Saturday, September 11, 2010

Last blog post from Brazil

us playing basketball for our morning exercise

Elder Gratil (Arizona) and I going for the pool...we didnt actually jump in but it shows our excitement to finish the mission!

Hey mom!

See ya on Thursday!

That’s weird...never thought that this would ever come.

Anyways, what do we have planned for that first Thursday?

I didn’t really want much planned, but I was thinking that I wanted some Longboard Louies or Parilla for lunch, and then some king, curry style, for dinner. Actually, one of these nights I will make a Brazi dish for us...Brazilian stroganofe.

I am very excited that all those people will be down for my talk at sacrament meeting. I am glad that they didn’t give me a topic for my talk, cuz I wasn’t going to follow it anyways. I wrote my talk the other day in one of my morning study sessions, hope it goes well!

I am super excited to ride home with Kelsey from SLC to Bend. It is going to be really weird for me to ride these airplanes...I think this is the longest I have ever gone without flying. Every time I see an airplane in the sky these days I get super excited ahah...that is trunkeza at its purest.

Anyways...onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week. This week has just FLOWN by. Elder Gratil and I call it the golf ball theory. When you make a long putt, the ball goes slowly, ever so slowly to the cup, kind of seems like it stops at the rim, then it just falls in super fast. That is what this last transfer was like. It was going slow, slow slow, and then all of a sudden we are just done.
Anyways, this week started off with our first transfer meeting, talk about who is going where on the mission this next transfer, trying to solve little problems, etc. Then, Tuesday was a day in Jaraguá. I went out with a Brazilian from my group, Elder T. da Silva. The whole day was basically a day for me to visit people, say goodbye, and visit recent converts of mine who have kind of started to fall away, and get them back. It went really well. It was super strange seeing some of these people for what may be the last time. I guess it won’t be the last time, cuz we will visit them when we come back this December. But yeah, just a super weird feeling.
It was Tuesday when I finally started to realize that I would be going home, that the mission was ending.The next day was my last mission council. It was a pretty fun day, where we taught about how to be Zone Leaders and how to help other missionaries become better, preparing the mission for the future. This council was just weird for me because I had to say goodbye to some people ... something that I just thought would never happen. I have made a lot of good friends here on the mission.
Of course, more than anything, I have learned and grown a lot. I have learned about God, Christ, myself, my family, etc. I know who I am. The mission has instilled a new sense of self worth and self confidence that wasn’t completely there before. I have strengthened weakness, and some strengths, as I, as Dad put it, went through extreme "stretching" experiences.The next couple of days were also spent in division, one out in Jaçanã, the other here next to the office. They were perfect examples to me of what I am going to miss, and what I won’t. I won’t miss leaving lunch into the scorching sun of the afternoon. I won’t miss the rude remarks and gestures that are usually directed towards the Mormon missionaries. However, I will miss the friendships, the people that automatically trust in the power and authority of the calling, and most of all, the lessons and opportunities every day to help people come closer to their Lord and Savior.
Thursday night in Jaçanã Elder Adamson and I found this really cool old couple, but they were having some difficulties in their life. The man had just suffered a stroke, and is struggling to regain is motor skills and forces to be able to walk and do everything that he used to do, although the mind is still perfectly intact. The woman is always hunched over by a bad walk and hobbling around on bad knees. We were able to teach about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, apply it to their lives and their family, teach about the restoration of the priesthood, and give them blessings of health. It was a super cool experience. I will definitely miss those everyday opportunities.
The mission was great. I have gone through some of the best, and hardest, times of my life here ... from depressed companions to awesome experiences that prove to me the love that God has for His children. I know that He lives, that God is literally our Heavenly Father, that there is a plan for us, and that He wants nothing more than our happiness on this earth and wants us to return to Him to receive eternal life. I know that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer for the sins of the world, to be the shining example for us all to follow. I know that He died for us, but that he also resurrected, that He lives, that He loves us, and that He is our friend at all times. I know that if we really have faith, if we really trust in God, and follow his commandments, and the gospel of Christ, that is our path to happiness. Everything is guaranteed in the gospel of Christ, happiness, salvation, etc. When we are outside, it is a dog eat dog world.
I am very grateful for the opportunity that God gave me to preach His gospel for the past two years, to be an instrument in His hands so that He could reach out to His children. I know that His kingdom has been restored to the earth, that we have a modern day prophet and 12 apostles as well. That the Book of Mormon is true. That the Bible is too. That we may all know for ourselves through humble prayer. God answered my prayers, He answers them daily, and this testimony of mine is strengthened and confirmed every moment.
This is my testimony, and I say it in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One of the most tiring weeks of my entire life.

