Sunday, December 23, 2012

December 10, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, this week unfortunately, we didn't plan that well so we ended up not being that productive.  I blame myself for that since I didn't take the lead, as I am supposed to, and plan with my companion.  We taught a few times, but we only made 3 contacts.  President wants us to make at the very least 40.  So, I have learned that lesson -- it was an extremely boring week and nothing that I am proud of . But, Sunday, last night, we did an extremely good weekly plan for this week.  Hopefully, it will be much better. No, wait, it will be better.  So sorry if I don't have a whole lot to talk about.

We have been teaching a man named *****.  He's the one that knows the Bible extremely well.  We have been studying a lot this week (that could have contributed to not making a lot of contacts) so that we could come prepared to show him why our church believes certain things.  He likes us coming over and he does not want to Bible-bash, just only understand our religion.  We will be teaching him tomorrow night about the Plan of Salvation.  I pray that his heart can be softened.  We actually were talking to a member (who was converted two years ago) about his conversion and how he believes that the investigators heart needs to be softened before one can hear of the Restored Gospel.  This member said that, before being baptized,  he would never accept the missionaries lessons and would always use the scripture saying that we should not accept angels or persons who preach another gospel.  But then a missionary taught him about the Plan of Salvation rather than the Restored Gospel and his heart was softened.  We then felt impressed to teach ****** this, because there are many scriptures in the Bible that he can relate to.

We are also teaching a woman named **** who is progressing very well, only she feels a little shy when it comes to church.  She asked many questions on what she is supposed to wear, whether we will be standing outside waiting for her.  So, we made plans to teach her with a family, and talk about church with her.  We also plan that this week we can bring her to the building before Sunday and show her around, so she feels a little more comfortable.  It will be good.

We plan on talking with the members during lunch about references and doing Family Home Evenings with the references and families.  I have had a lot of success with references before in ****, so I feel that working with the members here will also help a lot.  Members and missionaries working together will help Zion to grow in the area. That is what we need.

Tomorrow we have the Christmas conference with President, so I will get all the details about skype.  Skype was authorized by the first presidency so we will be using Skype.  The good thing about this area is that many of the members have nice computers, so I don't think we will have a problem.  Also we will get a list of the movies we are allowed to watch on Christmas day.   Of course that doesn't matter much on the mission, but it is fun to think about.

Well that is it for me.  I love you guys, and stay true to the gospel.  It's true, and Jesus lives and loves us.  God, the Father, does too.

Elder Kevin Brady

December 3, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Sorry to hear that everyone is getting sick over there.  That's no fun... at times.  Of course, I remember that I liked being sick because I got to watch T.V.  Those were good times.  I am sorry also to hear that our friend's house was broken into.  I hate it when people steal.  How rude.

Well, this week we are still teaching the same people.  We have two new investigators.  This week we are going back to visit them.  One liked to talk about Jesus and he liked our message and asked a lot of great questions while we taught him.  The other got a diploma for studying the Bible so I think that his real intention for letting us teach him--to Bible-bash; but don't worry--we always just bear our testimony instead.  Bible-bashing won't do any good.  But he is a cool guy, and he likes what we teach.

We have done a lot of contacting people this week but no one really wants to hear our message.  Everyone says that they were born Catholic, they still are Catholic, and they will die catholic.  I don't understand why, since many of them say that they don't even frequent the church.  It makes no sense.  Other people see us and just shake their finger and say, "No."  I think that is the most hilarious.  They start yelling at us that they have no time.  I just laugh. So many people reject us without even knowing what our church is about.  It is sad.  But some people, well, I can only just laugh.

We still are going to go out and talk with people.  Try to find new people since three investigators is not enough to work with.  We are getting to know the area better, so it is easier to get around.

I got the Christmas Package.  Or, it arrived in the mail, but I had to pay 75 bucks because of taxes.  What exactly did you put in there? I'm excited.  It must be really cool.  Yeah, so that is kind of why I have been using my personal card a bit because of the Christmas box.

Well that has been my week.  Sorry this is really short.  I love you guys though.  I am grateful for your prayers.  I pray for you too.  Have a good week.  I love you.

Elder Kevin Brady

Friday, November 30, 2012

November 26, 2012

Hi family and friends,

Well, my companion and I have been completely white-washed in this area of F*************, so this week we went around trying to get to know the members.  We're trying to gain their trust and show that we are not weird so that they can help us out as well and give us references.  We have no investigators; we have only one recent convert that we are teaching who still has a problem with the Word of Wisdom.  My companion and I feel that he was maybe not quite ready to be baptized when he was, but we can't do much about that.  Now we have to help him out to overcome his addiction.

Our area book is not filled out completely, and the stuff that is filled out is filled out incorrectly.  So I am now cleaning that up.  We got lost this week on the way to Zone meeting.  We had to take a bus to get to the chapel, but we took the wrong bus and we ended up heading over to the island of Florianopolis.  We got off, and tried to walk to the chapel, but we were too far away and our District Leader called and said that we should just go home because we were late enough as it is.  

