Monday, October 5, 2015

Familia de Oro (a golden family)

I had changes this week. I have left Alameda, San Marcos and I am now in San Bernardino (Sanber), Mazate Flores. I have left the mountains and I am now it the best zone in the mission. It baptizes the most out of all the mission and it is filled with a bunch of American restaurants (Wendys, Taco Bell, Subway, Pizza Hut, Burgur King, Little Ceasers, etc.) It is really great. the weather is completely different here though. I definitely don't need my sweatshirt anymore. During 2-5 it is so hot that i sweat so much that my glasses just fall off my face, but at 6 and on it is nice weather. It doesn't bother me though. The people here are a lot different also. they are less educated, but they are so much more humble and nice. We will just be walking and contacting and the family we will contact will always let us in and be really excited to meet us. For example, This week my companion and I were heading back to eat lunch, but on the path he told me that one day we should contact a house we were passing because they always stare at us when we pass. Although we were late for lunch, I told him that we should just do it now.It turned out that it is a Familia de Oro (a golden family) They told us that they will go to church this week, they don't go to a church, and they don't work Sundays so they can go to church every week. They were really happy to talk to us and gave us food. The family is a family of 12 people and they can all get baptized except for one (he is 7). We have a new house and all it has is a fridge, Pila, desks and beds. I am living out of my suitcase right now. My new companion is called Elder Goldinez and he is my favorite companion I have had so far. He is from Honduras and is the District Leader too (I was lowered this change). In Mazate, it is so prosperous that it has two zones Mazate Las Flores and Mazate Linclon. I am in Mazate Flores, but Hermana Clifford is in Mazate Linclon. I will not see here too much, but I did see her at the conference this Saturday, so we took a picture together. I don't have it; she does, she told me she will send it to me so if i can I will send it to you if she does send it to me, if not, she will probably send it home today sometime. I watched the conference in Spanish this time, but to be honest I didn't watch it all to much. I decided that I was going to spend more time getting people to the conference than watching it and my area is kinda far from he church (that is the hardest part of my area. the people are pretty poor and it is hard to get people to church unless we pay for them). My Spanish is fine though. I don't understand songs though and I cant listen to songs to improve that on the mission anyways, so I am not too worried about it. Other than that it is fine. I do learn more words in each area because every area has things that the other area didn't have. It is kinda like the micro-culture changes that are in each area. It's great here.

Monday, September 28, 2015

I also bought a jar of frosting and ate it, It was a bad idea...

There are changes this week. An assistant told me that I was going to have changes this week, but who knows what will happen. I have been kinda thinking that i would like to go to a harder area where the church isn't to strong and help out members and stuff. We found a lot of new people this week and a few of them seem pretty positive and some other investigators are progressing, It makes me happy.  We have one family that we are working with, the dad is really interested to learn, but it is hard for him to go to church Sundays. The wife wasnt too interested in what we were saying before, but this week we included her more in the lessons and she began to get really interested in the spirit world when we taught the Plan of Salvation. We also found a 16 year old girl who had a shirt that said Spencer W. Kimbal. It is a school here in San Marcos so we started talking to her about prophets and stuff and she got really interested. We are just trying to find time to talk to her parents. We made brownies this week too and gave them to our bishop. They love us now. I also bought a jar of frosting and ate it, It was a bad idea because it isn't probably the best thing to do, but whatever, no regrets.

Monday, September 21, 2015

This week was quite eventful.

This week was quite eventful. We went to Reu and had out District leader meeting. I love those because they help me out a lot, I get good food, and most of my group are district leaders (because we are all awesome), So I get to see them. They are all in the coast so I don't know them, that is the same reason that I do not know or have ever seen Hermana Clifford. My companion had a stroke of genius and came up with an idea to help get the members more excited about the work. We went to a bunch of members houses and explained to them how people from the Book of Mormon are real life heroes. We then gave them a Book of Mormon to give to someone and took there picture with it. We then made a giant poster of the pictures with a picture of the Avengers (but iron man and captain america are changed to Book of Mormon characters and told people to join the the team and it invites them to give out a Book of Mormon. We put it in the church and all the members really liked it, but the stake president got really mad at us and said that we were wasting time just taking pictures with members. I'm not sure why he is mad when we got a picture with his family and his family liked the idea. We also had emergency changes this week and Elder Cook is leaving the area. When we found out, we were all eating dinner with the bishop. Elder Cook doesn't want changes so the bishop offered to call the mission president and tell him no. He called him. It didn't stop the changes from happening, but he gave him more time to be in the area (like 3-4 days). We were also told that there will be more emergency changes later today. The changes are making the Zone Leaders and assistants stress out so everyone seemed kinda annoyed. It is definitely teaching me a lot about being a leader. We didn't have much time to work with our investigators this week because of all the other stuff we had to do, but we were blessed to find a some one this week. She used to live in San Pedro and all her family got baptized except her and her daughter because her husband didn't let them do it. They then moved and she left him, and now we found her. She still wants to get baptized and is excited to go to church this week.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The good news is that I will probably be able to eat Taco Bell today

Today, me and my companion have to go to Rue for a meeting so I have don't have much time to write and it is earlier than I would like to write. The good news is that I will probably be able to eat Taco Bell today. This week we did a play of the restoration and then after we had a missionary dress up as Goliath and little kids hit him with balls like they were David. If they hit them, they got a bar of chocolate. we also went to Xetulu this week, which was really fun. I didn't get to eat much before, so I almost puked on some of the rides. Pretty fun stuff. There was also a new ride with boats. Basically it is the slowest and lamest ride ever (it is like it is a small world ride from Disney Land but there is no song, no dancing things, and you just keep making an S.), But they put water cannons on the boats so you can aim them and attack other boats and people that are out of the ride. That was fun to attack other zones and the Mission President.  If they had the cannons at Disney Dad, Joey and I would have never gotten off those things.  We didn't have anyone go to church this week, which meant a lot of baptism dates fell, Which is really sad. Also, there is a big chance that me or my companion will get emergency changes tomorrow because they are opening 2 new areas and they are going to put 10 missionaries there, so they told us that our zone will have 9 emergency changes. I will know more about it later today.
Love, Bret

Monday, September 7, 2015

They ended up eating a bunch of our food storage, so we have to buy it all back

We are going to xetulu again this week (the amusement park) so we are working today and have only a short time to work today. so Guatemala didn't have a melt down this week because the president resigned and he is being put on trail. We still had to stay in the house all Sunday because it was elections that day. we ended up studying, eating, and playing Uno all day in the house. It is staring to rain consistently every day now, which is great. I still like the rain and it can get you more opportunities to teach people too. The assistants had to sleep in our house this week so I got to do divisions with them. They ended up eating a bunch of our food storage, so we have to buy it all back. Besides that not much happened this week. Our investigators are doing well. We had a baptism for this week, but it fell because she didn't go to church this week. We also have another family that says that they will start going to church this week. We also visited an inactive family. The husband was a stake president and then he went inactive - but he said that he will start going back to church this week. If the family starts going back, that would be a huge gain for the ward. All in all I am good though. I kinda wish i was in my area more, but I have to do divisions and divisions usually help out my other areas a lot. I trust my companion though, he is a really good missionary.