Photos, Elder Briggs, Schoen, Calvert
Father, Son, Grandson

Mission Pres & Wife, & companion

Elder Calvert sleeping on the floor

So, before you start freaking out any more, the package got here yesterday. Thanks! It was awesome! Oreos, goldfish, mac and cheese, everything that I would ever need. It was awesome. The flying monkey toy has been especially popular here in the office haha. Definitely a hit. Also, congrats on those new paintings, they are great! I was definitely proud of my momma when I showed them off.

I got an email from Nathan Rau wondering what time that I would be rolling through the SLC airport. I guess you know already, but yeah, I will make an effort to leave security to be able to see some people real quick at the SLC airport for anyone who can make it. My plane arrives in SLC at 10:05 and leaves at 11:20, so I will stay only a few minutes outside of security before going back to the terminal. I feel like a little bit of a celebrity haha, everyone sending me emails trying to get just a little space of time to see me. Also, GO DAWGS!!! The huskies play the cougs today! I am so stoked for it. I really really wish I could walk it. It is going to be awesome. What has all the talk been about the game?

Onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week So, this past week was one of the most tiring weeks of my entire life. Sorry for the drama, but it really was. However, it was a good week as well, just draining. We had another week of four days straight of training, but this time it was out in Sorocaba, a city about an hour and a half out of São Paulo to the west (wow, I guess my mission really is small huh). Anyways, it was a week full of training, setting stuff up, sleeping in odd places, and doing normal missionary work after a full six hours of training in the morning. Totally worth it though, the training was a big hit and all the Elders are excited to be working with this stuff. I really wish that this stuff could have come earlier in my mission...would have made a cool difference.Anyways, the coolest things in this past week were these last two days, Thursday and Friday. Thursday, after the training, I went out to Salto de Pirapora for a day of work with my beloved son, Elder Schoen, and my awesome grandson, Elder Calvert. It was sweet. We were able to have some great lessons and found some great people together.

I was just super impressed with Elder Schoen, it is crazy seeing him now versus when I was training him, and Elder Calvert is a true stud. His portuguese is awesome already and he is already just an awesome teacher and missionary. I cant really describe how, but he is just would have to be a missionary to know, it is just all the little things that he does. Anyways, the fun part of the night was sleeping on the makeshift mattress that Elder Calvert made for me (a blanket folded in half on the ground) and just talking at night. It was hard saying goodbye to them yesterday...I may not see either of them for a long time.The other cool thing was that MY dad, Elder Martins, visited the office yesterday. It was way cool seeing him again and talking to him again. His english has gotten really good and he is planning on being married next year with his Fiancé. Just was way cool. Anyways, today should be a fun pday. We are all (all is in us 6 in the office) going to the Taverna Gaucha in downtown São Paulo for some churrasco and pizza for lunch. Then, who knows, I just need some relaxing. Love ya mom! Love ya dad! Love ya kels!Bryan

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jacob 6:12

Pics: Bry in Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo Temple at night

It's great to read all the talk about the upcoming UW BYU game next is going to be pretty big. I really wish that I could be there with my family of cats and dawgs to watch it. I will hear about the end result.

