Saturday, January 31, 2015

2 Weeks Down

So, it has been a pretty good week. Dallin H. Oaks came and talked to all of the missionaries here, so I got to shake his hand too. He's hilarious. And, grocery shopping is fine. There's a lot of healthy food here, because there's an HEB right next to our apartment. It's walking distance. The mission is hard, but it's fun. I don't know why, but this week I was really home sick. I listen to a lot of music, so if you could send me some inspirational music too that would be great. There are a few speeches that I'd like to have. One is called ¨I'll Show You How Great I Am.¨ Another one is called "We are Champions,¨ or something. The Elders here all have ipods with music on them. They also have speakers that they connect to them. Anything that doesn't have a bad message and you can feel the spirit is okay. So, if you want to do something like that you can. But, I really like the motivational speeches. Another speech talks about "The Why." I like that. But, I've been missing home a lot this week. My Spanish is getting better. I'm still not fluent, but I can talk with people about a lot of things...still improving on that. Sometimes it's frustrating because people talk really fast here and I don't know exactly what they're saying, but I'm hoping that will come. Tell Ashley that I miss her. lol. I get to drive here, which is still nice, but, it's tough here. I struggle down here. There are some days that are so great, but then there are others that I struggle more. And also, send all letters to the mission office because I think our apartment address is wrong or something and the missionaries haven't been getting letters. so send them to the mission office and I'll be sure to get them. Also, if you send me a letter, ask Lauren what her old roommate's family's last name was and the area they live because I'd like to meet them. We're starting to teach English lessons here this Friday. Ha ha. They're teaching us Spanish and we're teaching them English. It's pretty funny. My companion is from Viriginia. He's cool, but sometimes he gets a little too serious. We're both from the east coast, so he's like the only one that knows what Kroger is. I'm learning a lot about myself out here. I'm learning about my weaknesses and strengths. They seem to be a lot more obvious out here for some reason. Ha ha. I've never thought of myself as humble, but everyone keeps telling me that. They also tell me that I obey whatever they say and I'm really easy to work with, which is good, but idk. Hopefully, things get better out here as far as missing home. I thought I was over that stage, but I guess not. He aprendido mucho espanol aqui. De hecho puedo hablar con mas personas, Y mi vocabulario es mas grande. La gente aqui usa palabras diferentes de mexico. Pero, en mi area, no hay mucho Tex Mex. He oido que en otros areas, es peor. Pero, me gusta Brownsville. Definitely the hardest 2 years ever, but I've learned a lot. And I've always thought a mission was a full 2 years, but it isn't. It's always less, so I thought that was weird. The next transfer is in 4 weeks, but you could count every 6 weeks from then and be able to know when my mission is done. I haven't tried it, lol, but one of the missionaries has that is going home soon. But, I hope everything is well with you guys. Gift cards are always great. Make sure to send music and send all letters to mission office. I liked the CD that you guys sang on. If you could get Ashley on one, that it would be great. But, I'm doing okay, I guess. As I said before, it's basically Mexico. Each sunday we go to 6 hours of church. One ward is Spanish and one ward is English, but everyone in both wards speaks Spanish, so it's funny. The English ward is basically every Hispanic person that wants to learn English or that has already learned it. Don't forget about me here. It's definitely hard, but I believe it will be worth it. But Cuidanse! y tengan un buen dia. Elder Brady
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

