CALLED TO SERVE FOR THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS AUGUST 2015-AUGUST 2017

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Week #71-Jason Pierre Paul

Subject line explanation: Jason Pierre Paul is an NFL player for the New York Giants who blew his finger off while playing with fireworks in July of 2015. In Guatemala, they celebrate Christmas with fireworks.

´´Blast this Christmas music, it´s joyful and triumphant.´´ If anyone can name that movie I will give them nothing. But Christmas was great this year! I seriously can´t believe it was my last Christmas (like the song) with my people! I seriously love all of the great Guatemalan people, even though they give me disgusting tamales that literally taste like mushy death. I did miss the snow but I ate some things called granizadas (shaved ice) and those kind of remind me of snow when they are getting made. 
     Well I am still so happy about the C family and a little bit sad at the same time! So like I told you when we were fasting so that they received an answer to their prayers, they got an answer to their prayers! It is like fasting actually works! Like that time when I fasted that the Steelers would beat the Ravens back at home and then they did win (still not sure if that´s a sin yet)! It´s more reliable than going blacks on the roulette table. Anyways we asked them that now that they had gotten their answer to their prayers if they would finally get baptized and they said no! What the hecken Keller? But it is good stuff! Hopefully they get baptized soon. It just goes to show you that it doesn´t matter if God came down from Heaven and said that the Church was true on 60 Minutes (I love 60 Minutes), I don´t think it would change a lot of people´s minds. 
     We found L which was awesome! She lives in like freaking Vietnam! She lives so far away from the city but she is pretty cool! Her husband is the guy who is a narco  (a narcotics dealer) and then the other gangsters killed him in September! Well she said that she wants to go to Church with us because some member of the Church told her that when the young lads with white shirts and ties passed by her house that she needed to listen to them and go to church with them! Brilliant! Anyways she couldn´t come to Church yesterday because Christmas morning everyone is more wasted than left over salad and there is no transportation.. 
      I really love this place though! I am going to miss the weird traditions. Jesus was born and he lives! And he is still guiding his Church!  Also thank everyone for all of the gifts that I received!  I´ll try to email all of them today! But I hope you enjoyed Christmas! I´m sure you did because the Steelers are the AFC North Champs!!! As Titan said once ´´Whoo hooo!!! Party time!!!!´´ So I saw the Steelers highlights today in McDonalds! they even had an interview with  Coach Tomlin in English! But Tomlin had a shirt on that said Hold Down. I want that shirt. Was that freakin Eric Weddle that got served by Brown? Oh my goodness, Weddle got served!!
     Love all of you!!! Thanks for everything!!! Happy new year! But love you! Have a good week! Lets hope the Steelers beat the Browns! haha, just kidding. Nobody cares.
Our family picture


Bryson Being "Fancy"

Guatemalan Roman Candles-there are 80 shots in one!

Firecracker blew the metal off his ring

Wooden Manger scene that a ward member sent Bryson
 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Week #70-Sports Clips

