Elder Matthew Wright Gagon - Brazil Curitiba Mission

Elder Michael David Gagon - Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Michael: March 30, 2011

Dear Family

Do we Religiously read the ´Paper but find it hard to read the Scriptures Daily?

The question posed in the subject of this email is from an old conference talk given by a Seventy, not sure who- and I thought it very clever. To be honest the past several weeks have been tough. But like Nephi although having many afflictions I have been favored by the Lord and have grown in the knowledge of the things of God... I decided I should write more about the things Im learning instead of just the happennings (teach and teach some more).
My hard week kinda turned around nn Sunday in Gospel Principles class. We watched the movie the Lamb of God, and I was impressed by a couple things- First, the beginning is just cool- when it goes back and forth from the servant pampering King Pilate (Michael Flynn, I know him! ...not really) and Christ, the king of kings, and the way he is being treating, but more on the spiritual side I liked When Christ is being betrayed by Judas he cures the guy´s ear who Peter cut off... He is being betrayed, soon unto death, (not to mention having just finished suffering for all sins and pains of the world,) and he heals someone of the very group capturing him. I was overcome, impressed by his never ending love that he showed in all moments of his life. and honestly felt so small for having been so frustrated by the lack of success these weeks.
The other part of the movie that caught my attention was when the crowd chose to realease Barabas? instead of Christ. A parallel with the world today- in many ways we choose to follow the Majority instead of Christ. I think that stuck because of a talk I had read also from a 70 that said somethin like, Popularity is a horrible scale to use to gague our choices.
Last thing that I read this morning was a talk by Elder Oaks about the sacrament meeting and how we should act during it and burns us all when he says ´´In Sacrament meeting we make sacred covenants to always remember Him. How sad it is to see people obviously violating this covenant in the very meeting they are making it´´ I immediately remembered Mom, always refusing to scratch my back because it can be a distraction to others. Way to be ma, thank you for that example.
Since there are only 2 pairs of missionaries in Montes Claros I did my first baptismal interviews for Elder Eves investigators. That was interesting.
- ´´What does it mean to you to that Thomas S Monson is a prophet?´´
´´It´s good``
´´What is the meaning of repentance in your life?´´
´´It´s good``
I bought a fruit called caju that to me looks like a mini version of the fruit-of-knowledge-of-good-and-evil used in the temple movie (its been a while). but after biting it I realized it wasnt.
Great to hear the funeral was awesome. The picture of everyone was awesome. No card board cut outs of Me and Matt? haha. cheese.
I would love a copy of the poem/story Touch of the Masters Hand. JORDAN, voce VAI me mandar The touch of the Masters hand esta semana?!? (Gotta make invitations direct)
Rhett- Nice hair/beard. I havent gotten your letter but I put 2 and 2 together, Que Pedro voce é? Remember your soccer ball pillow?... Ya...That was awesome. haha, I saw a guy down here with one identical and I remembered yours immediately. That pillow was cool. MOM, kudos for making it!! (assuming you did).
Nick - Festival of colors, NICE! did you see Tay Thom? and When is your next flute lesson?
Well fam I love you all!
Have a great week.
Elder Michael Gagon

