Elder Matthew Wright Gagon - Brazil Curitiba Mission

Elder Michael David Gagon - Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission

Friday, April 29, 2011

Matt: April 29, 2011

Dearest most marvelous family,
Oi tudo bom? So this week was pretty ok. Today we had transfers (yeah on a friday) and I got a new companheiro. He´s Brasillian. His name is elder Denalles or something like that. I dunno it´s been like one hour with him and I don´t want to return the awkward neck crane to look at his name tag like he did to me a few minutes ago, so will update you for sure next wednesday. So yeah Elder Allgaier of Lehi went away and now I won´t be able to speak as much english, but my portuguese will more than likely improve a whole heckuva lot. Surely I will miss that guy.
Anywho I got to give my little older brother Rhett a big FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS for turning 30 whopping years old. Holy cow, that is truly waxing old with age ha ha. JK (but for real) I will always see you as that 16 year old menace waiting on the stairs to grab my legs as I walk down the hall.

What else? The work is going along. I think now is the time where I will truly be put through the trial by fire as far as doing missionary work goes, because my new comp only has like 3 months on the mission. "There´s no comfort in the growth zone." But yeah we´re still teaching that moçinha and she marked her baptism for May 10 which is a tuesday. That should be good.
OHHH k, so this week me and elder Allgaier had a few experiences. We taught this man who is part of some apostate bible church and set up a return appointment for the next day. Well when we got there there were three men in dark dress shirts, one in an all black suit and maroon tie just sitting on the couch. So my spider senses were going a little crazy but we asked, "So are you guys family or something?" and they were like "Yeah... we´re......family." anywho. Turns out they were NOT family, but pastors of this same apostate church! Nossa it was so horrible. We started out saying how we taught their "brother" about the restored gospel and how we were there to see if he had prayed and asked God about it. Then they were like "That is a good. We should pray. BUT if we´re going to have a correct lesson, we got to start with a correct prayer."....uhh rohkay. It was in that moment that this pastor/brother breaks out some prayer cloth he had rolled up in his pocket for occassions such as these, the women grabbed their veils (yeah it´s one of those churches of the apostacy) and whoever didn´t have their own shared and they all started to pray....AT THE SAME TIME!! So as if this 26 minute prayer, which consisted mostly of screaming ALLELUIA! GLORIA JESUS! and stuff like that mixed with quoting chapters from Revelations, wasn´t bad enough they started straight into how they knew that their church was so right because everything comes straight from the bible (hmmm where have I heard that before?) and basically to make a 2 hour story short: Apparently I was baptized the wrong way, we should be kissing eachother on the cheeks when we greet at church BUT only man with man and woman with woman, and yeah. It was terrible.... Something else crazy happened this week too, but I forgot what..

Mom/Dad- I sent a box home with a bunch of extra stuff I didn´t want to lug around... It had a flag, some garment bottoms... did you ever get that?
Al- Thanks for the emails and recipes
Rhett- Mollie? what happened to Megan Ruth?!?
Jor- Was the congregação cristã a big problem in São paulo? That is awesome that Ashley Bryant was in town when you got that letter! I will be glad to receive her letter. Yeah who is Libby´s fiancée?
Nat- Those pictures of Avery didn´t work... either time :(
Can- MOTHERS DAY VACATION?!?!? What were you thinking?!?
Michael- 7:1 in one night! I had 2:1 once and I thought that sucked.
Nick- I hear of all this cool stuff happening in your life, but none of it comes from you.... Hmmm something wrong here.

Well that´s pretty much it. Surely I will email you again wednesday, but before I let you, and all my folks listening in on Oldies 94.1 go I feel like I should share something my president told me.
This mother´s day I can use skype to talk to all yall.
My skype name is mattgagon. I don´t know very well how it works if you have to add friends like on facebook or what, but that´s what we´ve got wednesday for... I am super stoked. Maybe we can coordinate a 5 way call between Utah, Miami, New York, Belo Horizonte, and Curitiba..... Just a thought.

Much love,
Elder Matthew Wright Gegs "the big dog" Gagon I of Curitiba

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Michael: April 27, 2011

I believe when Rhett turns 30 tomorrow everyone will have had a birthday since I left. So happy birthday Rhett and to all if I forgot to wish you a happy birthday haha (sorry).
Easter here from what I saw is just chocolate eggs. I dont think they do any egg hunts. There was an appearance by the easter bunny in primary on sunday. Appropriate?
Here is beautiful and a relatively flat city which is nice. A lot of people ride bikes around everywhere, its pretty cool- and a lot of the bike riders usually have a passenger sitting on the crossbar. Its Awesome to see the men on their bikes and their girlfriends sitting on a wire seat above the back tire...

