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

Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30 ~ First week in the field

okay, so this was my first week in the field! i am in andré carloni, or if you look on a map i'm in serra right around vitória. It's so awesome to finally be in the field. The first day was fun we left the ctm at around 5:30 in the morning and arrived in vitória around i want to say 10. The president's house is a penthouse near the beach and has an amazing view. It's so pretty there. We spent about 4 hours at the president's house and then went to the transfer meeting. My companion is Elder Peterson from Logan Utah. Huge blessing having a companion that can speak english because then he can understand what i am trying to say and help me say it. I recieved a huge blessing because most of the time I can kinda understand what most people are saying. I understand almost everything some one that used to speak english says but the brazilians are a lot harder to under stand. however that has been a huge blessing to understand as much as I do.

Another huge blessing has come with speaking the language. The spirit has helped me so much say so many things I didnt think I could say. It truly is amazing how much the spirit helps us. Like an example was last night we were teaching a lady that has read the book of mormon twice and her 2 kids are baptized but she still hasn't recieved her answer. The spirit helped me testify about recieving answers and I feel like I spoke normally and fluently while I was doing that. It truly was an amazing experience. I love the people here, they are so amazing and I love the work I am doing. It truly is the Lords work because there is no way 19 year olds can go do this. His hand is every where in our lives. We have meet so many amazing people that we have started teaching (haha teaching is a different story, it's a lot easier to testify than to teach for me right now but I'm working on it) The people here don't have much and i realized i don't have much right now either but I have everything I need. And i am full of joy. I love teaching families about the gospel because I feel such a great love for them and I feel their desire to learn. It's crazy becuase the kids always get things way before the parents do. There are so many amazing people in the ward here too, church the other day was super fun, and I understood perfectly one of the lessons taught but I still have a long way to go to learn portuguese. But there is no ther place I would rather be. 

As for my package it hasn't arrived yet but the mtc will send anything that needs to be to the mission it needs to go to. If you have a tracking number call the tracking number and check where it is. Did my letter get there? Let me know when it does because it took 8 stamps to send. Way expensive. but worth it. As for the the last day of the ctm we were taking pictures and I gave it to a sister to take a picture and she dropped it right when I let as of right now it doesn't work but I can fix it, the lens shifted I just need to find some one to fix it or have the time myself to but don't worry about it. It will get done and don't stress about it either. I have plenty of time to fix it. Scripture study is good and always fun but a little difficult because i'm in second nephi and in the isaiah part, in i had to slow down. but it's always good. That's awesome about how everyone is doing. I love and miss you all. Make sure you read and pray every day, and when you are EXACTLY obedient you ALWAYS recieve blessings d&c 130. PAtriarichal blessings are really important and I encorage those that don't have it to go get it. It's a huge blessing but don't just take my word for it, find out for yourself. That's what the gospel is all about finding out for yourself. Us missionaries simply testify about the truth and invite all to "come and see." I love you all and miss you!

Elder Simonsen

Friday, September 20, 2013

CTM week 5

This week has been a good week, not too many different things. We just mostly followed the schedule and stuff. One of our investigators had his baptism on saturday and the other has his this saturday. We tried to explain baptisms for the dead to the on that had his baptism last saturday but the thing is we definitely don't know the word for for about 10 mins he definitely thought we took dead bodies in the temple and performed the ordinances. But the language is coming really well, we are focusing this week on becoming fluent in the things we know. I can teach the 3 lessons in portuguese without notes but only for about 20 mins for each lesson so just the basics but it's a huge relief to not have to be constantly looking at my notes.
 I haven't got your package yet but when It eventually arrives they will just forward it to the mission home so it will come eventually. As for what we know about our missions, you know as much as we do. This monday we find out our travel plans for tuesday when we leave but thats the only thing we will find out. I have one other elder going with me to my mission, I love this elder by the way he's from chile and we get along amazing!, and then 6 sisters, 2 from my district, one from that elders district and 2 native brazilians. I'm super excited to go to my mission though, I just can't wait to finally get there and start the work and be completely immersed in the language.
The church in brazil is growing like crazy right now, that's why they keep sending people here:p the country is so huge. Speaking of that scripture you sent me this last week we had Pres. Camargo of the Curitiba temple (president but just called ebcuase 2 weeks ago he was a counselor in the ctm presidency) come talk and he talked about the picture of christ knocking on the door and how that many people thought the artist made an error when there was no handle on the door but there isn't becuase it's the door to our hearts and christ can't invite himself in, we have to let him in. Yes pres. Camargo is amazing and when He speaks I always understand him. Which is good because the last devotional translation to english wasn't very even close to what he was saying this time.
That's cool for Kari though, that mission is really cold though. Like it;s the coldest mission in brazil. I'm so happy my mission is warm. I'm tired of all these northern us missionaries keeping the class at like 68. Litereally 68 degrees, and our room...i sleep with 3 blankets. But all is welll and moving forward. I love and miss you all and love you all so much. So who is the new bishop? Oh and don't worry about the package, it will come when I need it. Oh fun thing we were sitting with a teacher yesterday for dinner and my companion's name is Elder Thomas and MY name is Simonsen. and When you and them together in portuguese it kinda sounds like Elder Thomas eSimonsen. Hopefully you get that :P
Elder Simonsen

