Thursday, April 29, 2010

Music to a Missionaries Ears....

Pics: Me and Elder Borrego...he says "Hi Mom". Elder Albuquerque and Elder Whitesides in the office.

Shout out...Katrine, got the letter, will send one out. (Love to get letters!)

onnnn to the week
So, wow, my head is totally out of whack right now. The past week was spent in a few divisions out in the interior in Sorocaba again. Oh, coolest thing about that - there is an Elder Borrego in Rio Acima, Sorocaba whose Mom follows loyally the blog (Hi Mom Borrego). She even printed it out and sent it to him! It was funny. Anyway, he is a great Elder and I had fun on Division out there. I also did a division in my first zone....Trujillo. It was great to go back.
Best story was of a guy that just stopped us randomly on the street and asked us what we do. I went on explaining that we are representatives of Christ and that we hlep people become baptized, receive the Holy Ghost and endure to the end. He then started talking about his day of finding a new job and running into us and being happy. He said "I was already baptized, but I feel as if my baptism isn't worth there any way that I can be baptized again?" Music to missionary's ears. It was cool. We ran into a lot of other cool people the rest of the day. Great fun.
On Sunday, I was able to go out to lunch with Elder Schoen! It was super fun. We went to church with him (he baptized that week btw) and then went to lunch. Teh couple is young and super cool. The best part of all is that both of them speak english and they have family in the states and thusly, sweet hookups. Long story short, it was the first time I have eaten Ranch Dressing on the mission. Even better, it was Hidden Valley Ranch. Soooo good. Gosh, matou saudades.
Since then, we have been preparing pretty hard core our zone conferences here on the mission. We decided to do this sweet new thing where it is kind of a "workshop" instead of a powerpoint training. We set it up so that there would be 4 stations, each station being directed by the zone leaders, and that the missionaries would rotate. We had our first one yesterday and it went really well!
Some missionaries even commented about it being the best zone conference ever. So, hopefully we can duplicate the success tomorrow and friday with the other missionaries. That has been my life during the past week...preparing and giving conference, doing divisions, and meeting with the Prez.
Elder Bry

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Divine Cheeseburgers.

Pics. My Ballin new Watch & My Jaka (Big Brazilian Fruit) and my neat sticker (thank you Elder Spencer from the Minneapolis Mission)

Things are just peachy living next to the Temple. I love it! Every day I walk past the temple and it is just beautiful, even cooler is when it is lit up at night. I've tried taking pictures but I don't think I have steady enough hands for the night setting. It's super awesome. Anyway, things are at a different pace here. It is super cool seeing on the mission level and getting to know all the missionaries here better. We changed and gave a new district leader training last week (which Elder Schoen took part of...I'm such a proud Dad!) It went pretty well. After that, we went out to Sorocaba to do some divisions. It was cool. I was able to see some old stomping grounds and get to know some people better.

The coolest story from the interior division was in Barcelona. At the end of the day we had to make the most important decision of or hamburgers. After a couple of minutes of indecision, we felt the urge in our bellies (all four of us are american) to eat a good bacon cheeseburger. When we got there, a woman randomly asked me what country we were from. I replied the States and then I started to talk about who we are, what we do, etc. It turns out that her husband, who was also there, is a member and has been inactive for twenty years. Also even cooler, they said they weren't even planning on coming to gt burgers, but that they felt the need and have been talking a lot lately about going to church. God works in mysterious ways...who'd a thunk...divine cheeseburgers. Anyway, they makred an appointment with the Elders and are excited to all get baptized and get the family sealed in the temple. YES.

The next day we went to a different part of Sorocaba and I was able to talk a little with the only other American that came to the mission with me, Elder Gratil from Mesa, AZ. It was fun, we reminisced a bit. It was actualy the very first time on the mission that we have been able to be in the same place at the same time. Only took 19 months right?

After we came back to Sao Paulo and yea! a normal weekend preparing our trainings for mission council. Long story short - it went super well and everyone is super excited about things. We talked a lot about consistency and inviting and taking care of your investigators. It was cool.


PS...sorry for the delay in posting this week...the blog mom was traveling:)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Full Circle...back to the CTM

Picture (Elder Schoen & Elder Duarte at the Sao Paulo Futebol Clube, Football Stadium)
Things are a little bit different these days in the office. My days are filled with trainings and divisions. Just yesterday we had an awesome division in Casa Verde. Yes, that Casa Verde, where I spent 2 months in the Sao Paulo MTC. It was super kool walking outside of the CTM and talking to people as an actual missionary. Even better, there were some newbies walking around too, who and noooooo idea whatsoever what was going on. It was a great day. I walked around with Elder Bramwell, from Hawaii. He is a super good elder - I learned a lot from him. We taught some cool investigators, and we were able to really help people understand the necessity of authority of the priesthood.

The coolest way to describe authority is to put it in terms that people understand. For example, everyone knows that a classroom without a teacher will just become a mess, that a country without a government goes to anarchy. The principle is exactly the same in the kingdom of God. We can see the pattern of authority since the very beginning, as God always had His kingdom on earth, buided by prophets and, later, apostles. The principle does not change, as God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Without the proper line of authority, the kingdom becomes a mess when all of us do just whatever we want. Interesting.

Anyway, it was a great day out there in Casa Verde. But, all this traveling is definitely taking its toll...I'm soooo tired! I did get a little bit of a cold, but, all is well.

The coolest thing today was that I was able to hang out with Elder Schoen! Remember him? My son! and my Grandson (Elder Duarte)! Super exciting. We went out for acai and then we went to the Sao Paulo football club stadium, O Estadio de Morumbi. It was cooooool. Everything there is so expensive! It was super funny, there was a huge asian tourist group there as well. I saw more Americans and Asians there than Brazilians.

