Monday, December 29, 2014

tener un feliz año nuevo!

Well we have spent all the morning walking around looking at houses today (The Mission President’s wife saw where they lived and told them to move).  Every place we look at is either super nice and more than 130 dollars a month or it is so crappy we are not allowed to live in it!! So it is really hard to find a house to live in, but we will keep on trying!
Since it is almost New Years, I thought I would share my New Year’s goals for 2015.
To be healthy and not die (haha)
To work hard on my Spanish!
I am feeling pretty good today. I don’t know when I am going to have an endoscopy, but I think I am going to have one this week.
We took a tour of a historic Catholic cathedral this morning.  It had an awesome view to take some sweet pictures, but I don’t have any way to send them because we are at the church and the computers do not have USB ports and everybody is really angry.
The lady that does our laundry also feeds us lunch every day, she is super cool! I really like her. Her family is my Nica family.
(Jordan told us a story about doing a baptismal interview over Skype on Christmas day; since Jordan’s trainer is the District Leader, Jordan get to accompany Elder Asencio to the interviews.  This girl, who Jordan has never met before, at the end of the interview, asked Jordan to baptize her because of his red hair, so we asked if it happened).  Yes I baptized her but she wasn’t from our area but it was pretty cool to do that. I am feeling good. I don’t know when I am going to have an endoscopy. But i think I am going to have one
I can really tell a difference in my hair imagine what the color will be like in two years!! (We commented at Christmas that his hair is redder than we have seen it since he was a baby)
We don’t have very much time today, so I think I have to go! But things will be better next week!
LOVE Elder Bronson!
P.S. I tried not to use as many hahas to help you guys out!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Doctor Results

I thought I would post a letter that we received from Sister Russell (Jordan's Mission President's wife).  She is such a wonderful and caring lady!  She has eased our fears some.

Brother and Sister Bronson,
I can imagine you are concerned after Elder Bronson's email this week.  Please know that we have been in constant touch with Elder Bronson.   He reported to us on Dec 6  that for several days he had consistent, aching chest pain directly under his sternum. He reported that it worsened when he ate and that he was also having a lot of diarrhea especially in the night and when he woke up in the morning.   This could have been gastritis.  We sent the information up to the Central American Missions Area Doctor (AMA), Dr Cragun.

He responded that it did sound like gastritis and prescribed medication, which Elder Bronson purchased and began to use, along with instructions to aviod greasy spicy foods and chocolate. Elder Bronson followed instructions, but after a few more days, did not improve.  I sent him to the hospital (which is where all the doctors also have their offices and any regular doctor appointment is done at the very nice, private Vivian Pellas Hospital in Managua).   He had a battery of tests done and the doctor told him to return the following day.  

Again I sent the results to our AMA in Guatemala to be sure we were handling the situation correctly to help Elder Bronson. 
Although in the hospital the doctor checked Elder Bronson for possible dengue, his results came back negative.  AMA also confirms it negative.
As you can see, Elder Bronson has not been feeling well, but we are doing all we can and double checking with our church physicians, to help him get better.

President and I have seen Elder Bronson in person four times in the last seven days with all the new chapel activity in Granada.  We actually saw him yesterday for interviews.  I have him on rest and increased fluids as we wait for additional test results to come in .  He could have a parasite, and the tests will let us know. Depending on the parasite, treatment can range from nothing to medication 2x/day for 5 days.

Despite it all, Elder Bronson remains happy.  Like ALL American Elders, he has lost some weight.  Many of our elders lose thirty pounds from the drastic change in fast food places, no open fridge, hours and hours of walking each day  and daily sweating.  I am constantly watching them and their weight, knowing that many will be thinner due to change in circumstances.  

I spoke with Elder Bronson tonight. Again, he was happy and upbeat, and very polite.  However, he states that he is not feeling better. And also that he is not eating very much because of the stomach pains. That said, we still need to get Elder Bronson to feel better.  Dr Cragun suggested we send him to a trusted Gastrointerologist to determine the cause of his stomach and chest pains. We will be calling for an appointment with the specialist tomorrow, If not available tomorrow, then Friday. 

I will let you know what I know, but please feel free to contact me at anytime.  Please know that although not feeling terrific, Elder Bronson has a smile on his face when I see him.   We will continue to do all we can to get Elder Bronson better, sometimes the test results just take a little while.

Hermana Russell  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dengue Fever

I bet you guys thought I wasn't going to write today!   News for this week: Reyna hasn't been baptized yet because she broke her leg on the island of Ometepee.  She hasn't made it back to Granada yet, but hopefully this Saturday though!! We are teaching a man named Julio Cesar who has had missionaries since June, but now finally we are getting him baptized this Saturday!  Also we have been teaching a girl named Deleska, who we are baptizing this Saturday as well!! So this week is looking really good! We also contacted a family and the dad is super positive.  After our first visit, he decided to read a pamphlet about the restoration that we gave him.  Afterwards, he opened up his Bible and started to read in Amos about tithing.  On our second visit, he was like here is some money for my tithing that I need to pay! Ha-ha.  He is super awesome!
I’m not sure if this is one of the things I am not supposed to tell mom or not, so I will let you decide.  It sounds kind of bad, but it really isn't that bad.  I will be good by next Monday.  I guess I have dengue fever and I have a parasite in my stomach.  I named him Julio because he is a pain, but I kinda like him. The parasite is inflaming my stomach to make it look like gastritis, so that is why I have the chest pains! Ha-ha, I’m freaking mess.  We are not taking the advice of the Managua doctor concerning the parasite; instead we are consulting the LDS area doctor in Granada.  We should have an answer tonight or tomorrow.
Here is something funny. I have been in the hospital all day and I had my first IV.  I was super bummed that I didn't get to take a pic because I didn't have my camera!  They had to take a blood sample and they nurse kept poking me and couldn't find my vein.  The as she hits it, I started to feel super sick and wanted to throw up and stuff. Then boom, I passed out.  When I woke up, there was like three nurses with alcohol wipes rubbing my nose and stuff.  I thought it was funny and started to laugh.  The the nurses were really worried because they thought I was crazy! After a couple of hours, they put some fever reducer in me and boom, I passed out again.  So right now I am super weak and if I stand up to quickly things get swirly and crap.  Ha-ha, but I am fine now.  We just got back to Granada, but if I am not doing well tomorrow I have to go back. The president will be able to take me because tomorrow he is interviewing our whole zone.  So he will see how I am doing and decide what to do I guess. It really isn't that bad, I will survive. 
I am running out of time on the computer, I love you!  Talk to you next Monday!

