Monday, December 29, 2014

Letter #76

Good Morning!

The weather is slowly starting to change down here. I guess its time to start bringing out the sweaters. Hopefully it doesn't last too long.

I hope you all had a good Christmas! It was fun down here. We just spent the day talking to you guys and we had a little dinner at a members home and we went out and worked! It was pretty sick.

Nothing too new, some of the baptisms fell though in the district, which was a total bummer but were shooting for January now! I was able to give a talk yesterday in church and I spoke on setting goals and plans for the new year. It was good. There weren't too many people who attended, but it was still good! On Wednesday, we get to spend the new year watching Frozen as a zone. I've heard its a really good movie, so I guess we'll see!

Love you guys! Have a killer new year!

Elder Brian

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas!


Letter #75



Earlier this week we had a Christmas zone conference. It was awesome to be able to feel of that Christmas spirit that all the missionaries brought and to be able to focus it all on Christ and His birth. What better way to spend Christmas than being out in the mission field! I love it

We also had a little Christmas party with our small branch in Rio Grande. It was fun! About 25 people or so showed up and we had some tamales and beans and Arroz con leche (Rice pudding). Sounds like a great Christmas dinner right? It was delicious.

The district is doing great! We had 3 baptisms yesterday. It was a part member family. It was great to see them all come together and have the mom return after being less-active for quite sometime. Our goal as a district is 6 baptisms for the month of December. This week is going to be a little crazy but we are looking like we have some great people lined up to be baptized this coming Sunday the 28th, one of those being Leo! Abelardo kind of fell off the board, we haven't had contact with him in a while but Leo is progressing really well. Any prayers on his part would be awesome.

Love you guys. Merry Christmas!

Elder Brian

Monday, December 15, 2014

pics....




Letter #74

Feliz Navidad!
So just a couple days ago, we were driving in our area and all of a sudden about 10 or so people bolted out of the trees and bushes all soaking wet, running for their lives, holding their clothes. I'll let you be the one to draw conclusions to the story. Elder Hatfield and I couldn't help but chuckle. I love the people here, they are so great;)
This week I went on a little exchange and was working in another little town called Las Lomas with Elder Serra. He's awesome. Great guy. We went by a less active part member family and we had a great lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they accepted to come to church and be baptized at the end of the month! It was a sweet Christmas miracle!
Our area is doing great! We don't have too many progressing investigators as of now, but Leo and Abel are pullin' along. They weren't able to come to church on Sunday cause Leo was in the hospital with his daughter. But everything is alright with her and she's doing great now. So this week we are hoping to get back on track with them.
I just wanna say how thankful I am for the blessings that I have in my life especially during this Christmas season. For a loving family, shelter over my head and food to eat. I encourage you all to be thankful for what you have, cause there are so many out there who have so much less. Love you guys!
Elder Brian

Monday, December 8, 2014

Letter #73

Roma, Texas. It definitely has no comparison to Roma, Italia but nonetheless, its what I will be calling home for the next little while. ;)

Just to tell you a little about Roma, its a little town of about 11,000. Its about an hour and a half outside of the city of McAllen and its right smack on the border of Mexico. I love it. Border towns like these are the best. Because of the many wonderful and perfectly paved roads we drive on down here, our area has a truck. From a mini van to a truck, that's quite the upgrade if you ask me. Our district of 6 elders cover a little branch in the city of Rio Grande about 25 minutes from Roma. The branch building is pretty cool, It used to be a Baptist church building so its a little different but still great. My new companion is Elder Hatfield. He's from Ohio and turns out he knows the Tanner's. Small world. He's great. He's been out on the mission about 8 months and about 7 of them have been here in Roma so he knows the area pretty well.

Right now we are working with a couple people we found this week. The two that we found are Leo and Abel. They are brothers. Really cool guys and they came to church yesterday! They had a pretty cool experience and are looking good to come back next week.

It's quite the fast and testimony meeting when a nice little old lady decides to get up and read the whole chapter of Alma 34 right from the Book of Mormon for about 10 minutes straight. Roma is great.

Sorry no pics this week! But I will hopefully have some next week. Love you guys!

Feliz Navidad
Elder Brian

Monday, December 1, 2014

Letter #72



Oh the joys of being a missionary.. especially during the holidays!!

Thanksgiving was awesome! We went and stopped by a lot of members and it was awesome! Just for fun, Elder Davis and I did weigh in before the day started and after the day was over. It was pretty ridiculous how much food we ate. Elder Davis gained a total of 11 lbs by the end of the day and I gained 7 hahaha! Oh how much I love the holidays. I'm really thankful for a fast metabolism :)

Friday night I got a call from President and I am now going to be a district leader! I'm pretty excited! So I don't know where I'm getting transferred just yet, we should find out later today but I'm definitely going to miss Laredo a lot. I love this place. The members here are so willing to help and ready to do missionary work and there are so many prepared people but I know that God calls us where we need to be and Elder Davis is going to do really well in  Del Mar. 