Matt: March 30, 2011

Dear Fam,
Tudo bem? So this week was good. Unlike Michael, I'm more in the "doing" phase of my mission rather than the "learning" phase. So I will tell you more about what I've been doing and less about what I´m learning. This week we baptized Epifania this 72 year old lady from Paraguay. It was so great cuz she is just a super special lady and plus she´s really old. I also had the opportunity to baptize her grand-daughter Huliane Elizabete Waen da Silva, but she likes going to the ward that her cousins go to instead of her own ward (they meet in the same building) so she hasn´t been confirmed yet, and because of General Conference it´ll take another week for that to happen. So yeah. Other than that just teaching, preaching, working, and calling people to repentance, like missionaries do. kkkk Last night I really let the husband/boyfriend of our star investigator know just how wrong living together without being married is, and how he was the only thing keeping his wife/girlfriend from being baptized. So we´ll see how that ends up.
Nena´s funeral sounded like it was a good time. It stinks that it takes the end of someone´s life to bring all the cousins and family together from the 4 corners of Neverland, but I remember how special it was to get the entire Wright side together for Granddad´s funeral. No doubt that this time was just as special. I always loved just getting together with Mom´s side of the fam and just eating too much and having a good chin wag far into the night... ha ha ha I remember Nena telling me that "mother orangutang" story and how funny it was from her perspective. Nena was the best. That stinks that I couldn´t be there, but I know where I´m supposed to be.
Well I love you all. I don´t have much to say other than thank you for the love, the emails, the prayers, and the pictures. It is so great to see my wonderful parents, my bearded brother, my pregnant sisters, my adorabe nieces, and all the people I love- even if it is from 7,000 miles away in a dinky LAN house.
WAIT! I almost forgot. General conference is in 3 days!!!!! I am getting so stoked! Me and my comp listen to a couple talks every night to get pumped up (and put to sleep) and I have no doubt that this one is going to be one for the ages. Hopefully all of you can listen to all the sessions and have your spiritual world rocked!

I love you all
tchau tchau
Elder Matt Gagon

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Michael: March 23rd 2011

Dear family.
Thank you for all the emails. Its was great and sad to hear of Nena. Although expected to hear it at some time, it was a shock. But somehow more than ever I had been thinking about her and the plan of salvation etc. this week. I read a few of Gordon B Hinckley´s last conference talks, and he talks about his age in each one of them and his thoughts looking back on his life. Theyre great talks. So grateful for our modern day prophets, Im grateful for God, and for knowing his gospel.
I got to my new area at about 630 AM Friday morning. Wednesday night was spent with the mission secretaries, we set up the chapel for the conference with Ulises S Soares the next day, and while we were setting up got a call from President saying he forgot his keys to the Mission office, and needed us to come ASAP to open it up for him and his wife and Elder Soares and his wife. So we ran outside to get a cab and it started to pour. We showed up at the office soaking wet and met the Seventy and his wife. Then while He was meeting with our President we helped set up refreshments for them and later enjoyed the left overs. We spent the night with the secretaries - had the conference the next day - spend another afternoon with the secretaries and then went to get our bus at midnight. Slept that night on the bus and got here Friday morning like I said.
So this last transfer came as a surprise, as I said it came a week early, and in my last house we had to wash our clothes by hand, so I left Veneza with a suitcase full of dirty clothes- but due to two days with my dirty clothes in a suitcase before I could wash them in my new area, I discovered mold on my laundry bag! (that I cant get out). Bug Luckily none on the clothes, just the laundry bag.
The area here is good. Its really big and really flat! - and Im serving in my first branch. My zone and district leader (cause there is only one other dupla of missionaries in this city) is Elder Eve, my 3rd comp, and my new comp is Elder Huntsman from Las Vegas, age 22, haha.
Anyway Im liking the area, the work is good. I hope you guys have a great week, that this time of family is uplifting.

Dad- thank you so much for your emails. One of the small and simple things that brings to pass great happiness.
Al- Thank you always for your emails - your girls quotes are so funny.
Matt- Interesting how the ´´best week´´ was the weeks you´re workin your hardest. Keep it up, you are being my example. And I heard that its illegal to send money in envelopes and Correios scans for it- so no I didnt get the money OR the letter (thanks though) and I hope you dont go to jail.
oooh, A guy in my last area is a mail man and gave me one of his uniform shirts!!
Jor- I was so happy to hear you´re having a boy that I think I might read that email again!!! Parabens.
Nate- Im happy that Averys birth was a monumental spiritual experience. I cant even imagine. I hope your Journal is close by. Parabens on your new calling also. I hope you make a difference in the lives of the Young men in your stake!
The rest of yáll, I love you and hope to hear from you soon.
Sorry so short!
Love, Elder Michael D Gagon

