Monday, December 22, 2014

Manifestações do Espírito

December 17, 2014

Oi família,

Today was the Mission Christmas Devotional. It was so good to see everyone, and so good to here from Presidente Perrotti. I have grown to love him so much over these two years. He leads with a smile, loves to give hugs, and is a good person.

Our little drama with Luciclea and Fernando ended up turning out well. I guess there are some novelas with a positive ending, or at least one. We ended up going back to Luciclea, and just listened to her for about an hour telling us about all the spiritual expierences she had had after we left that dramatic night. After giving her a blessing and leaving, she went to bed and fell asleep right away, and while she was sleeping she felt a light envelop her. She told she thought she was dying, but then heard a voice that said, "you are not dying. I am giving you a word of comfort." She continued sleeping, and then had a dream in which she saw an angel guiding me and my companion to her. When we reached her, the angel told her, "Listen to these my servants, for they bring you peace." As she told us of these experiences, I felt my love for the savior increase, and realized again how this work is his. How greatful am I to participate in this wonderful work.

Ana was baptized Sunday. Her family came to watch. Her parents are really catholic and don't plan on changing soon, but we'll see how things go.

On christmas, I plan on calling you all after lunch. I hope that doesn't mess up any plans you have. We have lunch with the bishop, and after lunch we will get online. Probably around 1 or 2 brasilian time (são paulo). I don´t remember what time that is in Utah. I´m way excited to see you all. It just hit me yesterday that I´m in the final two months. The weeks are just flying by.

Lembre-se que `Deus amou o mundo de tal maneira que deu o seu Filho unigênito, para que todo aquele que nele crê não pereça, mas tenha a vida eterna. Porque Deus enviou o seu Filho ao mundo, não para que condenasse o mundo, mas para que o mundo fosse salvo por ele.`

Feliz Natal e um próspero Ano Novo



Monday, December 15, 2014

Cansado e Feliz. A missionary combo.

December 10, 2014

Oi fam!

It´s been a crazy week here in Brasil. Waking up early, lots of meetings, temple trips, and miracles. I´m honestly exhausted, but it´s all worth it. I´ll try to let you all into the highlights.

There are moments on the mission when you feel like you are being dropped into a Novela (brasilian soap opera. they are kind of huge down here, and a horrible influence on society if you ask me) and one of those was yesterday. Looking back it really feels like I walked into a set. I say that joking, but honestly its really sad because it involves real people with real problems. But the way everything played out it felt surreal

It started out yesterday. We dropped by at Neide´s store to say hi. It´s always fun to go by there. I always leave more excited for the work. She is getting ready to get her Patriarchal Blessing which is way cool. After talking for a bit, she helped us set up an appointment at a government office in Campinas for one of our investigators (Luis Fernando) to renew he outdated ID so that he can get married and baptized. We had planned with Fernando to mark on Saturday, but realized the office was closed Saturday, so we tried giving him a call, but no answer. We then called his girlfriend/wife (Luciclea) to set things up with her, and when we called I could tell she was in a bar. Lot´s of noise, music in the background, and to top things off she was almost crying. As a friend and a missionary, I naturally got worried. First that she was crying, second that she was in the bar, and third because she kept saying over and over again, I need you guys to come by tonight. I told her we would drop by and continued on with the day, putting the events in the back of my mind.

Fast foward a couple hours. We grab a bus to go back to the neighborhood where we live, with plans to stop by Luciclea before going home. Pretty normal bus ride until this lady sits next to me. Like always, I start talking to her and ask her how she is going.
`Mais ou Menos` she responds. I could tell she had been to the hospital because she had that cottonball and bandage that they always stick on you after drawing blood or giving medicine, so I asked her if she was sick. And then she replies,
´Look, I´m the next door neighbor of that lady you have been teaching. We were actually really good friends until today.`
"Well good to meet you," I said with a smile.
"You wanna know what happened today?" she asked.
At that point I was thinking, "well, the way she is asking me, I really don't think I want to know." but I asked anyways.
"I was at a doctors appointment," she says, "and my husband didn't know I was coming home early. And as I was walking home I walked passed the bar, and who was there drinking and kissing, Luciclea and my husband."
She continued, "So of course I marched in to figure out what was going on, fought with my husband, and he beat me up pretty bad so I had to go the hospital again."
Pretty shocked I replied, "Wow, that makes me really sad," Praying that what she told me wasn't true.

I talked with my companion and we prayed and prayed to know what to do when we went over to Luciclea, and when we get there she is out of control crying. Through sobs, we here her side of the story, which is completely different then her friends and ends up with her friend hitting her across the face harder then she has ever been hit before. Luciclea has a pretty bad temper, and told us that she fought and fought not to fight back, but was more angry then she has ever been before. We talked with her, listened to her, prayed with her, and gave her a blessing. We left the Spirit there. And that's where we end our little drama, at least for today. We have to go back to see how things will run out, but if I learned anything, it's that the love of Christ can heal the deeepest wounds. I truly felt that with Luciclea as we left her house last night.

Other highlights of the week include Ana and her family. We taught them all Sunday, and there are excited for her to get baptized. They haven't accepted baptism, but have at least accepted having us over and really felt the Spirit as we taught. I'm really excited for Fabiano, her older brother. Sadly he smokes, which will probably be his biggest challenge, but he loved the lesson.

We also met a sweet couple, Rai e Micaela. They are 21 and 19, and usually when we find young couples like that they are just living together to see how things play out, which makes things difficult, but to are surprise, they are legally married and accepted baptism. Now comes the teaching process.

