Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Photos: Owl in nearby countryside. (and)
Brazil version of Frosted Flakes.

(From Bryan's Email home)...I am so happy that you guys felt the spirit of (last weeks) story. It was one of the most spiritual experiences i have ever had.... I am just like dad, i never really believed it from other people on the stand or in classes or in general conference or anything...but the craziest thing about the whole experience for me when it happened was that i wasnt surprised at all. I just knew that if he had the faith then the miracle would happen. It is amazing how much my own testimony has grown.
I just got a letter from Elder Anderson, and am sending him one in return. I mailed it to his mission office, forgot that i could just send it to you guys...but he should receive it at his next zone conference. But yeah, i receive letters and packages on three occasions...transfers, interviews, and zone conference. They can be pretty sporadic, but it averages out to about once every two or three weeks. I will be receiving some stuff on friday, including a package from chuck and lolly! BTW, thanks Grandpa Chuck and Lolly! I cant wait to see what you sent! There is a letter on the way to your house right now.
Lol, the blog is great. (Please note that Mom is my blogmaster...she is sharing information from my letters home) i am receiving as many letters as anyone in the mission, it is work though, i am writing like five letters each week to people. Today i am sending some out to Lisa Campbell, Briana Layton, Elder Anderson, and Elder Fischer...
So, about the week, it was pretty normal. Elder Martins and I taught a ton. We are still going really strong with our guy that has a batism date marked for next saturday. He is awesome, has taught me a ton about faith and diligence. Plus, we planted some really good seeds this week. THere were some new people that we found that were awesome at first, but they were afraid to continue to move forward with us because of family or other influences. However, they received answers to their prayers, have already started to develop their own personal testimonies. I have a feeling that we will start teaching them again pretty soon.
Plus, the coolest thing this week, I was asked to give another talk in Sacrament meeting. I was scared out of my mind, haha. You know me and public speaking...but i am sooo much better at it now. You wouldnt even recognize me if I stood up in sacrament meeting at home to talk. But yeah, i talked about mish work (of course) and likened it to the story in 1 Nephi 8. Try reading it and think about i used to for a talk. But yeah, it went really well. I received a lot of help from heavenly father. After the talk, Elder Martins was looking at me wide eyed and was like...dude, your portuguese has never been that good, it was perfect! So yeah, that was a really cool experience.
The language is coming along pretty decently. There are still times when i get a little bit lost, but for the most part I am right in their with most things. It is amazing how much i have been able to learn in four short months.I know the church is true. I know the Christ is our Savior, and the Savior of all the world. With him, we can truly do anything, overcome any obstacle, overcome all our difficulties. I love the mission. It is truly a blessing to work so closely with the Lord, to see miracles in every day life. I know that my calling is true, and that this is exactly where i am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am doing. Elder B

