Monday, August 26, 2013

"We are loving it here in New York"

"I got this bag for Elder Hernandez since he is from Honduras."

Birthday breakfast for Elder Martinez
Hey there!

I hope that all is well with everyone! I love and miss you all so very much! This past week was really good! We are loving it here in New York! It was Elder Martinez's birthday on Saturday! Yay! We celebrated! By doing you know what?! Missionary work! Oh yeah! It was sweet! We had a good time! I made him some breakfast and then put candles on the pancakes and stuff I made and then wax got everywhere and the candles blew out when I was presenting him with his breakfast.....yeah should have thought that one through a little but more :) But it is okay! We had a great time!

I went on an exchange with Elder Hernandez on Friday and it was super sweet! We always have a great time together! He is the coolest Honduranian I know, even though he is the only Honduranian I know! But hey that's okay right? :) I love our district! Elder Parker just got to our area at the beginning of the transfer.  He is from Las Vegas and has been out on his mission since January. We also got another Sister missionary in our district who leaves to go home in December and another Sister missionary that just got here straight from Puerto Rico! Super cool! So now we have 3 native speakers in the district! It is sooooo cool! I love it!

This week was good! Elder Martinez and I are working hard and trying to do the best that we can to bless the lives of others around us! We could have three super solid investigators by the end of the week, maybe even four if things turn out the way that we hope! The gospel of Jesus Christ is an amazing thing and can bless the lives of all those who come to know it. I testify of this truthfulness.  I love you all so very much!

Love, Elder Waidmann

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass"

Well hello everyone!

Can I say that today has been seriously one of the coolest experiences ever! I shall explain! So we went to the U.S. Open! The qualifiers were going on today and there was a pretty good amount of people there! The part that stunk though was that I had to leave my backpack outside, which meant that I couldn't bring my camera in! Ah I was so so sad! But seriously being at the U.S. Open was soooo cool! Like seriously one of the biggest dreams come true! I loved it so so much! So first when we got there I got to go on grandstand and Jelena Jankovic was playing, so that was sweet! We were in the front row and were able to watch her for awhile! Then, Stan the man Wawrinka (Stanislas Wawrinka) walks onto the court with Richard Gasquet! Oh my goodness it was so awesome! I was freaking out! I was like 5 feet from both of them at different times! It seriously was just incredibly amazing and I loved every second of it! I wanted to get on that courts and play with them so so bad! It is so incredible to actually be there and to experience it in person! It is so much cooler than seeing it on TV!  They are just all so ridiculously good… it is incredible!

Then we heard from a kid that was sitting next to us that Andy Murray was on another court.  No way!!! Sure enough he was, and it was so cool! I got right next to him too and I got to watch him play! Man that guy is a baller! It is just amazing how good these guys are! It was really cool that they were there just practicing! I got to go on Louis Armstrong stadium too, as that was where Andy Murray was playing! It was so cool! Then I realized Ivan Lendl was right there too! Oh my goodness!  So then I went and watched Wawrinka and Gasquet play for a little longer and they were playing a practice match and man they were going at it… let me tell you! I said to Stan "Beautiful" and then he turned around and said "Thanks"! I loved it! Boom… Stan Wawrinka was talking to me! It was so cool! He is soo good! His backhand was so beautiful!

So then we got ready to leave and just walked around a little more and this is the sad part … I checked the phone and had a missed call from the other Elders.  I found out that I had missed getting a tennis ball signed by Andy Murray, Wawrinka and Gasquet as they were leaving.  Elder Hernandez got pictures with Wawrinka and Gasquet too!  I could not believe that I missed that. Bummer!  It was still so cool to be there though.  Elder Hernandez as loving as he is, gave me his ball that got autographed!  So that was way sweet!

So enough about tennis... :) This week was really good! We had a zone conference this week and it was awesome! I learned a lot and it is always so awesome to have those meetings and be able to see our Mission President, President Calderwood! We have a new investigator …which is sweet!  We also had some good lessons with some other families in the ward. Overall it was really good! We met some cool people who we hadn't seen before and that was great. Little by little more things are happening and the Lord is blessing us which is great. Just like the scripture in the Book of Mormon states, “ (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…” (Alma 37: 6-7)  By small and simple things, things are happening and the Lord is making a way. The work is tough, but it is awesome and I am so very blessed to be here! It is crazy that it has been 6 months already! I just know that I am where I am supposed to be and I am so grateful to be here and I am so blessed too! I love it! It is hard, but so wonderfully good!

I love you all so much! Stay strong and love the Lord. He knows all and is so good to us.

Love, Elder Waidmann

Monday, August 12, 2013

Invite others to come unto Christ...

"Our roof adventure... super fun!"
"Check out this umbrella I found in the pad... it's HUGE!"
Hello Everyone!

This week was crazy, but so good! So first off now we have two other Elders living with us in our pad! It is crazy, but it is so much fun! It is way cool because one of them was really good friends with Elder Martinez in high school! I mean check that out! It’s a small world right?  But it is way fun! It is super crowded, but cool! We love being able to share our stories with each other and give each other advice about certain things in the mission! It is sweet!

