Monday, December 22, 2014

He is my Savior, my Redeemer, my friend and all of yours as well

Hello everyone!  This week was another great week as we had a wondeful division where I worked for a day with a fellow tooele valley man Elder Durfee from grantsville!  Awesome Elder!  I also wanted to give a quick shout out to my man Jonathon Cox who will enter the MTC in March preparing to come across the atlantic to serve with me here in this wonderful country of Portugal!  Congratulations and see you soon my friend!  

Luisa and Beatriz continue to progress and were a huge help at our ward christmas party which I will send pictures of.  And now that our main investigators Luisa and Bea are baptized and progressing on their own we have had a lot more free time and are back to square one with finding new people.  Finding is always a great classic missionary activity as we go from door to door person to person introducing the gospel message what a wonderful priviledge it is!:)  

These photos I have included was how we spent our p day today.  We went with some of our members to the old folks home in the hospital and sang a few chirstmas hymns for various groups of people it was a lot of fun and great opportunity to serve in a little way!

I hope that each an every one of you have an absolutely amazing Christmas and remember just exactly why we even have this wonderful celebration.  This week my challenge to every one is to read the Christmas story with your families and watch again the church video "He is the Gift".  I promise that if you will do this you will get more out of Christmas this year and the Spirit of the Lord will be in your homes!  I love you all so much and wish you all a great Christmas!  I love my Savior I know he was born with the purpose of saving us.  He lived his every day never forgetting his purpose nor the love he had for each and every one of us and the Father.  He is our brother and our King.  He is my Savior, my Redeemer, my friend, and all of yours as well:)   He lives.

Eu amo-vos tanto!
Merry Christmas and 
Happy Holidays:)

Elder Brandon Eldredge

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Our humble Christmas setting :)

an awesome member family

Some city lights in Vila do Conde

Our awesome recent converts
Luisa & Beatriz!!


Christmas lights

These cool cats: Leonor, Alexandra & Luisa

Portugal during December

Christmas conference

More Portugal during December

Our buildings Christmas tree

Monday, December 8, 2014

The answer is always the Atonement

Well i dont have very much time again and i am doing e mail in a members house on a tablet but just wanted to let you all know about some great things that happened this week.  Frist of all Luisa and Beatriz were baptized and confirmed this past weekend.  It wss super powerful and a wonderful experience.  The atonement has strenghtened those sisters in so many ways and it was wonderful to be a part of the story.  During the week we had a scare when they found sone anti mormon stuff on the internet but we went there with a member and he testified of the truthfulness of the gospel and how it blesses families.  And in the end they were touched yet again by the spirit and entered into the covenant of baptism.  They are incredible people and their family will look at their example and soon will be baptized as well.  I will be staying here in povos with elder ricci one more transfer which means i will be here at least until february!  I am super happy about it!!  Anywho be happy and trust in the atonement of christ.  The answer is always the atonement:)  
With much love
Elder Brandon Eldredge
Ward dinner!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mais una semana (another week)

Hello once again friends and family!  We are doing just swell here in Povoa.  Actually we are super excited for our baptism this coming Saturday.  It is possible that we will have 5 baptisms this saturday because we found out that the children of Luisa and Beatriz that have been going to church are older than 8 and are really liking church but the only thing is that if their fathers will let them get get baptized or not.  But I know it will be awesome!  It is just so gratifying and strengthening to see people actually being converted not just baptized.  That is really what I want is for hearts to be changed not just for some white clothes to get wet.  I know that baptism is essential for all and it is good to baptize but when you know that they are going to stay is really what makes me happy.  Luisa is awesome and likes church more and more the more she goes.  Beatriz (luisa´s friend) is also loving it even though she has only been twice, the sprirt has touched her in such a way that she cannot deny what she is feeling!  It is so powerful!  She actually even had us over for dinner last night and her husband really opened up to us which made me happy.  He changed his mind and will go to watch her baptism now and I know the spirit is going to touch his heart as well!:)  It is has been great to get to know these two families and I am so grateful the Lord gave me this opportunity to help them know and feel the truthfulness of his restored gospel.  Truly and amazing experience.  Also our investigator Thomas will also be baptised on Saturday.  He told us he is not taking any tobacco to the sea and when he come back on friday going straight to bed to be baptized saturday moring!:)  Transfers are also coming up this week again but I am pretty sure that I will be staying here another transfer with Elder Ricci and I have no problem with that at all but it will be interesting to be here until Februrary!

So I don't know how many of you have heard about the church's "He is the GIft" missionary initiative but it is incredible!  If you haven't, go online to and watch the awesome video the church has put out and then share it on Facebook twitter pintrest all that jazz.  It is a truly touching video and will help many come unto Christ this chirstmas season but it is up to us (the members) to get it out there!:)  Share the Gift!:)  

I love you all so much and I am so excited to hear how your holidays are going!  I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving and know that we are well, excited, and happy here!

With much love,
Elder Brandon Eldredge

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pictures from Nov. 11, 2014

 Great selfie with our investigator, Irene

Me with my main man, Thomas, before he went 
To go fishing for a week

Monday, November 24, 2014


 It's been a long time since he has had yummy drinks!

With Elder Ricci & Antonio Oliveira

Fuzzy Christmas socks

Advent calendar with scriptures from family & friends

Fun nativity 

Weekly Miracles!!

