Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sept. 28, 2011

Oi pai!

So this last week was a good one. We baptized Edson and it was awesome! He is so strong! He has potential to go on a mission. He is a little shy but we will see. He was baptized and that same night he went to a church dance, and hes already going to seminary, so he is really firm. It was awesome to get another baptism in, and see someones life change. I gave a 15 talk in church in sac meeting on sunday, and it went really good. Its a lot easier giving talks now that im fluent haha. I remember my first talk when i first got in brazil. I was so nervous but now im good! THis week we also got more furniture for our house. The only thing thats left is kitchen sink, washing machine, ironing board, and a couple other things. Getting closer, but honestly i dont think i will ever live in it. Probably i will get transfered that is coming up in two weeks. I hope so. So yesterday was pretty cool. I hit my eleventh month mark and it was my Bday! Man, one more month until hump day. But for my bday it sucked during the day because we were just in the hot sun walking from apointment to apointment and they all basically fell through. When the night came our branch pres picked us up because he said he had to talk to us, so he came and picked us up and took us to his house, and they had a cake and a bunch of food and we had a little bday party. It was so nice of them, I love that family! It made my birthday great, so it was good. So here in brazil the weather is starting to heat up really nice so its good to finally feel the warmth of a full year of cold on my mission. Two winters in a row man! That sucked!!! Haha. I will finish another winter and when i come home it will be the start of yet another winter in Utah. Lucky me right? Here in brazil right now the mail system is strike so my packages and letters are taking forever. Also the banks here are on strike so that sucks too haha. Everyone is on strike! But yeah today we went to another elders house because he is celebrating his birthday too so we had cake and food and everyone sang to us. Pday flies by so fast. Only if everyday went by as fast as pday hahaha. But yeah that is whats going on pretty much. I hope they find that robber and give my scooter back! Have a good week I love ya!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sept. 21, 2011

Hola, Dad! So we never moved this week.... freak! We talked to the branch president to get a big truck to go get our stuff so he paid this guy and the mission gave him a fridge without gas, two chairs, a bed, and a little table. Dang! We called president cordon up to complain because the office elders arent doing anything to get our stuff for our house, so president cordon had all of our stuff bought, and now we just gotta get that moved in now. My pacience is running out....
Man that sucks that we got robbed! They stole my scooter those little jerks! I was thinking how vulnerable our house is the other day. Everyone here locks up way good because people break into houses all of the time here. THis week will be my bday and it will be weird. I will have to make that cake mom sent. SO we were supposed to have a baptism but it never happend because he still didnt have a testimony, so we visited him and he said he prayed and never got an answer that these things are true, so we invited him to pray right then, so we all got on our knees and he prayed. We waited in silence for 40 minutes on our knees waiting for him to get an answered. He didnt get one, but I promised him that if he would continue praying, and not give up, he would get one. The next day we visited him and he said that he prayed again that same night and got an answer, and now he is ready and excited to be baptized. His name is Edson and when we began teaching him, he had never even prayed in his life. Now he is praying every day and reading the book of mormon, and his life is changing. Its way cool seeing people like him develop faith in christ. This week the zone leaders mission leader invited us to his bday bbq for lunch and it was way good. Brazilian bbqs are the best. THis sunday was stake conference, and it was super good as well. Something funny this week is that we were doing door contacts with people and it was elder deivids turn so he clapped at this door and this way old lady slowly walked to the gate to talk to us. She was so dang old that she was mixing up her words. Elder Deivid told her that we had a message for her, bus she replied "so, are you guys gunna give me a massage?" haha but she wanted to say message. Elder deivid decided to play along and he said "well we arent proffessionals, but we can try to give you a massage if you would like" haha I started laughing so hard. The word message and massage are super close in pronounciation so it was easy for her to mess up because she is so old. Something else funny is that everyone in the zone is now calling eachother "primo" which means cousin in both spanish and portuguese. They are saying it because I started saying it. I brought the word over from the philly mission, where all the mexicans call eachother primo on the street, and all of the brazilians love it now haha. It will spread throughout the whole mission because of me. But yup, that was my week! Make sure that you lock up the house and none of my stuff will get robbed! Now mom has an excuse to be paranoid about locking up the house haha. Have a good week!

