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