Elder Matthew Wright Gagon - Brazil Curitiba Mission

Elder Michael David Gagon - Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Michael: May 2, 2012

Dear family, I´m sitting in the mission office- speechless. I can´t hardly think or remember anything that´s gone down the last two years. It seems like Ive been here my whole life and this life has been extremely short. It´s been a blessing. This morning/week I´ve been feelin a little sick to my stomach but now my bags are packed and I´m ready to go, and I´m excited and happy to see yáll! It´s gonna be one long day today but logo logo we´ll rejoice togeth.

Elder Michael Gagon

Monday, April 30, 2012

Matt: April 30, 2012

Dear Family,

This week was good. My companion and....his next companion are gonna have to start over from zero because our entire teaching group entered the waters of baptism with me and Indianara de Fatima Gassner was baptized the way Jesus was; by complete immersion, with the age of accountability, and by someone holding the proper priesthood authority of God (yours truly). It was a good day. Here in Guarapuava winter is coming in full force and I´m kinda glad to be getting out of here when I am because this is said to be the coldest city in Brasil. Today we had a zone activity where we played dodgeball for the first time in mission history (probably) and for our luncheon I made Piña Colada mousse. It was good.

Anywho on to the goods. These past two years have been incredible. I knew I would regret it if I didn´t serve a mission, and two years ago set out like Lehi in the beginning of 1 Nefi ch. 8 following an angel not really knowing what to expect, but hoping for something good. I have been blessed more than I ever deserved in the course of my mission, and have met some incredible people that I hope to never forget. Much like Lehi I have found in these last two years what it truly takes to be happy. I have found that fruit that is desirable above all that is desirable, and have worked my fingers to the bone trying to offer that fruit to any and all that would accept it. I can´t say that I was the most effective, or most spiritual missionary, and I was no "John the Baptist" either, but the other day while thinking about finances and in particular my finances and how my life savings was all used up to fund this journey- I felt this overwhelming sense of peace and joy and I knew that there is no ammount of money in the world that can buy the experiences, the growth, the friendships, and the overall awesomeness that I have gone through over the last 24 months, and I felt that I had done what I had been called to do. I haven´t cried yet. I don´t know if that has more to do with the anxiousness of seeing my beloved family again, or because it hasn´t really hit me yet that I am indeed leaving the mission, but I know that this is the work of God. I am happy to say that I helped in the gathering in the small way that I did, and I hope to continue feeling the incredible satisfaction and happiness that comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ with yallsies here in a few days. I know God lives. I know Jesus Christ is indeed my savior and the savior of all the world. I don´t have any doubts about the truthfullness of The Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith as the prophet who translated it. I know that the only thing that can combat and defeat all of the badness that is world is up to it´s neck in, is the goodness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I´m sure that there are many things I could have done better in the course of my mission, but to say I didn´t do the best that I knew how to do would be a lie.

I´d like to close with some inspired words, the first comes from 2nd Timothy 4 verse 7 which reads. "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith"

The other comes from the song "One Headlight" by The Wallflowers. It goes: I haven´t changed, but I know I aint the same.

I love you all. See yallsies Thursday.


Elder Matthew Wright Gegs Gagon I of Curitiba

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Michael: April 25, 2012

Dear Family.

There have been many wednesdays the past two years that I´ve caused a scene in the Brazilian Lan-houses with some wild hi-ee-na laughs (nossa whoever gets that in the spelling be is a gone-er!) but this week i´m trying not to attract too much attention with my sobs. No, I´ve got it under control but it´s with a heavy heart.

Here´s the 7 day re-cap of the highs and lows down her: We got back from doing our biz last P day and our water had been cut! So we payed the 5 months worth of water bills that I hadnt been told about and were without money, showers, toilet that flushes, and etc for a while. We went to the church to brush our teeth, dump and wash our faces everyday. The situation only got worse Sunday morn when I went to church super late (an hour and a half) cause of the bus confusion and all hot-headed I grabbed my bag of baptismal clothes but left my proselyting bag on the bus, which had my toothbrush, and disposable camera with all my mission pics ha. But when you go to church you are blesses, so then things started to turn around. MacGyver is now Mormon (he´ll be even more mormon when he´s confirmed this Sunday) and when it got to the point where I was about to bathe in the baptismal font (whose heater started working again) our water came back in our house! I think in that mean-time that the water was off worms made home in our drain cause the past 3 days i´ll be showering and look down at a big 10-inch worm crawling sliming around. There was another plague one day we woke up and found 3 already-dead cockroaches in our kitchen, and 20 dead ones outside in our laundry area!

But that´s that... Trunkiness betrayed our friend pact and has been givin me a beating this week, he´s def on his A game and winning some battles but I´ll come out victorious, this week we´ve got at least one baptism, and it´ll be a 2nd one if Nilceia´s husband supports her. She said she was gonna tell him and her daughter about her decision last night which will definately impact her. Please pray for her this very minute!

Like the Ashley family I finished the Book of Mormon again and am so grateful for Our Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ.

Other than that members are extra-awesome to missionaries on their last weeks, and when it´s your companions birthday! I don´t think Im gonna by any food this week cause every day members are sending us home with tupper-wares and bags of goodies.

I forgot to tell how shocked I was 2 weeks ago when I got a call from an unknown number and hear Alison call me Elder Gagon. Then I thought to myself if I speak english my comp is gonna get suspicious and even worse, understand everything I say haha so I sat there like a frozen duck.

Jor, Al, and Dad- All I can say is thanks for your emails, the heartfelt words were felt in my heart. Thank you.

Can- thanks tambem, don´t try eating too fast after surgery like I did!

Nick- imagine inauguration night and then instead of seeing everyone the next day at school having to leave the country ... that´s kinda like the end of your mission.

Nate- I got your letter!

Feelin like a lamb to the slaughter, but calm as a summers morning. Bring a video recorder or two to the airport, along with Duke, and errbodys temple clothes!!

Til we meet,

Elder Michael Gagon

Monday, April 23, 2012

Matt: April 23, 2012

Dearest most marvelous family of mine,

You guys rock. Thanks for the emails. This week went by super fast. Our zone hasn´t been baptizing too much these past couple weeks (since I got here) and we decided to get interviews going in every area to see what fruits it could render. There were two teenage girls who passed and are ready, but their "goleiro" gramma wouldn´t sign the form allowing them to be baptized so it didn´t go through. Then on the other side of town I interviewed a lady that I made a contact with a month and a half ago on a day long division. She and her parents were returning early from a day of potato farming and I offered to help carry a very large and very heavy sack of potatos back to their house for them. Long story short, that lady was baptized yesterday. Then in our area we´ve been having a series of talks with a lady called Indianara who after passing her baptismal interview Saturday afternoon and watching "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" Saturday night, decided not to go to church (or answer her door) Sunday morning and thus was not baptized... Puxa.

Other than that things are grooving along. I think I should be a surgeon becuase I´ve gotten really good at cutting people, expecially weak, moley, non-committal investigators. We had been teaching a slew of moley people and after one super moley guy said he hadn´t gotten an answer if the Book of Mormon is true I decided to read Moroni 10:4 with him. After explaining what a "sincere heart" and "real intent" were I proceded to "destroy him" (in my comps words) because he didn´t have a sincere heart or real intent. Things are just rolling along though, and the Lord doesn´t want weak, moley, non-committal members in His church.

Dad- Para bens for the new house. Should be a partay toda noite there in a week!

Jor- Obrigado pelo testamunho.

Al- No, thank YOU for helping me get to where I am today.

Michael- I have a 3 page letter for you, I´m debating whether or not to send it tomorrow, b/c you´d prob just read it on the plane home.... Yeah I´ll send it sedex and you can rir all the way back to the promised land.

I love you all! The mish is the best. Don´t be afraid to send another last email next week before monday morning, I will surely get it.

Love, Elder Matt Gagon

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Michael: April 18, 2012

Dear family!

How I feel richly blessed by the abundance of emails! Thank you thank you thank you! From the sounds of things I´m not the only one who has stopped fighting trunkiness but made best friends with him! Ha I like to joke, or should I say state the open truth about trunkiness but there is another side to the story you should know... This week had a few ´´lasts´´. Last hair cut, last letter from the CP3 high counselmen (lets hope), a more significant one was the last fast and testimony meeting. I´ve born my testimony every month on the mish- and as I did so for the last time in Braziland, my cup of emotions was overflown and the flood gates were opened and lots of people got their face wet. I said amen and sat down and cried like a 5 year old girl in time-out. I dunno if the Lord is preparing me to return to american cuisine but I´ve not had much appetite and when I think 2 weeks I get a loss for air. I´m super duper excited to behold all your faces... just tryna make a splash before I do (literally). And things are lookin good. After I don´t know how many hours of missionary work Ive done so far -I met 2 guys named McGyver within the 3 hours we work on Pday last week. One of them turned out to be an elect of the Lord and if all goes well he shall be baptised on Sunday! He was living with his ex-spouse (that he was never legally married to) but sleeping in separate rooms....that way they could split the rent but live seperate lives and still both ´´be there´´ for their 2 daughters.. but we had to tell him to hidey-ho out of there if he were to be baptised. He accepted and all but it´s not always so simple to get up and make camp in a new place in a weeks time. The branch is excited for ´´McGyver´` to solve all their problems haha

Teaching McGyver of course got me and my comp talking about the SNL McGruber skits and one time my comp said the closing prayer and asked to bless McGruber hahahaha.