Love you guys! 
Have a killer week!

Elder Brian




Sunday, November 30, 2014

Goodbye to Laredo!






Transfers are tomorrow and I got word through Facebook that Finn is leaving Laredo. Here he is having a farewell dinner with some of the members in his area. I know he is going to be very sad to leave! 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Letter #71

It has been a tough week, rather humbling, but I don't think I have ever grown more on my mission this week than any other.
This week we went up to Corpus to hear a General Authority speak. It was awesome. Elder Foster of the 70 came up and he gave some great trainings on growing your relationship with the Lord and what really stuck out to me was prayer. I feel like I've struggled a lot with prayer lately but ever since that training and this week, I don't think I've ever felt closer to the Lord than I have in my whole life. Before this, a lot of the times I prayed and I got up and questioned if He even heard what I just had to say and if it was even worth my time to offer a prayer. It was definitely a struggle. I specifically remember having so many feelings of doubt, like I had no one to rely on and I knelt down and I cant even remember what I said but I just remember pouring everything out to the Lord, as if everything relied on Him and this huge feeling of peace came over me and at that moment I knew that He was there and He answers every prayer that we have to offer. Its all up to us, to be willing to offer everything and pouring out our hearts to Him as if everything relied on Him and that is when we will get answers.
I love this Gospel, I know its true with all my heart. I love serving a mission and becoming the man that my Father in Heaven wants me to be. There are still a ton of things I have to improve before times up.  I love the people I serve and I can honestly say that when you lose yourself in the service of others that is when you will find yourself.
Love
Elder Brian
BTW: Transfers are next week! So if you happen to send something, just send it to the mission office. Thanks!







Monday, November 17, 2014

Letter #70

What's up guys!
This week was great! The only bummer is that Kurt didn't show up on Sunday for the confirmation so we will have to figure out what happened and get him back on board. But other than that it was great!
This week I've been studying really hard a lot of chapters that Presidente Maluenda gave me in my last interview. I've read a lot about fasting and I set some good plans to improve my fasting skills. Were you guys able to read about the article that the church put out about Joseph Smith? I haven't yet but I will this week. Its been kind of a struggle, especially for a lot of the recent converts seeing the article, but I know it was put out for a reason and Im thankful for the strong testimony that I have of Joseph Smith and God's church here on the earth today.
Sorry I have like no time. But I love you guys!
Elder Brian


Monday, November 10, 2014

Letter #69

This week was awesome!
 
It was a bit unexpected but still a huge miracle, Kurt got baptized! He was progressing really well, so we had a lesson with him, told him, why procrastinate the day of your baptism? Then committed him to be baptized a week early and it went great! He's loving the church and his wife was able to come too. She's doing really well and is looking to be baptized at the end of this month. I love being able to meet with them, they are such a great family and I love seeing them grow in this gospel. On my mission I've definitely been able to see why the family is so central to God's plan here on earth.
 
This week we also were able to have interviews with President Maluenda. I know I might say this every time I talk about him but words cannot express how spiritually in tune that man is. Every time we are able to receive training from him I know and can feel that he is a true representative of Jesus Christ and this is His work. I know that the leaders of this church are called of God and that if we follow our leaders we will be blessed. Having President Maluenda as my mission president has been a major blessing in my life.
 
So we were leaving Kurt's house one night around 8:30 and we get in the car and as we are driving away all of a sudden the sky lights up and the biggest shooting star/asteroid comes falling down and streams across the sky for like 2 seconds and it disappears. No joke, I thought the world was ending for a second that's how cool it was. And the cool thing was it wasn't just me, some other Elders across town saw it too!
 
Here's some pics from Downtown Laredo!
 
I love the mission and you guys!
 
Elder Brian



Monday, November 3, 2014

Letter #68

I'm just gonna start it right off with a pretty weird but cool experience. So I think it was on Saturday, we show up to the church for one of our meetings and we get there and there is a black, homeless man sitting outside of the church. So a lot of us just thought it was normal cause we always get homeless people who come to the church looking for money and stuff but we got out of the car and went and talked with him. So the conversation goes on, his name was Irvin Butler, we find out he is a member and has been for about 7 years, has been through the temple and everything and then he starts explaining a lot of stuff from D&C and quoting scriptures and revelations from D&C and had a pretty firm testimony of Joseph Smith. He then takes off his dew-rag and shows us this tattoo he has right on his forehead and he then asks to see a copy of the Pearl of Great Price. I was kind of weirded out by this point but we gave him a copy and he flips to the diagrams, I forgot what they are called, and he then starts to point out symbols and talk a little bit about them and he points to one of them and stops and then asks us all to look closely at his forehead and it was the same symbol that was in The Pearl of Great Price in the book of Abraham. After, everyone just stops and there was a couple seconds of silence and he says "You guys don't know who I am. I know a lot more than you guys think I do" and then it was awkward for a couple seconds and then we gave him some food and we went inside. I don't really know if that guy was just making stuff up or what but it kinda freaked me out, seeing how much this guy knew about D&C and the Pearl of Great Price and I don't know, I guess it was a good spooky Halloween experience haha. Probably one I will never forget. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Letter #67

What a week! The weather has been really nice down here lately, its actually starting to feel a bit like Fall. That is, its dropped down to the 80's, I don't know if you guys back home would call that Fall weather, but I do here in Laredo.

