Elder Matthew Wright Gagon - Brazil Curitiba Mission

Elder Michael David Gagon - Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Michael: December 28, 2011

Dear family,

WOW Christmas skype was soo satisfying. I hope everyone agrees even though it was only a quick minute for everyone to talk with me, it was super for me to talk and hear a little from each of you. Kind of sloppy but it was great, sometimes when you guys couldn磘 see or hear me I was still listening but all in all it was marvelous. I hope you guys could feel the love that I could.

Full of surprises! Nate your parents are leavin on a jet plane? Candace you live in South Mountain?

I wish I could claim that it was my genius when you guys asked me to speak some Portugues and Ademir started talking. He was right by my side and as soon as he understood anything that was said he took it as an invite for him to talk ha. He thinks he did something extremely cruel by showing you guys that mango and felt so bad that he got [the Michels] address to send mangos there when he gets the money.

On Christmas we ate lunch with a lady whose only son is on a mission and she is crazy for him to get home in 2013 to say the least, and has been waiting for his Christmas call ever since he left in June. When we got back home Ademir called her to see if her son had called yet and when she answered the phone Ademir was inspired to say 创Hey Mom创 and we could all hear her scream (translation) 创OH MY BAABYYY!!!!!``. Maybe you had to be there but it was FUNNY

hey Nick- h-h-h-HAPP-py birthday!! Can, that's so funny about Natalie's boot hahaha. That磗 sweet to hear you guys went skiin.

So this week I saw the famous upside down house around here, it's so funny lookin, I told Ma about it- you guys shoul all look it up on goog.

Jor- that's louco you've house huntin. Gotta be kinda fun too. location location location创.

Matt- Have you gotten letters from the Stake high counselmen saying to write about how to better prepare for a mission? Could you have Elder Melo write it for me? That was way funny what happened during your division.

The other day we were knocking doors and as we approached the next house a guy opened his 创garage创 about to go somewhere on his bike, we talked to him and he said something like 创cant you see my Bob Marley hat? I'm too cool for you goody good preacher boys创 (no not really) but he didn磘 want to hear our message but he led us inside to meet his neighbor. When we entered in the garage my companion said 创Are you sure you wanna leave your bike out here?创 and he said 创Ya no problem, No one around here messes with my stuff创 so we go inside, and as soon as his neighbor lady laid her eyes on us she said 创NO THANKS I`M REALLY BUSY`` so in about 90 seconds we got back outside and where is the guys bike?! It was gone like Christmas. hahaha I laughed so hard (afterward) and was truly amazed at what had happened.

Well fam we're all hopin, and thinkin, and prayin, and lovin, planning that the drought comes to an end this week and Gean, our 12 year old neighbor will be the first in his family to become member of the true church. He's got a great family that love us and really need the gospel, and for sure one day will accept it, but as for now he's the only one that got up to go to church with us and that is morally worthy.

I love you all to pieces.

Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Matt: December 21, 2011

Dear family,

This week was pretty good. Not good in the sense of people getting baptized and or confirmed, but it was good to really thrust in the ole sickle with my might. This week I did a division with Elder Melo. He´s a friend of Michael´s from the CTM and pretty much the Regina George of the Brasil Curitiba mission. Anywho we were walking through the streets of the dirty dirty and as we approached a house to clap it, this dog left the shade of the fence and started looping behind us. Right when we clapped hands this dog started going crazy and barking ferociously and approaching us like we were a couple of T-bone steaks. Not being a general lover of dogs, nor wanting to get bitten by this one, I bent down to pick up a (imaginary) rock. This dog got scurred and started high tailing it out of there, continually barking at us in the exact moment that a car came cruising up the street. Elder Melo was like, "AAH it´s gonna get hit!" and even though the driver honked and slammed on the brakes it was all too little too late. The dog got SMACKED by the car and after bouncing a good three or four times got up and ran off in the other direction. I´ve never laughed so hard in my LIFE!!!! It was SOOO funny! I was in this laugh attack when a teenager who was in the front yard of the house we were going to (and also watched the events unfold) came up to the gate and said, "That´s the third time that same thing has happened to that dog." ha ha ha making me laugh even more. It was awesome!!!!!!

Other than that this week has been another of toughness. Some elects saying that they don´t want to be baptized anymore, many others just not going to church. Just your same old same old missionary frustrations. But not all is sad and dreary in Curitiba. Just yesterday I went to the office where I received a PACKAGE from Natalie and Nate with a profesh family Christmas card and SKITTLES and American Deodorant!!! It was masterful. THank you Natalie and Nate.

Well, there´s not a whole lot more to write about seeing as everybody is saving email stories and questions for the Christmas skype Sunday at 4:15ish Brasil time (11;15 Utah time, 1:15 NYC time).

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night


Elder Gagon

Michael: December 21, 2011

Dear family,

This week was better but I think Tuesday is always a horrible day right in time for me to report home... We had 3 investigators in church, all adults that would´ve been baptised until one admitted that wasn´t really married to her hubby, and the woman of another couple only wanted to be baptized if her husband were, but has decided to go back to her church cause her husband is a raging alcoholic that relapsed and is pretty unteachable.

Well fam I don´t have much else to write, the good that´s going on is mostly just the happiness I have inside as I share the gospel with everyone. I asked a guy yesterday if we could share our message with him and he said ´´No because if we were to sit down we would just argue and fight´´ but it was my pleasure to sit with him, pray with him and for him, and calmly testify to him of the Lord´s restored church & gospel and see how his posture changed. He´s not gonna be baptised now but maybe one day he´ll visit the church- but for sure his vision of us was changed.

Apostasy of the week- I´m not sure if you guys heard as many outrageous things on your missions as we do but I decided to share one from yesterday. We´re teaching a family and the 12 year old son said he had bad news for us but was shy to say what it was and finally spit it out that his friend´s mom told all his friends that we bathed in oxen blood. (temple baptistry?)

YA THE PLAN IS ON. 4:20 Brazil BH, MG time. I´m pretty sure its you guys Pres doesn´t want me to see, not so much you guys see me but what can ya do?

Matt- The missionaries here joke about avoiding everything, pictures, music, that has to do with the temple to not get trunky.

I´m pretty sure I´ve seen Sis Castellano. I know the name but don´t remember the face. What does morena even mean??

Jor- it was great hearing from you! Thanks for the email in all the hustle and bustle. Valeu for the Christmas treat!!

Nick - I´m falling, you´re falling, we´re falling, WHALE!!!

Enjoy this time of family, good-doing, and rememberance of our Lord and Savior´s birth.

I love you all, thanks for your prayers, I need them now.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Matt: December 14, 2011

Dearest most marvelous family of mine,

MAMA MIA NÃO ACREDITO!! QUE BENÇÃO DO CÉU! MICHAEL AND THE WHOLE FAM-DAMILY SKYPING FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!! Surely the Lord has headrd our prayers and this will be a Christmas call to remember. I will also call at 4:15 ish (Brasil time) to get in on the multiskype action....That is if it´s ok with Michael. I know it´d be like splitting your few precious minutes on the Christmas call, but I think it´d be worth it.

This week was a goody. We didn´t baptize anybody or get anyone to church, so that really sucked, but other than that it has been a great week. Christmas is in full swing down here in Curitiba and we had our mission Christmas conference yesterday. It was splendid. I could really get to feel the importance of this special season and appreciate the birth of the Savior. Also we had a regular Christmas feast with not a single bean to be found ha ha so that was great!

I just got back from doing a session in the southernmost temple visited by any Gagon relative ha ha (probably true) and it was AMAZING!!! Minha nossa I would exhort all of you to hire a baby sitter and go do a session before Christmas. Vocês irão fazer isso? The spirit of God, like a fire, was burning brightly. It was such a great experience to be able to learn new things by doing the same old stuff. The temple is truly God´s house.

This week I did a baptismal interview with that lady that I was teaching forever ago, whom I think I mentioned in one of my previous emails. Anywho she is super elect and ready to be baptized but wanted to wait til she was "ready" and after a good long talk she should be getting baptized this weekend.

I am super sad to hear about Deb Larsen. I wasn´t as tight with her as I was with her husband, but Ken Larsen was undoubtedly the greatest scout master to ever serve. That man opened my eyes and shaped my life and the lives of others during a very pivotal (and difficult) time of life. I never expressed my grattitude to him like I should have, for all the awesome camp outs, car rides, and pack meetings, but por favor send him my deepest sympathies.

Michael- Apparently there´s a Sister Castellano in your mission who has a sister serving (treinadora woo! GH) here in my zone. Apparently sister Castellano in BH is morena and aqui ela é clarinha e ambas conhecem seu Presidente.

Jordan- There are two RMs in my area that served with you in Interlagos. One of them was Elder Augusto who was a verdinho when you were in the end of your mission. The other´s name is Ríquiel. He´s has red hair which is slowly receding back his scalp.. They both said you sang really well and that your area baptized like crazy which makes me wonder, was there another Sister Gagon from Sandy, UT serving with you?

Nick- =" Here I could´ve gone with option A: dodging the claws and take him out with a spinning back kick to the head, or option B: taking the claws to the face and roll around on the ground and cry like a little girl...... Should´ve gone with option A- AAAHHHHHH!!!!"= PS You should probably stop wearing women´s clothing.

Dad- you rock. Thanks for the email.

mom- ditto


-Elder Matt Gagon

Michael: December 14, 2011

Dear family!

So good to hear from you ma, pa and Nickle pickle this week!

Well I´ll get right down to it, Presidente Parrella is going to let me skype you guys! When I asked him I mentioned it being cheaper and easier to be able to talk to my extensively big fam that resides in varying distant lands. Anyway he said Yes if it were without the image but I´m wondering if I really heard him say that or if I imagined it if-ya-know-what-I-mean.

This week we taught a guy named Marcio. He´s not all there because of how much alcohol he´s consumed in the past, and we was preparing to be baptized- after our lesson w/him around lunch time he walked down the street with us, and when we knocked on the next door he stayed there, and when they let us inside he came in, and long story short worked all day long with us haha and the next day too. He would approach people and say ´´Hey can we teach you guys our doctrine?´´, and then he´d take control of the lessons and say ´´first we need to say a prayer´´ and he´d kneel down, put his hands on his chest and offer the prayers which never ended in the name of Jesus Christ or with Amen, just came slowly to a halt. It was so entertaining I just let him be. We´d invite people to church and he´d say the craziest stuff like ´´Ya you should go the library there has over 1300 books.´´

Worked 2 days with us but when Sunday morning came around he stayed in bed. So things continue in this slump I´m in.

