Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Merry Christmas Week!

Yeah sorry I haven’t been able to get any photos sent and will still take a while been I promise I’ll get it done as soon as I can.

Yes I love Henry and miss him and can’t wait till we can talk just us about our experiences etc...

I always saw the differences in other missionaries and wasn’t sure how that happens but i guess it happened to me too....

My mission is nothing what I imagined it but I knew way before I left that it was were the lord wanted me to go and still have that same certeza...

So yes this last 2 Sundays and I’m sure this next one as well we had no one go to church and was lacking many members and I ended up giving the gospel principles class because the teacher didn’t come and others from other classes came and watched because they lacked professors too.

Oh was so dang funny! Lets me I don’t remember if I told you about the problems with our bishop and leadership and unorganized junk with our ward here, well me and my comp both kind a told our president in our interviews of how it was affecting our investigators and recent converts etc...So I guess from the looks of it last Sunday we had a high councilor in our ward and he was called from the stake to stay the next month in our ward. He spoke in sacrament and correct some things the bishop did wrong at the pulpit and then he did the same thing in the quorum meeting and was just burning everyone and me and my comp just kinda smiled and figured it was about time it happened.
The biggest shocker of the week was that our Leader of the mission in our ward came up to us and asked to meet with us about the work and recent converts to go teach them etc.....So last night was my first time in 3months here that we actually held a meeting with the LO and missionaries of the ward! I think someone had a word with him too about magnifying his calling....
So I’m excited to start seeing some changes here in this area and hope it gets better and stays better. If the members would do their part in teaching and helping all recent converts, none of them would go inactive!

So Christmas was a day to just relax, the real party was Christmas eve, we ate at two different members homes who invited us and then I spent the night reading conference talks while there was nothing but loud music and partying going on outside. New years will be the same thing but with a lot more fireworks. One of the members invited us to his party and we told him we couldn’t stay all night and he called president beynon to ask him if we could stay the whole party there and president Beynon told him we could...i didn’t think he would but ill call him today to confirm and find out how long he lets us stay out....either way will be fun.

Oh yeah the toys, I gave them all out on Christmas to kids who were at one of the houses that didn’t get any presents and they loved it, there are so many that get nothing for Christmas and so the kids love to get anything.

Ok well I love you all and have fun with the wedding and whatnot....Heidi is driving?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Baptism and Stake Conference

Hi, its been another good week and am a bit tired and don’t feel like writing much so I’ll try an remember what I did this last week.

Yeah 2:00 your time sounds fine....let me know next p-day for sure.

Last week at interviews I got the packages and thank you so much for them....I liked the tree and kept me from buying one....I just took off the cards and put the decorations on strep throat came back and haven’t really been eating any of the candy yet and think ill just wait till Christmas to share it all with a family friend here. We also had our Christmas party last Friday and that was fun, I saw Stembridge again and told him how our moms are both crazy and chat on a mission mom site and took a picture with him ill send you. The activity was fun and every district did skits and we ate at a nice restaurant and was fun to see everyone.

We do have a baptism this week with Magno-17yrs old and maybe his sister Camila-15yrs. He is excited and real firm to be baptized but his sister is a little undecided and we hope that after she see him baptized that she will follow.

Sunday was awesome, well Saturday too because all of the stakes in the northeast brazil had stake conference together with president Eyring and Richard G. Scott and Julie beck and elder Zwick and some other area presidents.....never knew Julie beck spoke Portuguese, they all focused on the temple and on doing the small and simple things in our daily lives of reading scriptures and praying with our families and all that I think the members here in brazil are needing, they were really strong and spiritual talks and also Sunday night we watched the Christmas devotional and was almost like having general conference again.

So all is well and am happy to get to talk next week as well and will try n get those pictures to you

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas is Coming!

Well good news and bad news....well more bad then good, but hey I went 2 months without being sick! Monday I got fever with sore throat and my body was just weaker than ever so was hard to get work done and then just imagine the stress I had yesterday working in the hot sun visiting all the people we had with baptism dates and all of those baptisms fell! Turns out no one here like to get married, want to be baptized and go to church but marriage no. So yeah not a very great week.

I’m still a little sick, but feeling better than yesterday and will continue to work. At least it isn’t anything to do with allergies, I believe the whole allergy thing had to do with my last area and the water there.

So today we went to a pizza place called Habib’s with lots of other missionaries and passed the Burger King and the mall etc...I think next p-day I'll go to the center again and look for a nativity for you and buy a tree or something for Christmas.

Ok, well love you all and yeah Christmas is getting here. I guess I’ll be talking to you again....did you get the pictures I sent? Oh and I forgot to tell Emily not to send anymore tapes because the tape player thingy broke a long long time ago hehe.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Brian's New Comp and His Area of Aracaju'

Elder Roberts with his new comp, Elder Souza from Sao Paulo, Brazil
Welcome to Brian's area in Aracajú/Sergipe
A view of the city This is the baptism that almost didn't happen, because this young man almost forgot to come.

Craig Gets His Mission Call...

Yeah like I told Craig, New Jersey is a different world from what he’s used to, so I think he will love it and it seems like the right place for him. (Brian's younger brother Craig, got his mission call to Cherry Hill, Pennsylvania and leaves the end of February.)

