Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June 25, 2014 - Transfers, a new but familiar area, new companion and a new calling

first sorry i forgot to tell you that we have transfers so email is today- wednesday. 
second SURPRISE i was transferred. do you want to guess where? you will never get it right.  i am back here in guarabira, my first area. i am senior comp to elder munoz who i lived with in itapororoca in the four-man apartment. i guess that prez noguiera said "elder wilson will be senior comp. but he needs an area that he knows to start his time as senior comp." sooooooo yeah....guarabira. im actually not quite sure how i feel about this. i keep going back and forth about whether i'm happy to be back or not. 

whats a little funny, is that i may be in the same city and i know it in that regard but i will be working in completely different parts of the city...parts that i don't know. it should be interesting. please keep the prayers coming. odds are that i will need them. they do strengthen me.

so also quirky is the fact that my district leader here is elder simonson. my former comp. i just cant get away from what is familiar. also with this transfer i am now have seniority in the zone. it means absolutely nothing but its kind of fun to say. 

anyway this past week was pretty good. the best moment was when i learned that -Vanini- a women i taught during my first stay in guarabira was baptized last Sunday. its just a great feeling to know that the seeds i planted during my first 2 transfers here, budded, grew, and gave fruit. it will be even better when i see here Sunday during church.  also something i just thought of, it will be awesome to see the people that i baptized here in guarabira, continuing to go to church, progress and do what is right.  

the world cup here is in full swing. Brazil won against Cameroon 4-1. its so funny after the 0-0 tie with mexico everyone predicted imminent failure for this years cup team. now after the win everyone is predicting success. oh the hearts of the people are fickle. but its so cool here during the games. everything shuts down. and everyone watches the games. many businesses have signs that say ``due to the game we will be shutting down at 1 o´clock. the games are normally at 5, they have 4 hours of tailgating. and when Brazil scores a goal, its loud and loco, to put it mildly. im not criticizing at all. i love it, i think that its awesome, and i am screaming along with everyone else.

happy são joão - this is a holiday that they only have here in NE brazil, and a small part of rio. i'm not sure its really a holiday since all that i saw happen was people get a day off work, get drunk, and eat lots of corn/corn products. whatever...i like corn and the food people gave us tasted good. 

also something good about guarabira--our apartment has water. always. It is amazing how much I appreciate having water after not having it.  What a blessing. I am excited. 

anyway my comp, elder munoz, is a chilean. he has 4-5 months left on a mission. He is a little annoying but he works hard (which is great), and is happy to be a missionary. he wants to do things right. i think that we will have success together.

i wonder how the members will react to me returning here. i think that they will like it. i should already have their confidence because i already served here and they know me and know that i love them and the work, and now that i speak a little bit of Portuguese, i should be able to gain even more trust so we can work together better. Without us working together, the work is much harder. 

the pic is of my comp. its not his best look, he is normally smiling actually, i just surprised him by taking a pic when he wasn't ready/ paying attention. i hope that yall are well and enjoying the best that summer break has to offer. here's an interesting thought. summer break is just 2 transfers and a little bit. wow is it weird that i am thinking of time in terms of transfers? 

this Saturday could be a little challenging because Brazil will play Chile. and my Chilean comp is probably the only person in all of guarabira rooting for chile. we will see how that goes. i am well, thanks for the prayers, the church is true

love brett

Friday, June 27, 2014

June 16, 2014 - World starts, Thanks to modern medicine, Igor and Manuel (two elect)

igors baptism was really good, he was baptized with very little problems. there was a sweet spirit. it was funny though when he saw the font he said  ```wait, i'm going to have to get wet``. apparently he hadn't completely understood baptism. we got it straightened out quickly and he was baptized.  

elder garcia's eye is healed now, something that he is really grateful for. 

i am enjoying the world cup immensely, its so funny. Soccer, a sport that i gave little or no credit to before, is now something that i enjoy greatly. oh, how things change on a mission. as far as the goal of doubling the numbers this week we didn't reach it. but we did increase our output by 30% so improvement which in reality is all that i think the prez wants. 

