Elder Matthew Wright Gagon - Brazil Curitiba Mission

Elder Michael David Gagon - Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission

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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Matt: August 17, 2011

Dear Family,

This week was good. I learned the value of goal seting when going to bed on Saturday night lacking 7 lessons to meet the weekly standard. Getting up Sunday morning with my hair on fire and teaching a third of our weekly lessons in one day to meet our goal. Ahh....felt good. Also that very Sunday morning I saw Milena the niece of Luiza who is the newest member of the Vila Tebas ward and thought to myself, "Hey Self, she´s been coming to church for the past 4 weeks. If she wanted to she could be baptized next week." So we passed by there, marked a date and have been teaching 2 lessons to her every night. First was the Restoration with a side helping of Pray frequently, then Plan of Salvation with a siding of Word of wisdom, last night was the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Tithing. And tonight is follow the prophet with Chastity. Yipee. Anywho things are going good here and I´m learning and growing a lot. About 2 hours ago at lunch I ate a Brasilian Bar food in the house of a member called "roll mops" (or something like that) which is an onion wedge wrapped in fish, and then pickled.... Not the best thing in the world, but definitely an experience, and something I would try again. Basically things are plugging along here in Tebas. I feel a transfer coming my way, and I´m going to cry like a little girl when it does because I love this place and this ward and everything. Not a lot to tell this week, other than work work and more work. Trying to show my son how obedience isn´t that hard, and trying to find the elect.

Elder Gagon- que bom que recebeu o pacote! Eu estava ficando brabo (bravo?) com o freakin correios lixo! Você já oviu aquelas musicas da missão Fortaleza?

Well that´s all folks,
Elder Matt Gagon

Michael: August 17, 2011

Dear family!
Its great this week to hear from 2 of my sisters + my fellow Elder Gagon. I didnt want the emails to end as I read them.
This week was highlighted by the baptism of Regina and her daughter Maria Regina. Rafael is lookin good in his suit- he gave a short talk in the baptismal meeting and although he waas confirmed a member that day seems like he´s been a member for a lot longer- Rafael and Regina are planning on getting married, I don´t know exactly when but Im sure they´re gonna make it to Campinas and be sealed before too long.
I met an Elder Naugle, Jake Naugle from PG that hung out with Sara Gagon. Someone shoot a text her way and tell her por favor.
Well not too much more to report this week. I sent some pics. These adorable babies are the great-granddaughters of Deolinda.
Jor- Bom saber meu sobrinho se chama caçador tiago kk. He looks great! How are you doin after surgery?
So How do you explain that guy who has a full hairy face in the Guiness Book of World Records?
Natalie - a dang good email you sent my way! The pics are so good! Get a load of Avery´s smile. You guys look like a happy family straight out of a Plano de Salvaçao pamphlet. Give Avery a smooch for getting her first tooth. Which tooth? What color is it?
Ya August has been plenty warm down here. Would it be tough to send me down a jump rope?
Matt- I got your package! the secretary said it´s been in the office for um tempão. We watched the end of The Testaments during Regina and Maria Regina´s baptism.
So I took the G-state Warriors t-shirt with me on the mission that has Baron, J Rich, Al, Stephen, and Fulan´s name on the front. Im thinkin about giving it to Rafael hoping that he might remember me as much as I´ll remember him... It´s mine to give right?
My ex-comp was the Argentine, we were together only 3 weeks cause he came mid-transf. Elder Gordon is a 2nd generation connecticutan.
And to get people to zip it you cant worry about them thinking you are rude and just gotta tell em how it is. Have you worn out any shoes yet? What did you do with em?
Errbody, in your next letters I wanna here your suggestions for cardio exercises that I can easily do inside my house. Best idea gets a prize :) - Before you make suggestions ponder this question, will this help Michael look better in a swim suit or help him jump high enough to dunk it?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Matt: August 10, 2011