We had the opportunity to go to the temple today. I have to tell you that it is really nice to have a little piece of heaven on earth. There is so much wickedness. Just riding the buses here in brasil I am pretty much constantly singing hymns in my head to keep my thoughts pure. There is literally pornography everywhere you look. I've already memorized when I can look out the window, and when I have to look out the other window, and when I need to close my eyes as we take the bus around down. I'm not even kidding, it's horrible. But the Lord has protected me and it was so nice to be in the house of the Lord today and feel his presence. And even nicer to feel worthy to be in his presence.

Love you all and hope you have a wonderful week.



Saturday, December 6, 2014


...without captions. But we're pretty sure this first one is Romário's baptism. :)

As últimas doze semanas

Wednesday December 3, 2014

Oi fam!

As I already told you guys, I´m training Elder A. Sousa.  The training program is called The First Twelve Weeks, and I always tease him that instead of doing the first twelve weeks we are going to do The Last Twelve Weeks.  I´m guessing he doesn´t appreciate it that much, but that´s what you get when your companion is finishing up the mission.  

We started off the transfer really well.  Romário was baptized on Sunday.  Really a miracle.  A great example of why we do street contacts, even if it´s one thing that most missionaries don´t like doing.  Romário was a street contact of me and Elder Grandberg two weeks ago.  We were just standing outside of the church talking to everybody that walked by, and he was one of the few people that accepted a visit.  He is a great guy.  20 years old and always looking to do the right.  I´m really hoping he will go on a mission here in a year.

We also had great progress we Luciclea and Fernando.  They went to church on Sunday, and Fernando told us he wanted to wait a year before getting married.  Luciclea wasn´t too excited about that because she is really anxious to get baptized.  She treats her book of mormon as if they were the original golden plates.  She doesn´t let anyone touch them, or write in them, or do anything with them.  It was funny because a lot of times we mark chapters to read with a pen, and in our second visit, we tried marking a chapter and she got mad at us.  She hasn´t let us touch her book again.  Anyways, after Fernando told us that at Church we went to his house and taught a really inspired lesson about the Law of Chastity and Families, and he accpeted the marriage invite again.  They just need to find some documents to mark the marriage.

Another cool expierence this week was with Ana.  Ana is the girlfriend of a recently called misisonary, and we have been teaching her at the house of her boyfriend.  She accpeted baptism for december 13, but then we found out that her dad was completely against it. Everyone got a little bit disappointed, and she told us it wouldn´t be possible to go to her house to talk with the family.  But then last night we were on splits with members, and my companion was teaching her.  When we were waiting for him to come back, I did a street contact with a guy passing by, who turned out to be her older brother, who got way excited to invite us over to his house.  So it looks like now we have an in with the family.

As you can tell it´s been a great week.  I´m loving every second and am so grateful to the Lord and all he has blessed me with.

Love you all a ton.


Semana de Milagres

Monday November 24, 2014

Oi fam!

A semana passada foi maravilhosa!  Literally a week of miracles.  

The biggest miracle week was the mighty change of heart that Alison (it´s a guy´s name) had.  We have been teaching him from quite some time now, and were almost ready to give up.  He´s an awesome guy, 20 years old, studying law, and loves studying stuff on the internet.  That last part led to a lot of doubts, a lot of questions.  A lot of times he seemed a lot more set on believing in Greek gods, then in believing in God and his son Jesus Christ.  Slowly but surely he started reading the book of mormon.  He started going to Church every once in a while, and he started believing in the gospel.  But he kept looking for something else.  We took him to the temple about a month ago and he told us that he felt a strange energy there.  But then he had some problems with some members he didn´t like, and stopped going to church for a couple week.  He also had a lot of questions about the commandments, especially the law of chastity.  He kept trying to justify his way out of living up to God´s standards.  This week during a split, one of our zone leaders taught him with us, and after that lesson we had all lost hope that he was going to make the changes in his life that he needed.  But we prayed and went back on Friday, and as soon as we finished the opening prayer, he told us, `The only thing that lacks for my baptism is to understand better the fall of Adam and Eve`  So we read two chapter of the Pearl of Great Price with him to help him understand, found out he was keeping all of the commandments, and marked a last minute baptismal interview for him to be baptized on Saturday.  When the Zone Leader did the interview, he told us, `That isn´t the same person I taght on tuesday`
It was so cool to see such a mighty change of heart.  Now we´ll  keep working with him.  Who knows.  Maybe in a year or two he´ll be a mission of his own.

Alison´s story reminds me a lot of one of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon.  Mosias 5:1-5

1  E então aconteceu que, tendo o rei Benjamim assim falado a seu povo, mandou investigar se seu povo acreditara nas palavras que lhe dissera.

  2 E todos clamaram a uma só voz, dizendo: Sim, acreditamos em todas as palavras que nos disseste e também sabemos que são certas e verdadeiras, por causa do Espírito do Senhor Onipotente que efetuou em nós, ou melhor, em nosso coração, uma vigorosamudança, de modo que não temos mais disposição para praticar omal, mas, sim, de fazer o bem continuamente.

  3 E também nós mesmos, pela infinita bondade de Deus e manifestações de seu Espírito, temos grandes visões do que está por acontecer e, se fosse conveniente, poderíamos profetizar sobre todas as coisas.

  4 E foi a fé que tivemos nas coisas que nosso rei nos disse que nos levou a este grande conhecimento, pelo que nos regozijamos com tão grande alegria.

  5 E estamos dispostos a fazer um convênio com nosso Deus, de cumprir a sua vontade e obedecer a seus mandamentos em todas as coisas que ele nos ordenar, para o resto de nossos dias, a fim de que não recaia sobre nós um tormento sem fim, como foi anunciado pelo anjo, e não bebamos do cálice da ira de Deus.

Always remember that people can change.  That God can change us.

Elder Grandberg was transferred.  I am going to miss him.  We had a great transfer together.  I found out that I will be training again.  The 9th transfer I will be studying the first 12 weeks training program.  Excited, but a bit nervous at the same time.  New missionaries always have some surprises up their sleeves.  I know I did.  But I´m excited.  I´m guessing he will be my last companion unless something goes really wrong ;).  

