Elder Matthew Wright Gagon - Brazil Curitiba Mission

Elder Michael David Gagon - Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Matt: December 29, 2010

Dear Family,
It was awesome talking to you on Christmas! Que benção! Glad to confirm mom isn´t pregnant and Al isnt having triplets. So like I said on the phone, transfers were this week. And in the end me and Elder F Silva ended up both staying here in Almirante Tamandaré. Nate M said ´the longer you´re in an area the more good you can do´ So we´ll see how much good we can do in these next 6 weeks... I guess it serves me right though, cuz I was getting all ready to abandon this place and leave my problems here. BUt the Lord knows better than that, and I think this transfer is for me to learn it is better to deal with and resolve problems than just run away and hope they don´t follow you... I think that´s a good life lesson for us all.
I thought of some gross stuff I´ve eaten while being here and I remembered a few things that I didn´t on the phone... A few sundays ago we ate liver. Woof! I don´t know what kind of liver it was, but or if it really was liver at all, but whatever it was it wasn´t good. Then last sunday we ate this thing made out of sugar cane. I don´t remember the name of it, but it was like a brown brick made of sugar cane and stuff, and it was nasty.
I still can´t think of anything I need but if yallsies wanted to send me some of that gatorade powder mix, that would rock my world. Oh and kraft macaroni and cheese is good too. Just those with pictures and letters and I would be a happy boy. Yes indeedy corn cobs!

Well that´s all I´ve got for this week. I wish there was more, but there just isn´t.
I love you all.

Tchau,
-Elder Matt

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Michael: December 22, 2010

Here is my Christmas present to you guys! A few photos. I wanted to send more but I´ll have to do it another time.













Dear fam. I have my list of things to write, but its BLANK! This week it really just seems like we are going through the motions. We knock doors, and the next day pick up where we left off on the next street. We find some mais ou menos good people but none of them came to church Sunday soooo SUCK. Sometimes I think I look at the cup as 25% empty, when Its really 75% full, We had a baptism Sunday! Brenda Alexandra de Almeida, shes only 11 years old but she is super smart and probably a future missionary and later a stake relief society president.. She asked me to baptise her too which gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. We are trying to work with her family but its hard, they are super poor, they moved here kinda running away from their dad who use to beat all of them... and so the mom is always working, and has never made it to church..
So other than that the only thing I wanted to write about is this lady we met in the post office.
So every once in a while you meet someone who lived in the US and then got deported or just came back, and they all lived in Boston! Anybody been there and seen all the brasileiros? If not boston, Miami, or maybe New York.. So we met this lady who lived in Boston and she told us She flew to mexico - and then floated across the Rio Grande to texas on a diesel tire with her son on her lap! Neither one of them knew how to swim. haha oh geez can you imagine?
Ok so last thing, the christmas call will happen at 2 oclock Brazil time. and you guys need to call me! I am going to be in the church sitting by the phone waitin for ya :). I gave the number to Jor and Nat....
I love you all, cant wait to talk to you! Elder Michael

Matt: December 22, 2010

Dearest Family,
Ok so instead of not having any contact with you and hoping a call to America worked out from our cell phone (yeah right!) My wonderful mission president said we could email right quick today and set it up. So instead of calling on Christmas eve for 5 minutes saying "this is the number call at this time" we get to EMAIL! So sweet.
Yeah so financially buying a calling card just wouldn´t give, so if you guys could buy a card or whatever and call here, that would be ideal.
Also I talked to my District Leader who called on Mother´s day and he said his mom had to set up some special phone through the internet, or by black magic, in order to make international calls. I don´t remember how you did it to call Jordan, but I know the beloved Jolley family used phone cards to call Mexico, but I´m in Brazil so it might be different. My DL said if you have any questions about calling Brazil you can call his Mom Alaina Bringhurst at 435-673-5649. But sounds like Jor prob knows what to do.
There´s a 5 hour time difference between here and there, so I figured high noon, Mountain Standard time (5 o'clock here) would be ideal for both parties.

I think that covers all the bases.
Who: You guys call ME
What phone: I think whatever land line you can get would be best, but it´s up to you.
When: High noon Utah time/5 pm Curitiba time
Where: Me here, yallsies there

Yup oh and I got the Christmas packages from Nat&Nate and the CP3 young women, who are surprisingly well versed in the scriptures. WOWZA!!! So great! What a blessing! Thank you tons. Jor I know you said you sent me a package already, but I have yet to receive it :( Other than that things are just going along. I´ll tell you more in person on Saturday

Tchau tchau
-Elder "Mr. Freeze" Gagon

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Michael: December 15, 2010

Dear family.

So I guess I will just call Nenas house probably around 3:00ish at the latest 4:15 pm Brazil time, and talk to whoever happens to be there, hopefully my parents and all my bros and sisters! I was thinking maybe you guys would suggest a time or place (phone number) but I´ll plan it out this week and let you know for sure next Wednesday. Im excited though.

So this week went by really fast, the work is mais ou menos going well... this week what has been the theme I think is the craziness in the communication... It all started with this one family that didnt understand a single word we said, not a single word... (they might have been joking with us)... we got there, asked questions like ´´how many kids are in the family´´ and they just stared at us and told us to stop talking english.. It was kinda funny. We were talking at snail speed and super loud hoping they would understand and it didnt help, so we just had the daughter read the Restoration pamphlet and then when she was done we gave them thumbs up and tried inviting them to church and just got out of there.

So then we taught a family and at the end of the restoration we asked what they thought and how they felt, and the son said ´´I feel like this is the true church´´, and we were all HALLELUJAH, and we invited him to be baptised, and he said he already was (we assumed in another church cause we get this answer all day) but we explained he needed to be baptised again but by the priesthood etc. and by the end he accepted a date. The next day we went back and found out he really was baptised and was inactive, they showed us pictures of the elders that taught them years ago haha, the Dad who also said he would be baptised and was married turns out wasnt married ´´on paper´´ so that one fell too..
Then yesterday we taught a lady that loves the church, loves the missionaries, shes old and lives alone and is almost deaf, so nobody talks with her anymore she said. Nossa, she is the sweetest lady, her voice is like the top key on the piano and is so cute, and has a FAT dog. So after all these experiences I find myself doubting my portuguese and feel like everybody the past 5 months have just been pretending to understand what I say....

Also, the other thing, priesthood blessings work, they are great. I feel like Ive seen miracles from people being healed, everyone says to us ``that prayer you did on his head worked, he doesnt feel anymore pain.´´ ..stuff like that and also I was sick this week, the work for a couple days was awful but a blessing worked on me too. I know the church is true!

I love you all. Have a great week.
Elder Michael

Matt: December 15, 2010

Dearest Family of mine,

Oh family, what is up? Not a ton has been happening here as of late. It has been rainy/cloudy for like a week and a half. I can´t remember if it was last week or just since last Wednesday that it started to be gray and cloudy and rainy and such cuz these days all seem to blend together into one never ending week.

So last week our calentador or residencia, or whatever the device that heats up the water in the shower is called, broke... WOOF CITY!!!! So this past week has been nothing but icy showers. Maybe it is a blessing in disguise, because until this point in the mish I haven´t been very good at doing morning exercises. I do more like "exercise my faith" and wait for revelations to come in a dream, or "exercise my agency" and just write in my journal or sleep. However with the broken calentador/residencia I have to do a good number of push ups and sit ups to generate enough body heat to keep me from freezing to death in the shower. So after saying a prayer and cowering in my bed at the thought of the inevitable morning shão for a few minutes I get right out and crank out like 40 push ups and like 6 sit ups and head straight into the icy water closet with the hope that I don´t turn into a naked missionary-cicle.

Yesterday we taught a family that (get this) has 8 kids! Even better they have 4 boys and 4 girls! And better yet it goes 3 boys, 3 girls, 1 boy, 1 girl! And only the 3 oldest boys are married!!!! That is exactly like our family, but reverse child order. ha ha ha Could you imagine if Nick was the oldest (yikes!) and Alison was the youngest (ahh poor lil lamb)? Nossa, so I make special mention of this not only because of the similarities to our fam, but because gigantic families like ours are super duper rare in Brasil. So yeah we taught a good restouration lesson and they said they are going to pray to know if what we taught them was true. My comp wasn´t quite as excited as I was though cuz he thinks they´re members of some other church that has a special hatred towards Mormons. So yeah.

Tomorrow we have our Christmas mission conference where all the missionaries from the entire Curitiba area get together and drink coca-cola and go swimming and watch movies and hug. Ha ha jk but they will have all the missionaries there, and they´ve been holding all packages that have come in the past month and we will get them tomorrow. So that is exciting. I´m pretty sure it is going to rock my world.

Ooh in other news I was at a member´s house who´s daughter served in this mission (didn´t know that was poss, but whatev) and she had a photo with an Elder Richards that I went to high school with. Then my comp saw it and was like "Oh I remember Elder Hishards. He was an assistant when I got here." Then it dawned on me....Nossa, the two people from my same graduating class that served here were both APs. So normally I'm not one to keep up with the Jones' but now I´ve got an expectation to live up to! So I decided that I´m going to be AP before my mission's end....Yup.
So that has pretty much been my week.

Dad- great to finally hear from you. I have been thinking a lot about the DeAgostinis lately, so awesome that you ran into them at Chillibee´s. I think I saw their cousin that lived with them when I was like 13 years old, at the Curitiba temple last week, but I didn´t have the chance or guts to go ask him if he was related to any DeAgostinis in Utah.
Al- Christmas around the globe sounds rockin. I´m glad Abby forgave you for all the days your were mean to her, and even MORE glad that you´ve been playing your violin! Nossa maybe you should join the BPO; get paid to play violin full time- Awesome! Also did you ever find that quote by Boyd K. Packer that I was talking about? If so did it help? If not, FIND IT!
Michael- Yeah muitos inativos aqui neste país. Achou que aquela familia foi brincando com vocês ou talvez seu português é peor do que meu, kkkkkkk espero que não!
Nate J- Crohns sounds crappy but the downtown date night sounded sweet. Tell Marv to get a hard copy of those ski pics right quick!
Jor- Letter on the way to ya.