Well, that's about it for these past few days. My pday will be Wednesday again next week.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Transferred to....


First off...Shout out to Kati - got your email, I will write a letter soon. Thank you for the letters of recommendation from Dr. Kendrick & Melissa Jacot, and thanks Dale for getting info to my Mom for the internship application.
onnnn to the past ten days....
So things were going pretty normally, Elder Perry and I were talking to a lot of people, having some good success, getting really excited to baptize an excellent family, 30 year old man, and 19 year old girl. These people all have strong testimonies already of the church and are excited to become a part of it. They are just now putting some things in order to be able to enter the waters of baptism. But yeah, things were going super well. Monday, I had a division with Elder Avamolifua from San Jose, I love Samoans. They are GREAT. Such an awesome attitude.
Anyway, it was a great division, until about 7 at night, when I got a call from the assistants saying I was transferred! Man, I really wasn't expecting it! I thought that I was going to stay in Juaragua until June with Elder Perry! Oh well, I'll go where you want me to go.
So, the next day was filled with packing and saying goodbye to people that I had grown to love. What made it even more difficult though was that Elder Perry got sick and I wasn't able to go visit everyone I wanted to. Life happens sometimes. I'm really going to miss that place.
Anyway, on Wednesday we started our journey with the super heavy bag. Luckily, I was able to get a ride to the bus stop in Lapa...saving us from the horrible morning train ride! There would not have been any way that I was going to get the suitcase on that train. It all went well and I made the transfers safe and sound without much hassle.
My new companion is Elder Brent Parsons, from Orem, Utah. We are both now the Assistants to the President of the Mission. He will go home just 6 weeks before I do. I am actually super excited because he, like Elder Perry, has always been one of my better friends here on the mission! So, we live here at the mission office, which is just a three minute walk from the Sao Paulo temple. Even better news, I get letters and packages as soon as they come to Brazil now! No more waiting until meetings and such for a delivery which sometimes took weeks and weeks.
So this week we changed our pday (personal day or preparation day) from Wednesday to Saturday this week because of all the stuff that we had to do. So much to learn, moving, etc. I now don't really have an area of my own, instead, Elder Parsons and I travel around the mission doing divisions with the Zone Leaders, seeing how things are going. Just this week for example, we did two divisions, one close to the temple, the other out in a neighborhood called Jacana, It went pretty well. Lots of just talking to people, some knocking doors, all that good mission stuff. We really had some fun lessons with people too prideful to even want to pray to ask God, saying they didn't need to pray to know everything about Him. Oh well, better luck next time. Right?
It is a lot of fun living in the office. Right now we are here with four secretaries, two Americans and two Brazilians. One of the Americans is even from Oregon. So we have fun talking about the Good ol' Pacific Northwest. They are going to have an awesome baptism tonight of a family of four! It's all so cool. One of the best baptisms I've seen on the mission.
More next week....

Saturday, April 3, 2010

You are invited to watch General Conference this weekend...BYU TV or

(pic - Bryan and Elder Perry from Texas)
Happy Easter Everyone...Happy Birthday to Lolly, hope it was an awesome day! You have always been an awesome Grandma and lots of fun to be around...keep itup! Love Ya....and Happy Birthday to my Mom...and my little sister - next week.

Thanks for the information from Amelia, via Dale. Which reference do you all think I should include in the resume? Any suggestions?

Awesome about Mike P's baptism.

Shout out to the Kinkades...thanks for the letter. I sent one back, but I sent it to my home address because I accidentally wripped yours.

David Cruz...thanks for the email man! YOur english is great! Except for a couple of mistakes...keep practicing! I sent you a letter today, actually, que coincidencia! Hope you get it soon. Keep up the good work, I need to visit you someday.

Onnnnnnto the week.

Well this past week was interesting. It started off with a division in an area called Morro Doce (sweet hill). Well, just so you all know, the hill isn't that sweet...the thing is hUUUUge! Super steep, super tiring. But, luckily, we didn't go to it that much. The coolest story though whas when we had some appointments fall and I decided to take Elder Barroso out for some acai (berry from the Amazon, eaten frozen). We went to this place and we started talking to the girl that runs the place. First off, the acai was awesome. Second of all, I was just talking to her and I asked her what she likes to do. She replied, I like reading a lot. I then asked if she like Jesus...she said yes, I said 'we have got the book for you'. So I was able to give her a Book of Mormon and she was super excited aobut it. She has already a lot of it, andis excited to go to church. Super cool.

In our own area, we also had a lot of success as we started to stray away a little from teaching the first lesson every time in the first encounter...instead we are teaching as we follow the spirit, teaching to the Book of Mormon. It has worked pretty well, with people going from not very interested to super wanting a compy of the Book of Mormon to read. We have gotten a few tears from people in the last few days. It is pretty cool. The best guy is a guy named julho, who is 28 and not doing much in life. We were able to testify tohim how he can change his life and, if he follows the restored gospel, he WILL be able to reach all his life goals. It was super cool. He dropped out of middle school basically, and has been doing manual labor since, but he is reading the Book of Mormon, and while he doesn't understand much, he says that it just feels right. Love it!

The other cool thing coming up is that General Conference is this Saturday and Sunday! I encourage all reading the blog to at least watch one session, if you can get to a chaple, even better, if not, watch it on digital cable (BYU Channel) or on the internet ( It will be super cool. Go modern prophets and apostles.

We, love y'all...hope all is well! Miss y/all.