Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 27, 2014

Hello all,
The language is progressing along faster than you would think but at the same time frustratingly slow. I haven't had any misspeaks yet that I know about. I´ll keep you posted.
My companion, Elder Bernardo, is about 5' 7", 19yrs old, and a Brazilian. For the most part, he is like a normal 19yr old but he is Brazilian, so different. I'ts hard to explain. For example, he like all Brazilians. They don't have any `real` traffic laws so they drive ,walk, ride wherever they want, I'm like ``elder let's be careful. I don't want to get run over.`` But he is fearless. I guess its a cultural thing.
I haven't met with my mission president yet. I haven't had any contact with him yet. I don't know if that's normal or what but we will see.
I am serving in the area of Maumaguape in the city of Guarabira, Brazil about 2hrs inland by bus. I am in the Guarabira branch. It has 50-60 people in it and they are all so passionate about the gospel and missionary work. It is truly amazing. I wish that y'all could see it. I live in the city in an apartment that is what I pictured it to be.
The only thing that I really wish for is a/c. Here the only people with it are government buildings, doctors and the like, or tourist spots. I want to avoid the first 2 and am-in general- not supposed to go to the 3rd. so yeah.
The work is progressing and moving forward at a good speed. We baptized 2 of the children of the man I baptized last week, which was really cool. We are teaching 2 families and 4 others so we are very busy. I love the fact that the people here love God. We have 2 neighborhoods that are 2-3 miles away and often instead of walking we can stick out hands out and people will stop because they love God, and want to help ``God's men``.
This week, we were passing by a lady named, Isabel, and we had a nice lesson about prayer. We left to go to lunch and we had about 10 extra minutes so we were going to walk slow. I then had the thought, "go and visit claudia and another investigator in that neighborhood." So, I told my comp and we did. Claudia's brother had just been stabbed to death and we were able to share a message about our purpose, life after death, and the plan of salvation. Needless to say, we were late to lunch but we had a really spiritual moment with her and we are now in much better standing with her as she was wavering before that. I am glad that I was able to receive that revelation. It is an important lesson in always being worthy because you never know when you will be needed. I
I hope that y'all are well. Don't go towards the long tunnel with the bright light.

Elder Brett Wilson

January 20, 2014

Howdy y'all,
Psyche. My pday is actually on Monday. I am well here in the hot Brazil. We walk everywhere so we get very sweaty. On my second day, I got a blister. My comp says that my feet will get used to it by the end of the month. I keep waiting for that day.
My comp and I are currently teaching 2 people - a lady named Ana P****, a man named Maurice, and a women Maria and her child. On Sunday, we had a baptism for a man and his son. I did the baptism but they were the sisters investigators. I don't have a ward but in my area I have a branch of about 60 people. They are friendly and love the gospel. There are 6 missionaries in my district - 2 elders and 4 sisters.
It is very hot here all the time. According to the office elders, I am in the hottest part of the mission. It is also humid. I haven't seen any snakes yet. The members feed us here. The main meal is lunch so every day except pday we go and eat with a member. The food is really good here. I also remember when you made cuzcus and only dad and I liked it. Here, cuzcuz is a big deal and I have had it with all but one meal. So it's a good thing I like it lol.
The stores here are interesting. you walk down main street and there are just shops, one grocery store, a furniture, hardware, snack, fruit, toy. There is a mall in my city but most of the people actually don't use it. They just go to the market. Another interesting thing about Brazil is all of their houses are wide open with lots of windows. The doors have vents in them. Its all designed for ventilation, because literally no one here have a/c. On a separate note though, they all have TV so it fun to see what things are important in life.
Thank y'all for your prayers in my behalf. This week, I was studying in 1 Nephi and I was reading the story about the broken bow. It struck me that even Lehi started to complain and murmur, the Dad and the prophet. Only Nephi relied on the Lord and I'm sure that it must of been hard for him to say, ``Dad shape up we need you to use the Liahona to find us food.`` But he did it. I think it's a great example of how just because someone is your perceived elder/superior doesn't mean that they are in the right or that you should follow them. You know what is right and others know what is right as you stand up for it, others will follow.
I love y'all and I am happy to be here because I know I am doing the right thing. Good job with your missionary work. We need the members to make this work go forward.
Another fun fact for you...the people of Brazil don't like Obama either. Go figure.
To send me stuff, it's best to use the mission home address unless its an email. The address is

Rua Deputado José Mariz, 515
João Pessoal – PB
CEP : 58042-020

Love, Elder Wilson

January 15, 2014 - First email from BRAZIL!!!!