Hello everyone well this week I truly felt the spirit testify to my heart of the truthfulness and power of our message and our purpose here as missionaries.  I receive this actually through the experience told by a few of our investigators as the Spirit witnesses to both of them in powerful ways.  Luisa and Biatriz are two moms of very beutiful families.  Biatriz is about 35 and Luisa is about 40ish we started teaching luisa who later brought her friend over Biatriz to attend our lessons which was awesome.  (I love it when investigators do missionary work!)  Luisa was always vey receptive and open to hear our lessons and accept our commitments.  Biatriz although very nice and liked us a big amount did not really feel like she was ready to change her beliefs but she also was happy to read from the book of mormon and pray.  We had been teaching them for about two months every few days or so but this last week was amazing.  Biatriz was talking and said I have to tell you something Elders... tears began to fall from her eyes and from mine as she began to explain to us her powerful experience with the Spirit that truly touched her burned within her heart.  Filling her with the goodness of the Gospel, touching her in a way that she described she has never felt before and that all she wanted to do was to share this with others.  The Spirit filled the room as our member embraced her with a giant smile and also with tears.  As Biatriz came around and was able to talk again we we talking to Luisa about baptism and challenged her to be baptized.  She talked about how every page she has read something has told her that she needs to be baptized, just as Elder Ricci was mid sentence of giving luisa a baptism date, Biatriz interupted and said the words that I have been longing so much to hear... Luisa, Elders, I want to be baptized.  Tears once again fell from my eyes as the Spirit testified of the truthfulness of it all.  Of the Saviors sacrifice, of he amazing Atonement, of His restored gospel here on the earth today, of the power of the book of mormon,  it was all manifiested once again to me in that very moment so powerfully but yet so softly and sweet.  Luisa and Biatriz are both marked to be baptized on the 6th of December.  They both have beautiful families that will also be wonderfully blessed by their decision.  
My friends, God is a God of mircales, He can soften hearts of stone, lift fallen spirits, and heal our troubled hearts.  This mission is the most important thing that I could be doing right now.  It is changing me in ways I don't have words to explain.  Being apart of this is such a privilege and I would not choose to be anywhere else.  I love the Lord.  I love this work.  I love all of you so much.  you are in my prayers to be happy supported through your trials and doubts.  You have a Father in Heaven and a Savior Jesus Christ.  What reason do we not have to rejoice.  Have a wonderful week and be happy cheerful and be sure to be especially "grateful!"
Com muito amor 
Elder Eldredge

Monday, November 17, 2014

How can you build ZION better in your hearts and in your homes?

Hey once again!  I am sorry I let my time get away from me today during e mail so this letter will be fairly short and brief.  This weekend we had the wonderful opportunity to hear from Elder Quinten L Cook.  he came and talked to just the missionaries on Satduay and was at our stake conference on SUnday!  It was great to hear is words and the blessing that he left with us was amazing!  Konow that you all at home a many promised blessings from an a apostle of the Lord!  It was truly incredible and focused on building Zion in our hearts and in our homes being the most important things we can do.  So my challenge for all of you.... how can you build ZION better in your hearts and in your homes?  
You are awesome people and I hope that you are all doing well with all the coming and goings of life especially as we come closer to the holiday season!  This week has been good and my patience is definitely getting tried with one of our investigators right now as she is asking a lot of the members and from us and showing us very little willlingness to change in return.  BUt know that I am doing well and will send a better e mail next week!:)  

The Church is true, The Savior lives, the Book of Mormon works miracles.  I love you all very much!:)

Love Elder Eldredge

Monday, November 10, 2014

I have felt His Mercy, I have been changed by His Love

Hey everybody, well this past week was the last week of the transfer and it flew by!  And the results of the transfers looks like I am going to be staying here in Póvoa but as the new district leader with Elder Ricci at least one more transfer!  It is going to be awesome!  Elder Ricci is such a great example of humility and love to me and genuine happiness!  It is awesome to serve with him!  Well, it is getting colder and colder and rainier and rainier here and it is also the humid cold that isn't very fun!  I got kind of sick this past weekend but we had appointments that were important and so we went ahead and worked anyways and even know I was down in the dumps I know that the Savior made up the rest and I came to the end of the week feeling a peace in my heart knowing that I did my best.  
We had a good week with our investigators in church and our members are doing a wonderful job in helping them feel welcomed.  Many of them are on the road to baptism and are just fighting against the addictions that are holding them down.  It is such a sad thing to see people in addiction.  I want to help them so bad but I can't do it for them.  I have never been addicted to tobacco so I honestly have no idea what it is like to try and overcome that.  But what we try to help our investigators know is that He knows.  Jesus Christ descended below all things in that He could comprehend all things.  That He could lift all others when they fall, that he can lead us through the darkness because He has been there before.  He has experienced ALL.  Absolutely everything.  He is the only Being in this universe that knows each one of us perfectly.  He can and will deliver us from our struggles and circumstances as we turn our backs on our ungodly habits change our hearts and think as He thought, do as He did and be as He was.  I truly cannot comprehend the greatness of it all or how He was able to do it.  But what I can say and what I do know is that He did.  I don't have any doubt in this world that He did.  I have felt His mercy, I have been changed by His love, I am seeing LIVES being changed through Him.  His power is real.  It is the most real power that I know and I know that we can all feel it, as we seek Him in our day to day.  His hand is outstretched, our choice is whether we do what is necessary to take it or not.   
I love you all!  Stay warm stay healthy with the cold season coming in and remember the Savior and his Atonement.  Always.
With much love,
Elder Brandon Eldredge

Monday, November 3, 2014

"I felt like a preacher in the olden days!"

