Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 12, 2011

Dear Family,

I have some good news and some bad news.  The bad news is that I will not be calling you guys this Christmas.  The good news is that I will be skyping you guys this Christmas with the video.  The first presidency has just authorized it.  So get ready to not only talk to me but to see me too.  So that will be lots of fun.  I need to talk to the president to see if I can talk to Michelle as well.  So what I need right now is all of your skyping information so that I can find it on skype to be able to talk to you guys.  

OK so someone asked me what my favorite Brazilian food is.  That is hard for me to narrow down, but for sure it is not dessert.  I do like pastels, and I also like rice and beans, only don't try to make those things for me at home because they are only good if they are done right.  Because if not, they will be extremely bland and just awful.  I also like the churrascos here, because meat is awesome.  Then again, the ice cream is good since they use flavors of the different fruits they have here.  The best drink here in Brazil is Guaraná, all types. (and it has to be the soda, because the juice is extremely sweet).

So my companion is gone and I went with Elder ******* up in Pato Branco (white duck) for 4 days and then came back to Chapecó with my permanent companion,  Elder ******.

Pato Branco was cool since it was my shortest transfer.  And I was in the same house as one of the missionaries I came from the CTM with, Elder ******.  It was good to see him again.

Yeah, so this week there was not much of seeing or teaching investigators since this whole week was just getting Elder ******* ready to go, and me going back and forth to different cities.

The culture is very much different here in Brazil and I am noticing some differences.  For instance with movies, ratings seem to be disregarded by everyone.  I at first was surprised until I noticed how stupid some of ratings are here.  For instance, the animated movie Megamind with Will Ferrell is a family movie rated PG (I am certain), well, I found here that the movie is rated 16 (equivalent to R-ratings).  So, if I grew up in Brazil I might disregard ratings here as well.  Pretty much everyone here watches whatever movie they want to.

Well I am running out of ideas of things to talk about, so I guess this is where the letter ends.  Sorry I haven't said a lot, it has been a hectic week with a lot of changes and I don't even know what I am saying.

Love you all, can't wait to skype.
Elder Kevin Brady.

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 5, 2011

Hello, once again Family and Friends,

Another week has gone by. Is it just me or are the weeks getting faster and faster? I love it here in Brazil. I enjoy serving this mission a lot and I love to receive all of your letters. If you have sent a letter recently, I should be receiving it on Wednesday. Unfortunately, I did not receive information last week about the Christmas phone call, but there will be a zone meeting this week, so I am sure that I will receive it then. I am glad to hear that Henry loves me so much that he remembers me in his prayers. At least one person understands how awesome I am.

So this week is going to pretty much be a bit of saying goodbye to our families since Elder ***( is leaving. On Saturday, we had lunch at an investigators house (lunch in Brazil is like dinner in America if you base it on the amount of food served). We also talked about music with them and we shared our different interests in the kind of music that we like. I look at it as a good way to show the investigators that we are normal people instead of two guys that come in to teach, baptize, and leave. Some on the other hand would not ever do what we did, so it all comes down to how one looks at it. But I must admit that after that whole encounter, my desire to learn guitar has increased tenfold. And yes, we did give them a gospel message as well and exhorted them to continue reading the scriptures and praying and to come to church.

Thank you for the cream cheese frosting recipe, though I don't know how much it makes so I won't worry too much about cutting it in half. For now at least. But now I can make cinnamon rolls for investigators (hopefully they like them). You should send a cookie recipe too, like chocolate chips or peanut butter, or snicker-doodles, or no bakes, or shortbread, or something. But this will be great for now.

It's good to hear that Erica is sharing the gospel with her friends and that you all are enjoying telling others about the gospel. How much better it would if people would learn about the church from LDS members themselves, rather than from anti-Mormons and the rumors and lies they tell.

We have been teaching some new families this week and a lot of people are having a hard time accepting the resurrection. Some say that it is hard to comprehend that there will be more eternal life after the Spirit world. So we left them with some scriptures about the resurrection, from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and hopefully they will pray and open their hearts and mind to be able to accept that the Resurrection is for all the people in the world. We also taught a family where the father argued just to argue. That just about slaughtered my companions patience.

I have my camera in the computer finally and it is loading the pictures. We moved this week and my companion and I had to ride in the back of the moving van with all the things we brought to the new house. We got that ride on my camera too and it was fun. We almost died. I don't know if this loading (of my pictures) will finish soon enough. But the house that we now live in is very small and very blue. Even the keys we are using are blue. It's a little odd.

Christmas in the summer time will be awesome. They are preparing for it here in the city, and there are decorations all over the place. They have a plastic Santa sunbathing in the middle of the street. They are Christmas fanatics down here. I love it!

Well that just about wraps everything up. We are going to go celebrate my companion's last P-day [preparation day], so today should be lots of fun. I love you guys and hope to hear from you all again soon.


Elder Kevin Brady

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November 28, 2011

Dear Family,

I am very happy to serve a mission! I´m reading the Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball, and I am learning a lot from the first two chapters (it's also in Portuguese), so hopefully I get both the blessings of understanding the Atonement and language when I am done. I will also get information this week via E-mail from the mission president about Christmas (so, in other words, I will tell you what is going on not this week, but next week). Oh by the way each pair of missionaries gets to choose two movies to watch during Christmas weekend, and we will have a list to choose from; so, that will be fun. My companion said that last year, Lord of the Rings was on the list, and he lived with three other missionaries in his house so they all three chose Lord of the Rings and watched that for Christmas. Lucky. Thanks for the money because it is needed. Once I pay [for a medical procedure], I will be reimbursed.

OK, so this is what has been going on so far in our area: We are teaching five great families who are reading the Book of Mormon, hearing the lessons, and gaining a testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon, and are loving it and everything. Here is what is holding them back from completely progressing: They are not going to church. Almost all of them would make the decision in seconds to be baptized, if they would only go to church. It can be so frustrating at times, especially since they know that the Book of Mormon is true. That means that the Church is true as well! But I can not force them and that is probably one of the first greatest gifts and blessings that Heavenly Father has given us: Agency. They must choose for themselves and be influenced by the Spirit to come unto Christ, because force will never cause happiness.

One of our investigators is a mason, so that would be cool if he were baptized. Also, his kids (who are now almost in their thirties) are extremely well mannered. Like, extremely well. They treat all guests like royalty and always make sure that they are not hungry or thirsty. That is how I want to raise my kids: that all guests are royalty.

I did not have McDonald´s because the McChicken (which is one dollar in Oregon) is R$ 6.00 over here. And as of now, I don´t have much money so I don't plan on buying much of anything at the moment. Things that are from America are expensive here. For instance, R$ 2.00 for Jellybeans and you get like 7. So I will wait.

My companion has bought a bunch of perfume and lotion from Brazil for his family back at home and some flip-flops as well. I don't have to worry about that for now, but I did find a cologne here, that was made in Brazil, called Seduction and I wanted that, but I thought maybe I should wait until my mission is almost over. It smells good though. Kind of a little like passion fruit. But the name is what caught my eye the most.

Oh yeah, I kind of wanted to know if you could send the ingredients for the frosting for the cinnamon rolls (the cream cheese kind), because I don't know where to find that here in Brazil.

Tell Katrina that I just got her letter which she thought I would get in January and that I did appreciate it a lot and will write them all back today. Henry and Charlotte are growing up so fast.

It is getting more and more like summer here (which is weird since the central here is covered in Christmas decorations) and I am getting a tan. But first off, they do believe in Santa Claus and he is all the same except he wears one of those tropical shirts and swim shorts as well as the classic clothing. And yes, I do have a tan, and I will prove it with some pictures later. I will even take a picture of the watch tan line, which is very severe. I have a problem with wearing sunscreen most days and so my nose gets a little burnt at times and starts peeling, but I am trying to do a little better with that.

That about wraps it up for me. I enjoy your E-mails and I love it when I hear from my whole family. But I think that my parents just love me the most in the family. So they will get nice souvenirs.

Love you all and keep writing and striving in the Gospel. The most important part of being converted is enduring to the end, and helping others to come unto Christ.

Elder Kevin Brady

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 21, 2011

Hello Family,

This week was good. The president already knows about the problems of the other Elder so there is not much to do about it. We did sing to our investigators and they enjoyed it. I enjoyed singing to them. Oh yes and question, I need to know how much is on the debit card (well it won´t matter much really since I need it this week) but I need to pay about $150 to a foot doctor because I had an ingrown toenail and I will get a reimbursement after I pay the price. So that is lots of fun. I actually had four ingrown toenails this month. Yeah, it kind of hurt. Yes I do have my card. I just don't know how much is on it.

We have someone that is committed to a baptismal date. He is eight years-old and his older brother is a member, so now we are preparing them both so that his brother can baptize him. Their mom is not a member but she doesn't care what church they go to. But hopefully over time she will join the church as well.