Well I love you all tons and tons. I am super stoked to maybe get some packages tomorrow, and I will surely be thinking of y'allsies this Christmas...OH speaking of natal, I think I will call sometime at night, or maybe on Christmas eve. I´m not sure how it works here. I´ll probably find out tomorrow, but because of Christmas next week instead of having pday on wednesday and emailing and whatnot, our p day will be on Christmas day Saturday. So yeah. My comp isn´t much help with this either cuz he doesn´t really want to call his parents, so he´s not quite as anxious as I am to dial that numba. But yeah maybe the fam should just stake it out by the phone at Nena´s for all of the 24th and 25th.
Yup that´s all.

Love, Elder Matt

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Matt: December 9, 2010

Dearest most wonderful family,

Ok so this week was a little better than last week. Not a ton, but it was better. I didn´t write yesterday because we went to the temple and then I was shipped off to some other area while my comp sang in the christmas choir, and to be honest it´s a christmas miracle that the zone leaders let me email at all today.

So yeah the temple in Curitiba is SO pretty! Minha nossa it is so great. I did a sesh in Portuguese and I don´t think I got as much out of it as I should have cuz at first they didn´t give me shoes, then they paused the sesh to go get me some, then the main guy told me I had put on some clothing out of order (I´m not sure how much I can say) and just little things like that kept occupying my mind. But all in all it was a good sesh and a good experience. I really have this strong desire to do baptisms for the dead since getting here to Brazil, cuz I have yet to enter the waters of baptism, and being dunked for the dead is as close to swimming as I could get for the next couple years. Normally that wouldn´t phase me, but it is HOT here. So yeah the temple was great. Also this week I went on my first division. Wahoo! It was great. Divisions are definitely divinely inspired. I´m definitely growing up mission-wise as far as not just following my trainer around goes. I´m contributing more and more and also getting a better hold on the language.

Jordan- I thought you were serious in your email about KCP and Kumi fighting over me/Michael, but when you said "just kidding" it was me who wanted to cry.
Al- Christmas at the Ashley´s sounds like a blast. Christmas in Germany sounds a little crazy, but overall sounds like a good time. Maybe you could do Christmas in Brazil and crank up the heater until you are drenched in sweat from head to toe and then tell Abby and Ellie Papãe Noel isn´t coming again this year ha ha ha.
Rhett- I don´t have your zip code so I´m sending you a letter to Nena´s house, so just keep in touch with Mom on that one.
Natalie- How´s Baby Ruth?
Can- No I´m not still online.
Michael- I didn´t get to write you last week, but I´m sending you a letter this week.
Nick- Whassup?
Parents- What was it like hanging out in the darkness before God said "Let there be light."? ha ha jk but for real sometimes I feel like you are leaving me in the dark cuz the last time I heard from either of you was in Tennessee.

Not a ton else happened this past week. I hope you all are doing your home and visiting teaching. We have members in this ward who haven´t been to church in 27 years and I was thinking "Minha nossa how does that even happen?" I think if they had a good home/visiting teacher that would be avoided. Also I hope everybody is reading their scriptures with some regularity. Because that´s how we strengthen our testimonies. We have a lot of less actives in this ward who get offended and have fallen away, but I think if we have a good strong testimony that wouldn´t happen as much as it does. Sorry for ranting, but this ward has over 500 inactive members, so it´s kinda been on my mind.

Anywho I love you all. Keep the letters and emails coming because they are the nectar of life, and the strength to keep going from week to week

Love,
Elder Matt

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Michael: December 8, 2010

Dear family!

Im doing well. The work has its ups and downs. A big down right now is my sore throat and stuff, first time Ive been real sick in a long while it seems, and it only seems horrible cause theres no rest time on the mish. But today is Pday and Ill feel better, no worries.
Everyone here (the brazilians) including children always say, Papa Noel / Santa doesnt come to Brazil hahaa how sad. But were all excited for Christmas, where the missionaries will be the only thing white. I dont think I talked about the Pday we moved houses in my last area was the only time Ive warn t-shirt and shorts outside the house and Im sure I looked so good with my huge tan line on my neck, t shirt, bball shorts and grand dads velcro sunday shoes cause I dont have any sneakers.

This week you could say I got my companion back from the prank he pulled on me. We got into a house and they offered us beet juice and water, I accepted cause I thought I had beet juice the day before and it was way good but maybe it was something else, but my companion went into the bathroom and I (being prompted by the spirit) thought Id take a test sip first. So I pour a tiny bit of beet juice into my cup and drink it. WOOF. Put the juice aside and filled my cup with water. But then filled my companions to the brim with the juice, a great treat waiting for him when he came out of the bathroom.

I taught a whole lesson with a parrot on my shoulder the other day, the people we taught have a pet parrot and they let us hold it. It was really cool of course at first I was scared but it just sat there calmly. and plucking my whiskers that I missed shaving (ouch)
So a curious thought Ive had for a while is Adam, Dad, Rhett, Nate, Nate, Dev? Were any of you like Zone leaders or APs or awesome missionary leaders? Just curious.

This weeks just been full of work really... working with the lamanites and my comp... I really appreciate all your prayers and emails and letters this week especially. You guys are the best and I love you all with all my coraçao.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Michael: December 1, 2010

Dear Family. How is everyone? Im doing good here in Veneza with Elder Anderson. He磗 a funny guy, but im tryin to get him to work harder/better etc. So since Ive compared my first two areas to cities in Utah, Progresso =murray, Floresta = Sugar house, I decided here feels like Hurricaine. Not really much but a lot of houses/good amount of people.

I saw a guy skateboarding (which is rare) down a dirt road... impressive, but even better I saw a guy sweeping his dirt yard space. ya, sweeping the outside dirt...(Hey get off my dirt farm! (matt))

On friday the Irma we had lunch with was talking about her busy schedule and all the stuff she had to do which included kill 3 chickens, So I asked her if she would do it right now for us to watch hahaha So she went out to the pen, grabbed her by the tail feather, then got a grip on the leg...held it upside down by the legs, went over to her chair, sat down, stepped on the legs with one foot and on the wings with another, grabbed its neck and sliced it! then it was still moving a lot, freaking out but she just kept her feet on it, and it was all in all not very funny but kinda cool. Then the next day the other Irma said she was going to kill the chickens that day too! So I asked her how she did it and she said she snaps their necks, so I thought Oh thats different, can we watch you do it? she basicall just picks it up and twists it like shes getting the water out of a towel until she feels it snap and then爃olds it爐ill it stops moving haha and so in total I saw 3 chickens爇illed this week.

I saw a guy making a cobblestone road, put a rock down, hit it once with a hammer, grab another rock, hit it, it was kinda funny.

We had a crisis on Sunday, we have 2 wards that come to our chapel, and each ward has 2 duplas, so in total 8 missionaries there.... and we didnt have enough white jump suits for all the baptisms! haha que ben鏰o. Me and my comp baptised a couple with twin 8 year old sons, que ben鏰o, future priesthood holders. It was a great day, waiting in line to enter the waters....prob doesnt happen very often. I baptised the dad and 1 twin, and got over my fear of baptising my first adult... didnt drown him... And then the twin had to go into the bathroom and give the wet jumpsuit to his brother ha. But in the end爀veryone received a remission of sins and all were happy.

We had zone conference christmas edition which was good, lots of treats. The Elder from my MTC group got a letter from my MTC companion that went home which was kinda crazy, but hes doing good and planning to爂o back out. JORDAN I got your package and your letter! YES! Conference is soo good, did you guys watch it? It was about 2 months ago... Ive read so far almost all of Saturday, loved Elder Christoffersons, and Elder Hales, also Elder Edgeleys. Elder Costa and Elder Duncans about prophets were also super good. I also got a package from the young women of CP3!!!! The highlight of that was the macaroni and cheese box, maybe its too late for christmas, but for a birthday package Easy Mac is a good idea. The lowlight of the package were the notes 创thanks for your service, keep it up Love sophie duffin创 hahahah JK it was super sweet. The true lowlight was the microwave popcorn, where do they think Ill find a microwave?

Well fam real quick, I read in the October Liahona, the temple edition a really cool analogy about the gospel by Elder Nelson, how our lives is like the process of purifying water, commandments take some things away from our lives, but nothing of value, and we are left pure! Y醠l should read it.

Another good idea would be to read 1 Nephi chapter 11 versus 10, and then 15. kkkkkkk (portuguese for lol/haha)
Eu amo todos voces!

Elder Gagon

Matt: December 1, 2010

Dear family,

OH fam what a week. I´ve been working hard and it´s getting super hot here. Hot like Tennessee was, WOOF! Not a ton has happened to be honest. I´m definitely being refined in this pressure cooker of a transfer.... I forgot my notes that had the things I was going to write about, but the only things that were there were an idea for a video game called "Bounty; the Dog Hunter" where you go to 3rd world countries and kill dogs using rocks, and as you get more points you can upgrade to beer bottles, and then up to a gun or sling shot or something. That and my companion left our keys in the bishops office on sunday. After looking for them all Sunday night and a lot of Monday we went to the church and the gate just happened to be open (miracle) and we opened the bispado window from the outside and lo and behold there they were on the desk. So my comp walks around the church grounds and finds some 6 foot long reed. So we tried to loop the key ring on to this ring through the window, but the read was cracked in the middle. So we looked around and there just happened to be a ribbon right by us that we used to tie the reed together, so it would be less broken (miracle). Then after that didn´t work my comp found some wire type thing that he bent into a hook to better get the keys and tied it to the reed using sed ribbon and a rubber band he happened to have and we got our keys back!

So that was sad to hear about BYU losing. Great to hear that Nick had a rat tail, and even better that Natalie cut it off.