There´s been something funky going on this week - I dont know what, but yesterday, and on sunday there was a swarm of well over 200 black vultures in the sky! Is that anywhere in the scriptures?

Things have been looking up... we went to a members house to get the address of a reference and they were in the middle of their family night. Theyve been members for 15 years, the dad is a high councelman for the stake, the son is an RM - but they still have a sister that isnt a member? That will change on Sunday.
I lead the music in sacrament meeting this week! haha it was a great feat cause here we don´t have a pianist- so I had to give the intro by singing solo the first line or so of each hymn.
I ate rooster twice this week. I dunno if you guys find that interesting. I also dont know if these were the first 2 times Ive eaten it... In a related story - I set a personal record, went diarrhea 7 times and threw up once in one night.
Can- Good to hear from ya. a letter I sent you came back to me, I will resend it today, so you can look forward to that blast from the past, it´ll be probably 3 years old in dog years when you get it. Also, hopefully we´ll work out a skype connection on mothers day.

Natalie - Loved your email and the diaper story haha. Next time you send pics though use something else cause this site doesnt work or something like that...?
Jor- Who is Libby´s fiance?!?
Also I would like to know what months you left/got back from you mish? I met a member that served in Sao Paulo while you were. He was Elder Niwaldo - ring any bells? I dunno if he was the same when you met him but he looks like he´s trying to be Adam Lambert. (ya he came to church with eye liner on) He lives in Sao Paulo now, but was here for Easter.
Nate - Do you know my pin # ? . I might need it here soon to take out personal money to travel to interviews. If you need my credit card number to find out, let me know. I think it changed from when I lost my wallet in Buffalo. AL you still safe-guarding it? How much do I got in there?
Matt- Have you heard of Chico chavier? Some grande lider do espiritismo? Anyway his home town is right close to where Im at. Dude baptise that moça! All you need is water and 2 testemunhas.
Also, Ya I know Elder Anderson (was my 4th companion) and knew Elder Excel too. (sent home back in September?)
Biggy is comps with Derek Williams! and says his next/last comp and co-zone leader is gonna be Ethan Roberts.
Dad- Loved the email. I was about to say you´ve got the oldest bishopric ever but now I know who Bro Chenowith is. He´s great.
It´s good to hear you all are doing great. I love you!

Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Michael: April 20, 2011

Dear Family.
This week has been another tough one. The work isnt lookin out too good. My companion has kinda started taking control of our partnership, not so much cause he is power hungry or anything but I think he realizes, the same way I do, that what Im doing isnt cuttin it.
Im not starving down here, dont worry.
For those who dont remember being told, by us or by Jor, the shower water heats up inside of the electric shower head. So my comp opted to by a cheap part to fix our shower head instead of a whole new one. But we had to take a 50 50 chance cause there are 2 different sizes depending on the voltage and blah blah blah but we guessed wrong. So we wasted our money, and still got cold water. So ive been doing the hokey pokey in the shower ´´I stick my head in, I take my head out, I stick my head back in and rince the shampoo..´´ then Im done.
We´re good on toilet paper now though and Im on a regular schedule after I took a Mega-dump in the chapel while we were waiting to have interviews with President. There were 2 Elders down the hall and one asked the other ´´did you fart?´´, ´´no´´, ´´man where is that stink coming from?´´ (me, from inside the bathroom, down the hall and around the corner)
Here is a mountain of photos. Mostly just members. But instead of explaining Ill jsut answer questions next week!
Al- How do you make yogurt? Im guessing its not just sitting on the couch lookin at the milk get old.
Jor - thanks for the email. From all the exciting news latelly (and me being far away) I almost forgot you´re pregnant. And Alison, and Erika. I was talking to an Elder that was in the Salt Lake mission while waiting for his visa and he talked about all the inactives and it got me wondering about Ashley Bryant - since I never see or hear from her, so that was awesome to hear about that video!
Matt- In your next letter let me know how to bring down the hammer.
Dad- Your emails are the best! Thank you for half of my line of authority! Whoa crazy bishopric. I forget who chenowith is?
Nick - Geezy 1 1 owwwee!!!!

