Elder Matthew Wright Gagon - Brazil Curitiba Mission

Elder Michael David Gagon - Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Matt: October 26, 2011

Dear Family,
This week has been a good one. We mostly just work until we feel we can´t go any longer, and then we work some more. The highlight of my week came when the Brasilian postal service ended their strike and I was flooded with a heap of great letters coming from my two younger bros as well as some amigos. QUE BENÇÃO!!! Also this week I saw a tucan in a tree of an investigator´s house. It was so amazing. I was just about ready for him to make it rain Froot Loops like in the commercials, but he just flew away like a boss. The low-light of the week came when Jackson who was supposed to be baptized Sunday decided to not go to church or be home the entire week when we had appointments marked with him... Kinda crappy, but my reasoning is, you can only go so long doing so many things right and just giving everything you´ve got before the blessings start falling into place and things start happening for your benefit.
Sorry fam, from the sounds of my emails you would think that the mission is terrible, but it´s not. It´s the best! Even the guys who won´t answer the door because they "already know Jesus Christ", or "are potheads so they can´t hear your message or read your book", or have their little kids come out to tell us "my mom said she´s not home"... all of it is the best! We had a sunday school lesson about the second coming of Jesus Christ and it really hit home with me about the gravity of missionary work. I am happy to say on that great and terrible day there will be hosts of Brasilians that say, "Wow, I really should´ve listened to that Americano." The church is true. God knows it, and so do I. I´ll try to write better emails in the weeks that come, and if you guys want to know all about the key indicators that will make things a lot easier cuz I´m pretty much turning into the RoboElder 2011 edition and my excitement these-a-days comes from hitting the padrão.

Mom- Thank you so much for the email I love hearing from you so much.

Nick- California sounded sweet; paintballing in jorts- not so much. Congrats on the fumb recov. SCOOP&SCORE?!!?
Jor- Holy cow, 2 years already!?!? Para bens. In respect to your email, all I can say is I guess Hunter takes after his mom. kkkkk

Com muito amor,
Elder Matt Gagon

Michael: October 26, 2011

DEAR FAMILY! This week has been about equally uneventful/successful but Im feeling a bit more positive, maybe cause I just left a training meeting (ya on P day), which is also why Im emailing a bit later. The gospel is so great and so important. I love the feeling of determination to sanctify yourself and your life and become clean, pure and holy and all that divine stuff!I think I failed to mention but I was almost in a district with ALL sisters!! me, my comp, and 6 sisters! (3 companionships)! But 2 of the sisters were robbed in the street (I dont have details on that one) and now there are Elders in the area.. making my district 4 and 4 just like the grande Gagon fam damily.Im feelin a little better about my camera with the thought that many of my companions have the same or similar photos and through technology I´ll get my hands on a healthy portion but I´ll forever miss that red beauty Nate & Nat got me for xmas.also..A kid in this ward waiting for his mission call worked with us all day one day and he is from the tribe of Juda!!!MM!- Church in Pakistan!? ´´We`ve landed on the moon! That´s great!´´I will for sure look for Elder Kimbler. I love youAl- your email was well appreciated! THat alphabet game sign was awesome but it´s missing ´´J´´! Whoever gets J first almost always wins.Jor- Good sign that Hunter is cagando, a lady had me bless her baby cause he hadn´t pooped in 3 days.Also great to hear your Portugues, eu amo essa lingua. I gotta look up dajinha in the dictionary though. AND I didnt know they still did Regional conferences, Im sure it was swweet! How oft do they have em? You didnt ask Elder Bednar if he remembers me from last October? I was the first missionary in BH to shake his hand and then we sat behind him on the stand and my comp nao conseguiu traduzir para ele. Happy 2nd wedding anniversary! Happy late one for Rhett and Can! Matt- haha is handshakes one of the key-indicators now haha if so Im gonna fazer de tudo to beat whatever you get this week. I also had pizza this week and my comp ate 8 slices leaving 4 for me....nossa, que raivaParabens no seu chamado, com certeza é por que o Senhor confia em você.Another thing I heard of Elder Jackson was that Elder Ducket (from my mission) stole his gf in hs. She waited for him, he went home in August and is married já!I hear putting your mattress out in the sun helps. And there are poucas coisas I would trade for my bug-killing racket! haha ping pong balls....Nick- SCOOP N SCORE!All my lovin for you!Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Matt: October 19, 2011