I ate a HUGE banana this week. It wasn´t long at all but when I closed my hand around it my middle finger couldn´t touch my thumb! you couldn´t get it all in your mouth you had to take bites out of the sides.

Nick- I laughed way hard even though I dont remember where THATS A LOT OF NUTS is from.

Bro, my memories of the Alta library is making false photocopies of my attendance records to turn into Coach Ham so I´d get out of doing up-downs for my tardies. And I always wondered if anyone in the last 12 years actually checked a book out?

I don´t know why but I didn´t see your beard pic- but send your Christmas dance pic on down. You´re SBO and your date is 15? ha jk, I know how you felt in sem, Bro Smith or Dingus asked me what day sweethearts was my sophmore year. ´´The 10th!´´ ´´And your birthday?´´ uh...

Matt- me hijo #2 chama Elder Martinez. Stop calling our sisters Shirly! kk.

Jor- whats a slanket?

Al- How oft do you have the missionaries over for din? How are their messages? Do they grill ya for referals?

Ma- what is melancholy exactly? I often wanna rewind the tapes of time also. I still haven´t found the Elder from Aunt Gina´s ward. Lots of Pakistanians serving missions in New York?

Dad- No, nobody mentioned Lisa Laursen´s death. Carumba. Any news on what Jeremy or her kids are up to would be great. Well Dad I think after having served a mission I will have become somewhat a self sufficient and strong person, and I am determined to do all I can to repay you and maybe even strengthen you a little bit.

So if Drew is in Mozambique he must be speakin the same lovely language as Matt and I. NEAT-O!

Well fam- I´m gonna use the member´s skype account. his username is: ademirrdesouza

If anything goes wrong his number is 3130231554. /I think that´s leaving out a few numbers at the beginning that you need to call internationally. 00500 or something? You can look back at my email from last mothers day or christmas and compare...

With super love,

Elder Michael D Gagon

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Matt: December 7, 2011

Querida amada bondosa família que está norte daqui,

Wassup? So family before I forget I have once again been liberated to use skype to call yallsies this Christmas. Let us all fast and pray that Michael can join us. I have been told to only talk for 45 minutes, but the Holy Ghost told Nephi to cut off Laban´s head, so I´ll just follow the Spirit I guess kkk. Anywho, I think it would be a great idea for yallsies to have a family night and come up with good topics to talk about and questions to ask so that my precious minutes aren´t spent saying, "Wow! So.... What´s new? Oh yeah you said that in your email.... What else?" ha ha. Anywho on to the goods. This week was kinda like in olden times when they would tie up bad guys behind a horse, and give that horse a spankin so he would just giddy on up out of there with them bandits there behind just dragging along in the dirt and the mud and the blood and the beer. But it is good. Our teaching pool is getting a remodeling after some really receptive people just can´t give up praying to Maria or sleeping in on Sundays or not reading The Book of Mormon ever and like things, but that´s not to say we´re not having success. Just yesterday my companion and I were being dragged behind the aforementioned horse (not literally Mom, cool your jets) and we both felt like we should head up to Anjela´s house to get a milk shake. We went there and she wasn´t even home, but her sister who lives in Ohio was there and accepted to hear about the restoration of the gospel and even accepted a date to be baptized on December 18th if she receives an answer from God that it´s all true. We also taught a lady with 35 dogs. Not as cool, but interesting nonetheless. Also we are just working with some of the same eleitos that surely will be baptized before years end.

Drew Gagon is on a mission? Since when? Is it true that in Africa they have to go to church for 6 months before they can get baptized? Apparently not if they all go to church for 6 months just to not show up the next Sunday to get confirmed.

Natalie- Congrats on the New Years Res. If you wanted to send those pics, send em on down.

Jor- HA HA HA HA HA slanket!

Michael- Seu filho Argentino é elder Martinez or Olmeiro? There´s a Uruguayano that knows those two here in my zone. Elder Palácio nome dele.

Nick- How´s the eagle coming? Making it rain in J Jazz?

Sisters- I don´t know which one of you (actually com certeza not Alison) but one of you has failed to give me a very important invite to my dear friend Gavin Rice´s wedding. He got married in August and surely he sent it before hand, surely I couldn´t be there but it would be nice to get it anyway, and surely you must not understand just how much a missionary loves receiving mail.

Candace- I´m pretty sure it was you because it´s been since I was a junior companion that I´ve heard from you...If you want to read Alma 60:6 de novo feel free.

Well gang, I love you all. Think of interesting things to talk about on christmas so it can be magical,

Elder Matchu Gagon

Ok WOW I just barely saw the pics of Nate and Nick with beards. MINHA FRICKIN NOSSA!!!!!!! Nick, you look like Grizzly Adam´s blonde cousin. Holy cow I am in shock and awe that your beard is Chuck Norris-esque! Holy cow, I had my doubts when you sent me last years football pics with your semi-real mustache, but now you have proven yourself a true brute lumberjack testosterone pumped jacked up monster!!!! Holy nossa, with your hair all long like and your beard you look like the bare chested, creatine powered version of Rhett.

Nate, your beard is cool too.

kiss on the forehead

-elder matt

Michael: December 7, 2011

Dear family!

This week was tough cause we didnt get almost anyone to church. It´s tough to cut them and start fresh looking for people that have enough drive to get up Sunday morning to go to church.

I grew my beard out for 1 day. I didn´t shave cause I usually shave in the shower. I wasn´t showering cause our cursed electric showerhead went out. I think I bring the cold-shower curse with me wherever I´m transfered to. I jump roped 180 times in a minute this week which helped me tolerate a quick rinse in the showe on of these days.

My Pres is going to let us go to the ward Christmas lunch tomorrow :)! I´m waiting for a call back to ask about skype.

Everything down here is as perfect as it could be, I´ve got a great comp, a burning testimony, but just can´t seem to find success in this work so really nothing perfect at all. I´d prefer it the other way around but I´m doing some deep pondering and everything to turn this ship around.

I thank you all for your prayers and all your emails are great! I imagine your voices and picture your faces in my head and feel the love in your words.

Dad- Make sure you cheer loud enough since it´s your last year of J-Jazz watchin!

Sounds like your days are filled with plenty of fun times. That´s AWESOME what Drew´s got going on in Africa. Where is he?

Jor- That´s cool you saw meus sogros the Douglas´s kkk. Who´d have thought that by 2012 only their last 2 kids would be single.

Nat- What a great idea to get a head start on your new years resolutions!

Our mangoes were going bad cause we werent eating em so one night I just ate em all up all ate once! Send all the pics you got on down.

Matt- That was a sweet finding story! PS It´s one of the church Presidents not PMG that said home teaching is missionary work to members and vice versa. haha I rememb a talk someone said ´´Ít´s John 3:16 that says For God so loved the world...´´ Not PMG pg. 39.

Nick- Take it from me, it´s not as easy as it looks to say No and laugh it off when someone asks if you´re an Eagle scout.

I love you all like Elder Scott loves Jenean.*?!!!!!

Bundle up.

Elder Michael D. Gagon

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Matt: November 30, 2011

Dear Família,
This week was a goody. Many miracles happening here. The other day I went on a division to do an interview with an investigator of the Elders who live in freaking Timbuktu. Seriously the end of there area is the border of the state of São Paulo. Anywho while I was there I ran into an old investigator from my days in Tebas named Sylvana! I don´t remember how much I told you about her, but basically me and my beloved Lehite companion Lance Allgaier (who got married like a week ago ps) were walking through the mean streets of Tebas where up ahead two ladies saw us coming and split up onto either sides of the road. Not letting that deter him, Lancelot stopped in the middle of the street and said, "You there, stop where you are. And you, over there listen well; We are representatives of Christ and we want to stop by your house another day and share a message with you. Where do you two live?" They gave us their addresses and we went and taught this Sylvana who absolutely loved the message and went to church for 4 weeks straight before she moved with her son and loser boyfriend to no man´s land where I found her Saturday. It was a joyous reunion, especially when she mentioned that her boyfriend and she seperated and now she has nothing keeping her from being baptized. WAHOO! On this very same division my comp in my area found what can be described as the 13th lost tribe of Israel. A MULTITUDE of people that liked the message of the restoration of the gospel. So that was good. Anywho something not so good was yesterday my comp, Elaine White´s brother-in-law and I had to break up a fight in the bus terminal after a sequence of bad manners and worse words were exchanged, which ended with one lady quase under the bus with her shirt all ripped up as a mother-daughter duo were pulling her hair and just basically being rude.... It was ugly. It was like the episode of Planet Earth where the pride of lions take down that elephant. I just felt so sick and so awful watching as it unfolded.

Nick- Dude bro, legit random awkward legit bro, looking like Joseph Smith all burly and tough in the family pic...Nice! Here´s some brotherly advice: GET YOUR EAGLE SCOUT AWARD!!! You only have a month left so get crackin. The only place half as cool as the mission for a young man to be is in The Eagle´s Nest. Digging the beard though. My friend here Elder Piper and his ward did "don´t shave December" and when people asked them what they were growing out their beards for they would say, "This month we´re growing out our beards to remember the Savior." And then they had some cool missionary opportunities. But focus on getting that Eagle before growing another beard. That´s rad you are having good experiences dishing out printers to needy ladies. There was a kid here in Curitiba that gave up his seat to a woman on the bus and she ended up being baptized... atta baby.

Rhett- Loved the email and the PICS!!!!!! Mollie looks like a cutie pie. That´s awesome that you´re doing your home teaching with that family. In Preach My Gospel it says missionary work is just home teaching but with non-members so you are doing your part in your own way, but keep them eyes peeled.

Jor- Remember my companion from Tennessee that I compared to Grayson Brogdon? The one who said he´d rather have a samurai sword than a gun to go mano a mano with another guy with a gun, and also to protect his family against robbers. Guess which northern Utah city he is from..... Yeah.... Also due to the 5 hour time difference I don´t think the Christmas call is gonna happen all that late in the Utah afternoon.... Just saying. Também tell Ashley parabens for the commercial! That is so awesome.

Dad- Loved the email. Glad to hear how the John Gagons are doing. Yeah we didn´t do anything to celebrate Thanksgiving here. Maybe we bought a pizza? But of the many great things in Brasilian culture, Thanksgiving feasts is not one of them. Some things are good, and others not so good, but I like Michael am going to try and bring the goods back with me.