I miss that place so much. I was literally going to die from the heat last night when I was trying to sleep and I remembered that at Sports Clips in the summer they would put the cold towels on our face. I dreamed about that.
     We had a really fun, hard working week. We found 23 new investigators this week but somehow only one went to church! I honestly don´t know what is happening! We are working so hard and finding so many people and we have no baptisms! But it´s okay we are going to see some good stuff happen! I hope! 
     Funny story. I went to Champerico on exchanges with a newer missionary named Elder Pedersen. He is pretty cool.  But we found a 78 year old guy who has a 7 year old great grandson and he also has a son who is 5 YEARS OLD!!!! I don´t know if that is comprehendable to you, but it is not that surprising here. I almost crapped me pants when I heard it though. The kids GREAT UNCLE is younger than him! That is like one of grandma´s brothers being younger than me. 
     Okay also there are two MVP´s (other than Kevin Durrant´s mom) Elder Lee.  He is the secretary in the office and he managed to recover my Halloween package and the package that I got from the Cochran´s from the depths of the Guatemalan Mail Service. And the other MVP is Hermana Normand who came all the way down from San Marcos carrying the packages that José had brought from Utah. Also I think she was sick when she did it so bonus points in Heaven for them. 
      The Calderon said that they would keep on praying for to be baptized this week which would be really cool! They went up to Xelá yesterday and they said that they were going to pass by the temple and walk around it! Tuesday we are going to go with them to see if they received an answer! Please pray for them because they need the Christmas miracle! 
      Yeimi was progressing really well and we had some great spiritual lessons with her and she said that she was going to church and we went all the way out to Nam (like Vietnam) to pick her up in the morning and she was dead asleep and would not wake up. So she didn´t go to church. 
     Anyways I got all of the packages you sent me! Thank everyone that sent me stuff! Tell the Brown family thank you so much! Also the Cochran´s and the awesome young woman that made a tie for me and everything! Also the whole Ward! I loved the picture thing that they sent me it is so cool! 
I totally opened you package and put the decorations up and took a bunch of pictures I will send you all of the pictures! I was so pumped! My companion was so happy when he saw that you sent him stuff! He felt bad because his parents didn´t send me anything! His dad has a landscaping company too! We always talk about sprinkler systems and stuff like that! So what the heck? Did the Steelers kicker make 6 field goals!? He was probably like the MVP of the game! 
I will Skype at 4 o´clock!!!! my companion wants to skype for a while ha ha! He has a brother that is serving in the mission in Coban Guatemala and they left at the same time and they want to try to talk to each other too.
     I got permission from Elder Stiener to watch the Ravens´ Steelers game with you Sunday haha! He was just joking, but that would be nice!!!!
     Love you!!!!!  
Getting ready to drink raw eggs with lime juice and salt so investigators kids will like them, haha!

Shaving Guatemalan style

With Elder Johnson and Elder Tagg

With kids from Champerico

Drinking a mini bottle of tobasco

Holding a Christmas card with pictures of all the ward members


His Steelers Christmas decorations




Cover the Earth!! (with the Book of Mormon), ha!

Members made turtle stew
Elder Johnson, Elder Tagg, Bryson, Elder Zavala

1/2 the mission getting gifts from a friend of President and Sister Goodman. Bryson is on the back row, towards the middle, wearing a suit.
 
 
 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week #69-Stanley Yelnats

We played soccer today and it was so hot out that it reminded me of the movie Holes. So I hope that explains the caption. Anyways I got your package which is good! I can`t wait to open the stuff! I have no idea where Josè is but I`ll figure it out! 
     We had an alright week. The familia Calderon went to church again this week but they will not accept a date to be baptized!!!! We are doing everything we can to get them baptized but I really hope they do it this year! Their daughters don`t really like us which is kind of weird because most young Guatemalan girls will do anything to be around gringos but they are really shy when they`re around us! So we talked with them and we asked them what we could do so that they talked to us and they made us drink raw eggs! Classic! They also put lime juice and salt in the cup which was a zingy surprise. It worked though! My companion threw up but I chugged it like a man. I have a video and pictures! But I left my camera so sorry! 
    We always wave to everyone when we are in the street and to all the people that pass by on their motorcycles because not a lot of people have cars here! So we waved to a guy and he waved at us and then ate dirt!!! I felt so bad!!!! He hit the back of a tuc tuc and went flying!! And nobody wears helmets here! I seriously thought that he was dead! But there were some police there so they got the ambulance there fast. I hope he didn`t die. 
      But we found some pretty cool people! People love the little cards that we give them that have the christmas theme for this year! I always pull them out and make it look like I`m gong to do a magic trick but we just end up talking to them and they get disappointed. I think I am going to stop doing that! 
So, I am always sick. I realized I will be that way until I go home haha! my poor companion as well haha! 
     Le`Veon Bell made the McDonalds cut today! I saw that he nearly got 300 yards yesterday! That must`ve been fun! I guess we'll have to root for Tom Brady this week so they beat the Ravens!
     Love you!!!! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Week #68-Break someone's clavical!!!