September 15, 2011

Wow sounds like an action packed week, but a good one! Man, I was so homesick!! The most homesick probably since my mission started. I was thinking about you guys so much, and I wanted to be there so bad, but I am now over it and back to focus on the work. The night of the wedding dinner I bought regular and dessert pizza and we ate it so I wouldnt be so homesick haha. The best way to get rid of homesickness is brazilian pizza! The best is the chocolate pizza with strawberries on top! That sucks that nick cant eat strawberries anymore haha! But its sweet that they are married now and I am happy for them. He is just buzzing through life isnt he?? Thats too bad that he only had a couple days off, and now back to school. Welcome to the real life huh^?? But I did wear a plain black tie on friday and saturday.  But something new this week is that Elder Andrade, the zone leader I live with, has taught me a bunch of magic card tricks that the people love here. He is super good with tricks and I went and bought me a card deck and he taught me sweet tricks that the people love to see like and family home evenings and stuff. There is this card trick I learned that the person will choose a card and then write it on a peice of paper. I then burn the paper and rub the ashes on my arm and the card appears it is way sweet the people think its crazy! I have already used it several times with the members and my investigators. I will show you guys when I get home. Some brazilian news is that one state down from me, Santa Catarina, is flooded like crazy and tons of homes are under water ha good thing Im not there! But everything is going good here, we are finally moving tomorrow! Man, after forever we finally get to move in, but I think I will only get to enjoy it for a little bit because I am thinking I will be transfered. Oh well, its all part of the mission. As for baptisms go, we will baptize on friday! His name is Edson and he is 15 years old. His mom was a reference but she is breaking the law of chastity, so we ended up teaching her son and now we will baptize him! He is way sweet. Today for pday we went to a buffet and ate a ton, then after we walked and looked at all of the shops and stuff. Good times... But yup, that has been my week pretty much. I hope you have a great week!    Love ya! Matt

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sept. 7, 2011

E ai Pai!

Well there isnt too much to comment on this week ha this week just seemed normal. It has been raining a ton which makes walking missionary work a nightmare. No one is on the street to do a contact and my feet get wet and its super cold with wind blowing rain on you so the umbrella doesnt help that much. You just get soaked ha it is miserable. But summer is coming and it is starting to heat up! We had a really hot day the other day and the sun was so hot! It just feels like it is eating your skin and then the humidity just gets to you as well. Im in for a treat this summer haha.. But the weather here changes so quickly. You can have four different seasons in one day. Its crazy. But this week we found a bunch of people to teach. We found some really cool investigators and then not so firm investigatores. I dont know if you have ever heard the missionary term - Molies- but molies are investigators that are just super lazy and not firm at all. They can let you in your house but they will never change and they just want to hear the word of god haha. I hate molies! There are so many of them in Brazil. You can have 20 investigators, and most of the time 17 of them are Moly. So I have been thinking a ton about home and the wedding this week. I want to be there so bad! It will be awesome for nick to be married, I am way happy for him. Its weird to think that soon I will have to be thinking about marriage. One of the members in our branch will be cooking me a special lunch on friday so that I wont be so trunky. She let me pick out what we are going to eat so I chose french fries, Torta de frango (literally chicken pie, but its different than it sounds), fresh squeezed fruit juice, and passion fruit mousse. It will be so good! We still are living in Sao jose, but according to the mission office we should be moved in soon, but haha they have been saying that for a long time! I will believe it when I see it! But yeah, that has pretty much been our week. My bday is coming up soon, 20 years old! Weird eh? Not much going on other than working a lot! Baptism next week! Two of them to be exact! We will try to marry a bunch of our investigators because they just are lazy and live together here ha so we will see. But yeah, have a good week and good luck with the wedding! I love ya!

Love, Matt

August 31, 2011

Boa Tarde!

So Im staying in Sao marcos for another transfer. Dang.... I was hoping to get out. Im suprised im staying actually. I have been in the same zone ever since I got here in April. Freak! I dont really like this area, but if the Lord wants me here I will stay! Lets see what this transfer brings... But thats funny about the cardboard cutout haha I thought Gary had forgotten about me. Is it lifesize? Man, you guys are going to flaming gorge yet again?! Thats three times this year isnt it? Fishing sounds good right about now ha. We can fish in this misson so maybe if I get lucky I will get an area where I can fish. This week pretty good. We had splits and I stayed in Sao Jose with the zone leader that we live with. I stayed with Elder Askins and It was good speaking english the whole time. Man, my english has gone down a lot haha it sucks! I have to think about it now and I get mixed up a lot. But this last sunday Rosi and Sandy finally got baptised! Whew.... We worked so hard with them. It was so sweet to finally see them baptised. Rosi picked me to baptize her. This week I decided to break out some of the pancake mix that mom sent me and make some good ol flapjacks. I made some with chocolate chips and then put peanut butter on top with syrup. The brazilian elders thought it was the most delicious thing ever haha they dont have any of that stuff here. They loved it. It was good to eat that stuff again. So winter is finally ending and it is getting hot. The other day it was super hot during the day and night. It will just get hotter from here. Finally! Heat! So Elder Askins got transfered so yesterday we went to Mcdonalds for our last meal together. So my first Mcdonalds experience was weird here in Brazil. I walked in and thought I got teleported to the United States haha It was all the same look. The only thing it that is was freaking expensive! My Big Mac Meal was over 20 reis!! Thats like 15 dollars. In the USA, Mcdonalds is for people that dont have that much money to eat. In Brazil, the rich people eat at Mcdonalds ha... It was weird. Well, that pretty much sums up my week. Just working hard and trying to baptize more!! I hope you have a good week!

