Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, this week started on a Wednesday for us because we had our P-day on Thursday.  We started teaching some less-active members and such, since we didn't really have a lot of investigators to teach during the week.  We went and visited people that are finding it difficult to come back to church.  Well, some it just seems to be too much work to come to church and for others it is holding on to old grudges over people that have offended them.  There are lots of difficulties, but we try to show them love and explain the blessing it is to go to church.  Sometimes the best we can do for them is pray for them.

I'm somewhat getting to know the area and such, but at the same time I am not worrying about it because I will only be here for four more weeks.  It feels really weird that I won't stay here any longer.  But what can I do.

This week we had a zone meeting.  It was good to see some of my friends.  I think one of the best parts about meetings and conferences is being able to see some good friends that you have made on the mission and being able to talk with them about the differences between life on the mission and life in the real world.  It's good stuff.  After that, we went to Subway.  Delicious.  Then we went to a less active member's house and helped him set up his Internet and showed him how to use a computer and explained the dangers, and the good, of the Internet and stuff like that.

Thursday at lunch we had lasagna at a member's house which was amazing.  I had to control myself not to eat too much.  Have I mentioned I have gotten fat on the mission?  I'm trying to lose weight right now, but I don't know if I will in this area.  The food is too good.  The rest of the day we didn't do much.  We visited a less-active member who finds no reason for him to go to church.  What can we do?  Just hope that his mind changes and that he comes to understand the importance of church (to feel the Spirit, to fellowship).  We taught him everything that we know but he still thinks in his ways.

Friday we helped someone else move. It's always fun to serve.

Saturday we visited a ton of people that said they would go to church but they didn't come on Sunday.  The only thing is that they won't refuse our visits.  My companion wants to try new ways of finding the people who want to hear the gospel and focus on finding them.  He doesn't want to waste time with those that aren't progressing.  I agree with him.  We only have four weeks together and we want to do the best we can in such short time.  We can't waste time.

Sunday we had a member come with us to do some contacts on the streets.  We talked to a lot and some of them seem potential so this week we may find a few to teach.  Some seemed genuinely interested so who knows what will happen.  Something good is my guess.

This week I suffered a lot of insomnia and that is always annoying.  I hope that this week I sleep better.  I hate not being able to sleep.

That's it for this week.  I am certain that we will talk on Mother's Day and it will be on Skype.  Lot's of fun.

I love you guys! Have a great week! Love,
Elder Kevin Brady

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 A DAY LATE!!

Hello Family and Friends,

This week was the last week that I had over in F*********.  After six months in that city, I got transfered to a new area.  So this last week was kind of weird.  All of our appointments fell through and we only found one family to teach.  We made some contacts before I left, but I'm not in the area anymore to find out what's going on.

So Friday and Saturday we helped a member move to a new house.  Friday, we only did a little bit of work, but on Saturday we did a ton . . . it was all the huge stuff and putting together dressers and things like that.  Here in Brazil houses usually don't have built-in closets, so they buy a bunch of stuff similar to what we Americans would find in IKEA.  We finished everything, had lunch, and then we found out that I was going to be transfered to **********.  This is on the northern part of the island of *************.  Apparently the ward has an attendance of 180 members.  That is a huge ward.  And it also has a lot of beaches which now makes my mission look exactly like Hawaii.  This is going to be difficult.  But, it does have a subway and a lot of surf shops.

My new companion is Elder F******.  He is from *****, Brazil, and he is pretty chill.  I actually did a division with him last year so I kind of knew him before.  So it is not so awkward (the transfer and everything).  I am just curious about the members and what they are like.  I won't get to know them much anyway since I will be leaving soon.  They may not even remember me.  But I will work hard.

Time is flying by fast and I am certain that this area will make it go faster since I already like it.  I hope this week will go well.  I hope the week goes well  for you guys.  I love you all.

Elder Kevin Brady

PS – About being a day late: Oh yeah about that, we had a crazy transfer schedule yesterday so I wasn't able to email.  But everything is OK. Nothing to worry about over here.

