Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 9, 2012

Dear Family,

I am now here in ********.  It is pretty legit.  The food is good and the members are very cool.  There are not a lot of members in this ward.  Church attendance is about 15 people or so.  We did get references from some of the members, so this week we will visit them.  I enjoy working here.  I mean, there are no hills whatsoever. I did get sick though.  But I am doing better now.  I also have some fungus growing between my toes and it itches the heck out of me.  But I have a fungus creme - so I am using that right now.  It is always lots of fun over here in Brazil.

Oh yeah, how am I supposed to vote this coming election?  My companion is awesome.  It is nice to talk English with him.  He likes to work and we enjoy that.  He also conserves his money unlike Elder *******, so money is not being thrown away.

Did you guys send that package with the Deodorant and the spiker glue that you said you would on Mother's day? Just wondering.  I don't know the area too well, so I don't have much to say about it.  It is very cold here, though.  That was part of the reason I got a cold.  The cold weather comes with the rain.  I constantly had to blow my nose during church because it was very runny.  I also had a fever, so yesterday I pretty much just rested and today I feel great. 

The mission is going well. Whenever there is a transfer it takes about a week for things to start kicking back up again.  This letter will be very short sorry about that.  I like studying the scriptures everyday.  I learn something new every time I read, and something that I can apply for the day.  The scriptures are great.  I love them.  I love you guys and I enjoy your letters.

Elder Brady

[Kevin wrote to his sister, sharing a few extra missionary details, so we are passing them on to you.]

Hi Michelle,

It's great to hear from you.  That is crazy, you have a boy coming along.  I bet you will do great raising him.  I can't wait to come back and see him.  How are you guys doing?  The mission is good, I enjoy it and things are going great.  I am in a new area and it is very cold.    As for what I do on P-day [missionary preparation day], it all depends on the companion I have.  Some just like to stay at home and rest, others want to toss a football around.  Things are going great and thanks for your support.  I love you guys.

Elder Brady

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 2, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

I am being transfered again.  I will be going to a city which is called Vacaria, in the state Rio Grande do Sul.  So, new state, new city, same zone, same mission.  This state has the most "cowboys" (as the Brazilians title them) then any other state in Brazil.  So that means many much Churrascos.  Meat, meat, meat.  Also, apparently they serve ostrich eggs.  I forget how to spell the name of the bird, but the big bird that runs fast.

My companion will be Elder ********.  He is from Idaho.  He is pretty cool, I like him.  He is finishing up his mission.  So, in other words, I will be staying in Vacaria for a while.  I also need to work on getting to know the area and where the lunches are.  That is my biggest weakness is memorizing names of the sisters in the ward – they are the ones that feed us the lunches!  Hopefully I can do well in that area.

Yeah, maybe I should have tried to treat my companion a little better (not that I treated him poorly, I was just impatient and frustrated).  It was just really hard because of how annoyed I got.  That was my bad.  I will try better during the mission to learn to love my companion.  It was my fault not his.  He is a cool guy and I do like him at times.  Hopefully I can remember the good times and forget the bad.

How is America these days.  Is Michelle having a boy or a girl?  I don't know yet.  I am learning a lot on the mission and I hope to learn more.  I love you guys.  The gospel is true.  Stay strong.  Nobody can take your testimony away except yourself.  Don't allow yourself to do so.  That is not good.

I love you guys.
Elder Kevin Brady 

June 25, 2012

Hello Family and Friends,

Another week has gone by, and it seems that time just goes faster and faster.  I can't keep track of time it seems.  I'm tired.  I'm always tired.  And to be honest, I kind of miss Joaçaba, even though it had a lot of hills.  It could be because I was there the longest.  This area is good too, but I don't know if I can survive another transfer with my companion.  I actually have had a few migraines this month.  So strong I almost threw up.  It stopped now.  But I am afraid of buses (the motion gives me the migraines).

Things are going fine.  It's just tough trying to find time to talk to people and reach them when they are home.  I don't even know what I'm writing about.  Oh we had English class and one person showed up.  we talked about auxiliary verbs.  That was the best day ever.

