Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 15- Eugene, Oregon: Build Upon the Rock of the Redeemer

It is so bizzare how time is flying on my mission. I have adapted to the language and I love the people here. The other pair of missionaries from our branch had a baptism; his name is Salvador Lopez and is 18 years old. He and his little brother went to the priesthood class last Sunday and Elder Anderson and I dropped in for a minute and talked about missionary work. We asked all of them if they were planning on serving missions and they all said yes except for Salvador and his brother who hadn't thought of it before. The other two Elders told us today at our zone activity (ultimate frisbee!) that now he and his older sister and brother want to serve missions, which would be crazy awesome.

Anyways, I have very little time left, but you should all look up Helaman 5:12. It's awesome.

I love and miss you all!

Elder Jeff Bromley II

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Week 14: Pictures from Elder Ketchum (Medford, Oregon)

Here are some pictures that Jeffrey's old companion, Elder Ketchum sent to him from their time together in Medford.

Elder Bromley and Elder Ketchum at Emma Humildad's baptism (with her family and the Branch President)
Emma's baptism with more family, friends, and Elders.

Jeff's mission district in Medford, Oregon
Another picture of the Medford district

And a picture of the hobo they found sleeping in their car-
before Jeffrey gave him a Gatorade and asked him to please go sleep somewhere else  :)

Week 14- Eugene, Oregon: Laura's Baptism

Hello everybody! 

So last week has been very eventful. Laura was baptized this last Saturday and was confirmed yesterday! After her baptism at a linger longer we asked her who she wanted to do the confirmation and she chose me. Immediately I was worried that my Spanish wasn't adequate but I agreed to it anyways. When talking with Elder Anderson about it, he said something very straightforward, "You can give the confirmation in Spanish, if you have the faith." At that moment I knew that I was going to speak Spanish the next day and I just needed to open my mouth. Everything went well and Laura looked very happy the rest of sacrament meeting. I'll send pictures whenever I figure out these library computers.

There is one more thing that happened this week that I want to share. There is an 73 year-old man named Roberto Garcia in our branch who we help do family history work a couple times a week. He walked in with over forty names to plug into the computer and send off to the temple! After a lot of effort we managed to send one name off last week - his mom's name. He was so happy knowing that he had gotten all of his mom's temple work started, he could hardly even talk for a few minutes. The knowedge that he could live with his family forever brings him so much joy and he is very tenaciously seeing that all of the work gets done for all of his other relatives.

Later that day, Elder Anderson and I were tracting and we decided to go talk to this older white man who was standing on his porch even though he clearly did not speak Spanish. We came to know that his name was Dwight and that he had only been in Oregon for 3-5 years. We also learned that his long-time girlfriend had passed away almost a year ago, and it is something that is still heavy in his heart to this day. He broke down and said he had to go but then Elder Anderson called after him and asked him to wait. We then explained the Plan of Salvation to him and how he will be able to see his loved ones again, including his girlfriend. I offered a prayer before leaving and he greatly appreciated our visit.

I just want to suggest to all of you to look into studying the Plan of Salvation. There is such a contrast in sentiments toward death depending on if you have this knowledge or not. Remember always that you are children of God.

Elder Jeff Bromley II

Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 13- Eugene, Oregon: Hasten the Work

Things are going great here in Eugene. My new companion, Elder Alec Anderson, is super legit. He has a gift to become friends with pretty much anybody really quickly which is extremely helpful in the work. He almost convinced a not interested game programmer to make a Book of Mormon video game. Haha. Nothing too crazy has happened since the hobo was in the car although there are a lot of funny people in Eugene. We have a golden investigator, Laura Ochoa, who is 18 years old and lives with some members. She will be baptized the 20th and tonight we are going to review the interview questions with her. She is super strong in her faith and understands why having faith is important. We also have a 77 year-old investigator named Vilma Baker who believes this church is true and wants to get baptized in August. She was found waiting at a bus stop by some other elders and she's been to church once already and loves it. It is amazing to see these prepared people come into our path every day.

