Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas Eve Everybody!!!! I cant believe it is here already...GOsh, I remember three christmases ago perfectly....let alone the one last year. I miss you guys a ton, but Christmas here is pretty cool.
So, Christmas Eve is one of the party nights here in BRazil...I like to liken it to new years eve back in the states. And then new years here is just insane. I will talk more about that next week.Lets see, the ZOne CHristmas COnference was pretty legit. We watched a couple movies with President and Sister Cooley, I had to bear my testimony in Portuguese (new brazilians did it in english and the departing missionaries gave testimonies as well). The two movies we watched were A Beautiful Life (I think, the old movie where the main characters are George and Mary Bailey `you want the moon mary?´) was awesome and the other was The Nativity Story. Both were in portuguese, so that made things pretty interesting. Luckily there were portuguese subtitles so i could follow that way. I definitely miss white christmas and miracle on 34th street and all of our favorite movies, hope they are just as good as always!
Saturday was the branch xmas party, was absolutely loco. Were a ton of skits and food and just crazyness. Love the people here, they are so great. Yeah, brazilians are hilarious, always happy and energetic and full of crazy ideas. The food was awesome too. They actually had turkey too! Woot! Talk about good ol home cooking. Im sorry, I keep forgetting to take pictures of food...maybe tonight when we go to a members house for their big celebration.
Today was a pretty interesting pday. Elder Martins and I made the long voyage into Sorocaba to play soccer and eat food. THere were probably 50 elders there hah, was pretty fun. Everyone running around having fun. Dang, some of the brasileiro missionarios are freaking balling at soccer. It was definitely impressive. THe food was great, good ol churrasco, aka barbequed meat sort of shishkabob style, except only meat, no vegetables. Was great. I loved the scriptures mom. Funny thing is, the second one, Moroni 9:21, i just started using recently to help investigators realize the importance of prayer. Great minds think alike huh? Another good scripture for this time of year is of course that in Helamen ch 10ish verses 1-12. I cant remember really right now...sorry.
I miss all of you a ton! I cant believe you are getting so much snow that the concert was cancelled! So so jealous. It is freaking burning up here. I think i might start sleeping with some ice to get into the christmas spirit of cold and snow a little better. Brincadeira haha.
Just got Dale´s letter today! Give him the secret handshake and some food or something. Hes gotta be lonely without his most loyal member of FOND around! Glad he stopped by though, say hi for me and all that stuff. Maybe even play some guitar hero with him haha.
GJ! GOt your package, thank you so much! I am going to open ALL the little presents tomorrow morning, to try to simulate xmas best I can...loved the tie though, gotta have some bronc colors with me!Lauren! Allstar, thanks for the package! Gosh, especially loved the picture that you sent haha. I will write a letter back as soon as I can. Got a couple letters from you too...but yeah, you said there was a pic of the fam but sorry to disappoint ya, there wasnt. I cried. Hard. SeriouslyKatrine! Hope London is treating you well! Got your letter, and will reply as soon as I can!
Merry CHristmas to All, and to All a goodnight!Elder Briggs

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Miss the Snow....

Merry Christmas from Brazil...only a few more days.

Oh gosh I miss the snow! I am never going to forgive the weather for not snowing my senior year of high school...oh gosh that was soo lame! Its been pretty stinking hot here. Well, hot, mixed with rain, just good ol tropical weather haha. It rains so hard here. It is unbelievable! Just pounding rain, literally. Elder Martins and I have to take shelter sometimes under little overhangs haha. Then, we clap our hands, hope someone answers, try to teach, then we sprint across the street to another house. Great great fun, let me tell you. So I loved the book that you sent!

Haha, oh no brother lurch i do not like the mormon church (revised words to the Dr. Suess Book, Green Eggs & Ham - Bry's Mom has the revised version) . Just priceless! Elder Martins didnt understand it really though...obviously Dr. Seuss isnt as big in Brazil...completely separate language. But I loved it, made me pretty darn happy.

Um, well, yeah, we never cook for ourselves. Dinner is at 9 to 930 when we finally get back to the apartment. Then it consists of chocolate milk, and then perhaps some cereal, maybe cheetos, sandwich, I dunno, whatever grabs me at the moment. Definitely the meal of kings. But the lunches are pretty good. Thats so cool you are having the mishies over for christmas day. That happens sometimes here, but not with E. Martins and I. Our branch is just too small, and people here are in too humble of circumstances I think to really be able to handle to additional hungry missionaries on their christmas day.

But yeah, I will be calling around noon your time, 6 pm my time. Thats the plan right now at least. And everything should be good, I have got that calling card that you gave me. Im going to give it a try sometime within the next week, just to make sure it works.

So aweseme to hear about the stuff going on at the church! Wish I could be there to see it. SOunds awesome, and a great mish opportunity! Haha, talking and thinking like a missionary. Wish I could hear Kelseys solo at the concert, well, again, know that I will be there in spirit! Ok, Brasil update, not really sure what to put in this email. This past week just absolutely flew by. I do not know why. Its not like we had any huge success or anything. But I guess its just what happens when you lose yourself in this work. We just keep teaching different people and trying to find more people to teach. Thats the cool thing about Brazil, we never ever do Tracting. Every day is all appointments, and then during the day we talk to random people during the day as we are walking to appointments to schedule more appointments. However, a lot of those fall, but enough hold up to be able to teach. Teaching is so great. It is an amazing experience to help people grow closer to God.

Miracles happen out here. Prayers are answered. Just yesterday, we were talking to an old lady that cant read, so we told her to just pray to God and ask if we were true representatives. As we asked her about her experience, we asked if she got an answer:`during no, but after, something just entered into my heart, something so warm and grand and peaceful, i do not know how to describe it. I have been happier the past few days than I have ever been!´it was definitely pretty cool. Plus we are making some good progress with others, but the biggest difficulty is getting people to go to church. A lot of them say they will, but then they end up forgetting. But, put your shoulder to the wheel push along.

