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

Monday, September 29, 2014

PICTURE DAY!!!!! September 29, 2014

This is the boy who wanted to be baptized yesterday

Elder Simonsen and his companion~ Both being transferred tomorrow 

They have a restaurante and this is sister tereza she loves the missionaries

Totally Blurry~ But we'll take it!!!!!

Monday September 29th, 2014

Well this week has been a little crazy but was a super good week. So first off we had a ward activity planned by the missionaries thursday night. And we don't have a ward mission leader so everything is a little bit more fun. We had been talking about/planning this activity since we got in the area and one of the members decided that we were going to do it this week. She told us we worked hard this week and decided to show the Testament video and decorate the cultural hall with lots of book of mormon pictures and restoration pictures and we had a table with all the material possible for missionaries to use with liahona's and lots of bibles and book of mormon. It was called the Grande Missionarie. Or great missionary. So we palnned everything all right, and then I get to the activity at 7, a little late because we had to go get everyone and when I get one is there...just the member. Not even a member of the bishopric. The member with the computer is in a meeting and we couldn't get the projector because I don't have keys for that. But after about 40 mins of running around getting everything and intterupting the meeting to get the computer (because he said he would give it to us and we used all resources possible before we intterupted the meeting) It all worked out great and had a majority of the ward there. The movie was super spiritual and everyone felt the spirit and we just got home a little late.....around 10. We had to take everyone home. All the investigators we had were young men and women and had promised their parents that we would take them home. So it was a fun night.
Then we had been trying to work with Ana Paula's Mom, trying to get her to go to church for about 9 weeks now....had a lesson super spiritual about the sacrament and how important it is to go to church. Was a super good lesson and the spirit was really strong and she came to church! But i don't know how she felt...we didn't get to talk to her after church because we had a baptism, and we spent the whole time running around trying to get that organized. But the baptism was really good and had a ton of members. Truely a huge blessing when the members participate and help in the work. The work moves so much better and the investigator and member feel soooo much better and the ward is strengthened. Then we ran to lunch (we got there about 2:30 when lunch is normally 12:30 on sunday....they live kinda far away. Then spent the rest of the day visiting recent converts and some investigators. Visited Yuri (our recent convert who has stopped going to church) and had a lesson super good about the word of wisdom and addiction recovery. I think just the fact that we went all the way to his house helped a ton. There was a new light that entered in him and his house and he lit up a little. Which was huge and good. Also the miracle that happened yesterday. We took an investigator thats 12 years old to church yesterday, the second time he's been and he went to the activity thursday. And while we were there he came up to me and said I want to call my mom....I was like alright, so his mom didnt answer and he turned to me and said Well I guess I can just tell you, I want to be baptized! I was like what?! And he wanted to be baptized that same day, with our other baptism....he was super firm in the decision. He wanted us to teach all the lessons to him right then and there and I told him we had to have him interviewed and  he looked at me and said go ahead. Ask me the questions right now. And I said laughing of course, I cant do your interview its other missionaries (Zone Leaders) and he wanted me to call them and have them be there right after sacrament.....he was fighting with me to be baptized that same day.... It was really a cool experience. He said that he was praying at the end of the deacons quorum and got his answer right as he was praying. So his baptism is marked for saturday before conference or maybe sunday in between the sessions. We still have to see when his mom can go. Also the other missionaries marked a date with their investigator for the 11th of this month. And she is super firm. So the miracle, there are many, that I want to point out is that these are clearly blessings from the Lord but as well we are in a area that didnt baptize. Basically for a long time they didn't baptize and eversince about 3 weeks ago we have been having a baptism every week. We baptized Josimar, they baptized a Roberta, we baptized Karina yesterday (daughter of Josimar) and have Gilberto marked for saturday/domingo and the have a baptism the next week. That doesnt include Ana Paula, and Yuri and Melissa that we also baptized. The Lord is truly opening up the way and the work is moving forward and if the ward stays animated they will have many more baptisms.