In answer to your question about the first goal against Brazil in World Cup, yes when Brazil had a goal contra to start the cup, the whole world here groaned and then started predicting doom and gloom of incredible magnitude for this years world cup. it was funny, of course i didn't say that to the Brazilians. as far as if USA meets Brazil. i will root for Brazil. i am here, and i don't want to die. its just logical. lol

this week i discovered how to put Biggest Loser out of business. send them all to Brazil. in 3 days this week, i lost 7 pounds. it was because i was ``sick``  so what i had was diarrhea. so whatever went in, came out, with stomach pain that took away my appetite. so i wasn't hungry/eating, wasn't keeping what i ate, and was working all day. thus we see that i will be coming home thinner, and maybe i need a new belt. lol don't worry i am better now. after day 2 of home/herbal medicine, i called sister noguiera and got some modern medicine. it worked. and thus we see that there is a reason that god created modern medicine and didn't leave us to drink herbal tea.  

the big news of the week for me was of course baptizing igor. :):) he was just so awesome, he accepted our teaching straight-up. like for example we left the pamphlet the restoration with him to read. the next day we came back and asked ``did you read`` ``yes`` ``and who was Joseph smith`` ``a prophet who restored the church`` :) you cant buy this stuff.  
Me, Igor, and Elder Castro

also in the really awesome category Manuel, who was baptized 2 weeks ago, has gotten off work and went to help us teach people almost every night this week. seriously bro, you rock. you are helping us more than some people who have been members for 3 years now. 

one thing on my mission that i have learned- some people are just prepared to receive and embrace the gospel, and its our job to find them. times up.

love ya´ll


p.s. mom don't worry about being rejected a lot statistically you will be rejected by 3/4 of the people you talk to, so if you go in looking to be rejected you are just helping your odds. 

local carnival outside of our apartment - it was really annoying

June 9, 2014 - 6 months, the importance of families and Go Brazil!!!

this week was good. so our district leader said that all juniors would be seniors for this week. that was good i learned some things and was able to change some of the annoying things that my comp does. my comp didn't like this week because i do things way different than his OCD ways. but whatever. i was senior. 

so this week we helped 2 members who have been living together get married it was really cool and i felt the spirit testifying of the importance on family. on that same line of thought we were teaching this lady. she has 2  kids, 6 and 8, and she hates them and they don't respect her. we were able to share how the gospel blesses our lives and the lives of our families. afterwards you could definitely tell that the spirit touched her heart. it also touched mine. now i know much better than before my mission just how important families are to the plan of our heavenly father. 

this week i completed 6 months. wow how did that happen? 

in the cool and another miracle category. so this kid - igor - 16 years old - we talked to him and taught him a little a few weeks back. then we cut him because he never came to church.  yesterday he showed up all on his own with a friend. he is now marked to be baptized next Sunday. 

so we had a mission conference Wednesday. 2 big news items. the ``bad`` prez noguiera doubled the number of lessons he wants us to teach in a week. my comp is flying around in a frenzy trying to figure out how to do it. honestly he cares way too much about the numbers. and the 2nd item. and the much better news...prez noguiera said that we missionaries can and should watch the games of the world cup when Brazil is playing. :):):) go Brazil!! just think how cool it would be if Brazil wins. and i am here? i will be able to tell that mission story for the rest of my life. 

a friend of mine - elder Garcia hurt his eye. when he woke up, he sat up and hit his eye with a hanger. he then had to go to the hospital in joao pessoa. now he ``gets`` to wear sunglasses everywhere for the next 2 weeks. we all keep telling him how cool he is wearing sunglasses indoors. hey we are 19-21 year old males what more would you expect. compassion? lol

love brett

June 2, 2014 - finding the elect, I love new socks!

Questions you asked:
What are the names of your investigators?
What interesting thing have you learned about Brazil this week?
What did you learn at your last zone conference?

investigators: mara, elite, jo, lenia, arnoldo, raniel, mateus, and a few more I'm forgetting. this week i learn that i hate banks in Brazil. so in the local(and only bank) 3 of the 4 atms are broken, and the day we received money the one working atm ran out of money, so yeah that was annoying. 

at my last zone conference, they talked about the importance of making firm commitments with your investigators.

house keeping- this week i received a package from y'all with my blister free socks, i like them a lot. not because of blisters\(my feet are callused and ugly) but for the new sock feeling. thanks.
I love my new socks!!!
so this week ``winter`` hit. not that is cold but that everyone is getting sick. you know runny nose, coughing, sneezing ect. including my comp. but he´s on some medicine now so i think that he´s improving. 