Hey everybody again speaking here from the great old land of Portugal!  All is well here in Portugal and we had a very busy week this week which was a blessing and it seems to have flown by!  Well what to tell you all...  Well our investigators are coming along quite well and we should be seeing some baptisms here in the ward withing the next month if all goes well which will be awesome!  Thomas says all he wants is to be baptized and the only thing that is holding him back is tobacco which he has been addicted to since he was 12... so sad it really is crazy how early they start here!  We were on a bus the other day and all the kids got of to go to high school and all pulled out and lit up cigarettes.  I just don't know why and I just feel so bad for them!  BUt anywho Thomas set his own goal to be baptised on the 22 of this month!  I hope he can make it!  Also Andrea is still being crazy like usual.  Haha no she is awesome but she is just a little crazy but progressing none the less!  This week I had an experience where I felt like a preacher in the olden days.  We were talking to andrea and alll of a sudden like three other people come out and just start talking about Jesus and stuff and it was cool and then somehow I got to be the center of attention for the small crowd as I testified of the restoration of the gospel!  haha it was quite interesting but 3 of the four people that were there ended up going to church this week!  It was Pretty great!:)  Halloween here was not anything like it is there in the states I saw like too little groups in the enitre city the whole night of trick or treaters.  So nothing to out of the ordinary for halloween.  But It was a great week.  We were able to get a lot done and hopefully we will see the fruits of our labors here shortly.  We noticed changes in all of our investigators this week.  It was awesome but I noticed that all of the changes that they made did not come directly from words we said but I knew that it was the spirit telling them and influencing them as they studied the book of mormon and began to develop a desire to change.  It made me realize that in order for a true change of heart to occur in anyone on any occasion, the spirit needs to be present as well.  True change takes time and as we draw ourselves closer to God, He through his Holy Spirit, will whisper and influence us to change our hearts repent and become better and more obedient.  I have noticed that in me as throughout this week I have had a stronger desire to be 100 percent obedient.  It is hard but as I draw myself close to God he gives me motivation and desire to change which for me has been absolutely essential.  I have just felt my testimony deepen and increase this week.  Every day I felt stronger and more ready to work.  It has been awesome!  This gospel is so true!  It really is awesome to be there with an investigator and just see the atonement at work in the life of another person.  Elder Ricci continues to be an awesome companion for me!  He is so humble and ready to work.  Even though he is struggling with the language he gets up and works every day!  This next week is transfers but I am really hoping that I stay here again with Elder Ricci.  But the Lords will be done!  I hope you all had a great week and a happy halloween!  Man before we know it we are going to be on Christmas day!  It is starting to get really rainy here like today was just crazy rainy and windy!  I am for sure going to miss our snow out there in Utah all we get here is rain what I heard!  Anywho I am sorry this letter is not the most exciting i really should make little notes throughout the week because I always forget when I am in front of the comptuer!  I love you all and wish you all and awesome week!:)
Elder Brandon Eldredge!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Viana do Castelo

sorry familia I will write more next week but we went to Viana do castelo and we didn't have a lot of time to do e mail and what not but don't be scared I am living and know that we are seeing good things happen here!:)  ALso next week I will have a host of photos!:)  I love you all so much stay strong in Christ, He WILL always be there!:)  I love you all tons tons tons and more tons!:)

Your beloved Elder Eldredge :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Saving a cat, broken shoes & I love sea food!!

Hey everybody one more e mail here from the good ol country of Portugal!  This week went by a lot faster than last which was great!  We had a wonderful sacrament meeting last week and I gave my second official talk!  I felt it went well and received many compliments.  I am just glad the Spirit was there in the room to accompany my words.  Haha I also got a lot of the youth making jokes about a few of my pronunciation errors.  So in the portuguese language they have a sound that doesn't exist in english and so it is usually very hard for americans to say it correctly the sound is called for when you see the letters "lh" in a word and the best english equivalent which still is a bit off kind of like the "li" in million but it just really isn't the same and during my talk I had to use the word colheita (or harvest)  a lot so they all had a good time with that;)  It is keeping me humble so that is good:)  But anywho we aslo had many fun adventures this week.  We were rushing home one day trying to get back in the house on tuesday after a lesson went a bit long and the sole of Elder Ricci's shoe ripped and we couldn't help but laugh at the whole situation and he had to walk really funny to compenstate for his broken shoe!  Also another night we saved a cat from a stone wall..  I am not sure how he got in there but we couldn't just leave him in there to die so we shimmied out some stones to let him free.  What else.... hmm We are seeing a lot of good progress with our investigators and I hope and pray that the Lord works miracles in their lives to give them motivation to baptism but not only that but real true conversion to the Savior Jesus Christ.  So yeah the work is going well!  I am really developing a love for the people here in this ward.  The members here are truly awesome people and modern pioneers here in this country!  The church isn't the strongest here right now but I have no doubt that the Lord will fulfill his prophecies given to us through the prophets saying the Portugal will be the lighthouse of Europe!  SO awesome!  the mission really does change you!  First evidence of this is that I am a true fan of sea food now....  Yeah I know weird.  BUt we had another dinner in a house of an investigator and the appetizer were these little shrimp things and I was kind of scared at first because if you have ever seen the bean movie when he is chowing down that shimp thing they looked exactly like that.  But I tried it and absolutley loved it!  I really do love a good fish plate!  Haha also I was talking to our good friend here David and we made a little deal and whenever he wants to visit the states I told him he his welcome to come to our house and we will take him on a boating trip!;)  Also I can come to his house and he will teach me how to surf!:)  It will be great!  Anywho the mission is nothing but adventures and learning!  I am loving it!  I am remebering an interesting story that was told to me by my last companion when his dad's friend went to be a mission president some time ago.  He had an interview with some important general authority and the new-to-be mission president was asked "what do you think you purpose is as a mission president?"  He responded "uh well baptize and grow the church in my area!"  The general authority(I can't remember who it was) looked at him with kindess and said, "Nope. you're wrong.  Your purpose is to help these boys (missionaries) become men."  I thought that was very interesting but also very true.  I can already tell that the mission will be the best two years for my life.  Anywho sorry this letter is kind of short and maybe a little boring but know that I love you all and wish you all a great week!  Stay courageous be happy and read the Book of Mormon!:)  

With much love
Elder Eldredge 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