Elder Bronson
Jordan seeing his Nicaraguan haircut

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Too Much Spicy Foods

It is crazy that I have been out over three months!! Hunter is 13, a teenager, what the crap! Haha.  To answer your questions; I haven’t opened the mosquito repellent or the mosquito net yet.  Aloe is my savior here and I can buy it here! They also make a really expensive aloe drinks.  I haven’t bought one yet but I want to try it! The ants are much better.  We have been doing a lot of home repairs, so we don’t have ants, rats, or bats in it anymore.  That is a big plus! Also, for the first time in 9 weeks we have a toilet that flushes!  Before we just had to plunge everything down, but we had a guy redo the pluming so it actually flushes! He said I don’t know how, but all the pipes were just chuck full of crap!!! hahha (that needs to go in the blog).  
We found out today when I was in a meeting in Managua that we can write or call or both or skype or all three on Christmas! So that will be good!
Now a story that I am not sure qualifies for an only you dad or for mom too?  I am fine to start off, but I have been having a lot of chest pains.  It was getting a little scary, so we called the doctor.  So the doctor said I have something that starts with a g and sounds like arthritis, I can’t remember the name, but it is like gastritis.  My stomach is enflamed and pushing on my chest, so when I eat and walk I have a lot of pain, but it is fine we push on.  He gave me pills to take and said I would be fine in a week.  Also, no solid food this week, is rice a solid?
This last month, our zone had the most points in the mission.  You receive points by bringing people to church, teaching, baptisms etc.  We were invited to a BBQ at the home of President Russell. It was super awesome and we had a lot of good food!!! As a companionship, Elder Bachez and I are working so hard, well when we aren’t at the hospital or the doctor’s.
We went to Managua on Wednesday, just me and my companion, so we took a bus. We were going to the hospital for a checkup for Elder Bachez.  Usually it is about an hour to Managua, but there was a ton of traffic.  We were on the bus for 3 hours, which made us late for the appointment.  The doctor had gone home so we have to go back next Wednesday.  Also, we are going to be in Managua tomorrow for a meeting we have with President Russell. We were in Managua last Tuesday as well, because we needed to buy stuff for our district. Oh yeah, I am the district leader’s companion, I may have forgotten to tell you that (we are also the only elders in the District, so it is kind of given hahaha).  So many days of work lost L.
Elder Baches is super awesome, I like him a lot! He speaks Spanish at almost 150 mph, but it is really helping me learn how to understand Spanish.  Elder Asencio spoke more slowly and distinctly.  Elder Bachez is fast and machetes everybody, so I am learning a lot from him!! so that is good!
Yesterday was La Policima, which means basically everyone goes out and parties and sings in the street.  It is a little bit like Halloween, where families go house to house, but instead of getting candy, they sing and chant things to the Virgin Mary.  Because of that, it was hard to find a cyber-café that wasn’t full and because of that, I didn’t have a lot of time to email.  So I will tell more stories next week!


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hospital for Thanksgiving

Wow this week was crazy!! To start it out, on Wednesday, I was supposed to go on splits with another elder while all the other elders in our zone went to the change meeting in their suits. I was in my working clothes when I dropped off my companions at the bus. As I went to go on splits we find out that the elder I am going on splits with needed to go to the meeting as well!  So I ended up going to the meeting as well without my suit, looking like a fool!! So that was awesome! When I got there, I worked with the elders in Managua but nobody told us when the change meeting ended. At the end of the day, we showed up at the meeting, and you guessed it, the bus for Granada had already left!! It was already 20 min away, so it had to turn around and come get me which is where I met my new companion! He is super cool I really like him! His name is Elder Bachez who was born in El Salvador but lives in Guatemala now.  My new zone leader is Elder Asencio, who is in a 4 sum companionship! So that is cool!  As we are on the bus, I asked Elder Asencio, “hey who is your companion?” He said somebody and I said, “Who”, because I didn't hear him.  He said su. In Spanish su means him, her, and you, so I thought he was saying me, but he was saying this other guy. I was super confused. Anyway, we get to Granada and my companion is having crazy stomach pains, so we went home for the day. Then in the night, he was having problems; groaning and couldn’t sleep. I am freaking out thinking he is going to die or something. So we called the Hermana Russell, the Mission President’s wife and she says come to Managua, we have a clinic we like to use. So we get there and they send us to the hospital (which is nicer than any hospital in the states) it was so freaking nice, I kid you not. Why did they send us there you may ask? Because my companion, Elder Bachez’s appendix was going to explode, so they take it out immediately. He had a two and a half hour operation and then 2 hours of recovery and stuff. So what was I doing for four hours? I was with President Russell having a four hour interview!! It was a little scary!! I think I passed, because I am not coming home right now, haha!  He is a great man! The best part about being in the hospital for three days is the food. First day breakfast was an omelet. Lunch was steak. Dinner was steak. Second day breakfast was eggs and bacon. Lunch was a sandwich. Dinner was chicken. Third day breakfast was omelet. Lunch was a hamburger and dinner was steak!! It was super good! Super twanni!! (cool) haha.  That is how I spent my Thanksgiving, so don’t feel so bad for me. I have also read close to everything possible to read in your mission! The the last couple days we have just been chilling in bed, but tomorrow I get to go to Managua for a meeting and Friday to the hospital again, so I won’t be working much this week either!!
The best part of the week was we went to the ¨DI¨ of Nicaragua so you can imagine how nice it was. I was able to find 10 books of the teachings of the prophets, like teachings of John Taylor in English for 5 corbs a piece, so that was sweet!! But all in all, I have had a pretty good week!!
Love you,
Elder Bronson

