Elder Matthew Wright Gagon - Brazil Curitiba Mission

Elder Michael David Gagon - Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Michael: June 29, 2011

La familia!Distance to the Salt Lake temple to home?We were blessed down here with a baptism and confirmation of Elizana and Charles from last week! Elizana had a baby with our branch presidents son who has been inactive for a long time. They weren´t ´´together´´ anymore but she still coulnt be baptised cause she was living with the branch presidents house. mas, alas- the branch presidents son skipped town and went to work in some distant land and next thing you know SPLASH, the kingdom of God continues to grow.Well here´s the big news. . . Pres Parrella called us last night around 9-15. Emergency transfer, and I am here in the office with my new companion that I am to train, from ARGENTINA! It´s gonna be a language adventure I can already tell (as if you couldn´t guess already). Quen sabe yo voy aprender espanol?Dad- Que baby block chic!!! are ya likin to watch your posterity grow n grow!?Alison- Great email! Do you really gotta cut all that food out? For how many days?Rhett- Parabens! Erika tambien! Bro, reading all the stuff you done naked makes me think we´da been good buds in hike school. It is great to hear that Mollie is born healthy, and peeing at the right times. Habla que yo voy estar para her un cumpleanos. Jor- haha Brazi´s have more fun!!! How was the pigeon stew? Only 1 more transfer until seu filho nascer!!! Que doido! Estou animado.Matt- ACHEI! the 4th missionary miracle paper. I left it here in the office. Que bençao. Hope you havent sent another/ gastou 2 reais. Parabens on the future baptism and the feel-good-feeling passing the sac!!!te amo un monton!un abrazo! jajajaElder Michael Gagoñ

Matt: June 29, 2011

Dear Family,
Wassup? So after the Debby Downer of a week we had last week, this week in comparison seemed real good. We've just been work work working all the time. Saturday we taught this lady and even though one of her 8 dogs was barking throughout the entire lesson, it went well. When we went to go get her Sunday morning to go to church she was already leaving the front gate as soon as we turned the corner. Then yesterday when we went back to teach her the plan of salvation the spirit was strong and she accepted the invite to be baptized. She said, "I don´t know about July 9th it´s real soon, but if that´s the day you´re having the baptismal service I´ll try and get ready." (oh yeah as if we couldn´t do it any other day) Awesome. So I came back saying, "Yeah it´s coming up here soon, but 3 things will help you the most be ready for this day. First: Praying to God to see if these things are true. Second: Going to church again. And third: aghhh, and this is our fault, I´m super emberassed because we don´t have one to give you; but reading the Book of Mormon will help you as well. We don´t have books right now, but we are going to try and find one, and-"
"Oh but Elder I have a surprise for you." Then she went to the shelf and clear on the top one she pulled out a dusty, musty, rusty old Book of Mormon and said, "Everybody told me to throw this away for a long time, but I held on to it because I thought one day I might use it...This was my daughters before she passed away. She even marked this part with a flower."
That´s when things got really emotional. She got all misty eyed, and my first begotten son started to cry a little. I wanted to cry or have some show of emotion, but it just wasn´t happening. It was one of those really tender mercies; one of those special moments when you can visually see a turning point... Awesome.
Well other than that, not much of the stuff you guys would like to hear about happened this week. Just same old same old.

Rhett&Erika- Congrats on having a baby. I am super proud/excited/happy sei lá for you guys, but the feeling is strong. Thanks for the pics, y'allsies are looking right nice now ye-HEAR!
Jor- There are few things uglier than the Brasililan street dogs, and one of them is a Portugal Portuguese accent... WOOF! Brasil é bem mais legal, já sei já. Pigeon a la mode sounds delish! Keep up the awesome business. Yeah anything that has to do with the birth process makes me queasy.
Al- I think I already mentioned this but your son´s initials are PDA... Just saying. Brace yourself for the middle school years. Especially if you decide to move and live here in Brasil... double woof!

Well I love you all. Sounds like everyone is doing great. I love you all and am enjoying my time here in Brasil.