The other investigators are always busy, though this week me and my companion look at it as a blessing that none of our investigators were at sacrament meeting since practically apostasy was being preached over the pulpit. The speaker was giving a talk about missionary work and some how that related to him stating he was beautiful five times and that God wants the Lamanites to be homeless. That is what he said: "The other day I saw a Lamanite at the park who was sleeping and homeless. God wants that." ...???... (FYI – We don't belive God wants that!!) So we just decided to work at the investigators coming next Sunday.

Today we are going to the "Shopping" which in English is mall, and that will be exciting. I am not sure what we will do there, all I know is that it is the first mall in Chapecó. And it has McDonald´s.

I have found a few General Conference Liahonas and I have been reading those lately and I enjoy them a lot. Reading the words of the prophets give deep insight on how we should improve and live our lives. And by heeding the words of the prophet we can return to the presence of our Father and our Redeemer.

I love this gospel and I know that it is true. I am truly grateful for Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, who died for our sins. I am also grateful for the Love of our Heavenly Father and how he continues to love us even when, at times, we throw it back in his face. I love all of you and I know that this church is true.

Elder Kevin Brady

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 14, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

I got my Christmas package and the four letters that you sent to me, including the first “three days of Christmas.” Unfortunately, I was not patient and I opened them all immediately, so I now have everything. The good thing is that the gift will last because I received 4 jars of Peanut Butter! Thank you so much! I never thought that peanut butter would make the best Christmas gift ever, but it does. Also the maple flavoring and root beer concentrate is awesome (I didn´t know there was such a thing as root beer concentrate).

I am glad to hear Tessa is doing great and thanks for the advice. I'll be sure to try it. Emily threw up, that is no fun. I remember that throw-up always came out of my nose so hopefully that didn't happen to her.

Tessa's wedding pictures are great! I wish I had been there; but at the same time, I am glad I wasn't because you guys sent me a lot of those pictures and I am certain that it wasn't even half of what was actually taken. I don't have the patience for going through a picture session. But I did like the colors. I am guessing red and black [note: Kevin is color blind], but whatever they were it looked very classy! All of the colors have been great for each of my sisters' weddings, but I might go with pink and purple for my wedding. Maybe yellow too.

This week was good. We had two investigators come to church yesterday so that was exciting and they enjoyed it. Afterwards, my companion told me that the husband kept telling him that I sang good, so we might give a lesson to the family and sing a song to them. My companion had a good idea to get words to some Christmas songs and sing them to some investigators here, since they don´t really have Christmas songs here in Brazil. At first I was like, "But it doesn't snow in Brazil" and my companion said "It doesn't matter, the songs are in English. They won´t understand!" So, that was a good point.

I sent letters to you guys earlier this week and hopefully they will get there soon. The strike is over at the post office in Floripa so we don´t have to worry about that. Oh, yeah, I was wondering if you guys could send me a bunch of recipes for cinnamon rolls and cookies and other things, because I think it would be a good Idea to make them and give them to investigators. Just send all types of recipes and I will find out if they have the things here in Brazil or not. Actually Elder V*****I, who is a missionary that lives in the same house as us, is going to help me make the cookies from the back of the Reese´s peanut butter chip package you guys sent me. We just need chocolate powder or something like that and then we can make it.

We have a missionary in our apartment who, every night, gets worried about some "demon" that is outside, and he runs around the house closing the windows and doors, and he seems paranoid about every single thing. I don't think I could be his companion because I might laugh at the situation and he would freak out on me. My companion is saying that he is just creepy but I am amused because I have seen a lot creepier. To me it's just funny. I don't think I could handle having a child like him because I could never take him seriously.

Well, it is great to hear from you all. Tell me the play Tessa has been in and what musical she will be doing next term. And no, you guys did not tell me about Erica and Emily being in the Christmas Carol.

I love all of you and have a very great week. You are all in my prayers.

Elder Kevin Brady

P.S. Tell Elder Craft that I have lost "The Game."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 7, 2011


I felt like starting my e-mail like Elder Turner. That is so weird that he is almost done when I have just started. I've got 19 months to go.

It is very comforting to hear that you still eat meat. I´ll miss those family get togethers during Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don´t even know if they celebrate Thanksgiving in Brazil. I know it's an American holiday but other countries have adopted it because I think they saw it as an excuse to eat more food. So maybe Brazil adopted it too. Who knows. Apparently every Christmas they have a Missionary Conference so that will be how I will celebrate that awesome day. I don't know if we go prosyliting on Christmas. I for one would not want two missionaries knocking on my door during Christmas, but that's just me. (Joking) Good to hear Halloween went awesome. Save the Reese´s for me. (Not Joking).

All right, so this week I escaped from Alcatraz, and I am now in Paridise. It is very warm heat here in Chapecó, and the most rain that we have had was the smallest sprinkle one can imagine. The rest of the days we have nice sunny weather. I am sorry that I have been awful with the pictures, but I do promise that next week, I will bring my camera. You guys can see my awesome farmers tan. Chapecó would probably be considered the cowboy city of Santa Cantarina. That is why it is so awesome. Out of the three cities I have served in, this one is the best.

My new companion, Elder V************** is great and the contrast between him and my previous companion is night and day. Elder F***** was constantly moving and walking, going from place to place. I don´t think he ever got tired, and Elder V** will sit down and take a break for a few minutes to rest. Some may see that as lazy, but we got three new investigators from it so I am not complaining. Elder V** pushes me in lessons to teach simple things, and that is pretty much where I get my language practice in. I guess that I should talk more at members homes, but I don´t know what to say since I have never been a talkative person. But it is no different than before since everyone sounded like they were speaking a different language before the mission, too.

Today was good. We went to the other mission apartment with other elders and we played Phase Ten. So now I am actually making friends on the mission which did not really happen before except with Elder T******.

These last few days I have been having a bit of insomnia, but last night I passed out, so that felt nice. I think the insomnia only happened because I am in a different place, so I don´t think it will last much longer.

No the package has not come yet. I may get it this week since my companion will go off to Floripa with the other Zone leader to get mail for the Zone conference this week. But I do not expect it until much later since we are in different countries. But I do have lots to talk about. It says in the handbook that we cannot talk more than 40 minutes unless the mission president allows more, because they don't want us to cause a money burden for you guys. But if you are fine with more, say it, and I can ask the mission president.

Investigators here are awesome. They are all reading the Book of Mormon and taking the lessons; the only thing they need is to actually come to church. That will help them a lot to progress.

Well, not much more time to write anything. I love you guys, and I look forward to the next e-mail. I still have trouble focusing, but that is something that I have to work at.

Elder Brady.

P.S. I had a dream that I was a little pig on a farm! Oink! Oink! Oink! (Harry Potter Puppet Pals - The Vortex)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October 31, 2011

Dear family and friends,

OK, many questions, but I will tell you guys that last week it was the other missionaries that had the transfer, and we had to go with them because there was a time that Elder *************** did not have a companion. An Emergency Transfer is when the Missionary President makes a random transfer, that is in the middle of a transfer cycle (so, not normally when people are transferred), and they usually have about two or three hours to pack and leave. I am not sure though why anyone would say that missionaries dread to hear those words. I would have been happy to hear them these first three months...

But that doesn´t matter now because on Wednesday, I leave for Chacepou, which is on the opposite side of our mission--about an 11 hour bus ride, but I think I might be taking a plane there. Not sure. My new companion will be Elder ******* who is a Zone leader there. I think that he is an American, judging from how the Americans say it differently than the Brazilians. I told everything that has been going on to the A.P.s and they promised that I will have a very good companion, and I have also heard that this guy is awesome. So I can´t wait.

This week we did not really do much because we moved to a different apartment, and that took up all of Wednesday; and then we spent time the other days preparing for a ward activity. The ward activity was pretty fun; I played some ping-pong with some of the members. I talked with a few, and I practiced my Portuguese.

I will miss the food and members here. But I also heard that the food is good at Chacepou, and that they have many Grills there. I think that we drink only two types of sodas as missionaries now: Guaraná and Coke-Cola. very rarely do we get others--like I think I had Pepsi once. We get juice a lot. At times, it's like actual juice, but I am not a fan of that because they make it really thick. Lots of rice of beans. And meat. I am sure that when I come back to Oregon I will be upset because of the lack of meat. And if you guys are vegetarian or something when I come back, I will live with some other family. I don't think anyone could be allowed to be a vegetarian here in Brazil. I never really liked it when people would tell me that there will be no meat during the millennium. They would say, "It says in the scriptures that the animals will live with the humans in harmony." OK, so the animals will give themselves up peacefully. That is fine with me.

I'm tired. I have been the first person up this last week. Everyone else is now slower than me to get up. That is not normal. I am kind of worried about this. I'm also the first to go to bed. But that doesn't mean at all that I can focus on anything, though.

This will be my second transfer on the mission, and my third Zone. This is odd for a missionary. Generally missionaries stay in the same zone for many months. If this keeps up I may meet almost every missionary in my mission.

