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