Friday, September 13, 2013

Week 4 CTM

That's cool about the stake conference and President Bennion will do great. I know the Lavoies pretty well actually from that scout camp this summer. Let me know who the new bishop is. As for a charger your talking about...idk what charger. I don't need a charger just the chord to trasnfer pictures from camera the to the computer. That's awesome courtney got moved up to varsity I hope she has an awesome race. Don't worry about the package getting here okay, it will it just depends on when it actually gets here.
We were on a city bus so, we didn't give him a book of mormon and we didn't have any left. Idk how everyone is doing on their missions. I haven't had time to read their emails, I just skim super quick before I leave. Seems they are doing good from what I get though.
This last week was brazil's independance day so that was actually really cool to experience. They decorated the entire cafteria with streamers and we actually had ice cream!!! It was the best meal we have had yet. But other then that they realy don't celebrate it too much. You should definitely listen to the national anthem though, It's really crazy on the piano. This weeks devotional was really good we had the area authority for Brazil come and talk and his wife talked. I could understand most of what they were saying but I left my journal in the class room so I didn't get great notes and I'll have to tell you more about it later because I honestly don't remember right now what it was about because that was the Elder and Sister Steadmans last day at the ctm and the talks were really great and spiritual but for me the songs are what stood out. We sung the olive tree in portuguese and one of the teachers here sung it for us first and he was an amazing singer, never would have ever guessed it but the spirit was amazing. Then we (our district did a musical number) and it went really well, and then becuase it was the steadman's last devotional we sung God be with you till we meet again and Elder Steadman, he's pretty old but he's such an amazing guy I love talking with him, starts crying while we were singing and it was just a super spirit filled song. And before we shook the authorities hand I got to give Elder Steadman a huge hug. The people here at the ctm are such amazing men. The other Elder that is always here is Elder Adams and he is in our branch presidency and I've been able to talk with him and he's given talks and they just have amazing stories and are just awesome.
The best part of the weeks are usually the devotionals but the mtc is still fun, the schedule is nice but doesn't leave me much to talk about other then I spend most of the day studying. Our investigators are doing really good, one is almost ready for baptism next week and the other just broke up with his girlfriend to live the law of chastity so things are going really well there. As for going out again anf giving out book of mormons  we don't go again because that's essentially what the mission is like. BUt I found out this week that vitoria has cities but around those cities is tons fo forests and homes in the forests and stuff like that so I'm super excited for that because  honestly I didn't like being in sao paulo because I don't enjoy super crowded cities and stuff but I'll go where I need to go. Today I get to [pick up my scripture case, I only got one for my bible because I got a cheap one for the BOM so they don't match but I wasn't going to spend that much for two cases. But on the front I got that picture you got signed for me by I think greg olsen when jesus is hugging the guy and on the back I got that one when jesus looks over the vity from a hill because it looks really good when this guy does it in leather. And for your letters I have wrote only courtney's so I can't send them today becuase we are only supposed to write and p-day and I never have enough time but I wll get them done by next friday. 100%
Okay I love you and  miss you all so much!!!!!
Elder Simonsen

