Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pics from week of March 28, 2009

picture time! the first is just of me and elder cruz in the Boituva wilderness...not really we were walking next to the train tracks in the middle of town.

The second is my shout out to FOND...yes dale, you are notorious in South America as well. Cant wait to get that letter

Third was my great accomplishment...i figured out how to solve the rubiks cube....btw, could you send me a rubiks cube in a package? That rubiks cube does not belong to me.

And the last picture is of me and elder anderson. roflcopterz

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

6 MONTHS already

Pics to come, my blogmom is in the desert and will update when she gets back.
A quick thanks to Brother Walton...and a quick favor...could you send me Elder Walton´s mission address?? Thanks
Ok, onnnnnn to the week This week had some cool things that happened. We have started going to Wizard language institute to talk with the people learning english and everything. Wizard is pretty cool, it is the biggest language learning school in Brazil, and was started by a member of the church. Actually, i have heard that the method that they use is pretty similar to the teaching method of the MTC...but yeah, seems to work. Also, what is really cool, every book that you get at Wizard has a pass along card in it and information about BYU. Actually, was because of this that our elect family called and we are now teaching them and getting them ready for baptism on the 11th of April. How cool. but yeah, so we have gone there a couple times, and we enter each class and just talk to the people there. It is really funny how shy the people are to talk with an actual american hahah...but its fun. It has been a great way for us to get the news about the church out there, to show that we are great guys, and to put a little bit in about our message. But yeah, they love us there.
FUnny story, we were there last night going through classes...and right after i finished talking with the last class I got a MAJOR nose bleed. Man, it was funny. I was talking to some brazilian kids and all of the sudden went the red waterfall out of my nose. The owner got all concerned and started taking care of was really humorous, to me. But yeah, it is going to continue being a great source of references.
BTW, for the people that are reading the blog...references are amazing. Give them to the helps a ton! You dont even have to do anything special. Just write down the person´s name, address on a piece of paper and give it to the missionaries. Woot!
Ok, back to the week. On monday I went on splits with my district leader over in his area. Parque São Bento, a bairro on the outskirts of Sorocaba. But yeah, it was a lot of fun. Elder Anderson is a pretty goofy kid. He is from Ogden, UT and has been on the mission for 17 months. But yeah, was cool teaching with him. One of the great things about the divisions is seeing how other people teach and interact with the people, and integrating some of those things into your own teaching style and method. Way cool. But yeah, will send some photos of our exerience there. Fun fun fun.The other stuff that happened this week was all pretty routine. We are walking and teaching alot. We have found some pretty amazing people, and it is so cool being able to teach them. Like I have always said, I never tire of seeing that new form of light in the people´s is just wayyy too cool.
OH YEAH! HOW CO ULD I FORGET? I REACHED THE SIX MONTH MARK TODAY WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!!!!!!Yes, i have officially reached 25% of the mission. It is a big day. I think that tonight I am going to buy a big pizza or something. Maybe some cake. Or just eat those oh so delicious reeses peices...yummmmm
Well, hope that every that is reading is having an amazing week! If you are already a steady reader, keep up the good work! If you are just beginning, keep on reading! If you fall in some other category, it doesnt matter, just remember that i expect you to continue checking the blog every week.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

6 months already!

Picture is Bryan with Elder Costa...Presidency of the Seventy
see story below.

Surprise, surprise, I received a package from Cindy Rae! Let her know that I am sending them a letter today. But it was a great package. Received letters from grandma jeanie, grandfather, caryn, heidi this week, and am sending letters to caryn, heidi, caryn, and cindy rae. hope they all get to you soon!And krispy kremer (aka amy), i forgive you, just get those letters in the mail!
Congrats to the choir! Yeah, i miss those trips...did you say hi to Boo for me? And did Jack and Carol receive my letter? Sending a postcard to Elder Anderson...hope it get's there before he's homebound.

Love that you are doing all the stuff with the missionaries...i am sure that they are really loving it too. It helps when the members help teach investigators. Especially since you are studying PMG and really working hard with this. Kudos. BUt isnt it interesting, as soon as you start really studying gospel stuff, you just get hungry for more and more knowledge. There are so many books out there that I need to read the great apostasy, miracle of forgiveness, etc. etc.

Alright...the week. Started out pretty cool with Elder Costa from the Presidency of the Seventy giving the talk and everything. He is an amazing leader. He talked about the gospel, about missionary work, and about some other doctrine stuff that was wayyyy cool. The coolest thing of all is that Elder Costa was a convert to the church when he was around 20 here in Brazil. Gosh, imagine, it would be so cool to see one of my converts raise to such a high leadership position. That is probably one of the coolest things about missionary work, 30 years after the fact seeing that your convert not only stayed active, but is a valiant member of the church. How cool.Also, Elder Costa stayed that night to give a fireside for the members of the city (sorocaba). The place was packed. Elder Cruz and I decided to stay because one of our golden investigators (Carlos) made the hour drive from Boituva to watch! He loved it. Man, it was just perfect, plus we got to show him around an actual chapel and show him more about the church. Our stake president here (who is oddly similar to President Rau) called our investigator up and introduced him to Elder Costa, Elder Cooper of the seventy, our mission president, and other leaders of the church. Was an amazing night.

