Monday, April 29, 2013

Hello From Elder Waidmann

Hello Family and Friends,
It is hard to believe that 2 months have already passed.
I thought finding people to teach would be a lot easier because there are so many people. But the problem is that there are so many people! And the area that we are in isn't really that highly populated with Spanish people so it is kinda hard. But so one investigator that we had told us that she was going to come to church this Sunday and she didn’t show so that was tough. And the problem is that also everyone works all the time.
It’s tough because when people aren’t working they are at home either sleeping or trying to do something with their families. But basically they are always working. But i am trying! So basically the Spanish is coming but I just don’t know a lot because we don’t use it a lot here but I keep working on it.  Thanks so much for all of the prayers though! It is much appreciated! ;)
On Saturday we do a finding activity and we play soccer so we can get investigators and less actives and members together with the missionaries and we played on the side of one of the roads in a field kinda thing and it was full of dandelions and it just totally reminded me of you mom and how I would always pick dandelions and give them to you and how you would always be so happy that I gave you one even though it was a weed :) Oh I miss those days :) So yeah the food is pretty good! We are fed decently! We only have like one or two nights a week that we aren't fed and that is probably because there are 3 sets of missionaries in our ward. Today we are going to the brooklyn bridge and I think next week or the week after we are going to the statue of liberty so that will be way cool! :) 

Oh and tell Tyler Nielson that I went to Coney island! Because right before I left he said hey "when you go to New York will you go to Coney island for me??" So I can proudly tell little Tyler Nielson that I have been there :) Everything is good! There are people everywhere! And that it is tough but I know that i am here for a reason! I just gotta keep plugging along and trusting in the lord! :)

Happy Birthday Grandpa Sprouse on May 2nd and Grandma Waidmann on May 5th. I love you both. Enjoy your birthday.

That is crazy about it being so hot back in Cali! Here it is raining today! Crazy right???

I know the church is true and love sharing it with all I meet.  Faith is confidence and trust in Jesus Christ that lead a person to obey him. Faith must be centered in Jesus Christ in order for it to lead a person to salvation.
Love you all.
Elder Brandon Waidmann

Elder Waidmann and Elder Wooley in New York the day they arrived.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hello from the Big Apple

Hello Everyone,
I only have a few minutes to email because we are having a district activity.  We have had a very busy week. Still working hard on learning Spanish. I know I will get it. Holding conversations is very difficult. Please pray for me.
Funny story:
I was brushing my teeth before bed and then all of a sudden I saw something in the mirror behind me and then I looked and BAM, there was a cockroach about the size of your thumb. Yeah, no joke it was huge. Needless to say it was killed within a minute and it smelled so bad! Anyway yeah that is the gross story for the day :)
You have to watch these Mormon messages! 
Lifting Burdens
Mountains to climb

Oh my goodness! They are incredible! You might want to keep a tissue with you just in case :) Because that is how good they are!
So yeah conference was just so good and I loved it so much! :) I can't wait to be able to read the talks when the ensign comes out because we get one so that will be way coooool!
I love being here in New York. I love my Savior Jesus Christ.
Please go and do some good today and lift some ones burdens. Love one another! Life is too short to hold onto anger or hurt feelings. Make some ones day by saying kind words. You can make a difference. 
I love you all so much and thank you for your love prayers and support.
Elder Brandon Waidmann

Monday, April 15, 2013

"Hello here from New York"

Well hello hello here from New York!!! 

Wowwww so yeah it is week 2 here! It is pretty crazy!! So here is an update! Yes New York is great! It is crazy in fact! I am kinda amazed daily at how insane everything here is! It definitely takes some getting used to! So here is how the week went!!! Sorry if this is kinda short! We have a zone activity soon and I gotta hurry to type!! Ok anyway!!! :) So last monday was my p-day and that was good!! :) after emailing we went and cleaned up the pad a little and I finally finished unpacking yeah I know it is pretty crazy huh I hadnt even finished unpacking!! :) But its all good! Then we got ready and went to Family Home Evening at the church with the single adults in the ward and had a lesson and dinner with them and that was good! :) Then we look through the area book because there is a lot to go through in there! So that was good! 