From across the Ocean

Hello everyone how goes it?  Just a quick update I am doing just fine and I am feeling more confident in the language.  It ireally is true when you hit about six months it all gets smoother!  WOW 6 months... I almost can't believe 1/4 of my mission is up... that scares me!  Anyways This week has been one of the longer weeks for me here on the mission.  It seemed as if all of our most important appointments were falling through and we weren't finding any new people to talk to.  One of our investigators that I thought had the most potential sent us a message saying that she would rather not meet with us for a while and that she is not ready for this in her life...  Just so heartbreaking to feel so great knowing that someone is right on the edge of accepting the fulness of the gospel and then they fall.  As a missionary I think I am coming to realize more of the love that God has for us.  And how much it hurts Him when we turn from the path that He knows will bring us the everlasting happiness that He wants us to have.  But then after that a miracle did happen this week.  Without us saying a word Thomas called up one of our members saying that he needs a ride to church and that he is done with his addictions and wants to become a man.  I am praying with all my energy of heart that Thomas can do this.  He has so much potential and he knows that if he conitnues in the path that he is leading in his life he will be miserable and lose everything.  I was impressed with the strength that he showed and I praying that he can really overcome these present addictions in his life and gain a testimony of the Atonement of Christ thorugh which all things are possible with faith on His name.  Church was great this week, Thomas was the only one out of 5 people we had committed but I decided to be thankful for the one that was there instead of beating myself up for the ones that didn't make the right choice.  I still felt bad for them but I didn't let it ruin my Sunday.  We had a lesson this week where we showed the video "Because of Him".  That video brings me to tears every time.  If you haven't already seen it watch it, and if you have, watch it again it is probably the most powerful 3 minute  video that I have ever seen in my life.  Truly Because of Him we have peace, because of him we have second chances, because of him we are strengthened in the darkest of times, and because of him we WILL be with our families forever and we WILL see his face.  We all will stand before Him.  And I know that I will weep when I see Him and I want to live my life in a way that He can say "Well done..."  I love my Savior.  I am absolutely amazed at the love He has for me and that love is what keeps me motivated to try and give something back to Him.  He lives.  This is the testimony in me, in His sacred name Jesus Christ. Amen.
I love you all and I remember all of you in my prayers!  Remember who you are, and remember the Atonement.
With much love,

Monday, October 6, 2014

If you really go to work & do the things you know you are supposed to do, having faith in Christ, He makes up the rest.

Hey everybody!  ONe more e mail here from Portugal!  These week was aboslutely awesome mainly because we got the opportunity to hear from the prophets from our day!  I don't think I heard a talk I didn't like but I did notice some patterns of caring for the poor and the law of the fast.  Also about gaining your own personal testimony which I though was a great message.  The tesimony of others can oly take you so far... love it.  I also loved the message of Elder Uchdorf... "Lord is it I"  maravilha.  And Elder Scott talking to us about family!  I just adored conference this time and I think even more so than i did in the past.  They really are scriptures for our day that we can study ponder and apply in our lives each and every day!  I loved hearing that Elder carlos something rather speak in  Portguese.  I wish everyone here spoke like that....  He just spoke a very clear pure form that was so easy to understand!  I loved it!  Poeple here int the north where I am at tend to talk with closed mouths and super jumbled but I love them anyway!!  Haha also it was awesome to see some familiar faces in the choir!!  Haha a few from our ward and the famous Jacob Vanderwerken!!  Haha it was great!  But anywho this week has been an adventure for sure and I know that the Lord continues to look out for this area that I am in.  I was super nervous in the begginning thinking about how we are both so new here in the mission and I didn't know the area well enough that I would blow it.  But really if you just go to work and do the things you know you are supposed to do having faith in Chirst he makes up the rest.  that is a true promise.  We met this lady named Irene this week who was super super awesome.  She was super curious and even shared a quote out of one the pamphlets we gave her with a coleague at work saying that nothing has ever touched her so deeply or so true.  I hope that we can conitnue to work with her to help her embrace this gospel.  When we were talking with her she just seemed like the next great releif society president or young womens leader!  Man I hope we can continue to help her.  We have also been talking with this lady named Andrea.  She is a little crazy but they still need the gospel too!  She is saying that demons are inside her house and that she can feel them inside her stomach and weird things like that...   Haha a little strange but she says that she knows that we are men of God and are stronger than the influence in her home.  But our visits with her usually go her screaming at us for about 20 minutes about how crazy her life is and then suddenly chagning and complimenting us including things like Eldler Eldredge I want to marry a man just like you...  Haha yeah she is quite the character but I have noticed throughout our lessons that she has calmed down a bit and is really embracing the power of the book of mormon right now which is awesome!  Yeah I am really liking everything about the mission right now.  I miss all of you at home for sure but honetsly there is no other place I would rather be.  It is hard work and my faith and testemony are tested daily but I always feel something inside my driving me forward.  I can feel the groweth that I am making spiritually and it is absolutley amazing.  I love the idea that was presented in Conference that testimony growth is really like that of a tree, it grows with care and nuturing and grows surely but almost imperceptably.  So true.  There hasn't been a day on my mission where I just woke up and felt a giant gain in my testimony or character but the growth that have noticed looking back is sure and real.  It is awesome and I can't wait to see where I am when I get at the end of these two years!  thank you all for the wonderful recipies and goods and I can't wait to try them all!:)  And also introduce the poeple of portugal to america!:)  haha I love you all so much and I am grateful for the prayers each and every day.  Know that I pray for you and miss you all.
Stay strong be courageousand continue to nourish your testimonies daily!  This is how we gain spirirtual power!
send me all your favorite parts of conference!:)

Elder Brandon Eldredge

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bon dia todo mundo!! :)

Hey Everyone how are you all?  Just another week in the neighborhood it sounds like which is awesome!:)  This last week was a little slower for us than usual which was sad but I am hoping this week with new transfers we will see a boost in the work!:)  So yes transfers happened last weekend and I also had to go back to Lisboa to do my residency.  It was a very long process and me and my new companion didn't get back to our area unitl about 11:30 at night and so it was obviously very late to do e mail.  Also yesterday we had a ton appoinments set up and didn't allow us much time to do any e mailing but now we got a bit of time!:)  So yeah I am staying here in Póvoa and Elder Davis left.  He was a great comp and I learned a great deal from him!  My new companion is named Elder Ricci.  Elder Ricci actually has one less transfer in the misson than I do so we are both pretty darn new at this and so we are going to be praying a ton for help!  I hope I don't absolutley destroy the work here haha that is my goal so we will see what happens.  Elder Ricci is still having some troubles with the language and so I am having to lead all the lessons and conversations which is a little different but it is going to be good for me to learn how to lead!  But yeah Elder Ricci is awesome!  He is from Provo Utah and once again I am blessed because he loves Lord of the Rings!  What a testimony builder that God knows his children:)  Haha but anywho the thing that we are struggling with here right now is trying to help people understand that there is only one true church.  For some reason almost everyone here (besides the JW's)  pretty much believe that every church is the same and they all lead to the same place in the end!  It is kind of frustrating but I know that with time the Spirit can change their hearts!  I guess that highlight this week was that Elder Davis bought a george foreman grill type thingy that he plans packing around portgual for the rest of his mission!  Haha I though it was the greatest thing ever!  I will send pictures but yeah hmmm what else.  I am super excited for conference this weekend and I really have learned to treasure up the words of modern day Prophets.  Maybe becuase the magazines are the only other thing I can read besides the sciprtures but really their words are jsut pure power!  I love reading all the talks!  I kind of realized it as I was looking through the house and found a GIANT stack of Ensigns and thinking that everything there inside was scripture for our day!  We are just so blessed to be in the generation of the restored gospel!:)  Let us not ever take it for granted!  But anywho I hope you all have yet another great week!  Glad to hear our football teams are doing awesome (Go BYU e Tooele!!!) Make it a great week!:)
Com o amor deste homen fantastico! 

