Brexton has been sent off to Vitoria, Brazil for his LDS mission.

Friday, August 30, 2013


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TALON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love you and miss you and i'm so jealous you got to go to disney!! I heard you had an awesome time and that it was super cool! I hope you have an awesome birthday and that you enjoy what I got you ( i know every one else will) I love you little bro and I miss you tons! Remember brothers look out for one another!
Love your brother forever,

CTM ~ Week 2

I'm glad the font is smaller :p but you wrote a huge, huge letter so we'll see how far I can get. I was wrong about the time I get, haha I only get 45 mins to write so it took me about 10 to read your letter :p I'm glad emmy is potty trained and that she had so much fun at disney. I thought I was going to fall off my bed too the othere night because we sleep on bunk beds and after our brazilian roommate left I tried his bed and it's just way too shakey. That's cool she's growing up too fast though :(
That's awesome courtney didn't get cut till the 7th lap! That was always one of the most fun races. Have fun in mrs jens class though... don't tell her I didn't like her. I think she thought she was one of my favorite teachers. has she even realized your my sister yet? :p
For the phone I think the password is like Brexton24 or something. She can refill the phone on the phone. It's a specific app. Soccer sounds fun! I'm sure it's way better then sitting around doing nothing like she has been. Those days drive me crazy. What cool though is here I wish we had more time. Days are long but there isn't enough time for everything. Like emails for example or what not. As for seminary it will still be fun, dont worry about everyone going to creekside, your not there for them you're there to learn. And it will pay off if you learn sooner then later.
That awesome kiara has mckinze in her class (sorry no time for spell check) that will make things so much fun in class.Mr. siegel is awesome shes going to love his class. And she is going to learn so much about drama from him. As for that skinny class...idk how to respond. I said it out loud and every one was like they called the class what? Soccer is going to be tons of fun.
That's rough about the end when grandma couldn't help but it was nice of some lady to grab talon. Haha that could have been way worse.
That's good he's coming to scripture study, I wish we had more time for it. I spend most of my time reading in portuguese and then what I don't get reading it in english and it takes like at least 30 mins for a chapter. I'm not surprised about the holes. Haha that's awesome he got it done though. I definitely would have had to take way longer to have done it.
Yeah I haven;t heard anything about back home. Like we don't hear anything about anything. It's kinda like prison because we don't really get sunlight but it's tons of fun. We have ahispanic group of elders we hang out with a bunch and we have been talking to lav's district because they have temple day with us. Let me know how the stae meetings go and stuff. Should be interesting how everything changes. Haha it's so much fun going to those firesides, it's cool because we have 2 each week. one either wednesday or tuesday and one sunday night. The last one was by elder anderson when he talked at provo on tuesday. It was good, mostly about following the spirit.
Not much has happened since last week. We learn everyday more words and we  are getting really good at beginning lessons and teaching but we still rely alot on written notes but we can understand most of what they say, most of the time.... the other day we went to teach one investigator ( our teacher) and didn't even get to the lesson because we spent most of the time talking about quitting smoking. We went to the sao paulo temple is the most beautiful temple I have been in. It was just so beautiful. It doesn't look like a lot from the outside but the inside is amazing. The session was in spanish, bc we went with the hispanic group so we had to wear headphones but they made one of the guys in my district do portuguese and he is the one who is having the hardest time with it. Afterwards he was like "i dont eve know what I said" . Really cool and neat experience though. Oh and across from the temple was a WALMART!!!!!! they exsist :) we couldnt go though. It was just nice to know its there. I;m going to try and get postage stamps today because in reality it's way easier for me to get a lot more for everyone in our family individually that way and then I can use this email to talk about the week and such less personal stuff. Oh pizza by the way, they have this pizza that is like nutella chocolate and has bannan's on it. Heaven on earth. Please send the card to the ctm. If you send it to the mission home idk when I'll actually get it and if they will hold on to it and realize i'm coming.
I miss you all and love you tons!
Elder Simonsen
Tell them I say hi too!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Happy Birthday 19th Elder Simonsen

We knew we wouldn't be able to celebrate Brexton's 19th birthday with him this year because he would be in the CTM in Brazil. So before he left we had birthday celebrations with him here.  Happy Birthday Elder Simonsen~ I cannot believe you are 19, graduated from High School, Already completed one year of College at BYU and now on e Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Where has the time gone? Seem just like yesterday they were putting you in my arms for the very first time... I'm so proud of the young man you have become and I love you so much!

