Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Let the Holy Spirit Guide

Dear Family:

PICTURES!!!! (note from the editor: sorry about this photo teaser, my mom said there weren't any photos with the email. Perhaps he forgot or there was an attachment error. Either way, we should have some pictures of Elder Fine soon)

Ernesto got married and baptized!!!! woot.  The Lord is working some mighty miracles in that family.  12 year old Ernesto Jr. (Gordo) was baptized a month ago and is pretty much a miniature general authority.  He's very smart, has a huge desire to learn and a strong testimony and he wants his family to have it as well.  Ernesto Sr. is also amazing.  Smart, unlearned, but smart.  Gordo gave the talk on baptism at his dad's baptismal service, and it was amazing.  12 years old, pure doctrine, powerful testimony, delivered with love, and he's only been a member for a month.  He basically holds that family together.  So, I don't want to bore you with too much character background, but this is all leading up to a pretty amazing story.  Well, it was amazing when it happened and I'll try to convey the amazingness when I tell it.  So last night we went over there to get the details for Ernesto's baptismal record (place of birth, children's full names and birthdays, etc.) We had some extra time before our next appointment so we decided to watch a church film.  During the film, it didn't really seem like anyone was paying too much attention, and then afterward we bore testimony of God's love for his children and the truthfulness and power of the Book of Mormon, and that we were the only ones who have the restored gospel.  Jasmin (14), who had never been interested in talking to us, at least not since I've been here, started asking questions and really showing what is referred to in the scriptures as real intent.  Even before the movie, she was kind of ignoring us and Gordo said in a perfect annoying little brother tone "I'm gonna keep praying for you until you realize that church is good for you, you know that right?"  Anyway, probably because of him, she started paying attention.  So we knelt down and had her ask God, right then and there if this was his true church (that's how she phrased it "your true church").  And then we stayed on our knees for what could have been anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes, I'm not sure.  How do you feel?  "weird" The spirit feels weird when we don't know what it is.  It's a good weird, but yeah.  She agreed to prepare to be baptized on November 6, and this is where Ernesto Jr. says "hey, can I say something?" and in three or four of the most powerful sentences I've ever heard, bears testimony to his sister of how this decision will make her a better and happier person and that's what he wants for her.  Nothing we could say was going to top that, so we closed with a prayer and then left in absolute awe of how the spirit directed everything in there.  We didn't go there to talk to Jasmin, nor to watch a film.  We weren't even planning on having a lesson!  If you had asked me beforehand if Jasmin would accept a baptismal date that night, I would have laughed.  Gordo doesn't know a whole lot of doctrine, but he  knows how to follow the spirit when directed, and he knows that going to church is good for you, because when men speak by the power of the spirit, it carries their words unto the hearts of men.  We do not know who God has prepared.  The field is white, already to harvest.

This week is Stake conference.  It's in the conference center and we'll have the opportunity to hear from one of the Twelve.  It is also possible that one of the first presidency could be there as well.  Gettin kinda tired of always interacting with prophets here...yawn...Chiste! I love it.

Re: Christmas
It's up to you.  I get mail on Monday, so it's possible I won't have it until next week if it gets here after Monday, but what I've heard is that I will be here for a week after I receive word of my VISA.  Since I have not received word, I will still be here for at least a week, possibly more.  So, yes.  I will be here.  I don't care what you send me.  A harmonica would be nice.

Found in the pictures is the missionary light saber photo trick (done by holding a scripture highlighter close to the camera), the reason LDS missionaries support tide to go (before and after)  I think there's a mexican flag one, and the I was reassigned picture, some from GENCON 2010 pt 2 and one of me and my buddy Adam at the provo temple.

The church is true.  The book is blue.  I love the food and I'm getting pretty good at "smashing" (that's what happens when missionaries eat with members, which we do every day).  Keep building Zion.  Good luck.


