Monday, June 30, 2014

"So yeah we contacted a naked guy (how many missionaries can say that?)

  Hey family and friends como vai?  Everything is awesome here and I can't believe I am almost done with my first transfer!  I have learned a lot and I definitely still have a lot to learn!  So first off, this week the funniest thing happened.  We were knocking on doors and this guy from behind the door was like who is it?  HEy, we are diciples of Jesus Christ...  Then he opened the door and he was completely naked...  Like naked, nude, bare buck naked.  He was older probably about 65 ish or so.  I focused on his face so that I wouldn't just burst out laughing.  He even looked down at himself like three times and never should a hint of embarrassment or shame!  SO yeah we contacted a naked guy (how many missionaries can say that?)  Well after a few words he was like now is not the best time.  We quickly agreed with him and then left!  That was definitely a funny experience!  Also Lurdes didn't get baptised this weekend but we remarked her for next weekend.  She didn't feel worthy enough yet because she didn't completely stop smoking yet.  She is awesome though and has real true desire!  The work is going awesome though, we still feel like we need to be doing a lot better!  We will get better!  I am nervous because all of our current investigators and such are going to be put in my hands because Elder Jacobsen will be leaving next week.  I am nervous I don't want to lose any of them!  With the Lord's help though His work will continue!  We are teaching a couple right Now José and Beátrice.  They had a really busy week this week and weren't able to come to church this week and we were super sad!  This week was defintely a sad week for our investigators and church!  We had 7 people comitted to come and none of them were there!  None!  It was the best week we had done at inviting and comitting people to church and we had the least come with us!  It was sad but we will talk with all of them and see what is up.  So also something fun, today I played soccer with a bunch of members from the ward!  It was awesome one of them is named Gabriel he is sick, we always talk about the NBA becuase he loves basketball.  He is from Brasil and today after we played he said that I played like a brazilian:)  I took that as a prett good compliment.  The language is getting better and better but I still cannot cunderstand a lot of what people are saying.  I can pick out the subject and and from words and body language try and figure out what they are saying but still I need some work!  So something super awesome happened yesterday!  We got to talk to Aniram finally (We tried to talk to him the first week I was here)  We talked about the Book of Mormon and how it blesses lives.  We were going througought the lesson and then We were getting to the end and I felt throughout the lesson that we should do the "convite suave" (smooth invite to baptism "when you know these things to be true will you be baptised?)  Anywho I had been feeling that and then it was confirmed at the end of the lesson when Elder Jacobsen looked at me in silence and I proceeded to do the convite and then after he accepted it!:)  So now we just need to get him to know it!  It is difficult right now because everyone here is taking finals so everyone just wants to study and not meet with us!  Sad because I know that they would be blessed but oh well!  hey everyone needs to go and study this last conference!  I have been reading a bunch of the talks in the Liahona but theya re all amazing!  Go look at the one from Uchtdorf about gratitude!  And the one about the Savior and his Atonement by Elder Scott!  And the Witness by Elder Packer!  Seriously this was an amazing conference that we had!  Oh somethine that my companion showed me that is absolutely amazing is milshake ice cream!  We ate it after planning every night this week!  It is just cereal but you mix up ice cream in the milk before adding the cereal.  AMAZING!!!!!  Anywho I love you all and hope everyone has a great week!:)
Love Elder Brandon Eldredge!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ward party!!!

Everybody brought different foods from around the world...
We, of course, brought brownies!! :)

Ward Party, Baptism coming up & soccer!

Hey everybody how goes it!:)  It is awesome here in Portugal once again!:)  The weeks just go by so fast I can nevere really remember what happened!  First this Satuday we are having our first baptism with Lurdes.  She is amazing and has so much faith and has shown so much faith I can't wait!:)  We also found this couple that we have taught once and they came to church and really are starting to embrace the gospel!  It is amazing to see that change to start withtin them!:)  This week we had a ward party and everyone brought a bunch of foods from different countries.  We of course made brownies:)  But I tried blood rice there and it wasn't that bad acutally.  It wasn't that good but I didn't hate it!:)  All of the members are really nice and I love eating dinner at members houses!:)  even though they stuff you until you can't walk it is good for me to practice my portuguese:)  Speaking of that, my language is coming along, I guess I didn't notice how much I know until I went out on divisions this week witth the zone leader who is from Cape Verde and I was able to communicate with him pretty well:)  I still have a lot too learn and I am so grateful to my heavenly father for what he has already blessed me with!:)  We are working really hard every day and I am so grateful that I got a good first companion!:)  Something that I learned this week was that when you study the Atonement of Jesus Chirst, the desire within you to share the gospel grows.  My mission president taught us this and the day that I decided to try it out I noticed a huge difference in my day!  It is amazing how just a half an hour study on the Atonement can change your attitude for the whole day!  I challege you all to study the Atonement a little every day and see the difference that it makes because I know it will!:)  So yeah that was something really cool!:)  

So Portugal and the US tied.  Darn, ties just are so unsatisfying...  I kind of wanted the US to win because this guy in our ward always talks about it!  It would be cool if we could watch it but I doubt I would be able to focus at all after!  But we met up with some members today and played some soccer it was super fun!  So it is interesting, in america every park has like a basketball hoop right?  here they all have little soccer fields!  It is sick!  And our chapel has one outside too!  I love Portugal!:)  It is a great experience to be here in another country!:)  Anywho I am about out of time again and still not even close to responding to everyone!!  I love you all and thank you for all your prayers!:)  Keep strong to the gospel and remember to have our Savior in your thoughts always1:)
Com muito amor!