This has probably been the most stressful area that I have ever been in, and the facts that I don't know anything about it and the past missionaries did not leave anything behind just adds to it.  But, the Lord sent me here for a reason.  Probably to learn how to deal with stress and even more importantly there is someone that is waiting for me and my companion to come and teach the gospel to them.  I literally reached my breaking point here and I had to make a decision of whether I would turn to the Lord or turn away from Him.  I chose to turn to Him.  I know that only through Him, will I be able to find the peace that I need to get through this.  I need to humble myself and follow His will.  He as authority over me and I need to follow that authority.  I promised that I will do this mission His way and not mine.  And I need to turn to Him in order to have the Spirit with me.  It is literally pointless to do missionary work without the Spirit.  That is like hitting a hammer on a wall without a nail.  What is the point of that? To destroy the wall?  It all makes sense when you think about it that way.

This week we will be making a ton of contacts, trying to find people, and in every situation, I made a goal:  I will ask people if they know anyone else who is interested in hearing our message.  We need references.  That is what I have seen that brings the most success in missionary work.  Members and missionaries working together.  We are here to establish Zion.  All of us have been commanded to gather together in unity and faith.  For me right now, that means going out and finding people to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to.

I am learning a bit of Spanish with Elder A****** my companion.  He is great and likes to work.  We speak Portuguese only since that is pretty much the only way we can communicate.  It helps me a lot and he helps me to know what conjugations of verbs to use since Spanish and Portuguese are so similar.

I know this gospel is true and I know that Heavenly Father loves us and will help us in every way to follow His will.  I love you and hope you have a good week.

Elder Kevin Brady


So I have decided this for now and I will tell you my thoughts, so I can put it aside and you can deal with it while I am doing mission work.  I have decided to come home and work until January and then go to school.  I need the money in order to pay for school.  I am pretty sure I won't get a scholarship any time soon.  Also about Erica: am I just going to tell you what to get her for Christmas or am I sending something?  What's going on, I don't understand this whole trading and buying for someone.  I need more explanation.  

PS -
One more thing, do you think you could send a recipe for pizza to me? The members want to try American pizza.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November 19, 2012

All right family and Friends,

That was a long letter, Mom.  Wow.  But it was good; I liked it.  And yeah, no problem about the whole school thing afterwards reminder.  I remember now that it will be a little hectic.  I will pray and think about it and give you a what's up a little later.  I do, however, know the perfect job for me, and you guys will like it.  But I won't say till I get back.  I'm trying to push it aside so I can focus on my mission.

So my companion is having an emergency transfer tomorrow and I will have a new companion from A********** named Elder Aagoirhneoghp.  I forgot his actual name it but it does start with an A.  So I haven't really learned the Area yet exactly but I will figure it out.  The members here are very helpful.  I like it here.  Lots of hills, but they are small compared to J******* (where I was last).

So this week, we are trying to figure out how to help our less active members and those non-members learning about the Church.  It is tough over here.  I really want to help them, but me being new, and now I will have a new companion, we have to learn to gain their trust.  I guess we could start by doing service.  That always helps people to be more receptive to us.  "When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God."  I always have liked that scripture from Mosiah.  I think Dad was the one that taught me it.  And it stuck.

We stayed in the house a lot this week.  So I looked at it as a break.  I didn't want my companion to overwork his knee so we just stayed at home.  He had some Monopoly card game and we played that forever.  This week though, I will get right back to work.

There is not too much to write about, but I do love you all and I thank you for your encouragement.  I want to be able to get lost in the work and feel the Spirit all the time in order to teach by the Spirit.  That is our main goal.  To teach by the Spirit.  That is the reason us missionaries have all of these rules; so we can have nothing that will dull the feeling of the Spirit.  I understand now.  Teach by the Spirit.  Makes sense to me.

I love you.
Love Elder Brady

November 12, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, I have my new companion.  His name is Elder S**** S*****.  He is from the city R*****e or something like that.  Maybe it's the state.  I am not exactly sure.  All I know, and he agrees with me, is that his accent sounds like he is gargling marbles.  But he is a cool guy and is chill.  He only has been out four months on the mission, but he loves to work.  Only right now he can't work because he has a serious problem with his knee.  President is trying to find a Corto Prazo (a young man that is waiting for a mission call and is asked to come in and serve while he is waiting).  My companion is not allowed to leave the apartment almost ever.  (Was that correct English?)  So we have been chilling for a bit while his knee gets better.  We have no idea right now if he will need therapy or surgery until the swelling of his knee stops.  I hope all goes well with his knee.

Yesterday was Stake Conference of the Stake S*** J***** and we actually had to have the stake Conference in Florianópolis which is the main city of the island.  The reason for this is because the Stake Center of S*** J*** is being fixed.  The whole ceiling collapsed or something.  This stake, though, is very large; I was surprised.  I heard that this might become two stakes sometime in the near future.  But for now we are worried about helping the Area grow.