The whole week has really been about this family, the family of Carlos. Sunday, we committed all four of them to baptism for easter weekend. It is going to be an amazing day. We also have another rapaz (Evandro) who is going to be baptized on that day. Things are just going pretty well here in Boituva right now. Elder Cruz and I are getting along pretty well, the members are working with us, our investigators are amazing, and we found an AMAZING pizza place here in Boituva.

We are having miracles here in our area. Like I said before, things are just moving now. Carlos and family are so great, just golden. They are reading the scriptures, praying personally, and are just hungry to go to church, to commit, to LEARN the gospel of christ. They have been searching for the true church for a long time, but always before they said that they just didnt feel complete. Carlos said that the first time he entered church last sunday, it just all felt right. Plus, they are all getting answers to their prayers and everything! It is very very exciting with them.

Can you believe I've been out 6 months already? Thanks to you all for all of your support! Thanks for the letters, the packages, the pictures! I hope that everyone is having a wonderful day, and that you send me a letter with a picture soon ;) Love you...Elder Briggs

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

...oh the Mormons!

The first picture is at the home of a member family after lunch.
Second...Basically weeding on steriods. Goodness, out in the hot sun using a strange tool and yeah, weeding. Third is just me when i get bored.
Quick shout out for me to Lauren! Thanks for all the support Lauren, hope everything at BYU is going awesome. I cant wait to receive kelseys talk and announcement and some of those pictures. Really, when i receive pictures it is awesome. I love letters, but everyone knows that a picture speaks a thousand words right?? Pictures are great. Congrats Kelsey for all the hard work you are doing, and succeeding! Goodness, sounds like busy times. Give everybody a HEY for me on the choir trip to Seattle this weekend, especially Bue...Hi to Hannah Castor - still waiting for a letter.
Goodness, that was a weird sentence. That is awesome that you guys are working with the missionaries so much. My my how my life has changed. It is strange sometimes to think that I am living the church, 100% of the time. Seriously, wake up, pray, shower, pray, study scriptures, pray, study with comp, pray, lunch, work, home, pray, plan, pray, eat, pray bed. Goodness. I pray a lot haha. BUt it is amazing, seriously, I have developed such a strong testimony of the power of prayer. The simplicity of its power is beautiful. Absolutely amazing the strengh, comfort, guidance, revelation that you can receive.
So, this week. Lets see. So, first things first, miracles are happening in Boituva. It is amazing how much the Lord has been preparing this city for the gospel. Things have been kind of going slow, but all of a sudden we changed chapels, and people just started popping up out of nowhere for us to teach! Seriously, it is way cool!
We found one family last friday that is the definition of elect. We clapped our hands (knocking the doors here) and the guy rushed out ´oh the MORMONS! i am so excited you guys came! We have been waiting forever for you guys, i was starting to get worried that you werent going to be able to come´ it was crazy. This family is amazing. Carlos is the dad, Marli is the mom, then there are two sons..philipe (17) and daniel(9). They are awesome, reading the scriptures, praying, going to church, treating us like family. It really is incredible. They have been prepared a long time to receive the gospel, about 20 years ago their friend joined the church and turned her life around, and the life of her children. SInce then they have always been impressed and this christmas, they received a pass along card in a different city, and they called to receive the DVD. They are great. Also, there were tons of investigators in the chapel...6! The most that we have had up to now was 2. Plus, 73 people showed up for church, incredible for a branch that usually averages 40 people.
Miracles are happening. We keep running into more and more people that just want to be taught, that want to receive the lessons. It is such a blessing. It is one of the interesting things about the mission. At times you may not have a ton of success...not because you are a bad missionary, or because there arent people ready to be taught, but because the area itself, the branch itself isnt ready for more people. Now, the branch has changed so much and improved so much. The people are starting to just roll. Hopefully, within a year, we will be able to get Boituva prepared to receive an actual church building. How cool would that be.
The other stuff that has happened hasnt been huge. Elder Cruz and I did a service project (pictures to come). We ALMOST went to the zoo in sorocaba. Yeah, and tomorrow is going to be our Zone Conference with Elder Claudio M. Costa, of the Presidency of the Seventy. This is going to be wayyyy cool. Will tell you guys about it next week. Love ya!Elder Squig
Oh, and btw, i have been wanting to try something new here. Like i said way back when, when i email i dont really have time to read a ton of emails from a ton of people, take notes, and respond with a letter. But, i have been thinking it would be awesome if people would send me an email when they get a letter of mine, and when they send me a letter...would help me know when to expect letters and also how long my letters are taking through the south american postal service system. Thanks! My email is

Friday, March 6, 2009

I think my shoes are melting...

