Elder Matthew Wright Gagon - Brazil Curitiba Mission

Elder Michael David Gagon - Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Michael: July 28th 2010

Hello everyone!

Family, I got letters this week from Jor and Rhett so you know they made it. Rhett still dont have your email for sure. This week was good!

I think I will baptize on sunday! We taught these two ladies who are 38 and 32 and live together in a one bedroom house... they both have short butch hair (one had cancer but still) and they have model cars on the shelves, So for a while we were thinking uh oh, lesbos, which would have sucked cause they are as golden as an investigator could be... But law of chastity went smooth! We noticed another mattress leaned up against the wall, so i think they should pass their interviews tomorrow and if they choose me, I could get wet sunday ha. I dumbed that story down a bit but it was intense for a while wondering what to do- but where was our faith? They were good all along.

So a little about my area, I live outside of the city Belo Horizonte, so it's a big city but not down town, no tall buildings, just normal. Our area is richer I hear. my stake/zone is BH oeste, and ward/area is progresso. Its nice we get lunch every day SO delicious from members. And I became grateful for this yesterday when I met Elder Wellard. I met him in the mission home, I was having an interview, and he was going to the hospital. He was telling us this story like it was nothing, which made it so much funnier, his branch I guess if you could call it that, is 25 members or so... So he doesnt get lunch, and he has to travel a lot on bus because its far from where they live.. He has NO money, and No food, ever ha. He said he found a bag of flour for cheap, and all they had in the house was sugar. And they ran out of propane for the stove, so they thought they'd use the warm water from the shower. For awhile there he was living off flour sugar water hahaha! I was crying when he told me this laughing so hard. He said we had four limes, so I ate two and my companion ate two, and then 2 cloves of garlic, So we just ate those plane, then he says "Garlic is pretty spicy did you know that"? He said he hasnt had Meat in almost 2 months haha, and one day they were given a rotisserie chicken, and he is about to eat it, and then decides to go borrow hot sauce from the guy they live with, and so he goes upstairs, and hears some noise going on, and the guys rot weiller had eaten his whole chicken!! haha...I dunno if I'm doing this justice but we told this story later at our lunch appointment to a member and about died again, cause my comp ended the story... so now he is in the hospital ha. Better than the fart story for sure. Thats sayin alot.

So to get a visual, the best way to describe how small our bathroom is we have a shower with a toilet and sink in it... Ok so I missed out on some details but I caught a whiff from matts email. Did you guys go to stadium of fire? If so thats cool.. alright cool story... ummm look up on google image the state administration building for Minas Gerais, it looks like something out of star wars, but we drove past it when we got here. So one day my planner in my pants pocket was soggy from sweat... gross. This elder that is in the hospital has only wore one pair of pants since he has been out a year... and so I decided only to use two maybe 3 the rest of my mish.

I saw a guy skitching behind a bus, holding on with his foot while riding his bike and the bus just pulled him up the hill! haha SO awesome! The buses on some roads sound like they are falling apart, SO LOUD! everything is squeaky and rattling, you close your eyes and sounds like an earth quake. So I learned in the MTC that Liahona is not only good spiritually but they always have pictures of thee most beautiful girls hahaha. I almost diarrheaed my pants during a lesson, ran back to the house and barely made it, it was awful... lets just say I flushed twice. The mish is good! Everybody here, all the dudes, men of all ages fly kites all day long.. That is honestly what everybody does, fly kites. It's cool I guess. The members / recent converts are so faithful, they have trouble reading and some can't even find the page when we say the number but they love the gospel.

OK lastly, my comp just moved seats so I can tell this story, I was scared before cause he might look at the screen but our tooth brushs are in the medicine cabinent mirror sabe and I opened it and his tooth brush JUMPED out!!! and dove into the toilet!!! I dont know how that happened haa but it did, bristles first!!! So I grabbed it out with the dry handle hahah and didnt know what to do. I was scared if I started boiling water he would ask why and would get mad at me so I just didnt tell him, I rinsed it off and put it back ha. So way gross cause our house isnt so clean especially the bathroom, and especially the toilet. Nick dont let this get back to jordy somehow ha. Gotta go guys! I love you all! miss you so bad.