This ward has many less actives members and the missionaries before me have worked with a lot of them, trying to help them to come back.  President came out with a new idea that will hopefully get references from the members.  I feel that this area will grow with investigators mainly through references.  I heard that this area is full of people that are more closed about the idea of new religions.  That is completely understandable because if you think about it, we are just as well.  Of course we have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on earth, but at the same time there are other people who believe their religion has the truth.  The most that us missionaries can do is invite people to come unto Christ and to learn the fulness of His gospel. We help them through the conversion process.  I am not a big fan of going around talking about how our goal with people is baptizing them, because it's not.  I can baptize 20 people and it wouldn't matter if they truly did not become converted to the gospel through the Holy Ghost.  The conversion of course is the between the investigator and the Holy Ghost, but we can help that process.  That is our mission as missionaries.  Not baptize, but to help others with their conversion.  Of course, we have more control over our own conversions than others.  That is another reason we are on missions.  Missions help one to understand and adapt to a life dedicated to the Gospel.  I still have more work to do with myself.

I am deeply grateful for your prayers and words of encouragement.  I do hope that these last few months are the best on the mission, and that I can completely endure to the end and actually continue to work rather than not put in all my effort near the end.  I love you guys and am grateful for your examples.  Mom, Dad, thank you so much for pushing me along to do what is right.  Thank you so much for your teachings and examples on how to live a good life.  Michelle, Katrina, Tessa, Erica, and Emily, thank you all for your encouragement and for helping me to stay on the path rather than drift away.  And to all others who read this letter, thank you for your examples and encouragement.  I love all of you.  You are great friends and family.

I love you all.

Elder Kevin Brady

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November 5, 2012

Hi Fam,

There will be a new transfer this week.  I am going back to the Zone S******* and I will be in the area F***************.  (M********* is the translation).  So my time with Elder B******was short but great.  I learned what I needed to and I will apply it when I get to the new area.  I wonder how many more transfers await my mission.  I will be a senior as well, so now I get to practice my leadership skills and serve my new companion.  Additionally, I will serve the area and ward as well.  It will be good.  I also heard that it will be much hotter than it is here.  I will be sure to get you guys an address so you can see where I live on Google earth or something.

This week was really good but at the same time - meh.  No investigator came to church on Sunday, but it makes perfect sense, since it was a Stake conference and in a different city.  We found some people who appeared to accept the gospel really well but than the seed hit the rock under the surface and they said they wanted to continue going to the church that they had instead.  I had no time to go back while I was here, but Elder B******* will go back.  I pray that success will come with those and they will come to realize that this church has the truths that they need.

Lots of Brazilians hope that Mitt Romney becomes president.  They say that Obama hasn't done anything for us Americans.  They even say that the whole death of Bin Laden was kind of sketchy.  They believe that Romney will help America a lot more than Obama.  I'm not really sure which is better since I haven't been following politics here on the Mission.  I just hope that the next 4 years won't increase our national dept by 5 trillion dollars or more. 

I know that this gospel is true and it has the power to change people's lives.  I know that no one can find true happiness without applying the principles of the gospel.  Joseph Smith was a prophet.  Jesus Christ atoned for our sins and through him we can be changed and become pure.  I know these things are true.

I love you.

Elder Kevin Brady

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

October 29, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

So the emergency transfer this past week made things a little crazy and so we weren't able to work too much.  My companion is Elder B*******.  He is really awesome.  We actually met when I was companions with Elder S****** in the office.  He was part of Mission staff.  So it was good to catch up and get to know what is going on.  He is from W*********, the city (I don't know the name) is 40 minutes from S*********.  He loves the people and teaching them the gospel.  This will be a good transfer.

Today we did a lot of walking.  It is getting pretty hot over here.  Like really hot.  I am surprised at how hot it is.  But at the same time it is not that hot.  Only like 85 degrees Fahrenheit.  Not too hot.  I'm just not used to it yet.  I am realizing how late this E-mail will be.  There is actually not too much to talk about.  The members here are noticing that I forget a lot of things and they have joke going on that I don't know anything.  I'm getting better, but at times I do forget some things.  That has been something that I have struggled with my whole life.  Planners help with remembering things, but at times I don't remember to put it in my planner.  Or I put it in and I forget to look at it again.

Elder N**** felt that he knew our family very well since he read all of the Christmas letters of our family.  He had a few favorite stories and also liked how Dad described me as oblivious.  I think it is funny as well.  I have been a lot more relaxed when people tease me and have learned to just laugh a long with them.  Anger and contention just drive the spirit away and it is against the doctrine of Christ.  It is actually quite interesting, the doctrine of Christ because Christ stated his doctrine many times.  It's the Gospel, which is: Faith, repentance, baptism by immersion, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  That's it.  His doctrine also states that we stop having discussions of deep doctrine because that will only lead to contention.  This is all in 3 Nephi 11.  We missionaries of the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints are going out to the world, and preaching Christ's pure doctrine.  His doctrine.  By studying and feasting on the words of Christ we can come to a full understanding of the gospel, which is the doctrine of Christ.  This is what we should worry about.  Not what Heaven will look like, or if everyone has beards in heaven, or when the holy ghost will actually receive a body.  All of that does not matter to us and the understanding of it will not help us get into heaven.  What matters is the Gospel and that is why we preach it to others.