Dear Family,
Nossa this week was very rushed. Kind of a downer week to be honest. Some people we´ve been teaching for a while who are more interested in a message about God´s "real" name than finding salvation. Others who just need some time, and a bucket load of others who are "providently living" by pocketing the money they would´ve spent on a wedding and just living together instead, fulfilling Satan´s plan. Surely they will enjoy a good Law of Chastity lesson to rock their worlds. Also in this area I´m finding there are a lot of "pineapples" as my companion refers to them. People that just want to talk and talk and TALK. It´s like, "Hey I´m more than just a pair of ears ya know! I have something to say about Jesus Christ and baptism and Joe Smith and his gold bible." Holy cow. Returned missionaries/Michael: what tactics do yallsies have for getting people to shut their dang yappers? It´s getting a bit out of control down here in the dirty south and I´m going to need some reinforcements.
For dessert on sunday I ate candied orange peels. It was in the house of this crazy irmã and she got this jar of what appeared to be oranges in syrup, but come to find out that it was just the peels and not the actual orange. It wasn´t bad, but I definitely did not ask for the recipe.
Aside from these things, not a whole lot to report about. Surely I will try and mix things up so that next week can be an email de poder.
Al- Thank you so much for your email. I will surely print it out and rock this city up and down.
Nate J- Holy cow man, when are you ever healthy? Nossa cara, take your mother-in-laws time proven medical advice: walk it off, drink some water, and lie down and take a nap. That´ll cure what ails you.
Nick- This week a sister missionary who I haven´t seen for 3 weeks came up to me and said, "Elder Gagon, when you gave me this letter to mail you never gave me any money to send it. I gave her the 1 dollar she was "lacking" and she will send the letter I wrote to you 5 weeks ago this week (I hope).
Michael- Is Elder Gordon Argentino? Não aparece muito não, mas tudo bem. Did you ever get those DVDs I sent you? If not I´m going to freak out at the correios.
Dad- You are the best. I love you so much. I hope you have an awesome Brasilian father´s day. Will write you a letter soon.
-Elder Gagon

Michael: August 10, 2011

Dear family.
This week all the stuff that´s supposed to happen with missionaries happened. Walkin, teachin, witnessing the miracle of Rafael´s conversion, and baptism, in turn becoming more and more converted myself, my companion was bit by a dog last night, and beet juice caused me and my companion to wake up in the middle of the night, me to change my garment bottoms, and him with it coming out the other end.
Sunday morning was great. We got to Rafaels house, he, my companion and I all shined our shoes together (cute) and went to church. A lady called him over to be in the choir and he stayed after his baptism to sing. Later he had a reality check, he said ``The thought came to me and I just started laughing to myself... It´s the weekend, and I got up early, its 1 pm on a Sunday afternoon, and I haven´t had lunch yet, and I´m inside of a church singing a childrens song! (primary number the choir will sing next week) What happened! Then he said he thanks the Lord for his new life, the life he knows the Lord wanted him to choose, that this is the true path that he is going to follow the rest of his life.
I sent some pictures of Rafael and his family and girlfriend that came to watch his baptism. He is adopted and his fam def doesn´t have the same spiritual-understanding that he´s got in his blood. but last night we said we wanted to invite his girlfriend to be baptised too, and that she could be baptised on Sunday. Rafael said ``oh yeah? hold on a minute..´´ he left the room and came back a few minutes later and said ´´I just got off the phone with Regina she says she wants to be baptised Sunday but just wants to learn a little bit more before.´´ Que bençao. Rafael has took the lead from Nilson and ran away with my MME award (missions most elect). So We´re gonna teach Regina for the second time tonight. She´s also got an 8 year old daughter. Que bençao.
So this week has been good, being that all´s well that ends ok.
I invite all of you to start or continue to read the Book of Mormon. I´ve seen it´s power keep a man from his 16-year-old addiction to hard drugs and now stop a couples fights and get them on the road to a temple marriage.
I had an amazing study today- I read 3 conference talks from the Sunday afternoon session. From D. Todd Christofferson, an extra inspired talk, to me. Another one about tithing, and the other one about Being and Doing which blew my mind. To all the parents in the fam, new, old, or future, I suggest another look at this talk. I liked this:
´´Because be begets do & is the motive behind do, teaching be will improve behavior more effectively than focusing on do will improve behavior.`` Then he talks about that we should correct the wrong things people do and compliment them for the good things that they are. (and not vice versa)
I´d also like to illustrate another gospel principle which is to Endure to the End. Keep the emails and letters coming, don´t lose the faith!
Other than that, I rode a bus that drove through a tunnel and I help my breath all the way through.
Dad- Great to hear from you! he´s ´´mellowed down?´´
Al- Thank you for being able to find time to email me! I hope we or at least I are all as good as you are at writing down the funny things our kids say.
Matt- watch out for Ted Payne he might fall on ya and end your career as P-days iron glove. E, your future is as bright as your faith (pres mons)!!!! (infelizmente kkk)
tambien, its fathers day down here on sunday so Dad I want to say that I love you! Thank you for helping me get on a mission, and happy brazilian fathers day to all you papais na familia.

