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.