I love you guys, and encourage each of you to look for missionary opportunities.

Elder Kevin Brady

October 22, 2012

Hey Family and Friends,

Oh yeah, we heard that young men can go on missions when they are eighteen years old now.  Cool stuff.  I hope Bill is OK. [My friend Bill has fallen a couple of times.] That doesn't sound good.  Dad never took me to a football game when I was a kid.  I always asked to go, but he would just remind me of the times he got angry at me.  Ha ha Just kidding

So this week all of our appointments fell through.  We did a hundred contacts as well.  We had 6 investigators at church though, which was awesome.  One of them I had never seen before, but we were unable to get his address. So, maybe next week we can.  But we have some investigators who are really cool.  We have one guy named M******.  He goes to church every week with his family (his wife and son are members) and he loves having us missionaries over at his house.  However, he is also very strong in his Catholic faith.  He is a great Catholic that practices everything that he is taught.  He goes to church every week.  So we still talk to him about our church and eventually he kind of implied, if not confessed, that the reason he is so strong in his Catholic faith is because of his father.  It was how he was raised.  So I guess that will approach the way we teach him in a way that suits him better.

Experiences like this are what make up the mission.  There is always one obstacle that the investigator has that keeps them from getting baptized.  So we missionaries come in and we help them around it. Of course, conversion really only happens if it is their choice (and/or desire) to be converted.  It literally comes down to agency.  We can't force them.  We can't.  We have to be patient with them and keep encouraging them.

We have two less-active families though that we are teaching.  We are doing our best to be their friends and help them out.  They have been inactive for a while, but they are coming back to church little by little.  We have made plans to visit them every day of the week so we can help them to gain the spiritual strength that they need.  I am sure that this will help them out a lot.

There has been a new change in our mission:  Because it is daylight savings time, the missionary schedule changed.  Instead of waking up at 6:30, we wake up at 7:30.  We then go to bed at 11:30 at night.  President wants to give us an extra hour of proselyting.  I am not completely sure that we can work up until 10:00 at night, but maybe we can plan more family home evenings with members that can last a little longer.

President F***** called today, and Elder N***** will be transfered tomorrow to C*******.  He will be Zone Leader.  I have no idea who will be my companion yet. It is a good thing though that I have memorized this area.  We have made enough contacts right now, that I think we can start going to the addresses and teach the people.  I have high hopes for this area.

This is the Lord's work and I enjoy doing it.  I love the people here and I learn new things everyday.  I love you guys.

Elder Brady

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 15, 2012

Hey Family and friends,

Things are going well in ******.  Sort of.  Our investigator, *******, who was marked for a baptism, didn't come to church and told us that she didn't think that the Mormon thing was for her.  So we went over there and talked to her and we explained that our church is different than any other church and that this gospel is for everyone.  We asked her again to read the Book of Mormon and pray for an answer.  We felt impressed to leave Alma 32 for her to read.  Hopefully she receives an answer.  It is all in the Lord's hands as of now.

We have been having some ups and downs with some of the investigators.  Some who receive our message with joy and vigor and then after a few days or weeks, they lose it.  Kind of like the parable of the seeds in the four different places.  Also there are the people who are much slower at accepting the gospel, or growing in it.  I have much more patience with my investigators and I also feel that it is very difficult to cut any of them (take them off our teaching list).  As for me, I don't remove any of my investigators until they remove themselves.  I don't want to give up on them, but if they don't want to listen, then there is nothing that we can do.

We are though, working with a young man, who is in his twenties, to come back to church.  His name is *****, he smokes a bit, but he knows that the church is true.  We felt impressed to ask him to work with us, and come with us as we teach our investigators.  He did and I feel that it was really good for him.  We had some guy talk about some anti-Mormon stuff and giving evidences how the Book of Mormon was false. (obviously he got this from the Internet.)  Our investigator said, "that guy is crazy."  Didn't faze him.  And ******* actually came to church yesterday for the first time in a year, saying he wants to stop smoking.  So we are going to work with him quite a bit these upcoming weeks and help him out.  Maybe ask him to go proselyting with us.

I've been praying recently on how we can help this area grow with the potential that it has.  Did you know that this area had 8 elders or so at the same time once?  So it has a lot of potential.  So as I was asking and praying, I received an impression that we needed to do a service project.  I pondered for a bit last night on what kind of project we should do.  I felt an answer this morning during personal study that it needs to be a project that will get the Church's name in the paper.  So it has to be big.  We are going to talk to one of the members who is good friends with the mayor, if there is something we can do.  I feel that it will be really good for the area to get our name out there, and to show that we are not just another church's missionaries but that we are here to serve the people, as Ammon did with the Lamonites.