Dad- Congrats on being the hot new couple in Draper and on your new hip pad. My comp has a sister that lives around there. I know what you mean, living situations have also taught me about what´s most important!

Matt- I got your letter! Ya Ill write back. Dude I showed all the elders here in the lan house about your Dan Jones!! parabens! que ousadia!!! thats the way you gotta do it.

Doesn´t granddad have a similar goalie story.... how is pres and sis corbans portuguese.... there is no question mark on this keyboard!!!!!

Jor - A lady in the branch here bore the exact same testimony! it was a way emotional meeting.

mmm carpet.

Nat- Met the prophet, wow! Avery- How could you!
ditto on the food that matt said, plus chips and salsa, and Guals!!!!
things I plan on bringing back - ENTHUSIASM!!!! Zeal for the gospel - a santa size bag full of knowledge and experience, good scripture reading habits, and a love for everyone.... Material things- Ive got some surprises....nothin really though.

Nick- Way to make your trip outdoorsy! way legit. Who is Wren McCormick... what about the day-time ´´dips´´ haha...Did you really sleep on Dixie rock..

Ask the family what they think about my friends being at the airport, if it flies by them its cool with me. If my flight lands 3 hours before matts are we just gonna sit there... If so you could tell my friends to come a little after my flight gets in.

Rhett- haha I-15 still under construction. hey ive always been curious, is the 114th exit done.... I guess it doesnt matter so much now that everyone had migrated south. I dont have any set plans, but I plan on getting my priorities in order the way Elder Scott told RMs to. Im thinkin of headed north to Logan, if Nick says its ok.. but above all I need a job!!! We´ll see what I decide when reality sets in and everyone swades my opinions.

Dude, loved the film idea!!

Erika- haha duke is so good! Ive always loved cheesecake... but cinnamon rolls/ orange rolls also sound good. Then theres Banana cream pie....Oh freak.

Dont worry Molly will be able to brag that she´s been to disneyland when she´s in Kindergarten like I did.

Nate- That bumper sticker is quite inspired!!

I hope I got back to everything and everyone. A whole heap of love!

Elder Michael Gagon

Monday, April 16, 2012

Matt: April 16, 2012

Dear family,

Minha nossa que maravilha see a good 89% of the fam writing in emails this week. Que benção!!! Thanks to all.

So this week was a goody. We had District (which is like a stake, only smaller) Conference and were graced by the presence of both President and Sister Cordon. The spirit of God like a fire was burning. Of course being a Brasilian meeting there were some moments where I was on pins and needles. Like when the Curitiba temple counselor (from my 3rd area) invited a couple... actually ask me about it here in a couple weeks and I´ll tell you, but it was wierd. Then sister Cordon rocked the house right down to the cornerstones with a talk about remembering our purposes, with a story about her 4 year old son playing goalie for his soccer team and weaving himself into the net while all the action was on the other side of the field and getting pummelled when the tables turned and the other team came down looking to score a goal. She is the best. Then President Cordon got up and rocked the aforementioned stones off of their corners with a talk about his scuba diving license and how a certain time they went diving right before the mission, and even though he was certified he was so out of practice that he couldn´t go down deeper and be where his family was. Then he compared that to our temple recommends and said how we need to be "in practice" of going to the temple (grammar check?) so we can be with our families. It was the best.

Also this week something cool happened. When I was in Boqueirão (my 3rd area) me and my BOIEEE Elder Flynn made a bucket list, one of the things we wrote was to do a "Dan Jones" on the bus. Well Saturday afternoon on a rainy day where we chose to take the bus rather than walk, I got up in front of everybody and yelled out, "GOOD AFTERNOON GUARAPUAVA. My name is Elder Gagon and I represent the Savior Jesus Christ in this area" then I gave a shpeal about the Book of Mormon and how it is the best and would help them come closer to Christ. At the end when I went around getting people´s addresses everybody started clapping! It was so nuts! My companion said "Élder, o espírito desceu ali! Minha nossa, para bens, para bens mesmo." It was great... Other than that just trying to get some people baptized before I am no longer commissioned to do so.

Al- good luck getting the flights switched, but I won´t hold my breath. Grattitude is great. I like the talk President Monson gave in the October 2010 conference about this subject.

Nat- Oh yeah! Avery just rejecting the prophet, I´m so sure. Also foods that I´m dying to eat: Ruben sandwich, Panda Express orange chicken, pork salad/burrito from Café Rio, Dr. Pepper, crunchy cheetos, and a host of others that I can´t think of right now.

Nick- Dude mustache city! Sounds like your life is one big party. That´s the way it´s gotta be my man. Hey please tell me you still have your football girdles with the built in hip and tailbone pads. Those are worth their weight in gold for skiing/snowboarding.

Jor- That´s good that Hunter is growing. Even better that you and we are eternally sealed by the priesthood of God to be together forever.

Rhettika- The interiorzão is good, but sometimes I miss the luxuries of the big cities (a bus that passes by more than once an hour). I´m nervous to see all the changes that have happened since May 2010. Someone told me Apple has invented a hologram phone like from Star Wars and I just about croaked! I´m stoked to see Mollie too, and CLARO I remember doing blue darts in the living room and catching my pants on fire and having to put it out Duke style rubbing my bum on the carpet!

Well love you all. Até aqui em pouco,

Elder Matt Gagon

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Michael: April 11, 2012

Dear family!

Reading the emails this week was like eating Wendys chicken nuggets, very pleasing but after the 5th one is gone I got the sense of longing for more. mas tudo bem. This week WAS good until the day before last, a couple in their late 50s had accepted super firm to be baptized, read several chapters in the Book of Mormon and believe it to be true, and when we got to their house to get them for church they had already left and were on their way, had a good time, and the next day without any real explanation the husband said he decided he wasn´t going to continue and his wife went with him.... So this week was the highest of highs, thinking of how special it´d be for me to baptised a married couple and then the greatest of falls do the low of the low parts of lowland. But that´s how the mission is. We´re still at it, yesterday we entered into a small apartment building around 1:30 and didn´t leave until 9:00 at night after teaching up a storm! It was great, several really receptive families in there.

Easter was good- no egg hunts here, the tradish is pretty much just give chocolate to everyone, a big chocolate egg to who´s extra-special to you.

Al- After getting the news and venting to my zone leader about the flights he suggested that I called President ´´the man´´ Parrella and I did and he said he´d resolve it so that Matt and I touch down together. Most likely changing Matt´s flight to meet up with me in Miami cause he thought it silly for him to go all the way to New York. Anyway so you can give another jingle to our mission offices and put some fire under their molasses to get it done... Or if you want you can call/send me a message on my cell 031-84581558 tee hee.

Matt- Pretty sure the area presidency banned all missionaries in all Brasil from soccer.

Jor - Loved hearing about the missionary work you´re doing within your fam! Parent-tot class haha just wait for the day Nick gets the short stick and substitutes your class haha. The first time I ever taught swim lessons I taught that and I think I improvised pretty good. I remember singing ring-around-the-rosies and being the only one singing/ who knew the words..

Dad- I loved your email, thank you for the updates on everyone. Im excited for you and proud of your great progress! I think your fancy signs could make good money down here. Are you gonna get to drive herses?!?

I also imagine myself going to USU, mostly cause I don´t imagine myself going to UVU but I can´t really make a good call down here.

Last but not least I finished Alma and started Helaman today and it´s going real great.

I love you all!

Elder Michael Gagon

Monday, April 9, 2012

Matt: April 9, 2012

Querida família,

This week was good. I don´t remember what exactly was good about it, but I know that things are rolling along. Lots of just running around and trying to make up for lost time. Fighting a lot of negative thoughts. In the white bible it says not to share such thoughts with your family in the weekly email, so this might be a short one this week ha ha. Easter was good we got a basket from the relief society of the branch. Also, when my companion and I went to the store to buy lanches for the 5 hour bus ride to Curitiba, the non-member parents of some mia-maids in the branch went crazy and bought our groceries for the next 2 months and wouldn´t take no for an answer, so things are groovy and well stocked. Today we had a zone activity where we played volleyball and futebol and other reindeer games. It was great.

OH there´s this somewhat homeless guy that we´ve nicknamed "Senhor Abinádi" who walks around using 2 canes/hiking sticks in our area because of a series of bad choices/luck in his life. Yesterday lacking four and a half days worth of contacts I went to go talk to him and he started whipping his aluminum sticks that he was using around and slashing the asphalt as I tried to get nearer, getting ready to cut me up Zorro style or something. It was crazy! Nothing happened, but it´s something different and interesting for yallsies to have a chin wag about.

Jor- ditto on the conselho de Michael. Moving antes de 17 de May would be awesome! Ha ha parent-tot class!!!! "OK now it´s time to hold your baby AWAY from you in the water. That´s it, stretch your arms out as faaarrr as they will go." WOOF! Were the sisters prohibido from playing sports in your mission? Ours can´t play soccer cuz a girl broke her leg 2 years ago.

Al- I think I was in the ward next to that of Michael´s secretary, and I don´t recall eating lunch there. Maybe I did though...sei lá. Was the madness of March in full effect this year? Nossa I just remember calling in "sick" to Solitude to watch the games from 8 am to 8 pm on opening day... good times.

