Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year! Woot!!!!

Happy New Year! Woot! ALLLMOST 2010...almost.

(Sorry no pictures, Bryan's camera is in the shop) Thats sweet that the Sansburns are at the house now. Give them a shout out for me. I really miss cold and skiing and stuff. Get on their case to send me an email or a letter or something, with pics. In fact...I always love to get mail!!!

As for my ward, it is rough. But, im working on getting it better.

Onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week

Well, this was the awesome week of christmas! So, lots of cool stuff happened. There were christmas parties and food and calling home and all that. Definitely lots of fun. Unfortunately, it did get distracting and not tons of stuff happened in the work. However, there was one good thing that DID happen....


BAPTISM! Woot! So, her name is Fatima, she is 55 years old and lives with her youngest daughter (Stefani, 17) and her grandaughter (Gabi, 8, NOT stefani`s). So, it was pretty cool. The whole ward went out to a big church campground for the xmas party. Unfortunately, Elder Mosiah and I couldnt go as it is outside of mission boundaries. So, we waited in town, got everything ready for the baptism, and then we got it all done! It was pretty sweet. She was very happy and her daughter is seeming pretty interested too...maybe we will be able to mark a date with her sometime soon.

Also, we have still been doing lots of divisions to get to know everyone better and increase the zone friendship. It has been going pretty well. Also, we had another zone activity today doing soccer out in Francisco Morato. I am still amazed by brazilian chapels....theyre huge and so nice! But yeah, it was a bunch of fun. Like I mentioned in the phone call, it is crazy how agile with their feet these Brazis are! my gosh! Oh well

As for new years, we don't have any plans. Actually, we have to be at our house at 7 pm...I've heard that New Years gets pretty messy here. Good news is that there is a big firework show that is set up right near our house...so we will be able to watch the whole thing. Yipee

Well, miss you all and wish everyone a Happy 2010~! GET HAPPY! IM COMING HOME THIS YEAR!

Bryan

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Feliz Natal

Feliz Natal...
Planning to call home for Christmas, (only 1 of 2 calls all year)...as for the Christmas phone call, I will confirm Thursday night. Right now is a little difficult because I am on a division and I cant talk to my comp about it...Im in Franco da Rocha today with Elder Ávila. Anyway, Friday I should be calling after lunch...my time. sooooo, it could be at like 9 in the morning...but like I said, I will confirm Thursday night, my time...man, this six hour time difference sure is annoying!

Oh, I got the advent calendar box! Thanks Mom! I already opened a lot of the presents, but I left some for Elder Mosiah and I to open on Christmas morning. Did you know that Christmas Eve is bigger than Christmas??? Most all the presents are opened on Christmas Eve here, and they stay up til midnight having a party...we have to be home at 10 oclock hah.

Anyways....onnnnnnnnnnnn to the week
This past week has been a strange and a rough one. Elder Mosiah and I have been doing lots of divisions to be able to get to know the areas and all the other areas around here. It is pretty cool, because we get to make more friendships with the other Elders of the stake. However, it also makes working in our own area a little weird, when you always have someone different. However, it is working out. For example, we are going to have an AWESOME Christmas present this saturday! Yep, you guessed it....batismo (baptism)! Her name is Fatima and she is in her mid 50s. The missionaries have been teaching her for a long time, but she has gotten a lot stronger in the past few weeks, and is super excited to be baptized. Also, her 17 year old daughter stefanie will probably be baptized in the coming weeks as well...exciting. As far as the area, we are still knocking lots and lots of doors. Plus, it is starting to get suuuuper hot outside. Hellloooooooooooooooooo suntan. Serious, my watch tan is getting pretty impressive....

Also, we had our Christmas zone conference yesterday. It was awesome. We watched the same movie as last year though, ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE. I like the movie a lot, I think you guys should rent it and check it out. It has James Stewart and Donna Reed. Also, we did a little game where i won a bag of peanut m&ms...oh so good.

Well, I'm gonna get going for now. Life is good in the hood of Sao Paulo.

Tchau!
Feliz Natal!!!
Bryan

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas from Brazil


Pics: Christmas Card with Elder Schoen, and Going Away Party in Sao Roque

Also, general news and excitement for all...MONTLAKE JAKE is coming back to UW! Woot. THat is all.
Thank bishop garrick for the awesome email, it really is awesome being able to hear from him. Let him know that he has been a great help for me in my life.

Letters being sent out today
Dale, Kaelene Schoen, Jason, Lauren

Onnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week
So, i am getting more and more used to my new area. It is still different than sao roque, but yeah, getting used to it. Unfortunately, we havent been having a whole lot of success recently in finding new families to teach...just a lot of knocking doors (bleh) and having a hard time finding people interested in the gospel. However, there are lots of good things happening in the other areas of the zone. We have lots of good elders that are starting to see success after some hard droughts.
However, we are teaching some good people, one person in particular (Fatima) is super excited for her baptismal date on the 26th. It is going to be super cool...there is going to be a ward xmas party out at a church campground and the baptism might happen there! Unfortunately Elder MOsiah and I cant go since the place is outside of mission boundaries.

Also, one of the other cool things is that we had a zone activity today playing soccer in one of the local squares. A bunch of the local kids came and played with us too. So, yeah, im not terrible at soccer, but ive figured that my strength is on the back half, defensive part of the field...it is crazy how agile these brasilians are with the ball! It is nutty....oh well, no matter how agile you are it doesnt mean you can win a collision with a six foot two American...haha
I am super excited for Christmas next week....just so excited! I just cant stop thinking about it.

other funny story
so....last week I went to downtown sao paulo and I bought a soccer jersey and a camera case to protect my camera. Well, that night I was digging around in my bag to be able to put my camera in the protective case, and the camera fell out of the bag onto the hard concrete...and isnt working right now. But, a member is taking it to a fixing shop this week so there shouldn't be any problem...if there is, i will go back next week and buy a new camera. I just thought it was ironic..I broke the camera in the moment that i was trying to protect it.
love ya!


Miss you all and love ya!

Bryan

Friday, December 11, 2009

In the Concrete Jungle


Photos: Elder Mosiah and I in the Vanespa Building in the middle of the city of Sao Paulo..what a concrete jungle.

Well, I will try to do a lott better this time in the email, I've got a lot more time. Last week was rushed as I had just been transfered to the area.

I have some shout outs for some people....
David Cruz e ai safado! Te amo e tenho muitas saudades de ti! Eu finalmente fui no centro de sao paulo hoje....demorou ne. INfelizmente esse teclado nao da muito pra escrever em portugues...os accentes nao funcionam...nem o question mark! hey, voce tem que procurar meu amigo que esta emTrindade...Elder Beazer...vai la algum domingo e da um abraco pra ele! Mas sim, ta sendo otimo com mosiah..ele e gente boa demais. me mande uma carta com foto da menina que beijar!

Katrine...thanks for the email! I cant wait to get the xmas card, good luck on your final project

Lauren...thanks for the letter! WIll respond next week. Good luck with finals!

Dale...also got your letter! FOND FTW

Onnnnnnnnnnn to the weeek
So, the week was definitely a bit interesting. Right when I got in I had to go do a two day division in another area so that we could get a baptismal interview done. Was pretty sweet, I got to know one of the other elders, but it was super weird, as I knew another area better than my own! But, I got back to Jaragua and have been liking it. The place is technically part of Sao Paulo, but it is as interior as it gets. We are a ways out of the center, and there are lots of hills and green and stuff all around. The area is a heck of a lot smaller than Sao Roque though, so that is good. No more buses! Plus, I won't have to spend so much personal money anymore..yes! Only problem is that I have yet to find a good ice cream place.

It is fun being the Zone Leader with Elder Mosiah. Elder Mo


Hey, anyone out there...please send me Christmas Cards...I don't care if they are late, I'd just love to hear from you.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Transfered to Jaragua

(Picture is from Elder Schoen's Blog, Thanksgiving Day. Bryan will really miss him - so glad they were companions for awhile)




Shout outs to Daniel! I love you dude! <3 haha thanks for using your email. and yes, BDOGS is the correct term

Jason got your letter today! I will respond next week...be aware in the mail for another surprise coming your way!

Gj, got the shirt

Kaelene Schoen, got your letter! Thanks!

Onnnnn to the week
Basically, biggest things were
1) Baptism of Antonio, Josefa e Felipe
2) I was transferred! I am now in jaraguá with Elder Mosiah (from Fortaleza, Brazil) as my new companion. I am LZ (Zone Leader) now. (He is in charge of all the Missionaries in his area).

