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

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday February 23rd, 2015

haha if this is 78 degree weather I'll be toasted when I go back. Yesterday was not 78 more like 98 :P

Yeah its all good. We are super far away from everyone and we had 2 baptismal dates but for now they arent dates anymore. One we are waiting to hear back about her interview....the other is a young boy that's 10 years old. We dont have permission from his mom for him to be baptized and he keeps drinking coffee.....His sister isn't helping too much with the situation (she's a member and so is his other sister) but we are working on helping them and teaching them to keep the commandments and live the gospel of Christ. We are trying to teach the mom but for now its been super difficult. But we are trying to use the temple and family history to help. She has had 3 deaths in her family in the last 5 months. Mom, dad and her uncle. So we are going there today to teach her about the temple. The members here are really good and the love the missionaries. Like if they could have the missionaries in their house the whole day they would never let us leave....ever. Haha one member offered to build up her house so that we could come back and live here. It's super pretty here and the other cities in our area. I really think that if there was one place you would visit to see the beaches and the land it would have to be the cities in our ward. Super Beautiful

As for the pictures its because I'm always getting viruses. I lost them because of that. The memory card can hold 2,000 pictures or 3,000 and i only have 500 (well I had almost 800...) I lost a lot of videos that I took. Actually all of them. 

Anyways the things i've been studying this week. Trust in the Lord (completely) Jesus the Christ, character. Who the Lord wants us to be and yep marriage. So marriage was what I studied this morning because its p-day I'm just kidding, I studied it because yesterday we had divisions with members and went around the WHOLE day helping the to know where the members live in our area. Home teaching. But It was a super good experience because the Member explained a little bit about the marriage covenant that we make and who makes what covenant and who is responsible and things similar. IT made me wonder a little bit because here you see so many marriages destroyed and families divided and its a verry difficult situation for the families here. SO I wanted to know A little more and read in true to the faith about marriage ( I have no idea how to spell it anymore) And I learned a lot about how the relationship between a husband and a wife should be and how they should have nothing between them, and then how they should trust in the Lord. I learned a lot. 

I'm learning to trust in the Lord completely so that He will provide for us. Teaching by the Spirit. Studying and applying the doctrines and relying on the spirit to tell you what to say, literally in the very moment you need to talk. The thing i've learned from President Young is that the Spirit and the Lord don't alway (very rarely) work in a super quick instant response. IF we are patient and plead with the Lord and live worthy of His constant guidance and love we will recieve the answers to our prayer and the map of our life and the responses we need. But we have to trust in the Lord more than anything or anyone else. He must become our support. In Jesus the Christ I was studyin about the APostles and how they were taught to rely on the Lord completely and trust that they would know what to say in the moment they need it. It's a slow process but its line upon line, precept upon precept. There a little here a little. I've also been studying the plan of salvation, a little spanish (litteraly a little) and humilty and realizing that I am super prideful and very disobedient. That I don't know everything but what I do know, I know. Anyways I love you all and miss you tons. and leave these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Simonsen

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Yep, Carnival ~ Wednesday February 18th, 2015

So yeah we couldnt use the internet monday because it was carnival, which was interesting because we still worked like normal all of the days of the week...and the lan houses were all open monday but today....of the 4 lan houses in our area the last one was the one open, and the most expensive....but at least we get to send email. 