Ha ha that is the greatest quote of all time. Kicking and Screaming is literally the best movie ever. Except for The Restoration! That show literally makes Elder Zavala cry every time.  
    We had a good week! It was kind of hard. The Calderon Family is so close to accepting a fecha (date)!! We literally try to get them to accept every day and they never do it! But I feel like they will this week. I´d be way happy. I seriously love that family. They have their visas to go to the US and Feliciano said that when I am back home that he wants to visit the house! But they are great people. They are so close! We have literally taught them everything! 
      We are teaching a guy named Walberto and he is like 25 and he literally does nothing all day. He is so funny but he smokes, and drinks and everything but we comes to church with us which is good. He has this tiny little dog who is so cute and he just walks around with his dog everywhere. But he was talking about some dog movie that he watched and I guess the dog´s owner dies and the dog gets really sad but he was really moved by the movie. He is a funny dude. 
      But really nothing really big happened this week. We are trying really hard to get some people with a date! But this week I feel like we are on the edge of a breakthrough! 
I saw the Steelers highlight today! I was so happy! I saw James Harrison going to town! He got a safety right? Mom the highlights for the Steelers game were so dope! Who do they play next week?
    I sent you a package! I don´t know when it will get to you. It is kind of ghetto and I threw in a bunch of stuff! 
I learned how to tie a new knot for my ties!
    Anyways love you! Write me! 
Bryson told me he would tell me when he gets home how he got this dog-it must be a sad story

New soccer jerseys that the zone got

Converts

Elder Retana-Bryson in the background

Little kids who always ask for money (notice the second kid from the left......naughty)

Cute little Guatemala boy


New knot he learned to tie

Reu

Teaching kids how to tromp (play with a top)
 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week #67-Back To December

Yeah it is finally almost December which means that I will have Back to December stuck in my head again. ´´So this is me swallowin´ my pride standin´in front of you saying I´m sorry for tha-at night! I go back to December all the time!´´ Classic! I think that Taylor Swift should sing hymns. So that all the missionaries could listen to her on their missions.
   
      Anyways it was the worst week of all time! Kind of. So Luis who was going to get baptized this week got all ruined by some pastor. The pastor is from their old church and said a bunch of lies about the church. He actually started fighting the pastor and told him that he was a liar and had no idea what we actually believe in. He was not even affected by the pastor but his parents were so they told us that we couldn't visit him anymore! We were so sad. My companion was really, really sad. This will also be my first transfer without baptizing which is also really hard. But poor Luis! Hopefully when he´s 18 he will go to church with us. 
    The Calderon Family finally understood the whole you need the Preisthood to baptize thing! Then also the dad of the family Feliciano, started teaching some of his neighbors about the Book of Mormon! He is so awesome! I sometimes don´t understand why people have such strong testimonies and don´t get baptized! Oh well I know that they will get baptized.
    The new Christmas video from the Church is brilliant! I loved it! I hope all the members actually do the 25 days of service thing. But we will see! 
 
     For Pday today we cleaned the house ha ha! We let the house get really dirty! It is awful! But now it is really clean. If the President came to check the house I bet he would kill us. But not anymore. Anyways we are buying like soccer jerseys as a zone and it has our name and our number. Do you know what number I chose? 33!!!! Because that is the year the Steelers were established and the year that your dad was born. I love that number. 
 
    On thanksgiving we just ate together as a zone. Then I went to Champerico to do an interview with some missionary from Mexico and we ate pizza and saw a little little bit of the steelers game! They made like an awesome goal line stop.  Glad the Steelers won! I saw a little bit at McDonalds today!
 
     I thought up of a new way to contact. So you walk in the street and the trip in front of the person that is walking towards you on purpose and then they stop to help you then you say ´´I´m okay because I know that because of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice, that it doesn´t matter how many times I fall, I can always get back up.´´ It works! Sometimes. It isn´t my best idea but cut me some slack. I have never been really creative. 
   
 Love you!!! Email me!!!!! Happy Yom Kippur! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Week #66-Todo es bueno