in the biggest and BEST news this week....... we baptized a man named miguel. it was awesome. he was/ is truly elect and ready for the gospel. also awesome, his wife (who he is legally married to) wants to be baptized as well. :) one thing that they don't tell you before your mission is that your whole purpose is to baptize, to open the gate for people to get to heaven. here is a pic of him. 
Me, Miguel, and Elder Castro
its funny every time i write you an email and say that it hasn't rained- it rains a lot. I'm sure that there is some irony here. happy summer to all y'all. Don't spend too much time watching TV. 

this week we had a multi zone conference in joão pessoa with prez nogueira, it was really good he talked about our duty to the members in our areas and how when we help them, we gain their trust which helps us. so just know if a missionary is helping you its because they want a referral. lol.

sorry about the email last week. idk what happened. thanks for the prayers. I need them. 

i really don't want to get sick here. Brazilian doctors are on my list of Brazilian things i don't want to experience, along with prisons, and intestinal bugs. to name a few. 

the past few weeks we've been working with an less active couple, jose and sedinha and they are now re- activated and have a date set to legally marry and go to the temple. amazing is the power of the atonement to change lives. 

oh yeah here is the cool story with Miguel -- so before church he went to get a hair cut and was talking to the barber.``yeah I'm going to church and will be baptized today``
cool which church
the church of Jesus Christ, ``the Mormons``
you should leave while you still can. i was talking to this preacher from the assembly of god and he said that Mormons are a ring of child kidnappers.
``that's not true, its a church full of good people trying to humbly follow god, and Jesus´ example in doing whats right``
``but they also have this other bible full of satanic chants
``no. they have the book of Mormon which is another guide for our lives on how to improve everyday through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. it was written by prophets just like the bible``.

when he told us that story i just wanted to hug him and never let go. not even a member yet and standing up for the truth to the confounding of false doctrine. when you hear an experience like that, it makes your struggles much easier to deal with. god is great. 

i was having a hard time here and then we met Manuel and when you meet an elect life just turns so much better. god is truly watching out for us, finding Manuel was truly a tender mercy of the lord. got to go.

love brett

May 19, 2014 - new companion, Karma, testimony strengtheners

Questions: How is it working with Elder Castro?
How was Miguel's baptism?
Are there many sisters serving in your mission?

Answers: life is all karma. remember my comments to elder Wilkins about his comp. yeah you can probably guess what happened. i now have my first comp that i don't like or is not as easy to like. elder Castro is an organizational nut. he is gold out the wazoo. its driving me crazy. or it will here soon. also he doesn't like sports (yeah i know right. i have to luck to have the one Brazilian who doesn't like soccer :)). we don't have much to talk about in general. we are pretty opposite and he is my senior comp. so we have to do things his way. this is terrible and i am having a difficulty with it. i am trying to take it as a test of my humility/patience. any advice is welcome. what i have contrived to help me like/work with him better is during my personal prayers i thank god for 5 things about elder Castro. we´ll see how it works.  

Miguel was not baptized and will not be until August. In the past, too many missionaries were baptizing kids and just kids, because they are easy, so those missionaries have numbers. the prez made a rule that if they are under 16 they need to attend church consistently for 3 months before being baptized. Miguel is 15-until march. dang it. 

idk how many sisters we have but i think that its about an average amount. we don't have any in my district here but we have 8 in our zone.
well i may not like my comp but i cant fault his work ethic. this week we have been running like crazy. lots of lessons, especially with inactives, elder Castro has a goal to increase the attendance here from 30 to 45,  this week in the WOW category. we were talking with this less active teenager - asking for referrals, and i jokingly said ```yeah, do you know anyone who is 16 or older, doesn't drink,or smoke, is married on paper, and likes god? about 3 seconds later her friend, Angela, showed up. she fits the mold. wow. we haven't taught her yet but she accepted our invitation to teach her/come to church with us. so that was really,really cool.  

this week we talked with 2 inactives- luinda and Jose. they are inactive about a year now. and we asked how their life is. they responded that its not good. we asked when it started going down hill. they said about a year ago. now I'm not a rocket scientist but i think that there might be a correlation here. one thing that i have learned here on a mission is that life is better when you keep that commandment and do what your supposed to. it makes me sad when people cant see that fact, like them even after we explained this correlation, and they agreed to go to church. they didn't the wife was washing clothes, and the husband was sleeping. come on people, overcome the natural man. the laziness that we all have inside and choose the right. that goes for all of you out there. Heavenly Father says (repeatedly) in the book of Mormon. ``if you keep my commandment ye shall prosper in the land`` i affirm that statement to be true. got to go.

