BREMEN has been doing remarkably well. He is keeping himself very busy and seems to have really hit his stride this last transfer. Bremen transferred to a new island called Sao Vicente about 6 weeks ago and spent his first week with a companion that he absolutely loved. They worked like crazy and you could tell that he was really coming into his own. After the first week his Mission President told him that he would be transferring across the city of Mindelo and would be getting a new companion…one who has pretty much checked out of the mission and was planning on doing absolutely nothing for the last year of his mission except argue with his companion. To make things even more challenging, even though his companion had been out twice as long as Bremen, Bremen was going to be the Sr. Companion and he was also supposed to walk his new companion through the 6-week training program that they give to new missionaries who just arrive in the field. In Bremen’s words “he hated me before I even got there.” Seriously, who could hate Bremen for very long?
Bremen worked extra hard with the locals and his companion. Last week’s 2-paragraph e-mail, included this paragraph:
“This week was really good. We had an awesome zone conference with Presidente. We had a lot of awesome lessons and we are working with some sweet investigators. This week Aderito will be baptized. He is 36 and he is awesome! He is definitely going to be a strong leader in the church pretty soon. so ya, that's pretty much whats happening to me right now. Good week. I love you all so much! have a good week I will talk to you in 2 weeks!”
He is just so busy that he doesn’t have much time to even write on P-days other than to say that everything is awesome and send a picture or two (attached is my favorite…ever). He and his companion are getting along very well. In fact, we received the following postcard from his companion last week:
And to think that 6 weeks ago he couldn’t stand Bremen or his situation.
One final very interesting point. When Bremen got this new assignment with Elder Pugmire he was also asked to start a new branch in the city (Branch 5). The first few weeks the branch only had about 40 people a week attending meetings… then Bremen and his companion got to work. They would leave for church an hour or so early and would walk through the city collecting members who haven’t made it out to church in a while. Soon attendance started to climb higher and higher. Now, just a few weeks later, the branch has over 90 members regularly attending Sacrament meetings.
Also, 53 weeks ago (before we had even heard of the country of Cape Verde) the country organized its first LDS Stake. Last Sunday, Bremen was able to participate as the church organized it’s second Stake in the city where he is currently serving. The tiny 5th Branch that Bremen started became a Ward in the 2nd Stake of Cape Verde. Bremen and Elder Pugmire were the only missionaries that ever served in that branch as they opened it, grew it, and it turned into a Ward all within about a month. There is a great video about the first stake that the church produced about a year ago. It can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Bremen’s e-mail from 5/13 –
Yesterday was soooo awesome!!! I miss you guys so much!!! it was soo good to see all of you and you all look reeaaally good! Its gunna be a long 7 months before that happens again... but umm I already told you pretty much everything that’s going on in my life. Last night I did get a call from Presidente Oliveira. I am getting on a boat this afternoon and going to Santo Antão serving in Porto Novo! I will be serving as zone leader with Elder Haili. He is from Ethiopia and he is super funny! I am so excited! I will let you know on the details of that area next week. I hope you all realized how much I love you and miss you yesterday. Thank you all so much for being such amazing family to me. You are all such great examples to me and make me want to work harder every day. I love you all like crazy. Have a good week!
Bremen also sent an e-mail to a few friends and family members who are all considering missions. Here is his advice:
Soo... I am here on my 10th month in Cape Verde. Without a doubt the most life changing months of my life up to now. I don’t know exactly who is going to be reading this, but I want whoever it may be to know that everything that I am going to say is 100% sincere and I really mean every word. I know there are a few of you back at home that are at that stage deciding on a mission or not, coming up on some pretty big decisions... I can think of a few of you, Keaton, Mason, Dakota, Nate. I have known you all for a really long time, and you have all known me for a really long time. I want you all to know that I love the crap out of you guys and I really, really want the best for all of you, soooo, with that said, this is what I think will be the best for you. Go on a freaking mission! Stop thinking about it, you are just going to convince yourself not to go.
Maybe you are all already planning on, but stop doubting and just do it. I can promise you that it will be THE best thing you could possibly do at this time. I can say that I know my life is going to be awesome in the future, I have soooo much hope for what is ahead, and its because of what I have learned out here. Before coming, I was maybe a little bit like you in the whole since that going on a mission sounded like it would really suck and I didn’t want to go at all... Yes, the truth comes out. ha I am so so so so so grateful that I just did. Yes, there are sooo many things back at home that I miss like crazy! Family, Emma, Hockey, cheeseburgers... k but all of those things will be there for me when I get back.
You seriously have absolutely nothing to lose by going on a mission, and only the whole world to gain. I absolutely LOVE my mission. Its the hardest thing I have ever done. I know without even a shade of doubt that the gospel that I am teaching every day is 100% true. Did I know before my mission? frick no! does it matter if you know before? No! maybe a little bit, but I’m proof that it doesn’t! haha I am soo freaking glad that I came out here and got my testimony. I want nothing more for all of you. I love you guys like crazy. I hope this little message helps. I hope you know that I am sincere. If any of you need anything, please write me:
Elder Bremen Acord
I would be more than happy to help with anything, doubts, questions anything. love you guys.