I've run out of ideas, and now I have to write to the president. I hope everything goes well for you.

Elder Kevin Brady

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October 24, 2011

Hello Family and Friends,

It is great to hear from everybody and to feel all of your support. First off, to answer a couple of your questions. The only Elder ****** that is in my mission, (who was also in my district at the CTM) was from Idaho. So if his family moved sometime in their lives, either from or to Oregon, than yes I do know that Elder *****. I´m not sure how to spell it either.

Anyway, thank you for the Christmas gifts, and I hope that the package will come soon. I seriously hope that it will arrive shortly. Thanks so much for the letters as well. Yesterday I had a really great lunch. The members are a little rich so they had plenty of steak and sausages that they cooked like they cooked at the restaurant Brazil Grill, because all grills here are like that. I love meat. I also love chips. Chips are great. That is one thing that I give Brazil a handshake for because nobody can live with out chips. I´d rather have chips for desert than Strawberries. The language is coming and the President told me that it will come and I need to be patient, and that I will eventually have fluency.

My least favorite thing to do on my mission is make contacts. I know that if I do, I will be blessed. And even though I know that the people will never see me again, it is terrifying beyond belief. I try to avoid it as much as possible unless I am on exchanges with another Elder, and then it is somehow much easier. Like when I went with another missionary we took turns. That was very fun, but with Elder *****, he takes all the easy ones and so I, who am still learning the language, have to go completely out of my way to find a contact. it is frustrating. But, whatever. I guess I should make some contacts, since the Lord wants me too. My companion has been saying that I will pretty much go to “you know where” if I don´t. I´ve tried to explain to him before that I have a fear and he said "Oh, but you don´t have a fear of video games?" Yes, because those things are completely related. Sometimes I want to know what is going on inside his head.

For instance we were going to visit a family and they said to come back in about ten minutes and so we called some people and then returned. But when we came back to the house, Elder ****** didn´t clap his hands (we clap outside gates instead of knock on doors in Brazil), instead he tried to call, and they didn´t answer. What are you thinking Elder? You clap, they said come, some people don´t like to answer phones. Maybe these sorts of things work if you are a missionary for the church of what´s happening now, but for The Church of Jesus Christ we do things differently.

Oh, and I hope that next week I can see the pictures of Michelle´s family because I wasn't able to see them this week.

Well I love you guys and I am so glad to hear from you. Monday´s are my favorite days too, but today there was an emergency transfer so I had to be in Florianopolis all day until now. Keep sending letters. I have gotten 4 letters so far out here in the field. Maybe three.

Love you,
Elder Kevin Brady

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October 17, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

This last week was really tough for my companion and me.  Our appointments have been continually falling through because nobody wants to hear from us.  We did have an improvement Sunday; we had an investigator come to church, so that was good.  We gave out three or four copies of the Book of Mormon (I don´t remember exactly), and that was exciting.

So, focusing on anything is extremely hard, as always, and I probably would do a better job at understanding people if I was able to focus.  It also does not help when my companion speaks in English to me.  My companion is wanting to learn English more than he wants to train me to learn Portuguese.  I really don't know right now if it is him that is training me or it is me that is training him.

So the letters are all coming in about two months late because of this unfortunate strike.  I dislike strikes.  They annoy the patience out of me.  I don't understand why people can't just pay the workers a little more, or the workers stop complaining and just find another job if they don't like the one they have.  People need to get over themselves.  I'll pay them more, I don't care, I just want my mail. In less than a month please.  So yes, be sure to tell Melly that I just got the letter and I did give a sigh.  (it was right after I opened it).

Hey, you guys should send some pictures of the family on the E-mail; and friends too, so I can see how you guys are doing.

Yesterday was day light savings in Brazil and my companion forgot so we arrived an hour late to church with our investigator.  The other day I gave my companion the suggestion that with his companion, he should say something that his companion did good and something that he could improve on.  Right after I said that he said, "I tried before to tell you things that you need to improve on but you wouldn't listen."  OK, so the say something nice part went completely over his head.  Then yesterday he wanted to fulfill that suggestion ( I had to remind him about the say something good part), and I think that it was the first time in his life he told someone something they did good. Like, I was watching him struggle to figure out something to say. I swear, sometimes I worry about people.  But what can I do.

Elder Holland said that I need to put the most effort on my mission than anything else I have ever done, like a sport, or some other activity, such as a play or choir song.  Well I can tell Elder Holland I did just that when I finish this mission. I have already put a lot of effort into it, because before, if something was hard, I gave up.  This is the toughest thing I have ever done.  Therefore, I am putting more effort into it than anything else I have ever done before.

I love you guys and love to hear from you.  Keep sending letters please so that I can have a good time reading them two months from now.  After the mission I am pretty sure we need to get me checked out because my concentration is awful.

Love, Elder Kevin Brady

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 10, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

In the letter you recently wrote, I noticed what you said about the secret to success on a mission being to follow the rules and love the people. I completely agree. What I have been having trouble with recently is motivation. My whole life, before my mission, I didn't care about the Church. I knew it was true and everything and I never denied that, I just didn't care. I wondered briefly if I would go to hell or be miserable, and then I would be like, "Whatever, give me a reason I should care." But when I got to the CTM, it was almost like I was hit by a ton of bricks made out of the Spirit. And it eventually came down to either I gain a testimony or go home. Obviously, I made the good choice. I remember when Dad set me apart as a missionary that he said, “The truth will be written in my heart.” Let me tell you, they were carved into my heart.

I recently have been thinking, "Well, what can I use as motivation?" or "What has been motivating me all this time to do well on this mission?" I continued to ponder on these questions, until finally it hit me: Eternal Families. Before my mission I didn't care about family. Now, I would be devastated if I or any of my family would not be able to be with me for the rest of eternity. And I know, that if I do not give all that I can give on my mission, I would be ashamed to enter into the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to be judged according to my works. That is why I must give all that I can give on my mission and obey the rules and love the people.

Anyway, this week my companion and I gave out three copies of the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was strong in all of those lessons about the restoration. Hopefully the people we teach will continue to have a desire to learn more about the gospel. We taught another lady named S***** about the restoration and she cried as we taught her about the First Vision. The spirit was very strong at that moment. My companion then explained that we have evidence that these things are true and that she can pray about this book, and as I was reaching into my backpack to get the Book of Mormon, I realized that I had forgotten it at the house. I think my companion pooped his pants about ten times after the lesson. He was pretty upset. But I did learn a lesson that day, and I will never leave the house to go proselyting without checking to make sure that I have a Book of Mormon in my backpack.

I have to admit that Elder F**** (my companion) reminds me a lot of Tessa before high school. He gets upset at the smallest, smallest mistake and acts as if I have committed adultery or murder. And it's only me he gets upset at. I'm glad though because now Tessa is probably one of the most chilled person that I have ever met after BYU-Hawaii. I can't even imagine her getting upset really. Michelle, since serving her mission, is also a lot more laid back. Katrina has stayed the same; and I mean that in a good way.

It still hasn't hit me that I am in Brazil. It feels a lot like Hawaii. The language also hasn't hit me since I have a hard time paying attention to people. (I had that problem before my mission, too.) Contacting is very scary for me since one of my biggest fears, possibly my greatest fear, is talking to people I don't know unless they say something first. I hate it. It is probably the worst part of the mission. No, I lie. Dessert is. I've been used to not eating dessert at home. Since I didn't like sugar, I pretty much never ate dessert; and you guys didn't care if I didn't eat the dessert because it meant there was more dessert for you. Now I have to train myself to not eat all I can at dinner and save room for dessert. And at times they give us strawberries which is the demon of all dessert so it is a very good thing that I can use my acting skills because I hate strawberries. The scriptures say that the Lord did not make anything bad or miserable on the earth, so, I rest my case.

Oh and the workers at the post office here are on strike so the letters are going really slow. I just got some letters which were mailed in August. So keep sending letters. I would love to get them two months from now. I still need to figure out when I can send some back to you guys.

Elder Brady

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October 3, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

The cyst is fine, I don´t really feel it during the day but at night I kind of get some pain.

I have only had one companion this whole time and that would be Elder *****. He will be my companion until after the first week of November. The other missionaries that we are living with are pretty cool. We go on splits so often that it feels like Elder **** is practically my second companion. He is pretty cool, but he at times likes to play video games at some of the investigators houses; so I have been doing my best at trying not to fall into temptations like that. He thinks that it's fine to play video games, and so he does it. He looks at it as a way to fellowship investigators and show that we (missionaries) are normal people (he is Brazilian by the way), but my trainer told me to not play games. One of the Christlike attributes is humility, and so we/I must listen to our leaders, as they are called of God.

This week, nothing really happened. We just did a bunch of walking and some contacting but that was about it. Most of the excitement that I had this week was studying and making pancakes one day.

