Brett's apartment mailing address:

3712 Howard Dr. Apt # 18
McAllen, TX

Brett's mission office address:

Texas McAllen Mission
Attn: Elder Brett Mecham
200 West La Vista Ave.
McAllen, TX 78501

Monday, December 26, 2011

Hey y'all! It was so awesome talking to you all last night on Christmas. The time flew by too fast. I just wanted to share a quick christmas eve miracle that Elder Davis and I experienced:
We completed our studies as usual on Christmas Eve. We had a quick lunch at the apartment and then grabbed our trusty steeds (our bicicletas) and went to work. It was freezing (it was only like 45 degrees but it felt like we were in antarctica) and it was starting to drizzle. We headed to two guys that we are teaching but they weren't there so our backup plan was to head to another investigator, a lady and her 5 kids, who lived on the very western border of our area. Normally, it takes about 25-30 minutes to get there but because of the wind and weather, we figured it would take about 35-40. We had a lesson with just a lady that we contacted many weeks prior at 3 so we figured that would give us enough time to get out and visit our investigator and then make it back to our 3 o-clock appointment.
So we began our journey...
The rain had really picked up so we were pedaling ferociously in the wind but we weren't making a whole lot of progress. We both wanted to visit this family so were determined to get there. We pedaled and pedaled and we kept our heads facing downwards because the rain was getting into our eyes. We got pretty far out there and had just barely jumped a curb and got back onto the sidewalk when I heard a loud hissing noise coming from my bike. At first, I though it was my tire rubbing against my brake pads and I thought "Oh man not this again." (I just barely got that problem fixed a couple weeks ago) and then I looked at the tire and I could literally see the air gushing out. I couldn't believe it. A flat tire? Again?! I had already bought the entire stock of tire tubes at Wal-mart this past month. We saw a bus stop ahead a little ways so we pushed our bikes and took shelter. We stood there for a minute or so thinking about what to do. I was sort of in a daze because I didn't feel like dealing with the problem. And then I thought of the pioneers and figured, "alright, we can do this." We decided to take our bikes to the Morales family who lived about a half-mile away and fix them there.
We came up to their house and none of the cars were there so we were just praying that somebody was inside because we didn't know where else to go. We knocked on the door and fortunately the daughters were both home so they let us use some paper towels to clean off the tire and then we were able to use their porch to fix my bike. After a good half hour or so, I got the bike all patched up with the bike patches I had bought at Wal-mart (Scouts really did teach me to be prepared) and we were all set to go. At this point, it was about 2:40 so we had to decided whether to still stop by our investigator real fast or just head to our 3 o-clock appointment. They both seemed important so we really didn't know what to do. We started walking and tried to decide as we approached the main road. I said a quick prayer and as we got to the road, we felt that we should turn right and head ALL THE WAY BACK to where we came from and go to our appointment at three. We hopped on our bikes and took off. Fortunately, the wind was slightly more in our favor heading back.
We pedaled as fast as we could and got to her house at 5 seconds past 3. We were both so proud. We are practicing our punctuality. We knocked on our door and when she answered, she told us that she was sincerely sorry but her son wasn't home (we set up the appointment with both of them) and that we should come back a different time. This was already our 4th or 5th time trying to have a lesson with them so we just told them to call us when they wanted us to stop by again. We did it in a polite manner but we both felt pretty frustrated. We got back on our bikes, tried to wipe off all the rain on our seats, and started to head by less active members that we had planned on going by for back-ups. We had an appointment with a member at 5 and we were really excited to finally get inside and warm up and have a nice Christmas Eve dinner. After about an hour with no success and still an hour until our meal appointment, we got a phone call. I answered and it was the lady that we had the appointment set up for 3 o-clock. She said that her son got home and they both felt bad that they weren't able to meet with us. They asked if we could come by on Tuesday to have a lesson. I set up a time for Tuesday evening and then we wished each other a merry christmas and hung out. Five minutes later, we got another call so we stopped our bikes and I answered the phone and it was the same lady again. She said that they both didn't want to wait until Tuesday and asked if it would be possible for us to come by right then. We said of course it would, and we raced back to her house. We got there in record time.
We had a great, spiritual lesson, and both are now preparing to be baptized in January. We got to the members' house a little late but we were all smiles because our prayers were answered. All we wanted was to teach the gospel on Christmas eve. I'll be honest, I was pretty tempted just to find shelter in the church or something because of the rain but we both knew that we needed to be diligent and work. We suffered for a bit in the rain and cold weather but we received many blessings later that day.
Afterwards, we went caroling to our investigators and less active families with the other elders in our district and had an amazing time. We had a great night and a great Christmas morning.
Sorry the story was so long! It was an amazing day and required many details.
Lots of amor!
Elder Brett
PS - I forgot to mention the part where Elder Davis wiped out on his bike and face planted into the mud. That was just another one of those trials before receiving the blessing of teaching the gospel.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

19 December 2011

Time flies by faster when you train. I can't believe that it's already my second transfer with Elder Davis. It's going to be a great second transfer. I'm excited.

Tonight we are going caroling with Manuel, Tabby, and some other recent converts from the Singles Branch. It's going to be great. Tabby is applying to transfer to BYU and then prepare to go on a mission. Pretty crazy how much her life has and will change right? She's on a totally different course now. She loves it, and we love being a part of it.

It's been kind of rainy this past week. Only once did we have to work while getting drenched. The rest of the days were just a light mist, or it cleared up by the time we left the apartment. I'm still praying for snow on Christmas. What's the thing that Stephie did to wish for snow? Put a spoon under the pillow and wear your PJ's inside out? Something like that right? Maybe I'll do that. And maybe I'll get the other elders to join with me.

It's going to be a wonderful week. I am so excited. Thank you all for everything. I really wanted to be able to send something for Christmas but I've just been so busy. Thank you all for the packages though! They look great underneath the tree. I'll try to send some handwritten letters home after Christmas. I'll make sure and include some pictures.

Thanks y'all for everything. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Elder Brett

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dec. 5

Hello family,
It's been a wonderful week. So many great things are happening. It's going to be such a fun Christmas season. Another coldfront came in last night and it was the weirdest/coolest experience. Elder Davis and I were riding our bikes all the way to the corner of our area and there was a warm wind so it wasn't that cold. I was actually kind of sweaty. Then, all of a sudden, the wind changed instantly to cold. It dropped probably 10 degrees. I didn't understand what was happening. I looked back at Elder Davis and he couldn't believe it either. We actually felt the coldfront hit us as we were riding our bikes to the western border of our area. Fortunately I had my sweater in my backpack.
Hm, what else? It's fun to see all the christmas decorations being put up. I'm still praying for a white christmas. It happened before. Once. In 2004.
Elder Davis and I took our bikes to the bike shop today and got them fixed. They just needed a little realigning so it didn't cost too much.
Well, we are going to head to the store and do our shopping. Love you all!
Elder Brett

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nov. 28, 2011

It was a great thanksgiving. We had three thanksgiving dinners with members from the ward and we biked home that night with our bellies stuffed. I'm not sure how I survived the third meal. I thought I was going to die after the second. I ate too much at the first, and I knew it too! As I was eating, I thought to myself, "I should probably save room for our next meal." But then the pies came out...

Another cold front came in. It was in the 50's last night as we biked home and it got down to the 40's during the night. The last time I felt weather like this was in early February. I definitely have become acclimated to the heat. Dang.

I can't believe it's almost Christmas. I can't wait to celebrate it out in the field. The lights are already going up and it's weird because there is no snow. It's going to be even weirder when it starts to warm up again.

Well, things are awesome as usual. We are teaching some great great people. I can't wait to tell you more about them as they continue to progress. One investigator got confirmed on Sunday. It was such a great conversion process for him and an amazing experience for me to witness and be a part of it. Hopefully we can start teaching his family soon.

I gotta run. My email time limit is almost over. I have to spend extra time writing to president because he wants me to give updates on how my greenie is doing. We're doing great together by the way. I'll definitely need to send some pictures back home soon. It's been a while.

