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

brett

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?

Answers:
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``
yes
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

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

April 28, 2014

questions. 
1. thank you sister sennett for your care and concern with the portable shower heater. that is very kind. one day we had water long enough for me to take a real shower and i discovered 2 things:  1. that we have hot water in this apartment. 
2. that hot water is only something that you want when you have a climate controlled house and aren't walking in the heat all day. 

also this week, the prez came by to talk to the owner of the apartment. good news because of that, the owner will be putting a water box on the roof so whenever its finally hooked up we will have water. the truth is that we have a running bet going for when it will be complete. the most optimistic guess is a month. the least optimistic is 6 months. we will see. but it is something good to know is in the works.
 
so this week in the bad column, our progressing investigator- Dyegina who was in church last week has been blocked by her uber-catholic mom. there will be no more progress there until she moves out, 3 years from now.

but in the miracle side, we received a reference, janderilson, who was in church with his member friend. when we taught him last night, he was still uncertain about baptism. so we challenged him to read the Book of Mormon and then to pray if baptism was right. he didn't understand so he opened right there during the lesson randomly to Alma 4 and started reading. it talks about how the Nephites had difficulties and so they were humbled and were baptized into the church of God. (1-4) thank you, heavenly father. i owe you one (in fact, many, many). janderilson agreed to be baptized next Saturday. miracles happen. 

yeah so this week i had a really trippy thought. i have been out of school for almost a year now. the second part of that thought is the thought of how much time/effort my teachers used to teach me things that i have all but forgotten. lol
 
the pic I sent is of a fruit called jaca. i think its called jack fruit in English but I'm not sure. yes its the size of my head. it tastes like a citrusy banana. and is pretty good.


so some of the members said that fall is coming but all i did was shake my head because this week was the hottest its been here in itapororoca for me.

we are still trying to find people to teach consistently but it was better this week. we just need them to come to church because if they dont come for two weeks, we have to cut them (stop teaching them). 

i am well the church is true

elder brett wilson

p.s. sorry about your phone dad that really bites. also forgive scout he knows not what he does (scout knocked me over while walking and the phone was destroyed...and scout was in very big trouble!)

April 21, 2014

so guess what our family is not the only weirdos who do their Easter candy on Saturday. all of Brazil does their candy (which is only chocolate) on Saturday as well. the chocolate is the same, but they have different fillings/flavors, many using the native flavors. also i got your Easter package thanks. so yeah this week was a little fat. people love to give missionaries candy. I'm not complaining, but it was a little unhealthy for me.

so this week we had a (small) miracle. we have an investigator who we met through an apostate member. she hasn't been to church in more than a year. the investigator told us that she would come to church if luanna (the "member") went with her so that she wouldn't be alone. Sunday came and they were both in church together. luannas brothe-jo( who is the youngmen's prez) told us ``good job. y'all just performed a miracle, she hasn't had any church desires for a year. and you got her to bring her friend to church. thanks.`` gratifying. now if only we could get the miracle of people not lying to us all week about going to church. i don't know what it is. it wasn't this bad in guarabira. i guess that people here don't have shame/ embarrassment about this kind of thing. must be something about the culture.

so as far as some sad news in the branch, Luciano a member of the church, one of about 3 Melchizedek priesthood holders in itapororoca and the only endowed member in itapororoca has decided to leave the church. He said he "doesn't need church to worship god." he still believes in our doctrines and beliefs- just not church. we tried to help´but he wouldn't listen (look up Moroni 6:6). How sad to see him in this state. elder simonson says that its because he is really prideful, and was prideful when elder simonson was here a year ago. its a vicious cycle. the worst thing is how its affecting his family. his wife wont go against him and only one of his children is firm enough to continue in the church on her own. it is really sad to watch. 

i now have a greater understanding of the dangers of pride and unfortunately there is very little that we as missionaries can do. just keep them in my prayers i guess.  

its funny so we have 3 Americans and a Chilean- elder Munoz. so here in America we have Spanglish for Spanish/English mix. elder Munoz speaks portuanish, Portuguese/Spanish mix. its really funny, to correct him "speak your language elder. you are in Brazil." He says, "oh sorry, i thought i was." he doesn't even realize it...very funny!

also do you want to know the worst thing that i have experienced here? too bad, i'm going to tell you any way. last night i entered our bathroom to use it, and there were 2 cockroaches. i killed them. then during the course of my business 4 more cockroaches enter through the drain. all of which i killed. 6 cockroaches in about 10 minute. afterwards i just felt dirty for the rest of the night. it was pretty gross.

love

elder brett wilson

April 14, 2014

questions- 
me and elder simonson, my new companion. he is pushing me while i am riding a tricycle.

