Elder Matthew Wright Gagon - Brazil Curitiba Mission

Elder Michael David Gagon - Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Michael: May 2, 2012

Dear family, I´m sitting in the mission office- speechless. I can´t hardly think or remember anything that´s gone down the last two years. It seems like Ive been here my whole life and this life has been extremely short. It´s been a blessing. This morning/week I´ve been feelin a little sick to my stomach but now my bags are packed and I´m ready to go, and I´m excited and happy to see yáll! It´s gonna be one long day today but logo logo we´ll rejoice togeth.

Elder Michael Gagon

Monday, April 30, 2012

Matt: April 30, 2012

Dear Family,

This week was good. My companion and....his next companion are gonna have to start over from zero because our entire teaching group entered the waters of baptism with me and Indianara de Fatima Gassner was baptized the way Jesus was; by complete immersion, with the age of accountability, and by someone holding the proper priesthood authority of God (yours truly). It was a good day. Here in Guarapuava winter is coming in full force and I´m kinda glad to be getting out of here when I am because this is said to be the coldest city in Brasil. Today we had a zone activity where we played dodgeball for the first time in mission history (probably) and for our luncheon I made Piña Colada mousse. It was good.

Anywho on to the goods. These past two years have been incredible. I knew I would regret it if I didn´t serve a mission, and two years ago set out like Lehi in the beginning of 1 Nefi ch. 8 following an angel not really knowing what to expect, but hoping for something good. I have been blessed more than I ever deserved in the course of my mission, and have met some incredible people that I hope to never forget. Much like Lehi I have found in these last two years what it truly takes to be happy. I have found that fruit that is desirable above all that is desirable, and have worked my fingers to the bone trying to offer that fruit to any and all that would accept it. I can´t say that I was the most effective, or most spiritual missionary, and I was no "John the Baptist" either, but the other day while thinking about finances and in particular my finances and how my life savings was all used up to fund this journey- I felt this overwhelming sense of peace and joy and I knew that there is no ammount of money in the world that can buy the experiences, the growth, the friendships, and the overall awesomeness that I have gone through over the last 24 months, and I felt that I had done what I had been called to do. I haven´t cried yet. I don´t know if that has more to do with the anxiousness of seeing my beloved family again, or because it hasn´t really hit me yet that I am indeed leaving the mission, but I know that this is the work of God. I am happy to say that I helped in the gathering in the small way that I did, and I hope to continue feeling the incredible satisfaction and happiness that comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ with yallsies here in a few days. I know God lives. I know Jesus Christ is indeed my savior and the savior of all the world. I don´t have any doubts about the truthfullness of The Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith as the prophet who translated it. I know that the only thing that can combat and defeat all of the badness that is world is up to it´s neck in, is the goodness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I´m sure that there are many things I could have done better in the course of my mission, but to say I didn´t do the best that I knew how to do would be a lie.

I´d like to close with some inspired words, the first comes from 2nd Timothy 4 verse 7 which reads. "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith"

The other comes from the song "One Headlight" by The Wallflowers. It goes: I haven´t changed, but I know I aint the same.

I love you all. See yallsies Thursday.


Elder Matthew Wright Gegs Gagon I of Curitiba

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Michael: April 25, 2012

Dear Family.

There have been many wednesdays the past two years that I´ve caused a scene in the Brazilian Lan-houses with some wild hi-ee-na laughs (nossa whoever gets that in the spelling be is a gone-er!) but this week i´m trying not to attract too much attention with my sobs. No, I´ve got it under control but it´s with a heavy heart.

Here´s the 7 day re-cap of the highs and lows down her: We got back from doing our biz last P day and our water had been cut! So we payed the 5 months worth of water bills that I hadnt been told about and were without money, showers, toilet that flushes, and etc for a while. We went to the church to brush our teeth, dump and wash our faces everyday. The situation only got worse Sunday morn when I went to church super late (an hour and a half) cause of the bus confusion and all hot-headed I grabbed my bag of baptismal clothes but left my proselyting bag on the bus, which had my toothbrush, and disposable camera with all my mission pics ha. But when you go to church you are blesses, so then things started to turn around. MacGyver is now Mormon (he´ll be even more mormon when he´s confirmed this Sunday) and when it got to the point where I was about to bathe in the baptismal font (whose heater started working again) our water came back in our house! I think in that mean-time that the water was off worms made home in our drain cause the past 3 days i´ll be showering and look down at a big 10-inch worm crawling sliming around. There was another plague one day we woke up and found 3 already-dead cockroaches in our kitchen, and 20 dead ones outside in our laundry area!