Love, Matt

August 24, 2011

Hey dad,
Another week in the books indeed! So this week was alright. We had zone conference which was super good and I learned a lot. But saturday came along and we were super excited to baptize Rosi. We went to her house and she was lying in bed crying and really depressed. The room smelled like alcohol so I asked her if she had drank and she said yes. She also had smoked. Her friends had passed by earlier that day and persuaded her to go to the bar, because she was so depressed (she has depression) and she caved into temptation and went and drank. I was so mad, frustrated, and sad. It was really dissapointing. We had a good talk with her, and encouraged her to repent, and never do it again. She accepted and I think she has truely repented. We re marked the baptism for saturday, but she will need special permission from Pres. Cordon to be baptised because she drank and smoked. Its crazy how satan can stop everything from happening. He knows she is trying to be baptised, and that is why he is working so hard with her. I know that we will win this battle. The branch is helping with her a lot and visiting her to stay focused. It will be a good feeling when she is baptised. I hope all goes well this saturday because I want to be there to baptise her. I might be transfered on wednesday so wI hope all goes well. I think I will be transfered, but who knows what will happen. Transferes really are crazy! I want to leave this area. It is dangerous, the branch hardly does anything to help us, and I am so sick of paying a bus pass every single day to go to our area. I want to leave ha but if I stay it is what the lord wants and I will happily stay. The weather this week has been really weird. The weather here is super strange, I have never seen anything like it. One minute it will be hot and sunny, and the next will be freezing and pouring rain. This week was really cold with rain, and miserable to work in! I think it was the last cold front before it starts to warm up here, and Its gunna get HOT!!!! So I thought I would tell you what we do for fun when we walk on the streets to from appointment to appointment to keep ourselves happy and excited. So the streets here are littered with oranges and limes that fall from the trees ( just about everyone ownes an orange and lime tree) and they just lie in the gutters. We like to kick them to eachother and play soccer. We also try to smash eachothers orange/lime or kick them perfectly so that cars will crush them as the go by. Ha its pretty silly but it makes a difference in keeping us animated. Also, we scare the crap out of the dogs haha there are so many on the streets and stuff that just sleep and we get really close to them and make a loud noise and they just take off running like crazy hahaha. But yeah, all is going well and I am hopeing for a good week and that rosi will be baptised. All is well. Have a good week and work hard!
Love, Matt

August 17, 2011

Tudo bem,

This week has been good. So first off we almost got robbed again!!!! But don't worry it didn't happen ha but if we hadn't have followed the spirit it def would have happened again.  We were walking at night and about 30 feet in front of us there were 3 dudes walking and they kept looking back at us.  they turned the corner out of our view because there wa a wall ther and so we stopped.  We waited for awhile and then we saw one of their heads pop around the corner waiting to see why we hadn't passed yet.  s'o we turned around an just went a different route, but I know for sure they were waiting for us.  I have piciked up a ton of street smarts here in Brazil.  You have to be smart an just now how to avoid these situations. So this week we tried to pass by rosi's house but everytime we tried to talk to her, she just sent her daughter to the door to say that she didn't want to have visits anymore, so we were super sad and confused because she had loved us so much.  But we finally got into the house and she wa laying in bed in tonws of pain Her druggie brother that had moved into her house without permission had beaten her because she told him to leave the house.  She was crying and fell into depression.  For a couple of days she had just wanted to kill herself because she felt alone, abandoned by her friends and family, and in so much pain. Elder Deived and I have been visiting her so much, and have helped her through everything possible.  We got the members involved, and now she is getting visits and dinners from the members, and gaining a lot of friends.  We planned a family home evening and invited her, and have picked her back up on her feet.  She went to the doctor and is improving a ton.  She said she doesn't know what would have happened if it wasnt for us and our help.  She is a lot more healthier now and emotionally she is happy!  I have never seen such a person so sad in there life, and I was so glad to see her smile again. I believe that she would have killed herself if it wasn't for us and the members of this gospel.  She will be baptized with her daughter this saturday.  From her stopping us on the street, to her gaining a testimony of the book or mormon and joseph smith, this has been an amazing experience for me to see as a missionary.  But something funny happened this week is that we were teaching a less active member that is a professional painter, and he had little bottles of paint on the table that we were sitting at.  I picked up one of the bottles and took off the cap and saw that there was dry paint that had sealed the top off, so I thought it would be safe to give the bottle a little squeeze and POP!!!!  the cap flew off entirely and a fountain of white paint flew across the room like old faithful.  the result was paint on the sealing, walls, floor, cabinet, table, my companions face, suit, and nametag.  oops hahahahahahaha. That's your boy!!!!  It was so funny  ha we were laughing as we cleaned it up.  He is actually doing a painting for me of the Curitiba Temple that I will be sending home. But yup, that was my week! Everything is going good and im coming up on my 10 month mark! Keep me updated on the good stuff thats goung on and know that I love you and im grateful for everything you have done!
Love, Matt