April 8, 2013

Hello Family and Friends,

Well, this week we had general conference.  I kind of understood it, but the problem is that I was never great at listening to lectures and talks and things like that.  I find that it is so much more easier for me to learn when I read. So I am really just waiting until I have the opportunity to read the Ensign. I am sure that is when I will understand conference the best.

This week not much happened.  No investigators came to church and we taught a bunch of people but some we had to let go from our teaching schedule.  I am not discouraged.  I will keep working until I can find some elites [people ready and prepared to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ].  

My mind went blank that is why I can't think of anything to write.  

One thing I won't miss from the mission is shaving.  Another is combing my hair to the side.  These are two tedious things that I have to do constantly and I have no idea why.

The food is still good at the member's homes (lunchtime).  I enjoy every lunch here.  and I enjoy pizza.

I have been hearing that North Korea is ready to attack the U.S.  is that true?

I am enjoying studying the scriptures, though right now with the limited materials we can read as missionaries it's starting to get tedious at times.  I can't wait till I get back home and use numerous materials to add to my scripture study.

Well that is it for this week.  Sorry that this email is very short.  My mind went blank.

Have a good week.

Elder Kevin Brady

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Another week on the mission has passed by and it is crazy how fast the time is flying.  I have less then two months left on the mission.  The good thing is that I am not really trunky so I am doing well with concentrating on the work.  We are working hard everyday.

Unfortunately, we are not having the greatest luck with investigators.  We only had one at our last sacrament meeting.  We did have a family that showed up to church but they had to leave just before sacrament meeting. (Here sacrament meeting is the last hour of church).   We are going to work with our investigators this week. Sadly, we may have to stop teaching some of them if they don't continue to keep their commitments.  It's kind of what our mission president wants us to do.  If they aren't progressing, stop teaching them and work with the ones that are.  It is always sad and I don't like doing it but I understand it is necessary.

Though it can sometimes be difficult with our investigators, this time I am not going to allow myself to get discouraged and lower my expectations.  That was a big mistake that I made last January and I learned from that.  Instead I am going to look forward with hope and the knowledge that I am preparing souls and planting seeds.  I do hope that in the future many of these good people will come to accept the gospel and the hope and happiness it brings to us.

So, on Friday we did that little bible study about two topics: Sabbath (when it should be) and eating pork.  By just the Portuguese Bible, they attempted to prove that the Sabbath Day should be on Saturday and that Christ actually was resurrected on Saturday and not Sunday.  After I went home I looked at the prophecy of Daniel about the Lord's death being in the "midst of the week" and realized that the Portuguese bible mistranslated it to the "mitade da semana" or the exact middle of the week, being Wednesday.  Also, they said that the scriptures about the apostles meeting on the first day of the week and "breaking bread" was just them getting together and eating and not an actual meeting of the church.  difference in interpretation.

Eating pork and the arguments that they had were only differences in interpretation.  They said that the vision of all animals being clean and able to eat, was only a metaphor that the gospel can be preached to the gentiles.  They don't look at the law of not eating pork was a metaphor in itself that the gospel could not be preached to the gentiles (at that time, of course).

Anyway, my knowledge of the Bible grew a lot after this little Bible study.  My faith in the restored gospel grew and my knowledge of the scriptures as well.  Unfortunately, the only thing that I could do in that instance was to bear my testimony of the restored gospel, and that there is a prophet on the earth today.  I pray that one day their hearts and minds will be opened to the truth.

Anyway, that was my week.  I hope your week will be great.  I love all of you.

Elder Kevin Brady

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March 25, 2013

Hi guys!

So, this week had it's ups and downs.  Unfortunately, it appears that there will be no baptism within the next three weeks (which is the end of the transfer); however, the good news is our investigators are slowly progressing.  A few have stated that they do not want any more lessons but they do still want to be friends.  That is sad, but acceptable.  I am certain in the future there will be missionaries who will come in to reap from the harvest here.  That is what President Uchtdorf stated, that we missionaries are constantly planting seeds.

Anyway, we have one family that we are working with that is a part member family.  We will actually visit them tonight and teach them about the restoration.  The father left the church many years ago but now wants to come back and the wife is interested in becoming a member.  I have high hopes for them as I do with all of my investigators.