Michael- I got your lette and just about DIED laughing on the onibus back to the boonys of Paraná. Today I drained all 3 granny style shots that I took from beyond the arc; Russell M. Nelson would be proud kkkkkk!!!

Dad- obrigado for the email. Amei

Well that´s pretty much all I´ve got.

te amo demais,

Elder Matt Gagon

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Michael: April 4, 2012

Dear family,

This week started good but monday and yesterday have been awful- ivebeen to the doctors and theyre almost sure Ive got denge fever. Idunno if you´ve heard of that but it´s the worst! My mission presidentgave me a blessing though and with faith i´ll be able to walk/workthis week.General conference was great. I watched the Sunday sessions.The work´s going not so great as far as people going to church orprogressing but I still think its great to be doing the Lord´s work.I´ve been following Elder L Tom Perry´s friend Scott´s example justtelling people they should be mormon cause it´s an excellentreligion!!My companion and I put on Christmas music and opened up our packagesthat we got!Thanks Nate and Natalie, and Nick hahaha loved the camera!Matt I watched the Sunday session on the same banco of your first?Zone/District leader the ex-Elder Oliveira, I recognized him fromwhen I ran into him in the street the week he´d gotten home over ayear ago. He was all lovey dovey with a moçinha sittin by his side,at Indian Hills would´ve gottin a ``No PDA`` reminder from Mrs.McGhee.Kinda bummed and extra trunky now that I got my itinerary. Thanksthough, AL. I guess now I dont have to worry about losing sleep onthe flight or who gets to hug Mom first n for how long..Well fam, last year I started reading a chapter a day from the Book ofMormon, and I finished today! But I wanted to read it again so about amonth ago for my personal study I started back at 1 Nephi and markedmy 2 spots I was reading- now Im in Alma 27 and reading the Book ofMormon quickly has helped me a lot to understand it. I know it´s trueand is the most precious book on earth, Im very grateful for it, andfor Joseph Smith, all he did, and even more for our Saviour JesusChrist of whom it testifies.I hope General Conferance was great for all yáll, sounds like AprilFools day was haha.

Al- Thanks a lot for your insights, I thought Elder Rasbands andElder Nelsons talk really interesting! Elder Nelson told me I shouldthank Heavenly father a LOT more than I do.haha Ya because Pres Monson told us to resolve all family conflictsnow I´ll forgive you for not writing tangible letters. nossa she´s growin up

Dad- Thank you for this and all your emails!Jor - are you sure you don´t wanna move in 3 weeks or so so you can doall the moving before we get home, ya know, so everything can be inthe right place and you can show me your new house, ya know, you coulddo all the moving while Im in Brazil . what do you think? Well

my dear family, pray for me- I´m not only fighting evil thesedays but also trunkeza! and the victory there looks grim!

With all my love

Elder Michael Gagon

PS no denge here, just tryna get in on the April fools as much as Icould. It´s still April right?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Matt: April 2, 2012

Dear family,

Oh my heavens to betsy, sounds like it has been a rip-roaring good time there in Zion. The only April fools joke here in Guarapuava was our investigators that said, "Yeah I´ll go to General conference for sure." none of whom showed up. The entire LAN house was looking at me as I was laughing hyena style as I read about Candace´s April foolery. kkkkkk Oh my gosh I can only hope iit was as funny as that time Rhett poured two tablespoons of Tabasco into the salsa dish we knew mom was about to eat out of ha ha ha. Ummm this week was good though. We found a few people who are at least interested, if not commited to live the gospel. Me and my companion are just trying to baptize as much as possible this month, so should be good.

Ok but how great was general conference?!?!? Minha nossa, the best semi-annual mormon holiday ever. My favorite talks were by Elder M. Russell Ballard, and Elder Donald Halstrom. Wowwee só poder. I also like the talk where the guy said missionaries like getting mail that they can hold in their hands. Kind of a bummer that he didn´t say that one month before my mission ended and 5 days before the very last time I go to Curitiba to get mail for our neck of the woods. (hint hint: if you send me a letter, I will more than likely get it on the way to the airport). But for real it is LIVING the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ that will right all the wrongs of this world and bring true happiness.

Erika- Thanks for the email. I guess the bones in your hands have healed since you broke them shortly after the letter you sent me for Christmas (of 2010) enabling you to write mail. ha ha jk. That´s awesome that you are the champion baker. I had cheesecake in my last area that the irmã (who was also my dentist) burnt it pretty badly and I still wolfed it down as if there were diamonds hidden in the black crust. So I guess you could put cheesecake on the list of things to perfect. You´re not the only one who has cried over not being able to eat late night thai or costco hotdogs though, and it´s not that silly either.

Alison- I liked your email. Our bodies are so precious, and we are better than our surroundings.... I can´t believe you signed a permission slip to send Abby to the moon! wait......maybe not such a bad idea ha ha ha.

Dad- Thanks for the email. Yeah priesthood really laid it down as far as reactivating the menos ativos goes. Mas gostei.

Well I love you all. I know the gospel is true and it brings true happiness. I know my family is the best and each Monday I get so excited to hear from yallsies. As I explained to an elder I live with, "Look, I love the mission, but I LOOOOOVE my family." Fighting trunkeza, but loving every minute of it.

Com muito amor,

Elder Matt Gagon

PS- Today we visited one of the biggest waterfalls in Paraná, if not all of Brasil. Pics to follow.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Michael: March 28, 2012

Dear to my family,

This week was good, the gospel flame continues to burn through the neighborhood. Marcos Vinicios (12) was baptised. Henrique´s mom has accepted to stop drinking coffee, but she is struggling to break the habit, she works at a bakery where there is an abundance of the black bean. Oh hey I also saw a coffee tree this week in Marcos´s yard.

Transfers was the cause of some excitement this week although I will continue to work here in Riacho until the end, with trusty Elder Cox at my side. Man I´d never had a companion for more than 6 weeks and Elder Cox and I are goin for 17, It´s been pretty good, 6 weeks ago I thought things would get crazier the longer we were together but the opposite happened, our work together keeps gettin smoother which is good.

Mom- Welcome back to Zion.

Al- happy birthaday!

Took some great pics there! Do you believe that I can do that gymnastic pose Abbywas in? I´m excited to be co-favorite uncle until Nick goes on his mission which could be more interesting to her.

Can- thanks for the PS hehe. well, thanks for the entire email, twas good. Hope you´re better now, I´m sure you are. So hey are we gonna be dwelling in tents in Moab? Just checkin...

Matt- I just barely got your gatorade joke as I sat here wondering what joke I could make about Mom´s hair ha.

Imagine the luxury ride it would seem to us to take the Solitude bus now.

Jor- West Jordan woop de woop woop! Look for a ex-Sister Rueckert who served in BH, Coach Halbert, and a macaco that played b-ball for west jordan that could slam-a-dunk. Those are all the people I know in west jordan.

Dad- A congratulations from the heart for your recent breakthroughs, I hope you´re feelin great.

Workin with your brothers is a treat alright. What do you think of adopting the brasilian way of siblings each building their own houses on the same lot, one on top, behind, in front, on the side, and under the others?

Well fam, keep your prayers up these last 5 weeks, that more families here will come unto Christ and make covenants with Him.

I love you, I LOVE you, I LOVE YOU!

Elder Michael Gagon

Monday, March 26, 2012

Matt: March 26, 2012

Dear family,

This week was a good one. No baptisms, confirmations, or disappearing acts catching the bus, but a good week nonetheless. Me and my companion are just trying to destroy with numeros, and we´re doing good so far. Tonight is transfer calls and I will know undoubtedly who will "kill me" on the mission. This week we had a service project at a member´s house and not wanting to dirty my soccer shoes, I wore the crocs that the ghost of missionary past left in the house who knows how long ago. Not wanting to look like a bafoon (as if that was somehow avoidable in bright yellow crocs) I opted not to wear socks and just wash my feet afterwards. Well all was going fine and dandy until I was carrying a wheelburrow full of weeds to the designated dumping point and I felt a hot, itchy, burning sensation on my left foot. I looked down only to find I had stepped in some hidden ant hill and my foot was now covered in dozens and dozens of little bitty ants making a feast out of my foot! I brushed them off but the damage was done, and my foot still itches a little 2 days later.

Other than that the work is going good. We´re working hard and got a bunch of new people to teach, so that´s good. Plus we finally got a few people to go to church that previously were not going. Ótimo. But mostly this week I´m getting stoked and pumped and tweaked and psyched and amped and excited for the 182nd annual general conference!!!! Monson, Eyring, Uchtdorf, Holland, Ballard, Christofferson, Oaks, all in one place one weekend only. As put by Jordan some 5 years ago, "It´s like the superbowl, but for missionarys." I love it. I hope all of you can catch all 4 (or 5) sessions, something that never made sense to me til I got here on the mission and realized how good the Saturday sessions are.

Mom- Is it in you? kkkkk

Michael- Best bus catching story ever. Way better than the days at 6:39 AM pounding on the side of the UTA with skis, poles, backpack, and coat to let me in so I could go up to work in time for biscuits and gravy breakfast.

Dad- Thanks for the email, I loved it. Glad to hear that all your stuff got cleared up and that Billy Ray and Krissy Lou are back together like ramalamamagadingitydingdabop.

Nat & Nate- March sounds like quite the party month, but I have a feeling May is gonna blow the doors right off the hinges.