This work is amazing, no matter what, it just keeps going, and Heavenly Father is always with us.I should get your package on friday! We are having a zone conference, and yeah, all about christmas. I am definitely pretty excited. Going to wear that santa hat that you included in the advent calendar package. Thank you so much for that! You have no idea how much it helps me everyday. ...Today is the official half way point of my first transfer in the field. Yippee!Email you in 7 days! Talk to you in 8!

oh yeah, some quick mentions, I have sent letters to the following people, so you can expect to get it sometime...not sure when

KatrineCamiCaryn...I know she probably isnt allowed to get on the internet to see this, so just let her know somehow, maybe when she calls home for xmas or something..

AmyHeidiJason....Lost your address for Seatle, sorry bud. Your email, and Mr. Stewarts, are included in Heidis letter. Hope you are able to get them!

Daniel....included with heidi, wasnt sure what your address is oging to be, cuz arent you entering the frat soon?S.

Stephenson...and the activity day girlsand then the entire family!

...I love you! Miss you! But I know this is where I am meant to be. My calling as a missionary is true. I have grown so much, and these experiences are not only to help others grow closer to God, but myself as well. Keep the faith! I love you. The Church is True

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mission Lingo

Thank you soooo much for the package. It did come, and it is amazing. I lovebeing able to open a new envelope everyday and knowing that you guys arethinking about me just as much as i am thinking about you. Makes me feel almostlike i am at home. It is great. I especially love the envelopes with the littlespiritual thoughts in them. Thank you! Plus, i think dad is responsible for thisone, the one with the husky basketball schedule! Just awesome! ...Miss ya and love ya withall my heart. Best family I could have ever hoped for.Quick thanks to sister stephenson! The package from you and the activity daygirls was amazing! I wrote a letter in response, hopefully you get it within thenext month. But the package was incredible, and the cards and the blanket havemade me soo happy. It is wonderful.

So, about the food. The food is pretty decent here. Lots of rice beans and meat. Pretty good, and yeah, basically I am eating one real meal a day. Breakfast is just whatever we have in the apt, which can be bread or cereal or something. Lunch is the big meal of the day, and we are supposed to have it withmembers everyday. However, that has fallen quite a few times so far. With somany inactive members, they usually forget that they are supposed to provide lunch for us. However, when we do get an active member, it is such a good meal. I keep forgetting to take pictures, but its nothing that abnormal, like seans guinea pig picture haha. And of course, Im trying to drink lots of water mom. Especially since it is sostinking hot here! like seriously, 90s and humid, every day. Plus wearing that good ol missionary attire makes things extra sweaty. But, as you know, its allworth it.

The work is so rewarding. For example, yesterday my comp and I walked a bit further than planned because of a wrong map. Basically, eight kilometersto deliver one of the gift DVDs that the church gives to help us talk to people,and to help people get into the spirit of christmas. But yeah, was a pretty farway, and the person wasnt even home! But, last night, we were able to teach two really good lessons. Felt the Holy Ghost so strong, both sets committed to go to church, and i have a feeling one of them (Tiago and Elisandra) will be baptized next month...but we shall see. Baptism is a goal, but shouldnt forget thatbaptism is nothing unless the people are truly ready and will be able to keeptheir baptismal covenants. But yeah, the teaching is going pretty well. We have a bunch of investigators that are progressing, and the one, Maria Souzanna, will be baptized on January17. She is such a neat lady. She is the one that we gave the blessing to. Very,very strong faith. It is so exciting when we talk to our investigators and you can see that light in their eyes that was absent before, see that they are beginning to know God and Christ and are gaining testimonies of their own.

Wednesday is my pday (personal day). And it will be the entire mission, unless I am assigned to the office, but that wont happen, at least for a while. There the pday will be on saturday. Pdays are so wonderful though. Relax, write letters, get to communicate with you! The Fam! Gosh I love it!Thank you so much for telling me about the stuff is going on at home. Makes mefeel connected, and not so much like I am on the other side of the world. It iscrazy though, I have already had two weeks out here in the field! Love the work,even if it can be exhausting at times.

So some fun stuff just for you to know. Mission lingo

Father: Your first companion, your trainer

Mother: The person that took you out working the first night out of the MTC

Born: I was born in Boituva...aka, the first area of your mission

Die: You die when you leave the mission field and go home

Kill: If your companion is going home at the end of his mission, you say thatyou killed them kind of funny, just thought you would find it interesting.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stories from Boituva, Brazil (New mailing instructions)

Bryan has new mailing instructions posted to the right...he really appreciates your cards & letters and asks you to please, please write. He will truly appreciate a Christmas Card with a picture this Christmas...even if it's late.

...Ok, so the story for the week. As I said, Elder Martins is my trainer. He is Brazilian and is from Minas (sp?). Pretty cool elder. Speaks very good english so that helps me out a lot. I am still struggling with the language a bit. Things are different than in the CTM. People just speak so fast here, and then there are all the fun idiomatic phrases that just make no sense when you translate them in your head...but Elder Martins is always there to rescue me when I just get completely overwhelmed.

Teaching is crazy. Every first lesson that we give is about five minutes long. Then we invite to read the Book of Mormon and also invite to baptism. I wasnt sure how I felt about it at first, because I am here to help people, not sell the church. but now i think i kind of like it. it is a good way to guage how interested a person really is before really starting to teach them about the gospel. I am walking sooo much. Luckily this town is pretty flat overall, but still, walking soo much. My feet are killing haha! Blisters and aches galore..but it is all worth it, especially when you find someone that needs to hear the message of the restoration, that needs the gospel in their life. it is just crazy being here, being an instrument in the Lords hands. You never now how He is going to use you, how he has prepared people.

For instance, on Monday we were making a visit to someone that we had met on the streets. However, it was either a fake address or they werent there, but someone else came to greet us. This man, named Luiz, is incredible. He was so excited during the first lesson, and has such great faith in Christ. He has committed to be baptized near the end of the month and to go to church with us this week. So exciting. Also, God works miracles with us. We were visiting one of our investigators, but she was not home. So, we began talking to this lady next to her house, and it turned out to be her mother (named Maria). Maria was a sad old lady. During our lesson she was crying a lot and talking about some things that were going on in her family, etc. So, we offered to give her a priesthood blessing of comfort. It was the first blessing that I have really been able to participate in. After the blessing she stopped crying. She said that she had goosebumps and that she was just happy! The power of God is a wonderful thing. Over the rest of the lesson a lot of her family came in, and we were able to teach them all. Maria may go to church with us as well. Just so exciting! This is the best part of the work, when you can see the blessings coming into peoples lives.