almost forgot to send pictures!one is just me and elder cruz at the edge of boituva...kind of looks like the midwest doesnt it. The other is just to show everyone that i still bleed purple and am dooing my best to support them from brasil. Another is us in front of the old chapel and the last is a picture of some food for ya, finally. its called pastel, and its basically like hold able chicken pot pie...or those mcdonalds apple pies except with meat and stuff in them..yumm
Haha, Elder Cruz sure got a kick out of seeing a picture of his brother (Morini Cruz - the Zach Ephron of Brazil - you can see him singing on You-Tube, Mom googled him and sent a picture to Bry) in my email haha.. But yeah, Moroni is one year younger than Elder Cruz, and they have always been members, their dad served in Manaus or Belem I think...not sure. But yeah, he has already helped in the missionary work (Moroni). It is pretty funny, Elder Cruz just mentions his brother and we are instant friends with everybody, sure helps to break the ice and continue teaching, become friends with out investigators and members.
But thats awesome about the Seattle trip! Glad that it was a hit there at Daniel Smith, and next time it will be even better. Gosh mom, you are becoming the regular place of rockstar, get it? But yeah, thats awesome that you were able to see all those people (in our Sammamish Ward), of course tell them all that I say hi, and tell Theresa that I have been putting her tie to good use. BTW, packages still havent arrived yet...Sister Cooley told me that she just got a pair of packages from her daughter that took six weeks to arrive. Hopefully will get them next week at Zone COnference. Should be pretty cool, Elder Costa of the Seventy is going to be there! Wahooo
But, this past week, I was mail king again. Gosh, it felt good. Big big thank yous to Grandma Jeanie, Grandmother (thanks for the Obama stuff), Uncle Paul (thanks for the dawg news), Cascade Crest Young Womens, Kelsey (loved it), Julia Briggs (cuz...most amazing tie ever) Lauren Lytle (pictures rock), and Chelsea Caldwell. You guys all rock, thank you so much! BTW, for those writing letters now or in the future, please follow Lauren Lytle´s example and send me some pictures...I appreciate them oh so much.Today I am sending letters to Chelsea, Lauren, Kelsey, and Julia. Hope that they get to you within two months!
Woo hoooTooooooo the week. So, there wasnt a ton that went down this week out here in Boituva, in terms of adventures that is. I think the biggest thing is that it has been stinking hotttt. Seriously, 38 degrees celsius during the day and 27 at night. Wowza, i think my shoes are melting. Strangely enough, I have completely stopped to tan. I dont burn, but I dont get darker...i just exist now. BUt its cool, my missionary tan is already way chiquezão.
Oh, plus, newsflash, I have hit a huuuuge milestone on the mission....I received my first wedding invitation of a friend! Whoa... But a big congratulations to Lisa! Wish I could be there, but happy for ya! Our ´chapel´ is moving to a different location this week. We will be able to fit 80 people now in the sacrament hall instead of the barely 40 that it was. Keep praying for us to be able to make up the 40 person difference! We are working pretty hard at it. We have some great investigators right now. We found a couple new ones recently, three brothers from 10-14 years old. THey are hilarious, but also they are great. Evandro (the oldest) has already gone to church and a baptismal service. It was pretty funny, in talking to him, we asked `hey evandro, have you read and said that prayer that we asked´ he replied ´no, i dont need to, i already know that what you guys are saying is truth´ pretty cool, although we keep telling him that he really needs to say that prayer, and receive that answer from Heavenly Father that we promised him. But cool huh.
My portuguese is getting better and better daily. It is actually really cool. I cant believe it, I am speaking portuguese almost all day, every day. My only english break is when district leader Elder Anderson (ogden, ut) gives us the nightly call. But seriously, I am amazed daily by the progress that I have made, by the amount of the gift of tongues that Heavenly Father has blessed me with.
I have been thinking a lot this week about spiritual gifts, the gifts of the spirit. As it says in the bible, or Moroni 10, or D&C 46, etc. there are a lot of them out there, a lot of abilities that we can develop. The interesting part, though, is our need to actively seek the gifts of the spirit, activiely work and pray, and also our need to be worthy. For example, why would Heavenly Father gift me with the spirit of prophecy if my goal was to know the result of the future super bowls. Really, we need to always work for the gifts of the spirit, show Heavenly Father that we will use them ´for the edification of the church´ for the blessing of others. Its always something for me to remember that I need to use my time here on the mission responsibly, to allow the Lord to shape me into His perfect tool for whatever situation He needs me in. How amazingI know this work is true, that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am so grateful for this gift to be able to be here, devoting my time to the service of others. As Lauren said in her last letter, there really is nothing better than service, nothing that helps us feel closer to our Heavenly Father. As King Benjamin says, when ye are in the service of your fellow being, ye are only in the service of your God.
So, I have a challenge this week for everybody that is reading the blog. Look for one small thing that you can do for someone, and do it randomly, without their foreknowledge. I promise it will be worth it.