August 10, 2011

Boa tarde pai!  (good afternoon dad)
So another week here in Brazil has gone by quickly.  It truly does seem like the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days.  Today for pday we cleaned our apartment super good  I wrote a couple of letters, and then I took a really good nap.  They are really hard to come by these days.  It seems like Grandpa's funeral was really good.  I would have liked to be there, but I am needed in the world elsewhere at this specific time in life. I am glad I will be getting a tie with such a strong meaning.  i will never trade it!!!!  So this week has been spent doing a lot of finding and teaching.  Now that I am senior comp and taking over,  we teach more lessons. Elder dos santos was good, but he didn't have that excitement of just go9ing out there and going for it, but now that I have the say in what we do and where we go, we are doing really well number wise and our investigators are progressing well.  So this wekk on e of our investigators Rosi told us that she got an answer to her prayer and now she knows that everything we have taught her is true.  She heard a voice that told her that she has to be baptised.  Her baptism is suppose to happen this Saturday, but some complications with her have arrived so Elder Deivid and I will work hard to 'tirar duvidas' or in other words, take her concerns away.  The weather has been hot and cold all in the same day. The weather here really is strange.  I have never seen anything like it. It can be freezing and rainy in the morning, but by the time it hits mid day you are already sweating!!!!  Welcome to Brazil haha.  The worst of the winter has passed, and it wasn't too bad at all. Everyone talked it up like it was this horrible thing, but it wasn't bad.  Just only a few days were bad,but for the most part it has been pretty calm.  The thing that makes the cold really cold here is the humidity and the wind.  The wind sucks here!  There is so much!  But anyways, this week we have been progressing Bianca and Cassiana, a mother and daughter.  They went to church on sunday and really liked it. We found them by tracting aka we clapped at her door haha.  But they are awesome, and they are accpting all of our committments.  They are now living the word of wisdom and we marked baptismal dates.  The only complication is that Cassiana isn't married so that will be complicated working that out, because her husband is a bit difficult., But we'll see.  So the situation on the houseis that the contact is all done and has been went to the mission office to be signed by Pres. Cordon, so I'm thinking that soon we will move, but hey....I have been saying that for a longggggg time hahaha.  I am thinking thaqt I will be transfered just as we get moved in...dang...haha.  But yep, that has been our week.  A mission is such an emotional rus. Some days I just crawl into my bed and just want to cry because its so hard, but I knew it woold never b3e easy, and I know it is worth every single pain and sadness that I experience.  I am growing a lot, and I woulod say I am now fluent in Portuguese. But yup, this is the life of a missionary!  Thank you dad for being such a great dad.  This sunday is fathers day here in brazil, so I will say to you Feliz dia dos pais!!!! You are th eman.  Keep up the hard work and thank you for everything.  I love you!
Love, Matt

August 3, 2011


Dad, So first of all please send my love and thoughts to grandma and the family. It was sad because I know that I will miss him, but I am happy he is freed from the pain. Mission Pres called me and told me, and I knew when I saw that it was him calling that Grandpa had passed. I will miss him a lot. An overwhelming and unexplainable sense of peace and comfort came to me when I found out so I know that I am being watched over. He was a great man. He will be missed.

This week has been good. I heard that it has been super hot in the USA, like 120 degrees in the east coast. Is that true? Something funny that happend this week is that we saw a huge brown spider on our wall in the house, which is super deadly, so we grabbed a can of axe and lit some paper on fire and made our own homemade flamethrower and owned it hahahaha. Good times. Also this week we had zone conference and the area 70 came and gave us some trainings. It was good and I learned a lot. It has been raining a ton lately. For two days it rained hard and didnt stopped for even a second. The first day I didnt have an umbrella so I just got soaked. I am gaining many wife points. Wife points are something you gain when bad things happen to you. THe more wife points you get, the better looking your wife will be hahaha. When you walk in the rain without an umbrella, that is a way you can gain wife points. It has been super cold and windy the past few days, so the hot hands that mom sent have been put to use. It was 50 degrees in our house this morning. The portuguese is going really good and I am speaking naturally and fast. I hardly have to think about it now. Last night I was taking a shower and the shower head exploded and caught on fire. It made me jump so bad haha. Here in brazil the shower is heated by the shower head that is filled with heating coils. Ha I knew that it was shady when I got here! It just exploded and caught on fire!!! Im lucky I didnt get shocked haha. Maybe one day they will use gas heaters... But yup, that was my week, I hope you have a great week as well!