Yeah the whole re-new thing is after a year you need to re-new your visa, but my name was thrown on a list among many other names and it can take a long time like it is right now. I’ve been almost 6 months illegal here in the country. If I did anything bad they would deport me.
(I asked him how often they have to renew their visas)

Shaved Sunday, Monday was transfers, Tuesday was day of transfers, and my comp didn’t get here till Wednesday and that was when I shaved. Longest I’ve gone in the mission without shaving. (He said he hadn't shaved for 3 we asked how come)

My comp is 20 years old, from a family of 6, I think. He served already as a counselor to the bishop before he came, he likes Mike Jones and other rap music, and the natives stay 3 weeks in the CTM.

I always see lots of elders receive packages in boxes 4 times the size of the ones you if you want to try it go ahead, I believe they travel the same way.

Lunch today I made the macaroni you sent me, but no almost everyday a different member feeds us lunch and when we make it we usually buy quetinhas which is rice n beans n meat. (I asked how often he eats with a member and how often he cooks his lunch)

Ohhh I didn’t know what you meant about the nativity thing, but I'll look next p-day to see if I find one and get it sent to you. Would have been nice to know that earlier because today I went to the center to buy me an early Christmas present. (I asked him to look for a nativity from Brazil for him and me. It's not something he needs to send home)

So yeah last week went well. Sunday kinda fell through and had this good family and well just teaching the mom and two daughters because the dad won't talk to us, but anyways she was all ready to go Sunday when I passed by to go with her and I was all excited because she was awake and looked ready to go, but then she shows me her arm that’s in pain and that she will go to the hospital to have it x-rayed and what not so yeah was fun.

Today we cleaned some more and we played soccer with the other missionaries. Oh and my comp also played on Sao Paulo’s sub 20 soccer team which is like playing AAA baseball so he has future desires to continue playing professionally and wants to train others and gain money through that. My last comp also played soccer and had been invited to play on a team like that too before he came on the mission.

And we also went to the center where I bought my hammock for my Christmas present and will send pictures of it.

Ok well I love you all and was nice to hear from you guys.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm A Trainer!

Happy Fall to you guys too. Man that letter you wrote or maybe I should say book was interesting...hehe kidding, but sounds like a lot is happening there. (Hey it was only 3 pages...I had a lot of things to tell him about. :)

So transfers were this week and I´ll be staying and my comp left and I'm training a new guy. His name is Elder Souza and from São Paulo and just got here today, literally a few hours ago. We spent our time today cleaning our home...what a mess I left our home. It took hours to get it clean again, but is now clean and I won't let that happen again. After that I paid our water and light bills and now we are emailing. So I'm all excited to be training my son which makes me a daddy :)

I also went the past 3 days without shaving hehe. Dont get mad, but I'll send pictures for you to see. I already shaved today if you were worried still. (We never got any pictures)

So yes last week the baptism almost fell through because the kid forgot and wasn't home and no one knew where he was and we looked for an hour for him and didn't find him...then about 30 minutes later he shows up and I ended up baptizing him and all confirmations happen in sacrament meeting usually by one of the members, although I have done confirmations before. Our district baptized 30 people this last transfer and I don't think I'll ever see that many in one of my districts in a long time.

So at the moment we have no one preparing for baptism, but we will work on that tonight. Yes it's getting to summer time. Doesn't offically start until December, but is hotter than normal. There is a saying that there are only two seasons here: hot with rain, and hot without rain. You can send the mission president beef jerky, (We just found out it's illegal to send jerky to Brazil, so no more jerky for Brian until he comes home) just kidding, but a card or something is always nice.

Yeah visas etc....I've been here illegal for the past 6 months hehe. (There is a huge hold up on visas right now with the elders who are supposed to be going to Brazil. They have over 250 waiting at the Provo MTC, to go to Brazil. They may be sent stateside if they don't come soon. They are only issuing about 4 a month right now. It's a big deal) My name is on a list as well to get my papers renewed or something, but can take a while.

I just remembered and not sure if you sent it or not, but a long time ago I said you could send me a confetti cake with confetti cake frosting. (I have it, and totally forgot to put it in his package. I guess it will go in the next one I send) Ok well I love you all and will be sending some fotos.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fun Happenings in Brazil

Thank you to my family and to the Smith's for the wonderful goodies I got for halloween!
These are some of the elders Brian played soccer with today.
Brian has a member who is working with old documents and he figured it woud be fun to try it out.
Brian is holding one of the original documents
from the 1850's. He said it was fun trying to read it.
Brian's caption for this picture is: "Stay away from smoking"
Brian tried his hand at making lasagna. YUM!

Joselane and Cosme are Baptized!

Yeah the week went well in that we baptized again and found another one for this week! We baptized Joselane and her brother Cosme and her mom is going to church and know she would be baptized too, but her husband is the problem and she isn’t married so....but we did have a lady who has been bringing her grandson the past two weeks and turns out he lives in our area and we will baptize him on Saturday.

Craig? Mission? Where? When?

Today for p-day we got up at 5:00 to leave at 5:30 to get to Atalia for our two zone activity thing and turned out really lame and too many buses for me to have patience to do it there again. I think the next time we will do it at the stake center.....the activity was soccer, bbq, movie, games, but we can do all that at the church building and a lot easier to do.

Sunday was like normal. A lot of good people didn’t go and same old story. The mission is going good and loving all of it. I’m going to cut it short so I can send you some pictures.