First Week Down and Counting

Hey! So, the first week was great! I'm settled in for the most part. I've already met a bunch of new families here. My area is in Villa Nueva, Brownsville. It's basically all Hispanic here, so I'm slowly picking up more Spanish. I just need a lot of experience with my Spanish and, hopefully, it will start coming. We mostly speak Spanish here. There are a lot of families that only speak Spanish here. They all know Spanish, but some still speak English. My apartment address is 1900 Coffee Port, Brownsville, TX 78521. So, that's where you guys should send the letters. I've already taught a few families and it's pretty cool to see them changing. We have set 2 baptismal dates just this week. They tell us to set a baptismal date the first day we meet someone just so they can have it in mind. You'd be surprised how well that works. Our zone set like 30 baptismal dates just in like a day. Almost everyone here is Catholic, so it's interesting. I had to ride bikes for a few days, but we actually have a car now, which is great. The scenery isn't like Mexico here at all, but it's still cool. The culture, however, is just like Mexico because everyone is Hispanic. One family that we were teaching is la familia Mulatos. They were all baptized and confirmed last week, but the mom's aunt has been brainwashing her with anti-Mormon stuff and now we are not allowed to go over and teach the kids anymore. The kids are very bold, though. They wanted us to keep teaching them, so it was really cool. They had a big fight right in front of us about us, so it was really awkward. But, it amazed me at how the kids would not budge when the mom told them they were going to the Catholic church. I've had a few scary experiences already. One night we went to this family's house to share a message. They took us home after in their van, but they were fighting the whole way. We were in the back of the van with our bikes, because we couldn't all fit. They starting getting really angry and cussing way too much. It was scary. But, I also met this family where one spouse only knows Spanish and the other only knows English. How that works I don't know but they're a cool family. I appreciate the birthday presents. I'm not really sure how I'm going to take that stuff to my other areas, though. I'll be in Brownsville for at least 12 weeks. It's really close to the border. My district wasn't surprised when I got assigned there. A lot of the people here are friendly, for the most part, and then there are those streaks of people that are not friendly at all, especially the rich people here. This one guy told us that we had to go because he was too busy eating. lol. There are 2 wards that we have here. We have the English ward and the Spanish ward, even though everyone in both wards probably knows Spanish. My companions name is Elder Jones. He is pretty fluent in Spanish and he's cool. He's been here for about a year and 4 months. He's my trainer. I've definitely learned some valuable things here already. One thing they stress here is to have a great ¨Animo!¨ There's not really a good word in English that describes this but Its to always be excited and have a great attitude about everything. There are a lot of things that you can't change. They happen and there's nothing you can do about it. The only thing you can change about it is the way you look at it. If you start to have a good attitude about everything, it will start to become a part of you. The second thing I've really understood better is the atonement. I've been reading The Continuous Atonement by Brad Wilcox. It has helped me understand it better. I always thought that God loved me less if I repented of things, but then did them again. Although we always need to strive to do better, messing up over and over and over again is part of the process. It's like the sacrament prayer. It takes you a lot of tries to get it right, but at the end, it needs to be perfect. We get a little better every time, but it's a process, a continual process. So, I really liked that. Last thing, send me CD's of music! The music isn't strict here. It can be anything that where you can feel the spirit. It doesn't even have to be strictly church music, as long as it has a good message and you can feel the spirit. I like that one song that says, "I'm coming home, coming home, tell the world I'm coming home.¨ Put that song on one of the CDs you send. Keep me in your prayers. You guys are in mine. And, tell Ashley I miss her. It's difficult here, but I know its for the best and I know that I will continue to change lives while I'm here. It's so cool to see. I try to serve everyone in my path. Hope everything is well, and I'll keep you updated with all of the cool stories that happen because they will. I've already seen people want to come back to church because of the lessons we've taught them and I've seen people get baptized already. Miss you guys. Have fun. Hope everything's going alright. And, I'll see ya guys. Elder Brady

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

5 more days here

Hey, so send me Lauren's email on here because I forgot to bring the letter that had it. But, to start off, send me some more shoes when I get to McAllen sometime, and my patriarchal blessing, and please make some LDS music CDs and send them to McAllen, so I have music to listen to, specifically, "Glorious", and "Nearer My God to Thee" by Vocal Point, I believe. So, to start off, it has been a really tough week, but my relationship with Heavenly Father has gotten so much stronger. It's crazy. My Spanish is still fine and I can't wait to get to McAllen. The pictures you sent from Instagram weren't that blurry, so I appreciate those. I miss you guys! I've really been able to see myself changing lately because I'm finally here for the right reason, and nothing is stopping me. Most elders here don't have an eye single to the glory of God, but I've made sure I stay obedient. Some council that we've gotten is that your success as a missionary is directly related to how obedient you are and I've really been doing that. Some of the missionaries here are not talking like they represent the Lord, so I try to stay away from them, and they found music that isn't church music so I've heard they've been listening to that. But, I know who God wants me to be, so that's the missionary that I'm going to be. I can honestly say that I am ready to teach now, because I have an absolute certainty that the gospel is true. I've really been studying the scriptures so much and it's just so comforting. I've really been tested this last week, but it has strengthened me because I've had to pray so much. I leave every night and go into a different room just to pray. So, I guess that's good. Also, we had a speaker yesterday at a devotional and he came in there with his talk written, but once he saw our faces, he completely changed his talk. He threw it away because the Spirit told him to talk about something else. And let me just tell you, that was the best talk I've ever heard in my life. It was directed at me and I related to everything he said. Keep me in your prayers, though. I will need them. But I'm definitely on the right path in my life right now and I plan on staying on it. I've never been so sure in my life. One scripture that I've thought a lot about is in Matthew 6: 19 to 21, I believe.
[ 19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.]
It's something like that, but it's the scripture that talks about choosing treasure in heaven, that cannot be corrupted, because where your treasures are, there will your heart be also. I know where my treasures are, and I intend on doing everything I can to obtain those treasures. And they will not be corrupted. I'm ready to teach. It's crazy how much you can change in 6 weeks, though. It's definitely going to be the hardest 2 years of my life, but I know, without a doubt, that I am where I need to be. It has been so hard, but I know that everything will be alright. But, just a lot of studying this week. I can't wait to get to McAllen. You only get this opportunity once and every second you waste, you will regret. I'll try to send some pictures. Hopefully, time starts to go faster once I get to McAllen. Remember, keep me in your prayers. I need them.
Elder Brady

