October 30, 2009

Posted on 11:33 AM by Elder Messer | 0 comments

Hey everyone! How have you all been?! i hope you've all been good! Thanks for the letters and packages this week! It always makes my day to hear from you all! I sent a package to you today with a cd of all my pictures and my old planer so i can always remember my time in the mtc. Mom, no i don't have nancys address so you can't send her anything. all i know is that she lives in pomona california

I'm gonna to call that number that dad gave me at 4pm miami time 2pm your time so be ready! and dad, no worries if that doesn't work or something. i bought a calling card so if that number doesn't work i'll just call you with that! In case you want to keep track of my flights i'm flying on american airlines on flights 416, 1208, and 967. I think you can use those to make sure my planes are on time or something, if you want.

so those mormon messages that i sent you were from me and they didn't have any viruses. on lds.org they have an app where you can send those videos to people. so on wednesday when I was waiting for some new missionaries to finish their gym orientation i was watching some mormon messages and thought about you all and decided to send some to you.

So I heard you guys had some crazy weather lately! Hopefully it doesn't end up over utah and interfere with my travels!haha. It snowed here a tiny bit yesterday and today but none of it stuck and it was only for like an hour. I'm glad i'm getting out of here right before winter though!

So this week was good. On monday tanner left so that was kinda sad but it was really cool at the same time. He's somewhere in el salvador right now speaking spanish and preaching the gospel. oh and this week I saw grant and tyson so that was pretty coolon tuesday Elder L. Tom Perry came and talked to us. It was cool to get to see another apostle before I left.We got new missionaries on wednesday in our zone so elder noe and I got to go help them out on wednesday and thursday and it went well. They all seemed like they were excited to be here.other than that we've just been studying a lot trying to get ready to hit the field running. I'm way excited to get to ecuador! I'm kinda nervous about the launguage barrier and all that jazz but i'm more excited than nervous so all is well. we talked to a guy from quito yesterday and he wouldn't stop bragging about what an awesome place it is! he said the missionaries there a spoiled and live better than the missionaries in the provo mission (thats where he served).

I"m excited to meet my mission president and find out what my first area will be! I'm excited to meet my companion as well. i'm curious to know weather i'll have a native companion or a gringo companion. I think either one would be cool but i'll be honest i'm kinda hoping for a native just because I think it would halp me pick up the launguage faster. But whoever it is will be great i'm sure. Its gonna be an adventure no matter what happens, thats for sure!!!I think they'll let me email you when I get there just so you know i arrived safely. but anyways, I dont have much more to say other than I love you all and hope all is going well! You can start replying via email now since letters and dearelder would take to long. plus i have an hour to email when i get to ecuador. anyways, I love you and i'll talk to you on monday!

October 23, 2009

Posted on 12:29 AM by Elder Messer | 0 comments

Hey everyone!Thank you for your letters and packages this week! It always makes my day to hear from you guys! Congratulations on your new calling mom! Your gonna be awesome! Hows everything else going back home? Whats the weather been like? Its been getting colder here but it hasn't snowed yet so thats a plus. Mom, The lady in the trc just wasn't the nicest person last week. I think she was having a bad day or something. I'm not sure. But she turned out to be nice in the end so that its all good. And yes your definitely right about learning the laungauge. We can only learn so much here. I'm sure when we get to ecuador our pace of learning will start to pick up a little. We just finished our last grammer principle yesterday so hypothetically we know everything. We just have to put it all to use and remember every single grammer rule on the fly and learn a bunch more vocab. I'm not really sure on ideas for christmas... I'll have to think about it and get back to you. I liked the ideas you had though about ctr rings in spanish and book markers. I think pictures would be a good idea to. speaking of pictures, i'm gonna burn a cd this week and send it to you. I haven't taken that many pictures but theres quite a few. I'm not sure about that water filter thing either. It sounds way cool but i'll have to ask when i get down there and see. They gave us instructions about how to purify water and they looked kinda sketchy. Like we have to boil it and then put bleach in it. and some other wierd stuff. i'm sure i'll find out more when i get there though. and yea i've gotten stuff from all the grandparents and i'm all loaded up! You all know how to take care of me! :)I dont have my ecuadorian address right now but i think its posted on my blog. if not i'll give it to you next week or when I get there.