Al- 33? Yikes. Sounds like Abby is going to be the next batizadora here in Brasil. That´s awesome to hear.

Devin- Tell Jason Jolley a cruise sounds cool and that I am also equally excited to see him here in a few weeks. Money will be tight, but nothing that a popsicle stand can´t resolve.

até mais, te amo-

Elder Gagon

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Michael: March 21, 2012

Dear family

This week was good! Our worldwide church family grew down here, we´ve got a new brother Henrique! He´s an awesome kid, 15 years old. To me he seems to be the ring leader of a group of friends 3 of which are members including him, and more will follow, especially hopefully his mom and brother after all it´s all about familys.

We were waiting at the bus stop to go home one night and when it came it blew right past us. Luckily it stopped for a minute at the next intersection so we ran after it and right as we caught up to it, it started to go and left us banging on the side of the bus to stop it. Well a kind citizen sitting in his parked car at the corner asked ´´do you want a ride to the next stop up ahead?´´ and we said ´´SIM!´´ and so we got in and he sped to the other end of the neighborhood where there was another stop about 1/4 mile away. We got out of the car, and about 10 seconds later the mischevious, dumb-founded bus driver turned the corner. We got on the bus and sat in the back without saying anything and I could hear the bus-driver talking to the money-taker ´´they disappeared´´, ´´not even a taxi could´ve...´´, and the whole ride they kept lookin back at us and I just stared at them and smiled haha.

Al- Thanks for the force! Have Jor give a ring to my mission office and tell Elder Monteiro to get me on the same flight from Sao Paulo to NY!

Nick- Your email rocked, and rolled, all day long. Prepare yourself for my answer in letter form! Pics look good! You look like the coolest kid in town, and I believe you are. (Matt and I arent there) No doubt the best Mens Chairmen to top them all. You

better graduate before they ban fun from highschool.

Jor- thanks

Matt- Lookin good with your pochete and the palavra na mao!

Well thats about enough!

I love you guys!

Elder Michael Gagon

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Matt: March 20, 2012

Dear Family,

This week was quite the battle. My companion and I are working hard and doing good, and Edite the old evangelical lady was baptized and confirmed this sunday. WAHHOOOO!!! Other than that we just have a lot of people who are very non-committal and it´s kind of annoying to try and get them to accept salvation. So we´re just trying new things and working harder than normal so that we can be good examples and keep rocking and a rollin and rockin and a rollin.

Nick- Loved the email and pics of SOLITUDE!!! Things I´ve done on that list: 6-crawdads 10 24 41-I actually just pushed the tree over, hatchets are for sissys 45 48- minus the glow sticks 52 62 82 the other night in front of my companion who almost died laughing 93 101 and 108. Yeah it´s ridiculous the way this world is going. "I think the one tranny that might go to Alta High School should have their own bathroom, and their own SBO office" woof. Other than that it´s just hot during the day and cold at night. Trying to keep my eyes fixed on the glory of God.

Can- thanks for taking care of me. Do you know if cuz-cuz is easily available in Utah? Like it´s just ground up corn, which Utah has a lot of. Could you get back to me on that one? If so I´m going to buy a cuzcuzeira.

Dev- WHOA! I thought you forgot how to send emails there for a couple months! Aren´t mission presidents the best? I love President Cordon probably more than some family members ha ha jk, but seriously.

Al- You win the prize for trunkiest sister in the world. Minha nossa, good to get my plane itinerary from you instead of the mission like the rest of the elders.

Ok the internet store shut off the computer so I guess my time is up. Sorry this is so short and just...amature, next week will be bettter.

com muito amor,

Elder Gagon

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Michael: March 14, 2012

My dear family,
What a week this one was. It went by ever so fast.
Marlon, 13 year old buddy of a member family was baptised! Exciting!
His little sister is wanting to follow his example. which is really
good she´s not wanting to follow her 15 year old sister´s example and
get pregnant. Two brothers 12 and 15 years old from a different family
but in the same group of friends are also embracing the gospel. With
faith them and their mom and little bro with all 4 be baptised logo
I finished the New Testamant this week and just wanna say how grateful
I am for the scriptures and we should never get tired of reading them
because there is so much to learn each time around.

Dev- I little bird back in UT said that Frogurt now only has a place
in history? Tell me its not true.

Matt- I got your package! haha SO awesome! I got it yesterday but
didn´t open it until this morning and I dreamed about it! It was much
better than the jump rope you gave me in my dream. I can barely take
my eyes off myself in this pic of lake powe, and the pic on the
reverse side is equally great. I already read all the messages of each
day. Parabens on the craftiness I think you might get a rizada out of
my planners.
Ya I dunked a TJ alright! a TJ afastado but a TJ nonetheless.
Also, my email from 2 weeks ago got rejected by your account? I can
try to re-send it.

Nat- It´s your birthday! It´s your birthday! Another year older.. lala lala la!
Man It blows my mind to think that Avery is probably as big as the 1
year old brazilians I see now and then.

Nick- Good to hear from you even just a little. Your email ended at
the sentance you started ´´ Caffeine......``
I got some advice, Don´t wait! Send what you got, then send another
letter later! Or just email cause they get here at the speed of light
and I´ll almost always read it the next Wednesday.

Dad- Great to hear your news! I hope to be able to return the favor
you did providing for my mission. You didn´t go to the Brazilian
dentist that signed my mission papers did you? I never told him where
I was called to like I said I would.

Al- Livin la vida loca, livin it up! How cool the US has got enough
Brazilian restaurants to go to occaisionally. That italian food! Oh
mama mia!
Here´s the phone number for my mission office. (31) 3335 7770. When
you are informed and if you could give me a clue, I would like!

I love you family!
Elder Michael Gagon

Monday, March 12, 2012

Matt: March 12, 2012

Dear family,

This week was a goody down here in the dirty dirty. That Edite lady, who prays out loud when you pray out loud, got sick Friday night and everyone except for me thought it would be best to wait and baptize her next Sunday. Other than that it has been a very run of the mill semana down here. Destroying with key indicators, calling repentance to drunkards, and kickin trash with my jump rope from 6:40-7:00 am. This week I would like to address the family and blog readers and Oldies 94.1 listeners about heeding the words of the prophets. Especially modern prophets who counsel us not to date until we are 16 or go on dates with people until they are 16. There is much wisdom in this counsel. If you are an elder you should never under ANY circumstance be dating a beehive. There is nothing but badness that can come from this. I am so greatful that we live in a time and age with living modern prophets. I am especially grateful for the Liahona. It is the best. So many talks about any and all topics to help us out with all facets of our lives.

OOOH something exciting that happened this past week was we had zone conference! It was superb. President and Sister Cordon came clear out to our neck of the woods to light a spiritual fire under our behinds and bless us with their presence. It was fantastic. For lunch we had SLOPPY JOES! Ramen noodle salad! and coconut cream pie!!! It was out of this world. I think it may have been one of the best zone conferences to date on the mish. Sister Cordon had us watch a good portion of the movie 17 Miracles and it rocked. I am very grateful for our pioneer heritage and everything they sacrificed so that I could be where I am today. If you haven´t seen it I encourage yallsies to go on and git now ya hear?!?!! Maybe watch that movie on the 24th of July could be a cool new tradition. Anywho after zone conf we met up with Presidente os assistentes and Sister and they praised us a bunch for the marvelous conf that we had. Só GH pra mim. Foi ótimo.

Michael- You baptized a TJ?!?! Que milagrezão!!!! Did you get that package yet?

Dad- Loved your email. Woof to dentist trips! That´s an excellent goal that you have. Senior missionaries make a world of difference.

Nick- You might want to just send an email....just saying.

Jor- St. George sounds nice. I love convert stories assim daquele homem. Tell Jason I miss him as well and that the only reason I don´t email him back is because it´s a mission rule.

and finally






goooOOOOO COUGARS!!!! ha ha ha Natalie happy birthday TODAY! And minha nossa I can´t even believe that for an entire year I have never even met the first-begotten Utah niece. Big hugs and kisses for you both.

well that´s about it.


-elder gagon

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Michael: March 7, 2012

uhhh hey guys!

By the email subjects looks like I wasnt the only one who heard some Grease tunes bumpin in the local bars.

This week was supercalifradilistic.

Here´s a quick cap of the happy happs.

I finished reading Jesus the Christ mais ou menos 2 1/2 hours ago. uau!

My suspicions were finally confirmed, my mission president has a first and second counselor. One of them came to interview Ruver to be baptized Saturday night. There was a baptism in the ward who shares the building with us Saturday night and I accidentally left the water heater on from her baptismal service until Sunday morning for Ruvers baptism. So on the Sabbath afternoon Ruvers sins were washed, boiled, cooked, burned and spiritually cleansed! Hip hip hooray!

The work is going, we´re tipping on the edge of great success and rock bottom working with some teenage kids that have friends in the church but whose parents are i guess who could say ignorant.

I feel the spirit really strong doing this work. We taught a guy named Moses on the steps of an abandoned catholic church, he was weeding the lot and turns out he´s homeless but him and a colleague of his came to church with us. We were also able to go into the shelter he´s staying at and teach. We only went one day cause no one there really is sure where they´re gonna be in the following weeks and so baptising them and not be able to keep track of them is not a good idea....but I know a good seed was planted in fertile soil with Moses, just gotta hack at the thorns and addictions to everything you can think of.

