Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, this week started on a Wednesday for us because we had our P-day on Thursday.  We started teaching some less-active members and such, since we didn't really have a lot of investigators to teach during the week.  We went and visited people that are finding it difficult to come back to church.  Well, some it just seems to be too much work to come to church and for others it is holding on to old grudges over people that have offended them.  There are lots of difficulties, but we try to show them love and explain the blessing it is to go to church.  Sometimes the best we can do for them is pray for them.

I'm somewhat getting to know the area and such, but at the same time I am not worrying about it because I will only be here for four more weeks.  It feels really weird that I won't stay here any longer.  But what can I do.

This week we had a zone meeting.  It was good to see some of my friends.  I think one of the best parts about meetings and conferences is being able to see some good friends that you have made on the mission and being able to talk with them about the differences between life on the mission and life in the real world.  It's good stuff.  After that, we went to Subway.  Delicious.  Then we went to a less active member's house and helped him set up his Internet and showed him how to use a computer and explained the dangers, and the good, of the Internet and stuff like that.

Thursday at lunch we had lasagna at a member's house which was amazing.  I had to control myself not to eat too much.  Have I mentioned I have gotten fat on the mission?  I'm trying to lose weight right now, but I don't know if I will in this area.  The food is too good.  The rest of the day we didn't do much.  We visited a less-active member who finds no reason for him to go to church.  What can we do?  Just hope that his mind changes and that he comes to understand the importance of church (to feel the Spirit, to fellowship).  We taught him everything that we know but he still thinks in his ways.

Friday we helped someone else move. It's always fun to serve.

Saturday we visited a ton of people that said they would go to church but they didn't come on Sunday.  The only thing is that they won't refuse our visits.  My companion wants to try new ways of finding the people who want to hear the gospel and focus on finding them.  He doesn't want to waste time with those that aren't progressing.  I agree with him.  We only have four weeks together and we want to do the best we can in such short time.  We can't waste time.

Sunday we had a member come with us to do some contacts on the streets.  We talked to a lot and some of them seem potential so this week we may find a few to teach.  Some seemed genuinely interested so who knows what will happen.  Something good is my guess.

This week I suffered a lot of insomnia and that is always annoying.  I hope that this week I sleep better.  I hate not being able to sleep.

That's it for this week.  I am certain that we will talk on Mother's Day and it will be on Skype.  Lot's of fun.

I love you guys! Have a great week! Love,
Elder Kevin Brady

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 A DAY LATE!!

Hello Family and Friends,

This week was the last week that I had over in F*********.  After six months in that city, I got transfered to a new area.  So this last week was kind of weird.  All of our appointments fell through and we only found one family to teach.  We made some contacts before I left, but I'm not in the area anymore to find out what's going on.

So Friday and Saturday we helped a member move to a new house.  Friday, we only did a little bit of work, but on Saturday we did a ton . . . it was all the huge stuff and putting together dressers and things like that.  Here in Brazil houses usually don't have built-in closets, so they buy a bunch of stuff similar to what we Americans would find in IKEA.  We finished everything, had lunch, and then we found out that I was going to be transfered to **********.  This is on the northern part of the island of *************.  Apparently the ward has an attendance of 180 members.  That is a huge ward.  And it also has a lot of beaches which now makes my mission look exactly like Hawaii.  This is going to be difficult.  But, it does have a subway and a lot of surf shops.

My new companion is Elder F******.  He is from *****, Brazil, and he is pretty chill.  I actually did a division with him last year so I kind of knew him before.  So it is not so awkward (the transfer and everything).  I am just curious about the members and what they are like.  I won't get to know them much anyway since I will be leaving soon.  They may not even remember me.  But I will work hard.

Time is flying by fast and I am certain that this area will make it go faster since I already like it.  I hope this week will go well.  I hope the week goes well  for you guys.  I love you all.

Elder Kevin Brady

PS – About being a day late: Oh yeah about that, we had a crazy transfer schedule yesterday so I wasn't able to email.  But everything is OK. Nothing to worry about over here.

April 8, 2013

Hello Family and Friends,

Well, this week we had general conference.  I kind of understood it, but the problem is that I was never great at listening to lectures and talks and things like that.  I find that it is so much more easier for me to learn when I read. So I am really just waiting until I have the opportunity to read the Ensign. I am sure that is when I will understand conference the best.

This week not much happened.  No investigators came to church and we taught a bunch of people but some we had to let go from our teaching schedule.  I am not discouraged.  I will keep working until I can find some elites [people ready and prepared to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ].  

