Tuesday, July 27, 2010


(maybe reminding him of a dentist?)

Onnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week

This past week has been a lot longer...ten days. ten days between pdays is super rough on the missionary body. Anyways, totally was all worth it because we got to go out with President today to this sweet place called EMBU. It is a place with lots of souvenirs and crafts and arts and stuff like that. I bought an awesome BLOWDART. So cool, definitely going to put that up on the wall. also, i got some other souvenir type things. best of all, super fun pictures. The weird part though was that there were a lot of weird arts...by weird i mean naked and abstract. Strange, to say the least. Anyways, was good for laughter.

During this past time we have finished all of our zone conferences, started preparing for some way cool stuff, and did more divisions. This week our divisions were done all in the zona norte of sao paulo, in Jaçanã, Santana, and Jaraguá. The one in Jaraguá was definitely interesting because I went there for church as well last Sunday. Was cool seeing a bunch of people and such. When we came back a couple of days later to do the division, we visited some of the people that I had worked with and it was a lot of fun. It is always interesting going back there. It is a great area, but also way difficult as well. Please, just do your home teaching and fulfill your other callings.

The other days in Jaçanã were spent doing a lot, and alot of walking. I dont think I have walked so much since the beginning of my mission when i was a greenie just raring to get to work. Anyways, we walked a lot. When we got home on Thursday night i just about fell asleep right then and there. It reminded me of a missionary that said "I am so happy here on the mission. it is the best. I dont know why I am so happy, because I am so tired. just oh so very very tired" Yeah, ditto.

The fun story of this week comes from the division in Jaçanã. I went out with a Brazilian from my group, Elder Moraes, and we had a long fun day of door knocking. To tell the truth, the day was going pretty terribly from about 2-5ish. We were just walking around in the hot sun, knocking on lots of doors, without getting into a single home. So, we decided to say a prayer on the sidewalk asking for a couple of specific things. First, we were dang thirsty. Second, we needed someone to teach. My prayer went like this"heavenly father, thank you for this day, for this division, and for being here in Jaçanã today. Father, we haven't had any success yet, and we are really thirsty. Please bless us that we can find a cup of water, and an elect family for us to teach. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." Well, three doors later we found someone who did not want to be taught, but did kindly get us some water to drink. Hallelujah! First item in the prayer. About half an hour later we found a Bolivian family of three, in which all accepted baptismal dates! God answers prayers, no matter how insignificant they may seem. We got water, and our elect family. Go team go.

Love ya!

(sorry, no description of pictures this week; posted by assistant bloggrandma, GJ)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Everything is Big in Itu

Only 2 months to go......


Bry with "Big" phone in Itu
Bry with the Brazilian version of Steve Carrel

Shout outs to
Dale Everett...Got your birthday card! Love it! So...shiny?
Grandmother and Papa Jim....Got your birthday card and Thanks for the letter.
Sean Layton & Nathan Rau...WELCOME HOME! See you in a couple months (it sounds so far away when you put it that way...but it is such a short time in mission terms)

Onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week.
So, things have been great this past week. We had some awesome divisions out in the interior, and some good times preparing and giving the first of the three zone conferences. It has been a lot colder the past couple of days, with a good dose of rain as well. I was actually soaked today, and super cold. Nothing like a hot shower and sweat pants to make a cold day better.
Starting last Thursday, we had a division with Itu. Itu is this quirky town in the interior who's slogan is "Everything is big in Itu". They have got big street signs, big stop lights, big telephones, big everything. It is a fun place. Even better, there are lots of good Acai places to get your purple miracle berry fix. Awesome. Anyway, I spent the day out there with a Brazilian named Elder J. Silva. He is a great kid, in his own weird way. Actually, he looks remarkable like one of the monsters from Space Jam...but in a good way. I really like him, it was a fun day of mostly door knocking. What basically sums up the entire story was our first visit...we knocked on a door (actually it is more like clapping your hands outside the front gate) and a lady answered. We told her that we are true representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that we were sent to leave a blessing in her home and bring more happiness to her life and the lives of her family. She just said "of course!" And then invited us in. Turn out that her husband has been in recovery for the past five months from surgery on a brain tumor. He hasn't been doing too well. Immediately we read in Lucas 10, where it talks a little about our mission, and we then gave to him a health blessing, and then we offered a kneeling prayer with everyone present. The Holy Ghost was super present and it was a very spiritual thing. We then let them know that were were sent by God and that the power that we did the blessing by, the Melchizedek Priesthood, was restored in our days, as Christ called a prophet again to lead His church. It was awesome, they told us that they really wanted us to come back, and even gave us a reference of someone else to teach! Was awesome!

