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
We´re not doin too bad here in Tapana. None of our investiagors with baptismal dates went to church but I still have faith in them to excersise and make the right decision next week. Right now we have 4 with a baptimal date the 2nd of July and I´m really excited for them! (I´m even more excited because there is spanish/english remixes bumping from a computer nearby and I secretely am loving it. When I get back im going to get some much spanish music!....obviously that includes Shakira. haha) Anyways... We gonna work even harder this week to teach with power and clarity so that our investigators understand the importance of going to church. It´s a commandment that brings so many rich blessings. Trust us missionaries, we know.
It´s a bit sad, but yes President Velasco heads out this week. He was awesome and I will miss his wife´s strong personality. She always motivated me and told me I have so much potential. Each week I feel stronger and I will never stop growing. One day, I will summit the mountain of my potential and launch off into heaven, hand-in-hand with my eternal companion. Just thinking about all this makes me want to be a strong and reliable tool in my Heavenly Father´s hands. Day by day, I keep studying, understanding, teaching, and putting into practice all the doctrine of Christ and only want to do His will.
IMG_3947, 3948, 3950 - A listen to the Holy Ghost while blindfolded activity. haha That´s Gabriel and to give his talk haha.
Other pics of scenary, gecko, and Pres. and Sis Velasco.
MMTG_01 - The entire Tuxtla Gutierrez Mission. I´m in the back right with a yellow/black tie.
Today we had a multi-zone conference and it was the very last with our powerful President and Sister Velasco. I sure will miss them both (especially Sister Velasco´s strong personality haha) and am extremely grateful for everything they have down for me personally and for the whole mission Tuxtla Gutierrez. In July, we are privileged to be receiveing President Juan Gabriel Cardenas in his place. It´s sad to see them go, but exciting to see what new ideas President Cardenas will bring.
What am I bringing to Tapana? Well, Saturday Mario got baptized! It was a very special day for him and I felt a very special spirit as I had the opportunity to baptize him and confer him the Aaronic Priesthood in the office of Priest the following day. Kinda of a sad turn out though... we had 3 members and 4 investigators. 1 member was a kid we brought with us and the 4 investigators we invited... so yeah Tapana needs the missionaries, but with a super ward mission leader, Gabriel, we are having a noticeable increased measure of success. For example, yesterday we had 52 people attend church! That is a great turn out and if we can achieve 70 they will build a church here! I keep working and keep ing praying that the people here will make their own correct decisions and follow Christ. We can only invite them to come unto Christ, but ultimately it´s their choice to accept the invitation and follow Him. I think that´s why serving a mission (and other callings in the church) can bring so much joy... because we get to see children of God taking the initiative to achieve salvation.
We have 3 new investigators with baptismal dates: Pedro, Oscar, and Jose. Pray for them to follow the spirit and choose the right. All three will be a great help in this branch!
Well, just know that we´re doing great and working hard. I´m happy for the opportunity I have to suffer in this heat, so that my Heavenly Father can build me into the man of my potential. I cannot and will not be the young kid you knew and loved before the mission. I will return stronger only to continue growing. I will keep progressing my whole life because there is so much to learn and only so many years in this life to learn it. I love my Heavenly Father and will one day return to live with him again.
IMG_3921 Mario Alberto Alvarez Martinez´s Baptism!
IMG_3923 Gabriel directing the baptismal service
IMG_3925 the baptismal font and Gabriel
IMG_3927 Elder Sanchez is from the North and pretty awesome
IMG_3928 Elder Diaz with the president and his wife
IMG_3929 Goodbye Pres. and Sis Velasco!
IMG_3932 Elder Ingersoll, me, Elder Sanchez (Elder Ingersol lived in my house in Tapachula)
IMG_3934 Zone of Chahuites
IMG_3943 hahaha Elders Mora and Ortiz eating cookies on the bus...pretty funny together
Elder Diaz and I are getting along great here in San Pedro Tapanatepec and having a lot of success. My companion talks and talks and talks and looking back on these 7 weeks together it has been such a blessing because my spanish has improved evenmore!
We have a baptism planned for this Saturday for Mario and we are teaching a frew really special investigators. One couple we just barely met saturday is actually married! what? yeah that´s right, people that live together and are legally married. When they said that I felt the spririt telling me... thats they are special and will be very accepting. They are a newly wed and have a baby on the way. We see them tonight and i hope it goes great!
Sorry I want to write more but we barely are given any time to write and these computers are slow. But just know that our new ward mission leader gabriel is doing awesome and that we are working hard. I know that because of my obedience and desire to save souls (mosiah 28:3) we are guided by the spirit. Long story short Saturday a lot of things happened that couldn´t have just been coincidence. That whole I felt like we were walking exactly where the lord had planned eventhough it didnt match our plans.
Hey everyone! I´m doing great here in Tapana and just recently received information on our transfers! Ready....well ya okay I kinda gave it away by saying I´m doing great here in Tapana. Elder Diaz have the opportunity to work side-by-side another six weeks more. Pray for us to work harder this transfer and receive much revelation from the spririt.
That hasn´t changed but we have an excited change here in the ward regarding the missionary work.... remember the recent convert Gabriel? The one who was baptized in the end of february? Well, I am proud to announce to you all our new ward mission leader! He is already asking how our investigators are doing and when we are going to visit them and he was to paint the baptismal font (made of brick and outside) here! He is so excited and willing to help us! Because this branch is still growing in numbers we actually never had an official ward mission leader... and we have teh most faithful member in the ward.
We have two new investigators with baptismal dates, but didn´t make it to church.... pray for them to make it this week and to continue finding the truth through sincere prayer. Other than that we have Mario ready to be baptized this 10th of June. This week we press forward feeding his sheep and looking for those chosen and prepared to hear this glad message!
Take care and help out the missionaries in your area!
Basically this week we had two awesome conferences with the mission president and pumped to keep working and finding those children of God ready to hear this message and change. I have D&C 112:14 (i think thats right) stuck in my head... ``feed my sheep´´. This area is full of hungry sheep and i´m gonna feed `em! haha.
Here a bunch of pictures for your enjoyment. I´m loving the packages and letters I got! Want to hear something crazy? Apparently Ben Gilmore is married... thats not that crazy, but what really took me for a huge surprise was that an Elder named Elder Millan in our zone got the wedding announcement. Small world, I guess Elder Gilmore served in his ward or something. haha
The highlights of this week are that we are reactivating some less active kids of about 13 and 15. It was great to see them at church all smiles and remembering what they left behind. Also, we are working with the non member parents of some teenager members and I sure hope they came make it to church this week.
Well, that´s about it. I´m doing well and putting my trust in my Heavenly Father.
ps dont worry i dont plan on chasing any deer down. I´ve heard it´s a quick way to end the mission early.... haha triste chase. haha