buy one material and make a bunch of ties with it, and then we trade them with other missionaries to get other colors. There wasn’t any mail for me at the mission headquarters, but the zone leader have to go back down again today so I might get the mail tomorrow if it has made it to the mission headquarters since last Wednesday. I am doing well, I am learning a lot more of the language so I am able to teach much better and work with my companion instead of helping him. We have a baptism this Saturday and a date for another person. I have heard from the mission leader that the mission president is super happy about it because my area has not baptized in years. That is cool that you went to a church in a different language. That reminds me of the MTC on Sundays. Everything would be said in Spanish and the important things would be repeated in English. It is really cool that you went up to see Joey and Millie. So, a bunch of people have complemented me on “The Tie” that Dad got on his mission.
Love Bret