-Elder Matthew Wright Gegs "goal blocker" Gagon I of Curitiba

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Michael: June 22, 2011

Dear family!
This week was good, highlighted by the baptism of Charles! It was great to see how happy it made his wife and her family who are members. It was emotional for all of them. You can tell their life is already better because of it by the way they look and the difference you feel in their house. One day me and my comp got lost looking for an inactive couple when a kid said ´´hey elders´´ and instead of just waving and walking along I stopped to talk to him and he said he lived close by but was visiting his Aunt who had recently moved in to the neighborhood- and he led us to her house- his Aunt is Charle´s wife- and thats a very short version of the miraculous way we found, taught, and baptised Charles. Every time I left his house I never felt like our lessons were any good but I know the Lord´s will was done, and it wasnt because of us that they are now a complete and happy family.
It´s great to see Nilson passing the sacrament (limping w/ his bad knee) and he says every Sunday is more good ha.
Another blessing was yesterday when Suely showed us the picture of her baptism that she had blown up to a 5 x 10 hanging in her front room.
I finished the Book of Mormon this week and started again :)! So far my favorite verse is 1 Nefi 3:5.
The other day I was walking with my comp (of course I was with my comp) and through the window of the Catholic church we could see the mural on the wall of John the baptist standing on dry ground on the banks of the Jordan River, pouring a cup of water on Jesus head haha. Lots of people lately have told us ´´I know there is a lot of stuff wrong about the catholic church but Im gonna stay in it.´´
Here are some photos, I dont know if any are repeats, or if any need explication... I´ve been working on this photo food project for a while to give you guys a good look at what Im eating. Much better than me trying to describe rice, beans, meat, and pasta.
I didnt get a foto but I saw a 6 foot tall, 10 wheelin bicycle built for 12!!!!
Well fam all is well here even though my smart comp thinks the TP clogs the toilet and started throwing his dirty TP in a trash can in the bathroom.
Anyone figure out the distance from Alta High School to the Salt Lake temple? or are yáll still measuring it?
Or cure to foot-itch? Or the population of Salt Lake City vs. Belo Horizonte?
Dad- happy fathers day! I love you. I believe I am here where I am because of you.
Nat- I imagine Avery with the voice of an owl or other bird ´´cooing´´ all the time. In order to know what I want to keep from the trailer I´d need to know what I put in there.. I thought I only had like 2 Boxes and already threw out stuff I didnt need. Also, the hot dogs they sell here in the streets is cooked in a tomatoe soupy sauce, with mayonaise and corn and itty bitty fried potatoe chips on top (like smashed ruffles).
Bourne/the 4th missionary- (Dude I lost that talk on the bus before I finished it and it had already doubled my entendimento of the plan of salvation.) Thanks for the pacote that I shall soon receive!

I love you all family, I love the mission, and I love our Savior´s gospel plan!
Elder Michael Gagon

Matt: June 22, 2011

Dear Family,This week was another week. Ha ha no things are going ok. I guessI would say we are in a bit of a rough patch after flying high forlike 2 nights. I say nights because it seems like we don´t do anythingright all day long, and right when I´m about to give up the ghost weteach somebody bem in the eleventh hour and everything goes wellenough to get me out of bed for the next day.I would say the highlight of the week came last Friday when wetalked to Gilberto who decided to mark his own baptismal date for July9th so that he can be confirmed the 10th. This is especially sweetfor me because he said, "I feel like since November God has beensaying for me to get my act together and that this is the path Ishould be following." He´s going super strong, and it´ll be the firsttime that I baptize a man older than me. Super great.Also another good thing that happened this week was I got to passthe sacrament side by side with my boieee Bruno who was baptized justa few weeks ago. It´s so great to see this kind of gospel progress.From the day I first met him, to the day he took his earing out, tothe day he got baptized, to the day we passed the sacrament together.Super great.Other than that I´ve just been gaining a lot of experience. Lots ofstuff and situations that isn´t in Preach My Gospel, or in any churchmanual. Definitely going through one of many refining periods of themission right now. Nick- I got your letter. Will write back here in about a month or 2 ha ha.Michael- You LOST that 4th missionary paper!!!! If you really want Ican send you another but dude that was like 2 bucks to mail! I hopeyou don´t lose the package I sent you, cuz if so- já era! Well fam that´s pretty much all. Any email, letter, prayer, or packageyou want to send my way will be well received. Amo vocês demais!-Elder Gagon

