Monday, December 30, 2013


Yeahh... so, the lights turned out a couple times in this internet cafe and we don't have a ton of time, but I just wanted to let everyone know that all is well! We had a baptism on Saturday (it was epic) and he's getting confirmed next Sunday (he had to go out of town). He wants me to confirm him, which i'm pretty excited about, but also super scared! We also set two baptismal dates for a couple that comes from Cote d'Ivore! They're getting baptized February 1st! I'm just getting to see a ton of miracles and it's super awesome and I wish that I had longer to write, but we have to get out of here pretty soon and start dinner! Other exciting things that happened are I got to sleep in for Christmas and play some sick ping pong, I still think that this French desert called flan feels like sticking a sponge in my mouth, and it's really hard to find people to  teach in France.

My advice this week:
Faith and love, Faith and love. That's how we get stuff done out here. Happy new years everyone, good luck with your wedding Annika!
Elder Michael Beneamato Bruno

Monday, December 23, 2013

All Is Well but Crazy

The sum total of this week is described very simply as a lot of rejection knocking on doors and talking to people, but a TON of success with all the Ami's (investigators) that we already had!
So this week we started using a method called Christmas contacting, which is essentially just bringing up the concept of Christmas with talking to people on the street and when knocking on doors ask to sing a Christmas song and pray with them. The entire week we got into one house to sing (and me and my companion were so awful she stopped us in the middle and told us that she didn't really have time right then :/).BUT we did see a lot of miracles this week. We haven't been able to teach Ian (our miracle investigator) all the commandments and his baptism is this Saturday. We told him that in order to get them all we would probably have to meet at his house and have a couple  more lessons or postpone the baptism. He got pretty defensive at first, but we just explained how it works and he said he would talk to his wife about it. His wife came to church with his daughter on Sunday and we're visiting him tonight! Teaching him the law of  tithing is going to be scary, but he's so awesome I know that he can handle it! I'll let everyone know how his baptism goes next week! Other than that we have two awesome Amis who live with a family from Africa. They're married and they have two kids and they are just absolutely incredible. The husband accepts everything we teach (which is surprising because he knows a ton about the bible and all these different religions) and they can to the Christmas party we had (which was just a ten minute video and a lot of eating-Typical Frenches) AND they came to church. They're so awesome they invited us over for Christmas (I LOVE THEM A LOT!) We're giving them a baptismal invite this Thursday, so say some prayers for me (I'm extending it and i'm still pretty scared about stuff like that). Anyways, that's really all that happened this week that was exciting, and as my mission progresses I'm starting to realize that it's pretty hard to remember bad times when so many good things happen in life! Have an awesome Christmas everybody and don't forget that the season is about Jesus!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good morning (since I'm at least six hours ahead of most of you)!
Elder Michael Beneamato Bruno

Monday, December 16, 2013

Crazy Busy

Hey Everybody,

This week was awesome but I don't have a ton of time so I'm going to have to take the lame route and go highlights again.
So, this week we had a lesson almost every day. It was awesome because my goal was to teach at least one lesson everyday, so it was cool that I got really close to accomplishing that, but we fell short on saturday. It's awesome though, because we have 5 progressing investigators right now, and we have a ton of people we can teach. As an experienced 6 week old bleu (in France we're bleu and not green) I've come to realize that problems arise in every stage of missionary work. Right now our problem is scheduling conflicts. I'm feel like everyone in the world is just REALLY REALLY busy. It's not anything we can't work around, but it gets pretty challenging sometimes. I have to be honest though, I'm just glad we have people to teach. This week. since my companion left on Monday(too long of a story to explain) and I went into a threesome I had to lead 3 lessons, and for one of those lessons we had planned on giving a baptismal date. I'm happy to report that my first baptismal invite was successful!!!!!! I asked one of the coolest people in the world to be baptized on the 28th of December and he accepted! We've just seen so many miracles here in the now 7 weeks i've been here I just can't believe how awesome the Lord has been to me! I can't lie when i say that giving that invite and having him accept was one of the most amazing experiences of my whole life. Now we just have to get to teaching him (we still have a lot of material to go over). Honestly, I don't have time to talk about all the miracles that we've been blessed with this week, I can just say that we're teaching 3 families, we have tons of investigators who are all super solid, and the work here is moving. I might have believed that missionary work didn't happen in France a couple weeks ago, and when I got here I know that I needed to be humbled just a little bit (Which i was) ;), but now the Lord is moving the work and I get to be part of it. For my spiritual thought this week I just have the very simple fact that MISSIONARY WORK IS FLIPPING AWESOME! Do it, and you'll see. Have an awesome week everybody.
Elder Michael Beneamato Bruno

Monday, December 9, 2013

Be Grateful for Whatever You Have

Bonjour tout le monde!