PS, we have no time to write this week, so no pictures.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Birthday Party

All is well here in Nicaragua!! It is crazy to think that it was only last year that Dason and I did the all-night promotion for Travis wearing ghillie suits, it feels forever ago and yet not so long ago. The days go by so fast here, well except from 12 to 3.  During that time I think I want to go home and die because it is so hot. I can’t think straight and I have a headache.  But come 4, when the sun starts to go down, I can think again.  It is still hot but I just don’t have a sun on the back of my neck! 
All is going well, but we do have changes on Wednesday, so we will see how that goes! I could go somewhere else! I don’t know! There is a chance that they would both leave and I would have to teach the area to my new companion, which would be extremely hard! You never know, but we find out about changes tomorrow night!  It is also possible, I could go somewhere that I cannot write for a while; so I am not dead if you don’t hear from me next week!! 
Also, something kind of scary is Elder Asencio has started to have chest pains. Not pains like breathing, just pains like where his heart is!!!! I was like, we need to tell somebody. He doesn't want to tell anybody encase it is nothing. What is his deal? So, in an email today, I told President. 
One last strange thing; Elder Hartley is having bloody runs and joint pains which is a sign of a strange virus  called chikungunya, which would be extremely bad if he has that! It comes from mosquito bites so that is good, haha, there are only like a million mosquitoes,but I think I will survive!!
Now for the story of the week; we were invited to eat dinner with some of the members, which was exciting because it doesn't happen much.   I guess we were pretty excited!  So when we arrive there, there were 8 teen-aged girls there and they were all dancing with each other with romantic music on; it was super weird! We were invited in and we sit down. We find out the one girl who lives there is having her birthday! She really wanted us to be there, except we didn't know we were having a party. It was super weird, but they stop dancing and bring out a table for four people: me, my two companions, and the birthday girl! Everybody just sat there and watched us eat, while there was some romantic Spanish music on. So that was strange.  As we are eating, she says, “What do you think about my friends..............?” So I turn to Elder Hartley and say in English, “uhh, we got to get the freak out of here!!” So we say, “They look young!” Hahaha, anyway we finish eating and then she brings out cake! It was the best cake I have ever had, because I haven’t tasted anything that good in 12 weeks!!  Here is the worst part of the story! I received your package at a meeting we were at right before we went to the cita for dinner! Elder Hartley got one too.  So we had to go to the birthday party with our big boxes, so guess what she thought... that they were for her! As we were getting ready to leave, the mom said, “do you want to see her open the boxes?” I felt so bad saying no it is mine, but we did and we left!  You guessed it; they were not at church on Sunday!! I am staying strong and I put the package in my suit case so I will not open it until Christmas.
 Something awesome, my suit case is growing a ton of mold; so that is great! Also, I had to throw away the blue Easter tie because it had mold on it from a rain storm that was super bad. I laid it out to dry, but it didn’t dry quickly enough, I guess!!
Okay I want to mention about the help members are in missionary work. They are always good to have with you in lessons. For example, we are teaching a girl named Reyna and she is super positive about the Church! She was progressing, just slowly.  Then we found a member that was one of her friends and is ward missionary in the Sisters’ ward! So we invited her to a couple of our lessons and Reyna progressed super-fast!! We are baptizing her this Saturday. Reyna and her friend went to Jeno Tepee (he-no  tep-ee) and are teaching some of her family that lives there!! How sweet is that?!?!
Another example of the help members give us is on Sundays.  We currently have 22 investigators who swear on all things that are holy they would come to church on Sunday. Every Sunday, we go on splits with three priesthood brethren of the Branch to “collect” our investigators for church. This last week, we weren't able to go with any of them! So my two companions and I rushed around before church, but we were only able to get to the houses of about 16 of them to remind them. Then only had two actually came to church!! So members are very useful in the mission, when you get their help!!

Elder Bronson

Two more baptisms to complete a forever family

Elders Hartley, Bronson, and Asencio 
My District

My District, the Gatos, during Zone games, which we dominated

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The things you eat in Nicaragua

