27 May 2016

27 MAY 2016 - May's Emails, a New Area, Pictures, and a Spiritual Thought

23 MAY 2016

Hey Guys! I'm doing good, this week we've been having a lot more success!

We are finding a ton of new people, one of them, Matias is his name, came up to us and asked, "You guys are Mormons right? I've always wanted to go to your church!" So we gave him our number and the times for him to come to church and we put a cita with him... that fell through so we assumed he wasn't interested... until he showed up at church this week! haha we weren't expecting that!

Another family we met yesterday, Angelica and her son Danilo, we visited the house of a less active member and taught Lesson 1 and put a fecha! with them both!

Its been a really interesting week, the only problem is that almost EVERY person we've found lately live in the other Elder's area so we have to let them teach them... :P Its still good that were finding these people but it would be nice for US to have some more work haha, but so far we ARE teaching Angelica and her son, Matias along with the others are for the other Elders.. The things here in Allen are really picking up for us and the other missionaries! I"m excited for this next transfer!

Anyway, I love you guys I hope you have a great week!

16 MAY 2016

Hey Everyone!

This week was a lot better! All of the Parra Kids came to church this last week (not yesterday) and we are finding more people. There is still a lot of work to do but I guess it is better that there IS work to do haha.
But for the lack of any specific story in my mind right now, here's a spiritual thought from this morning...
There is plenty of rain in Argentina
So this week had its ups and downs but this morning with my comp we read a talk called "The 4th Missionary," (primarily for missionaries as you could presume haha) but it talked about one's own free will. He made note that of everything we have there is only one thing that we can give back to God that he doesn't have already, our free will. The key factor in his plan for us is just that, our Agency or ability to choose. He can't force us to choose Him, but He will always try to convince us that the only way to truly be happy is through Him. When WE choose Him, we are giving our all to Him and He can mold us into the people we can become.
Anyway, I love you all, have a great week and remember, He wants to help us. Talk to you next week!
"It gets muddy sometimes"

        2 MAY 2016

Hey Como Andan Todos!! This week has been a lot better!

As far as investigators, we have a few, but they are progressing really well! The first is named Jose Catalan, he is with an inactive member and the sister missionaries before us were visiting them a lot. This past week we went by and taught the Restoration to him, and he payed a lot of attention and understood it all really well. At the end we invited him to read and pray and he said he would, then we put a baptismal date with him. He said if he got his answer he would and that he wanted to see what a baptism is like before he does it. The other Elders have one this Saturday! He told us he was going to do everything he could to go!

The other investigators are named the Flia Parra. They actually listened to the missionaries a few years back but those missionaries weren't too.. focused :P for lack of a better word so they didn't teach too much. Now we got to know them and they are a super cool family! They all go to different churches so they all listen and participate! The best part is that they told us that they are praying to know if the church is true!! They said they will come sí o sí this Sunday!!

Other news from this week, we had a big meeting this past Thursday with Elder Gonzalez from the Quorum of the 70 in the church. (he is actually in charge of the church in all of the area of southern South America) So a big group of missionaries got together like we did 8 months ago when another Elder came, Elder Teixeira.
It was super cool, he talked to us about being bold.. a lot of times, as missionaries we don't want to offend people or feel bad for not going by to visit them if they aren't progressing, but we cant be like that! The reason the missionaries in the scriptures had so much success if because they didn't fear what man could do, they did what God demanded of them with all their power and authority. As a missionary today, we have the same authority, but we don't use that power. He talked about letting go of that fear (which is normal for us humans) and being bold in proclaiming the gospel. Presidente Casariego talked about desires too. He said if we have good desires, we will give good efforts and have good success, but if we desire something with all our heart might mind and strength... we are going to put all of that in our efforts and we can accomplish anything! Even more so with God on our side!

Thanks for reading everyone! I hope you have a great week!

Darren is now serving in Allen outside of Neuquen.  These photos are from saying goodbye to families from Plottier.

Elder Bramell loves the kids...

05 March 2016

Service Projects, Struggling and Turning 20 years Old - 29 FEB 2016

29 FEB 2016

Hey Everyone!