Elder Fine

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Mountain of the Lord

Family, Friends, and People of Mesa,

I am having a wonderful time in the Salt Lake City Mission.  Let's start with a cool story.  This morning we went to the Temple.  It was my first time doing any redemptive work in the Salt Lake Temple.  The live session is very cool.  As we (a group of missionaries) were entering the temple, we were stopped in the hall by some bodyguard-type brethren and we saw Elder Perry walk by.  Then around the corner, smiling cheerfully, come President Uchtdorf and his wife.  President Uchtdorf looks at us, says "well this is a good looking group of missionaries" and walks over to shake everyone's hand, tells us to "enjoy the temple" and then goes into his meeting.  Needless to say we were all a little in awe.  You can't see it on tv, but President Uchtdorf radiates happiness.  He had a great big smile on the whole time and you could tell that he was genuinely happy to meet us and just a very happy person in general.  I heard that some other missionaries saw Elder Oakes as well, but we were already inside at that point.  Yesterday was zone conference.  I played Come thou Fount on a borrowed violin.  Considering that I pretty much had to sight read it there, I did a good job.  If I had time to practice it, it could have been better, but that's not what I need to be spending time on.  I got an email from President Tervort of Mision Mexico Ciudad Mexico Noroeste today.  According to him, they only have about 100 missionaries in a 200 missionary mission, a 12 by 12 mile square with millions of people in it.  They've been fasting for the visas.  I'll be glad when I get to go, but I think I'll miss it here.  I can understand pretty much everyone except Ernesto, but nobody understands him so it's ok.  I can even sort of speak spanish, very slowly and simply.  At least I won't overcomplicate any doctrine.  I forgot my camera again but there is a picture with the back of my head in it from the lds newsroom that I'll attach for you :).  Sorry Arizona had some pre-millenial storm trouble, but I suppose that's to be expected.  Especially with the way the talks are leaning in recent general conferences.  Spanish Joke! (upside down question mark) Que dice Pinnochio cuando tiene hambre?  Yo quiero ser real!

That's all folks!


Elder Fine

General Conference

Hello Family!!!

Well, conference, as you are probably aware, was AMAZING.  We were down at temple square for every session and were in the conference center for both sessions on Saturday.  I saw a lot of people from Mesa and BYU and I also went to Deseret book and got Handel's Messiah as performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra and the 1985 Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  It's quite good.  We also saw Alex Boye standing outside being a famous mormon and doing whatever it is that famous mormon singers do.  I keep forgetting to bring my camera, but next week I'll send pictures.  Mom, no se preocupe.  One of the themes that was stressed in conference was trusting the Lord. As Elder Bednar would say, "Quit worrying about it.  Be a good girl.  Keep your covenants, and the spirit will guide your decisions."  I do not know the status of my visa. I will know as soon as President Winn gets any information and as soon as that happens I will be shipped out within a few days.  Little by little I'm getting better at just randomly talking to people I don't know.  It's pretty hard to pull a conversation out of thin air, especially in Spanish, but as my companions pointed out "If you feel awkward, you're doing it right."  Missionaries shouldn't be comfortable. 

Inspirational story of the week:

Elder Chavez, Seivert, and I were at Temple Square Sunday evening and had a tour planned for some of our investigators.  They would see the family presentation, feel the spirit, and get baptized and be saved for eternity and all would be well in Zion.  Despite our efforts to confirm the appointment and remind them where to be and when, they didn't show.  This, in and of itself, was pretty devastating, but what's more, we now had no ride home (and were not permitted to buy trax tickets on sunday).   We called a few people in the ward who did not answer and found that we truly were stranded.  So I said a prayer, asking for a miracle, as Elder Seivert tried dialing any number he could find in the phone. Half an hour later, we were picked up by the brother of someone that Elder Seivert had accidentally called because she had the same name (Carla) as the daughter of someone in our ward.  This brother had served in the SLC South mission and knew Elder Chavez from California.  The Lord answers prayers and watches out for the missionaries.

To the familia Grubbs:  Elder Josh Carter is in my zone.  We had some good times talking about the strange connections we had with you guys.  He's a great missionary.

I love you all.  Have a great day, gotta go!


Elder Fine


Here is his letter.  I thought his P-Day was Thurs, but I guess it is Wed.

Thanks for your support!

From: Brandon Fine []
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 1:13 PM
To: Kevin Fine
Subject: Re: Letter from Mom 9-26-10

Hola Familia Fine,

Everything is going well here in the Salt Lake mission.  I'm speaking Spanish on Spanish here, and it's been a pretty crazy first week.  My address here is:

Elder Brandon Kevin Fine
Utah Salt Lake City Mission
3487 S 1300 E
Salt Lake City, Utah 84106-2951