Well this week was kind of crappy, haha.  It was a good week until Friday night.  We received a call informing us that we can’t teach Renaldo and Ingrid anymore since they are out of our area now. Their baptism was the next day, along with their wedding. We were told we couldn’t go to the wedding that we paid for, but we could go to the baptism because we had one more person getting baptized. Elder Hartley was so mad like me, but he has been teaching that family for almost 8 weeks.  He was way sad! Saturday was supposed to be such good day; Elder Asencio hit the 18 month mark on Saturday.  I finished my lesson plans in PMG (I had to do a two page lesson plan every morning on each point of chapter three in PMG).  We finished reading the white bible in Spanish.  I had one month in my area. We were going to have five baptisms and one wedding with lots of cake. We had a lot to celebrate for after the baptisms were had plans to go out to eat because we needed to celebrate.  Instead of having five baptisms, we had 0 because the other girl fell and we couldn’t baptize her, which made us late to the baptism too.  Luckily, we were still able to see the family but it kind of sucked.... we were dripping wet because it had started to rain super hard right as we started the 15 minute walk to the church. Also, one last thing that sucked on Saturday is we finished studying early because we had to go meet the Hermanas to give them the paperwork for the four baptisms that they were taking over and of course they were a half an hour late.  The Hermanas are late for everything. Since Elder Asencio is the district leader, we do a lot of interviews and when we go with the Hermanas they walk so slow to the houses. It takes them 45 min to get to the church. After that we went to get our money from the mission because we get some every 1st and 15th and there was a huge line at the ATM for some reason. We waited in line for almost an hour to have my card not work for some reason, so I took it out on my own card and I just get paid back from the mission, but that really sucked. So as you can see, it was kind of a tough week, but then something cool happened.  I received a letter that was signed by everybody in the ward and that made my day a lot better! Also, I brought out all my letters that Mom, Dad, Bishop, Brother Standley, and Brother Marlowe wrote me when I left and you all said something about how a mission will be hard and doors will close but others will open. I read those this morning and it was crazy because all five of you said almost word for word the same thing. It was a boost and it made me happy. I have a renewed attitude!
Something awesome that happened last night was we taught a member because we that do every Sunday night at 8 and I could understand everything! I talked a lot more and my Spanish was super good! I was really happy and the member complimented me that it was good! Also, we got a container with three little slices of cake from Renaldo, Ingrid and family and they said how much missed us. It was super awesome! That is my week pretty much!!
I have been eating a lot of duck and strange parts of chicken, which are mostly bones with very little meat. Well yesterday we all got strange pieces. Elder Asencio got the knee cap, Elder Hartley got a bone with no meat on it, and mine was just a circle of meat but it didn’t have a single bone in it.  I have no idea what part of the chicken I was eating. All my investigators ask what I want to study after my mission and when I say cooking they want to teach me how to make different dishes.  So I have learned how to make guyo pinto which is rice, beans and fry plantains and how to make this strange beef patty thingy. It tastes good, but I don’t like what we do to prepare it.
Love you!

Elder Bronson

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Wedding Planner

Sounds like things are crazy back home!! I am sorry. My week was pretty good.   I honestly can’t remember most of it because it went so fast!  I feel like I just wrote yesterday and I don’t have much to say! But I love you guys and grandpa! I hope he can start to feel better!

I have one story this week about how hard Satan works to stop the work of the lord. We found this awesome family of four! They love church and have no problems with anything.  We were planning on baptizing them in three weeks because they have to attend church three times before they can be baptized.  So they go week one, love it. Go week two, love it!  They get super sick week three and don’t come except one of their 13 year old boys, who comes to both sessions at 9 and at 2.  He loves church so much!  We were pretty pumped and decided we would baptize him last Saturday!  He goes to his interview Friday night and as he is being interviewed he says he drank coffee like 4 days ago!!!! WHAT ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!  This was the first time he has ever tried coffee and he felt really bad, so we didn’t have a baptism and it was super sad.  Then on Saturday, we go to visit the family and they are getting kicked out of there house...... what..... ya getting kicked out of their house!  They are moving to live with the wife’s mom in a different area.  We were so sad that we will not be able to teach them.  They are still in the branch area, so they will still be going to the same church house.  We go to church on Sunday and guess who is there, the whole family except the dad..... whyyyyyyyyy?!?!  So we call the zone leaders and get permission to go talk to him.  We took a taxi to their new house and talk to him.  He is still super sick but wants to be baptized!   With our help, he comes to church for like the last half so we can baptize the family. yay! We are so happy for them!!   Last night was the only night they could have their interview. During their interview it comes out that they aren’t married!  So this morning we have been running around to all these different places in our area preparing for a wedding this Saturday, 2 hours before their baptism!  How awesome is that?! There is so much legal stuff you have to do to get married that I can see why they haven’t gotten married yet!! haha  I think if everything stays on track, we should baptize them and another girl on Saturday.  That means our district of 4 companionships will have 10 baptisms on Saturday and next week if all goes well, we should have  somewhere between 18-21 baptisms! It is so exciting to see how well the work is going now!!

(I asked Jordan some specific questions about the missionary work in his area and here are his answers:)

1. Our relationship with the members that are active is super strong. Every Sunday 3 out of the 10 priesthood holders will come on splits with us. This allows us to invite all of our converts, investigators and minus (I think he means less) actives to church!  On Sundays, the primary president will feed us dinner and Elder Hartley and I will give her an English lesson. She loves it!! So the members really like us!

2. There are two branches in our area: an Estacion Branch and a Pacason Branch, ours is the Estacion Branch. We meet at two in the tarde and Pacason meets at nine, but church is church. So, you really just get investigators to go when they can go, but we always try to get people to go at two.  Yesterday, we had 152 people at church, which is the most ever at the branch.  If we can keep it up, we will get a chapel and maybe become a ward!!

3. We do have a church house, but it is about the size of half of our gym at home. It is really just a place that has a room and a podium. It isn’t much and it is too small for the amount of people we have been bringing to church.  Also, in Sunday School yesterday we had about 22 people attending and 14 of them were our investigators or converts.  Yesterday was a good day!

$. Right now we have 22 investigators, more or less.  Hopefully, if all goes well, 10 will be baptized this month.  So far this month, we have only had Wilmer’s baptism but we are working hard to meet our goal!

6. There is a mission rule that I keep forgetting to tell you.  I will only perform an actual baptism once. President Russel believes that if an investigator is baptized by a member of the local branch/ward  they will stay in the church longer then if it is done by a missionary.

One good thing, I don’t feel like a tourist anymore!

 Love you guys!!!!

Elder Bronson
Counting his colorful money

Studying on P-Day

Monday, November 3, 2014

Another Baptism!