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Less Than Two Weeks Left at the CCM

Hey! So, this week has been so boring, but so eventful at the same time. I got a haircut today by one of the elders. Someone brought hair cutting stuff, so this was his first time giving a haircut, but it looks great. lol. We tried the fade away technique. One of the elders in our district got sent home early this morning, so we have 3 elders in this companionship now. Elder Stanley joined Elder Volkman and I. But, its crazy, next week is my last P Day at the CCM. We leave December 12th at 2 am for McAllen. I'm so ready to teach. My Spanish has gotten even better this week, but hopefully after 6 months, I will be able to say anything. That's what I'm hoping. I already talk tons in Spanish now. Mi maestro me pregunto si yo puedo entender todo que el esta diciendo y yo puedo! He says I have a Latino accent and that I'm basically a Latino. Its pretty funny. And send some pictures through the website. I love the pictures you sent, but I can't print them off, so, I can't really look at them. So, things are a little different here, and I actually was having a pretty tough week earlier. It's really complicated,but it got a little better last night. I really appreciate your letters and Ashley's too. She said she came and talked to you guys for a while. She gave me some good ideas for Hispanic New Year's traditions, so I will probably be doing some of those. lol I've been teaching some of the younger missionaries Spanish. I can't wait to see how fast I improve once I hit the mission field and start to gain experience. Keep me in your prayers. I'm expecting a lot of packages once I get to McAllen. JK It's alright here. I'm ready to get out of the CCM. I've heard from Mimi that Christmas was pretty great. It honestly doesn't even feel like New Year's Eve today. All holidays here feel the same. And every time I hear music now it makes me miss home. It's hard not being able to listen to music. I only miss music, however, when I have a song stuck in my head. Some people in my district say I'm adopted or I'm the gardener's son, lol, because I look 3 shades darker than all of you guys and because all of the Hispanics here just come up to me and start talking to me. I don't know why they choose me, but I've taken a lot of pictures with random Mexicans that I don't even know. I'm hoping things here start to pick up a little. Keep the letters coming and send pictures. I really appreciate them. And I think that when I leave to McAllen, my P Day will be changed to Monday, but I'll keep you guys updated. Feliz Ano Nuevo. No me olviden. Oren siempre. Tengan un buen dia y digan a Ashley que le extrano! 23 mesas es nada. Les amo! 

My District

Feliz Navidad!

Hey! So, not too much has happened this week, but it's getting a little better! I'm still ready to get out of here and go to McAllen!! Please send as many letters as possible and I'm still waiting for those pictures. The quality of the last pictures were great!! Send more of the family and of Ashley!...and just some pictures on my Instagram that you think I would like! Megan will probably find the best ones, so ask her. And another reminder, I'll be calling again tomorrow at 10 am and I will call Dad's number! Tell Lauren to keep the letters coming and to send me that trick deck of cards! I can have them here! And tell her I can't write back until I get to McAllen because letters take 3 weeks to get out of Mexico.   It's not too strict here. However, I cant listen to music until I get to Mcallen, so there's no need for a CD player here. And the food is good. They always have a salad bar here with basically everything and I use that dressing, so I am maintaining my health. Today it was raining, so we played broom hockey in our casa. There aren't any people in our house besides 4 people in my district, so the whole district always comes over for games and stuff. The other people that used to live there were Hispanic, so they only spent 2 weeks here. I've also played soccer just about every day, so that's great! Ha ha! I know a lot more people here now. I don't know why, but a lot of people seem to know my name. I also took a picture with this Hispanic dude whose first name was Brady, but i didn't take many pictures this week. There weren't many things to take pictures of. There is this one game called the spoon game where you try to hide a spoon on someone without them knowing. That has kept us pretty busy! I miss you guys and Merry Christmas! or Feliz Navidad here! Hablare mas en espanol proximo semana pero Estoy recibiendo cartas ahora. Pero tengan un buen dia. Hablare con ustedes luego. Estoy aprendiendo mucho! no olvidan los fotos o los otras cosas y recuerdan el nacimiento de Jesucristo. Es la cosa mas importante durante este dia de festivo! Feliz Navidad!
Con amor, Elder Brady