Sorry, no time to write, i will fill in more next week, gotta run!

Oh yeah, Thanksgiving was awesome! I love Sao Roque. They even through me a going away party last night!

Tchau!
Bryan

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thankgiving from Brazil

Happy Thanksgiving from Bryan in Brazil.
Pics...End of a long day. Lucky. Elder Schoen eating Chu chu.



First things first, i gotta give shout outs to várias pessoas...
Elder Walton: Received your letter...will send one next week
Katrine: Got your email! will send a recap of that other letter in the next
Jason Olmstead: heart
Daniel Stewart: Yeah boyyyyyyyyyyy (i forgot the secret code, so i hope you get this)

So, mom, im glad you are getting all ready for thanksgiving. I really wish i could be there. However, Elder Schoen and I will be celebrating at Rosangelas house with her family...has two benefits..we get food and they arent members, so more friendship! It should be way fun.

I dont know what is going on with the emails...you know that i am not the biggest fan of myldsmail.net.

Dont worry about me, my health is perfect right now and things are going great..im just suuuuper tired as it has been a long day and i havent been able to have sufficient sleep for a few days.

And the dogs seem like it would be all right...i liked the first one...but it is hard to know without seeing their personalities.

Onnnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week

So, this past week has a few big highlights. The first...sweet new people. We have found a couple awesome families this past week that seem super excited..one even accepted baptismal dates. I just want to be able to stock the cupboard of awesome investigators as transfers are next week, and the chances arent the greatest for me to stay...but there is hope! The bishop asked me to give him the presidents phone number so that he could call him to request that i stay longer in Sao Roque...so that is super cool! A huge compliment. Means that he thinks that we are doing great work and wants me to stay...just cool. Also, i heard that all the members have been peskering him recently to do something so that i stay for a little bit longer as well. But...who knows, i have been here for almost 7 months (5 transfers), i have 2 transfers with E. Schoen, and who knows.

Second big thing....Baptismal interviews! So, we did a division this week so that Antonio, Josefa, and Filipe could have their interviews for their baptism this weekend. Long story short, they passed! They are super excited for it and super motivated to be baptized, stay strong in the gospel, and enter the temple. They will be baptized on sunday right after the sacrament meeting. This family has come a long long way...and it all started with patience, perserverance, and a trip to the temple.

Third thing....speaking of temple, we went today! It was awesome, as usual. To do it we went to Sorocaba last night to sleep at the zone leaders hosue. We ended up getting super wet as it was pouring cats and dogs, and things were just nuts. We got to the temple and we had a very spiritual experience. I went in fasting and i received the answer to a question that i have been wrestling with over the past few weeks. The full account is in another email, as i already sent it and i am too lazy to type it out again
(I think I need permission from Bryan before I put this in the blog - pretty interesting news!). Anyways, we ended up taking the bus back to sorocaba, waiting there for our bus to sao roque, and we got here in the area at 630 pm...super late. But, we are able to write
Love ya

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Please send Christmas Cards:)



First photo is with Elder Richard G. Scott

Second photo is me playing at the local fountain

Give Jesse a high five and a congrats for me! Crazy that he is coming home! Well, another 10 months for me!

Thanks Bishop Garrick for the updates!

Anyways, thanks for the update on the Mommom's Memorial service. I'm glad that it all went so well and would have liked to have been there too. I can't believe my cousin, Adam is about to graduate college. Just crazy! But I am happy that it was such a good experience. It made me extra happy to read about the family, and also that no one is going to get married until I get home!

Oh, and remember, I am getting on a different time (according to you guys). Now, instead of it being 12 when i get on, it is 10 (because of daylight savings). Oh well. (Lately Bry's emails are taking up to 9 hours to get here)

Thanks for the email from Bishop Garrick, I like him a lot. He was always a great leader to me, and I am very happy that he is following the blog so closely.

Also, a quick shot out to David Cruz!
E aÍ cara! Nao acredito que ta ficando gordo! Tem que fazer acadamia mesmo....como que voce vai arranjar as moças de disney pra mim quando eu for pra sua casa ano que vem! Lol, just kidding dawg. Mas sim, fiquei feliz por ter recebido sua email. Acredita que ainda estou em Sao Roque?! Acho que vou morrer aqui no interiorzâo! Mas, eu gosto muito daqui e tambem do meu filho, a obra ta bom demais.
Tchau!

Also, to Bethanie...Thanks for the email! I can't wait to get your letter!

Onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week

So, this past week has been pretty rushed. We had zone conference, and service projects, and traveling, and new people, and just tons of work. The most eventful thing this week was that i got to go to a foot doctor! I have been diagnosed with a bad case of trench foot....
just kidding.
Actually, i just had a light case of an ingrowned toenail. The lady fixed it up pretty quick, and then continued to give me a pretty good foot treatment...I think I might just pretend to have a bad toenail again just so I can go back. But yeah, it was fun. Also, In the past week we have talked in english schools, helped people move their house, painted walls, washed dishes, all sorts of good service projects.
As far as the work goes, we have found some sweet people recently. I am most excited about one family in particular. They are super open about everything, very accepting, plus they are the owners of the Lanhouse that we use! Maybe the mishies will get free internet if we baptize them! Haha, wouldn't that be cool.

Also, we are using this week really to get people ready for their baptismal interviews next week. I am super excited for some of these people, especially one family in particular (that went to the temple with us). Basically all is going pretty awesomely here. One thing that is especially cool, the people in the ward like me! Since I already have been here for 5 transfers, it hasnt been looking good for me to stay here one more with Elder Schoen. However, a lot of members have been begging the bishop to call the Mission President to request that I stay for a bit longer! How cool is that? Hopefully it works out, it would be super annoying to be transferred out of here right before Christmas. Super Annoying.

Well, thats about all the news that I can come up with for now. I guess the other interesting side to the experience is just that this ward is so full of drama...seriously, its like Days of our Lives...soap opera city. Everybody is connected to somebody else and weird love tales slash work stuff slash just randomness. But, I love it here.

Miss ya tons!

Increase the Peace

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Made My Mission Worth It...






Terceiro: story book sky
Primeiro: Alexandre and his family at the baptism. Mom is active member, dad is a recent convert who refuses to stop smoking, brother and sister arent members.
Segundo: The five of us, the three baptizees and Elder Schoen and I

Well, glad to hear that the art workshop in Seattle went well! So the Goeslings are all doing great? Tell Talia that I say hi too. I hope you had a fun and safe drive home! I am completely forgetting that things are starting to get icey up there, as the sun is really starting to bake. Go Brasil!

Super cool that you are getting in touch with some of your old friends.

Anyways, onnnnnnnnnn to the week.

So, this week has been pretty awesome. To start things off, we had an amazing baptism on saturday, of three rapazes. It was a super cool event with lots of people there and lots of good feelings. I am super excited about all three, more priesthood for the ward! Woot! Can you believe that there are some missionaries go their entire missions without baptizing priesthood? It just is tougher, women have more open hearts i guess. Anyways, about them...their names are Lucas, Rodrigo and Alexandre. Lucas and Rodrigo are brothers, they are 12 and 13 years old, and live in pretty poor conditions. Their dad is a recent convert/less active, but they have been getting super excited about the church recently. I really think the main difference with them was leaving The Other Side of Heaven with them to watch. Now they are stoked to be missionaries...already they teach people how to pray whenever we go over there. It was cool. Now we need to get their mom. Also, the other baptism is the one that i am most excited for. His name is Alexandre, is 26 years old, is divorced, and has one son (but is living with his ex wife down in Floripa). So, this guy has changed a ton...when i started teaching him about 6 months ago, he had problems with everything, chastity, word of wisdom, you name it. However, it just goes to chow the miraculous power of Christ. He has stopped all of these things, and is super excited to stay strong in the church. His primary motivation is to be able to be the type of father that his son needs, to be worthy to take care of his son. It has been super cool to see his change. This guy has basically made my mission worth it.

After that, we had an awesome sunday, with tons of people at church. We got some of our other investigators to go, and we had another miracle! Almost forgot. So, remember that family that we took to São Paulo to see the temple? Well, they have all been pretty excited to get into the church. The husband (Antonio) and the son (Felipe) have been coming every week since. However, the wife (Josefa) was working every sunday. So, without 2 sundays at church, people cant be baptized, so she has been working super hard to try to change her schedule, to trade with people, to make stuff happen so that the family could get baptized. Just when it looked like we were going to have to move their baptism date to december, her employer randomly offered her a different schedule! HALLELUJAH! It was awesome. She went to church, loved it, and is going to be able to come every week now. Another family that has basically made my mission worth it.

