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 PĆ³voa 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:)