It rained sooo hard yesterday! Felt like I was in a hurricane. Of course we were out working, but gosh, it was just crazy! I got absolutely soaked! Oh, thats one thing I need, a rain tie, or a tie that can get soaked and not be ruined haha. Ok, I love you all! Please keep writing me.

Family, I miss you sooo so much, I love being able to communicate with you this way. I miss you! I love you!

Amy, Ankit, Katrine: I will do my best to reply to your emails in letter, thanks for thinking of me! ...

Some more info that I forgot. There is a way bomb ice cream place here. Basically its called the ice cream palace (translated). Pretty decent ice cream for wayyyyy way cheap. In fact, I am going to go get some ice cream when we are done here. Pday is just as amazing out here as it was in the CTM. Such a relaxing day, even though we did have to clean the apartment and start laundry and all that stuff. The hardest part about being here in Brazil is the inability to drink the tap water, and the lack of a washer and dryer! Was not expecting that. Oh well, I can survive. I do like it here a lot though. We are just in a little branch of about 30 active members. There is a big inactive list that we are working with and definitely we have a lot of work to do. We need to get families into the church. Families that can support themselves as they make this drastic change in their lifestyles.

Boituva has such a crazy dichotomy. There are some amazingly nice houses, with shiny cars and the works. But then the adjacent neighborhood all the houses are...not really houses. I dont know how to explain it. But it is amazing how some of these people live with absolutely nothing! And then they have a sony flat panel tv...just strange. I love the brazilian people though. They are all so nice. I cant wait until my companion and I start really seeing success here. Elder Martins is an excellent missionary, and I think we will be able to work miracles. Here are some pictures (See posted below)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Photos from Brazil

New photo's from Brazil

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thunderstorms in Boituva, Brazil

Ok so we are in a huge thunderstorm here in Boituva, Brasil, (About Boituva, Wikipedia sez it has 41,402 people (as of 2005) and is known as a skydiving capital and for its pineapple. The name means 'many snakes', and the altitude is 637 meters.) and the past three emails have been deleted as the power keeps cutting out. I will send a few short emails to try to equal a good one...I have been instructed by Elder Martins (my trainer aka My Father in mission lingo) to have the mail sent to the mission home. We will get it about every two weeks. But I still wanted you to know where I am. Um, as far as Christmas goes. CD's would be great, I have just found out that the only music I am allowed to listen to is Mormon Tab, instrumental hymns, classical, and efy music.

OK, so this place that I am serving in, Boatova, is about as far away from the mission home as I can get. Which still isnt saying much considering how small the mission really is. but still, we travelled from 1130 today until about 430...gosh I am exhausted. And thirsty. The worst thing is not being able to drink the tap water, but I can deal with it pretty easily. So I am in a thunder storm here right now, thats the reason the internet keeps failing. Pretty exciting. ANd I need to buy an umbrella hahah. Gosh I will get soaked! I am excited to get to work though. Elder Martins seems like a really really great guy, I think we will get along well and work really well together.

Quick shout outs to Katrine, Cami, Caryn, Grandmother and Papa Jim, grandma jeanie, I got your letters! Thank you so much! I will reply as soon as possible. that is a promise. Im sorry if it takes a little bit longer than expected, but I am really pressed for time out here.Ok, really quick before i send another email...

We left the MTC early yesterday and went to the Mission Home. President and Sister Cooley are pretty cool people. THey are from MEsa Arizona and are retired farmers. Both absolutely love football. Yes. You read right. Although unfortunately they are die hard ASU fans. BUt i think i will get along with them very well throughout the rest of the misison. I hope you got the picture that they took of us! If not it should come soon...Sending another letter shortly

I hope Elder Schooley was able to send you the email. FUnny story, that whole group in my district that is going to FLorionopolis is delayed indefinitely. There is horrendous flooding, so they are stuck at the MTC, i must admit I am a little envious. I enjoyed my time there, although Im sure once I get into the work here there will be none greater. FOr example, last night I went out on splits with one of the APs, Elder Prando. We visited a woman to follow up on her reading of the BoM. Plus later I had to teach english! Gosh that was scary. It was an hour of me talking to this brazilian and teaching him, totally alone. E. Prando was busy teaching another set of people. THen at the end I had to prepare a spiritual thought to end the lesson. Sooo I reached in and pulled out good ol Ether 12:27 about weak things becoming strong. I cant wait until I actually get to teach. Will be starting tomorrow!TOnight we will be just doing some more street contacts and things like that. We are opening the area here. That means that there has not been elders for a little while. SO we are going to have a lot of work to do, but with the Lord all is possible.

Scripture of the week i think is not only Helamen 5:12, but also 2 Nephi 32:3. With Christ and Heavenly Father all is possible. Just gotta ask and rely on them.I miss you so much! Please please please keep writing me. ...i know this is worth it. I will be back before you know it.Keep praying. The church is true. Love you all. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Only One More Week at CTM

Photos (Elder Briggs & Elder Coleman) (Group Photo)
Mom asked Bryan what he wanted for Christmas and this is what he said...

... what I really need is just more letters and especially pictures. I love getting pictures from everybody, but yeah, thats the tough part because it is really an individual thing...but yeah, friends and family i need more pictures of you, Christmas Cards would be great too. Some music would be cool too. Not just the generic church stuff, but some actual cool music. Maybe some Groban or ask Jacot (Jazz Teacher) for some awesome gospel music recordings like Witness and Ezekial, etc.