1. well, for starters my comp's name is elder simonson. he is from a small town in southern Idaho near Pocatello (here is a shoutout to grandpa Wilson). he has 17 months on a mission. He has the same views about American football as i do and he served here in this city almost a year ago, so the members like him. 
2. itaporoca is not really 3rd world...i don't know, its hard to describe how life here in Brazil is compared with how you would think coming from America. just know that it is nothing like America, yet at the same time you have everything that you need. 

3. also as further proof, remember my comment about the water. yeah that was on the best day. in general its available about 20- 25 minutes right when we wake up. we spend the time filling up many water bottles, and buckets then we take our showers from the buckets. who says that you wont experience something new on a mission. lol. all joking aside. that is one thing that America does better.
A goat i encountered. the funny thing is that about 3 seconds later it charged me and i almost got mauled. awesome!

so far our teaching pool is pretty small. we had a few hold overs from the last elders but we cut most of them so we have been doing a lot of street contacting and had reasonable success until Sunday when everyone had a desculpa (no English equivalent. its like a sorry or an excuse) and we ended up with no investigators in church...frustrating. i wish that people would stop lying to us. if you aren't going to come to church then just say so and save both of our time. 

as far as the branch, there is a frequency of 30-40 with 200 on the rolls of the church for this city. so yeah a lot of less actives. but i like the branch especially the youth. all of the ones that i have met are fun and like the missionaries (and they love to correct my Portuguese). so this week a young man named Carlos asked me what the phrase "piece of crap" meant. apparently a missionary had taught it to him but not explained it. fubeca. so that was interesting.  

This is Carlos from the branch. he stole my tag so i made him take a picture as elder Wilson in the guise of the missionary he will be one day.
the people are spiritual and open to the gospel in general but in general only to listen. everyday we talk to people and it goes like this:
do you have faith in god? of course
what are you doing to show your faith? i dont know
will you go to church this Sunday to show your faith? (we get a variety of answers here) who knows, we´ll see, one day, and the most annoying of all, "si deus quiser" if god wishes. really bro? where do you think that God wants you to be on a Sunday morning. 

but anyways, i always try to keep it in the context of everyone we talk to is one closer to the elect we are seeking. the ones who say yes.

anyway. i am aware that all of this may seem dreary. but its all part of the experience and if u take it with a grateful heart knowing that everything that happens gives me another story to tell about my mission. lol

i am well and it is not as hot here in itapororoca so that is great thing. and our apartment has a veranda, which is way sweet. and don't worry too much about the water we are in the process of moving apartments. 

please pray for us to meet people prepared to accept the gospel.

love elder Wilson

April 7, 2014

To answer some questions:
1. i watched conference almost live - at 1 at 5  on Saturday; 8am for the priesthood and 1 and 5 on Sunday.  
2. i watched the sat sessions in English and the sun sessions in Portuguese because we had investigators with us on Sunday. the conference was really good. for my thoughts see the pics.



3. i was transferred. my training is over. i am a missionary in full. i was moved to a city called itapororoca. it has about 16000 people. my comp is named elder Simonson. i haven't met him yet as he is currently en route from joao pessoa. 
4. i stay in the same zone though so not everything has changed. In this area and for much of the city, they are having problems with water because they are building new houses but don't have the infrastructure to support all of the new houses. So, in my new city apparently we only have water for 2 hours in the morning. that should be interesting. 

This last Sunday, we baptized a teenager, named Cleber. It was really cool because he has been investigating for a long time and finally decided that the church was right for him. 

One good thing about this new smaller city - there are no neighborhoods that are 20 or 30 minutes away from the actual city. it's all here together. that should save time. 

Also i was wondering, what kind of things do you want me to talk about in my emails, or do y'all not really care as long as you hear from me? 

In my new district/apartment, i have 3 Americans and one Chilean so i think that i will be hearing more English for the next little while. I'm not sure how i feel about that.

the branch here is about 30 people about 1/3 of what is was in guarabira so it will be easier to remember everyone's name. lol

anyway good job family with your missionary work. i wish that all members were like y'all. its kind of frustrating when members won't work with you because "they're busy, or its too far" especially when they are converts themselves. it's like come on, seriously. you were converted because someone made time and walked a far distance for you and you cant give back a little. but entropy is a powerful force. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of members who help us. its just the ones who don't that are annoying. just know that you are making this missionary proud.

also as far as our flowers/flowerbeds, you know how much i value the flowers in our front yard. does that give you an answer how i feel about them lol

We had zone conference and I've decided that this is not my favorite part of a mission. Here, they always have some motivation thing as part of conference. This time we marched and chanted as soldiers "Os soldados de senor", "the Lord's soldiers.".  Last time, it was as athletes and they had football face paint to put under our eyes, like were are competing in the Superbowl, 'the Superbowl of souls." so yeah but i receive my mail at zone conference so its not all bad.