My mind went blank that is why I can't think of anything to write.  

One thing I won't miss from the mission is shaving.  Another is combing my hair to the side.  These are two tedious things that I have to do constantly and I have no idea why.

The food is still good at the member's homes (lunchtime).  I enjoy every lunch here.  and I enjoy pizza.

I have been hearing that North Korea is ready to attack the U.S.  is that true?

I am enjoying studying the scriptures, though right now with the limited materials we can read as missionaries it's starting to get tedious at times.  I can't wait till I get back home and use numerous materials to add to my scripture study.

Well that is it for this week.  Sorry that this email is very short.  My mind went blank.

Have a good week.

Elder Kevin Brady

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Another week on the mission has passed by and it is crazy how fast the time is flying.  I have less then two months left on the mission.  The good thing is that I am not really trunky so I am doing well with concentrating on the work.  We are working hard everyday.

Unfortunately, we are not having the greatest luck with investigators.  We only had one at our last sacrament meeting.  We did have a family that showed up to church but they had to leave just before sacrament meeting. (Here sacrament meeting is the last hour of church).   We are going to work with our investigators this week. Sadly, we may have to stop teaching some of them if they don't continue to keep their commitments.  It's kind of what our mission president wants us to do.  If they aren't progressing, stop teaching them and work with the ones that are.  It is always sad and I don't like doing it but I understand it is necessary.

Though it can sometimes be difficult with our investigators, this time I am not going to allow myself to get discouraged and lower my expectations.  That was a big mistake that I made last January and I learned from that.  Instead I am going to look forward with hope and the knowledge that I am preparing souls and planting seeds.  I do hope that in the future many of these good people will come to accept the gospel and the hope and happiness it brings to us.

So, on Friday we did that little bible study about two topics: Sabbath (when it should be) and eating pork.  By just the Portuguese Bible, they attempted to prove that the Sabbath Day should be on Saturday and that Christ actually was resurrected on Saturday and not Sunday.  After I went home I looked at the prophecy of Daniel about the Lord's death being in the "midst of the week" and realized that the Portuguese bible mistranslated it to the "mitade da semana" or the exact middle of the week, being Wednesday.  Also, they said that the scriptures about the apostles meeting on the first day of the week and "breaking bread" was just them getting together and eating and not an actual meeting of the church.  difference in interpretation.

Eating pork and the arguments that they had were only differences in interpretation.  They said that the vision of all animals being clean and able to eat, was only a metaphor that the gospel can be preached to the gentiles.  They don't look at the law of not eating pork was a metaphor in itself that the gospel could not be preached to the gentiles (at that time, of course).

Anyway, my knowledge of the Bible grew a lot after this little Bible study.  My faith in the restored gospel grew and my knowledge of the scriptures as well.  Unfortunately, the only thing that I could do in that instance was to bear my testimony of the restored gospel, and that there is a prophet on the earth today.  I pray that one day their hearts and minds will be opened to the truth.

Anyway, that was my week.  I hope your week will be great.  I love all of you.

Elder Kevin Brady

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March 25, 2013

Hi guys!

So, this week had it's ups and downs.  Unfortunately, it appears that there will be no baptism within the next three weeks (which is the end of the transfer); however, the good news is our investigators are slowly progressing.  A few have stated that they do not want any more lessons but they do still want to be friends.  That is sad, but acceptable.  I am certain in the future there will be missionaries who will come in to reap from the harvest here.  That is what President Uchtdorf stated, that we missionaries are constantly planting seeds.

Anyway, we have one family that we are working with that is a part member family.  We will actually visit them tonight and teach them about the restoration.  The father left the church many years ago but now wants to come back and the wife is interested in becoming a member.  I have high hopes for them as I do with all of my investigators.

We found another family that is from The Church of God. This church follows many of the Mosaic laws yet they have invited us to come over and hear our message.  This will be a difficult lesson since they have asked us to not use the book of mormon in our message.  This is extremely different than what we are used to and I pray that it does not just become a "Bible bashing" meeting as that only leads to contention.  We will find out what happens on Friday.

Time is flying by really fast, though I am trying to keep my mind focused on the mission.  The closer I get to coming home the more anxious I get.  I am constantly wondering what it will be like when I get back.  I am trying not to think about it though.

When it comes to shaving, no matter what I put on my face it still itches and burns and I get a bunch of zits all over my face.  I am even using some stuff to get rid of the zits and it is not working.  I really think that I am "allergic" to shaving.  It is really getting on my nerves how annoying shaving is.  
Anyway that was my week.  