I must admit I am a little bummed that I am missing the annual Briggs clan Thanksgiving celebration. I have been thinking about that a lot lately just like wow, i cant believe it is time for the celebration already. Gonna definitely miss seeing everybody, and I am just gonna miss the holiday itself! Definitely only an american holiday haha. Speaking of thanksgiving, and facebook, why dont you snag dale when he is home for thanksgiving to help you with the facebook stuff! Then you could also tell him that he needs to write his most loyal member of FOND. Forrrr sure.Congrats Kelsey on the (Most Friendly) Best List! on to the weekly stories and news. Went proselyting for the last time on Friday. We went pretty close to the first place, but not. We were in downtown Sao Paulo in some sort of shopping district. It was pretty cool. There were just people everywhere going around into shops and just walking and chilling and all of the above. Our district set a goal of getting 300 cards out in that hour and a half and we hit that and farrr surpassed it. Try 425 cards and 12 Book of Mormons on for size. It was awesome. I could talk to people, understand people, really feel the spirit as I bore my testimony and could see it in peoples eyes. Oh just awesome. The very coolest experiences are where you have more than 10 seconds with someone and can actually talk to them, and share the message of the Restoration and of Christ. Very very cool when you can see that light go on in their heads and you can feel the spirit and tell they are too.Rest of the weekend not much happened. On Tuesday we lost some members of the district early to their missions. Elders Funk and Coleman and Sister Young left for João Pessoa and Santa Maria. Just wierd transfer schedules and all that stuff. I will definitely miss them though. Elder Funk was the only other elder in the district that did not either live in or go to school in the Jello Belt (Arizona-Utah-Idaho). We were able to talk about football and basketball and other stuff. Just great. Plus we took an absolutely sick picture which I have attached to this email. I definitely think it deserves a pulitzer. Elder Coleman was the class clown and yeah, funny kid. First three ish weeks thought he was just plain strange, but once you get used to him you look forward to every minute you get to spend with him. I swear, funniest kid ever. Just does and says the funniest things at all times.I just can not believe I have less than a week left here in this SP CTM. Sooo freaking intense. Not quite sure how I feel about it. Part of me is raring to go and get out into the field and begin teaching, but another part is just like....ehhhhhh you sure youre ready there big guy? Right now in class we are doing the fourth lesson which is about things like Word of Wisdom, Tithing, Law of Chastity, etc. Gosh, those are definitely going to be interesting to teach. Hard enough in English! HA. But again, I am out here to do the Lords work, and he will prepare me if I show the faith and the diligence. There is a unique purpose for me here in SP North. I was called through inspiration because there is a niche that I can fill here that no one else can. I am His tool. He will guide and direct me.... Keep going strong. Helamen 5:12

Jason: Thanks for the news bud! Football is so depressing but I guess I am addicted and cant live without it. You are a stud btw. You know. Love ya man.Katrine: Gosh you are doing awesome with this writing stuff! I am so glad that the first letter got to you...was a little worried for a second. But yeah. Awesome. You are gonna have a wondeful time in London! So excited for you. Cant wait for the letters to show up.Bethanie: Loved the email but you need to include an address if I am going to write back! We need to talk about that wonderful Atonement, I am also just beginning to understand and appreciate it and have some stories for ya.Everyone else that is reading this blog.: Right now, find a picture that is of you and me, or just you, or of whatever, and send it to me with a letter. Doesnt matter what the letter says, I just want to hear from ya. Been gone a bit, want to keep in contact. You guys rock!FOND FTW

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nov. 12 Letter (Note New Address on the right!)

( R Photo, Elder Briggs Hair Day - everyone did their hair like Bryan, L photo, Brother Soares,) I guess yes and no, time is going fast. It is a wierd thing...kind of like I am in a black hole or something. Every day seems like it just will not end...but then at the end of the week its like, what? Its pday again? Didnt we do that yesterday? Its freaky...ive heard rumors that the twilight zone is gonna make an episode about it..hahahBut yeah, I would suggest just sending everything to the mission home from now on, anything sent after friday probably will get to the CTM either right when I leave or maybe barely I would rather just have a lot of stuff waiting for me at the mission. Give props to Grandma Jeanie, she is a postcard writing machine haha. Seriously, if I have a letter for me its like a 75% chance that it is from Grandma Jeanie. Also got some more letters from friends this week, so I really appreciate that.

So how did the musical end out? One of my friends (Amy Jones, you remember her?) Said she saw you at the show but couldnt get over to ya to say hi. But yeah, Everyone is really happy with the blog mom, gotta give you massive props. I love being able to email you and dad every week, just makes the distance feel a heck of a lot smaller. Miss you bunchesAnd kelsey, but a pro. I bet you cracked some skulls haha, love the picture. Heard your team lost though, sad. Bet they couldnt run worth a darn up the middle on ya though. Good luck with the college apps!

Ok so what happened this week. Well last week was not much, just the end of the week as AP and getting used to all of that stuff. It all went fairly well. I think I have assumed the new role without much friction. Only way that I can do it is by love and example I guess. Just gotta show all the elders that I care about them, that they can approach me about anything, and be an example. Easy thing about elders, most all of them want to do the right thing anyways. Allow people their agency, dont restrict them to much, and people will most always do whats least 19 year old missionaries that is haha.Monday was AP Briggs Hair Day. The entire branch decided to do up their hair like me, in tribute or making fun I have not determined yet, but whatever, it was freaking awesome. Everybody put up the front of their hair and everything, entire day. Nothing much else eventful has been happening. Giving the third lesson in Portuguese this week, without any assistance from notes or anything! Going to be so nuts! But I can handle it. The language has been coming a lot faster the past couple weeks, there are a lot of things that I can just say now, and read, but still the difficulty is figuring out what these brazilians are saying! Fast fast fast mouths.

Again Sao Paulo temple today, pretty awesome. Very very beautiful inside. Guess I am lucky to have a temple in my mission boundaries for the entirety of my stay here. Definitely a very cool place. We go proselyting for the last time on friday. Have set a district goal (there are 12 of us) of giving out 300 cards in our hour and a half that we have. I konw we will be able to do it, just gotta open our mouths, and the Lord will help us. Do not hide your talents. I miss ya tons!Oh just finished the New Testament in english. Was pretty cool, never done that in its entirety before. Again just further strengthens my testimony that Jesus is the Christ and that he has given us a gift more precious above all other gifts. That gift is the ability to feel right in the world, and the ability to have real happiness. Dont know why it took me until the field to really begin to understand my relationship with Christ, but my testimony grows daily. Right now I am reading BoM in portuguese, only in 2 Nephi 20 but it will come. Love that book as well. It is truly written of God for us. I miss you all!