On a funny note, a sister here asks all the missionaries to sign a pillow case. You may notice the Hooters emblem. She doesn't know what Hooters is---hilarious!





love elder Brett Wilson

Thursday, April 3, 2014

March 31, 2014

house keeping: i received my name badge/snickers. Thanks it is very appreciated. Also, next week is transfers so pday isn't until wednesday.
So, this week we had 2 baptisms - two men, carlos and arnoldo, and they were both MIRACLES!!!!!!!!!. First with carlos...he is the neighbor of one of our investigators, Van. Van has a coconut tree and asked Carlos to climb the tree to harvest so we could eat/drink of the bounty. Carlos then stayed for the message and wanted to learn more. That night, he read and prayed about the Book of Mormon and knew it was true by himself! He had a smoking problem but after learning of the Word of Wisdom, he commited to living it without hesatation. The next day, he told us that he found an unsmoked cigarette in the street. He picked it up, put it in his pocket and gave it to his friend because "I quit smoking" :) and he hasn't looked back.
Elder Bernardo, Carlos, and me
 
The other one, Arnoldo, we found him during our 50-contact day. First, he accepted our invitation to be baptized during our street contact. Then, he accepted the Book of Mormon and our message without a problem and was baptized on Sunday. The truly miraculous thing is that he told us later that the very day we talked to him, he was planning to ask his neighbor if he (Arnoldo) could go to church with his neighbor, who is not a member, because Arnoldo recently moved here. So, if we hadn't talked to him, if we just walked on by, a soul probably would have been lost. Always listen to the Spirit. He will direct your actions to help others.
Me, Arnoldo, and Elder Bernardo
 
I heard a quote from Pres. Eyring this week, "The Lord sends people prepared to hear the gospel to people prepared to share the gospel." Keep up your efforts. You have a promise from an apostle. (Don't worry mom, eventually you will get one who lives in our ward). Tell Dad thanks for fixing my bike. It was something I put off because I was leaving for 2 years. Seriously, Matthew, you got hurt again? We are going to need to bubble wrap you :). I agree running isn't (generally) fun (referring to this week's YW fun run).
The market where I buy fruits/vegetables...amazing selection!!
 
My time's up. Enjoy conference.
Elder Brett Wilson

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March 24, 2014

Questions:
1. Do your shoes ever dry with all of the rain and humidity? Yes, my shoes are normally dry because it rains in the mornings when it rains. Then, it is hot for the rest of the day. But the last few weeks we have been having less and less rain, and more cooling wind. It's still hot and sunny but its definitely a blessing (or the start of fall depending on your beliefs)
2. How are the mosquitos? Mosquitos arent a problem here exept for one neighborhood that is about 4 miles from the city. Probably because of the fields around that neighborhood. idk we arent there very often.
3. Will it get colder their in the fall and winter? Probably. Will it ever be cool or cold? Doubtful. But i keep it in my prayers anyway. who knows?
4. Will you ever go to the temple while you are in Brazil? No, I wont ever go to the temple during my mission here in brazil. The temple is about 5-6 hours away from me now and 3-4 hours away from the nearest location in mission joao pessoa. Unfortunate but as one missionary said here "the work of a missionary isn't to get people to the temple, it's to get them to the waters of baptism and the baptism by fire (the holy ghost). It's the job of the ward/branch (with a little help from the missionaries) to get the new converts the the temple for their saving ordinances. and so it is.
 5. Do you expect to be transferred soon? T
ransfers are april 9ish. Apparently, the odds are that i will be transferred, then i will have one, maybe two transfers (wherever i am) then i will be training...not a happy thought. My portuguese is incredilbe for my situation but its not anywhere close yet.

This week, we didnt have a baptism but on the flip side in sacrament meeting, we had 117 people there...a record. The branch prez thanked the missionaries from the pulpit for their hard work. gratifying.

Also, this week we made really good progress with several weak investigators, including one named david. His wife vanini has been ready for baptism for about a month but wouldn' do it without david. So, when he told us that he thinks that he probably need to be baptized, it was a fist pump moment.

