So this week has been a rollercoaster. But first, i meant to tell you how the music performance thingy went. It was a lot of fun and we all wore purple ties and everyone said we did really well even the guy who was speaking made a comment about how awesome we did and how much energy and enthusiasm we had, so that was a plus. Ok so Sundays are so so so so so so so amazing. Every Sunday here is filled with the Spirit all day. And Sacrament meeting is always the highlight. The Sacrament is so important and i just realize that more and more every Sunday. I heard a talk by Elder Bednar, there are some talks that Apostles give in the MTC that you can only hear in the MTC and they don't show them anywhere else, about his life and becoming a missionary. One part i wanted to share with you is a part when he said every time they had a family gathering, big or small, at some point in the gathering they had a time to focus on some part of Gospel doctrine, so my challenge for you all is to try to do the same. Even if it's short or long, a testimony, a lesson, scriptures, anything just take some time to focus on some part of Gospel doctrine. I know it will invite the Spirit more and will just make home even better. So guess what! remember that call you got from the lady at the MTC? I went to the foot doctor and got that same toe surgery that Doctor Medawar did. It was still just as interesting to watch and Elder Kitchen had to come with me and watch too haha. Unfortunately that also means i'm back to soaking my foot... Anyway on tuesday later that day, a woman called all the Puebla mexico missionaries up to the travel desk to get some information on their visas except for me. I have been praying to have more faith in God's plan for me so when i realized my name wasn't called I honestly wasn't bummed or frustrated and i was actually ok with wherever Heavenly Father put me. when the other elders came back they told me that the woman had forgotten to call my name so i was going with everyone to the mexican consolate the next day. On wednesday I had the opportunity to host other missionaries, i ended up helping 3, kind of like that one elder helped me get my bags and everything when you dropped me off (i miss you all so much). It was really fun and i felt pretty experienced haha. Later we went on a field trip to the consolate in salt lake and i pretty much slept the whole way there and back. Yesterday just after lunch we got our travel plans. It's a huge deal to get travel plans in the MTC because it means you really are leaving and you're right on schedule. All of the Puebla missionaries are traveling together, we're flying on United and we start our trip at 8:00 AM on October 15, Happy birthday dad i love you. We will end up getting to puebla at 8 PM whoo. In the middle there will be a lay over in Texas where we are allowed to call home, so if you could be home at about (it will be 5 in texas) 3 i can call. Unfortunately I can't call anyone else like Nicole but if she was at our house then i'm still calling home and i could talk to her haha. So this next week will be our last week here at the MTC crazy right? That also means that next week i wont be able to write letters and send emails until Saturday next week because our P day gets changed for that week. Anyway thank you so much for all the birthday stuff i haven't opened them yet, i opened Nicole's and i loved everything so much, but to be honest her present and the two cards from sadie and eloise got me so emotional and made me miss home so much i'm having a really hard time opening the other present. Every time i go to open it i start thinking about home and crying a bunch till i calm down and find something else to do. I just miss everyone so much. Great now i'm crying at the computer in the laundry room wearing a fake mustache. (So a little bit ago i cut myself really bad just above my lip while shaving and i put a bandaid on it, i thought it looked pretty bland and i'm a pretty weird guy so i drew a mustache on it in pen). I love it here so much i really do but at times it's so hard to be away from home and then i just pray for strength to make it through the day. I'm really excited for general conference this weekend! I have been reading other general conference talks and getting PUMPED haha. I honestly am pretty bumped that i'm going to miss cinnamon rolls. We heard something in a talk on tuesday, the speaker said as we listen to the talks throughout conference try not to think of how much other people need to hear the message, but instead ask "Lord, is it I?" as the 12 Apostles asked Christ when he said one of them would betray him. Try to find a way to apply the message in your own lives and commit to trying a little harder because you love Christ. Great now i'm crying a second time haha. I know this general conference is going to be great, don't forget to come with questions! The Spanish is coming along well lately i still feel totally new to it but i can understand basically everything that the teachers say and i can speak pretty well as long as it is something related to the Gospel haha. Sorry this is an enormous letter. All the missionaries in my district are getting excited to get to the field and work. Thank you for inviting Elder Kitchen to celebrate my birthday mum, but i asked everyone to not make it different than any other day because we have so much more preparation to do and so much time to spend on studying i don't feel it would be right to take time out of their labors for me. I just want everyone to stay focused on the task at hand and keep pressing on in the work. But thank you mum, i love you so much. We have a new investigator! His name is Samuel and he has friends who are in the Church and one of them comes to lessons with us and it is really great. He really likes fishing and our message but has trouble understanding some points of doctrine. We plan on inviting him to Baptism tonight, wish us luck! Pictures will be in another email today. I love you all so much, thank you all for being amazing examples to me.
With love forever,
Elder Branden Carl Astle
Elder Astle doing a handstand wearing the t-shirt made especially for him by the young men and women back home in Loomis 3rd Ward
So apparantly Elder Astle nicked himself shaving and thought he'd cover it up with a bandaid.... hey wait a minute, that's little Miss Sadie's nickname for him, Bandaid!
So I guess He is celebrating being the first to class by jumping on his desk?!
He has an artistic flare...especially when it comes to acorns!
He was pretty excited to receive not one but two Birthday presents in the mail!!