The rest that happened this week is gonna be a surprise for me to tell you about l8r.

Jor- St. George just went up in my book. I like the temple there. I like it a lot.

Dad- Let me know what help I can give when I get home. Its great to get your emails no matter the matter.

Mom, Al, Nat, Can, Nick- Somethin weird happened I didnt get your emails this week?

With much faith, hope, love, and eyes fixed on the glory of God,

Elder Michael Gagon

Monday, March 5, 2012

Matt: March 5, 2012

Dear Family,

This week was a good one. Luana the one week eleita was confirmed and that was great. The excitement of the week was elder Joás and I went to Curitiba for a meeting. It was super spiritual and just awesome to participate there. However it´s a 4 1/2 hour bus trip each way, meaning participating in this grand conselho cuts out two days of work for us. However we came back with our hair on fire (not literally mom, cool your jets) and were able to meet a lot of the mission standards and personal goals. Also as we were burning the midnight oil sunday night trying to find new investigators, we visited a contact that my companion made and turns out they are super elects, and want to get to know the church before they get baptized on the 18th of March. So that was a huge blessing. I think the most gratifying thing that happened this week for me was Saturday for lunch we ate at an inactive member´s house with his non-member wife and kids. It was a pretty nice meal, and as the missionary custom goes we left a message to thank them. I read a little bit about the tree of life, and how the fruit of that tree is the most desirable thing ever, but even after eating the fruit some people were embarassed and even though they knew of the goodness they abandoned the tree and the iron rod because of jeering taunts and b/c it wasn´t the popular thing to do. I explained how that fruit is the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it is the only thing that´ll bring true happiness. Anyway good lesson, good lunch, tchau. However Sunday morning as I made my way into the sacrament hall (that´s a thing right?) the whole fam-damily from the prior day´s lunch was their all sitting in their sunday best. It was super special for me, because in roughly two years of teaching less active members, only a handful had ever gone to church.

Other than that things are just rolling along. Preparing a few people to be baptized, incluing an old lady called Edite who is one of those believers who likes to pray outLOUD even when it´s not her turn to pray... Like you´ll be starting to pray and she´ll just chime in yelling "OH LORD GOD ALMIGHTY AND POWERFUL! BLESS MY GRANDSON "WHITEY" THAT HE CAN GET A NEW JOB HHHHHHAAAAAAAA GOD IN HEAVEN PLEASE BLESS....." and it makes things especially difficult to pray. We´re working on it though, along with her coffee. But other than that it´s just hot as an oven in Hell and today for Pday/ my companions birthday we played soccer and ate at subway. Good stuff.

Jor- Getting your emails sim. I think it´s been a little while since you wrote, but when you do I get them. That´s good to hear 30 Rock is going strong and that Liz Lemon is still funny. ai ai trunkeza do mal! kkkk

Dad- I agree siblings are the best.

Muchas gracias,

Elder Gagon

PS- I just found out that my mission has a blog!!! It´s curitibamission.blogspot. I´m going there right now to check it out, and you should too!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Michael: February 29, 2012

Dear family!

Thanks for the all the emails, although thick on the trunkiness were great!

I´m light as a feather and happy like a bird this morning for some reason. Probably due to investigators in church, a sweet baptism comin up sunday, and others in the near future coming to surface. Also I got letters from Nate and Matt. Hallelujiahs.

Our investigator we´ve been teaching is named Ruver, he´s 23. We teach him in the church cause his fam isnt friendly towards gringos with white shirts and ties but he´s as elect as they come. In our first visit we asked him what he was hoping to get out of our lesson and he said ``I wanna get baptized and go on a mission!´´ And so we´ve been preparing him for the both.

Aside from him we´ve got a few 15 year old guys that are willing to live the gospel so we´re working with them and their families. I´m dreaming of the day(s) that Rafael, Ruver, Gerson, and the other guys in this area all return from the mission experience I´m having right now, the best of all the rest.

Speaking of dreams I woke up this morning in the middle of my dream where Dad & I were planning my summer birthday party, and I asked him if instead of doing anything special we could just invite everyone in the ward to a bon fire in the Fuesell´s lawn and roast hot dogs.

Good news: I think T Swift is makin her way down to Brazil, I heard her blessed voice for the 2nd and 3rd time on my mission as I passed by a bar and one day our neighbor was playin her radio a little loud.

Matt- I got your letter and I´m ficando doidinho to get my Bday pres seja que for.

Cuz cuseira? que isso sô. Parabens on the baptism!

Can- Ya sometimes I don´t see my toothbrush before I´m out like a trout. Parabens sure does mean congratchalaishons, Muito bem, Im foreseeing some portuguese making its way into our fam´s terminology. oh and thank you!

thats pretty sweet about your car. I remember Mom turned to me while she was driving me to a cello lesson or something and asked If I thought she should wreck the car and collect insurance haha.

So I´m gonna be there for your graduation!? que legal!

Jor - No way to be sure if I DIDN`T get an email of yours or not, your last 2 were dated Feb 8th and Feb 1st.

That´s cool Cam Wheat got back from Terezinha! Where did this Brasileira come from? From all the gente that say they´ve got a relative in the states (99% in boston) it shouldn´t be too hard to get you a brazilian cunhada. I hear there are a couple portuguese branches in Utah. How´s your porchageez? Oh and don´t let your house hunt overcome you.

Dad- Impressive how miraculous the church meetings can be every week if our heart is right. Your rendezvous with Uncle Scott sounds great, I hope some good plans are carried through.

Thats awesome that Ian is a bishop!

Rhett- I think it´d be best to head to Moab right after our getting released and following temple session. Nice time for fam and reflection before anythin else

Loves and

Monday, February 27, 2012

Matt: February 27, 2012

Dearest família de poder,

Wassup? So not a ton of news going on here in the dirty dirty. Yesterday was a great day because Luana the 13 year old eleita entered in the aguas do batismo and got dunked! It was cool, because the elders in the neighboring branch (yeah still wierd to me that branches exhist and not everywhere is a 4 block by 3 1/2 block WARD) baptized a couple that is going to move into our area here in a few weeks so we decided to have a triple baptism in the state of the art chapel we attend here in Bonsucesso. It was probably one of the most spiritual baptismal meetings I´ve ever attended. It was one of those things where you just knew this gospel is true and the things happening in the moment are of God. So beyond that we´re just kinda working. My comp elder Joás is a ball of excitement and animo from the northeast so he keeps me going in the days where I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. In the city where I am there´s a big park where the kiddies go to play and along side of it is a bmx track with some HUGE jumps! I just want to grab my old blue 415 or at least the beater huffy I rode in Tennessee and hit the dirt! In an unrelated story I just put the last 2 1/2 year of my life in pictures onto a pin drive so now things should be groovy. OTher than that just working hard and getting excited for next p day ha ha ha.

Dad- You are the best. Thanks for the email. I live with an Elder Barnes 2.0 and he asked me about the body types in my family, including my uncles and so I was thinking about Uncle Scott recently and wondering why we´re all average size and he´s so BIG.

Rhett- Yeah I´m totally down for some rewinding time down in Moab. I don´t know what any kind of time frame will be like, so just follow your heart, seek guidance, read James 1:5, and then do what you feel is best.

Michael- cuz cuz is super easy is you have a cuz cuzeira. If not you have to like tie a towel to the lid of a pan and then boil the water underneath it. Plus I´m in the finishing stages of your b-day present.

Much love,

Elder Matt Gagon

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Michael: February 22, 2012

Dear family,

Ah- the plentiful email inbox is now empty again- thanks for all the written love!

I had a great birthday! I reached drinking age just in time for Brazils biggest party of the year, Carnaval!!!! But I rejoice that I am far from that mess and head deep in Preaching the Lords gospel, not easy but always jubilous.

Adriana lost the faith whereas Rafael was BAPTISED (by yours truly) into the true church. By his baptism I was able to realize 3 goals of mine, 1- Baptise 2 people with the same name, him and Rafael back in Paraiso. (a lame goal but a goal nonetheless) 2- Baptise a Jehovah´s Witness! and 3- Baptise someone who potentially can serve a full time mission a year from now!!!! He says he´d like to. He´s 21.

His Aunt, Veronica looks like quite a bit like Mom- hair stlye, hair eye and skin color, size and shape....And since I told Veronica that she´s started treating me like a son- for my birthday she gave me a really old book of hers that is super cool, its the New Testemant and on each page one column of the verses are in Portuguese and the other column is English! her daughter bought me a new tie, my mission President and his wife gave me a card, 2 balloons and a sparkler so you could say it was a good day.

I´ve taught and created a friendship with this guy who said he didn´t believe in God anymore but he showed up to church which gave me a good feeling. It was different from the usual teaching people what theyve already got at their church isn´t everything.

Ma-Your email rocked the entire Brasilian southeast region.I´ve had a nasty cold this week too.
How cool the Douglas´s are gonna serve in Peru! and what about Buggy?

Dad- Your email rocked just as hard. If Dave is still there give him a holler, is his baby girl the cutest?
I liked what those señoras had to say in church, old people really do have a great perspective on things, and are real nice examples, Pres Hinckley´s last few talks really showed that (thanks Nate for the CDs you burned me)

Can- I didn´t get a email from you but it appears that Matt did, not sure what funky business is going on there but I hear you´re rollin in a BMW. chic.