We found some other cool new people, and we went to sorocaba to play soccer and eat churrasco (brazi bbq) today. Gosh, my neck is pretty burned haha. But, all is well.

Elder Bry

ps. :) i am starving for some home news/gossip, everyone please send me some via my Mom at cbriggsdesigns@yahoo.com and she'll forward it to me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Moon Lit Favela



pics...moon lit favela
Halloween (E. Schoen and I celebrated halloween by going out as each other! I wore his nametag and he wore mine. Unfortunately, we didnt get to pig out on candy as we were fasting :( first time in his life haha. This kid is ruining me, im actually developing a sweet tooth.)

Some shout outs to
Paige sent you a letter today!
Grandmother sent you a letter today!

Onnnnnn to the week
Well, this past week has been AWESOMe...but super tiring. We having been walking and working like bandits. It all started last thursday when we had a service project with a less active. We got to carry buckets of sand up a huge set of stairs so that they could do some house stuff. It was fun, but definitely rough.

Since then, we have been teaching lots of the awesome people, and seeing the individual miracles in peoples lives. For example, one person, Heloise, is making HUGE progress. She should get baptized next week. She has stopped smoking, drinking, drinking coffee, and went to church this week and said that she had never felt so good in her life! Then, when the opposition started throwing stuff at her for her to give up, she held on, said her prayers, and received amazing answers from the book of mormon. Then, she used her new found strength and faith to help her ex hsuband also receive answers to his prayers and reconstruct his broken trust in the Lord. She rocks.

Also, if all goes well, we should have a few dunkings this weekend. The coolest thing happened sunday. Tons of people went to church, but even better, the younger brother of another kid that we were preparing for baptism. At the end of the church meeting, he came up and asked "can i be baptized with my brother this saturday?" Elder Schoen and I exchanged glances and shouted Of course! It was sick.

Miracles just keep happening. Thats all i can really say. I love the mission, i love the gospel, and i love Brasil. keep praying for me! it is working.


glad to hear that caryn is doing so well, make sure she knows that a letter is coming her way! I sent it recently.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Halloweeeeeen



Pics: Bryan and Innes (recent baptism) and Bry & another missionary:)

So, first off, alaina broke her arm?? How did that happen? Is she having a good time at the dub? I hope so. I miss purple.

So, for Halloween, there aren't any treats or activities planned. Halloween is basically an american tradition. I had even forgotten that it was going to happen this Saturday. Sometimes there are parties over in Sao Paulo, since everything is just crazy there, but I havent seen much here in Sao Roque. One club is going to throw a halloween dance party, but that is as much as I've heard from anyone.

Since you asked...I always feel bad asking for money for Christmas, but the next things that I'll need are all big purchases when I get home, like a computer, cell, ski stuff, etc. So from my family that's really what I need...I'm in pretty good shape here except for the basic supplies you send every month. Man, yeah, i heard about Mykenzie. I hope all gets better there. She is such a nice person.

Thanks for the email from Elder Laytons blog! I cant believe he is a trainer and a District Leader now! Thats sweet! I wish he could send me a letter, but he doesn't really have the funds for that. Just, if his dad ends up sending this, let me give him a SHOUT OUT and a CONGRATS for all the good work he is doing.

Also, some shout outs too
Lauren Lytle...received your letter and sent one back today! I loved the card!
Grandmother...Received your letter and articles, thanks! I will reply next week!
Paige Hasenoehrl...Thanks for the letter! I will send one back asap

Onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week
Well, things are just SO awesome here right now. I am super super stoked with the baptism that we just had on saturday! Her name is Ines and she is 38 years old. She has one daughter, Claudia (17), but the daughter is a little bit more stubborn. Ines is a huge landmark for me here in Sao Roque, because she is the first baptism for me here that was not a member reference, jsut a result of good ol hard mish work. She is super excited about the church and loving it all.

Also, we are having some awesome progress with some of our other investigators. One, Heloise (28), is a single mother and has been super excited about the church. However, she still hasnt gotten to the chapel. The cool part is that, without us even teaching the Word of Wisdom, she has cut down her smoking habits from 40 cigs a day to 10, just cuz she felt that she needed to! Love it!

I dont know, there is just the normal good stuff going on here. We are teaching tons, seeing miracles, giving priesthood blessings, listening to people tell us how God has answered their prayers and that they KNOW that the church is true. I sometimes lose sight of it, but this is the best part of mish work, the day to day miracles that are always happening and that the normal world doesnt here anything about.

The other super cool thing this week was that Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and held a conference with our mission! It was super cool. He truly is an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. We did practice lessons with him, talked about doctrine, and took pictures with him. I even got to talk to him for a little bit personally during one of the intermissions. I went up, basically started crying already. He told me to just be a good example, write home about good stories, and have faith. Plus, he talked to us a lot about marriage and making it our first priority when we get home to find an eternal companion. He didn't put a time limit, jsut said that it needs to be our priority to find the right one.

Well, thats about it for this week. It was super fun. Plus, we got a couple of wacky quotes from drunk people this week. My personal favorites are
"Its a tough life without water and a wife"
and
"Do you worship God, the Eternal Father, the Creator, the Owner of the Toy Company, etc."

Love ya

Thursday, October 22, 2009

2 Weeks of Posting & Theodore



Somehow I missed posting a week...so sorry, I was traveling...Mom, the bloggedrmaster. Here we go...So, yeah, transfers came and went and i am still here in Sao Roque with Elder Schoen!!!! YESS Things are going pretty good. But yeah, sorry about not sending pics last week, we both didnt send them because the computer was being stupid. oH WELL, it happens.
This weeks pics include a Brazilian sunset and Theodore, our pet cactus. There was another picture but had problems downloading it...

As for a christmas list...im not sure i really have one. My biggest thing is that i am gonna need some stuff when i get back, and i am already thinking about that...like money to build a computer. Other than that, i guess something that Maybe a new SD memory card for my camera...starting to run out of space, would be nice to just start over with a new card. Maybe the Showtime and Xmas cds by MOTAB would be good too. Thanks!

Oh, quick shout out to David Cruz!
E ai cara, obrigado pelo email! Parece que as coisas tao indo bem ai. Nao acredito que quase atrapalou uma mulher! Tome cuidadooO! Mas ainda bem que voce vai para um baille, infelizmente nao vou poder ir contigo por algum tempo ainda. Tou treinando e aindo tou na minha segunda area! è chique aqui...espero ficar ate janeiro, mas duvido que vai acontecer. E Parsons e meu novo LZ! Caraca ne!
te amo

but yeah, so, here we goooo to the week

so, this week has been super weird. Im not sure what to feel about it. There was a three day stretch there, from Thursday to Sunday, that was the longest three day stretch of my life! We walked a ton and had all of our appointments fall, was rough. But, we ended the week with a bang on sunday and since then everything has been awesome.

I am super excited for the baptism that we should have on Saturday. I have been teaching this lady (Ines) since August with her daughter and it has been quite the fight. I think the difference maker with this lady was that she took the effort and went to General Conference. She is super awesome. Her daughter (Claudia) probably will get baptized someday. I can tell that she knows the gospel is true, but it seems like she is having some social pressure and stuff like that. Anyway, she will be going to the baptism on saturday and probably church on Sunday so I have big hopes for the future.

Also, good things just keep happening all the time. Elder Schoen and I made some awesome goals to help us be better missionaries for the next transfer. Already it is making a difference.

But, the best thing of the week is that Elder Schoen and I celebrated our sticking together by buying a cactus for the apartment! Yeha, his name is Theodore and he is awesome. Picture will be included in separate email.

Last weeks email...

Thanks for letting me know about mommom (Bryan's Great Grandmother passed away last week). Im glad that she was able to go away peacefully. I am especially glad that you got to see her. She was a special lady.

Onnnnnnnnnnn to the week
Well, things are still going excellently here in Sao Roque. However, we are definitely starting to hit our road bumps...nothing can be so perfect forever. I think it is just heavenly father reminding us that we cant be on cruise control and that we have to really fight for the people that we are teaching. Especially our new investigators who dont really have a pattern of studying or praying or going to church yet.