Well, les quiero muchisimo.
Elder Brett

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nov. 21

Buenas tardes family!
Yesterday was another one of those "Best-day-ever"'s. Remember the story I shared about finding ___as he was walking from the gym and we were speeding by on our bikes? He got baptized yesterday, and it was the best baptismal service I've ever attended. The stake presidency and branch president were all there, as well as a large group of the YSA branch and even his family attended. ___ gave a wonderful talk on baptism and I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost. I shared the story about how Elder Arens and I met him and he reminded me that the reason we raced past him on our bikes was because we were being chased by a chihuaha. haha I totally forgot about that.
Anyway, things are so great right now. I love being a missionary. It's great being with a brand new missionary who is filled with energy and enthusiasm. We are all stoked for thanksgiving. I have a feeling we're going to be overfed and I'm going to end up regretting eating so much. I'll worry about that later though.
Thanks y'all for everything. I have so much to be thankful for during this thanksgiving season, and you all take a very high spot on that list. Enjoy thanksgiving! It'll be fun to be able to enjoy a big turkey dinner with you all next year!
Con a heckuva ton de amor,
Elder Brett

PS I have lights on the front and back of my bike. They are really bright. I think the squirrels are going to have seizures when I ride past them...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nov. 14

It has been a crazy/difficult week. It's so hard to believe that two of the Elders, both of whom I knew well, passed away. It sure made me grateful for the plan of salvation. Since the accident, we have had numerous people approach us or talk to us about the incident. Just last night, we stopped by one of our investigators real quickly before heading back to our apartment and Elder Davis' bike sort of busted and he lost one of the parts to his wheel. As he was trying to fix it, and I was trying to find the missing part in the grass and in the street, a large van pulled up and two ladies got out and tried to help me find the part. They brought out extra flashlights and got on their hands and knees with me as we searched for the "needle in the haystack". They told us that they heard about what happened to the two missionaries and said that they felt they had to help us out. People have been very sympathetic and nice. It's so great to know exactly what those two Elders are doing right now and I know that they will continue to help all of us out as we continue in this missionary work.

Both the Manuel's that we are teaching are doing great. I'm so excited for them. We are still endeavoring to find more. We are trying to work closely with the members. That's where we've seen the most success.

Thanks family for everything. I wouldn't be able to do this without you. Your support has been amazing. You are all in my prayers.

Elder Brett

Nov. 7

Hello familia,

Well it's been a tremendous week. I received my new companion on Tuesday; his name is Elder Davis, he's from Orem Utah, and he is straight outta the MTC. It's been exciting to work with a missionary with that greenie fire. Although, I'm definitely grateful for my last two companions who both had quite a bit of missionary experience. There's this new 12-week training program that has just recently been released so I'm basically guaranteed to be with him for two transfers. I'm excited. I had wonderful trainers (not many have more than one) that shaped and molded me and I hope that I'll be able to do the same. I'm sure I'll learn just as much as he will. I'll definitely keep y'all updated on how this experience goes.

The two Manuel's that we are teaching both came to church yesterday. They are both progressing significantly. It's wonderful to be a part of these processes. I can't believe that I've been out for more than a year now. Crazy huh? I still feel new. I'll have to make sure that this last year is the best year ever.

I'm pretty stoked for the holiday season. I got to experience the holidays in the MTC last year so it'll be cool to see how it is in the field. Hopefully we get overfed! I could use an extra few pounds or so. We're about to head to the store and then play sports with the other elders. We can't decide between basketball or tennis. hmm...

Well, thanks y'all for everything. Especially for the updates. Sorry I can't write personally to y'all very often. Sports are too important ;)
Les quiero!!!

Elder Brett

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween and Cold Front!

I can't believe it's halloween! To make things even better, there was an amazing cold front that hit south texas and it was in the 70's and 80's all last week. I had to wear a sweater (Thanks grandma and grandpa Mecham!) I felt a little sick this past week; I think it was a combination of cold weather and a sugar overdose. I'll try to eat more fruits and vegetables this week.

Good news about Manuel. He went to FHE at the YSA branch on monday, attended institue on tuesday, went to the YSA Halloween dance on Friday, went to church yesterday, and is participating in the YSA halloween activity tonight where they are bringing candy to Driscoll Children's Hospital and passing it out to the patients so they can go trick-or-treating. We didn't even talk to him about any of these things, except for church. He's just been receiving a lot of great fellowship from the singles branch (it is comprised of mostly recent converts, it's wonderful). While it's been great that he's been loving the YSA branch, it's been difficult to get by and teach him! I shouldn't be complaining though. He's making some great progress and I'm so excited for him. Too bad Elder Arens is leaving. I get my new companero tomorrow! It'll be exciting to tell you about him. Hopefully he's cool!

Well, we're about to head over to the ZL's apartment to hang out with some of the missionaries there. We're going to play some tennis and then maybe a game of clue or something.

Love you all! Thanks so much for the letters and the wonderful updates. Y'all are amazing.
Con mucho love,
Elder Brett

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hola familia,

Otra semana, Ay carumba.

I thought I would share a couple cool stories from the last week or so. They might get a little spiritual, ¡cuidado!

1) It was one of those days where we didn't have a lot of scheduled appointments but we had a lot of people that we wanted to go by so we planned our day accordingly. We did a lot of riding around during the day and didn't have a whole bunch of success. Most people weren't home. In Preach My Gospel, we learn about something called "Hable con todos" or "Speak with everyone" and it's geared to help us Missionaries learn to open our mouths and really share the gospel at every opportunity possible (and appropriate). Being on bike makes it easier because we are always outside amongst the people but it is often difficult as well because sometimes we are heading to another appointment and we don't want to be late. On days where we don't have many scheduled appointments, we try to talk to everyone that we see as we are riding.

On this particular day, we were heading to someone that we planned to go by but it wasn't a set appointment, and we had stopped and talked to quite a few people already, so we both just wanted to get this persons house. I was riding in front and we were pedaling at a pretty good pace, enjoying the wonderful exercise, and as we made a turn I noticed a young looking guy walking on the sidewalk; he was wearing gym clothes, had a duffel bag in hand, and was listening to his ipod. I smiled and gave him a wave, and he smiled, gave me a head-nod, and waved back. I thought apprehensively, hmmm should we stop?, but kept pedaling. After several moments I looked back at Elder Arens and said "Should we turn around and talk to him?" but he didn't know who I was talking about so it turns out that he didn't see him. I figured "eh, it's alright. We'll just keep going. After all, he's got his ipod in. He probably wouldn't be interested anyway."

We kept on going down the long, windy street and the only thought occupying my mind was "hable con todos". Instead of being obedient to the spirit like I immediately should have, I started making up excuses in my mind. (Looking back on it, I notice here the adversary's cunning and deceiving methods) I was thinking to myself, "Man I've worked really hard this past week. I've done a great job. In fact, I've done a great job my entire mission so far. I just need to keep it up. I've been 100% obedient. 100% diligent. I'm doing awesome." Inbetween these stupid thoughts, I kept seeing the page in Preach My Gospel where it instructs us to talk with everybody. At this point, Elder Arens and I were both still riding down the street and we had gotten pretty far. Finally, and so grateful I was, the spirit won the battle I was having and told me distinctly and directly that I need to turn around. I turned around and said "Hey Elder, we gotta turn around." Even though he didn't know who I saw, he said "Of course" and turned around as well. I pedaled quickly in the direction we came from and saw him just barely turning down a different street. We screeched to a halt and I tried my best not to worry that we both probably looked a little goofy on our bikes, with helmets on, in white shirts and ties, and sweating.

I shook his hand and introduced ourselves as missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and he said "Mormons right?" We responded "You bet." And then he told us how he had a friend and co-worker who's a mormon. Turns out it is Jamie, one of the counselors in the singles branch here in Corpus. Jamie was the one who introduced Tabby to the singles branch and invited her to the FHE's on monday. We were pretty stoked to hear that he knew Jamie.

To make the rest of the story short, we have had a couple awesome lessons with him and he is preparing to be baptized in November. Hopefully everything continues to go well. Either way, I learned a great lesson that day.

Well, I had a couple more that I wanted to share but I'm running out of time. Next week!

Love you all,
Elder Brett

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hello family,

I was cold yesterday. There was a huge rainstorm during church yesterday and I figured that it would clear up and get really humid by the time we were to get on bikes and work, but it actually stayed relatively cool. By the late evening it was pretty chilly. It was awesome. It will probably warm up again but at least there are signs of cooler weather.

It was a pretty good week. Things are improving again which is wonderful. This high-low, up-and-down cycle is crazy: lots of great weeks in a row and then there's a sudden drop or decline and then a lot of efforts are needed in order to improve. Luckily there are always lessons learned during the cycle.