I know that this church is true and that it can bless the lives of individuals and families.  The fact that we can perform sealing ordinances in the temple so that families can be together forever is amazing and I am very grateful to teach the atonement of Jesus Christ to the people here in Brazil.  I love you guys.  Stay strong.

Elder Kevin Brady

October 8, 2012

Hi family and friends,

Yeah that announcement about women being able to go on missions when they are 19 years old came as a surprise to me too, but it is going to be great.  I have a feeling that there will be a ton more female missionaries in the mission field.  It will be good stuff.  I'll probably be home by the time any of them get to our mission.  So, I missed that era of missionary work.  But the Lord needed me now, so I will serve him now, the best I can.

Conference was difficult for me.  It wasn't really the understanding that I had difficulty with, as much as actually paying attention to what was going on.  I did notice though, that as I doodled, I was able to pay attention a lot better.  To each his own I guess.  But the talks that I did pay attention to were great.  They always are, but I think I will better understand the talks if you guys did send the Conference addition of the Liahona Magazine.  That would be very nice.  thank you for the offer.

We taught a lot this week and found a lot more people home, but the problem is the progress that they have.  For some it is extremely slow.  Also, the fact that people don't keep commitments kind of bugs me.  Why say you will go to church and then don't.  If you won't go, say that you won't go.  Don't give us your word if you won't keep it.  Then at the same time I realize that at baptism, we members gave our word to keep the commandments and at times we don't keep them and we sin.  So we have to learn to be patient with people and have mercy for them.  One day they will get to their conversion.

The food is still good.  I enjoy eating the hot pepper sauce that they have here.  I actually bought one of those things (that makes hot pepper sauce) and I will bring it back to show you guys.  It's good stuff.  There is actually a lot of Brazilian food that I want to learn to make and share with you guys like pão de queijo (bread of cheese) or churraso (Brazilian barbecue) or pasteis (this has no translation).  You guys will like the food a lot.  Also, how they make hot dogs here is crazy.  They put on ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, dill relish, pepper sauce, mashed potatoes, little fried potato strings, and shredded cheese.  This is all in the bun, mind you.  I could eat at least two even if I am already somewhat full.

There is a lot of sacrifice that goes into missionary work.  There are times when I have gotten really upset at the sacrifices that I have to make, and I have considered if a mission is something that I even want to do.  But then I remember the Savior (which we promise to do every week when we take the sacrament), and I think of the incomprehensible and most wonderful Atoning Sacrifice that He made for us, and then I think: "Oh yeah." and then I shut up and get back to work.  We should all be grateful when we have an opportunity to sacrifice for the Lord and give something back to him.  What we do will never pay back for what He has done for us.  It is kind of like a mother or father who pays for their child's schooling or music lessons, the kid can never pay the parent back, all the parent wants is for the kid to practice and appreciate the gift. Just like that, all the Savior wants is for us to use His gift of the atonement and do our best to improve every day.

I love you guys and I can't wait to hear from you next week.

Elder Kevin Brady

P.S. Is Tessa's baby a boy or a girl?  You guys never said.

October 1, 2012

Olá Família and friends,

First off, yes, I did use my debit card at the store the other day.  Tell the bank thank-you for being cautious.  Second off, my new companion Elder **** is awesome.  We already have 7 new investigators and we marked a baptism on the calendar with one of them.  She is very spiritual and she loves the Book of Mormon and how it teaches the same principles that are taught in the Bible.  She also talked about how she was baptized at another church but that she didn't feel it was a life changing experience for her.  She said that she felt something was missing.  Elder **** and I were very excited to hear that.

We are working with all of the members that we have lunch with to give us references so we can visit those that they know and are ready to hear our message.  We also did a ton of contacts.  The people here are very open and that is great.  We did run into someone that wanted to argue with us about religion.  As we were talking to him he started yelling to no one in particular and I thought it was weird.  We're the only people in the house.  Why are you yelling so loud? Everyone can hear you.  Some people these days.

We´ve been trying to start an English class but no one shows up.  It gets kind of annoying and so I don't know if we will ever have one.  The members want one and they think that it will introduce a lot of people to the gospel, but no one shows up.

This week we are going to mark baptisms on the calendar with ******* and *******.  ******* is a really cool guy, who is studying intently the Book of Mormon and is very much investigating our church.  They accepted baptisms already so I feel that if we can mark a date with them, that will help them to focus on a date and prepare themselves for baptism.

General Conference is coming up and I will be able to watch it here in *******.  Hopefully my brain doesn't get confused with the English and Portuguese that is going on at the same time.  If that happens, General Conference will be very long.  I love it when the Apostles and Prophets speak to us.  They are telling us exactly what God wants us to know at this time.  God is still speaking to us this day.  I find this to be wonderful and amazing. 

Well that is it for this week.  I hope to hear from you next week.

Elder Kevin Brady

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September 24, 2012

Hey Family and friends,

So, tomorrow is actually when my companion leaves and my new companion will arrive.  His name is Elder ****, and he is from my district at the CTM. It will be fun to catch up with him.  He is from Washington and lived on a farm and he is a guy that follows every single rule with exactness and that might help this area turn around.  Who knows.  He is a very good worker and loves to be on the mission, at least from what I remember at the CTM.