We found another family that is from The Church of God. This church follows many of the Mosaic laws yet they have invited us to come over and hear our message.  This will be a difficult lesson since they have asked us to not use the book of mormon in our message.  This is extremely different than what we are used to and I pray that it does not just become a "Bible bashing" meeting as that only leads to contention.  We will find out what happens on Friday.

Time is flying by really fast, though I am trying to keep my mind focused on the mission.  The closer I get to coming home the more anxious I get.  I am constantly wondering what it will be like when I get back.  I am trying not to think about it though.

When it comes to shaving, no matter what I put on my face it still itches and burns and I get a bunch of zits all over my face.  I am even using some stuff to get rid of the zits and it is not working.  I really think that I am "allergic" to shaving.  It is really getting on my nerves how annoying shaving is.  
Anyway that was my week.  

I love you guys have a great week.

Elder Kevin Brady

March 18, 2013

Hey family and friends,

Well another week has gone by on the mission.  Today I just got an email with my plane ticket and everything.  Or something like that.  Maybe it's just information.  Anyway, it says that I will arrive in Portland at 11:59 AM on the 22nd of may and that I will be traveling for 15 hours and 14 minutes.  [A long ride!]  So that is the exciting news of this week.  Other than that, it is just a week filled with normal missionary stuff.

We did a few contacts this week and we are trying to find people to teach.  Some of them look like they have potential but others don't have any interest in what we have to teach.  But my companion doesn't give up.  That is a good thing that I am learning from him.  We have just got to go and do all that we can and never quit.

On Thursday we had a conference with the member of the Seventy and that was great to see all of my good friends in the mission field.  The member of the seventy said a lot of stuff that was helpful for us on the mission and gave us things to apply in our lives.  Some were tips on making contacts and finding references.  My companion and I tried a few. They haven't worked yet but maybe with other people we will have different results.

We had a new mission leader called in the ward.  Many members are excited, saying that this guy is a guy that works hard.  We set up a meeting with him on Thursday so he is ready to get started.

Our investigators are excited to learn about the gospel, but it is difficult to reach them since they all work a lot and also they live far from the church.  The people that live closer to the church aren't really interested. but we hope for them. so we work with the people that are accepting our messages.  We can't just stay at the place where no one will accept us.  Our job is to find those who will accept our message and then teach them.  But I also know that somewhere in the difficult areas there is someone that does want to hear our message.  For this reason, we must go to all areas of the mission.  Wow, that was confusing.

Anyway.  I hope that this week will be better.  I love you guys.  Have a good week.

Elder Kevin Brady

PS From Kevin
Monday March 18, 2013

P.S.  J****** is going to Teresina?!  That is the hottest place in Brazil.  Good luck to him.  Also, it will foil the plans that B****** and I had. We were looking forward to the fact that our families will not be able to understand what we are saying once we get home from our missions.  I guess we inevitably have to let J*** join us.  I'll see what B*** thinks.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

March 11, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

I am always glad to hear that everything is going well back at home.  And yes I enjoy all of your letters, both emails and handwritten.  It's interesting to hear about the different weeks that people can have while all living in the same house.

This week was crazy.  Tuesday we had to get up early to go to Florianopolis to pick up my new companion Elder C*****.  Then we went back and had lunch, all three of us.  We then returned again to F**** because Elder A****** had a meeting for those who will train. We got back at 7:30 PM and then headed over to a recent converts house.  We got home late.  

Wednesday, we didn't have much going on. The only thing different was that it was three of us doing everything instead of two of us.  I am trying to recall exactly what it was, but it wasn't much.  We had to go to the store to get more detergent and stuff.  

Thursday we had to go to Florianopolis in the morning because Elder A****** had a leadership training meeting.  Elder C***** and I went back home to have lunch and then we went back to Florianopolis to pick up Elder A******.  As we were waiting, I saw my old companion Elder F******.  He is leaving tomorrow and we caught up and talked about crazy mission stories and how we will hang out most likely after the mission.  I also saw Elder B*******.  We talked as well and caught up.  It was good to see them again.  Then we went home.