Monday, August 31, 2015

In other words, we are loaded on beans and toilet paper.

So we now have a singles ward and another ward? Is the other ward even from our stake? So Guatemala is getting pretty unsettled. The elections are this Sunday and the citizens are about to explode. The president they have now is corrupt and is stealing money put he is not be put on trial, so the people are going nuts over it. they are trying to get him taken out before elections so they are blocking off streets and having manifestations (that is when people parade the streets with posters and torches and stuff), so no one will vote so there can be no new president, but there will be one. If there is a new one the "Experts" are saying there will be a Golpe de Estado (when I put it in google translate, something in France just pops up). Golpe de Estado is basically just when the people fight against the leaders. Last time this happened they had to rewrite their constitution.We had to buy a food supply this week for the next week in case things get too hectic and we have to stay in our house all week playing Uno or something- In other words, we are loaded on beans and toilet paper. we cant leave Sunday either (day of the elections). We will go to church and then go back home. It's pretty exciting to learn about Guatemalan politics, they have like 20 political parties that are all popular, unlike us, we just have 2. We ended up making our own Political party too called MECHO (i am not sure really how to spell it, but it means faired skinned people but not gringo). I am also glad that we have 4 missionaries living in the house so when we are in the house there is more people instead of it just being my companion and I. My new companion is great though. He is a hard working and a smart missionary. I do still live with Elder Cook (I mean he still lives with me), and I am still the district leader. this change I got two new areas in my district so I am now in charge of 6 areas. that is half the zone and right now we have the biggest zone in the mission with 12 areas. That is so strange that Chase is leaving to the mission. it makes me sad that I will have to wait two years to see him now. Thanks for everything. I have to go.

Bret

Monday, August 24, 2015

I eat meat from who knows what part of what animal

This was a super awesome week. Elder Hermano Jared Fuentes (I am still not sure what to call him, just take two of those names and you might be right) left and returned home. That kid was really funny. We also had changes this week and I am not training, not sure why, I thought I would be, but I have my new companion with me and he is awesome. His name is Elder Méndez and he is from Honduras. He has only one more change than me on the mission. My old companion, Elder Cook, is training a gringo and it is kinda fun to watch him and see him... adapt I think would be the word? It reminds me of when I first got here. We also now have 4 people living in the house which life kind of a party when we are home. It is also helping the area out a lot. Our dats (dinner appts) are not twice as good -they are three times as good because there is just a kind of help you get when there are two missionaries in the ward even though you don’t work in the same area we split the area in half. Sorry, I don’t have pictures of any of this though.
 This week we also got to see Elder Russell M. Nelson talk. He was going to go to Xela and we were going to see him talk in person, but something happened and he couldn’t come so he did a live broadcast in Honduras to those missionaries and our mission got to watch it. He said somethings that I will never forget and it strengthened my testimony of the living prophet and apostles. One thing he said was that he had a grandson go on the mission and when he got back he couldn’t talk English anymore. He said that it made him really sad that he couldn’t speak in English anymore because that meant he did not use his language study time to teach his companions English like he was supposed to. That made all the gringos cringe a little. He also told us that God is very unpleased that there are more men in the church that do not have the Melchizedek priesthood than those who do. He also told us as missionaries that "I am not asking you guys for baptisms or converts, I am asking you guys to prepare people to go to the temple." when he said that it really changed my perspective on less actives.   Well, my area now is the area that we were not working on too much so we didn’t have too much going on in our area, but this week we were able to find a family and two other people accepted dates for baptism. We still don’t have much but I am sure that by the end of this week we will have a lot to do. we also have a baptismal date for this week, he is completely good to go, he just says that if he can receive a stronger testimony through prayer this week he will get baptized with another kid that the other Alameda area is going to baptize this weeks. Please pray for him. His name is Antonio. well, I have a District leader meeting this week, so I have to go back to Reu this week to so I will probably eat Taco Bell at least once this week and think of dad and Joey and tacos.
 Ummm, as far as eating, I am eating the normal Guatemalan stuff. I am growing a secret love for platanos though. It might be something that I miss when I get home. So maybe you can figure out how to whip me up a plantano shake? But ya, I am just eating beans, rice, (I am kinda advoiding tortillas and tamales, I am kinda done with them), bread, platanos, caldo (it is a soup that is just water, grease, and vegetables), potatoes, salads of cucumbers, corn,,peas,,carrots, and sometimes lettuce, and I eat meat from who knows what part of what animal, but ya that is kinda it.  Thanks for always making me try food.  Sorry I didn’t eat all your vegetables.  I will now.
 The apartment is really good. where we live is where a senior couple stayed for like5 years or something and they left all the stuff they bought here so we have a washer machine and dryer, a really big bed (but Elder Cook has it), some carpet (I am still awe stricken about that), sofas, and a microwave and a real oven. We are living like kings here in Alameda.

 I don’t know if I will ever leave the mountains, I am not too concerned about it though. I do think that if I do leave though, I will come back 2 or 3 changes after.
I am District Lider Mecham!


He is small- Like grandma Niccum small

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Mini Missionary is the coolest Chapin I have met

It was a fun week this week. Monday was a normal P-Day adventure and like normal we had a District Meeting Tuesday morning, but when we got home, we called to make sure we could still go to appointments and called to make new ones for the ones that fell. right as we finished and were about to head out, the Zone Leaders called us telling us that we had to get down to Reu for a meeting tomorrow. We then called everyone back to cancel and get to Rue as quick as we could. we almost got stuck in Xela over night, but we somehow found a bus (the last bus) that was leaving 20 minutes late because the driver left to buy food or something. We super lucked out though. We stayed the night at the Assistances house with some other missionaries that I knew because they are dying so they went to the temple for the last time with the President. The reunion was for all those who are going to train this change, and me and my companion were asked to train (or at least go to the training meeting). The whole time they were telling us that we MIGHT train, but there were 24 people there and there are 24 new missionaries coming in and we also ended up writing a letter to our kids. So ya, I would say I am training. I am excited to train, kinda.  It just kinda depends on if my kid will want to work and how obedient he will be. We also found a kid this week that wants to get baptized and has accepted a date to do it. Him and his sister (and her boyfriend) went to church too. Their parents are encouraging him to get baptize but they don’t want to take the step themselves, but I got at least six weeks more to bother them about it. The Mini Missionary is the coolest Chapin I have met. He is really funny and really baggy (trunky). It is a good thing he is dying this Wednesday. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I have decided to lay off the chocolate.