Studying has really bumped up on my list to the awesome spot since I feel like I am actually doing something. I kind of go all over the place with studying. One day I am studying in the Bible and then I am studying in Preach My Gospel and even that is all over the place. Right now I am in Exodus in the Bible and I am learning how retarded the children of Israel were when they were freed from Egypt. They were constantly murmuring. It´s a very good thing that I am learning to be more like Christ because as for me, if I had been the one freeing the children of Israel, I would have put them right back in Egypt, since they kept saying it would have been better for them. But of course, the Lord is divinely merciful and continually shows his love for them and for all of us. I need to work on charity a bit more I guess.

I made pancakes and I thought they turned out good but Elder **** said that I used too many eggs. Maybe I did, but I didn´t really care. It was the first pancake I had eaten in at least 6 months so I was happy. And with the vanilla syrup smothered all over it, it was very good! Syrup is extremely easy to make. 1 cup of water, 2 cups of sugar, pinch of salt, heat to a boil and stop it, add vanilla or maple flavoring and you now have a pint of syrup. They don't have maple here. or peanut butter. Or reese´s. Or life. They just are not living properly.

General conference was just in Portuguese except the middle part which was in English ( the part between the sessions). The more I concentrated on the talks, the more difficult it got, until I couldn't concentrate any more. The middle part was good though, and I liked it when they played the Mormon messages where they took clips of previous talks in general conference and made a video with the talk going on in the background. They are really cool. If you haven't seen them, go to them now and watch them. Elder Holland's are the best in my opinion. I can't wait for the English Liahona (or ensign).

I have got to say one thing about prayers though. I think Thomas S. Monson said something about prayers yesterday too, though I am not quite sure. Anyway, during the week I lost my manual which had important things in it, and I could not find it. I looked practically everywhere. I then prayed that Heavenly Father could help me to find it, and I decided to check my room. I walked in there and in the middle of my bed in plain sight, was my manual. Please note I didn't check there earlier. So I gained a testimony that God is wanting to help us; all we need to do is ask. He will answer our prayers, even if it is to show us how dumb we are; and then we will be able to be even more humble unto Him.

I am glad I made a choice to go on a mission. I am learning new things everyday even if I don't realize it until much later. I love all of you guys and I hope all of you continue to live strong in the gospel so that we can all return to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and live with each other forever.


Elder Kevin Brady

Monday, October 3, 2011

September 26, 2011

Dear family and friends,

Lots of letters, and lots of questions to answer. It was great to hear from everybody. It sounds like everyone is doing great back at home. I guess that me and Dad may have it the toughest, maybe Dad even more; same with Drew, Gordon, and Dan, but of course that is what comes with the responsibility of being a man and having the priesthood. The men must provide. Dad has to provide for the stake as well as our family, my brothers-in-law must provide for their families, and I must provide the gospel for the people in Santa Catarina. The responsibility of the women is to care for everyone in the family and prepare great sons and daughters of God. This is what I just recently learned in Preach My Gospel and study with my companion.

Tell people that I have been receiving their letters and that I will return any letters I receive. My address is on the blog if people want to write to me. Otherwise, please send an email! I love to hear from people back home.

OK, now to start off with me, I have some sort of cyst, caused by some sort of unknown infection, growing on me [details edited]. The pain started Thursday, the bump started Saturday, and it burst today before I started writing this E-mail. I talked to the Sister who is in charge of medical today about it and she said that I will probably have to get it checked out in a mini-hospital here. So it hurts to walk, sit, sleep, and at times to stand, so it is really no fun. Fortunately after it burst, some of the pain went away.

We taught an investigator on Friday, the first and pretty much only time this week, the first lesson. I taught the lesson about the Restoration for the first time. I felt pretty good about it and felt the Spirit. During the lesson, the investigator had to go to the bathroom, and I asked my companion how he thought it went, and he said "Mais ou menos. Você pode melhorar, mas não foi bom." You can google translate that sentence on your own. All I can say is that it was not the best confidence boost a senior companion can give after the first time a missionary gives a lesson. Five more weeks, and I will have a new companion. I learned one of the Christlike attributes is hope and to look to the future with a positive attitude.

The new Elder that is living in our house with us is Elder ***** or something like that. He´s American, that's all I know. He has been in the mission for ten months and he speaks pretty good Portuguese and he only speaks to me in Portuguese unless for he needs to clarify something for me. He also tries to keep me involved in some of the conversations, whereas before I didn't really pay attention because I have never really paid attention to conversations my whole life.

Focusing on what is going on is still a struggle, and might be my whole mission, so hopefully I will be able to focus during General Conference (which is only in Portuguese) and understand what they are saying. I have no idea if I will be able to receive the Liahona or not so, if you can, send that to me please.

There are lot's of cultural differences here but I can't tell you since I haven't really focused on them. I know right now that they exist, but I don't remember what.

I would like, if possible, for Christmas: Peanut Butter, Reese's, Syrup (they don't have maple here), Root Beer, your love, and anything else that you think would be awesome. Just don't send any books or anything like that, because I won´t be able to read it till I get home. I will think of some other things to ask for next week.

By the way, I won't speak Portuguese to you guys until I come back home, because I want it to be a surprise. I will only quote in Portuguese. That's about it.

I love all of you guys and hope to hear from you more. You are all awesome and great examples to me. Send more letters if you can, and I will try to write back and answer your questions whenever I am able. Love you.
Love Elder Kevin Brady.

P.S. Dad, it is "Como vai?" Como vi você is "as I saw you." It´s kind of weird for you to say that.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

September 19, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

Alright so you all had lots of questions, but I have very little time to answer them. First of all, I apologize to Michelle for forgetting to tell you that – yes, I did get the letters from you, but I wasn´t exactly sure how to respond. Do I send back a normal letter, or is there something I do with "Dear Elder"? I do appreciate them; and I appreciate all of the letters that I receive, but it is harder in this area to send back hand written letters because the post office is downtown and that is out of our area. So I did send a letter to the family today, but this will be the only one for awhile. Please keep sending your letters [handwritten and email], though.

The night before yesterday, I threw up at one o'clock in the morning and all day yesterday I was sick and had a fever and that was no fun. Oh, and my companion was skeptical at first. But I guess that that whole scenario was just to test my patience and it was really tough. Once you start working on the Christlike attributes, you come to realize just about how much we fail in life and how far from perfect we are.

This area is tough; I´m guessing probably one of the toughest in the mission. The reason I think that way is because at the zone meeting that we had this past week (yes two weeks in a row for some reason, and this week we have a district meeting), one of the APs came to me and asked me how everything about my area was, and I mentioned that this town was a little more difficult than Criciuma; he then gave me a really apologetic look and said that he knew and he was really sorry and if there was anything I needed, I could call him any day. So yeah, this area is tough, and with this new program, it is also tough to fulfill all of our missionary requirements because it is practically impossible to get into anyone´s houses.

Focusing is still extremely hard for me, so that is tough. I could probably understand people better if I knew what they were saying.

I feel bad for the first counselor of the branch presidency here because his wife is becoming less active. That must be pretty tough for him because he is trying his best to help his ward to be better and everything.

I decided not to send any pictures this week because I only took two, and one is of the moon; so I decided that would be a waste of time to load up a picture of a moon especially since it didn´t even come out good because the quality is really low. I want to take more, but I don´t know of what. I´m not used to using a camera.

Conference is coming up shortly; I saw a little flyer for that at the church. I hope that it will be possible to listen to it in English instead of Portuguese because I don´t want to sit there for 5 hours not knowing what the general authorities are saying.

Oh, my companion wants to know if you can send him a quad in English that is a little bigger than mine and is green with out the flap thing. He said he will pay you back though I don´t know how. You don´t have to though because that would just be tough.

The language is coming along, and I remember that I received a blessing in the CTM from my companion that I will learn the language. So this is where the Faith, Hope, and Patience all come in. I have to be diligent in everything and I will learn what I need to know when I need it.

I love all of you guys and love all of your letters and emails. You have all been great examples to me in my life.

Elder Kevin Brady

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 12, 2011

Hello my family and friends,

OK, to start things off, last week, almost immediately after we were done with e-mails, my companion and I were called and told that we would be transferred to São Jose. We were both very surprised. We quickly went around to each of our investigators and told them that we would be transfered and took pictures with them. I wasn´t even in the area for a month, so I was not completely sad about being transferred, but my companion had been there for five months so it was harder for him to leave and it is still hard for him today to be in this area. He was very sad to leave the other area.

Because of the transfer, I got to go to my second Zone meeting on my mission. During that meeting they said some things that I didn´t understand. Afterwards, they gave us all a DVD player so that we can watch a copy of the District meeting too with our companions and learn how to be a better missionary. I am a little on the iffy side about giving the missionaries DVD players, but it was what the mission president said, so I guess that it is OK.

The house that we live in is much smaller than the one that we had in the previous area because it is made for two people and four people are living in it, but I don´t mind it too much. my companion and I sleep on air mattresses which I don´t think is awful at all. Air mattresses are better than some of the regular bed mattresses we get as missionaries so I can´t complain really.