Dearest family of mine,
This week was pretty interesting. My companion likes to knock doors so we´ve been pretty much just doing that all week long. I don´t like it so much, but I know there is a valuable lesson to be learned in all of this. Even if that lesson is working "smarter not harder''. Not a lot to report other than we are just working like our hair is on fire and trying to find anyone and everyone in this neighborhood who wants to follow the savior. We got pizza yesterday that was super duper cheap and way delicious. As I was eating it I and one of the other elders in our house (yeah we live in 4 here in the SLZ) found an ant baked into the chocolate. I rationalized that it´s just more protein, and it was a real bargain of a pizza so I just ate it anyway. Also I have had 146 hand shakes so far since Monday morning... I don´t even want to think about Sunday at church. Also in the yellow submarine in which I live in, our beds have fleas. One of the elders says fleas are the same thing as bed bugs, and the effects are very similar. Dozens of little bites that just itch like the devil, hating going to bed (even as a missionary!), and just a general overhaul on "wife points".
There was something else that happened that I felt was worth mentioning but I forgot what it was... whatever. Well it sounds like things are going good. Actually that is more of a guess because I only heard from Alison saying that Nat and Avery are in the Buff somewhere.

Michael- That sucks that your camera got jacked. Really I could not think of anything more awful that could happen to a missionary. Have fun with that bug tennis racket though, and if it stops working for a sec, don´t trade it for ping pong balls. You will regret it and feel like an idiot for the rest of your life.

Candace- I bought that camera screen with my credit card so if you could pay that off for me I would greatly appreciate it.

I love you all
-Elder Matt

Michael: October 19, 2011

Dear fam, this keyboard Im using is awful and kinda makin me want to not write a lot. Aside from that Im kind of down in the dumps- On top of a not so hot week an inactive member that´s lost in the world of drugs stole my camera and sold it while we were having lunch with his Mom yesterday. Last week I took a pic of me and him cause he was wearing a turtle neck wool sweater with a life-guard style tank top over it, and I thought to myself why is he dressed so rediculously and the voice of my 5 year old self said ´´cause it´s hot and cold outside.´´ - The rainy season has started up so the weather is a bit crazy, hot, humid, and chilly all in the same day. - So I figure he knew which pocket my camera was in since we took that pic and while we were in the kitchen blessing the food he snatched it from my bag in the front room.
Im only feeling a little better cause 1- after this life I believe I´ll remember all the things I took pictures of 2- I should be more worried about the comrad thats destroying his life living to buy drugs day to day AND for his fam thats suffering for that and 3- To relieve the stress I bought one of those electric tennis racket bug killers and no doubt it´ll be put to good use.
So we live with a retired member and for 8 years he has spent his days with the missionaries visiting people. It´s been kind of interesting caus we´re pretty much a trio. Me, my comp, and Ademir. After studying we leave and he´s all ready in his white shirt and tie and he works all day with us until we come home at 9:00. Eats lunch with us, everything.... Pretty cool guy. I keep thinking to myself he reminds me of Ted Marshall, the way he always smiles and is always telling a little joke.
The highlight of my week though was going to church. Not only did I feel so uplifted by the spirit but I sat down in sacrament meeting and turned around and who did I see? Regina and Rafael! My favorite 2 people Ive ev taught. I guess shes gonna come to her own ward now with me and Rafael went with her cause it was her first time.

Jor- Good to hear from you. Nossa mae, feeding Hunter! hard to believe all yáll back home had those babies for real. I liked what you said about the Mich fam. How are they doing in ´Nam?

Matt- Elder Jackson is a funny guy. I wrote him after we left the CTM and at the end of his letter he wrote back he said ´´PS Flirt to convert´´ haha so maybe you coulda tried that on the guy who bore his testimony against you. (or ask him more specifically how he felt his testimony or recognized it cause deep down there he´s got nothin. Remember that talk in Gen Conf- the devil doesnt have a divided kingdom or something like that, the dev wouldnt write a book that convinces people to follow Christ. Or Elder Holland´s great grandpa - no evil man could have wrote such a book, and no good man would unless it were true and commanded of God to do so).