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Michael: June 15, 2011

Dear family!So my second filho in the desert died soon after he came into this mission world. I spent all day p-day in the office, and then it was decided that he was going home. my new companion is Elder Vepo- the ex-executive secretary of the mission. We got home at midnight on P-day and on the way I lost the keys to our house so the past 7 days I´ve been hoppin the front fence (cement wall) to let my companion, who didnt lose our keys, in. Suely received the gift of the Holy Ghost Sunday. Our other investigators have some struggles but we´re lookin at 2 baptisms this Sunday. Pray for Marlene to quit smoking, and for Charles and Carlos.I used my flashlights for the first time on the mission- we had a power outage. We taught one lesson by candle light which was cool, it was interesting knocking doors at 8:30 at night in complete darkness. We knocked on one door and asked if we could share our message and the guy said ´´ah come back later I was asleep trying to take advantage of the dark´´ (As if darkness is hard to come across).We had an FHE with a group of families and we played the game I used to play with my friends where everyone holds a gulp of water in your mouth (without swallowing) and last one to spit it out wins haha.Also this week I met a baby that was born the same day as Avery! Has anyone tried giving a priesthood blessing to a squirming and screaming 2 year old? Well Me and my comp did. He kept swatting at our hands to take them off his head. Not so spiritual but was healed of his fever.I need a picture of my Hawk hoe down group Sophomore year STAT before Elder Brown goes home at the end of this transfer. (by email). Its the one where Im with KCP, not a monte of dudes. Now that I think about it I´d also like the one with the bunch of dudes but thats not so urgent.Dad- Thanks for the email! The crick was on the radio!? Did any of us get rich from that? Thats cool you went to the Becerras farewell, Jorge is great- I think you have to be to be a mission pres. did you talk to the Becerras about Seth? I heard he isnt in Guatamala mais nao.....Al- So good to here from you! The pics and email were otimo. CONGRATs for you and Patrick e fam! Did you put your thuggin powertool pic on myspace? How does a woman enjoy her last 40 hours of pregnancy? (or do they not enjoy the last 40 hours or days or so?)Nate- Thanks for the pic of Sasha. its perfect.Can- So great to hear from you! Your email was great, I was about to ask Dad what a J-dogg was. Congrats on the new job. Can you not get me free braces anymore? I don´t have anything to say except THATS AWESOME that you saw Elder Hale. Que bençao. Jor- Thanks for the email!!. Carson is doing plays in Jackson Hole? Where have I been. Nick- Starting Varsity Free safety at Alta High School! Thats about as high as it gets in hot status.Well Im signing off fam- I love you all so much, wouldve given anything to have been there cleaning the chapel last Saturday with you guys, if I wasnt serving our brothers down here in Sete Lagoas.Give Jeff Gagon and Mike Hanson a congrats for me. Elder Michael Gagon

Matt: June 15, 2011

Dearest most marvelous family of mine,
Beleza? This week was a goody. After suffering a little bit the first couple of days with my first begotten son we had church on Sunday and everything bad that I was feeling just went away. It boggles my mind that people don´t like going to church, especially Brazilian investigators... Anywho as far as things in the Tebas ward of Pinhais Brasil go, things are groovin. We're cutting investigators (and getting cut by them as well) left and right like Ammon amongst the flocks of King Lamoni. It´s kinda nice to just not waste anymore time with people who don´t want to progress, or who love the Bible more than life itself, or who believe in God but not in the Bible nor any form of scripture/revelation. Also we are getting close to baptizing Gilberto who´s been investigating the church for years, and deep inside knows it´s true and needs to be baptized. He´s setting his own date, but we´ll be here for a while, so it´ll be good to see him enter in the waters of baptism. So things are good. Definitely the highlight of my week next to my companion´s story about the first thunder storm to hit Paraiba in decades, leaving people in an apocalyptic panic (socorro Jesus!!! de novo NÃOOOO!!!!) was a package I received from my long lost best friends Jason Jolley and Ryan from Zion Reid. I took an awesome picture, but forgot my cable and will have to send it next week.

Alison- Congrats for bringing the first nephew of the fam into this world. Can´t wait to meet him. PS your girls say the funniest things!
Dad- Thanks for the addresses. I´m glad you like the letter. Hope nobody fell off the ruf into the crick of rut ber!
Candace- That´s way sweet you saw Robert D Hales. He came to the MTC while I was there and during his talk I just kepth thinking, "this talk is boring, but MAN is the spirit strong here!" Way to go on getting a full time job. The only FTJ I ever had was up at Solitude ha ha. (cool story hansol). That´s super sad about Bo. I was actually thinking about him playing Great Balls of Fire in an assembly the other day. RIP.
Jordan- Cuidado in the meatball baby storm! Jackson Hole is an awesome place! Some of my life´s fondest memories come from a weekend spent there a year e pouco ago.
Família em geral- J-dogs sounds great. I want to go to there. I know Natalie and Nate have a recipe for Brazilian hot dogs coming there way, so maybe you could give those a little testarooski. The mish is great. I´m loving it for the time being. Super glad to have a different companion, and super glad for the monte de emails I got this week and all the updates from everybody.
To all the teenage boys reading this on the interweb or tuning in on Oldies 94.1, start preparing for a mission. Really it is SUCH a blessing to have a new companion that already understands the gospel and even more so how to teach it. President Monson, God´s mouth piece on this earth for us, is practically begging you to at least serve missions. It isn´t easy, there is some suffering involved, but for a fraction of your livelihood you are encouraged/expected/commanded to give just a little bit back to God, who has already given you everything you have, so that your brothers and sisters can have a chance to have the blessings of the gospel that you enjoy... The more prepared you are, the better it will be, but I did quase nada to prepare and I regret it, but never once have I regretted the choice to serve a mission. Get off the facebook, put down the xbox controller, talk to your bishops and get on out here!