On a related note, if anybody has ideas for souveniers that they want me to get, start sending ideas now, cuz time is FLYING here in the dirty dirty.

com muito amor
-Elder Gagon

Michael: November 30, 2011

Dear family!
I hope thanksgiving was great and errbody be in the Christmas sprrit. I´ve been listening to Motab X-mas for a month now já. Yesterday was our Christmas zone-conference which was cool. We watched a movie that I think was made in 2000 where the quorum of the 12 and the First Presidency testify of Christ which was awesome.
We were teaching a 71 year old guy that is really funny. He fell off his roof and landed on a stake. He punctured his lung and is all stitched up but he´s a really healthy guy and anyway God spared his life. Since he isn´t working his wife dug up an old book for him to read. What book? An old Livro de Mormon thats been gathering dust for who knows how long. And the next day we showed up. The lessons were going well. He went to church with us and in both Elders quorum and Sunday School he introduced himself and lifted up his shirt for everyone to see ´´the map of Brazil´´ stitched on his back. (Its a big scar). Turns out though that he killed someone 6 years ago so won´t be getting baptised. During the lesson he reached into the couch cushion and showed us his pistol. We found a family of 7 yesterday and so far so good. A mom and her 6 kids from 8 - 20 something. Pretty sure everyone there is breaking the Law of Chastity but we´ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
*You know you´re a master teacher when you tell the first vision and the investigator says ´´Oh ya I heard Padre Marcelo recite that prayer on the TV the other day ´´

Nick- What´s the muppet movie about? Parabens ropin in those scholarships. I´ve got my eye on BYU but USU and UVU are in a close run for my back-up ´´plan´´.What´d Kumi say about me? What was she wearin? Did she have a ring on her left hand? Tell her to write ME! You should bear your testimony on Sunday. Maybe include the deed you done on black friday.

Natalie- The mangoes are fallin off the trees. A lady we taught gave us a bag of 50+ mangoes one day to take home. (the small kind, they´re only a little bigger than an average kiwi.)

Jor - The latest I will call you guys is 4:20 Brazil time. Tudo bem?
Well family. Things are going well. My companion Nephi is great. The member whose house were livingin is giving it a make-over so that´s snazzy.
20 Beijos e abraços. Um por cada um!
I love yáll

Elder Michael David Gagon

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Michael: November 23, 2011

Dear family

It´s a.....Brazilian! Elder R. Santos is my new companion. Call me Abraham, Jacob or Lehi but I´ve got another son. Training...again... met the President of the United States...again... (F. Gump). I´ve gotta dig deep to keep going in this area. I told President my snake story and thought I´d get transfered but I guess he didn´t see a big problem. You sometimes feel like he doesn´t like you but I was able to feel not only his confidence but also the Lord´s trust in me to show my comp how to be obedient if anything. Thank you for everyone who emailed me this week. I´m extremely grateful and even emotional as I read them.

Dad- A missionary bought Pirates of the Caribbean now that we have DVD players and President sent him home so he could watch it. I´m not only enjoying the Brazilian culture but gonna try to bring back lots of it with me. I was surprised that Glen is engaged, I wasn´t aware he wasn´t married anymore. That missionary activity and those stories from John´s ward are awesome!!!

Mom- Thanks so much for the email. Why are the deers in such a hurry they have to cross immediately after the car goes by? If I were as fast as a deer my crossing the street problems would be solved. If Gina´s dog complains on being cooped up on thanksgiving tell it to be thankful he wasnt born in Brazil where he wouldn´t have a yard or even a window that allows him to see the street.

Al- Ya I´m feelin old. Today I saw friends going home to join their families tomorrow. Que bençao. Just 1 more Christmas, new years, and B-day to go. By Mothers day, the 4th of July, and next halloween I´ll be back.

Jor- Thank you for the email. Did you T-vo the wal-mart commercial haha? Give Ashley meus parabens.
Not that its important, where is tremonton? Not that it´s unimportant either....

Matt- cabuloso = freaky? crazy? sei lá. My pres sent home more missionaries this month than people I baptised. Double triste. Fica tranquilo about the letters. I enjoy watching me some district 1 or district 2 and chillaxin on p day. Gonna send out a christmas card hopefully with better results this year (haha yea right)

Something funny that happened- my ex-comp and I crossed over a big canal on a palm tree trunk. A guy saw us standing on one side being chickens and telling the other to go across first and he said ´´You guys have such little faith! Just put it in God´s hands and go!´´...K I´m not going to erase that or try to explain why it was funny to me but there you go.
Another weird experience - There were 3 little birds up in the sky flying circles around a big vulture attacking/ganging up on him and I said to my companion in english ´´´Look at those birds´´ and some dude on the street walking a couple yards ahead of us laughed way loud, turned around and joined in the convo. It was so weird to us, that eventhough he didn´t speak any english just by the situation knew exactly what I said.
We marked a baptismal date with a midget! She avoided us and disappeared the next day though, dang it.
I saw fireflies and I jump roped 160 times in a minute. Sister Hunsaker that flew with me from Salt Lake to Sao Paulo last May is flying home today.
Not much else to report as far as work goes. But the highlight of the week was Stake Conference. I saw old friends from my areas I was in from Novemb-March last year. The bishop in one of those areas was called as the new counselor in the new stake presidency he´s like 5-6´´, 29 years old and has braces ha but he´s a spiritual giant. The best part of all of this was the presence of Elder Godoy, of the 1st quorum of the 70. I left there with high spirits to say the least. Not a single one of my investigators that said they´d go went, but I grabbed a guy off the street to go with us in shorts and a t-shirt and I hear he´s going to be baptized Sunday in the area he lives in.
Elder Godoy said so much good stuff I feel like Lehi wanting to share with his family the fruit of the tree of life. But one thing I want to share is what he taught about callings. He taught that the Lord calls who he calls for his purposes. He quoted an Apostle that said ´´There are plenty of great men in the church that are capable of holding our calling, and maybe even more qualified, but there is only room for 12, and for some purpose the Lord has I needed to be called and I was.´´ -- We can always be sure that in His church, Christ is the leader, and we don´t need to be worried about who is called. We shouldn´t worry so much about callings because in the end our goal isn´t to be President, or leader of anything, our end goal is to be heavenly parents, like our Father in heaven. Then he talked a lot about how taking care of our families, especially our wives is our greatest responsibility. And I got to thinking that Mom and Dad- you guys must have a guarunteed spot in the celestial kingdom because you two are the best parents in the world, and created the best family in the world. You´ve done such a good job. I love you so much and I´m so grateful for all you guys have done and do for me and our family. I know Heavenly Father loves you and is grateful for what you´ve done for us and is so happy with you. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.
I´m grateful for our Father´s plan and for our Savior. Grateful for the little knowledge I have of the gospel. Grateful for Christ´s church being restored to the earth. Grateful for Prophets, apostles and all church leaders. Grateful for our challenges. Grateful for being on my mission. Grateful Matt´s out here too. I was extremely grateful to hear my boy Nilson back in Sete Lagoas received the Melchezideck Priesthood, and I´m grateful it´s the ´´off-year´´ so that in 2012 we´re all gonna be hog-gobblin juntos! Amen.

Elder Michael Gagon

Matt: November 23, 2011

Dear family,
This week has been challenging. I´m learning a lot about how to put others before myself in the last 7 days. Also about how it feels like to be the mother hen...woof. This week is transfers and my roommate Elder Smith from Spokane ended his mission and went home as did the angel of all trainers, the saint of citizen, the physical and spiritual giant, my beloved Pai, Elder Preston Simper, after they both served for 2 years and 2 months. It made me realize just how fast the mission goes. It seems like hours ago that I got to this area, and just days that I was on the plane from São Paulo to Curitiba. Kinda nuts. The mission is super great. I´m loving it. Even when it seems like all there is in the streets are people that want to bible bash, or people just blinded by the apostacy, it is still the greatest. Yeah, not a lot to report this week except that Jackson (not my companion) is still running amuck unconfirmed around the São Lourenço streets. Just yesterday me and Elder Jackson (my companion) offered to help some lady carrying some grocery sacks home to her house. She gladly accepted and we ended up teaching her about the restoration of the gospel and she accepted to be baptized on the 11th of December. It´s been good lately, just kind of annoying trying to get people to go to church, or keep commitments and things like that. Just your base missionary work I guess.

Al- Thanks for the email. Good to hear about your Buffalo soldiers.
Michael- O que é cabuloso? Nunca ouvi falar.
Devin- You wouldn´t happen to have a copy of Day of Defense that you could send me, do you? I am in desperate need!

I love you all,
Elder Matt Gagon

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Michael: November 16, 2011

Dear familyI just overheard the girl next to me saying to a little boy ´´no it´s just my dad that is your dad, my mom and your mom are different.´´The good this week was that Joao was confirmed, can´t forget the importance of that.I had a cool adventure on Monday. We took a bus out as far as we could in our area, to the outskirts of town. Then we started walking further down a country road for 20 minutes looking for a part member family´s house, who came to church Sunday. As it was getting dark and the thought came to me that I should ask for directions again. So I asked someone who was outside their house, and he said we were in the right area but he didn´t know the street we were looking for. Then I told him the names of the people we wanted and he said ´´Oh they live up this same street!´´ And we talked a little more and then he said ´´Let my boy drive you guys there´´ and as he said that it started to rain cats and dogs and 2 of every kind of creature but the car was able to get us up the dirt hill roads to their house. We taught her really quick about Joseph Smith cause it was late and it´d take us over an hour to get home and she accepted to be baptised Sunday. Then my companion and I ran into the rain down the hill back to that families house to bum a ride to the bus stop. Their son had left with the car but their kind neighbor took us, and not a minute after we got there the last bus of the night pulled up.Yesterday that girl decided not to be baptised.Although these weeks have been tough like nails and chewin rubber- I still am enjoying the experience and learning. I´m grateful for the guidance of the Holy Ghost and Mom you can bet the Lord protects and never lets us get lost in the Brazilian forest at night in rain storms. That´s really heart breaking to hear about the missionaries in Texas.We tried helping a drunk guy passed out on the sidewalk walk home, we picked him up and walked a little ways and then he said to let him go and if we touched him again he´d kill us, so we let him fall down right there in a ditch, but I havent faced any real danger.A senior couple got to the mission recently and the husband served in ´´the Brazil mission´´. and he opened up an area (a state) where there is now a mission. Anyway, really crazy to think about how fast the Kingdom of God is being established. Um milagre e uma BENÇAO. Mom- You´re really good at emailing! I´m 99% sure it´s Tim Fitt there in Rochester! That´s great! He´s a good guy. You´re the indexer of the nations capitalAl- Great email, great laughs. Good to hear the spirit of Elijah is turning the hearts of the daughters to their mothers and the hearts of the mothers to their daughters??Jor- Matt steps in lots of dog poo! Tell all the single ladies.Matt- Cara, don´t you love learning an expression and then hearing it bastante so you´ll nev forget it. Sonho com meu bem DIRETO! é cabuloso kk. Já ouviu essa? Eu gosto.Well family. That´s all for this week. Sem dúvida next week will bring some great news.Elder Michael Gagon