So, nothing much is going on this week.  Just that my companion and I have been going to different people's homes so he can say goodbye to everyone.  He is very happy that he finally gets to go home. He is a good missionary but he stayed an extra 6 weeks so it is time. He is ready to get back into watching football.  Good stuff.

The weather is getting warmer, and it is still very windy.

There is not much to talk about.  My mind went blank.

I know the church is true and the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.  I know that the atonement is for each and every one of God's children. Because of it, all of us are able to repent of our sins and become clean.  The power of prayer is amazing. It is a way to talk to someone, God, who loves us and is always waiting to bless us if only we just ask.

I love you guys.  Have a great week.

Love, Elder Kevin Brady

September 17, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Same companion and branch.  We did get beds and a table today though, so that is great.  There will be a transfer next week. So at the end of this week, I will find out who my new companion is and if I will stay here in V******** or go to a new area.  Fun stuff. 

It is good to here everyone is doing well at home.  I remember Ms.. Reddekop.  Larson sounds familiar.  The others, not so much.  But yes, I was on the Wolves team at the middle school.  We actually were the best students in the school.  I remember when all the other teams were not allowed to go to the assembly because there was a riot during their lunch.  Our lunch was with some 8th grade team so we weren't there and we still got to go to the assembly and automatically won the cougar. 

So the members are fine.  They are just late to everything.  A meeting can start at 8:30 and they arrive at 8:45 or 9:00.  It really bothers me.  Especially if I have other more productive things that I could be doing.  I need to learn patience; but they need to learn to be on time. 

The lunch food I eat is still great.  They have hot sauce at almost every lunch. The sauce comes from the hottest pepper in Brazil.  It tastes really good.  I dump it on my rice and beans.  The members do too, so it is not bad manners.  Don't worry - I know manners.  I believe I had the best manners when I was at home.  Especially at drinking water.

The weather is getting warmer.  Right now it is perfect weather.  Overcast and warm.  No rain and no sun.  I love it.  It can't get much better than that.  Also winter has passed.  So now I won't have to feel cold for a long time.  I love the heat.  I can't stand cold.

I haven't eaten fish yet.  And I am happy about that.  Well, I took a bite out of fish at a buffet, thinking it was fried chicken.  I found out quickly it wasn't.  The good thing is that it was very bland and had very little fishy taste, so I didn't throw up :)

I love you guys and I know the church is true.  Have a great week everyone and remember the Lord and what he has done for us.  I am so grateful for him.

Elder Kevin Brady

Thursday, September 13, 2012

September 10, 2012

Hey Family,

Cool, I have two nephews now.  So, that is good that the birth went OK and that Nicholas is doing as well as he can be.  Happy Birthday Bill.  No box yet.  There is a district meeting tomorrow and I might get it then.  Who knows. [The mission president gave him permission to send me a quick email to tell me his package arrived on Wednesday - so we could activate his debit card – to replace the stolen one].

Mission is same old same old.  No baptisms yet.  I don't think we are getting one this month because of the rules and qualifications for baptisms.  We are still working though.  One of the families did promise to come to church this next Sunday and here in Brazil, when they give their word, they mean it.  They also said they will come more than once.  The reason they couldn't come this week is because of a baby shower for one of the girls.  But next week they will come.  Also the Dad had a surgery on his spine so that also complicated things.

One of our investigators saw American Football on TV yesterday and started asking about that and we helped him to somewhat understand.  This investigator goes to church every week and we figure that the best we can do is just be his friend but we can't push him or he pulls away.  Tough stuff.

We had a thunder storm last night.  It was very difficult to sleep.  It was really loud and bright and constant.

There is not much to write because I don't know what you want to know.  What questions you have?  it is getting hotter.  81 degrees the other day and it is still winter mind you.

The church is true.  Erica, if you see anyone at BYU Hawaii that knows me, tell them I said hi.

I love you guys.

Elder Kevin Brady

September 3, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

I did not get the package yet, but this week the Zone Leaders are going to Florianópolis and the package might be there so who knows.  Yes, the mission president speaks Portuguese to me since he is only learning English, and I do understand him, and I speak Portuguese back to him. 

The mission President taught us about the importance of using the Book of Mormon whenever we teach since it is the Keystone of our religion.  Good stuff.

This week is going to be getting to the point week with our investigators.  We have one investigator who goes to church every week and also likes to feed us lunch, but she lives with a man who she has separated with.  In Brazil the whole marriage thing on paper doesn't ever really happen.  Her sister lives next door, alone, and so we will suggest that she move in with her sister, since she has no intentions of marrying the man.  We cannot baptize someone who is technically breaking the law of chastity, even if they aren't really doing anything.

