Elder Matthew Wright Gagon - Brazil Curitiba Mission

Elder Michael David Gagon - Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Matt: September 28, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

Michael: September 28, 2011

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

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Matt: September 21, 2011

Dear Family,

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

wif luv
-Elder Matt Gagon

Michael: September 21, 2011

Dear Mom and Dad, brothers and sisters,

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

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

Rhett- Judging the homecoming pageant. NICE!

I love you all! Miss you each week.

Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Matt: September 14, 2011

Dear Fam-damily,

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

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

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

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

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

com amor,
Elder Gagon

Michael: September 14, 2011

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

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

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

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

Dad- happy birthday!

Well fam- amo voces de mais
Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Matt: September 7, 2011

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

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

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

Devin- Dude that is sad.

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

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

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

Elder Matt

Michael: September 7, 2011

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