Friday we went back to Florianopolis in the morning to drop off Elder A***** so he could catch his bus.  He had to go to the other side of the state.  We then went home and started to live a normal missionary life of just two in a companionship rather than three.  Later, we went to k**** to see the wedding of some of our investigators.  We then had a Burger King and sea food wedding dinner.  I did not eat any of the sea food and I am glad I didn't because my companion ended up having diarrhea and threw up.  And people ask why I don't eat sea food...

So, it has been a very hectic week and not exactly productive but that is sometimes part of missionary's life.  Sometimes there are just fast paced weeks of nothing.  I am not complaining or anything.  I thought it was fun to see all my friends again.  Good times.

This week we will have a conference with President ******** (or something like that) who is in the presidency of the area of Brazil.  I think the second quorum of the seventy.  He will come over and talk to us.  Not exactly sure about what but it will be exactly what our mission needs to hear.  I am sure it will help a lot.  I am excited to hear what he has to say.

The work is progressing here in ******** and will continue to progress.  We plan on marking some baptismal dates with investigators for this month.  I feel that we have found three investigators who really want to learn more about the gospel.  We will work hard with them.

Thank you all for your letters and support.  I love you all very much.  Have a great week.

Elder Kevin Brady

March 4, 2013

Hi Family and Friends,

Well, isn't that all fine and dandy that you all celebrated my birthday in Hawaii?  I remember the days when I was in middle school and high school and you guys would just go to Hawaii on my birthday without me.  Oh and maybe send me a picture of the beach.  Good times.  My life in a nutshell. haha just kidding.

We had a baptism on Saturday and it was great.  I felt the spirit very strongly.  The girl is nine years old and she kind of had fear of the water when my companion was baptizing her.  The witnesses had him do the baptism three times because her feet popped out of the water when she was immersed. Poor girl.  Anyway, she and her mom came to sacrament meeting and we did the confirmation.

This week is going to be chaotic because my companion is leaving, but before he leaves he has five different meetings that he has to go to.  My new companion will be Elder C*****. 

I will be catching a plane home May 21st in the morning.  I do not know when I will arrive in Oregon but they are buying the tickets right now and everything.  I was just asked which airport I wanted to arrive at and I told them the New York airport.  I am excited.  I will run across the country to you guys after that.  I'm just kidding I told them the Portland airport.  I hope he didn't choose Portland, Maine.

So that is all for this week.  I will be staying in the same area and teaching the same investigators.  I am looking forward to some great stuff. 

I love you guys.  Have a good week.

Elder Kevin Brady

February 25, 2013 "My Birthday"

Hi Family and Friends,

So finally we got electricity in the apartment again after more than a month without it.  Now I can wash my clothes and take a warm shower.  And drink cold water instead of lukewarm water.  Congrats to Erica in the play.  Sounds like they did a great job.

Today is my birthday, and thankfully it's on a P-day [preparation day] so i can relax on my birthday.  Not sure though exactly what I will do.  Not much to do anyway since we aren't authorized to do pretty much anything other than missionary work. But that is OK, I'll figure something out.

This Sunday we had three investigators at church and we marked a baptism for this Saturday with one of them.  It was announced at church and the investigator, her name is E******, is really excited.  The other investigators were a couple that we started to teach on Thursday and they were referred to us from a member of the ward. They really enjoyed the meetings.  Hopes are high for them.

Another family we were teaching is now rejecting us and running away every time we walk by their house.  I'm not really sure what we did or what they heard but they just don't want to hear from us.  A family scheduled a family home evening with them for today with us, but I am not sure that they actually explained that us missionaries are going to be there.  I hope that the family won't get angry about that fact.

So, I am still with my companion from Argentina but president said that it was very likely for me next week to be transfered to my last area.  So I will probably have one more companion after this and I am not sure if he will be American or Brazilian or from another country.

That was all for this week.  I love you guys and I hope you have a good week.  I'll see you all soon.