Love Brian

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Comp's Inspiration


Sounds like everyone had a fun week and good time. My week was normal in that it starts good and then goes bad and then gets good again hehe. It’s kinda like a wave that just never stops going up and down. So my comp was inspired to work on a street we found that he’s never seen before and last week we worked the whole week on that one street and we found a lot of people that were with potential and listened and even accepted to prepare for baptism and the whole deal (we had I think over 10 people from the same street with baptism dates)...then come Sunday and satan does his work and we get no one to church on Sunday. Well 4 of them we knew wouldn’t go because they had planned something already will go Sunday and up to now are real firm and will be baptized on the 7th. The funny thing is there was one girl that we talked to on the street that said she might go, but she might go to the beach also so she wasn’t sure, but said to pass by on Sunday. So this usually means that she isn’t going to go, but we looked for her home on Sunday and didn’t find it so we thought she just lied to us...then Monday we found her again in the street and she asked us why we didn’t pass by because she waited 2 hours for us. We just laughed and this week she will go, and we found her house this time. So yeah the person least likely to go would have gone. But we started this week off again and went to that same street and marked another 4 baptisms and will work with these people and hope this Sunday they go. So that was our week.

Today for p-day we walked a long ways to the store. It’s kind of a Costco type store and bought things cheaper than normal, was fun because I almost felt like I was in a Costco and everything big etc...Didn’t do anything else today because no one organized anything yet but we will see about next week. I hope I get the package on Monday for our interviews and if that doesn’t happen then it will be a while till I get them. Lets see, things for Christmas, I know things natives like is anything NIKE-Shorts (basketball shorts)-socks-maybe a cool t shirt etc......and candy.....if I think of anything else ill let you terms of a letter I’ll do my best to remember that and get something sent to everyone with a picture or something....send a hug to everyone for me at church, all is well.

Ok well love you all, Brian

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Baptisms and Wildlife of Brazil

Brian's two baptisms that he had last week. He is also with is new comp Elder Morais from Sao Paulo, Brazil. These two girls, Niani and Ezabella are sisters from an inactive family they have been working with.
This is 12 yr. old Rodrigo whose brother was baptized the last transfer.
Here is some of the amazing wildlife of Brazil!

Only 8 Months Left!

Yeah thanks for all the pictures, I forgot that Halloween happens 3 times in the family. And I was excited to maybe get a package the other day but instead got nothing. But in I think 2 or three weeks we have interviews and I’ll get it then.

Yeah 8 months isn’t that long, and I believe that other missionaries had their parents come and visit them and don’t believe that would be a problem. I think it would be fun.

Anyways this last week was alright, Saturday and Sunday I was sick already know why.....and today I was taking Ibuprofen, but not because of being sick, but because my whole body is sore from playing basketball. It’s a long story, but I did a division with the missionaries in Itabiana which is an interior city here and so it was just us two Americans and we were getting to know an x-president of the branch there who was inactive and turns out he’s the second Brazilian I’ve met that loves basketball and plays it every week. So he invited us to play with him and his friends that play with him every week we took the opportunity to play, It was soooo much fun and was a really competitive game, we won in the end by a last second shot by 1 point. He was happy and excited to play with us and will be going to church this week with his family and his wife marked another day to make us lunch there. So I don’t believe we wasted anytime doing that and am jealous that I won’t get to play basketball for another 8 months, but was fun and worth all the pain I’m in right now.

This morning we played soccer at the church and don’t think we will do anything else until next week. We will either go hike some mountain or visit an aquarium. We had a family were trying to get baptized, but is becoming a little hard. The wife wants to so badly be baptized and the problem is her husband’s mom is putting junk in his head and he the one in the way of it all. So we will do our best to help him and her to be baptized, but don’t think it will be this week at all.

Ok well I’m going to start sending some pictures so I love you all and have a good week!
Love Brian

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This Last Week...Went Really Good!

Hi hello how is everyone doing?

This last week went all right. Well we baptized and had people go to church so I guess it went really good. So we got those two girls from two family inactive baptized and most of the family went to church and hopefully will help them continue to go. We also baptized Rodrigo (12yrs) whose older brother was baptized last transfer and the two girls names are Niani and Ezabella. We are working with a couple who needs to get married and having a hard time with the word of wisdom but they want to be baptized and so we are helping them with that and are passing by with them everyday to help them to not drink or smoke. They’ve done good so far and some times we have to take their drugs away from them, but they’ll make it. We also have a family that was married a few months ago and wasn’t baptized because the mother had surgery or something and so we will try n get them ready for baptism. The only problem was that her daughter is a little rebellious and the dad isn’t sure if he is ready to be baptized, so hope we can get them all in the water these next few weeks.

My comp is from São Paulo and I think he is 20. Just us two in our home and don’t know how many missionaries we have here, but it’s divided into two zones and have all the interior cities as well. The city is big though. My comp.....well I’ve had worse so...but its all cool haven’t had any problems yet. He is a good teacher, but doesn’t like to work the way I would want to and so I hope it all goes well.

The wards here are doing good in my opinion and yes there are some wards strong in Brazil and some that suffer, but that’s any place in the world. Oh and I think the ward I’m in could be strong, but suffers a bit because I think the bishop is going a little inactive and that doesn’t help the work at all or the leadership in the church and makes everything disorganized. So I hope it all goes well these next weeks and I’m still getting to know the people here and haven’t even met the bishop yet.

