Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"The worth of every soul is great"

Well hello there everyone! 

It seems as though you are all enjoying your summer! That is awesome! I am so happy for you all! Well just in case you are wondering, everything here is going great! There are people everywhere and smells everywhere... bad and good!  Haha.  Brooklyn is so busy, crazy and unpredictable... that it is almost becoming predictable haha :) 

This last week was good! I have been out for 5 months now. It is pretty crazy because it doesn't really seem real! I don't really know how to explain it. I feel like I just got here, but at the same time, not really! Haha. Elder Martinez and I are having a really good time working and learning together. He loves the Gospel and has a great testimony.  I love him so much! We have a blast together and we always make each other laugh! Now all we need is some people to teach! :) I gave a talk in church yesterday and that was interesting ... seeing as I barely speak Spanish! Crazy, but it went okay though I think! I talked about every member being a missionary! I based my talk upon the talks from Russel M. Nelson and Neil L. Anderson from the last General Conference!  In the talk I said, "Hey, look at what we have!! The gospel is something so so special and we need to share it with everyone!" :) So I hope that the members feel how we feel as missionaries!  Seriously without people sharing the gospel on their own efforts the results of bringing other to Christ can be slower.  But when the members are there and helping the missionaries with one of their friends...BOOM! It is so awesome and it works!  I mean, look at Chris Ahrens!  He is serving right now and doing the same thing! :) We need every member to be a missionary! 

So right now we are in the mode of trying to visit with members in our ward area to find people who are interested in more about the gospel! All I want to do is bless the lives of others and help them realize that there is so much more to life than it may seem!  I am loving being a missionary and yes, at times it can be tough when so much of our time is spent trying to figure out how to find those individuals who are seeking the truth. We are trying to show our faith and to work hard. It is tough, but I know that it is worth it!  The worth of every soul is great in the sight of God and I know that. I know that is so true and that is why I am here! 

Here is the scripture for the week. It is found in the Book of Mormon, in Alma 37:6-7.  It reads, "(6) Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.  (7) And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls." This scripture is so true because by doing small and simple things, our testimonies can grow and we can find the truth in our lives.  By these small and simple things we can learn how to apply the most important things into our lives and bring others to the knowledge and happiness we have. We can't all be perfect and amazing at everything all at once… because that would defeat the purpose of this life! We are here to learn and grow.   The only way to do this is to do so simply, with sureness in our steps and faith that as we do the right things we will be blessed.  

I really hope that you all are doing so well! I love you all so very much!

Elder Brandon Waidmann

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"Preach the gospel and if necessary use words"

"This is what my wonderful district gave me... they are the best!"

Hi everyone!!!

I hope that you are all doing so well!! So it is crazy that we are already half way through the month of July! I find that just insane... the time is going by very quick. What is insane is that by the end of this week I will have been out for 5 months. Holy cow. That is just crazy! It really is! I mean I am nowhere close to finishing my mission, but hey 5 months has gone by insanely fast! I still feel like I just got here, but in a sense I feel like I have been here for a very long time :) Which is good too!

So here is an update on things: Elder Martinez and I are loving it here! I just love him to death! We are so much alike and he is hilarious! We both love the work here but we just need some people to teach! We are so ready to bring the joy of the gospel into others lives! We just have to find them! :) I love him so much! We are pretty much the same age so we have a very similar mindset to a lot of things which is way cool! 

We are trying to read through the whole Book of Mormon in Spanish together as a companionship by the end of our first 12 weeks together! Yes, it is a pretty intense task but we are up to it! :)  Also we are trying to practice our Spanish more... because hey, this kid needs it! :) I am the whitest gringo you know from California, so I definitely need to practice :) The Lord has definitely blessed me, which is so so so great! :) 

I am loving it here! Yes it is hard, but it is fun! I am trying to lose myself in the work and to just love everything and everyone even when in New York things are pretty crazy! We have a trainer and trainee meeting this week so I will get to see Elder Wooley and Elder Martinez will get to see his MTC companion.  He is way stoked for that because they were really close.  My testimony of the Atonement has grown so much this past week! I have learned so much and it has been incredible! I love NY!!! I love you all so very much! Preach the gospel and if necessary use words :)

Elder Waidmann

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"Our solace comes from Jesus Christ"

Elder Brandon Waidmann with his signed shirt by Brandon Heath.

Elder Brandon Waidmann with his birthday gifts.
Well hello there all!!!!

I am no longer an 18 year old missionary! It is kinda sad I have to say. I loved being able to say that I was 18 and I hate having to say that I am older! Me and Elder Martinez were talking about this earlier this week! We just wish so so bad that we could go back a couple of years and enjoy the carefree life again! Growing up. Not fun! But being on a mission is! Don't get me wrong here! Being a missionary is great! I love it so much! It is fun! It is hard but I love it! :) 

So this past week was a tough one but it was good! We are trying our best to figure out ways to find new people to teach and to help learn more about our Savior, Jesus Christ! Because that is the sole reason why we are here! I am realizing something that I wish everybody could just know and understand. Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is different. Yes. There is no denying that. And I think that is what scares a lot of people from branching out and learning more. But the thing is, it really is the best kind of different there is in the ENTIRE WORLD!!! Seriously though! It is so true! I love being a missionary! And more importantly, I love being a member of this church. There is nothing like it... the best part is that as we do the things that Jesus has asked to do we are blessed beyond measure! It is so simple I love it! All we have to do is follow Him and strive our best to be like Him! He will always pick up the slack of  what we cant accomplish ourselves because HE loves US PERFECTLY!!! It is such a cool concept if you think about it! I mean really! Why would you not want to be like Christ?! He was so perfect and He still is because He lives! :) I love trying to be like Him and I love how He loves us so much!