We had a zone conference that was about the three keys to success which tie in to the three stones of foundation or something like that.  The three stones are faith, love, and spirit, and the three keys are boldness, urgency, and consistency.  It was pretty good.  Our mission president said that we need to stay focused and go for the the thing that matters (which is the gospel of Jesus Christ of course).  He used an example of how he sent his wife to get one thing in the store, she was gone for two hours, came back with large amounts of stuff but not the thing that he needed.  He said we need to focus as he focuses at the store and grab the one thing and only the one thing and our missions will be a success.  His wife also pointed out that woman are better at multitasking then men are, which is true.

Serving a mission is tough but we do have to endure and obey.  Do the best that we can and be proud of our best.  and then learn to do better.  That is what I have been learning.  It helps so much on the mission, even the toughest parts.

I love you,

Elder Kevin Brady

June 18, 2012

Hi Family and Friends,

Erica is going to Hollywood? Wait what?  I'm going to Hollywood too. I'm an actor too.  I'm gonna be a comedian when I grow up.  I'm going to make people laugh for a living.  My job will be a joke.

Anyway, the mission is going good.  We are trying our best to work with the bishop and ******** and try to get him married and baptized either this week or the next.  Hopefully this week.  He has taken all the lessons and has received a testimony and everything, it is just difficult to set up a date for everyone. Patience.  I need Patience.

So,  dinner has been a lot of French Fries and burgers because those are really cheap.  I am still losing weight.  I think I might end up getting scurvy as well because I have kind of eliminated fruits and vegetables from my diet.  I find out I could get out of eating them if I just wait until the members ask if I want any.  They don't do the pass around the table thing here in Brazil.  I hate fruits and vegetables.

Money is fine and speaking of money, I found a perfume that the girls might like if they want one.  It's 45 dollars each in American money.  If that's too much than I could find something else.  I like the smell.  though the name has the name seduction.  It smells really good though.  It's not too strong too, so everyone around them won't get headaches.

Tell me what you think.  Maybe I could get lotion, if not, with some Brazilian fruit.

The atonement is one of the most important and greatest blessings of the plan of salvation.  I am so grateful that with my mistakes I can become clean again.  That I can learn and grow and do the best I can on this life so I can return again to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  I love you all so much and I am grateful for your examples.  I love you.

Elder Kevin Brady

June 11, 2012

Hi Family!

Wow, sounds like a busy week!  That is crazy Erica will be in collrge this year.  I don't know if she will do better than me though. I raised the bar pretty high there...  Anyway, we made some new contacts, but had no success with anyone.  I'm still known as Brad Pitt around here and now I am also known as Pingo, which means child or nub, or retarded.  Well, not really retarded, but more of one who is still learning.  Ask Jeffery what nub means if you do not know.

Elder ********* says " Te-Agradeço" for the letter that you sent to everyone.  (it is a stronger form of thank you)

I have been eating a lot of two things recently in this area, and at almost every lunch:  Pinhão and Chicken heart.  Pinhão, I don't like it too much.  It is hard to describe, but think of a strong, bitter-yet-bland taste.  Everyone likes it here except Elder ******** and I.  Chicken heart on the other hand is delicious (of course I can't have too much because it is still a heart).  Think of a tough-and-chewy, slightly bloody, not too much, chicken taste.  Very good on pizza as well.  Except when they leave all the arteries attached...

Well, my money that I have been using from the church that we receive every two weeks, has just ran out because I had to pay for a lot of expenses because I didn't have everything I need because of the transfer so now I have to use my back-up funds because of that.  Not too fun.  I get slightly nervous about it.  My companion doesn't have money either.  Don't worry, this will not be a problem anymore by the middle of this week.  Nothing to worry about.  The mission gives plenty of money as it is.

My companion has signed me up to see the Eye Doctor, the mission's health plan covers it so it is completely free, one good thing about universal health care here in Brazil.  The only thing I don't know is my vision and the info about the glasses.  I dunno.  I don't think it's too much of a problem.