 So last week I thought of some funny stories to share but I'm sort of blanking right now. One does come to mind though:

So, this was actually back in Rio when I was with Elder Diamond. The other companionships were on exchanges so Elder Brown from Roma was staying with us and after our nightly planning session after a long, difficult day, we all got ready for bed and we were laying in our bunks and we started talking about some of our favorite TV shows from before the mission and we were talking about the usuals like The Office, 24, Lost, Psych, and some others that I wasn't too familiar with but had heard of, and then we started talking about some of the old school shows that we used to love. Then Elder Brown mentions Boy Meets World and I didn't think that any of the Elders would have actually watched that but Elder Diamond goes "I loved that show!" and then for what seemed liked ETERNITY they were quoting lines from possibly every episode ever created of Boy Meets World. They would say a line and then giggle (yes, giggle) hysterically. So that night, I fell asleep with the wise words of Cory, Tapanga, and others running through my brain. It was wonderful.

Just before heading over here (the church) to email, the other two elders that we live with, Elder Hedman and Elder Alarcon, were having a sword fight with paper towel tubes because Elder Alarcon's (he's straight from Bolivia, learning English) favorite movie is Zorro. I mentioned that one of my favorite movies is The Count of Monte Cristo and that encouraged them to keep sword fighting. I gotta say, living in a four-man apartment is so fun. We're teaching Elder Alarcon english slang and other idiomatic expressions. It's a riot. Elder Hedman will teach him something and Elder Alarcon will come up to me and practice what he learned, for example, "I'm down with that", or "How's it goin'?" and "Wassup bro". It's hilarious, especially because of his heavy accent. Gratefully, he is teaching me some great spanish phrases.

Alright, well I need to hurry and email prez. Thanks y'all for the updates. Shout out to Ivan and Julia! Mal, I can't believe you haven't told me until just now. I don't have their addresses anymore! Let them know that I want it.

lots of amor,
Elder Brett

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oct. 3, 2011

Hello familia,
Another week come and gone. I really don't have a whole lot to say, other than conference was amazing and I'm excited for another week. This past semana was another tough one; we had to drop the majority of our investigators. They just aren't progressing. It's sad, but I guess it just means that there are others out there that are more prepared, now we just need to find them. That's what Elder Arens and I are going to focus on this week: finding. I'm excited because I love proselyting. And, I am pretty sure it's going to be a cooler week. Yesterday was soooo beautiful. It almost felt like fall! I'm not sure what the temperature was but on the way home last night, I was actually a little chilly! We were speeding home because we were running late and I yelled to my comp, "Elder! I'm cold!" I have to say, it was the best feeling in the world.
There really isn't any other news. I am eating fruits and vegetables every week. Great right? I also go through a carton or two of ice cream tambien. My companion is great; he's definitely got his own quirks about him but don't we all? Maybe next email I'll share some funny comp stories. I have a few.
Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week. Love ya.
Elder Brett

Sept. 26, 2011

Hello familia,
oooh boy, the week was definitely on the rougher side. Fortunately, Tabby was confirmed yesterday so that made everything better. Guess what? I got to perform the ordination. It was my first time confirming so it was a great experience. She has plans to go on a mission and I really hope that that will be able to work out as she plans. It'll be cool to write her when she's a missionary, doing the things that I am doing now. Either way, she is an extremely strong member and I'm excited for her.
I think the weather has cooled down a degree or two. It's wonderful. I'm still anticipating the october and november months, although I'm sure it won't be anything like a michigan fall. I guess I'll just look forward to next year.
Well, thanks for everything. Thanks for the birthday wishes. 21 years old? ay carumba
Les quiero!
Elder Brett

Sept. 17, 2011

Got transfer calls, and I'm staying in Corpus with Elder Arens. I'm so relieved. We have so many great things coming. Tabby was baptized yesterday and it was probably one of the best days of my life. Everything went amazing. Later that evening we went to the M___' to eat (It is through them that Tabby came to know the church) and we celebrated her baptism by eating BBQ cheeseburgers and cake. It was awesome. We're teaching her three roommates this wednesday. Tabby is already pretty involved with missionary work. (She was before her baptism too. She's awesome)
Well, I'm going to leave it at that for now. Thinks are beyond amazing. I hope you are all doing well. Love ya
Elder Brett

Sept. 12, 2011 (aka post U of M v. ND football game...)

Mallory! Thanks so much for the update!! I wish I could have seen the game!!
So on Saturday night we stopped by a less active member before heading back to our apartment and when he let us in I saw that Michigan was playing Notre Dame and I got sooo excited! Notre Dame was up 14-6 and I was thinking "pleeeeease Brother Kinutson, don't turn off the tv! Put it on mute. Just put it on mute. puhleeassseeee!" But unfortunately (or fortunately) he went over and turned off the tv. ahhhhh. We had a wonderful lesson with him so that was great, but the entire bike ride home all I could think of was the football game! Then on Sunday I asked the Elders Quorum President because he's a big football fan and he said that Michigan ended up winning. He didn't tell me it was such an intense game though! For some reason I thought it was at ND this year. I bet Michigan stadium went absolutely crazy. ahhhh I can't wait to watch it when I get home.
It's been another terrific week. Tabby is getting baptized this Sunday, and she brought a friend/roommate to church this past Sunday. Turns out she's basically been giving her the lessons. Tabby is wonderful. We had a whole bunch of other great lessons too. Elder Arens and I have been getting along great and working hard.
This past week it was in the low and mid 90's and it felt like fall. I sure am looking forward to October and November. It's weird to think that the school year started already. All my friends are now upperclassmen in college now. I'll come back and be the baby still. aw man. I can't believe it's almost my birthday too. For some reason I feel like the summer just started. Elder Duke just turned 21 last week, no  it's my turn in just a couple more. We'll probably go out to a bar to celebrate...
There's actually something in particular that I really want. There's a guy in the ward, Ezra M___, who just got back from his mission in California and he showed Elder Arens and I two DVD slideshows that were amazing. One is called Reflections of Christ and it was produced/created by two Mormon photographers and it's a slideshow of the life is Christ with a hymn in the background. A year later, the same producers created another slideshow but of Jesus Christ coming to the Americas. I forget what that one is called. I would love those two DVD's. Besides that, maybe just some snacks. I am pretty good at using my money for healthy meals but it would sure be nice to have some snack-y items to help me gain some weight back. Oh and dad, I would love a Utah State basketball shirt or shorts or something.
Those are my only requests. Thanks so much for everything! I can't believe I've been in Corpus for almost a whole transfer already! This is the last week.
Ruego para ustedes cada dia. Estoy muy agradecido por todo lo que hacen.
con lots of amor,
Elder Brett

Sept. 5, 2011

Hello family,
This past week was probably the best week ever. I know I've had a lot of "Best-Week-Ever"'s on my mission but I think this week was the best of the best. If only I had enough time and strength in my fingers to write about it all!
I know I haven't shared a whole lot of stories about the people I've been teaching but I think I might have to with this young lady named Tabby. She's getting baptized on the 18th (even though she's so ready she could be baptized tomorrow) and she has been the most wonderful person to teach. We've only been teaching her for the past few weeks, yet it feels like I've known her for a whole lot longer. I'll share more about her either next week or the Monday following her baptism.
I didn't fall (or get launched) off my bike this week. Elder Duke and I went running every other morning and the sunrise on the gulf gets more beautiful every day. The temperature is going down this week! It was 106 and 104 the past two days with crazy humidity. You know that feeling when you open an oven when something is baking inside? Very similar. BUT, it is supposed to be in the low 90's all week. I can't believe that summer is already coming to an end and that we're looking towards the fall and winter months. It'll be fun to compare our seasons and see how cold it will actually get down here.
Well, things are just awesome. I'm loving every single day. I appreciate all the letters and emails from y'all (people actually say y'all up here!) and finding out how and what you all are doing. Y'all are always in my prayers.
with mucho love,
Elder Brett