I don't drive because a) I don't know where anything is. b) I don't have a TIWI card to log in because I'm not actually a permanent Salt Lake City missionary and c) I probably shouldn't be driving anyway.  A few things I learned this week include:  Mexicans are very forgiving and patient with those who are trying to learn their language and they'll still understand you even if you conjugate something incorrectly.  The definition of "agua" is not limited to water, but includes juice, horchata, kool-aid, and basically any other drink.  Interesting mission story of the week:  We stopped by to visit Ernesto, who is planning on being married and baptized soon and has a 12 year old son who was baptized a few weeks ago.  I was feeling rather awful and we had eaten an abundance of taquitos at a member of the bishopric's house.  Gordo (the 12-year-old) informed us that his dad had just gotten home and was asleep and maybe we could try to talk to him later.  I became increasingly aware that I was not okay.  Luckily Gordo speaks perfect english and is a huge fan of the missionaries, otherwise it might have been awkward for me to ask if I could throw up in his bathroom.  Moral of the story, you never know what it is that's going to get you inside talking to investigators.  Once we were in, we were able to answer questions and plan for Ernesto.  Now, don't you worry about anything.  I got some nyquil, some rest, and a priesthood blessing, and I'm feeling much better.  I can actually breath through my nose!  I've really had to hit the ground running here.  There's no time to waste.  Get here, get with your companion, and go teach, testify, and invite people to be baptized, in spanish.  I'm not very good at it yet, but I can tell that with the help of the spirit I am rapidly improving.  They give us money periodically.  Because I'm not technically a permanent part of this mission, I don't actually have a card, so they put my money on Elder Chavez's card and then we go take it out of an ATM.  Simple enough.

Ok, so you got the bad story.  Now here's the good one.  Prepare yourself.  On Monday we went to do Temple Service in the Salt Lake Temple.  The first little bit of it was moving cabinets and stuff around and riding up and down in the freight elevator in the basement.  Then we went up to the fourth floor and moved the Apostles' chairs from their room to the solemn assembly room on the 5th floor.  You have to keep them in order because they're all memory foam and contoured to fit each individual apostle.  Then we put their personal hymn books, which they all write notes in (Elder Holland writes the dates that each is sung), on their chairs.  We couldn't find Elder Nelson's at first because it was on the organ in their room, because he had played the hymn on Sunday.  We also got to see the top of the dome.  Simply incredible.  Trivia question:  There are three portraits of the three witnesses outside the Apostles' meeting room.  Why are they there?  Do you know the answer?  I didn't.  Turns out the three witnesses were assigned to call the very first quorum of twelve in this dispensation.  Interesting stuff.  So I've now been inside the Salt Lake temple and in parts of it that most temple patrons don't go but haven't yet done anything redemptive in it.  I'll be downtown for conference making sure our investigators know where to go and we might even be able to get into a session.  We'll probably attend priesthood in Spanish with Ernesto and Gordo.  Not really sure what the plan is.  I'm excited though.

Let's see, you requested a typical day.  I haven't really had one of those yet, but I'll tell you some of the things that are fairly consistent.  Wake up at 6:25, excercise for half an hour, shower, eat, personal study, companion study (role play for practice).  Mornings like that are pretty regular, the time for language study shifts around depending on what we have going on in the mission and with appointments.  Dinner is usually at 5 and we are very well fed.  Good thing I like mexican food.  They put this sweet chili pepper powder stuff on watermelon.  I thought it was kinda weird, but I liked it when I tried it.  Have you ever heard of that?  Most of our teaching appointments are after dinner during the week because that's when the most people are home.  We keep pretty busy.  Sometimes people aren't home, so we leave them a note and go talk to someone else.  We always have someone to talk to.  It's great.  Anyway, life is good, the church is true, the book is blue.  Have a fantastic week.  I love you all!


Elder Brandon Kevin Fine
Reply to all

The Land of the Prophets

He leaves the MTC tomorrow (Thursday 9/23) for SLC.  I love that he referred to our family motto. (And Lauren also used it this past week in a BYU writing assignment).  If anyone doesn’t know, the Fine Family Motto is:

We’re going to do the best we can with what we have to work with.

This came from a few experiences where whining set in, and we heard things like, “Wow, this is hard”, and “It would be easier if….” – to which we would say (insert motto here).  We said it so many times, we started calling it our family motto and it has apparently stuck (much to my delight) – My kids actually remembered something I taught them, Hallelujah!!!