Eu amo voces.
Elder Michael Gagon!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Matt: August 3, 2011

Dear Family,
This week was a goody. I´m really growing here in the mission and really thrusting in my sickle. So that is good. There´s really very little to tell about in terms of stuff that happened other than: we went here, taught this person, felt the spirit, did some contacts, cut some moleys, etc. We did however have a meeting with some area 70 who talked about teaching the first lesson (about the restoration) and how we should invite everyone to be baptized always. Things are good.
I had peanut butter for the first time since October, so that was a treat. Also I saw a bulldog this week! It was so great. I remembered Duke and our times together with the rake and the broom and our long winter walks. OOOOHHH I almost forgot. Remember the crazy relief society president from Tamandaré that I compared to Aunt Kathy? Her entire family lives here in Pinhais!!! We were walking on a street I´ve walked 2,489 times the other day and I hear this, "Elder Jayjer!" And I turned around and it was HER!!!!! NOSSA best day of my life! We went into her mom´s house and talked forever just like the days of old. So great. Now we are going to visit a bunch of her family members and surely baptize the sin out of them!
Jor- Para bens for giving birth to Fabrizio Rogerio Gegs Michel I. Or whatever you decide to name him.
Nate M- Para bens tornando pai! Our 2nd counselor here in Tebas was baptized in Portugal cerca 2001 and I showed him your photo but he said he didnt know you. His name is Sylvano. Maybe if I sent you a pic of him you would remember.
Rhett- I am totally following in your footsteps being the brick wall of a goalie here on P day. We played today and I rocked just like you.
Al- How many times have you "organized your life"? Just asking.. Ps you never responded on your daughters t-shirt sizes... personal email on the way. Oh and tell Abby missionaries are way cooler than ninjas, but you can indeed be both.
Nat/Nate- Lake Powell sounds like fun. Today I "wake/snowboarded" on the onibus (ride standing up without grabbing onto anything) and it felt good. Staff infection sounds crappy, but not as crappy as dead Volvos :( RIP Shusha
Nick- Surely you have some good lifeguard and or football stories to tell me from the past couple months... LET ME KNOW!!!
Mom- Surely of all of your many talents you have lost since your Guatamala Olympic days, champion letter writer and gold medal story teller aren´t some of them... Put the pen to the pape!
Michael- Não recebeu meu pacote ainda!?!?!??!?! Bixo do ceu, eu vou matar os correios. Não aguento mais esta porcaria.
Well that´s pretty much it. I`ll do better to write down stuff during the week so these emails return to blue ribbon quality, but basically just pray that Graciolisi and Roberto stop smoking

Much love
Elder Matthew Wright Gegs "dog dropper" Gagon I of Curitiba

Michael: August 3, 2011

Dear family,
This week was great. I attatched a picture of a brazilian hot dog and Deolinda who was baptized member of the Church on Sunday. She´s 78 years old and a great grandmother of 7 or so, we also reactivated her daughter in the process.
The highlight of every day is when we teach/learn from Rafael at night. I wont have time to tell you the numerous things he does and says that leave me every day amazed at what a valiant son of god has been found. 2 days this week we got to his house he said he hadn´t read much in the Book of Mormon, just 2 or 3 chapters. Members came up to greet him on Sunday and told him they hoped he came back and he said O I will Im going to be a member here. He called me Sunday morning to come over and tie his tie for him ha. He´s counting down the days until August 7th 2012, when he will have been a member of the church enough time to go to the temple of the Lord. On top of him being such a strong servant in God´s kingdom, he´s maybe the only mineiro in Belo Horizonte who knows who Karl Malone is! He started up a conversation about the Jazz since he knows Im from Utah haha. I love him.
Other than that Im just tryin to go about Pai Celestial´s business, walking up and down streets that are soo steep instead of sidewalks they have stair cases.
I remember probably a year ago I wrote home about an old guy I saw with white dreads, well this week I saw a geezer with all white corn rows.
Rhett- do you remember your cow hoof water bottle?! A member down here has one too haha and I remembered you.
Nate - Staff, woof, I always envied the guys on the football team that got staff infection down at Snow College camp and didnt have to practice. Que moleza minha! I guess its def not that cool.
Nat- Have I had any close calls with the chocolate surprise? Lets just say I live my life on the edge!
Well fam I love you all. Until next week.
Elder Michael Gagon