Matt: March 23rd 2011

Dearest most masterful family,
I am super sad to hear about Nena. It was wierd just this week I was saying to my comp, "I should write my grandma this p day." Who knew that all this would happen right then. As sad as I am for the loss of our beloved Nena, it makes me happy that she finally got her wish to pass on from this life and be reunited with Granddad.
So this week was pretty crazy. Kinda like the life of my beloved oldest sister who just turned 30...something ;)

So yeah this week we had a triple baptism. The moça that didn´t get baptized last week, and then a brother and a sister who me and my comp baptized. It was great. My comp elder Allgaier left the heater running for 3 hours and so it was pretty much like baptizing in a hot tub. No joke! It was almost baptism by water and by fire in the same instant. It´s way better than baptizing in freezing cold water so I can´t complain. What else? It seems like I´ve just been working my brains out, but it really is better that way. This week I saw my first drunk fight. It was just two guys throwing errant hay-makers and just airballs of punches at eachother until they both just grabbed eachother and fell down. Kinda scary, but not really.

I got letters from Nate J, Rhett, Nick, and Michael this week so THANK YOU!
Nate- that talk rocked my world.
Rhett- dude the new Pedro. NICE!
Nick- I have a list of stuff for us to do too ;)

Well I don´t have my notes and that´s all I can think to write about. I love you all like a Brasileiro loves soccer!

-Elder Matt Gagon

ps I scored 2 goals today in zone-pday soccer

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Michael: March 16th 2011

Dear fam!
Its me Michael Gagon, 3rd grade! My email is on the fritz so Im just gonna send a word to you all. Im sure I have emails waiting from you guys for me to read and I thank you. Especially with more photos of Avery. Wanna know somethin way cool. I had a dream of her! I was holding her and she was crying cause she wanted to nurse, she started sucking on my nose and fingers trying to find milk but just kept crying so I handed her over to Nate/Nat.

Today was transfers! This transfer was the one transfer each year that is only 5 weeks. Now Im headed to Montes Claros, way up north, the furthest area in the mission. Its known for being hot there. Its 8 hours away by bus - I dont think Ill get there until tomorrow night. Tonight we are going to spend the night with the mission secretaries cause tomorrow were going to have a meeting with Elder Soares. From the first quorum of the Seventy that is President of Brasil.

So my last night in Veneza I had to say bye to my love- Elza! We got to her house and she told us we were looking pretty, and we talked a little bit; she said shes still smoking a lot cause we all have to die anyway so why not die sooner, and it doesnt matter to her if she goes to heaven or hell... And then we took pictures. She kept saying she wanted to take one just with me (w/out my comp).
haha funny story- I was teaching a fam that had already been to church before- and I was asking them about it and the little boy said ´´It was the day when everybody went up to the front and talked about their problems´´...haha (fast and testimony meeting).
I got letters from Matt (2) Dad, Rhett, and Nick/Nate! Nate I also got your birthday package!! Bom d+ da conta! Thank you. It was perf.
I ate cow hoof candy... kinda just tasted like marshmallow.
I played fetch with a dog using a rock.
I saw a guy on a motorcycle get on a head on wreck with a car! They had both slowed down pretty good but he still landed on the windshield. Luckily everyone her in Brazil is 100% obedient to the helmet law.

We showed up at one of our investigators houses and there were J-dubs in there! So I participated a little bit in my first Jehovah Witness bible study. We would have baptised this lady on Saturday but we didnt have any baptismal clothes so we rescheduled and later that day an inactive member who is way anti-mormon now told her a bunch of stuff about the Endowment and the temple and that party crashed.
To set the record straight, I have unlimited time to email!
Bad news, I erased my entire memory card (2Gs FULL) of fotos. The first 10 months of my mish... but Ive heard there is technology to get em back?
So since its transfers here in the office are all the missionaries that are going home today. And 2 families came to get an Elder from Curitiba (Matt they live in the ward where the mission office is) and the other family to get Sister Ward, who is in Laurens ward back in Sandy! They met Elder Browns parents and brought him peanut butter, and as Im typing this Im looking at Scarlett Ward, who was in my sweethearts group Junior year. Este mundo é pequeno D+!!!
Matt- how can you afford pizza?
Candace (and everyone) - Acts 8:27
Well fam sorry this is short. Im sure my email will be workin next week!
Eu amo voces!