The other investigator also goes to church every week. He has a wife and a son who are members, but he is a strong devoted catholic.  He is a strong devoted Mormon (in his beliefs and actions) as well and has huge respect for our church.  So we are going to see what his feelings are about the church and invite him to read and pray about the book of Mormon and if the time seems right, we will invite him to be baptized.  So that is what we will do.  The only thing is, that with this guy, the more we push the more he backs away so I don't know exactly yet how we can approach this.  But we will find a way with the Spirit.

We have another activity this week and more referrals coming up, so we will have more work to do which will be awesome.

I love the mission and I love you guys.  Have a great week.

Elder Kevin Brady

Sunday, September 2, 2012

August 27, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

I still have not received the box you mailed me, but I hope I will this week when we go to the mission home for our interviews.  Yes, this week is interview week with president.  It is also the week that we receive all the letters from our family and friends. 

This last week was pretty good.  We had an activity on Friday with the young men and one of the young men brought about five friends which I thought was awesome.  We also had a few investigators at church.  One family did not show up because something came up and they were not able to go, but next week they told us that for sure that they will come to church.

We got a list of all the members from the church and there are about 180 or more members in our branch and only 18 are active.  So, my companion and I have some work to do with the less-actives and hopefully some of them can start coming back to church.  Also, I have noticed that the less-actives who are trying to become active again, are the greatest sources of references and missionary work in the church.  I wonder why it isn't the other way around?

The area is good and the food is great.  I bought a thing of hot sauce that holds actual peppers.  You don't eat the peppers, but you eat the oil (add it to your food).  Once the oil is gone, you add more oil (and vinegar if wanted) and then you can use it again. It lasts about two years or so and the older it is, the hotter it gets.  I need hotter peppers though, cuz the stuff I have is pretty weak.  All the members that feed us meals have pepper sauce too and it tastes really good on rice and beans.  Just add cheese and it tastes like a rice and bean burrito.

I read some of the Mormon chapters today in the Book of Mormon, and it is amazing to me how people don't realize that if they just look to Christ, the Lord their God, and seek repentance, their lives would be so much better.  And these people that Mormon writes about were not the kind of people that just lost faith over time. He reports that they deliberately turned away from God.  I look at it as:  they saw something evil and sinful and wanted it, even though they knew the gospel was true.  That's why Mormon was not able to preach to them.  It's not a happy period in the times of the Book of Mormon.

I know the gospel is true and I love you guys.  Have a great week.

Love, Elder Kevin Brady

Friday, August 24, 2012

August 20, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Sounds like you guys had a fun week.  That's cool.  My week was good too.  We had 4 investigators at church and they all loved it.  E**** and her sister came and they told us they will make sure that next week the rest of the family will come as well.  That will be great.  We will teach them this week as well.

My companion gave a talk yesterday at church on the gospel.  I sat and tried hard to understand everything that was going on instead of just daydreaming.  I daydream usually when I get headaches from concentrating.  And loud noises.  I've noticed my ears are becoming more and more sensitive to unnecessarily loud noises.  I wonder who I get that from...

The members are great and like us a lot.  We enjoy working with them and they enjoy it as well.  Every now and then we get a few references from them.  Some turn out great.

The mission is still going well and the days are getting faster.  I am surprised that it is already almost September.  That is weird.  I haven't gotten my visa renewed yet.  I am still waiting for Brazil to approve it and for the mission office to call me in to renew it.  Visas only last for a year and then there are only three months after that to renew it before one becomes illegal.  I've talked to other Elders in my group and they haven't had theirs renewed yet either, so we'll see.

Well that about wraps up this week.  I love you guys and miss you.

Elder Kevin Brady

Thursday, August 23, 2012

August 13, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, I won't get the package for a while I don't think. [We sent Kevin a package].  Unless someone goes to Florianopolis when it arrives and it is there before interviews we have with President or a Zone conference.  But I will be sure to let you know when I do get it. And yes I have my pin number.  I was sure to write it down and keep it in a safe place so I won't forget.  Sounds like you guys had a fun week as well watching the Olympics.  Go USA.  Brazil came in 23 as far as total metals.  At least that is what I heard from the people.

This week was good.  We taught a few people and had an investigator at church as well as some less active members.  It was good to see them come again.  We also had a zone conference with Elder Godoy of the Seventy and that was really good.  He pretty much said for us missionaries to just listen to our mission president since we were called to serve at this time in this mission to learn from him.  He also spoke about how we can be successful missionaries. And that is by doing our personal best as a missionary.  We need to study and not procrastinate (that was never a problem for me) and we will have successful missions.

My companion is from Blackfoot Idaho and he is thinking about going to college.  He is not sure yet where, but he is looking into being an architect and so probably a school that is good for that.  If one of the church schools has a good program, he will think about going there; if not, he will go somewhere else.  Can't argue with that.

Sorry this is short today, but I love you guys and I know that the Church is true and that preaching the gospel is a great act of service and love. Thank you for your E-mails and letters. They help a lot.

Kevin Brady

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 6, 2012

Hi Family,

Happy Birthday Mom.  Well, happy birthday in two days, but I won't be able to e-mail that day so here you are.  So, those were some cool letters from all of you.  Sounds like those past weeks [on the road trip] were fun. 