So yes it is hot. Today was hot, but wasn’t too bad because it was cloudy. We went to some public park/zoo and were fun, took pictures of the monkey, and lion, and cheetah etc. You’ll probley laugh cause I think my throat is getting sore and I could be getting sick again, but hope it doesn’t get worse :) Ohh yeah the first thing I bought here was microwave popcorn, not the same that we have in the states, but was good and is more expensive, but worth it. I think I should get that package on Tuesday for our zone conference so we´ll see. I have more pictures I wanted to email to you, but don’t have my pen drive with me so I’ll have to do it next week sorry.

K well love you all and until another week!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Transfer, Conference and Burger King

Well let’s start with the transfer. I’m in Aracajú/Sergipe in the Centenario Ward with Elder Morais. He is from São Paulo and I’m still DL with 3 other sets of missionaries. We have a possible 3 baptisms this week from the transfer before and hope those go through and also a couple to get married.

Alright for conference that was cool. I got to watch the Saturday morning session and part of the afternoon, and the Sunday afternoon session and priesthood session. I watched them all in Portuguese except for the last one and loved them all. Had two families that were inactive that went and hope that they’ll keep going. Our investigator went to the one on Saturday and Sunday with us and was awesome and she gained her testimony of the prophet and apostles and is excited to be baptized and is too bad I’ll miss it, but that’s not what’s important.

So once things started going good there in the branch the president moves us both out to different areas and brings in two new people. Not what I had in mind but w/e. I hope the branch continues to do good.

So p-day today we went to the center and developed some pictures and I took some pictures at Burger King which is where I ate a Double Whopper with cheese and large fries/onion rings/drink. Was awesome! And then I found some good ties that I bought and now I’m here emailing you. The house we live in I think is my favorite one of all of them because we have a micro wave, decent size fridge, nicer bathroom, new looking washer, and my favorite part is that the ceiling is way up higher and I feel like I can breath better and have more space. I took pictures and have lots I want to send you, but the computers here are junk and might be a while till I get those to you.

It stinks that Robert isn’t 100% yet, but in the long run he will be better and maybe less pain in the future. I still haven’t written any letters, but maybe I’ll write one and send the same one to everyone...hehe

Well not sure what else to say, anything happens I'll let you know, think tomorrow we are going to work all day in Altalia where they will dedicate a new chapel and will do the same thing we did in São Miguel. Sounds like fun and think that it will be hot all day.
K Love you all and until another week.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Work is Going Great!

So I tried writing earlier today and the power just went out every 10 minutes and I’m also feeling bad today and having the same allergy problem and have been half dead today. So the letter will be short and then I’m going to go to bed.

So last week we did baptize André and we have 3 other people we have marked and are preparing for the next transfer and things have shown a lot better these last 4 weeks in the branch and are getting close to it turning into a ward. The work we did in getting rid of the names of all the people that don’t live anymore in the area and of visiting all the members inactive, we have narrowed down the list and have gotten a frequency of 80 people for this last month which is a lot better than it was when I got here. I believe after my last interview the other day that I’ll be leaving. But I feel like we just got this area started and that it’s just going to get better so I hope the next missionaries here keep it going and baptize those other people we are working with. I also found out the other day that all my recent converts in Arapiraca are firm and going to church again! Most of them had gone inactive and visiting other church’s and made me really sad and then was a real joy to hear they are going again and Antonio the son of a lady we baptized there wants to go on a mission and is getting ready for that.

Well we don’t have satellite or cable here so we will have a bus on Sunday take everyone to the stake center in Arapiraca to watch the last session. I might go watch one of them on Saturday with an investigator that we taught Monday because she won’t be able to go Sunday so we’ll see tomorrow when we talk to her.

Yeah there is a mail strike going on and is driving my comp crazy, but I did get a box from my grandma the other day. (My first package that didn’t have anything of candy or sugar. Was really good though)

So transfers are on Monday and I believe I’ll be leaving to a new place and you´ll just have to wait and see where.

K well looks like I wrote more than I thought I would.
Love you all and take care, Brian

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Expert Cake Maker!

Brian made this chocolate cake two nights in a row. He must becoming an expert cake maker...or an expert cake eater!

Time is Flying!

The weather this past week has been hot with little rain and has been lots of fun to work in. This last week we worked hard as ever and hey we found a family knocking doors and they accepted to get married and prepare to be baptized and we got excited because it was something that could have been done before this transfer ends but ran into problems Sunday and they didn’t go to church so we will continue to work with them, but they wouldn’t be baptized until the next transfer, so if I stay another transfer here I might be asking for help with the wedding but that’s if. Also we will baptize André, the 30 year old man that is separated for some time and living with his sister and he is way excited for his baptism this Saturday.

They do sell bug poisons and stuff here, but don’t think that will make much a difference, and yes we have ovens, but the question is if it works. I think half the time it does and the other it doesn’t. The oven in our home was so old and rusted out and got to the point the we had only 1 of the 4 burners working and so sister Beynon told us we could buy a new one and we just got a new one last week. And if you want to send a mix, send the confetti cake mix with confetti cake frosting. They don’t sell frosting, but we made it from ingredients another person’s mom sent from the states.

The activity was good, we had like 25-30 people and they really liked it and was fun. We were hoping for more people, but this is normal for all the activities here and is just hard to get all the members to go because a lot live in areas were they don’t feel safe leaving at night and other members believe it or might have to watch their novela and w/e other excuses they have. But overall was a good activity and was where André came in and we got another reference too.

I did start off this week sick again, well not sick, but with severe allergies again and just gets worse if I go out in the sun and heat and had to just stay home. I only left to visit the people we are still teaching and that was it. This morning I had it again, but I’m feeling better at the moment. It's annoying having the allergy sinus problems, but all a part of life.