Elder Michael

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Matt: July 23, 2010

Dear Family,

Greetings from the mtc or "Spirit Prison". ha ha I heard that the other day and I loved it. Ok so first off, Dad thank you so much for getting all that stuff to me lickity split. I got my drivers license renewed and all is well. So thank you for all that. I'm gonna mail some stuff back including my birth certificate and my SS card so be expecting it.

So I'm sure mom has told you by now, and it is true, I'm going to Nashville Tennessee until my visa comes! I'm excited to leave. Actually I'm nervous just because I don't ever feel ready, and I especially feel overwhelmed to be going to the Bible Belt where they will rip me apart and then feed me dog or possum.

Ok so this week has been crazy in light of all this news! I saw Greg Miller. We have the same lunch time so that is neat. Dad I hope those name badge pins are in the package you are sending me :)

Candace: I've been having to buy a bunch of stuff soo that's why there's been a lot of activity on my account. Plus we're supposed to have 100 dollars in travel money so that's why I withdrew so much. Also if you could send me a picture of Devin on his mission when he was fat I would love that. OH and you know that knife thing you do where you "cut people's heads off"? Well in Brazil they kinda do that, but it's when they are splitting up teams or drawing lines in the sand or things like that, but the reason I tell you is cuz when they do it they say " A faca caia aqui!" and it is hilarious and awesome, so you can say that when you do that (it translates to "the knife falls here" ask Jor for pronunciaation)

Did you guys get a picture of me from Jill Bergman? She took one, but I don't know iiff you got it.

Other than that not a ton has happened. We'rree all just getting ready to be shipped out so yeah that should be rad. I'm gonna miss tthe MTC. This place is the best.

Oh so on tuesday when I was "hosting" this Benz-o pulls up and guess who is inside seeing off his brother in law? Brian Kehl the Brighton high school/ BYU/ New York Giants linebacker!!!! And after he walked past me and then came back I stopped him and said, "Hey you're BBrian Kehl right?" and he was like "yeah" and I just told him I was a fan and he stopppeed and asked where we were all going and was even like "tudo bom" at the end of all this aannd it was way sweet cuz he was one of my all time byu faves before this, so yeah it rocked.

Dad/family- do you remember that month where you/dad brought home thhaatt 9 lbs. bag of corned beef and we had Reuben sandwiches for like a month? Thatt was the best!

How is garage sale season coming? I'll bet the east benches are just littered with crappy skis with good bindings, for 5 dollars a peice, and if not I will pray there will be, and then it will happen.

So yeah not a whole lot moore to write. Mom&Dad it was nice to talk to you on the phone.

Nick- Your letteerrs are HILARIOUS! Oh my gosh both of them are in the letter hall of fame. Keep writing cuz it sounds like you are rocking at life.

I guess the cat is out of the bag with Natalie and Nate's pregnancy. Congrats! I pray for HIM(!!!) every night.

So yeah tchau. Love ya

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Michael: July 21, 2010

I'm OK, I didnt die as soon as I left the CTM like I thought I would. I sent my first handwritten letter to you guys and also wrote an email from my comps email I hope you got it. So week 1 is good, our house is good but dirty but i dont mind, not much to it... our bathroom door doesn't have a doorknob and the first time I went in there I couldnt get out, and E Brown tricked me and said he had to go get a tool from the neighbor to open it and I wasnt suppose to shut the door ha, but really we just use a spoon to pry the door open..

Wow I grabbed the wrong piece of paper so instead of my notes on things to write home about Ive got my list of things Ive spent money on (food items) but I'll go from memory... I ate a chicken foot!!!! or part of one... I took a couple nibbles but it was hard to eat cause there isnt much meat on it... A member made chicken for us and just to be daring I took the foot. Well I really am drawing some blanks without my notes..