How is America doing in the Olympics? I saw a few Olympic competitions at some of the members houses who keep the TV on during lunch.  Unfortunately, it is showing only the Brazil team events.  Interesting stuff though.  This week was good.  My toe fungus appears to be going away.  Still itches every now and then.  This is the last month of winter over here and it is starting to get warm.  Can't wait.  I love the heat.  I might freeze when I go back home.

Well, this week we got a few references and we are going to visit one tonight.  Let's hope it doesn't get canceled again.  We have one family that is really good and golden, but they won't come to church.  It makes sense since they live so far away but it would be awesome if they did show up.  It could be the Dad that is stopping them, but who knows.  All I know is that they feel the spirit when we teach, and they would feel it more if they came.  The son is really studying what we give him and appears to be really searching for the truth.  Let's hope he feels it soon enough.

My companion is great.  We got to talking about jobs and things and he and I feel that he would do well as an Architect and we feel that I would do well as a movie/TV Writer/Directer.  I would love to do something like that.  Of course we need to finish our missions, but we like to talk about after-mission plans. 

Don't know if there will be baptisms any time soon since we just found out that one of our investigators is living with a man and they are not married and the others we are teaching are not progressing.  It is difficult to teach here and also the fact that the mission president is planning to close the area down in September. So unless we have about 3 or 4 baptisms, this city is no more.  It kind of stunts the motivation factor, but I will still try my best.  Sometimes something unexpected will happen (regarding a baptism), or it may end up being that our experience here was a personal growth type of thing. 

I love you guys and thank you for your support and encouragement.

Elder Brady.

It's the wide arm runner...  lulz [note from Shelly – this is an inside joke between father and son – don't ask :)]

July 30, 2012

Dear Family,

Things are going pretty well.  We still don't have a baptism marked on the calendar but we might get one this week.  That will be awesome.  This area is slightly difficult and kind of weird  that re-activating members can be tough and in how some just live too far away from church and how some come about once a month or so.  The members feel the Spirit and they know that it is true, they just feel that other things have a higher priority such as work.  Hopefully one day they will come back to full activity.

The area is good and we get fed lunch every single day on the mission, except P-day [preparation day], and the food is really good.  The only weird food that I have had on the mission is this ravioli pasta stuff that they put squash inside of.  I find it odd since fruit and pasta do not mix well for me unless it's tomatoes.  I'll eat it and not complain but I don't like it.  I have not had fish yet, gratefully so I love the lunches here.

My companion is doing well about the extension.  He doesn't feel like it's too difficult.  He is getting very trunky though.  He has been reading some letters from home and he is ready to go back soon.  But he won't stop on his mission.  He will still work and not just be lazy all day, so it works out great.  I've been out for almost 14 months already.  Wow time flies.

Mission is going good.  I liked that article from dad about how being grateful is the key to success.  That is definitely true.  That is something I can work even more on.  I may try it for a week and see how it changes my perspective.  I always remember that story of the ten lepers who Jesus healed and only one of them came back and thanked him.  I like to ask myself at times who I would be in that situation.  It would be good to be the one who comes back and thanks him, I think.  I am grateful to serve the Lord and I love you all very much.

Elder Kevin Brady

July 23, 2012

Dear family and friends, 

Yes, I do have my card with me so my card was not actually stolen (just my card number). And, by the way, it did not seem like someone stole 800 dollars from me because the other day I used the card and it worked perfectly fine.  (I spent about $2.50)  It could have been someone hacked into the machine that I used.  I am not sure.  But I will be a lot more careful with how I use it now.

We are receiving tons of references now and that is awesome.  We may have a baptism coming up very soon.  Who knows?  We gave a few blessings this week to help out a few people.  Most were people who are less active in the church right now.  Hopefully some will come back to church.  This week we had a district meeting and the meeting was about how the Book of Mormon was saved for our time and that is part of the reason it is so important in our missionary work and why we need to use it when preaching the gospel. 

My companion was supposed go home at the end of this transfer but he will not leave until the next transfer.  The president made the decision without his acknowledgement and my companion was not super happy about it, but what could he do?  The fact that he is not complaining too much about it is incredible to me because I have no idea what I would do in that situation.  But he is a cool kid.  We have the same interests practically and he is very simple to get along with. 

We had tacos yesterday.  First time in a year and one month.  Tasted great. I ate a lot.  Though that wasn't so great for my stomach.  You see, they don't have cheese and lettuce and such on the tacos.  Just meat.  So eating a lot of taco meat doesn't do well with your system.  Good food though.  I miss Taco Bell.

The church is true and we all have rough patches in our lives.  Wouldn't really be life without them.  But, "men are that they may have joy,"  so we need to learn from our trials and come out stronger.  That is what makes life great.  That is when one can look back at their life in the afterlife and say, "I did a good job" and feel satisfied with everything.  I love you guys and I am glad I made the choice to go on a mission.

Elder Kevin Brady