Umm well I did write a letter to bishop a few weeks ago and then I don’t remember the address to his home and so I don’t at the moment have anyone’s address. If you can just send me an email with lots of random peoples addresses that would be great.

So I love you all and time is flying and tell everyone hi for me.
Love Brian

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This road is in Brian's area.

Knocking All the Doors in the City

Hi Mom, how is it going?

This week was good, we had one guy to church and we got him excited for his baptism on the 26th and he is really firm for that. We taught him few weeks ago and he lied and never went to church, but we did that activity last Saturday and one of the members invited him to it and he went and liked it and went Sunday and started to ask about baptism and you know the rest. So we are excited for that and have been working harder than ever and been actually teaching a lot more than lately. Ivé been knocking doors and plan on knocking all the doors in the city before I finish this transfer.

So I think I have a new record of roaches I've seen at once, well I think. But yeah I woke up to shower and found a whole happy family of roaches waiting for me and killed 6-7 of them and then that night when I went to shower again found the grand daddy of them and had fun killing him.

We also made a chocolate cake last night and the night before too, it was so good we did it two nights in a row. That's good that you are helping the missionaries. I'm having a hard time getting the members to help, but with last week's activty we already got a baptism marked and another reference to go see still. And I'm also doing my best to get them involved in teaching with us at every appointment we have. I think here it's like every 120 contacts we do is a baptism and every 1 out of 2 references from member is a baptism. So help from the members is always good.

Looks like the summer was's starting to get hot here and less rain, but it's all good and time just keeps going.

Well love you all, Brian

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Conference in Sao Miguel dos Compos

Yeah I got the package yesterday. Thank you soooooo much. The mission started a website if you want to check it out: There's one in English, but I don't remember.

So Monday was a holiday here, and they had the whole parade of their bands and dancers in the streets with fireworks etc...and we ate lunch at the church were they had a bar-b-q and then yesterday we got up at 4:30am to get a van to Arapiraca and then got another van to São Miguel dos Compos where president Beynon will dedicate a new chapel and we had conference there. That afternoon we all went out and handed out invites to the open house and got a lot of references for the missionaries there. Then we got home last night at like 8 and I spent this morning cleaning up our home. Our Brazilian comps are really lazy when it comes to cleaning and is just ridiculous the way they live. I don't know if it's because of the culture here where the woman takes care of the house, but in my opinion they are just being plain lazy and stupid.

But anywhoo I'm doing good and just like Tate I hope that I get a new area after this transfer. Ok well I love you all and again thanks for the candy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Middle of Nowhere

Yeah learning a different language definitely wasn’t easy, but was fun. (I asked if he could remember when he got there and couldn't speak Portuguese and how he has come a long way) So this last week went fairly good. Church didn’t have any firm investigators, but we have better hope for this week.

Monday we went to Arapiraca for zone meeting and had fun doing that and ate lunch at Irma Nazina´s home. She’s the lady were I shared my first message in the mission not knowing anything, and was also the lady that asked me before I left that area if I would miss her and I told her no, but it was because I didn’t understand her. But she is an awesome lady and always made dinner and lunch for us and had a huge lunch with her the other day in Arapiraca.

Then yesterday we decided to start knocking doors and decided to go way out in the middle of nowhere off on this path that leads to just a bunch of houses in our furthest area and just knocked all the doors out there and found a lot of people to go back and visit. Just hope they have the faith to walk to church this Sunday, but we will find that out later. I’ll try n take some pictures when we go back there tomorrow. It really is in the middle of nowhere. I don’t know why people build houses there and not in the city but w/e it has a good view.

Today for p-day we will go and watch the Pirates of the Caribbean and tonight will be English class again and hope we get more people this week. But if not any people come I’ll just stop offering it.

Oh last Sunday we did get another inactive member to church along with her sister-in-law that isn’t a member and we marked to teach her again this week. It’s just that she lives very far away, out side the city and so she has to come here for us to teach her so it will be a bit hard. Sunday after church we went to her home and watched the Testaments with everyone and I helped make a huge chocolate cake! It was lots of fun and is just tuff to get these people excited to go to church.

This branch has sooo many people inactive and with stupid little things keeping them from going to church. But we are planning to do an activity in two weeks with everyone. We called it the ‘Search for the most desirable fruit’. We are going to create the iron rod with ropes and blind fold the people and if they make it to the end they get chocolate. We didn’t tell anyone what the activity was to leave them all in suspense, we just told them the name of it. So hopefully all goes well and hope we find someone elite this week. Well can’t remember anything funny that happened, but if something does I’ll write it down to remember, hehe.

Love you all and until another week. Love Brian

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

People Here are 'Molly'


I know I don’t write much. I’ve been in the same area for 3 months and will be for another 6 weeks and maybe 3 months. We don’t have good investigators and the people here are well very molly. (Don’t remember how to explain molly, it’s a term we use for I think something like cold feet or something)

Today for p-day I think me and my comp will see if we can get Rodrigo, (he’s one of the bishopric counselors in the ward here and only a return missionary for a year and already a high priest), to watch the movie Wall-e at his home. Should be fun but I haven’t gotten hold of him on my phone. We also marked with Jane, who is a member in the branch, to go to some kind of Indian place here where you need to have permission from the chief Indian tribe dude just to visit it. So we need to get that from a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy to get us permission and I think we’ll be going there next week to take picture etc...should be lots of fun. We also planned to go see if we can find waterfalls or something that people said exist out here on some trails w/e not to sure, but will be fun as well.