The next day was equally as cool.I had a division in Sorocaba, in an area called Santana, with Elder Chaves, Elder Perry's (my ex comp) current companion. Their area was a little down and not having much success. Somehow, during the day, we were able to mark three baptismal dates! It was incredible. The best lesson of all was actually on Saturday morning, when we went to teach an investigator, but he wasn't there. So, we decided to look for someone right around there, and we found this 20 year old single mother. We taught a great first lesson, but then the coolest think of all was the baptismal invite. We invited using Moroni 7:33-34, and then I bore my testimony to her about Christ, His gospel, and the importance of baptism. We asked "will you follow the example of Christ, being baptized?" She said "well, sounds like it will really help me out, yes, I want to be baptized". MIRACLE

Since then, the coolest thing was our pday today, where I was able to play basketball for the first time since I left the Missionary Training Center. It was tons of fun. Unfortunately, it was kind of raining and wet, but we were still able to play for a while. I was definitely a little rusty in the beginning, but I was able to find my groove after about 15 minutes. I am really looking forward to getting back to school and doing intramural sports....mostly flag football and soccer. Can't wait!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Red, White & Blue

It was a Happy Fourth of July here...we celebrated here by wearing red and blue ties, drawing an American Flag, singing the National Anthem, and just being proud of America on that Sunday. It was pretty fun. Elder Whitesides and I even sang the National Anthem at someone's house tht night. Unfortunately, there was nothing else of Americanness. I wish I could have seen some fun parade and more red, white and blue. Brazil does have a kind of Independance Day, but it isn't as widely celebrated...most people are just excited to have a day off of work. Not like it is a World Cup game or anything.
Speaking of the World Cup, Brazil is out of the World Cup! People were oh so sad here about it. The people on the streets were in terrible moods for the rest of the day...imagine being in the bad mood and hearing the Mormons knocking at your door. Oh well, we still had some success thought, marking a baptism date with an awesome couple that we were able to find out in Sorocaba on division.
Onnnnnn to the week.
Well, the past seven days have been full of roller coasters and unexpected things in the work. Elder Parsons and I have been getting our frequent-busrider miles as we constantly travel around doing our divisions. Last week we spent the weekend out in Sorocaba, in the Cerrado and Barcelona areas. The Cerrado day was very interesting, as that was the day the Brazil was lost and thrown out of the World Cup. It was nuts. During the game people were just screaming, loving life, so excited for Brazil to win and go on to the semis...however, those Dutch had another idea. That made the work extra fun, as I mentioned above, as people were extra irritable all day. When I would talk to people on the street they would just be like "look, today isn't a good day, just leave me alone" and would look at mee with a crazy look like they wanted to hit me just for looking like a Dutch person...stupid white skin! The next day was just a little bit better, but everyone was still in a general state of depression. The thing that got everybody happy again was that Argentina was CLOBBERED by Germany. Bazil hates Argentina like UW hates UO. Even worse...so much worse. It was a fun day though. I was able to go out with a Brazilian the first day, and an American the other.
During this week we also had our Mission Council, the time when all the Zone Leaders come to President's house and we have a meeting about the affairs of the mission, about where things are going, what needs to be changed, improved, etc. We talk a lot about teaching with the Holy Ghost through a few key things 1) Testifiying and sharing spiritiual experiences 2) Using the scriptures 3) Asking good questions and inviting people to participate in the lesson. 4) Help investigators make and keep commitments. All the zone leaders will be teaching about this at Zone Conference. The council was also lots of fun because Sister Cooley made cinamon rolls. and we took some fun pictures with the missionaries that are leaving the mission...OH TRUNKEZA!
In other news, I am fighting the trunky bug as most of my mission friends are going home, including two companions of mine (Elder Perry and Elder Parsons). The only companion of mine that is still going to be on the mission at that time will be Elder Schoen. Crazy.
Anyway, just trying to keep going hard at full tilt.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Talk About Intimidating

Pics. 2 year countdown.
Mom sent me a box of Mac & Cheese with my birthday package - Yum.
Kickin up my heels with Elder Parsons.
Lunch at Outback Steakhouse.
Really nice neighborhood in Sao Paulo suburb.