Tuesday! It was such a good day! We had our district meeting after we did morning studies! And then we had quarterly interviews with president claderwood! Wow that was awesome! He is such an amazing man. Seriously he is called of God to lead this mission it is amazing. Seriously you can just feel the authority and power that he has to lead this work. His vision for our mission is awesome! :) He is so nice too I just love him a bunch! Then we went and had a dinner appointment with an older guy in our ward who is way cool! Then after that we went to a family from the ward and had a lesson with them and then we headed back to the pad! 

Wednesday was good! We had our studies in the morning and then we went and did a street sweep for the english class that we teach! That was cool! It is just where we go on a busy avenue in brooklyn and hand our flyers for the free english class that we teach throughout the week at the church. SO that was pretty cool! Then we went back to the church and got our stuff and went to an appointment at a members home and taught them which was good! Then after that we went to correlation with the ward mission leader at his house and that went well! And then we looked up people that we have been trying to get in contact with. 
Thursday! so we studied and then we went to the church to do weekly planning for a couple of hours and we planned ya know... the week :) Then after doing that for quite a long while we went and got dinner from a lady in the ward and came back to the church and ate because her family wasn't home. Then we went to go and talk to a family in the ward and it ended up that they were busy so we went all the way back to the church and then taught english class which went quite well! We had a good turn out! Around 14 people I think! Man it is tough to teach english. I just think where do I start?? Haha but it is ok and then I got to give a spiritual thought and I did it about something general so it could apply to everyone there! And so I talked about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and how He has a plan for each of us and knows us personally. My Spanish wasn't the greatest but its ok! Then we went back to the pad!

Friday! We had studies and then we went to the church for our zone training meeting. We had that for a couple of hours and that was good! We basically just went over mission goals and our mission vision and things like that! So that was good! Then we had lunch and went to look people up again. Then we met up with the other elder from our district and had dinner at a members house! It was great! Then guess who the missionaries selected to give the lesson? Oh yeah! That is me! I feel like this is going to happen quite often but its ok! I gotta practice my spanish! Then I did that and we went back to the church and then I went on a trio with the other elders in my district because elder goates got asked to sing at a funeral and so we went out and tried to contact people and then came back and met up and went home!

Saturday! We had out studies and then we went and did a finding activity near the church! We played soccer! We had members come and invite their friends so they could get to know the missionaries! That was good! Then we went and changed and went to a lunch appointment at a members house! Ok the food that the members make here is bomb! Just saying :) Then after that we went and met up with the elders at the church and went with them to give a lady in the ward a blessing. That was cool! I definitely didn't do that! :) Elder Hernandez did because he is a champ at speaking spanish! Then we went with the elders to help them find their dinner appointment with a member and when we got there what we found out is that  the member lady who we went to had been praying to see elder goates because she hadn't seen him in a long time and she knew that if it was only two elders that came she couldnt have them come in, and then we showed up and she was just so happy. That lady is amazing. Seriously. Her testimony and her spirit are just so strong. It is people like her that make all of the hard times worth it. She kept encouraging me with my spanish which was so nice :) She is an incredible lady. Then we went to go look up more people and we ended up finding the sisters in our district while they were trying to find people too. Then on the way back elder goates wanted to grab something from a gas station and we went in and a lady came up to us and said "Y'all are mormons??" And we said yep! and then she said "you give away free books" and we were like heck yes we do! And then elder goates gave her a book of mormon to read and what was even crazier is that the elders who spoke english in that area walked in right before she asked the question! And elder goates was just like well here are the guys to talk to! and then as we were leaving she said that she was going to church! And we were so happy for her! But those elders go to a different building so we'll have to ask and see what happens.

Sunday! So wow! First sunday! It was so good! We had studies in the morning and then we went to church and it was fast sunday so it was cool because i got to here a lot of members share their testimonies during sacrament meeting! That was great! And I and the new elders and the new sister had to introduce ourselves  and also share our testimonies. Yeah. I was so nervous!!! Oh my goodness! And I had to go after our district leader elder jensen who speaks amazing spanish. But I got up there and did it! Wow. It was crazy. So much bigger than spanish branch in lincoln! But I did it and apparently I did a good job! That is what the elders told me which was comforting! So then we had the rest of church which was great and I got to know a lot of memebers! Then elder goates and I taught a lesson after church and then we went with the elders and sisters to a dinner appointment with a family in the ward! The people here are so nice! They are always willing to feed us :) So we had that and then we went out and looked for people again! That was the week! 