Matt: November 16, 2011

Dearest family of mine,
This week has come and gone. Each faster than the last. My boy Jackson that got baptized a week and a half ago was too tired to go to church to be confirmed, "But this week I promise I´ll go. You can count on it." So he will have to wait 4 more days to receive a complete remission of his sins. Something else interesting, we are teaching a man named Auede. Now that doesn´t seem abnormal just reading it, but the way you pronounce his name is "a wedgie" ha ha ha! Yesterday we went to Pizza Hut to eat lunch and it was pretty much the same as it is in the USofA, except for here in the dirty dirty they have other ingredients that they put on pizza here that don´t even exhist in the States (Jor, how would you explain Catupiry?) and also down here in the Southern Hemisphere Pizza Hut is like DOUBLE the price!!! Luckily for us a member gave us enough money to eat there, and according to the Brasilian I was with, "That was the best 6 pieces of pizza to ever enter my mouth." Another cool thing that happened yesterday was that I got to do a division with my old MTC companion elder Marx! It was so great. We did some good reminiscing and it was interesting to see how far we have come from the days of, "You know Elder Gagon we´re not supposed to have vain repetitions in our prayers, and you said the same exact thing in your last two nightly prayers."
"Well Elder Marx, those are the only things I know how to say in Portuguese; so until I learn how to say more stuff that is going to be my prayer." ha ha ha so great. It´s amazing to see how much things have changed and the progress we´ve both made. The mission is truly incredible... Awesome awesome.
Other than that just teaching and preaching and working like missionaries do. Last week got to be pretty dang hot, but then Saturday rolled around and it has been freezing for the last 5 days.

Nat- Oh yeah, just drop a beat and freestyle why dontcha. Ha ha Avery sounds like the cutest. Have you done the thing where you try a little bit of baby food to trick them into thinking that "even grown ups like this stuff" but then you´re really thinking "Wow I can´t believe babies eat this crap!" ha ha ha good stuff. Does she already walk? Yikes- airplane with a baby...WOOF!

Well, love you all
-Elder Matt Gagon

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Matt: November 9, 2011

Dear family,
This week was a goody. Just putting our nose to the grindstone and finally getting our boy Jackson to go back to church so that he could receive a remission of sins after the meetin´! Good stuff. We went back to his house to accompany him but his brother with mental problems told us he already left for work. Come to find out that he was actually in the shower... Oh well. Things are turning around here in the dirty south. We´re finding a lot of our Heavenly Father´s elect children, and preaching up a storm. Monday I ate lunch in the home of Bishop Jairo Cordeiro who told us that on his mission to the Brasil North mission (yeah when there were 2 missions in Brasil, one filled with dinosaurs, the other filled with dying Nephites) he told me how he taught the gospel to a young Mineiro named Henrique DeAgostini and how after sed bishop left he was baptized and not too long after married a girl from what would be the Curitiba mormon equivilent to the Kennedy family. And how 2 weeks ago he was eating dinner in their house in Utah. Small Brasilian LDS world!
That stinks to hear about those 2 missionaries in Texas. I have a close call here and there, but I have yet to have anything bad happen to me. Só bençãos! Also, yesterday at lunch I caught myself doing something that I never thought I would do in my life 2 years ago. I was eating bananas with hot sauce.
Beans..... beets..... bananas and hot sauce - with rice. It wasn´t half bad.

Mom- Thanks for the email. I loved it. That is good that you are using your time "doing something of worth" ha ha. Also check your email inbox.
Michael- I´ve seen that "elder Mileski" name around, but I think he´s from the other ward that goes to our same building. Gostou meus planos de encontrar a "meu bem"? PS I heard that expression for the first time this week, and all week long!
Jor- Oh yeah, like I would do ANYTHING to attract more brasilian street dogs to me, even for the sake of losing wait. Tá louco? If they stopped making skittles I am gonna throw up.
Nick- Loved the email, my missionary prep advice to go along with Michael´s is to watch lots of Kung Pow. Many elders have seen it, and it is super hilarious to quote back and forth. jk but for reals I would say to also study chapter 1 of PMG along with chap 3. Figure out why we serve missions.
Nate J- The reason you never found out about the single greatest Kung fu comedy of all time, is because once upon a time on a road trip home from Mexico, your sister-in-law Jordan hid it from me in the Wright´s house in Tucson so that she would never have to hear me laugh ever again! How rude.
Jor- Yeah I still remember that!

Well fam, love you all.
-Elder Matt

Michael: November 9, 2011

Oi familia!

I´ll come right out with the good news.
Senhor Joao´s 68 years worth of sins were washed away on Sunday! It was good. me and my comp pulled sides of a wishbone to see who would baptise him and I won two out of three (we eat lunch almost erryday with that member that works with us and there is always a casket-load of bones in the food he makes). For the first time since February I baptised in heated water which was nice. The water was so warm that the glass in front of the font was all foggy when they opened the doors for urrbody to see, and Joao splashed around a little before he got out.
So I think I´ll be leaving this area soon cause of the member-snake down here. She wrote me a note saying she was being sexually harrassed and needed my counsel. The sisters that work in the other half of our area are also outee cause they have a stalker. Our mission president had the guy that works with us go work with the sisters to keep the stalker away.
Jaynes- I got the package with letters from Nate, Nat, and Nick! or should I say I found it in the mission office, who knows how long it´s been there. Obrigado! And the jump rope and deo. bone-G-mice ha. I jumped the rope 145 times in 1 minute this morning.
So here in Belo there are now missionaries from Portugal, Bolivia, Chile? Uruguay, Germany? Peru?.. anyway it´s kinda cool. And an Elder from Uruguay had pictures of my buddy Dom Havelin who made mission there.

Al- great email, your pictures look profesh! The one of Abby and Ellie hugging is so cute! But hey, how did you make your pot of gold costume??

Jor- ótimo email! No more skittles? sério?

Nat- Letter response comin hot- It´s hard for me to remember cold weather so cold you cant stay outside.

Can/Dev- Holy costume!

Matt- I got your letter in the 2 envelopes + your b-ball foto. Nossa. There is an Elder Mileski here that is from the same ward as Elder Carvalheiro (the ward you are in) do you know his family?? He´s weird he wouldn´t tell me his mom´s name so maybe his fam isn´t doin so hot.. There are also 2 other missionaries here from that same stake, and a sister in my district (Sister Batista, who´s being stalked) from Curitiba, her sister also served here in Belo..
Anyway it´s a small Brazilian LDS world.

Nick- Utah Ski and Golf eh? ski benefits? I´m growin my hair and starting now maybe I´ll grow my sideburns a centimeter longer for No-shave-novemb. I´d def do a semest of college and then head out on the best 2 year adventure of your LIFE. Also, I wouldn´t go further south than BYU but if scholarship takes you elsewhere tudo bem, follow the spirit. Way pumped to hear about your BoM and Ensign reading. I´m going crazy to get my hands on the October and November Ensings. To prepare yourself for your mission just read gospel literature that talks about missionary work, anything and everything will help. Read Preach My Gospel, chapter 3 over and over again, and try teaching anyone you can, share what you learn even if its just with the fam..! Love you bro, 2 weeks in a row!

Besides all that we´re just at the grinder, workin like captive Israelites with few results, but ever faithful.
Ponder 2 Nephi 30:14 (i found the words in this verse so strange)
20 Beijos para todo mundo

Elder Miguel Gagon

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Matt: November 2, 2011

Dear Fam,
I write you this week as if I was rappin´
We´re doing lots of work,
but not a lot seems to happen.
We´re teaching Father´s children,
even ones without a home,
but the apostate church is STRONG here,
yeah- the one that´s based in Rome.
We have some great investigators
who all promise to go to church,
but when we go there sunday morning
they just leave us in a lurch.
I think about the mission
and how much I truly love it.
Sunday morning I´m just left wishin´
that I loved every minute of it.
My area´s covered in morros
my bed is full of fleas
the streets run amuck with cachorros
and my hot dog is full of peas.
Brasil is such a crazy place
and I´m so greatful to be here
I love saying things like, "You´re the face"
And I love feeling my savior so near.
People try to attack your faith
Say things like, "Joe Smith was a fraud."
I humby bear testimony back saying
"No that man´s a prophet of God.
He translated the Book of Mormon
And received many revelations
Through the church and gospel he restored
We can obtain our salvation.
I know that all these things are true
Not cuz my parents always said it,
or because I did a google search
and under God´s true church I read it.
But cuz I read the Book of Mormon
And I asked God in the name of Christ
if all these things I read were true
and after- I´ve never felt so nice.
That´s how I came to know the truth
I just asked God, in Jesus' name
We´d like to stop by your house one day
and invite you to do the same."
That´s sometimes how street contacts go
and you can actually feel the spirit,
but often they just cruise on by
or say, "I don´t even wanna hear it!"
This week an old investigator called me
said our dreams were coming true
it´s been 15 days she hasn´t smoked
and Sunday she´ll be baptized too.
Today we played some soccer
and I somehow scored a slew of goals.
We even had 2 investigators there!
but now my body feels broken and old.
That stinks to hear of Nick´s football loss
and how his season came to an end
but look on the bright side, now there´s time
to write letters to your brothers and send!
Halloween has come and gone here
they don´t really celebrate here in Brasil
my comp and I made Jack-o-melon lanterns
which was of this entire week the thrill
I LOVED Can and Devin´s costume!
Michael, yours was funny as well
Al thanks for all the pictures
my nieces and nephews are cute as ____!

The mission is such a blessing
and I am so grateful that I´m here
I´m starting now to realize, that
these truly are the BEST TWO YEARS!