Love you all!



Monday, November 17, 2014

Deixa a luz do sol entrar

Oi família!

What a great week it has been. It´s hard to believe that it´s P-day already. The time really just flies by. We had a great week. Lot´s of great people we are teaching, lots of great experiences.

We found an awesome family. Tatiane, Luiz e Ana Luisa. There Dad has been working a ton, so we still haven´t met him, but the other three all went to church and all loved it. Luiz and Ana Luisa are 9 year old twins and a great to be around. Reminds me of you Amy and Lisa. I know you are both older now, but when I left I think you were 9 and 11, so just about the same age.

It´s crazy that this is the last week of the transfer...

Jacquelaine was confirmed yesterday. She is so fun, and a new light has truly entered into her life.

I´ve been studying a lot of Church history lately. It´s really interesting and I´ve learned a lot. I respect a lot the early church leaders. They traveled and worked for years to establish this great work that will move on through the centuries.

We met another great guy named Romario as well. He is 20 and lives here with his cousin. He went to church on Sunday and liked it a lot. We just need to get him really involved these next few weeks.

Love you all.


Monday, November 10, 2014

The Time Machine

Oi fam.

I have decided that the mission is like a time machine. You step into it and time just starts flying by. It seems like everything that has ever happened before is a fairytale, and anything that will happen in the future just a daydream. And the time just passes and passes and passes. Weeks, months, transfers, all blurred into one. But the time machine is good. As time passes, you grow a lot, learn a lot, and change a lot.

This week flew by. It´s been really hot again lately. I don´t think that will change for the rest of the mission. Just got to fight through it I guess. My body is just tired. I´m pretty sure I got dehydrated and was with a low fever about half the week, but I just worked through it and am 100 percent again. It´s funny to see these new missionaries all excited with a ton of energy, and me just feeling like an old man. I´m still excited, I still love the work, but I just don´t have the energy I had before. (Is that what you always felt like when we were mountain biking dad? ;) Sorry couldn´t resist.)

But the week turned out really good. Jacquelaine was baptized yesterday. We have been teaching her for about a month now, and she has loved church and loved everything, but was always really shy about baptism. Anyways, with the help of a lot of members, she finally accepted, and we had a great baptismal service yesterday. She is 17 years old and is doing this completely by herself. But the young women and yw leaders love her, so she has a new family in the church.

We have a lot of great investigators. Luciclea and Fernando went to church with us this Sunday. They loved it. Sadly, they aren´t legally married and just live together, but we will try to get them married here in the next few months. That´s a big problem with a lot of people we meet.

Love you all a ton. Any tips on how to stay motivated in the hot brazilian sun as you finish your mission are welcome :). Tenha uma boa semana!



Monday, October 27, 2014

a vida está ótima

Oi fam!

Life is good in Vinhedo. I´m honestly just loving it here. Great comp, great members, great area, great mission.

We are teaching a really cool guy named Allisson. I think I told you all about him last week, but Saturday we took him to the temple and he told us as we were driving home, `Eu senti uma energia estranha lá.´ Translated thats "I felt a strange energy there." I guess that's one way to describe the Spirit :). But it was a really spiritual experience. As part of the temple trip, the Sisters from the city next to us also brought 4 investigators, two of which were baptized yesterday. I was able to do the baptismal interview of them, Ivani, and her son Matheus. It was a really special experience to do a baptismal interview in the temple, and really set the background to get them excited to enter the temple a year from now. After the interviews, the other investigators, Raimunda e Cleber asked for a priesthood blessing so they could stop smoking so that they could be baptized soon. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I've ever had. I felt prompted to tell Raimunda that she would no longer have desire to smoke if she continued following the gospel. Thery are a young couple that are waiting for some documents to come through so they can get married, but pretty soon, it should all work out.

Since Loveira (the city of the sisters) is just a branch and doesn[t have a baptismal font, Matheus and Ivoni were baptized in our chapel. I had to go early to fill up the font, and get everything all ready, and then when they got there, they asked me if I could baptize them. I didn't have a towel, or a change of clothes, but I was honored to baptize them and everything worked out just fine. Matheus is 19, and told me he wants to serve a mission.

We are also teaching Jacquelaine, a young women who is 17, and she loved church on sunday, and even better, the young women leaders loved her. If everything goes as planned she should be getting baptized in the next week or two. We are trying to get her Dad to come to church as well, but up until now he is kind of resisiting. But he'll come around.

Well I guess that'a the highlight reel of the week. We have a lot of other great people as well. I'm loving life and hope all of you all as well. I just close things off with a scripture that I really liked this week in Mosias 26:29-31;

29 Digo-te, portanto: Vai; e o que transgredir contra mim,julgarás de acordo com os pecados que houver cometido; e seconfessar seus pecados diante de ti e de mim e arrepender-se com sinceridade de coração, tu o perdoarás e eu também o perdoarei.

30 Sim, e tantas vezes quantas o meu povo se arrepender, perdoá-lo-ei de suas ofensas contra mim.

31 E também vos perdoareis uns aos outros vossas ofensas, pois em verdade vos digo que aquele que não perdoar as ofensas de seu próximo, quando este se confessar arrependido, trará sobre si condenação.

Eu sei que Cristo nos ama e está ansioso a nos perdoar. Ao perdoar uns aos outros, vamos encher-nos com o puro amor de Cristo e sentir a sua luz em nossas vidas. Sempre lembre-se que ninguém é perfeito, que devemos ser unidos em nossos luta contra o mal, e que devemos aceitar as fraquezas dos outros, buscando ajudar em vez de criticar, curar em vez de ferir, amar em vez de odiar. Amo todos vocês e espero que tenham uma semana excelente.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fall Update :)

Here are Evan's letters from the past few months. Sorry I haven't kept them very current. He also sent a short note a few weeks ago saying he will be home February 17! I knew two years could go by fast but didn't know these two years would go by so amazingly fast. We just dropped him off at the MTC. :)

October 20, 2014
A volta para paraíso

Oi fam!