Katrine: Sorry havent gotten the letters yet, but Im sure they will come soon, just write the next to the mission. I am sending out a letter for ya today.

Daniel: Again, you are awesome..definitely miss you as my roommate. Just keep working that UW man, I bet you are schooling everybody! And Heidi told me about your little tear episodes...haha jk but for cereal, miss ya too]

Jason: thanks man! Love hearing the news and so glad to hear about whats up with ya. Keep it up, I will send you another letter pretty soon probably. And you are a stud, pure and simpl,eAmy: Nice work on the costume! Keep going strong haha, even if you cant handle cold anymore.

Heidi: Loved the email! Cant wait for the letter to come through! Good luck at school! You will have to tutor me when i get home. Say hi to the gang for me. Glad the JAH hotline is still going strong.

Beat Dale, he needs to write me...Bye all!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Pictures from the CTM

(Pics - Me & my roommates & Halloween at the CTM...)
Have I got a lot of stuff to talk about this week..hopefully I remember it all hahah. Seriously, tons went down.Ok, so, sarting with Pday last week. I did get the package you sent, and I loved that pictures and the letter and everything... And the other pictures were marvelous...I can never get enough. I hope that you continue to send pics down to me and everything! Just wonderful, makes it seem less like I am on the other side of the world. The reeses are wonderful, thank you, and yeah, cant wait to get to the mission and have that other stuff waiting for me! I think you could probably wait for another 10 ish days before giving the mission address. That would probably be about right.
Ok so next day, Friday. We went prosleyting again. I thought it would be the Avenida Paulista, and I was super excited, but it wasnt. Oh well, still a good place. I was absolutely terrified for the first hour for some reason...couldnt get any cards out. But then I just listened to the scriptures (cant remember which one...i think dc 88) that says that I need to open my mouth, and it will be given me what I should say. It worked. In the last half hour I gave out 15 cards to people. The best experience was with one sad looking girl, and I was able to approach her, talk to her, and as I bore my testimony about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, I could just see it in her eyes that the Holy Ghost was testifying the truth to her. I hope she acts on it.
So, do you remember how I said that I hoped that I would be able to go for all two years without having to be in a leadership position? Well, they got me in the first 2 months haha. Goodness, I guess its that whole thing about its not who would be the best leader, but the one that needs to be leader most, the one that will learn from it, and humble and better himself. You are now talking to the Assistant to the President of the 1st branch of the Sao Paulo CTM. Oh has only been a few days but I hope I can live up to the calling. I need to be a real example now. This must be my wake up call from the Lord. Plus, cool experience, it was an answer to a prayer of mine. I wont talk about it now...but its in my journal, so you can read about it in a couple years.Elder Schooley and I are starting to work really well as a companionship. We taught part of the 4th lesson this week, which is about commandments. The situation we were given was a couple that is living together, with one kid and one on the way. The father is an alcoholic, and the mother is a smoker. Of course, we had to teach about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. Sounds tough, but we nailed it. I am loving teaching, because I am not teach lessons, I am teaching people. I am able to talk to them, bear my testimony, and see the Lord work mighty changes. They greatest part is that I know that what I am teaching is right, and that I can truly be a difference maker in someones life. Now all i need is to be able to just talk in Portuguese!
I did get my ballot, but I gotta tell the whole story. Pretty fun. So First off, thank you Grandmother and Papa Jim for sending me the ballot and the voters pamphlet, it was a lot of help! But it arrived on Nov. 3. Of course, that left me the night to vote and the next day to send in the ballot. So the voting experience was awesome! First time, and I was really surprised by what happened.I have always thought of myself as at least mostly republican, but the ballot that I sent in was pretty evenly a split ticket! It was a ton of fun being able to think about politics and make choices and excercise my right as an American citizen! But, the ballot did not get sent in. I gave to to my teacher to mail for me but he forgot...but stilll, wonderful experience all the same! Crazy that Obama won in such a landslide! I expected he would win, but not by that much. Hopefully he does what he promises and unites the country. Brazilians love him btw. Mostly because he is african american, but yeah, thats the feelings here.Received a couple letters this week from friends, so thank you Lauren and Andrea! I hope you are just rocking BYU! You will have letters of your own in a few weeks.Everyone else, write me more! I love getting the letters and the emails. Just amazing. Daniel, miss ya man. Such an awesome story, and I am sooo happy for ya haha. What a stud. See ya soon! (Only 22 More months!)Tchau Everyone!oh yeah, Ashley, could you get me Deans mission address?
Thanks!Love you guys!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Please Write...

You are invited to write Bryan at or snail mail to the address on the right. He can't email you but he can write via snail mail and promises to write everyone back as soon as he can...every card and letter means a lot to him. Please provide your snail mailing address! You can also comment below, just click on comments at the end of this posting and say hello.... Here is his most recent posting:

Reverse Beazered....

Hey fam!!! Thanks so much for the Mr. Cheneys gift certificate, peanut butter, and milkshake, they have made everything pretty darn wonderful haha. (Photo from Mr. Cheney's Store, across the street from the CTM - Things are getting into a pretty regular rhythm, so thats nice i guess. I have been trying to speak all portuguese, but its difficult! The rest of the district has already given up on that goal, and then i keep reverting to english when they are all speaking english and gosh, just one vicious circle...but i have noticed some improvement, so thats cool. We have been doing some cool grammar stuff..but the really frustrating things have been trying to figure out what words to use for This, that, (there are like, 8 different words, no joke) and than how to say would (there is no would, you just conjugate the verb differently, gosh so intense!). But yeah, going pretty good i guessI am starting to do really well in teaching the lessons in English...finally figuring out how to teach by the spirit. Had a really cool experience Monday teaching the third lesson for our milestone. The spirit was really strong, and I was able to answer some questions that the instructor didnt even ask, and then i used some different scriptures than I had prepared, and it just went amazing...i got him (irmao aguiar) to tear up! well, i guess the spirit got him to tear up, i was a little bleary eyed as well. third lesson is my favorite, its about the gospel of jesus christ, and of His love and our potential for happiness. Read the book of Enos, and pay special attention to the last verse, one of my faves now.