Another long week here in Argentina but this time with revived enthusiasm!
Thanks to those of you who wished me a happy birthday, and if you forgot or didn't have time to write, don't worry you all know how terrible I am with remembering dates :P haha

So before getting all deep and such, there is one pretty crazy story. So the other day we provided service at a members house. We were laying cement on the roof of his house and when we got about

Home where they were working on the roof
halfway done, all 6 crossbeams broke in the middle, so we took it all off then used it to add more concrete on the ground :P haha. Afterward we finished cleaning up Abuelo Santiago´s patio and he made us an asado! Gaucho style haha.  He put the meat on the table and handed us forks and knives We also made the juice in a bucket :P

Anyway, the news is that Elder Bednar went to Buenos Aires this last week and talked to all of the area missionaries, including us and to sum up everything I learned, is that sometimes the only thing we can do is keep working. One missionary asked how we could speed up the work and they explained simply that its not up to us, all we need to do is work so that when the moments come, we are there to be the instruments God needs us to be.

Lately we've been struggling a lot trying to help the ward fulfill its responsibilities, find people to teach and attend church, and a lot more struggles and what I've learned is that I just have to keep working, I cant stop and get discouraged because that is when Satan wins and keeps us from reaching our potential.

I don't know why its been so hard lately, but I do know that I am learning a lot!
I hope you guys have a great week, I'll talk to you soon!
The Elders with Abuelo Santiago

Picking Peaches

An Asado for the Elders - Gaucho Style

Personal Study and Inspiration - 22 FEB 2016

22 FEB 2016

Hey Everyone! 

So to be honest this week was kind of flojo on our part.  We haven't been teaching as lot recently and our numbers are pretty low, but its going good.  I don't have a lot to write about this week, we did have a service project digging up weeds and plants in a members house, I had the special tool of a pick-ax haha, it was good though!
A Doodle of Darren's District
The other Elders did have a baptism this week though! it was nice to be able to attend one! I know we can have one too before the transfer ends in March! Speaking of that I actually feel really inspired today! Today in my personal studies, I was studying in 3 Nephi about Christ's visit to the Americas. Part of that was to organize the scriptures they had (the Book of Mormon) exactly how it needed to be, so that we could read it now in our times. Before leaving, Christ told 3 of his disciples that, for their desire to share the gospel they will have a fullness of joy.

That's what I'm doing here! Reflecting on that I realized that, the Book of Mormon is true. I always knew it was, but studying this morning the Spirit testified to me that it really is. I now know it is.
I know that the reason I'm here teaching these things is so that these people I meet can have that fullness of joy. Through the Book of Mormon we ALL can feel the love and happiness of God's plan for us.

I've learned a lot here in Argentina and I am glad to be here.  I love you guys and I hope you have a great week!
An early birthday present from a member in Argentina

Handmade Scripture Case

Personalized and beautifully handmade

08 February 2016

The Shirt or "Suit" Off His Back - 8 FEB 2016

8 FEB 2016

Hey everyone! So this week the biggest news was that we finally had our meeting with Presidente Casariego haha. It was really good, he focused a lot on bringing investigators to church. He put as part of "el estandarte de la mission" (the goal for each week as a missionary) that we have / investigaters in church EVERY week! Which will require a lot of work but it makes sense because if they never go to church they will never progress enough to get baptized. So were going to focus a lot more on doing that and staying organized enough to be able to accomplish it. So thats been our focus this week, find more people so we can bring more people to church.

We actually did find one family recently. Bishop gave us a reference for a less active family. so a couple days later we were able to pass by and when we knocked the door, the wife said, "Hola
Service project with local members
Elderes, we've been waiting for your visit, pasen!" (in a little spanglish) and we found the husband, "D". He had a big bandage over his head and a couple over his arm. It turned out that a few days before we came, their family got in a car accident and "D"got ejected out of the car.  Miraculously he lived and was the only one hurt. But talk about being inspired to visit someone at the right time! Plus they have two kids, and the younger daughter is not baptized! We have a noche de hogar (family home evening) with them today!

And to end with one more story, so "M" has been helping us out a lot recently, but he went to church every week in normal clothes. He wanted to have church clothes together before he went. He had a suit but when he tried it on, it was way too small for him. So, I tried on the coat and it was slim on me but it fit, so I decided to give him my suit for his. It is a grey suit too so on Sunday I brought him my suit and I wore his.  I will admit, the pants on me are kind of tight haha but the suit fit perfectly on "M"! It was so cool! he gets the Melchizedek priesthood in April and were getting him ready for the mission. That was super cool. I'll send fotos next week!

Well, I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Lunch with a local family

01 February 2016

"Teach Repentance, Baptize Converts" - 25 JAN 2016

25 JAN 2016

Hey everyone!