Elder Eldredge:)

Monday, September 22, 2014

I love the old Portuguese ladies here! They call us beautiful and clean young men!

One more week passed!  I hope everyone has a great week or made it a great week!:)  It was a good week here in Portugal for us!  Really we had some great things happen.  I will start by telling you all this story that strengthened my testimony.  So I don't know how much I have written to you about Familia Maia.  They are this family of Gypsies, the father was baptised but has since been excommunicated and they also have a daughter who is a member but is less active.  Anywho we found them randomly on the street a week or two ago and we started teaching them a lot this past week.  We went there I think it was on Wednesday and something just didn't feel right.  When we were teaching the Spirit wasn't really there and it just felt weird.  Not a lot of the family members wanted to participate and we could tell that there was a conflict between some members of the family.  So anywho we are teaching and near the end the Mom walks in and hears about our testimonies and the closing prayer.  After the prayer the dad was telling the mom how we can give preisthood blessings of peace and comfort and maybe that would help.  She agreed and we were of course happy but we expalined that it will work acording to your faith, do you believe this will help?  She responded with a firm yes and we then gave a blessing.  The blessing was great but it didn't appear to affect her too much.  So we left and went back to the apartment with plans to return back the next night.  So the next day we got a call From João (dad) and he made sure we were coming over and told us that a miracle had happened.  So that night we went over there and he told us the story.  Mirisa (mom) had been passing through some very rough times with financial problems and also some other threats against her brother and other things.  She was very stressed and that night was a very bad time.  She was in bed and didn't want to move until she said that she prayed to God asking her for help and she got a prompting to come into the room and listen to us.  Then I think it may have been a little after we left and gave the blessing that some conflict started in the house and it got to be too much.  This Mom (who also has diabetes)  that night tried to take her own life by taking 100 units of insulin.  Enough to put her into a coma and kill her.  Seeing this the husband ran her to the hospital immediately.  The doctors did tests upon tests.  They cam back and asked her.  Mirisa, what are you talking about?  You didn't take any insulin, she became very confused and her and her husband told the doctors that they were sure that she has taken it.  The docs reported that there were no changes whatsoever in her blood sugar levels.  And they said that if she really had taken 100 units she would be dead.  She was super confused with what was going on until she remembered the blessing that we gave to her.  She said she felt a power touch her and she knows that it was because of our blessing that she is still living.  Now I am not sure exactly what happened with all of this but I do know that The Lord is in charge and he will put us where he needs us at the time that he needs us.  It was a very powerful thing to me and I am too very glad that she is still living!  Anywho they all went to church yesterday and we are going to keep working with them and help them resolve there problems so they can return to the church!:)  Anywho the time I have is already up but I just want to say a few more things.  I love the Old Portuguese ladies here.  I love it when we walk away from them and they call us beautiful and clean young men:)  Keeps me going:)  the portuguese people also like my freckles:)   Yeah they are great:)  OH Also thank you all so much for the quotes that you sent me on faith I lovec them!  Now to my next request!:)  IF you have any REALLY good recipies for chocolate chip cookies and brownies that would be fantastic!:)  I love you all make it a great week and Be Strong!:)

I love you all!
Elder Eldredge:)

Lots of Pictures!!

Nossa amigo Thomas

The town square in Povoa


Me in all my glory!!  :)

Me & Elder Davis thinking we will use this tower
like King Benjamin!! :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

One more week passed in beautiful Povoa!!

Hey everyone! Well one more week passed here in beutiful Póvoa! I don't have many great stories that happened this week but it sure has been fun! We did I division and I was with one of the Elders that went into the MTC with me so that was fun to spend a day with him! He talked to a lot of people and sometimes we would just go up to people ans say hey we are the elders and we are her to baptize you! Haha we actually got a few addresses and phone numbers by doing that! It was great! I have been reading a lot about faith lately and it is very intresting to me and I have a hard time wrapping my head around what is true faith and how can I show my faith better! It is a very interesting thing for me! Anywho that was kind of random but if any of you have some good thoughts on faith I would love to hear them!:) So this week we were walking on that division and all of a sudden this girl stopped us and was like are you the mormons? We were like uhh yeah! And she started talking about how she had been baptised and what not and then she invited us to come to her house and meet her family! So we were walking and we waked into this building that Elder Davis was telling me about a few weeks back where this guy lived that was super strong in the church went to the temple and everything and then he was excommunicated for some reason I can't remember, I think maybe he tried to create his own Church. I remembered something that Elder Davis was telling me about this man, that he had had an accident where half of his face was burned with acid or something. But anywho we walked in and I didn't think anything of it! So we go into the house sit down and start talking to some other members of the family and what not and a few minutes later in walks this man. Soon after I noticed the scarred tissue on the right side of his face! It was him! He was very welcoming of us and let us sit down and we taught the whole family about the Restoration again. Come to find out he has wanted to come back to church for a long time now but he can't really get to church very easily becuase they lost their car. He started telling us that his only desire is to get sealed to his family in the temple! They are actually a really awesome family! We are going to continue working with them for sure and see if we can get them back on their feet and enter the path. But the funniest thing about this whole thing is their son. His name is Leandro and I am telling you he is the perfect Portuguese replication of Porter! Absolutley the same other than looks and language. He LOVES us every time when we leave he asks if we will come back and to bring him a present! Yesterday he even went to church without the rest of his family (they were up late taking the wife to the hospital) because he likes us so much! Haha it is really sort of uncanny how much he is like porter! I love it! I love you too PORTER!! Haha oh one other thing we challenged thomas this week to not take any tobacco or anything with him to the ocean (he is a fisherman) and to be baptised this Saturday I reallly am hopeing that he will have to strength to overcome all of these addictions and really change his life! Anywho! It has been an adventure so far and I know that there is a ton in store ahead!:) I love you all so much! Have a great week and Remember to always be happy and don't give up! With much love!:) Elder Eldredge:) Excuse my many spelling errors:)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Another week down!! Had a lady put Holy water from the real River Jordan on our heads as we left her house!!