This week we got a call in the morning telling us that me and my companion are going to be split up and that we are going to receive mini missionaries. We spent the morning completely changing the house so two more missionaries could come. Only one showed up and from what I have heard, the other one bailed out, so we only have one mini missionary right now, so we are in a trio. The mini missionaries name is Jared Fuentes, and he lives in Tecunoman, the hottest zone in the mission, so he is dying from the cold at night. He is actually doing better in it that i thought he would. Right now we are focusing on finding new people to teach, so I am excited about that. I have decided to lay off the chocolate. my acne has gotten better but it is not gone and every Latino that has ever gone in the house and has seen my bags of chocolate kisses always tells me that it is the reason why I have acne, and I have been eating kisses and snickers since forever so I am deciding on laying off it a little and seeing if my skin will get better in the meantime. I did divisions this week with an elder ad he told me that his mom is crazy obsessed with a theory that the book of Mormon took place around Ohio and that there were elephants in America (the Book of Mormon proves it) I think I will look up a little about that. I am glad the dog is doing better and it sounds like your Boston trip is awesome.  I wish I could go to the museum of Science sometime.  I would love that.  The experience really was wasted on you.  You should go the museum of books.  Oh right, the bookstore.  You do that all the time. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

So we might be Guatemalan facebook famous by now.

Things are going well, but it was a super strange week this past week. There are a lot of baptisms in my area, but when my new companion came, it all changed because of all the baptisms from this year, only 5 still go to church. The stake made rules that makes it harder to baptize and the president is coming back up this week to talk to our zone. I think he will be really mad because he put a bunch of really good missionaries to get the zone to baptize again (like 18 a month), but we only got 1 this month. Our meeting with the president should be fun. Tuesday this week was an adventure. we went to visit an investigator that we are going to baptize this week, but on the way we saw him on the side of the road, bleeding. Two men were talking to him and when we came to talk to him, the two men left and just told us that he needed help. He had a bandage around his hand and a bunch of dried blood on his hand. We asked if we could see his wound and when he took of the wrap around his hand, he had a giant knife wound that was bleeding. He just told us that some lady in his house did it to him, but he didn’t know how bad it was because he is BLIND. I wrapped the rag around his hand again and we took him to the hospital. While talking to the lady at the hospital, she randomly told us to wait a minute. She then pulled out her phone to check her facebook for a little. Then she told us to continue. Some nurses were also taking pictures of my companion and I while we were there. So we might be Guatemalan facebook famous by now. Our investigator got 7 stiches (he needed at least 8) and then they sent us out. The hospital that we went to was a government hospital so it was all free. The whole time, our investigator was telling us that he NEEDED to go to his friend’s house, so we went. When we got there, it turned out that he just needed to give them some butter. It was a pretty great day.  Christine you would laugh because the people here kind of remind me sometimes of your little students that you would talk about.  They don’t always do things that make sense.
 We also did eat lunch with a returned missionary this week too. He came back to visit his old areas and on the way to Palo Gordo, he asked if he and his family could buy us lunch. We did not reject the offer I was kinda a jerk and went all out getting ice cream too, but I didn’t feel bad after I realized that my entire meal was only $6.

  I am doing a lot more divisions now and it is always cool to go to another missionaries house because they always have funny things inside. Which showed me a quote that I really like. it was a picture of Jesus holding a kid and it says "It is Good to be Important, but it is Important to be Good" (it just said it in Spanish though).  Thanks for everything you do.  
So you asked who writes – you of course and dad and my mom too.  Erika writes a lot and Millie writes to most of my siblings then Jenna and Joey.  My mom’s new baby hasn’t written me once. Wait, Jenna and Neil have Murph?  That truck has been in the Mecham family for many generations.  Neil understands it is to be taken care of and passed down, right? Like he can give it to their children or something. I will drive the bug with Millie when I get back.  I really like the stick.  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

I learned a lot of Spanish "sentence enhancers" from him.






This week was super fast and really filled. I am not sure if I already said it, but some missionaries came over to our house last Monday to take showers and the last person who went in broke the hot water. It didn’t matter too much because the next day we used the day to go to Reu for a district leader meeting. It was awesome. I didn’t escape my cold shower though because all the showers in the coast are cold, but that is because it is super hot in the coast. I am starting to get to know a lot more missionaries so it makes big meetings like this a lot more fun because I actually know people. We got back and when I got to my area my companion told me of all the dumb stuff the missionaries did in my area while we were gone (the companions of the district leaders went to my area to work while we left). I then did divisions in Palo Gordo and at night we had tortas because I heard that the best place to get tortas in the mission is Palo Gordo. Fun fact that I just learned. If Joey got back one year from today, we will both come back on the same day because i get home July 20, 2016, a year from today (my mission will be shorter than Joeys by about three weeks or so). My mission time just got shorter, which actually just makes me really sad. Our shower did get fixed though, but it is a new shower head and the water gets shot out in a straight line, but it wags around like a super happy dog. The shower head also looks like a can with a metal cup intop of it. Plus one for Guatemalan technology. We also had a super angry drunk guy follow us around this week for about 30 minutes. I learned a lot of Spanish "sentence enhancers" from him. For all those who don’t know what a sentence enhancer is, it is something that you say in your sentence to enhance it. He eventually fell down and then couldn’t get back up. My companion is really good though, probably my best one so far. We are trying to work a lot with the members but it isn’t going as well as I hoped. We have a lot of references, but it is getting hard to find time when we can visit the investigator in a time that the member can go with us. I will be in the area this week though so I hope we will have a bit more success. My companion also knows a lot about Sponge Bob so we quote it a lot. He is the one who taught me about sentence enhancers; it is a joke from Sponge Bob. I will be sad if I have changes at the end of this change.

Love, Bret

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A photo! Finally.

Elder Mecham has been serving in an area in which their Pday letter writing is on a computer that is unable to take his photos. They wrote today from a spot that has a more capable computer, but he did not have his disc with him. This is the one picture he was able to send of himself with a friend from the zone. He promised he will do his best to send me many photos next week. 
I am so glad to see this boy's face after many weeks without photos!
Christine

Monday, July 13, 2015

He ended up burning the shower head, so now there is no hot water in our house. The rest of us had to shower in cold water, which was super fun.

There were changes in Alameda this week, and my companion Elder Alarcón is now gone. He went to Retaluheu and is close to the mission president. My new companion is Elder Cook from California. Yes, I have a gringo companion and he is awesome. I am training him to be a district leader so that means this next change I will probably leave this area (which is really sad, this is one of the best areas in the mission). It also means that my companion is a really good missionary, and he is. The Mission President told us that he is excited to see what we will do in this area. the night before the changes was super insane with my old companion. We didn’t end up leaving the house until 12:00 and he got wet with the phone (because of tonterías) so the phone broke and couldn’t call anyone, or even turn on. He then called out bishop at 1 in the morning to ask him if he could drive us to the park by 4 in the morning. We got home at 1:30ish and my companion still had to pack. My companion kinda left with a bang, but not a good one…haha. The family we had to baptize for this week couldnt get baptised because they did not go to church last week, but there was a fair in my area this week too and the main day was Sunday, so they wanted to go to the fair with their mom and couldn’t go to church. So we will have to wait until the end of the month to baptise them. Even our attendance in the ward dropped from 220 to 180 this week because of the fair. We are working really hard and getting to know all the members, because they all have references. We have all of tomorrow and Wednesday day filled with appointments because of the members. It is really good though, especially because I have another meeting in Reu with all the other district leaders tomorrow and Wednesday. It is good because my companion doesn’t know the area, so he couldn’t work solo, but he knows the members, so he will just go with them. Today, we had other missionaries come to our house so they could shower because they couldn’t go to the zone leaders house like normal because they are in reu for their zone leader meeting. So the first person that showered was in there for like 45 minutes because he took his time because the rest of us were talking. He ended up burning the shower head, so now there is no hot water in our house. The rest of us had to shower in cold water, which was super fun. My companion is also really tall, like 6ft 4in, and he has been in the coast his entire mission so he didn’t have a sweater. We had to find him a sweater, and it was hard because he is really tall, but not at all fat.   Thanks for asking about supplies but you have kept me stocked. As of now I am good. the only thing I would want is m&ms but they are here in my area so I just need to buy them. No one needs to send me them while I am here. We are at a new computer place so I will try to send more pictures. I could just send that one because the missionary took it at the change meeting and emailed it to me by his camera.  I am glad you got to see Joey on your trip too.  I can’t believe he has left the club.  What am I supposed to do now. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

We also got to ride in the back of semis and stuff. It was pretty sweet stuff.