Thanks so much for your love and support.
From: Brandon Fine []
Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 1:46 PM
To: Kevin Fine
Subject: Re: Letter from Mom 9-20-10

Mother, Father, Brothers and Sisters,

Today is my final day in the MTC.  I'm not feeling sick anymore, and my voice is back, so I'll actually be able to talk when I get to el campo.  Estoy tan animado para salir al campo.  I do not know the address of the Salt Lake City Mission, but I suspect that is something that you or I could easily find out by asking the right people or researching.  I saw the Patchetts yesterday!  They will be great missionaries.  That would be pretty crazy if I saw Dad and Ethan in Salt Lake over conference weekend.  I'm not sure how conference in the mission field, especially in Salt Lake, will be, but I'm sure it will be different.  I want you to know that I am not discouraged or disappointed at all in my reassignment to Salt Lake City.  Some of the Elders are, for some reason, thinking that preaching the gospel in Zion is less cool than Mexico.  The way I see it, God knew long ago that I would be called to Mexico City, but needed to serve first in Salt Lake.  There are people waiting in both of those places that I promised to teach the gospel to before I came to this earth.  I am not going there to wait until I get my visa.  I am going there to bring people to a knowledge of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  Scriptural thought of the week:  "Why is missionary work so hard?"  Jeffrey R. Holland answers:  "Because Salvation is not a cheap experience!  It was not easy for the Savior.  How dare we think that we can do it without even coming close, experiencing an ounce, a tiny drop of the cup that He drank"  Similarly, President Simon Peter, the first president of the church after Christ, declared "Think it not strange considering the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.  But rejoice in that ye are partakers of the suffering of Christ" (1 Pet. 4: 12-13)  I'm pretty sure both of those are quoted wrong, but the message is there in both of them.  I do not expect it to be easy.  But I will happily and faithfully do the best I can with what I have to work with.  To paraphrase the apostle Paul, "The time of my departure is at hand.  I will fight the good fight.  I will finish my course.  I will keep the faith"  I finished reading the new testament all the way through today.  Good book.  The biggest thing I learned from it was that we REALLY need the Book of Mormon.  Also, the ministry and atonement of Jesus Christ are just amazing.  I like the manner of prophecying among the Nephites quite a lot better than the manner of prophecying among the Jews.  Like Nephi, "my soul delighteth in plainness."  Oh I almost forgot:  Adam, the tutor for our zone, Brother Warr, served in Baton Rouge.  I think he left right before you got there, but he knows a lot of the Elders from your mission that were there before, like Elder Fife.  Probably knows a lot of the members and investigators too.  Anyway, you're all Awesome.

Con todo el amor de mi corazon,

Elder Brandon Fine

A Fun Phone Call

I just got off the phone with Brandon.  It was so wonderful to hear his voice – of course I broke into spontaneous tears as soon as I knew it was him.  J

He had 4 minutes, and I shared some of those with Diane and Ethan. 

He is going to the Salt Lake City mission on Thursday (9-23), where he will serve (Spanish speaking) until his Visa comes through, at which time he will proceed to the Mexico City Northwest Mission, where he was originally called.  He doesn’t have any further info on how long he will be there, so it will be a surprise for all of us.

I guess it makes sense that it is cheaper/easier for the church to send him from Provo to Salt Lake for his waiting period than to send him anywhere else, but then again, maybe there is divine purpose in his stay in SLC.

Words cannot express how GREAT it was to talk with him, even just for a few minutes.  I love that boy!


No Visa, but he's still everywhere he wants to be


1) No
2) No
3) I do not yet know where or when, but I will almost certainly be reassigned.
4) Yes I did, and I love them.  I wonder why I didn't bring any of the amazingly gorgeous ties that I have the first time.

That's exciting to hear about your VT comp.  Even in the MTC I've had the opportunity to watch real people come unto Christ, and it is a beautiful experience.  If you remember the TRC volunteer I told you about that turnted out to be a real Catholic.  She wanted to be baptised, but wanted to put it off for a couple years because she was nervous about telling her parents and stuff like that.  Anyway, I haven't had much chance to talk to her, but I got her an English Book of Mormon and had her read 2 Ne. 31 (best chapter ever for showing people who have felt the spirit the need to act on it).  She emailed me today saying that she has been working with some friends and decided to be baptized on her birthday in January.  It's still a little far away, but I have faith that she will follow through with it, and since I'll be in Mexico, I won't really have much influence, so i'm glad her friends and neighbors are working with her. 

Still Alice:  I've heard of that book, but I didn't know what it was about...sounds interesting. 

