Monday, March 18, 2013

Letter from March 18, 2013

Aye mum,
I love you. How are you? Oh wait I have to read your letters! Be right back... Ok I'm back, thank you for your letter mom, I really loved being filled in, I love my family so much! You're all so cool!!!!! I'm so proud of everyone, knowing that Bryer was baptized fills my heart, thank you. I'm so proud of Bryer, he's super cool I love having him as my nephew. Also thank you for the pictures, they were great, the picture of Kimmy and the girls is SO PRETTY! I dont have a lot of time today, I have PACKING to do! Here's what's happening: I got a call on friday morning... I'm training a new missionary, and I only have 7 months O.o and one more thing.... We'll be opening a new area where there aren't missionaries. I'm super nervous but also excited. Here's a letter I sent to President Reeves about it:

Presidente Reeves,
This week was good, really good. We worked hard and taught some really good lessons. We didn't teach a lot of lessons but the lessons that we did teach were heart felt, spirit guided, and to the investigators' needs. The last couple weeks have been hard for me as you know. This week when I was informed that I would be training at first I was confused. I thought how could a missionary like me, without baptisms, train another missionary. I gave one of the most "trusting in the Lord's will" prayers that I have ever given. I also asked for more confidence in myself and the Lord has answered that prayer and I feel much better and excited for what's to come. Thank you for the amazing training meeting we had President.
Love you and all my leaders,
Elder Branden Astle

So I wanted to tell you about a few things before I go.
I hurt my arm again today :( same one, i didnt fall i tried to shoot a basketball really hard and ya it hurts haha
I did rock chiseling for the first time this week, the guy, a member named perfecto, with us told us i was really good then I did welding and he said I was really good at that too. Everyone in our family is really artistic, i like to joke that I am too, maybe I could do sculpting to be part of the group and I'll do the next Michaelangelo's David.
Finally, something awesome happened this week. I learned to teach better, now I smile. It's a message of happiness and though I have tears in my eyes while I teach they might not understand that it's happiness unless I smile. I feel a lot better about my teaching now.

Thank you all for being so amazing and loving me and one another so much. Strive to fill your lives with love and pray to be filled with the love of Heavenly Father that He has for His children.
I love you all, talk to you soon
Elder Branden Carl Astle

                                               Elder Astle and his favorite Volcano!


                                                 Elder Astle and a couple of Elders

                 Mariachi Pedregal were performing at a wedding Elder Astle got to attend.
                             The entire Maraiachi band is in Elder Astle's ward!

La Familia Luna. The Elders were cleaning their fountain

Yes....this IS a lemon!

                                                A cool statue in the city of Cholula.

A beautiful sunrise in Nealtican..
          La Familia Luna gave these shoes to Elder Astle, he said he feels very blessed!

Elder Astle said this puppy fell asleep on his sweater, what was he supposed to do? ... leave his sweater.

Letter From March 11, 2013

Aye mum,
I love you. I love dad. I love all my brothers and sisters and everyone. I love Heavenly Father. My mission is really hard.
So you might have guessed, we went fishing today, for trout, and I did great and taught everyone how to fish, even though they had bamboo fishing rods haha. This week was really good and so hard too. I'm having a tough few days but I know it'll get better.
(I just found out that we are just about all out of time so I'm going to type through this quick)
Could you tell Bishop Latham that I love him and I think he's super great and I'm so thankful for the huge role he played in my life. He really is super great.
Also, if you could get in contact with Brandon Pilcher ask him if he remembers Elder Luna. There is a return missionary in my area named omar luna and he said he spent a lot of time with Elder Pilcher in Chile!!! Isnt that crazy????
The other day I was on divisions with elder Farnworth and while waiting at a door I looked down and saw a little puppy. It had a metal wire tied real tight around its neck so i bent down and whispered to the puppy in Spanish while I got the metal wire off. I felt really good after that.
Aaron! Get your mission papers in now!!! :P
Also I figured out the magic trick from Aaron's comment from last week haha but i talked to President about card tricks and he said it's probably better not to do them, so i wont be doing those anymore, i still have coin magic which he said is ok!
Finally, could you tell Robert McIntosh that I still laugh when I think about when we would call him Patrick? thanks
I love you all so much! I'm all out of time! Talk to you soon!
Elder Branden Carl Astle

                             Elder Astle's dream P-Day! Teaching other Elders how to fish!

                                     Elder Astle, Elder Morga and another Elder

                                                                  It was that big!!

The people even cooked them!

                                      So last Thursday Popocatepetl was a little grumpy!