Happy Fourth of July. We had a family all set for baptism this week, which is good because we promised president that we would baptize this week, but the bishop told us that he wants us to wait  two more weeks until we baptize them. So it won’t happen this week. We had a cool service project as a zone this week. We helped move a clinic from one office to another. There were just a bunch of (Guatemala) problems though. For example, we had to move giant desks from up stairs to down stairs, but the stairs were not big enough to bring down the tables. We then had to drop the tables from the second story to the ground to other missionaries, but there were only enough room for two missionaries to lower the desk and for two to catch the desks. It is a good thing that we have had zone gym days almost every day this change. we also got to ride on top of trucks with office supplies stacked on each other so the pile of stuff in the bed of the truck was twice as big as the truck. We also got to ride in the back of semis and stuff. It was pretty sweet stuff. 
 This week is changes, but I have no idea what is going to happen. The mission president called us this week. I answered and he talked to me about normal District Leader/Mission President stuff, then he told me that he wanted to talk to my companion. He then got another call and told me he would call me back to talk to my companion. I waited until 11:30-12:00 in the night and I fell asleep waiting, but he never called us. The next day the zone leaders showed up at our house because the president told them to come for something (they couldn’t tell us why). Later that night, we ate at the Bishops house and his wife told us that the President called our bishop. Our bishop hinted at us that one of us are going to have changes, but my companion doesn’t think that he will have changes, but, we will know tomorrow.
 For the fourth of July, all the Gringos wore they ties that are of the American Flag (I think it is funny that all the gringo missionaries have American flag ties). We didn’t do anything that day though because it was the American cup for soccer and Chile played so we didn’t do anything that day but watch the game (it went into overtime and penales (i dont know what penals are in English, it is when it is just the goalie and someone has to kick the ball in to goal to win the game)). 

It looks like you and the family are having fun.  I am hoping Dad and me and Joey can do another temple trip when I get back.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Why did we get a new car?

Hi family!
Freak, that is insane that Travis is home. Why did we get a new car? WE can't sell the excursion.  That car is my childhood. Oh well, is it manual at least? If it is not I will be really sad if the bug is gone. I plan to drive that with Millie when I get home. We can share at BYU. That is cool that you guys got new cars. My dad (Elder Barnes) was an auctioneer, so he knew a lot about car prices, years and models, and stuff like that. It is interesting to hear about what missionaries talk about when they get back.  Thanks for keeping me updated.  They have had one of the most spiritual expiriences that they will have in their life, then they have the opportunity to talk to the people who they grew up with (for the most part). I am doing better with what we wrote about, I am still learning how to handle myself with the situation but dad’s advice was 100% on. A mission is about serving others. I am seeing what works and what doesn’t, but it is a lot better.  Thank you for your prayers. We also found a family super cool this week. He and his Wife are super humble, and the members are super supportive of helping them, so I think we will baptise him and his wife next week. We also talked to a 7th Day Adventist.  He knows a lot about the bible and is really old. He told us that he would go to church with us if we go with him. The only problem (besides the fact that we should just flat out not do it) is that his church is the entire day 9AM to 6PM. I don’t understand why other churches do that? I understand why it is much better to have church for more than just one hour, but the whole day? The Sabbath day is not just church, if you are there all day, you are missing out on the opportunities you have to do the other things you need to do on Sunday. It was funny, one day I was talking with Elder Pucket and he was telling me an experience about how he was teaching a 7th Day Adventist and he pulled out a scripture that was super clear that says that the Sabbath day was the seventh day, which is Sunday. I laughed and then explained to him how the seventh day is Saturday and not Sunday. I blame weekends and calendars. If Sunday was not included when talking about weekends, more Americans would know that.

So that is it from Reu for the blog.  Love, Bret

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I am a missionary now, and I can’t believe in coincidence either, only miracles and answers from God. (and good advice from my earthly father)

As a district leader, I love doing the meetings every Tuesday. I am not sure why, I just like trying to help the missionaries in my district. But, this Wednesday, we had our interviews with the president. Mine was really quick. Every interview he talks about you Christine and mentions how every time there is a photo of me you say something. I told him it is because you are always doing family history on the computer or in Utah, so she can always check on Facebook too. This week has been the same though, but we had to put weekly DATS with the president and he is going to travel back up here Tuesday (tomorow) to see how we did. We did really bad, so tomorrow should be fun. That is interesting that you reminded me about how dad said to  love and serve  my companion in his testimony. I do remember that and he was right.  I have prayed and thought a lot about how I need to handle my companion and what I should do and that is the answer I always get. It is like in the Batman movie when Officer Gorden (I have no idea how I still remember his name) told Robin that he is a detective now and he can’t believe in coincidences, well I am a missionary now, and I can’t believe in coincidence either, only miracles and answers from God. (and good advice from my earthly father)That is super cool that Sam is leaving this week. I am glad that father’s days was awesome for dad. It is really kinda a bummer that dad likes nuts in his cookies. It kinda ruins it for the rest of the family, because we (or at least  the kids) don’t want to steal as much from him.

Love, Bret

Monday, June 15, 2015

Being a district leader is alright though. It is babysitting more or less,

 I don’t have anything to send pictures. Where we write in my new zone, the computer can’t read my camera or memory. Being a district leader is alright though. It is babysitting more or less, but I think it just all kinda of depends on how you district is as missionaries. My companion has a hard time with working sometimes so sometimes we don’t leave the house until 5 o´clock and we don’t work too efficiently either, but I am learning a lot from him. I don’t fight with him because that just brings about a bunch of bad things, but I do what I can. I am so grateful for dad’s advice about serving and loving your companion.  He was right and it has helped a lot.  My investigators are good, I think. We haven’t visited them in a bit. We did have a baptism though, only one though, the other two fell during the week. That is a cool idea about the drive in Movie Theater, Bugs’ Life in the garden combination.  Those kids most love you.  You were the best neighborhood mom- you always had a million things for us to do and learn so of course you are the best primary president.  Are you in Provo right now? Why? Probably for family history. That is cool that there is girls’ camp this week. I remembered going up with dad when he was on the high council all those years. It was always really fun and it was great to be there when the camp was empty.  Joey and I got into so much up there.  Glad to hear Cynthia is doing well.  That is great that Joey can baptize her.  Hopefully my blog is saying something to another of your friends.  You and dad are good missionaries. Keep it up. The elders must love you guys. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

They then ate all my M&Ms through the night.