So on Tuesday we had to take a bunch of our new Elder’s stuff to our pad and let me tell you… that trip back to the apartment was like the longest half an hour of my life! Haha … just kidding! We probably looked like bums with the suitcases, backpacks and bags that we were carrying with us!  Let me tell you, the people on the bus that we took back were probably hating us because the bus was SOOOOO crowded when we were making this trek back (figures … haha) and so it was so hard to get all of the stuff on there.  Then every stop we hit, more and more people were getting on and nobody was getting off! It was just adding to the crowdedness of it! So when it came for us to get off of the bus, it was definitely an interesting experience because I was stuck and wedged between so many people and I had to get through them all. Let me just say it was an adventure! Haha.  Just imagine me with an over 50 pound suitcase, 2 backpacks, a side bag and another bag! Crazy, right! I looked like a hunch back (according to Elder Martinez… haha) It was a fun journey though!

Last night we had a wonderful experience! We met a lady earlier during the week on the street and she acted like she knew us.  We then found out that her husband was a member and she expressed that she wanted us to come over and visit with them.  So last night we did and it was an awesome lesson! We got to know them really well and it was a fun and cool experience to be with that family. I really hope that we can continue to work with them and help them grow! She seems to have a desire to have her family in the gospel. It was really cool! I loved it!

Guess what? I have the Missionary Purpose memorized in 4 languages… Soon to be 7! I have already memorized it in English, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin!   It is super cool and I love learning it. This way when we meet people who speak different languages, we can explain what our purpose is as missionaries, in their native language. In English the Missionary Purpose is to: Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. 

I love you all so very much! Thank you so much for all that you do for me! Keep strong! I know that this work is true and that I am here for a reason!

Elder Waidmann

Thursday, August 1, 2013

"He is the reason why we are able to love and breathe everyday"

"I love this kid so much"
Well hello y’all!

I really can’t say why exactly I wrote y'all when I am not even in the south or anything close to it here in New York. It is just fun.

It sounds as though things are going well with everyone! Mondays are great! But they definitely make me miss home just a little bit! It is kind of weird not being able to play tennis everyday and not going to the lake a bunch, but I know that here is where I am supposed to be and it is where the Lord wants me to be, most importantly. This week went by so quick and it was full of greatness! We have been trying to visit more member families to try to get to know our ward better so we can continue to grow and love them more and more.  So that has been going good!

Oh and just a quick side note! Last week when we were helping a member in our ward move he gave me his tennis racquet!!! Oh my goodness! It was awesome! So this week right before we went out to do an activity to advertise our English class I practiced my stroke and oh man!!! It felt incredible!!!! It’s been 5 months since I have played tennis and I sure do miss it! I bet that Blake could easily kick my bum! Haha.

Anyway, so this week I had the opportunity to go on an exchange with Elder Yates, one of my zone leaders and that was great! We had a great time and I got to drive again! It was sweet! It is amazing how you get places SO MUCH FASTER because walking definitely takes quite a bit of time. J So we basically did service all day on our exchange because a new couple was moving in and we helped them move! They had SO MUCH STUFF it was incredible!! I had a really good time with him!

Yesterday was so great! I love Sundays so so much! Church was so good because… well it always is… and also President and Sister Calderwood (my mission president and his wife) came spoke at our ward! It was so cool! They even spoke in Spanish too, so that was awesome!!! :) It was such a wonderful experience to have them there and the Spirit of the meeting was so strong! I love how President Calderwood talked about how we need to unify our efforts completely to bring about the happiness and joy of others! It is so true!  When the wards and members share the same goals as the missionaries and vice versa, there is a wonderful spirit of unity and everything works together!

Also, last night our activity where we go to Sunset Park, to talk to people, hand out free lemonade and advertise for our free English class… got cancelled because of the rain. So Elder Martinez and I had block of time open.  We were thinking about what we should do and as I was thinking I had a really strong impression come into my mind that wouldn't go away. The impression was that we should go and try to visit the Flores family, which is who I have told you all about before.  I decided to listen because I know that when I don't listen to the impressions and promptings of the Spirit, I always end up regretting it.  I knew at this moment that it was a prompting from the Spirit. It has been more than a transfer ago since we had last seen them. Upon arriving to their home, we were so blessed to find that they were home and that they let us in. One of the ladies in whom we had given a Book of Mormon previously, had read quite far into the Book of Mormon and she said that she had questions for us. It was a great experience to be able to share our beliefs with them once again and answer her questions. There was such a special spirit there, especially when I asked her how she felt when she reads the Book of Mormon. Her reply was so simple and I felt the spirit's presence so strongly as she said how she felt peace and comfort as she read, because she could understand it so much easier. It was so wonderful. I really hope that we can meet with them continually and help them progress! I am so happy that I listened to the Holy Spirit and that the Lord trusted me enough to give it to me. It was so cool to be able to have that visit with them! I loved it and the Spirit was incredible there! So hopefully we can continue to help them read and understand, but most importantly accept these things into their lives.  

Thank you for all of your love and support! I love you all so much. This work is true. I know it is. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be here. That simple. But, I know it is and that is why I am here is because I love my Heavenly Father so much and I love Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our older brother and our best friend. He is our Savior and Redeemer. He is the reason why we are able to love and breathe everyday. I know that all these things are true because I have had them testified to me through the power of the Holy Ghost. Please take the opportunity to learn for yourself, if you haven't! I know this gospel will bless your life immensely! Thank you to all who read this and share these experiences with me! I love you all so much!

Con Amor,

Elder Brandon Lee Waidmann