Wednesday, September 29, 2010

As bênçãos que o Espírito nos traz (The blessings that the Spirit brings us)

Oi gente; espero que todo esteja ótimo convosco.  (Hi guys, hope all is great with you.)


Bullet points!!!


- this last week that just went by (until Sunday) was pretty tough. We had a lot of days that were started with a lot of faith and that didn´t really find a lot of results, numbers-wise. We were a little low on our faith by Sunday and church definitely helped give us that Spiritual boost that we were needing, but even after that we were still a little shaky. A lot of people had promised to go to church and only one guy was there. All the people we had planned to pick up were either not ready or didn´t want to go. It was tough. But the work goes on.


- Also, during Gospel Principles for the recent converts and investigators, there was a bit of a scuffle. One stupid guy, Irmão Pinheiro, was there. He´s been a member for almost 30 years and yet he never really was able to quit smoking. Because of this, he hasn´t received the Priesthood, gone to the temple to be sealed to his family, etc.  So he decides that the best thing to do is just to blame God for his weakness and terrorize everyone around him. He´s a nice enough guy, but he could not stop ranting about how hypocritical people are in the church (which in and of itself was pretty dang hypocritical). The class was about obedience, but we were only allowed to talk about it for about half of the time because he wouldn´t shut up about the stinking Law of Moses and how nobody has ever lived it perfectly except Jesus. Retard. I lost my patience after about 30 minutes and basically said that it doesn´t matter what others are doing that are bad - that doesn´t change the commandments and our obligation to keep them. When we keep the commandments, we are blessed and prosper. When we don´t, we are miserable and weak. He shut up after that. It was cool.


- One cool thing that happened in the ward is that, because of our service and not just demanding things from the ward, people are starting to ask to do splits with us, and not the other way around. It is AWESOME!! Helverton, an RM who served in Recife, asked us (in broken, awesome English) if he could teach with us. We had not taught any first lesson the whole week, but we said that we would teach a lesson with him! We found an Adventist guy who let us teach him and it was cool. We felt the Spirit. We felt a lot better.


- Also, lunch fell. On Sunday. That makes things a little difficult. Basically irmã forgot and then started making a big deal without specifically saying that it was our fault. Fun stuff. But we did get to eat - she made a delicous and fast lunch. Another thing we have been doing is looking for whatever kind of service project that the members need - usually, they have nothing for us, but this time they had something that was a little ox in the mire-y. We took a couch over to another member´s house and hoisted it up about 15 feet with a rope. The irmãos were impressed by the big American´s strength. Oh yeah. Go pushups.


- there was this frog that was jumping across the street and almost got squished. It was hilarious and almost disgusting.


- we taught a rapaz in our ward, after a split with him, how to pray in English. He got super excited and next Monday we´ll go visit his friends.


- President asked us to write something about how we are in our area. Here´s ours:


Nós, na área de Pilarzinho, _________.
1. AMAMOS (nosso trabalho, os membros, os pesquisadores, e até os cachorros. Alguns dos cachorros.)
2. TRABALHAMOS (com os membros, com força e com eficácia)
3. ORGANIZAMOS (nosso tempo, nosso trabalho, nosso serviço aos outros, e nosso Livro de Área)
4. BATIZAMOS a liderança futura da Igreja aqui no Brasil Curitiba.


We in the area Pilarzinho, _________.
LOVE (our work, members, researchers, and even dogs. Some of the dogs.)
2. WORK (with members, with force and effectiveness)
3. ORGANIZE (our time, our work, our service to others, and our area book)
4. BAPTIZING the future leadership of the Church here in
Curitiba Brazil.


Yay! Go our area!


- we had an awesome division and new missionary training on Monday and Tuesday!! Sérgio, Jussara and Flávia will be baptized soon in the district.


- we took the tour bus all around Curitiba and took tons of pictures. And no, there is no time to send any. Sorry. It was fun, though!


Out of time. The church is WAY true.


Elder Browntown

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Hey yáll!

Hi everybody,


Don´t have a lot of time but I´ll write a little bullet-point-style for us:

- we met this crazy Presbytarian (spelling?) minister on a hill. He made sure to stand in front and higher than us. He liked to shout. He basically told us that our John Smith didn´t know what he was talking about and that he had authority to kill us both. We took it pretty well, I´d say. He asked who was our boss and we said, happily : "Jesus". He asked who our Pastor was and we said again : "Jesus". He started to get mad and pulled out a little card that he probably just made on the computer and then laminated that he said gave him authority in his church. I reeeeeally wanted (and Elder Marx too) to pull out ours, signed by the Prophet of God, but we resisted. He then asked what we preach. I bore my testimony and I know he felt the Spirit, even though he was drunk as a drain. He stormed off. We did a little dance in the middle of the street and exchanged awesome high-fives. We actually saw him again at night just before going home and he was in a suit and even more plastered. Funny.

