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