Well another week has gone by and I am still alive so that is a plus!! I am a little sad that I didn't get to see everyone’s costumes for Halloween, but at least you sent me pics!!!
I had my first baptism of somebody I had asked to be baptized. His name is Willmer and he used to be a gangster, so he had a couple problems before we talked with him. But after we talked with him, he mellowed out and stopped everything completely. He really likes me and always touches me, which like you know I love!! haha He is a pretty cool guy!  Also, he is like a whole head taller than me! In the picture he was slouching and I had my big shoes on!! He always wants to go on visits with us and he will put on his white shirt, that is to small, and walk around with us.  It is really funny! I am having a lot more fun now that I am out of the MTC and is my companions are great, I really like them a lot!
Now to answer your questions:
1. We pay a lady 750 cords (@$28) to feed us every day at 12 and do our laundry. We give her our laundry on Thursdays and get it back on Tuesdays, so I have been wearing a lot of dirty clothes!! Also I am really glad that my shoes have a two year warranty; we will be taking advantage of that because they are getting hammered!! We don’t have anything to cook with, but we do have a mini fridge. I buy 3 litters of sunny D for 35 cords (which is my breakfast) every Monday, so that is what I use the fridge for and some other little foods! Mostly I just eat at noon. I don’t have hunger during the day for the most part and the people we share our house with own a pulperia, so we buy a piece of bread or two before we go to bed. Then we wake up and do it all again! Funny story; I didn't eat any of my oatmeal packages or instant mashed potatoes during the MTC, but now I have eaten 7 oatmeal packages and 1 mashed potato.  The potatoes aren't very good with luke warm water. The spuds don’t become potatoes without a microwave!  I might just buy one in my next area because it is only about $15 dollars to buy one.
2. There are dogs everywhere. We carry a Book of Mormon everywhere we go so people know that we are LDS and also if we need to hit a dog with it! It isn't too bad, usually there are enough rocks around that you can hit the dog before he gets too close and he will run away!
MOM!!!!!!!! You didn't like my stories????? Why not? I am glad you liked them Dad!
Sundays are no fun.  I feel bad saying that, but they are so hard. Instead of our normal day, we work from 8am-9pm running around town trying to get people to church and it is tough! We go on splits with members every Sunday morning because there is church at 9am and at 2pm, so the 6 of us split in to 3 companionships.  We probably will talk to 24 to 30 people and commit them to come to church and then only 6 will show up. It is so frustrating that they will just lie and avoid us. If you don’t want to listen just tell us, because it is no fun to walk to your house when we have to scale a mountain, beat a dog,  get yelled at by drunks, and then have you not even come to church!!
I have decided how I can describe the area! To compare the size to Idaho Falls, it would be 49th street to Lincoln road. Our house would be where Ammon Elementary is and the church would be by Country Corner. It is probably over a mile away and all our investigators would be living in a neighborhood by the golf course! I will have huge legs by the time I get home!!!
I love you guys hope you have a great week! I hope i answered all of your questions!
Elder Bronson
I thought of one more story.  We fasted Saturday from lunch to Sunday lunch, which wasn't that bad because we do that a lot, but the no water part is hard.  See, I thought that I was getting used to the weather because I had stopped sweating. The truth was that I was super dehydrated. When I broke my fast, I drank three of my one litter bottles of water, two cups of juice we get for lunch, and two cups of water during lunch; all within 30 min. Then I just started dripping sweat!! haha so that probably isn't good, but whatever, I am still alive!

Our Casa.  You are seeing just about all of it.
The Beach
Elder Olsen and I meeting our Trainers
Outside our Casa
The companionship.  
One weird looking bug
Enjoying P-day at the Beach

Monday, October 27, 2014

First Baptism and Crazy Stories

This week has been so much better and I had my first baptism on Saturday. Our investigator progressed a lot faster than we thought she would and so we baptized her! It was a super awesome experience. Also my Spanish is coming along really well.  The hardest thing is understanding the people because they mumble and don’t use some words like de, la, el, ellos, and ellas.  I have to pay super close attention!  We went on splits the other day, so it was just me and Elder Asencio and we contacted 47 people from Noon to 4 and we got two families that are pretty interested, so that is super awesome!  The goal of every week is to find a new family. I am getting pretty good at teaching the first lesson now.
I am still getting used to the food here; it doesn't do good things to my digestive system.  But today we went to like 4 star restaurant and we got a hamburger for 180 corbs and it was the best day ever!  It tasted so good!
One thing that is important for you to know, the Mission President’s wife says it takes about 5 to 6 weeks for a package!
Now for some Crazy Mission stories:
1. Getting sorta robbed. The other day we were walking down the street and we were going to our house because it was almost nine o clock.  This guy comes up and puts his arm around me and pulled me away from my companions. He asked if I was a missionary and if I was from America.  I said yes, so then he made the universal rich symbol and said give me your money. I said you want a Book of Mormon and tried to hand it to him.  He didn’t take it and said no I want money! So in broken English I said los siento no comprendo and then said it is almost my bed time I have to go.  My companions and I ran home before his friends came! hahhaha
2. After your first 6 weeks on a mission you go and have a meeting with the Mission President.  You talk about life and goals I guess and because I am in a threesome the other Greenie had to go with my trainer to his meeting, which meant I needed to go on splits. So I go on splits with a member. I was dropped off at his house which has missionaries living behind him in another apartment. While I was waiting for the member to get ready in the missionary apartment, I started reading in Alma 13. The member says I need to go to the house for a minute, stay here.  He walks out the door and I hear screaming and cussing in English and Spanish. This member is being viciously attacked by a dog.  Blood is everywhere. I started outside to go kick the dog, but he said to stay inside. So some guy comes along just then and chops the dogs head off.  The member says I needed to stay here while he goes to the hospital. He pad locks the door shut and leaves at about 8:30 am.  So I chill in the house by myself, which is super wrong.  Noon comes around, when my companions are supposed to be back, and they aren’t.  3:00 rolls around and they are still gone.  At this point, I think that guy bled out in the hospital, my companions got in a car wreck and died, and I going to starve to death in this padlocked apartment. So around 5:00, I finish the book of Alma and am just chilling when the missionaries who own the house show up.  They tell me my companions are at the hospital because one of them has an eye infection and can’t see, so he needed to go to the hospital! So I worked with the other missionaries that day and at 9 o’clock we called my companions and they weren't home yet, so I had my first sleep over of my mission.  It sucked cause the next day, I had to put my dirty clothes back on!
3. So we are talking to this lady on the street and this dog is chilling in the middle of the road! Just laying down, doing nothing. All of the sudden, a stupid motorcycle comes flying down the road and hits the dog.  He almost wrecks but drives away.  The dog starts barking, running in circles and then runs into a wall.  I think dies or at least stops moving! Haha crazy!
4. There are a lot of homosexuals here! At about 8 o’clock every night, they get together and put on gold skin tight dresses with masks. They get some drums and become a gay marching band.  When they see missionaries they grind upon us and yell café! It’s weird and I hate it.  Everyone here yells “café” at us, which means coffee because we believe in the word of wisdom! Crazy people!
5. There was an earthquake last week (my 2nd day here) and it was a fricken 7.1 or something. It shook the whole house.  I was staying with like 22 missionaries at the time, in this huge house with a garden in the middle, and we had to run out in fear that the house was going to fall down!!
6. Sunday I gave my first blessing in Spanish.  That was scary but the spirit was so strong!!
7. The other day this guy came up to me and said you talk English to me. He talked to me in broken English/Spanish for awhile.   I told him that I had to leave but I invited him to church.  He took my hand and kissed it, What the heck!?!?!
8. The cops here don’t do anything, but I like them because they all drive Volkswagen buses, which is super cool.  Every time I see one, I think, “that used to be me”!!!!!!!!!
Those are the stories for this week; I will have more next week!!
Love Elder Bronson
Pictures next week, I promise!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