In other good news, we had a baptism! The drought is over in Sao Roque haha. Gabriela was baptized by her older brother Elvis and confirmed by the bishop the next day...it was awesome. She was super happy. Now, all we need to do with her is keep following up with her and make sure that everything is still going good.

In other news, that family that we took to the temple is now super into the church. They want to be baptized as soon as possible. Everything is just clicking for them now..it is super exciting. The coolest thing about it was that Antonio, the dad, told us that the difference maker wasnt just the temple, but that we didnt stop visiting them or giving them support when they said that they werent interested in getting baptized, that we were the ones that stuck with them giving them support when they most needed it. Super cool.

I think that is just about it for this week. We are talking to people and really trying to help people out gaining their own testimonies of the church and everything. Plus, things seem to be going pretty well in the district. Im as happy as ever with the work and excited to be here in Sao Roque.

Also...super stoked that the Dawgs pulled out a win! WOOF!

Once again, Mom Mom, i will miss you tons.

Love you all, Bry

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Special Letter

Last week we received a letter from Bryan's previous companion, Elder Gouveia. It was all in Portugese. I tried translating it in Google, and got the general message, but fortunately a Returned Missionary visited our ward today, he just returned from Brazil a month ago. Thank you to Brother Musle for a very quick translation. I shared this with our ward in Testimony meeting, written to the Young Women and myself as a thank you for sending Elder Gouveia a Birthday card. Bry's Mom

Hi.
Frankly I don't know how to speak or write English.
Thank you so much Sister Briggs for the letter and thank the Ward girls as well for wanting a Happy Birthday for me. I rarely recieve any letters. I would like to note 10 things I learned with your son.
1. Friendship.
2. Have a just purpose in life.
3. Toilet Paper - double is better
4. Dance just like Michael Jackson
5. To sing "Strangers in the Night" like Frank Sinatra
6. It doesn't matter where we serve but that we always serve him.
7. Have a lot of patience.
8. That I have to read Harry Potter after the mission.
9. That God has a path prepared for us, we just need to follow without fear.
10. And the Dawgs are better than the Ducks.
Clearly I have learned more than 10 things with your son. I learned the most important things, about the gospel, life, etc.
Elder Briggs is my best friend. Always be strong and happy!
Elder Gouveia

Pic's from JD



These images are from Elder JD's blog...Bry didn't send any last week.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ping Pong

So, first off, Rosangela is a sister here in the ward that takes very good care of us mishies. She's great, yes... go ahead and be her facebook friend.

The 179th Conference was awesome. There is always a room here for English, so I watched the entire Conference in English. The entire Sunday afternoon session and the priesthood sessions were awesome. Elder Holland's talk is especially awesome. It's on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ld0_7fKGdRM

And yes! I did get the box you shipped. Haha, it was awesome. I can't believe you sent me a ping pong kit. E. Schoen especially loved it haha...here's his note:

Dear Mama Briggs,
I would just like to start off by saying that you are bomb.com and that I love you! The ping pong set was genius and we are most definitely going to make use of it! Thank you so much!
With all my love,
Elder Schoen

Yeah, as you can see, he thought it was pretty awesome

But doesn't having a study journal (writing about the scriptures as you read them) help so much! I have learned so much more since I started keeping it here on the mission. My scriptures have more highlights than a college textbook! Serial. Glad that you liked the Gouveia letter (to be added to the blog soon). I'm glad that I was able to help him out a little bit...

Oh, received Makelles letter, and thanks for the ties! They were awesome. Actually, I am using the gold one that cuz sent me. You reading this cuz? Hope all is going well! Sent you a letter back today

Also, received mailing from
Paul! Thanks! I sent you a letter today!
Grandmother! Thanks for the stufff, also wrote to you.

Onnnnnnnn to the week
Well, the main things of the week were kind of tough since its been not only two days of General Conference, but we lost another day of work because of zone conference as well. however, it has all been going amazingly well still. The lord just keeps blessing us with more and more of the elect. Even better, the other awesome people that we are teaching have started introducing us to their friends for us to teach as well! Just goes to show, the Lord blesses you when you follow the rules and you do things for amor (love) instead of dor (pain).

For example, one lady that we found (and committed to baptism) first knew the missionaries 10 years ago when they lived right next to her! They used to go there all the time, eat with her, help her paint her house, and even got her to church once! However, the area was closed and since then she never got into contact with the church again, until monday. Then she was super happy to see us and to get another book of mormon and find out that she could still enter the church. Talk about planting seeds, right.

Also, the big story this week is what happened yesterday. You remember the family that I've been teaching for a while whose son committed suicide earlier this year? Well, we organized a trip and we took them to the temple in Sao Paulo. It was incredible. We were able to show them the temple grounds and then even enter into the waiting room inside the temple to teach them about the purposes of the temple, the sealing of the family, and baptism for the dead, basically how they can still have their son together forever. It was hugely spiritual. We even had a temple worker come in and talk to them, it was perfect! Afterwards, they were all happy and smiley, and even laughing! It was the first time that i have ever seen the mom laughing and happy. Just goes to show how the temple can feed people's spirits.

Also, we had a baptismal interview and the girl passed! All should be well for my first dunking since the end of June. Its gonna be awesome.

Also, whoever is following the blog you are awesome!

Elder Briggs

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tie Roasting






Two pics from last week...one on the railroad tracks...the other of our breakdancing recent convert

I forgot to tell some other stories this week, but i think Elder Schoen got them covered on his blog. Long stories short, one night we returned home to gallons of water in the middle of our floor...crop circle style, not coming from anywhere. Also, we got our hands kissed by a drunk guy yesterday when i bought him some food. Yeah...go mission!

This weeks pics...well, one is of me and e schoen learning how to cook and the other is my roasting a tie in celebration of being on the mission for a whole year!

Hi from Brazil....One of the members of the ward wanted me to ask if there were any familes willing to host his 18 year old daughter on an exchange thing. She wants to go into graphic design. Maybe you could ask Dr. Baker or something about how the exchange program works? Who knows.

Onnnnnnn to the week

Well, things just keep going amazingly well here in Sao Roque with E. Schoen. People are progressing, we have got baptisms coming up, and things just keep happening. Sure, we have had some difficulties as well with some investigators, but as we just show our obedience and our diligence and how much we love the people, God does miracles for us.

One thing that is going on that is pretty cool is that we were able to find a couple new families this week. They are awesome! One family lives in Sao roque and the other lives over in Mairinque. They are both just the golden investigators. Basically its that one way where they are..."well, im looking for a church right now, just want to find the place that feels right to me" yeah...its awesome. Both families accepted baptism dates. Im very stoked to keep teaching them. One family even is going to give us lunch tomorrow! Yee haw

Another girl that we just found (the one that lives in Mairinque) is awesome as well. she is 23 years old, has 4 kids, and is a widow. Yeah, i know, hardcore right? But yeah, she is super excited to learn about the church and is even going to go to General Conference this weekend. Score!

I dont know, its weird, there is so much good stuff going on that i dont even really know what stories to tell! Just let it rest that things are still going amazingly well here right now, that the Lord really is blessing us a lot. I dont think I have ever had so much sucess or been so happy here on the mission..things are awesome.

Oh! Fun story. Today, we went to Irma Rosangelas house to learn how to make brazilian stroganofe. It was super good. I got to make it and learn, and then I will be able to make it for everyone when I get home! It is my favorite dish so far that I have eaten here. So good!

Elder Bry

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Absolutely Incredible

Pics will be downloaded when Mom gets back home...she's on the road.
So, before anythings else
GO DAWGS!!!! WOOF WOOF WOOF!!! WE BEAT USC!!!!!!!
It is super funny because i found out about it right when it happened...Sister Cooley called me! haha, I love her

Alright, so yea, the pants and shoes are perfect. If you could include one thing in the box, could you already send some more hair stuff? I just like having a back up. Other than that, i think that it is all pretty good.

Shout outs to
Daniel Stewart! i miss ya man! wish i could have been at the game! Write me a letter sua fubeca!
Katrine! Cant believe the letter hasnt gotten there yet...but it should be going. And yes, you can keep writing

Onnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week
So, things are going absolutely INCREDIBLY well here in Sao Roque. I am seriously having more happiness and success than i have ever had on the mission! LIke, we still have some difficulties with people, but we have been teaching a ton and we were able to mark some more dates and we got a lot of people to go to church!