So this week has been lots of fun, lots of really loud music, and tons of people from tons of different places all coming and passing through our area. It really wasnt too bad but it was a lot more than i saw last year. Nothing really happened though. Just work as normal. Oh and hardly any one went to chruch from our that was a little difficult. But all is good and well. We have two investigators that are progressing towards baptism. One is a 19 year old girl who is friends with a member and who recieved an answer really quick. So we are working with her and the members (who are recent converts themselves) and having a ton of fun. I'll try to send pictures next week...I havent been walking around with my camera. Speaking of which I lost about 200 pictures....they just dissapeared...Oh well. The other investigator is a brother of the recent converts (young women) who is 10. We are trying to work with their mom as well but its a little difficult to teach her, she doesnt have too much interest yet. And hasnt completely decided to stop smoking and drinking coffee, but the Lord is always preparing the people to hear the message of the restored Gospel. We have another family that we are trying to complete, working with the mom who was almost baptized 6 years back but wasnt because a member offended her..............yeah thats a big problem here. But we had a super strong lesson about the temple and eternal familes with her last week so we are going to capatilze this momentum and try and get her more interested in becoming wothy to enter the temple, being baptized. 

The yumiest thing that i've had on the mission, i have no idea. I just eat eerything, but in the last two weeks its a thing called Pavê its a dessert with cookies and chocolate and cream and is super good. The worst thing is olives, I just dont like the green olives here an some areas they put green olives in everything............but I've learned to stomach it.

So things I've learned this last week. We'll we had a conference with President and they are really trying to focus on the Book of Mormon. Using the Book Of Mormon in teaching and helping in the conversion of the investigators, less actives, and members. Yeah :) so I've been studying a lot about which scriptures I can use and how I can use them and how literally you can teach so much just from any scripture in the Book of Mormon and how much stronger the Spirit testfies using the Book of Mormon. For example we taught the law of chastity to Talita, the 19 year old girl, and in the beginning it was a little difficult everyone was playing around not taking it as seriously as they should  and so the Spirit prompted me to use the scripture in Alma when he is talking to his son. It's very clear and I dont hardly every use it because its so direct that it leaves some people offended or feeling awkaward or I feel its super harsh but true. Anyways we used it and the spirit testified super strong and was a powerful lesson. 

Also I've studied the Plan of Salvation. I love studying the Plan of Salvation :) SO I studied Alma 12, Alma 34, Alma 41 and they aren't as commonly used here but they teach so clearly the doctrines of the Plan of Salvation and really invite the Spirit. ALma 12 I really enjoyed a lot. The last part. The thing I recongonized is that alma 12 and alma 34 are both taught by Amulque. He was truly an amaizing missionary.  So I'm working on using the book of mormon a lot more and teaching a ton about the temples and a lot about the commandments. The 4 that are asked in the baptismal interview. I've grown to understand why tithing and the sabbath day are so important .

I've also been studying Jesus the Christ (at least this last p-day, chapter 22 or 21) about Jesus being the bread of life and how clearly he stated that only through eating his flesh and drinking his blodd can we gain eternal life. Clearly stated taking the sacrament and observing the sabboth. Which is the commmandment to take the sacrament. Super important and so easily over looked. John 6

Anyways these are the adventures and lessons and studies of this week. I'm working on trying to walk like Jesus, being patient and suffering all injustices, being meek and humble. Not easy, especially because its a habit for me to fight back but I'm learning to be more like the Savior. 

Also another note, this week becaus of carnival they had a special camp for the youth of the church and the single adults so that they can stay away from Carnival. So.....this family of recent converts has a daughter that's 15 and a son that's 19 that went. The daughter met Ana Paula who is our recent convert from Cobilandia and The son met wellington who is our  recent convert from Campos.  They are both still firm and super strong in their testimonies. Just made me super happy to know they are good and still super strong.

I loe you all and miss you so much,
Love Elder Simonsen

Sunday, February 15, 2015

From the bishop's wife in Elder Simonsen's new area

Regina MarquesRegina Marques

Hello sister Simonsen. My name is Regina. I am the wife of the bishop of the ward Guarapari. Today your son was at home and I decided to take pictures. He and his companion are serving in the city of Anchieta, some 20 minutes away from our chapel. Your son is a great missionary, and has the Spirit of the Lord with him! Congratulations, he is making a honroza mission! We will be with him every week and send you more pictures, ok?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Monday February 9th, 2015 (Anchieta and Guarapari)

Alrighty so this week has been super fun and interesting and what not. Lots of trials and lots of prayers and maybe I'll start fasting (trying to avoid it because had a week that i fasted about 3 times.....) anyways Kyle (elder petersen) sent me an email and had a really cool fact.