We got our travel plans today. It was pretty exciting. We leave monday morning (nov 2). We fly out of salt lake at 6 am land in dallas at 9:35 am then leave for miami at 11:25 am. We arrive in miami at 3:10 pm and then we leave for quito at 6 pm and arrive at 9:55 pm. so I can call you either from salt lake, dallas, or miami depending on what time is best for you all. please let me know this week and i'll finalize it with you in my email next week.

anyways, this week has been pretty good for me i guess. last saturday night some elders in our zone tried to have a sleepover with like 14 guys in the same room (they're only suppose to fit 4) so elder noe and I had to break it up. Some of them were kinda mad at us at first. we told our branch president about how we felt like some of them were a bit mad at us and he just smiled, and said "welcome to leadership". haha it was kinda funny. then he told us that sometimes we just have to lay down the law no matter how much ppl dont like it. Mom and Dad I'm sure you know all about that as parents.On sunday we had to teach preisthood meeting because the branch presidency had another meeting to go to. We taught it on personal revelation. We taught for an hour and it went pretty well considering we only had an hour to prepare for it. i'm getting used to just teaching on the fly with no preparation. I guess thats a good skill to develop as a missionary. Its something that I never would have though i could do before my mission but now its just like normal.

On monday we got to leave the MTC! It was pretty much the most exciting thing thats happened since i've been here haha. An elder in our district had to go to physical therapy so elder noe and I had to go with him. Everyone saw us and started talking to us. it was kinda cool. We talked to one guy that served his mission in canada when president monson was the mission president. He told us all about it.

On wednesday we went to the RC. I made some outbound calls in spanish and was able to send a couple church DVDs to some people in puerto rico. I also got an inbound call from a lady named nancy. She asked if I could pray for her because her and her 3 kids had been homeless for a while. She asked if we had a service that could give them some food and I gave her some phone number from lds.org. Then I told her about God's love for her and talked to her about her family. Long story short I sent the missionaries to her and she is excited to hear the message they have for her. I hope it all works out for her! Can you all pray for her?I did sealings in the temple today and it was awesome! There are very few times in my life that i've felt the spirit that strong!anyways, i'm out of time but I love you guys! have a good week! and let me know when is the best time for me to call next monday

!Espero que ustedes tengan una semana fantastica!

October 16, 2009

Posted on 4:39 PM by Elder Messer | 0 comments

Hey everyone!Thanks for your letters and packages this week! Thats for the jerky mom! I have a few packs now so i should be good until I leave. If you send something this week could you send some type of healthy snack food. maybe like wheat thins or something.The swine flu is gon from my floor so i'm not at any big risk anymore. But i'll keep taking precautions like you said mom! Thanks for all the info about it and all the herbs and stuff.

Jason, I have an assignment for you. fing the aug. ensign and read the article starting on page 46. its about WOW haha

Dad you seriously worked 174 hours in the last 2 weeks?!?! Thats ridiculous! Thats pretty much working all day everyday with just enough free time to sleep! Hopefully your proposal will go good and you'll be back to normal hours soon!

My flight plans should come in about a week from today. either on thursday or friday, Hopefully. They might let me call you when i get them but i'm not sure. I'm not sure when i'll be able to call your from the airport either. I dont think it matters. I might even be able to call you from salt lake and from wherever else we stop at. I'm not sure though so i'll let you know when i find out. as far as the length of the call, I think i'll be able to talk for at least like 30 minutes. But once again i'm not sure so i'll have to let you know when I find out for sure. I"m way excited to talk to you guys though! I miss you all! and mom, I miss your cooking a lot. The food here is getting so old. I can only take cafeteria food for so long.

Dad, yea spanish is different wherever you go and it will definitely be difficult to understand and talk when i first get there. I've talked to a few people that have been to quito and they said that everyone in quito speaks really slow and pronounces everything very clearly so thats a good sign! Apperently in the jungles and by the coast they speak super fast though. But I'll probably be lost wherever I end up serving when I first get there.

This week we did calls in the RC in spanish. It was pretty scary. I would introduce myself and then they would say something back to me and I would only understand parts of it. I think its harder to talk over the phone because you can see body language or anything. We're going back this week to practice some more.