So, to start off, we invited a family to go to baptism over the weekend, and they accepted. Unfortunately, their story is a super sad one. A few months ago, their oldest son passed away. They have been having a super hard time with this. Saturday, we watched Together Forever with them and talked about how they can be together forever with their son, if they follow Christ. It was a super spiritual experience, and they all accepted to be baptized next month.

Also, we have been teaching another family, but the problem in this other family is alcohol. We finally got to teach the Word of Wisdom to them...and we had to teach it three times for the drinking husband to understand haha. After the first time, the guy literally said in our next visit "mas, uma cervejinha uma vez em quando nâo machuca ninguem" basically, a little beer every once in a while doesnt hurt anyone...the only problem is that he drinks a lot and gets pretty drunk. However, i think he is understanding better these days.

Like I said, we have been ahving a ton of success. The Lord is just opening up the heavens and just blessing us with happy, progressing investigators. The entire district is actually doing a lot better. But yeah, im way happy right now. Actually, Elder Schoen and I just went out and we bought fake watches! What Bling! I bought a Montblanc and he bought a Emporio Armani...both for 12 bucks. I love fake brazilian gear.

But yeah, hope things are going great back home!! Elder Bry

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fighting the Dementors



epic rock shot
our first pizza of the companionship..celebrating one week

oh, and shout out to David cruz!
E ai maluco! Espero que tenha um otimo baile! mesmo ela sendo feiazinha hahah. Fala pras pessoas de boituva que tenho saudades de la, mas que tudo ta indo otimo aqui in sao roque. O meu novo companheiro é the shizz haha, acho que nao tem isto em portuguese. nossa, ele é americano e meu portugues ja ta ficando ruim!
te amo cara!
oh, ps, qual é a sua escritura preferida??
Im glad that you are reading E. Schoen's blog and all. Hopefully he doesn't bag on me too hard! haha, just kidding. Have you gotten in touch with his mom yet? That would be kinda funny. But yeah, as a matter of fact, ...i think we are both a lot alike...just with some more minor tweakings...like him being good at extreme sports and me no. I still haven't seen any E. Caldwell or E. Walsh.

Onnnnnnnnnnnn to the week
Well, things have been kicking it ever since last Wednesday! seriuosly, it's like the area just got on fire or something. I broke my record, hard core, for most lessons taught in a week. Also, tons of our investigators that werent doing anything are now making progress. I think it was the Lord waiting for Elder Schoen to get here. He may still be struggling a little with the portuguese, but he is a powerful missionary. We have an awesome companionship and the Lord is just blessing us tons! My other theory is that the Lord wasnt guiding us to some people before when I was with E. Gouveia because he just wasnt ready to teach...

'you cant teach someone past your own point of conversion' -some general authority

Anyways, we have been able to make quite a bit of progress with Irene (we went to her house again on sunday, and she came) and yesterday she and all her family committed to follow the word of wisdom! All the fight that she gave up was 'yeah, i like my coffee and tea' but then when she saw that it was a commandment she was just all out and committed. She is a great lady. She hasnt been baptized and she is already wanting to get in contact with the Relief Society President to be able to schedule a lunch with us!

Also, we were able to make even more progress with Alexandre. He is just tearing through the addiction book that we gave him. Last time that we went to teach him he was different than i had ever seen him! There was just a new hope, a new light in his eyes. He was joking about being able to find his "Happy thought" to be able to conjure the patronus (yay harry potter) to fight away the dementors (alcohol, drugs, tobacco). Yeah, he rocks. Seriuosly, if i am able to get his life around and get him strong in the church, my mission was worth it...no matter if i dont baptize a single other person until the end.
Like i said earlier, things are going awesome with my new companion. We are very similar in a lot of ways, but a little bit different in others. All in all, i am a very happy missionary right now, very proud of my "Son".

Well, love ya mom! good luck in Colorado! Give Mommom a hug for me! Tell Anna to respond to my letter! Or at least to write to my companion
Bry

Thursday, September 10, 2009

SOU PAPAI!!!



pics
Three generation pic
elder martins (my trainer) Me Elder Schoen
elder schoen is the one with the purple tie.

HEY FAMILIA!!!!!
Well, things are going EXCELLENT here in Sao Roque right now. I am very happy. First things first, thanks for the awesome pictures and the info about the other two mishies. Still havent seen elder walsh from texas. We had a bunch of newbies come into the mission today, but they said that they dont know who he his..we shall see.
So, as for things that i am needing...i would like another pair of gray pants. The ones that i got last year just ripped today! However, i am going to go try to find someone to fix it. Other than that, i am doing pretty good with missionary supplies. My only other request is an english hymnal...yeah. I think thats it.
Also, shout outs to:
KATRINE i got your other letter today!
ONNNNNNNNN TO THE WEEK
Well, the first big news is that I HAVE A NEW COMPANION!!! Second bit
I'M A DADDY!!!! SOU PAPAI!!!
haha, i am the proud new father of a bouncing six foot two elder from Mesa, AZ. His name is Elder J.D. Schoen and so far things are going pretty awesome. I am definitely excited to have the chance to train! It is going to be great fun, and we get along pretty well. Sao Roque is going to grow like never before, i can feel it. Of course, he is still struggling a little with the language, but before long i bet he will be speaking like a pro. The most important part is his attitude and readiness to work! hallelujah
This past week has gone pretty well over all. A lot of things have happened. We were able to get 4 new people to go to church...finally. they liked it alot. However, we still ahve a battle with them to keep them reading and really accept a baptism date. It is one of those situations where they like it, but they still havent PRAYED, so they dont have a testimony. It is so interesting, the easiest part is to pray, but it is almost as if people are scared to get the answer from heavenly father.
Also, we were able to see some interesting things happen with some other investigators of ours. If you remember Alexandre, he is the son of members, but has problems with the word of wisdom. He used to tell us that he just had problems with alcohol and smoking, but he had been hiding his other addictions. Sunday, when he went there, i guess he had decided that he wasnt going to do it anymore and was going through some pretty rough moments. It seems like withdrawals were tearing him apart. However, he asked us to give him a blessing, and it was an incredible experience. It calmed him down a lot. Even cooler, the other people there in the room said that a different feeling came and that it didnt seem like I was speaking, but as if Heavenly Father was speaking through me. Was super cool. The priesthood is real.
Also, funny thing, i heard that the huskies had lost on monday! Sister Cooley, the mission presidents wife, told me when i gave her a call about some of my comps health issues. it was pretty funny. even though we lost, seems like we put up a good fight! Go Dawgs!
And, congrats to BYU for the Oklahoma defeat! Sweet!
Love you all. Bryan

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Some Rough Days





Pics...Brazilian Flag, Riding the Bus, and Bry in front of a pretty amazing Stake Center in Brazil.
Thanks for the awesome email. Just to start off, i received the letter of yours with Kelseys talk, and a postcard from bend. Also, we got Elder Gouveia´s card, and mine as well! Elder Gouveia wrote back, but all in portuguese, so i hope you guys have some fun with the google translator when it arrives.
Thanks for all the kelsey updates and everything! Side note - people are ALWAYS watching the missionaries, so don't be too hard on them if they aren't always "on" ...although at times people need to understand that being 100% serious 24/7 kills 20 year olds. True story.
As for things that i need...right now it is just some AAA bateries and a cheap massager and/or backscratcher. I think that is about it. Oh, and scotch tape. Eccos size 45 (we are going to attempt to send another pair of shoes before it gets so bad again)
As for Bre, thanks for letting me know mom. Bre, yes, i did get your letter this week, but i didnt write a letter back yet because i was unsure of the address! I will write back pronto next wednesday, so hopefully you should have your letter by the end of the month. Oh, and, before i forget...CONGRATS! I am over the moon happy for ya.
I am sending letters to
Katrine
Elder Walton
Elder Rau
Elder Demeester
Dale
Today, so hopethose letters get to their destination soon!
To Elder Cruz
Obrigado pelo email cara! Parece que tudo esta indo otimo agora! Vai comprar um carro, e tudo! E ai ricão haha. Tou brincando. Espero que tudo esteja bem contigo e que voce ta gostando de estar em casa! Recebeu a carta que eu mandei pra seu anniversario? Tchau pegador!
Oh, and those three missionaries are headed to Sao Paulo North...have them write me a note to the mission address.
Onnn to the week
Well, we have had an interesting ride since last wednesday. The main thing is that we have had a few rough days in the work. Thursday, there were a lot of people, recent converts and investigators, deciding to turn their backs to the church. It was pretty sad. It is really rough when you love people, know that the know the truth, and simply turn their backs because of some people that offended them. Stupid small fights can ruin the lives of some people...its not something i understand very well, but there you go. Remember always that the church is the church of christ, it is perfect, the teachings are perfect, but the members and the leaders are human just like the rest of us.
We had stake conference this weekend, and there was a change in the presidency! The old stake president had been serving for 10 years! Whoo, he deserved a break...but poor President Rau...how much time does he have serving in the stake now? Back to the conference. The general authority was one of the Area Presidents...President Ellis. The interesting side note with President Ellis is that i entered the Provo MTC with his son and saw him, ate with him, excercised, studied with him every day for a week! It was pretty cool. Anways, it was a great conference and we were even able to get a couple of our investigators to go. They loved it, even though President Ellis played some hard ball with the stake. 'The plan of the world is ______, but the LORD´S plan is _____'. It was great haha
Also, this week we have been seeing a lot of the affects of alcohol on the family. It is super tragic. It is terrible how people, especially fathers/husbands let alcohol become more important to them than their families. It just rips everything apart, and gives us quite a fight. Just another testament to me of the veracidade (in port, not sure of the word in english) of the word of wisdom.
The other big news...IT IS SEPTEMBER!!!!! WOW!!!! Super Exciting.
Yeah