I’m going to be starting an English class at the church and are also planning to do an activity with the branch members to help unify them a bit and seek references and tomorrow night we will be watching a movie with them at the church on a projector screen with popcorn etc with the same purposes. So this last week was transfers and nothing new so it will be another 6 weeks here with a new start and hope we do better this transfer. So there’s your update. Hope you guys have a good week and nice to hear Roberts doing better.

Love you all, Brian

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Clean Up in the Jungle

While cleaning up, Brian found a coconut.
Some neighbors help the elders with cleanup.
Preparing to burn some of the branches they cut up.
Smoke signals???

Cleaning and Baking!

Well I just don’t have that will to write a lot, but for you I’ll try. (After last week's email that was short due to a bad computer, I told him we expected a lot from him. :)

The area here is doing ok. We have lots of people we are teaching and getting to church, the problem is they are just all molly and not real firm. So I have yet to baptize here, but with a miracle we can get one this week or any week. My comp is cool, he teaches really well and likes to work and I believe I’ll stay here another transfer with him.

So I think I know why everyone in our house gets sick a lot. Our water boxes are dirty. Just picture water brown with a giant dead lizard and all sorts of bugs and mosquitoes and dengue. It’s a blessing none of us ever got dengue or any other crazy thing. So we spent all morning today cleaning out our water box and we cleaned it out good with acid and refilled it. Forgot to take pictures, but you can imagine it. Our backyard is looking like a jungle. I think we will clean that up next and we also cleaned our car port with acid because the tiles there were looking green. So we just cleaned everything all day today and it was fun.

Last night I made an orange cake and it was good. I think tonight I’ll make a chocolate one.
Last week we had interviews with president and he took us all out for chuhassco at that same Texaco place, all you can eat. Was lots of fun as always.

So things are just as normal as ever here and have nothing much else to write. Still teaching the same people and no one yet real firm for baptism.

So love you all, and hope everyone starts feeling better (He is talking about the Hubers and Robert)

(This is Brian’s response to sending him a picture of the food Tate eats. Brian thinks it looks really good. It probably looks better than it tastes. The photo is below.)

AHHAHAAHHhhhhhHAHAHAHAHAHahThat is not what we eat here but it looks way good and makes me have a mix of emotions of mad because I can’t eat it and sad because it’s a long ways away from me. But I’ll live. We eat rice, beans, spaghetti everyday so it isn’t much to complain about.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Computer Causing Trouble

Well mom, the internet is being retarded so I'll just email next week.

Umm Robert and Jim are both looking good.

And yes I am drinking a lot of caffeine here in the mission; coke, guarana, chimahão, pepsi, you name it it has caffein. The president says we can drink it. The members give it to us for lunch and all my comps drink it like water. But I'm not really addicted, so dont worry there. That's one of the things I learned from you was to drink apple juice so I know after the mission that won't be a problem. (I asked him if he was supposed to drink Mate'. Some missions don't allow it and his comp loves it and has him hooked on it too. That's the reason for his comments, because he is answering my question)

Anywhoo, love you and thanks for everyhting and will keep you all in my prayers.
Love Brian

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cleaning Up the Jungle

Cleaning up the backyard of a girl they are teaching. They are hoping to gain the confidence of her mother to let her be baptized.
Brian with his roomates and his companion doing service.

This Week Was Fun As Usual

Well it’s good that Robert is doing better. All that stuff sounds painful and like lots of fun. You should ask my sister Stacie for help, she’s a nurse now I think and knows how to take care of things like that.

So this last week was fun as usual. We have a new family we are teaching and the mother went to church. She has two sons and is separated from her husband and lives in a nice home and has a car and more things than most people here have, but is unhappy and doesn’t know if God loves her because of some things with her son who she thinks is with an evil spirit or something. But I believe the kid just had a bad childhood with parents who didn’t love him and a mix of teretz. So we are teaching her and her two boys, one 10 and the other 8yrs. So the thing she wants is for us to help her son. So we are going to play games with him tomorrow and try to gain his friendship etc and get him excited to go to church. And our other girl who can be baptized I’m not sure if it will be this week because her mom is all against her being baptized and she is scared of what her mom will do and wants her support and she won’t let us talk with her. So we are working with her and trying to get the trust of her mom. Yesterday we did a service project in her backyard and cleaned up their jungle backyard real well and helped show a different side of the church and was fun at the same time. Then that night we watched the movie Charly with them and had cake n popcorn and juice, was lots of fun. So I have some good people I’m working with and hope all goes well with them.

My comp is 19, from Rio Grande do sol, the southern state, he is really one of those not stubborn, but cocky type of people when it come to a lot of things and he even admitted that but he’s really cool and I’m addicted to that erva mate, called Chimahâo. We drink it every day and all night. The first time drinking it, it tasted like horse junk, but got used to it and like it now.

So I think that’s it for this week. Love ya all and will try n send some photos of the service thing we did.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We Worked Really Hard This Week!

That’s very scary, my prayers n fasts are all for Robert. Give him my love and support and keep me updated. Tell everyone else hi as well.

I won’t lie, I got a little sick again the other day and am still recovering today, but all part of life.

