I'm serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. Be back in two years! --Message from Brandon while in the MTC
To Write to Brandon go to www.dearelder.com to the Tuxtla Guiterez Mission
Elder Brandon Carlos Leslie
Calle Jazmines #210
Fracc. Los Laureles
29020 Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas
Well, I am 20 now. On wednesday we ate delicious green tacos (upon my request), flan, and a little cake just for me. My birthday was great because some of the members came up to me and wished me a happy birthday and the whole day I felt really driven to work.
Today was a multizone conference and we were all very edified by President and Sister Velasco. I took great notes and have more desires to the Lord´s work and be exactly obedient. After the conference, I got 2 packages and a bunch of letters as usual! haha Thank you so much everyone for all the support and encouraging words. They really do help me have work for the people here in Tuxtla Chico. I still haven´t had a chance to read the letters yet, but in my packages I got a bunch of food, speakers for my CD player (NICE!), cologne (hopefully the people will be more receptive haha), and missionary music!
This Saturday Andres and Angel went to Guatemala and bought us 18 ties. 9 each! haha They are awesome and I am REALLY excited for Angel´s baptism this Saturday at 10am. Stop by if you´re in the area....
We have three other children of God (Aurelio, Joana, and Hugo) with baptism dates for April 9th and of course this gives memuch joy. I feel blessed to know these people and to see them grow towards our Heavenly Father. However, today starts a new week and we press on to find more of God´s children ready to hear our glad message.
Thanks for all your prayers, love, and support!
This hug was mother requested
Tuxtla Chico Original. A delicious blend for your hot milk. hot chocolate!
fun holy ghost activity we played during the second hour of church.
I´m doing great! This morning we played soccer for a couple hours and yes; it was scorching hot. I don´t ever use the phrase scorching hot, but here i feel it is appropriate. My companion, Jose Angel (ward mission leader), Andres, Angel, Irvin, and two of Jose Angel´s cousins, and I all played. It´s always really fun to play on the soccer court. Basically basketball court but with soccer goals and fence behind it. We had tons fun and made quesadillas afterwards. Mexicans, by default, are really good at soccer.
We are still working hard and trying to find those people ready and willing to accept this glad message. We are teaching some pretty great people right now and I want them to have the joy I have! I´m teaching a lot more during lessons and expressing my love for the gospel with them. Spanish still doesn´t allow me to express myself clearly just yet, but I´m very thankful that the language hasn´t been too big of an obstacle.
We press on this week with desires to serve!
Here are some pictures for you. enjoy.
IMG_3406 I found the Astro Van!
IMG_3398 riding in a the back of a truck from stakeconference with little kids.
So guess what? Transfers are today and I´m going to..... stay here in Tuxtla Chico with Elder Aguilar! :-) I´m excited to keep working with Elder Aguilar because he´s a great companion and we currently have some potential baptisms within the next few weeks. The town of Tuxtla Chico is fairly small so I would´ve liked a change of scenary, but who cares when it´s the will of the Lord right? haha Today makes 3 months here and after this next transfer it will make 4 1/2 months.
We are still visiting Andres, Angel, and Irvin but they still aren´t sure about baptism. They told us the last visit that they would pray about the 26th and Irvin actually prayed about the ``26 of March´´ in the closing prayer. We still don´t know why they didn´t make it to church yesterday but we are going to pass by tonight and see what happened. We stopped by yesterday after church but no one was home. They are reading the Book of Mormon and praying so I definitely say they will get baptized in this extra transfer!
Aurelio is really old and needs more time to understand I think. We ask him about baptism but he tells he needs to keep praying about it. He really likes church though!
Yesterday, we taught a lesson with an awesome kid named Hugo! He´s 18 and really excited and interested to learn more. We invited him to be baptized this 26th of March and he said ``Yes´´. This week we are going to talk more with him and help him in every way we can to achieve eternal happiness.
These are our best right now and we will hope, pray, and work to find more this week!