Como vai?!

I´m back in paradise!  I was transferred this week to Vinhedo, again!  I´ve never been so happy about a transfer.  Back to my favorite city in the mission.  There are two wards here, so I´m in the other ward, but it´s so good to be back and to see so many familiar faces.  I honestly just love it here.  

Also news, President gave me a break from being Zone Leader, and now I´m District Leader again, which I love.  District leader is a lot more fun for me because I get to work a lot closer to the missionaries, and get to know them a lot better.  Plus, I feel a lot less pressure and a lot less stress then I was feeling before.  All in all, I´m thinking I´ll probably finish out the mission here in the city.  The only downside is that it is on the other side of some hills of the campinas airport, so airplanes pass by quite frequently.  But I guess that just makes me more excited to finish out strong the mission.

We have a great teaching group.  We marked four or five baptisms during the week, only one of them went to Church.  We are in part of the city quite a ways away from the chapel, so the hardest part is getting people to church.  But with the help of the members we´ll figure it out.  The people here are so much more receptive then campinas.  Needless to say, I´m pumped to be back.

My new companion is Elder Grandberg.  He´s Brazilian, from Santa Catarina, and has 4 or 5 months out on the mission.  He´s a sweet guy.  Fun, friendly, always smiling.  It´s been fun to work with him.  We are teaching some sweet people, namely Alisson, Lucas, and Samuel.  Alisson is studying law, and has some crazy questions.  But what he´s seen so far he´s liked.  He has searched a lot of religions in his life, and he told us that what he has seen so far seems closest to the truth.  Now we just need to help him feel that it is the truth.  Lucas is 19, and we had a great first lesson for him.  I have high hopes with him, and honestly see him as a future missionary.   We have quite a few other people as well, all of them with a ton of potential.

We had a really good Zone Conference about simplicity.  Big problems require simple solutions.  A lot of times we complicate things, but if we just think simply, and stick to the basics, the big stumbling blocks turn into a lot of little pebbles we can clear away one at a time.  I really liked that, and need to apply it more in my life.  The doctrine of Christ is simple.  Faith, Repentance, and Covenant Making.  If we stick to the basics, it will all work out. 

Love you all.  Hope everyone has a great week.



October 13, 2014
O fim se apoxima

Oi fam!

Como vai?  

One more transfer down.  Three to go.  Wow does time pass by quickly!  I´m getting transferred to what should be my last area.  I´m really excited.  Transfers are always a great opportunity to reavaluate and make the necessary changes to continue improving.  These last two transfers in Campinas have probably been the most challenging of my mission, for various reasons.  One was the constant switch of companions and roomates.  In three months in the ward 10 different missionaries passed through.  The constant changes made it dificult to get into a groove.  The church has a really good book for stress management they have given to missionaries, and it says it usually takes about 6 weeks to adapt to a new situation, so constant changes makes adapting a little bit hard.  I´m hoping I can finish out my mission in the same area with the same companion so things can really start flowing.  But we´ll see what happens.

In spite of the challenges, I learned some powerful lessons these last few months.

1.  The Power of the Priesthood.  

I don´t know if I´ve already told you all about Catia.  We found her knocking doors one day, and started teaching.  She started progressing really quickly, and after a couple weeks of teaching her she told us she has suffered from life long depression, and the day we knocked on here door she was strongly considering suicide, but completely changed her mind when we knocked. Catia never got baptized, but she improved a lot.  However, after a couple months of visiting she fell into really bad depression again,  and completely isolated herself from the world.  We were finally able to visit her again this week and she didn´t listen to anything we said and was completely lost in her depression.  After paciently listening for an hour, we offered to give her a blessing.  She accepted, and after praying, we laid our hands upon our head, and as we gave the blessing, the room filled with the spirit.  She was healed, if not for just a moment.  The love of Christ surrounded us in that moment and the sadness and grief that had enveloped left.  We haven´t been able to go back yet, but I know, at least for a moment, God poured out his love upon her through the Priesthood.

2.  The need not to give up. 

I knew I would probably be transferred this week, and after a lot of trials, I was about ready to call it quits in the area.  But through a lot of prayer and the help of my companion, I kept going.  Exhausted, tired, frustrated, hot, but I kept on working.  Miracously we found 7 new investigators this week.  Not an amazing number, but a significant accomplishment for us.  A couple of them went to church this week, and I hope they all accept the glad message we have.  Goes to show, sometimes we just need to give a little more then what we have.

I love you all.  Hope you all have a great week and enjoy the cool fall weather.



September 29, 2014

hey fam, 

I´m running out of time, but those pics were from a wedding and baptism from a couple I tought in Vinhedo.  President let me go back with Elder Ferguson to watch.  Way fun to see!

There names are Alex e Ivonette.

Have a great week!



September 22, 2014

Oi fam!

Tomorrow I´ll find out my new companion.  Should be good.  

Unfortunately, the people we were preparing for baptism this Sunday fell through.  Not completely though.  We just need to continue teaching and following up so that in the coming weeks they can be baptized.  

We worked hard this week.  Elder Barbosa really pushed himself to the limit and we saw miracles on a daily basis.  But sadly I think my comp pushed himself a little too far.  Yesterday he had an allergic reaction to one of the medicines he´s taking and broke up in really bad acne.  Like really bad.  We passed almost 4 hours in the hospital today, but he should clear up in a couple days now.  One more pill to take away the effects of the other pill.