I am doing good, but being district leader has its ups and downs. It is really cool to do interviews and talk with the missionaries in your districts, but from all the meetings in Reu, studying, and DATS, it really takes away from sleeping, so I am have been really tired lately. We also go to the gym about 3 times a week so we have to wake up a lot earlier to do that. My companion is not a district leader. In a district there is only one district leader, but in the zone, there are 2 and they are both companions. There are also 2 assistants that are companions too. Sometimes 4 if both the companions are going to leave from the mission at the same time.
 This week we had a meeting in Rue for all the district leaders. My companion from the MTC is a district leader too, so I saw him at the meeting. It was really cool to see him. we were told that we have to do divisions at least 3 times every week which is kind of a bummer because it means I am now really only in my area 3 days a week at that includes Sunday and Monday. It will be hard on my companion, which makes me sad, but I talked to the experienced district leader in out zone (I say that because he is the only one that was not called as a district leader this change) and he said that he finds that when he does divisions, the Lord blesses his area. I believe it. It was fun to go down with the district leaders because it takes about 5 hours to get to Reu from San Marcos so we eat at good restaurants (if Taco Bell and McDonalds qualify for being good restaurants), and we just talk the whole time.
 This week we are planning on having three baptisms. One is completely set, but the other didn’t pass the interview with the zone leader. She has a "Special Case" though. I’m not sure how and I am still not really clear on what that means, but basically they are going to call President and he can give us permission to baptize her. It would be really sad if she can’t get baptized. she has faced a lot of persecution from her family and friends about being baptized, but she has endured through all of it. Her son will also get baptized with her if she gets baptized this week too.
 Well, life is good right now, the mission is great, and the church is true.
Also, the down part of being a district leader is that you just have to deal with other people unwise decisions. For example, yesterday, someone from the zone and someone from San Pedro (the other zone in the mountains) had to ship their companions off to the Capital to sign for their visas so the two missionaries stayed in Tejutla (it is in the zone, but about an hour out from my area). We ate dinner with the Bishop of our ward and when we got back to the house at 9:00. On the way home I get a call from Tejutla and Elder Virgin (the elder from Tejutla) asked me if we were home yet because he is in our area because it is the greenie area of the other Elder from San Pedro so he left to my area to go say hi to members there. They then had to stay in my house because I couldn’t tell them to back to their area because it was too far to walk and there are no busses at night. They then ate all my M&Ms through the night. It just made me mad that they thought they could come in my area a waste the day (that’s my polite way of saying screw around all day).

 I also want to say thanks to you and dad again for the packages. I now have an insane amount of food that I will be sharing with my district because there is no way I can bring it with me when I have changes and I don’t think I could eat it all in 5 months. You guys have basically bought the love of my district and for that, I thank you.

Monday, June 1, 2015

ELDER MECHAM HAD CHANGES.

ELDER MECHAM HAD CHANGES. I moved from Chamac, San Pedro to Alameda, San Marcos (San Marcos is the only other zone in the mountians, so I am still enduring the cold). My area has been compared to Zion by the other missionaries and they are right. It is probably the best are in the mountains. The members are super cool and there are a lot of them (the attendance this week was 216- that’s like our ward pretty much isn’t it?  San Miguel is about that size right?) And even the investigators are really attentive and are willing to work with us to do what we ask of them. I have also been called as the District Leader, and I am over 4 areas. It is interesting, and I am not really sure what I am doing, but I am just going at it. It is pretty great. I also took pictures for this moment back in San Antonio. There is a political group caller Líder (Leader) and I took a bunch of pictures of me posing next to one of their advertisements, but they are in my memory that doesn’t work now. I will find another place and take the pictures here again in San Marcos. My companion is Elder Alarcón from Chile. I think he is the only elder in the mission that is from Chile. He is a really cool and laid back guy, but sometimes it is hard to work with him, but he is really good with the members. Also, the house I live in is amazing. It has a fridge, oven, microwave (which is really surprising), and washer machine and a dryer (which is even more astonishing), and a room with a carpet and couches. I AM LIVING LIKE A CHAPIN KING. San Marcos is also a lot richer than San Pedro, so most everyone has a car and many have gone been to the U.S. (legally for the most part. Most don’t make too much money if they go illegally. The mortality chance is much higher too if you go illegally). I did get my box from you guys and it is chalk full of kisses and peanut butter. I am really glad I got it at the beginning of when I had changes, so now I have a lot of time to finish it before I have changes again because there is no way that it will fit in my bags. It is really nice to eat again while I study during the night, especially now that I have to take DATS and all that good stuff every night. I am excited for this month; we already have a baptismal date for an investigator for the 13th. The people are just really friendly here too. It is great.

Monday, May 25, 2015

If we lived in the days of Christopher Columbus, I would have told you guys that i found the edge of the world.

It is nice to know Christine that you got an early start on your nesting for when I get home, but I still have a lot of time in front of me so don't worry too much. This week was hard but came with a lot of undeserved success. We had very little lessons this week, but the lessons we did have came with much success. it was a very bitter week for dats but very successful for the area. weird how that worked out. Thursday I ended up getting sick and am in the hospital right now... SIKE! I am fine. hahah I did get sick, but it only lasted for a few hours. I also did divisions for the first time when i stayed in my area with the District Leader. I was the first time that has ever happened in my mission because usually the district leader is my companion (that is actuall a lie, it happend one time in the previous change). It was cool though because the District Leader was my old companion, so I was with an old companion the whole day. we also have changes this week so I will know if I have changes tomorrow. anything could happen because I am more or less still in my first area, the president is talking to my companion about him training, and the stake president is asking for Hermanas in the area that I am (I guess we are not cutting it (I don't blame him though, the Hermanas are awesome)). For P-Day we went to a river in a volcano, it was super cool, but we came on a bad day and it was super foggy so we couldn't see much. Dad would have loved it though and I would love to go here with him. Since it was foggy you actually couldn't see anything, but still cool.  If we lived in the days of Christopher Columbus, I would have told you guys that i found the edge of the world. there was two feet of water outward and then nothing. Nothing below the water, above it, or up high in the skies. it was super cool. I took pictures, but we got back so late that I don't have time to attempt to upload them. so once again, I have failed you guys with an even more boring letter for the blog. But the work continues. Love you all and I am thankful for your  support and prayers.