Cool thing that Kelsey & Mom ran into Sean and Jonathan at BYU. BYU just has everyone there doesn't it? Anyways, I may try to leave the airport secured area in SLC just to say hi to some people during my layover.
About the flight update from Elder Hurst, you need to talk to President Rau about my release, and when it will be scheduled. Also, I have not received the package yet, but I'm sure I will soon, don't sweat it.
Onnnnnnnnnnn to the week.
Well, not a ton to report from this last week, as things didn't give way to much excitement. The main developement here on the mission is that I spent all week giving a 4 day leadership training about a new system that just came in from Salt Lake. They were four days of training, starting at 9 am and going til 3 pm, that involved doctrinal teaching and practices. We taught the missionaries about 8 key things...The Doctrine of Christ; The role of the Holy Ghost; How to help investigators receive revelation through church attendance, reading the Book of Mormon, and praying; Teach People, not lessons; We invite, they commit, we follow up; starting to teach. President Cooley did all the doctrinal teaching, whereas Elder Alves and I showed them how to use it and led all the practices. It was a pretty effective, but tiring, week. Everyone learned a lot and is really excited to get out into the field and work. I really wish actually that I could have gotten these trainings a lot earlier on my mission, they are really good and help us to be real teachers of the Gospel of Christ. It was a lot of fun and we are scheduled to give the training again next week, but in the far away part of the mission. Well, since I really dont have much more to write this week, I will put in some of my favorite scriptures:
Jacob 6:12 (Book of Mormon);
O be wise; what can I say more?
Moses 1:39 (Pearl of Great Price);
For behold, this is my work and my glory - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
Matthew 6:24 (Bible);
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Moroni 7:33-34 (Book of Mormon)
And Christ hath said; Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved./And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

One of the Craziest Weeks in the History of Ever

Pic - Division in Trujillo...the Stake where I started my mission.

Shout outs to: Sean Layton - Thanks for the email man! Can't wait to see ya.

Parker Beazer: You ain't no elder anymo', but I got your letter

Katrine: Got your letter, will send one out soon

Onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week.................

This was one of the craziest weeks in the history of ever. The mission is determined to not let me "rest in peace" as there are new issues coming up, huge new trainings (4 days long!), and this past week was a 4 day long division out in Sorocaba (Sorocaba is to Sao Paulo as Sacramento is to San Francisco). It was killer! Elder Alves and I left the office Monday afternoon and we just got back on Friday night. We did divisions with all four stakes in Sorocaba.
The best stories from the week come from the divisions with Elder Lopes (Zona Sorocaba) and Elder Payne (Zona Barcelona). The division with Elder Lopes was a lot of fun. The day started out with our lunch appointment falling, so I became the designated chef and made a Brazi style stroganoff. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm good. It actually turned out pretty well. After that, Elder Lopes and I left to begin our search for new people to teach in the area. All in all, we were able to mark two baptismal dates together during the day. The coolest lesson of all was with this girl named Camila. We were teaching her and her boyfriend in front of their house right at the end of the day. It was a great first lesson. While they didn't really have any religious background, they were able to understand concepts like Prophets, Apostles, Apostasy, Restorations, etc. There were both really interested and really wanting to know the truth, committing to pray to ask God if the things were true. Even better, when we went to go give the Book of Mormon, she said to Elder Lopes, "so, do you guys baptize?" Of course we do! We were able to make a baptismal date for her the next month.
The next day I went to Barcelona for a division with Elder Payne. We had a pretty good day together, but things didn't really pick up until that evening. We had made the goal in the beginning of the day to find two people that wanted to be baptized. Our ending time was going to be 6:30. At 5:45 we started teaching this pair of teenagers about the restoration. I used weird examples like a commandment against mowing lawns to help them understand that there is only one God, and that His commandments are the same for us we need to find the church that teaches the right things. In the end, they were really excited and both accepted baptismal dates! Pretty exciting thing. There were super excited to be able to pray on their own to receive and answer from God, instead of having to have some indoctrination shoved down their throats. Go Power of Prayer.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Bryan is coming home on September 16 - if you are in Bend, Oregon he'd love to see you that weekend before he heads to UW for school. He will be speaking at church on September 19 at the 9am meeting - Bend, OR Stake Center. Save the dates.
Things have been pretty basic for the past 10 days. The biggest thing for me is that I am still getting used to and trying to find the right rhythm with my new companion, Elder Alves. He is a great guy, great missionary, but just is different after working for four months with Elder Parsons. We had a few divisions this week, mission council, and I got attacked by mosquitos for the first time in forever. They bit me four times in the face! How inconvenient.