And Im excited to try this sandwhich from Dad´s birthplace I hear redeems the awful falafal.

Nat-My mission President said he did my ecclesiastical report 4 days ago. I´m thinkin about studying international business. If Nick and Kumi are in Logan you can count me there.

Matt-pega a receita of the cus cus.

I heard cartas sociais are only gonna be for people on welfare a partir de Março! is that why your letter was 70ç? yikes bikes.

PS you´re the face.

Nick- Parabens getting into BYU! Where do you do mish prep?

Well fam, thats all for now.

Until next Wednesday,

I love you!

Elder Michael Gagon

Monday, February 20, 2012

Matt: February 20, 2012

Dear Family,

This week was a goody. I got transfered out of São Lourenço and seperated from the greatest missionary Curitiba has ever seen the one and only Elder Bons, and am now serving in Guarapuava. For all those checking the blog and listening in on Oldies 94.1 that have been here before know that this is a little city in the boonies of the state of Paraná. It´s total hick country for the most part, but definitely a welcome change from the Curitiba do mau. For example, stores here stay open til 9:30 or later here, whereas in Curitiba they start closing at 8ish because of crime. I would compare this place to Logan Utah mixed with Fillmore. Things are going good though. After a five hour bus ride last wednesday morning we got here and my new companion Elder Joás from Rio Grande do Norte was here waiting to get me. I´m excited to be here because this area is the new area that President Cordon wants to grow and establish a stake and a wards here. So basically he puts difference makers out here, and for some odd reason he wants me to be the chief of this tribe. So basically things are going good. Last night we were closing out our contacts and at roughly 9:10 we came across a less active lady who´s daughter isn´t a member, and until yesterday never wanted to be baptized. But when we saw them last night they said this week was the week, so pray that Luana can enter the waters of batismo this weekend. What else? This city where I´m at means "ferocious wolf" in the ancient indigenous language here. My current companion was roomates with my mission son in the MTC, and he makes me cus-cus with eggs every morning that I wake up. It is masterful.

Erika- Happy Birthday! You are the best sister in law I´ve ever had!!! para bens.

Michael- still working on your present. Carnaval really threw a monkey in my wrench, but it´ll get there antes da fim da transferencia.

Randace- Agreed. Dave and Hil rock. The areas I´ve passed in are Almirante (all-mir-ronch) Tamandaré, Pinhais (peen yice), Boqueirão, São Lourenço, Guarapuava, and Murfreesboro, Tennessee. (holy moley that seems like a long time ago) Also I have some big plans to use my credit card a little bit, seeing as this is probably my last area, and if you could make sure that Wells Fargo doesn´t cancel it, I would greatly appreciate it.

Ma- youre the bestest of the westest.

Pa- you´re the bomb dot com

love you all,

Elder Matt Gagon

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Michael: February 15, 2012

Hey family

Today we had transfers and I´m training AGAIN! Just kidding, although in a way I still am cause of the ´´12 week training program´´ that is used now. For the first time my comp nor I are going no where. We´re stickin juntos and going at it another 6 weeks here in Riacho, Contagem.

I was really worried that I might leave this area. President usually calls Monday during the day if and only if you or your companion is being transfered. So I had butterflies all the day long expecting a call either for me or my comp but it never came.

The work here has been lookin up- Rafael didn´t come to church but has well made up his mind to be baptised this sunday!

We´ve also got Adriana, a 19 year old single mom w/a 2 year old girl with a baptismal date for sunday, the trick is that she´s started working and night school and we weren´t able to get a hold of her yesterday after she missed our appointment....

I just ask for your prayers for me, my comp, and our investigators. Muito thank you.

Rhett- Erika- and Nate- f´ank you for the happy birthday wishes.

Nat- Utah State sounds exciting at first but 4 years in Logan to me sounds like the death sentance, I guess it´s normal to transfer after a while..

Jor- How´s Hunt´s exema agora? All the cool kids and great missionaries get it at some point. I don´t know if yáll rememb me telling about my toes being really itchy but every day or two I still itch em till they almost bleed, literally- but I think it´s more a question of self control than a medical issue.

I hear down here to visit someone in jail you have to pass through security naked

Matt- Nossa tanta gente na igreja para batizar! Lookin real good, maybe even better than Elder Melo. Your comp or ex comp also looks like a guerreiro.

I love you all very much.

Elder Michael Gagon

Monday, February 13, 2012

Matt: February 13, 2012

Dear Família,

Minha nossa P day is like Christmas that comes every week! This P day could be my last alongside the incomparable Elder Bons. We got the transfer call for the people who will train next transfer and contrary to popular belief I will not be one of them who beget more posterity. Basically not a lot has happened this week. Yesterday however was a day of miracles. Evandro, the newest priest/member in the ward, brought his whole fam damily to church. It was great. The kids love it there, it´s just the wife who´s been looking for answers in all the wrong places that we need to work a little more with. But THEN in the middle of Elders quorom my beloved companheiro got a call from one of our investigators saying that she wanted to go to church, so we went and picked up her and her 2 kids. It was fabulous. PLUS we had a less active kid come to church with his mom. Só milagres! Now we´re just working on getting this homosapiens on keeping some other commitments and becoming converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Mom- Happy Birthday. You are the best mom I´ve EVER had! I´ll do the K Train dance today in my apartment in your honor.

Al- Yikes! Abby! Que coisa. I send kisses from Brasil to kiss it better. That´s what my mom always did to help me when I got hurt.

Jor- That´s good that Caçador Tiago is happy and healthy. Sad to hear about John. I didn´t realize how bad drugs can truly be till I got to the mish.

Michael- Sent you a carta. 70 centavos ´TA DOIDO!?!?! Plus I have an awesome Birthday present headed your way.

Well I love you all.

Hugs & Kisses

-Elder Matt Gagon

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Michael: February 8, 2012

Dear family,

Congratulations to you, on this dear date, many happinesses, many years of life!

Congratulations to you, on this dear date, many happinesses, many years of life!

That´s my translation for the birthday song down here in Berzil.

Monday we had the quarterly Zone Conference and they sang to me and all the other missionaries who have birthdays from Feb-April, but that one was for you Ma! Lookin linda!

Hey so did the ground hog say you guys will finally have a winter or did you get jypped this year?

My heart is rejoicing in the work of the Lord. Its great to be in the fast-track gospel learning and conversion program AKA full-time missions, It seems impossible learning as much as I am- it makes me wonder what kind of pea-brain troll I was before the mission.

Things are lookin up a this week the weather is showing signs of baptism and I think it´s comin to Rafael, a cousin of the last family that was baptised in this branch! Pray and pray and pray some more for all of us.

Also, If any of you haven´t read the book Jesus The Christ, I recommend it!

I thought it was so funny the scrip that says ´´can any good thing come out of Nazareth?´´ when I guy heard about Jesus.

But I know this is His work, His church, and you´re right Dad it is a miracle.

I found out that an Elder that used to be in my district was serving in California before he got his visa and his mission president was PRSIDENTE BECERRA. Soo that was real neat.

Al- If I don´t extend I believe we´d land May 3rd.....Thursday, morning, or afternoonish...?

Nat- Nossa mae- Avery walkin, and having 4 teeth all at once! haha

Matt- Que bençao to baptise the head of a household! Parabens voce merece.

ex-Elder Tay Brown wrote me and said ´´the secret is to love your investigators, but real love, not fake love like Elder Gaertner haha.´´ also ex-AP Elder Cavalheiro was made just a Zone Leader and his ex-comp is a solo AP (with a diff LZ comp). And later I think E. Cavalheiro turned district leader....quite the GH queda.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Matt: February 6, 2012

Dearest family of mine,

Como que 'tá? Family it is getting hot in Curitiba. I am smoldering here in the dirty south, but luckily for me yesterday I got to cool off in the AGUAS DO BATISMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh mercy! After a long long long time of fighting tooth and nail to do something good here in São Lourenço, Evandro Jean Lopes had his sins remitted as he was baptized AND confirmed (so as to not repeat what happened last time) and was even ordained a priest after sacrament meeting. Family, friends, Oldies 94.1, this guy is the best! His wife somehow got "unready" to be baptized throughout the week, but my boy Evandro took a leap of faith and followed Christ´s example instead of Satan´s lies. It was great. Our practice was super fast and he hit his head on the wall a little bit when I dunked him, but at least he didn´t need to be dunked twice. Surely his wife will follow suit and be baptized on the 26th, and logo logo their 8 year old daughter.

Today we had a zone activity where the sisters were in charge. It was great. We played ultimate frisbee and baked frozen pizzas. However they decided to buy the cheapest juice packets at the market and made a couple gallons juice that would be like making a Kool-Aid without adding any sugar.... Yeah it was like drinking bitter litmus paper (that´s a thing right? Ya know from science class). But being the congenial chivalrous elders that we are we decided it would be best just to not say anything. Well one elder didn´t get the memo and after a good hour of fast paced frisbee in what has to be 190 degrees came in took a swig and started gagging/ choking on the unsweetened suco. Ha ha ha it was way funny.

Other than that we´re just doing the shake and trying to find who will be next. My companion is the best missionary in the world, so even though we´re not having a ton of success it´s awesome to work with the modern day Amuleque.