This week we made a bet with our roommates (other companionship) for who could do more contacts in one day. We did 50. and lost. They did 51. freak. So, we had to buy them bolo. It's like squash pie cake, but in many flavors. really good. My comp said and I quote, "we're not doing any contacts for a week." lol
i hope that all is well in the home land, my time is up see you next week
elder brett wilson

March 17, 2014

Answers to questions:
1. Does Brazil have a daylight savings time? Yes, but only the southern half of the country. random.
2. Does your companion speak any English? My comp speaks really good english. That's because he loves american hiphop and rap so he learned from drake and 2chainz. Sometimes this causes problems with the words he says. lol.
3. What do you do on your p-days? Pdays are different every week. Last week, we harvested coconut and played games with some of the youth. Another time, we hiked to the top of the local "mountain". Brazil is one giant hill country so the largest hill is referred to as the mountain.
4. Does Pres. Noguera speak any English? Prez Noguiera probably speaks some english but i havent heard any.

Some house keeping: I recieved your package from the 23 of january with sweettarts in it. Thanks - it was awesome!

Questions: 8 missionaries work in our area. We have divided up the city. Yes, we have a litle problem with retention but we work on it. We have one branch of about 100 for the city.

This week, we had an awesome baptism of the man i talked about in my last email. manuel. It was really sweet and you could feel the spirit of the baptism. Also, for all of you Beatles fans out there, for the sisters, I baptized John Lennon :).
 
This week, we had lots to do and that's good because it makes resting on pday that much better. It's funny we scheduled an appointment with a man named jose and his family for 6:30. We showed up and they were in the middle of watching a soccer game so we literally had to wait for half an hour until the game ended before we could teach...that's brazil for you. Also, it was a good lesson and the family agreed to pray about the Book of Mormon (but it may have been the happy endorphins because their team won) lol. I'm going to assume that it was the spirit we brought.
 
Also this week, a women, ana paula, who we were visiting the last time before "cutting" (dropping her because she doesnt make progress) said that she wants to be baptized because she needs to change her life. This is awesome because she has been weak, weak, weak before now. Overall, it has been a good week. But, on the bad, the senior comp in the other companipnship of elders is really annoying mostly because he is always in everyone else's business.
 
Also, this week the rain came back with vengance. I did jinx myself but we have a missionary saying here -- "Every time you walk in the rain, your future wife just got a little hotter!" So, that's what I'm going for. But even if that's not the truth, I am still in the right place.

Love,
Elder Brett Wilson

March 10, 2014

Hi all,
Answers to questions:
This week, my baptism of Manuel fell through because he was sick. He looked normal to me and my comp. Sooo yeah...we rescheduled for next Saturday but the Lord is awesome. We found out that he was sick and as we were walking back from his house to church, we received a phone call from the sisters. A boy we have been teaching named vanjilson showed up at church with his parents. His parents finally agreed to let him be baptized. So, we did have a baptism this Sunday. It was truly a miracle.
 
You asked if I had received any of your packages yet...I have received no packages as of yet. What goodies should i be expecting? We haven't moved yet but we have secured another apartment. It's much bigger. The downside it still only has one bathroom. My mission prez, he is Brazilian, significantly shorter than me, and he says that he loves and worries about me.
 
For breakfast, i normally eat a piece of fruit and a hard boiled egg or 2. In the scriptures, i am studying several things - the Book of Mormon reading it through, missionary work as found in the D&C, and the pride cycle - why people are lifted up in pride, and how to avoid it.
 
Miracles? well the baptism of vanjilson, my language skills. I can understand almost everything now. and this week my comp told me that i now know enough Portuguese to get by and i need to study/work on my pronunciation because and i quote my comp, "people don't understand you because your Portuguese sounds weird." I don't talk like a Brazilian...who would have thought :).

 
This week, I had an interesting experience. So my comp, the DL, decided that we were going to do splits with the two new missionaries in the district - him with the trainer (elder Borges) and me with the greenie (elder Beserra). That way my comp could teach elder Borges how to work because as my comp said, "I'm not going to have a fubeca in my district." A fubeca is a slacker missionary. In Portuguese, fubeca translates to `stress` as in it causes the leaders of the mission and church stress. Of course, that left me and Elder Beserra to do the work in my area. So, we have one missionary that doesn't speak very good Portuguese but knows the lessons and how to teach and the other that knows Portuguese but doesn't know the lessons or how to teach. It was interesting to say the least and i don't think that we taught false doctrine so I'm going to call that a win.
 
It hasn't rained in the last 2 weeks so I'm hopeful that the rainy season is over (of course even as i write this i think that i might have jinxed myself). Remember that the field is white already to harvest. The scripture doesn't say that its white in Mexico, or Brazil, or Utah. The field (everywhere) you go is white and ready to harvest. When you thrust in your sickle with your might, when you give some effort to helping this work go forward, the Lord promised that you will lay up in store or have success and thereby bring their soul to God and your own. Just some food for thought about missionary work.

elder Brett Wilson