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Modern Day Miracle

The first picture is of me in that same big field as last week. We walk in it sometimes to get to a different part of town named Delorenze. There live two member families there that feed us, and now we have a couple really good investigators there, so we use the field probably a few times a week.The second picture is me and Elder Martins in front of the Sao Paulo Temple. THis actually was back in November, but it has been on Martins camera this entire time.
Happy Anniversary! 25 years, and it all happened in Sun Valley. That is awesome,i am a little bummed that im not able to be home for this anniversary (silverright?) but know that i am celebrating here for ya!Thats awesome to hear about the inaugeration. I havent been able to hearanything about it, so i would definitely appreciate some info about that, aboutanything that is going on. Great to hear that people are getting patriotic again, i was getting sick of everybody always whining about the country. I think obama can do some good things for us.
Ok, about the week. I will just start out by telling a story that I forgot totell last week. Elder Martins and I had felt prompted a couple times to go visitone of the people that we have been teaching. However, both times she wasntthere. Each time we were wondering, we were we both prompted to go visit her ifshe wasnt home? Well, the second time, Elder Martins felt the need to startknocking on doors. The second door we knocked was of a girl that works in therestaurant across the street from our house. She committed to be baptized. Justgoes to show that we may not always understand the promptings of the spirit, butif we follow we really are guided by the hand of the Lord. The second thing was really a miracle. I am not going to go into too much detail, because what happened really was an amazing and spirtitual experience,not meant to be shouted from the rooftops.
So Elder Martins and I went to visitone of our best investigators, our eleito. It wasnt the normal scheduledteaching visit, and we decided we were going to just come and talk aboutprophets. When we arrived, our investigator was not his usual self. He was alldown, gloomy, with a killer headache that he said started just about an hour before we had arrived. Plus he said that he had been having difficulties all dayand that things were really hard for him right then. He had been taking allsorts of medication for his headache, but nothing was working at all. In the middle of the lesson, we felt prompted to offer him a priesthood blessing. Hewas completely healed in the very moment that we finished the blessing. He said that he had a new type of strength, that he could feel the Holy Ghost just surging through him. You hear stories about people being healed on the spot, butto actually have been able to participate is amazing. I am so grateful that the Lord blessed me with this opportunity to excercise the priesthood, and to helpsomeone with such great faith to be healed! It is not something explicable inordinary ways, but something that is only possible through the power of theLord.
Miracles really do exist in these days, miracles just as in the times ofold. I witnessed with my own eyes the power of God that day. I am so gratefulfor this opportunity to be on the mission, I know that I am serving the Lord,and that my calling is true.He keeps being a good investigator, receiving all the lessons well, praying,reading, studying, going to church. He has taught me a ton about faith already,about how to really trust in the Lord and to commit to the gospel. He is goingto be baptized Feb 7. I am loving the work. I am loving being able to make adifference in peoples lives, being able to bring purpose, truth, and meaninginto their lives. It is a blessing that i cannot describe.
I really cant remember too much else that happened this week right now. Oh! Mycompanion has a new baby sister! So shout out to the Martinsfamily....WOOOOOOOO. Plus received some awesome christmas cards from thekinkades and from grandma jeanie and from you and yeah, that was great. Will be sending letters to grandmother and papa jim, grandma jeanie and grandfather,grandpa chuck and lolly, and jack and carol. Oh yeah, and sorry to allgrandparents, but I am only allowed to write emails to mom, dad, kelsey...butplease keep sending me stuff! I feast on information.
I know the church is true, without any doubt. It is no longer faith, but aperfect knowledge. I know that Christ is our savior, and that with Him we cantruly experience happiness, that we can truly experience joy in our lives as weprogress with our families. I know that we have a living prophet, and I know that the priesthood is the true power of God. Miracles still happen these days,according to the faith of others and the will of the Lord. I know these things,and am so grateful to have been able to witness the hand of the Lord in my dayto day life here. I know that i am exactly where I am supposed to be. Love you all!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Miracle of the Week

...I am so happy that the jazz choir is rocking it again..those werre a couple dark years there...glad the summit is bringing back the tradition, im sure its all cuz of the baby sister, of course. i cant wait to get your letter. OH! The christmas package arrived! Thank you thank you for all of it! The presents were perfect, and elder martins really liked his tie. Also, received the package from grandmother, tell her thank you for me this weekend! And wish her happy birthday!
Wow, this past week was pretty intense. I will start with friday. Had some AMAZING lessons. Committed those two that have been going to church, Jose and Geronimo, to baptism next month! And also committed another girl that we have been teaching, Alexandra, to baptism. Then, after those lessons, the skies just opened. I have never seen a storm like that in my entire life! It was intense. Like, rain coming in sideways, lightning, power outage, trees breaking, river in the street...was pretty fun. My shoes filled with water, even though i was standing under an overhang! was so intense.The next day was a fun activity at the church. Went and cleaned the branch building, and Geronimo showed up to help! That guy is a stud, stayed at the chapel for like 9 hours helping the members clean. The next day, sunday, we were back in the churhc. Geronimo and Jose came again, so it started out pretty well. The rest of the day was pretty weird though. One investigator ended up moving at a moments notice to a different city, and we found out that (name)is going through some pretty rough times. Here is the miracle of the week. We prayed and prayed and prayed, and the next day, he wasnt going to have any food left. One of the members of the ward randomly found his house and offered him a job! Truly a miracle.Gosh, I am loving the mission, i dont think i can say enough how amazing it is to truly witness the hand of the lord in my day to day life. I know that this church is His church on the earth, and that our Heavenly Father still performs miracles in these latter days.

