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