"O Léo da serra saiu para missão essa semana. E também, há um cara da serra que me mandou uma mensagem do facebook; falou que nos (eu e você) o encontramos um dia mas ele nos rejeitou. De repente outros missionários vieram e ele acabou se batizando na igreja. E ele fala que foi por causa de nós, ele se interessou na igreja, depois de nosso primeiro encontro! Então está vendo?! Memo até depois uma transferência/missão, seu bom trabalho se manifestará! " 

maybe if you translate it works out good but basically a man that we met in Serra who denied us, later talked to the missionaries and was baptized, he sent a message to Kyle on facebook and explained the whole situation and that it was because of us that he joined the church. It really made my day and helped me be even more happy.

Alrighty so new area. I'm in a place called Anchieta in Espírito Santo. Its part of Guarapari Which is a super beach town and really beautiful. We live about 40 mins outside the city by bus and that is where our area then goes on for another hour and a half by bus. We have two cities in our area. Anchieta and Ipiuma. Both one day could easily become branches and Ipiuma maybe wards... but for now are part of one ward that it basically 3 cities. So i have to say this welcome to the ward has been interesting. I know the missionaries that have passed here, there have been good and then some that weren't so good. There have been problems with members and lunch and a couple of other challenges. But I feel really good about this area. We have a golden opportunity to really make a difference and help a ton of people. Some of the challenges are a little frustrating and eat away at patience but I know that the Lord has sent us here for a reason, that He has a great work that needs to be done here. I'm super excited and we are going to work super hard. I will definitely miss Campos, it was really difficult to leave. But the Lord is preparing people here for us to bring to His church. I really enjoyed what you said about keeping a treasure chest of spiritual moments because I need to do better at going back and looking and remembering. The Lord has done so many marvelous things and sometimes we forget to look back. I will have a ton more time to write in my journal now because I really cant call anyone :) hahaha i have a different area code and I literally can only call the zone leaders (they cant call me, just me to them) but it makes it really really hard to talk with the rest of our district in we'll see if we can fix that problem. 

My companion is Elder Pereira from brasilia (the capital) I know him a little from when i was zone leader the first time he was in the mission. He's back now for about 5 months and he is really good and he had a tough first companion but He's a very good guy. The sisters in our district are Sister Averell from califronia (6months) Sister Sosa fromUruguay (her second transfer), Sister Cabrera from paraguay(9months) and Sister Visser from Iowa(second transfer). So we have a young district compared with Campos where everyone was super old. but everyone is super excited. Other than that we havent done too much. Just getting to know our area and getting to know all of the recent converts and members and less actives andwe actually have a baptism date for next week. Her name is Talita and she is 19. I think maybe she could be a sister next year but we are going to first work on her being baptized, she is a reference from a member.

But anyways that the major update. Working a lot on patience, humilty, becoming a man of God and working as always to develop His attributes. I feel that honestly I was way better at that when I got in the mission. BUt I know that Through the Atonement I can become even closer to Him. Sounds like you all are having tons of fun at home and the pictures are amazing. Especially for your 20th aniversary. Thats crazy to think that you've been married that long.........haha must be tought getting old ;) But its actually really cool. There are a lot of families here that aren't together and marriage here isnt that big of a deal but however in the Lord's eyes it is. I'm glad emmy had a good birthday. So I'm working on sending her something but I have to work on it today and send it off probably tomorrow. Sorry. But I love you all and wish that I could say so much more and be there with you. LOVE YOU TONS!!!!!

Love Elder Simonsen

Monday, February 2, 2015

Monday February 2nd, 2015

SO last week of the transfer and we found out about transfers last night. SO yes I'm being transfered...I leave tomorrow to go to the transfer meeting. 