  Well there went one more week!  I cannot believe how fast the weeks go by!  Anywho time is short!:)  So this week was definitely a week of trying to find people we just don't really have a lot of progressing investigators and so we are trying to find some poeple to teach!  It has been a little harder and people just seem to be rejecting us but I know that there are those who are ready!  The hard part is finding them!  So this week we went to This guy named Nuno´s house and we talked with him and his family.  His wife is like super catholic and said that if we weren't americans she wouldn't have let us into her house!  Haha but after the lesson she was a lot more nice and open and even put some of her Holy water from the real river Jordan on our heads!!  Haha it was very interesting!  Also we were walking along and we found one of our inactive recent converts in the road sitting on a bench we were talking to him and he started telling us the story about how he met the girl he is with right now.  What he did was he put 50 fliers around town on la posts and things like that with his phonenumber and basically just saying WANTED:  WIFE  haha and then he showed me the text he got from this girl that he is seriously dating now!  Pretty funny!  WE talke to thomas again this week unfortunately he wasn't able to stay away from smoking agin this weekend we really just tried to focus him on 10 years from now and how instead of being a helthy 50 year old he is going to have the body of an 85 year old man that can barely breathe!  He is really a good guy I hope we can help him out!  Another guy we talked to this week, his name is Joe, he lived in america for 40 years but then got deported after he went to prsion.  He was very interesting and tried to convice us that he was Jesus.  He was fun.  And also this week in Church we had something pretty cool happen.  One of the members brought one of theri neighbors to church and during priciples of the gospel class we were talking about the church in general and at then end all of the memebers in the class went around bearing testmony of what the church means to them.  IN the end this friend, Luisa, just buried her head into her hands and started crying.  Afterwards we talked with Luisa and her member friends and we are hoping we can set somthing up sometime this week!:)  
Well anywho I hoope you all enjoyed the pictures!  And I can't believe it is already time for conference again here soon!  Before you know it Chirstmas is going to be here!   Anywho a few more things for you all!:)  This week I really learned the imporance of a journal.  Keep a journal.  We had some rough times this week and something that gave me the most streangth was going back and reading a few of my spirritual experiences that luckily I was smart enough to write down:)  You never know when you are going to need those experences again and this way, it helps you remember so that when time of trial and tribulation come you can have that anchor that you really have had true experiences with the spirit and how strong your testimony really is!  Anywho my time has already come and gone but I love you all very much and hope you all have a great week!:)  

Com muito amor

Élder Éldredge:)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Elder Davis and I both love Megamind!!

Hey everybody!  I hope everything has been going good for all of you back there at home!  Nothing to worry about here I am doing just great but I appeciate and love your prayers!:)  Also remember to include the families of those missionaries that have passed away within the last few weeks.  That is absolutely tragic but it is conforting to know that they are continuing there mission on the other side but remember to inlcude those families in our prayers.  This week was good for me.  I will admit it was one of the harder weeks but I was amazed that as I repent daily for my mistakes I can feel the strength of the Savior.  I had my first interview with President Fluckiger this week!  I sure do love that man, he is so loving for this country and for this amazing work.  He inspired me to work harder and offered me the counsel to always make sure to act rather than be acted upon.  Interesting counsel that I think we should all ponder.  So this week we met with a guy named Thomas.  He is a fisherman and so he goes out on fishing boats during the week so we only can meet with him on the weekends.  He is having lots of problems right now and is really seeking help to get free of some addictions that he has.  I know that he can make it and I just want him so bad to really feel the feeling of freedom and peace that the power of the Atonement brings.  He is an awesome guy and you will all hear more about him I am sure!  

Something this week that I really have been thinking about and trying to apply is letting the Lord build me into the person He wants me to become.  A lot of times because of pride or fear or other motives we can get in the way of the work of the Lord.  I think maybe it is because we get down on ourselves and depressed during hard times and wonder why we are going through trials.  The thing we have to realize is that we as humans have a very narrowed perspective.  We tend to see things in the present and maybe anticipate in the near future and so things may seem like they will never get better or we feel like we don't deserve such things.  The Lord does not have such a small perspective.  He truly sees things in the eternal perspective and how little things now make a big difference in the end.  He knows what lessons we need to learn to reach our great potential.  the thing I have been contemplating and trying is how can I let the Lord mold me better every day so taht I truly can become what he wants me to be.  As you all can tell I still haven't organized my thoughts well and maybe I didn't make any sense but oh well!  Just trust in the Lord.  He knows you.

Anywho me and Elder Davis are getting along just fine!  Another thing that we found in common is that we both love megamind!  We have been quoting it a lot back and forth and it has been quite fun!  HE is really knowledgable and is teaching me a lot!  

Sorry taht I wasn't able to send pictures again I promise I will send some next week we already ahev plans to walk down by the beach next Pday so I can get some pictures!:)

Oh one more thing!  This young man came to church yesterday that is a son of a member but never has been baptised and is smoking... (it is really sad here how so many people start smoki ng so young)  He is 16 but he went to the FSY (efy for portugal)  He had a incedible expereince so hopelfyly we can talk to him too!:)

I love you all so much and I hope you all safe this week!:)

Monday, August 25, 2014


 The Familia Cruz!!
This family was awesome and super hard to say goodbye to!!