Love, Mat

July 27, 2011

Hey! So every week I write in my daily planner on the wednesday page on what happend in the week so I can tell you when pday comes, but unfortunately I forgot it today so I will just be going off of memory, and anything I miss will go on next weeks letter. But this week I was sick with a cold, which is yet another thing that has been owning my health. The month of July has been horrible health wise. Some things have happend with my body whether it be some weird brazilian rash or my glands swelling up when i got a fever. Man, sometimes brazil just owns you!!! Haha. But I will be fine and these things will pass. My cold is already almost gone. Hey tell mom to send me nyquill and dayquill will you? Also Ibeprofen. But anyways ha so Diego never got baptised. His baptism was suppossed to be saturday night but we got there saturday night and he backed out at the last second! It sucked! His dad talked with us and he said that he wasnt ready to be baptised and that even worsened diegos confidence. He doesnt even want to take messages anymore. His uncle is a Jehovah witness and Im almost positive he is the one who talked him out of it. Freak! Oh well, we did our part, he just didnt except. But on some good news we were walking on the road heading to an investigators house when a woman shouted at us to come back and talk with her. She had told us that something inside of her told her to look outside, and when she saw us the spirit whispered to her that she needed to talk to us. Man it was so sweet! We taught the first lesson and marked baptism dates with her and her daughter! They are super solid! But the work is going pretty good. We are doing a lot of tracting trying to widen our teaching pool and get new investigators. My comp is new in the mission but he teaches super well and knows all of the lesson doctrine, so its all good. Our house got passed by the zone leaders and now we are waiting for the mission office to finalize the deal. Uhg, im so sick of waiting and taking the bus every single day! I think its close now though, and we should be moved in maybe next week. I´ll cross my fingers. But yup, all is well, and its a good life serving a mission. Today is my nine month mark and its so crazy to think about house fast its gone! But at the same time, it seems like forever since the mtc and that I´ve seen you guys. Well, I cant remember what else I wanted to say, but I will say what I missed in the next weeks letter. I love you!

July 20, 2011

Hey PAI!!! So this week was so so. I was super sick with the flu and a high fever so I just stayed in bed sunday night and all of monday, because I was shivering to death, throwing up, and my body was aching like crazy! But im feeling a lot better now, so its all good. This past week I was at the Bakery and heard a voice behind me say, Are you from utah??? And it was in english too! So I looked behind me and there was a man sitting down, so I asked him how he knew where I was from and how he knew english, and he said he lived in the united states for 7 years and knew church members, and just assumed I was from Utah. He is an english teacher here for the school. So I got his address and we went to his house to teach him, but it didnt go too great because he wasnt interested and he was super weird, so it didnt end up with baptism, but it was cool to do a contact in english! We found an investigator named Jurema this week, and she is super elect! We taught her the first lesson and she told us that a few nights before she had a dream about a man dressed in white telling her to be baptised, and a few days later we found her, so she is super excited about the church and being baptised! She walked to church all be herself and loved it! The only problem is that she is living with someone. UHG!!! Its always complicated! Haha, but we will help her out until she is baptised!! Woo!  Transfers was today and Elder Dos Santos was transfered, which means im staying here in São Marcos. My new companion is 18 years old and only has 3 months in the mission. His name is Elder Deveid and hes from São Paulo. I am now Senior companion and taking over the area. He is super good, and it will be good serving with him. I already know him because he has already been serving in our zone. But yeah, that has been the highlights and lowlights of the week. I hope you are catching tons of fish at the gorge!! I love ya!!!!

Elder Harper

July 13, 2011

Hey, dad.  sounds like another busy week for you! Welcome to the life of a missionary haha! Always busy and running everywhere. But this week has been good, and we had another baptism on Saturday. Her name is Janaina and it was good to see another investigator be baptized! We have another baptism this sunday, so we are just doin work here. Our district is made up of us and 2 other companionships, and we all baptize every single week. The rest of the zone is struggling so much with baptisms, so we are the strong link in our zone. The past week the weather has been soooo nice! Man, its perfect here. I gotta live it up until the worst part of winter starts and I hear it is miserable, because we just walk all day so we will just soak it all up. We are still trying to get things settled for our house in São Marcos, and its sooo annoying! I hate taking the bus every single day. We found a really sweet house, and will hopefully get all moved in within the next 2 weeks or so, just in time to maybe get transfered haha. A week from today is transfers, and I think either I, or elder dos santos will leave. The Portuguêse is going really good. I am near fluency, and can understand almost all conversations. I just need to memorize some words so i can tell stories good haha. Having a brazilian companion has helped my portuguese out so much. Something that has been happening here is that our ward mission leader changed which is a super good thing. The other one was annoying, and wanted to do everything his way. There is a lot of apostasy in our branch haha they do some things incorrectly. For example, last fast sunday our ward mission leader got up and gave a talk, in testimony meeting! He hardly left any time to give the members to bear their testimonies, and the bishopric didnt do anything. He gave another talk last sunday before the sacrament. He said he had an announcment and the bishopric gave him 3 min to give the announcment but instead he gave another talk for like 20 min and they didnt do anything, so me and my comp talked to president and fixed a few things that has been happening in the branch, so its all good now. OUr new ward mission leader is super good, and helps out a lot. But yeah, this week was good, now im off to play soccer! Love ya dad!