Um....oh yeah, been sick for a while hahah, about 10 days, but i am pulling out of it, so i figured i could finally tell you. didnt want you to worry about me! but yeah, was pretty funny, I got reverse beazered (i told you about elder beazer right? he just keeps getting a different disease one after the other, and he never got sick back home) But yeah, i call it reverse beazered because i started with stomache stuff and went to soar throat and fever...and then sinus infection haha. but its all good now. Oh ps, try snorting salt water when you start getting congested or a soar throat...its pretty crazy. It works, but feels like you are drowning during the middle of it...not fun at all haha, great story opportunities though.

Elder Richard G. Scott spoke with us on Saturday. That man truly is an Apostle, it was pretty cool to hear him speak. He is in Brazil to call some new area authorities i think? no idea though. He spoke about the importance of knowing the scriptures, and especially the Book of Mormon. Rementioned that the BoM is the keystone of our religion, because if it is true, then Joseph Smith was a Prophet, this is the restored gospel, and Jesus is the Christ. It was a good talk. He also emphasized the importance of trusting in God. He will protect us, as long as we dont do stupid things. We have a sacred duty, and should not put ourselves in jeopardy. I have heard some stories of some reallly realllllly stupid missionaries...i will have to tell you about them at some other time. Oh yes, plus elder Scott pounded the importance of writing down your spiritual thoughts, as they are personal revelation, and can be tremendous sources of knowledge and comfort for you in your life. Then he shared his testimony about Jesus Christ, which I too have. Again, Enos 1:27.ummmm going proselyting again this friday..going to pretty intense once more. this time we have more than just the original approach. for every lesson there is a shortened version that we make up to use as a street contact. either, the restoration, the plan of salvation, the gospel of jesus christ, or commandments...well commandments i dont think we will do one for since yeah, doesnt make sense to start talking to someone about tithing as the very first thing. i am excited for this time going to be much smoother now that i am a little more comfortable with the language...its really cool, but dang they speak so fast!!! i think we are going to the avenida paulista..but i am not sure at allok, so, general announcement time.

Thank you sooooo much those of you who have been writing me emails! I love them very much, but please, include your address so I can reply to you! And believe me, I will reply. I apologize for the amount of time it takes for my letters to reach you...but I am kind of in South America haha. But serious, I will reply, and I love hearing about everything that is going on.Katrine: thanks for the address, letters have not come yet, but i am sure they will. i will write a letter today. Good luck with the spanish!Amy: I will write to you today as well. thanks for the addressJason & Dan: You guys are garanhãos. plain and simple...i hope i spelt that right hahah go Dawgs! Sent a couple letters to ya. hopefully they come soonSarah: Need to include your address..nice artworkLisa: Love the email, but again, need the address so i can reply!Dale....dale dale dale....dale dale dale....dale dale dalllllllllllle. Um, FOND FTW, not sure what else to say. Oh ps, tell the rest of the members of FOND to write me too...or you guys can just do one big letter of epicness. Everyone else, write me! Love you all! Oh PS, when you are confused seeing I am online on facebook, its my mom. Go ahead and say hi! haha, sure she would get a kick out of that. Oh another PS, if you write me a letter, be sure to send pictures! I can never have enough pictures. But yeah, I really miss you guys alot. Its great to hear that everything is going so well. I think about you every day, got a picture that GJ sent of homecoming and you three at my desk..its awesome. I love you all, and hope that this was a good, fulfilling letter. Miss you tons! Can´t wait for your letters and stuff to start arriving. Eu voces amo MUITO MUITO MUITO!!! O Mundo é pequeno, meu amor é grande. Tchau!

Friday, October 24, 2008

October 22, 2008 Updates

You are invited to write Bryan at or snail mail to the address on the right. He can't email you but he can write via snail mail and promises to write everyone back as soon as he can...every card and letter means a lot to him. You can also comment below, just click on comments at the end of this posting and say hello....

First photo is of Casa Verde, or thesuburb that the CTM is in, and the other is our view of Sao Paulo.

The city is freaking ginormous. we actually went into the city of sao pualo this last week, place is crazy.soo many poeple everywhere! unfortunately it was a bit more run down than ihad there were a lot of protests going on. and also, getthis, there is a rift between the city and state police! they call it thepolice wars here..crazy right? basically both are trying to get the upperhand and do more stuff so they get more funding, gosh its intense. but yeah,sooo many people just walking around, kind of reminded me of shinjuku,except not as technologically advanced and a different ethnic group walkingaround. next week we go to the avenida paulista, im sure that will be muchdifferent. from my research i remember it being the 8th most luxurious street in the world? somehting like that anyways...bascially wall streethere in sao paulo, those with money in the bank, as my teacher likes to say,will be there.
More from Elder Briggs...
well, the last email was deleted, so i dont even remember what i said haha! but it was truly excellent, very long and full of details..i am running short ontime so some of that sttuff will most likely be forgottenwell the park was definitely intense. it was right smack dab in the middle ofsao paulo..there were freaking people everywhere! plus it was hilarious, therewere tons of upper teens in costumes! i dont know if it was for halloween or aparty or protests or what...but yeah, you have not lived until you hear abrazilian try to be austin powers...ohhhhh so funny. but anyways, so they gaveus a bunch of pass along cards and a book of mormon. oh gosh it was thedefinition of intense. i had to just swallow my fear and begin talking portuguese! it was a little frightening when they talked back...theyspeak it soo fast and i dotn yet have an ear for the language...but that willcome as i get used to it. my mission pres told me that eventually i will belike, why did it take him so long to say thatt? just spit it out already!about ten days ago i told my district that starting tonight, no more english. iam definitely pretty scared, but excited...for it is going to force me to learnthe language. plus it will help everyone focus more, my district is very social.some of them are trying to chicken out because they wont be able to talk asmuch! kind of makes me a little angry, since we all agreed, but whatever....nocontention. i hope it helps me learn a lot faster and begins the transferr of mythoughts to portuguese instead of english! i really need that to happen..i dontknow if i will ever be able to speak fast enough though...i couldnt even talkfast in english!whats next, oh yeah, packages! i am so happy that you sent me some stuff! ithas not arrived yet, but i cant wait for it to happen...getting letters isalmost better than christmas, and then pday is christmas and birthday onsteroids, just so relaxing and good to communicate with you guys! and eitherreeses thing, bt probably the pieces, i do love the pieces. btw, major kudos toGJ and Jason Olmstead, you two are the only people i have received letters fromthus far! you win the prize of everything good...yeah, and thanks to daniel,katrine, jason, and morgs, your emails rocked! i will reply with letters as soonas i canthanks for putting my address on the facebook, i did like receiving the emailsvery much, good idea mom. i know you feel awkward on the facebook, but i reallyappreciate it!what else, gosh, i dunno, learning the language is intense. there are 4 hours aday that we arent studying...and that is for meals, gym time, and getting readyfor bed...every other hour is dedicated to studying the language, the lessons,or the scriptures. i am happy you are reading the doing the sideby side, in 2 nephi now, already i can feel the side by side helping me with thelanguage! my goal is to go without the enlgish BoM by the time i get through Alma!i love you all...