That's about it this week.  I am doing my best at writing letters so that I can send them to everyone.  I should get it done soon.  I love you guys!  The gospel is true.  Number one thing is to persevere until the end.

Elder Kevin Brady

June 4, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

I will have reached the year mark this week.  That is crazy!  Things are turning around for me.  I am getting in a better mood gradually and having a better attitude about things.  The mission president made a challenge for me that I cut-down completely on the English (except of course to you guys) and now do everything in Portuguese.  I guess what he is saying is that I will only have Brazilians as companions for the rest of the mission.  I guess I need to start learning the culture.

Speaking of the culture, my companion and I have had a little conversation about the difference between the United States and Brazil.  Here in Brazil, it is completely normal and expected to take two showers a day.  One in the morning, one at night.  America is not like that.  Elder ******'s brother went to Las Vegas, and learned our way of life and came home and only took one shower a day. He was considered a pig.  Also we had a debate about cleanliness.  I guess it's just me but I think my companion has a bit of OCD.  Or I am just a messy person.

I lost weight on my mission.  I lost ten kilos, don't know what that is in pounds, but It was significant.  Although, I am now eating a lot of French fries for dinner, because it is very cheap.  So I am learning how to cook hamburgers on a stove using a pot.  It is quite messy.  I don't think I will ever learn how to make pasta sauce.  Looks complicated.  Maybe I will, who knows.

I have terrible insomnia as well, and if I don't go to sleep the same time or sleep during the day, I can't sleep well at night.  Also, I am a extremely light sleeper and if I have a companion that snores, like I do now, I need to fall asleep before he starts or I will not get to sleep for a long time.

That is all for this week.  The Bishop here is really awesome, and has made it a challenge, along with the Stake President that the members have to have Family Home Evening with the missionaries, so that this month we can receive 16 referrals.  I have a testimony that the gospel is true, and that Heavenly Father loves us no matter what.  He will always love us and is so happy if we are doing are best, no matter what our weakness is.

I love you,
Elder Kevin Brady

[Kevin wrote to Tess too and she shared it with us so we could share it with you . . . any extra mission details are appreciated!]

Hey Tessa,

It is great to hear everything is going so well for you guys.  That is crazy that you guys are eating healthy.  I am too.  I lost ten kilos being here on the mission.  Probably that's because fast food is extremely expensive.  But they do have meat restaurants that serve unlimited amounts of meat.  They are called Rodízios and they bring meat around on giant swords and serve people while they are sitting at a table.  They do it with pizza restaurants too. The pizza is healthier here as well.

Great to hear jobs are going well for you both.  What's a gymboree?

I still hate vegetables... don't tell mom :)

Well I am sure things are starting to turn around for the better.  I love hearing from you and I can't wait to catch up when I get back.  It is crazy that I have already been gone for a year.  Time goes by fast.  And I was actually thinking about living in Florida since a ton of Brazilians live there.  and I am guessing Spanish speakers as well. 

I love you and you are in my prayers.

Elder Kevin Brady

May 28, 2012

Hello Family,

OK, so I am in this area with my new companion Elder ******.  He is a cool guy, but his accent is different and he talks very fast.  But I guess that will help since he does not know a lick of English and so I have to speak in just Portuguese.  It will help me to learn the language a lot.  He doesn't really like our area.  He doesn't really like the city in general.  I kind of had to help him to know that in order to be successful, we need to learn to love our areas.  Hopefully he will grow to love it.

Life is going good on the mission.   The only problem is, that my body does not need 7 hours of sleep at night.  So after the mission, I will not sleep as much.  probably.  The language is coming along, and my shyness is slowly fading, but I course I need to work harder and the Lord will give me the strength that I need in his own time.

I was not able to go back to the Buddhist man we were teaching because I had the transfer, but I do hope things turn out well for him.

That's about it for me.  The gospel is true and I enjoy being on a mission. I love you guys.

Elder Kevin Brady