Thanks so much for the support and prayers. I know this church is true and that without baptism in this Christ´s church (with someone possesing authority from God) one cannot return to live with God again.
ps here are a bunch of photos to make up for last week.
IMG_3325 Elder Aguilar´s 7th month cake!
IMG_3326 actually when some bites into the cake it is a tradicion to smash their face in. ( found that out the messy way)
IMG_3327 fear in my eyes
IMG_3345 (picture of Angel) We gifted Andres ties for his birthday and then have tie tying lessons afterward
IMG_3346 haha Andres (left), Angel (middle), Jose Angel--our ward mission leader (right).
Well hey guess what. Thursday we had Zone Conference with President Velasco and that means packages and letters! Don´t worry it means other things too like: I learned a lot and took good notes from President and Sister Velasco, we practiced teaching, got to see other elders from the zone. Also, FYI the President told us that we can only e-mail immediate family (parents and siblings) and that we can only write for 45-60 minutes. That means some of you won´t receive my general e-mails anymore, but they will still go up on that blog thing (Thanks Rachel!). Yes, I was very edified during zone conference....but afterwards I got 3 packages and at least 17 letters! Thank you so much everyone! I got Christmas, New Years, and Birthday cards! I would like to give a special thanks to the Gig Harbor Singles Ward and the Wollochet Ward High Priest group for their Christmas cards because it was unexpected and very nice. I received a couple great ties, tons of food (couple jars of nutella and some peanut butter....nice), CD player, music (amazing CD from Grandparents called Thirty Hymns for Missionaries....love it), awesome calendar from my sister and much more. Wow. I didn´t expect or ask for all these great letters, but thanks so much. They leave me more desires to serve.
What´s new in Tuxtla Chico? We have been teaching this man Andres and his son Angel and they are really awesome! Actually, the whole family is interested, but Andres (father) understands and remembers everything we teach and likes going to church. Yesterday, he told us that for some reason Angel (17 year old son) didn´t want to go, but talked him into going and afterward they felt like they had a great day. During the second hour of church we watched the Restoration video and afterward we asked everyone to comment on what they liked. This other investigator Brenda was skeptical of the whole idea of Joseph Smith and said things like his name isn´t in the Bible. I wasn´t sure what to say because all the other investigors felt the spirit and said it was ``powerful´´ said they really liked it. I was about bear my sure testimony but Andres beat me to it. He defended Joseph Smith and starting explaining how he was a prophet and that there was an apostasty. It was pretty awesome. Andres always asks really great questions in our lessons and when his sons or wife has a question he usually jumps right in and explains it. Tonight we are going to teach them with our new mission leader (Jose Angel who just got back from his mission) and invite them to baptism. The only problem is that Andres needs to get legally married first and I think he might need to divorce first. Usual problem here in Mexico but I pray that Andres will want Eternal Happiness bad enough to do something about it. We´ll see.
We are also teaching a really old man named Aurelio. I mean like 90s old. He understands everything and even asked us ``you mean if I´m not mormon it´s all in vain´´. I almost said yes, but that´s not entirely true because he has learned a lot about Christ in his other church. However, yes we have the same priesthood authority and Church that Jesus Christ established on the Earth before the apostasy. He can´t walk very well, but I have high hopes for him. Mainly because one time we almost invited him again to be baptized but my companion felt strongly impressed not to. I take that to mean Aurelio needs more time ponder and pray.
Raquel is still going to church eventhough her father won´t let her get baptized. She is very strong and faithful and I pray everyday that her fathers heart will soften.
Well that´s about it this week. Back to work.
Thanks for all your cares ands prayers (you know you liked that little rymhe.....i think i have forgotten how to spell ryhme)
I´m still doing great and working hard here in Tuxtla Chico. We set a high goal of 140 contacts this week because a General told us a while ago that we need to contact 10 people each companion, each day if we want to have success. We want to have success and we are lacking in this area. This goal will double our efforts, but is very necessary. D&C 24:12 is exactly what I need to improve. Great scripture!