Dear all,
I am well here in Brazil. I made it through customs easier than I thought it would be. I guess that they didn't consider me a threat. lol. I met my comp/trainer. His name is Elder Bernardo. He is a Brazilian from Sao Paulo. I am glad that he is from Brazil because this will help me to learn faster. I met President Nogureira (pronounced no-gear-a) and his wife. They seem like cool people.
When I was in the airport in Rio de Janiero, I was trying to figure out the customs/bags/security and out of nowhere this guy comes up to me and offers to help. He is a Mormon who works in the airport. He helped me to get everything in order and be on my way. He was truly god sent and it just affirmed my testimony that God knows us and sends help in our times of need. I am going contacting tonight so that should be fun/interesting and a little nerve wracking because i don't speak very good Portuguese yet. But it will come with time.
My assigned area is a town called Guarabira, 60 percent ish of people here drive motorcycles and not cars. Here, they have a drink called guadana. It comes from the inside of a green coconut and it tastes interesting. It's not unpleasant but definitely not American (just like almost everything else here but that's not a bad thing).
I know that I am here to do the Lord's work and I know that I am right where the Lord needs me. I can't wait to help him do His work.
Elder Brett Wilson

January 11, 2014

I am traveling on Tuesday and I dont know when my pday will be when i get to the mission so here it is.
This week, we committed our investigator, Augustino, to baptism. This was a big step for him since he had a difficult time with the concept of us having priesthood authority. I am busy packing.
Packing to leave the MTC is much harder than I would have thought at the beginning of my time here. I'm sorry i dont really have much to say (though i am sure that ya'll will have lots when i call on Monday). I was reading the Book of Mormon in the Book of Mormon and I had the thought that pretty much all of the Nephite nation was wicked and yet they chose one of the few righteous among them to be their leader (Mormon). This is just a testament that even if someone is doing wrong and evil, they still recognize good and the fact that those people have extra power/blessings. This may be part of the reason that Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before man, that they may see your good works".
I am excited to be flying out to Brazil to begin the main part of my mission. We did Skype with native Brazilians and I was able to understand most of what they said. So, i am feeling pretty good about my Portuguese but i am sure that will change once i get to Brazil. I got your package today with the kool-aid in it and it will be much appreciated in Brazil. I also received the journals from Uncle Denny. Tell him thanks from me or send me his email so i can express gratitude myself. Also, thank you for the healthy snacks they came at just the right moment because after a time there is only so much candy that you can eat and when many of your relatives send you candy it ends up piling up. All of my district has been well fed with the stuff sent to me.  It is really nice of everyone.
got to go.
Elder Brett Wilson

January 7, 2014

Dear all,
On New Years Eve, we had Elder Ballard come and speak to us. He spoke about the Atonement and making changes. The point that struck me was that when we try to make a change, if you only last a week and then you fail, you are now one week better for that. Now, you can now use that progress to build to 2 weeks, to a month, to the rest of your life.
I guess that y'all haven't gotten my letter with the news yet. so i will just tell you I GOT MY VISA!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

I will be departing here next Monday for Brazil along with 3 others in my district, including my companion. But none of us are flying together. We are allowed to call from the airport so I will be calling from Atlanta at about 7pm-ish (central time) next Monday.
Brett's companion - Elder Voorhies - A Dutch young man from Lubbock, Texas

In interviews with the district presidency, we discuss my progress and any problems that I have or are in my district. I am singing in choir and it is enjoyable, mostly because that is a hour, twice a week, that I am not in the classroom. lol. My daily schedule is get up go to breakfast. Then, I have a 3hr block with a teacher(Portuguese, how to teach, progressing investigator,etc.). Then, study, lunch, language study, gym, more study, dinner, another 3hr block with a teacher, personal time, bed. It's about 9 hrs total in my classroom.