With love,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Michael: June 8, 2011

Grandiosa familia!
I´ve been spending another P-day in the office. I got letters today from Jor, Matt, Nat and Nate! Thank you.
Today we had transfers. I´m staying where I´m at but my new companion is Elder Ranz- my second son in the wilderness. Matt my comp says he knows your son from the CTM. High five- training juntos!
But we´ve been waiting around all day to talk with Pres...
If I´ve learned anything from training is the power of someone´s example. I don´t have too much to say but we should always think to ourselves What would Jesus do, because little things, words, tones, reactions, facial expressions can make all the difference. And one bad moment can spoil the rest of the good example.
This week was good. We´re shakin and bakin - Suely was baptised! This week we´re hoping to baptise Marlene- she drinks and smokes and drinks coffee and tudo bem but the problem is the front of her house is a convenient store where she has these products all around her 24-7. But she has a grande testimony and knows (almost) all we have to teach her cause her family are all members for years. She´s really an elect and an inspiring investigator too - she told us before we said anything that one day she will stop opening her store on Sundays (the day of the week that she makes almost half her money) and one day stop selling cigarettes, coffee, and alcohol.
I also learned that the metro-sexual Brazilian guys use clear nail polish.
I need the answers to these questions -
How many kilometers do we live from the Salt Lake temple?
How much is a plane ticket from Brazil to Utah?
and what is a good remedy for itchy toes? Gold bond isnt working.
I have a request-
I would very much love a picture of Duke and Sasha, (not together, one of each). first one to send is my favorite bro/ sis! Thank you!
I dont think I was present that day yáll went to Day Break but if you find that pic and send it to Matt send one my way também. Por favor.
Ma- pa- If your address changes give me a heads up so I dont send a letter to its doom.
Wiskers- Minha nossa! Stand up comedy - que legal, send me a tape or save a tape.
Nat- thanks for the email, the pics were great!
Matt - If ya quiser send me dinh dinh you can send it in a carta registrada- if you send it in a carta social it´ll get roubado de novo!
Beijos e abraços!
Elder Michael Gagon

Matt: June 8, 2011

Dear Family,
This week was an odd one. Having been here for the normal time of 3 transfers I was getting pretty ready to head out. Couple that with little companion problems and this week was just crappy. Numbers wise this was the best week we´ve ever had, but the spirit of the work wasn´t there. Mostly just pride. Anyway, I was doing things that a good missionary wouldn´t do- not doing contacts, not looking for new people to teach, taking wierd routes to the Irmã's house that would give us lunch so that Elder Dornelles wouldn´t know where they live or how to get there after I had left. Pretty much was just being a bagunçeiro de mais (big mess maker). Well we got the transfer calls and I got a bomb dropped on me.... "Elder Gagon- you STAY and are going to be a DAD! Congrats Elder Gagon." So not only am I here to stay (and according to the new plan, will be here until September) but I received a greeny fresh from the MTC.
Yeah so I´m a father now. In the house of my beloved mission president´s home (which is on the 13th floor and the power was out yesterday so I had to take the stairs) on our way out the door he looked at me and asked with his nerdy smile, "Are you ready?"
"Oh you´re ready. I know you are and the Lord knows you are, and I trust him."
"Well I trust you President."
Just a little oversight about my first begotten son: His name is Elder Ferreira, but since Ferreira is one of the 32 last names in Brasil and we already have one here in our mish (my district mesmo) he´s going to go by Elder Ricardo (his first name) here in a few weeks. He´s 22 like me, and before the mission he worked as a soccer anouncer! He hasn´t done any examples for me yet, but surely he will and surely they will be great. He´s the only member in his family, and before he got baptized he was like a month away from graduating from Pastor school, so he knows the Bible really well and teaches with power and authority already. He is great. He´s from Paraiba (the northeast) but he has like a New York City accent. It´s the craziest thing! He´s never experienced cold weather in his life, and winter here in the deeeep south is coming in with a vengeance, so he´s dying. We´re going downtown today to buy him winter clothes because where he comes from they don´t exhist. So Candace I´ll prob have a few expenditures on my cred card after today cuz I am gonna buy some stuff there too.
So far being a trainer is cool. I think the best part came yesterday when we were about to leave the house and I said, "Oh elder Ferreira usually we pray before we leave." so we knelt down. "Can I say the prayer Elder Ferreira? Ok sweet." and my prayer went a little something like this:
"Dear Joseph Smith, we know ourselves to be better than the Catholics, the Jehova Witnesses, and ESPECIALLY the Congregação Cristã"
And I peaked over at him and his eyes were open with this very confused look on his face like, "ok this is wierd, but I´ll just go with it." ha ha ha ha and I just started cracking up right there and then when he realized I was kidding he let out a sigh of relief and we just laughed together really hard.
So yeah things are going good. At least for today and yesterday things are awesome.

