Monday, March 17, 2014

I'm sorry that it has been so long since I posted Elder Astle's letters and pix! I started sharing the pix on Facebook but have come to realize I need to post here too! I'm posting today's letter and will go back and catch up. Please forgive me! Danita

Aye mum,
I love you and miss you so much.  I love and miss my family, my friends, and my ward family so much.  I honestly think I was able to grow up in one of the best environments of all time.  I love you all!  This week was interesting.  We played Ping Pong today!!!! I loved it so much haha.  I'm still the zone champ don't worry.  I feel bad because I know things happen, but as you probably know, the days just begin to blend together and I can't remember if I have told you something yet or not or if something happened this week or the last week or when, I just want you to know that I love it.  I'll just tell you about some really good experiences I had this week.  First I went on exchanges with the Elders from La Joya in Cuanala. During the exchanges we went and taught a recent convert sister who was feeling really sick.  She got up and out of bed just to listen to our message.  We talked about faith and gave her a blessing, I kow she loved it and was feeling uplifted afterward.  As we were leaving her father in law, she lives with them, was waiting by the door for us and would not let us leave without cleaning our shoes.  He got down on his hands and knees and cleaned each one of our shoes and afterward got up and hugged us and told us that he loved us so much.  It really was such an amazing experience and I was so grateful and humbled by it.  I feel so bless to be here.  On Saturday I did a baptismal interview for a little girl named Italia.  The interview went great, she has been going to church for over 6 months, alone.  She's 8.  It was incredible to hear her testimony afterward about how her parents didn't want to let her be baptized because they aren't members.  She told me that she never was worried because she always prayed and knew Heavenly Father would help them have an eternal family.  Her parents will be baptized next week.  At the end of the interview I told her never to forget how God blesses us and I showed her a foto of my parents and how grateful I am to have them in my life and that we are going to have an eternal family too.  She told me that my mom is REALLY pretty.  I told her I agree.  I love you all, I'm so thankful for the mercies of the Lord.  Although I went through some very hard trials this week, I know that these blessings truly were tender mercies of the Lord.  He loves us so much.  I love you all too, talk to you soon,
Elder Branden Carl Astle

                                                      Sitting alone on an old bus!

                                           Elder Cool and Elder Rasmussen! Sometimes he is just too funny!