Elder Kevin Brady

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February 18, 2013

Hi Family and Friends,

I feel a little better.  I went to Florianópolis on Friday to take care of the electricity problem because president was busy and kept forgetting.  So I got it taken care of and sometime this week we will have electricity again.  I am happy.  I can now save the food I buy in a refrigerator and save money.  And no more cold showers.

So this week was good and bad at the same time.  We had some success with M***** and others, but S****** and her family are rejecting us.  Well, just she is.  Her husband likes us but S***** keeps telling her kids to tell us that she is not home.  Everyone has their agency I guess.

This Saturday we will do an activity with the Ward where we will all hand out pass-along cards with our phone number on it to try and find more people who want to hear our message.  I do hope it turns out as a success.

The mission is rough sometimes, but it is getting better.  We are planning on encouraging one of our investigators to commit baptism and marking a date.  I hope it happens.

We had no investigators at sacrament meeting but we did have a lot of less-actives who came and that was exciting to see them all at church.

We are going to work hard to find more people this week.  I hope it turns out great.  I love you all and thank you for your encouragement.

Elder Brady

February 11, 2013

Hey Family and Friends,

Yes mom, I do agree.  Generally when we are converted . . . it does lead to conversion. :D  So this week I eventually got over my illness at least.  We still have no electricity, and everyone is vacationing because of Carnival so there is not much missionary work that is able to be done.  I love how there is no electricity in the house and how the nights here are so hot and how the mosquitoes love to bite us and keep us up all night and how the repellent ran out and how the showers are freezing cold and how we got caught in a rain storm and all of my scriptures got wet.  Love it.  See how positive I am?. :)

We had a zone meeting this week.  Probably the highlight because I was able to see some old friends from on the mission and my companion from the CTM.  Good stuff.  And that's about it with the highlights and the good stuff that has happened.

Of course it doesn't really do any good to complain because the mission is no different than real life.     I decided to be more laid back and not get stressed out about things so now I feel better.  It helps a lot.

I do love the mission and at the same time I struggle with it.  I have a “love – not so much love” relationship with the mission.  I want to do good and at the same time I sometimes lack motivation.  I know the purpose of a mission, yet I don't feel that fire (especially when we don't have electricity!).  Or it does ignite a fire within me and then everything bad that can happen happens.  This mission is the most difficult thing that I have ever chosen to do in my life.  Just by finishing the mission I have already put in more effort in it than any musicals, plays, or sports I ever participated in.

Anyway.  We are working with the same guy who is recent member every now and then.  He has only gone to church once since he got baptized but he has stopped drinking for almost a month now.  That is great.  Now to help him come to church is our next goal.

So that is what has been going on this week.  I hope your week goes well.  I love you guys.  

Elder Kevin Brady

February 4, 2012

Hello family and friends,

Well, this week was kind of the pits.  We have no light or electricity in our house so we cannot cook anything to eat. We also have freezing cold showers because of it.  And to top if off, yesterday I had a cold that turned into a fever while sleeping and now I feel pretty horrible.  I also feel some wheezing when I breath in deep.  I think it's a sinus infection.  I really can't stand it.  I have no idea when we will have electricity again. I have never been so miserable.

So anyway, we had a baptism on Saturday (that night is when the cold started) and that was great.  M******* was very excited to be baptized and she is coming to church more often as well.  We had hot dogs afterwards which I enjoyed.

I really can't remember much of anything that has happened this week my mind is all fuzzy and my head hurts.

We have another girl who we are teaching.  Her mom is a member though less - active and we are working with them both to come back to church.  We plan on marking a baptism with them sometime soon.

Well that is all I can think about writing right now besides complaining about how miserable I feel, but I am sure that you guys don't want to hear that.  So I will end with the fact that God wants me to go through all these difficulties for a reason that I cannot see at the time being and that it will strengthen me somehow.  I just have to push forward with faith and hope that all will turn out well in the end.

I love you guys.  Have a good week.

Elder Kevin Brady

January 28, 2013

Hi Family and Friends,

Well this week was OK.  We were all waiting for Saturday to satisfy our curiosity to find out if we were being transfered to a new area or not.  But we weren't.  We are still in the same area.  This is weird for me.  I generally don't like to stay in the same area forever.

