Monday, December 17, 2012

Aye mum,
I love you so much mom, I miss you so much, and every else too. I really really really really love you all and miss you all, but also I love it hear, ok i'm not going to fix that "hear" to show that my english is going already haha. And also, ok I saw a woman the other day and I, well i dont know how to say it in english, but i said hi to her, but it's different than that, but there's no word in english, ANYWAY the street was completely empty in every direction we looked except this little old woman who looked 150, I'm just glad it wasn't night time O.o but she was super cute and only 3 and half feet tall haha. It was just funny because i said hi to her "Then everything got intense!" I love that reference. So this week was rough for missionary work, but I'll get to that last so you have to read all my babbling to get to the good stuff haha. I will now get listy, thank you. So the other day I read the scripture, I will make you fishers of men... I miss dad, I miss fishing so much, I want to go fishing so bad, with everyone though and everyone individually too and just be happy. Ok so tell brian and aaron to read Matthew 4:19 and then the footnote that is connected to it, i don't remember what it says right now but i know it's awesome, i hope. So we had the 12 of december here the other day, it's the day of the virgin of Guadalupe, ask me about that on skype! Also please write some questions or something for us to talk about on skype because I'm afraid im going to be boring. Also please figure out your skype and everything and test it too mom, i dont want it not to work :( I learned the other day that the state of Puebla is the most Catholic state in Mexico, also the city of puebla in the state of puebla is the most catholic part of puebla... that's where I am now hahaha. Oh also ask me about what happened on the bus on the way back from the Christmas party we had at the Mission home k? The Christmas party was a lot of fun, we played games, did pinatas, sang christmas songs, took pictures, ate a bunch, and also i arranged a special musical number with a few other elders, I have it on video so in two years you can see it :P basically it's... i dont know the name in english but its Cantan Santos Angeles and I beatboxed almost the whole thing. Could you ask brian if he knows who Arkam is? he's a SUPER good graffiti artist and some of his work is here in puebla and it's super sweet haha. Sometimes the people here dont make sense, the other day these two guys cheered their beers and said "to health!"
Ok fun missionary stuff... this week was really rough to be honest, we were going to have Jose Luis baptized on thursday but he missed church on sunday so we wont be able to do that and we are going to tell him we need to change his date. Honestly that hurts me so much, I'm pretty scared and sad that he might be hurt and sad, I just want him to be happy. The good news is that a new investigator came to church and he really liked it and our friendship with him is really growing. His name is Armando, for a while he didnt want us to teach him because he thought if he let us in that we were going to rob him haha but its al good now and he loves reading so we think he will be good on his reading of the book of mormon. Almost out of time! Last thing: A while back we gave a blessing to a young man who is the nephew of a less active sister in our ward. He kept losing weight and no one knew why. His weight was getting very very dangerously low. We saw him this week. He is still a little thin but he is back into the healthy weight zone. No one knows why it changed, we know though. I'm so thankful for the priesthood that i hold and the ability to bless the lives of others, I'm also thankful for all the worthy priesthood holders around me in my life. I know the church is true and i love you all so much. Please, please, please be member missionaries and share your testimonies, if not anything else you will be spiritually fortified yourselves. I love you, i want the best for you, i want you to be happy, you all deserve it, Heavenly Father wants you to be happy too, I know that without a doubt. I'll talk to you soon.
Love forever and eternity,
Elder Branden Carl Astle
                                                     Elder Ramirez and Elder Astle