Jaimi and his family were definitely the highlight of the week.  I found them about a month ago knocking doors with Elder Rodrigues, but this week he really progressed, read the book of mormon, got an anwser to his prayer, and after our lesson, the member who was teaching with us offered to give him a priesthood blessing, and I truly saw the Priesthood in action.  The words were inspired, the spirit was strong, and all of us left in tears, thankful for the amazing love of our Heavenly Father.  

When we look for the miracles from day to day, we are amazed with all God does for us.  May we all look to love our Lord with all our heart and prepare ourselves, our families, our friends, and our neighbors for the glorious day when the Savior will return.  And as we wait, may  we cherish every moment we have been blessed with.

Love you all.  


September 15, 2014
Stand Strong

Oi família!
Como vai!

This week has been pretty great!  Elder Barbosa´s knees are dead.  He´ll be getting emergency transferred to a tiny area next week, which I´m kind of sad about.  We have been working great together!  But to finish things off strong we have a goal to baptize three people this weekend.  Gustavo and Osmar e Rita.

We haven´t been able to work a hundred percent because of we walk all day, the Elder Barbosa´s knees give out, so as far as finding people we are kind of stopped, but we have a good teaching group, and my companion is willing to make the sacrifice to follow up with these people.  

We have had a little mission drama in the house.  The other companinship has been fighting all week, but we had a good talk last night, and things seem to be better. 

I´ve been studying the Book of Mormon.  I have a goal to finish again before the end of the mission, and I´m focusing my whole study on stregthening my ability to feel and follow the Holy Ghost.  One thing I´ve noticed is the diligence required to receive revelation.  I think one of the most repeated promises in the scripture is "ask and ye shall recieve, knock and it shall be opened unto you."  Variations of this promise are found in several places.  To receive revelation we have to look for it, diligently look for it.  I've been trying to make a list of things every week that I need help with, and throughouth the week, diligently study and pray in order to receive personal revelation.  A lot of the times I forget to look for this revelation because life is so good, and I don't feel like I need much revelation to get through life happy, and maybe I don't, but I'm not here just to get through life happy, but to bring God's eternal plan to pass, and for this to happen, I need a lot of revelation.  I really like the scripture in 1 Nephi 10:17-19

 17 And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God—and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come—I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.

 18 For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.

 19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.

Nephi didn't just listen to his dad and then continue in his same happy life, but diligently searched to know if it was true, and the result was the vision when he pretty much saw everything that would happen until the second coming.  "He that diligently seeketh shal find, and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them."  I wonder how much consel and advice from we leave behind just because we are to lazy to look for it.

Sorry, I kind of got babbling, but just a little of what I have learned on the mission.

Love you all a ton!



September 10, 2014
Oi de Brazil

Oi fam!

It´s been an interesting and fun week.  New transfer, new companion, same area.  I´m back with Elder Barbosa!  I don´t know if you all remember, but he was my first companion when I got to Brasil, and now we are zone leaders together!  It´s nuts.  When I saw his name at transfers, I have to admit that I got really nervous.  That first transfer together was tough, but it was more me adapting to brasil then any problems in the companionship.  But now we are getting along great!  The only problem is his knees.  He has some serious knee problems which makes working difficult.  But we are planning our days well to teach the people that are prepared.  

All in all it´s been a good week.
We have a great teaching group, with five people visiting church Sunday.  And we plan on continue working hard to find more people and help the people we have.  

Scripture thought for the day from 2 nephi 33

 And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, likeunto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.

 2 But behold, there are many that harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, that it hath no place in them; wherefore, they cast many things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught.

May we always speak with the power of the Holy Ghost to edify those around us, and may we soften our hearts to feel it´s whispers guide us in our daily life.

Love you all,


August 11, 2014
Cansado en Campinas

Oi familia,

Estou muito cansado agora, mas, faz parte da missão.  I think the last 6 months of a missionary really defines him.  The first year and a half we are constantly learning, trying our best, and excited, but then you kind of start to get the hang of things, and everything depends on your desire and execution.  The last 6 months we still learn a lot, but a least for me, I feel like the first year and a half I served, but it also served as a wonderful learning experience, and now I just have to give everything I have to the Lord, and let him finish off my mission the way he wants me too.  

The week was another tough one, at least in terms of the work.  It´s a lot harder to find people here then I´m used too.  It´s pretty much central campinas, not dead center, but close enough where everyone is always busy, doesn´t have time to talk to us on the street, and doesn´t have time to listen to our lessons.  Slowly but surely we are building up a teaching group though.  

Luana is one of our most promising investigators right now.  A lot of problems to overcome, but a lot of desire as well.  That´s all I can ask for.  We can help people change, but we can´t help people desire to change, they have to desire it on their own.  Luana is about 22 years old, has two kids, and currently lives with her Mom, but is still dating this guy who publicly cheats on her.  Anyone, they are planning on living together again, but she really doesn´t want too, and I really hope she doesn´t.  She needs to move on with life.  But let´s see where things go. 

Other than her we are really looking for people, desperately, but maybe I just need to desire it more and God will provide a way.  It´s interesting how much our desires have an influence on our lives, and on our eternity.  I really like these scriptures in Alma 41

 3 And it is requisite with the justice of God that men should bejudged according to their works; and if their works were good inthis life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they shouldalso, at the last day, be restored unto that which is good.

 4 And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them forevil. Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order,every thing to its natural frame—mortality raised to immortality,corruption to incorruption—raised to endless happiness to inheritthe kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom ofthe devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other—

 5 The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the otherto evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil whenthe night cometh.

Hope you all have a great week!  Always desire the good in life, because that which ye sow, ye shall also reap.

Love you all!


August 6, 2014
Templo - Foto Zona Campinas

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Campinas de nova

Oi fam!
Como foi a semana de vocês?