So it was pretty good! Hopefully we can find and teach more people this week! That would be awesome! Thank you so much for all of your prayers! I love you all so very much! It is crazy to be here but good at the same time! The spanish is so tough because we don't use it super often because our area is so big and there arent too many people that speak spanish around us but I am trying! It was a good week and I am learning a lot! My testimony is growing and so is my love for the people here! I love you all so much!! 

Elder Waidmann

Monday, April 8, 2013

"We had arrived in the Big Apple"

Well hello there everyone!!

Yes it is good news! I am alive! I don't know how I am feeling quite yet but ya know!! Ok just kidding. But really though since i have been here in New York I still don't know how to take it all in exactly. It is interesting. Very interesting here but hey here is the good news!! I am loving it!! It is so crazy here in New York! Like wow. Definitely not what I had expected!! But well now that I think about it I am not sure if I expected anything really. I was just so excited that I could hardly stand myself!! Haha ok!!! So here we go! I will try to tell about as much stuff as I can from this last week that I think all of you might find somewhat interesting or at least I hope so!! Ok so we got up last monday at about 3 in the morning and got ready to leave the MTC! Then we went to the travel office and we checked in and we loaded our bags onto a truck! I was privileged enough to be selected to help everyone put their bags in! Yeah I know what you are all thinking too...why him?? I am not sure why they picked me either!! Haha!! They probably were thinking wow this elder is so  tiny and has like  no muscles soooooo we should make him lift all of the bags in the truck so when he gets to the field he will be huge!! Haha just kidding! But it was all good!! I loaded all of everyone's stuff in with the help of other people and then we got on the bus and we headed to the airport! 

Wow it was crazy to leave the MTC. Like seriously I don't know how anybody could not like that place. It is the best!!! It is so much fun there and the spirit there is absolutely incredible!!! Anyway so we got to the airport and got in the line to put our bags on the plane and mine were 48 and 46 pounds! Success!! :) It was great! Then Elder Woolley and I got in the Suuuuuuperlong security line and finally got through after our bags got checked and I would have the one carry on bag that gets checked. :) It is all good though! So then we got through and went to our gate and waited for our flight to come! Then I went to use my calling card that I bought from the bookstore at the MTC and then BAM!! Some guy came out of nowhere and gave me and Elder Woolley his phones to use which was so super nice of him! So I got to call home for like about 5 minutes and then we had to board! So we had a wuick flight to Denver and then right when we were getting off of the plane some guy on the plane who was sitting next to Elder Woolley offered to buy us all breakfast!! And I was like WHAT???? But it was so nice of him! He was such a nice guy and he bought us all breakfast and then went on his merry way to another flight! It was just our district from the MTC and another sister not the entire plane of missionaries because there was 22 of us!! 

View from the Brooklyner

Ok so then after we ate I got to go to a phone thing and call all y'all for freee which was way cool! Like awesome! So basically I bought 2 phone cards from the mtc as souvenirs...nice :) Haha it is ok though! But then right after we were done talking on the phone we went straight onto the plane and flew to New York! It wasn't too bad of a flight! So then we landed and bam! we had arrived in the Big Apple! Pretty sweet!!! Then we went down to the baggage claim to wait for our bags and yeah we waited for quite some time let me  tell ya! It was ok though! But after we had been waiting for a while for our bags we met Sister Calderwood! The mission presidents wife! She is super duper nice! And then the assistants came a minute or two behind her and we got to meet them which was cool! So that was great! Then President Calderwood showed up!!! Ah it was so good to meet him! He is an incredible man. You can just feel the spirit of his calling being around him. He is awesome! So we threw our bags into a big van and headed off to the Brooklyner! It is a super tall and nice apartment place in Brooklyn and it has an incredible view! We got to drive there with one of the assistants. WOW. Let me just say, best car ride ever. It was insane and crazy and maybe life threatening....okay the last part was maybe a little exaggeration, and maybe not :) Just kidding! But we got to go up the the roof and enjoy the incredible and beautiful view! It was so awesome!! And we also got to have New York pizza! Way cool! President got us some! It was pretty good! So while we were up there we did some mission goal setting and things like that and also had a mission orientation. That was good! Then after that we went to the mission home and had another meeting there which was super great! President and Sister Calderwood both talked to us and it was just wonderful! :) I really loved it!