This weekend I decided to work on the attributes of Christ which is in the 6th chapter of Preach My Gospel (i suggest you all do the same). Every Sunday, I fill out the little activity in the back and see how I am improving each week. When I filled it out recently, I discovered that one of my biggest weakness is patience. So that is what I am working on this week and so far, I have found some blessings from trying to improve. I hope that I continue throughout this week because yesterday I lost my patience with my companion. It feels like whenever I ask “why” about something he always, and only, says, "Porque sim" or, "Porque não" and that annoys me just a bit. So I snapped and stopped walking next to him and that really upset him and he started telling me that I wasn´t a good missionary, which didn´t guilt trip me at all it only made me feel less guilty if anything, and then he soon threatened to call the president, and that´s when I thankfully held my tongue because I almost said, "Do it!" So, not a good moment of the day yesterday. This is why I am working on patience.

This area is a little more difficult than Criciuma because it is extremely hard to make appointments with people. We have to kind of make contacts with people in the streets, which I guess my companion doesn´t like too much. And when we do contact people, it is very hard to find them at their homes to teach them a lesson. So this area will teach me a lot of patience and diligence and faith that if we trust in the Lord and hope for good things to come, we will be blessed with the things that he has promised us in His own time. I think that I will learn many Christ-like attributes while I am in this area.

Hey, have a great time in Disneyland and California Adventures, just wait until I come back and then we can all go to Knotts Berry Farm because I remember going their when I was very little and I want to go again. So just as long as you guys don´t go there while I am on my mission, I will be fine. I will be patient and I will work for the Lord right now and focus on what he wants me to do, rather than what I want to do.

I keep forgetting to shave every day so it´s kind of every 2 or 3 days that I actually shave, but I am writing in my journal every day now and I find that to be a little more important. I am making goals and, as it says in the Preach My Gospel, changing to be a Christlike person is a gradual process and it cannot happen all at once. So eventually I will be shaving everyday; but for now, being patient is what is important for me.

I know that The Book of Mormon is true, and I know that Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet in this dispensation. I am truly grateful for Jesus Christ and his atonement and that I can repent of all my sins no matter what they are, and that I can continue to repent, unless of course I deny the Holy Ghost. I am grateful that I made the decision to go on a mission, and I know that if I put my trust in the Lord and do what I can to follow his example, I will have a successful mission.

I love all of you guys and you guys have been a great example to me. Oh I forgot to tell you that we gave a blessing to someone that was ill. That was awesome.

Elder Kevin Brady

Friday, September 9, 2011

September 5, 2011


How many times have I asked to go to Enchanted Forest and you never took me, then I go on a mission and you guys go with the ENTIRE family . . . without me? Que isso!? (what is that!?). Oh, and when you mentioned the Spider Ride from Oaks Park I got a pretty bad headache just from reading those words. Well it´s good that everything has slowed down and that you all are finishing up the summer very nicely. Guess what: all of you have to go back to school. So that will be nice for you to learn and grow in the knowledge of the world. I have no idea what I will do (or where I will go to school) after my mission, but I try not to focus on that.

Dear Family and Friends,

This last week went by very well. We made many contacts at the beginning of the week; we taught as many investigators as we could; and we will be teaching the contacts this coming week. We made a contact with someone on Friday who came up to us and asked if we knew about some store on the street, and then Elder **** began talking to her about the gospel and she was very interested. We then gave her a very short message on Saturday and invited her to church and she accepted our invitation and then went to church the next day! This next part is what completely blew my companion and me out of the water: she stood up and bore her testimony in sacrament meeting. So, I´m just guessing about this, but I think she is ready to hear the gospel. So, it was a very good day yesterday.

We had lunch at the Stake President´s house, and this guy is incredibly funny in an offbeat sort of way. With the exception of Dad [the previous 5 words were added by Elder Brady's father], you just don't expect a stake president to be funny like that! He knows quite a bit of English which he learns from his job and the missionaries, and his son knows a good amount of English from missionaries as well. I was quite surprised.

It´s a little difficult to eat at member´s homes because they expect us missionaries to eat a lot and they get upset with me when I don´t eat enough. I feel like I´m about to explode and everyone is saying "Come mais, Elder!" (Eat more, Elder). I don´t want to eat more.

I was able to change the quality of the pictures so all 95 pictures are loaded onto the computer, and that means you are up to date.

I love reading your e-mails and it it was very nice to hear some of your testimonies. That always helps. I wrote you guys a letter that I will send off sometime this week. Talk to you next week.

Elder Kevin Brady

Elder Brady with his cousin . . . Elder Brady! This was taken the day before Kevin left the CTM to head out to his mission in Florianapolis!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

August 29, 2011

Dear family and friends,

Sounds like a very busy week. I´m glad I wasn´t there because I just would have slowed things down by forgetting to do my part or something. :) That is great that you guys had so many blessings come to you throughout the wedding week. I am glad to hear that the wedding was good and I wish I could have been there (except for the picture part; I can´t stand the whole picture taking thing. I can't handle more than 30 pictures). Now you guys can kind of have your life back, and for Tessa and Dan they can begin their new lives, and just sit back and slow down a bit and enjoy life, rather than worry what the next stressful thing will be.

Oh, and talking about stress, I have figured out how to deal with it. If I am starting to feel stress, I slow down a bit and look at what kind of stress it is. If it is pushing me to be a better missionary or person and follow God, then I keep that stress. If it isn´t doing those things, then I stop everything, sit down, and start thinking. I just start thinking how I can get rid of it, or even better, transfer it into stress that will motivate me to do better. I have to stop everything or else it will just get worse and worse.

I am not sure if I told you guys yet, but did you know that Brazilians clean the bathrooms differently than we do. They begin by splashing everything with water, putting some soap on the floor, and scrubbing with a broom. It´s different than I am used to. They do the same thing in the kitchen, too. Oh, and none of the houses have carpets. Just hard floors. Not hardwood floors but just hard floors. And the bathroom has a little gutter on the floor because the shower is the same level as the floor. It´s not like a bathtub. The good thing though is that the water is perfectly fine to drink and, get this, Brazilian water tastes more like Oregon water than Utah water does. However, I don´t drink the water too much because we have been asked to use the filtration bottle.

We had a huge thunderstorm today. A few of the lightning flashes were less than a mile away from hour house.

Yeah, about the photos, I don´t really know how I can make the quality go down but every week I will download as many pictures as I can and will eventually catch up.

So we weren´t able to do a lot of lessons this week because a lot of the investigators were gone, but we made a few contacts. We had investigators come to a baptism for a member family on Saturday so that they could feel the spirit of that, and I am sure that they did.

I did a little better with talking to the investigators and giving a message and bearing my testimony, but at times I just cannot focus at all. Sometimes I have no idea what is going on because I do not know the language well. For example, we had a conference that a general authority came to this week, and it was about 5 hours long but it was all in Portuguese so I did not understand a lot of it. After President and Sister Fernandez gave their talk, I just lost all focus so I remember very little of what the General Authority said. I don´t even remember his name. And my companion hasn´t yet told me a single thing that he said. I talked to him about it and he said, "Tanto faz" or "It doesn´t matter for you." I have felt a little frustrated this whole week because he stopped translating English for me because he thinks that I will learn faster. But I feel like I can´t really do anything if I don´t understand what is going on!

Other than that, I think the language is coming along pretty great. I am looking forward to the completion of these first 12 weeks of training. No time left.

Elder Brady

Friday, September 2, 2011

August 22, 2011

Hello once again Family and Friends,

Oh, and by the way Dad, it´s nice to know that your e-mail was sent by your iPad, to remind me that I won´t have one for two years :)

Well, Saturday was the baptism and I enjoyed the meeting a lot more since it only took less than an hour, unlike our baptisms at home which are very long. Yesterday we had the confirmation during sacrament meeting, which is what the mission president wants since it gives a higher chance of the investigator continuing to come to church. We had a few other investigators come to church, some of which say that they want to get baptized so that was cool.

I am still just kind of hanging back in the lessons with the investigators and every now and then giving my testimony, though this week I am going to be pushed to give the second part of the first lesson to the investigators.

I have come to like my companion much more but there are still a few things I think that will always bother me. I can understand the whole touchy-feely culture but I will never get used to the raising of the eyebrows three times in a row or the winking. There needs to be a line drawn somewhere. I like my personal space and I like to look at someone without feeling uncomfortable. And it´s only my companion that does this to me, not the other missionaries in the house. I feel odd.

I sent an e-mail to the mission president, which we are supposed to do every week and I asked him if I could read the Liahona and he responded that I could so, my companion just didn´t know that the Liahona is considered scripture as well. So that is a relief. I noticed that the last general conference talks were a lot about welfare and service, which makes sense, since it is the 75th anniversary, but it also talked a lot about eternal marriage and temples. While reading this, it makes me want to get married even more. I still only want four kids though. Nothing in the talks about that.