Can you see who is in every picture???? Talon ~ He just adores his big brother so much ~

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me, 

Friday, August 23, 2013

CTM~ Week 2

We didn't get to go to the temple last week like elder brannen. our first day was today and we went to the campinas or something temple. it was really fun but we luckly didn't have to speak portuguese. sorry my english is bad but we are trying to speak portuguese as much as possible and so i've been trying to think in portuguese too. we taught an investigator our first full day and it was crazy. but things have been getting better portuguese wise. we actually committed him to baptism last night so that was exciting. That day i wrote you is the day they give us 10 mins to write our family so thats why there wasn't much detail but i've already said i'd right you first so don't worry.  the layover wasn't bad because we meet other missionaries going to the mtc there too and we all just talked. my companion's name is elder thomas but we got put in a trio yesterday because we got a new elder so my other companion is elder close from north calorlina and elder thomas is from colorado.
the temple was the old video and because it was a ton of english missionaries we saw it in english like i said but without the they replied in portuguese so that was fun. hopefully you undesrtand what i mean by replied.
so there is like maybe 7 or 8 districts usually only one brazilian district and the rest are split between american and hispanic. we have a group of elder from one of the hispanic districts who we get along really well with, one of them is going to go to the same mission as me and we get along really well. speaking of which he is one of those people that can hear something and remember it, so he plays the paino by ear, the flute and can sing other languages by ear. pretty talanted. every body here loves music and plays at least one instrument. doesn't really bother me that i don't play though, it's just cool how talanted they all are. I have didfferent talents.
I'm don't have any one you know in my distric other then sister smith because we arrived the same day. every one else is in other districts but elder brannen is in my group that goes to the temple so we went with him today. we stay in the ctm(portuguese) for 6 weeks and david will go straight to his area i believe.
Haha what talon sounds like in english is what we sound like in portuguese, I'm glad everyone sounds like they are doing well and having fun. ALSO, don't send me packages!!!!!!!!!! i forgot to tell you last week but they specifically ask people not to because it's a big customs hassel and what not. letters are okay, haven't had a chance to go get stamps yet though....probably wont today because we honestly get an hour of p-day today because we had to travel so far to the temple bc the sao paulo temple is closed for cleaning this week. So don't worry about the shorts or anything, I have everything I need. if you send the card i guess put it in a letter or however they say to do it. I'll probably need it but I have like 400 of their money here so don't worry I have plenty for a while. We are going to go look at these AWESOME scripture cases today during our one hour. Truely incredible, made of leather, personally ingraved with like a picture on the front(your choice, example?army of helaman or jesus), mission on the side, name and so on. they are about 40 american dollars but honeslty I feel they are worth it. I would send you a picture...but we can't take camera's outside the ctm and I forgot the I have to look for one today or next p-day. but I have a couple pictures I took already. The brazilians are so nice, we have two roommates that are native and they are so fun to talk with, we just have to speak portuguese.
Gospel doctrine sounds fun and I'm sure it will be good. Ask brook to show the the scritpure I found about yolo on byu memes.
There is like 6 branches two of each language so we have sacrament (portuguese) elders quorum (kinda portuguese) and then I think district meeting. idk we had a diffrent sunday schedule the first sunday.
haha emmy will get it eventually. Brazil is so beautiful. There is a lot of poor people though but there is also super rich areas.
So we had a devotional video from 2011 christmas by elder bendar about the character of christ. amazing devotional, Idk how I will get a hold of it because it's only for missionaires but I think he gave a similar talk later so go look it up. It was freezing the first few nights we are here but for my mission It will be like way hotter so I have no worries. I just can't wait to get there. it will be so much fun. The cool thing here is weeks go fast but days go slow. Like super slow. Lots of language study. I can read portuguese really well, most of the time, writing and speaking are another thing. my companion had a ton of spanish and so is picking it up super quick and french made it hard in the beginning but as long as I don't remember french at all I do really well. It's funny though when I try to say somehting and it comes out french. All in time though.
I'm not discouraged at all though so don't worry. It's hard but I'm always super happy and having a great time. Also somehting about your font, it just looks weird and really big. I feel like the elders probably think I'm blind.... :p This is probably the longest letter I've had to have ever written. Thank you for all the food and letters and the cuff links. I am truely grateful for all that you all have done for me. Tell me how the first week of school and been and how was disney world?
Keep reading and praying every morning and night! I love you all!!!!
Elder Simonsen

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Okay I dont have much time and the keyboards are different so just go with it. Brazil is actually really chilly, like there is a constant breeze in the mtc because there are a lot of open hallways with just covers but its so pretty here. They have hills all ofver the place and they are steep and there basically isnt any traffic rules for motorcycles so they do what ever they want. I sat next to connor on the 9 hour flight and got some sleep not too much but maybe like 5 hours. Our seats werent exactly next to each other so we moved until they let us stay. Every one here speaks portuguese all the time so it was pretty crazy at first but then the elders would eventually speak english to us. The largest group is the spanish here then english missionaries and then brazilians becuase they only stay for like12 days or something.
The food is really good but I honestly have no idea what Ive been eating. We had some kind of meet with cabbage and some other interesign food that was good. Idk what the drinks are either. They all seem to be carbonated but Ill try the jucies tomorrow. Sorry I cant find the appostrophe or what ever its called on the key board. Dinner was a kind pizza stuff they cooked in like a brick oven in the cafeteria which is incredibly small. like 1 out of 6th size of the provo cafeteria and honestly I feel like there are only a couple hundred missionaries here at most. It was the 2nd largest mtc until mexico opened up its other one a week ago. I actually had to fight with those clamp things for one slice of pizza and when I sat down I understood why everyone was fighting for the last was amazing! idk what it was though. oh and they have a track that is literally like 50m yeah super small thats why this mtc is so small because its packed in here. Ill probably get fat at this mtc so dont worry the food is really good. all the elders are really nice too so thats cool.
its so beautiful here and so much fun. I hope all is well and thank you for sending me all the stuff for the plane ride. I really appreciate it. We just got out of the devotional by elder scott and it was amazing. broadcast but still just as amazing. He blessed us twice with the gift of tounges and it was all about prayer. Okay got to go . I love you all!!!!!!!