Anyway, the baptism that was supposed to happen this last Saturday got postponed to this upcoming Saturday.  We are hoping that it will work out OK.  We feel confident that it will though.  She was the only one that came to church out of all of our investigators.  She does enjoy coming to church.

All of our other appointments fell through.  We had only two lessons with members present and no lessons with just investigators.  So, not so much fun.  Hopefully this week is better.

I think my face is sensitive to shaving.  I am constantly getting pimples and zits where I shave and my face gets irritated whenever I shave. It's really starting to get on my nerves.  But what do you do?

So, not much spiritual experiences for me this week since pretty much nothing happened.  Weeks like this are difficult.  Well, anyway, it did give my companion and I an opportunity to talk about our interests. So we talked about the different martial arts and what we want to do and everything.  He wants to learn boxing, or kick boxing.  I want to learn all the most popular martial arts and boxing to learn stamina.  Then I can defend myself and others.  It might be a good way for me to lose stress and have a better lifestyle when I get back home.

But on the mission I have got to learn stress tips with the limited-- extremely limited resources that I have.  Yeah so that was my week.  I learned a bit about patience too.  I read some scripture in proverbs that talked about if we can't be patient then we are imbeciles.  Something like that.  I laughed, because I'm not patient and the scripture is calling me basically an imbecile.  Lol.

Well that was my week. I love you guys.  The church is true and so is the gospel.

Elder Kevin Brady

Letter from Kevin
(to Katrina)
Monday January 28, 2013

Hey Katrina,

It was so good to hear from you.  Henry seems to get funnier everyday. All the kids are growing up so fast! I love you guys and I wish the best for you.  The mission is going good for me right now.  Have a great week this week.

I love you!
Elder Kevin Brady

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January 21, 2013

Hi Family and Friends,

So this week we are working in a neighborhood full of people ready to hear the word of God.  And they love to hear it from all the churches such as us and Jehovah's Witnesses.  We are teaching one man named M******, I think i told you about him last week, but he is still coming to church and enjoying our message.  He invites everyone else in the neighborhood has well to come to church.  His wife (or girlfriend actually since they are not married on paper) came as well and she enjoyed it.  We also had another family that came to church and they enjoyed it a lot.  This area is starting to get a move on.

We also found another family whose mom is a baptized member, and the daughter was going to be as well, but because of some emergency transfers (a while back) and information being told to other missionaries, the missionaries did not show up at the baptism.  The mom was upset (the daughter as well) and stopped going to church for a while and then she started going to another ward.  We found her and she accepted us and was friendly and we marked a day where we can come by and talk with them and mark another day for the daughter to be baptized.  We had no Idea that they existed.  My companion arrived in this area not knowing anything that was going on and the members didn't tell us.  We had to learn about this family from the missionaries in the other ward.

Lunches are good here.  The members are nice.  We taught a lady the restoration but afterwards she stated that she was going to continue going to her church but we can stop by anytime we want to.  So that was that.  She had two yapping dogs.  It was really upsetting.

I hate mosquitoes.  They keep me up all night buzzing in my ear.  If i had one wish in the world, I'm not sure if I should wish that mosquitoes never exist, or dogs never exist.  probably I would wish away dogs though. (JK to all my dog loving friends).

I am always hungry.  And the funny thing is that I am not gaining weight.  I probably have the worst diet as well.  I rarely eat fruit or vegetables.  They don't taste good.  i love cheese bread and crave it constantly.  I miss taco bell.  And Cheeze-its; like the jalapeño kind.  I love cheese.  Cheeto's are good too.  I am really hungry right now.  i want a pizza. I might make one today.  Do I have to knead the dough or do I just mix the ingredients?  I'll figure it out.

Well that was my week.  I love you guys.  The Church is true and the gospel is true.

Elder Kevin Brady

January 14, 2013

Hi Family and Friends,

Yeah my last letter seemed kind of depressing, but I am perfectly fine right now.  I am able to look back at some of the rough moments and laugh.