So I remembered to bring the cable which connects the camera to the computer so that I can actually send the pictures to you guys. Hopefully it works out. I have a 125 pictures so if there is a space to label each of them I might not be able to do it this week. A lot of them are kind of the same thing. So if you want to develop them and put it in a scrap book, choose the best one and develop all of the best ones, you don´t have to develop all of the pictures (just the best ones).

Oh yes I meant to ask you, do you think you can send a copy of my baby blessing? I think it would be nice to read that again. Also I was wondering if you could send pictures of our family before the mission because my companion shows his pictures to his investigators and uses them as an ice breaker. Also if you can you should send me some peanut butter and reese´s because they don´t have that in Brazil. Dr. Pepper too. (just kidding). But i am curious if you can send the peanut butter. 2 years without it makes me sad.

Well that´s all for today. Oh we had some man come behind our house at 3 in the morning the other night and apparently tried to break in, the missionaries woke me up but I didn´t get out of bed. I was more worried about loosing sleep. Now the missionaries are all scared at night except me. I´m always too tired to care. I don´t like waking up at 6:30. it doesn´t matter when I go to bed, I will always wake up tired. Once I went to bed at 8pm and I woke up wide awake and I was happy till I noticed it was only 10pm.

I am having difficulty focusing on anything. I worked out today. that was adventurous.
Can´t wait to hear from you again.

Elder Brady

**Note from Blog Manager - I am behind on blog posting, as Kevin's sister got married this past weekend. I have one more to post and then expect another letter on Monday! So stay tuned and be sure to write a note to Kevin. I will forward it on to him!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

August 15, 2011

Hello Family and Friends,

There is so much to write and so little time. 

Our last week was challenging at the CTM because they changed the schedule and because we were only there for four days of the new schedule, we had about 7 hours of personal study each day.  It was difficult to keep myself engaged for that many hours.  Then there was one teacher who apparently memorized the rule book and I realized how many rules there actually were at the CTM.  For instance, he said we can´t kneel during closing prayer in our classrooms.  That was hard for me to understand. It is sometimes difficult for me to “do” without understanding the “why.” For instance the only reason that I “do” the study journal is because the Mission President will look through it during our interviews and he has asked us to do it.  I don´t understand any other reason for doing it, but that is what I have to do. 

My companion is Elder ______ and he is pretty cool but at the same time there are a few things that are challenging.  He helps me a lot with learning Portuguese, and I appreciate it a lot.  He knows a bit of English but sometimes he can´t understand what I am saying in English.  That´s completely understandable but then again, I can´t understand what he is talking about at times and it frustrates me.  For example, he tells me something important and then about 30 seconds later when I want to repeat it so that I can make sure I remember it, he has no idea what I am talking about and he looks at me as if I´m crazy.  He likes to give very long prayers.  Last night, and I am not exaggerating at all in this sentence, he gave a ten-minute prayer after a three-hour lesson.  Now I´m fine with a one-hour lesson and maybe a four-minute prayer, which I still think is a lot, what he did was too much.  And I couldn´t really do anything since I don´t know any Portuguese, so I had to sit through it all and pretend I was listening. 

I have learned some good things, however, from my companion.  He drinks really loud and I had no idea how annoying that sounded before so I will stop drinking loud myself.  I have also learned that I should talk to people more, since I have always been a little shy about talking to those I don´t know.  I have also learned that I need to get along with everyone, since in the past, if my personality clashed with someone else's, I wouldn´t ever hang out with that person.  I have learned that the general conference talks are not allowed in personal study since those are not scripture material or something like that.  I don´t know for sure, but I started reading the conference talks and my companion (Elder ____ ) pointed out my error, like he does with a lot of things.  I'm not sure if it is possible to completely understand him.  Finally, he is very touchy-feely which is probably one of my biggest pet-peeves if not the biggest.  He touches my shoulder constantly and pats my back all the time.  I don´t like it.  Maybe once or twice a day you can give a guy a pat on the back, or if you are very happy which is about once a week you can give a hug.  Not constantly.  And that goes with any person to a degree, but males especially.

So we are teaching quite a few people here in Criciuma (that´s the name of the city) that we really have no time to go tracting or other proselyting.  We have a ton of referrals so we are going around and trying to contact them.  We have a marriage this Wednesday or Thursday, I forget which and then a baptism on Saturday so we are preparing the investigators for those.  I have committed two investigators for baptism and that is really cool. 

The weather here is rainy and the members at church are very nice.  I think there were quite a few investigators at church, either that, or there were a bunch of members wearing jeans and T-shirts.  That is understandable since this area is a little more poor than others.  The style of clothing is much more uniform here than it is in America and it goes for members as well.  The women tend to wear tighter clothing and it is loose for guys, all ages, unless you are a missionary, at church (for guys at least), or weird, and no I am not trying to be offensive.

Oh yeah, Happy Father´s day dad.  Yesterday on Sunday was Father´s Day in Brazil.  I was kind of surprised that it was in a different month.  But it is. 

I´m sure that this week will go better than last week and hopefully I will eat more, since breakfast and dinner are not as big of meals as they are in America.  Lunch is the biggest meal here. 

Good luck with the wedding plans.  I will probably not get your letters until next zone or district meetings, one of the two. The mission president is cool, though he speaks very little English.  Gotta go.

Love ya,
Elder Brady

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 9, 2011

Hello Family and Friends!

No this is not my P-day because I am only writing an e-mail to tell everyone that I made it here to Florianópolis and that I am safe and OK.

Florianópolis is beautiful and rainy right now. It kind of looks like Hawaii in a sense.

I am about to go into a meeting with the president today. We had a bit of a meeting and Sister Fernandez gave a lesson on keeping our housing clean. I have met the assistants and they are pretty awesome and they are also about to leave [to go back home] in about three months or so. Apparently with the new study schedules we will be ready to take on any leadership positions in three months. That is how effective it will be.

I can´t answer all of your questions about my area and companion because I don´t know yet, and I can´t do any pictures because it is not my P-day yet. I am excited to start serving the Lord in this mission and I will be sure to tell you all of my experiences on my next P-day. As for now, I will figure out what´s going to be going on the next three months. It was good to hear from you all, and of all of your support.

My last week at the CTM was awful and I will give you more details next P-day. Have a good day. I have a headache. And I am wearing my purple tie.

Elder Kevin Brady

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August 3, 2011

Dear family and friends,

This is the last week here and I am so excited to head off to Florianópolis. The week is going by extremely fast; I don´t think I can keep up!

I will be able to get a picture of me and Elder Scott Brady on Monday, and then the next P-day after that, I will be able to send all of my pictures via e-mail. I won´t know exactly how, but I will be allowed an hour to figure it out when I e-mail. I was sad because I wasn´t able to get a picture with Elder Craft because my companion didn´t want to go to snack this last Monday. Mondays during snack time are the only time other than our P-Day that we are allowed to take pictures. By the way, the picture of the mission president in Florianópolis that you guys have in the booklet is old because we now have a completely new mission president. So I really don´t have an idea what he will be like.

I got a new watch today just so I can have two, and I also got two new ties. They are purple and very nice.

We had a great testimony meeting on Sunday and yesterday. The testimony on Sunday was during district meeting and it was my idea since it was our last district meeting together. The one yesterday was Irmão Costa´s idea and we gave our testimonies in Portuguese while he gave his in English. It´s funny because he learned our language just by singing English songs and teaching himself.

Today was the last temple day that I will have for the rest of my mission and it was really great and spiritual. I´m doing my best to learn the language. Elder Craft and I were talking about how when we get back we will only talk in Portuguese together and only on rare occasions will we speak English, like for instance if we need to communicate with someone else. That will help with studying the language after my mission.

So, I think that Santa Catarina, which is my entire mission, is half the size of Oregon; and there are only about 85 missionaries in our mission, at least that is what I have heard.

At the distribution center I got two general conference issues of the Liahona: one in English and one in Portuguese. So that will help a bit with learning the language, according to Preach My Gospel.

I´m running out of ideas on what to write. It was good to hear from you all. It´s cool to hear how Michelle got to see the temple in Kirtland. It was also very good to hear from Tessa. Remember that the new address is at the mission home and that is in the booklet that you have. Please find it and write it on the blog or something so that people will know, if they want to send me something, what the address is. I can´t write it down because the enter doesn´t work on this keyboard and I don´t have any time left. I love you all, and hope to hear from you again.

Elder Kevin Brady

**Note from Blog manager: Kevin is leaving the CTM on August 9th, 2011. Please send any mail to the following address:

Elder Kevin Patrick Brady
Brazil Florianópolis Mission
R. Feliciano Nunes Pires, 42
88015-220 Florianópolis - SC

**Please note that postage from the USA to Florianópolis is 98 cents

Kevin would love any notes or letters - mail, email, or comments on the blog that I can pass on to him. Thanks!

Friday, July 29, 2011

July 27, 2011

Dear family and friends,

I would really like to answer all of your questions but unfortunately they only give us thirty minutes to write our e-mails. When I get out of the CTM, I will make sure to answer all of the questions about this place that gives me cabin fever.