Nate J- Congrats on the baby blessing
Nick- Dude be nice to your body. You only get one, and you don´t want to break it in the early years of life. Cuidado cara!

Everybody pray for my friend Mark Seguin. He´s recovering from a really bad snowboard fall and needs your prayers.

With all of my love,
Elder Matthew Wright Gegs 'the father' Gagon I of Curitiba

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Michael: June 1, 2011

Dear family!
Im feeling great at this point in my mission. Enjoying the work, the days go by way fast and before you know it its P day and I get to read your emails! This week was pretty good. My highlight is to see Nilson progress in this gospel. He always tells us what he read/studied when we visit him - he came to church with a white shirt and tie - and is preparing to receive the melchezideck priesthood in September.
We´ve got some other special investigators. Suely is also a special lady. She´s always waiting with her Book of Mormon on the sofa when we come around 7:00. Pray that everything goes to plan- that she will be baptised Sunday.
Yesterday someone offered us coffee and asked if we didnt drink coffee cause it turns you black and I said I dont think I´d ever turn/be black´´ Meaning nothing will change the fact that im gonna be a big whitey forever but my comp gave me a look that said it came across as I´d rather die than turn/be black.

Dad- Thanks for the recipes!
Nat- You too - and lookin magnificent!
Avery- Hot dang!
Matt- Atta boy! keep up the good work, baptising the future of zion.
Nao entendi o que voce falou sobre Judas perdeu suas botas mas ri de mais do mesmo jeito!
Did kip go on a mission?
Well fam not too much more to say. I love yous.
Elder Michael Gagon

Matt: June 1, 2011

Dear Family,
This week was better than last fo sho. From a missionary number´s stand point it was right nice. My amiginha Maria Eduarda met us half way on our surprise trip to wake her up and get her out of bed to go to church and get confirmed. So that was great. Also we baptized and confirmed Bruno. Bruno is awesome! If ever there was an elect golden investigator it would be Bruno. He´s 14 years old, and from the first lesson wanted to just know more and follow the right path. He also has a couple friends that go to seminary, so we invited him to go and he´s been going strong and memorizing scriptures ever since. Really seminary works miracles. I remember my boiee Kip Chaichana decided to be baptized after he went to seminary. It´s kind of a different story, but has the same happy baptismal ending. Anyway so Bruno is taking us to all his friend's houses and things are groovin. Also this week we confirmed another teenager (a word that doesn´t exhist in Portuguese) who got baptized back in November, but got in a fight with a member and didn´t go to church for the next six months. We always pass by his house because he has a sister who´s 10 years old and isn´t baptized and tell him, "Oi Jorge you gotta go to church and be confirmed." And he would always shrug it off like it was nothing. Then one day we were leaving Bruno´s house (who lives across the street) and his grandma bought a bon bon (chocolate thingy) for all of us, and Jorge came over and was like "Elder give me a piece of that bon bon." and in my limited wisdom I said, "Tell you what Jorge, if you go to church tomorrow and get confirmed I´ll give this entire bon bon to you." He accepted and went and got confirmed the next day! So things are looking up.
Also this week my friend Valmir, a man we were teaching, helping him quit smoking and drinking, and planning (kinda) his wedding, died. He had epilepsy and complicate that with a life long addiction to alcohol, and his body finally just gave up. It was super sad. I don´t have the right words to say about how I feel about him, about the word of wisdom, and how sometimes life just comes at you too fast.
The highlight of this week came Monday when I got uma carta grandiosa e maravilhosa from my irmã Jordan, a carta/cartoon from Michael, and my BIRTHDAY PACKAGE from Nat&Nate. Thank you SOOOO much! I was on a division with an American so we downed those Cheetos like our salvation was at the bottom of the bag, and enjoyed those new skittles thoroughly. Also that cinder block of a camera will help me out a lot the next time I need to take a photo of a baptism, or knock out one of the many dogs here Principal Rooney style (from Ferris Bueller´s day off). Thank you thank you.

I love all of you so much.

-Elder Matt Gagon