The work is good. I feel a little overwhelmed cause we teach lessons cause people are nice and accept us, but not too much comes of them. Also our area is a huge city, and its just 2 of us on foot.. so I know there are elect people, but how can we find them in all 4 corners of our area?!? Im just not trying to worry about it, Im doing good.. Comp is good, members are great, weather is good, hot- I got burnt, only 70s prob but I'm in the sun all day, it's not humid here so the heat is bearable, but I might die in the coming months I think. hmm I was also eating something (I dont know what, they were fried and really crunchy) but I noticed hairs on one of them, I dont think human hair, like hair from the animal, so that was bad... Im for sure in the hills, everywhere we walk is up hill, but we have our fair share of down hills too... Im in part of the big city. Like normal suburbs, brazil style.. Well I love you guys, I got my email working but next week Ill remember my notes. PS my comp is zone leader so we go to the mission office most weeks, so YES you can write me!!! Or email me.... I love you and miss you SO much. Would love to hear from each of ya. Tchau!... PS Im not sure I have rhetts and nicks correct emails, Help.
XOXO Elder Michael

Friday, July 16, 2010

Matt: July 16, 2010

Dear Family,

Greetings from Provo, Utah aka The Promised Land. ha ha Oh man this week has been pretty mundane. I'm getting into the thick of the MTC blues. I leave here in like 14 days or something like that... maybe less. I never was a math major. So yeah not a lot to write about. Mom I guess Duke head butted you and knocked you clean over huh? ha ha that is truly hilarious. If you want to get him back the vacuum is in the hall closet... Ok so Sunday night we had a devotional and it was Jenny Oaks Baker, the violinist daughter of the Apostle Dallin H Oaks. Anywho it was SOOO good! She would talk a little bit about her life, and then play an accompanying hymn and it was just majestic. Al- didn't you play with her? Nat- remember when we went to the symphony after mom ran my foot over and we scooby dooed up to the balcony so we could sit by him, and they tried to make us move, but I had crutches so they felt bad and let us stay? That was sweet. Anyway it just motivated me to listen to classical music. A luxury I will be able to do once I leave this place..

Ok so in a fireside a few weeks ago they told us about the new mormon.org. Have you guys heard about it yet? It's basically you create a profile or page and just share a picture of yourself and your testimony. They've made whole videos with some people and one of them is really funny. Anyway the elder from Beaver Utah said it's the "mormon facebook" which we then re-nick named the "facebook of Mormon" or FBOM for short. ha ha ha That never gets old. Anywho y'allsies should check it out. The guy said "this is the reason God created the internet, so we could spread the gospel digitally and reach people that are searching through this medium" I'm not sure how I feel about the FBOM but I think it is somewhat of a good thing.

What else? Dad garage sailing season is nigh! If you could, look for skis with GOOD bindings, and try to buy them for cheap. It's all part of my master plan which I probably already told you about. If you don't know if a binding is good or bad, compare it to the bindings on my Rossignols. If it's close to that it's good.

Nat&Nate- Thanks ffor the suitcase! I loved it and I loved the letter. Sounds like you guys have some good times planned ahead ;)

OH thanks for the ties too. I love them all equally, but differently, like children. My whole district wishes they were their ties and they all like to borrow and it's fun.

Michael- What the heck, TAY BROWN IS YOUR COMP?!?!?!??!?!!!?!? That is way freaking crazy!

Also I learned that in Brazil comida (the word for food) means rice and beans. ha ha so if they say "Voce quer comida?" expect some beans and rice.

Al- You have a letter on it's way, but I forgot to put in there Send me some of those spiced nuts that we had, and that you sent before. but NOT the pecans. woof

Nick- Dude write me back. I heard about Griffin Call. I am so sorry bud. I have no words of advice or sympathy or anything for you. I'm just sorry to hear that.