I love you all and thank you for your prayers in my behalf
Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Matt: October 12, 2011

dearest family of mine,

Wassup? So today was transfers her in Curitiba as well and I got booted out of Eucaliptos after a very FAST six weeks there. Now I am in an area called São Lourenço which is like next to Almirante Tamandaré where I started the Brasilian part of my mission! So that is exciting! I am here with Elder Jackson of Provo. He and Michael were buddies in the MTC together (or so he says). He has already been in my zone before and he was the main reason we won the USA vs. Brasil great soccer show down back in Tebas so we already know each other pretty well, and I am super excited to be comps with him. I don´t remember a whole lot of what happened this last week. Mostly just doing work but not seeing a lot of fruits come forth of it. Umm other than that not a ton has been happening. I took that same gigantic bus again and it was right nice. I found out the other day that my pastor "son" of a companion that I trained went home not long after I left the area. That was really sad. It made me think of the beginning of my mission, and the homesickness and the suffering. I reflected on that and on where I´m at right now and I could not be happier. It sucked at first but I could not have made a better choice than to stick it out and keep going. They say it´s the best two years on the mission. Without a doubt it´s not two years where every day is the best day of your life, but the joy and pure happiness that comes out of it, combined with all the knowledge, wisdom, and experience that you accumulate...there´s just nothing like it. It is inexplicable. I hope that any and all young men in the church are chomping at the bit to get out here. Surely it is the greatest ever. Hopefully my boy Elder Ricardo gets his butt back out here.
OOOH an experience that I had Sunday night that was kind of interesting... We were walking around our area and we went in front of the "Snowball church". It´s kind of a new age church for youngsters where the preacher says swear words over the pulpit which is made of a surf board and it is doctrinally just fine to smoke the reefer. Basically think of the most ridiculous apostate church you can think of and you´ve got the Snowball church. Anywho I talked to this guy who said he felt bad for us as missionaries and Mormons because we were on the wrong path. I asked him how he could know that and he told me that he had read (parts of) the Book of Mormon and he had "talked with God" and that the spirit testified to him that our church was false and that he was on the right path.... It sucked because he used my own tricks against me! How do you argue with someone who bears testimony of revelation they´ve had from the spirit? It´s impossible! Even if that spirit comes in white powder form, you can´t argue with testimony.

I love you all so much,
Elder Matt Gagon

Michael: October 12, 2011

Dear family-

Today was transfers. I´m in a new area, Justinopalis- its more of a ´´suburb´´. Just outside the capital. More of a humble place. What I know so far of my area is that the ward here is split into 2 areas, ours and the area of Sisters.
My new companion has been out 6 weeks in the field, from Spokanne, Elder Forsyth.
Somethin kinda cool is that the ward Im in now is the proper ward that Rafael´s girlfriend Regina whom I baptised should attend, so maybe she´ll pay me a visitinha and hopefully I see my bff Rafael another time.
My last week in Paradise was pretty good, a baptism fell through and another couldnt quit smoking in time for me to baptise him. But I left a good piece of my heart there with a lot of great citizens and membs of The Church of Jesus Christ. I didnt think I´d be transfered so I bought lots of food last Pday and ate it all up the last 2 days (over a dozen eggs, prob a pound of potatoes, 3 liters of juice..)
I had some late reflections about General Conference, Pres. Monson is awesome. But one of the coolest experiences I´ve had so far was listening to Pres. Uchtdorfs talk about the meek and humble etc. I was sitting next to Cássia, a 35 year old I baptised a while back. Her family life is pretty horrible, her social life I´d bet is much worse. And she was bawling during Uchtdorfs talk, and I couldn´t help tearing up. I felt Pres. Uchtdorf was talking directly to her. Cássia lives in one room thats probably 6 square meters in area. When we taught her she would sit on her bed, and we sat outside the house and I could easily reach to her to hand her a book etc.
Another not as cool experience was teaching a gay guy that went to Gen Conf with us.

Matt- Looking good in the Macacao! haha. Job well done with that family down ther down ther. Que bençao, milagres acontecem sem dúvida.
I affirm what Matt said about geneology, those of you who enjoy internet access should hop on it I´m sure you´ll receive promised blessings. I hear indexing is something cool everyone can do?