Friday, September 6, 2013

CTM Week 3

Okay so I haven't read you letter yet because a lot has happened this so I'm going to write a bunch and then read. So this week was our third week and we got to go prostlyiting. They took us to down town  Sao paulo, to the financial district. SO we basically went to the Wall street of Brazil. They gave us each two copies of the book of mormon and said go for it. On the bus ride there sister smith gave out one and her companion gave out one too. So by time we got there they had given out half of their copies. Me and my companion walked for about 10 mins in one direction when we got there and kept asking people if they had a minute to talk but no one did. So we were wonding if we were even saying it right so we tried talking to one guy who was standing there but all he said was I'm working over and over again so we gave up and walked some more when we found some people handing out stuff, like flyiers and started talking to them. My companion took two and I took two and we started talking about the book of mormon. I think I got the general message across or I confused them like crazy but they understood who we were and what the Book of momron is at least. I handed out one to one of they guys and my companion gave one to each. It was cool to see how truely intereested they were in hearing our message and their genuine interest in what we were saying. Oh and brazilians are amazing, they are the nicest people ever. Even when you say something completely wrong they try to help you and don't laugh at all. So after that we still had one more copy to hand out so we crossed the street and walked the other way. If you look it up we started righ infront of their equivalent of central park but in sao paulo. We walked past a citi bank building which looked really cool and then I started talking to this one guy who was catholic, I testified about the book of mormon and asked if he wanted on, and then he spoke portuguese and the busses were coming and going and I have no idea what he said. So my companion talked to him for a little and I understood the genral gist of what they were saying but he said he would read the book and if he liked it he would give it to some one else too. So we spent about an hour in down town sao paulo and then our whole district got on the bus and while I was talking our teacher on the bus, our bus actually got hit by another bus behind it. No damage just pushed the bus about .5 foot forward. Then that night we were teaching an investigator (our teacher) who was having trouble with His friends making fun of him for being mormona and reading the book of Mormon. So we abandoned our lesson and went back to if the book of mormon was true or not. The spirit was awesome and I definitely had the gift of tounges beacuse I could speak so easily during that and it was a huge blessing. There is a huge difference when you have the spirit with youu and when you don't.
We have only been to the sao paulo temple and the campinas (only because they were cleaning the sao paulo temple) speaking of which today at the temple I was playing around with the listening device and trying to listen in portuguese and I can get most of what they are sayin, llike i understand I just don't think I can repeat back but the last week I'm at the ctm I'm going to try and do it in all portuguese. Brook can use my scriptures, thats fine. If she wants she can even use my older black  ones that are marked up. it's fine with me. So as for the letters they are actually super expensive so I only am probably going to be able to send like 5. Beacuse they are really expensive for some reason............idk why but I'll probably send more anyways.
Thanks for sending the debit card and are you sending my camera chord too? it's okay if you don't because I'll just buy a new one I was just wondering thought. The language is coming better, I can read pretty much any part of preach my gospel and anything that has to do with the gospel in portuguese, which is cool but at little frustrating because sometimes I struggle with talking but |I'm getting better. We stay with the same companion the entire time we are in the ctm. Mind blown about brooke and michael. That's sweet about having two general auhorities as well.
Oh so it would  be a huge blessing if someone could go in my cases of stuff in the garage and get my hymn book, the small english one, I sincerely miss english songs and if you could also find my color scripture markes too because I'm stuck with red right now.
That's cool about seeing rachel, I don't care who rights me but emails for you guys come first. I need to work on the letters for you guys but I'm supposed to only right on p-days so I'm trying to be obedient, I just need to actually have time to write instead of walking around casa verde wasting time like my comapnion wants to. But all is good and things are well. I miss you guys but there is no other place I'd rather be then here right now. It's so much fun and so amazing. I love you!!!
Elder Simonsen

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Temple Visit ~ Wed, Sept 4, 2013

Dear Family,

This week the temple in São Paulo was closed for cleaning, and we have had the opportunity to have the missionaries visit the beautiful Campinas temple.  It is a little further away than our temple in São Paulo.  It is a smaller temple set high on a hill, which is seen from a distance as we enter into the Campinas area.  The missionaries have really enjoyed the visit.  We thought you would like this photo.

We have an amazing group of missionaries here in the CTM at this time.  It is such a blessing for us to be able to serve with them. Thank you for your continued support with emails and letters.  They are much appreciated.


Sister Degn

Sorry, I cannot make the pictures bigger because then some of the missionaries got cut off and we want to make sure we have all present.