I love you guys have a great week.

Elder Kevin Brady

March 18, 2013

Hey family and friends,

Well another week has gone by on the mission.  Today I just got an email with my plane ticket and everything.  Or something like that.  Maybe it's just information.  Anyway, it says that I will arrive in Portland at 11:59 AM on the 22nd of may and that I will be traveling for 15 hours and 14 minutes.  [A long ride!]  So that is the exciting news of this week.  Other than that, it is just a week filled with normal missionary stuff.

We did a few contacts this week and we are trying to find people to teach.  Some of them look like they have potential but others don't have any interest in what we have to teach.  But my companion doesn't give up.  That is a good thing that I am learning from him.  We have just got to go and do all that we can and never quit.

On Thursday we had a conference with the member of the Seventy and that was great to see all of my good friends in the mission field.  The member of the seventy said a lot of stuff that was helpful for us on the mission and gave us things to apply in our lives.  Some were tips on making contacts and finding references.  My companion and I tried a few. They haven't worked yet but maybe with other people we will have different results.

We had a new mission leader called in the ward.  Many members are excited, saying that this guy is a guy that works hard.  We set up a meeting with him on Thursday so he is ready to get started.

Our investigators are excited to learn about the gospel, but it is difficult to reach them since they all work a lot and also they live far from the church.  The people that live closer to the church aren't really interested. but we hope for them. so we work with the people that are accepting our messages.  We can't just stay at the place where no one will accept us.  Our job is to find those who will accept our message and then teach them.  But I also know that somewhere in the difficult areas there is someone that does want to hear our message.  For this reason, we must go to all areas of the mission.  Wow, that was confusing.

Anyway.  I hope that this week will be better.  I love you guys.  Have a good week.

Elder Kevin Brady

PS From Kevin
Monday March 18, 2013

P.S.  J****** is going to Teresina?!  That is the hottest place in Brazil.  Good luck to him.  Also, it will foil the plans that B****** and I had. We were looking forward to the fact that our families will not be able to understand what we are saying once we get home from our missions.  I guess we inevitably have to let J*** join us.  I'll see what B*** thinks.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

March 11, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

I am always glad to hear that everything is going well back at home.  And yes I enjoy all of your letters, both emails and handwritten.  It's interesting to hear about the different weeks that people can have while all living in the same house.

This week was crazy.  Tuesday we had to get up early to go to Florianopolis to pick up my new companion Elder C*****.  Then we went back and had lunch, all three of us.  We then returned again to F**** because Elder A****** had a meeting for those who will train. We got back at 7:30 PM and then headed over to a recent converts house.  We got home late.  

Wednesday, we didn't have much going on. The only thing different was that it was three of us doing everything instead of two of us.  I am trying to recall exactly what it was, but it wasn't much.  We had to go to the store to get more detergent and stuff.  

Thursday we had to go to Florianopolis in the morning because Elder A****** had a leadership training meeting.  Elder C***** and I went back home to have lunch and then we went back to Florianopolis to pick up Elder A******.  As we were waiting, I saw my old companion Elder F******.  He is leaving tomorrow and we caught up and talked about crazy mission stories and how we will hang out most likely after the mission.  I also saw Elder B*******.  We talked as well and caught up.  It was good to see them again.  Then we went home.

Friday we went back to Florianopolis in the morning to drop off Elder A***** so he could catch his bus.  He had to go to the other side of the state.  We then went home and started to live a normal missionary life of just two in a companionship rather than three.  Later, we went to k**** to see the wedding of some of our investigators.  We then had a Burger King and sea food wedding dinner.  I did not eat any of the sea food and I am glad I didn't because my companion ended up having diarrhea and threw up.  And people ask why I don't eat sea food...

So, it has been a very hectic week and not exactly productive but that is sometimes part of missionary's life.  Sometimes there are just fast paced weeks of nothing.  I am not complaining or anything.  I thought it was fun to see all my friends again.  Good times.

This week we will have a conference with President ******** (or something like that) who is in the presidency of the area of Brazil.  I think the second quorum of the seventy.  He will come over and talk to us.  Not exactly sure about what but it will be exactly what our mission needs to hear.  I am sure it will help a lot.  I am excited to hear what he has to say.

The work is progressing here in ******** and will continue to progress.  We plan on marking some baptismal dates with investigators for this month.  I feel that we have found three investigators who really want to learn more about the gospel.  We will work hard with them.

Thank you all for your letters and support.  I love you all very much.  Have a great week.

Elder Kevin Brady