Well, love ya
Bry

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sporty Occulos





Pictures: First is Elder Gouveia and I using my sporty occulos (sunglasses)
Second is o templo de sao paulo

Olá ! Seu filho é muito chique !Ele é um garnde amigo . Ele está muito feliz por me conhecer . Um grande abraço !
Elder gouveia wanted to write a little message to you. he said
HeyYour son is way awesome. He is a great friend. He is happier and a better person because he has me as a friend (not directly translated, but that was the feeling)

A big hug!

Hey Fam!

Glad that kelsey got all moved in and everything! How is the dorm? She liking everything so far? Is there just tons of excitement and everything in the air? Im sure there is...i bet kels is having too much fun.

Thanks for all the little infos that i was looking for. Ok, so, some shout outs to
KATRINE. Got your letter! Well, the second one..i guess. I still havent gotten the bigger one that you said you sent..this one got here in about a week! Will reply asap
LAUREN. Got your letter! Thanks! Hope everything is going well! Will reply asap
Sarah and Dale! HOLY CRAP! You guys rock! Thanks for the awesome envelope and pics and stuff. I missed camp this year! Glad to hear the kids asked about me.
Amy. Yes, ditto. I echo the sentiment. It is definitely the day the earth stood still. look forward to the letter.

Onnnnn to the week

The week went pretty well, actually. We have been able to see some huge progress in some of our investigators. First off, we were able to mark a date with Claudia, Inês's daughter. We have been teaching them for a few weeks and already marked a date with Ines, but Claudia was a lot more unsure. However, last week we were able to teach about the gospel of christ (faith, repentance, baptism, gift of holy ghost, endrure til the end) and she felt the spirit strongly and committed to baptism! Yahoo! Also, we were able to get another new person to church. remember last week that story that we woke up early and walked to bring a family to church, but only got 2 of the 5? Well, this week, same family, but different person went...the father. He said he liked chruch a lot. Even cooler is that the entire family committed to go with us to Stake Conference this weekend! It will be pretty cool, especially since the presidency is changing and President Ellis (area president) will come to run the biz.

Also, this week was temple week. Ever three transfers (4.5 months) we get to go to the temple in sao paulo and do a session. So, to be abble to do this, Elder Gouveia and I had to get a late night bus yesterday to stay the night at the Zone Leader´s house. Then, we had to wake up way early to be able to get the bus that was going to the temple. It was great. The sun was shining, but it wasnt TOO hot. Also, i love the temple, i was able to receive a lot of answers to my prayers and my questions. Way cool. Also, i was able to see Dr. Wilson today! Not sure if he is reading this blog, but if so, HEY!
We gotta go!

Well, i hope all is well! Sorry this email is a little short but im a little scatter brained and tired. OH! Cool thing. When i was at the temple today i met a ton of the missionaries that are in the CTM! Was way cool. Unfortunately, i did not meet Elder the new elder from Texas...he must have gone to the campinas temple today, or yesterday...whenever his pday is. I did, however, meet some 12 elders that will be come to our mission in two weeks! Haha, they are so scared of the language...i remember those days....but i learned, am always learning, and the lord makes me always stronger for it!

Love you all...

Elder Bry

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I finally have two shoes!











Pictures: First, a little ironic. This is a food stand at the Sao Roque Festival that is run by nuns. If you look, you can see that the first item on the menu is beer. Pictures of my old worn out shoes, they've been like this for months. Also latest pic with my companion...

Hey...So first things first, the package arrived!!! I am now using 2 new shoes!!! Wahooooooo. (We had to send Bryan new shoes in 2 separate packages so they wouldn't get stolen. The first package took about 3 weeks to arrive, the second package took 2 months...so all he had was one new shoe) I will send some pictures of the old editons. My gosh, I didn't realize dress shoes could get so beat up. Thanks for everything in the package. (So we sent things like peanut butter, Axe toiletries, razer blades, beef jerkey, always pictures, batteries, cheezit's) Also, I did receive the package from Grandmother and I sent her a letter today! Glad that Grandfather had such a good birthday...loved the cat card...it was perfect. I can't believe Elder Clifford (from Bry's mission, now home), already has a date with my sister, that safado! Haha, let me know how he's doing, he was an awesome missionary.

One more shout out to Elder Cruz.....E ai cara! Obrigado pela email! E otimo que voce ta meecrevendo toda semana haha, mas da saudades de nosso companheirismo! Nao acredito que steven talvez vai ser famoso tambem! Mas, sempre lembra ele da missao! E, eu mandei uma carta pra voce hoje...para seu aniversario. Espero que cheque ja!

And Katrine, thanks for the email! Glad that the letter got there already. Must be a record this time...usually it takes like 2 months.
onnnnnnnto the week

Well the week started off with a division. It was pretty good. I went to Votorantim, a city just on the outskirts of Sorocaba, the big city out there in the interior. I stayed with Elder Cipriano, a recent convert who is just finishing his mission. He will be going home September 9th. But he isn't that trunky and is working harder than ever. It was pretty cool, I went there to be able to do my first interview! The kids name is Igor, and was way freaking smart. I couldn't believe how much that 12 year old knew! He was baptized over the weekend.
After this, it was back to the normal work. The coolest story this week comes from Sunday...as we were able to finally get a couple of our investigators to church. Elder Gouveia and I woke up at 5:30 to be able to make the hike out to their house which is in a neighborhood very far out of town. Unfortunately, only the Mom and one son came with us as the other family members had some excuses. But, we got them finally! They loved the church. Especially Jilson, the son. He had a fun time in Primary. We were able to go to church again with them this Sunday! Wahoo!.

In other stories, Alexandre, that guy was making a lot of progress, fell off the boat. He was going so strong keeping away from cigs and beer! But, you can only be so strong until you put yourself in the line of fire. His brother convinced him to go out with him and his friends, and Alexandre was able to resist alcohol and cigarettes for the first two offers, but on hte third he fell. But, he was feeling pretty bad about it and wants to give it another shot. This time, his date is for the end of September.

Good luck to everyone, I love ya and miss ya! (and you grandparents!, can't give me hard time this time Grandfather!)

Ate Mais!

Bry

Friday, August 14, 2009

Holy Muffins....

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO GRANDFATHER
Still waiting for that box with the other shoe to come....it will get here and all will be ok. Right now it's been fairly sunny and warm recently, without rain and other conditions, so my old worn out shoes work out fine for this. But cool deal you will be giving an update in about a month about the mission, I can't believe that I am a month away from a year! What is this? Pinch me please, somebody!

As for letters, I received letters from Paul Herber, thanks for the awesome articles. Mary Goodrich, where did you learn such good portuguese? I sent letters to both of you today. Also, to respond to Cruz...E ai cara! Tudo mundo ta pergunando o que eu estou escrevendo pro voce aqui no blog! Word e google so conseque traduzir tanto, Ne?! Que chique que as coisas stao indo tao bem...mais ou menos haha. Mas, continue na fe! Nao fique desanimado no final de semana! Voce e pimp cara, noa esqueca disso! Tou te apoiando. Hey, voce ja saiu com aquelas do disney?? Te amo cara! Boa sorte na prova Go Broncos!

