Monday, June 22, 2015

Letter #101

Well, I don't really know what to say. If I was in a room by myself, I'd probably be shedding some tears right now but I am sitting next to like 4 elders and in a public library so I'll hold them back the best I can.
I feel like I've said it all. I've loved my mission with all of my heart. I don't regret one thing. I know I've made my fair share of mistakes of course but those have been the biggest learning experiences. I am so grateful for the wonderful loving mission president, President Maluenda. I am so thankful for his service and his worthiness to guide this mission and helping me have a life changing experience out here. He is a great example of a servant of the Lord. I am so grateful to my family, especially a loving Mom and Dad who were willing to give me up for two years for the benefit of me and of the people of south Texas. I am thankful for all the extended family, Grandmas and Grandpas, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends who were so willing to write me and give me that support that I needed to get me through the hard times. I know I probably wasn't the best at writing you back, but I really did appreciate the love and support and couldn't have done it without you.
This will be the last full letter I write to you guys as a full time missionary and I hope it hits home ;)
I just want to end by bearing my testimony, I know my Savior Jesus Christ lives. His atonement is real. This is His church and I love being His servant. I love this Gospel with all my heart. I am so thankful for His sacrifice. A perfect human being, feeling the pain of every single one of ours sins all because of the love He has for us. I hope to be able to reflect the love He has for us to those people around me always. The mission life is the good life.
Love you guys and I will see you all next week!! ;)
Elder Brian

Monday, June 15, 2015

Letter #100

This week was great!
The young men's president asked us to give the class yesterday in Priesthood on missionary work and the blessings that come from serving. It was awesome. It gave me a good opportunity to look back on all my missionary experiences and the effects that it has had on my life. I almost started to tear up just thinking about the great time I have had out here serving and how I will never again have the same opportunity that I have had and still am having now. Looking back on my mission, I am so grateful for the good and bad times. Now that I've gotten to this point, its hard to see a lot of the bad, I can mostly just remember the good haha. I guess that's what journals are for right? The people of South Texas are the greatest! When I was first starting to prepare for my mission I thought I would miss out on so much back at home and be behind on life when I get back but it is totally opposite. God has given me so much out here and really the mission is like taking a little short cut to jump ahead in life. Plus, I would say its a lot better than normal life too ;) I know my Savior lives. He does nothing that isn't for the benefit of us as His children. I am so thankful for the relationship I have with Him. I know that the atonement is real. I use it everyday. I have changed so much out here and am grateful for that. The thing that scares me the most is going back home and falling back to the same old Finn Brian that i was before. I hope to be able to go home and continue to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ. I am grateful for my family and especially for the knowledge that we will be able to live together for the eternities. I love you guys!
Elder Brian

Monday, June 8, 2015

Letter #99

Whats up guys!

Holy cow, I think there is one thing that I wont really miss about South Texas and that is the heat! Its not even deep into the summer yet and it is already killer. Yesterday we talked to this lady outside, she let us in and we had a quick little lesson. There was no AC in the house and about half way through the lesson I see sweat just dripping off my elbow and down my arms. Pretty ridiculous. It was like we were teaching a lesson in a dry sauna or something gnarly like that.

This week, the teaching pool for our area isn't the best but the zone is doing great! This month we have a goal of 5 and we are looking and feeling pretty confident that we'll hit it. This week in the zone we will be baptizing 3 and the other 2 should come closer to the end of the month. Elder Solis and I have been traveling a lot to help out the other areas in the zone and we haven't had a ton of time to work in our area but still that isn't a good excuse to not have any solid investigators in our area so we're gonna have to step it up a lot this week. 

This upcoming week is going to be interesting. President Maluenda asks all the dying missionaries on the start of the last 3 weeks to study and make plans for 15 minutes a day to get married and go to school and to get back into life. Yikes.

Sorry, my camera is kinda busting but I'll try and get some pics next week. Love you guys! Have a killer week!

Elder Brian

Monday, June 1, 2015

Letter #98

Happy Birthday Montana!
This week was great! It was the last week of the month, so those weeks are always a little bit more stressful than normal. We did hit our zone goal of 7 and our mission goal was 68 and we hit 74! So the mission and our zone are pretty fired up right now going into the new month of June.
This week my companion actually got to go to the San Antonio temple! I was pretty jealous. His recent convert from about a year ago went to do her endowments and President Maluenda gave him permission to go with her. He said it was such a sweet experience. So I just stayed here in Robstown and worked with the Elders that we live with. I got to ride a bike again!
Our investigators aren't doing the best right now. We are on the verge of dropping them all and starting over. We won't have a lot of time to work in our area this week because of a McAllen trip for a couple days and a trip up to a little town called George West to visit some elders up there for a couple days, so it'll be an interesting week but were hoping we can get some new people to teach by the end of it.