Oh and i'll be gone before bernie gets here. New missionaries come in on wednesday and old ones always leave on monday or tuesday.This week was pretty good for me. we went to the trc on monday and taught lesson one in spanish. The lady we taught was kinda mean at first and we weren't sure how it would end up going. We just went in and did our best to teach with the spirit. Then when the lesson was almost over she just opened up to us and told us her whole life story about how she used to live in california and drink and spoke but then the missionaries taught her and changed her life. Then she said that she had never felt the spirit so strong as when we were teaching. It was cool becuase I actually got to make a difference in someones life and help them feel the spirit and make there day better. I can't wait to get to ecuador and do that all day every day.

On wednesday we got to host new missionaries. We had to stand out on the curb and help them with there luggage and take them up to there room and then to there class. When they were teaching us how to host they made sure to emphasize that we needed to be really kind and friendly to the parents when they were getting dropped off so that they felt good about letting go of their son. A couple times I had to stand there and watch whole families cry for 10 minutes. It was pretty sad. I almost shed a tear at one point. This whole missionary drop off is brutal. Its just like pull up to the curb, get out and say goodbye, and get back in the car and drive away. It was definitely better that we just said goodbye at the airport.We got a new district in our zone on wednesday. They're going to texas, denver, and paraguay. Elder noe and I got to talk with them and take them on a tour. It was basically the same thing we did last week. one of our districts is leaving on monday so we might get another new district on wednesday but i'm not sure yet. I think Grant is coming in on wednes day so maybe he'll be in my zone. that would be cool.

Hey mom, can you send me everyones shirt size? I want to buy you all some ecuador shirts that you can wear and when people ask you about them you can tell them about me and it will be a missionary opportunity.
Thats so cool that jason gets to go to sea camp and desi gets to go to washington dc. Make sure and tell me all about those trips!
anyways, my time is almost up so i have to rap it up. I love you guys! Dad, mom, lindsey, jason, desi, and jojo. Write me and tell me about your lifes!

-Elder Brandon Messer

October 9, 2009

Posted on 1:35 PM by Elder Messer | 0 comments

Hey everyone! I hope You're all doing awesome! Thanks for the packeges mom and thanks for the watch. Its perfect! Your pretty much the perfect missionary Mom! This week has been pretty good.
Conference last weekend was awesome! We watched every session and loved every minute of it. My favorite talks were Elder Hollands talk about the Book of Mormon and I think it was Elder Hales who talked about how God's love doesn't supercede his laws. What were your favorites? Everytime they talked about families I thought about you guys and how much I miss you all. And during priesthood I thought a lot about Dad and Jason and how Dad and I used to go to priesthood together and go out to Dinner after.
On sunday night we had a fireside all about music because apparently they played a lot more music this conference than they have before. The mission presidency sang to us and they had a bunch of missionaries say their favorite songs and why they liked that song and then we sang a verse of it. It was a pretty cool fireside and it was nice to get to sing instead of just sit and listen like we had been doing all weekend. The guy playing the organ was sooooo good!He would always just add in extra notes and just like change keys in the middle of the song.
On monday we went to the TRC and taught lesson 1 in spanish. It went suprisingly well. We struggled over saying some stuff but all and all we were able to get the message across. I can't believe i'm gonna be doing that for real in a few weeks. I'm so excited to get to Ecuador! It feels like I've been in the mtc forever! It's kinda starting to feel like a prison now since we can't ever leave. I get excited when I get to go across the street to play volleyball or go to the temple. we get excited when we see cars or when we see someone walking a dog. Its kind sad haha.
Devotional on Tuesday was pretty good. We had some guy that used to be a member of one of the quorums of the 70. I heard him speak once at BYU and he gave the same talk again so it was really familiar to me. He told a story about a guy he met in south africa that owned a multi-billion dollar diamond bussiness but sold it to move to Utah when he read the Book of Mormon and heard about the Gospel. He was actually at the meeting so we got to listen to him tell his conversion story. Its amazing how much the Gospel can change someones life!
On wednesday we got a new district in our Zone. There are 12 elders in the zone: 9 going to el salvador san salvador east (the same mission as tanner), 2 going to guatemala, and 1 going to costa rica. Elder Noe and I got to talk to them for a bit and then take them to their rooms and help them get setteled in. Then on Thursday we got to teach them for an hour about planning, using time wisely, and having strong companionships. Then we took them on a tour of the Mtc and explained all the rules to them and all that good stuff. They all seam happy and excited to be here.
So basically the MTC has swine flu again. I don't think there are that many cases but there have been 2 on our floor right down the hall from me. Both of the Elders were Quarentined so hopefully it wont spread. It seems like everyone is getting sick though. One Elder in our district has the regular flu (I just took him to the doctor to confirm that it wasn't swine flu) and a bunch of other elders have colds, including me. I've pretty much been sick all week but it's nothing too bad so don't worry. I've been taking all the medicine and stuff that mom gave me before i left and it seems to be helping. I showed everyone "the spice of live" and they all thought it was super wierd. But then they took it and it helped them so they're believers now haha.
I can't believe I only have 3 weeks left in the MTC. That means we'll probably get our travel plans in about a week and a half-ish. When I get them I'll let you guys know. I'm allowed to call home while i'm in the airport so you guys have to make sure and be home or answer your cell phones when I call. We'll figure something out.
Anyways, I love you guys! Keep writing me and telling me about your lives! Thanks for your letter mom telling me about the disasters in Indonesia and somoa. It was cool to hear about that because we don't get any news from the outside world.
Espero que hay angeles en sus vidas!