Aug. 29, 1022

Hello again,
Wow it was another awesome week. There are so many great people we are teaching. Unfortunately two of the people got injured at work so it's been hard to see them this week because they have been in and out of the hospital and doctors office. It's funny because they both got their injuries shortly after meeting with us and making the decision to be baptized. Elder Arens and I concluded that it's because Satan knows how prepared and ready they are. Hopefully we'll have a chance to see them this week.
I wiped out on my bike again. This time it was on a major road and I think my pride got hurt worse than anything. BUT, this time it wasn't exactly my fault. We were in a hurry to get to an appointment on the other side of town (about a 30 minute bike ride) and about 10 or 15 minutes into it I ran over a sharp piece of metal and my tire popped and I lost control and face planted on the pavement. That's the second time a helmet has saved my life. And once again, I fell into the road. Fortunately there were no cars behind me, although there was a whole string of cars coming the opposite way so they all saw me. I hope they all got a good laugh. My goal for this week is to beat gravity. I'm not going to let it take me down. I also need to beat small pieces of metal. Rubber just doesn't stand a chance.
A couple days ago Elder Duke and I drove over to Oceandrive in the morning and went jogging on the path along the shoreline. It was so beautiful. It was pitch black when we started but the sun rose as we were running. It was cool seeing all the boats along the docks, all the nice restaurants and stores, and the small ocean waves. It's hard to believe just a few weeks ago I was in Rio Grande. I enjoy working in the rougher parts of Corpus though. Keeps me focused on the work. 
Today we're going back to the Oceandrive area to check out all the little stores. There's also an aquarium we want to go to. There are so many things to do, it's hard to decide. All we could do in Rio was play futbol so P-day was pre-decided every week. Now careful decisions have to be made in order to best utilize the precious P-day hours. But first we're going back to the bike shop. I need to fix my bike once and for all.
Anyway, things are amazing. Time is flying by beyond belief. September is looking like it's going to be a great month. Thanks y'all for everything. Love you.
Elder Brett

Aug. 22, 2011

Hey all,
I can't believe it's been another week here in Corpus Christi. Things are amazing. I absolutely love being on bike, the only issue being that bikes tend to break down. My pedal has been broken since I left Rio so I was using Elder Duke's when I got here but than a week and a half ago Elder Arens' bike blew up (almost literally) so he's been using Elder Dukes and I've been using my own, but just pedaling one footed. And then two days ago we were on exchanges and Elder Arens had to use my bike and when Elder Alarcon and I were getting out of a lesson we got a text from the other elders that said "We might need a ride home tonight. Bike broke." And of course, it was my bike. So, today we are going to the bike shop to get everything fixed. I'm not complaining am I? haha it really hasn't been that much of a problem. We're working really hard and loving the work. I wish I had time to talk about everyone we're meeting with and teaching. There are some amazing people.
After getting the bikes fixed we are going to head over to Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Ross to try and buy some cheap slacks. I can no longer reuse my clothes during the week because we come home way too sweaty. I've been doing that the past couple weeks and by the end of the week they get really crusty (gross right?) and it feels like I'm wearing cardboard. Anyway, hopefully we can find some good deals.
We're kind of in a hurry so I guess I'll just leave it at that. Thanks so much for everything, especially for the updates! Those are the best.
with mucho mucho love,
Elder Brett
PS my address is 3333 S. Alameda #4H Corpus Christi, Texas 78411

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hey family!
I've just spent the last week working in Corpus Christi and I love it to death. It's a heckuva lot different than Rio Grande though. To be honest, I feel like I'm in Detroit. I'm working in northern Corpus and it's pretty ghetto. But!... there are stores, traffic lights, city parks, and most dogs are on leashes or at least within a fenced yard. It's beautiful. I have to say though, I miss the whole 'speaking spanish' aspect of the mission but I guess that's just a sacrifice. There are some amazing people here. I'm excited to get to know them better and then share with you all some great stories.
I'm not sure if I let you know in the last email but I'm in a bike area and it's been a ton of fun. I've lost even more weight in the last week though so today I'm going to buy some grub at the store to help me pack on some fat. It's difficult because we share an apartment with the other two elders in out district (it's a four man district) but we live in their area so we have to bike a little ways just to get within our boundaries. Because of that, we just grab a quick snack after studies at 11 and then just work in our area until 9 or so. Then I just eat a little snack after nightly planning and then hit the sack. Being on bike though has been wonderful. I don't think I fully understood what it meant so sweat until this week. I feel like I took a shower with my clothes on by the time we get back to our apartment at night. People feel sympathetic when they see us so they give us water...or kool-aid. That's the best. I have a crazy cool tan line on my hand because the back of my hand is exposed to the sun all day but my fingers are wrapped around the handlebars so they are protected and are pretty white. It looks pretty funny but who cares right?
So when I was in Rio, Elder Pallo and Elder Ginez were in a bike area and Elder Pallo had a hard time staying on his bike. I think he had 5 accidents in the months I was with him. Because I was greatly inconsiderate, I tended to laugh when Elder Ginez would come busting in the door to tell us about the funny spill that Elder Pallo had that day (it was usually because he would try to ride no handed). I just never understood why it was so hard to stay up on the bike...until a couple days ago. We were riding home and it was already 9:15 or so, it was really dark and we were really close to the apartment and I'm not sure exactly what happened but next thing I know I lost control and got launched from my bike. I hit the ground with my wrist and shoulder and skidded along the pavement into the street. I looked behind me and all I saw were bright headlights heading towards me. In what seemed like a split second, I lunged towards my bike, grabbed it and fell to the sidewalk as the car sped on by. I ended up making it home and then used the first aid kit to clean me up but overall I was fine. It just made me feel bad for always laughing at Elder Pallo when he crashed. I guess it's not that hard to fall off a bike after all. It's at least easier than falling off a car.
Church was wonderful. We have an actual building instead of just a trailer! Spanish branch starts at 9 and then English ward at 11. Spanish branch is tiny, even smaller than Rio. The English ward is really small too but bigger than I'm used to here. I met a lot of great people and I'm excited to work with them more in the following weeks/months. Considering I was in Rio for 6 months, I'm nervous/excited to see how long I'll be here.
My companion is Elder Arens and he's awesome. We're getting along great, I've learned so much from him already, and I'm way excited to keep working with him here in Corpus. He's from Arizona and went to a semester at ASU before the mish. Also in the district is Elder Duke (remember him? I was with him in the trio when I first got here to texas. He was companions with my trainer Elder Anderson) and Elder Arlacon. Elder Arlacon is straight from Bolivia and didn't know a lick of english. He's learned a lot though and sure is a character. It's a great apartment. Good things are about to happen.
I feel like I have so much more to write but I don't have a lot of time. I gotta write something quick to prez and then we're off to check out the stores here in Corpus. The best thing they had in Rio was wal-mart so we're pretty excited.
Love you all. thanks for everything. My address here is 3333 S. Alameda. Corpus Christi, Texas. (I forgot the zip code...sorry)
Elder Mechanico
(Have I mentioned that spanish people have a really really difficult time pronouncing my name? Most have just used the word mechanico, which means mechanic. I'm okay with that I guess)

August 8, 2011

Hey everybody!

I found out last night that I'm being transferred way up north to Corpus Christi! I'm going to be serving in an area called Bel Air! It's crazy because before every transfer, there's a missionary tradition where all the members of the district guess where everyone is going, and guess what? I guessed Bel Air! The reason I chose it was because the name sounded cool and because I like the show Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I could hardly believe it when I found out I was being transferred there. I'm really excited though. The only downside is that I won't be using my spanish nearly as much. I'll be in an awesome english ward and possibly a spanish branch too. I guess I'll let y'all know when I get there.

Love you all,

Elder Brett

August 1, 2011

Hey everyone,

We had interviews this past week and I found out that I'm getting transferred! I'm sad to leave but really excited to go at the same time. President didn't tell me where I'm going yet. I'll find out on Friday or Saturday. I can't wait to let you all know.

We're taking the day off today and not playing soccer. It's been miserably hot and humid this week and we all need a little break from the sun. We're just going to finish all of our errands and then relax in the apartment. We might clean a little, the apartment is a mess.

I printed off some pictures today at Walmart and I'm going to send some out to everyone. Not a whole lot of pictures, but a few that I really liked.

Thanks everyone for the updates. It's great to know that everyone is doing well.
I'm doing awesome. Healthy and happy as usual.

Love you!

-Elder Brett

July 11, 2011

Hello family,

Elder Diamond and I are working hard and having a great time together. The days always seem to go by so fast because we're really enjoying what we're doing. We're working a lot with the less active members and seeing a lot of blessings from it. There are so many great people here.

We went down to McAllen for the 4th of July because there was a stake breakfast. One of our investigators came too. After enjoying breakfast tacos and a pancake (haven't had one of those in forever), we went to a soccer store named Soccer Locker and we all bought $10 soccer jerseys. I got two Mexican soccer cub ones; America (It's a mexican team) and Monterrey. Then we had a giant game of soccer, probably 25 versus 25. It was pretty intense because it had rained the day before so the field was all muddy. Later we had a four-zone activity in the Stake Center with Presidente and his wife.