Devin- Thanks for the notes, printing them off is super expensive in Brasil, so I´ll probably just take a look see and committ them all to memory

Yeah it´s been that kind of week. I love and miss you all like crazy!
tchau

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Michael: November 25, 2010

Dear Fam! Happy thanksgiving, I didnt even realize it, it came so fast. Nick, I hope the turkey bowl works out in the snow (it snowed right?) and fam, I hope you have a great day at Uncle Johns? hopefully you go there! AND tell Sarah I saw Elder Twiggs yesterday, she swam with him at PG.

So, this week has been a good one. My first night in the area, we visited some recent converts and members and then got to it knocking doors. In my new area there is a lot of dirt roads and trails that are just soo crappy theyve got to ruin every car that drives one em. This first night we are on one of these dirt roads and its a sketchier part of town. And I had already heard bad things about Riberao das trevas... so we knock my first door here, and a big guy comes, doesnt look too happy but lets us in. We go inside and there is a group of 5 guys playing guitar hero, about our age, teens/twenties, its hard to gauge age in brazil, but they didnt pay any attention to us. After a minute though they pause the game, let us sit down and talk... So we kinda start teaching, ask them to say a prayer and if we can ask something for them in the prayer, and one of them answered ´´ladies and money´´... So i was like whatever Ill ask god to bless you.... Soon in the lesson things just get out of control and they start going off about everything bad theyve ever heard about the church... everybody is rich......you all have 6 wives.....you guys are racist...... then they ask where we are from, we say the US, and they go off about us thinking we are better than them.... and at this time one of them is on the floor rollin a dooby... So we get up to leave and one of them shuts the door and stands in front of it with a machette. (this is when I get really scared) So they offer us a smoke and ask why we dont smoke and I noticed a camera filming like they are trying to catch us and will show the whole world 2 missionaries with marajuana... So I tried being calm and asking if we could just leave, ask what they want etc. And then my companion starts to laugh and it was all a joke on me. Ha it was pretty funny.
Dont worry Ma!

All is good here. Our church is beautiful!!! its 3 stories and on top of a huge hill.. It looks almost like a temple. You can see it from everywhere and its super convenient inviting people to church/making contacts.

We found a good family that went to stake conference with us and when we visited them monday they were already planning on going next sunday and had invited their parents to come too ha they said its the first church that theyd ever wanted to go back to. music to our ears. But I think if anyone had been to that stake conference they would want to come back for sure it was SO good. Mostly about how things of God are true happiness and more important, someone told this story of a multimillionaire that gives 90something percent of his money to charity. A way good meeting.

We had another 3 days of meetings, (thats why Im emailing today and not yesterday) its leadership training and I saw Elder Brown, Elder from my CTM group, and my old comps. Turns out the guy that was going to be baptised right when I got transfered had a problem with quesetion 4 in the baptismal interview.-- if he has had a homosexual relationship (usually a quick fix) participated in an abortion (also a quick fix usually) or committed a big crime. SO I can only wonder what he has done because they didnt mark a new date for him....

Ive never ridden a bus so crowded as I have these 3 days there and back to the meetings... So full that I had to stand one the first step where you get on the bus, leaning up against the door cause it was overflowing with people. CANDACE I got your letter, I read it one that bus ride and I dropped a page, and It was not easy or pretty bending down to pick it up.

We had a baptism here postponed cause it rained sunday and the dirt road where they live turns into a river and they couldnt leave their house.In a kinda related story we were walking down a steep trail late one night in the dark, taking real careful steps when I stepped into a tiger trap! just this huge whole up to my waste where it looked like there was grass. way funny if you were there.

This week I tried 2 crazy fruits that I wont try too hard to explain. One was a little fig type thing, really dry, and its inside a shell you crack open and its super tart. Yum. The other was a big squash kinda shaped one and you open it up and its all white and slimey inside but yummy.Then I had a lunch not so yummy. I think it was a pigs face chopped up in pieces, I saw the ears and it just tasted like pork fat

Well fam, I love you all. Im trunky, ha jk, but I miss you a lot. Im grateful for you and your love for me. Hope today starts a great Christmas season and we all think more on our savior. I got details on our christmas call... I just have to call before 5 oclock brazil time.... so in the morning or around noon there...
have a great week!

Elder Michael

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Matt: November 24th, 2010 "Happy Thanksgiving"

Dearest family of mine,
So this week has been a great learning experience. A week of growing up. A week where you take the training wheels off and go straight for the triple black diamond (yeah you can bike down a ski run!). So that´s what we´ve been doing. Elder F Silva has been teaching me the Brasi ways, and I have been teaching him patience. ha ha for real I think he´s had a headache ever since he got here... Yeah this is definitely the transfer in the refiners fire. That is for certain. We´re working hard though, talking with pretty much everybody trying to get a lesson in here and there. I think this is what they meant when they said "Curitiba is like a European city in Brazil". To both Nate´s I apologize for comparing the difficulty of the Curitiba mission to that of one that´s actually in Europe, but I have had some Euro-esque experiences. Tell me if this sounds familiar-

"Excuse me ma'am, my name is Elder Matthew Wright Gegs Gagon I of Sandy, and I have a marvelous message about how God loves us so much he has reached out again to us in love by calling a prophet. Can I write down your address so we can pass by another day and share this great message?"
"No."
"Why not?"
"Cuz I don´t want to hear what you have to say."

.... Yeah that was a rough one. It´s ok though they´re just feelings; they´ll heal in time. We don´t let those things stop us though. We keep on trucking and doing our part. I find myself praying a lot. Like A LOT a lot. So I think God just wants to hear from me more or something.
What else? During morning study somebody was blasting the radio and the first song from Grease came on! "We take pressure and we throw away...Grease is the word" ha ha que benção! Other than that not a ton happened. I got letters from Michael and Candace which were like Christmas coming early. So thank you both. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving!!! Oh my heck, they don´t have that here so tomorrow when you´re going around the table saying what you´re thankful for, somebody say "I´m thankful that we have thanksgiving." There is nothing I´d rather do than eat some good American cookin', watch football, and take a nap, but those things don´t exhist in Brasil so I´ll go do some contacts instead.

Mom/Dad/Nick/Michael- remember last year when we went to Uncle John´s and it was just the 8 of us and we had 2 turkeys and just SO much food? ha ha ha that was great.
Well that´s pretty much all I can think to write. It´s just been that kind of week. I love you all. Tchau

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Michael: November 17, 2010

4th transfer, 4th comp. 3rd area‏

Dear Fam, I was transfered today. My new companion is Elder Anderson from Riverton. He´s got about ten months on the mish. He´s another district leader. My new area is called Riberao das neves. ( big snow river.. maybe) but Ive heard it been called Riberao das trevas! haha funny for those who speak portuguese, maybe spanish/italian ( big river of darkness! ) It is a poorer area but the church here is really good. About an hour from Belo Horizonte. Our chapel is ´´the prettiest´´ in the whole state. Its on top of a hill and is pretty, I will take pictures. I started taking a lot of pictures this last week but I´ll have to look into developing them, its a little expensive, and my companion warned me not to send them over the internet cause some Elders have gotten viruses in their cameras here.

So let me try to remember some things that happened, Im without my notes like usual ha but it rained sooo hard this week that my umbrella was completely saturated and dripping water on me, rained right through it.
Saw a horse butt naked (not even shoes or socks) streaking down a 4 lane highway.... I was about 75 meters away or else I wouldve taken a picture, but I took a picture of it on the side of the freeway so that will have to do. I also saw a donkey painted like a Zebra, cause the local soccer team´s jerseys are white and black striped and they paint their animals (ive seen dogs too) to support their team.
I didnt know these existed but I bought 5 different kinds of mangos last week. They have little bity ones about the size of an apricot, and big old ones bigger than grape fruit. Green, orange, yellowish red... All yummy.
The work my last week in Floresta was good. We decided to wait and not baptise Bruno, we need to teach him more and he is still smoking a little bit. But He should be baptised Sunday. He´s awesome, so funny, he´s not too smart but he keeps saying how church is the best thing in the world, he cant stand his old life, his bad friends, he wants to serve a mission. When I told him I was being transfered he said the closing prayer and cried... so thankful for the gospel, anyway.... I also cried saying bye to the couple we were helping get married to baptise his wife...
Well I dunno what else to say. O ya, in this new area we have separate houses, but there is another companionship next door to us so this transfer should be fun, new stuff, Im excited.

Matt: November 17, 2010

Dearest family of mine,
Today we had transfers! I´m still ridin' dirty in Almirante Tamandaré but my saint of companion, angel of a trainer, and man among men missionary friend Elder Simper went zone leader in the jungliest part of our mission, and my brasi companion got transfered somewhere else, and now I'm with Elder F. Silva! He´s brasilian, and doesn't speak a lick of english so this is gonna be a transfer of learning fo sho. We have big shoes to fill, but if we work hard we can do it.
So not a ton happened this week. This family super active family that with cousins and great aunts in total makes up 1/4 of our ward FINALLY baptized their son, but since he´s 9 years old it counts as a missionary baptism (for those of you who are belt-knotchers). So that was great. However this week I was at a member´s house saying goodbye with E. Simper and the sister got out all these photos of missionaries that had served in our ward. I was checking out a picture of 2 elders at the zoo and I was like, "Nossa, that elder looks familiar." then I read the name tags and it was Elder Kyle Frogley of the CP3!!!!! ha ha ha talk about small world huh!?! So next sunday if you see Kyle Frogley or just his fam tell him I saw a picture of him in the house of Irmão Joaquim and Irmã Rosana and am serving in A.T.!
Rhett- AWESOME about the ducks and Auburn! always good to hear about REAL football.
Nick- Schroefph is awesome! But yeah melting pot, good grades, seminary, nice.
Can Can monkey man- dark hair, hmmmm.
Mom&Dad- it´s been a while, but I figure you´re still around. E. Simper asked for your email address and he should be emailing you today so check for that.
Just Dad- did I ever tell you about Elder Christensen from Fillmore that was in Tennesse with me who knew Aunt Kathy, Uncle Fred, Uncle Dan, and Uncle John?

