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