Anyways monday tried the egg nog.........yeah I might just give up. It says cook for about 40 mins to an hours, it has eggs in it, after 10 mins all of the eggs are cooked. It might be because we have a gas stove and not an electric but yeah didnt turn out to well and this time I didnt even try to drink it. It was scrambled eggs...... anyways lessons this week: (if I can remember them all)

1) Dont scratch
2) Interviews with President
3) Pray harder
4) work harder
5) relax
6) yeah i cant remember anymore...i wrote them in my journal......but just so that you know I studied faith and dilligence this week as attributes of Christ.

so the first.....i think I have allergies.....maybe to somthing i ate. BUt since about wednesday or tuesday I've been itching like crazy and its been fun but I have no idea what it is that I'm allergic to. but its been a fun experience, haha I'm taking medicine but I still itch like crazy. 

SO the this week we had interviews with President, which were really good and we are focusing a lot on family history and the booklet that they released so yes I need tons of information about the family and dates that everyone married and histories about them and photos and stuff like that. So if the grandparents could send me histories about themselves and a photo and iformation about their parents and siblings i would be super grateful. If they sent a letter would be perfect because he asked me to work 10 mins per day on it.....which will be better if I have letters since i cant use the computer every day. 

3 pray harder, so.....we were in the street praying with a man who has intereseting scientific beliefs about the gospel and we were explaining about the Book Of Mormon and to finish we were praying and then out of no where, while we are praying you here brakes, metal breaking, cars going crazy and all this noise while I'm praying and it keeps getting close and louder and it got to the point that i had to open my eyes to see if I was going to turns out that a car had cliped a dumpster that was in the road maybe becuase another car passed by at the same time and the dumpster caught the space above the front tire and basically ripped of the passenger side door and the man swerved hit the side walk and hit a pole, trash can and maybe some other things, all on the other side of the street a good distance from us, about 20m or maybe less. We were never in real danger exactly but when your eyes are closed and you hear all that noise, you have no idea whats happening. But I believe the man was fine, he looked fine in the car, But yeah the next time I prayed i thought twice about what i was praying for ;) just a fun experience

4 this week we worked super hard and taught a ton of lessons, visiting everyone that had been to church at least once while we were here. We had  the baptism of Gisele finally. it was super special, a little hectic becuase I had to interview someone and it took a while but it was super spiritual and she was super happy and the relief society seemed pretty happy. I sent a picture and I've talked a little about her.

5) relax because I'm super tired and I am completely ready to relax and not be stressed because its the end of the transfer and the leaders push and pressure a bunch. Also because all the sisters from my group go home tomorrow. One of the sisters was in our district and its crazy thinking that she is done with the mission and that next week she wont be a missionary any more. Just reminds me how little time we have and how we must cherish every momenet because you never know when it ends and if you do you better enjoy and work hard until that day. 

I'm reading the book of mormon, finishing up alma and studying preach my gospel, i need to do that a liitle more. Other than that this week was really good, fasted a lot, prayed a lot, read a lot and worked a lot. I love the mission and there is no other place that I would want to be in this time in my life, I do realize that one day it will end and that i will begin the next mission of my life that will never really end. A family. But I know the LOrd is preparing me and I realize that I must also prepare now living the gospel of Jesus Christ. Like how I always said about being a missionary, ther eis no off and on switch, you must prepare before the mission to be a missionary. Always doing whats right and living the gospel and the covenants will prepare you for what ever thing you need or may come. I know these things are true and I'm so grateful for this time here in Brazil and here in Campos. I love you all and miss you so much and hope all is well. Read the scriptures, by yourself and as a FAMILY. Say your prayers by yourself, and as a FAMILY. Prepare yourselves and sanctify your selves as Joshua said. For the end cometh and the night falleth and the time will be in which no labor can be done. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.