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!