You are invited to write Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
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 - Missionties.com) 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 though....is 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!
You are invited to write Bryan at email@example.com 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 expected...plus 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 topeople...in 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 scriptures...im 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...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
...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 language...it 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 beautiful.my 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....
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 it...so 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 cool...at 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 amazing..best 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 www.missionties.com thats the only thing down here, but I am not too sure on how it works. Check it out...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
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 www.dearelder.com 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
Elder Briggs is an LDS missionary serving in the Brazil São Paulo North Mission. This is Bryan's online journal posted by his Mom. Your comments on the blog welcome. Snail mail costs .98 per letter (new rate). PLEASE WRITE!!!
Save the dates:
HOMECOMING DATE: Thursday, September 16 arriving around Noon at Redmond Airport
Speaking in Church: Sunday, September 19, 9am, Cascade Crest Ward, Bend, Oregon. You are invited! My friend Jonathan will be coming down and we will sing a song in Portugese together. Open House that night...come on over!
Still time to write a letter - too late to send a package:
Elder S. Bryan Briggs Missão Brasil São Paulo Norte R. Dr. Rui Batista Pereira, 165 Jardim Caxingui São Paulo - SP 05517-080 BRASIL email: Elder Briggs can not receive emails or respond to emails, please write via snail mail. If you need to get news to him asap...you can send an email to his mom at email@example.com
We will update the site frequently with photos, Much of the content is directly from Elder Briggs weekly emails to his family and will be italicized.
Elder Alves, Brazil
Elder Brent Parsons - Orem, Utah
Elder Bryce Perry - Austin, Texas
Elder Mosiah - Fortaleza, Brazil
Elder J.D. Schoen - Mesa, AZ.
Elder Gouveia - teresópolis, Rio de Janeiro
Elder Matos - Fortaleza, Ceará
Elder Cruz - Balneario Camboriu, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Elder David Martins - Minas, Brazil
Elder Josh Schooley - SLC, Utah
Elder D. Brian Sinden - Puyallup, WA
September 16 - Flying HOME
Transfer, Mission Office, Sao Paulo, April 7, 2010 New Companion, Elder Parsons/July, New Companion Elder Alves