More Pictures from the CCM

More Mexico City
District pic with Hermano Sanchez (funniest teacher ever!)
District pic with Hermano Villalobos and Hermana Velasquez,
our two main teachers that taught us every day.
All sporting our new haircuts for Nicaragua
Elder Wolf,
teaching us how to tie cool knots on the day before he left the CCM.
Our district likes volleyball so much that we made up this game called "Memorization Volleyball."
Every time we hit the paper ball, we have to say the First Vision or a baptismal invitation or
something in Spanish. It's sooo awesome. We play it for our last half hour of language study most nights
and it works great for memorizing!
A group pic with Hermano Perez. He got home 3 months ago from his
mission to Panama City.

First Week in Granada

Well it has been a crazy last couple of days and I don´t know how I feel about it. So Tuesday, we went on splits with the Managua missionaries, which was fun.  We would hop on a bus and preach to the whole bus, then hand out pamphlets. It isn't a very effective way of contacting, but it works I guess. We were paired up with the Managua Elders.  The companion I had was like the coolest guy in the world.  He is fluent in Spanish and English; just an all-around awesome guy. So after a long and hot day, we go back to the house we were staying in and it has a garden in the middle of it!!  We staying with the AP’s and they said enjoy it while it lasts, this is the nicest place you will stay in your whole mission. I laughed because the place was a junkyard.
Anyway, the next day they wake us up at 5:15 AM because that is what they do to missionaries on their first real day I guess. We get all ready by six and sit around for an hour before we can go to the change meeting where we meet our companions.  Well, remember that super cool guy that was fluent in two languages, he is now Elder Hoffman’s companion, lucky guy.  So the president is reading off names and where people are going. Some of the missionaries told me the best area is Bluefields and the worst is Granada.  We get down to the last three Elders; me and Elder Ruiz and a new Latino Elder.  The only areas left are Granada and Bluefields; two Blue and one Granada.  Guess where I go!  Granada isn't as bad as the Elder’s made it out to be, it’s super pretty here. I am actually in a threesome Jorge (my Latino trainer whose first name I did not know until you told me) and a Norte Elder from Nampa, Idaho, that was fluent in Spanish before he came. He has only been here 6 weeks, but the other two are really good friends and I am just kind of there because I don’t speak Spanish very well, but it is fine. You live and you learn.
Here’s a funny story for you. We are walking to church yesterday and this guy comes up to me and starts talking to me.  He says, “ I know English” and “what’s up homie”. I was like wow you are awesome! So my companion comes up and is like hey we have to get to church, so we invite this guy to church and  he says he will be there. Then we shake his hand good bye. He shakes the other American’s hand and then he shakes mine and kisses it! I was like what the heck just happened!
Living conditions are kind of whack.  The three of us live in a room made for a very very small man! It is the smallest house I have ever been in.  It is okay I guess because it doesn't leak rain like a lot of the houses do!
My first meal here in Granada was a bowl of boiling hot soup and it was like 100 degrees outside!  Also, we only eat lunch here. We don’t eat anything in the mornings or in the night. I think I am going to be very skinny when I get back! 
So I was feeling down on Thursday because I thought I knew Spanish better than I do. But then we went and contacted this one girl in the morning and I asked her to be baptized and she said yes!  Then later that night, I did it again with this super cool guy. it was in broken Spanish but I got the point across and he said yes, so that was good! 
I love you guys and I have been reading the letters you wrote me and the notes you put in that notebook like every day. It has been getting a little easier but it is still hard, but I can do this
Okay thanks for everything.  I will write more next week because I have like less than a minute to write I think before my computer will shut off.  Also, pictures next week.  This computer doesn’t have a USB port.
I love you, see you in a while.
Elder Bronson

Friday, October 17, 2014

Arrived in Nicaragua!

Though we have not heard from Jordan, we have received a couple of pictures and a letter from President Russell that Jordan has arrived in Nicaragua.