I´ve been losing weight too, which is good. I had an epiphany this week while eating some beans and rice and macarrão (noodles). I was pounding the beans and rice like usual, when it came to me. I thought to myself, "Self, this isn´t even good. Why do I keep stuffing my face with this bagunça that isn´t even that tasty?" So I decided, I´m not going to eat that much, unless something is really good... I haven´t had breakfast either since I ran out of skittles 3 weeks ago, so if you want to send those Christmas packages pronto I´d appreciate it. As far as other Christmas stuff goes, just the stuff I already asked for: DEODORANT, my CDs!, maybe some house slippers, recipes (for barbecue sauce!), and other American candy. Brasilian candy is like woof city at best so yeah.
Well I love you all. Thanks for all the emails, letters, prayers, and stuff. I miss yallsies like crazy!

much love,
Elder Matthew Wright Gegs Gagon I of Curitiba

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

MIchael: November 10th, 2010

Querido familia,This week was pretty good. Just trying everyday to work harder andbetter. We´re looking at one baptism here Sunday but this guy is a pothead so we´ll see.It rained a whole day this week and I learned although rain isexciting at first it sucks to work in!.... No its not so bad but I didnot take proper precautions. (an umbrella isnt enough) But I learned atrick to put your shoes behind the fridge to let them dry faster.. SOin this rain I saw what must´ve been the biggest work in BeloHorizonte, Ive seen snakes smaller than this guy... it was gross. Andkinda on this subject, its mango season and there are tons of mangoseverywhere, and I only have eaten one of the tree/ground but thensomeone warned me about worms that can get into them and Brazilianworms is the last thing I want so I have to resist picking up the fallen mangos.

I saw a old black guy with long white dreads haha so cool.BUT the real highlights of my week were

A- fast and testimony meeting... Here its so great, the brazilians are soo reverent duringthe sacrament it really makes it special, and during testimonymeetings there is always a huge line of people waiting to beartestimony. The choir seats on the stand get completely filled, I love it. I challenge you guys next time there is awkward silence in a fastand testimony meeting to get up and break it with just brief testimonyof Christ.

B- second highlight was reading a talk from a devotional at BYU in 1988 by Jeffery R Holland, then pres of BYU, called something likeSouls, Symbols, and Sacraments. Ai para carumba! so good about Chastity. All yalls are married except Nick but hey Im sure it would do you good to read. Nat you should use it in a lesson for the youngwomen No joke could change lives.Just makes me realize of the Endless sources we have in the church to learn from, I dont know where you can get old BYU devotionals but itwill be worth all the effort to find it. But Im doing well down herefam, i miss you guys, and love you, deff think about you erryday, sayyour prayers, read your scrips, go visiting and home teaching, livethe gospel and go to the temple!Com todo amorElder Michael

Matt: November 10th, 2010

Dearest most marvelous family,
What is up? This week was great. I got an amazing email from Jor (thanks Jor) and two great LETTERS from Nat/Nate and Rhett (thank you much) so yeah I am definitly riding the high times right now. Speaking of high times Michael- did that stoner get baptized? We had 3 baptisms this week and it was masterful! I was the only one of my tripanionship that didn´t get to enter the waters, but it´s ok. They´re just feelings, they´ll heal in time. Yeah so the 2 were the son and daughter of that lady who asked us when we could come back and gave us her cigarrettes. The other was this lady (can ladies be only 22 years old?) who we met my FIRST night here in Brasil who is dating a member. So that rocked. Batismos are always good. ok but I have a story that goes with it. Mom- do you remember how when I was little, when we would sing hymns during church, you would whisper the words of what we were about to sing really fast to me because I wanted to sing, but couldn´t read the words yet? And then I would sing the line you said to me. ha ha remember that? Well at the baptism Saturday I did that same thing for this investigator of ours! It was so great. This lady is like 47 years old, teeth like tree roots, and has had a harder life than any one person ever should have. She is like 4'4'' (no joke) and so when she sits down on the church pew her feet don´t touch the ground. Plus she has the same body type that mom had when I left on the mish (mom I hear you´ve been doing mountain climbers, and walking with dad everyday, and are looking right nice now. Parabens! keep it up!) And she can´t read at all, so I helped her the same way mom helped me, and the whole time I was having all these flashbacks and laughing, and it was just great.
Also I ate a mango the other day. The sister just handed me a mango and a knife, so I tried cutting it up the same way I would cut an avacado, but things weren´t working out and the sister saw me and was like, "Elder! What are you doing?!?!? No hand that over, and let me cut it." So yeah, I learned how to properly cut and eat a mango ha ha.
This week I saw a seven year old chugging a beer on the bus. I was flabbergasted to say the least and my only comforting thought was he isn´t even at the age of accountability yet so it doesn´t count for him ha ha. If you can count that as comfort.
I made a break through as far as speaking portuguese goes this week. My comps are always telling me how I need to speak more when we go to lunch with members, and on monday we went to this house where a bunch of teen/pre teen daughters live and one of them asked me, "Do you know the Jonas Brothers?" and I said "I know who they are, but I DO NOT like them." So for about an hour I shattered their world with talk about just how much the Jonas Bros. suck and why. Then we talked about how Justin Bieber is ok but she needs to listen to some good music... And then they sent my walls tumbling down with talk about how she doesn´t like Selena Gomez (Gagon) becuase she dated one of the Jonases (WOOF!) and then lied about it... or something like that. Anywho the point is the language is coming along right nice!
Que mais? Oh I saw Elder Marx (Sasquatch) yesterday! It was so great. He and I talked for hours about the mtc and this and that and I loved it. Gente boa. Also yesterday I received some great revelation concerning road trips to Arizona (or anywhere really) Next road trip you go on you should plug in The Book of Mormon on cd! Think about it, the young ones would be put to sleep, and everyone else that stayed awake would be spiritually edified. Just something to think about.
Well that´s pretty much it... I ate banana lasagna today which was amazing.
Al- that is super sad about Megan. I remember praying for her and Ryan and her baby in the mtc...so sad. Also Benie Mac and Grandad (I think) died of pneumonia so watch out!
Oh yeah we fasted for this kid in our ward who has leukemia also and from what I can gather something miraculous happened with some machine that was monitoring something in his blood and I wish I knew what actually happened, but pretty much things weren´t going so hot for him and then right in the late afternoon everything changed like that (imagine me snapping my fingers) so fasting works miracles. Maybe next week the family can fast for Abby to not be so crazy and threaten to cut people´s hands off and the like... Just an idea.
So yeah.. I think that´s all. Much love to all of you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Michael: November 3, 2010

Dear Family!!!

This last week was good. I am in the mission office, my comp went with a group to renew his visa and so I am spending P day here! So ya Im without my notes for the week. But what stands out was the visit of Elder Bednar.

SO we got there and the chapel was full of missionaries for the whole mission, and everyone had their spots reserved so we got the back row....but nobody was sitting on the side benches in the chapel cause the secretaries said we couldnt... But as more and more missionaries came and there wasnt room they let us sit on one side and reserved the other side... so I begged my companion so we could go sit on the front row on the far left bench sabe... and so we sat there for literally an hour anticipating his arrival. The whole time there were men coming in and out, doing a brazillion mic checks, and doing who knows what... and so it was super official and everytime they left and came back we thought he had come and the tention was just building....

Finally he came, and it was great... and first thing he did was have President explain that we would line up to shake his hand, FIRST WITH THE FRONT ROW, STARTING FROM THE LEFT.. So as soon as I understood I would be first to shake his hand I lost all control and started for the stand, before President had even finished explaining. (Luckily people followed right after me so it wasn´t too awkward). So I got up there, my feet going way too fast for my brain, shook Sister Bednar´s hand, nods and smiles, and then shake Elder Bednar´s. He looked me in the eyes, said ´´Como vai?´´ and I smiled, nodded, didnt answer him, and went back to my seat ha... que vergonha.

SO then during the intro of the opening hymn, Elder Bednar whispers to Pres Parrella, and Pres Parrella pointed to me and my companion in the front row and motioned us to to come up to sit on the stand. So as nervous as I´ve ever been we go up there and try to catch our breath to sing Josephs Smiths First Prayer/ Que Manha Maravilhosa, not knowing what we were going to have to do but lacking all confidence in the world. And it was like this for over an hour, we sat there listening to him, until he started the question and answer part of the meeting. After one question he turned to Elder Godoy, of the quorum of the 70 to answer, and then turned to us and asked if one of us could translate. (Elder Bednar doesnt speak portuguese) I thought he was joking so I just gave a courtesy laugh. I was way confused cause he had his translator translating everything he said into portuguese, I just didnt understand that Elder Godoy was going to speak portuguese and Elder Bednar just needed someone to translate in his ear, being the only one who doesnt speak.) So my companion tried doing it for him, haha, got like 2 words out.... the next time Elder Godoy talked Elder Bednar asked Pres to translate for him haha.

So that was our purpose up on the stand, that didnt work out so hot anyway, so we jsut spent the four hours looking at the back of Elder Bednars head. But it wasnt all so bad.
One cool thing he said was ´´the hardest lesson to learn in this life is to learn to do God´s will and not ours´´.

So other than that meeting, the work is going good.
Our investigators fiance who is trying to get back into the church has a friend that wants to change his life of drugs for a better life, so we went to teach him, only problem is he was high (we are pretty sure) so I dunno if it counts that we marked a date with him. But Im continuing to learn, love, and grow. I do miss you all. Rhett I got your letter! Yippee yai yay!

Matt: November 3, 2010

Querido familia maravilhosa,

This week was pretty good. Not a ton of stuff happened that is worth telling, but we have 3 baptisms this Saturday! Hopefully they all pass the interview, but it should be no prob. I don´t think I´ll go into the waters, but maybe; keep your fingers crossed! So you guys remember that lady that asked us when we could come back? She is the best, and we are baptising her son and daughter. She and her boyfriend are working on getting married/establishing a stronger marriage and also the word of wisdom. She smokes and drinks coffee, but we went over there after (my companions) put her through the wringer about giving up smoking and drinking coffee. Anywho so we go over there for family night with that crazy Brasilian aunt Kathy lady with some soda and a cake so we could have some kind of refreshments, and it turns out it was our investigator´s BIRTHDAY! So this was awesome. Definitely inspiration to buy the cake instead of salgados (salty snack sandwich thingys) that I wanted to get.. We (my comps) taught a sweet message about families and at the end of the lesson Edna (sed investigator) busts out a pack of cigarrettes and says "Here you go elders. I don´t need this anymore." WWAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!! It was awesome, and she is the best, and Irmã Rosalia (crazy relief society president lady) was there which made things even better/funnier.