The first division tht we did this week was out in Barueri, where I stayed with Elder Sena. There weren't really any big cool experiences, but it was fun talking with him for a day. Elder Sena is from a state in Brazil called Bahia, and he has a really strong accent from there, and is a really funny guy. The other two divisions were done in the northern zone of Sao Paulo, in areas called Pirituba and Santana. Santana was fun because we ate lunch at a member's house who had just gotten back from a vacation to Seattle! It was way trunky talking to them haha...made me miss the emerald city a lot. She looked at your website, Mom, and she really loved your paintings. The day in Pirituba went pretty well as I went out with Elder Warner from Orem, UT. We had some fun and taught a really cool person that is finally going to be baptized after years of investigation. Yes, Little & Fabian, Aslaine is going to get baptized in September.

The other big event of the week was mission council, where we have a meeting with all the Zone Leaders of the mission. We talked about some mission goals, problems, etc. Our training was about working with members in the missionary work, and igniting the missionary fire in the hearts of the members. Definitely something tough to do. I used the example of how I didn't really do any "missionary work" before the mission, mostly because I didn't realize how important missionary work is. Now that I am here, I know...but all the members are still in the same pickle. We talked a lot about preparing spiritual lessons for the members to help them feel the power of the Holy Ghost, taking members with us to teach investigators, etc. Went really well.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I am a Grandfather

On a division. my companion is the one on the far right with Lion hair.
A dog named "Poopey" i guess it is "doll" in German.
Me and the washington kids that came in, one on right is elder schoen's son - Spencer Calvert, friend of my Sis from BYU - Small World.
Me trying to sneak into the van that took my old comps to the airport...gonna miss those guys

It has been way too long since my last pday. I am exhausted!!! Really definitely needing this day of rest. Super happy to be emailing yall as well. I am in my last transfer! We are in August as well...I can officially say that I am coming home next month.
Shout out to Krispy Kremer your letter!
Onnnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week
Well, things have been pretty crazy in the past ten-ish days. It is that whole bujumbled story of transfers, doing divisions, watching people go home, getting new companions, starting my last transfer on the mission, etc. To tell you the truth, I am not even really sure where to begin. I guess the main thing is that my companion Elder Parsons (now just Brent Parsons) went home! That was a sad parting. It was the longest time that I had ever spent with one companion. He was definitely one of the best, we had a lot of fun together and I feel like we had a lot of success as well here on the mission. He is gonna rock life back at home.
My new companion is Elder Alves from Fortaleza, Brazil. He is definitely a lot different from Elder Parsons, so I am getting used to it still, but he is a really hard worker and really wants to do things the right way. It is weird, since he has such a different way of doing things...I have been used to one thing for the past four and a half months. Well, it is going to be great though. Best of all....I GO HOME NEXT MONTH!!!!
As for the whole thing of transfers. We had some cool divisions to make sure that all the transfers things were correct and to see how some people were doing. The best division was in an area called Cerqueira César, which is the downtown area of the mission. This is the area that gets the Avenida Paulista, Faria Lima, Oscar Freire, etc...all the chique places. It was tons of fun out there. Actually, it was rough, as I walked SOOOO much, we didnt get into many homes to teach lessons. However, I did make a sweet contact with this lady as she was walking around with her fancy dog and pushing her baby in the stroller. She spoke perfect english (common for rich Brazilians). I don't really know what is going on with her, but she seemed super interested in the church.
The Elder that I went out with, Elder Schenatto, is a brazilian that also speaks decent english. He is now training an Idaho boy funny...imagine a shy kid from the middle of nowhere...and now imagine him walking around Brazil's version of Wall Street and Time Square..big change. Transfers went pretty well. There were a couple last minute problems and we had to change some things around, but mostly it all went very smoothly. We have 8 new zone leaders, 15 trainers, 1 new assistant, and 10 new district leaders...basically a total change on the mission. Plus, we are having fun integrating this new program that we received from Salt Lake a little while ago. Going pretty well so far.
The coolest thing about the transfer is that Elder Schoen, my son on the mission, is training again. Im a grandfather! Again! Even cooler, he is training someone from Redmond, WA. Even better than that, he is training someone that has met my family - dated my sister's roommate at BYU. Small world, right? But the guy is legit, I bet him and Elder Schoen are going to have a great time together and lots of success. Well, that is about it for now. I have a new companion. My old companion is at home. I am a grandfather (That is when the person you first trained, is now training someone new, that person is your "grandson" - mission lingo). We are at the start of my last transfer. I am not trunky, but stoked.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