But that´s that... Trunkiness betrayed our friend pact and has been givin me a beating this week, he´s def on his A game and winning some battles but I´ll come out victorious, this week we´ve got at least one baptism, and it´ll be a 2nd one if Nilceia´s husband supports her. She said she was gonna tell him and her daughter about her decision last night which will definately impact her. Please pray for her this very minute!

Like the Ashley family I finished the Book of Mormon again and am so grateful for Our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ.

Other than that members are extra-awesome to missionaries on their last weeks, and when it´s your companions birthday! I don´t think Im gonna by any food this week cause every day members are sending us home with tupper-wares and bags of goodies.

I forgot to tell how shocked I was 2 weeks ago when I got a call from an unknown number and hear Alison call me Elder Gagon. Then I thought to myself if I speak english my comp is gonna get suspicious and even worse, understand everything I say haha so I sat there like a frozen duck.

Jor, Al, and Dad- All I can say is thanks for your emails, the heartfelt words were felt in my heart. Thank you.

Can- thanks tambem, don´t try eating too fast after surgery like I did!

Nick- imagine inauguration night and then instead of seeing everyone the next day at school having to leave the country ... that´s kinda like the end of your mission.

Nate- I got your letter!

Feelin like a lamb to the slaughter, but calm as a summers morning. Bring a video recorder or two to the airport, along with Duke, and errbodys temple clothes!!

Til we meet,

Elder Michael Gagon

Monday, April 23, 2012

Matt: April 23, 2012

Dearest most marvelous family of mine,

You guys rock. Thanks for the emails. This week went by super fast. Our zone hasn´t been baptizing too much these past couple weeks (since I got here) and we decided to get interviews going in every area to see what fruits it could render. There were two teenage girls who passed and are ready, but their "goleiro" gramma wouldn´t sign the form allowing them to be baptized so it didn´t go through. Then on the other side of town I interviewed a lady that I made a contact with a month and a half ago on a day long division. She and her parents were returning early from a day of potato farming and I offered to help carry a very large and very heavy sack of potatos back to their house for them. Long story short, that lady was baptized yesterday. Then in our area we´ve been having a series of talks with a lady called Indianara who after passing her baptismal interview Saturday afternoon and watching "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" Saturday night, decided not to go to church (or answer her door) Sunday morning and thus was not baptized... Puxa.

Other than that things are grooving along. I think I should be a surgeon becuase I´ve gotten really good at cutting people, expecially weak, moley, non-committal investigators. We had been teaching a slew of moley people and after one super moley guy said he hadn´t gotten an answer if the Book of Mormon is true I decided to read Moroni 10:4 with him. After explaining what a "sincere heart" and "real intent" were I proceded to "destroy him" (in my comps words) because he didn´t have a sincere heart or real intent. Things are just rolling along though, and the Lord doesn´t want weak, moley, non-committal members in His church.

Dad- Para bens for the new house. Should be a partay toda noite there in a week!

Jor- Obrigado pelo testamunho.

Al- No, thank YOU for helping me get to where I am today.

Michael- I have a 3 page letter for you, I´m debating whether or not to send it tomorrow, b/c you´d prob just read it on the plane home.... Yeah I´ll send it sedex and you can rir all the way back to the promised land.

I love you all! The mish is the best. Don´t be afraid to send another last email next week before monday morning, I will surely get it.

Love, Elder Matt Gagon

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Michael: April 18, 2012

Dear family!

