Monday, January 30, 2012

January 23, 2012

Dear family and friends,

That is so awesome that it snowed. I´m getting sunburned over here in Chapecó. It seems that every time me and Elder **** walk on the streets, we have direct sunlight, but when we are not walking, the sun is behind the clouds. Rarely is it the other way around. It is great to hear that the Seminary Broadcast thing went well. And again, congratulations to Danny and his new wife. At my wedding reception, I won't have a wedding cake, but I will have a wedding pizza. I will talk to Papa Murphy's about this. The bottom layer will be quadruple stuffed, the second will be triple stuffed, and the top will be double stuffed. All, of course, will be meat lovers and they will be layered with some type of cheese, preferably with the color white. And the other foods, will be some sort of snack foods. No fruits. Vegetables maybe if there were sandwiches. And congratulations to Katrina and Gordon and family for the upcoming baby.

This week went well. We had a baptism and wedding. The wedding started at eight at night, and the baptism was who knows when, afterwards. Then I gave a talk yesterday about Heavenly Father, because I will be going to a new area. That lasted about 3 minutes since I was nervous and still don't know the language too well.

Yes I will be going to a new area again, this will be the 5th area I have been in, and will be the 4th Zone. I will be going to Florianópolis (south part, which I heard is the very rich and German part of the country), and I will be companions with the Assistant to the President. So apparently, President Fernandez wants me to be fluent as soon by the end of this transfer. But at least I get to see the capital of Santa Catarina. I don't know how long I will stay in that area though. So today, I am just trying to get packed as soon as possible so that I can make the bus tonight at 10:00. It will be almost a 12 hour bus ride to florianópolis. Fun fun.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, the daughter of our investigators who just got baptized just went to church yesterday and she is now taking the lessons. It's been an interesting couple of weeks here...

So that is my update for what has happened and what will happen. I am still enjoying studying and I am still enjoying being here on the mission. I love you guys.

Elder Kevin Brady

January 16, 2012

Oi minha familia!

I decided to start out in Portuguese. This week was really good. We have been preparing and helping our investigators to be ready for baptism. This next week (my last week in this area) we will have three baptisms and a wedding. So we are praying that the husband will continue to stay away from smoking and the family will stay strong in preparing for baptism. We also began to teach their daughter the lessons, and we gave her a Book of Mormon. However, we are not sure if she is hearing the lessons because she is interested in the church or us. The reason I wonder this is because she was asking very odd questions such as if we are allowed to receive gifts on the mission or kiss on the mission. Things like that. My companion took care of those questions as I was just nodding my head yes since I didn't understand what was going on.

We found a less active member this week who lives with another woman and has two kids. Well, actually they kind of found us, since we were walking on the other side of the street and the family stood up and started yelling for us to come over. My companion didn't hear but I did (I'm still not accustomed to people randomly yelling yet), and we went over and taught his wife. They actually ended up coming to church yesterday and the wife, who was at first reluctant to get married legally, finally decided to get married this week. (The culture here in Brazil is if you live with someone else, that is considered marriage, though it is not really a legal marriage.) She didn't exactly like church too much because the prayers were not powerful enough. We told this to another one of our investigators and she rolled her eyes and face palmed.

Studying is going good and I am starting to use a study journal. At first I began using it because I wanted people to stop nagging me about it, but then I realized that it actually helps somewhat. Another reason I started is because I began to study the doctrine that I teach intently. My companion mentioned to me that his old mission president said to him, that if we study the basic principals and ordinances of the gospel ie: Faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy ghost and enduring to the end; if we study every detail and ask questions about every detail to Heavenly Father, and apply these doctrines in our own lives, we will know everything that the apostles know because everything about our church and beliefs is based off of the gospel. I looked at that as a challenge and I want to study now, as much as I can. I want to know, because I realized that the more I learn, the greater desire I have to share with other people. So yes, family, you too should study as much as you can about everything you can because it will bless your life. Knowledge is power, and power is knowledge. We are here on earth to understand how to properly use the knowledge and power we gain.

I know that these things are true and I know that we will not learn anything unless we do our part and study. I know that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are the word of God, and they are equally important to us, as well as the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet, and through him Jesus Christ's church and priesthood authority was restored today. I am so grateful for our loving Heavenly Father and his Beloved Son, as they continually love and try to help us, even if we constantly reject them. This is true love and I know that if we work at it, we can achieve it to for them.

I love you all and thank you very much for your support and example.

Elder Kevin Brady

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 9, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Things are definitely picking up. As Elder Bednar said in the last April General Conference that sometimes personal revelation will come as a light that is turned on by a switch, and other times as the sun rises in the morning. I think my testimony is coming in the latter, but I like it better, because it causes me to work at receiving it, and once I realize I have it, I will appreciate it so much more. So I will keep striving at it. I want the same testimony that all the investigators are receiving as they hear the lessons. I continue for as long as it takes (aka: forever).

