Monday, January 7, 2013

Last Day of Training

Aye mum,
I love you with my whole heart and miss you so much.  I love everyone, I just wish I could figure out how to love more and more, I'm trying.  Thank you for your letter mom especially your last lines "I want you to know that when I think of your name I think of someone that I love very much, someone with a BIG heart, someone who is very smart, someone who is very funny, someone who has always made me very proud to be his mom! Right now whenever I think of your name Elder Astle I think of someone who is following in our saviors footsteps, someone who is "Trying to be like Jesus". I love you Branden....keep up the valiant work! Love, Mom" That means so so so SO much to me and it fills my heart to the brim.  I am trying really really REALLY hard to be like Jesus.  It's hard, but it helps me realize how amazing my savior was and is when I feel how hard it is to be like Him.  I love my Savior, i can't describe it.  So to start I'm going to post the letter I sent to my mission President this week.

Presidente Reeves,
This was my last week of training and I honestly feel so much different than when I arrived.  It feels like so long ago when I got here but still only yesterday.  I have learned so much and grown so much and a lot of that is thanks to my companion.   I did have a worry in my mind for the last few weeks, when I prayed to know the Book of Mormon was true after finishing it, I felt scared when I didn't receive an answer.  In the end I feel a lot better now because in my personal study I found D&C 6:22-23.  I remembered back to when I received my testimony and I felt comforted.  I want to say thank you for having awesome assistants. One day when I was having a hard time, without them knowing they complimented me a lot and really lifted my spirits.  To end, I wanted to ask if I could listen to a CD my family sent me.  It's a soundtrack, purely orchestra, but it's from an old video game.  Like you know, I want to be as obedient as possible so I can have as much help in the work as possible.  Thank you President for everything.  Thank you for the perfect trainer for me who would love me and work with me and always be patient with me.  
Elder Branden Astle

Yup, training is over for me.  And guess how it ended? Jose Luis was going to be baptized this last Saturday, my first baptism. Everything went great.  An hour before his baptism, he decided he didnt want to be baptized anymore, he's not ready yet.  We didnt find out until 20 minutes after his baptismal service was scheduled to start.  It was so hard not to ccry infront of everyone there.  Everyone comforted me and we closed up the church.  Then we went home.  I was so confused and full of sadness so i decided i was going to eat.  I got out a bunch of food.  I started to pray and then I cried.  And I cried some more.  Then I ate a little bit.  And I cried some more.  Then it was time to go out and teach again, so that's what we did.  It's still hard for me to think about, we are not giving up on him and we will continue to help him understand, but thinking he might not be able to live with his Father in Heaven breaks my heart.  I get a new companion tomorrow, so now I'm going to have to explain that to him,  Ok almost out of time, i'll list now.

- I met an American guy the other day, his Spanish is not very good, I felt awesome haha
- Ok 1 Kings 19:6 up to the word "coals" it's so awesome, share it everyone mom.
- I played the national champion of Uruguay today! I won!! no seriously i won.  It was really close but i won 9-11 points, it only took 29 games of losing to tire him out first, that's my strategy, ENDURANCE!

Ok that's it not much this week, next week is going to be interesting with a new companion, wish me luck.  I'm going to be lost in this big city for a couple weeks haha.  I love you all so much and am so thankful for all of you.  I miss you all.  Do missionary work and help the missionaries please! Offer your help to them that's the key!! please do that? for me? I love you, I trust you.
Elder Branden Carl Astle

Elder Astle, Uruguay's National Champion, Elder Ramirez
and three other amazing Elders.

                                       Elder Astle entitled this picture "Yeah Mexico!"

                                     New Years Eve dinner with the Familia Balbuena

                                           Elder Astle says they love POGS in Mexico!

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