How I feel richly blessed by the abundance of emails! Thank you thank you thank you! From the sounds of things I´m not the only one who has stopped fighting trunkiness but made best friends with him! Ha I like to joke, or should I say state the open truth about trunkiness but there is another side to the story you should know... This week had a few ´´lasts´´. Last hair cut, last letter from the CP3 high counselmen (lets hope), a more significant one was the last fast and testimony meeting. I´ve born my testimony every month on the mish- and as I did so for the last time in Braziland, my cup of emotions was overflown and the flood gates were opened and lots of people got their face wet. I said amen and sat down and cried like a 5 year old girl in time-out. I dunno if the Lord is preparing me to return to american cuisine but I´ve not had much appetite and when I think 2 weeks I get a loss for air. I´m super duper excited to behold all your faces... just tryna make a splash before I do (literally). And things are lookin good. After I don´t know how many hours of missionary work Ive done so far -I met 2 guys named McGyver within the 3 hours we work on Pday last week. One of them turned out to be an elect of the Lord and if all goes well he shall be baptised on Sunday! He was living with his ex-spouse (that he was never legally married to) but sleeping in separate rooms....that way they could split the rent but live seperate lives and still both ´´be there´´ for their 2 daughters.. but we had to tell him to hidey-ho out of there if he were to be baptised. He accepted and all but it´s not always so simple to get up and make camp in a new place in a weeks time. The branch is excited for ´´McGyver´` to solve all their problems haha

Teaching McGyver of course got me and my comp talking about the SNL McGruber skits and one time my comp said the closing prayer and asked to bless McGruber hahahaha.

Dad- Congrats on being the hot new couple in Draper and on your new hip pad. My comp has a sister that lives around there. I know what you mean, living situations have also taught me about what´s most important!

Matt- I got your letter! Ya Ill write back. Dude I showed all the elders here in the lan house about your Dan Jones!! parabens! que ousadia!!! thats the way you gotta do it.

Doesn´t granddad have a similar goalie story.... how is pres and sis corbans portuguese.... there is no question mark on this keyboard!!!!!

Jor - A lady in the branch here bore the exact same testimony! it was a way emotional meeting.

mmm carpet.

Nat- Met the prophet, wow! Avery- How could you!
ditto on the food that matt said, plus chips and salsa, and Guals!!!!
things I plan on bringing back - ENTHUSIASM!!!! Zeal for the gospel - a santa size bag full of knowledge and experience, good scripture reading habits, and a love for everyone.... Material things- Ive got some surprises....nothin really though.

Nick- Way to make your trip outdoorsy! way legit. Who is Wren McCormick... what about the day-time ´´dips´´ haha...Did you really sleep on Dixie rock..

Ask the family what they think about my friends being at the airport, if it flies by them its cool with me. If my flight lands 3 hours before matts are we just gonna sit there... If so you could tell my friends to come a little after my flight gets in.

Rhett- haha I-15 still under construction. hey ive always been curious, is the 114th exit done.... I guess it doesnt matter so much now that everyone had migrated south. I dont have any set plans, but I plan on getting my priorities in order the way Elder Scott told RMs to. Im thinkin of headed north to Logan, if Nick says its ok.. but above all I need a job!!! We´ll see what I decide when reality sets in and everyone swades my opinions.

Dude, loved the film idea!!

Erika- haha duke is so good! Ive always loved cheesecake... but cinnamon rolls/ orange rolls also sound good. Then theres Banana cream pie....Oh freak.

Dont worry Molly will be able to brag that she´s been to disneyland when she´s in Kindergarten like I did.

Nate- That bumper sticker is quite inspired!!

I hope I got back to everything and everyone. A whole heap of love!

Elder Michael Gagon

Monday, April 16, 2012

Matt: April 16, 2012

Dear family,

Minha nossa que maravilha see a good 89% of the fam writing in emails this week. Que benção!!! Thanks to all.

So this week was a goody. We had District (which is like a stake, only smaller) Conference and were graced by the presence of both President and Sister Cordon. The spirit of God like a fire was burning. Of course being a Brasilian meeting there were some moments where I was on pins and needles. Like when the Curitiba temple counselor (from my 3rd area) invited a couple... actually ask me about it here in a couple weeks and I´ll tell you, but it was wierd. Then sister Cordon rocked the house right down to the cornerstones with a talk about remembering our purposes, with a story about her 4 year old son playing goalie for his soccer team and weaving himself into the net while all the action was on the other side of the field and getting pummelled when the tables turned and the other team came down looking to score a goal. She is the best. Then President Cordon got up and rocked the aforementioned stones off of their corners with a talk about his scuba diving license and how a certain time they went diving right before the mission, and even though he was certified he was so out of practice that he couldn´t go down deeper and be where his family was. Then he compared that to our temple recommends and said how we need to be "in practice" of going to the temple (grammar check?) so we can be with our families. It was the best.