Alright now the bad news. I've been here since may. May, April, June, July, August, September....Transfers. We were transfered. ME and my companion. So we will be leaving the area tomorrow. To where only President and the Lord know. But I'm not going to lie, I was really hoping to stay more time. I really love this area and the people here. The members, investigators, recent converts. So many people so much love. I was also super excited for Conference with our recent converts. We still have to tell that we were transfered. IT's super hard because they are like your home away from home so it's like your leaving your family again. But I know that if we do whats right and we keep the commandments and keep our covenants that this time apart will only be a litle and that we will all meet again in the Celestial Kingdom. It's hard to leave because it really feels like home, but you have to remember we are on the Lords errand. We are here to do His will and to preach His Gospel and He knows where we need to go. I've been thinking about that song "i'll go where you want me to go" And it is really true and how it is. we go where the Lord wants us to go and we do His will, not our own. But I have no greater desire than to meet all these wonderful people here in Brazil and all those wonderful people back home in the Celestial Kingdom. I beleive there is no greater joy than that. First your family, then your friends. I'm sure going to cry a lot that day.  Anyways I've spent about 40 mins writing this email so I'll end it now and I want you all to know that I love you and that the Church is true and is the restored church of Jesus Christ  here on the earth and that if you havent read the Book of Mormon, pick it up! You don't know what your missing. And if you have read it and say that its not true, You have NOT read the Book of Mormon and you have NOT prayed and asked God if its true. I KNOW that it's true and I KNOW God lives and He loves us. If you say that God Doesnt love us or you, you need to look at the world around you and count your blessings. And you will see His hand in your life. I love you all and miss you tons. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Elder Simonsen

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday September 22, 2014

SO this week has been a super exciting week but not too much has actually happened. I'll start by talking about the bible. So yest there is a lot of different interpretations of the bible and yeah you'll probably be different each time you share something with them but you don't need to think that you need to be the same. DOnt be afriad to be different, don't be afraid to say what you believe. Lots of people will reject you, but remember you serve one who was rejected of all. The bible is like a point    *  like that it has many different lines drawn through it because every one interprets the same scripture in a different way but with the book of mormon and the bible we have two points like these two periods    .        .
so what happens is that between these two points you can draw only one line (straight) that passes through these two points that confounds all false doctrine and leads us in a straight and narrow path to the lord like this . ______ . haha its the best i can do with a computer. So yes a majority of the time your view will be different but that doesnt mean your wrong. You also have the gift of the Holy Ghost that will teach you how to interpret the scriptures and open your mind so that you can apply the scripture in your life and as a missionary in the lives of others. 
So just say what you believe and the people have the choice to accept or to not to.  I passed through that sunday morning going to church, we were inviting people on the street to go to church and some people we trying to agrue a little with me and were saying somethings I didn't agree with. So yes I propbably said things a little too clear and yes I did in a way burn them a little but the point was that I was testify of truth and they chose to not accept it. But we have to declare the truth always. 
Anyways now I don't remember what i was going to write this week was good, we are eating a ton working hard and yeah it's getting a little hotter but it's all good. We had a confrence of 3 zones last week and it was super exciting. we recieved training in 3 languages....president Young and the assistants spoke portuguese for us, sister young spoke english for us. And her daughter who just finished serving in LA speaking spanish taught us in yes at the end of the day I had no clue what language I was speaking any more. I was thinking in spanish and potuguese and english and in reality I don't think any one of them is right. But for all of you all who think I know spanish, I don't I can understand spanish. ALL people who can speak portuguese can understand spanish if they pay really close attention.But it was a super good training, lots of rule changes, good rule changes, the spirit was really strong and the work is moving forward. This next week is the last week of the transfer, so we are a little sad becuase we know that one of us will be leaving, we've been here since may so its highly probable, and we are worried about our recent converts because 1) yuri has basically stopped doing everything and is turning away from the chruch 2) ana paula loves us and it will be super hard when we leave for her to adjust 3) Josimar will have just as hard a time adjusting without us here. You make such a huge difference in the lives of the people that you really don't want to leave them. They become a huge part of your life but you pray that you will see them again. Anyways I spent a ton of time writing this today, I had a hard time writing in english so I'll let you all go and hope that you all have an amazing week and remember that the Lord loves you and that you cherish the faith you have and always look for the tender mercies of the Lord in your day to day.
Love you all
Love Elder Simonsen
Did you get my cards for dads birthday and talons? Was the money still there?

Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God. Ether 12:4

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday September 15, 2014

Alrighty so yeah sorry about today and we'll see if I can get this email out, I'm super tired and today has been a rough day but its all good.
So this weeks been pretty fun and tough at the same time. We have spent most of the week trying to find new investigators and walking a lot. We don't have any new investigators and hardly anyone is progressing. But we did have a baptism this last week. Her name is Josimar, she is 65 and her daughter is a member and one of her sons is a member thats not active. She has been super excited for her baptism for about 2 weeks now and its been diffifult sometimes because she has Parkinsons and so sometimes she cant do very much because if the pain, but she has an incredible testimony and was another person to whom the Spirit guided us to her. The baptism was also super good and funny. So we got to her house at about5:50 and she was walking up and down the street (she never leaves her house!!!!!!!) so we were shocked, she was just so excited and then when the car got there to give her a ride, we realized they didn't have space for us(the missionaries). So we decided to walk to the baptism. We had 10 mins to walk somewhere that normally takes about 30. So we got a call at about 6:30 from the other missionaries in the district asking where we were because everything was readu for the baptism but the missionaries were not there. I don't know how we did it but we got there in 20 mins. Then Ana Paula our recent convert showed up right when we did and she had been scheduled to give the talk but decided that she wasnt going to go to the baptism any more but showed up at the last minute. After talking to her for a while she consented to bear her testimony. She bore a SUPER powerful testimoney and quoted a scripture perfectly that she had memorized from seminary.................yeah we just had huge smiles on our faces the entire baptism. Then Josimar went to get baptized and she can't bend her knees and so when she came up out of the water she didn't put her legs back down and almost went right back in. We had asked one of the brothern who is a realitevely large and tall man to stand on the stairs and it was a huge miracle that he was there and able to help. When she was finally standing the first thing she said is that she drank some water but that she felt so amazing. She said she had to clean her insides too or something of the sort. She has made such a huge change in her countenance.
Also this week we had one of the zone leaders with us and we had marked a lesson with the Relief Society President's daughter and so the lesson fell but we said we would take her to go do addresses or something in the street(she is about 20 and we are trying to help her decide to serve a mission) but nothing was working so we figured well she liked teaching Ana Paula's mom last time , lets go there and let her share the message. So she shared Jacob 3:1 and then started to explain a little of the scripture and Luciana (Ana Paula's mom) started crying and explained everything for us. Everything that we hadnt understood before about her ex- husband and her boyfriend that was  killed 9 months back and I was just amazed. She opened up and the spirit was so strong. I just couldn't believe that it was happening right before my eyes and how grateful she was that we had come and shared the gospel with her and her children and that she wants they to have a way better life than she has had and it was truly a wonderful experience. So yes while this week has been difficult and really painfuly hard sometimes, there have been pearls of great worth and amazing experiences that have occured.
As for what I'm studying, I'm reading in Alma aroudn chapter 44 or 45. I'm trying to really draw back a focus on the book of mormon and the Jesus the Christ. I'm trying to work a lot more on myself and being a better person. We had the opportunity last night to have a devotional with all the stake with the mission president to hear the testimony of Pres. Young, Sister Young and their daughter Carla that just finished serving in LA Spanish speaking about a week or two ago. (I'm not sure if missionaries were supposed to be there but we took our two recent converts Yuri and Ana Paula because they want to serve missions too so I think we were alright..... ;) )and When his daughter was speaking it reminded me of something I had noticed in other missionaries that had come from the states and a few of the missionaries that I had already seen going home. They have a light, they have something different, they glow and they truly have developed christ like attributes. Here in brazil I feel that it doesnt happen any where near as often as it does in the states and so I've been pondering and thinking about what is different and how can I become like them. I resolved that it has to do with the book of Mormon and developing the christ like attributes and having a faith so profund in the Lord and His Atonement.

Anyways, I love you all and hope you all have a awesome week.
Love Elder Simonsen

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday September 8th, 2014

This week was an interesting week. Not too much happened, the weeks are starting to fly by too fast and time is really starting to run together. I cant imagine how it will be next year as I close the mission. SO first of all sounds like you all had a ton of fun at wild adventures. Looks like everyone is so much bigger and older and its a little weird to see how every one has changed so much. Courtney didn't go? Treasure every moment because you never know when you will have another again. Family is so important and it's something that I've realized this week. We have been working with a half member family, the dad isnt baptized but the mom and the daughter are and they aren't active in the church because they were discouraged and stopped going by themself. They have such a desire to do whats right and love having the missionaries over and the dad when he prays he prays with such sincerety its difficult to believe that he isnt a member. We met with some other families and i just got to thinking, Do they really understand what they are missing? Do they really understand the blessings of the temple? WHat they can gain or what they can lose? SO I've been thinking about the temple alot and the blessings that we have and the things that we can do.And trying to understand why they don't understand. Why they don't want the blessings of an eternal family, the peace and joy that comes from being obedient to the gospel. I don't have a definite answer but I understand that I really want those things and that my job as a missionary is to help people understand their potential but ultimately they make a decision. I've just been super grateful that I have that chance, that I have that opportunity.
This last week we had interviews with President and I got to talk to sister for quite a while. It was hard talking in english and translating for the brazilians but It was a really cool discusion and she is super spiritual. She reminds me of MIss Clause and she has a huge love for the missionaries. Her and President. They are completely different then President and Sister before. Sister was sharing with me the stories and lessons she had learned from her life, her mission and being prepared in the mtc as a Presidents wife and just a ton of really cool discusions.
Sorry I don't have much to write this week. JUst didn't have anything out of the ordinary. We have a baptism scheudled for saturday and if all goes well  the other missionaries in the district will have one too.
I'm trying to focus more on my character lately, on who I am, how I act and think and what I do and say. I'm trying to watch myself and get a lot closer to our Father in heaven. So I'm doing a lot of thinking and pondering and self anaylsis. But yesterday we had an opportunity to go to the hospital. The Relief society president's mom is there because she is suffereing a lot of pain. I really like that family a lot and we had been there saturday to talk with her (The President) and we had talked with her mom a little while we were there and then I guess two hours after we left she went to the hospital and I think she is still there today. BUt we went there yesterday and it was an interesting experience. The Spirit was really strong around her and she isnt a member but I think this experience might help her a lot. We participated in the blessing and then just talking to her a little brightening her day and helping her to laugh was an experience that I wont forget. I'm studying alot a talk by President Eyring about magnifying your calling and ministering with the Spirit and there is a realy good example of President KImball in his talk but its so important to walk with the Spirit and to minister rather than to lead or do. It's like a higher level. I'm not sure how to explain it but I had the opportunity to experience a little of it yesterday. ANyways we are all good and alive and well and the work is progressing forward and will ever do so.
Love you all and miss you tons
Elder Simonsen