This week was OK I guess.  We had a zone meeting where we talked about how our attitude needs to change if we want to have a good mission and I was thinking to myself, (well gee, that isn't so hard for me since it changes 24/7) and then how we need to persevere until the end.  I also finally received the letters that were sent to me in December and I got the Christmas letter and nearly flipped a lid when I saw that, out of all the pictures of me that could have been chosen, the one with me and that dog was on the Christmas letter.  That was a joke picture because I am not super fond of dogs. Remember??  Now everyone back at home is going to think that I love dogs and try to get me to pet theirs.  I do not love dogs.  they constantly bark at me.  Everyone has a dog here in Brazil and everywhere I walk is BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK.  "Hi we´re missionaries of the church of BARK BARK BARK BARK!  Excuse me, but would it be all right if we have a glass of BARK BARK BARK BARK!!  This message means a lot to me because it talks about BARK BARK BARK BARK! those feelings you describe are from the Ho--BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK!!"

This week we found a guy named M*****.  He took us to his house and we began to teach him about the gospel.  Luckily, his wife is not a fan of dogs too, so we didn't have any interruptions.  He goes to bible study with the Jehovah's witnesses but he does enjoy learning from us.  He has already felt the spirit during the lesson of the restoration and he is now asking more and more questions.  We are trying to visit him as often as possible and he even came to church yesterday.  He told of how he used to sell drugs, but because of a spiritual experience he had, he decided to abandon that old life and start anew.  And very soon after that is when we came into the picture.  God places us in the areas that we are in for a reason.  I could have complained to the mission president and gotten transfered to a new area but I decided to endure this area and figure out the reason I am here.  If I was gone, who knows if my companion would have made the same decisions that led us to finding M******.  Probably, but maybe not.

So I have decided to stop complaining and stop being lazy and get back to work.  I ran into a hurdle in my life and I need to get up and brush off my knees and start running again. (If you remember when I did hurdles back in middle school I fell down almost every hurdle returning home with scraped knees.  Always)  Things will get better. I hope.

For now I am going to give another week of doing my best and staying obedient. Seriously, as of now I feel great.  I trust in the Lord that all things will turn out fine in the end.  I just have to reorganize my priorities and follow the Lord's will.

I love you guys. Have a great week.

Elder Kevin Brady

January 7. 2013

Dear family and friends,

The week passed by and it was kind of the same old.  I am still getting frustrated over small things.  I shouldn't but I can't help it.  I shouldn't really be feeling all of this since we have a baptism marked for the 26th and that is exciting and wonderful, but at the same time something small happens and I get upset.  Or something big happens and I get upset.  Either way something happens and I get upset.  I am trying to do better. I am.  But the adversary does not want me to do my best.  It feels at least to me, though I know many others go through the same or worse, that the adversary works extra hard to make me feel like a failure.  Difficult stuff that is going on but what can I do.  Only the same thing every single week and day.

Any way, we didn't have that good of a week this week except for marking the baptism.  Her name is M****** and she feels that she is ready.  She is the girlfriend of H****** and H*******'s mom feels that it will be good for him if M***** was baptized.  It appears that way to me as well.  She has already shown that she is wanting to get baptized for herself and not for him.  So this will be good.

We tried to find C********** but he is almost never home nowadays.  and he is not coming to church.  He doesn't wake up on time.

I'm doing all that I can to change and do better.  I am trying to lose myself in the work but sometimes I feel like giving up (don't worry, I won't). This area has tested my faith like no other.  Trial after trial after trial happens.  

I love you guys and I always thank you for your encouragement.  Have a good week.

Elder Kevin Brady

Monday December 31, 2012

Hello family and friends,

That was a lot of fun to see you all and talk to you on Christmas.  Everybody is growing up.  

This week was not that great because nobody wants to hear our message.  So it's just getting real sad here in ***********.  Everyone that we try to teach says to come back after New Years, or never.  So hopefully this week will be better.  Otherwise, I fear all of my letters are just going to be boring.

So this week we visited C********* who is a new member who is less-active and has some struggles.  He acted really weird for awhile (he might have been drunk). We stayed at his house for some time and he started to get sober again and normal.