Also this week something cool happened. When I was in Boqueirão (my 3rd area) me and my BOIEEE Elder Flynn made a bucket list, one of the things we wrote was to do a "Dan Jones" on the bus. Well Saturday afternoon on a rainy day where we chose to take the bus rather than walk, I got up in front of everybody and yelled out, "GOOD AFTERNOON GUARAPUAVA. My name is Elder Gagon and I represent the Savior Jesus Christ in this area" then I gave a shpeal about the Book of Mormon and how it is the best and would help them come closer to Christ. At the end when I went around getting people´s addresses everybody started clapping! It was so nuts! My companion said "Élder, o espírito desceu ali! Minha nossa, para bens, para bens mesmo." It was great... Other than that just trying to get some people baptized before I am no longer commissioned to do so.

Al- good luck getting the flights switched, but I won´t hold my breath. Grattitude is great. I like the talk President Monson gave in the October 2010 conference about this subject.

Nat- Oh yeah! Avery just rejecting the prophet, I´m so sure. Also foods that I´m dying to eat: Ruben sandwich, Panda Express orange chicken, pork salad/burrito from Café Rio, Dr. Pepper, crunchy cheetos, and a host of others that I can´t think of right now.

Nick- Dude mustache city! Sounds like your life is one big party. That´s the way it´s gotta be my man. Hey please tell me you still have your football girdles with the built in hip and tailbone pads. Those are worth their weight in gold for skiing/snowboarding.

Jor- That´s good that Hunter is growing. Even better that you and we are eternally sealed by the priesthood of God to be together forever.

Rhettika- The interiorzão is good, but sometimes I miss the luxuries of the big cities (a bus that passes by more than once an hour). I´m nervous to see all the changes that have happened since May 2010. Someone told me Apple has invented a hologram phone like from Star Wars and I just about croaked! I´m stoked to see Mollie too, and CLARO I remember doing blue darts in the living room and catching my pants on fire and having to put it out Duke style rubbing my bum on the carpet!

Well love you all. Até aqui em pouco,

Elder Matt Gagon

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Michael: April 11, 2012

Dear family!

Reading the emails this week was like eating Wendys chicken nuggets, very pleasing but after the 5th one is gone I got the sense of longing for more. mas tudo bem. This week WAS good until the day before last, a couple in their late 50s had accepted super firm to be baptized, read several chapters in the Book of Mormon and believe it to be true, and when we got to their house to get them for church they had already left and were on their way, had a good time, and the next day without any real explanation the husband said he decided he wasn´t going to continue and his wife went with him.... So this week was the highest of highs, thinking of how special it´d be for me to baptised a married couple and then the greatest of falls do the low of the low parts of lowland. But that´s how the mission is. We´re still at it, yesterday we entered into a small apartment building around 1:30 and didn´t leave until 9:00 at night after teaching up a storm! It was great, several really receptive families in there.

Easter was good- no egg hunts here, the tradish is pretty much just give chocolate to everyone, a big chocolate egg to who´s extra-special to you.

Al- After getting the news and venting to my zone leader about the flights he suggested that I called President ´´the man´´ Parrella and I did and he said he´d resolve it so that Matt and I touch down together. Most likely changing Matt´s flight to meet up with me in Miami cause he thought it silly for him to go all the way to New York. Anyway so you can give another jingle to our mission offices and put some fire under their molasses to get it done... Or if you want you can call/send me a message on my cell 031-84581558 tee hee.

Matt- Pretty sure the area presidency banned all missionaries in all Brasil from soccer.

Jor - Loved hearing about the missionary work you´re doing within your fam! Parent-tot class haha just wait for the day Nick gets the short stick and substitutes your class haha. The first time I ever taught swim lessons I taught that and I think I improvised pretty good. I remember singing ring-around-the-rosies and being the only one singing/ who knew the words..

Dad- I loved your email, thank you for the updates on everyone. Im excited for you and proud of your great progress! I think your fancy signs could make good money down here. Are you gonna get to drive herses?!?

I also imagine myself going to USU, mostly cause I don´t imagine myself going to UVU but I can´t really make a good call down here.

Last but not least I finished Alma and started Helaman today and it´s going real great.

I love you all!

Elder Michael Gagon