Friday, February 13, 2015

Brownsville Going Strong

So, this week was pretty good. A few things before I start...please send me the ukulele. I spend about 50 bucks every week for groceries, so put like 20 bucks on my account every week, if that's possible. Send me some Nike socks or exercise socks and send me pictures. That's all. This week was good. It was a little hard starting up this area because all of our investigators were in the other one, but we're starting to get things moving now. We have a baptism coming up in the Spanish branch this week. It's this 23 year old girl named Zamantha. She's not in our area anymore but she requested that I baptize her so that's what's happening this Sunday. We have a plan called ¨operation reactivation¨ that we started as a companionship. Obviously, the goal is to reactivate families. In this area, there are tons of families, but only like 5 are active in the church. It's so weird down here. There are a lot of people that show up to church with jeans on that are members, and with white short socks.. The other night, we taught English classes to a few families. That was pretty fun. We had a zone meeting the other day and I've never felt the spirit so strongly. We talked about the reasons why we came on our mission. I wouldn't say many people had a similar one to me, but we all had pretty bad reasons to go on a mission. They weren't necessarily bad, but they weren't good either. But, it was so cool to see how much the reason that we're on our mission changed. When I left for my mission, my motives weren't great. They were to almost serve my mission as fast as I could just to go home, but now they've changed. I've had a few experiences lately that have really changed my perspective. I'm out here for the right reasons now. Because I love the Lord and I know there are people that have been waiting their whole lives to talk to missionaries to change their life around. I know because I had that experience last night. Two nights ago, we were in this area called Olmito. It was after the zone meeting which focused on where our hearts are. We came across this family that drank and smoked and had many different problems. The dad was in jail and had been in jail for a while. The mom went lesbian because now she has a wife. and there are tons of people living in the house. One kid was really interested and talked to us so we set a baptismal date with him, which was cool. As we were leaving the house we got down the street a little when we saw a guy in a tiny trailer waving us to come to him. My companion figured it was somebody trying to waste our time, but I thought it was somebody ready to be baptized. So, we went to the trailer and the guy pretty much told us that he is ready to change his life. He is an alcoholic and he wants to stop. He was tired of feeling like that. We set a baptismal date with him too and invited him to come to church. We weren't really sure how serious he was, though, because he was smoking while he was saying that. So, the next day church starts and they aren't there. We thought the other kid would for sure come, but he didn't show up on time so we drove to his house and he skipped out. He was gone with some friends and didn't come. But, I wasn't about to drive there without taking someone to church with us, so I went to the guy in the trailer. He had on the same shirt and pants as he had on the other day. I asked him if he wanted to go to church and he said he didn't have many clothes. I told him to come in what he's wearing. So, he hops out of his trailer and we take him to church. We asked him how he felt after and he said he really liked it. We stopped by later that day to give him the first lesson. It was dark when we came by his trailer. We called his name but he was sleeping. We called a few more times and he woke up and came to the door of the trailer. This is when a very humbling experience took place. He told us again that he was so greatful that we came. He doesn't have any food, so we brought him some food to eat. We asked if we could come inside, but he doesn't have any electricity in the tiny trailer that he has and the flashlight that he has doesn't work because the batteries are dead. He's the humblest guy I've ever met. He was so grateful for the food. And, it was so sad to see all of his circumstances. We asked him again about church, and he said that he felt so good. He noticed how all of the people were so nice at our church. He said that other churches he's gone to, people weren't like that. He said that everyone treated him so kindly even though he wore the only clothes that he owned. He said he prayed for the first time that night and he thanked God for putting these 2 missionaries in his life. He's been waiting his whole life for missionaries to come by and talk to him. After going to church, he now wants to find a job, get married, and he hasn't taken a drink of beer or smoked since going to church. He's changing his life completely around and its so great to see as a missionary because we know it's because of the gospel. He said he even wants to get a haircut and be a missionary like us. That experience really changed me. It made me feel so grateful for the gospel. I'll never forget him. His name is Rigo. We're finding a job for him right now and he already committed to coming to church every week. But, that experience was really great. This is why I'm serving a mission. I hope you guys are all doing well. I still struggle and am not great at the gospel or Spanish right now, but I do know how to love people, so that's why I'm out here, to share the testimony that I have so others can gain theirs. I hope to get mail because I haven't yet. Send everything to both addresses. I'll try to get the other mail. But remember apartment F6. Also, send me more pictures of what happens there and Ashley. I always look forward to pictures. I took a good amount of pictures this week and I'll send those to you when I have a cord. But, take care. Elder Brady

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