And Katrine, thanks for the email! Hope all is going well, you should have 2 letters waiting for you in your mailbox within a couple of weeks! Hope you are enjoying your summer!

and onnnnnnnnnn to the week

So, this week has had some ups, and some downs. Basically, started off thursday with a trip to the mission office to get a training on how to do interviews and trainings and other things like that. That was fun, it is always great to see the other missionaries and the office mishies. We had a lot of fun talking and learning and all that stuff.

After that, however things took a bit of a nose dive. Elder Gouveia got really sick, and was hardly able to walk for a couple days. So, friday and saturday we basically stayed at home while he recovered. However, by Sunday he was pretty much all the way better. Church was awesome, there was a sweet party for Father's Day (Father's Day here was Sunday) with tons of people and food. Believe it or not, but we had some 15 investigators in church on Sunday! Holy Muffins! I will send some pics of the party.

Also, we have been having some HUGE progress with one of our investigators...Alexandre. I think I have already talked about him, but just for some background he is about 24 years old and is the son of a very active sister, and less active dad. He has been going to church for a while, but has never wanted to get baptized because that would mean giving up his parties, beer, and cigs. However, Sunday he told us that he had quit drinking and that he was going to smoke his last cig that night! He will hopefully be baptized next saturday, so pray with us! He is a way good guy, but unfortunately is in a custody battle over his 3 year old son...and the Mom definitely isn't very nice. He said his reason for wanting to be baptized would be to be able to be a better dad, and have the Lord bless him with his son!

Also, we have been able to touch bases with some other investigators, and they are making some great progress. I have never had so many different investigators ACTIVELY reading the Book of Mormon! It is incredible, amazing the difference that reading personally makes in the understanding (of the gospel) and the lives of the people. Hopefully we will be able to get these people into the church soon! Only problem is that they all live pretty far away and aren't in the best of conditions to pay bus passes for the entire family every Sunday, but we shall see here as well.

Today was pretty sweet. Elder Gouveia (it is his Birthday BTW) and I went to Irma Rosangelas house to make some cookies and brownies according the the recipes that GJ sent me. The brownies turned out great....but I kind of messed up on the cookies. They were still good, but they ended up tasting more like sugar cookies instead of good ol chocolate chip cookies....quem sabe.

Everyone/Anyone....if you can, send Elder Gouveia a birthday card....he would realllllly appreciate it, even if he can't read english!

Miss you...Bry

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bulls on Parade




Bulls on Parade!
So, actually I am pretty excited that I have been here 10 months, starting to creep up on 11...getting close to the top of the mountain.
Onnnn to the week. So, as you all know, last week was transfers. It was a lot more interesting trying to get information about the transfers and everything this week as we don't have a cell phone (broke when fell out of shirt pocket) and I have to find the member's house with a landline. So, it took a few days to find out who the new people in the district and zone are, and the other changes. Anyway, turns out that I get to be a District Leader now....basically the same thing as I was doing in the MTC, but now I get to give trainings to the other mishionaries during the district meeting, call every night to follow up on the day, and do more divisions so that I can perform interviews. Pretty routine.
Also the crazy stuff this week is more about the awesome party for Sao Roque. The streets are full of stands of food and souvenirs and other fun goodies to buy. Also, there are tons of interesting events going on. For example, there was something I had never seen before on Sunday...you ever heard the song Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine? Well they must have been in Sao Roque because there was a parade of bulls going through the streets.
Also, one really cool thing is that we have found a few new families! Hallelujah! Was awesome, we have even been able to mark a baptism date with one new investigator. She is a mother living in Mairinque, and is having some troubles with the family. It is yet another case
that I have seen of a mother and family that do a tone to be perfect, but the husband/father drinks a lot and always comes home mean. It is incredibly sad how often this happens,. However, I have tons of hope that we will be able to help this family get back on track! It is going to be excellent. Bry
Shout outs to: Katrine for the awesome bday card and letter! Sent one in return.
Aunt Alane for the bday letter
GJ & GRandfather
Makelle aka half baked, got your letter and sent one back
Braydon, glad things are going well. As for school advise, go to class and do your homework. 90% of the test questions will be something almost copied from the homework...or at least it was in my situation.
Shout out to David Cruz.
e ai cara! fiquei feliz por receber sua emial! Ta otimo que as coisas no trabalho estao indo bem...alem daquele accidente yeeesh!! fique firme na fe! o senhor te abencoara com certeza! ela ja esta! te amo!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mud Everywhere...

Sorry, no pictures this week...Quick shout outs to:Katrine, i still havent gotten your letter, but i sent one to you today. Elder Rau, hope you get the letter. Grandfather!

onnnnnn to the weeek So, this week was transfers! That is the biggest news. However, neither Elder Gouveia nor I was transferred. Another six weeks hooorah! But its all good, hopefully this transfer we will really be able to make some progress in the area.

We have been working really hard to find some good new, strong investigators, and we havent made a ton of progress, but we are seeing other progress with some of the investigators that we have. For example, with one pair of boys who are the sons of a less active member, when we started the lesson with them they didnt want to go to church or read the BoM, but by the end of the lesson they had felt the spirit and had experienced a change of heart, commiting to go! Was pretty cool.

Also, it has been raining like cats and dogs here lately! Seriously, wet feet are the worst! The other shoe hasnt arrived yet, (2 shoes sent in separate boxes) so i still am using my older shoes, and in classic mish style, they have some very excellent holes. The other thing is that there are still a few unpaved roads around here, and it is absolutely ridiculous how much mud i have been in. That darn mud just gets everywhere!!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Family? Home Evening

This is the picture from the HUGE family home evening that we had...and yes, the guy in the white DOES look like Jason Statham.
Well, hi y’all!!

First off, shout outs to Elder DeMeester and Amy Jones, you guys sent me letters and will get letters of your own soon!

Also, shout out to the infamous Elder Cruz!!! Hope Balneario is treating you well! Masserio, ainda nao acredito que terminou! Mas, tudo bem, se lembra de nossas conversas e tudo vai ser ok. Serio, voce e david cruz! As meninas te ama, e voce vai achar a sua eleita...talvez no disney kkkk

Onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week ...

Well, things have gone pretty interesting this week. First off were interviews with President Cooley on Thursday. It all went smoothly. I really enjoy talking with Presidente and his wife...they are great people and love the missionaries.

After this, the week has been pretty normal. We have been finding some cool new people to teach, and have had some adventures as well. For example, We have had to walk a TON!!!! I am dead tired today haha. We have been hitting up some neighborhoods that are way far away recently.... "I'll go where you want me to go, dear lord, over mountains..."etc. But yeah, its good. We have been able to see some good progress in a few of our investigators. I get soooo happy when people actually follow through on their commitments to us, like praying, or reading, or anything. It really shows who WANTS to know, as opposed to who is just being polite.

Monday, we had an AWESOME FHE with some members, recent converts, and investigators. There were 24 people in attendance! I dont know how everyone fit in the house! I got to give a sweet spiritual thought about the Armor of God (Ephesians 6). It is basically about how we are all in the midst of a war, and how the opposition is always trying to tear us down, but that we have tools, weapons, and armor at our disposal! It is definitely way cool, and has some sweet doctrinal stuff if you look in deeper.

Yesterday I had a fun little ´bible bash´ with a member of another church. They were trying to prove to me that God has stopped being a God of miracles...of course, I did what I have been taught to do...bear your testimony and leave. For those reading, I KNOW that God exists, and that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, that he worked with the children of men anciently and that he still does. I testify that miracles are real, that the gifts of the spirit are true and that there are many great and wonderful things happening around us that we dont even perceive. As I like to teach my investigators, God is not a God of confusion, but a God of love, a God with a pattern, a God that worries actively for our happiness and works in our lives to helps us. I know Christ lives. This is my brief testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Well, I miss you all and hope everything is going well! Get back to health Grandfather! Stay safe Mom and Kels! Study hard Dad (never thought I would get to say that back to you...haha)!

Elder BRiggs

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Let's fix Mexican food!!


Me teaching the Brasileiro how to make Mexican food! YAYYYY QUESEDILLAS!!!!!
It is a little strange, the foods that I miss most are
A) Dads cooking of course! yummmmmm flank steak, salmon, etc.
B) Mexican food...oh burrito, where art thou
C) Asian foods...all i want is ONE POTSTICKER
D) American Desserts...aka Cheesecake, Pie, Cookies, Brownies, etc.
HELLOOOOO EVERYOnE!!!!