Matt: March 16th 2011

Dearest most marvelous family in the world,

So by the sounds of things it sounds like Avery Kristin "watermelon" Jaynes I of Sandy is rocking everybody´s world. Those pictures of her are so cute! I just wanted to cry as I looked at them, but I am a clean face and a never cry face, so I didn´t.
This week was a lot like last week in the sense that we just worked it. We had 13 people come to church this week in the 2 wards that we cover so that was awesome because they say that Investigators who come to church has a direct correlation with how many people get baptized. So that should be right nice here in a few weeks. We actually had our baptism that was marked for Saturday fall through (for the third time this transfer) but we went back and talked to the dad that got rubbed the wrong way by our zone leader and tudo vai dar certo and she´ll get baptized this Sunday instead. Yeah I don´t have any other cool stories because it just seems like we just are putting our noses to the grindstone and getting after it. Yesterday we were teaching this family in a kind of rowdy atmosphere, and in hindsight we should´ve left early, but we were there teaching and when my comp taught about Joseph Smith everything calmed down. Then when he recited the first vision you could really feel the spirit super strong. Afterwards one of the ladies there listening asked some question about baptism and authority and things went right back to rowdy and my comp was trying to explain things and said, "Now-a-days people-" and in that moment NOBODY was listening to us; not even looking at us. and Elder Allgaier continued "Don´t even listen to the word of God." and I just busted up laughing SO hard! Then they looked over to see what was so funny and we just finished up and left. ha ha it was super funny. Then I went on a division and went to visit the elect golden investigator of the year to talk to her mom to see if she would allow her daughter to be baptised. It went pretty smoothly, but her mom doesn´t want her to be baptised until she gets an "inspiration" from God, and so now our star investigator who is set to be baptised here in 4 days is doubting herself and her answer that she already told us she got. So it was just annoying to see how Satan works in any way possible to get us to not follow Christ.
Other than that not much happened. Just teaching, preaching, and working like missionaries do.

Jor- Congrats on the baby boy! So excited to have two little nephews, but kinda irritated that my Christmas predictions of you having a girl and Erika having a boy getting switched, but whatever.
Brothers in Utah minus Nate- Ice fishing trip sounds awesome! Wish I could be there. I think I´ve eaten fish once here on the mish and it was last p day at a place like Tucanos, but way better.
Nate J- Big papa, nice! Did you get my email with those old playstation games? Are you playing those in the night when the little when wakes you up? As far as birthday ideas go the only thing I can think of right now that I would like would be a Leatherman (with pliers NOT scissors in the middle) and some....yeah I´ll get back to you on that.
Nick- Dude. Prom. Legit. Write me a letter about it broseph.
Can- Dude. Prom. Pictures. illegit. ha ha ha nice that you and granny DeLahontay are best buds though.
Michael- You´ll never guess who I got a letter from this week....

well that is pretty much it for this week. I love you all. Tchau-zão!