Michael- Irmão yer boy Elder Gaertner came to my church this weekend, and he and my comp used to be in the same ward where he lives. Ele é GH do mau kkkkk!

Can- SUCK! I doubt that there´ll be enough time for you to receive and then send me a new debit card which I prob might need, unless you can get me my pin number to take out cash using my credit card. Everytime I try it says I have the wrong pin.

Jor- The temple rocks né?

Dad- Loved the email. Can´t believe the giants beat the patriots again! Que coisa!!!!

Mucho amor,

Elder Gagon

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Michael: February 1, 2012

Dear fam.

Thank you for the abundance of emails.

I was dreaming that I was teaching the Great Apostasy to a lady when I woke up this morning for you guys to have an idea of what Ì´m up to. but not much to report as far as success goes...

Last Thursday I had my quarterly 10 minute interview with President Parrela and this time it was a little different. He asked me about how I´d changed and how these changes would effect me the rest of my life and then asked about you guys especially you mom and dad and then he paused for a minute and ended the interview and said lets pray for your dad to get a job. And we did. And I believe in miracles.

Matt - I realy was just wondering why you didn´t email last monday but two emails from you this week was bom demais. 2 apostles in Curitiba nossa tell me more tell me more. How cool Elder Ballard went there cause pretty sure out of the quorum of the twelve he´s like the chief of missionaries or something....

Al - good to hear from you again!!!!!

Mom- cars with gills and attacking rooms? crikey! It sounds like your 3 week experience was marvelous. I´m excited to never have to buy anything when I have babies and just be rained on by hand-me-downs hopefully until they´re all adults.

Jor- K bencao you went to the temple! I often sit and wonder how fortunate we were to live in this time, in the place we live, and with the knowledge we grew up with.

Yesterday we ´´taught´´ a fifteen year old girl - it was more like beating a dead horse - that has gone to church for the past four years and hasnt been baptised because she says her parents make her go to church, sem, mutual and everything and just was dumbfounded wondereing porque she cannot see what we see in the gospel...

Love you all,

Elder MichaelGagon

Monday, January 30, 2012

Matt: January 30, 2012

Dearest Family,

This week was one that I don´t think I will soon forget. Friday we had the opportunity to have 2 apostles come talk to us. Neil L. Anderson spoke in Portuguese which was cool. He also speaks French, Spanish, and English, so it came out kinda wierd at times, but it was incredible that he maintains the language as well as he does. Then M. Russell Ballard rocked the house right down to the ground with the help of a translator. It was amazing. They talked about how to better the work, and how this time in our life is so important and to cherish it and not take it for granted and all that stuff. It was sweet. Also this week we did the baptismal interviews of Evandro and Vanessa, the super awesome couple that we´ve been teaching for months now. Evandro had to work Saturday night, so Sunday morning we went there to do his interview, which he passed, and everything was set for a Sunday night baptism. Well 4 o´clock church rolled around and they hadn´t shown up yet. "Oh it´s Brasil" I thought, "Everybody´s late to everything here." Then 4:30 rolled around and they still weren´t there, so my comp and the WML went to go look for them. They weren´t at their house and at 5 oclock they still hadn´t shown up. Well to make a long drawn out sob story short, with a baptismal font full of water, back pack full of baptizing gear, and an entire ward anxiously waiting for the next members of the ward to come and get wet, Evandro and Vanessa ended up not being able to make it. I´ve thought a lot about what I could´ve done, where I went wrong, but I just keep coming back to the same few thoughts... The first comes from Isaiah 1 (I think) where it says, "for my thoughts are not your thoughts and as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways, sayeth the Lord." or something like that. And also the talk from Elder Christofferson where citing Hugh B. Brown he said, "Look I am the gardener here, I know what I want you to be, and someday you will look back and say Thank you Mr. Gardener for loving me enough to cut me down."

Dad- The J-dubs were as pesky in the post Mayan Guatamalan era when you were there as they are here in 21st century Brasil? Yeah everybody wants to baptize a pastor and his entire church, but you said it well when you said it´s all just personal vanity. It would be nice though. Congrats on the new job.

Mom- Thanks for the e mail, love you more.

Al- You had an entire room dedicated dedicated to collecting junk? Yesterday at church the Irmã who fixed my teeth rocked the house with a talk about time and prioritizing it and stuff. Maybe someday I´ll elaborate on that thought.

Devin- can you get in contact with Jason Jolley saying that I will NOT email him, but I will give some consideration to summer sales, but as for right now I don´t really want to.

Love you all,

Elder Matt Gagon

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Matt: January 25, 2012

Dear Family,

I´m writing you on wednesday instead of Monday because my saint of a companion Elder Bons hasn´t been to the temple for 10 months, and we got permish to go this morning. So that was good. Also on Friday here in Curitiba we are going to have a meeting with Elder M. Russell Ballard and Neil L. Anderson!!! I am super stoked. I think they´re gonna lay down the law and just take us to the promised land. Either way I´m excited.

This week was good. We had an old lady and her grand-daughter visit church this week. We went to visit our star investigators afterwards to see if they had already returned from the beach, only to find out they played hookie and didn´t even go to the beach and sluffed church!!!! Que raiva! But the following day (monday) we went there and after getting to the bottom of the iceberg, Vanessa decided she´s had too many proofs that the church is true and marked her own baptism for Sunday afternoon. WOOO HOOOO!!!!! And this way they´ll already be in church to be confirmed at 6 o´clock sacrament meeting. I´m so stoked. This past little while has been tough like buffalo jerky, but seeing a family change their lives and accept the true gospel of Jesus Christ just makes up for all the rant ronts that want to tell you how you´re wrong or wasting your time, or things like that. So needless to say, things are going groovy. We´re turning things around in these parts of town and trying to help our zone be better. The mish is not easy, but boy is it awesome.

Dad- Loved the email. Thank you. Not sure who Jerry Sandusky is, but that´s sad to hear about Joe Pa. Yeah if everybody stopped being a "statistical member" and just stayed active and magnified their calling this world would be rockin and rollin with the spirit. That´s good that that sister got her act together and is serving a mish in a TRIPANIONSHIP WOOO!!!

Jor- That´s good you got a bear gun and a power blender. Now you can make bear meat smoothies... yum!

Michael- Cara I´m so sorry. You don´t know how corrida the mission is when you can do activities on P day and don´t just write letters all day. I promise to write you before the end of the transf.

Nick- Kunzee and Ryan Lee home already!??!?! Yikes. Send them a hug for me. Dude skiing 6 times sounds like a dream my man. Keep rippin man.

Well I´m gonna go make flan now. Wish me luck!

-Elder Matt

Michael: January 25, 2012

Dear family-

This week was good. The highlight was the visit of President Parrella and Elder Cruz, an area 70 in our branch this week. I didn´t pass too much shame cause I had 5 investigators there. Que bençao! but to be honest none of them are progressing at a noteable pace.

Life is good and I´m happy to be serving others and learning a heap about the gospel.

I´ll have to make a better effort to write down interesting experiences, I´ve just got my big ol nose buried in this work. And I´ve been typing my essay answers for my BYU application so now I´m gonna jet.

So Nat I´ll call my mission president and ask him to do his part today!

Dad- Great, thy email was! Thanks for the sports updates. I´m not remembering who Jerry Sanchusky is. Speaking of successful LDS people there´s people down here asking me about Mitt Romney as if I was ever invited to a Republican party...

Jor- Good to ´´hear´´ from you. Man if Nate´s gun can kill a bear with one shot I don´t even want to know what it´d do to my skeletal structure if it´s butt were sitted on my shoulder! Amen to what you said about drugs/sin in general. I´ve always been curious to go to the jail/prison as a visitor. So what are the houses like that you´re lookin at?

Nat- Elder & Sister Perry? workin in the President Becerra´s office is the coolest thing since my Papai Elder Brown.

Can- EARTH TO CAN- haha, The Christmas card I sent you came back to me and said youre not emailing us on purpose. Jk, the envelope was actually addressed to Devin but prob didn´t get to you cause I think you moved from by Jordan Commons to South Mountain but I´m still getting a confirmation on that.

Matt- morrendo de saudades.


Elder Michael Gagon

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Michael: January 18, 2012

Dear family.

The days here are good, although I feel like a tital wave keeps coming crashing down on my sand castle each week. The devil keeps sending his shafts and mighty whirlwinds and gulls to eat the seeds we plant, not to mention the crowds in the giamongous spacious building runnin their mouths. A couple was convinced by their daughter that they were already baptised and also invited by the same daughter to go out of town a day before their baptism for her mother-in-law´s birthday lunch.

Baptism is good and all but it´s not everyday your daughter´s mother-in-law turns 69?

This week a 70 is gonna come to our branch, accompanied by Pres. Parrella. So I might work all P-day long..

I got a letter 7 pages front and back from Suely back in 7 Lagoas which makes me grateful for working hard everyday even if Satan wins sometimes.

My comp got a package from home, another bençao.

I thank you for all your prayers, emails and thoughts.


Thank you for acting upon your promptings and having sent us that great email! I finished reading the conference Ensign and went back to where I left off in Jesus the Christ and it´s awesome. It does a man so much good to always remember Him. As I read the chapter on his boyhood I felt a special spirit imagining on how it could´ve been. James E. Talmage explains well how it´s evident by His parables that He loved nature and well was just really smart.