Com amor,
Elder Matthew Wright Gegs "Falafel sounds like a good place, lets go there" Gagon I of Curitiba

Michael: November 2, 2011

Dear family!
After walkin around this town like highschool freshman for 3 weeks things are lookin more positive. Joao has got a date to be baptised Sunday. He´s a 67ish year old guy. He answered his door and said ´come in´ before we said anything, and I thought great, some geezer that wants to yap our ears off, lets just get in a lesson and get out logo. In the middle of the lesson I was kinda frustrated cause it was yet another of the many lessons we´ve taught lately where I knew they werent understanding almost anything I was teaching, much less what my comp was- So I cut to the chase and told him Joseph Smith´s story really rapido and invited him to be baptised. He accepted. The next day was Saturday, we didnt really teach him but told him to wait for us on the corner of the street at 8:20 to go to church the next day, and I thought that´ll be the do or die, if he goes we´ll keep teaching him. And on Sunday morning after all the other people who said theyd go to church flaked out on us we pull around Joao´s corner and he´s ready and waiting in a white shirt. I felt really humbled, and to not go on forev I´d like to say I´m learning a lot out here. Joao truly decided to be baptised because he felt so good and so different at church. Ive learned how those 3 hours on Sunday are such a blessing and so important. And they truly are- the best 3 hours of the week! Joao threw away his coffee when we taught him Sunday afternoon after much persuasion. He said ´´are you sure you guys dont want to drink the last bit with me´´.
I also got a letter from Suely that I baptised in Sete Lagoas. She´s got a call in the young womens. Im so grateful to be involved in this sacred work, it really is true what it says in D&C 15/16:6 Nothing is of greater importance than preach repentance unto this people that we can rest with them in the kingdom of God.
Rhett- I also got your letter! muito bom, Bom d+
On a sad note, a missionary from my MTC group got sent home :( Of 12 we are now 8 survivors.
For Halloween I dressed up as Elder Forsyth and my comp was Elder Gagon haha.
Oh- and I´ve got another snake in my boots. This one is a member though.

Nick- Sorry about the loss. I know that´s something that really hurts- and the only way to not feel it I think is just to distract yourself, and keep yourself busy. Forget your pain and help someone else who might be having a real tough time. How´s stud gov? How are your amigos, e amigas? What´s going on with Rachel Rodart??!? I haven´t gotten your letter yet. Thanks for the email. keep em comin with the letters!

Matt- kkk queimou Jordan! Ya I was gonna tell you this week, our AP Elder Cavalheiro é o filho da Beth. I´m not sure how many months he´s got but pretty sure its about half as many as us! He seems pretty humble to me though- Gostei muito dele.

20 hugs to go around!
Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Matt: October 26, 2011

Dear Family,
This week has been a good one. We mostly just work until we feel we can´t go any longer, and then we work some more. The highlight of my week came when the Brasilian postal service ended their strike and I was flooded with a heap of great letters coming from my two younger bros as well as some amigos. QUE BENÇÃO!!! Also this week I saw a tucan in a tree of an investigator´s house. It was so amazing. I was just about ready for him to make it rain Froot Loops like in the commercials, but he just flew away like a boss. The low-light of the week came when Jackson who was supposed to be baptized Sunday decided to not go to church or be home the entire week when we had appointments marked with him... Kinda crappy, but my reasoning is, you can only go so long doing so many things right and just giving everything you´ve got before the blessings start falling into place and things start happening for your benefit.
Sorry fam, from the sounds of my emails you would think that the mission is terrible, but it´s not. It´s the best! Even the guys who won´t answer the door because they "already know Jesus Christ", or "are potheads so they can´t hear your message or read your book", or have their little kids come out to tell us "my mom said she´s not home"... all of it is the best! We had a sunday school lesson about the second coming of Jesus Christ and it really hit home with me about the gravity of missionary work. I am happy to say on that great and terrible day there will be hosts of Brasilians that say, "Wow, I really should´ve listened to that Americano." The church is true. God knows it, and so do I. I´ll try to write better emails in the weeks that come, and if you guys want to know all about the key indicators that will make things a lot easier cuz I´m pretty much turning into the RoboElder 2011 edition and my excitement these-a-days comes from hitting the padrão.

Mom- Thank you so much for the email I love hearing from you so much.

Nick- California sounded sweet; paintballing in jorts- not so much. Congrats on the fumb recov. SCOOP&SCORE?!!?
Jor- Holy cow, 2 years already!?!? Para bens. In respect to your email, all I can say is I guess Hunter takes after his mom. kkkkk

Com muito amor,
Elder Matt Gagon

Michael: October 26, 2011

DEAR FAMILY! This week has been about equally uneventful/successful but Im feeling a bit more positive, maybe cause I just left a training meeting (ya on P day), which is also why Im emailing a bit later. The gospel is so great and so important. I love the feeling of determination to sanctify yourself and your life and become clean, pure and holy and all that divine stuff!I think I failed to mention but I was almost in a district with ALL sisters!! me, my comp, and 6 sisters! (3 companionships)! But 2 of the sisters were robbed in the street (I dont have details on that one) and now there are Elders in the area.. making my district 4 and 4 just like the grande Gagon fam damily.Im feelin a little better about my camera with the thought that many of my companions have the same or similar photos and through technology I´ll get my hands on a healthy portion but I´ll forever miss that red beauty Nate & Nat got me for xmas.also..A kid in this ward waiting for his mission call worked with us all day one day and he is from the tribe of Juda!!!MM!- Church in Pakistan!? ´´We`ve landed on the moon! That´s great!´´I will for sure look for Elder Kimbler. I love youAl- your email was well appreciated! THat alphabet game sign was awesome but it´s missing ´´J´´! Whoever gets J first almost always wins.Jor- Good sign that Hunter is cagando, a lady had me bless her baby cause he hadn´t pooped in 3 days.Also great to hear your Portugues, eu amo essa lingua. I gotta look up dajinha in the dictionary though. AND I didnt know they still did Regional conferences, Im sure it was swweet! How oft do they have em? You didnt ask Elder Bednar if he remembers me from last October? I was the first missionary in BH to shake his hand and then we sat behind him on the stand and my comp nao conseguiu traduzir para ele. Happy 2nd wedding anniversary! Happy late one for Rhett and Can! Matt- haha is handshakes one of the key-indicators now haha if so Im gonna fazer de tudo to beat whatever you get this week. I also had pizza this week and my comp ate 8 slices leaving 4 for me....nossa, que raivaParabens no seu chamado, com certeza é por que o Senhor confia em você.Another thing I heard of Elder Jackson was that Elder Ducket (from my mission) stole his gf in hs. She waited for him, he went home in August and is married já!I hear putting your mattress out in the sun helps. And there are poucas coisas I would trade for my bug-killing racket! haha ping pong balls....Nick- SCOOP N SCORE!All my lovin for you!Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Matt: October 19, 2011

Dearest family of mine,
This week was pretty interesting. My companion likes to knock doors so we´ve been pretty much just doing that all week long. I don´t like it so much, but I know there is a valuable lesson to be learned in all of this. Even if that lesson is working "smarter not harder''. Not a lot to report other than we are just working like our hair is on fire and trying to find anyone and everyone in this neighborhood who wants to follow the savior. We got pizza yesterday that was super duper cheap and way delicious. As I was eating it I and one of the other elders in our house (yeah we live in 4 here in the SLZ) found an ant baked into the chocolate. I rationalized that it´s just more protein, and it was a real bargain of a pizza so I just ate it anyway. Also I have had 146 hand shakes so far since Monday morning... I don´t even want to think about Sunday at church. Also in the yellow submarine in which I live in, our beds have fleas. One of the elders says fleas are the same thing as bed bugs, and the effects are very similar. Dozens of little bites that just itch like the devil, hating going to bed (even as a missionary!), and just a general overhaul on "wife points".
There was something else that happened that I felt was worth mentioning but I forgot what it was... whatever. Well it sounds like things are going good. Actually that is more of a guess because I only heard from Alison saying that Nat and Avery are in the Buff somewhere.

Michael- That sucks that your camera got jacked. Really I could not think of anything more awful that could happen to a missionary. Have fun with that bug tennis racket though, and if it stops working for a sec, don´t trade it for ping pong balls. You will regret it and feel like an idiot for the rest of your life.

Candace- I bought that camera screen with my credit card so if you could pay that off for me I would greatly appreciate it.

I love you all
-Elder Matt

Michael: October 19, 2011

Dear fam, this keyboard Im using is awful and kinda makin me want to not write a lot. Aside from that Im kind of down in the dumps- On top of a not so hot week an inactive member that´s lost in the world of drugs stole my camera and sold it while we were having lunch with his Mom yesterday. Last week I took a pic of me and him cause he was wearing a turtle neck wool sweater with a life-guard style tank top over it, and I thought to myself why is he dressed so rediculously and the voice of my 5 year old self said ´´cause it´s hot and cold outside.´´ - The rainy season has started up so the weather is a bit crazy, hot, humid, and chilly all in the same day. - So I figure he knew which pocket my camera was in since we took that pic and while we were in the kitchen blessing the food he snatched it from my bag in the front room.
Im only feeling a little better cause 1- after this life I believe I´ll remember all the things I took pictures of 2- I should be more worried about the comrad thats destroying his life living to buy drugs day to day AND for his fam thats suffering for that and 3- To relieve the stress I bought one of those electric tennis racket bug killers and no doubt it´ll be put to good use.
So we live with a retired member and for 8 years he has spent his days with the missionaries visiting people. It´s been kind of interesting caus we´re pretty much a trio. Me, my comp, and Ademir. After studying we leave and he´s all ready in his white shirt and tie and he works all day with us until we come home at 9:00. Eats lunch with us, everything.... Pretty cool guy. I keep thinking to myself he reminds me of Ted Marshall, the way he always smiles and is always telling a little joke.
The highlight of my week though was going to church. Not only did I feel so uplifted by the spirit but I sat down in sacrament meeting and turned around and who did I see? Regina and Rafael! My favorite 2 people Ive ev taught. I guess shes gonna come to her own ward now with me and Rafael went with her cause it was her first time.

Jor- Good to hear from you. Nossa mae, feeding Hunter! hard to believe all yáll back home had those babies for real. I liked what you said about the Mich fam. How are they doing in ´Nam?

Matt- Elder Jackson is a funny guy. I wrote him after we left the CTM and at the end of his letter he wrote back he said ´´PS Flirt to convert´´ haha so maybe you coulda tried that on the guy who bore his testimony against you. (or ask him more specifically how he felt his testimony or recognized it cause deep down there he´s got nothin. Remember that talk in Gen Conf- the devil doesnt have a divided kingdom or something like that, the dev wouldnt write a book that convinces people to follow Christ. Or Elder Holland´s great grandpa - no evil man could have wrote such a book, and no good man would unless it were true and commanded of God to do so).