July 6, 2011

Hey Dad! You are certainly right about the cold! Man and I thought Brazil was supposed to be hot! Haha but it hasnt been too bad, the only thing that sucks is that we always have to walk in it. At least we had cars with heaters in the PHilly Mission. It sounds like things are going good at home, so thats good. We didnt do anything special for July fourth. I was actually pretty trunky thinking of all the fourth of july memories. But things in São Marcos are going good still, except we STILL dont have a house yet, so it makes everything a little more difficult, but our Ward Mission Leader is working on it and we should have a house this week according to him. I went to the Temple last pday after emailing and it was sweet. I bought some g´s and a bible. The Curitiba temple is sweet. Lately it has been raining a ton, almost evry day. It rains a bunch here. On sunday I did my first confirmation! I confirmed Wellington, who we had baptised the week before. We have yet ANOTHER baptism this weekend, so it should be good. Until now ive had 13 baptisms on the mission, and i hope there is many more to come. This next one will make 14. So I finished some things this week like training and such and I am now approved to be a trainer! So well see what this next transfer brings, maybe Ill be training! Today we went to Jardim BOtanical again and also to this way sweet cemitary thats by our house. Well, that was my week, and I´´m doing super good here! Man almost every single keyboard in Brazil sucks! Well take care, I love ya!

Love, Matt

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

June 29, 2011

Hey! I havent gotten your email yet! Im a little early online today, because we are going to the Temple today. Im super stoked to go there again! I love the temple... But anyways I´ll just jump right into what
happend this week. So we had a baptism yet AGAIN! Woo! We are doing good. They were all from refferals. Thats why refferals are super important, because several baptisms result from refferals. Another thing that happend this week is that Sunday I gave a 15 min talk in church on missionary work. Everyone said they loved it and it was really good. I got the branch super excited to help us out in the work. I fired them up on giving us refferals and going out teaching with us. The weather has
been SUPER cold lately. THis cold reminds me sort of the cold in Philly, but not as bad. Super humid and windy. There is frost on the grass and windsheilds in the morning. This weather makes it so miserable for missionaries, becuase we are walking in it all of the time, with the wind blowing in our face. Also, our apartment doesnt have a heater, and its soooo cold during the night and morning. I sleep with gloves, two pairs of pants, a beanie, and 2 hoodies. To make it all worse, our shower is broken so its just cold water. Man, super bad luck! Haha. It sucks having all of these winters. I endured a whole winter in philly,
and just when it started to warm up, im here at the start of a brand new winter. When it comes time to come home, I will just be finishing the next winter, it will start to warm up here, just to go home at the start of a utah winter. Man, tons of winters for me! This sucks! I hate the cold! haha. But in other news, there are tons and tons of annoying barking dogs that chase us sometimes in São Marcos. THey are just
street dogs that roam the streets, so i bought a powerade with a really good squirting bottle, and I fill it up with water and squirt the annoying dogs when they bark or chase us and they run away every time! hahaha, I get em. Last night something funny that happened is that an investigator was explaining to us that she hadnt received an answer to her prayer, and we found out why. Because she had been praying to joseph smith! hahaha. Well we fixed that right up and well see how it goes. Well i gotta run now,         i love you! Tchau


E ai Pai!   Another great week here in good ol´ Brazil. I wasnt robbed so thats a good thing right? haha. Man, first day of summer back home... Good times in the summer... Truncky!!! But it has actually been super nice here lately. Next month will be the coldest and then the days will start to get warmer and longer too. It gets dark about 5:30 right now so it makes the work a little more dangerous at night, but we are smart about where we go during the night. Dont worry. I hear the sun is still up here until 8:30 in the summer so that will be super good for the work. I will just end with a winter here, and then head straight into winter there when i get home. Man, lots of winters to pass in 2 years... Im super happy gary is doing good. Mom said that you have been looking at getting a friend for gary. Man you should wait until I get home and then get a puppy! haha. I will teach it tricks in portuguese. So is it still raining a lot?? It rains quite a bit here. Today we went to the zoo (for free) and it rained on us and we got soaked. It mists here a ton too, more often than rain. But this week was good! We had yet another baptism!! We are baptising every week here. We have 2 more baptisms this weekend, and that will make 3 weeks in a row of baptisms. The members are giving us a lot of refferals, which is helping a lot. This week we stayed in the house for 2 days because my comp was sick. I picked up his sickness but its not too bad and wont keep me from doing the work! I just used the time indoors to eat, and study pretty much ha it was boring. We had activities this week too with the branch, and we brought investigators. Every week we have soccer with the branch, and we bring investigators and they love it. Yesterday we did a service project for this family that lives in the jungle part of our area. Its super long from the city part, and up in the mountains with jungle. There are monkeys and venomos snakes in this area! Its way cool. This sunday we will give talks in sac meeting (about 20 min long) so i have to prepare for that. But yeah things here are going great, and we´re just preparing for winter to come next month! Tecnically its already here, but it hasnt been too bad so far. But i love you! Keep up the good work! I hope your fathers day was super good! 
Love, Matt

