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

Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday January 26th, 2015

Alrighty so this week really not to much happened....we worked a ton and managed to have some progress with some investigators. Speaking of which we went to the Universal church last was interesting. But yes the church of Jesus Christ is definitely the true church I always think while I'm there about all the people that are there and how the Lord says that the harvest is truly ready and that so many people aren't in the church because they don't know where to find it Some styles of worship are interesting....but it was a cool experience. Our investigator didn't go to church this week like she said she would but we are working a ton with her. SHe is th sister of our recent convert So one miracle that happened this week was that we got to church and there was an investigator there. A less active had invited him to go to church and told him a little about it and he showed up by himself. My companion got to teach him yesterday because we did splits with some of the men from the elders quorum and he accepted baptism and really liked the church. SO his baptism is marked for sunday after church. We have another baptism marked for sunday, a young woman that has been attending church since conference................we have never been able to visit her in the 4 months that we are here. But we managed to teach her about a week and a half ago. but we are hoping and praying a lot. We have another investigator that needs to be baptized but its super impossible to find her at home....its summer here so everyone is always going to the beach and during the weekends literally there is no one here.

Alrighty so this keyboard is killing me but thank you so much for the pictures. I bought a new memory card and so i can send some pictures today. The other works but doesnt open on the I'm saving it for when I get back home to get the pictures. BUt I'm reading the book of mormon, and I'm in alma 48. So I'm moving right along. 

Probably the biggest lesson this week is choosing to be happy, choosing to be obedient. Choosing to trust the Lord. That's why its important to sing :) I'm working on singing a lot of the hymns. I know a good bit of them by heart now but some I forget the words everyonce in a while. BUt as for leading the music, I don't think they will ask me to lead again...... ;) but it sure was fun and funny. 

SO you asked what I'm studying and I'm going back to the study of the character of christ in the book of mormon. THe lives of all the prophets arealways examples of Christ. They are examples of how the Lord would act. They have the christ like attributes, and we must become even as He is. So I'm working on that and doing my best to have a faith and work with all my heart. It makes a huge difference. I'm saying instead of I had great faith, that I have great faith. That I trust in the Lord instead of I trusted in the Lord. 

But things are good here. My hair is super blonde, I'm going to cut it today. we are working a lot more with the members and the ward is starting to get excited again. Transfers are next week, so who knows what will happen. I'm growing a ton and having a wondeful time on the mission. I hope that all is well at home and that you all are reading the book of Mormon and going to church and saying your prayers. The Lord loves us and is always with us. We just need to trust in HIm and BE HAPPY. 

Elder Simonsen

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday January 19th, 2015

Alrighty so this week was super fun. We did lots of interviews, went to the universal church yesterday, and my compaion got his ligação de Morte. or in other words the death call or better stated, they called him to firm up the day that we will go home. And buy his plane yeah he has had a fun week and has been trying to not think about home. BUt we took advantadge of the opportunity to confirm the transfers in july and august and basically I already know the day I will go home as well. But I have 3 more months before they call me. It should be in the middle of july. If there is no 5 week transfer. ANyways enough with that, I only mentioned it because you asked me and so I asked. But all is well and you'll be so proud of me. I lead the music in the sacrament yesterday.........hahahahahaha yeah it was super interesting because we don't have any one that plays the piano so its all acapela and you have to sing the notes so that the congergation recognizes the song. That part was fine but I don't know how to lead music and its not as easy to sing and read the words in portuguese and keep time with your hand  and yeah it was fun and funny. The return missionaries (sisters) that usually do that got there right after the sacrament and saw and just laughed....they knew that i had no idea how to do it. but its all good I can check that off my bucket list. I don't think they will ask me to do it again..... :)

Alrighty other than that there isnt anything new or interesting or out of the normal that's happening. Everyone keeps giving us sun block so now we have a ton and they "force" us to use it everyday. (haha one lady threatened to beat us with a broom because we weren't using it) BUt we have tons now so........we shouldn't be burnt anymore..... ;) 

So I feel that I should write about the effect of my mission and how it has blessed me. I have been thinking about the mission and all the experiences that I've had and all the blessings that I've recieved and I cannot express the gratefulness that I have to have been given this opportunity to serve. There is nothing better that I could do in my life other than to raise a family for the Lord. The service we give will never, ever be replicated nor the effects ever be replicated. I have literally been a witness to the Pure love of God and have from time to time been a participant in feeling His love. Missionaries are literally angels sent from above to bless the lives of men. I've thought a lot about that, how everyone says we are angels and it truly is a perfectly accurate way to describe the work we do and the lives we change. I love being called on the Lord's errand because this work is true. I've had the opportunity to see many things and to witness many events and I can clearly see how much of the world is lost and in a fallen state. How many perish by the way side because they cannot find the truth because they know not where to find it. Other because they choose not to accept it. I'm so very grateful that I know the things I know.