First things first, I can't send fotos again because I left my camera in Plottier and I am in Neuquen for transfers!! Don't worry I'm staying here in América, but Elder Coyle se va! And my new comp is coming from Esquel in the south, so he wont be here until late :P  His name is Elder Aquilera from Chile, he's got 6 months.

This has been a long but good week, I'll get you all caught up on this area.

So first off I need to tell you all about MJD. He is this 20 year old guy that the other Elders found before heading back home. He was baptized when he was about 16 but went inactive after a year. We started to pass by and visit him. He decided he wants to serve a mission and he stopped smoking. He asked us to give him a blessing for his anxiety problems and he said, "I know it will work" and it did! He told us he doesn't even need the medicine he used to take to help him out! He's an incredible guy!

So as MJD has been going back to church, he has been bringing his niece and nephew with him and now they have a fecha (date) for this week! All we need is both of their parents to give permission. The only other problem is that their mom lives in the boundaries of the other ward but their dad (MJD's brother) lives here within ours. But were still going to do all we can! They are the closest for right now!

We had a really cool transmission this past week for ALL missionaries where a few of the apostles spoke to us and it was really spiritual and interesting. They made sure that we know what our purpose is, "Teach repentance, and baptize converts". They asked us to focus on the Savior and how HE is our message, of course we teach about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, but the most important lesson we have is that we have a heavenly brother named Jesus Christ, who understands each and every one of us perfectly. Not only does he know us, but he died and suffered just so we can live with our own families together forever; to literally live happily ever after. All we have to do is repent and turn our lives over to Him. And then we are baptized. Thats why there are missionaries, thats why me and my brother Curtis are far from home teaching of Him. And I know He lives, and that He loves us all no matter what. I love you all too and I'll talk to you soon.

P.S. next week, sí o sí I will send fotos!! haha

01 January 2016

Baptisms to End 2015 - 28 DEC 2015

28 DEC 2015

Hey Everyone, Merry Christmas!

This has been such a great week! Our baptisms came through! Its actually a crazy story because we had scheduled their baptisms and then on Wednesday they said their Mom didn't want to sign the papers. So the next day we fasted, then when we passed by their house, we asked how their mom felt and the kids went inside to ask her, then we waited for like 10 minutes.  While we waited we started to pray and they came out super excited saying "We can get baptized!" It was so cool!

On Christmas we had a P-day all day with all of the missionaries. We had a gift exchange and it was a lot of fun.  We're going to have the same thing on New Years but I think this time we will make tacos! haha.

I wish I had more time to write but its been a super busy week and its still busy :P but that's a good thing! So I hope you all have a good week, and I'll talk to you soon!
Christmas P-day Fun

An Asado with various meats - Argentina BBQ
Christmas Program at Church

Elder Coyle in on the Christmas Program too!

16 December 2015

Transferred to Plottier, Goodbye to Roca - 15 DEC 2015

Hey Everyone!

So this week all my stories are just about visiting people because, I am sitting in a ciber in my new area in...Neuquen again :P haha I am in the area of Plottier, America and my new companion is Elder Coyle!! From Lodi, California haha. So I'm pretty pumped!

It was really sad though to say goodbye.  My last day in Roca I gave my testimony in sacrament meeting and it felt so crazy! We ended up visiting 3 families on Sunday, the familia Muñoz, Epullan, y Caram.

We had lunch with the Familia Muñoz and I shared a scripture at the end and was just thanking them for everything. They have a son named, Misaiel who just got the priesthood that day. I was wearing my grey suit with the vest, so at the end I took it off and gave it to him. Then the hermana and abuela were crying and thanking me and the kid gave me a big hug, it was a really good parting.

We then visited the Familia Epullan and we were there for a while. They all drew me picture and were writing me letters. At the end, I said the prayer and the hermana started crying. She told me that I mean a lot to them and that I'm part of their family. In the hermanas letter, she opened up to me about something in her life and thanked me. It was super rough to say goodbye to the girls like Aimé and Luciana.

Then of course I ended at the Familia Carams. We were all laughing and joking. They wrote me and took pictures and it was so nice, all theses people mean a lot to me and they said the same so I'm glad I was there at least for them.

But, I'm really excited to be here, There is a lot waiting for me here I can tell.  I'll send fotos next week.  I love you all, and talk to you later!!

Elder Darren Bramell