- we saw this huge group of like 50 kids in the middle of the street all acting like a fight was going on. There were just these two skanky-looking girls talking and everyone saying "ooooh!!!". They all dispersed after about 2 minutes. Lame.

- I was walking down this dirt stairway thing and these two ladies were climbing. I decided to pull a Monty Python and say "No one gets by without answering a question!" My companion stood looming behind me and I got their addresses. Go stuff.

- There is a LOT of really horrible political propaganda here, the worst of which being cars equipped with big speakers and stickers blasting music about the person. There´s a guy named Beto Richa who has a car that basically just screams his name: "BETO BETO BETO BETO BETO BETO BETO!!!!!!!!". Annoying stuff.

- there was this really disturbed looking black guy walking towards us the other day. I told Elder Marx to do a contact with him, and after he responded heck no, I tried to do one. The guy responded by screaming "AAEHHHHFCOIPOGIPTEH&¨*&#@$GHAFIUSDISDOASO!"!#¨*%@$&*(*&¨0943dfgdafgf$*(&¨#%(*¨%!!!!!!..... It was great. I think he told us to go bathe in poop or something. It was funny and a little scary, but mostly funny.

- Elder Marx did a contact with this rich guy the other day. The guy wasn´t interested and asked what we wanted. I told him we wanted to come over to his house and rob all of his stuff in the dark of the night. He then replied that his Pit Bull, him with a shotgun, and his wife with a ".48" would all be waiting for us. We kind of just looked at each other and then we both started laughing (us and the guy). Good times. Way to break the ice, Elders!


It was a great week! We had choir practice and we worked a lot on musicality. It got a lot better!

Pray for Ricardo and Luci. They´re sick.


Love you all!

Elder Brown

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Coral começou!

Hey all you chuckleheads,


Choir started up again! It was actually really good! We decided to organize it a little better than last time with a few changes: first, there will be section leaders which have already been called with the responsibility to maintain the quality, attendance and betterment of each section. Also, we had a "tryout" - basically, we wrote up a paper to explain musical experience, interest in singing in a small number, etc., and I tested each Elder´s range, tone, and assigned them to a specific part. It was actually really cool, and though it was tiring I got to know all the Elders and their voices. I wasn´t actually in the practice so I didn´t hear how it actually went, but I think that this next week we´ll start getting into the musical stuff - volume, how to breath, to not scream, etc. It´ll be a lot of fun, and it is seriously freaking me out that it is already almost Christmas! AHHHH@#&#&*%@(!!


Now, to copy my good friend Elder Brott the First, the bulletpoints:

- Lúcio, our best investigator, has a theory about why the churches have the big spires. He thinks that someday, at the Second Coming, Satan will be thrown and skewered on the top of each Mormon church. I really enjoyed that one. Anyone else have any ideas as to why? (pointing to God, not the cross, etc.?)

 - I was nearly kissed by a hot Brasilian moça. Lúcio´s daughter. She came in the door and I, who was seated in front of the door facing the other direction, turned to shake her hand. She then promptly grabbed my hand and came in to kiss me on the cheek. In the words of my companion, I nearly karate chopped her in the face, but didn´t, and she didn´t actually touch me - just left me terrified and my companion busting up laughing. Great. Welcome to the second year.


- I have a scripture for Peter that can be applied about your relationship with your older, more attractive brother  - Alma 39:10. That´s right, it´s even in the scriptures. Now get big and prepare for our rematch!


- Portuguese part, then the explanation:

Estamos, de novo, fazendo coisas de uma maneira diferente. Estamos servindo aos membros em maneiras simples - o outro dia, fomos à casa de Helverton a ensiná-lo um pouco de Inglês, e daí ele saiu conosco numa divisão, e encontramos 3 novas datas. Não há segredo - só use os membros! Estão aqui a servir, e depois que ganhar a confiança deles, o trabalho é muito mais façil.


We went to Helverton´s (an RM in our ward who´s been married about 7 months with someone he met in the mission - don´t worry, he´s clean) house to teach him some English to help him prepare for an upcoming interview. We read 1 Nephi 1 out loud and he started out our planning session with a prayer in English! He´s the man! We helped him correct pronunciation and then watched the Restoration - it was cool. We then took him with us for 4 hours and visited some of our investigators, some that he helped us to find. I learned a lot of new things that ne used while teaching and he expressed his gratitude to have, as he put it, Americanos que não são chatos (annoying, idiots, etc.). It was cool.