Élder Eldredge!:)

Monday, June 16, 2014

This week I have sweated more than I have in my entire life! Every time I drink water I can feel it go down my throat into my stomach and out through my pores

Hey friends and family!:)  How is everyone doing!  Again I have to apologize for my lack of time I am just so blessed to hear from so many people!:)  Another grand week in Portugal!:)  This week we had a ton of lessons Elder Jacobsen said that it is the most he has ever had on his mission and he is in his last transfer!  It was awesome!  We had a lot of lessons this week but we want to start turning those lesson into progressing investigators!  It is a hard work but so fun too!  I am having a lot more fun and I am a lot happier.  Every day the language comes easier but is certainly still a struggle!  This week I have been hearing words instead of just sounds but I still have no idea what the words mean!  It is definitely an adventure for sure!  So this week we tried to visit Lurdes a couple times and were never able to talk with her because she was sleeping or sick, but because of that we talked to two of her sons, Felipe and Diogo both really cool soccer playing kids!  We talked with them and now they have to date of 29th of baptism with their Mom Lurdes!  That will be so awesome we are just praying that they don't have games so that they can make it to church!  They are awesome though and they will be baptized for sure!  
So I am here at the perfect time....  the summer in Coímbra.  I have heard from multiple people that Coímbra is one of the hottest places in the country during summer.  This week I have sweated more than I have in my entire life!  Every time I drink water I can feel it go down my throat into my stomach and out through my pores...  Not even kidding it is crazy hot here!  Which makes the days super fun when we are walking!  Haha but its alright sacrifice brings the blessings right?  So yeah it is dang hot, Constant waterfall all over my body!  They day missionaries are not allowed to swim well it makes it hard when you are a walking swimming pool!!!  Haha it really is great here though!  We are finding more an more people and we have high hopes that they will all begin to progress!:)  
People here are raving about the world cup!  It is awesome!!  No one is super condfident that Portugal will win though which is weird!  But it is awesome and no we aren't allowed to watch...  I know depressing!:)  But there is no way that we won't hear the results of every game!  I heard that spain lost 5 1 or something!  What in the world!:)  Fun stuff though, I like hearing people get excitied about it.  
Sorry I can't very well respond to everyone personally this week!  But I love you all and make sure you all do and be good!:)  I love you all so much and like always I am so thankful for all of your prayers that strengthen me every day!:)  Vos amo!:)

Elder Eldredge

Monday, June 9, 2014

PICTURES!! Week #2 Don't mind Brandon and his wackiness!

Fun says mijar aqui (go 'potty' here)
Gotta love Brandon and his silly self!! :)

Famous arches near that university that was 
Built in the 1200's

 More beautiful Portugal pictures

Beautiful Portugal...crazy Brandon!! :)

"I have eaten more this week than I have ever in my entire life!!"

Hello everyone!  Holy cow I have a lot to say and not very much time to say it!  I am so blessed to get so many emails from everyone so it takes a lot of time to respond so i am sorry to those that did not get a response from me this week:(  Anywho this week was full of work and adventure and I can't believe that it has already come to an end first of all the language. It gets better and better every day!  I still cannot understand 100 perecent of what people are saying but if I had to put a percent it would proabbly be like 35-40 haha so still not very good but I can definitely feel the difference now than from day one!  Also the speaking is getting bettter day by day as me and my companion try to speak it throughout the whole work day!  So yeah it is hard but it is coming for sure by the gift of tongues!
Portugal is awesome!  I have eaten more this weeek than I have ever in my entire life!!   We ate at members houses like 5 times this week and when you eat at members homes ........ you eat.  So I hope that I can get fat!  But before every meal they always have soup.  the soup is amazing!  along witht the bread as well.  And then they bring out the main dish.  I had this dish this week called Carne de Portuguesa, it was freaking delicious!  I haven't tasted anytrhing that I haven't liked.  Me and my companion made fried salmon this week. Was amazing and I hate fish!  But it was truly awesome!  So yeah I love Portugues food!
Also this week has been a week of work!  We walk a ton every day and it is hot for one second and then raining the next!  It has been fun though! It is so beautifil here!  This week we have been focusing on finding new people to teach.  We pray every time we enter an area that we can find that people that are ready or the elect as we call them!  It is amazing the difference one simple prayer to God can make all the difference in finding someone!  We have a lot of people that we can teach right now and are hoping that most will progress to baptism.  we have one lady right now that is set for the date the 28th of June!:)  realy exciting!!!  Also we have many others that we are looking to mark soon!:)  I am sorry that this letter is not very good I will manage my time better next week!  But it makes me so sad and frustrated when people say they don't have time to talk with us.  I wish they could just feel what so many members of this church have felt. 
Sorry that I didn't include much!  But just know that I am doing awesome and I love the support I get from home!:)  
Oh I just found out that I am "killing" my companion which is fun.  so yeah he is going home after this transfer.  He is sad but excited at the same time!  That is weird he said that I will be where he is in no time which scares me ecpecially because this week as flown by!  Before I know it it will all be over!  Oh to answer some quetsions we do our own cooking and it is usually really good.  Also we have a washer but they don't have dryers in Portugal so we jsut hang our clothes old fashion style!:)  
everyone remember to be strong and be missionaries every day!  Remember how good the gospel is for you and share it with others!  
Alright I am out of time now but I want to leave you with my favorite saying!  Fica Fixe!  (fika feesh) Stay cool!:)  
I love you all and again I apologize my letter wasn't very interesting this week! 
Eu vos amo muito e meu orações são sempre convosco!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pictures and letter from Lisboa!