Reading about my friend, Jonathan's homecoming is really making me trunky and ready to come home. To make matters worse, my companion is in his last transfer. We went to the mall today and saw some of the sweet new technology and new movie promotions, plus we ate at Outback. It's okay though, I will survive. I just got to make it through this pday and I will be back to normal. Kudo's to Jonathan and Kevin for giving awesome homecoming talks. It makes me super happy to read about it.

onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn to the week.

We are getting ready for another transfer. My companion, Elder Parsons, has just entered into his last transfer on the mission! It is super trunky up in this joint. Don't worry, we still focus and we still work and all that...but our converstions tend to turn to going home more and more often. Even worse, I have been considered a part of his group ever since I got to the mission, since my group was very small, and it is going to hurt so bad to have to watch all of my best mission friends head to the airport on that van with me wtill waving goodby from the office. Oh well, still 5 weeks until that moment. It's nuts how fast time just goes by here on the mission though. Ridiculous!
This week we have been worrying most about the state of the mission and the impact of the World Cup. Luckily, the impact hasn't been super huge, yet, as most Brazilians are kind of down on the Brazilian tem this year. They always complain that the team doesn't have a couple of players that they wanted, so there was no way for Brazil to win the Cup. It is like us Americans saying that there is no way to win the Gold in the Olympics because Lebron James isn't playing...they forget that we still have all those other best players in the world. Anyways, work will probably start to get a little difficult as the cup winds down. Everyone here is super excited to see Germany vs Argentina game, and the Brazil vs. Holland game....definely HUUUUUGE games on the world stage.

Also we did a division this week in this place called Alphaville/Aldeia. I don't really know how to describe in words. Let's just say that I didn't feel like I was serving a mission in Brazil anymore....it was so different! The best way to explain the place was like a mix of Park City with SoCal. That area is where some of the richest people in Sao Paulo live. It was all gated community, but I felt like I was back in the states. Tons of people spoke English, there were no gates or barbed wire surrounding the houses, most houses had lawns, etc. People were out walking their dogs. I was just dumbfounded! It was a way cool division though. I spend the day with a guy from Orem, UT named Elder Warner. He is about the most American looking guy on the mission. Six foot flat, blond, blue eyes, strong jaw, normal name is Steve...there is no fooling anybody. Anyways, it was great fun.

The coolest lesson of the day was with an older couple that is a reference from a Seventy. Yes, a General Authority's reference, he is the second counselor in the are presidency. Talk about intimidating. Anyway, we were teaching about the Gospel of Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism by immmersion for the remission of sins, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands, Endure to the end) it was going awesome. The spirit was super strong, there were understanding the purpose of the gospel, what faith and repentence are, everything. However, without going too much into details, by the end the man said "Look, I feel indebted to you guys, all the help that you have given us, but I don't think I will ever be baptized." A definite smack that came out of left field. Anyway, he went on talking about how he hadn't felt his answer yet about the Book of Mormon, and how he felt that he was betraying his old faith, etc. I looked him and his wife in the eyes and I asked "Do you want to know the truth? Really?" They replied that they did want to receive the answer about the Book of Mormon. So I said "I know that if you kneel right now and ask God with real intent, with a pure heart, with faith in Christ , you will receive your answer this very night" We then proceeded to have a kneeling prayer which he offered, we sang "Que Manha Maravillhosa" (The First Prayer), we left Moroni Chapter 10 for them to read, and then we just left without much of a word. It was one of the craziest experiences of my mission. I don't know if I have ever felt the spirit so strong and such a stonge prompting from the Holy Ghost. The mission never ceases to amaze me sometimes.