Things here are awesome. We're about to play some more soccer in the cancha pretty soon. We'll all be wearing our new jerseys. I'll take some pictures if I remember.

Elder Brett

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hey all,

We got the transfer call on Saturday and it turns out I'm staying in Rio Grande. Actually, the entire district is staying the same. I thought for sure 2 or 3 would be leaving. Maybe there will be mid transfers? Who knows. I'm excited though because we have some people really close to baptism.

I attached a photo to the emal. Hopefully it works. This is a picture of me and Hermana T___ and her son Humberto. Hermana T___ is one of the greatest ladies I've ever met. When I was new to Rio Grande and when Elder Stone came in and replaced Elder Anderson, we were looking for a ride for one of our investigatores because she didn't have a car and I noticed in the branch directory that there was a member that lived past our investigator but would probably be able to pick her up on the way to church, since it was on the way. I didn't know her but I gave her call and got it set up that she would take our investigator to church on Sunday.

We introduced ourselves to her that sunday and she has been the biggest help since then. We started taking her out to lessons with us and then she started feeding us every friday evening. (This was awesome because this was back before we were getting fed) She has helped us out with so many lessons. Her testimony is so strong and she relates so well with the people that we teach.

She and her husband (he's less active) live in a very humble home and can only offer a little on fridays when we come by to eat, but boy is it the best food in the world. Not because she's an amazing cook, but because it means so much to us. Even though she doesn't have a lot, she always insists that we eat there. We have some of the best conversations with her too. She loves to talk, and I love to listen and try to absorb in as much spanish as I can. It's hard to stay there for under an hour because we get caught up in talking. She and her family are wonderful. This past week though she has been in Mexico visiting some family and it's been difficult because we really enjoyed her help. She should be back next week though. We're excited.

Anyway, I just wanted to show you that picture and share a story about one of the members here in the Rio Grande Branch. It really is a grand place. I'm excited to spend a little more time here. (or a lot, who knows?)

Thanks for everything. I won't be able to write next week because it's the 4th of July. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Con mucho amor,

Elder Brett

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday already...

It was another great week. We have been teaching a young lady named Monica and she is all ready for baptism, but she and her mother had to go out of town for some doctor appointments so we are just waiting for her to get back. Alex and her three kids were already interviewed for baptism and all set to go but there was an emergency in the family and it has been postponed. Satan really knows what he's doing...

It's been amazing being here in Rio Grande. Mas de cuatro meses! We find out about transfers this weekend and our district is pretty excited because we're pretty sure there are going to be some big changes. Four of us have been here for a considerable amount of time, so we're trying to guess where we are all going. My prediction is that I'm going to stay here and then halfway through the transfer I'm going to get moved. President tends to do that quite often. Keeps us on our toes I guess.

Have I expressed my love and appreciation for the members here? Man, they are awesome. I feel pretty fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a part of a regular ward all my life where there are sufficient amount of people to accomplish all the required tasks. The branch here is so small and there are many members who have to do so much. It's been a blessing to see them work so hard and diligently. I forgot to bring my cord that connects the camera to the computer, but next week I am going to send a picture of me and one of the older ladies in the branch who is absolutely amazing.  She feeds us every friday evening and the last time that we were there I asked her if I could take a picture with her and her son because I wanted to show my family back home some of the wonderful members in Rio Grande. I'll tell more about her in my next email.

But how are y'all doing? I really appreciate all the updates. It's fun to read them and then tell the other elders in my apartment all about you all. I like to brag about you guys.

So Saturday night the AC in our apartment broke. It was funny because Elder Diamond and I picked up Elder Ginez and Elder Pallo because they are in a bike area and when opened up the door to the apartment and headed inside, we were all like, "Something's wrong." It didn't take long to figure out that the air wasn't working. The thermometer said 100 degrees outside, 100 degrees inside. It was a brutal night's sleep. About every hour during the night, I would get out of bed and stick my head in the freezer for a few seconds. It was miserable. Elder Ginez ended up just sleeping on the tile floor the entire night because it was a tiny bit cooler. Elder Pallo slept under the fan by his desk in the study room. Fortunately we talked to the landlord this morning and he just barely fixed it. It will be nice to go back to a nice cool apartment. This sure made me appreciate air conditioning! We teach a lot of people here that don't have it, and now I wonder how they do it.

Well, thanks so much for all your support. You all are the best.

Elder Brett

June 13, 2011

Hello family,

Sorry I haven't sent an email in such a long time! P-days are precious!

Today we had another awesome awesome awesome game of futbol in the cancha. The Elders from La Joya (The district next to ours)came up and we had an exciting match, La Joya versus Rio Grande. The game got pretty crazy at the end and I think we just ended in a tie. We usually play for only an hour or so because it's so hot but we played for two today and we were all just about dead at the end. Some members from the branch came too. I love this branch. It's pretty small, totally crazy, but wonderful. I hope I stay in small branches throughout my mission. It's difficult most of the time, but it's worth it.

When I first got here we mainly just brought out certain members from the branch to help us out with our lessons but something that Elder Stone and I started to do and Elder Diamond and I are continuing to do is bring a lot of recent converts. We've had so much help from them. They still have that "fire" in them since their baptism. This branch sure is growing. Mom, I sent a CD of pictures. Did it ever get there? If it didn't, I am going to buy a flash drive and then I'll add the pictures to it, send it so you can all put it on your computer and then just have you send it back. I've tried putting them in emails but it didn't work. I have a TON of pictures too. I want you all to see them!

Transfers are coming up and a part of me really wants to stay here in Rio Grande. Out of all the people in the district right now, I've been here the longest, and the members know me really well. The beginning of my mission was so crazy, and I felt like I never got to know anyone, but now I do! At the same time though I wouldn't mind to get to experience another part of the mission. There are so many great places here, and all I know is Rio Grande. But I guess I'll find out in a week or two and let y'all know.

I was wondering if you could send me a few boxes of protein bars or trail mix bars or something. There are the nature valley oats and honey ones which I like. Anything really would work. I just want to assemble my 72 hour kit. All I need are the energy bars. Thanks a bunch.

Well we are in a hurry to do laundry. We decided to take a break from soccer next P-day so we have more time to write letters and email. I'll make sure and respond to your letters next time. Thanks for everything! Sorry if you all were worried. Things here are wonderful. I just need time to slow down. Thanks for all your updates. That is truly the best part of P-day.

con mucho mucho amor,

Elder Brett

May 22, 2011

Hey everybody,

I don't have a whole lot of time to write because I spent a lot of time writing President. A lot of good things are happening here in Rio Grande! There's a wonderful story that I'll have to tell next week.

I have a companion though! His name is Elder Diamond and he's from West Jordan Utah. It's about time I had one from Utah, especially since he's my twelfth companion. He's been out for more than a year and a half so he's got quite a bit of experience. He apparently plays soccer so we'll go find out if that's true or not in a little bit when we go to the concha. I got my butt whooped last week. It's probably karma since I lacked humility in my last email. I'll win today though...

Well family, thanks for everything. I love getting all the wonderful updates. Especially you Mallory, thanks for the plethora of letters. I'm really not sure where to keep them all. Even though you're really busy down there in Florida with work and hanging out on the beach, you never ever forget to write your little brother a nice letter here and there. (he he)

Love you all. You're the best.

Con mucho mucho amor,

Elder Brett

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hello all,
It was so great being able to speak to you on the phone! It feels like just yesterday that I was thinking, "man, I gotta wait until Mother's Day to call them?!" Now it has already come and gone. I guess we have Christmas to look forward to. Oh man, that's going to be weird.
Stephanie, I have great news for you. I decided that I want to become vegetarian. (Actually, that's a lie, but I was seriously considering it!) It's because I got food poisoning again! Stupid chicken. I'm pretty sure I'd be kicked out of Texas if people found out that I decided to be vegetarian. So, for the sake of being able to continue to be a missionary, I will grudgingly eat meat at every meal.
Work is going great. It's been a tough two weeks though without a companion. Although, I've had a lot of help from the young men in the branch, and it was a great experience for all of them. I get my companion tomorrow and I am really excited. His name is Elder Diamond and he's been out for a year and a half. I have quite a few investigators who are preparing for baptism and it will be great to have the help of an experienced missionary to help these people reach their goal. I'll tell you more about him once I get meet him and get to know him. I've had a string of great missionaries, let's see how long my luck lasts!!
There's not much else that's new or exciting. Still the same 'ol Rio Grande City! Thanks so much for your emails and letters. I love getting the wonderful updates.
Well, have a wonderful week. I gotta write Prez the weekly email, and then we're off to Wal-mart to shop, then laundry (ugh), and then a beautiful game of futbol in the concha, where I'll get to beat Elder Ginez at his own sport!
Lots of love,
Elder Brett

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hey all,

Things are going great here. Ton of work, and a ton of great people. It rarely dips below the 100's, but I'm slowly becoming accustomed to the heat. I haven't been bit by any dogs yet while riding my bike, but they sometimes get pretty close. Elder Stone and I have really been working hard in this area and trying to build it up. I wish I could better describe what the branch is like, but there really aren't a whole lot of words that best describe. It's amazing how the harder you work, the more fun you have, and the more you're blessed. Elder Stone and I have really seen that this past transfer.