This week as I said earlier, I got my visa which was probably the highlight. Also, I got a light saber, and learned how to bend gravity (see pics).
A spiritual insight that I have had this week is that we were saved for this last dispensation. Out of all of the people who could of been picked - Abraham, Moses, Peter, Nephi, Moroni, God chose us, he wouldn't leave this final dispensation to chance. he chose people that he knows he can count on. Let's not let him down.
In other news, in my final week at the MTC, my district has now received our 6th teacher because of the way it happened with us being here between semesters at BYU. Don't of our teachers stayed the same, it was just the other one that kept changing.
Here we don't have any pollen. I'm sure that it all died and went to pollen afterlife. But I'm sorry for y'all all the same. One frustration of the mission life: we have an investigator (Augustino) who know the Book of Mormon is true but can't quite accept that Joseph Smith was a prophet or that we have the correct priesthood authority despite the fact that those are connected. I think that we are making progress. It would probably be best to ship the journals to Joao Pessoa because I don't know if they would get here by Saturday morning because the mailroom closes early on Sat and I fly out early on Monday.
Im glad y'all enjoyed New Years. It was fun here too, especially when at midnight we were woken up by some people who were right outside the fence yelling "Happy New Years America, You're the best" over and over. It was funny at first but then it turned annoying. Such is the life of a missionary.

Bound for Brazil

Elder Brett Wilson

December 31, 2013

Hello all,
For Christmas, i also received some presents from grandma/pa wilson. they gave me a motab cd, and a 1/4th size preach my gospel which is actually really nice.

Thank you everyone for sending me stuff throughout the holidays! It was wonderful!!!
My new Teacher is irmão cristani. He went to his mission in south são paulo. He has been teaching us portuguese that is taylored to brazil, as well as cultural things like after you eat a meal with someone it is polite to pull on you ear and say "quinche" a little weird but i like it.
The people in my zone who got their visas found out when it showed up in their mailbox. No one in my district has gotten their visa yet; they are all going to brazil but to one of 2 missions. At this point, if i get my visa i will finish here and fly out on jan 13th.
For Christmas, we also had Elder Bednar come and we had a talent show. It was mostly the usual dancing/ instruments/singing but one guy did magic which was sweet. Also, we got a concert from Gladys Knight.

I am doing really well. Thanks for the Texas flag. idk if I've mentioned it but my comp is from Lubbock and another of my roommates is from Allen, Texas.

Elder Voorhies, Brett's companion

My district. From left to right Elder Booth(a), Elder Mitchell(b), Elder Stotts(a), Elder Buechele(b), Elder Voorhies, Me, Elder Russell(d), Elder Mendoza(d)

So, the flag is appreciated as we are all conceited about being from Texas (and proud of it).lol. Like I said earlier, we all like our new teacher. He is a byu student and really funny. apparently about once a month he gets stomach troubles. They started when he came home from Brazil, so here's hoping that doesn't happen to me. We are teaching an investigator named Augustino. He is progressing fast but he is having some trouble and doubts about the priesthood, so we are trying to figure it out. His theory is that he saw his pastor cast out a demon and that was priesthood authority. so yeah. The district that was older than us left yesterday so now our district is the top dog in our zone. We will find out today who the new zone leaders are going to be.

I was reading the book, "Our Heritage", and I have been amazed at the levels of persecution that the early pioneers went through. I am extremely grateful. I am trying to live up to the legacy that they left behind. I would highly recommend that you read that book.

Tonight we are going (supposedly) to have an apostle for a new years eve devotional. My district is ushering so maybe we will get to meet him beforehand. An elder on my floor got some Monster energy drink in the mail today and he plans to use it to celebrate New Years. It should be funny to see how wired he gets after being away from "substances" for a month now.

Reason number 4 to go on as mission: You get to hear from at least one general authority every week.

I hope that yall are well. thanks for the pics.

Elder Wilson