I´m back in in black... I mean back in Campinas.  Same stake as I was in at the beginning of the year, just one ward over.  It´s been kind of weird to be back in the city.  I´ll be completely honest.  I really don´t like Campinas.  I would never want to leave here in the city.  If one day I ever moved to Brazil (which I don´t think will likely happen)  I would definitley choose to live in Vinhedo.  Definitely my favorite city I have passed by until now.  

But it´s been crazy to see what a difference a couple kilometers can make.  This area is completely different then Jardim das Bandeiras, and a thousand times harder.  Honestly, in terms of the work, this has been the hardest week of my mission.  People here are a lot more closed off then I´m used to and it has been so hard to get into houses and teach.  But we´ve got some plans all worked out.  We just need a teaching group.  I got here and there was only about 2 people that were really investigators, and so we´ve only taught them.  You have to have an appointment to teach here, so as we get more people in the group, we will have more appointments, and more lessons, and then more people preparing for baptism.  So this week should be fun.

My companion is Elder Rodriguez.  He´s on his second transfer out, but has already learned a lot.  I´ve liked him so far.  He´s kind of quiet, but is always cracking jokes in his quiet way, so it´s been fun.  I miss Elder Ferguson though.  He was definitely one of the best companions I´ve had.  But Elder Rodriguez is great too.  He is from Rio Grande do Sul, has a girlfriend who is waiting for him, and loves to watch movies.

Highlight of the week has to be going to the Temple today for the first time since Christmas.  Only the zones in Campinas can go, and even then only once every 3 or 4 months, so last time I was in Campinas I missed out, but I´m back and came back in perfect timing.  It was so beautiful and so nice to feel the love of the Lord.  Life just seems to make so much more sense as we come to understand God´s great plan of happiness better.

I love you all a lot.  I hope you all always remember the love of God in our day to day life.  Don´t forget him.  He will never forget us, but when we remember him, everything works out.



Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Update :)

Hi! Just noticing that Evan's most recent letters haven't made it to his blog ...not sure why they haven't posted ...but here they are. Hope you enjoy catching up! Also, the mission home changed location so make sure to note his new mailing address.

June 9, 2014
Uma transferencia de milagros

Hey Fam!

It´s crazy to think another transfer has flown by.  Elder Toebe is flying home today, as well as Elder Carmongio.  They are my first companions to have finished the mission, so It´s been sad to say by.  But mission friendships will last forever.  

This last week was kind of slow, at least for Elder Toebe.  He kept telling me, The last week just never ends. But it flew by for me.  We spent a lot of time passing by recent converts and members to see him off, and less time teaching then maybe we should have, but it was a good for him.  Tomorrow he will be lost in the real world again.  He´ll actually start walking already tomorrow morning, which will be good.  And he already seems to have a good idea of what he´ll do in life, so he should get off to a good start.  

But to cap off his mission we were able to baptize again.  His last day in Vinhedo we were able to baptize Neide and her son Rafael.  It was honestly the best baptismal service I´ve participated in.  A ton of people showed up to support and it was such a huge victory to see Neide take that leap of faith into the waters of baptism.  There was so much external pressure on her not to follow through, but as she said, when God tells you what is right, you just follow.  How much better would the world be if we all had that sense of obedience.  She will be such an awesome member and such an awesome leader for others as well.  I truly believe, that several will come to know the truth through her.

Other than that I´m just excited to keep on working here.  Elder Toebe was such a great missionary that President is sending three of them to take his place.  Yep, we are going to divide the area, and now we will have two sets of missionaries in the ward which should be great.  And on top of that our zone is combining with another zone, which means double responisiblity, but it should be good.  I´ll be traveling a lot more and working a lot more.  But work just makes the time fly by. 

Hope you all have an amazing week!



June 30, 2014
Junho já passou! O loco...

Beleza família!

Como vocês estão?!

It´s been another wonderful week here in the mission.  I´m loving this area and my companion, and all the missionaries in my zone.  It´s really just wonderful.  I´ll try and give you all a good summary of the week.

Let´s start off with a bit more about my missionary friends.  Elder Ferguson served for 1 year in Montana, and had quite an adventure there.  He´s still adjusting to life in Portuguese but he´s getting better.  Sadly he´s been sick this week, which has made a tough transisition even harder, but it will all work out.  He´s an hilarious kid from the Ghetto.  I love to here his stories about Louisianna.  Completely different from Utah.  He´s seen a lot of stuff happen and loves talking about it.  Since I´ve been out on my mission I´ve honestly learned so much about people.  I love Utah, but I´m thinking after college I´ll give it a shot somewhere else.  Just to get to know another culture and learn from the richness of experience that others have.

We have four misisonaries in the ward now which has been fun.  The others are Elder Sears from Georgia who went to BYU as well, but a year before me.  He´s on the final stretch of the mission and is excited for the first BYU football game this fall which will happen like a week after he gets home.  He´s training Elder Rodrigues who is brand new from Brasilia.  Honestly we have an awesome house, and zone.  We like to call it our all star team.

As for the work we are really excited for this next week.  We have a great teaching pool with people who are really starting to progress.  I´ve been really excited about Adailton this week.  I don´t remember if I told you much about Gledson who we baptized in May, but Adailton is his nephew, and we always tried teaching him with Gledson but he never showed much interest.  He´s 15 and lives with his uncle.  Anyway, a couple weeks ago he started showing some interest, and after we left Gledson´s house he called us and said, Elders, can you all come back tomorrow to teach me, and then after the first lesson, he asked, what time are you coming back tomorrow, and now we have been teaching him almost everyday.  He´s gone to church twice already and is preparing for baptism Sunday.

I´m also really excited for Marco e Liciane e Felipe.  They loved Church the other week and already had a ton of friends.  Now we just need the Spirit to work his magic, especially with Liciane.  She is really involved in her beliefs, and doesn´t really want to make the commitment to be mormon, but the accept everything we say as truth, and just need to recognize the answers they have recieved and take a leap of faith.