Last monday was Elder Franco's last P-day so we went to eat at the Pizza Hut buffet. It was just me, Elder Stone, and Elder Franco because the other elders wanted to eat at the apartment to save money (typical missionary). It was really cool to talk about the experiences he had during his mission, all the things he learned, and the advice that he gave me and my companion. After about an hour, we had eaten so much food that we couldn't stand up, and decided to just relax at our table and keep discussing missionary experiences before paying for our meals and heading out. As we were just chatting, one of the ladies from the table across from us came over and tapped Elder Franco on the shoulder and said, "Don't worry, we already paid for your ticket" and then started to leave the restaurant with the other ladies she was with. It kind of took us by surprise and we didn't really understand what she said, probably because we were expecting her to speak spanish, but then we realized she meant that she had paid for our meals, so we all yelled thank you as she was walking out the door. It was pretty awesome, because it was totally unexpected. She wasn't a member of the branch and wasn't one of our investigators, so we just assumed that she recognzed us as missionaries and had the desire to pay for us. This probably doesn't seem like that unusual of an experience but after having gotten to know Rio Grande City, I think it was a miracle. That just doesn't happen down here. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of amazing people, but having this lady pay for all of our meals was amazing.

Then we had another cool experience on this past Saturday. We were riding our bikes all afternoon (we are supposed to ride bikes on Saturdays from 11 to 4) and saw some great success; we finally got a hold of a less active family we've been trying to stop by and had some good lessons with a couple of our investigators. We were heading back to our apartment to have some lunch before dropping our bikes off and grabbing the car when we saw a sign for raspas (snowcones). We decided we'd check it out real quick. We got to the raspa stand but no one was in there, but we saw some little kids across the street and asked if they knew who worked at the stand, so they ran inside and got their mother, who turned out to be the owner. She came over and we each ordered a large raspa. After she made them, we went to hand her our money and she said that they were free. We tried to insist, but she insisted that it was hot outside and they were free. We were really taken back by surprise. Yeah, it only saved 2 dollars but it really made our day.

Those were just two cool experiences of how I saved money this week, and how two strangers are going to be greatly blessed because of their kindness.

Thanks y'all for everything. Keep me updated. Love you all.

Elder Brett

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hello all,

What a week it was; a lot of ups and downs, but nevertheless it was a great week. Have I mentioned how fast the weeks go by? Our nickname for sunday is "gameday" and we try so hard to get all of our investigators prepared for gameday throughout the week and it never feels like there is enough time. Saturday always comes so quick and it's always one of the toughest days of the week. The tough day this past week was Friday though. Let me explain...

We ate at a members house on thursday night and the food was great, just possibly undercooked. My piece of chicken looked perfect but Elder Stone's piece looked like it had just been freshly pulled off the chicken. He ate a little but then politely asked for a new piece that was a little better cooked. Anyway, we finished off the night just great. The next morning during studies my stomach started to feel a little uneasy. I didn't think too much of it but as time went on it got slightly worse, but I just kept going through the day like nothing was wrong. We went by a few investigators' houses and then around 1pm we got a call to stop by a ladies house for lunch. She's catholic but claimed to always have the missionaries over for lunch so we wanted to go and see what the deal was (and see why the heck she wasn't baptized yet). The two other elders living in our apartment went with us as well.
On the way over there (by the way, I'm the driver. Elder Stone's license expired) I told all the elders that I'm not eating because my stomach kind of hurt and they were like "You know you can't deny food from mexicans!" and I knew I was in for trouble. Anyway, I ended up eating a full plate of food and my stomach was not happy with me. After eating and sharing a little message, we headed back to the apartment to pick up a couple things and by this time my stomach was really hurting. Elder Stone eventually convinced me to call the President's wife and just let her know.
She told me that quite a few missionaries had gotten the stomach virus lately so that's probably what it was, and she told me to go to the store and buy some imodium. So we go to the store and we pick it up and as I'm waiting in line, I realize that we need to get back to the apartment pronto. We were in the 10 items or less line, yet the two people in front of me had a hundred items in their cart. I was freaking out.
ANYWAY, we buy the medicine and fly back to the apartment. We get to our door and Elder Stone was taking forever to get the door unlocked, so I push him out of the way, unlock the door, and dash into the apartment and manage to flip open the toilet seat before vomiting everywhere. It was terrible. I haven't thrown up in a long long time and I forgot how miserable it was.
I continued to throw up the rest of the day and then I was perfectly fine the next morning. We worked extra hard on Saturday and Sunday and made up for the little lost time and had an overall great week; just a little food poisoning to throw a wrench in it all. It was great.

Okay, I'm not sure why I told that whole story. I just thought it was sort of funny. But I'm totally fine now, and things still are going great. Thanks for all the emails and letters. I tried to send an email last week with pictures but it didn't work. I think the best way to do it is to use a USB flashdrive. Mom, I should have a couple still at home. If you aren't using them, could you send them? If not, I can just buy one here. Elder Stone and I have taken some awesome awesome pictures and I really want you all to see them.

Anyway, y'all are the best. Thanks for everything. I'm always praying for you, and thanks for all your prayers.

Con amor,
Elder Brett

PS - dad, Elder Monson is actually in my zone. I've talked to him a couple times. He's really good at drawing. And what's up with March Madness??!! I've only heard a couple things, but is it Kentucky, UCONN, VCU and Butler???

     mom, thanks for the pictures of Buddy and of your award! I saw all the pictures. That's awesome. I'm still not so certain about buddy's hair...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hey all,
Every week we have to send a short letter to the president and I just thought that I'd send it to you as well just for fun. (I don't take time to put in accent marks, I apologize) (I also don't have a dictionary, I apologize for that too)
Gracias por un otro companero. Pienso que voy a tener cada misionero en este mision como mi companero, porque ya tenia once. Pero realmente Presidente, estoy muy agradecido por todo lo que aprendi durante mi poco tiempo como un misionero y un sirviente del senor. Estoy muy animado por lo que va a pasar en Rio Grande y yo se que Elder Stone y yo vamos a poder trabajar bien duro juntos en esta area. El es bien obediente y diligente, y le gusta trabajar. Pues, yo tambien y tenemos los mismos deseos en esta area.
Esta Domingo pasado, tuvimos 2 investigadores a la iglesia y yo estaba un poco triste al principio porque tuvimos planes para tener mas, pero averiguamos algunos de las dudas de nuestros investigadores y vamos a trabajar esta semana para resolver sus dudas y ayudarles a entender la importancia de la iglesia y tambien la espiritu santo, como ellos van a sentirlo, entenderlo, y la funcion del espiritu santo en sus conversiones.
Me di cuenta que hay personas que estan listas, quien Dios ha preparado, y estamos aqui para ayudarles en esta jornada. Mi meta esta semana es para depender del Espiritu para decir las cosas que van a ayudarles lo mejor, y no por mis propias palabras. Mi espanol es mejorando pero no quiero creer que porque yo puedo hablar mas, yo voy a poder convencerlos. Todavia, y por todo de mi mision, necesito depender del Espiritu.
Tambien, Elder Stone y yo vamos a enfocar mas en los conversos recientes, miembros menos activos, y las familias que todos no son miembros para recibir mas referencias y fortalecer esta rama. Me encanta Rio Grande. Es triste que tiempo esta voliendo (flying?) Estoy animado por la conferencia de Zona esta semana, y escuchar a Elder Holland (de la CD). Pero muchas gracias por todo Presidente.
-Elder Mecham
Well, it was another wonderful week. Rio Grande City is awesome. Thanks for everything.
Con amor,
Elder Brett A. Mecham
Another awesome, crazy, tough week...
We are still in the process of building up our area. We go tracting for the majority of the day and we are seeing slow progress. We found a family and the mom and dad are the nicest people in the world, although a little quiet. I hope they progress! I got my bike today and now I just have to assemble it. I'm in a car area right now but every saturday, we are required to use bikes from 11-4; just a way to save miles.
The past two weeks were finally the first two regular weeks of my mission, in regards to a companion. It was just me and my trainer Elder Anderson. But, guess what happened today? My companion just got called, mid-transfer, to become the Zone Leader and I'm getting a new companion on Wednesday, Elder Stone. I've heard he's a really good missionary and has been here for a while so he's experienced. I'm excited, but it means that I'm taking over the area. I need to show him around the area and introduce him to all of our investigators and ward members. I was really starting to enjoy my first real weeks of being a greenie. And then they take it away. It should be good though.
It's starting to get hot again. It was in the high 80's low 90's last week and it was a tremendous respite from the sun. Have I told you how excited I am for summer? Ugh. 
I haven't gotten bitten by any dogs yet. Most do, so I'm just waiting. I always let my companion go inside the gate first. They like to chase missionaries on bikes though so I am looking forward to this Saturday.  
Well, I think that's about it. Thanks ya'll for your emails and dear elders! I know I mentioned this before but we check our mailbox everyday! Oh, and friends can send emails as well. I just have to respond by snail mail.
Love, Elder Brett A. Mecham