Oh! Quick story for today, i found out that I am pretty bomb at making french toast. Decided to give that a whirl this morning and it ended up going pretty well, will send a picture.Quick shout outs to Grandpa Chuck and Lolly, the Howards, the Larsens, the Raus, the Everetts. Thank you for the christmas cards! You guys rock. Oh ps, i am trying to send elder rau a letter, could you get his address for me? Oh, and btw, i have gotten some stamps from you and from the grandparents. I cant use american stamps to send letters home, so, yeah, i have to use the post system here.I love you Mom! I love you Kelsey! I love you Dad!Miss you guys a ton, but yeah, I know that I am in the perfect place for me, exactly where the Lord needs me to be. The mission is blessing my life so much, and I hope that i can help you feel some of the spirit that i have been able to feel.

Elder Boo

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Hey! Woot! Still in Boituva with good ol Elder Martins. Im pretty happy about it, because we are really finally starting to get things rolling here. Gosh, I love our just so firms up that the mission is the right thing, that the church is true. Nothing is better than helping people get in touch with our Heavenly Father, nothing. Past couple days we have had some cool things happen with our investigators, them talking to us about how they have been reading, and praying, and that they KNOW that what we are saying is true. We had two investigators at church on sunday, so that was awesome, and they are going to return to church this Sunday! Yee haw! Gosh, way cool stuff. Plus, I think we are going to be able to get another pair of our investigators to church, and who knows...maybe get some baptism dates marked soon!
I love this area, so happy that I get to stay here another six weeks. Speaking of six weeks, yikes. How did this happen? One transfer down out of sixteen in the field...already! I thought that the CTM time went fast...out here it is like one day out here is a whole week in the CTM..not sure how it works. Unfortunately, before I know it the mission is going to be over. Reminds me of something I was told before the mish, as soon as you feel that you are finally getting the hang of are sent home haha.
But yeah, things are going pretty well overall. Elder Martins and I are in house for lunch a lot more this month...we had some members move out of our tiny branch so yeah, we can't be fed everyday haha. But, don't worry, I am pretty bomb at making spaghetti and grilled cheese sandwiches, if i do say so myself. Guess I need to work on that humility thing. Portuguese, still dont have it down 100%, but it is definitely coming. Some people I can have rolling conversations with, but then there are others where its just like..what? Repetir por favor, devegar.
But yeah, it is amazing how it is us kids that are out here doing the work. It is an amazing growing experience. We may come out kids, but sure enough we change out here. Its not like I am a different person, but at the same time it is. I am rock solid in the gospel, and in my faith. I know without any doubt that what I am bringing to the souls of many is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Like I have been saying, I am so grateful for the mission. Sometimes it seems like the hardest thing in the world, but every day is so worth it.
The opportunity to see miracles in your day to day life, to literally be manipulated by the hand of God, is not something that many people get. It is truly a blessing in my life. I am so happy that I am able to help you all at home.
Hopefully as I write here you guys can feel the spirit, and feel the complete love that I have for all you. I am so blessed to have you as my family, to be considered a Briggs. I miss you guys and I love you, hope you know that you are all always in my prayers.Oh, and your packages arrived...sort of. The district leader has them right now, I will receive them on monday, during our next district meeting. Plus I guess there are 8 letters. You don't need to send me updates from Jonathans blog, I am writing him....and hopefully I am going to be able to establish a communication line with Sean.
Glad the Florence kids were able to come up...give Jake a shout out for me.
oh yeah, news flash, being the weirdo i am, i have already read the entire missionary library haha...Jesus the Christ was a beast, but definitely way good. Scriptures...when you read the scriptures, try keeping a journal. Every time you find a verse you like, don't just highlight, but right it in your journal with your own personal interpretation of it and how you can fit it in your life. Thats how I am studying right now...and its wayyyy cool. I can"t wait to show you my study journal when I get home in 20 months

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year

Oh gosh, talking to all of you guys was almost a dream! I couldnt believe it, just too good to be true. I miss you a ton, it was so nice to be able to hear all your voices! Homesickness hasnt been too bad for a while, but talking to you all yesterday pretty much cured it...I know that you all still exist hah, actually got to talk to you all in real time and hear voices and laugh and cry.