Hey mom! This week was not the best week of all time but it was alright! Well I guess not, it actually was a pretty bad week! So L and G are the people that we put a fecha (date) with last week and a pastor from the church that they went to before, showed up and started preaching stupid things. L is still going to get baptized but he said he wanted to do it a little later and we couldn´t talk him out of procrastinating, so it´ll have to be the 3rd of December. Also we had a really hard lesson with the C family yesterday. They have been really positive and stuff, but last night we visited them with some members and they got way offended when we taught the doctrine of baptism by the authority!!! The dad asked me if we thought that his baptism was valid and we had to be really nice in saying no. But I don´t get it why would be talking about them getting baptized so much if we thought their baptism was valid. I don´t get it.
     The phrase that I´ve heard most in my mission is ´´todo es bueno´´. I guess it is in the Bible somewhere, but everyone thinks that everything is good!!! So they think all the churches in the world are like great and everything is from God. It is hard for them to understand one True Church kind of thing. But oh well.
    My companion and I climbed a water tower and when we got to the top I think I peed a little. Before we climbed it a guy told me not to pass out when I got to the top and that obviously did not help me. My companion was pretty freaked out too! But it was worth it for the selfie!!! 
    Okay I don´t know if I have told you but the people here, when you pray, also pray along with you but they whisper! It is actually really scary. So anyways we were giving a lesson to a pair of really unpositive people that we had contacted and while my companion was praying I started whispering as well!!! My companion totally lost his composure and started laughing a little bit durning the prayer! I couldn´t believe it! I thought he could handle it! But anyways it was really funny.
     That was awesome to hear about James Harrison. He is literally my favorite of all time after Mel Blount. Enjoy the snow! I am here in a freaking oven 24/7. We went to Champerico today for P day and it was really fun! we played water polo in the ocean..................... Psych ha ha we didn´t do that but we did play soccer on the beach. I still suck at soccer but I am getting better. I took a picture of a witch casting a spell. It was dope. 
    Love you!!!!!!Happy Thanksgiving.
Champerico-the beloved "tag pic"




They thought it was a turtle......turned out to be a crab

"The only action we'll get on our mission" haha!



Bryson with his comp, Elder Zavala

Elder Tagg with a Guatemalan Lifeguard chair........It's a broken chair tied to a stick, haha!

Horse on the beach

View from water tower


Selfie on water tower

witch casting a spell on the beach
 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week #65-TRUMP!! TRUMP!! TRUMP!!

Ha ha the whole latin world is going insane becasue Trump won! I knew that he could do it! Finally America will be free again! haha just kidding I have no idea what is going to happen but I wouldn´t be surpised if  all Mexican's end up in a Mexican jail haha. So we were in the Gospel Principles class yesterday and we were talking about how when we are in the Millenium that Jesus will establish his perfect government. The teacher asked me how I thought that government would be and I said ´´almost as good as the government under Donald Trump!!!!´´ Nobody laughed except for Elder Zavala. they were actually pretty mad haha. Anyways the morning after he won we went to go to a news paper stand to see who won! And we saw Trump and I cracked a smile. Then some guy that was there said ´´It looks like the prophesies of the Book of Revelations are being fulfilled´´ I asked him which ones had, he had no idea what to say haha! But people hate him here.
     We went contacting a few weeks ago and we found an AWESOME old lady. She is the greatest. But she has a little grandchild who is like one year old and he looks like Adolf Hitler. Anyway, the grandma is getting baptized on the 26th, and so is her other grandson. My companion put both of the fechas (dates) SOLO, he is the best. We follow that pattern that David M. R. Covey taught us and it works like more than half of the time. It is the best. 
      Well the Calderon family finally came to church yesterday for the first time! It was awesome! They liked it! They just need to accept a date for baptism! 
    We are teaching this guy named C. he is our ward mission leader´s dad and he had a dream that there were a bunch of books on a table and that God showed him a blue book called ´´El Libro de Mormón´´ And told him that he couldn´t fight against it and that has a special purpose in the last days! But the dude refuses to get baptized! Real faith comes through the Holy Ghost and not through dreams. God practically told him that he needed to be baptized in the Church and he won´t do it! What the yams? I want a dream like that. But I don´t need a dream like that I guess. Anyways I don´t know if you remember that President Anderson told me that my investigators would have dreams about the restoration when he set me apart. Fulfillment of blessing! It isn´t the first time it has happened either! 
    I love my mission. I love my companion. I love Donald Trump. If only the Steelers would have won. I propose a Church wide fast so that the Steelers go to the superbowl. I think that many people would be converted.
     Love you! 
"destroying the Jehova's Witnesses"

Elder Zavala sleeping on the bus

Elder Zavala teaching kids how to skateboard

Bryson helping a family get bananas
 

Tuc Tuc parade

Bryson: "I blame this statue for all the breasts I've seen on my mission"
haha!

Towel of the Virgin Mary
 


    Monday, November 7, 2016

    Week #64-3................Hunna

    Hey mom! We had a pretty good week. I seriously love working with Elder Zavala! He is the most laid back dude of all time. He does whatever but he is so funny. We came up with the greatest way to contact! We go to the park (which is also the Catholic chuch) and we have a sign that says free shoe shines and then we shine the peoples shoes for free and while one of us is shining the shoes the other teaches them a lesson and gets their numbers and stuff.
     