Our zone covers a hugh geographic area so I´ve been traveling a lot.  Nothing like waking up at 4:30 to take a two hour bus ride to do baptism interviews and go to district meeting and the like.  They didn´t tell me about that part when I signed up, but I love it.

Anyways, hope that gives you all an insight into my week.  Thought from the day comes from Alma 18

 33 E o rei Lamôni disse: Creio em todas estas coisas que disseste. Foste enviado por Deus?

  34 Respondeu-lhe Amon: Eu sou um homem; e o homem, no princípio, foi criado segundo a imagem de Deus; e seu Santo Espírito chamou-me para ensinar estas coisas a este povo, para que venha a conhecer aquilo que é justo e verdadeiro;

  35 E uma porção desse Espírito habita em mim, dando-me conhecimento e também poder segundo minha fé e desejos que estão em Deus.

I hope you all always remember that God is our father, literally our father, and that each and every one of us has the potential to become like him.  Yes, sometimes we are weak, lazy, prideful, etc, but we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost and have the right to recieve power and knowledge if that´s what we truly desire.  Sometimes we have to change our desires to recieve the blessings God wants to give, but as we change, we become perfected.  

Amo todos vocês.  Tenha uma boa semana e sempre fique feliz, apesar das dificuldades.  



July 21, 2014
Terminei forte

Oi fam!

One more transfer come and gone.  It´s crazy to think I only have 5 left.  I really have to make the most of it.  I feel like I´ve really started to figure out where how to do the mission.  How to work with the members, how to teach,  things are just clicking, and now I have to put it all into practice to finish off strong.  

Found out last night that I´m leaving Nova Vinhedo.  I love the area, the ward, and the investigators.  Definitely my favorite area until now.  But I´m excited to move on.  Vamos ver para onde vou. 

We ended the transfer on a high note with the baptism of Adailton.  He has grown so much, and I´ll be sad to leave him, but he has felt the spirit and is starting to get a lot more involved in the youth program which is great to see.  We showed up to church on Sunday 15 minutes early, and he was already there.  That was so nice because ususally we have to hunt people down to get them to come to church.  I took it as a sign that he has truly felt the spirit and is taking the first steps of conversion.

I´ll miss the area though.  I loved my companion, loved the other missionaries in the ward, loved the Bishop.  I just loved it all.  But I´m sure I´ll keep on loving it, wherever I am.

Thanks for the support and love,



Monday, May 26, 2014

Faz um tempinho que não mando uma carta para vocês.

Oi familia!  Como vai?!

It´s been a while since I´ve written a family letter.  At least I think so.  Time goes by so fast, and I´ve done a lot of replying to your letters, but a lot of times on P-day I get to the computer and really don´t feel like using technology.  I guess that´s what a year on the mission does.  But I guess I´ll give you all an idea of what´s going on down in Brazil.

These last couple weeks I´ve been needing to push myself a little bit harder.  Elder Toebe is finishing up the mission here in two weeks, and understandably his thoughts are in the future, so I´ve had to retrain my mind not to think about home, but to think about what is going on here.  And it´s been good.  We´ve talked a lot about dreams for the future, which can be distracting, but at the same time, it´s been kind of good for me, because as I´ve been out, I feel like I have a better idea of what I want with my life.  So we´ll see how these last two weeks go.  Elder Toebe has always been a hard worker, but his thoughts are definitely drifting towards home, so I´ll have to step up.

We have a really great teaching group.  We are teaching this really awesome lady named Neide and have been teaching her in her little store called Casa do Norte, where she sells food from other parts of Brazil which are hard to find here in São Paulo.  She was a referral from a member, and we have been teaching her inside the store in the afternoon which is kind of fun.  Anyways, she has made some awesome progress this week.  We gave her the book of mormon about a week ago, and she is already in Alma, and is preparing to get baptized this Sunday with her 10 year old son.  The biggest problem is that she has a leadership role in her church, and is nervous to leave behind the people she leads, but I told her that she doesn´t have to leave the behind, she can keep on leading them to the Church of Jesus Christ and eternal life.  We´d be happy to help :)  I know it doesn´t always work out that way and she might face some rejection and criticism, but still, I´m crossing my fingers.  

We taught another guy named Danilo yesterday for the first time who has been going for church for 8 months, but it´s been so hard to get in contact with him and teach him, but we finally did and after 8 months of going to Church, all that is left is baptism.  We still have to teach the lessons, but he accepts everything super great and is preparing for June 8.  

It´s really great to see the work of the Lord grow and progress.  I´m loving this experience with all my heart, might, mind and strength.  

I really liked the following in my studies this week in Jacob 4:13

  13 Portanto, meus irmãos, quem quer que profetize, que o faça ao alcance do entendimento humano, pois o Espírito fala a verdade e não mente. Portanto fala de coisas como realmente são e de coisas como realmente serão; assim, estas coisas nos são manifestadas claramente para a salvação de nossa alma. Mas eis que não somos as únicas testemunhas destas coisas, porque Deus também as disse aos profetas da antigüidade.

There is so much information in the world, and so much religious doctrine and belief that just confuses people, at least here in Brazil, so it´s conforting to know that God will always reveal his will in a simple way so that his children can understand, and after, will send the Spirit to testify of these simple truths.  And as we study the scriptures, we learn that God has taught the same things since the beginning of times.  It´s up to us to follow.

Love you all and hope you have a great week.

Elder McDaniel

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mais uma em Vinhedo!

Oi Familia!

Another week has flown by.  I guess after a year on the mission it´s hard to think of what to write.  We talk to and teach so many people every week, it all kind of just blurs into one, so it´s hard to think what to tell you.  But I´ll guess I´ll give you some highlights.