Speaking of that, we had a Zone Training Meeting headed by President Young this last week. There were two main things he wanted us to do: have members start their own Family Mission Plans and to involve the youth of the church. I want to encourage all of you to create a FMP. Missionary work isn't as awkward as some make it out to be, in fact, it can be very natural. Watch this video (I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go); it shows how inspiring member missionary work can be.

I love and miss you all and challenge you to reach out to somebody you know this week.

Elder Jeff Bromley II

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Here's the song that Jeffrey mentioned in his last e-mail, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," as performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir:

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Come thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
I'll praise the mount I'm fixed upon it
Mount of thy redeeming love

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by thy help I come
And I hope by thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home

Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wondering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above

Music:  John Wyeth

Monday, July 8, 2013

Week 12- Eugene, Oregon: Transfer to Eugene

Eugene, Oregon

So as I mentioned in my previous email, I had taken over half of our area with Elder Egerton, another visa waiter. About halfway through the week he followed along the reoccurring pattern and got his visa, once again throwing our Spanish branch missionaries through a loop. Since I have yet to receive my visa they decided to send me up to Eugene, OR to serve hopefully until my visa comes. My new companion is Elder Alec Anderson and he is a very diligent and great missionary. He was actually the Elder that discovered and baptized a few of the members that I got to know during my stay in Medford; I am very glad to be serving with him.

So that's where I'm at right now - Now I'm just having my first full day up here after the three hour drive we had last night. Speaking of which, Elder Egerton had some John Bytheway CD's with him so we got to listen to a couple talks while driving. I just want to recommend to all of you right now to listen to any of his talks, I think they are all great and that we can learn a lot from them. But he said something that really stuck out to me during one of his talks. He was talking about Christ and how much He truly loves us. John asked, "Do you want to know how much Christ thinks about you? He thinks about you everytime that He looks at His hands." He then brought up 1 Nephi 21:15-16 "...Yea, they may forget, yet I will not forget thee, O house of Israel. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands."

First off, for the amount of times I've gone through 1 Nephi, I have never caught that little packet of light. But how significant is that to you to know that our Lord and Savior is always thinking of us? It really illuminates my heart to know that He is always there willing to help us. There are some lyrics from Come Thou Fount that come to mind, "Jesus sought me, when a stranger wondering from the fold of God. He, to rescue me from danger interposed His precious blood." His "arms of mercy" really are extended to us. We just need to look for them.

I love and miss you all!

Elder Jeff Bromley II

Monday, July 1, 2013

Week 11- Medford, Oregon: Look for the Face of God in Others

Transfer Day!

So, as I may have mentioned before, my companion was very far along with his mission and is now done and going home. I now have a new companion, Elder Egerton, who is also waiting for his visa. So now we're follow-up training each other and taking over our half of the area, so this should be a great learning experience...haha. He is pretty cool and from Arkansas and is now learning how to get around Medford since he has to drive our car and my driving papers need to be resubmitted (don't worry mom). We managed to get to the library to email so I think everything is gonna be good. It's been in the 100's over here too so hopefully the lessons we plan don't fall through leaving us to tract, so we're keeping our fingers crossed.

Anyways, I was reading in Alma chapter 48 and something in verse 23 stuck out to me. First off, the Nephite soldiers didn't enjoy fighting and killing the Lamanites, but here's the reason why. "they were sorry to be the means of sending so many of their brethren out of this world into an eternal world, unprepared to meet their God."

They really truly cared about these enemy soldiers even though they knew what harm they would do to their preople if they did not defend themselves. The depth of their understanding was beyond that of things in this world and they new that ignorance would stunt the spiritual growth of many through the upcoming battle, yet they had to fight.

This reminds me of those people in our lives with whom conflicts often arise. Nobody is perfect and we are not going to get along with everybody we meet. But it is not our job to judge or hold grudges; holding on to anger is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. It will not help anyone. Remember the Lord's commandment, love one another. We are all children of the same God so we should not be the means by which another person's already dificult journey in returning to their Father is made more difficult. Be kind to one another, you might be surprised by what offering out an hand to help might do to soften the hearts of those who are distant. I know that it has helped me a lot in my mission so far. Try to see the face of God in others.

I love and miss you all!

Alma 48

Elder Jeff Bromley II