        Anyways so we have a family that we´re teaching right now that is awesome! They told us all week that they were going to church this Sunday and then they dropped stones Sunday morning when we called them. And I think I know why. So the parents really love us and they think that we´re awesome. But the daughters are a little more.... shy. To try to get more confidence with the daughters we had a family home evening and for the game we brought Uno. So we were playing Uno and having a good time and the girls were finally talking to us and everything and the younger one farted in front of us! She was so embarassed. But I was thinking I would do like a Billy Madison type of deal and fart as well just to play it off but then I realized that I had really bad diarrhea and you just never know here. But do you remember that part in Billy Madison? The old lady says ´´If peeing your pants is cool, then consider me Miles Davis.´´ what a classic line.
       
    It was raining really hard yesterday and we were walking on the side of the road but the people try to splash you with water in their cars if you walk on the side of the road so we went a little bit over to this little like wall thing that has like trenches on both sides. So I was walking on that like it was a balance beam and I slipped so freaking hard and ate crap!!!!! It was so funny! I literally think that an angel saved my life and made it so I didn´t fall as hard as I could have! But I fell into the trench of disgusting street water and got so wet! And my shirt was literally green from the moss that was on the little wall. But it was funny. Then after that we were passing by a crime scene and I realized that in Guatemala you can pretty much do whatever you want. So some dudes killed a bus driver and the police didn´t even like tape off the scene or anything! We just walked right by and my companion took pictures and the police didn´t even care! We could have taken a selfie with the dead body and I don´t think anybody would care.
     
    So the Evangelicos are like really gulible so we can tell them that we have the power of God to control the dogs. So one of us says ´´get thee hence dogs!!'' and then the other one has a high pitched dog remote in his hands and then the dogs run away. so they think that we are like really powerful and they listen to us easier. Also!!! Christian, from my last area, got bapzited this week! I was so happy! 
       
    But I had a dream last night and I saw that the Steelers record was 4-4 so I knew that they lost! That is too bad. Anyways my companion wants any gummy candy. So like Sour Patch or lo que sea. 
        But love you write me! 

    Tuesday, November 1, 2016

    Week #63-Vape Bro

     Hey so I will never understand how you always know when I have changes. It makes no sense! But anyways I returned to Reu. It was the most busy week of my life. I am really sad that I had to leave San Luis because the worst thing is that Elder Santamaria also left! I am so sad. I hope that the investigators still get baptized there. Sometimes I don´t trust other missionaries. But whatever. We said goodbye to some of them. We had like two hours to say goodbye because they told us at like 1030 that we had transfers. I was also sad to say goodbye to Elder santamaria! He was a great missionary.
         But I am back in the freaking center of Reu which is awesome. It is in the middle of the city. If you want to know where we live, Search the giant catholic church and then look for Hotel Astor and we live like right next to that place. We have the greatest house of all time. It has a freaking hot tub in the bathroom. But my new companion is from......... ARIZONA!!!!!!! I was so pumped he is my first companion that speaks english! I love him! I am training him too so that is fun! He is way cool! But we are opening up Reu 1! So we didn´t know anybody and we got lost a lot but it was still fun! But the nurses were in this area before so they pretty much never worked in it! But we have a lot of great investigators already. They are mainly Catholic here which is way better because Catholics are usually a little more...... smarter. But I love it here. I Am also district leader of a really awesome district! The district is stacked! It has awesome missionaries. But my companion and I are the only gringos.
          Anyways I will tell you a good story. So I was shoppping in the super market my first day and I saw that they were selling egg nog (Rompope in spanish) so I was pumped so I bought it! So I started drinking it and I really didn´t like it that much but it was 20 quetz so I didn´t want to waste it. So I kept drinking it and it was really awful. So I started reading the label and I was filled with horror! There was a little red ribbon that said ´´4% alcohólico´´ which means that the eggnog had alcohol! I had litterally never tried alcohol in my entire life and who would´ve known that the first time would be on my mission!!!! Classic! 
         But it was a really great week! I love my companion! He is the greatest and he really wants to baptize! because he already has like a month and a half in the mission and he hasn´t baptized so we are going to go to town!!!!!
        Love you! write me! 
    Bad Eggnogg

    Bryson's new "hot tub"

    Bryson's new kitchen


     

    That big toe needs to get fixed, haha!