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday September 1st, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TALON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ¨YEARS OLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE SO OLD NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Did you get my letter yet? I hope so! If not it should be getting there soon. Sounds like your going to have an amazing birthday. Heard they have a new TMNT movie now, did you go see it? Shoulds be tons of fun. I Hope  you have a wonderful birthday and that you have an amazing year.
As for things i've done this week......I honestly cant remember. The weeks are starting to pass by so fast and I'm starting to loose tract. Things are going, we were able to have a lady go to church this week who has trouble leaving her house. SHe has parkinsons and its causing her a ton of pain but we have been helping her a lot and visiting her almost every day. She is the mom of a member of the ward and the Lord has prepared her so completely to accept the gospel. We originally were going to the house to teach one of her children but then the spirit called us to go visit her. When we got there she was asking all of the key questions. WHy are there so many different churches, where do we come from, how do I know which church is right. So yeah we about died the moment we got there and started teaching her about the restoration on the spot. She had the book of mormon and read about baptism the first night and wants to be baptized, just the fact she has a hard time going to church gives her some fear of not staying active. But she was completely prepared.
I guess another lesson I've learned is about not being prideful and instead being humble and learning to control yourself. SO yesterday Ana Paula, our recent convert didnt go to church. So of course we were dissapointed and so when we went to visit her yesterday in the afternoon, I let it show that we were dissapoint and sad and right  when we were leaving i felt that maybe we had gone to far. SO we made it to the end of the the street and the SPirit said go back and apologize and then take her to visit this person. So we then had to swallow our pride and go back, apologize and then ask her to go and visit someone with us.........pride is tough. But the visit we had with her was probably one of the best member lessons that we have had yet. We visited a less active incomplete family and she bore a powerful testimony about the holy Ghost and recieving responses to prayers. So the man of the family isnt a member and his wife is.. But at the end he was the one who wanted to pray and his prayer was one as if he had been a member of the bishopric for many years. Truely was a good experience.
Other than that I've been studying faith. Alot. I've given 3 of the last 4 district meeting trainings about faith. So I've been filling up a study journal about it and last week I printed the first chapter of lectures on faith and it was really cool to see how the Prohpet Joseph explained faith and how it should be taught. What is faith? What is it centered on? And the results of our faith. I really enjoy the second point because I've been studying a lot about the atonement and what our faith should be centered on and how everything revolves around the 2 key point s of the atonement. The fact that one day all of us will be ressurrected and that we can be forgiven of our sins through the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is so much more about the Atonement but I've been studying these two things and trying to lose myself in the work. Trying to be more obedient, trying to rise up and be better. IT's not easy but its worth every effort. I am trying to achieve excellence, and since it's a habit not an action I have to exert myself in every effort. So I'm usually pretty tired at night.I'm trying to go back to the basics and been more obedient to the Lord and Follow the things he has said for me that I still havent done and that I may have done only half way. There is a scripture that I like alot in Hebrews  11:7 that talks about Noah and his faith and it reminds me how we can show ours. Being obedient to the whisperings of the Spirit.
I actually had an experience recently with this. I followed a prompting that didn't make any sense for me and about 4 months after figured out why. I was so grateful for having followed the prompting and it really strenghtened my testimony to remember that the Lord always fullfuls His words.
I love you all so much and miss you tons.
Love Elder Simonsen