We had a really good experience last night with one of our investigators, his name is Kurt. He came to church just yesterday and loved it. It was cool cause he just kept saying "I keep getting this warm, peaceful feeling." I love how the spirit works and through those feelings we can come to know if what we are doing is right. Later that night, we stopped by his house and had a really powerful lesson with his whole family. His wife, 16 year old son and 9 year old daughter. We taught about the atonement and what it is that Jesus Christ did for each and every one of us and what we can do to be able to show to Him that we accept that and applied it to baptism and committed them as a family to be baptized on the 16th of November and they accepted! Throughout my whole mission, its been hard to work with a whole, complete family all together. A lot of times we teach broken families, single parents, young kids and I love it, but I'm really excited to be able to work with Kurt and his complete family and watch them progress as a family and support each other through that process.

I don't know if any of you guys have heard about this, but I want you guys to go onto Youtube or online somewhere and look up "Missionary Work and The Atonement" its bits and pieces of talks by Elder Eyring and Elder Holland put together focusing on missionary work and the atonement and the importance of them both. Every time I listen to it it just makes me want to do better! So I invite you all to listen to that this week! 

Life's good! Keep on keeping on!

Love
Elder Brian

Monday, October 20, 2014

Letter #66

I'm staying in Laredo!! Almost our whole zone is staying except for 2 elders and 1 sister. I'm excited to stay here just a little bit longer. Maybe I'll hit one whole year in the city of Laredo?! That would be pretty sweet.

Besides the fact that I'm excited to stay, we just had 5 investigators at church yesterday! It was a huge miracle and I'm stoked to start/continue to work with all of them this upcoming transfer. Erica was able to make it to church and she is doing really well! We also had some more of Jonathan's family come and they loved it. So we are gonna work with them a lot these upcoming weeks and a less-active came to church and brought her non-member friend who now wants to start taking the lessons! I can see the Lord continuing to hasten his work day by day, especially here in Del Mar!

This week we did some service for a couple we are teaching. Their names are Kurt and Grace. They are really cool. They had one jungle of a backyard, not the worst I've seen on the mission but, it was fun.

Mom, I'm so sorry I have no photos! I'll work on that. I made a goal this week to take at least a photo a day! So by next week you will have some!

Love you guys!

Elder Brian



Monday, October 13, 2014

Letter #65

I feel like the days and weeks just go faster and faster. Especially on the mission when you have so little time to work. This week we went up to Corpus Chrsti and we watched Meet The Mormons. It was an awesome movie and I definitely recommend you guys going to see it! And telling your friends about it too of course.
 
We are coming up on the end of another transfer. Its been really good working in Laredo! I could stay another, I could leave, but thats up to the Lord. I'll let you guys know next week.
 
To tell you guys just a little about how much we really get fed down here. Its ridicoulus. Missionaries do anything and everything to keep the weight off haha. Last week we took the advice from our leaders and went by and set up appointments with every member we could so that we could get to know them a little better and we ended up having 4 meal appoinments in one day. One at 3:00, another at 5:30, then 6:30 and last at 7:30. I dont know how I packed down that much food but it was a miracle that i did.
 
We are working with some awesome people right now. I feel like i kinda go through fazes of what kind of people i teach. A couple months ago it was a lot of young people and a couple months before that it was a lot of old people and now we are going through the faze of teaching a lot of single women with kids! I dont know what it is but, hopefully everything goes well and they make it to church this week! One of our investigators names is Erika. We brought over all the missionaries in the district and she cut our hair. It was cool. She's awesome and has a baptismal date for the 9th of November. If you could keep her in your prayers that would be great!
 
Have a great week! Love you all!
 
Elder Brian

Monday, October 6, 2014

Letter #64

Talk about an awesome General Conference weekend! I know you guys can probably already guess what my favorite talk was, cause I'm sure it was every full time missionaries favorite, Elder Ballard's talk. I love how right from the get go he focused his talk and directed it to non-members of the church. It was powerful. Even though it wasn't directed to me as a member it still hit me hard and helped me remember my purpose as a missionary and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
 
This week we didn't have a lot of time to hit the streets and talk to a bunch of people, which makes me think we didn't do that much work. But I think I need to get over the fact that you can still be very effective in your work without hitting the streets. We did a lot of service this week. We helped the ward mission leader Brother Bryand roof his house. It was pretty fun! Just Elder Davis, him and I. I've never really done roofing before, but it was a sweet experience. I'm glad we got to it before the heat did.
 