I feel that the growth and the things I've learned on the mission have helped me so much in my life and in my testimony. I have grown so close to the Lord during this time and have felt the power that comes from mighty prayer. Of all things the biggest thing that I've learned so far on the mission is how to pray. It's not easy but it truly is the way we talk with God. Prayer is everything and is essential to our lives. It is a power beyond belief and enables us to do anything. I've learned to treasure prayer

. I feel inspired to share with you a mircale this last week. we have lunch every 3rd saturday in the house of a sister from the church who is a member for 10 years. Her husband has known of the church now for 7 and has never been there once, until yesterday. The missionaries have been eating there once a month for a year now and have always explained the first lesson and the book of Mormon. So when we went there yesterday we felt that we should do something different, we explained the plan of Salvation. And his eyes were opened, you could see the darkness leaving him and him being filled with light. You could see the joy enterning in his soul and his knowledge expanding. We invited him to come to church and gave him two good reasons. One his wife would be giving a talk and two that know he usderstood why these things were so important. (We gave him a third to watch our baptism but......the baptism didnt happen....) He LOVED church, he participated a ton and was asking about baptism and had a ton of questions. He also said that he would be back next week. The Lord has a plan it may not be ours and we may have to be super pacient but according to our faith in the Lord and our willingness to serve in every moment, miracles will happen. He hasnt accepted baptism, and we dont know if it will be us that will have that opportunity but I know that the Lord has worked a miracle in the life of this man and that the stone has begun to roll and it will go forward.

 I love my mission and I'm so very grateful for this opportunity to be here. So grateful for the love of my family and their support in this endevour. I know its not easy and I know that as the end aproaches it will only get harder. But I know with the surety of my Heart, that the Lord will provide a way. That we will recieve blessings and that they do not need be here on earth but that they may be in the eternities. The Lord will fullfill His word and has never ONCE not fullfilled it. I know this church is true, I know that we have a living prophet on the face of the earth and his name is Thomas Monson. I know that Joesph was a prophet of God and that he restored the true church of the Living God on earth and that he translated for us the Book of Mormon. I have had people question my testimony and attack but the things I know are not things that were taught to me by man but have come from God, our Heavenly Father. That is the essence of a testimony. That is our conversion." If any of ye lack wisdom let him ask of God" I love my mission and I love my friends and I love especially my family. I know these things are true and I invite you to know for yourself. Ask the Lord. He will show you the way. In the name of Jesus Christ ,Amen.

Elder Simonsen

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday January 12, 2015

Well one more week more trials of faith but the Lord will always provide the way. We had some major changes in the mission this week. One was super good and I was super happy the other is one that I will have to work really hard to do but will do. So the first is that they changed how we follow up with the missionaries, we used to call them about 4 or 5 times a day to see how their investigators are and follow up very closely.....but now we can only do it once during the day :) So now we have a ton of more time to work in the Lord's errand and use all the time possible to teach and to really be where ever it is that we physcially are. The second is a newer tactic of "Strike while the iron is hot" Where we prepare the investigators as quickly as we can so that they can receive the ordances of Baptism and confirmation as quickly as possible. So we must now work even harder so that the work goes even faster.

But the main thing of this week is obedience and faith. Both are super important because the Lord asks of us these things. We often times must take a leap of faith and trust that our leaders are inspired and are following the Lords commands and be obedient to their counsels even when we don't agree or think it should be done. We must be faithful and humble and that is what the Lord will ask us to do. So accordingly we had a baptism this week. Last night actually and it was a pretty big miracle. We found Wellington about 2 weeks ago the day after new years day, and we decided to talk to him because here in campos there was literally no one in the street. It was apperent that he had been drinking that day but we managed to teach him about the gospel of Jesus Christ and decided to come back the next day to see if he had changed.....and he had changed completely, we couldnt talk to him to much that day because it was super late at night but he told us he would go to church with us the next day and that we didnt need to go find him, so we gave him the first pamphlet and sunday morning went to his house to "wake him up". When we got there he was already awake and leaving his house to go to church. He loved church. SO we kept visiting him everyday, teaching him. He read all of the pamphlets and did the questions in the back. When we went there to teach him the first lesson he was already asking about the Aaronic And Melchezidek Priesthood. So when these new changes came to the mission we were counseled to move his baptism date from the old date(this thursday) to sunday after church. He prayed and felt that he was ready. He truly is someone that has the Spirit of Christ and has suffered a dramtic change. He left all of the problems he had with the word of wisdom the first day we talked to him and never touched them again. Now we are trying to work with his family and help them to know the restored Gospel. He has a 31 year old sister who is super firm in another church but we are praying that her reading the book of Mormon will help her recognize the truth. She felt the spirit super strong when we taught her brother about temples and eternal marriage. Which is something that usually helps break the ice for some people and gives them such a strong testimony of the Gospel. 