Elder Matt Gagon

Friday, March 4, 2011

Michael: March 2nd, 2011

Dear Family!
Another week flew by. It was good. Including a baptism and confirmation. Vanusa Francisca Gomes! Mother of 5. We´re working with 2 of her children that live with her and are of baptismal age. Probably gonna baptise her daughter Sara on Saturday. One day while we were teaching her I heard the TV going and the song from Clueless start ``Looking out a dirty old window....´´ so ya Clueless was on TV. Haha These things probably shouldnt be that cool but they come as such surprises...
There were 3 nights last week where the crazy Mission Ward leader, Jose, and his wife drove us to one of the neighborhoods furthest from where we live (It´s got Jungle in the name) to teach people where there arent any members (there was almost one, the SNAKE, Elsa, from last week). And Jose tells every adult man we see there that our plans our to open a church (branch) there and make him President of it haha. All their wives think its a great idea. But Jose wanted to visit ´´the lady that was in church sunday´´ (snake/ Elsa), and I explained what happened but he thought he could help so I decided we could go. It was so awkward. We get there and while Jose was making small talk with her kids Elsa was staring at me.... And I tried to avoid her eyes for as long as I could but when I looked at her she put her head down and started to cry.... Then Jose asked if we could say a prayer and she said NO, and got way mad - then went off saying ´´I made a proposal to him (me) and he didnt accept it. I ran into my room crying and he disappeared without saying bye to me and never came back.´´ Then she turned to me saying ´´What happened Elder do you think Im a monster? Is it cause Im poor, uneducated?....´´ and just then I got a call from someone and left the room and stayed outside until they were done. WOOF!
Matt - As much as I wanna xingar you I myself cant deny that there exists many cute Brasileiras of all ages. Dont worry about sending me a white tie, I mooched one from someone I taught one day.
I had the opportunity to give me second talk in sacrament meeting here but I generously gave it to my Jr comp :).
I can totally imagine scatting Jungle Book with Mom and Rhett but not sure if its reality either.
Carnival is definately getting closer, me and my comp had a drunk follow us too a good 10 blocks just yelling a bunch of stuff and touching us and I tried everything to shake him. Crossing streets, doing the fake ball toss you do with dogs, but we ended up hiding in a members house until he stopped banging on the door and we heard him go harrass someone else. Nossa.
Well thats about it Fam!
Jor- Vamos logo pra Nates cabin quando eu voltar! And eat all your yummy comida.
Nate- hahaha thats awesome you do all you can to induce labor ... Im countin on next week. So Nat what happened on Sunday with the ´´false alarm´´ did you just pee a little bit?
I love you all! Miss you. Beijos e Abraços!
Elder Michael David Gagon

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Matt: March 2nd 2010

Dear family,
It´s true what they say. The days pass like weeks and the weeks pass like days. Winter is definitely on its way here. Things are getting colder, and I no longer melt into a puddle of goo at the end of each day. Today/this week not a ton of exciting things happened. One of our star investigators who passed the bapismal interview and then just didn´t show up to her own baptism decided to frequent a different (apostate *cough *cough) church where they can rock out and really feel the spirit. So that sucked... We have a bunch of people we are working with, but for some reason or other it doesn´t seem like they are progressing on the path to baptism. So maybe I will just need to give them a good rebuking and call them to repentance or something. What else? I have a hole in my shoe and yesterday when we got home I took off my shoes and socks and I had one white foot and one black foot. At first I thought it was lint or sock residue or something, but it turns out it was dirt. ha ha so I gotsta fix that. Also this week while we were going to lunch as a district some guy driving past in a car lit a firework and threw it at us... The spirit must´ve not been strong with us cuz none of us really saw it happen until this bomb went off right next to us and my ears were ringing for like 4 minutes.
Other than that things are just chugging along. Still trying to figure out myself, the mish, portuguese, and the mysteries of God in general... Your emails and letters are awesome!

Dad- I finally got your letter and I LOVED it!!!! Oh my halleluja it was manna to my taste to hold in my hands and read in ALL CAPS the words of my father. Thank you.
Nat- Avery is gonna be born tomorrow on the third so congrats in the future.
Nate- where did you learn to speak portuguese so good?
Jor- You are just little miss chefe da cozinha né?
Rhett- DId Oregon or Auburn win the Nat´l championship? I´ve been wondering for like ever about that.. Awesome to hear about JImmer and the cougs though.
Dev- Last night I baptized my pizza in real american home made RANCH!!! It was the best.
Nick- Sounds like life is good at the dirty D. Would love to hear more though.

That is all. Amo vocês. Sei que esta é a igreja de Jesus Cristo, e que esta é a obra dele.

Elder Matt Gagon