Then it was time to go to bed! So that was that day! It was awesome! Then we got up the next morning and got ready and then headed out to the mission office for our transfer meeting!! Wow! It was another wonderful car ride there :) And then we got in the mission office, that is the mission office combined with another church building and had more orientation and things like that and then we went to meet our trainers! So wow! Yeah! We got into the room and they read off who was being trained by who! Ok so my new companion is Elder Goates! He is from Utah and is on his 5th transfer! He hasn't been out super long but his spanish is pretty awesome! And so we are serving on Coney Island! Yep! It is pretty sweet! Our area is technically called Dyker Heights! I wish I could describe more to you of where I am but you know...yeah I am lost like all the time. For real though. I like never know where I am haha :) But it is ok I am doing my best to try to get used to it and to try to adjust. So yes. The city is huge! I guess we are in the burrough of Brooklyn! So that is cool! And we don't have a car because we are in the heart of the city and we walk, and ride the subway and take the bus everywhere! And by everywhere I really do mean everywhere :) So yeah on tuesday we went back to to pad and then dropped off my stuff, then we went shopping for some things since our pad was completely empty on food. Then we went to my first dinner appointment where I met one of the members in the ward! It was great! Rice and beans all the way baby :) So then the rest of the week has just been normal missionary life! Get up early and have long days! :) It has been really good though. So the area in which I am where our church building is. Oh man Josh would be in paradise. I think that they accidentally built the church building in China. Like no joke. It is a huge population of Chinese people where the church is at! So we share the building with a chinese ward! And I can say free english class in chinese! Pretty sweet! :) But so what me and elder goates have been doing is trying to work on getting in contact with people that haven't been to church in a while and to have them come back. And also great news!!!!! We have a brand new investigator!! Wow! We taught her for the first time yesterday! She came to conference and watched a whole session and then we taught her the first lesson and she seemed to love it! It was way cool! So hopefully she will keep progressing! It was cool to be able to teach! 

I know this is why I am here! To help bring others to Christ! That is the goal! I just want others to know of the love that the Savior has for them and the joy that comes when we follow what he has asked us to do! It has been an insane week. Like just crazy but I am really enjoying it so far. My spanish is ya know not good. But I am trying to be patient! It's a virtue!! It's just hard because I am not fully immersed in it so its tough to learn everything that I want to I guess. But I will try to get better! :) So New York is crazy! It is one big city filled with so many different people. It is crazy. The work here is tough because there aren't too many members of the church but that is what I am here for! I am going to find those who really have that desire to follow Christ. Because I know that when we do the darkness in our lives disappears and is filled with pure light and happiness. It is amazing what the Savior can do. I love Him so much. And just being here has strengthened my testimony of the Church and of Our Savior Jesus Christ so much! Because I just see all of these people and How is it that he could suffer and know each one of us? I don't know exactly how I just know that it is true because I have felt His love in my life and I know that he knows me and each one of us individually. He can call us by name. I know it. I know that this Church is true and that Christ leads it through a living prophet on the Earth today. I am so grateful to be a missionary. Yes. It is hard. It really is. And I am so tired all the time. But I know that this is what I need to do because there are people here that need the truth! I am going to help them know it! I love you all so much! General conference was soooooooooooooooooooooooo good! Oh my goodness! But it went by so fast! I can't wait to be able to learn more from them in the Ensign! I love you all so much! Stay strong! Pray for me please! I need it. Like really bad! :) Because I am praying for all of you! I know that this is God's work! It is awesome! :) Love you all so much! Life is great and amazing! And of course it is beautiful! :) I love you all so much! 

Elder Waidmann