Monday, May 18, 2015

I find that we just need to be super direct with them (almost uncomfortably direct)

My first Zone Leader was called to be an assistant and he came to visit the zone this week to help out. It was cool seeing him again and he laughed when he saw that I was still in the zone. This week was the week of the carnival and the rain started this week so it was a very slow week for us and not much happened. I have been eating a lot of churros lately, but the churros here are nothing like how they are made in the U.S. we also had a stake activity. Basically groups of people through-out the stake prepared things and presented them. The stake president asked the missionaries to prepare something so we made a dance and danced for the stake. I also found a sweet chess hat in a paca. the work here is pretty slow right now. We have investigators that will get baptized, but still won’t get married. We also have other that will read the Book of Mormon (and they know it is true), but they won’t go to church and it is hard to talk to them because the appointments with them always fall. I find that we just need to be super direct with them (almost uncomfortably direct) so they give enough attention to what we are saying so they understand why it is important that we come back to talk to them. This area has really been a learning process for me. I will try to upload the pictures and videos of the activity. I don’t know if the computer could handle a video though. We also have our stake conference this week too, so I am excited about this Sunday. Our Stake President can speak well and he is super smart. I also heard that he is super rich too. He is the director of a university here in San Marcos and he really likes chess, but I can’t get someone to go with me to play him (he has invited me many times to play him).

Monday, May 11, 2015

The good news about the fair being in town is now I can buy churros every day

Hi!  it was so good to talk to you and the family and to my mom's family too. This week was kinda hard because we have the fair in town and it is mother’s day. A lot of people are not in their house because of it or at least just don’t feel as talkative. I went on divisions with the zone leaders this week too. I went with Elder Merrill to San Pedro. Elder Merrill is (NOT) a Gringo (he makes it very clear to anyone who calls him one) because he is from Canada and not the US. I asked him a lot of questions about Canada though. It was funny, we did companion study in the morning and he was telling me about a scripture that says how America is the blessed land. He then told me that when the Book of Mormon mentions America, it is not just talking about the United States.
 I am also noticing a pattern about my area. We will find someone new to teach and put an appointment to return, but when we return someone new is there and the other person is not. We then talk to them and put an appointment. When we return someone new is there. Basically we end up finding a bunch of new people to teach but are never able to teach them twice. It always has me leaving the house asking myself questions like ¿How many people live in this house? When we contact though, the people a more direct and tell us no and close the door right away on us, which in all truthfulness I am grateful for. It is a little discouraging, but it saves a lot of time because no we don’t have an investigator that avoids us and we can use are time in other places because after we can get a second lesson, we are like salesmen, we don’t leave you alone after the first time that you say no to us.
 The good news about the fair being in town is now I can buy churros every day. it is pretty great.
 Thanks for the birthday shout outs and Happy Mother’s Day to you and to the rest of those Moms that are out there. I hope you squeezed every last thing you guys could out of you’re the kids.Robert is going to Paraguay (90% sure) or Uraguay (10% sure), but I know it is one of those two.

 It was good to talk to Joey, the connection was great (it was actually the best of all the connections that I did last night). I am glad that the Stake President gave us more time so I could talk to him; it has been while since I have been able to talk to him one on one like that.

Monday, May 4, 2015

This week was filled with good and bad days.

While my comp is getting attacked I am playing checkers!

Fire Truck selfie!
This week we had another meeting with the mission president and the mission. After, I did divisions with the district leader (my old companion) so I stayed in San Antonio with Elder Puckett, a gringo from Springfield, Utah. It was really cool to go back to the other side of San Antonio and see old members and investigators. They all made fun of me because they heard I was only in chamac. This week was filled with good and bad days. We had investigators that really progressed, and some that really fell. It is always a super bummer when someone you were teaching falls. We also had people that told us that they were not ready for baptism, they wanted to know more. We explained to them that we only need faith and repentance before we can be baptized. Knowledge is not faith. They then became super excited and told us to come back so we can talk to their husbands and they can get married and then be baptized. It was pretty cool. We also went to our mission leaders house and I played the mom at checkers and her three kids attacked my companion. It was really funny; I will send the pictures later. We also talked to some members to get the skype ready for this Sunday. I love Spanish because I find that I end up just joking around when I speak it. That’s why I love the members. Rarely can I joke around with an investigator before I can gain a lot of confidence from them, but with the members, that’s all we do. It’s great. We also had a scavenger hunt today Grings Vs. Latinos. The Latino team ran around and they made the scavenger hunt so we knew we were doomed to loose. Guatemala is a great place for a scavenger hunt because it is filled with pacas. A paca is small store where they buy trash bags of stuff and they don’t know what is inside. They then sell the stuff, but the stuff they get is things you would buy at a thrift store or a garage sale. you can find almost anything because of pacas. Anyways, we got pictures of everything in the list and we returned back already knowing that we lost. we compared pictures and it turned out that one of the things we had to find was a sign that says "welcome to San Pedro, Saquetepéquez" the Latino team ended up taking the picture of the other side that said "happy travelings from San Pedro, Saquetepéquez" We won because of that and they then had to buy all of us icecream. Well, see you Sunday.  I can’t wait. 

Bret

Monday, April 27, 2015

They are like small brown beetles. I don’t like them because they always jump in my hair. I guess they just get excited to touch hair of a conche too.

My new companion is called Elder Zuniga, and he is also from Honduras. He is kind of a strange one, but that just makes living with him fun. He talks about his girlfriend a lot and one day a member went off on him and said that she is going to find someone else while she goes on her mission (she is going to serve a mission soon), so I make fun of him for that.  I make fun of most missionaries with girlfriends that are waiting for them because they can’t use it against me.  Thanks Dad for teaching me this! It is pretty great. We found a bunch of new investigators this week, but none of them seemed too overwhelmingly positive to me. Our ward mission leader told us that the secret to missionary work is to always find new, always be looking and focusing on news (He baptized 500 on his mission so I am lead to believe he knows a little bit of what he is talking about). Not sure if I am tired of the same area. I feel the same as I did two changes ago (it is just a feeling of indifference). I am glad I feel that way because many missionaries have told me that they would hate any one of these areas if they were there for more than 3 or 4 changes. I am rocking change number 6. To be honest though, I am not too concerned about where "I" would like to go, only that I am were I need to be and doing what I need to. We did service for a family this week and we hoed there land. I am not too sure how to say it in English. (we moved dirt with hoes in the land that they own to plant corn). Anyways, they gave us breakfast after and I ate my bowl of tamales, rice and beans. I then went back to work and returned. They asked me if I wanted a little more food. I said  a little bit more beans (because you can’t say no). She then gave me the rest of the beans and then asked if I would like some rice with it too. I said yes and jokingly said "the rest too". I don’t know if she didn’t understand that I was joking or just wanted to see me suffer, but she then poured my bowl of beans in the rice and gave me the bowl of rice. I almost blew up trying to finish the food. There are also these bugs that are coming out now. They are like small brown beetles. I don’t like them because they always jump in my hair. I guess they just get excited to touch hair of a conche too.