I sang last week with a 4 other Elders in Sacrament Meeting "Conmigo Quedate Senor" (Abide with me, 'tis eventide) and I played the piano in Sacrament Meeting as well.  President Clegg (counselor in MTC presidency) and President Brown (counselor in District B presidency) were both there.  The week before that, i translated the testimonies into English for President Breinholt (other counselor in MTC presidency).  So we've had a lot of MTC higher ups visiting our branch lately substituting in for our own presidency which have been sick and on vacation a lot.  I'm so glad to hear about everything.  You should be getting some hand-written letters on fancy paper soon.  We've started using classtime exclusively for teaching lessons, lots of lessons.  It's great practice and I'm feeling comfortable teaching and explaining things.  Also, we're speaking spanish this week, and Elder Moss and I have both made a personal goal to not say a single English word tomorrow. 

I'm gonna get a haircut today, because we're supposed to get one the week we leave and that is supposed to be this week, but it will likely not be.  I ran into my old roommate Jeremy Cooper at the temple last week.  He served his mission in Chihuahua.  Anyway, he's engaged!  How about that!  I also saw a couple friends from my BYU ward across the street as I walked up to the temple on Sunday.  It was fun.  Oh, I forgot to mention last week that Elder Stephen Hancock is in my zone and his companion went to your high school, Parkway West, in St. Louis.  Anyway, the MTC is great and all, but I'm ready to get out of here and start Dan Jones-ing it up in Mexico, or wherever.

Much love,

Elder Brandon Fine

On Sun, Sep 12, 2010 at 4:22 PM, Kevin Fine <> wrote:
Hi Son,

The most important questions I have for you are

1)   Did your Visa come through?
2)   Are your going to Mexico City on Sunday?
3)   If not Mexico City, where are you going and when are you leaving?
4)   Did you get the ties we mailed to you?


Querida Familia,

Thanks for the updates!  I'm sorry to hear about Brother Sabbe, but the knowledge we have of the resurrection is very comforting, and will bring joy to many in Mexico.  I am so excited to go.  I should find out this week whether or not I have a visa.  I love my district and am so proud of all they are accomplishing.  We are all striving to obey all the rules, even the ones we don't understand.  Sometimes God gives us commandments just so he can give us more blessings for obeying them.  Speaking of pictures, I wouldn't mind getting some from you lot.  Or my ties, that would be good, too, please.  Take good care of the lemon tree.  Hermano Pace's last day was on Saturday and our new teacher is Hermano Diaz, a Peru native.  He's a really fun teacher and was the only one of the teachers in out class building who knew how to say "jellyfish" in spanish (medusa).  This was important because high fives are not allowed, so if someone were to attempt a high five, I would have to make a jellyfish motion with my hand to avoid breaking the rules.  I'm not sure if that made any sense.  Ask lauren to explain "jellyfish/bigger jellyfish."  I'm sure Adam will make the right decision.  The temple is a great place to ponder difficult questions, especially the 4:00 session on wednesdays ;) chiste.  Last night's devotional was Elder Hinckley (Yep, that Elder Hinckley); he and his wife taught us the keys to a successful mission.  The main thing I got from both of them was just to stay happy, be excited, and have a good attitude (Elder Hinckley also mentioned stay on your medication and be careful).  When he was a new mission president, he was feeling like maybe he couldn't do this for 3 years.  When he mentioned that to Sister Hinckley, she said "Why don't you call your dad and tell him you want to go home?"  After that he wasn't discouraged anymore.  He looks and sounds SO MUCH like his dad, it was kind of strange listening to him.


Elder Fine

For Dad:
After his talk, Elder Hinckley invited us to ask questions.  One Elder asked him "What was the most important thing you learned from your father?"  He replied, "He was not a preacher at home, but the example he set and how he lived his life was a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel."

Dad, I want you to know that I honestly cannot think of a better man than Kevin Paul Fine.  I have tried.  You have been that example for me, and because of that, I hold you higher in my mind than anyone else.  I love you, and I figured I needed to thank you for being such a great man, because not everyone is as lucky as I am to have the greatest man on the planet to be their father.  So thanks.

On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 9:25 AM, Kevin Fine <> wrote:
Good Morning, Sonshine!

It is Monday morning and I am writing you before I head off to work. 

First, THANKS for sending pictures!  I loved them.  The one of you pointing on the map is on the fridge.  And I got your other pictures developed this week – so your plaque at church has your cute picture on it, and your picture on the wall is no longer your senior picture, but is a new missionary one, and I replaced that framed pic of Adam that we kept in the living room with a pic of my new missionary – so it was a picture filled week.   J

You look happy and well, which makes me happy!