 Here I am in Lisboa!!
Beautiful country!!

More picture of the area

We do a LOT of walking!!!
Notice the big hill in the picture below...

Me and my new companion, Elder Jacobsen
Mission pres. & his wife

"Well it is my first week in Portugal!! WOW! That is what i have to say!"

Hello everyone!  Well it is my first week in Portugal!!  WOW!  That is what i have to say!  When we got here we went to President Fluckiger's house and had an amazing dinner and little testimony meeting after and then we got to go to sleep which was especially great because of our long travel over here!  Then the next day we woke up ate some breakfast and went to the church and met our new companions and our areas!  My area is a place called Coímbra!  It is awesome and beautiful!  We have some "mountains" (hills) here which look really cool and the river runs though the city!  It has one of the oldest Universities in the world!  It is funny a lot of the students here wear the robes that you see in Harry Potter and my companion said that they got most of their ideas for the movies from the University that is here!  Very cool!  My companion's name is Elder Jacobsen,he is from San Diego California and has been out for like a year and a half!  He is a very hard worker which is good for sure!  I am definitely learning how to not be lazy with him!  We talk to pretty much everyone we see in the streets.  Although it is like everyone says, this is not the same language that I was learning in the MTC.  Haha they all speak so fast and words like clumped together I can't tell what in the world they are trying to say!  So yes keep up the prayers for the gift of tongues for me!  But yeah anywho so the first day that we got here we had a meeting with the bishop.  The bishop and ward I am in are the best in the country according to my mission president.  So that is exciting!  After that we went and had dinner at a members house and let me tell you all.  The food is amazing here!!  I haven't had fish yet, but we had this like chicken stuff at the members house and it was amazing.  The juice and the fruit especially, here are so much better than they are in the United States!!  I don't know what it is about them but they are just more fresh and great!  THE FRUIT IS AMAZING!!  Also the bread that I have had here is super good too!  Like the sacrament bread we had tasted like a gourmet dinner roll or something!  It is awesome!  The Chapels here are a lot different than in the US  they are almost like houses but not.  They are beautiful and awesome though!  But yeah right now we have a lot of people that we are teaching and I am still trying to learn all of their names but I know that there are a few that are ready to be baptized soon so hopefully we will see that happen soon!  On Saturday I committed an older lady named Laura to be baptized on the 14th and she accepted!  But sadly she did not show up to church this week so will are going to have to wait a few more weeks until she can get baptized, but she will for sure!  ON Sunday we confirmed two people members and they recieved the gift iof the Holy Ghost.  It was awesome and powerful!  Hhmmm what else....  Oh so last night we went to visit a member and while there she had a lday over that didn´t believe in God at all and her and my companion started going on this super involved conversation and I had no idea what they were talking about of course but anywho later that ladie's Daugther like fell over and fainted and felt really sick and so we gave her a blessing.  I am glad I had my white handbook with the words to day because I did not know them in Portuguese!  So yeah that was an experience!  OH another amazing thing that happened was we went to teach a couple recent converts and their daughter was there and we started talking to her and she is really interested!:)  So hopefully we can get here baptized with her family that would be the best thing ever!  Her name is Miriam and her parents that got baptized are named José e Fátima.  Fátima always makes lemonade when we visit so that is amazing!  BUt yeah i am sure I will have more stories as I go but those are some for now!  I am loving it and the works is hard but I am loving every second that I am out here! Here is my address for letters.  I will be at my house for like 6 more weeks for sure but might change so if you arenºt sure where to send something just send it to the mission office but I will get it much faster if you send it to my house just fyi.  I love this work! I love all of you and I will write you all again next week:) 

Com muito amor

Elder Brandon Eldredge

My house
Rua Carlos Seixas Nº 169 2º Esq.
3030-177 Coímbra

Mission office
Rua Jorge Barradas Nº 14C
1500-370 Lisboa

Recent pictures from Portugal!!

 This one on top is the missionaries at the London airport
(Sorry for it being sideways)
This is Brandon & Elder Casey before they got split up
Sad day :(