This week I've been working a lot on knowledge of the scriptures. I love it when you're in a lesson teaching and someone brings up a doubt and right then a scripture will come to your mind and you can teach right to the doubt using the scriptures. Its the best. Its weird to think and see that no matter what doubt a person may give, you can in someway tie their need into the scriptures. I have a really strong testimony that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that if we read it and study it we will grow closer to Him and gain more of a knowledge of the plan He has for us. Going along with scripture study, I received something in the mail the other day, from someone I don't know and it was filled with like 6 or so CD's of teaching to the doubts of people from the bible and the Book of Mormon. Its called Mr. Mormon. I have no clue where they came from or who sent them, but thanks if it was you cause they're pretty sweet!!
 
Que tengan exito y disfrutan la vida!
 
Elder Brian


Jonathan's baptism

Monday, September 29, 2014

Letter #63

It was a great week! Not to say that we barely slept... but that can come after the mission right?

Jonathan was confirmed! Elder Davis was able to confirm Jonathan yesterday. It was great! It kinda got me thinking a little bit about Priesthood and the power that we hold as worthy young men. We had about 5 men from the branch that participated in the confirmation of Jonathan and they were all older that Elder Davis but him being the youngest was able to be the speaker and give the blessing. As worthy young men we all hold that same priesthood. We all have that power to use and to bless people's lives. Even though a member may be a lot older than me, I still hold the same power that he holds. Its really cool how Priesthood power and authority works. 

A crazy little story i cant remember if i shared this last week or not but anyway. The other Elders in our zone live in a pretty sketchy area of Laredo. In fact they live right in front of one of the top gangs in Laredo and a big chunk of South Texas. So a couple weeks ago there was a drive-by shooting and some other crazy things, so they have to move out asap. Pretty nuts huh. Not to scare any of you at all...... But Im not too worried, we've got the Big Man up top on our side. LDS missionaries are the best gang out there. ;) But i was sharing this with you because we might be switching areas asap because of the changes that they have to make. Its kinda confusing, but i will keep you guys informed!

Con amor

Elder Brian
Kind of blurry. Finn, Elder Tilton (from Laredo) as he heads out to the MTC in Provo and Elder Browning. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Letter #62

What's up guys!
 
The weekend was awesome! Jonathan was baptized! It was sweet. Many of the members were there to support him and he feels really comfortable with his new family the 3rd branch.
 
We had zone conference last week. I love zone conference. I always leave wanting to improve and do better. Presidente Maluenda put a big stress on using Preach My Gospel and teaching people not lessons. I've seen a lot in my mission where we sit down to teach a person and the main goal is to set a baptismal date so we can hit our goals for the month and get out of there as quick as we can. But that shouldn't be the case. We should be sitting down with people with the main goal of blessing their lives and having an impact on them for the better.
 
The other day we were walking some streets and a crazy guy waved us down. He was carrying a 7 ft. tall walking stick and we talked to him for a little bit, then he decided to show us how it was that he expresses his love for God and started doing some squats and yelling "The Lords Prayer" at the top of his lungs. It was pretty entertaining :) Some people have some very interesting ways of expressing love for God.
 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Letter #61

Hey guys!
 
Not so bad of a week. Our numbers might've showed that we didn't work at all, but that's not the case!! Numbers aren't everything in missionary work.
 
Were kind of struggling with finding people to teach right now. I cant tell you how many times this week that I've heard the phrase or sentence "Im Catholic and I have my beliefs. Thanks" or Soy Catolico y estoy bien aqui. Gracias" haha. But its alright cause we had a good time working.
 
Jonathan is doing great! His baptism is this Sunday. He's pretty excited and ready for it. So that will be something to look forward to this week.
 
I've been studying about prayer a lot these last couple days because it was too often that I would catch myself waking up at 2 in the morning still in the prayer position with my ribs aching and knee caps numb from falling asleep during my prayers haha. So I thought I would put an end to that and set some goals as to how to better my prayers. There was a pretty cool quote about prayer and how a man cannot gain salvation without prayer. Prayer is important! It shows our love that we have to our Heavenly Father and shows Him that we are really looking to Him for the help that we need in our daily lives. Make sure you are saying good thoughtful prayers and not just going through the motions!
 
Love you guys!
 