Gypsy fair we went to in Coimbra

My new companion, Elder Davis

Bye bye Coimbra! :(

"If anyone out there is a little down just remember that the Savior will never. ever. forget you...ever!"

Hey everybody!  Well there went one more week!  This week went by a little longer but they always do at the beginning of the transfer!  I am really liking my area and I already just have a good feeling here!  I hope I can stay here for a while!  ONe of my favorite things to do is just when we walk along the side of the beach on our way to appoinments!  It just lets me relieve a lot of my stress that I have!:)  It is absolutely great!:)  It is also funny to think that you guys are all just on the other side of the water....  a lot and a lot of water, but still fun to think about!:)  But yeah my new companion is great!  We are a little different but it is definitely going to be a good transfer!  We have this family here and the Husbands name is David...  Their son is on a mission right now but the parents still aren't baptized.  But he loves the missionaires we will go over twice a week and talk with him and eat dinner and stuff I am really excited to get to know them really well and become really good friends with them!:)  But yeah this week in church I had to go up and give a little introduction of myself being the new missionary there and all and I got a lot of very nice compliments on my Portuguese.  I think it is probably one of those situations where it was so bad that people feel like they have to complement to to make you feel better;)  Haha just kidding. Like I have said before it realy feels different every day some days I feel great others I don't feel as confident and some days I feel back at day 1!  Haha it is definitely a roller coaster like everyone says!:)  But I am super excited to be in this area and I hope I can leave my mark here and make some sort of a difference.  that is something my bishop in my last area said, wherever you go you will leave your mark.  It is your decision what kind of mark that is.  I hope I can make it a good one!:)  But anywho this week has been a little longer and tiring like I said, we have a bigger area here and we walk a ton more!  Also when I was in training I had a few more study hours than I do now so I am getting adjusted to the regular schedule and what not.  But this week I found an awesome scirpture in DeC fica no versiculos 7-9 just some awesome scriptures that helped me when I was feeling a little down talking about how everything we endure is for our good and then saying that the Savior went below all are you greater than He?  Really a good question and something that we all need to remember is what the Atonement can do with it's enabling powers.  So if anyone out there is a little down just remember that The Savior will never. ever. forget you...ever.  He is there and the things he is putting you through today are preparing you to be the person he wants you to be tomorrow.  And if you let Him he will help you through it and when the clouds and storms clear you can look back and see just the kind of person that he has made you.  You can see how he was there throughout all the ups and downs encouraging you and cheering you.  I love my Savior more than anything and I hope you all remember Him in your daily thoughts.  What he did no other man could do and he did it for you.  Never forget that!  I love you all so much and I am so very very grateful for your strong support!  Have a great week and remember to be strong be courageous and be happy!:)  
With much love
Elder Eldredge!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Some pictures from the internet of Brandon's new area: Povoa de Varzim

Gave my first priesthood blessing in Portuguese!! Transfer time...I hate goodbyes!!

Hey there!  How goes things back in the great U.S of A?  Things here are great!  First Miracle Vasyl came to church finally and was able to be confirmed!  It was great and the first time I have ever given a priesthood blessing in Portuguese!  It was great, thank you for all of your prayers and support!  The ward is going to start providing meals so that he can attend sacrament meeting each week!  Awesome awesome!  Also this week was transfers as many of you know which means I don't have a lot of time to write and such but i left Coímbra and it was sad me and Elder Phillips actually became super good bros...  I called him today to check up on him he loved it haha, yeah it was hard to say goodbye.  Also we were at familia Cruz´s house last night (the first family I ever ate dinner with)  and They all started crying which made me cry... ugh it was rough I really loved that ward there and those people!  I HATE GOODBYE'S!!!!!!!   Anywho I got transfered to a city called Póvoa de Varzim!  It is right next to the beach and has a great feel to it here!  I am super stoked but sad at the same time...  My new comp's name is Elder Davis and he is from Provo Utah and he loves Lord of the rings so I think things will be just fine for us! Haha anywho I will be able to write more and stuff next week and I am so grateful for all of your prayers of love and support!  Also shout out to Cami for winning the soccer tournament!!!  You are awesome Cami!:)  Alrighty I love you all and we'll see ya next week!:)
Elder Eldredge!:) 

My new address is:
1 Andar Centro
Póvoa de Varzim, Porto District 4570-441

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Everyone is leaving for vacation so it is super dead here

Hey everyone!  This week has just kind of been another week!  It is getting super dead here in the city becuase everyone is leaving for vacation.  really it almost feels like I am in a ghost town!  BUt anywho so there hasn't been like anyone on the streets!  But anywho also my comp got sick again over the weekend so we didn't get very much done!  But yesterday Vasyl came again at the end of church and so we took  him into the office andpulled up google translalte and told hime that we will have lunch for him at the end of church but he needs to be here for sacrament meeting to get the Holy Ghost!  He said he would so he should be here next week on time!:)  He is awesome!:)  So this next week is the last week of the transfer here.  I am thinking that i will probably go since my training is over but we shall see.  I am honestly happy with anything that happens!  So I got a few questions about how the Portuguese is coming.  It is weird.. there will be days when I am like oh sweet I like know another language this is cool and than others it is just like... uhhh what the heck are you saying to me!  I hate it when I can't communicate I jst get so frustrated.  I think that this transfer I am learning the most about patience.  Something that I really need to work on!  But though the language and other things the Lord is definitely teaching me how to be patient!  But anywho you prayers are helping immesnly with the language and it comes better every day and I know I am where I am right now because of all my spiritual support back at home!:)  Holy cow can you all believe that summer is almost over!  Where in the world di that go?   Are all the kids ready to go back to school??  Weird!!  Anywhosorry this week I didn't have much to say!  This next week I will work super hard so I can have some awesome bear wrestling stories next week!:)  I love you all tons and make sure to be strong be courageous and be happy:)  Amo-vos!

Elder Brandon Eldredge

Monday, August 4, 2014

Baptism and birthday!! It was a great week!!

Vasyl with the shirt and tie we gave to him

My birthday!!

A duck we decided to make for dinner

My birthday! (Parabens means congratulations)

Vasyl's Baptism day!!!