First things first, I have to give a shout out to THE TRIPLE A!!! AKA Amanda Krulish ... CONGRATULATIONS! However, if you do not send me an invite (even though I will not be able to make it) I will be a little upset...but yes, I am anxiously waiting that letter with all the details!
CONGRATS KAIT!!!! Glad the weather was perfect and the guy was tall, dark and handsome (according to my spies). Much happiness to you!
Chelsea Caldwell’s wedding invite? Ask her if she has sent me one ... you can tell her that I am over the moon happy for her, sincerely, but will be angry if I’m not invited!! Haha
Gosh, so many people getting married! The life of a mishie I guess, right?

Congratulations to grandfather for staying alive! Haha, I’m glad that it is all going great. Ex-Elder Anderson said that Grandfather was as ornery and mean as ever, so I’m glad that he is coming to a full recovery!

Thanks for the address from Bethanie! I was wondering where she had gone...she sent me an email at the very beginning of the mission, but forgot to include an address...

Also, shout out to the traveling bunches of the family and friends! STAY SAFE

ONNNNNNNNN TO THE WEEK

So, this week wasn’t alll that eventful, but it had its interesting parts. Thursday was zone conference, and the rest of the week was dedicated to finding some people. We have finally been able to get back into contact with an investigator name Fernanda....she is definitely the story. So, it has been over a year that she is investigating the church. She has gotten close to baptism more than a few times, and then pulled back at the last moment. Just recently, she was going to be baptized again, but pulled out, again. We discovered that it was because she is now pregnant! Over the course of the last month, she hasnt gone back to church, and has had lots of long talks with the bishop, lots of stuff. But, Saturday, we were able to get in and start talking to her again! She is a head case, but doing better. She will be getting married to the father (a recent convert) here in two months, with baptism (cross your fingers) soon after.

Also, we had ward conference this Sunday...it was great! Best of all was that there were 13 investigators in attendance! I was blown right out of the water..it was great! There are some really cool stories too.
One investigator of ours, Marriete, has really been having some tough times. For the past year she has been trying to investigate the church, but she lives WAY far away and lives in pretty humbling conditions. However, just recently we were able to finally get into contact with her through some members. Now, she finally got to church! She went to the member´s house at 1 in the morning Saturday night, no one heard her knocking on the door, and ended up NOT giving up and instead sleeping in the entrance way. She went to church with the members and ended up seeing miracles in her life. Namely, she has been able to find a place to live, and the bishop helped her get her daughter back! She has now accepted a date for baptism...how exciting.
Other than this, the other investigators are all pretty normal. We have got some good ones that are reading the Book of Mormon, going to church, and really progressing. It is so rewarding to see people take what you teach, implement in their lives, and then see God bless them with what they have been waiting for...I LOVE THE MISSION
Hope all is well at home!
miss ya guys!
Bryan

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July 8, 2009 - Best Division

(Lots of editorial comments this week from your guest blograma!)

This picture was taken on the slide at a playground. Hey! We all have to play sometime!


First off, I am sooo glad that Grandfather is doing well! Gosh, when I was reading about the sudden surgery and everything I was like, why didnt you guys tell me? But, Im glad that everything got resolved. I loved the part where grandfather was just ready to cuss you out for not being there sooner, lol, I miss you guys a ton. (Grandfather Jim Bean had heart surgery on Monday; we hadn’t told Bry until it was successfully over & done with; they wouldn't let me in to ICU the morning after until 8:30 - GF didn't know the rules!)

Also, before other stuff I want to give a shout out to Braydon for the pics and the awesome email! Thanks for the advice bud!

Also, shout outs to Grandmother for the awesome letter! I am sending one back to you stat.

I sent grandfather a letter about a week or two ago...so you guys can look forward to that sometime soon

Gosh, you must be feeling all technological and stuff! Doing my blog!!! WOOOAHA! You are probably one of the only grandmas in the world that knows how to do that! Haha, but thanks a ton GJ, really helps me a lot! I love getting your emails every week. Grandfather sent a ton! I will have to respond to one or two today haha.
(Yes, Grandma Jeanie, aka GJ, is temporarily the blog guru, and I left his comments in hoping his other friends and fans would smile.)

Anyways.........the week!!!!!!!

So, there arent a lot of new things going on. It was actually a pretty normal week here in Sao Roque. The only waayy new thing was that i had a three day division with Elder Romero, my zone leader. We christened it the best division ever. It was pretty epic. We ate the fourth best pizza of Brazil (a place called Port alfba.....sooooo good). Also we had some good lessons, took some pics, and we went to the center of Sao Paulo! Was definitely an exciting couple of days. After that, Sunday was pretty normal and yeah, good good stuff.

The good news this week is that my comp, Elder Gouveia, has been doing pretty good. We have been able to really get to talking and make a good friendship! He has also been able to teach me some way cool stuff, that I will have to share in person when I get home.

Monday and Tuesday we walked, a lot! Like, seriously, i dont know how my legs are still alive! Definitely one more point to the Word of Wisdom! But seriously, it was pretty nuts. What was crazier is that the distance that usually takes us about an hour took only like twenty minutes....crazy things happen when you are on the Lords errand. We have been able to find some cool new people recently, some people that really need help to get their lives back on track. I really look forward to being able to help them..this is the best part, to see people change, to watch them grow in knowledge, in confidence, in faith, and in power. We all have it in our hands to do what we want with our lives, so sometimes we seem to forget that.

Everything is possible with the Lord on our side. Our duty is to remember that He is there, that He is by our side, and that we are His friends. Temos que conhecê-lo, pessoalmente. É possível, realmente.
(My translation is something like "We have the best division. Really. Positively.")

I love you GJ! Thanks for the help! Give Grandfather a kick in the shins or something
like that - hahah.

Your favorite PERSON south of the equator ;)
(I usually call him my favorite grandson over 6 feet tall)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July1 2009 Carol



First picture, that my friends, is a SMALL brazilian avocado...WHAT?? If the first thing that came into your head was "What the Heck??" you are correct .... the seed of the avocados here are the size of the avocados in the states, same great taste though.

Second picture, baptism of Carol!

July 1, 2009

Shout outs to Brayden and Daniel Stewart (i loved the vocab refresh)! I got your letters this week and I will send you letters tomorrow! Thanks guys! Thanks for the info from Sean´s blog! I am still waiting for a reply from him though, maybe email or maybe a letter....just taking forever...six months since I wrote him!

Onnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week. Well, things went pretty well this week actually. Let me see.... We spent a LOT of time in the other city of our area, Mairinque. We just have more investigators there than we do here in Sao Roque. Actually, it was all going pretty well. We have been able to see some real progress with one of our most difficult investigators, Alexandre. I think I described his case last week, but it has been a long time that he knows the church, as his parents are both members. However, he has problems with everything....Law of Chastity, Drinking, Smoking, Drugs. yeah, fun. But, now he is really committed to being baptized and changing his life. I think the turning point was the baptism that we had last week, it was a great experience. He has even gone as far to seek out the bishop on his own and everything! It has been really really cool to see.

As I just mentioned, we had a BAPTISM this week! Woot!! Carol is now officially a member! Like I said above, it was a great baptism. There were tons of people there to support, just everything went beautifully. I was very excited and happy. Now, we have Benedita´s other zilliion relatives to work with haha.

As for the rest of the week, things were pretty normal. We were able to find a couple cool new investigators. One was way cool that happened yesterday. After lunch we just decided to knock doors in the neighborhood. We ended up teaching this lady a five minute lesson on the street, then she gushed her life story to us, telling us things that she said even her family doesn’t know...always a fun bit. Then we did some fun random service for her. We basically cleaned her entryway and driveway. Was cool. She was way excited and way happy. I think there is a lot of potential in that family, especially since her daughter is going to have a baby soon! yay plan of salvation.

Elder Gouveia has been doing a lot better. The only problem is that he has gotten a bit sick the past few days. However, he is a lot better today, and a lot happier now! I am actually amazed by the progress that has been made. Keep praying for us and for his cause!

Oh, the other announcement, Harry Potter 6 is coming out in two weeks and I won’t be able to watch it! OH THE AGONY hahah, oh well, I will see it in 14 months.

Squig