Elder Brian

Monday, September 8, 2014

Letter #60

Que tal guerros!
To start off I just want to share a story of one of our investigators right now who is doing really well. Its about how he came to find the Gospel and start learning. Its really strengthened my testimony.
 His name is Jonathan. He's 21 years old. His family is kind of in a tight situation right now. His dad is suffering from cancer and the doctors have taken him off of chemotherapy and have given him limited time to live. His mom his struggling with work and sent him out to find a job to help provide for the family. He found a job, its about an 8 or so mile walk to work and back. One day, Jonathan was walking home and he couldn't take it anymore. He was sick of it and he was really starting to doubt if God even existed. So as he was walking, he said a prayer, asking God if he really existed and if he did, that he would send someone his way to help him. He finished and that moment a man pulled up next to him and asked him if he would like a ride. He hopped in, thinking about the answer he had just received. The man took him to his house and the man said, Im heading to church right now, would you like to come? Jonathan, as shocked as he may have been from the answer that he had been given said yes and came to church. That man who picked him up was Aquiles.
That story really helped strengthen my testimony of how aware God is of each and everyone of His children. He knows exactly what we are going through and exactly what situation we are in.  I know that there are children of God in each and every one of our paths that are prepared and ready to receive this Gospel, we just need to look. I know this Gospel is true. The faith that recent converts of the church have are an example to me. I know that God has a plan for each and everyone of us cause we are His children and He loves us and He really does answer our prayers.
Love
Elder Brian


My district and the sweet mini-van I get to drive.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Letter #59

Wow! What a week! It has all gone by so fast. So I will try and fill you all in on the news without being too confusing.

So Thursday night around 1045, (way passed bed time :0) I got a call from the AP's to let me know I was training! That was pretty sweet. My sons name is Elder Davis. He's awesome. He's from Sacramento, California and he's fresh out of high school. Which is sweet. I was praying I could train someone like that. We are working up here in Del Mar in Laredo still.

Last week Aquiles was baptized! It was a really cool experience because he was fasting also. He told us that he wanted his baptism day to be the most spiritual experience ever and he brought up the topic of fasting and asked us if he could fast for 24 hours and then do the baptism to finish it off. I almost thought he was going to pass out right into the font because he had never gone without food and water for that long. But it turned out great and he's looking good for the confirmation this Sunday.

In Del Mar we don't have a ton of people that we are working with at the moment, but it wont be too long before that changes!

I have some pics I wanna send you guys! But I forgot my camera and cord today but I will send some next week for sure.

Love
Elder Brian

Monday, August 25, 2014

Letter #58

So, Mom and Dad, thanks for the little discipline and getting after me about writing longer letters. I'm sorry ok! I will try! Its just so hard when so much is going on at once that I cant even remember what happened two days ago! But I can honestly say I do love my mission and I am trying my best to save all the memories I can.

So I am going to back track a little bit and cover some stuff that I'm not so sure if i covered yet. Right now we are teaching a man named Achilles. He's awesome. Very humble man willing to do anything it takes to change. We've been teaching him for about a week and a half now and he's doing great. We started teaching him through one of our members, Brother Bryand. Its one of his best friends and Achilles was going through some rough stuff and went to Brother Bryand for help and that's when we came in. He's an ex-cartel member and he has some crazy stories! Anyway, we went through some rough patches in the teaching process, a lot of anti stuff that he heard and we thought we lost him but through fasting and lots of prayer we made it through and he's looking great for baptism this Sunday! He will have his interview tonight! 

That is our main focus right now in Del Mar. Actually, Achilles, being the great man that he is brought a friend to church yesterday and he loved it! His name is Jonathan. He accepted to be taught and we will work with him this week!

Transfers are coming up next week! We'll receive news this Sunday. This transfer is only a five week transfer because Presidente Maluenda will be going to Salt Lake City for a mission president conference so that means that next transfer will be a seven week transfer.

My comp is doing great! He's still kinda green but its alright, we're on the mission to learn right? We have a good time and i love him. The only thing that is hard is that I'm like 3 years younger than him and I can tell that he does NOT like being told what to do or receiving advise from a 19 year old kid! Haha.

Love

Elder Brian

Monday, August 18, 2014

Letter #57

Things are going good down here in Del Mar. Kind of crazy with some investigators and stuff, so I don't really know how to explain and it will take a long time if I do. But I just want to let you all know that the work is going great and I hope you guys all have an awesome week! Love you all!

Elder Brian

Monday, August 11, 2014

Letter #56

Another week of hitting the streets. Those weeks are the best!
 
So we were walking down a street the other day and we were heading to go contact a referral we had just barely received. We knock the door and a viajita (old hispanic lady) comes out and she's holding a bible.  She gives a surprised look and we make some small talk and we end up sitting down with her. We could tell pretty quickly she was a happy christian lady cause she started just rambling off random scriptures from the bible. So we get the few words in that we could and we ask her for some water. She then comes out with some water and out of nowhere she starts singing us a happy christian song and she belted it. I guarantee the whole neighborhood heard her! I couldn't take it. I just started busting up laughing, and almost spit my water all over the place. She continues to sing as i choke down the water that i have left and then it went really really silent, like she was expecting us to say something and then my companion yells while still laughing, Que Bonita!! Hahah! And then we gave her a card and got out of there pretty quick. It was hilarious.

Also we were out contacting and we run into this other Hispanic happy christian guy. He was working on his car and we asked him if we could help him out. He says no, but he asks us if we want to come sit down for a minute in his house. So we go in, he gets us some water and we have a good little talk and he pulls out his electric guitar, and his amp and he plugs it all in and starts to sing us a happy christian song in Spanish. And when Hispanics sing, they sing sin verguenza. ( I don't really know how you would say that in english. But like without shame. They don't care how they sound haha) So that was fun. It was just a week full of Hispanic people singing christian songs to us! I got a good laugh out of it. It was a blast. 