We have many great investigators and they are improving. One family is preparing for baptism this week and we gave them a blessing yesterday that they will continue to be strong during this week and afterwards. They had a question about sealing in the temple and she was confused how it worked with them sense she was married before, and now she is married with someone else and she has children with both men so she was wondering who the children are sealed to. We explained it to them the best we could. But they are very eager to follow the Lord. The only obstacle that we have to get through is the husband smokes so we have been working with him to stop.

That is what has and will be going on this week. After this transfer, I will be moved to another area. So right now I do not have any clue where I will be going.

That's my mission life today. I love you all and wish a good week to you.

Elder Kevin Brady

January 2, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

It is a New Year and I have always struggled with making goals and planning. It is especially hard for me to make goals that depend on other people that we are teaching.

The news of Danny's wedding did surprise me because this is the first I have heard of it. Also I didn't know about the weddings of Rachel or Sam. I only know what's going on in this family. Nothing else.

I have been feeling a little annoyed lately . . . I'm just in a bad mood right now.

So that is all what has been going on for me. Oh, and we had another baptism this week so that was cool.

Elder Kevin Brady

December 26, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

How awesome it was to see you all and to see just how much you have all grown. Well, there wasn't much of a difference really except for Henry, Charlotte, and Jenna ... but still. Erica's hair was different. It is a little weird to see Tessa already married. I remember playing on scooters with Tessa and Erica at our very old house (on Franklin Street) and we would always make Erica be “the enemy.” But I now have to refocus my thoughts on what is important here on my mission. I need to remember that I must have an eye single to the glory of God. But I do appreciate and enjoy all the stories and the support that you all have given me.

So, there is not much to talk about this week since I told you all everything yesterday [on our Skype call]. But I did not tell my friends all the news. So to tell you all, I did have a baptism this last week and a wedding. And I did my first baptism ever so that is awesome. However, when I walked in the font I slipped so I was a little embarrassed about that, but it turned out fine. The wedding was very nice and I was asked to sing and play the piano. I needed to play some sort of romantic-ish song so I chose two Coldplay songs. The people couldn't understand the words, so it didn't matter.

We have been teaching many people and they are all coming to church and everything but the ones that we baptized did not come to be confirmed with the Holy Ghost, so that was unfortunate. We talked to them later and we told them why it was important to come to church be confirmed and they said that they would come.

Christmas was fun. It is a little different here because they stay up all night on the 24th and then when it is midnight (the 25th) they open each other's presents. Then they sleep in until lunch time and have a big lunch. That was completely different to me.

I don't have much else to say. So, I love you all and I can't wait to hear from all of you next week. Oh, and I am trying to write my handwritten letters this week as well, so I hope that I finish soon. When it comes to letters I write really slow.

But I love you.

Elder Kevin Brady

Sunday, January 1, 2012

December 18, 2011

Hello Family and Friends,

Christmas is coming in fast and that means that we will soon be able to see each other.  That will be awesome.  Thanks for the Skype contact information, but I will not be able to check to see if it works until Christmas day. I will be going to one of the members' houses here in Brazil to Skype with you since it won´t happen at the lan house [?] and the good thing about it is that I won't have as short a time limit to talk with you.

It's hard to believe that I have been out six months already on the mission. Time is going by much faster. 

I am meeting some awesome missionaries and enjoying their company. (Right now, because there will be the mission Christmas Conference here in Chapecó, we have a ton of other missionaries in our apartment).  But they are all awesome.

I have realized that my patience has improved a lot because last night we played Monopoly Deal and I didn't get upset when I lost.

My companion is a lot better than everyone was making it seem, and how I was making it seem as well.  He is proof that you can't judge a book by its cover.  He does have his weird odds and ends but then again we probably all do.  He hasn't been a member long and it has been a little more than a year since he started his mission.  He talks a lot (one of my few pet peeves),  and he thinks that he knows everything.  I will admit that he knows a lot of things, but there are somethings that he doesn't know.

Dad, I do have a washing machine.  I wouldn't have the memory to remember to wash my clothes by hand and I am sure that Heavenly Father knows that as well, so we are all very blessed to have a washing machine.

You want to know what my biggest pet peeve is?  It's when I am with someone, and they say "alright we're leaving," and it ends up being 30 minutes after they say that before we leave.  Even after 3 minutes | want to pull my hair out.  My companion, unfortunately, often does that (prolongs the leaving).

So that is some of the life on a mission for me.  I love you all and can't wait to talk to you on Christmas.
Elder Kevin Brady