I love you all and thank you for your prayers in my behalf
Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Matt: October 12, 2011

dearest family of mine,

Wassup? So today was transfers her in Curitiba as well and I got booted out of Eucaliptos after a very FAST six weeks there. Now I am in an area called São Lourenço which is like next to Almirante Tamandaré where I started the Brasilian part of my mission! So that is exciting! I am here with Elder Jackson of Provo. He and Michael were buddies in the MTC together (or so he says). He has already been in my zone before and he was the main reason we won the USA vs. Brasil great soccer show down back in Tebas so we already know each other pretty well, and I am super excited to be comps with him. I don´t remember a whole lot of what happened this last week. Mostly just doing work but not seeing a lot of fruits come forth of it. Umm other than that not a ton has been happening. I took that same gigantic bus again and it was right nice. I found out the other day that my pastor "son" of a companion that I trained went home not long after I left the area. That was really sad. It made me think of the beginning of my mission, and the homesickness and the suffering. I reflected on that and on where I´m at right now and I could not be happier. It sucked at first but I could not have made a better choice than to stick it out and keep going. They say it´s the best two years on the mission. Without a doubt it´s not two years where every day is the best day of your life, but the joy and pure happiness that comes out of it, combined with all the knowledge, wisdom, and experience that you accumulate...there´s just nothing like it. It is inexplicable. I hope that any and all young men in the church are chomping at the bit to get out here. Surely it is the greatest ever. Hopefully my boy Elder Ricardo gets his butt back out here.
OOOH an experience that I had Sunday night that was kind of interesting... We were walking around our area and we went in front of the "Snowball church". It´s kind of a new age church for youngsters where the preacher says swear words over the pulpit which is made of a surf board and it is doctrinally just fine to smoke the reefer. Basically think of the most ridiculous apostate church you can think of and you´ve got the Snowball church. Anywho I talked to this guy who said he felt bad for us as missionaries and Mormons because we were on the wrong path. I asked him how he could know that and he told me that he had read (parts of) the Book of Mormon and he had "talked with God" and that the spirit testified to him that our church was false and that he was on the right path.... It sucked because he used my own tricks against me! How do you argue with someone who bears testimony of revelation they´ve had from the spirit? It´s impossible! Even if that spirit comes in white powder form, you can´t argue with testimony.

I love you all so much,
Elder Matt Gagon

Michael: October 12, 2011

Dear family-

Today was transfers. I´m in a new area, Justinopalis- its more of a ´´suburb´´. Just outside the capital. More of a humble place. What I know so far of my area is that the ward here is split into 2 areas, ours and the area of Sisters.
My new companion has been out 6 weeks in the field, from Spokanne, Elder Forsyth.
Somethin kinda cool is that the ward Im in now is the proper ward that Rafael´s girlfriend Regina whom I baptised should attend, so maybe she´ll pay me a visitinha and hopefully I see my bff Rafael another time.
My last week in Paradise was pretty good, a baptism fell through and another couldnt quit smoking in time for me to baptise him. But I left a good piece of my heart there with a lot of great citizens and membs of The Church of Jesus Christ. I didnt think I´d be transfered so I bought lots of food last Pday and ate it all up the last 2 days (over a dozen eggs, prob a pound of potatoes, 3 liters of juice..)
I had some late reflections about General Conference, Pres. Monson is awesome. But one of the coolest experiences I´ve had so far was listening to Pres. Uchtdorfs talk about the meek and humble etc. I was sitting next to Cássia, a 35 year old I baptised a while back. Her family life is pretty horrible, her social life I´d bet is much worse. And she was bawling during Uchtdorfs talk, and I couldn´t help tearing up. I felt Pres. Uchtdorf was talking directly to her. Cássia lives in one room thats probably 6 square meters in area. When we taught her she would sit on her bed, and we sat outside the house and I could easily reach to her to hand her a book etc.
Another not as cool experience was teaching a gay guy that went to Gen Conf with us.

Matt- Looking good in the Macacao! haha. Job well done with that family down ther down ther. Que bençao, milagres acontecem sem dúvida.
I affirm what Matt said about geneology, those of you who enjoy internet access should hop on it I´m sure you´ll receive promised blessings. I hear indexing is something cool everyone can do?

Well fam I´ma get going but I love you all deeply.
mm mm mm mm muah.
Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Matt: October 5, 2011

Dearest family,

Wa wa wee wow was general conference good! I remember Jordan saying that general conference is like the Super Bowl for missionaries and it is the truth. My favorite talks were from Jefferey "the lionheart" Holland laying it down in priesthood meeting, D. Todd Christofferson also laying it down on Saturday, Elaine S. Dalton who I saw in the MTC discourcing well on Sunday, and also David A. Bednar´s talk on geneology. I didn´t know this before, but recently (but before conference) I found out that doing geneology and temple work is a commandment! We can be sent to hell if we don´t do it. ha ha It is pretty cool stuff though and I was delighted that Elder Bednar spoke about it. The other day (2 months ago) a member showed me the new familysearch website and that thing is incredible! If you want to get a good start on fulfilling the afore mentioned commandment, new.familysearch.org? or net? is a great place to start. I started mine and figured out that a majority of my direct ancestors already have their temple work done. Neat-o! Also this week I rode on the biggest bus IN THE WORLD!!! Yeah it´s here in Curitiba and runs on like corn oil or something ridiculous. Also last week I went downtown and saw a street act to end all street acts. It was a guy playing a violin while his other thug-nasty friend beat boxed. It was SOOOO awesome!!! It made me think of how my sister Alison and beloved mother K-train could raise a few extra dollars if needs be.
This week was especially sweet because Fatima Aparecida de Moraes Veloso and her husband Antonio were baptized. It was incredible. About 2 weeks ago I was on a afternoon division with a 17 year old from the ward. We went to visit a house that I had been to before but nobody was home so we just meandered through the park where we saw a woman sitting on a bench. There´s a picture I´ve seen here on the mission; I don´t know where it comes from, but it shows Jesus Christ sitting on a park bench listening to a guy dressed in modern day attire (like jeans and stuff). I´ve always been impressed by that picture and thought to myself as I saw this lady, "Hey I could re-enact that Jesus in the park picture here in real life." I started talking to her and she mentioned how she never felt good in any of the churches she went to. She continued to say that she felt awful about this because she was impeding (that´s a word in english right?) her husband and family´s salvation because of her indecisiveness about churches, and that all she wanted was to find the church that felt right. Well long story short, she found that church and was baptized into it with her husband friday night.... Short story medium, what she didn´t tell me on the park bench that she later related after her baptism was that she was on that park bench that day doing some heavy soul searching and planning on abandoning her family and turning into a beggar so as to not hinder their salvation anymore. When she saw me and the teenager I was with she was kind of alarmed and got up as if to run away but she said she felt some unseen force hold her back on the bench making it impossible to leave that spot.

I love you all. The church is true. If yallsies could send some American deodorant and the November Ensign I would love that.

beijo tchau
-Elder Matt Gagon

Ps pics of;
Fatima & co
THE pizza
Jordan´s zone leader from SP Interlagos
me on the bus

Michael: October 5, 2011

Dear family!
The end of last week was good and the start of this week has also been good.
I watched 4 and a half sesh´s of Gen Conf. To me it was YA THATS WHAT I´M TALKING ABOUT kind of good. Lucas age 28 and his mother Sandra were baptized. She flipped a woozy and almost stormed out of the chapel right before because her other son Daniel that is still smoking 7 cigs a day wasn´t going to be baptised too, but it all worked out ok.
Also at GC a lady in this stake recognized me from when I was in Floresta last October and said I had gained weight, and others agreed with her. Oh well.
Did everyone else see Mr. Abbot in the Mo´Tab´nac Choir!?!
Today I renewed my visa at the Police Station....also made a heck-of-a tie trade w/someone else. (snort - now I´m sleeping on my shoulder) but for this I´m happy.
MOM the bomb.com on CDrom!!! FROM DOWN-TOWN!! -- Your trip sounded real nice! Mom/Al- Balsamic vinegar on ice cream? Hey who am I to talk, it´s probably better than chugging it pure. haha no, you´re the host with the most. I´ll love you forever and like you for always!
Al- Your girls said extra funny stuff in Septemb! You could send all and any cookies down here but ones with more chocolate would be nice.

Dad- I almost read Mosiah 17 about Abinidi being burned at the stake during the baptism but didnt ha jk.
Matt- Holy smokes how much did that wagon wheel pizza cost, $100? If I buy two more pizzas here I get a free one. Lets hope Im not transfered! Vou me preparar pra a diluvia de cartas.
Nick- What´s the latest on Rachel Rodart???
Hey Nat- Could you do me um favor and look up and then email me the story that´s told of A missionary dreaming about his pre-mortal best friend that was sent to Costa Rica, and shortly after got his mission call to there and sent a letter back home several months later saying ``I found my best friend``. And also the other story that sounds kinda like that one about a guy going to the Phillipines to find his ´´sister´´ and teach her ´´how to come home´´.
* Anyone can send me those stories, and any other good ones you think I´d like.
Elder Gagon - out.
I love you all so much

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Matt: September 28, 2011

Querido amado bondoso família que está no Utah,
Family, what is up?!? This week was good. Actually this calander week that we are in the middle of is what´s good. Divisão, p day, blitz, baptism, and 2 days of Gen Conf. YAWOO!!! Things are going good down here in the deeeep south. The weather is starting to get really warm and although I don´t miss the days where I would have to wear a sweater underneath my winter coat to go to sleep at night, full body sweatiness isn´t the ideal conditions for me eith. The work is rolling along though so I really can´t complain. Paulo didn´t get baptized, but if he passes an interview tomorrow he will be baptized inbetween conference sessions and things will be groovin. Some interesting things that have happened have been the following: I saw that Corihor man again, but I didn´t bother talking to him; nem ele para mim. I ate the largest pizza IN BRASIL the other day and it wasn´t great but the sheer size of that bad boy was inspiring. I´d say it is about the same size as the wagon wheel you can order from The Pie. My district is already planning on getting another one of just dessert pizza to watch the priesthood sesh in style Saturday Night.
Something really great that happened this week was I finished The Book of Mormon in portuguese (O Livro de Mórmon) and I testify to you all reading this on the interweb or listening in on Oldies 94.1 that that book is just as true in Portuguese as in English, and that undoubtedly that book is the word of God. I have developed a deep love for the Book of Mormon and one of the many passages that will go into The Book of Regrets: the biography of Matt Gagon is not reading it and loving it sooner in my life. That book has a power to it that if you really read it you will grow so much spiritually and learn so much overall.