Mauro, Madalenna, e Larissa.  An awesome family that finally went to church yesterday.  Larissa is an 8 year old granddaughter of Mauro e Madelanna, and one day she yelled at us in the street, asking us if we were `Os Rebeldes` , or the rebels.  which is a Brazilian tv show.  Anyway, we took advantage of the situation, and told her who we really are, and asked if we could visit them and leave a message about Cristo.  They accepted, and we have been teaching them for about two weeks and they have been loving it.  Mauro is really Catholic, Madalenna is Espirita, and Larissa loves having us over, and she kind of dragged her grandparents to Church, and they ended up loving it which made us really happy.  An awesome family, but challenging investigators.  But I´m confindent everything will go smoothly.

We also are teaching a teenager named Caio who is preparing to get baptized this Sunday.  He´s been ready for a while, but it´s been a fight to get him to Church.  But he finally came!  His uncle has a habit of taking him to play soccer Saturday night, and not bringing him back home, but we were firm with him and his grandma this week.  No playing football Saturday night.  Hard for a teenage brazilian, but he´s started playing with the ward friday night which makes up for it.

And then we have Ronlaldo and Mariana.  Ronaldo has a member who is a brother, but apparently used to be totally against the Church.  He didn´t tell us that, but word spreads quickly through the ward.  Anyways, we found him knocking doors, and he let us right in, which was kind of a surprise!  But a good surprise.   We taught him for the second time yesterday, and he told us he had several answeres during the week that the Book of Mormon is true, and so I was getting all excited, but then he told us he doesn´t want to go to Church here in Vinhedo.  I think he used to be Atheist, and doesn´t want people to know he is changing.  But it looks like he´ll go to church in Campinas at least.  But we´ll have to get him to church here before he can be baptized.  

Well that´s some highlights.  It was a short transfer this time around, only 5 weeks, but both me and Elder Toebe will stay.  It´s Elder Toebe´s last transfer, so 6 more weeks, and he is kind of going nuts.  He is studying Mechanical Engineering, so has been practicing his math lately.  2+4=6  1+1+1+1+1+1=6  10-4=6  (12*2)/4=6.  He´s gotten pretty good ;)

Hope you all have a great week!  Love you all!


Monday, April 21, 2014


It was definitely a good week this week!  In all honestly, there have been a lot of good weeks recently.  I´m happy, have a great companion, am working hard, and am a missionary of the Lord.  Not much more you could ask for.

So some quick highlights of the week.

Satudary I was able to go back to my last área in Campinas to watch the baptism of Emerciane.  She has changed so much as she has been prepared to be baptized.   She stopped smoking, stopped using drugs, and honestly has changed her life around.  She was a contact on the street, one of a Thousand, but she felt something when we talked with her.  We set an appointment, went to her house, invited her to Church, and when she walked 40 minutes three weeks in a row to arrive, I knew she was willing to change, and it was neat to see the fruits this week.

I also got News that another one of my old investigators, Josali, got baptized recently, which makes me really happy.  Like Elder Costa said in a mission tour, our missions will keep giving fruits for the rest of our lives, so even when things get hard, you can Always know that it´s all Worth it.

Fladimir was confirmed Sunday.  President Mazzagardi of the Seventy did the confirmation.  He´s in our Ward which is kind of cool.  I talked to him for a bit on Sunday.  Maybe two minutes.  He only talked to me in English and I responded in Portguese.  We both need the practice I guess.  His son is the Bishop in our Ward, so it´s been fun to get to know his Family,  at least a little bit.

Hope you all have an awesome week!  Crazy that April is coming to a close already.  The months are starting to fly by! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Quase um ano já!

Oi Familia!

It´s crazy how fast the time has past by.  In a couple days I´ll have officially hit the one year mark, and for some reason that just doesn´t even seem fair at all. I´ve done a ton, but at the same time I feel like I haven´t done nearly enough for one year, and to think that this second year will fly by probably even faster, I´ve come to realize that I just got to put it all in each and every day.  

I´m sorry me emails have kind of gotten shorter and less interesting.  Sometimes I just feel like hardly anything different has been happening lately, just with a lot of new faces.  My new goal is to take a lot more pictures this new year.  I feel like pictures preserve memories a lot better, but I´ve gotten kind of bad at pulling the camera out.  Oh well,  we´ll make that a new years resolutions of sort.  

We´ve taught a lot of people this week.  A lot of people with a lot of problems.  Smoking, Drinking, Marriage, etc.  In the middle of a lesson with this couple that has been fighting a ton and just put it all out their for us to help, I thought of a talk by Elder Nelson a couple years ago when he said, `Ask the missionaries, they can help you!`  I remember thinking than, and thought it during the lesson, `Wow, do these people not realize I´m like a 20 year old kid who has never been married and has no idea how to do marriage counseling?`  But I guess that all is part of the calling, and so I read over some parts of the A Familia: A Proclamação ao mundo with them, and told them the message we had will help them overcome whatever difficulty they have, and they ended up coming to church which is a great start!  We will see where it all ends up, but I´m sure we were able to make somewhat of a difference.  

We have been having a lot of success bringing people to Church these last couple weeks.  Now we just need to get them reading the Book of Momon and praying.  The three pillars of testimony, no matter what stage of life you are in.  If you are having problems, make sure you are praying, studying the Book of Mormon, and going to church.  It truly brings revelation.  

I´ll try to take more pics for you all this week and this year.  Love you all and stay strong in the journey.  And always remember why we are here, to become perfect in Christ.

 32 Yea, acome unto Christ, and be bperfected in him, and cdeny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and dlove God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may beeperfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect inChrist, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

 33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye asanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the bblood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your csinsthat ye become dholywithout spot.

Espero que vocês tenham uma boa semana e que fiquem firme em fé, sempre crescendo em seu testemunho.