So other than that nothing great happened this week. I did however think of something else I would like for Christmas... DEODORANT!!! My faithful speed stick ran out on me, and I remember Jordan telling me "Don´t pack things like deodorant cuz they have that down there in brasil." However what Jor didn´t mention is the deodorant down here is really just scented alcohol that you roll onto your arm pits and hope lasts you all day (it never does). So yeah if you could send me some deod so I can go from being "the stinky fat missionary that can´t speak portuguese" to just "the fat missionary that can´t speak portuguese" that would be OTIMO!

Umm so Halloween was this week. The only way you would know it was halloween though was if you saw me wearing my black and orange tie at church. They don´t celebrate it here, but what did you all do to celebrate? What were your costumes? Mom, remember that halloween when you went outside, put on that purple wizard hat, knelt down and trick or treated our own house? And Jor you answered the door and you SCREAMED when you saw mom? ha ha ha that was awesome.... OH and Can (and also Jor) remember when I put on my wolf costume and got in your bed and waited for you little red riding hood style, and when you came in you screamed SO LOUD!!!!!! ha ha ha that was the best. Man Halloween is great in America.

Well that´s kinda all I´ve got for this week. Nate Michel, how is the hunt going? You should come to Brazil and hunt street dogs, you would have great success.... Michael. Elder Bednar. NICE! You should have asked him what´s up with no shorts at BYU Idaho?

te amo demais
Matt

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Matt: October 27th 2010

Dearest awesome family,
AAAHHHHH family I finally get to email! Holy cow if an entire week without email isn´t a trial of faith I don´t know what is. Ok so things I wanted to tell you last week: I'm in a TRIPANIONSHIP again!!! ha ha We inherited Elder Bruno Pires because his companion had a hernia next to his heart (?) and had to go home. So now we own the streets of Almirante Tamandaré and nobody gets past us without giving us their address and horario. So yeah it´s way sweet rocking the tri for even more time on the mish. I was thinking about it and I have spent half of my mission in a tri. It´s the best! Anyway he rocks. He´s a brasi from Porto Alegre, he´s a convert and is the only member of the church in his family. He´s a spiritual powerhouse fo sho..
Also something amazing happened. We were eating lunch at a member´s house and listening to music (cd radio idk?) and the song Hopelessly Devoted to You from the 3rd greatest film ever made Grease came on!!!! It was the best. I even talked about the movie in the brokenest of portuguese with the member that was singing along and I bore my testimony of how much I love that show ha ha jk.
So in this trial by fire of no email some great things have happened. Do you guys know that scripture in Ether 12;6 that says You receive no witness til after the trial of your faith..? Well I love that scripture, and I know it is true. Last week was pretty rough. I was eyeballing puddles of water- Jordan style- and just was not in the zone, ESPECIALLY when I didn't get to email. So I was like "This sucks! Surely something good must come of this." Then the next day I received a printed out talk that I had asked for from a missionary ('Teach the Atonement' by Jeff R Holland poderoso demais!) which lifted me up. Then later that night we taught this family and the spirit was way strong, and you could just tell they got it. sabe? Like they were the ones God had prepared to meet us. And at the end after marking baptismal dates with the 2 kids (the parents need to get married first) we asked, as we always do, "Do you guys have any more questions or doubts?" And the mom said "Yeah, when can you guys come back"...Minha nossa: Dad, Al, Adam, Rhett, Jor, Nates, Dev, Michael, and anyone else reading this or listening on Oldies 94.1 that has served a mission; as a missionary is there any sentance you could wish to hear more than that? I don't know of any. Any who we did return and it was grand. PLUS that same day we taught this family, on a whim. We were standing in the street talking to a member and we asked if she knew anyone that wanted to hear the gospel, and her friend that was with her said "My sister might." So off we went following this guy to his house. When we got their his sister wasn´t home, but his mom and dad were and to make a long story short when my comp told the story of Joseph Smith´s first vision the dad started to cry. So yeah I received a witness after a trial of my faith that God is real and he has things in store for us.
So yeah. Also I wanted to tell yallsies last week that our beloved relief society president, who I can only describe as Aunt Kathy/Candace on drugs, saw a picture of Dad and said "Is your dad a Hollywood actor?" and I said no and she was like "Are you sure? He looks exactly like an actor from Hollywood." ha ha ha she is the best! Irmã Rosalia. She is among the few Brasilians that owns a car, but she doesn´t know how to drive it ha ha so it just sits in her garage until her son comes around and can give her a ride. She´s the best. Also another guy in our ward SWEARS he saw mom in a Liahona before. Mom were you in the Liahona?
Que mais? Natalie, Avery is a good name, but what about Ruth?!?!! It´s biblical, it´s awesome, and if you went to Brasil or Portugal it would be pronounced "Hooch" or "Hoochie". Just something to think about.
Oh as far as Christmas goes I thought of some other things: MY CDs!!!!! in the black case thing, some earplugs, the november ensign in English, a metric conversion chart of sorts, and some house slippers/flip flops so I don´t have to wear the same wet flip flops from my morning shower around the house when I´m getting ready... But yeah whatev. I think pictures would be best though. Jor- I know you got a sweet camera, let´s see your work.
I think that´s all. I think the mail donkey should be in central Mexico by now so I´ll be excited when it gets here on my birthday...Speaking of birthdays Sean Jolley´s is sometime this week so if you see him tell him happy birthday.
I love you all a ton. Do your hometeaching! tchau

Elder Matthew Wright Gegs Gagon I of Curitiba

Michael: October 27th, 2010

Dear Family!

OK so im without my paper of things to write so this email might bepior ainda, but i dont think it had much on it. Im trying to think of what has been out of the routine. We dont have anyone really solid which makes every day worse and worse, we taught a seventeen year old girl who lives with her sister, and when we asked her how she was feeling after we explained the restoration she said a peace that's hard to describe, and then told us how she prayed the night before for the first time in a while asking God to show her a path religously in her life, and also said right before we came to her door she said she felt this peace too... So we marked a date with her and that was awesome -but now to kill it, I havent seen her since.... she must've heardsomethin about the church and is hiding from us. So thats how the workhas been lately... mark dates here and there and they all fall!!! queraiva!!

Our firm people are 2 wifes of inactive members that are coming backto church. But they both have to get married so who knows if Ill seethem ´get wet´. But one guy especially is just so great to see thechanges in his life, he got into drugs and tudo mais and he is sooopumped about anything that has to do with the gospel cause I think he kinda wants to do everything possible to make up for the time hes been out of the church.The other family is great and their story is cool they have just had problem after problem financially, just the worst luck, but they are faithful and its great to see.

So I'm learning a lot, enjoying most the moments, and glad to be here. Today we moved from our apartment into a little house. We went there yesterday and looked at it, got there today with the moving truck andour neighbor had cleaned it! que bencao! and she seems to be really cool. She asked us how we eat/if we know how to cook and im hoping she has the intentions of giving us food here and there. She makes fancy cakes for her profession!!!Other than that Elder David A Bednar, ya heard of him:? will be herein 2 days!!!! Its too late now, i was gonna ask if anyone has aquestion for him cause hes gonna do a Q and A sesh, should be amazing. Mas eu amo voces! boa semana! Elder Gagon

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Michael: October 20, 2010

Minha querida familia!

Today has been good. Im pumped again on 2 ´´new´´ liahonas, september and october. my comp. Elder Eve goes to some sort of therapy once a month in the centro, so we went there this morning and after he bought me SubWay. Bom demais. I walked in and it kinda smelled like subways back home but more likecleaning supplies, but still good. It was mostly the same, I got a 30 cm turkey sandwich ha.

Interesting thought, Peru in portuguese means turkey.Which got me to wonder how many other countries are named after that bird? Also being here in the centro Ive seen McDonalds but havent eaten in them,they are real expensive.

Another first time experience, I saw a possum. And almost stepped on the poor guy dead on the side of the road. Something else crazy here are these trees that shoot water out. Its so bizarre, but every now and then you can see or you will feel a spray like someone gleeked on you and it comes from these trees??!?!

Nate and Natalie I got your package! THank you!! AL I got yours too! yummy.and Jor I got a letter! Otima!Candace, Taylor Thomas says he always sees you at SLCC and says hi and wants you to know that person that says hi to you is my friend. (Bigger, arthritic knees, balding, grows a thick beard, blue eyes, nice smile)

So Elder Brown is my zone leader here so I still get to see him - he does baptismal interviews for us and my comp for them. Last week we went there and he is in a area called Jardim Canada. Up in the mountains of Brasil, wow was it beautiful.. its far, ´´two busses away´´, so we took one and then had a guy offer us a ride in his car. We have to ask Pres permission to take taxis but if people offer rides the only rule is ´use your best judgement, if he looks like a good guy, go for it, and ask him for his address to share a message with him. Its a small town, Id compare it to Cedar City, Elder Brown says richfield...and they dont even have a branch, they have a ´´group´´ of mais ou menos 20+members, and they have church, only for 2 hours, in the garage of the missionaries home, which has to be interesting. And I dont know how, but the missionaries scored this massive house that they have alone to themselves, complete with a mean Rott Weiler in the back yard, ya they have ´´a yard´´. We here in the city have to move to a smaller apartment in a couple weeks cause rent is going up.But anyway the trip to jardim canada was great, the mountains reminded me of road trips through northern arizona and its fun to be in touch with elderbrown ´´my dad´´ here on the mish.

So the work here is going good, we are working to baptise 2 wives of fallen away members. It is work to get them married, but its great to see the progress in their lives coming back to the church and getting to know it for the first time.