The pen grew a leak because it must have fallen and broken or something, causing all the ink to run out; so the pen is gone. So, I kind of gave up on pens for now. I wrote you guys a letter with it but midway through it ran out of ink. So, I have a laser pointer that might be useful if I have to speak at Zone Meetings or something later on; but for now, I found some gel pens which are probably the best type of pens ever at the store. They are not my favorite type of pens, but they will suffice for now. I won´t use pencils because I don´t believe in them.

It´s good to hear that the trek went well, and I am very sad to hear that Bishop Wilson died. [Note from Shelly - Bishop Wilson did NOT really die, he just pretended to die for the sake of the trek experience. Oh, and Kevin knows that too :).] He was a great man. I will certainly miss him. At least he came back to help the family so they all know he is doing well in the next life. The funeral must have been very emotional. I would have thought, though, that if somebody died on the trek, they would have stopped it; but I guess not.

The branch President here is pretty cool and he knows what he is talking about. Every now and then, he comes into our district meeting on Sunday and listens to the lesson. All of the speakers here are from Brazil, but they are usually stake presidents or something. Once, though, President Clark (who is the CTM president) had his son give a talk here at the CTM. Every now and then we watch a Devotional where an Apostle speaks at the MTC in Provo, and last night we watched Elder Holland. He gave an extraordinary talk about why we need to follow rules and how we need to tune ourselves to perfection every second of the mission, and how we need to perform our mission so that we do not regret a single day of it and wish to do it over again. This is what I needed to help me know how to be a successful missionary.

I finished all the books in the Missionary reference guide that I brought from home. It includes Jesus the Christ, Our Search for Happiness, and Our Heritage. All of them increased my testimony of the Gospel and the Atonement. They were great books.

I think that it is sweet that Henry remembers me in his prayers. I want to know, though, what Charlotte does to pick on Henry.

The elders in my district are all pretty chill, and we all like to have fun. Some are a little more serious than others and some are bi-polar and I have no idea when they are in a serious mood or a funny mood. Almost all of them are from farms or something close to that, so they all have similar stories and senses of humor. I think the only city people here are me and Elder Wible. He is from some city in Utah, but I don´t know exactly where.

My teachers are Brazilian and they are pretty awesome.

I can´t wait to leave the CTM and get into the field. I leave on the 9th of August and I am so excited. Oh yeah: I have to remind you now that you have to get ready to send letters to my mission home in the field. I don´t know the address so I will find out and tell you next week.

It is always great to hear from all of you. I got the wedding invitation for Tessa and Dan; it was good to see it. Good luck with everything. I love you all.

(My district thinks I´m weird because I prefer chips over dessert.)

Love you,
Elder Kevin Brady

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 20, 2011

Hello Everyone!

It´s great to hear from you. I´m surprised that you guys haven´t received my letters yet; maybe you have already, I don´t know. But the weeks are pretty much all the same here except Friday which was proselyting day. It was a great experience for the whole district. Everyone gave out all of their books (two for each person, so four per companionship) except me and my companion who only gave one Book of Mormon. I felt odd, too, because I did talk a bit, but then I would always blank and my companion was then the one that would talk. Most of our time, though, was sucked out when Elder Hansen and I ran into Jehovah´s Witnesses. So that was a very humbling experience. At first it was only one guy but then two others came out of nowhere, literally, and started talking excitedly, and I had no idea what they were saying. All I knew is that they were teaching us what the name of God is. Yeah, it´s no good when you have no idea what they were saying, but it is also good because if I did know what they were saying, I would have started Bible bashing them. All in all it was a good experience, and we will do it again, only somewhere else, a week after this Friday.

I am getting really impatient to go out into the field because we just went through the whole grammar book, so there is not much else to teach us. Even giving practice lessons aren´t all that helpful since I know now how to teach. I would much rather spend all the time learning the language. We have some TRC thing this Saturday where they record us giving a lesson to a staff member actor, and, again, I don´t think this will teach me much because having a camera and a microphone in the room is going to distract me. So, that will be fun.

I like to sit in my room and read from the Portuguese Book of Mormon and the English one, because I seem to learn a lot from it. The only problem is whenever I start to do it, like 1-2 minutes into doing that I start to get an extremely bad headache. So I´m not able to do it for that long.

It´s cool to hear from Clinton Logan who gave the simple advice to love the people. I´ll be sure to remember to do that (I don´t think it would be too hard to do that either).

I´m getting a little bored here in the CTM--maybe a little cabin fever since we have to stay in here all day except P-Days. I´m glad that I didn´t have to go to the Provo MTC because I don´t think I would have lasted all 9 weeks of never leaving except for temple time. That would have been awful. Some of the rules here at the CTM I don´t understand at all, but I follow them anyways since I was told to work hard and follow the rules. It's hard waking up at 6:30 though. That is way to early, and the fact that tons of people keep me up at night does not help.

Well, I loved hearing from you. Have a good week.

Elder Brady

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 13, 2011

Wow that was a lot of reading to do but I still have 20 minutes to write so I think I can still do this.            
Hello Family!!!           
I am getting through the weeks doing my best to keep the missionary spirit by just smiling.  Don´t worry, Elder Sanderson is telling me everyday to smile.  Also when we are practicing doing lessons, Elder Kent is reminding me to look at the other persons eyes while I am both talking and listening.  It´s a little uncomfortable for me but hopefully I can get used to it.  
Elder Brady just got here at the CTM today (Scotty if you haven´t figured it out) [Scott Brady is Kevin Brady's first cousin] and it was good to see him.   It´s weird to see him speaking some Portuguese but I guess it´s the same for him to see me doing it.  
We only did a short time outside the CTM today, unlike last week, when it was like more than two hours.  Today we were only outside for 45 minutes.  Last week I sent letters to the family so they should be there sometime by the end of this week.  I got a new pen today, since all the pens that I brought exploded, and a cheap pen I got here busted somehow. So I went to the store with a mindset of getting a 20,00 Reais pen, because they don´t have my favorite pen here.  I found, though, right next to the 20,00 Reais pen, a Laser pen that was 24,75 Reais; and it writes and it has a laser and it has a flashlight, so I thought it was a good deal.  (In American dollars that would only be $16.00.)  That was exciting.  I´m sure you guys are proud of me.  [!!!]
Thanks for all the tips on stress, that helped a lot.  It´s good to hear about all of the missionary experiences that are going on back home.  It´s a small world.  I´m going to be proselyting this Friday (I hope I spelled it right), so wish me luck as I will have my first experience talking to a Brazilian and inviting him to read the Book of Mormon.  Elder [Bradley] Craft told me he did it last week, and he said he forgot everything that he learned and he couldn´t say anything.  Hopefully I don´t end up like that but I have a feeling I might.  My companion on the other hand will be fine since he knows Spanish and learning the language is simple for him.  Anyway, I know I´ll be fine, I just have to trust in the Lord and listen to the Spirit, and I will be able to say what I need to to the people.  
Can´t think of much else to say except that I really cannot wait to go to Florianópolis to preach the gospel to the people.   I know why I got called to Brazil because I am learning not to give up.  My teacher here said the same thing; he said that maybe I am here, too, because serving in America would have been too easy for me.            
Love you, bye,     
Elder Brady

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 6, 2011

Hello Everyone!

It´s great to hear from you and about everything that is going on. (By the way, once I come back to Oregon, I am going to have to get used to the United States [English] keyboard. You should look up the Brazilian keyboard.)

It´s been an awesome week and at the same time it´s been the same. The main difference is that I am feeling the spirit more and more and I love learning about the gospel and I can´t wait to go out to Florianópolis and teach the people.

Probably one of the greatest trials of my mission though is going to be not being able to go to the beach since I was used to living in Hawaii. But oh well, the beach will be even more awesome when I come back home.

It´s great to hear how much everyone is growing back at home! I´m going to come back home and Erica will have graduated high school if she isn´t in college yet, and Emily will just about ready to start high school. It´s crazy.

Dad´s birthday must have been great or at least it should have been. How come you guys haven´t gone on vacation yet? Wait, never mind, the new bishop thing might be keeping you home. [John was busy calling a new Bishop last week.]

Walking through the streets in Sau Paulo and doing shopping is great, though it´s hard to understand what some of the people are saying at the stores because they talk so fast. But it helps me with motivation to learn the language.

It was good to hear from Tessa and that she is doing great; although, it´s not so good to hear she is slacking a little in her classes. It´s funny because all my life she has been very strict when it comes to school and I was laid back, but now that I have finally learned the value of work, she is starting to become a bit like me (or how I was). But other than that, I hope the plans for the Wedding are going well for her,

Dad it was good to hear from you and I thought that it was awesome that some missionary experiences have been going on back home while I am here. I would like to hear about their progress if they still continue the lessons.