Any news yet on if sean got my letter?? Christmas was pretty fun though, ate a lot of food, talked to you guys, gave christmas messages to our investigators, lots of fun. Just the time of year is awesome to talk with people about Christ, just wonderful.
Some cool things happened with our investigators this week. Remember Maria Souzana? That old lady that we gave a blessing to and she committed to be baptized, and then started to back out? Well, we have a date for her again, end of the month. She KNOWS, she has such a strong testimony about the church, she has received her answers to her prayers. I am pretty excited, I feel the spirit so strong when we are over there teaching her, helping her. Its pretty amazing. We have this other investigator...Geronimo. (Geronimoooooooooooo) haha but yeah, hes pretty cool. The guy is so knowledgable about the bible and about gospel stuff its ridiculous. Our lessons turn from the normal simple lesson into detailed discussions with him...he just knows so much already. Cool things always happen when we are over there teaching him. Just last time, at the end, he was like ´man i just love talking with you guys, learning from you. every time you two walk into the door the air just changes! Just wonderful feelings´ The spirit is always so incredibly strong when we teach i think he will be going to church this sunday! Yee haw. Elder Martins and I are starting to make some good progress now, its pretty exciting. Started out pretty slow here, but then again, i expected it to. I think things are just about ready to explode.

Speakings of explosinos....HAPPY NEW YEARS!!! Hope you have some fun fireworks and good parties planned! Its pretty funny, New Years is nuts here. We have to be in the apartment at 7 pm tonight...and then tomorrow who knows what is going to happen. Everybody is just going to be sleeping. but yeah, this is the biggest party night of the year...second to Carnival of course. I am pretty excited though, we are gonna order some pizza and eat cookies.
OH!!! Almost forgot!! Congrats Tad! Netherlands? Thats pretty sick...definitely wayyyy sick. You are gonna have to send me a letter with your mission address aight? Good deal. Glad thats settled

So, New Years...we have been talking a lot about metas, or goals, with our investigators and our members. Perfect opportunity now to make goals for this new chance at life...a NEW YEAR. Alma 34 32...this is the time that we have to prepare to meet God, this life is the time to perform our labors. Lets make goals, and actually progress. Just like you said mom, you cant just always have to be looking for some way to improve, see how you can be better, improve. Of course, my main goal right now is becoming fluent in Portuguese. There are others, like finishing the book of mormon in Portuguese by General Conference.
One goal that I am challenging everybody to set right now....not very hard. Whenever you are in the street (members and nonmembers) and you see the missionaries, say hi to them. Just walk up, ask how the day is going. Imagine you are saying hi and just chatting with me. It will make a world of difference in their lives. Give it a shot. Just say hi to them.

I know this church is true. I have seen so many miracles in this month and a half since I left the CTM. Prayer is real, the priesthood is real, The Atonement is the best gift ever given to mankind. I KNOW these things. It is not a belief, but a knowledge that I have. The knowledge that we have a living prophet today, that God answers prayers, and that miracles do still happen in the world is such a comfort. Christ is our savior, and if we but ask, and let Him in, we can do absolutely anything in our lives. It says in the New Testament that whosoever shall lose their life for Christs sake will find it. I can testify to that. The work here may be tough at times, but it fills life with true joy. When you are in the service of your fellow beings you are only in the service of your God.Happy New Years Everybody...

Elder Briggs

PS. Dale, Lauren, Katrine, will be sending you letters within a couple days, they are written, just the post office is a little plugged right now