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 15, 2011

E ai pai tudo esta bem?! Hey, Dad.  It sounds like you´ve been working super hard lately keep up the good work. I know how you feel when you feel like you have a million things to get done and you have no time to rest. I never rest here haha. This week was really good and we are getting this area going. It´s still hard going back and forth by bus every day but we should have our house soon in a couple of weeks so it will be good. We got a house picked out thats in a safe area and its right behind a members house that stays in the house all day so it will be safe. We had a baptism on saturday and it went really well. She picked me to baptize her so I did and it was good except the water was super cold! Every single baptism i´ve done has been in freezing water. I guess I just have bad luck. But it was really good, there was a lot of support from the branch. The members here are so excited to help us out in missionary work and we are getting a lot of refferals. This week I also went on exchanges and got put with the Zone Leader Elder Askins and he´s american, so we just took a break on the portuguese for a while and just spoke english on the streets in between appointments. I realized that my english skills have gone down a little haha sometimes I just say the portuguese word because in the moment I can´t think of the English word. Just imagine when i´ll be here for a really long time how much my English will go. This week I also experienced real legit passionfruit juice and it was soooo good! I also had real guava juice and it was amazing. Usually here in southern Brazil there isnt that much natural fruit juice because they just use Tang powder that actually tastes way good so its all good. The majority of fruit in brazil is grown in the northeast where its nice and hot all year long. Here fruit is really expensive, but sometimes members will treat you to real juice! This morning I had a avacado and bannana milkshake and it was way good. So there is this dog in são marcos that I swear is the ugliest dog in the world haha I need to take a picture of him. He has a bunch of bald spots and really long hair where he does have hair. Its super funny. The weather here is getting colder and colder every day it sucks! There is really heavy fog every single morning. When it rains here it rains in buckets its so crazy. Hmmm what else.... Yesterday we were teaching a 11 year old and a 7 year old that drinks alcohol and smokes weed. Ha man what kids do these days. Things are going good here and the portuguese its going super good. I´ll be fluent soon. Well I love ya and keep up the good work!
 Love, Matt

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 8, 2011

Tudo bem pai! Things here are good, and dont worry about me! Im not sure if they caught the guys that robbed us, but im sure they didnt cuz the police force was horrible out there. Hahaha i was laughing picturing eric rappin on the turn table, i miss that kid. And what did you mean when you said that you had a bid for the roof?? im confused.. what roof? what bid? please explain yourself. So yeah, im working in são marcos now, and its going good! Its hard though, cuz we opened the area so we get lost a lot, that and we have to catch a bus there every day, that burns money up quick. We are still living in the city next to it, so its hard not living there. We are looking for a good house to rent that is close to the chapel, and safe. Hopefully we´ll figure it out this week. But são marcos is a good area that hasnt had missionaries there for over a year, so the members are super excited to have us here and working. There has just been people coming to church that havent been baptised yet cuz there hasnt been missionaries here to teach and baptise. The members here have been a lot of help to us. In borda do campo the members didnt help at all.. it sucked. But we have a bunch of help now. We have a baptism here this saturday already, its sweet! We are teaching some really firm investigators that should be baptised soon. We are still living in sao jose dos pinhais with the zone leaders so it sucks going back and forth every day with the bus and such. Yesterday it rained so hard and i got soaked. The winter here rains a ton, and its super cold haha. Im in for a treat. Something funny that happened yesterday was that a drunk guy was chasing us and we were laughing cuz he waas just so drunk and couldnt keep up with us. Things are going good and im happy and working hard. I gotta run now my companion is in a hurry to go do nothing hahaha. I love ya have a good week!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June 2, 2011

Hey dad! Wow thats so nuts about the water in utah. Looks like you can just go skim boarding anywhere! This week we had training and it was really good. Im improving so much on the portuguese every day, and i think i should be fluent within 3 months. Im already speaking whatever i want, its just sometimes when you wanna tell a story or something you dont know the vocab for special words. The good thing is my lesson vocab is good, and thats whats important.
This next part i dont know if you should show mom. She might get worried and such, but i thought i would share it with you. You can judge on if you think mom should know. This week i was robbed. It was on thursday and we were walking at about 8:30 and we started to cross the crossing that takes you over and to the other side of the freeway and I was walking about 7 feet in front of elder dos santos, and i passed 5 guys that let me pass, one of them having a big stick in his hand, but i walked about 15 more feet before i realized that elder dos santos wasnt behind me, so i looked back and i heard shouting, and i saw one of the guys grab the cell phone out of elder dos santos hand, and the guys saw me that i was looking back and they yelled at me to run off, but i didnt want to leave my companion, so i ran up to help him and they started to rob me too. They said they had a gun, so we didnt want to resist. They took my backpack, 17 bucks, my umbrella, my nice mission scriptures, daily planner, cell phone, consecrated oil vial, and my irregular verb portuguese card. It happened so fast, with them yelling and screaming in our faces, throwing in a few blows with the stick, then yelling at us to leave. They hit my back pretty hard that cut it and gave it a big bruise, and hit elder dos santos;s hand really hard that made it swell. We ran to a members house and they drove us home, and then we used their phone to call President Cordon, and he told us to go to the hospital to check out and make sure we werent hurt too bad, so we went and it turned out fine. My back was just cut a little with a bruise and elder dos santoss hand was just swollen and not broken. Man, it was so scary. President took us from borda do campo and now we are living with the zone leaders waiting for a house in our new area são marcos. We went to the mission office and they gave us new backpacks (which the backpack i got is horrible and hurts my back), and scriptures ( used and dirty ). BUt I have my life and thats all that counts. Just make sure you are always praying for my safety, cuz i needd those prayers! Im fine now, and everythings alright. It was just a trial but i know i will learn and grow from it.