Friday, October 17, 2014
Dear Brother and Sister Bronson:
Elder Jordan Bronson arrived safely in the Nicaragua Managua South Mission and was assigned to serve with Elder Jorge Ascencio, in the Granada area of our mission.  We are attaching a photograph of your missionary with us taken on arrival morning. 
Elder Bronson has been given the following email address:  Missionaries are only allowed to use their “” email accounts on preparation days and their time on the computer is very limited.  Our preparation days are typically on Monday unless some unusual schedule requires a temporary shift to Tuesday.  This is the day when your missionary will write home and when they will read your uplifting and encouraging emails.  Please be careful not to share news that will cause your missionary undue worry or stress.  Write uplifting and praising emails to strengthen and encourage your missionary.  Share spiritual experiences or scripture study moments.  We have found that wonderful emails from home greatly help a missionary and that no letters from home can have devastating effects.  Please do not be the family who forgets to write to their missionary!
Should you desire to send your missionary a handwritten letter or a package, here is the Mission address:
Nicaragua Managua Sur Misión, De la Retonda del Periodista, 150 vrs al Sur Ofiplaza Suite 725, Managua, Managua, Nicaragua.  We also have an AP Box where you may send letters or packages:  AP 3527, Managua, Nicaragua. Please be sure to write your missionary’s full name on their letter or package.

We have had the best experience with missionaries receiving boxes intact when sent by US Postal Service. Packages sent by other means (Fedex, UPS, DHL and others) often get stuck in customs. The missionary and the mission do not have the financial resources nor the available time to obtain the packages from customs and pay the extra fees.

We are committed to the spiritual and physical well-being of our missionaries. We will do all we can to provide inspired opportunities that increase your missionary’s testimony and help him to develop a deeper appreciation for the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
We are very pleased and honored to have Elder Bronson as part of the Nicaragua Managua South Mission.  Thank you for all you have done to prepare and provide for your missionary.  We pray daily for the care and safety of our missionaries and their families.  We know Elder Bronson’s service will bring great blessings to your family.

Bryan G. Russell        Peggy Russell

Mission President

Arrival in Nicaragua

Jordan and President and Sister Russell

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Last P-day in the CCM

Sunday night or Monday morning, whatever you call it, I get on a shuttle at 2:30 AM to take me to the Mexico City Airport.  My plane departs at 6:20 AM for El Salvador then we fly to Nicaragua. I need to restate that. We need to leave the CCM at 2:30, so we need to have all of our stuff and that such on the bus by 2:00 AM, so we won’t be sleeping that night that’s for sure! We are landing in Nicaragua at about 10:00 AM, so we won’t be flying that much.  We will just be in the airports chillin’ I guess.  I have two English and one Spanish Book of Mormon I am going to try and hand out at the airport, so that will be a test of my Spanish! I would like to call though, but it also might be like in the middle of the night or way early! I don’t know if you want that!
Conference was way good. We were in the auditorium for 19 hours in the two days, so if we were awake we were in there. I took more notes for the 5 sessions then I think I ever did in high school. We stocked up on candy to keep us awake during the sessions! Other than Conference, not much has changed.
To answer your questions: I am so excited to leave. The days are exactly the same now and I am getting tired of the monotony. Something awesome that is happening is all six guys in my district gave one of our teachers 150 pesos and he is going to go out and buy 5 ties a piece from this one store he knows. We will get them tomorrow and I am so excited, that is less than a dollar a tie!! I am a little sad to be leaving, I have a lot of friends here now, but it will be nice to get out of here!  
Also a funny fact; I don’t think I ever be able to live on the run! I can sleep through huge thunderstorms, with cop sirens in the back ground, and the occasional gunshot, so if I ever live on the run, I will sleep through the cops!! Useful skills of the mission I guess!!
I am sorry do you have any more questions for me or anything? Not much has really happened for me so I want to hear a lot about home!
I love you

Jordan Bronson
Jordan wrapped up in Nicaragua

Mixed up name tags

Zone Conference

The District with Oreos from home


Post Haircut
Jordan used to do this as a little kid...but as a missionary?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Letter from the Nicaragua Managua South Mission President

Elder Bronson,
You sound like you are excited to get here to Nicaragua! Keep studying the language.  In the beginning you probably won't understand much, but that is NORMAL.  Learn all you can now, practice and make mistakes now.  It will all help you when you are here.   Are you learning a lot in Preach My Gospel?  We use it extensively.
Nicaraguans speak quickly and drop the "s" in their words.  You will get the hang of it after you are here a little while.  Don't worry too much.
As for the first day, each of you will need US $10 to enter immigration at the airport.  You won't need to worry about money after that.  We will take care of your food and housing. Every missionary will get a debit card with their monthly amount on it.  It will all be explained the first day at orientation.
The North mission does things a little differently than we do.  But all Nicaraguan Missionaries, north and south, love their missions!
You arrive on Monday and have a day of orientation training and an interview with the President.  I suggest that you pack the day before so you can get some sleep on Sunday before the early ride to the airport. You will work with missionaries in Managua on Tuesday and meet  your companion on Weds at the cambios (transfers) meeting.
You wear your suit coat to any meeting where the chapel has air-conditioning (not all do) and you wear it to multizones and all interviews with the President.  By "wear" I mean that you bring it with you and put it on when you arrive.  It is too hot to wear it on the bus to get to the meeting.  The Assistants will go over all of this at orientation.  And feel free to ask them any other question you may have.
We are excited to have you with us soon.
And I like that you are always working hard.  That's the sign of a real Nicaragua Managua Sur missionary!
Hermana Russell

Just some news on what I will be doing in two weeks!