Speaking of being happy – your sister is having the time of her life at BYU.  Here are a couple of texts I got this past week
“This library is possibly the most amazing place I’ve ever been.”
“On the first floor, they have an exhibit with original writings of famous authors like Charles Dickens – their actual handwriting.  I about died of joy. J

We skyped with her yesterday and she looked and sounded great.  Of course, today is the first day of classes, so the fun may dwindle somewhat with the actual “School” part of school. 

Adam was called to be the Sunday School President in his ward.  He will do a good job, I am sure.  From what I can tell, he is still deciding about whether to date Katie or Lanae – he hasn’t shared anything about it.  He wants to get it figured out first, then tell people – I guess that makes sense.

Diane is cheering in her first game on Thursday of this week.  I have never been to a Poston football game – but I will be going to several this year! 

Ethan will be starting soccer soon.  I hope he likes it.  I am a little tired of him practicing in the house!  But he is full of energy and is a good kid.

Yesterday was our first Sunday with just 2 kids. – kind of strange.  We sat on the same bench with the Millers.  We really can’t justify an entire bench to ourselves with just 4 people!  It still feels like home, though, and you three who are gone are often in our thoughts and conversations and always in our prayers.

I am going to John Sabbe’s funeral this morning.  He passed away last Thursday.  I am both happy and sad for him and Sandy.  These past few years have been hard.  This is when a testimony of the resurrection really matters. 

We pruned the lemon tree tons this weekend.  All of the branches had become so heavy, they were about to break.  I hope it will live.  – I know you think of that as your tree – and we are doing our best to have it be here and healthy when you return.

I was happy to hear about some VISA’s being on time.  I am very interested to see how that plays out for you.

Thanks for your fun letters. They make me smile all throughout the week J

Take care!


Un Mes

He Aqui, Uno Mes. (Behold, One Month)

Selections from the Missionary Journal of Elder Brandon Kevin Fine

Excerpt One.  21 Agosto, 2010

...At dinner, when I was getting salsa for my chimichanga, the Elder in front of me accidentally got a few drops of salsa on my favorite tie (the red paisley from Brother Barton).  I was pretty annoyed but I refrained from saying anything beyond "!En Serio!" to him; however, I did say other things when describing this event to my district.  I had scarcely done so when immediately my hand slipped and my fork flung salsa and sour cream all over my white shirt...Wo unto him that is quick to anger... Anyway, right after I had badmouthed this Elder, I had done far worse.  Clearly to teach me something of humility.  So I laughed it off and changed my shirt and tie and used an entire Tide to Go Pen.  Took Before and After pictures too, in case Tide ever wants to use the catch phrase "LDS missionaries support Tide to Go!"

Excerpt Two.  22 Agosto, 2010

...We took some great district photos at the temple with a Mexican flag.  Got some great ones of me wearing it like a cape and looking really heroic with Elder DeYoung's Mexico scarf like a sash.  Devotional was Stephen B. Allen.  I like him.  He allows us to take off our suit coats and is always fun and uplifting...

Excerpt Three.  24 Agosot, 2010

...Elder Moss and I taught the entire first lesson in spanish for the first time.  It went really well, could be better, but it was good...Elder Holland came today and gave the devocional (I accidentally spelled it in spanish in my journal).  It was amazing.  Such a strong spirit was there and it made me want to go Christlike the socks off of everyone in Mexico.  So motivating.

You should be getting some photos from me soon.  None of the photos that are mentioned will be included because they are too recent for me to have printed.  but there are some pretty great ones there.  I'm having a great time here and learning a ton.  If y'all want to send me Lauren and Adam's addresses, it'd be cool to send them letters at BYU.  I got almost no mail at BYU.  Recently, visas have gotten better.  A group going to Mexico got theirs ON TIME last week.  Entonces, we shall see.  My mission is open.  I do not have the address, but you might be able to find it online at this point.  There's a website where you can search for a mission or even a missionary and find the address.  When I checked it before I left, the Northwest mission was not on it, but it might be now.  The signs on the front are still gone.  I don't know that it was vandalism, that's just something that I heard here.  You can't be sure of a lot of things that you hear at the MTC.  Speaking of things I'm hearing, what is going on with BYU's sports program?  I heard they might go independent but haven't yet made the decision.  And...I really need more ties.  The ones I have aren't gonna last and there are some I left that I wish I had.  We figured out the trick to not having freezing showers, so that's good.  Anyway, the church is true.  The book is blue.  Moroni is on the ball.

Live long and prosper,

Elder Brandon Fine