I got to baptise for the 2nd time, another little guy- mateus, 8 yrs old,and my comp baptised his mom. It wasnt too pretty, he didnt plug his nose and I kinda just slammed him down but hey it was valid, unlike the other -my comp said the lady he baptized´s name wrong and nobody noticed except her sister who told us later that night. We're still waiting on what we should do from pres. She also said the same thing happened 2 months ago when she was confirmed a member.

The stores here already got christmas decorations going. Im gonna keep the christmas requests coming until someone tells me to stop... I want the address of Brother Brandon Gunnel, I think thats his first name, Principal of seminary at Hillcrest High school, I think hes still there. And Bishop Christensen. Also recipes for banana bread, salsa, guacamole, brownies, choc. chip cookies, rechargeable batteries, and anything else ive asked inprevious emails. This world keeps getting smaller. Im not sure if I told this yet but Brother Mauer, father of Annika, stacy, eddie, preston and wes.... served with my mission president!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Matt: October 13, 2010

Dearest familia maravilhosa,

What is up? Ok so this past week we had a BAPTISM! This lady Eliane that elder simper had been teaching for a whle before I got here. It was awesome. I didn´t realize how much I miss swimming until I saw all that water haha. But no the spirit was super strong there and we had a big ward turn out to see it which is always great. Also afterwards Eliane´s grandma made like the most amazing cake I´ve ever had. It was like white cake with black pudding layered and then mangos here and there, and also on top.

We´ve been teaching a lot of good lessons, which is always good. At the same time though we´ve had people with baptismal dates say they don´t want us coming around anymore and they are content with where they are. One thing I learned in Tennessee was contention is of the devil, so if you´re content with where you are, you´re most likely on your way to hell. ha ha ha. No but in Preach My Gospel it says that when investigators don´t read the Book of Mormon you´re supposed to show devestation. Some elders think that means act like a sad clown, but to me it means you need to have a love for the Book of Mormon/the gospel that when they don´t read it, it literally devestates you and they should be able to see that on your face.

Anywho the reason I bring that up is this family, as golden as gold comes, committed to be baptized and was just so ready for the gospel. We had taught them a few times, and when we went back there to teach the plan of salvation the mom met us at the gate with The Book of Mormon in hand saying they don´t want us coming around anymore...

There is no way I could have hidden the devestation on my face. It was like I was playing guitar and someone said "Hey can I see your guitar?" and after I hand it to them they took it and smashed it right in front of me. It sucked. So yeah.

I had a bunch of stuff to write but I forgot to bring my paper that had all the stuff written on it.. I remember one thing was the other day I was walking down the road and there was this single engine airplane up above us just doing loopdy loops and barrel rolls and suicide dives and flippy dos and floppy dont´s and zippity doo das and Red Baron back scratchers and he even did an Up yo ziggy with the wawa brush. It was awesome. Other than that we´ve just been working. Beans and rice and a lot of walking. I love you all and I´m sure I will have a flood of letters get here in 6 months when the mail donkey makes the trek from Utah clear down to Curitiba :P

tchau tchau - Elder Gagon

Michael: October 13, 2010

Dear Family!!!
Im doing well here! Im in Ala Floresta, its even closer to the down town but on the other side of BH, houses and cars are nicer, less horses and dogs in the streets, a lot more and bigger apartment buildings, bigger hills, everything is bigger and nicer - and interestingly enough its more green here, so its cool Im likin it. I think where Im at is prob similar to San Francisco but i never been there.

Natalie there is a big ole mango tree in the parking lot of our church and they fall all over the place (they are still green though) but mango season is on its way.

So ya know those balloon things that are hooked up to an air compresser usually at car realators or something, anyway there is one here in the shape of a giant rotisseri chicken that looks so funny with the arms flailing all over the place.

Nate I got your letter last week, foi otimo.

Al I can get videos in my emails I just cant watch them..... ha Im waiting till the last week of my mish when I will probably watch the Delirious dance.

RMs and Matt, do you ever have the super awkward moments when youre walking and your hand bumps your companions hahaha gosh its the worse.

We had a less active family dedicate their house, and once again I loved it, I think im going to have all my converts dedicate their houses after they baptise, and you all at home should dedicate yours too.

Well fam Right now Im doing great, I had a super rough day monday but then tuesday was pretty good. Ive started a collection of General Conference Liahonas Ive found in the houses here. which keeps my batteries charged, I cant waint till the november 2010 issue joins the rest, hint hint.

Christmas package ideas.. i thought of a couple.. dr scholls insoles, just to have an extra pair when these ones wear out. a bottle of sunscreen. a few pens, and I could use another bag/backpack, just a little guy, like one of those gym bags the cool kids use as back packs with the draw string straps... or if you wanna go way out and find just any back pack thats about the size of a big bible.... like an oversized scripture case... Ill find a use for it. and lastly 5 pairs of dri lux garments with the t shirt neck.

Well Im gonna get off now.
I love you all and miss you! Who loves and misses me?

ate proximo, com amor Elder Michael

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Matt: October 6, 2010

Dearest Family,

Let me start by asking How awesome was CONFERENCE!?!?!???! Holy moley that was undoubtedly the best 10 hours of my mission/entire life. Michael, I´m so sorry you didn´t get to see much at all, and what little you got to see was in Portuguese. I only have like 34 minutes which isn´t near enough time for me to talk about how much I loved conference and why, but I will summarize what I do have to say. My favorite talks were E. Uchtdorf´s talk about pride (in priesthood) and the brazileiro guy´s talk about following the prophet.. Holy cow I thought Pres. Monson was gonna drop a bomb of revelation on us the way they were talking about following the prophet and everyone was bearing testimony of him. But he didn´t so we´ll probably get it in April ha ha.

So this week some stuff happened. I don´t remember all of it, but I´ll tell you some of the things I do remember... While my angelic comp Elder Simper and I were waiting at a bus stop, located on a medium busy street, a horse just crossed the road. It didn´t have a saddle, nor a rider chasing after it, heck I don´t even think it had horse shoes or horse socks (..Jason) and the cars just slowed down and went around it as it mosied across the equivelant of Wasatch Blvd. That´s when you know you´re not in the US anymore... I had an avocado shake!! It was pretty good. My comp was like "uh oh this avocado is getting rotten on the bottom. We better make a shake out of the top part." So we did. They make shakes here a lot, and a shake is just whatever fruit (or vegetable) chopped up and then put in the blender with the Brasilian boxed milk and sugar. That´s it. Anyway so we made abacate shake and it was way good! My comp said we were too late and that the abacate had already turned nasty, but I thought it was great.... All the cars here are shaped like computer mice, or like shrunken down minivans. Seriously it drives me crazy sometimes.

Well that´s all I can think to write. A lot of you have been asking for Christmas package ideas and after brief consideration, this is what I want for Christmas:
- Pictures! mainly of family or me or people I know, but I´m not gonna be picky. OH actually I took some of Solitude and developed them a while back. Its mostly just snow, but if you could send those I´d love that.
- Germ X or any other hand sanitizer
- Candy! preferably blue or purple pack skittles, but like I said, I´m not picky
- a beanie for the cold nights that I will experience next May or so ha ha
- RECIPES! I don´t care what for, but the simpler the better, and the less pans/utensils I have to use, the better.

I think that´s it. If you are reading this or hearing it broadcasted over Oldies 94.1 know that I love you very much.
The work is hard, but nobody said it´d be easy.

tchau tchau - Elder Matt Gagon



ps here are a couple pics of me and Greg, and me meeting Snoop Dogg here in Brazil ha ha

Michael: October 6, 2010

Hey melhor familia no mundo! Alright, So I got transfered! New area new comp. Elder Eve from Kentucky! He says hes heard of Ashville... But CANDACE he knows you! I showed him a picture of all us doing the human pyramid in iron park the day before rhetts wedding and he recognized you. You went to his ward! Man this world is small! One coincidence after another out here. I dont think I told you guys yet but about two months ago I met an Elder that swam for PG with Sarah gagon, and I saw him today and remembered his name, Elder Twiggs... So you can pass that info to her. maybe Rhett? Do you see them from time to time living in Lindon? Another thing I failed to mention is that Elder Jak, an Elder in my old zone is first cousins with Ky ky Shurtz!!!! So crazy!! I showed him all the pics I have of him but it doesnt seem like they were super tight knit but still craaazy.

So I dunno who can or will send me conference, we didnt have the privelege of watching it in English, some chapels have it in another room - or the privelege of having investigators to bring to conference to watch it in portuguese.... We could only watch with investigators so I only saw Sunday afternoon session... and ya I understood not a whole lot, it wasnt easy to keep attention, watch the mouth in english, and understand all the big words.... but I know Elder Ballard talked about drugs!. I heard that the choir for one of the sessions was from Sandy/draper. Did you guys sing in it!? ha, I dont think it was the sesh I went to but that would have been cool to see peeps from home singin. Nate Michel if you wanna know what you will look like in 40 years look at Elder Per G Malm from the seventy!

A while ago we went to a members house to meet his non member friends, and he dedicated his house cause he just moved which I thought was awesome... Just a prayer - but I dont think we did that on Bell Ridge ha, and Can and Dev, anyone else who moves in the future you should do that! It was nice.

Something cool I read in a Liahona lately was by L Tom Perry how he explained the Book of Mormon was written especially for our generations, God intended it for us and hence brought it forth not too long ago. Special huh, Its a cool thought but I know its true, I love the book of mormon and Im learning how special it is out here.
Some less spiritual but gospel related stuff - while my comp was interviewing the APs investigators for baptism we 3 elders sat outside, swapped stories and thoughts on the mysteries of the gospel, talked about how Jesus is believed to have married Mary Magdelene, says James E Talmage... Thats why when she came to him he said - dont touch me, I havent ascended to my father yet, but then when he went to the apostles he said feel my hands and sides... Cause it was diff with her. I also thought it was interesting I read in the Bible Dictionary how Jesus had brothers, and a scripture in Matthew shows that he also had sisters... And then this Elder told me a funny story in the CTM Ill pass to you guys... Someone started a prayer - Dear heavenly father... and another missionary turned out the lights and said in a deep ´´God´´ voice, - What is it my son? hahahaha.