Me & Vasyl

Vasyl's baptism

Vasyl's baptism

Birthday dinner!!

First baptism!

Hey everybody!  It seems like I get less and less time each week to write!  So anywho I will get right down to it!  So this week was good, we started teaching Vasyl this week and I am happy to say that He was baptised this past Satuday!  He is from ukraine and is living on the streets right now.  He is awesome and told us how he was praying to God to find something that would change his life, withing minutes he walked into our sacrament meeting on Sunday.  Miracles are real!  He doesn't really soeak super good Portuguese so it was hard at times to teach him but even with the language barrier he still showed his desire to enter into the water of baptism!:)  Unfortunately he was not confirmed on sunday because the time that he gets food from the charity center was during sacrament meeting and so he came late but we will talk to him and he will get confrimed this sunday:)  It was truly awesome!  Also as you know I am in sort of a college town.  The city it dead now, eveyone left for vacation and a lot of people won't be back until september!  We were talking to members on Sunday and they said it is always like that... The city dies during the month of August!  So yeah it is pretty weird not seeing many people in the street or park or things like that.  So yeah it is crazy that I only have like two more weeks left of this transfer!  Where does time go?  Haha it is awesome though and I am loving every minute!  There have been lots of challenges already and so I am learning a lot!  Just make sure that all of you are making good little habits every day like reading the sciprtues and prayer.  These two things alone if done every day bring you more spiritual protection than most other ways.  Whether you are young or old, General Authority or deacons quorum president, you need to feed yourself and strengthen youself spiritually every day.  There were a few times this week where I wasn't able to get a good morning study in....  Those days when I would try to talk the words wouln't come out and I didn't have the spirit with me super stong.  Always always always, feed youself spiritually!:)  Anywho this week will be a week more of pictures than anything when I get time to send them!  I hope everyone is doing great back at home and having a good summer!  Live it up while it lasts cause it will be over before you know it!  Be strong be courageous be happy:)  

Elder Brandon Eldredge

Monday, July 28, 2014

Not every missionary can say that they go and visit with people who are being investigated for murder...

Hey all!  So this week was pretty normal just going about our missionary lives!  It was interesting, so that one day that I went out with the new Elder we found this lady that was like crying and asked us if we said prayers and we said yes and then she asked us to pray for her mom, anywho we thought she had a ton of potential and so we went to her house and started teaching her, btw she was wearing the biggest cross I have ever seen and I am pretty sure is giving her scoliosis anywho, everything was going really good, and then we found out that her mom is in a nut house because she killed like 20 people and this lady that we were talking to was being investigated also, by the police for murders and stuff...  Haha we didn't know this until after we were in her house... Kind of freaky haha but a fun time.  Yeah after that things just kind of went wack in the lesson.  So that was good.  What else can I tell you guys about this week  Also we had a big combined party with the other ward here in Coímbra.  It was a fun time we played a bunch of games with everyone and had a dude come and play guitar for us and had some great singers;)  you will all see next week when I can get the videos to you guys!:)  But yeah, another thing that was kind of sad was the sisters were supposed to have a baptism a few days ago but it got cancelled literally an hour before the baptism, the sisters were pretty sad so we all went and ate at mcdonalds to eat our sorrows away.  It was pretty fun:)  except for the baptism that fell through.  That was good but then the day after that was my birthday!  Wahoo!!!  Haha I always thought that birthdays wouldn't be very big here or whatever, but it was awesome!  The sisters surprised me with a birthday lunch after church and we all ate and it was awesome and then that night we ate a bishops and they all sang happy birthday to me in Portuguese,  you guys will get all these pictures and stuff next week since I don´t have my camera with me right now.  But yeah it was a good birthday!:)  Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes in your hearts!  It is all rolling really good here!  Alrighty sorry this week is kind of boring but i hope you are all having a great summer and I promise there will be pictures next time!:)  Eu vos amo!  Tenham uma boa semana!:)

Monday, July 21, 2014

I ate octopus...and liked it!!!

 Streets of Portugal

Cool stuff we get to see on 'P' day

The Moura family
They are Brasilian and I absolutely love them!!

Gabriel Moura...he is awesome!

On my way to visit the gypsies

Hey everybody one more week eh?  This week was pretty interesting.  We had a lot less lessons than ever but we has a ton of new investigators that we found!  It was awesome, one of them his name is Djayson, he is a Jehova Witness and we went to play some basketball with him, after that he went home to his mom and said I played bball with two Americans and one of them is like super good!  I don't mean to gloat or anything but he was talking about me haha.  SO that was fun, he is awesome!  Also I had an opportunity this week to go on some slpits because my comp had to go to a meeting.  I ended up with a new missionary that came in the transfer after me!  It was kind of fun and I felt like a trainer for a while telling him to contact people and leaving him out to dry instead of the other way around!  Haha it was awesome!  Portuguese comes better and better every week!  I am understanding a lot more but I still am no where near perfect yet!  I had to give a talk in church on sunday for my first time and I was super nervous, but after the bishop got up and said Elder Eldredge is a living testimony that the gifts of God are still on the earth today.  I really have recieved everything from God, there is no way I could know this much this fast without the help of the gift of toungues!  It is real!!!  This week too I have felt the Spirit testying through me more, it really is a great feeling walking out of a lesson or something knowing that you taught through the Spirit and that is so important!  Also something cool that Happened this week, we contacted a bunch of homeless guys from Ukraine and invited them to church, sunday came and they didn't come which wasn't a huge surprise but then towards the end an old dirty guy walked in, he was another friends of the other guys.  They told him about us and he wanted to go but he didn't know where the Chapel was.  He said that he prayed to God to find the chruch and he found it!!  I will update you more next week after we teach him a little bit this week:)  Speaking of Ukraine I had no idea that a plane got shot down this week that is so crazy!  Keep me updated on all this stuff!;)  haha Anywho i don't have much time!  BUt last thing!  I ate OCTOPUS this week!  It was actually pretty darn good but it definitely was scary when they brought out a big plate of octopus legs!!  Anywho I love all you guys so much and I am so thankful for your prayers!:)  Até proximo semana!:)

Elder Eldredge