I´ve been a bit stressed recently since this has been a huge change for me, both physically and tremendously spiritually and with being District Leader and all, and I was just wondering what advice everyone over there has about dealing with stress. Because if I can learn how to deal with it now, then it would help me out a lot for when I go back to school, especially if I want to be a Biology Major. You guys will all be very surprised when I come back because you will see how much I have matured. Even I can see a difference.

I love and miss you all and your emails and letters give me great encouragement to continue to work hard here on my Mission.

Elder Brady

Monday, July 4, 2011

June 29th, 2011

Hello Family and Friends,

There are a lot of questions that have been asked so I will do my best to answer as many as I can. First off, the food here is a mix of both Brazilian and American. I don´t really know how to describe it; it´s kind of weird. The temperature here is around 60 degrees, and yes it actually is cold for me down here. I am used to Hawaii so I like the heat. Unfortunately every one in my district, there are twelve elders in my district, is from the northwest or Utah, so they all think that it is hot down here. I have to wear a sweater sometimes in the classroom because they open the windows.

Not everyone in my district is going to Florianópolis, only half of us are. The other half are going to São Paulo North, Salvador Sul, and Terazina, or something like that. Elder Spackman is going there.

Sundays I have Sacrament, Priesthood, District Meeting, Leadership Meeting, lunch, four hours or so to read the gospel or sleep; at the evening we have choir practice, then Fireside, where a guest gives a talk and we sing the Brazilian National Anthem which is extremely fast and nobody can sing it well at all.

The gym is finally fixed so we can all play volleyball which is pretty much the highlight of the day for everyone, but every now and then they do something stupid in the gym so we can´t play that day.

Michelle, I have been doing my laundry since I was at BYU-Hawaii, so yes I know how to do laundry haha.

We got new Brazilian roomates and they are awesome. One is going to Florianópolis and he is 21 and is pretty chill, the other one is going to Rio and he is very crazy yet funny. For instance we American elders were lying in bed writing in our journals when the funny one gets out his towel and starts folding it into a large triangle. Elder Noel asked him what he was doing and he replied, "It´s a Brazilian thing." All of us were now completely focused on the Elder who then began to roll up the towel. He lifts up the towel and then, to our surprise, he slams it on the ground making a sound of a gunshot. He looks up and smiles and leaves the room. We all busted up because it was obviously not what any of us expected. The people here are great and I enjoy being here. All the days are the same so there is not much to talk about.

Talk to you all next week.


Elder Brady

PS - Oh and I did get the watch and card so don´t worry about that, and I got a nice wallet that will not cause any of the cards to crack or smear. Love again, Elder Brady.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Another Week at the CTM

June 22, 2011
Dear family and others,

Well, another week has passed and it´s been about the same thing everyday here at the CTM. We are still learning Portuguese and learning how to preach to others, we are kind of practicing with different scenarios so that we will know what to do In the field. I feel that a lot of the other missionaries in the district are getting the language down a lot better than me, except my teachers say that I am doing really well, so I don´t know, maybe.

Probably there are only two interesting things that catch my attention a lot here at the CTM. The first is volleyball and Gym Time. Except this week they decided that it would be a good idea to work on the gym floor, only the corners, during our time, and our time only. I talked to Elder Craft about this and he said that during his gym time, he´s been able to play in the gym. I was not happy. So instead our district had to go to the weight room and I kind of felt like Brian Regan in there, not knowing how to use the weight equipment.

The second interesting thing over here is the bums that we can see in a little triangular park outside our window. At first I felt bad watching them, but they grow on you. Especially when their way of living improves. One guy brought a mattress to the park, and some other guy brought an office chair and things like that. We´be been taking pictures to document this and I will show you when I actually get out to the field since, for some reason, we are not allowed to hook our camera up to the computers here.

I got a haircut yesterday, with a two on the sides and then tapered it up to I think a four, maybe a three, I´m not too sure. I like it better. I can still comb my hair over and after I take a shower (which is now around 4:30 since that is when we get out of gym) it doesn´t look too bad.

We go to the temple every Wednesday, on P-day (preparation day), and the session is in English. I keep forgetting to bring a camera so I can get a picture of the outside or something because it is beautiful.

The streets outside the CTM is awesome. We went to the post office and dropped our off our mail, we went to a store that sold office supplies and I got myself 100 flashcards, which I cut into 400, to help with learning Portuguese, and I bought 100 envelopes for mail for only 8.50 Reais which will be useful. What I´m looking for today though is a contact lens case. I heard it is possibly in a store where one can just pull up into the store with a car, but I don´t know for sure. For now I am borrowing a lens case from a roommate, Elder Noel (he is not my actual companion). He has contacts that can stay in for a month that is like approved by doctors or something. I also need to find a wallet because the one I have smears all of my cards; I haven´t used it here, of course. Oh I also got two new ties last week, one is black with diagonal white stripes, it´s nice, and the other is hot pink with a red floral pattern that is kind of like that tear drop pattern which I have forgotten the name of.

Our district is awesome and our teachers as well. I will see you all in two years.

With Love,
Elder Brady

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kevin's First Letter From Brazil

June 15, 2011 Wednesday

Dear family and everyone,

OK, today is finally P-day. The city of Sao Paulo is huge. I have a view of the city from our dorm and the city stretches in just about every direction. On the way to the CTM, the people who drive here are crazy. They change lanes constantly, well I do that too, but everyone does it here. They say us Americans drive like grandma´s compared to them. There were spots on the free-way that didn´t have any lines for lanes, but they drove through as if they didn´t notice they were missing. The motorcycles are also allowed to pretty much go anywhere on the road.

There is no enter on this computer so I have to make large spaces for paragraphs. I also only have 30 minutes to write. My companion is Elder Hansen, and he is from Arizona. The rest of the guys in our district are pretty cool, most are from Washington, some from Utah and California and such. I got called as District Leader on Sunday so now I have to be a good example to everyone, which is kind of hard, especially in the morning (as we all know I am not a morning person).

The weather is pretty nice over here, even though it´s winter, but it can get cold, like down to 67 degrees or something. Everyone else says it´s hot, while I have to pile myself with clothing during the day. But other days it can be bright and sunny and get to about 75 or maybe a little higher.

We have gym time just about every day and we all as a district play volleyball together, since we have the perfect amount for a full game. The cafeteria food is all right, but I´m excited to go out to the Field to have food, because the teachers all say that it is so much better.

I have two teachers, one in the morning and evening. Irmão Costa is really good at teaching Spanish, because his English is not the best but still understandable. On the other hand Irmão Ramus has very good English since he served a mission in Washington, and he is better at teaching Preach My Gospel type of stuff. We all have fun learning Portuguese, except I´m sure that everyone in our district has ADD because we start asking how to say random stuff in Portuguese. Today I´m going outside the CTM and I am going to buy some flashcards, and maybe some pens because my other pens all stopped working. I don´t know when I will send the pictures from my camera since I don´t know how to put them on these computers. I don´t think they would like it either.

It´s great to hear from everybody. I miss you all. Oh, the temple is beautiful over hear, except during the session I had to go to the bathroom really bad. But other than that it was great. I will talk to you next week. Don´t post too many e-mails so that I have more time to write while at the CTM. This keyboard takes some time to get used to too.

Elder Brady

PS - Note from SLB here: Kevin would love some handwritten letters as he has a limited time to read email. I will post his address below. Thanks for checking in.

Elder Kevin Patrick Brady
Box # 13 District # 23-A Brazil CTM
Brazil Florianópolis Mission
Rua Padre Antônio D'Angelo, 121
Casa Verde, São Paulo, SP
Brazil 02516-040

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kevin arrives at the Brazil CMT

The following letter came to Kevin's parents. It is comforting to know the missionaries are being looked after.

Dear Parents,

We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil MTC. What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time. We promise to take good care of your missionary.

They now have companions and are settled into their rooms. They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study. The branch presidents and their wives, will soon give them a second greeting. These couples are rewarded in their callings through the love they always develop as they embrace and watch over the missionaries.

The MTC has a full time live-in physician to care for their health needs. He is assisted by his able wife. We are also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant and very good.

Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple. This will be either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on individual assignments.

Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “There is no mortal man that is so much interested in the success of an elder [sister] when he is preaching the gospel as the Lord that sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord’s children.”

Please accept our love,

President Donald L Clark and Sister Zaza Clark

ADDITIONAL information . . .

DO not send packages to the Brazil Missionary Training Center. All packages must be sent directly to the mission where your missionary will be serving not the MTC. If you have already mailed a package to the Brazil MTC and it arrives after your missionary has left for the field, please understand that the package can not be forwarded to his or her mission and will be returned to you. The only other option is for us to open the package and forward the letters and photographs, giving the rest of the content of the package to the missionaries that are here.

WE Strongly ENCOURAGE SENDING HAND WRITTEN LETTERS. Please write your missionary´s first and last name. Your missionary will provide you with his district and box number. Also, please DO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS, or other private carriers. The cost to get this type of correspondence is exorbitant.