Yesterday the member lady we had lunch with was very impressed that all 8 of your children are active in the church and 5 have served missions and expect to have another serve. Actually a lot of people get impressed when I tell em but I thought I´d mention it today.

-So ya Elder Cox´s mom is Greg Whimmer´s cousin ha. Sweet that Nick is in Guatamala. Mundo pequeno. There´s an RM in this ward that is the 4th I´ve met on my mission that served with Alec Crestani. (same mission same time, not comps)

Matt- Pega firme!

I love YOU.

Elder Michael Gagon

Monday, January 16, 2012

Matt: January 16, 2012

Querida família,

Wowwee what a week. My companion and I are trying to put it into 9th gear (yeah- way beyond 5th) and get some gente baptized here down in the dirty dirty. Yesterday I gained a testimony of how we can never know joy if we never know sorrow/ opposition in all things. We got the ward excited to get to know this family we´ve been teaching (yes the lady from last week who´s received all the answers) and yesterday they went to church!!! That isn´t even half of the greatness; when they got there, they already had a bunch of friends waiting and it wasn´t awkward or anything. Then in the gospel principles class the husband just kinda stopped the class by asking, "What happens to people that go inactive from the church?" after explaining that nothing really happens but that they lose out on blessings our investigator explained himself by saying,"Well I want to get baptized, but I just didn´t know if they made you do something if you go inactive, or go through some process." SAWEEEET!!! Then it only got better when our WML just pounded him and his wife with the importance of baptism and how they need to follow the answers that God gives them. Yeah it was amazing. We´re ending our P day a little early today so we can go there with some members to mark their baptismal date for this Sunday! Pray for our success.

Other than that just doing the work. Trying to renew our group of investigators and get rid of the "moleys".

Dad- Your emails always help me out. That´s awesome that you´re getting some divine guidance through the ole Gold Bible. I mark that same chapter in the second visit with my investigators ALWAYS!

Al- your girls say the silliest things

Can- I´m gonna talk to my mission president and see if he can pull some strings and get me into SLCC. Kinda depending on where I live and my luck of the draw will decide my college future, but if you could apply me to SLCC, UVSC, BYU, and...that´s it, I would appreciate it. Oh yeah see goodbye social life? Didn´t you get married like 3 years ago? kkkkkk

Nick- You can use my Rossignol skis once the snow comes back if you want to ski free after 3. I think they´re way better than those atomics, but 5 months burried under snow usually doesn´t do a ski very nice.

I love you all mucho,

Elder Matt

PS- If any of you see Jason Jolley before my letter that I will send him (most likely in February) gets there, tell him: Good luck with being a full-time student with a full-time job. Thank you for the sports updates, and keep them coming because they´re the only non-Alta sports updates I get. I miss you like crazy as well, but after 3 sundays I´ll be home and we can just do the dew like old times. And that chicks are for fags! And what happened to Auburn this year? Do I dare ask about BYU?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Michael: January 11, 2012

Dear family-

Well the highlight of this week was a baptism of a young man named Gerson. The last companionship had prepared him the past two weeks and we came in and finished him. His Mom, two sisters and cousin were baptized last year (a few weeks ago). And although they didn´t do so all at once, now his fam has hopped on the gravy train with biscuit wheels- destination: celestial kingdom. They´re a great family and it´s been good this week to get to know and be accepted by our brothers and sisters in this part of the vineyard. With every transfer it´s tough to leave some behind but it´s such a blessing to meet new people and my love for this church family and others just grows and grows.

Training is going pretty smoothly. But we´ve gotta work harder to help these citizens understand that Christ´s gospel was restored and/or to make them feel that the gospel will bless them if they accept it and go to church.

Dad- Thank you, Your emails never fail. Is Uncle John´s close to the Ruf´s? If so be careful not to bonk your head.

Jor- What´s Blendtec/Vitamix? a blender/crockpot/microwave/gym all in one?

Nat- Thanks! I´ll get my drivers license number to ya next week!

I haven´t read the January Ensign but I´ve been reading the November Conference issue this week and WOWEE the Spirit of God like a fire is burning within me.

Family before my mission I knew that the church was true & correct, but I know deeper now what it means to be true, that it´s real. The Book of Mormon is ancient records of God-inspired people translated by Joseph Smith who saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Obedience to the laws and ordenances of the gospel will unite us in God´s presence because Jesus Christ was chosen before the world´s creation to save and redeem us and everyone else. And He fulfilled His mission. He lives.

until next week!

I love you

Elder Michael Gagon

Monday, January 9, 2012

Matt: January 9, 2012

Dearest family of mine,

Holy cow what a week. Transfers have come and gone and I am now with Elder Bons! I actually prayed that he would be my companion so once again, another testimony that God answers prayers.

This week has been good. We´re really trying to focus on working with members so that every aspect of the work will improve, and let me tell you- thus far it has been exhausting. We´ve had a lot of meetings and just coisinhas to do so it has been hecka rushed. Mostly the cool thing that happened this week was yesterday. After showing up to 4 o'clock church (yes, sacrament meeting gets out at 7 at NIGHT) We waited the entire time for our star investigator´s wife to show up with her kids. Long story short she never showed up. So we went there at 7:30 with the King of Curitiba, Teciomar (who´s life and awesomeness I am a hair short of coveting) to see what was up. She said she was emberassed to show up to church with a bunch of kids and no husband, especially since we´re such a family oriented church, so she didn´t go. To make a long story medium, we talked about how she felt a peace when she read the Book of Mormon, and how that is a sign from God. Then she said, "Yeah I guess when you guys showed up, my husband who never had interest in ANY religion all of a sudden took a liking to yours, and that time when you blessed my head with oil so that my arm wouldn´t hurt- it really did stop hurting. And that other time when you blessed my daughter that she would have a calm safe trip, everything turned out ok. And that one time that my husband went to your church all by himself. Plus how every time you guys come over you bring a tranquility that is hardly ever here. So I guess I´ve already seen a few proofs that your church is true."
a hoo. That´s the mission baby.

the church is true and I love you all


-Elder Matt

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Michael: January 4, 2012

Dear family!

I´m going for the record! Today we had transfers, my new companion is Elder Cox from Boise, Idaho! My 6 -5´´ son fresh from the MTC!

We´re headed to an area we don´t know. Riacho, Contagem. It´s a branch. Contagem and Belo Horizonte are like Orem and Provo (I think) but A LOT bigger.

Mom- I met Elder Kimbler! He´s got 5 months on the mission and he´s training, he seems real good. He´s way happy/goofy I liked him a lot.

Ademir said you guys had a good late night chat!?! You had nothing better to say about me than I had allergies to everything when I was a baby?

Rhett- I got your families Christmas card! oo za za!

Nat- I also got your families Christmas card. rarrr. I´m feelin pretty good about summer semester at BYU or USU. Sign me up!

We set a lot of goals.. I was about to SMASH my goal for baptisms this month before I was transfered...

Nick- Don´t loose your retainer! Your email ROCKED, it´s pretty weird for me to imagine my friends home too! Ammon & Bronco eh? Tell me more.

Matt- P-day on Monday? Doideira pura sem mixtura. Did you get the Christensen family Christmas card?

After some hard weeks I had possibly the best 4 days of my mission.. Gean - 12 years old - was baptised. His grandparents, mom, and sister came to church and loved it. Aparecida (his grandma), Lorena (his 10 year old sister) and Josefina (their super elect neighbor) will be baptised this week, and Jameson (Gean´s uncle) on January 15th.

I dunno how to say how I feel about them but it was extra special to be able to help a big family come to know the gospel. And it broke my achey breaky heart to leave them so soon.

Josefina is also a great lady, she´s that investigator that told us ´´I´ve come to the end of my search... I now know the way God´s always had in store for me... I feel like a hole was filled inside of me´´

Well family I love all your letters and emails, thank you so much!

Elder Michael Gagon

Monday, January 2, 2012

Matt: January 2, 2012

Dear family,

This week has been crazy. The biggest craziness being new years eve. My good Gadianton, New years eve here in Brasil is like the 4th of July, but on steroids! Everybody blasting off rockets and fireworks and just being loud and crazy. The fireworks started Monday (the day after Christmas) and had a good steady crescendo until Saturday when at midnight they hit the World War 3-esque climax. It was crazy talk. Some new craziness is that P day in the Curitiba mission has been permanently moved to MONDAY! Ó LOUCO!!! Yeah so that´s how it will be till mission´s end. Also my beloved companheiro Elder "jota grande" Jackson is going to train another incoming elder leaving me in this same area and I will be getting my comp here in 2 days.

Not a lot has happened here in this area since Wednesday, but we´re just running amuck and teaching anyone who will listen to us. Encontrando os eleitos. We´ve made buttermilk syrup and pancakes everyday this year for breakfast, but we´re out of pancake batter so we´ll see how long we can keep that up. Super delicioso.

Michael- I got your letter today. HA HA HA so great! Vou escrever de volta logo logo.

Nick- Did you ever get your eagle?

Rhett- I got your Christmas card and it was so cute. Obrigado.

Nat&Nate- I got your Christmas card a little bit ago, I don´t remember if I already thanked you for it, but THANKS! It is sticky tacked onto my wall where I study.

Well family I love you all. Don´t forget that this is the home stretch. This is when a missionary needs letters and emails and photos the most!

Wif luv,

Elder Matt Gagon