This week was pretty good, I don't have a ton of time since I'm in a threesome right now and we've had to do everything together, so I'll just throw in some of the highlights and hope that you're okay with that!
This week we didn't see a ton of success with old investigators. They're all pretty busy with the holidays coming up and we didn't get a chance to see a lot of them. The ones we did see were for pretty quick visits. Some awesome things that did happen though were that as we were porting a neighborhood a family let us in and we got a return appointment with the tonight! Exciting stuff. So that was our second family and we were pretty excited about it since we didn't know if we were going to find another family (that has been one of our biggest goals since in the mission we have the goal of baptizing a family before Noel!) so, it was pretty sick when we found out we found another family, we then had a rendez-vous with a guy named Patrick in which I feel like we copied the district 2 where they wait a million years before Remigo will finally pray. Patrick prayed and it was amazing. That gave us three new ami's this week, which was more than we had done in the past weeks and it gave us our goal, but the Lord decided to bless us one more time before Elder Hall finished his mission and at 8:00 on Sunday night we went to see a member. It turns out that the members (who are a pretty young couple) lives with the wife of the couples sister and her husband. 5 new investigators in one week. That's almost double the amount of investigators that we've gotten in the last 5 weeks. It was amazing, partially because it's a ton and partially because they're all SOLID investigators. Now I'm with the other Le Havre Elders to finish out the transfer (which is Wednesday) because Elder Hall left early to go on exchanges one last time before he takes the plane home. It was awesome having such an experienced missionary as my first companion and I'm pretty excited to meet my new Comp. 
spiritual Enlightenment!
Before my spiritual thought I think that it's always important to look for the spirit and at least say a quick prayer in your heart to be able to teach accord to that great and powerful presence that can make a person who comes from humble places become wise. I've been listening to a lot of general conference talks in any spare time i can find (which basicaly is only when I eat) and before each talk I hear them talk a little about how they pray the spirit to be with them, to help guide them to help others. I have to say that i'm not the most spiritual of people or the most knowledgeable. In fact, i don't think I'm the most anything of anything, so as I write this I pray INCREDIBLY hard that I might get just a little bit of inspiration! This week I feel like my spiritual enlightenment has to do with gratitude. I feel like a lot of times in life we go by doing pretty well and we just forget to be grateful for everything we have. Throughout a six week period I feel like maybe the reason that I was sent to this windy rainy little town to open a new area is to understand what it was like to have nothing. I feel as though those who have nothing may be the most blessed of all. How much easier is it to be humble and grateful for the things that the Lord see's fit to give us when we start with nothing? For me the answer is A LOT EASIER! over the last six weeks me and Elder Hall worked our butts off to make sure that we were progressing this part of the vineyard, but I think I'll forever be grateful of the time when we had nothing. For anybody I'm writing on a mission (who I know doesn't actually have time to read this), i guess the application of this is to be grateful for whatever you have, wherever you have it, and especially be grateful for the blessing of nothingness. To start out from scratch is the Lords way of telling you that he trusts you! For those of you in the "Real World" I guess the application is a little bit tougher. I guess the way I would think of it is to count your blessings. I feel almost like a hypocrite since I never really did it myself, but all I can really say is that blessings come in all shapes, colors, and sizes and when I look back at everything I'm starting to recognize that I've had a lot more blessings in my life than I would have thought. My advice in the coming week? Count your blessings and say a quick prayer thanking God for each one. And if you're truly grateful for the things that he's given you so far, He might just give you some more :D!
Have an awesome week everybody,
Elder Michael Beneamato Bruno

Monday, December 2, 2013

Too Much of A Good Thing

BONJOUR TOUS LE MONDE! this was a pretty awesome week! I forgot my journal though and so i'm not a hundred percent sure about everything that happened, so I'm going to just have to give you the highlights!

We went to an old fort/botanical garden for P-day and we met this artist who was just drawing a picture of the city! I asked if i could take a picture and lo and behold we're teaching him (Although I'm pretty sure that it's more because Elder Hall has a very strong personality and this guy didn't have a chance of getting away). We've gone back a couple times and we just teach him on a hill overlooking the city. The reason that it's so exciting isn't his willingness to accept our message though, it's simply the fact that he's the first person that i've met here that i just struck up a random conversation and we got talking about the gospel. OPPORTUNITIES ARE EVERYWHERE! Or something along those lines ;)
and again
and again
French people like to eat.... a lot. I'm trying a lot of different things, some of them are thingshad before, some of them are new, and some of them are cheese that has been left out for a month and is no longer a sold material... I cannot lie when I say that escargo is delicious though, you just have to get past the fact that it feels like you've just stuck and enormous booger in your mouth :D
It was awesome though, the members gave us food for one thanksgiving, we had a thanksgiving with half of our zone (the other half lives too far away from us to be able to celebrate with us) we had another one with the members, and then the members decided to fast for the missionaries and then we broke the fast with a huge meal (even though nobody called that thanksgiving, i still count it). Oh yeah, the heavenly material called speculoose that i talked about? I made peanut butter cookies only instead of peanut butter i used speculoose. It was incredible
We were busy!
It was totally awesome! We literally ran sometimes to get places! we had somewhere to go and somewhere to be and i REALLY feel like my legs are about to fall off right now! Anyways, the last thing i think i wish to talk about is faith!
So, what did I learn this week?(I learned that we are spending the last week me and Elder Hall have together entirely in French, so don't tell him i'm writing this in English). But this week what I really learned was that you have to have faith like a monkey. And it sounds a lot like I'm trying to be funny (which is partially true), but it's also pretty serious. We all hold on to things by our fingertips. We don't want to change, we think that there's only one tree in the forest, one solution for every problem, one way to raise your kids, one way to hold a church service, one way to find someone as a missionary. I guess that this week i've seen a lot of people (including myself) holding on to this one branch. When I say have faith like a monkey, i guess what i'm really trying to say is don't be afraid to hold on to another idea. There are always different ways of doing everything and if we don't take a look around, then we might get stuck with a weak branch that eventually just breaks. Have faith like a monkey, trust that when you let go of one branch, there's going to be another one to grab on to! That's my email for this week! Bon chance everybody, do good wherever you are
Elder Michael Beneamato Bruno