Love Bret

Monday, April 20, 2015

We also found someone who has a pet monkey

Elder Mecham Had Changes This Week... to Chamac. I don’t know if you guys remember the story of Chamac, but the missionaries where taken out and it was added to San Antonio. They then put missionaries in Chamac now, which are me and my companion Elder Zuniga, a Honduran from San Pedro-Sula. So, more or less my area got cut in half and I have one half and my old companion has the other. we got to hang out with all the missionaries that were going to train or had changes the night before in the Zone Leaders house though. I also went to my first change meeting too. We have found some pretty positive people really fast though. The only problem is that all our progressing investigators need to get married and they feel as though they are not ready to get married (even though they have at least 2 kids and have been living together for at least 7 years. We also found someone who has a pet monkey! I took pictures, but the monkey is dark and it was dark outside and no matter what I did the picture would not come out well. Also a returned missionary came back to the mission to visit his converts and the members this week in Chamac. He brought his cousin and she brought her 1 and 6 year old sons (no idea why, none of them know Spanish). They just kinda smiled and said sí whenever someone said something to them. I am also going to start contacting by chess. i ask people now if there is anyone we could visit or that likes to play chess. I figured that it talking about God won’t get us in the door with their intention to really listen to us, maybe and game of chess (win or lose) might gain some of their confidence.
You asked if I am ok and if things are going well.  Right now it is hard getting  over discouragement and always working. You can have a nice day planned out but it could end up just being a day closed doors, fallen appointments, digressing investigators, and by 5:00, you are just ready to go home and call it a day, but you have to keep working. there is a lot of discouragement in the mission, but it is the one thing that happened two days ago when you had a really good lesson, found someone who gave you hope, or read/heard something that gave you what you needed to keep you going. There is a lot of failure in the mission, but it is the one success that you had that makes it all worth it and gets you going again.
You also asked about food.  The grossest thing I have eaten so far is innards. it is not that gross (counting my blessings) but I would say it is the grossest thing I have eaten. It is a bit worse now that I have had it just plain and not in a soup or something. Also, yesterday I had something (it really wasn’t bad, but my mentality of it made it bad). It looked like wet dog food and tasted like it too (well at least what I imagine what wet dog food would taste like). We ate it with the RM that came back to visit people from the mission and he ended up puking. I figured I would too if I have not grown accustom to the food here. There is also this type of meat (it is like a Guatemalan Meatball) that I puke after every time I eat it.

I don’t mind platanos now. They remind me of apple sauce (don’t know why), so I just think of apple sauce and I can eat as many as are put in front of me. But I am still the biggest fan of eggs and beans with tortillas.

Monday, April 13, 2015

I also did divisions with the zone leaders this week and one of their investigators is into chess

Christine, Thank you, I like the act styled questions. ha
No, the mission is not what I thought it would be. There are problems where I thought that there just wouldn’t be problems. With companions, members, and investigators. I just figured it would be easier than it is. I learned that there is a reason that they call it missionary WORK. It is hard because it is not a job of what you doing, it is about being. There are no breaks when it comes to being something.
I haven’t had any mind blowing spiritual moments, but there have been things when I have thought, no, this wasn’t a coincidence.
I love what you become because of what the mission demands. It is awesome being in a different country and learning spiritually and mentally. You just gain an understanding of things. I don’t like... well, that changes daily.  There is not really one thing that I don’t like, just sometimes I feel like doing something that I cant because I am a missionary. But it is part of the job, it is what I signed up to do.
My testimony has grown, in just about every aspect. The restoration, plan of salvation, prayer, sacrifice, the Love of God, obedience, families. I don’t know why it has grown, it is just a gift we receive when we study and serve the Lord.
My area is picking up now. We have found 5 families and all of them are positive. The only thing that will stop them is marriage because none of them are married and in every one of the families there is one person that doesn’t really want to get married. They all have kids though. We explain to them why it is spiritually bad, but the husbands are saying that they want at least 10 more years to live with the person before they marry them. There are many flaws in that. If we can get them married though, we will baptize them too this upcoming change. The only thing is that this week is changes and I think I will have changes. My companion told me that is a bummer that I will leave and miss the chance to baptize 5 families (it would be about 12 people that we would baptize). It doesn’t bother me at all though. In missionary work I see it as 3 steps. Find, Teach, and Baptize. all of them are necessary steps in missionary work, and which one you do doesn’t really matter, just as long as you are doing your part.
  I also did divisions with the zone leaders this week and one of their investigators is into chess! I played him a bunch, but he recently got a clock so all he wanted to do is play blitz (I don’t blame him at all), but I never played blitz that much so he smashed me every time. I didn’t mind, I was just glad that I got to play for the first time on my mission. It reminded me of home when me and dad played and he always beat me, but ¡NUNCA ME RENDÍ!

  That is a super bummer about Erika, missing part of the MTC is a bummer. She will be fine though; God always looks after the missionaries.


Love, Bret

Monday, April 6, 2015

I forgot you grew up Catholic so you know all about Good Friday.

Conference was great this week from my member perspective. I was able to watch it in English, which is awesome. There is just a different feel when you’re her the conviction in the voice of the person. Especially when you have someone awesome like Elder Eyring or Elder Holland talking. From the perspective of a missionary, it was really bad. We couldn’t get anyone to go. Maybe it was because of Easter the whole zone had problems bringing investigators to the conference. It just showed us what we need to do now in our area. The money thing worked out fine, everyone received money the next day. I am fine with money though, I have to call the money giver person to tell him to take some money out of my account. I think I will have changes this change, but the two week mark is up so we could not baptize any investigators that we find now, only my companion will next change. He is kinda discouraged and board of the area though. It is cool seeing conference in two different languages (when the talk is in Spanish we change it to the Spanish channel to listen to it). It is  a blessing. I am thankful for your  support and love you all.
 Part of Chamac that we found. the chapín in the photo is Mynor. he got back from his mission 2 months ago and is the bishops son.
I am glad to hear the garden is doing so well and it sounds like your primary activity went well there.  I do think the idea for a movie night would be good for the youth and the ward too.  We don’t have the technology to do that here.  I wish we could do that though it would great.   I forgot you grew up Catholic so you know all about Good Friday.  Here it is crazy though. I have a little of the streets during semana santa. In case you don’t know semana santa is Easter, but here, they celebrate it the whole week. The big day is Friday though, because the people decorates the street and dresses up to re enact the crucifixion of Christ. Good Friday is a scary day though. I am lucky and am in the mountains and can work. In the coast, the girls cannot leave that day and there are restrictions for the elders in the coast.
Easter Streets!
The streets for Easter




Monday, March 30, 2015

We gave her a blessing and she was better later that same hour.

I am excited for conference; I think it will help a lot of our investigators out with their conversion. I will try to watch it in English, I will be sad if I can’t watch it in English. When the talk is in Spanish though, we switch it to Spanish. Sorry I couldn’t write last week. I went to Guatemala City to sign for my visa and it was on pday when I did it so I could not write. I met a missionary on the bus who has the last name Powell and she plays lacrosse, but was not related to Mikey Powell so that bummed me out. One of the mornings this week, a member came knocking at our door with her child puking in front of our house. It started a few days ago at school and the dad was not home ever to give her a blessing and if they don’t have money to buy medicine or go to a doctor. We gave her a blessing and she was better later that same hour. It was really cool. I am not sure if I have already told you but I have two areas that we have to take care of, and I am finding that the hardest part is getting people to church now. We have to leave early to do divisions with members to go to both churches, but when we go to people’s houses they are not there. We had an activity for youth this week to motivate them to go on missions. The stake invited all the missionaries to go and we ended up just playing a bunch of soccer and giving the kids fake mission calls. No one has money again in the zone (like what happened back in September) except me and the zone leaders. I talked to my companion about why he doesn’t have money and he told me that he sent a bunch of it to someone. I have to pay for him now, but I talked to the other missionaries about it and they told me that it kinda happens a lot. Well, I love you and am sorry that I don’t have pictures. I think just after time in an area you take pictures of most everything that you would take pictures of.