Love you guys!

Elder Brian

Monday, August 4, 2014

Letter #55

Here I am writing from the north side of Laredo! I never thought that would happen, getting transferred just 30 minutes away but its like a whole different world up here. Almost pure English, nice homes and more white people. You could almost call it like a little suburb of San Antonio I guess haha. Also Grandpa E, there is a lot of trucking up here. I see England trucks every so often which is pretty sweet.

I am working the Del Mar area. Its a great area! Lots and lots of English members and returned missionaries. It boarders Mexico and its right smack in the middle of the world trade bridge. We also drive a car. I was kinda bummed out about that, just cause I've been in a car for a pretty long time already, but guess what we get to drive around in? A mini van!! I feel like a total soccer mom driving that thing around. When me and my comp both get out, dressed in white shirts and ties, I feel like everyone in the neighborhood gets a good laugh and then runs inside before we can talk to them. Haha. We will definitely be taking more than enough bike days this transfer.

My new comp is Elder Browning. He's from Washington. He's 22 years old and he's been out on the mission for about 5 months. He's awesome and I love him. He's played football at SUU for about 2 years.

We are getting the area going pretty quick, we found a family of 4 the other day that we are working with. Its the Cantu family. Great family. We've only had 1 lesson with them so far and it went great! They loved it and invited us back. We have another lesson with them tonight and we are hoping and praying that all goes well! Also we are working with a couple named Noah and Karla. They are pretty young. 18 and 17 but they love hearing the message and having us come over. We hope they can all make it to church and we can start seeing some progress in the area!

Here's a cool quote for the day. Its gets me pumped every time I get a door slammed in my face. :)

"Its not about how hard you can hit. Its about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward!" -Rocky Balboa

Love you guys! Have a killer week!

Elder Brian

Monday, July 28, 2014

Letter #54

Sad to see this day come but, I'm leaving South Laredo. This area was awesome! Im gonna miss it a lot. Now I'm just praying I go to another border town! Or maybe Corpus Christi would be pretty cool too haha. But all I know is wherever I'm headed is gonna be great and its where I'm meant to be!
Love you guys! Ill fill you all in on the news next week! And if you by chance send anything just shoot it to the mission office. Thanks!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Letter #53

Hey hey!!

Just last week we had interviews with Presidente Maluenda! He is so rad! I don't think I've ever talked to a more "in tune with the spirit" kind of guy in my life. He just knows whats up in life and I think that is awesome. He definitely picked me up off my feet and got me going again and ready to work hard. 

Every other day we play morning soccer at the cancha at 530 for like an hour and a halfish and this morning we played. It was sweet. Everytime we leave, its literally like we just stepped out of a steam room, just soaked. My pants and shirt arent even the same color. Just to give you a little picture of how humid and hot it is down here, we set the phone down on the bleachers and when we came back to leave, the phone was soaked and now its... broken. Haha. We didnt even set it in a puddle or anything, just the humidity killed it i guess. It wont turn on. Thats the second phone that has broken on me! And they both happened while I was playing soccer! Ni modo. 

Transfers are coming up again! Time is flying by. I'll find out this Sunday if I'm staying or going and I'll let you guys know next week! I love the mission. It makes me pretty sad just thinking how much time has gone by and how much time I have left. Live it up while you can.

Love you
Elder Brian

1. Homies at What-A-Burger
2. Zone Blitz in Zapata




Monday, July 14, 2014

Letter #52

I hate when I say "I have nothing to say" when really I have a lot to say, I just don't know how to say it. That pretty much just sums up the email that I'm about to write. I just have to much going on in my head that i cant even think straight anymore. I think the work is really getting to me.
Dad, I went over to a Vivint guys appartment last night for a quick Sunday dinner. He was pretty sweet. We we're talking Vivint and I told him about you and it turns out he went to Ghana with you when your crew went down. His name is Johnathan. And.... I totally forgot his last name sorry. But I thought that was pretty cool and I thought I'd let you know haha.
We are also working with a Vivint kid that is down here for the summer doing sales. He came to church one Sunday and he really liked it. Me and my comp introduced ourselves and totally just blew off the question to see if he was a member because he said he was from Utah. But it turns out he's not! So we'll see how that goes this week and maybe he'll return to Utah being a member. How cool would that be?!
Love,
Elder Brian

Monday, July 7, 2014

Letter #51

Well, its was a great 4th of July to say the least! We spent the night playing board games and..... more board games. I'd thought we'd see a lot more fireworks and parties but, then i remembered that most of the people here are not from here, but I still had a great day!