October 2, 2009

Posted on 10:10 PM by Elder Messer | 0 comments

Hey Family!

How are you all?!?!? Thank you for the package Mom!!! I loved it! and thanks for the letters everyone!!!!

This week has been pretty busy for me. On Sunday Elder Noe and I got called as zone leaders so now we have a bunch of meetings that we have to go to every week. Our branch president told us that our biggest responsibility as Zone leaders is to love everyone and be a good example to them. Other than that we have to plan church on Sunday, Meet with new missionaries in our zone and talk to them about a bunch of stuff and give them a tour, Direct Zone activities, interview all the District leaders once a week to make sure everyone is doing ok, and meet with the branch president every week and give him a report. And a bunch of other things that I can't remember right now. basically we just have to make sure everything goes smoothly and make sure there are no major problems in the zone. Right now we have about 40 elders in our zone going to Ecuador, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Chile, and all over the United states. And we're getting a new district on Wednesday so that should be fun!

On Monday we went to the TRC and taught the plan of salvation. Luckily this time they let us do it in English. It went really well! The spirit was way strong! This week we have to teach lesson one in Spanish so that should be fun. I can't wait to get to Ecuador and actually do it for real!!!!!!

On Tuesday we had an elder in our zone decide to go home. It was really sad and his whole district was crying. Elder Noe and I went over to there building and talked to them about it. We shared a scripture and said a prayer with them. It was really hard for them because they loved the elder so much and didn't want to see him go

On Wednesday we went To the referral center and I talked with a guy named Julio. He was from Brazil and was really interested in the church. He was asking about eternal families and told me that he is married and has 6 kids. He didn't speak very good English and asked if I could speak Portuguese. I told him I could speak a little Spanish but no Portuguese. I didn't know any Spanish though so we just kept talking in English. He seemed like he was really interested in the Church and was really looking for the truth. I had to leave so I transfered him to someone else before we finished but I hope he decides to meet with the missionaries and learn more!

So all this week we've been speaking Spanish all the time. All of our classes are just in Spanish now. Its kinda hard sometimes but I understand almost all of what our teachers say. They even started teaching us spanish in spanish which doesn't really make sense to me but whatever haha. I'm sure it will be really hard when we get to Ecuador so this is probably good practice. We talked to someone that went to Ecuador on his mission and he said they speak really slow in the mountains and really fast in the jungles and by the coasts. So I hope my first area will be in the mountains.

I went to a meeting this week and got to shake hands with someone that had shook hands with someone that had shook hands with Joseph Smith. So basically I'm 3 hand shakes away from Joseph smith haha.

Anyways, Do you know who the knew bishop is yet?
Jason and Desi- How is school going?
Lindsey- I love your letters! please keep them coming!
Mom- It sounds like you've been staying busy! How are Lucifer, Rasputin, and Obama doing? and How is JoJo doing?
Dad- How is work and scouts and all that good stuff?

I love you guys!!!

-Elder Brandon Messer