Bad News, Good News

I am finally healthy again!  I started to throw up blood and they wanted to take me to the hospital on Friday if I didn't start to get better, but I was feeling much better by Thursday.
The good news is we get to watch all of conference (in English), but the bad news is that it is in the burning hot gym.  The good news is it has really good cushioned seats that are nicer than our beds!  The bad news is being comfortable will make it hard to keep awake!  We are an hour ahead of you, so we have Conference at 11.  I am really excited for the priesthood meeting and it will be the first one I have taken notes for.  I have been practicing taking notes for like the last two weeks or so at every devotional, so I hope I can get a lot out of this conference!
I sort of had a dream about the family; it was really strange.  It made me miss you guys. It is weird to think that I have been gone for a month, but I still feel like I can just go home and walk in the front door and take a seat on the couch and turn some Netflix on or something. I think of home and miss home and sometimes I wish I was there, but it has not ever crossed my mind to go home, so that is a blessing that I have. I know that I am doing the right thing here!
To get some good quiet study time, I have started doing additional study and writing in my journal in the bathroom. It gives me some alone time that I need really bad and then my district is like why are you in the bathroom for so long? So I have been telling them I am constipated.
Also, I received the card reader. Sorry I didn't write the other day in the evening, but time got away from me.  On the plus side I did win the volleyball tournament thing here, so there is a plus.
I will see you in a little bit! (give or take 23 months)

Elder Jordan Bronson

Elders Bronson and Hoffman

Chilling at the Mexico City Temple visitor center

That is one big Book of Mormon

Viva Mexico
Jordan wonders how they got the likeness so close to him
Nicca South Elders

Elder Bronson hanging with his homies.

Fellow Hillcrest Knights:  Elders Jordan Bronson, Hunter Shepherd, and Brian Brower.  (Pic taken by Elder Parker Erickson)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Halfway done in the CCM

Today we (my District) went to the temple, so that is why I am writing a little bit later.  From here on out, I get to write for like two hours on P-day, so you can write as much as you can and I will be able to read it all! Since we just returned I didn’t have time to grab the letters you sent me to respond to your questions so I will go from memory.  Dear Elder letters work.  They arrive the day after you send it, most times.  Other times it will take like a week!  I just received one from you, Sister Wixom and Dad all crushed onto one page.  It was really confusing.
 At the temple today, we went to the visitors center watched the movie we saw at the St. George Temple’s visitor center this summer, it was sad.  It made me think of you guys!   It was really fun watching it all in Spanish.  They had a little store there and i picked up two more ties.  I also bought two ties from the tie store here, but they are crap, but they were 50 pesos. Last night I traded both of the crap ties for a really cool colorful one, so I was pretty happy.
So much has happened in the last week, but I feel like I just wrote.  It is so crazy how time works here. We have started to teach two investigators now and one has a few problems.  So yesterday, we planned out a chastity lesson and had some pamphlets.  We had everything ready to teach her, but when we went to teach her, she only wanted to talk about the Word of Wisdom.  So my companion and I gave a 30 minute lesson on the Word of Wisdom, in Spanish, impromptu.  So I think that is a sign we are getting much better speaking Spanish!
In all the personal study I get, I have been reading about charity and the true love of Christ.  Through this study, I have been receiving blessings of the ability to love others more fully.
On a sad note we, haven’t received any new natives in our casa. Right now it is my district and four other guys in the casa.  That leaves us with two empty bedrooms and two empty bathrooms for the last two weeks. At first it was really nice because we could all shower faster but then a problem has happened.  We have gotten used to having all the extra room, especially the extra bathrooms, so the new natives are going to hate us. 
Also on a negative note, I have been deathly ill the last couple days.  I had a cold on Thursday and by Saturday; I was coughing up blood and had a terrible sore throat.  I took a spoonful of cayenne pepper three times a day, to try to cure the sore throat.  You would have been proud of me though, because I was where I was supposed to be the whole time, I didn’t miss class once.  I wanted to and I almost did when my teacher was kicking me out of class saying you need a doctor, but it was Saturday, so there was no doctor at the CCM, so I stuck it out.
Also, our first investigator has become our night teacher!!!!!! What?????  It threw me off when I saw her. The last time we taught her, she was crying because we had such a spiritual experience her.  I asked her if she was faking it and she said no you two elders gave an amazing lesson! That was nice to hear!
Back to today.  When we were driving to the visitors’ center, which was about an hour drive, we saw many many many crazy things.  Mexico is definitely a different country.  Sometimes, Ii forget that I am in Mexico, but then I look up and see that I am surrounded by abject poverty.
Today before we left for the temple, we were hanging out by the wall which is our back yard.  We saw a big circular metal bin that we put it upside down and stood on it to see over the wall.  There was this really old Mexican lady there that asked if we were in prison.  We said no (well at least we think she said prison), we are missionaries.  She rolled her eyes and got in a taxi.  It was so freaking funny, we were all busting up.
In the letter you sent me, you asked about money.  I am doing just fine.  There is a money exchange place here and if I needed to I can get some Mexican pesos.  A week before I leave from here, I think I can order some Nicca money.   There is district that left yesterday for Nicca north and they said they would email us about it.  My district leader and best friend here has a friend in Nicaragua north right now and he says that it is like every day you have to swim to your appointments because it rains so much and is so humid.
The Hermanas are really grateful for my big umbrella because it rains almost every day here.  The four of them only had 1 umbrella so I gave them mine.  They stay dry while I get soaked, but it is okay because that is the nice thing to do.  This past week my goal was to be nicer and less sarcastic to everybody and now the Hermanas think I am the nicest person aliveJ.

The Spanish is coming along a lot better.  My district says I am most improved. I can understand it so well; it is just that I have a hard time with any tense that isn’t present.  Half the words in the Spanish language mean three things, like que.  It is what and that.  Por que is for what, why, and because. When you have a fight with a brother or something they might just say why? Because. Because why? Which in Spanish would be; por que, por que, por que?  Which I think would be pretty funny!!
To answer your question, my whole district is going to the same mission except for two Hermanas are going to Chicago.

Elder Bronson

 After TALL Technology Assisted Language Learning
 Si, podemos (yes we can)
 "Sketchy" Mexican elevator
The District