OH if you guys would send me the pictures I took of work I would love that!!!! It's just different views of Solitude covered in the deep gnar gnar pow pow. But yeah I really want those pictures.

Oh lastly, How American is having a garage sale? Seriously we have so much excess that we try to sell our old crap. everywhere else this is how they earn their living

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Michael: July 13th, 2010

Dear family,
I~ve been having problems with my email so I am on my new companions email address. Elder Brown, Alta high class of 2008, haha its pretty crazy, today is P day so I haven~t done much but I met him this morning, we just went to our house and dropped off my bags, unpacked a few things and came here to email. So ya E Brown was an SBO with me, he is a year older, played basketball, I was good friends with his brother a year younger than me, Jordy. So yesterday we just traveled, woke up a little earlier, went to the airport, waited for our flight, flew about an hour and a half, and our Mission President and his wife were there to meet us with two elders the mission secretaries, from their we took a bus about an hour, and then walked a ways to the mission home with all our luggage, then we went to the Presidents home for lunch, very good! And then walked back to the mission home for training on rules etc, and got interviewed. Then we had dinner and went to our hotel where we slept. Just two of us in a room, they were very small rooms, but it was nice. I could barely sleep.

I´m nervous and scared ha but Im glad Ive got a friend for a companion. We havent spoken in Portuguese so far today so we will see if my language will struggle because of this. But over all, huge blessing! and what are the chances? So, since I am using his email address, I didnt get to read any of my emails from this last week, Rhett I got your first letter that went to the mission home, Natalie and Nate I got your package, I got it a while ago but I forgot who it was from cause I didnt see the pictures or the letters, I dumped everything out and it was just candy so after a few days I forgot who it was from, and because Jordan I had just gotten your package a few days before so I got them mixed up! So yes, thank you all! Your letters are so great.

I just found out that we only get letters every six weeks or so, cause you send them to the office and we only get them every time we have an interview, or a meeting... I dunno, I just know it takes a long time! But I~ve got more time to email, So that is good. I can send pictures. I´m doing good! I havent started to work yet really cause its p day but I will tonight. So Im gonna wrap this up, these are pictures of my roomates, and a couple other friends, my teachers, my teachers fiance who was my substitute too...my view from my room in the ctm, sao paulo, the garden at the ctm.... ya Well guys I have a letter on the way with cooler stuff. Im doing good! I love you all and miss you all! please pray for me, I pray for you xoxoxoxo Elder Michael

Friday, July 9, 2010

Matt: July 9, 2010

Dear Fam,

What is up? So bad news. I sprained my ankle and it is wicked hurty. It happened playing basketball, and it is on my left ankle (the good one) too. Woof! So I have been crutching around the mtc for 2 and a half days and my upper body is way sore from it. Also my companion Elder Baldwin can only fit so many things on his tray at meal times, so we have both been eating like birds and probably losing weight. Muito triste.

In a related basketball story the other day in gym before I sprained the ankle I got dunked on. It was so terrible! This giant of a man who probably turned down multiple college offers to serve a mission pulled the criss-cross-and-toss, and just blew past me on his way to a legit in game dunk. So that sucked. Seriously this guy was amazing, but I don't want to spend my 30 minutes of email describing the sheer talent of this guy so I'll move on.

How cool was stadium of fire?!? We had a special America/religious freedom pageant after which the MTC pres. let us go out and watch fireworks AFTER CURFEW! I didn't even get into bed until 11:05!!! ha ha anyway the banana shaped fireworks were my fav. You guys were right there, so I'll bet that was way sweet. Was Carrie Underwood sweet?

Umm other than that not a lot has gone on here na ctm. Elder Marx left to the Sao Paulo mtc which was bitter-sweet and then me and Elder Baldwin have just been becoming better acquainted.

OOOOHHHH guess what! I saw Jill and Craig(?) Bergman aunt Kathy's friend! It was so great! I guess they are going to the St. George mission, so that will be cool. She gave me a hug and had me say "hi" to aunt Kathy into her phone which is why I think I was cursed with this sprained ankle. Dang Sister Bergman.. (I always thought it was Birdman) anywho I guess Michael went into the field this week so that should be sweet for him. ha ha ha I just barely got his letter about how false doctrine is all the rage down in the CTM down there ha ha. Me and Elder Baldwin think that's why we were sent here, cuz we would have too much fun with that.

Well that's all I can think of. Love you all. Tchau

Elder Matt Gagon

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Michael: Email/Pictures from MTC Branch President

Dear Family,

I am your son´s branch president while he is in the CTM. It is a pleasure to have him in my branch. I want you to know that he is diligent in his efforts to learn the language and the skills of becoming a missionary. My wife and I were able to attend the temple with his district and took these pictures of him and the other missionaries in his district in front of the São Paulo temple. We thought you would like to receive them. May the Lord bless your family as he serves the Lord for these two years.


Elder Milton H. Brinton

Friday, July 2, 2010

Matt: July 2, 2010

Dear Family,

I don't have tons of time so I'll start with the important things: Nate the Fantastic, you found my SKIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH my gosh that is the best news a man could hear. Ok so I don't know if the rest of you heard, but I met my mission president last week. It was awesome. Their name is Cordon (like Gordon, not Cordon Bleu) and he served in Argentina and his wife served in Portugal. Should be sweet. Also my friend (anybody that you know while in the MTC is your friend) Steve Hewett is in my same mission and is an AP right now so that'll be cool to see him if I ever get my visa. Speaking of Visas, It's everywhere you want to be. ha jk no Elder Marxy got his visa!!! Mosca tempo! so yeah he heads out on tuesday and I will most likely be comps with Elder Baldwin, who turned 19 yesterday. I am really excited for that cuz he's a farm boy and is really smart, and will be a great comp... Oh I met a guy from Curtiba in the laundry room (cool story Hansol) and a lawn care guy who went there so that was cool. He says it gets pretty cold, but if this mtc food has done anything for me it is prepare me for cold weather.... So the reunion sounded grand! Can I loved your letter about the taco and hot dog trucks that catered the Wright reunion. Dad that stinks you didn't get to go.. Does anyone know what happened to Nick, or my friends? I have written letters. I know Nick was alive cuz he picked out the greatest candy in the world for my package 2 weeks ago (I never said thanks for that package p.s., so THANK YOU!)...... Maybe someone should call the cops and file a missing persons report..

Oh so I saw Greg Anderson. That was neat. Right after I saw him E. Sasquatch and I had a teaching appointment with Irmao Campbell in order for us to get better at portuguese. He challenged to his "Portuguese challenge of awesomeness and bodacity!" which is for us to speak only in Portuguese for the next 3 days. It was going good until our district found out, and they re-challenged everybody to do it for the next two years, not just 3 days...woof.

So I heard Brazil lost?!?!?!? What is up with that?

Ok that's all I wrote down in my notes, so now I'll freestyle: Remember how my teacher/2nd best friend met that cool girl here after we prayed for him? Well he got a sub for tomorrow, cuz on Wednesday he asked her dad if he could marry her and he said yes, and now he is taking up to his home in Montana to meet the fam/propose... ha ha ha isn't that the BEST?!?!?!?! That is Provo magic at its finest. I can't wait to live here. que mais?

Lake Powell (for those that went) sounded awesome. This winter at work I tried to get good at snowboarding so that I went wakeboarding before my mission I would be real good.. So much for that idea ha ha. The Ruf's rock huh? Was Briggs there with his kick behd? ha ha

Do you guys remember that part in Benjamin Button when he sees Cate Winslett (woof!) and says, "To most she would seem plain as paper, but to me she was the most beautiful thing in the woild." I think that describes a lot of the sisters here na CTM...just saying

Ok that is all... Portuguese is actually pretty sweet. Me likey

Love, Matt