I've never really been put in a teaching situation like the one we are in right now. We are teaching this guy, his name is Tony. He's a 23 year old, look a like of Adam Sandler and he has schizophrenia. I think he is rad. The first couple times we went over I don't think he was on his meds and he was saying some crazy stuff. He kept calling himself "The Fat Cat that calls the shots" haha. I thought that was hilarious. At first we thought that we wouldn't be able to teach him because of his schizophrenia, like he wouldn't understand and wouldn't keep commitments but we found out that he is a well functioning guy and more than able to keep the commandments! He's been through a lot the past couple years. His mom went in to Mexico and she was kidnapped and they haven't seen her since. I cant even imagine how hard it is for him and his family. But me and my companion love teaching him and have already seen some major changes in his live since we've been stopping by. He loves hearing the gospel and listening to us the "Elder Men"
I love this gospel!
Love,
Elder Brian

Monday, June 30, 2014

Letter #50

Happy Birthday Emerson!! The big 15. Hope its a good one! You have the same birthday as my comp ;)
Well, it was a fun week! Lots and lots of walking in the streets and going by members to find people to teach! There's nothing better than that. Just a few days ago we found a couple, Oscar and Valerie. They are awesome. It was kind of like a late night miracle. Walking all day, around 8:30ish, getting ready to call it quits and head home, still havent found anyone and one of the last doors we go to contact and they answer! We ended up sitting down and they accepted a baptismal date for the 27th of July! #miracles You gotta love 'em. ;)
So thats who we will be working with this week here in Laredo! Sorry its so short this week! Happy 4th!
Go U.S.A!

Love
Elder Brian

Monday, June 23, 2014

Letter #49

Talk about a gnarly week! I'm not gonna lie, Dad, I'm still kinda shaking from that visit from you. Total blindside. So here's my side of the story:

So we get this random call and its a hispanic guy saying he is a long lost member that used to live here in Laredo and loved the missionaries and he had a friend that he would love for us to meet and he said he would like to bring us some food. So my comp gets off the phone, tells me the good news and we were stoked. I asked him like who it was, what his name was and all the deets and turns out my comp never even got his name haha but he said he sounded like a really smart hispanic dude with the way that he talked. So at first, I was like alright awesome. We have some good potential to get a solid new investigator with a solid member to help. So later on, we get a text and it said "Elders how many live in your apartment".... but it was in english. So me and my companion were like, hmmmm. Who is this guy? But we told him and we just went with it. So we get to the apartment and we are waiting and a car pulls up and a guy gets out and he's wearing a Vivint shirt. So i thought it might've been one of the guys that have been working down here. And he says "Elders! I have 2 things for you. Lots of food and....... I want you to meet someone. And right then Dad comes around the corner!! My stomach dropped pretty dang hard. I didnt even know what to think! Haha. It was awesome! I cant believe its been almost a year since i've seen you last. Lets just say, i had a pretty solid journal entry that night and not so good of a nightly planning. haha.

So that was the big crazy news of the week! We are working with a couple investigators, they arent too solid right now, but we'll have to see what happens with them this week. 

Love you guys!!
Elder Brian




Monday, June 16, 2014

Letter #48

Pretty solid week in Laredo! Transfer news came and I'm staying here in Laredo for at least another six weeks with Elder Christiansen!. I'm pretty stoked about that. I think Laredo might get the best of me by the time I leave. If not me, then at least my bike. ;)
Have you guys been keeping up with the World Cup?! Its all over down here and I'm about to go nuts. Its a good thing a lot of the members watch it so they keep us pretty updated haha. USA plays Ghana tonight. You all better be watching it!

 We found some really great people we're working with. We ran into an older lady a couple days ago just walking the streets and we ended up sitting down with her and had a great first lesson and she even came to church yesterday! Her name is Maria Elena. She has a baptismal date for the 6th of July and so far everything is looking pretty good! Keep her in your prayers please!
This week I studied a lot about prayer and how key that is in our daily lives. A scripture in Alma stuck out to me. In Alma 37:37 at the very beginning it says "Counsel with the Lord" And i thought about that a little and what counsel really means. Our prayers should be like a conversation with the Lord, letting him know how things are going, asking him for help and in the end, letting him come in and help you with those things. So Counsel with the Lord everyday!!
Love you guys!
E. Brian

Monday, June 9, 2014

Letter #47

Awesome week! Not too much success with investigators lately but,  just because the numbers aren't showing it doesn't mean it wasn't a successful week!
We went and worked in the outskirts of our area this week. It was awesome! For a second i felt like I wasn't even doing missionary work because of the trails and paths we had to bike on. Haha, it was like we were just mountain biking the whole time! But I'm not going to be the one to complain about it. We did end up finding a less active we didn't know about! She's really cool and I've got a good feeling we could get her back to church in no time!
Transfers are coming up next week! We've been hearing a lot of rumors that our area might be getting pink washed (when sisters come and take over) so I guess we'll see what happens. Our mission over the summer is supposed to be getting a ton of Sisters and by the end of the summer its going to be a half sister half elder mission. That's going to be weird. Especially cause I'm in a complete Elder zone right now!