Your Missionary's Arrival At The Brazil MTC

Dear Parents,
We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil MTC.  What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time. We promise to take good care of your missionary.
They now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  The branch presidents and their wives, will soon give them a second greeting.  These couples are rewarded in their callings through the love they always develop as they embrace and watch over the missionaries.
The MTC has a full time live-in physician to care for their health needs.  He is assisted by his able wife. We are also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant and very good.
Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Wednesday or Friday, depending on individual assignments.
Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others.  We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “ There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children".
Please accept our love,
President Ralph Degn and Sister Mary Ann Degn
sDO NOT SEND PACKAGES to the Brazil Missionary Training Center. All packages must be sent directly to the mission where your missionary will be serving not the MTC. If you have already mailed a package to the Brazil MTC and it arrives after your missionary has left for the field, please understand that the package can not be forwarded to his or her mission and will be returned to you.
WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE SENDING HAND WRITTEN LETTERS. Please write your missionary´s first and last name. Your missionary will provide you with his district and box number. Also, please DO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS, or other private carriers.  The cost to get this type of correspondence is exorbitant.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Going To Brazil ~ Last Good Byes

Our final time together before we say good bye and send Elder Simonsen off... 

For Elder Simonsen to be able to to go straight to the Brazil MTC is seriously answered prayers. For several months none of the LDS missionaries seemed to be getting their visa's for Brazil. We had one Elder from our ward who left in March and was sent to Montana while he still awaited his visa. July 1st our ward did a ward fast for our missionaries going to Brazil. That the pathways would be open and they would be able to serve where the Lord needed them.  Two weeks later, I received a phone from a sister in our ward telling me Brexton needed to contact his person in Salt Lake City. Brazil no longer was dealing with third parties for visa's. Brexton would have to go down to Miami and apply for his visa in person. Everything fell into place and SLC shipped the paper needed back to us and luckily the next day we were driving to Miami for a family vacation anyway. (other wise the church would have sent him via airplane). While in Miami, Brexton went and applied for his visa and we were in and out of there in no time. The week before Brexton was to report to the MTC,  the church was making airline reservations and since they had not received his visa they would have to send him to Provo, Utah's missionary training center.  We discovered Brexton's visa application had a tracking number on it and we were able to check it and the status on it as well.  It had been processed, accepted and waiting to be delivered... We were freaking out. we had been praying it would come before Brexton left and he would be able to go straight to Brazil. Sure enough Thursday we received confirmation it had been delivered and we called Salt Lake City and they found it with the tracking number. Friday it was delivered to us and Brexton was heading to Brazil. The other three missionaries from our ward all needing their visa's right now too???? Their's came in too. Elder Bonaro who is serving in Montana right now will be joining the missionaries in Brazil Sept 2 and going to his area. All five missionaries called from our ward are all going to their own areas. Brexton was really excited to be able to be flying to Brazil with two other missionaries from our ward who had already been to the provo mtc for a couple weeks. Since they now had their visa's too they were able to fly out today and meet Brexton in Atlanta with other missionaries and they all  flew to Sao Paulo, Brazil together. Personal tender mercy and a testimony builder about fasting and prayer. We're excited for this incredible journey Brexton is about to embark on and serve the Lord and be an instrument in His hands to bring the fullness of the gospel to other's about our Savior Jesus Christ. 

 Can you see Talon's eye's? He was thrilled to be taking more pictures (lol) 

 Elder Simonsen & Sister Smith (from the East Stake, our old stake) Both are flying to Brazil together 

 Emmy & Talon were dancing in the center of the airport~ Not a worry in the world
 Talon LOVES LOVES his Big Brother

 After hugging, tears of sadness and tears of joy  ~  We said our final Good Bye 
Good Bye Elder Simonsen~ We are so proud of you and love you lots!!!! We'll see ya in two years! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Being Set Apart

 Elder Simonsen and our Stake President Gene Patch
Elder Simonsen 
All of us, right after the setting apart  
 Elder Simonsen & his mom
Elder Simonsen and his parents 
 Elder Simonsen and his dad
 Elder Simonsen & his sister Courtney
Elder Simonsen & Grandma Simonsen 

Tomorrow Elder Simonsen will be flying from Jacksonville, Florida  to Atlanta Georgia  at 5 PM. With a 4 1/2 layover Elder Simonsen will then be meeting up with Other Missionaries to fly together (91/2 hours) to Sao Paulo, Brazil where Elder Simonsen will begin his official Missionary Training.  He will be learning the Portuguese language, studying his scriptures, missionary discussions and preparing to be an instrument in the Lord's hand. To bring other's to Jesus Christ  and be baptized in His name. Elder Simonsen will be serving a 24 month mission in Vitoria, Brazil.