What else, a crazy lizard got into our house, the kind that have big round fingertips, eyes popping out, and are super clear orangish color. I saw some guys riding on top of the bus... Crazy. ha. and I dreamed in portuguese for the first time. ha.

Well fam Im happy down here, Im excited for my new comp - he seems awesome already and has been having success, so I feel like news years Ive got a fresh start. I hope every one of you is happy and healthy and saying your prayers. I love the gospel, my savior, and the mish. I miss you all and pray for you. Tchau

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Matt: September 29, 2010

Dear Greatest Family in the world,

What is up? So I´ve been in Brasil for a week now and it is something else. There are dogs everywhere, kinda like in most 3rd world countries, but I saw a dog with a couple dreadlocks in its tail so that was kinda wild.

I´m not gonna lie the language is a struggle. I can understand about 65% of what people say, depending on speed of speech, but some people are really patient with me and repeat what they just said like 12 times at sloth-turtle speed and others say things like "Oh this guy doesn´t even know how to ask for rice and beans." that are hurtful, but ok at the same time cuz I speak english; the hardest language to learn in the world, so they can take a hike! Then there are the people that laugh in my face when I´m trying to tell them how important the gospel is, because they think my portuguese is so bad. It´s alright though they are just feelings, they´ll heal in time.

Sometimes it is a blessing though cuz there´s this proud man we are teaching (the one who said I couldn´t order rice and beans actually) who would just argue with my companion about authority and how you get it and who really is and isn´t a prophet. Then when I mustered up the courage to talk to this proud man he had to listen super close and try and understand my broken portuguese when I said "Proud man, I know you have doubts about Joseph Smith and our prophet and their true authority, but if you want some PROOF that he truly was called of God to be the one true prophet on earth that leads and guides His church you can have it" bust out O Livro de Mórmon "if you read this I know that you will come to know that Joseph Smith was God´s prophet... Now go take a hike while I give my feelings some time to heal." ha ha I didn´t say that last part, but I did say the other part, and the spirit was strong like ox. ha ha.

So yeah other than that things have been good.. My comp is a stud to the max! Elder Simper, remember the name. He teaches me lots of things. The work is way different here than in Tennessee. We set dates like crazy here, and in Tennessee we just...don´t ha ha. I think people in Brasil are either just more open to the gospel, or just more perceptive and willing to do what God wants them to do (get baptized, by proper authority) or else we have just been teaching better here, cuz I feel like we´ve made more progress in my one week here than the average week in Tennessee.

My comp is super bold which is awesome and helps a ton.... The food here is pretty ok. I didn´t think I was a food snob til I got here and my comp is always like "Oh this stuff is the BEST" and then I try it and am like ~Surely this can not be the best thing Brazil has to eat~ and then he says "It is the best, and stop calling me Shirley" ha ha but no we had lettuce juice one day at lunch (lettuce, water and sugar blended up) and it tasted pretty much exactly how you think it would taste lol. So yeah things are good.

So yeah that´s that about that. I love all of you, but right now I got to go.

Love, Matt

Michael: September 29, 2010

Dearest fam! especially JOR! Last p day was one of the best days on the mish, definately of this transfer which is almost over! This time next week I hope to be in a new Lan house somewhere else!!

But OK last sunday ten days ago a visitor came to our ward from out of town and asked my comp for us to teach her uncle, so we went there last Wednesday, and it was this cute twenty something year old girl (you can never tell the age in brazil) and we sat down and her uncle hadnt come home yet so we just started to talk and she asked our names, and I say Sou Elder Gagon, and she smiles and says Gagon, Did you have a sister that served a mission in Sao Paulo, and I say Ya! and she says Whats her name? (Maybe there are lots of SIster gagons in Sao Paulo) ANd I said JORDAN! and she smiled so big and said Mentira!!! (lie) like she couldnt believe it! and she got sooo happy and started to BAWL... and she left the room, and we just sat there the rest of us in silence kinda not knowing what to do, and she came back and was still crying but said, Sorry, Your sister Helped me soo much.

She served in our ward her last area on the mission and helped my mom and me and my family so much, I love her... etc. And so we talked a little more about Jordan but oh Jor, parabens, i hope you feel happy hearing this, I was so grateful to be there and felt so proud of you, and the spirit was so strong, and I just felt how great this work is. ANd to see fruits of your labors was a great experience.

Well fam all is good hear, this is the last week of the transfer, it rained here the past day and a half for the first time which was not so bad to work in, except I found out which of my shoes never to wear again in the rain, 14 hours of soaked feet is never good. I wanna ask for picture of Sasha! and Lake powell/snowbird, (i have a couple, Nat the ones you just sent) but things like that, that show a little where Im from, where Ive been, maybe a pic of Las Vegas... and I want recipes of Salad dressings, guacamole, and Banana bread... Nick or anyone if you could track down Brother Gunnel my old seminary teacher, who now is at Hillcrest, and get me his address I would be soo grateful!!! also The address of bishop christensen, schropher and ward leaders!!

Sunday I gave a talk in sacrament which in my late memory is the worst experience of my life! I just prepared too much material and didnt organize it too well.... SO I was jsut up there making a mess of the gospel and portuguese... But the worst part was half way through my talk I got slipped a note by the less active counselor in our bishopric that said my time had run out hahahaha. Cause it was only suppose to be 10 minutes. But that afternoon all was happy again when I saw monkeys!!! like a dozen of them in a members back yard eating bananas and jumping in the trees, I got about 5 feet from one ha it was cool.

Well I will wrap this up, I already talked to Al about it but if someone could also send me General Conference ASAP, I think we only get to watch 1 of the 5 sessions, and in portuguese sooo. Like a November Ensign or something STAT will be much appreciated. I love you all and pray for you. Miss you a whole heap. Thanks for your prayers and support. tchau! Elder Michael

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Matt: September 22, 2010

Querido familia,

Oi what is up? I know I just wrote you all last night, but my companion Elder Simper from Las Vegas, Nevada didn~t get to email on his p day yesterday, so we are here in the LAN house and I will give you the updates. So I´m super jet lagged out from flying across the world for the last day and a half, plus I just ate lunch at this place that was pretty much Tucanos, but cheaper. So I am super tired from all the meat, and all the travel.

Things are definitely different here in Brasil. I think my area of Curitiba is what Oregon would be like if Oregon was owned by Mexico instead of the United States. It´s super green and hilly and there are trees everywhere, but at the same time nobody speaks english and the drivers are koo koo bananas and the streets/the city just feels like Mexico. Before I got here I heard Curitiba is the nicest, richest, cleanest city in Brasil, and has one of the best public transportation systems in the world. So naturally I had this mental image of Curitiba being like unto Tokyo where the homeless man sweeps the sidewalk and takes off his shoes before entering his cardboard house, ya know? And like light rails running all over the city, and everything being muito chique.... That´s not how it is. ha ha They have busses here, and those busses cover the surrounding 20 some odd square miles around the city, and you can easily get where you need to go if you know the bus routes. And Brasil is unkempt or dirty in the same way that Mexico is. I love it though. I can understand most of what people say when they aren´t talking to me, but as soon as they look at me and talk it just doesn´t make a lick of sense. But the language is coming slowly and surely.

I got to meet up with my friend Steve Hewett who I played football with and partied with in high school. He´s an AP here and goes home in like 2 weeks. He rocks. I also went contacting today with Elder Marx! Meu companheiro do CTM! So elder Sasquatch showed me how it was done and we talked about the mission and it was great. I haven´t taken many pictures cuz supposedly you´ll get robbed if you do, and I left my camera battery charger in Tennessee (woof!). So yeah, I´ll try emailing some of the pics on my memory card home. The one thing I wish I would´ve taken a picture of yesterday was this guy carrying a rickshaw type thing in downtown Curitiba, and his rickshaw was piled like almost 2 stories high with garbage!!!! ha ha ha it was so great.

Anywho everyone tells me how much this mission rocks, and when I got to Tennessee, President Hutchings said, "This is a Preach My Gospel mission, and an obedient mission." Last night president Cordon said, "This is a baptizing mission. Just be 100% obedient" So that was music to my ears. My trainer (who everyone tells me is bem legal de mais) says we have baptisms lined up for this saturday and next saturday, so I am PUMPED!!!

Well I love you all, and if you are reading this on the blog- good for you. Thanks for caring enough about me to read all this.

entou, ate proxima semana. tchau
Elder Matt Gagon

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Michael: September 22, 2010

Oi familia! I have a friend here that wants garments, soo thats about all he told me... I dont know what he wants me to do but maybe just tell me the price of garments, and cost to send them here, then convert that into Reais, and if you are willing to do that he will pay me?? In return I will send you guys a package!!!

SO kinda cool this week I got ice cream at a place like Frogurt!! You grab the ice cream scoop, scoop your own flavors from the bin and weigh it haha I was so happy I told the lady I worked at a place just like this and then she said she wanted to be baptised, jk. But she was equally excited.

So Who already knew that Joseph Smith had a brother named Don Carlos hahaha. Not me! I saw a big spider which made me feel like Im somewhere exotic, Id say 3 inches long. One of our investigators was talking about a movie called (in portuguese) Our Home. Anyone seen it? About aliens I think but he said it simbolizes a lot of gospel stuff....

Natalie and Jor I got your letters yesterday! thanks! We had a leadership meeting, which are good, always motivating. Hopefully things will take a turn for the end of this transfer. Anyway this week is gonna be short cause not much is new and not much going on as far as work goes, and my partner is staring at everything Im writing which makes me nervous eventhough I dont think he understands what hes reading... Da liçensa! ha well Fam I love you and hope things are good, Id love to hear your news.

Love Elder Michael

Monday, September 20, 2010

Matt: September 20, 2010 VISA!!!!