Rhett- Thank you for the letter! Loved it. Will try to write back as soon as I find time.
Al- I loved Abby´s talk! That is so great. Did you get the other box I sent you with the yellow jerseys and the coloring book? Espero que sim.
Jor- GOATS! O louco! Sounds like you guys are having the fun as uma familinha. "That goat has a devil eye." -Brian Fellow.
Ran- Thanks for the email. PMCHosp sounds cool, but being called a boy sounds not so cool... My comp and I went to the primary last sunday to talk about missionary work and I definitely share Devin´s level of enthusiasm to be a sunbeam teacher...woof!
Michael- Yeah I know how to make cuz-cuz but you need a special pot to make it. There´s a mineiro in my zone and that guy is CRAZY. He talks super fast and is just loucura pura. I´ll try to find out his info to see if you´ve já passou na ala dele ou alguma coisa assim. PS I write you every week, but I don´t have a correios in my area (de novo!) and here in the quase near future you´re going to get a big dump of letters.
Nick- ditto on the drooling at the mouth about your letter

Mom- Thank you so much for emailing. That meant the world to me and I am so happy to hear from you. That is great that you are walking with Aunt Gina. Sometimes I do morning exercises, but usually I "exercise my faith" seeking revelation through long, extensive, forehead on the mattress, prayers. Other times I just exercise my agency.

Well I love you all. I hope yallsies watch and love General Conference as much as me.
-Elder Matt

PS- Alison, how does general conference work in the Buff? Do you go to the stake center também?

Michael: September 28, 2011

I´m feeling great, largely due to the emails you sent this week! OBRIGADAO! So good to read what you guys typed up.
Dad- Thank you for the suggestions- It just so happens this morning I read Mosiah 12, so I shall soon read Mosiah 17 and give a strong consideration in reading it during the ´´half-time show´´ at baptisms. Although our DVD players are not to leave the house.
(I just handed my greeny comp the phone to talk to the Argentino missionary haha)
This week my challenge is to get all our investigators to all the sessions of conference they´re able to go to. And hold a couple of baptisms too. Pray that Sandra and her son Lucas stay firm, and Daniel her other son can quit smoking so that all 3 wash away their sins Saturday. (my comp already handed the phone back, cause he couldnt understand anything)
Also, you could pray for Genilda to understand and take seriously what we´re teaching her so she can be clean on Sunday.
Dad- That is cool what you´re doing with church employment. I pray for you. Do you think church employment would help me get on the right track when I get home?
Al- What a great talk Abby gave. Do you read the Ensign? When I read it and get to the kids section I think how cool it´d be to Abby or Ellie or Patrick get their work published there!
Again, I liked the funny stuff- the diabetes one kinda got me worried cause I consider myself ´´uma formiga´´ which means I eat sweets like there´s no tomorrow. During lunches with members I usually try to push the conversation towards desserts so that they start/keep making them for us.
was there suppose to have another meaning the the IBM marker? Also, do you have one? or an extra one to send me? haha jk.
I officially made this goal this week: Read the entire OT, NT, D&C, PofGP once and the BoM 6x every 4 years.
Nick- Got me drooling since you announced you´ve got a letter comin.
Jor- Bom dia! Good to hear some portuguese and also gostei that you guys sung Hinos to Hunter. Vamos continuar com esse custume. carumba! Goats!? Que que isso gente!
So, I think you might end up being the Aunt/Mom/Sib that´s known for good cookin. I hope to also be up there in that category.
Also, Nate how are your parents doing in ´Nam?
Matt- Where is Tunisia? Im gonna have Peruvian food this week, or so Ive been warned. Hope it doesnt taste like . haha AGORA que eu percebi this emotocon.
I dont think I´ve had cuz-cuz since the CTM when I didnt know what it were. Do you know how to make it?
English lesson, nice, the only one I´ve ever taught was to a girl (member) who is going to marry an american RM in 2014 and they´re not sure if they want to get married in the temple or not. Que burro.
RANDACE- I thought it really cool that you´re volunteering at PCHospital. A very Christlike thing to do that I´m sure is blessing you.
Well fam- thats about it. I feel really blessed with the work we´re doing down here. I´m so glad to be a missionary. I hope we all take full advantage of General Conference this weekend. I love each and every one of you, muito.
Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Matt: September 21, 2011

Dear Family,

This week was a goody. Mostly just riding my greenie companion´s new found excitement to do the work and turning this place upside down, like a bully looking for some change. This week was good. Our investigator Paulo who had a baptismal date for Saturday up and skipped town like last Thursday and we haven´t seen him since. We did talk to him on the phone though, so there is a chance that he could still be baptized this weekend. PRAY FOR HIM! Also this Sunday I had Tunisian food for lunch. It was great! I had baked leg of lamb (I think) with potatoes, and cuz-cuz, which my last companion made me fall in love with, topped with basically some minestrone soup, and this wierd eggplant and sesame seed paste that was actually right tasty! The lady that made all this for us is actually Muslim and I had a cool opportunity to teach her about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She didn´t really accept it, but she was super nice and we had just a good chat about religion and my future and food. Also this week I taught in ENGLISH!!! It was wild. We were on the bus and this guy from Brooklyn looked at my companion (for that day) and said, "What are you doing here in Brasil with a last name like Palmer?"
"Umm we´re missionaries."
"I know, but where are you from?"
"Uhh... The United States; from the state of Utah."
And then we proceeded to talk more about what we´re doing here. He said he already knew our work, but we got to leave him the first message and clarify some things. He wasn´t really accepting of our message, but he invited us to watch his satellite tv which gets AMERICAN football games, eat some fried chicken, and drink a beer if we were ever close to his english school. Then he looked at me straight and asked, "Are you planning on taking a Brasilian girl back home with you when you get done?"
"Uhhh, nope. Definitely not part of the plans." I responded.
"GOOD! I would advise you NOT to do it!"
"Ok sir, good to know."
So that was basically my week this week. Nothing too crazy, but all in all it was a goody.

wif luv
-Elder Matt Gagon

Michael: September 21, 2011

Dear Mom and Dad, brothers and sisters,

I´m doing great!
I´ve only come prepared with one question to ask- Ideas on what to do during baptismal meetings while the person changes out of their wet clothes. Lately its been up to me to do about everything in this ward during the baptisms. The directing, the talks, the leading, the presiding, the praying, the singing ha jk. but... We had a baptism of a less-active member´s son. His name is Guilherme, 10 years old. He chose me to baptize him so I was in the bathroom changing with him afterwards and with no will whatsoever to head back out their and have to keep the attention of the members. So I decided to wait until Guilherme got done changing then we could just say the last prayer and close the meeting. but I guess he was slammed with the need to go number 2 for 20 minutes! I stayed in the bathroom anyways (until it got stanky de mais) and so this led me to ask for suggestions......
Other than that things are going good. Just work work work.
Im workin with a family whose story is pretty dang crazy but I´ll wait to tell it when it has the happy ending of Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins-
just to give you an idea though the dad left the mom, and one of her two sons ran away from home, was homeless, lost in the world of heavy drugs, was almost assassinated? but now came back and is doing rehab...
Its nice to hear from those who have written/emailed me. THanks

Al- Your girls look so big- not excluding your boy too! Love him.
Those peaches look delicious, although Brasil has a lot of great fruit- the peaches here aren´t as sweet.
I also liked your funny stuff haha although I smile plenty as a missionary, I usually only have good laughs when I read Matts letters, your girls quots of the day, and some other stuff. Keep it comin!

Rhett- Judging the homecoming pageant. NICE!

I love you all! Miss you each week.

Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Matt: September 14, 2011

Dear Fam-damily,

This week was great. After much working and a major cram sesh, my boy Gerson was baptized! It was great. Member help is definitely the way to go in the mission field. Also this week we´ve been finding a lot of good people to teach. We´ve been finding some not so good people to teach as well, but surely we don´t waste much time with them. In fact the other night we were walking down the avenue and ran into an anti-Christ. For real this guy was like a legit Corihor reincarnated or something. He was talking trash on our saviour, and then when he found out I am American he said some pretty nasty stuff about September 11th but ended his whole shpeal saying he thought it was cool how our church uses the tithing money to help out the members and not load up the bank accounts of the men in leadership. Definitely an experience. I think this guy and those like him just want attention. The kind of attention that the first grader using swear words wants... Whatever.
There´s not a ton to tell about as far as noteworthy experiences go. No dog bites. No bee stings. Not really any feeling sad. Just work and study and reading and contacts and companions that take forever to do anything and more work. Trying to help these Brasilians get to know the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I think if I´ve learned anything in this past week it is how much God really looks after us. He knows when we are sad and He doesn´t like it, but He allows it because He knows that just ahead there is a marvelous blessing waiting for us.

Jor- I met one of your zone leaders from your mission. Nome dele era Elder Santos kkk mas vou mandar foto que tirei com ele para você.

Nate- I never saw that youtube vid. WOW how I miss college foosball. That´s crazy to hear about the cougs almost beating Texas. Not so crazy to hear about Utah losing a-hoo hoo hoo. BYU/Utah game is this weekend?!??! O LOUCO! Avery super baby!

Nick- Bone crusher. Wood layer. Riverton river-rat seizure starter. Dude these are the things I want to hear about FROM YOU! IN A LETTER!!!!

And last but not least, Dad- Happy Birthday father. You are the best. There are so many things I want to learn from you, and I want you to know I love, respect, and look up to you.

com amor,
Elder Gagon

Michael: September 14, 2011

Dear brothers and sisters, I´d like to speak to you today about my week.

Right after I sent my email last week I went to Rafael´s house for lunch and he and Regina showed me their engagement rings! They´re just lookin for a coop to live in so they can get hitched asap. So as I walk in the hot hot sun (already over 90, early springtime) Ive been lookin for houses too, when I remember.
A baptism kinda fell into our laps this week. Renato really just decided on his own to be baptised. His girlfriend is a member- so next year I hope to get pics of at least 2 temple sealings from people I´ve taught.
Sunday morning my comp got bit by a dog haha and that night 2 other dogs attacked us and now my comp walks around paranoid from all the many many dogs down here. Its funny- he´s a big guy, played lacrosse for BYU.
I also freaked him out a little bit on his first day- the first lesson we taught was to Rafael ´´the guy I met yesterday in the street´´ and we argued about prophets and condemned each other and got in a fight and I stormed out of the house once he pulled the knife out.
Things are going well though- all missionaries got DVD players to watch training films during our study time. Crazy huh.

