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