                               The following pix are of the Elder's Christmas Party

Monday, December 10, 2012

Aye mum,
I love you and miss you so much. I love and miss everyone so much to be honest, but I love it here so much too. So this week was a little bland with the most amazing cream filling. I think about food a lot. We had a bunch of trials and work. Mom, I found her, I found you. Last week we were walking around this area and I had the impression to talk to this mom and her daughter, I kind of questioned it like "should I?" and it came again and i thought "am i sure?" finally the third time it came and I was sure. We had a good little talk about our message and planned to meet them a week later. This week we taught them. Luz Maria is a single mom and has her daughter Luz Selena who is 11. The two of them are really close and help each other all the time. They had a discussion before we contacted them about how they want to do what's right and have the truth in their lives. They decided to pray to have Heavenly Father put the truth in their path. The Tuesday that we contacted them they had the impression to go visit a church so they went. The church was closed and they were a little confused but on the way back to their house we contacted them. Luz Maria said that after they talked to us and we had left them they felt a strong feeling of what they now know is the Spirit. During the lesson we taught about the Restoration they felt that everything was just right and Luz Maria was crying by the end. I shared with them your experience with the missionaries and that really had her and I both crying a lot. They even attended church on sunday and stayed for all three hours!! We have really high hopes for them and are going to work hard with them. The problem is that i think a member of another Church... Jehovas Witness is following us around and talking to everyone we talk to because whenever we come and talk to people for a second time they have always, every time, had a Jehovah's Witness come and talk to them and share their views and why we are wrong. It's pretty tough. Well I'm about out of time. Sorry no information about Skype yet, but I think we do have a family who will let us use their computer so that's progress. How's your setting up of skype going? I love you all. A little list this week;
- For Aaron and Brian - There are posters everywhere here... Skrillex is playing an end of the world show on the 21 of Dec here in Puebla, nuts right?
- I found out i'm a water elemental, because i cry and cry and cry all the time hahaha ask aaron
-I did the calculation and it turns out that 1 second on Kolob is 4.12 days on Earth, fun!
- Tell aaron that the book of mormon has a cool part-prophecy in it. Aaron is the missionary aaron in the book of mormon and he is going to go somewhere with a king and convert the king.
- I ate brains!!!!!!!!!!!! it was actually really good, i dont know if it will be everytime though haha

I loved hearing everything about home and everything so much thank you so much I love you all so much. See you in a bit,
Elder Branden Carl Astle

                              Elder Astle being chased by a very ferocious looking beast!
                                          It might lick him to death if it catches him!

                         Elder Prosper, Ping Pong Champion of Uruguay, and snake..

Elder Astle

                                                                  Service is good!

                                I don't know how Elder Ramirez keeps his cool!?

                                Oh no, I think Elder Astle is rubbing off on Elder Ramirez!

                                                        Elder Astle is such a little angel!

Their Chapel.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Aye Mum,
I love you and miss you so much, I love and miss everyone so much. Ok now i feel like a jerk because I'm out of time already. I'm going to paste the letter I sent to President Reeves and then burn through my list I'm sorry. This week was better though, the missionary work is still slow. It's so hard sometimes to keep going but I will never lose hope, I will always work for these people because I love them and I want them to be happy so much.

Presidente Reeves,
Thank you for all your support it really helps me a lot every week. This week I got a letter from my mom that she actually had sent a long time ago but for whatever reason I didn't get it till now. In her letter she wrote me something that has helped a lot since I read it. She said "Remember when it's hard to lean on the Lord, He wants you to." It really hit me hard and it's true and I have been doing that and this week has been better. I can slowly feel myself becoming more positive. This week was good too. I loved being able to attend the exchange meeting and the messages that were shared there, they really motivated me to be strong and press on. The work this week felt good because we were trying to push ourselves this week even more. We had a special lesson with an investigator who we have been praying for, his name is Jose Luis. We got him a pair of glasses from my mom so that he can read and in the lesson where we gave them to him we found out he can actually read very well. He even read in between lessons and he is actually progressing really well now where he wasnt't before. We have high hopes for him. This week I'm going to try harder to do like you said President and remember that I'm not alone, that's actually perfect because in my head I think "If they can do it, I can do it too!" Thanks again for everything President.
Elder Branden Astle

I finally got the second package with the glasses! plus i got Nicole's letters and I got the letter Kimmy sent me for my birthday... made me cry a bunch, thanks a lot hahaha.
All the cookies in the package were expired when they got here sorry mom, but it's ok because the members give us expired food too!
I also got the dear elders you sent the 29th of August too mom :P
I made up a new tie knot called the 4 fold windsor
The glasses helped us a lot as you have read thank you so much again
The other night I held a 20 day old baby of a less active sister... It was amazing it really is something special.
In church yesterday we sang a song that basically translates to "the end is near" hahaha
Mom one thing that you could send me that they dont have here is soap, dove men+care bare of soap, the soap here is wrecking my skin super bad.
Fedex apparently takes a week to get here... But it probably costs a ton :/
I cant wait to come home and see everyone and see how everyone has grown and everything although it kind of scares me a little bit, especially with TY haha, but i cant wait to see everyone's talents and everything, including how good Nicole is at snowboarding when I get back! haha I love you all so much and miss you all, keep striving to improve your testimonies please, that means the most to me. I love you
Elder Branden Carl Astle
                    Elder Ramirez and Elder Astle painting a less active members home.

This is when we went with a bunch of missionaries to the passport office, Elder Kitchen wasnt there but elders Dougherty and Allred were, it was pretty fun and odd speaking in english.

 We had a new missionary stay with us for the night and we took a picture... go figure haha

            I think this is a japanese or chinese grapefruit, i dunno, it tasted like egg nog haha

                               Yummy!! I asked Branden if they come in a seedless variety?!