We have Paula who is excited to be baptized and is progressing well and went to church all on her own last Sunday. Our other family we have been teaching for a while didn’t make it to church last Sunday and was very disappointing for me and was a little mad at them for their sorry excuses, but will give them one last chance to go this week.

So yeah today I’m not gonna do much, but rest and do some visits tonight. This last week we worked really hard with the branch president visiting all the members who are listed inactive to help narrow that list down to know who has moved or if those people exist and look for opportunities to find investigators, so that made up most of our week. So send Robert and Nanette my love and until another week,
Love Brian

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Silva, Souza and Santos

Oh that’s sad that my truck got hurt, but tell Craig it’s no problem and to keep driving and it’s kind of normal in our family to get into stupid accidents like that so be careful with Emily, hehe.

Yeah Santos and Silva and Souza and some others are a majority of names here in Brazil because of their ancestors who where slave owners. So yeah some missionaries will go their whole mission baptizing only Silva’s and Santos.

Ummm I remembered if you can some old spice after shave would be nice.

Tell Belinda hi and that all is going well and thanks for all the prayers and support and love.

So this last week was alright, didn’t exactly get anyone to church, but we are working with a girl whose cousin is active and boyfriend also is active and she isn’t a member but has desire to be baptized. Her mom is against it and so she is confused on what to do. She is 19 and went to church Sunday and we are trying to help her to make it to being baptized, but it can be confusing at times. We are also teaching a lady and her daughter and some of her sisters that live outside the city and they are all going to go to church this Sunday and are reading the Book of Mormon and are keeping the word of wisdom and are only lacking going to church and being baptized. So we’ve done a lot of work these last 2 days visiting all the members on the list of inactive and have been looking for investigators that way and narrowing the list of people of who have moved or don’t want us to come back etc...

Today for P-day we just played card games and think that’s what we will continue to do after.

So that’s about it for this week, thanks for everything
Love Brian.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A View From On High

The city all decorated for Sao Pedro'
Brian's new companion, Elder C. Santos, which makes his third comp with the name of Santos
Large statue of Christ that is on the hill in the city where Brian is serving. They got up at 4:30am so they could climb up and see this statue. Brian is showing us how big it really is.
This is the garden area of a Catholic church they went to see.
An early morning view of the city from the statue
A view of the city as they head back down to the city.

Brian holding Matte and the cup they use to drink Matte'. It is a huge drink in South America.

Long Talk on Fasting

So our week was pretty good, didn’t get better in our turnout in church, but had some good people we were teaching, but as always fell through.

They had me speak last week and I had prepared a 15min talk on fasting and then the second speaker didn’t show up and so they told me to speak longer and had my comp talk too after me so all I had in mind was to talk as long as I can to buy time for my comp. So the funny part of the story is while I was talking they passed a note to me saying my time was up, but I miss-interpreted the note in saying speak longer. So I spoke for 10 more minutes and when I finished the president just looked at me and laughed. It was funny and my comp thanked me because he didn’t have to speak as long. So I gave a 25min talk on fasting.

Yesterday was transfers and my comp was transferred and I stayed and as I feared they made me district leader here which means I’ll be here for a long time. My new comps name is C. Santos, which makes my third companion whose name is Santos. He is from Rio Grande do Sol which is in the southernest part of Brazil, and that’s the place where they drink mate out of their special cups and he has a lot of it at our home. I’ll send pictures today if time allows.

Yesterday we also had President of Brazil visit Palmeiras here, he talked at the soccer stadium and was the first time I saw helicopters here and had military and soldiers on every corner, street, blockades, police in special cars everywhere, was cool to see.

Today for p-day we are doing nothing, we just played games at home.

Last week we walked past a lady and she called us over and so we talked to her and taught her and she really liked everything we taught her. She wanted to go to church, but she went to her family’s home on the weekend and will go again this weekend so it’s hard to get her to church, but we taught her again yesterday and her sister was there and they promised they would go next week and are learning things really well. She is reading the Book of Mormon and praying and was cool to hear them say that they were certain that we were sent by God to them to help them at a tough time in their lives and they are doing really good in my opinion and know that they will accept baptism after they go to church.

Well, my clothes are still good in my opinion. My garments are a little old and molding out but still holding up good. I’m sure Jeff and anyone else that served knows what I’m mean. Terms of package: umbrella and SD cards. I think there’s something else, but can’t remember at the moment.

Never been chased by a dog yet, but have been chased by a drunk man.Have had a gun pulled on me, but don’t think knife. Brazil did win, but was a close game. The USA was winning 2-0, but Brazil came back and scored 3 times. They went nuts and it’s easy to tell what the score is just by the noises outside and fireworks etc...

OK well love you guys and have a great week, Brian

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Inside a Catholic Church

Well I won’t promise I’ll write a lot because we need to go eat lunch. ( I wrote less, so I told him he could write more, haha)

Sunday was well fun. Didn’t get anyone to church and the two people that accepted to be baptized didn’t go and think that they have changed their minds. We worked really hard last week with lots of members that are inactive and will eat lunch with some of them right now and marked family nights with them to play card games etc....

It’s been raining and don’t know if I told you but I’ve gone through 3 umbrellas already, and would like it if you could send me one in the next package along with the memory cards. The nice umbrella I took with me here was stolen and the other ones I bought broke and it keeps adding up every time I buy one. My line of authority you can just email to me and I’ll get it printed.

Today we went to the Catholic Church with a member whose dad is a Padre or something there and we got his keys so that we could go everywhere. Was crazy we went up these steep steps up to the top of the building in all these crazy rooms filled with bats and was fun.