I love all of you. Thank you for everything you do and are.
Elder Michael D Gagon

Love, Elder Michael Gagon

Matt: April 20, 2011

Dear family,
So let me start off saying something I wanted to say to Jordan last week, but didn´t get the chance to, here goes:


ha ha That is the Brasil birthday song and it is crazy! Jor I hope that brings back some good memories.
So this week I have a little more time, but not as much to say. The transfer is ending and surely my campanion is heading out of here. I´m a little nervous about it, but whatev. We´ve just been working and going about doing good. We still haven´t been able to baptize that elect moça yet, but that should change here in a few days... Looking back on this week, pretty close to nothing noteworthy has happened so I will instead tell you a little story that I think is neat.
A few nights ago we were planning what we were to do the next day. We are kind of trying to get out of a rut, so we were looking through all the contacts we had made EVER in this area. I saw one that I did back in the first week that I had gotten here, a man named Geraldo, so we put it down in the trusty old planner and the next day we went for it. We were familiar with the street he lived on and went looking around for his house late one night. We couldn´t seem to find the right house number seeing, as how in Brasil there is no order whatsoever to how the house numbers go, and we asked some guy burning a couch, some trash, and a few tires if he knew where any Geraldos lived. "Oh yeah he lives over there." Awesome. So we went over there, even though the number was like 58 numbers off and Geraldo wasn´t home, but his step-son was. He is a recovering druggy and really liked the message of the restoration of the gospel. Anywho we went back there a few nights later and his friend Thiago was there on his motorcycle. We decided he needed to hear the gospel too, and after talking a little bit he said, "Hey my wife (Luciane) is a mormon."
Would you mind if we stopped by your house and shared this message with you and your wife?
Anyway we were walking through the streets a different day and we saw this couple walking down the street and my comp contacted them, "Have you ever heard of the Book of Mormon?"
"Uhh yeah I have and I´ve already graduated from seminary and earned my personal progress."
"Is your name Luciane?"
And her eyes just went huge as she said, "How did you know?!?"
So we are going to her house tomorrow to bring her back into the fold and eventually baptize her husband.... Cool story Hansol. No! It gets better. A few days later we were walking down the road where Geraldo and his step son live, and I looked up at the street sign and was perplexed... The road we were so familiar with, that has the wrong number of Geraldo´s house, is 3 streets away from the real Geraldo that I talked to back in February when I got here.
The Lord works in mysterious ways. I don´t know if anyone of these new people we have met will get baptized, but that Luciane and her brothers and sisters are all returning to the church after a few years of following a very different path.
I know God lives and he loves us. Jesus Christ really did ressurrect on the third day and later appeared to a boy Joseph to answer his prayer. The church is true, and this is God´s work. Name Jesus Christ, amen.

-Elder Gagon

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Matt: April 13, 2011

Dear Fam,
So this one is going to be short because our temple trip today put us in a little bit of a bind timewise.
This week was alrightish. Remember that elect golden investigator that was supposed to get baptized on sunday? Well for some reason or another, cold feet, pure Satanism, just forgot, or whatever, she just avoided us all week. Anyway we found her on Monday and after me bringing down the hammer so to speak she is marked to be baptized next p day.

Well I told you it´d be short.
Al thanks for the recipe. I have one more question though. What does Bolonheis sauce? It is all over the place but I never ever get it.
Michael I just about died laughing reading your email. Showering is overrated for sure! And yes they always play that confounded Quero não song. It´s like J Bieb 2.0

Ok gots to run
Lots of love!
-Elder Gagon

Michael: April 13, 2011

Dear Family!
So this week has just been uneventful work, with the exception of a baptism, Joice age 24. She had been going to another ward for a while and been taught before. She was already marked for baptism I just had to finish her off.
In this emergency transfer I was called as District leader. The other senior companion has 2 more weeks left of his mission and was bitter that he wasnt called. In district meeting I had deja vu of the day I taught YSA class back home. Just trying to fill the time. As an all-around missionary and person I feel I still need to learn to grab the bull by the horns.
In our new house there isnt any hot water so at night I go into the bathroom, shut the door, turn on the shower, get my hair wet, and then just sit in there for a while on the toilet so my comp thinks Im showering, and doesnt get grossed out cause Im really not. Its not as hot these days so I dont sweat as much anyway. We used all our money to get to our new area and email so I went this week with: no toothbrush- I forgot mine in my last area (I did have toothepaste though), no shampoo (that I prob wouldnt be using anyway), no food besides lunch- (fasting on sunday was a walk in the park), and no Toilet paper- I remember saying ´´you know you´re on a mission when you blow your nose with a plastic bag´´, but now I say ´´you are a missionary when you blow your nose in your hands and then wash them in the sink´´.
I had the awesomest dream! We were at Candaces state championship soccer game and it was Golden Goal and she made a beauty of a goal to win the game. Then the whole fam stormed the field, me leading the charge and after all the girls on the team got done hugging and dog piling Candace the fam took pics together and since Can was MVP she was in a pink Bunny suit! It was one of those dreams you wake up wondering where you were/ where you´d been cause it was so real.
We taught a less active Spaniard living here that served in WWII - he pulled down his pants and showed us his bullet wound on his inner thigh without us asking him to ha.
Other highlight of the week was at the ward activity, a less active member known for being a druggy showed up and during one of the games he had to do an impression of a chicken laying an egg, hahaha maybe you had to see it but it was perfect.