We have a new woman investigator that came to church last Sunday with a less-active member but she didn't come this Sunday.  We visited her and she said that she would come to church but she didn't.  This week we will go and find out what's up.  She appears to like the message but then again so do a lot of other people who later decide to stop taking the lessons so we'll find out sooner or later.

Anyway, that was what went on this week.  Other than that stuff it's just the same old: People rejecting us, raining when we are outside, stopping when we get inside, muddy roads we have to walk on, when the road is cement it is dry, buses taking forever to arrive causing us to miss the other.  Of course there are some good things like sleep, and eating at the members houses and at home. Sorry if I am sounding down . . . it has been a hard week.

I am trying out shaving with a blade and cream to see if I have a skin reaction to that.  The electric shaver is irritating my skin.  I noticed that I only get acne right now where I shave and it itches like crazy so if it happens with a blade and cream then my skin is sensitive to shaving.  I will admit, I have never felt such a close shave before in my life.  I have never shaved with a blade and cream before.  I keep on cutting the mole on my face as well.  Also, close to my chin I cut. (I think I just mixed Portuguese grammar in that sentence).  But it heals up in like 5 seconds so it's no big deal.

Well I do hope that this week turns out better than last.  Things are going slow and fast at the same time.  Hopefully our luck will change as well since so far it seems we don't have any right now.  I'm trying not to give up but right now I am feeling a bit down.  I love you guys and I hope you have a good week.

Elder Kevin Brady

December 24, 2012

Hi family and friends,

Yes I will try Dad's name first [when I skype tomorrow].  Don't worry.  I have all the information saved on my list on my Skype page.  

Anyway,  not much to write about since we will be talking tomorrow and you can ask your questions to me then. This week I had a low fever so not much happened anyway besides being stuck in a extremely muddy place during the rain.  Wasn't my favorite day of the mission.  Well, I love you guys.  I will see you tomorrow.

Sorry this e-mail is short.  I'm trying to remember things to tell you guys but I can't come up with anything.  Oh and this is sent to you really early because after this we have been authorized to watch movies for Christmas today and so we are heading over there [?] in just a bit.  Lots of fun.  I love you guys.  Have a good week.

Elder Kevin Brady

PS - one more thing, I don't know exactly when after lunch I will be Skyping, because my companion might go before me. . . or not . . . so just be ready to answer :)

December 17, 2012

Hi Family and Friends,

Well, this week we had a conference and that was a good experience.  There were quite a few changes announced on certain things for the mission.  For example, one is that when we have a transfer, we leave on P-day (our preparation day which is Monday for us) instead of Wednesday or Thursday.  Also, a new rule is that we now, during the summer time, have to take, at the very least, two showers a day.  Strange for us Americans, but important.  It's been said that if we don't, fungus will start to grow on us.  Weird.

The president gave us some great tips on contacting people and planning.  He wants detailed planning.  I have never had to list all of the meetings during church before.  He also talked a bit about how he knew that his wife was the one to marry.  He gave us advice and said that choosing a wife should be 50% passion and 50% reason.  He then went to explain why.  It made some sense.  I guess.  

Practically all of our appointments fell through this week.  We did get to visit *****, though, and he liked the lesson.  The only thing that worries me is [whether] he is actually following through with his commitments.  We plan on visiting him this week and, if needs be, we will explain to him the importance of following through and how commitments are key to repentance.  Repentance not just asking for forgiveness, but it is also about changing our ways.  Commitments help us to change our ways.

We didn't find anyone to teach this week.  Nobody seems to want to accept our message.  I am not giving up though.  We are planting seeds everywhere we go so at least that is something that is good.  Like the parable that Jesus taught:  sometimes we just have to plant the seed and then wait for the Lord to do what is needed as we go on our way.  Then, one day in the future, other missionaries will come and harvest what has grown.  I feel that is why I was transfered so often.  Just to plant seeds in the hearts of the people here in Santa Catarina.  I hope that those seeds will someday bear fruit.

I will Skype on Christmas day after lunch so about 1 or 2 o'clock my time.  That is when I plan on calling, so be  ready.  I am excited.

Well I love you guys.  I hope that everything is going well for you.  Have a great week.

Elder Kevin Brady