Monday, February 23, 2015

"Some days you´re the dog, and others you´re the fire hydrant" - Week 33

February 23rd, 2015

     This week, we had one lesson in particular that stood out above all the rest. We had the opportunity to take investigators of ours to the temple as part of a temple trip our branch did. We took hermano Anibal and his daughter Estefani, along with her baby. In the gardens of the Santo Domingo Temple we taught the Plan of Salvation. A perfect lesson to teach, and to relate to the work of salvation that is done in temples all around the world. This was one of the most spiritual lessons I've had on my mission so far. No great promises were given, no revelations had, and no tears were shed. But there didn't need to be. It was a conversation completely guided by the Spirit and it was clear that His presence was felt that day in front of the spectacular view of the temple. If only we could teach all our lessons on temple grounds. If all goes well, Estefani and Elizabeth (another daughter) will be baptized soon. Anibal is not married, and his "Wife" doesn't want to, so we're still working with them.

Well, not much else noteworthy happened this week, and my computer crashed in the middle of writing this due to an ever so common power outage, so I had to start over and am now out of time. But thank you all for your prayers.

Love you all,
Elder Brady

PS. One day while teaching outside on some chairs, our investigator´s little brother came up to me, about four feet away, pulled down his pants, and without an ounce of shame began to pee directly on my foot. Luckily I stood up before it got to my pants. Sin verguenza eso muchacho! Imajinase, explicando a su mama, ¨hermana, perdoname, pero su hijo estaba orinando en mi pantelon ahorita¨!

Ha- Thought I'd let you all off without a stupid story eh?

Elder Castro and I playing and singing hymns. 
He also knows John Lennon's "Imagine"so that's a plus!

Anibal and Estefani

At the Temple

Elder Guzman and I... Man am I white!

La Zona Villa Mella

Monday, February 16, 2015

"Entrapped! -only, on the outside of the house... and Catherine Zeta Jones isn't in this one." - Week 32

February 16th, 2015


All is well here en La Republica Dominicana. We've got some pretty sweet investigators. One is a family, Anibal (the Father) Nibia, and their daughters Estefani, and Elizbet. We're taking them to the Temple this week to have a lesson in the gardens there. I'm super excited for it. We have to work slow with Anibal cause he has memory problems from years of drinking that he has now left behind, but he has a strong desire to learn and that's what's most important. We also have another person who knows a ton about the gospel, has a strong testimony of Joseph Smith and of everything else in the church, but has the ever so common problem of her "husband" not wanting to get married. They have 4 children together, and call each other spouses, but nothing on paper. Very common here. It's not even the money issue for them, he just doesn't want it. We're working with them though. We have some good people that we visit and are super excited for them. The members are willing to help us as well which is great. 

Lets see, what happened this week... I finally submitted to the inevitable consumption of a certain dominican delicacy called "patas de pollo" or -chicken feet. Apparently they eat the bones and all, so... I took a big crunchy bite. They're actually quite good tasting... (once you get past the image in your mind of munchin on tiny Oompa Loompa hands)

What else... Oh, we got locked out of our house today. Ya, we went out the back door when we left for the store because our neighbor, Willy, offered us some homemade herbal tea. It was delicious! (Side note- No principles of the Word of Wisdom were violated during the drinking of this tea.) Anywho, when we returned and unlocked the door we were very disappointed to remember that because we went out the back, the bolt locks on the front were still in place and untouched. It happens, right? So, we spent the next 45 minutes trying desperately with creatively made wire instruments to unlock the inside from the window. After having called the longest-armed member we could think of, we went around back and tried that door with Elder Valdes's Ole card. It worked! Needless to say, we won't be leaving from the back again.

Any way, thank you all so much for the love and prayers. Until next week!

Im afraid to announce, that in this new house, 
we had the same problem of a clogged sink. 
The two marks under my teary eyes represent my 
experience in the field of unclogging sinks. 
This one was a fighter... and the story, worthy of the "Hall of Victory"!
 This time we found a plastic spoon in the pipes! I don't ask the questions, 
Im just sent in to do the job no one else will do.

The bag wasn't sufficient for the stench. 
"-I'm not the hero they deserved, but the hero they needed."

Welcome to Ponce, Republica Dominicana

That's the city of Santo Domingo in the faded background

Couple o' G's on the roof top

Monday, February 9, 2015

"The Battle of Elder Brady" - Week 31

February 9th, 2015

Hello humans,

Had a pretty good week. We brought a really cool less active member named Junior to church with us yesterday. He loved it! He hadn't been in 9 months, so it was great. We're working with a lot of menos activos in this area. It's a good area, with great members. Finding people to teach continues to be fun. 