Monday, October 20, 2008

1st Letter from MTC Brazil

This handwritten letter arrived just a few days ago. The photos are from the CTM where Bryan is training. You can send him e-mails at he can only write emails to his family, but still appreciates any correspondance. Or for a quick hello, click on comments below and say hi, he can check the blog on his p-day.

Miha Famila, Ola! Chego en Centro de Treinamento Missionario Hoje. It has been a very long couple of days, but it is totally worth it. The MTC is to prison as the CTM is to a 5 star resort. I can not believe how much nicer and prettier the complex is. Plus everybody is way friendlier, way less agressive. Plus, on P-day I actually get to go out into the streets! Enter real shops, see real people, eat in real restuarants. Plus the food here at the CTM is amazing. This place is just light years ahead of Provo...The Presidency here is wonderful, they describe themselves as six new grandparents, and they really are....the actually make a real effort to know us all by name! In fact, they even remembered Jonathan when I asked one of them about him. I am really super excited about all of this now. I Provo it was tough to feel the spirit because there was no real connection with the leadership...I feel as if I can really start feeling good about myself and the work. Brazilian portuguese is such a cool language and I can't wait to be able to put it to use! Eu amo voces! I miss everyone a ton....It is time to get to work! In no time I will be able to speak portuguese like a native! Tchau!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 15, 2008 Update

...well story time. not much of huge import has happened this week. i have down the first two lessons in english, and am working on the first lesson in portuguese. gosh the portuguese stuff is so hard! i can write it out without much help no problem, but as soon as i try to speak it i forget what to say! gosh i need to work on it. they have really been pushing here that we should not stress about the will come, as long as i work hard for it. the lord will take care of it if i truly show the desire and the faith that he can bless me with the gift of tonguesi love it here, brazilians are just awesome. we got brazilian roommates, and they are hilarious. one of them calls himself the ¨Ninja Preto, or black ninja. guy is freaking hard core....has a black belt in tae kwan do and was in the military before coming here on his mission. the other guy is really into learning english, and is pretty cool also. but yeah, both are pretty nice and are always joking around and just being awesome....i have not figured out many brazilian cooking secrets yet..but our teacher makes a mean bbq. what he does is, well, think almost shishkabobs. he puts the meat in only rock salt for a little bit before, and then skewers the meat tightly around the stick, and lays it over the coals. it was pretty dang good, but yeah, it was tough for him to explain. he speaks good english but its definitely not....we go proselyting for the first time on friday...its going to be way intense. we are just going to some park, they give us a bunch of cards and books of mormon, and we just have to go place them, using portuguese of course. its going to be pretty scary, but brazilians are nice, and i have got enough down to be able to say what i need to say in 30 seconds...but seriously, going to be really really crazy.i wont be able to send pictures digitally for a while, since most of these computers dont have accessible usb ports, plus i am not allowed to take my camera outside the ctm anyways, i wish i could, there is some cool things that i want to take photos of, especially the temples, wayyyy district is awesome, i am getting along with everyone, and yeah, its a good experience...i dont know where the time has gone. every day seems to last forever, but when you get to the end of the week, its just like, man, i was in church yesterday, how is it saturday night already? ....oh the picture book was an amazing idea. sure other people like to see the pictures, but it helps me the most. sometimes i wont nothing more than to see everyone again, and just be home, but the pictures help a lot with that homesicknessand ... i cant wait to start getting letters from everyone...ive been in what i refer to black hole time, the dead zone when you cant receive any letters yet because there just hasnt been enough time to get your address out and for people to write and send yet. but i am excited for them to start coming in....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

From Brazil...Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bryan's first e-mail from Brazil: Hey, It is pretty crazy, I am in an actual store, an internet cafe pretty much, here in Mesa Verde, Brazil. The CTM here is sooo so much better than the MTC in Provo, i think i have already told you about most of it, but yeah, even though it is wayyy more heavily fortified and much smaller, it feels so much less like a prison. We are actually able to get out and meet actual people and see that the real world still does exist! The neighborhood itself seems a bit run down and ghetto, but thats to be expected i guess. SP is one of the biggest cities in the world..of course its going to have a huge range of social and economic conditions. I would show you pictures...but I am at the wrong internet cafe to do you will have to wait another week or so. But yeah, its pretty sad here...a lot of run down homes, next to nice expensive hihg rise apartments, definitely pretty interesting.

Today was my first pday, and we got to go to the Campinas temple. We go to either Campinas or Sao Paulo every week for a session..but we dont get to choose...i hope i get to see the SP soon. But anywho, campinas was absolutely beautiful! It had these huge majestic archways, the golden moroni sparkling in the sun, and the views of the surrounding area were spectacular...It was so this moment I would have to say that it is my favorite temple..Plus inside was amazing too, really cool stained glass and everything. My companion and roommates are pretty cool, although my roommate Elder Beazer has been really sick...Toncillitis. Hopefully I dont get it, but its all good, he is finally pullling out of it and got to go to the temple with us.