The weather's been really nice lately, its starting to get pretty hot down here. Not as hot as the summers in Laredo but its getting there haha. Presidente Maluenda gave my companion and I permission to go to the gym for the last transfer, so we've been hitting up that every morning, I love it! Man, time is flying too fast.
You guys are the best. Love you!
Elder Brian

Monday, May 25, 2015

Letter #97

Hey y'all ;)

What a way to kick off the new transfer! Time is flying faster than ever.
My new comp's name is Elder Solis. He's great! Even shorter than my last comp haha. He's a little Latino from South Carolina. Elder Solis and I actually go home at the same time, so we are killing each other! I didn't see that coming at all. I'm kinda wondering if they'll throw in a 3rd companion up here with us so our zone doesn't get white washed but with President Maluenda anything could happen!
This week was great. A lot of running around, dropping off lost stuff to zone members from transfers and helping some missionaries white wash an area. It kept us busy which is good! I love being a busy missionary. Its a lot easier to stay focused when you have things to do.
Funny experience, so Wednesday night around 940ish we get a call from one of our District leaders and he tells us that some of the elders in his district won't answer for follow ups and he had tried to call them about 10 times already. So we told him we would try and to keep trying and let us know by 10:00 if they don't pick up. So 10:00 rolls around and the District leader calls and still, they haven't picked up, so we told them to call some members in the other elders ward to see if they can swing by the house and make sure they were alright and safe. So they did, but none of the members picked up and the Elders lived like 40 minutes away from them and so did we. So by now its like 10:25 and we were pretty worried about them and there wasn't anything else we could do so we had to go find them. I felt like Liam Neeson in Taken, going to find a kidnapped family member, it was pretty intense. So we get in our car and start heading out to Alice and 10 minutes later we get a call from the Alice elders and they were like, sorry elders our phone was on silent and we haven't checked it all night. Elder Solis and I were pretty frustrated, but things happen, what can you do?! Haha

There hasn't been too much finding in our area. We are teaching a less-active and her boyfriend. Their names are Linda and Albert. They stopped us in the street walking the other day. We had a great little lesson by their car and the less active bore a great testimony and wants to come back to church! It was a great little miracle.
Have a great week!
Elder Brian

Monday, May 18, 2015

Letter #96

Hey Fam!

What a week!

I don't really even know where to start, so many great things happened this past week, it was crazy!

So the teaching process with Meranda was awesome! She accepted everything that the gospel had to offer. The only big struggle we had with her was getting permission from her Mom to be baptized. So we had a great lesson on fasting and we set up a time and date to fast for it, us the Cavazos family and Meranda. So we fasted and after a couple days nothing really happened, but while we were in McAllen at 3 day training we get a text from her saying her Mom told her that she could do what she wanted with religion and it was her choice. It was a huge miracle!! So her mom signed the record. I gained a great testimony of fasting that week. So the baptism happened yesterday. It was awesome! Its been a while since I've had a baptism, it feels good to see it again. On top of that we had 5 other baptisms in the zone, which is huge for the Sinton zone! We are looking really good to hit our monthly goal of 7 in the zone. 

3 day training was awesome! We went down Monday night and I was paired up with Elder Shumway and Elder Johnson. We pretty much just traveled around the mission and worked wherever haha. We were driving the AP van so we had no mile limit! It was rad. One night we worked in a little town called La Joya, another night we worked in Donna, McAllen and another night we worked in Edinburg. I spent my nights at the AP's house with a bunch of other dead missionaries. Man, was that ariot! At the end of the 3 day training, I left having the nickname of Steezus. I don't really know why but I am now known as Steezus and not Elder Brian. 

Presidente Maluenda gave some great trainings on faith and finding and for like 2 hours he went off on how important it is to read books, scriptures especially but other books too. He said you should always be reading a book of some sort other than the scriptures. He said that's where he got almost all of his knowledge and why he is so successful. I definitely want to do that when I get back. 

So Elder Green is gone! His exit interview was last night, so he will be down there until he leaves so I am just left here to do transfers all alone! I can't really believe that I have only 6 more weeks left of my mission. It has gone by too fast. I love my mission so much and am so grateful for everything I've learned and still will learn. I'm slowly getting excited to apply everything here to life back at home. I love being a missionary and have really come to learn and know my Savior personally. Words can't express my gratitude for His sacrifice for me. I know He lives. I've learned how important it is to have a good positive attitude through trials and hard times. If you have to go through them, you might as well go through them happy right? I love this gospel and I know its true. I know Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet to restore the same church Jesus Christ himself established. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and we will get closer to our Savior if we read and follow its teachings. The mission is the good life.

Thanks for the support! I love you guys!

Elder Brian

Probably broke the Word of Wisdom on that one.... Ooops! Pretty good though.

The sweetest, most humble family ever.

Elder Steezus and Elder Casteez

Elder Christianson

Lunch at Godfather's Pizza.

*I'm only like 2 feet taller than them both. No biggie.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Letter #95

Hey guys!

Happy Mothers day again!! Not too much to go over since I gave you guys the run down of most of it yesterday.

We will be in McAllen most of this week. We head down today and we'll be there until Thursday night for a big leadership 3 day training. I'm stoked for that. They are always full of good advice and things that we can do better and improve on.

Meranda is progressing really well! She came to church again yesterday and she loves it all. She has great support from her uncle and aunt the only thing is she is struggling to get permission from her mom so if you guys could keep her in your prayers this week that would be awesome. She will be getting baptized this Sunday if all goes well! 

Love you all! Have a killer week!

Elder Brian