Querido familha,

I GOT MY VISA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my heck I got the call from Pres. Hutchings telling me I got it (actually my comp from President's phone doing a bad impersonation) Friday and I will be flying out this week! Legal de mais!!!! I'm getting super nervous/scared to go though, because I've lost quite a bit of my portuguese and nobody there speaks english ha ha. Plus just different contrasts in the work. So yeah that is super exciting. Brasil here I come!

Ok so this week I actually got a call to go on exchanges with the APs up in Brentwood. So I was getting super stoked for that thinking I was the chosen one or whatnot, because I had no clue why they would want me to serve with them. I was thinking maybe they received some kind of revelation that I could come serve with them and magically become a good missionary and go forth and be one of the Legends like Elder Carpenter (a fellow alta hawk/future apostle). So they come and get me and they say, "There's been a slight change of plans. Elder Pearson (one of the APs) is having hernia surgery tomorrow, and you are going to be his companion in the mission home while he recovers." So basically all tuesday and wednesday I sat on my keester in the mission home watching 'The Work and The Glory' and sleeping and lifting anything over 5 lbs. for my companion and writing letters. So for those of you that I was able to write, that's why the letters are so much longer than usual. So yeah, it was definitely humbling to go from being the 'chosen one' to the full time baby sitter. It was great though, I enjoyed it. Especially being as mom would say the 'lazy lumpa lardo' that I am, it was nice to kick back and just veg. It won't ever happen again, so I was glad I got to experience it when I did.

After that I came back to the 'Boro and my companion went up to a leadership conference, and left me and my companion, who's been out even less time than I have, by ourselves to run amuck in Murfreesboro. Once again, it sucked. Someday I will not suck at being a leader, but that time has not yet come to pass.

One of our less-actives came to church yesterday. She's no bishopric member, but it was so great to see her there, cuz she hadn't been to church the whole time I had been here and she was one of my most faves. I was glad to see her though.

That's pretty much it. Work is going along super slowly here in the Boro, but I'm skipping town this week so yeah. I don't know if I can say I left this area better than I found it, but I can honestly say I worked my hiney off, and perhaps even "planted some seeds". Hopefully Brasil won't be the mighty struggle that I envision it (possibly) being. I'm super excited though.

Mom- thanks for getting my patriarchal blessing to me. It got here just in time:)
Al- yeah screaming kids in restaurants can kinda ruin a meal ha ha

Amo todos voce^s
-Elder Matt Gagon

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Michael: September 15, 2010

Dear Family! This week is going alright. The work is OK, me and my companion dont teach a whole ton, not that we arent working but we are working not effectively, and we walk a lot without following our plan... but whats worse we cant get anyone to go to church, so no one can be baptized.. the lessons we teach are super long Which doesnt seem to be evil but this week I had maybe the best lesson so far, using the new missionary curriculum we found out this guy has addictions he wants to get over, his mom passed away recently, hes been waiting for a change of life, he said this is what hes been needing, he FREAKED out when we showed him James 1:5, hes like do other churchs know about this? ask of god? ha. and amos 8:11-12, the hunger for the words of god. and when christ says sheep of other folds, explaining the people in the book of mormon... he loved it. Everything made sense to him cause the spirit was there. Ill try to make things brief now but at the end of the lesson we asked him to be baptized and he said ´´I will, amen!´´ haha. Guy in his twenties, GOLDEN. but after the lesson my comp starts talking about his home, his dogs, his fam , and the spirit left. Now this guy never has time to meet with us.... its bad. and we walk a lot without following our plan... but whats worse we cant get anyone to go to church, so no one can be baptized.

Just a little venting right there, dont mind it. I kinda feel part of a failing marriage, my second. But I fasted for unity for us and found out what we have in common -the church! ha no but I feel like my fast was answered cause my comp started talking about his theory that the 3 wise men are Nephi and Lehi (sons of Helaman, not the originals) and Samuel the Lamanite. Cause one is always black, samuel, and they disappear from the book of mormon, and nobody knows where they came from... It makes sense, he explained it pretty good. And today he was talking about the errors in the bible, like when Moses calls God to repentance in Exodus 33, in Acts 9:9 or something the conversion of Saul, says that the people with him heard the voice but didnt see anybody, and Acts 22 I think when he retells it, says that they saw the light but heard not the voice. SO anyway, thats what brings us together, and some more stuff along the lines of false doctrine.

So last week we had the 3 day long training, why I didnt email on wednesday, and monday and tuesday night, the missionaries that came from far for the meeting were assigned another pair to stay the night with. So we had 2 nights of sleep overs with another couple. and we did divisions, so 2 nights my companion was Elder Clites from Boston, who was Elder Browns companion in the CTM who do not like eachother. Elder brown is a yankee, and clites a red sox, No but its more than that, they dont get along, and I realized how much pride and gossip is in the mission. I dont think Elder Brown is well favored by the missionaries but it just bugged me hearing all the trash talk. BUT something you guys might care about... that night on divisions 2 notable experiences happened in the same visit, 1 I ate THE BEST cake, it was like a coconut tres leches. It was someones birthday, so there were like 15 people in the little room, standing cause there arent enough chairs. And we asked the aunt or grandma to say the opening prayer, mistake... and She went OFF, probably 4 minutes, OH MY JESUS, HALLELUJAH! over and over, with her hands in the air, stomping. Prophesying for her sister not to get in the car with her husband tomorrow, but she also thanked us and said our prayer healed her husband, (the previous visit we gave him a blessing cause he was rolling on the couch in pain, haha kinda crazy), But this prayer was LOCO and lasted a long time, and I was trying not to laugh, finally after a while I peek wondering if this was going to end, and EVERYONE has their eyes open, looking at me, probably thinking im rude laughing. Maybe you had to be there.

what else: It rained for the first time, I think it was the first time, cause it was during the night which made me realize it couldve rained before, but I dont think so.. but the streets were wet when we left that morning. and my Comp takes forever long showers, basically uses the whole morning in the bathroom, Ive had to pee in a bottle a few times, and he also doesnt wash any dishes. So one morning I used our waffle iron/george forman, the only clean thing to make my eggs haha I took a picture but forgot to bring my camera today.

The second counselor in our bishopric is on the inactive list, I think he travels a lot for work but... who knows, and the first counselor, this old guy, went on a division with my comp and my comp said in one of the lessons he told the investigators that he thinks all churchs are good and everyone will be saved ha... and our bishop is just goofy, he´s got mop hair, like harry potter, but hes a good guy. Thats our bishopric.

Today I got PUMPED on the bible dictionary. I discovered Gospels, the harmony of.... If you dont know what that is, I didnt, look at it its awesome. and also Quotes, in the bible dictionary, where it compares similar scriptures. SO COOL. Find out that Luke wrote the book of Acts... Also, they dont have King James version or the Bible dictionary in portuguese so Use it and be grateful for it.

Well guys I love you, Im well, excited for General conference (kinda not, portuguese translations, woof) But Im not sure Ive mentioned yet, David A Bednar is coming here in October too. I hope all is well, things are kinda quiet there it seems like ha. But I miss you and pray for you. Elder Michael

Monday, September 13, 2010

Matt: Sep. 13th 2010

Dearest family,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY (tomorrow) DAD!!!!!! Gosh where has the past 2 centuries gone so fast? ha ha jk you're only like 89
So this week has been pretty good. I asked this pretty much golden investigator if he would be baptized and he said yes. So that was AWESOME! We didn't set a date though, cuz he has a crazy work schedule that includes flying around the country and being gone for like a month. But he rocks and he will get baptized. Other than that not a lot happened.
Remember those hives I was telling you about? Well it turns out that they are either caused by the laundry detergent I use (which is made by a member from scratch...hey it's free) reacting with my sensitive skin; OR it is in fact bug bites, caused by bed bugs. So yeah. I honestly don't know which one it is though, cuz the elders that slept in that bed before me haven't ever had bed bugs, and I've been using this detergent for 7 weeks, and I've only had hives for 2....So yeah. Plus I found a bug in my bed, that kinda fits the description of a bed bug, but I was told if it was in fact bed bugs they'd be all over and it wouldn't just be the one. So I don't know what the deal is. I could have leprosy or the plague for all I know, but I just know I itch like crazy.
So those ribs that the hot sauce store owner smoked me were right nice! We were on bikes that week so I had to carry this super hot tin foil pan thing with 2 giant racks of ribs (covered up of course) in one hand while I steered my bike with the other for like 1/2 mile crossing the street twice to get back to our apartment. Boy was it worth it though! I went to pick the slab up by the bones and they just came right out. ha ha ha it was awesome. They were super tender and fatty and greasy and they mostly tasted like smoke, but I loved having some real southern bbq.
As far as the work goes, things are alright. Elder Smith went on exchanges with the zone leaders (one of whom is an Alta High alumni) leaving me and Elder Barnes/Grayson Brogdon 2.0 to fend for ourselves for a day and a half. It was terrible! We taught like 2 lessons in that time and just biked for years and hardly talked to anybody (cuz as the acting senior comp I REFUSED to go tracting) and it was hot and awful and my tire blew out, so yeah it just sucked. But once Elder Smith got back he just started working us hard cuz that elder from alta is like the best missionary to ever serve 2 years, and he inspired Elder Smith to get us back on track so that's what we've been trying to do lately.
What else? Thank you Nate, Nick, Candace, Devin, Jordan, and Rhett for the letters. They rocked. I'll try and get back to you all in paper format, but it might be a while, so don't hold your breath.
Al- Holy cow, Abby in kindergarten! Caramba. You have a lettter coming your way so get excited! Did that make anybody else cry? Maybe just me.
Well that's pretty much all I've got. Make sure you go home teaching and visiting teaching, and don't get divorced, and don't smoke, and don't stop going to church.

Oh yeah I almost forgot... This week we went to WORLD OUTREACH!!!! ha ha ha it was a party. The violin player Charlie Daniels wasn't there, but it was saturday night and Tennessee and Alabama were both playing so it was pretty empty. Freak, this place (meaning the central tennessee area/South) shuts down on saturdays. The streets are deserted, if people answer the door, they're usually pissed, or they make you wait til commercials...Thou shalt have no other Gods before me ha ha

com muito amor, Elder Matt Gagon