Elder Matthew Wright Gagon - Brazil Curitiba Mission

Elder Michael David Gagon - Brazil Belo Horizonte Mission

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