Love, Bret

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

For a district meeting this week we had to answer the question Iphone or Galaxy?

A little portion of his letter to his dad this week...


For a district meeting this week we had to answer the question Iphone or Galaxy? everyone chose Iphone and i was the last one to go up, but I knew when was right and i put galaxy. My district yelled at me and talked to me about unity. I then disputed them about choosing the right over what the rest of the world thinks is correct. I explained how Galaxy is utilized for the service of man while Iphone just wants the praise of man. At the end of the meeting I had converted the entire district. I have my earthly father to thank for that.

More like Spanglish.

My companion is good and a hard worker. We didn't have much going on for us when he came, but now we have some possibilities. It is still just difficult to get people going to church. Everyone has church and a lot of the time they have a calling too, so it is hard to get them to leave there duties so they can go to another church. A lot of the time it is just hard to get a second visit because they are not usually not there for the next planned appointment and they don't take there phones with them when they leave. The language is coming. I don't have a problem talking to anyone or anything, but there are still those topic that are hard to talk about because they are things that we just don't do a lot as missionaries that everyone else does on a daily bases. I do think in Spanish though, more like Spanglish. There are just words in Spanish that come to me much faster in Spanish than English so I just think it or say it in Spanish instead of taking a second and thinking of the word in English.  (Like your college classes you told me about Christine. )
 I am not sure if i have already told you guys but the mission took missionaries out of Chamac (the area next to ours) and gave the area to us to. It is kinda like we white washed an area while we are still working in another. while working in the area we ran into some pastors (they call themselves apostles, (and after reading Jesus the Christ it kinda gets under my skin) that preach in a church (they call it a temple) called Trono de Dios (the Throne of God). It is interesting to talk to a pastor.  It definitely strengthens my testimony of our church and how we try hard to learn all we can for ourselves.  I think that is important so that we each have our own understanding instead of relying on another person's ideas. 

Love,
Bret

...and I don't know enough Spanish lawyer slang.

My new companion is Called Elder Vega (like Las Vegas). He has 13 months on the mission, and He is a good missionary. He works really hard so I am super excited for this change. I am still in San Antonio though. He is from Hondurus but I have never seen him before. He has been in the coast his whole mission so the cold here is killing him and  I think it is a bit harder her than in the coast.  He is thinking about asking for changes when he writes to president. This week We found some one really cool. His name is O---and his is a lawyer and really open to everything we told him. We found him at a good time because he is Catholic but thinking about changing to be Evangelical, so he is trying to learn to see if he should change. At the end of the lesson he gave us a strange fruit. I don't know how to explain it, it was like an alien egg. it is like a normal egg, just bigger and orange. you have to break it apart and eat the seeds that are inside. All the seeds are clumped up buy this weird goo stuff and that is what you eat. It was really good and the seeds with the goo look like small alien embryos or something.  (Christine's note. I am pretty sure he is talking about a passion fruit- Bret was the least adventurous of all our kids when it came to eating.  Doug and I tried to get him ready by making foods I researched online.  Alas, I did not get one of these.) He couldn't go to church though because at the last second he had to go San Pedro to do some lawyer stuff. I don't know what it was though, and I  don't know enough Spanish lawyer slang. my area got bigger this change though. They took the missionaries out of Chamac (the are next to ours) so now we have 3 churches in our area and everyone in the ward boundaries. I am excited for this change.
Love, Bret

Monday, March 2, 2015

This exam was like an AP test though.

Not much happened this week. We are just kinda laid low this week because my companion is dying and doesn't want to do too much before he leaves. We did visit a lot of member families and because of that we got a lot of food. One day I went on divisions with Elder Merrill (the other gringo in my district) and we ended up going to a ward soccer game. No one showed up, so me and him played 1 VS. 1 for a little. He ended up kicking the ball on top of the church (and then climbed on top of the church to get it) and we found and caught a lizard in the church so  I would say it was a pretty successful day. When we were about to leave, a kid showed up and told us to wait because other people were coming after him. still no one showed up. He told us to wait a little as he left to get some of his non-member friends. After we figured that a sufficient enough time had passed that the kid had no intent to come back, he came back to tell us that his friends were not home.  We also had an exam for preach my gospel this week. I already had one, and it was pretty simple so i did not worry to much about it. This exam was like an AP test though. He timed us, there were written responses that we had to do, the test had to be given at an exact time and taken at an exact time, we had to staple out tests closed before we handed the test to the president, our pencil had to be a number 2 pencil, we couldn't use a graphing calculator, our Proofs had to start with one of the basic Newtonian laws, and we had to cite all our resourse in MLA format. He didn't want to see if we had knowledge of Preach My Gospel, he wanted to know if we could recite it. I probably got a 3 but I will have to check my AP test scores once it gets graded in the stranded 3 month grading period and once I remember the password to my account. We have changes this week though, I don't expect on leaving (or they would have white washed my area), but I might get emergency changes... maybe. I also might be comp. A this change (as long as I did not fail my Preach My Gospel 303 test). I would send pictures, but my camera still isn't working  I know I have  another SIM card now so I can use my camera again.
I will!
Love Bret

That cat better not be dead when I get home.


I sent Bret this photo of Frost in a box I had ready to send to Guatemala.

This is Bret's response-
That cat better not die before I get home! (you should probably send him then... just in case).

Monday, February 23, 2015

So flat Bret is the impostor Bret or the ima-poster Bret. get it? I'm punny.

Hi!
We got to go to the temple this week in Xela. The temple there is super cool, especially the baptismal font. It was nice to go back to the temple when I haven't been there for 6 months, it reminded me of home (especially because it is the first place I have been in Guatemala that has carpet). It was also super cool to do a session in Spanish. They also gave us brownies afterwards when we ate in the temples cafeteria (which is a miracle in itself). We did divisions this week a for two days in a row because one day a missionary in our district was sick and another day because my companion wanted to do divisions. My companion is ready to go home, it isn't the funnest thing in the world to kill a companion, it can get pretty hard. I know Joey did it twice at  the start of his mission too.  I will ask him about it. I also got to teach math and how to multiply, divide, add, and subtract fractions to one of the members. we didn't have a lot of success this week though, mostly because a bunch of our investigators weren't at their houses when we passed by.  Flat Bret looks cool.  I don't know if I have grown that much but my pants are tighter and maybe shorter  Didn't Dad gain like 30 pounds on his mission?  Maybe I will catch up to him.  I got into the Arc and the Atonement. it is pretty cool, but I find it weird how sometimes God is viewed (especially  when you just focus on the wrath of God.)  Tell Dad thanks for sending me that stuff to study.   I didn't get to the people of LIMHI, but I know there is something there about how God has to follow through with all that He says and that is why the people had to suffer from being captives. I  will get into that this week and we can write more about it.  Thanks.
So flat Bret is the impostor Bret or the ima-poster Bret.  get it?  I'm punny.
Love, Bret