Monday, February 14, 2011

Transferred Again...for real this time

Hello all,
I am finally in my mission now. McAllen Texas mission baby! Guess what? I love it. I am currently serving in Rio Grande City, and I can basically see Monterrey from where I am at. The river, which is the border, is in our area. Crazy huh? It's cool because there are so many people here from Monterrey, whereas in St. George I didn't meet a single person from there. One day, I'm going to find out exactly why I was sent here instead.
The branch here is tiny, but full of the coolest people. I wish I had time to describe every single member. On Sunday, Daniel was confirmed a member and Jose P___. was baptized. Daniel is 24 and is the coolest guy I ever met. He went on splits with us last night and we call him our secret weapon because before the misionaries found him, he had already investigated the Jehovah's Witness, Catholic, and some Christian church and he said he didn't feel comfortable with any of them. He said he prayed real hard because he wanted to know which church was true and a few days later, the missionaries came knocking on the door. So now Daniel is our secret weapon because the people we teach belong to one of the three churches that Daniel already investigated. His testimony is so powerful. He is preparing to go on a mission in a year when he can go to he temple, although he's not a legal citizen yet so he will have to serve in the McAllen Texas mission so I am hoping I can be his companion! How cool would that be?
My companions (yep, a trio once again) are Elder Anderson and Elder Duke. They are absolutely fantastic; such great missionaries and great people in general. We get along perfectly. My first day in the area was freezing cold (In south south texas?) but it has warmed up a ton and now it's hot. I don't want it to get any hotter. Too bad it's only February. I have a feeling I'm in for quite a treat come summertime.
My Spanish is improving. People keep complimenting me on it and give me more credit than I deserve, but I'm still very humble about it. I have a lot to learn. There are still those times when I'll be listening to someone speak and realize I had absolutely NO idea what they just said. That's when I pray that my companions take over.
Well, I have to write the President his weekly email. Afterwards, we are going to the park to play some futbol. I'm excited. Daniel is playing with us and Edgar, an investigator who is going to be baptized, will be there too.
Thanks for your long emails! I wish I had time to respond to them all. The food here is great (It's 100% authentic). My root canal surgery went great, didn't hurt at all. Went proselyting right after, although I couldn't really feel my face at all. Life is wonderful.
Elder Mecham
PS - I PROMISE I am going to send some pictures pretty soon. I hope

Monday, January 31, 2011


Hey family,

Guess What? I got transferred. I am currently serving in Enterprise Utah. Ever heard of it? Probably not because NOBODY LIVES HERE! There are about 2,500 people in Enterprise. It's basically a farming community and 98% are Mormon. (At least it seems like it) It's a bilingual area though so I've been teaching in Spanish and in English. I love it though. It took me a while to get adjusted, but just like what happened in St George, I'm beginning to get to know the members and the investigators, which is making it easier. The smell has been a little tough to get used to. There are a lot of horses, cows, dogs and cats galore, some goats, and even a llama. Oh boy. Even though Enterprise is tiny, we have a car because we cover a couple towns, although I'm not sure they even qualify to be called towns. We cover Enterprise, Newcastle, Beryl, Modena. Modena is 35 miles away and there are a grand total of 6 houses there. They are all Mormon. There are about 10 houses in Beryl plus a housing community for a bunch of Hispanic workers. Newcastle is much bigger, with about 30 houses. We have some investigators there. If you stand on Main street, you can see every single house plus all the farm area surrounding. And then there is Enterprise, where we live. Nice and tiny. We have quite a few investigators altogether though. 
There are quite a few less actives that we are teaching but I like to focus on the non-members. There is an anti-Mormon family that we visit once a week. Surprisingly, they are one of the nicest families. There's a small polygamist community and we've tried teaching them. It's hard because they believe in the Book of Mormon and that Joseph Smith was a prophet, they just believe in a different line of prophets after John Taylor. The polygamists are really nice too though; just difficult to teach. There is even a branch of polygamists out here called the "pyramid people" because they built a pyramid building thingie which is basically their temple, I think. They live in a gated community and won't let us in. We heard from some of the members around here that they will draw their weapons if we try to enter. We're gonna try to convert them sometime this week...
There's only one grocery store in town. Fortunately there is a laundromat. We're doing laundry right now. There's a gas station and a church building. A post office too. And I think that's about it. There's no barbershop. A member is cutting our hair this afternoon. I'm livin' the life right now. I took some good pictures the other day. I'll send them soon. It's been pretty fair weather all week, but unfortunately it snowed last night so it's a bit colder. It was in the 40's this past week which wasn't too bad. We'll have to trudge in the snow now. Ugh.
I'm having a root canal operation today. We have to drive to St. George in a bit. I'm hoping that the insurance will cover it? I called the President on Wednesday because my front tooth looked a little funny and because he is a dentist, he told me I needed a root canal. It's a pretty expensive operation but I'll find out all the financial information before I go through with it. President Leonard just told me I need to do it before I get to Mexico otherwise it will really start to hurt. It's funny, because my front tooth is actually sort of blue. It's been like that since the MTC but I just didn't do anything about it because it never hurt. It started hurting on Wednesday so that's why I called the Pres.
I've been here since Wednesday, because there was another visa waiter here but he got his visa on Tuesday. Transfer calls were Last night though and I'm staying here in Enterprise. That probably (hopefully) means that I'll be here until I get my visa for Monterrey Mexico! I wonder when that will be. Anyway, my companion's name is Elder Johnson and he's been here for about 7 months now. He didn't know a lick of Spanish before his mission though so it's been pretty interesting teaching the Spanish lessons. He's sure picked it up, but nothing compared to my companions in St. George. Instead of sort of sitting in the back during the lessons, I'm teaching them! And already, my Spanish has improved considerably. The Hispanics even understand me! Crazy huh? It sure is fun. Elder Johnson is a great guy. 
It turns out that Enterprise was recently whitewashed and Elder Johnson and the other visa waiter were brought in to lift up and change the area. The missionaries before were apparently terrible. They were teaching about 2-5 lessons a week. It's hard to believe that's true. But this past week, we taught 27 lessons. In the two years that Enterprise has had missionaries, that is the most. Our goal is 30 for next week. Elder Johnson and his companion had to get prepped before arriving to Enterprise because the area was so bad. The members just didn't have trust in the missionaries. Things are awesome now. Everybody wants to feed us and we've been getting a ton of referrals. The Stake President called our Mission President (when Elder Johnson and the other visa waiter were here) and told him how great the missionaries were doing. I feel like I'm filling his shoes because the area is doing great. When I got my transfer call, they told me that they needed me in Enterprise. It's funny because after the transfer call, I told the Mission President about my tooth and initially he said that it would be better if I was in St. George so I'd be in the area for the operation, but then he thought about it and then told me that I'll have to go to Enterprise anyway because they need me here. That made me feel really good. 
Anyway, I love it here. Life is good. Love you all!
Elder Brett A. Mecham

Monday, January 24, 2011

Life is Wonderful

'nother week done over here in St. George. Man, I love it here! We taught 52 lessons this week and we picked up 9 new investigators. We were getting a little discouraged with some of the former investigators because they just weren't progressing but we are seeing such great improvement with the new ones. They actually have a desire to hear our message and to learn more and keep commitments. For example, we got a member referral for a lady named Martha. Her husband was baptized but hasn't been to church since he was 16. (They are both in their late 20's now) They have two little girls, 8 and 5, and they are overall an awesome family. We asked them what they expected to get out of the lessons we teach them and the husband, Gustavo, said that he wants to get back into the routine of going to Church and center his life more on Christ and Martha said that she wants to learn more about the church and create a good life for her kids and family. We were so excited at the end of the lesson that we forgot to set up a return appointment and as we left the house and were walking up the stairs to head to our next appointment, Gustavo comes out and was like, "Hey uh guys, would you wanna come back or something? We could make you lunch or whatever?" We were like, "Heck yeah! Of course we want to come back". It was pretty funny. I can't believe we forgot to set up a return appointment. We usually have to be pretty persistent in setting them up.