We have another baptism scheduled for this sunday, we just have to teach her all the lessons...........and make sure she stopped smoking. But she is an amazing investigator we found using "he is the gift." She is a single mom with 3 daughters and she loves the peace from the gospel and loves reading the book of mormon. We are working with her daughter to see if we can help her feel the truthfulness of the gospel and the book of mormon is key in this process. She has already felt the spirit really strong and is hesistant because she is a member of the baptist church (the daughter) but we will continue trying to work with this family and do everything we can to help them.

Anyways other than that, we are all good. Super burnt, and tan, and I'm getting blonder each a day but i'm working hard and trying my best. I know the work that I am doing is true. I know that I am here to help the children of God come unto HIm through the restored Gospel. I know that at times it isnt easy but that the Lord will help us acomplish whatever it is that He asks us to do. I know that with God anything is possible. I know the Book of Mormon is true and that it is the word of God and that we have a living prophet here on earth today. I know that God lives and that Jesus Christ is HIs son and our Redeemer, and that  He lIves. I love you all and leave these things with you, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Ps. I found my credit card so dont worry. But I wont buy shoes because a member already bought some for me....they are super nice shoes and will probably last a very very long time. I just have to check the sizes today. Also thats awesome about coach, thanks for sending it to me.

Love Elder  Simonsen

Monday, January 5, 2015

Monday January 5th, 2015

Dearest darlingtliest family,

it is hot! Like super hot but I wouldnt have it any other way. Literally I'm so happy that the sun is shining and that its not raining and that its hot. I feel so much more comfortable. Its just a little harder to sleep at night but \i'm so happy its hot. I think Ive been tramatized by the rain we had last year when I was in Serra. But all it well. Not to much happened this week. We had New Years and we had to be home at 7 on the 31st and the 1st so, we didnt have too much time to work. And EVERYONE went to the beach on those days. Literally there was no one here in town. I could lay down on the main street and not worry about cars at alllll.Yeah so we had lots of fun doing contacts in the street with everyone that was there. I think we literally almost talked to every single person in the street....but it was a lot of fun. OUr investigator that I told you about last week, she accepted a baptismal date and is super excited. We marked it for the 16th, we couldnt visit her to much this last week because she was traveling, and yesterday she couldnt go to church because a relative died....but we marked to visit her today and we are super excited, the ward too. So should have some fun developments this week. 

We did a bunch of new contacts, knocked almost all the doors on one street, taught a lot of people on the street and really Just tried to find new people with the people that were here. So in that sense not too much out of the ordinary happened. I've been able to run most of the days last week and jump rope on the others. So I've been eating a ton more, maybe this year I'll gain some weight instead of lose it.

So I'm studying a lot about obedience and faith. Being obedient even when you don't agree with things but doing it because the Lord asks you too and to be patient. Faith because we always share attributes of Christ in the district meeting and this next week is my turn. So Ive been studying a lot about faith and reading hebrews 11 and the first chapter of the lectures of faith ( i got if off the church website ;) ) and the scriptures of course. I'm trying to work on finishing the book of Mormon this month or the next. I've only read it once on the mission.....all the way through at least. I was close to finishing it and we decided as a district to start from the beginning and I started over.......but I'm really enjoying it. I finished Mark today so I've read the 4 gospels but I think I'll reread john because it's been a while, and then continue in the new testament. SO lots of porjects and little time. THe New Zone leader here is from my group but he went to the MTC in Provo and so on NEw years eve we both realized how little time we have left. The sisters of our group are going home at the end of this in about a week  or 2 we will have only 6 months left........I have to work so much harder and lose my self so much more. The time just flies by, but I am so grateful for eveything I've learned and all the experiences that I've had. I'm here to serve the Lord and that is my calling and life during these two years and there is nothing else that I'd rather be doing. 

I love you all and miss you so much. Read The Book of Mormon!!!!

Elder Simonsen