Well, I can easily say that I have faced my hardest trial of my mission so far. One rainy night, we enter the house of some investigators of ours. There it was. Only a glimpse, and it was too late. Their cousin was watching , yes... Wait for iiiiiiiiiiiiiit...... The Hobbit- Battle of Five Armies. We sat down, and I promptly faced my chair in a direction away from the TV. Elder Valdes sat and laughed as I fought the good fight, struggling not to see or hear anything. Trust me, it was no temptation to watch the movie. The last place I would ever want to is on a 15 inch, discolored TV, probably pirated version of this movie, in the DR, on my mission. My comp would occasionally say something like "They just set something down on the table. It seems important, cause they all gasped." Me- "Ïs it blueish-white and glowing?" -"Yes"  - "Thats the Arkenstone.... And ye know not of its value..." Let me tell you all, It was hell. I narrowly escaped with only seeing a troll with a catapult on its back, and hearing what I presumed to be Beorn fighting, and the death of Thorin. It was a nasty experience I never want to go through again.

Other than that, everything is fine and dandy here en La Republica Dominicana! Thanks for everything, and I love you all.

Elder Brady

Nunez brought me a Green leaf broach, one like the one Aragorn wears in the movie. 
He knows me too well.

Hermano Nunez and Hermano Rodriguez, teachers from the MTC, 
came and visited us for P day.
It was awesome to see them again. Still some of my best frieands in this country. 
We had Tacos, and they brought Krispy Kreme doughnuts. It was great!

Monday, February 2, 2015

"Out with the old, in with the new..." - Week 30

February 2nd, 2015

     So, Im here in Ponce, which is much much closer to the city. You can actually see the capital from the top of a high building one of our members live in. So far its great! Its a house of two, and boy is it an upgrade... This house actually has drainage, we each get a shower, not too many mosquitos, the water situation is much better, and even though the light in the area is worse, our inversor (which stores energy from the street while its there so you can use it when its not) actually works, so the fans don't go out at night. "Out with the old spiritual mumbo jumbo, the superstitions, and the backward ways. We're gonna see a brave new world where they run everybody a wire and hook us all up to a grid."
     I'm with Elder Valdes, from El Paso Texas. His family is mexican, so he speaks fluent spanish. He's a real nice guy, and we work really well together. He was actually in the district I just left. Our branch here in Ponce shares its church meeting house with the ward in Guaricano, which is the area right next to ours. The missionaries of Guaricano are actually E. Zarate from Guatemala, (whom I lived with back in La Victoria) and E. Castro from Peru (who knows an amazing amount of classic rock), so it's been super fun to have them here in our district.
     This Sunday we had a special conference, held and displayed only for the Caribean. It was great! Elder Holland and President Packer spoke. They were great! We also got to hear a bit of our apostles spanish! Just a bit though, the rest was translated. Elder Holland actually said that he'll be visiting the Caribean in March, so we have our fingers crossed. 
     Due to that conference, and the stake conference that we will have this upcoming week, we won't have the opportunity to really meet all the members in church for the first two weeks of "blanking the area"... But blanking is actually really fun. Its like we're playing detective every day... Tracing clues, tracking down people and places, finding pieces to the puzzle. It hard, but its awesome! 
     Our Neighbor who lives above us, Willy Valasquez, invited us up to talk one night just for a bit. It turned into 2 hours. He's a super interesting and affable guy. He's a leader in the Catholic church here in the Republic, he plays guitar, he's running for senator or something, so he's into politics. He loves getting to know all the new missionaries that live below him. We talked about religion, culture, the arts, and our own backgrounds. He gave me a prayer book to borrow full of Psalms that you read and recite daily. Its pretty sweet.
All is well here! Thank you so much for your prayers, know that you're all in mine.

Elder Brady

Whenever this kid would see me in the street, he'd yell "Chino!" 
then start kung fu fighting. 
I'd always act like I was about to fight him, then just put my hands together, 
bow, and say "Paz Sensei... Paz" And he'd do the same. 
One time, we played some baseball with some kids in Gonzalo, and I'd always do the Farris Beuller's Day Off "Hey batterbatterbatter Swing batta!... Kennedy kennedy kennedy... Swing batta". They flippin loved it! Pretty soon after that, everywhere I went in Gonzalo, these kids would say that as I passed. I'd just keep walking a bit, then down the road I'd give a "Swing Batter!" followed by cheering from behind. Somehow it even spread to Sabbana.... Elder Atkinson and I were pretty suprised. 
It was like I was a "kids celebrity" or something.

Some photos from Sabbana. Me and Estefani

Daniel and I

Nathaniel and his fam

The girl on the right is Katty, our investigator. The rest are just a bunch of annoying people we've never met. 
Dominicans like having photos taken of themselves.

Hermana Camino and her kids

The Barber Shop Gang! The one I have my arm around we call Pepino, 
cause his face looks like a pickle.

Ruben y Yo! Tenemos mucho flo!

Elder Atkinson, Ruben and I

Ruben, me, Alejandro, and some guy we played futbol with once.

We bought cotton candy our last night at the fair

Some dancing!

The colmado people!

After seeing them everyday, buying everything from them, for 3 months, 
you come to know these good people pretty well, and grow to love them.

The interior of our new house

It rained...

A lot...

Elder Castro, Me, Elder Valdes

We went to a park for P-Day