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?