NICK= So at Renato´s baptismal service a guy asks me where I´m from and turns out he had a daughter that went to Alta and now his second daughter is there- she´s living in the Cove with the Densley´s (Rachel Densley from class of 2010, maybe has a sibling). Her name is Rachel Rodart and is a senior. Pretty sure she wasnt asked to homecoming but she better be invited to something by you soon! You should get to know her. Maybe use your Student Gov authority to do something special for her.

Did I already ask if anyone has seen Zack Bigelow the past 3 weeks he´s been home?

Dad- happy birthday!

Well fam- amo voces de mais
Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Matt: September 7, 2011

Dear Family,
Today is p day and I just got done with a division with like my best friend here in the mission so I´m feeling pretty good. First things first, the work is slowly rolling along here in Eucoliptus/Boquerão Brasil. Investigators are scarce, so we are doing a lot of contacts in the street, and when worst comes to absolute worst- knocking doors...WOOF!!! Unfortunately that worst thing happens almost everyday :(. We are teaching though and there is a grown adult male named Gerçon who has family in the church that just might get baptized on Saturday. He´s only been taught 3 times before, but we´re doing another cram session like we did with Milena in Tebas teaching multiple commandments, so things are groovin.
This week I´ve been studying a lot about hope, mostly about if there is any of it left in the world; and also how it relates to agency. It has been a truly rewarding experience. I´ve learned a lot, and in this past conference Liahona there were many people who said some great things in regards to this subject. Of course I can´t think of anything they said right now, but basically HOpe is the building block of faith, and is like the "fuel" for our actions (works of faith). Good stuff. Mostly I just want to invite all you reading this or listening in on Oldies 94.1 to be nice to the lady wearing jeans at church, or the boy wearing earings. Even if they are members and know the standards and aren´t dressing accordingly, please just be nice to them.

Jor- This email I got. I think you went silent there for a couple weeks but I got your email this week. Obrigadão! Que pena que a feijoada não deu certo. OOOHH also JOr there´s this lady in our ward who is a hair stylist and she has like some crazy tool called like a "heat saw" or "heat cutter" or alguma coisa assim. Have you ever used that or even heard of it before? I´ll try and get a pic and the real name and send it to you.

Nat- I got your letter!!! Thank you so much. I have actually been to a couple funerals here, and YEAH it gets pretty emotional. My companion told me that up north where the people are in general more emotional/apt to express their feelings it gets pretty out of control. Especially when people don´t have the gospel in their lives it is like the end of the world, because if not for the plan of salvation it in fact would be.

Devin- Dude that is sad.

Alison- WOW that package got there fast! Your daughters are locas, and your son is a chunker!

Michael- No one in Tennessee noticed my portugese plaqueta. And I got your letter with the pic of the jelly fish ride and just about laughed myself to death!!!! Hall of fame fo sho!

I love yallsies like 'coons like rasslin on that there dirt farm,

Elder Matt

Michael: September 7, 2011

Dear family.
This one is gonna be quick. It´s the Brazilian 4th of July and I had to make a trip through holiday traffic to the mission office to find a computer to use.
It was another showerless week, cold water from a broken shower head, but that was solved yeseterday. We had a baptism, Cassia!
Its going good training. My comp is from Jake Heaps ward - the BYU quarterback.
I saw a dead guy on the road as I passed by on the bus- he fell off his motorcycle driving on an overpass and onto the street below.
Last night in a lesson the family asked if we could all hold hands haha Jor you still doing that when the opportunity arises at family meals?
Fam- you could send a speed stick on down her
Dad- I knocked on a door and he came out with those thick magnifying goggles with the headstrap for working on jewelry haha but he wasnt wearing 2 other pairs of crooked all-a-dollar reading glasses underneath.
Al- Cute fam! You had Brazilian roommates?!? Did you escape the hurricane in New York?
Jor- as far as I know I get all your emails- I´ll try better to let ya know. I dont know how cause I dont ever plan on making it here but I hope to be able to make feijoada for voces quando a gente voltar. Thanks for the email! abraços!
Nat- Ive never been to a Brazilian funeral but its not everyone that believes in an after life. It also depends on the religious belief of each one... But yes its such a blessing to have our testimonies. I love you!
Matt- A member told me the most dangerous gangs in Brasil are the fan clubs of times de futebol- and I got your 3 letters!
also how was it using a portuguese plaqueta in Tennessee?
Ate semana que vem!
Todo meu amor!
Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Matt: August 31, 2011

Dearest Family,

Like I thought would happen, I did indeed get transfered. It was a sad day to leave the land that I love and all the friends that I made there and head to a land far away, but surely the Lord has something waiting for me here. Or maybe I just never found out what it was there that he wanted me to do... Either way I´m here today in Eucalyptus (?) Brasil. My new companion is elder Camargo from rural São Paulo. Interestingly enough I´m here taking the place of Elder "Sasquatch" Marx my beloved MTC companion! He was the trainer of Elder Camargo, and the way the mission here works is you train for 12 weeks, but Elder Camargo and Elder Marx were only together for 6 so I´m kind of training, kind of not. So the Gagon family here in the even deeper south is at 1 1/2.
There´s not a whole lot to tell about the past week. Just "planting seeds" mostly with my first begotten son Elder Ricardo. We were teaching this lady that would be the catholic equivelant of a seminary teacher and she is SO close to being converted. On Sunday she just showed up out of nowhere in the middle of the Gospel Principles class and stuck around for sacrament meeting. Que benção!
Funny story- last night saying goodbye to a few people we stopped by a family that we are trying to reactivate who are CRAZY for soccer! Like imagine Oakland Raider fans to the umpteenth degree. They were telling me stories and showing me scars of the days when the 2 fan clubs from each team would schedule a post-game fight. Win, lose, or draw they were there, planned ahead and everything. They were telling me how years and years ago they were there with their 5 year old son and right when the 2 sides were about to clash, the dad hid the son behind him and said, "Son, if anybody from the other side falls down in front of you, you kick them in the face." ha ha ha ha I guess you had to be there, but it was the funniest thing hearing how crazy these people are for their soccer teams.

Fam I love you all.
Nate- That talk rocked. Thanks for the email.
Al- Hope Utah was great and you got to avoid the Jungle Book scene of "I dunno what do you wanna do?" Thát´s kinda how I passed my years of 17-21 years of age... Definitely good to plan ahead
Nick- Still waiting on a letter.
Mom- ditto

Love, Elder Gagon

Michael: August 31, 2011

querida familia
Today is transfers, already.
The Elder Michael Gagon family is growing here down under, we´re now a family of 4. (me and my 3 sons) What I´m trying to say is I´m training another. This time an American Elder Hamilton from Sammamish, Washington.
We were transfered to a city called maumau chiwowow (yea, it´s as real as Ecuador [Al/Abby].)
Just kidding... That´s just the start of some awesome tricks I´m gonna be pulling these days. The next one is before I left this morning to go find my comp I put the twin beds together instead of their respective corners ha. Im continuing in Paraiso = paradise.
We came straight from the train station so I don´t have my handy dandy note book of super interesting stuff to tell you guys.
But what is most important is we´re looking forward to a baptism. Por favor pray for Cassia.
I got letters from Matt, Nate, and Taylor Brown.
Well fam eu amo voces!
Al- Great email! Not to be chato but the buzzard scene is from Jungle Book
Dad- I forgot, we´re gonna retire in MINAS GERAIS! And I had the idea we´d prob get richer bringing something american down her than bringing something from down her up ther.
Elder- Parabens no batismo!
Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Matt: August 24, 2011

Dear Family,
This week was a goody. We were able to get Milena the one week eleita into the waters of baptism and have her sins remitted! (<- that´s a word right?) Nossa it was awesome. The water was a bit freezing, but the spirit must´ve been strong or something because when we asked her about it later she said the water was warm. So cool things that have happened this week... Umm 2 hours ago I was playing BASKETBALL with PRESIDENT CORDON!!!!!! Holy cow this might be one of the greatest P days ever! It was unreal. It was satisfying in the way that General Conference is satisfying; even though I´m here in the deep southern hemisphere I felt transported back to my sanctuary and my home with old friends that I recognized. But today instead of seeing my boiees Jeffrey R Holland and Thomas S Monson, it was my friends the free throw line, the back board, and the hoop (let it rain!).
Also this week (actually last week) we went to our pastor friend Fabiano´s house to check his progress. We asked him if he had read and prayed about the Book of Mormon. He said that he had prayed and that he didn´t know what was happening in his life, but the only present that he got for Brasilian father´s day was a Book of Mormon from his 3 year old daughter...Awesome. We went back there this Sunday and it just so happened that he has the most amazing guitar ever, that I´m almost at the point of coveting. Anywho, he got it out and played some gospel songs, and then seeing my dinner plate eyes he handed it to me and was like, "Do you know any praises?" and I was like, "Praises?" And he, thinking that we play guitar hymns every sunday in our church or something, repeated, "Yeah do you know any praise songs?" And I said to him, "No I don´t know any praises, but I know The Kings." and I busted in with a browm browm browm browm browm browm browm browm BRAANO BRAANO BRAANbrowm browm browm, bon bon bon bon bon bon bon bon BEIN BEIN BEIN BEIN bon bon bon... It was amazing, more for me than for him or my companion, but still great. I don´t know which invited the spirit less, mine or his, but it was all good.
Other than that we are just working working and working some more down here in Tebas (which is the Portuguese translation for the city of Thebes lá in Africa according to my scriptures). Trying to find them peoples who are right nice fer the baptizin´. Definitely have a lot of work to be done, and we are trying are best to be the ones who get it done.

With much love,
Elder Matt Gagon

Michael: August 24, 2011

Dear family-
This week has been OK. Not much to report besides we´ve got no one progressing very well and having troubs to find the elects. We´ve even been struggling to get in the doors.
So a guy said Jello mix is healthier to drink than the powder juice mixes so thats what we drank with our lunch the other day.
Dad- I feel I´ve been inspired with a brasillion Brazilian ways to get rich. Somehow we´ll do it, or at least get your $500 from the drain. Just yesterday a lady offered me a room in her house if I were to come back and take a 6 month course for $10 to learn how to open up a Brazilian bakery!
Also, thanks for the Alta football update!
Alison- Wish Abby a happy late birthday! Give her 6 beijaozaos pra mim.
Rhett- I got this email you sent this week. The last one I´d gotten before that was on Pioneer day. Sometimes it´s hard to see them when you click ´´reply´´ but if you write a clean new email it´s my guarantee that it will be read within a week!
Elder Gagon - Fortaleza mission songs? Elder Caleb Bills? que isso, nao.. Nao tenho ouvido nada a nao ser Motab or John Schmidt fancy nancy piano hymns desde que consigo lembrar.