love elder wilson

Thursday, June 26, 2014

May 14, 2014 - Transfers but staying in Itaporoca, meeting Miguel

happy almost bday dad. 

i am still doing well here in Brazil. the last few day its rained cats and dogs. but i haven't drowned so that's good. 

we have been teaching this teenager named Miguel and he agreed to be baptized this Sunday. he is a huge miracle. so i met him when we were doing a split with the other missionaries. me and elder Munoz were doing contacts and we met this inactive teen, Alex, and his friend Miguel. they both accepted our invitation to go the family home evening that we have in the church on Thursday and then were at mutual on Saturday and church Sunday. in the words on Miguel, "this is really cool, when do you guys have activities because i want to go to them all? (this is where my jaw drops)...awesome! he read the Book of Mormon and recognized an answer on his own. He even introduced us to his sister who we are now teaching. it is just wonderful the way that some people are just prepared for the gospel. also its great when you find them compared with the maulies that you often have to deal with.

so this week (today) is transfers. i am staying in itapororoca for at least another 6 weeks. my comp did change though. i am now with a Brazilian named elder Castro, he has 7 months on a mission, he seems likable enough but i don't know him well enough to judge yet. i guess that this means that i will go back to only hearing Portuguese (which is probably for the better) and some of my jokes will fall flat because he doesn't have the American background. oh well i can live with that. 

my other American roommate, elder Wilkins it annoyed with the way transfers happened, because he is still here for his 4th transfer in a row, and even more he is still with elder Munoz, for the 3rd straight. elder Wilkins has trouble with elder Munoz which is a little funny, because elder Munoz is elder Wilkins' "son", meaning he trained him. i just keep telling him not to worry because in the words of Nephi "it came to pass". eventually he will have a different situation. God is in control and there is more he can learn. of course its easier to say that when you aren't in a situation like his. 

my gospel thought for the week is this: its important to always be pushing forward in the gospel. in Lehi's dream, the only ones that made it to the tree were the ones who kept moving forward. my football coach used to ask after a workout/practice, "did you get better or worse today?" you never stay the same. if you are not staying with God, then you are in the power of Satan. do what it right, and it is that much easier to do what is right again, the same thing with doing the wrong. its like skipping a workout, it's that much harder to workout the next day. Living the gospel isn't easy, but it is definitely worth it.

hope y'all are well. thanks for the support.

love  elder brett wilson

May 5, 2014 - Power of working with members

housekeeping. i will be `calling` via skype next Sunday at 5pmish central standard time.

so fun fact for ya´ll. the Portuguese language does not have a word for awkward. which is a shame because sacrament meeting yesterday was awkward. for starters with 15 minutes remaining, their was no one else left to bear their testimony because all of the firmes (active members) had already and there were only inactives and investigators left. secondly, my investigator that i was sitting with, had an "episode" during the meeting. for about 2 minutes he went crazy, almost like he was having a seizure. i didn't quite know what to do, and then afterwards he didn't remember a thing...very out of the ordinary. i think that the drugs he took in his "past" life really messed him up. but he has a strong desire to be baptized, so we´ll see. afterwards my comp asked me "`when that happened, why didn't you cast out the demon?" :) thanks bro, way to be helpful. 

also for all of my "may the 4th be with you"  people. we don't actually have that here. we have ``o quatro de mayo``...America how i miss you at times. but may 4th did mark 5 months for me. just think, only 19 to go. that seems a little strange.

this week we had good luck with the members, they taught with us and we received several references. as such, we have several new investigators who are progressing well. we also had frustration where the catholic mom of one of our investigators blocked her from progressing further. then tried to pretend that it was actually the daughters doing. darn catholics. actually i like catholics here, they are one of the most teachable religions.

the church that is the most frustrating is ``assemblia de deus`` assembly of God. i don't know if we have them in America. but we have them here, and they are really annoying. like Nephi's "great and abominable church", annoying. they are so wrong, and they are so closed minded, stubborn about being wrong, and they drag everyone they can down with them. but what would you expect from a church where the preacher screams and shouts for Jesus. then asks for money for peoples salvation. so yeah.

I saw this sign. it says,"obey the signage." how do you say redundant in Portuguese? lol

i am well and we have 3 baptisms lined up for this weekend. and mom just to make you jealous, last week in the market i bought 20 of the best bananas that i have ever eaten, for 2 reais. or a little under a dollar. thanks for always keeping fruit in the house when i was growing up. it wasn't easy I'm sure but it made a huge difference in my health and appetites.

love elder brett wilson