Elder Astle liked this waterfall 
A picture of the Zone... and one ninja Elder! 
Elder Astle said he ate lunch with this guy and his machete was very sharp, he was a little nervous!

         These guys are called Judios, apparently if they ask you for money and you don't give them any, they will hug you. Notice their black greased up bodies.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Last Weeks Letter, Sorry

Aye mum,
Well first, i hurt my arm yesterday really bad playing soccer, it might be broken, the doctor said i might need surgery, I'm going to go get x rays in a couple hours, it hurts really bad, and even worse to type haha so this will be short. First, my new companion is Elder Herrera and we are in Zona Nealtican! our areas (we have 2) are Reforma (literally the smallest ward in mexico, maybe even the world) and Xaltepetl. Nealtican is called mini utah because there are so many members here. It's about the size of loomis and it's out away from the city like loomis, so i love it, but there are also something like 8 wards, 9 soon. We are still out in a pueblo though, that means little village, yay im living in a little mountain village just like Link! Also i live near a volcano just like link! haha It's pretty crazy though, when i told one of the guys here this morning that i hurt my arm he told me to go see the witch doctor... and he was serious, haha. This week is your birthday mom! Happy birthday!!!!!! I love you so much im so thankful to have the perfect mom as my mom :) Elder ramirez wants to know if you got his card yet too. Oh something funny that happened is that during sacrament meeting, a dog came strolling in and wandered around for a while then left haha, it happened a few times. There are a ton of stray dogs here. Ok I gotta run, and my arm is killing me super super bad. Love you so much! Talk to you in a bit,
Elder Branden Carl Astle


                                                       Elder Astle and old companion,
                                         Elder Knowlton and new companion Elder Hererra

                                              Branden in a local park

                                      Elder Astle and new companion Elder Herrera

                                   Elder Astle and the famous Jose Luis. Elder Astle will miss him!

                                           Elder Astle and his new area, Nealtican

                                            The roads are a little dustier in Nealtican...

                          Another view of Nealtican with Popo volcano in the background

                                Alright Elders!! Ice Cream with Oreos for BREAKFAST?!

What a long week it has been!

First of all I have to apologize for not posting Branden's letter last week. He thought that he might have surgery because they thought he broke his arm, thus his letter was rather short... I will however post it after this one.

Aye mum,
Guess what? My arm is pretty much all better! It just hurts a little bit every now and again and when I try to write things with a pen, unfortunately I'm not as strong anymore, i tried lifting a car with one hand the other day like normal, it didn't work. Oh well. Well this week has been tough, not a lot of work to tell you about because there hasn't been a lot of work happening, I'm sorry. We try our best and we try to get to our appointments on time but it seems like everyone forgets and isn't home or is in the middle of something. It's pretty tough but we are trying our best. It's pretty tough though. I love my new area, living on the side of an active volcano and learning a dialect called Nauatl is pretty great. I haven't gotten any packages for a while, we are out we far from the city so we don't get mail or anything very often at all. Mom I have to tell you that I'm very very proud of you for indexing. It makes me so happy to know you are serving and helping others with your time. I love you mom. I love everyone so much and miss everyone so much too. I cant believe Kimmy is having another girl, I'm SOOOOO excited!!! Like really excited haha. I don't have much to tell you though, i left my list of things at home. I do want you all to know that I know that the Church is true. I know Heavenly Father loves us more than we can imagine and wants to bless us so much and it makes Him so happy when He can bless us, so let's be obedient, as obedient as we can, so we make Heavenly Father happy and He can bless us. I love you all, I'm so excited and so thankful that we'll get to spend forever together. I love you all, remember your responsibilities to be like Christ and share the Gospel too. I love you all and pray for you all.
Talk to you in a bit,
Elder Branden Carl Astle

After a hard fall last week while playing soccer, Branden had to get an xray. Not broken!!
His email last week talked about possible surgery! It has been a long week waiting to hear!

                   Elder Astle sad because their appointment at the top of the hill didn't show,
                         but what a beautiful view of the town below.

                                   Should I be worried? No he is on the Lord's Errand!

                                                 He is more out in the country now!

                                     Cold in Mexico? I guess when the elevation is higher..

                                               Chilemoya....he said it tasted weird!

                                         He just called this one: PIE! He looks pretty happy!

                                            He calls this one TACOS!

                                                Elder Astle plays Joseph Smith in the Ward's
                                                 Relief Society Anniversary celebration!

Such a cute cast!
Another Volcano pix

                                                         Elder Astle made a friend!

                                   Elder Astle and another four legged friend!