But things are all good now and we will work hard in são marcos. It is a branch but it only needs 10 more members to make a ward and construct a chapel. We will make it happen! That was my week, pretty much. I love you dad just know that, and im praying for you guys always.

Love, Matt

Monday, May 30, 2011

May 25, 2011

Hahahaha corndog conference..... But yeah, hey!!!! Im doing good and everything is fine! Just to jump right in this weeks events, a drunk guy approached us, super hammered, and the first thing he said to us is " im not gay" so i said "thats good" and he looked right at me and poked me in the chest and said "why is that good you americano!" haha it was so funny. We told him that we were in a hurry and we had to go, so he said it was okay and started to run at us hahaha it was crazy so we got away. THere are a lot of drunk people on the streets here at night. ANother thing that has happend this week is during one of the lessons the lady we were teaching just took her top off and started nursing her baby right in front of us without hiding anything hah man its just a culture thing here and its weird. I saw it happened on the bus too. Its just normal here. THis week the new misionaries arrived and they dont speak absolutely no portuguese! It was funny to see how horrible they were and to remember how bad i was when i arrived ha. its crazy how much ive improved. Im also having dreams in portuguese now and its super weird and funny haha. I went on exchanges this week and while i was walking a group of guys were yelling english words at me like good morning, hey, hi how are you americano, and other things. Haha dang brazilians. The temperature is getting pretty cold now. The temp in our house the other morning was 58 degrees! Super cold, and the humidity just makes it worse. Something funny that happend this week was that all the brazilians were saying how the world was gunna end last friday and they were freaking out. Brazilians are crazy! ha. They say that america never landed on the moon and that all we eat is sandwiches and cheeseburgers. Our investigators are going good, and we got a new investigator that lives on like the last house in our area. We had to walk through a forest to get to his farm hahaha but the scary part was walking back to the town part of our area at night. He lives in a super dangerous area but its all good, cuz we got the spirit with us hahahahaa. But yeah, its going good here in Borda do campo! Thats funny that you finally lost it all on the boat after 20 years, and thats super sweet that you got an ipad 2 from ufl! Give it to me when i get home! Deal?? haha. Well i love ya have a good week!
 Love matt

May 18, 2011

The new lawn mower sounds like it does work! I will deffinatly not miss mowing the pasture with a push mower hahha. Thats super good that jazz got a number 3 pick! Maybe theyll get jimmer! haha. Ocean fishing is gunna be super fun! But all is well here. Today for pday we went to the botanical gardens. It is really big and super nice. It looks way pretty, maybe you can look at photos on google. I sent pics to mom, so you can check em out there too! This week i went on splits a few times cuz my comp is DL and he goes and does interviews. Were you ever DL or ZL?? We got brazilian pizza and it was super good. Its like a tradition to get pizza on a split. We also marked several dates this week, which is good. We need help from the branch. The members here dont help very much, so its hard to baptise here, and when we baptised the recent converts go inactive because no one there fellowships. The portuguese is coming along really good. At zone conference the mission presidents wife (which speaks fluent portuguese, served a mission in Portugal) pulled me to the side and told me how impressed she was with my portuguese. She said by far i speak the best out of the group that arrived with me. I guess the practice and prayers in philly paid off! Im almost to the point where i can just go up to anyone and have a conversation with them without worrying. I can say what i want ususally, and understand the people good. The teaching is going a lot better too, which is sweet! We had our confirmation this sunday too, which was sweet! Something i like here is something called sonhos. They are like these doughnuts things with good creme in the middle and they are only about 45 cents american. Really good, and really cheap! the bakerys here have way good stuff! Something funny this week was when a brazilian said that it was a pleasure to have me in his store cuz i was american ha they love us here. THey think its really interesting cuz they usually never see americans in their life in person. Well, not much more that is going on, just working hard and putting up with the COLD! Man, its starting to get super cold in the night and the morning. We dont have any insalation, and so its like a fridge in our house. They wind and humidity makes it super cold! This morning i was freezing, and by mid day i was sweating. The weather here is weird... BUt all is well here and just know that i love ya!
Love, Matt