Being here just strengthens my testimony of the Savior and His sacrifice for us so much! Rarely do I see the same person twice and just to think... He KNOWS everything about all these people. It really is incredible! It is amazing how His sacrifice for us all is so INDIVIDUAL and universal at the same time! It is just so cool! :) Individual to where He knows how to help us, to succor, love and bless us at every single moment because He literally knows how we feel! It is just incredible. That is what I want people to know! All we have to do is follow Him! That is it! Yes there are some things that are sacrificed and changed in the process, but once you do what He wants you to do, you look back and say... "Wow, look at the good I have done and look at the changes I have made. He does know what is best for me and I am so glad that I have done this". It is so true! I can testify of that with all of my heart! THIS IS TRUE. I would not be here in Brooklyn, New York spending day after day trying to get people to believe in something that I didn't know or think was true. That is just madness. But the truth is, I do know its true... because I have asked and had the truth confirmed to me by the power of the Holy Ghost...God's messenger to us! :) I know that things are hard in life, but being a member of this Church and knowing we always have someone to lean on makes EVERYTHING we do in this life worth it.

YES... Change is hard. But accepting the Gospel and living it doesn't mean you have to leave everything behind in your life. It truly means that you have more to hold on to. You gain more hope, happiness, joy, and love for others. It truly is a miracle. I love it. I live it! And I am so happy that I do! :)

I love this scripture from the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ! The scripture is from the book of Alma, Chapter 31 Verse 31.  It reads, "O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me..."

I love this scripture so much because it speaks of how our solace comes from Jesus Christ, Himself. He is the might healer of souls. He gives us comfort and rest in times of need. He is the only way and the light! I love Him!

I love all of you so much! Thank you for reading this! Please if anything, for those of you who may not be members and are reading, I invite you to learn more. I PROMISE with all of my heart you will feel something different! You will learn and be able to treasure so many new things. You will feel greater joy in your life. I know it. :) :) I love you all so very much!

Elder Brandon Waidmann

Thursday, July 4, 2013

"July is here!!"

July 1, 2013

Well hello everyone!!!
Can I say that this week has been a crazy one!!! Oh my goodness! So Tuesday was the day of transfer meeting and that is where I met my new and awesome companion Elder Martinez!!!! He is a great kid from Salt Lake City area! You know Utah! Pretty much everyone is from there it is crazy! Anyway he is from Farmington wherever that is! I just know that it is near Lagoon and I am sure that Josh and Kirsten are familiar with that...maybe?? Anyway so this week has been interesting! And tough but good! So Tuesday figures was like the most hot and humid day we have had here so far and we had to move all of his bags to our apartment! Luckily one of the companionships who was from Staten Island drove our stuff to the church for us! Yeah! That was great! So we took the train to hte Church and then had to lug the luggage back to our pad (haha no pun intended there) yeah I know bad joke! Anyway so that was good and a bit tiring and I can definitely say that we were like so soaked with ya know sweat!! It was not fun to say the least! But hey! It was something for the memory bank! It was so humid!!! Anyway so transfer meeting was really good! Elder Chan left! he was comps with Justin Casper! And they created a 10th zone in the mission that was intense!!! So the rest of the week was good! But just tough!
Since we are working the elliptical area we basically left everything behind us to start brand new here, so that means we have nobody to teach at all. So that has been tough on Elder Martinez and I! We are trying so hard! But nothing is happening just yet! but we are working that is for sure! What was awesome, is that Elder Martinez's first day here we were riding the bus to a train stop to get home after english class and boom!!! He gave a lady a Book of Mormon on the bus! It was awesome! She was telling Elder Martinez and I how her daughter wants to be a member of the church! It was kinda mind blowing to be honest! I was like for real???? And she was asking us a bunch of questions and it was just great! Hopefully something will turn out from that wonderful experience!
So here is a story from last night! After church we ate dinner and then went to the streets to talk to people and went to a park where there are a lot of people and man I had never been there on a night before and dang was there a lot of people! I guess is park day! Anyway so after that we were on our way back and we were at the train station and I saw a guy and just started talking to him and that was cool! We ended up finding out a lot about him! He was from Guatemala and was super cool! I talked to him for about 10 minutes or longer or so and this was all in Spanish! It was way cool! But he was doing a lot of the talking haha :) Anyway so at the end of the conversation....boom there was Elder Martinez right there to give him a Book of Mormon in spanish! Needless to say Elder Martinez is always ready to testify and to give! It is so great! So we both testified about the Book of Mormon and how we knew it was true and man it was great! So if anything happens from that would be cool! Elder martinez is a boss! What is cool is that we are basically the same age and we are ready to work! We are excited! The work is tough, but good! And what I always say to myself is that it was hard for Christ and His ministry when He was on the Earth. He is our perfect and loving example! I love him and I love being a missionary! Yes it's hard there is no lying about that but it is great! :)
I love you all so very much!
remember this!!! it is from 1st Peter 3:15 - be ready always to give ban answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the chope that is in you (love it!!!!!) be missionaries!! Spread the good news of the Gospel!!! :)
Love, Elder Brandon Lee Waidmann

"hermana watts and I (we've been together in the same district since the first day of our missions! Pretty crazy!"

"and me and elder martinez and elder woolley and elder farmer (his brand new companion) at transfer meeting!! :)"

"so here is our name tags!!!"

Elder Waidmann also wanted this quote from Jeffery R. Holland added to his blog: 

 "Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe."