Elder Matthew Wright Gagon - Brazil Curitiba Mission

Elder Michael David Gagon - Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission

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