(maybe reminding him of a dentist?)

Onnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week

This past week has been a lot longer...ten days. ten days between pdays is super rough on the missionary body. Anyways, totally was all worth it because we got to go out with President today to this sweet place called EMBU. It is a place with lots of souvenirs and crafts and arts and stuff like that. I bought an awesome BLOWDART. So cool, definitely going to put that up on the wall. also, i got some other souvenir type things. best of all, super fun pictures. The weird part though was that there were a lot of weird weird i mean naked and abstract. Strange, to say the least. Anyways, was good for laughter.

During this past time we have finished all of our zone conferences, started preparing for some way cool stuff, and did more divisions. This week our divisions were done all in the zona norte of sao paulo, in Jaçanã, Santana, and Jaraguá. The one in Jaraguá was definitely interesting because I went there for church as well last Sunday. Was cool seeing a bunch of people and such. When we came back a couple of days later to do the division, we visited some of the people that I had worked with and it was a lot of fun. It is always interesting going back there. It is a great area, but also way difficult as well. Please, just do your home teaching and fulfill your other callings.

The other days in Jaçanã were spent doing a lot, and alot of walking. I dont think I have walked so much since the beginning of my mission when i was a greenie just raring to get to work. Anyways, we walked a lot. When we got home on Thursday night i just about fell asleep right then and there. It reminded me of a missionary that said "I am so happy here on the mission. it is the best. I dont know why I am so happy, because I am so tired. just oh so very very tired" Yeah, ditto.

The fun story of this week comes from the division in Jaçanã. I went out with a Brazilian from my group, Elder Moraes, and we had a long fun day of door knocking. To tell the truth, the day was going pretty terribly from about 2-5ish. We were just walking around in the hot sun, knocking on lots of doors, without getting into a single home. So, we decided to say a prayer on the sidewalk asking for a couple of specific things. First, we were dang thirsty. Second, we needed someone to teach. My prayer went like this"heavenly father, thank you for this day, for this division, and for being here in Jaçanã today. Father, we haven't had any success yet, and we are really thirsty. Please bless us that we can find a cup of water, and an elect family for us to teach. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." Well, three doors later we found someone who did not want to be taught, but did kindly get us some water to drink. Hallelujah! First item in the prayer. About half an hour later we found a Bolivian family of three, in which all accepted baptismal dates! God answers prayers, no matter how insignificant they may seem. We got water, and our elect family. Go team go.

Love ya!

(sorry, no description of pictures this week; posted by assistant bloggrandma, GJ)