Nate- Yes I know Steve Richards, he´s in my group of friends, he will get home from his mission in July. I know his brother Spencer too. His Dad owns Creamies!!! Score. I didnt realize your stake included Pepperwood. Look for Bug Doug at the Stake Priest/Laurel activity!

Eu os amo ate a morte!
Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Michael: April 6, 2011

Dear Family!
So I got a call last night around 9 oclock saying I was getting transfered 2 and a half hours later. More americans got their visas and so there were some switcharooskies and I am now in a new city. Sete Lagoas. We packed way fast. Got on the midnight train, spent the night on the bus going back to the captial and Ive spent my p day traveling to my new area. It'll be nice to get a fresh start. My new comp is Elder Oliveira, we were neighbors back in Veneza where there were 2 duplas of missionaries. Hes got 1 transfer more than I do on the mish, and ya he is Brazilian. I just know that here is a branch and there havent been missionaries here for a long time, we're re-opening the area.
In the grand bus station you have to pay to use the bathrooms, and the TP dispensers are outside of the stalls! Why? nao sei.You have to take what you think you'll need and if its not enough your up a crick. Or if you are american, arent used to this system and dont notice until you are in there sitting down that there's no TP, you're sunk.
General conference was great. I watched all 5 sessions, in portuguese, but I understood much more this time.I loved both the afternoon sessions and priesthood.
Rhett tell Michael Hawkes I saw him in the choir.
I saw a group of kids huddles around a fallen phone line saying do you have courage to touch it... haha.
Can, what do you do with your ipad?
Were supposed to get microwaves here on the mission pretty soon and I dunno what i~ll do with it.
RMs any poop your pants stories on the mish? My comp and I were talking about all the people we knew that pooped their pants it was the most fun Ive had in a while.
I found out in the city I just left has a Ms. Gay pageant, does that exist in other places?
This KKK thing at Alta just makes me sick. Was there no cool black kid around to talk his friend out of causing this mess?
Matt- in the dirty dirty do they play that song ``vou nao, posso nao, quero nao,...
Well fam thats about all. Next week Ill give ya the news of my new area and comp.
Thank you all for the many emails! Eu amo voces
Elder Michael Gagon

Matt: April 6, 2011

Dear fam,
Wassup? So this week was just like a brain whirl pretty much. We´re working good here in Vila Tebas and will probably baptize that elect 12 year old girl this weekend. Anywho this week there was a typhoon that came through our neighborhood causing mass destruction and flooding for like 30 minutes and then left. Some of the destruction that happened was 2 of the roof tiles of that really old lady who we baptized's house (<-grammar check?) flew off. So me and Elder Allgaier went out there in the rain, grabbed 2 other roof tiles and a ladder and covered up the whole in her house. Right after we did that it stopped raining, but it was still cool.
The highlight of this week was mos def gen conf!!! Oh my heck I love general conference! It was really wierd though cuz inbetween the sessions when they were showing the Rome temple thing and the David Archuleta Christmas concert, some actor named Michael York came up and when he started to talk I heard the voice of my beloved Valiant 10 primary teacher, and Father&Son´s salmon chef of the year 2001- Henrique DeAgostini! Ahhh it was so great. Even though he wasn´t speaking English I could just tell that it was his voice and it was such a welcome sound. I think he did a voice over for President Monson too. I got to watch all the sessions in English except for Sunday morning, and my favorite talks were by Elder Christofferson, the 70 who talked about being vs doing, and Elder Holland, and Elder Oaks' was pretty good too... I am so greatful we have a living prophet and apostles in these days. What I took away from this gen conf was basically that ALL youngsters should go on missions and then come back and get married!
So yeah that´s pretty much it. I love you all.

til next week. Tchau!

-Elder Matt