Well fam I´ma get going but I love you all deeply.
mm mm mm mm muah.
Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Matt: October 5, 2011

Dearest family,

Wa wa wee wow was general conference good! I remember Jordan saying that general conference is like the Super Bowl for missionaries and it is the truth. My favorite talks were from Jefferey "the lionheart" Holland laying it down in priesthood meeting, D. Todd Christofferson also laying it down on Saturday, Elaine S. Dalton who I saw in the MTC discourcing well on Sunday, and also David A. Bednar´s talk on geneology. I didn´t know this before, but recently (but before conference) I found out that doing geneology and temple work is a commandment! We can be sent to hell if we don´t do it. ha ha It is pretty cool stuff though and I was delighted that Elder Bednar spoke about it. The other day (2 months ago) a member showed me the new familysearch website and that thing is incredible! If you want to get a good start on fulfilling the afore mentioned commandment, new.familysearch.org? or net? is a great place to start. I started mine and figured out that a majority of my direct ancestors already have their temple work done. Neat-o! Also this week I rode on the biggest bus IN THE WORLD!!! Yeah it´s here in Curitiba and runs on like corn oil or something ridiculous. Also last week I went downtown and saw a street act to end all street acts. It was a guy playing a violin while his other thug-nasty friend beat boxed. It was SOOOO awesome!!! It made me think of how my sister Alison and beloved mother K-train could raise a few extra dollars if needs be.
This week was especially sweet because Fatima Aparecida de Moraes Veloso and her husband Antonio were baptized. It was incredible. About 2 weeks ago I was on a afternoon division with a 17 year old from the ward. We went to visit a house that I had been to before but nobody was home so we just meandered through the park where we saw a woman sitting on a bench. There´s a picture I´ve seen here on the mission; I don´t know where it comes from, but it shows Jesus Christ sitting on a park bench listening to a guy dressed in modern day attire (like jeans and stuff). I´ve always been impressed by that picture and thought to myself as I saw this lady, "Hey I could re-enact that Jesus in the park picture here in real life." I started talking to her and she mentioned how she never felt good in any of the churches she went to. She continued to say that she felt awful about this because she was impeding (that´s a word in english right?) her husband and family´s salvation because of her indecisiveness about churches, and that all she wanted was to find the church that felt right. Well long story short, she found that church and was baptized into it with her husband friday night.... Short story medium, what she didn´t tell me on the park bench that she later related after her baptism was that she was on that park bench that day doing some heavy soul searching and planning on abandoning her family and turning into a beggar so as to not hinder their salvation anymore. When she saw me and the teenager I was with she was kind of alarmed and got up as if to run away but she said she felt some unseen force hold her back on the bench making it impossible to leave that spot.

I love you all. The church is true. If yallsies could send some American deodorant and the November Ensign I would love that.

beijo tchau
-Elder Matt Gagon

Ps pics of;
Fatima & co
THE pizza
Jordan´s zone leader from SP Interlagos
me on the bus

Michael: October 5, 2011

Dear family!
The end of last week was good and the start of this week has also been good.
I watched 4 and a half sesh´s of Gen Conf. To me it was YA THATS WHAT I´M TALKING ABOUT kind of good. Lucas age 28 and his mother Sandra were baptized. She flipped a woozy and almost stormed out of the chapel right before because her other son Daniel that is still smoking 7 cigs a day wasn´t going to be baptised too, but it all worked out ok.
Also at GC a lady in this stake recognized me from when I was in Floresta last October and said I had gained weight, and others agreed with her. Oh well.
Did everyone else see Mr. Abbot in the Mo´Tab´nac Choir!?!
Today I renewed my visa at the Police Station....also made a heck-of-a tie trade w/someone else. (snort - now I´m sleeping on my shoulder) but for this I´m happy.
MOM the bomb.com on CDrom!!! FROM DOWN-TOWN!! -- Your trip sounded real nice! Mom/Al- Balsamic vinegar on ice cream? Hey who am I to talk, it´s probably better than chugging it pure. haha no, you´re the host with the most. I´ll love you forever and like you for always!
Al- Your girls said extra funny stuff in Septemb! You could send all and any cookies down here but ones with more chocolate would be nice.

Dad- I almost read Mosiah 17 about Abinidi being burned at the stake during the baptism but didnt ha jk.
Matt- Holy smokes how much did that wagon wheel pizza cost, $100? If I buy two more pizzas here I get a free one. Lets hope Im not transfered! Vou me preparar pra a diluvia de cartas.
Nick- What´s the latest on Rachel Rodart???
Hey Nat- Could you do me um favor and look up and then email me the story that´s told of A missionary dreaming about his pre-mortal best friend that was sent to Costa Rica, and shortly after got his mission call to there and sent a letter back home several months later saying ``I found my best friend``. And also the other story that sounds kinda like that one about a guy going to the Phillipines to find his ´´sister´´ and teach her ´´how to come home´´.
* Anyone can send me those stories, and any other good ones you think I´d like.
Elder Gagon - out.
I love you all so much