Right now we will have lunch and make brownies.Tell everyone at the reunion high for me. Yes Michael Jackson is dead, all of Brazil loves him and all the street venders are selling and playing his music and is impossible not to hear it while walking down the street and has already been a week, so it was a big deal here. Where is the sister missionary girl from?

Ok well get better. I love you all and until another week,

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Brian hits his 1 year mark!

Brian burning his shirt in celebration of being out 1 YEAR!
These 3 celebrated being out a year by eating at a Texaco gas station

Brazil vs. USA

Olá how is it going?

I know the email is late, but there is always a reason. The President didn’t get kidnapped or anything but the power went out while I was typing your letter and then we had our activity to go to and I didn’t have any desire to rewrite it but tonight we don’t have any appointments and it’s raining so I decided to come write you.

This last week was better, we didn’t get any investigators to church, but we did get some inactive members to church and a lot of the members know them and they we excited to see them and they’ll be going again this week. But the better news is that one of them brought her friend to church with here and was our one person to church and then yesterday we taught her and her husband and they accepted to prepare to be baptized! The lady that brought her to church also is helping her brother and his wife to start going and we talked to her husband and hope that he will get that desire to go too. We also met a return missionary who has been inactive for over a year and we got him going too and marked next p-day to eat lunch and play UNO with him and many of the members loved this guy and were excited to see him. So we are excited to work with these people and hopefully get a train reaction going with the members.

Ohh something funny was that Sunday at church happened to end an hour n half early on the day that Brazil plays USA in the championship cup in Africa. They said they did it because someone died and they said anyone that can, can go there to support here but I’m pretty sure few people went there and the rest went home and watched the game. I just laughed and thought about how this would only happen here in Brazil. I ended up just staying at the church with my comp listening to see who wins the game. That’s something you can do here is just listen and know the score without watching, when you hear the awwww it means the other team scored and then when you hear the cheering and fireworks that means they scored. And it was also Sao Pedro so there was a lot of fireworks and fires again and music etc....

So our p-day was good and we watched the movie, Chronicles of Narnia and was cool to watch a film. I just figured out that the lion is Jesus Christ and all the other symbolism used the film.

Ok well don’t know if I’m forgetting something but that’s about it.
With love n kisses

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Everyone is Well Now...Almost

So yeah me n my comp are all good, but I never mentioned the other two were sick and one of them is still sick to this day haha.

We worked and walked a lot last week and had many people we were teaching and some were firm to go to church and I had much faith we would be successful, and I even walked all the way to their house in the morning to confirm who was going and then went there in the afternoon to get them and that’s when all the excuses come and lies etc...It’s normal in Brazil to say you’ll go to church when they really are just saying no in a polite way. So yeah we spent the whole week working in our area outside the main part of the city behind the mountain were Christ is. Meaning it was a lot of walking and even was 30min late to church because of it and happened to be conference and President Beynon came to speak at this conference, so I walked in late with no investigators, which was funny. But hey we still ended up with 5 people there that came on their own and that’s a record for my comp who’s been here for more than 3 months. 2 of these people come every week and we already taught them and at first they wanted nothing to do with baptism and two others live outside the city and the other one I tried to mark appointments with him, but he didn’t want that either, so we’ll see how things turn out this week.

Yeah it wasn’t allergies when I was bedridden, but the first week here I believe it was allergies every day. But I haven’t had them for a week so that’s been nice for me and better for me to work with. So last week I was sad to see some of my recent converts that went inactive, but got one of them excited to go back this last Sunday. The old couple I baptized are firmer than ever and will start preparation for the temple and was cool to talk to him. He didn’t recognize it was me at first. He thought I was the other missionaries and then I asked him if he remembered me and he looked at me for a bit and got excited and hugged me and that was awesome to have him remember me. So this last week was pretty good.

For p-day today I got up at 4:30 to climb up the mountain to see Christ and was worth it to see the whole city and will send pictures. Yesterday was São João and so we didn’t work after 5:30 because that’s when all the fiestas started and every house had fires going in the streets and so the streets were just filled with smoke and fireworks etc all night...I took a lot of pictures and films that I’ll have to send. We just sat outside our house watching all the fireworks etc... The 28th will be são Pedro and will do it all over again.

Don’t worry about a hump day package. I didn’t even know that existed, but could use more SD cards for my camera. If you want ideas in junk food: beef jerky, m&ms, gummy bears, mac n cheese. So that’s about it.

Brazil is doing good in the soccer tournament and we watched the game of them vs. USA last week at our lunch with President Marcos. He had it going while we ate lunch and the people are crazy. It’s not even the world cup yet, but they treat every game as if it was.

Well lots of love, have fun on vacation at the ranch.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Palmeiras Dos Indios...Brian's New Area

This is the Mac and Cheese that Brian said saved his life when he was sick. Thanks to his brother for sending it to him.
Brian shows some wear and tear and his shoes, but they are still holding up pretty good, except for the laces.
A view from the church in his new area
Elder Wellington (Brian's new comp) and Elder Roberts standing in their new house
New sleeping quarters
A statue of Christ on the hill in Palmeiras

Water, Water, Everywhere!

Water on the floor of their apartment.

This is what it looks like when it rains.

The streets look like this after it rains.
A car driving through the flooded streets.

Lots and lots of rain.
The aftermath of rain
The rain brings out little creatures.
Big worms enjoy the rain.
A view of the city