The weather is absolutely gorgeous still. Sometimes we teach lessons outside on the porch and I feel like my neck is getting sunburned. It's wonderful. I always just imagine my friends in Salt Lake. Hah.

I gotta run though! A bunch of elders are getting together to play some soccer or ultimate frisbee. We were gonna play hockey but about 16 other elders called us all wanting to play. Nothing wrong with a little futbol though. Life is wonderful.

Love you all!

Elder Brett A. Mecham

PS - I'll send some pictures soon hopefully. I haven't taken any yet but I put the camera in the car now so I'll start taking some

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

First Letter Post-MTC

FYI: Brett has been sent to the St. George, Utah mission until his visa for Mexico comes.  We've been told it shouldn't be too long, which is why they've kept him in Utah for the time being.  

Hello all!
I am here in St. George! Wow it has sure been quite a week. I don't know where to start. How about from the beginning?
So, Elder Fowler and I met up at the Travel Office last Tuesday (1/11/11)  at 6am and took a shuttle to the airport and boarded a tiny 30 passenger plane and landed here in St. George about an hour later. A senior missionary who works at the mission office met us there at the airport and took us straight to the mission office where we met the mission president and the senior missionary couples who worked there. All are great people. Then we had a condensed orientation which usually takes a few hours, jam-packed into about an hour or so. After that, my new companions picked me up. My companions are Elder Carpenter and Elder Hayden. They are the best. Elder Carpenter is from Montreal Canada and only has a couple more weeks left on his mission. He's an avid hockey player (we play every other morning) and a really funny guy. He loves to joke around, but he's an excellent missionary. He was an AP a little while ago and now he and Elder Hayden are the Zone Leaders. Elder Hayden is from Oregon and loves to pretend that he's amazing at hockey. He actually is pretty good, me and him are about on the same level, and we both like to pretend that we are all-stars. He graduated in '09 like I did but went straight on his mission. He's a couple months older than me. So yeah, I got two great companions.
After I met up with them though, we went straight out and started teaching lessons. These people are machines. We teach an average of about 9 lessons a day. It's really good practice for me. The first day, I don't think I said a single word though except for Gracias, hola, and maybe an hasta luego here and there. My tongue seemed to be in a knot the first day, literally. I tried to untie it but it must have been double-knotted. I eventually got it untied because I am talking now! Still not a whole lot, but I am progressing. It is sort of difficult to get a word in sometimes since there are three of us but Elder Hayden and Elder Carpenter are really helping me have the chance to speak. I originally thought that they would just want me to sit there and not say anything in fear that I would mess things up, but they are always trying to get me to say something. Now though, our lessons are going much smoother and we all speak when it feels right.
We have some great investigators though. It sure is awesome teaching real people. I am getting to know them all and it is nice building those relationships. Some sad news though, one of our investigators, Monica, was supposed to be baptized this past sunday but it fell through. Her boyfriend was supposed to move out of the house but because of financial problems, he hasn't moved out yet. He is out of work and Monica is struggling to find work. The good news is that Monica told her boyfriend that he has to move out because she wants to be baptized, but they are just having some difficulty working things out. Sunday night, we went to her place and she wasn't there but her boyfriend was and he came out and talked to us and he even told us that he knows that she is doing the right thing and he wants her to get baptized, but things are difficult right now. So anyway, we still have hope that she will eventually be baptized. In the mean time, we are trying to help them.
One of our progressing investigators is named Sae and finding her was a cool story. About a week before I got here, Elder Hayden and Elder Carpenter were knocking doors and when they knocked on her door, she said "I'm in a hurry but please come back! I want to talk to you guys!" So of course, they went back and it turns out she was waiting for someone to come talk to her about God. We are currently teaching her and have almost taught her all the lessons. She always reads the things that we assign her and when we ask her if she understands everything, she always does. She really has a strong desire to learn and do what is right. We are so pleased with her and her progress because we have other investigators that just aren't really trying. We have quite a few that let us in but don't read anything we leave them, clearly aren't praying to know if these things are true, and don't really participate much in the lessons. I think they just let us in because they are kind. I hesitated to use the word kind though because they really don't show much kindness. It's almost like they are scared not to let us in. It's hard to explain. Many of the investigators we have are from this trailer park and they are all very humble but all very timid and quiet. Sae is from the trailer park though and she is wonderful.
Man, I want to describe all of our investigators to you because there are so many more! We have about 20 right now. That's why we are teaching so many lessons. I have had the opportunity to knock some doors though and that's my favorite thing. Elder Hayden and I found one just the other day named Olivia and she is from Chiahuaha Mexico and we are coming back on Thursday. I would really like to be able to find an investigator here and see them progress towards baptism, rather than just continue with those that were already investigators when I got here. I guess that depends on how long I am here. Honestly, I don't care how long that is. St. George is awesome! I love it here. I've worn my suit jacket once here and that was because it was Sunday and we had to. Today actually we took off our sweaters because it's so nice out and we are just wearing our white shirts. I could even go short sleeve. Pretty lucky eh? Elder Wallace and Elder Dickson are probably freezing their butts off in Salt Lake. HAH.
We get up at 6 every morning to exercise. We rotate every other day between working out at the gym and playing hockey. We got a key to the Dixie High School gym so we work out there before school starts and we play hockey in the church gymnasium. Hockey is my favorite. We played for hours yesterday since it was P-day and it was such a blast (P-day is on Monday for us, but because it was MLK day, the library was closed). Elder Carpenter is the best since he is Canadian but there are quite a few others that are really good. I scored 4 goals yesterday. No biggie. The nights sure go by fast though. Even faster than in the MTC. I am DEAD tired at night though! I often don't recall getting in bed. I just hear the alarm clock go off at 6am and wonder what happened to the nighttime. I love what I am doing though. I love teaching real people. My testimony has really grown seeing people who were unfamiliar with the church keep their commitments and gain a testimony of their own. Maria Avelar is one of our investigators and we asked her to continue reading the Book of Mormon and read 1 Nephi:7 by the next time we meet, and she was like, "Yeah I can do that but is it alright if I read a little more?" She's awesome. She has a baptismal date for February 12th but I think she'll be ready before then. We'll see how it goes.
One thing that is really cool about St. George is meeting the Spanish people from many different parts of the world. In Monterrey I'm sure a lot will just be from Monterrey or close by, but here there are people from all over. We were knocking doors Saturday and we met a guy named Jason and he's from El Salvador and we set up another appointment with him. For some reason Elder Hayden likes people from El Salvador. But anyway, I think it is just totally awesome to be able to be here in St. George. My Spanish is improving, but I'm excited to go to Monterrey where it will improve even more. We don't really speak much in Spanish outside of lessons. Elder Carpenter and Elder Hayden are really good at Spanish so obviously the language still comes even when not completely immersed in it, but that's what I am really looking forward to: immersing myself and being stuck if I don't know the word in Spanish! We never really even have time for Language study in the morning because we usually have lessons to go to, which is unfortunate, but I am learning a lot from the lessons. It's funny how I thought I could understand Spanish pretty well when I left the MTC, but the people here speak WAY faster! It's ridiculous! I am just beginning to understand what they are saying. I guess my teachers took it easy on us, and slowed down. But I could understand the natives in the MTC! I think it's because the people here aren't speaking just about Gospel stuff. They are using real-world vocabulary and I don't really know that yet. Ugh. Well, it will come.
Alright, my hands hurt from typing. I can't imagine what I would do if I had to write this as a letter. I guess computers haven't been around forever though. What did people used to do?
I love you all and thanks for everything!
Con amor,
Elder Brett A. Mecham
Oh and here's my St. George address:
107 S. 1470 E. Ste. 304
St. George, UT