Elder Schooley is my comp, and he is pretty cool. A good fellow nerd for me to chat with! hahaUmmmmmm just sent out some letters today. But i just wrote a short one home, since i was going to be able to do this...gosh i miss everyone a ton. But i know this is where i am supposed to be, General Conference reaffirmed that for me, I know that this is the land where God wants me, and that i have a duty to my fellow man. The Brazillians are amazing btw, everyone is so happy and funny and exciting to be around. Every single one of them hates to let an opportunity slip by to joke with someone and make friends. I simple cannot wait until i can speak their language.Speaking of speaking, portuguese is hard core. Definitely way different than english and french, but its coming..slowly but surely. I know that it is going to take some time for me to become fluent, but it WILL happen, I want it too much for it to not happen. It is such a fun and beautiful language, and I am looking forward to rapping with jonathan in it when i get back.(btw, the leadership here at the CTM remembered Jonathan hahah...but really, who couldnt right? That kid is hilarious)

ummmmmmmm both of my teachers are natives, and they are pretty legit. Irmão Soares is hilarious, he served up north and he is going to Utah State in 4 months, so he is very excited about that. I miss you all a ton!

I will do my best to get recipes once in the field. But yeah, the food here in the CTM is pretty good. Nothing too unique yet, but you can definitely taste the latin influences and everything. Plus the fruit is bananas ever!...So now i am going to get the chance to get some sick brazilian made ties...and SHOES! and a suit! but thats down the road once my stuff wheres out. I do miss peanut butter and reeses, but thats about it.]Oh and about thats the only thing down here, but I am not too sure on how it works. Check it definitely saves some time. And mom, great work on the blog!!!

I have to get going soon.Please tell people to write me! It is a commandment! Literally, writing your missionary was a point in the Saturday Am session of conference...So its not just me wanting mail, but God wants me to get mail..some food for thought ;)Love you all! And miss you terribly! Tchau minha familia

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

In Brazil?

We haven't yet had a confirmation of arrival, but we are assuming all is well and awaiting updates from Bryan. Yesterday it was great to talk to him, he was traveling with about 10 "newbies" missionaries who had just said goodbye to their families that morning and were flying straight to Brazil. With a few days at the MTC, Bryan was the most experienced Elder and took the lead. He called from SLC and Dallas and we're hoping for some word soon about the rest of the trip -a 10 hour flight from Dallas to Sao Paolo. We did get our first actual letter yesterday, here are a few lines from his letter...
Minha Familia -
Well, I was supposed to write the first night here, but because of my late arrival I did not have the time. I miss home and everybody, but I am figuring out this MTC thing. It is interesting trying to learn Brazilian Portuguese from European speakers, whever they say things I need to remember to pronounce everything the brazil way in my head. It is coming, sometimes in leaps and bounds and other times at a snail crawl. My first companion is Elder Sinden from Puyallup, WA! What are the odds, eh? He is waiting for his visa, but it probably won't come for months (for various reasons, mostly because church sent papers to the wrong consolate at first). He will serve in the Porto Alegre North mission (or missao). I am very ready to get going south. Provo is just fine but it is not where I am meant to be. One strange thing though, I am able to study the scriptures better than I ever have. The time is used, and is not as slow as it has been in my previous experience, but much more interesting! I know it is the Lord. He has called me to the work and will see to it that I have the tools necessary. ..Please tell everyone to meas much as they can. I will e-mail once a week, but it is good to hear from everyone to keep a little bit of me grounded at home. Oh and please have people draw me colorful pictures! Stick figures are just perfect and drawings from people make the room feel much more homey. Love you guys...Elder Squig

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

2 flights to Brazil

A quick update...Bryan left SLC this morning en route to Brazil with a stop in Dallas for a shoe shine & ice cream, then a 10 hour flight arriving at about 6 in the morning Brazil time. We were thrilled to get 2 phone calls today and a letter. More details to be posted tomorrow. He's hoping for letters which can be easily sent to him via or for now. You'll just need to put in his address which is posted on the right........Or just make comments on his blog and hopefully he'll get to see them. The letters mean the most.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Flight to Brazil on Tuesday, September, 30

Just a few days at the Provo MTC then on to Brazil, next Tuesday

Just a few hours late

Wednesday, September 24.
Bryan's 1:00 flight was right on schedule, we were happy to have him for a few hours more and a few more hugs. His first lesson of his mission was patience...with a change in destination, a canceled flight and then he was selected to be "frisked" by airport security. His Uncle, Bishop Mike Macrum picked him up at the airport and took him to dinner at PF Changs with his cousin Makelle before taking him to the MTC. Makelle said he went in with his chin held high.
Thursday, September 25.
Bryan called home with the news that his visa came in so he's headed to Brazil on Tuesday, September 30. It was great to hear his voice...all is well.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Delayed by a bird!

Elder Briggs 6am flight was cancelled this morning. A bird hit the plane. So now we await the next flight out at 1pm. His Uncle Mike & Aunt Alane will be taking him to the MTC, we are awaiting word as to how to proceed. So our 4am wake up call was just an exersize in patience.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


There has been a new fad sweeping the country. However, instead of being fashion, a movie, or jumping on the bandwagon of a sports team, it is the delay of Missionary Visa's! Yay! Well, it is official, I am going to the Provo MTC for about two weeks (fingers crossed) until my Visa comes through and I can continue on my journey to Sao Paulo. Now I really know how Sean felt. On the bright side, Brazil is having a mail strike, and Utah is not! SOOOOOO I expect to recieve quite a few letters while I still have the opportunity.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Missionary Farewell

Bryan, along with his sister, Kelsey, and Mom and Dad, will be speaking at the Bend Stake Center on September 14, at 9am. The family will host an open house that evening from 7 to 8:30 pm. All are invited to stop by the Briggs' home on Starview and join in the farewell festivities.

post um

Testing Testing 1, 2, 3