​ If you send anything, just send it to the mission home. Thanks and love you guys!!!

Elder Brian
200 W. La Vista Ave.
McAllen, Texas 78501

Monday, June 2, 2014

Letter #46

What a hot week! We've definitely felt the summer heat here in Laredo this week. You got to love walking up to peoples doors and having them ask you if you would like a rag to wipe the sweat off your face. Haha!

One thing that our mission president is always really focused on is enjoying your mission. And I was kinda thinking about that a lot this week. And a quote came to my mind. I have no clue where it came from or who said it but it says "If you pile up a bunch of tomorrow's, you'll be left with a lot of empty yesterdays." We all need to make sure we "live in the moment" and enjoy your time wherever you are at because you will never know when its going to leave, especially here in the mission with the short 2 years that us as missionaries have.

You guys are awesome! Have a killer week!

Love
Elder Brian

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Letter #45

Whats up?!
This last week was awesome. We had Cesar's baptism! It went really well, I don't have a pic to send. My bad. Ill try and get on that. It was really cool cause he even brought his mom and sister too! They seemed to enjoy it a lot so we're hoping they will be our next victims ;)
We aren't really working with anyone right now. Elder Christiansen and I cleared our board so its going to be a big week of finding! So we're hoping all goes well with that.
Love you guys!

Elder Brian

Monday, May 19, 2014

Letter #44




Good news!!
Hey guys!! This week was killer! The Morales family got baptized! It was awesome. Thanks for all the prayers! They are doing really good right now and are being taken in as part of the branch family. The members here rad. They love doing missionary work.
We had a miracle this last week. We weren't really working with anyone too solid and we were praying to find some prepared people. So we go to branch coordination with the ward mission leader and we end up seeing all the kids at mutual so we go talk to them and Miguel (one of the young men) had brought one of his friends. And we find out that his friend (Cesar) has been coming to church with him on and off for about 2 years and he came up to us and told us that he thinks its time for him to get baptized! So we started working with him and we had a first lesson. At the end he said a prayer and told us that what he was doing was right and that he believed with all his heart that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. It was sick! The spirit was really strong and we set his Baptismal date for this Friday! I have a strong testimony that the Lord answers each and every one of our prayers and if we are doing everything we need to be, following all the commandment and being exactly obedient, there is no way that the Lord can keep those miracles from happening.
I love the mission! Thanks for being there to support! I love you guys!
Elder Brian

Monday, May 12, 2014

Letter #43

Hey guys!
Skyping yesterday was awesome! It was good seeing you all again!

Everyone is probably saying I like gained a ton of weight or something but I haven't OK!! I've only gained like 6 lbs! And it all went to my face!  My pants still fit the same, my shirts still fit the same, my belt the same. Everything the same OK.  Sorry, that was bugging me, i had to get that cleared up haha.
I don't have to much to say today but the Morales family is doing great! They are looking good for their baptism this Sunday! The week right before the baptism is always tough so if you could keep them in your prayers that would be awesome.
Thanks a ton. Love you guys! Have a killer week!
Love
Elder Brian

Monday, May 5, 2014

Letter #42

Buenos Dias!

Transfers came and prayers were answered, I'm staying in Laredo with Elder Christiansen!! We were pretty stoked when we heard the news. Our whole zone is pretty much staying the same except for a couple dying missionaries who are headed home.
The week was pretty good! Nothing too much to fill you guys in on. Some weird drug stories but thats kinda the norm around here. The family we are teaching is progressing really well! Thanks for the prayers!
Thanks for the support and love! Cant wait to talk next week! Love you guys!
Elder Brian

Monday, April 28, 2014

Letter #41

What up everyone!! We had an awesome week here in Laredo. I don't think I've sweat more in my life than i have this past week. I love showing up to people's doors looking like i just got out of a swimming pool. I'm sure they do too. ;)
To start off, Brian got baptized yesterday!! It was an awesome experience and definitely one of my more spiritual baptisms. Brian started tearing up and everything and the spirit was real strong. It just helped me grow even a stronger testimony of the Lord's work.
Earlier I was reading over a talk by Elder Ballard from the October 2013 Conference called "Put Your Trust In The Lord" I'm sure you guys have all read it, or at least heard it. If not, I'd get on that. Its a killer talk.  I love how he talks about 2 things that keep most people from sharing the gospel. 1 is fear and 2 is misunderstanding of the work. And that can all be solved by prayer. Pray for those missionary opportunities and you will be blessed with them. (Matt 7: 7-11) I know it works!!
Thanks for all the prayers an support! They are definitely felt out here in the mission field. I know i say this every week but i can't say it enough, i am so grateful to be out here in the field serving our Lord. For sure it is hard at times and there are times when i don't want anything to do with the mission but i know that those times make us who we are. Like they always say "Whatever doesnt kill you, makes you stronger"
Love
E. Brian