- I´m not sure if it´s against the rules, but my companion really wanted a Monster (energy drink) the whole last week. I couldn´t find it in the against the rules thing, and finally the curiosity killed me and I made him buy one. It was...not that powerful. I think my blood is more potent. Oh well - confessing your sins is the only way to be fully repented.


- my comp got sick last Saturday (as in throwing up, no energy, really sick. He´s a stud), and so I got to have a huuuuge study session. An hour and a half on the LM and PME, then lunch, then I cleaned our whole frickin house. It is sparkling. And our Area Book might just be the best in the world. And he´s better now. 


- we did a contact yesterday when it was reeeally windy. A lady walked up and I asked if she knew what the LM was. She said she always wanted to read one, and I said that we could give one to her for free. She got really excited and I explained to her a little about it. She then promptly opened it to Moroni 10:3-5 and started reading...and explaining...and reading the street. It was awesome. I gave her a small challenge

 read the whole book by Saturday. She said she would, and we´ll visit her then. Woo!


- we found a family knocking doors and they´re awesome! Celso and Jamile! He was almost a professional soccer player but his evil Dad (from the Assembly of God) forbid him. So he´s not rich like he could´ve been. But he´s still cool.


- We taught several lessons with Lúcio that were awesome. First of all, a little about him: as I believe I said before, he has had a pretty crazy past (dad killed himself, he uses crack, etc.). He is also one of the most elect people I´ve seen and is already coming up on 2nd Nephi in the LM. The First Lesson that we left with him was extremely Spiritual, and they both (he and his wife Fabiana, equally awesome) accepted a baptismal date. Also, we left the 2nd lesson yesterday and it was equally special - the ambient was perfect for the Spirit. Fabiana also had a dream - she was in a big circus tent looking around for the true church. The ringmaster was Christ. There were many people with white t-shirts on that had their church´s name on it, but the only one that she could read was the one that said "Mormon". Mom, remember that sweatshirt I had from swim season? Yeah. Maybe that was it. Cool stuff!


The Church is true. I promise to make the most of this 2nd year, and to find/bring joy in/to every place that I go. Love you all.


Elder Brown


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

oh dear. One year.

As everybody should probably know, Agostinho caused a big of a ruckus last week.

It actually wasn´t as funny as it all seemed, even to us.


So we found out on Monday that he had killed somebody, which obviously is sad. Then on Saturday, we found out that the person that he killed, with a knife, was one of our investigators with a baptismal date. Márcio, who was one of the best first lessons that I had ever seen, was killed last Sunday. It was a bit of a huge shock and we were all taken aback. One thing I know, however, is that the Plan of Salvation is real and that Heavenly Father ALWAYS loves His children, no matter the circumstance. If you could, remember him and pray that he will accept the gospel in the Spirit World.


We will have another mission choir for Christmastime! And...I´m directing it! Again! It´ll be fun, and we´re going to try to sing in a few public squares and cool places. One of the places that we´re looking at is in our area (the Wire Opera House - Ópera de Arame) and it should be a really good experience.


This is basically just to freak my mom out: every single night, right around the time I go to bed, I hear gunshots and people dying. Yay!!! Isn´t it great?


So one of the Elders in our district decided to go home, after just arriving. Because of a girl. For any girl that reads this, know this: don´t lead some poor guy on right before his mission! You will be destroying the blessings that the Lord will bring to the lives of many because of his service. Be smart and mindful of the eternal perspective and, gosh dang it, don´t do it! For the guys: lock your stinking hearts, from any girl! Work, love it, and after the 2 fast years are up then go for it. That´s my raging tirade for the day.


As the subject says, I am going to have one year on the mission soon. Soon being tomorrow. It is really crazy and cool, but I´m a little sad. I only get to do this for another year. For the rest of the email, I´ll make a list of the things we (the Lord, my comp. and I) were able to do:

learn a new language, baptize God´s elects, sing solos, watch people´s lives change, help wards to become excited about missionary work and divide the wards, talk with people every day on the street about Jesus and His Restored Gospel, read the Book of Mormon daily, around a million pushups and situps, cry when our investigators have problems, observe the Spirit touch people´s hearts and souls and change them, watch people make the decision to stop smoking/take out an earring/go to church, etc., budget a relatively small amount of money, learn how to teach better, practice diligence, learn patience, be molded by the Lord, learn to forget myself and work.


I have learned much in this first year, and I plan to learn more in this second year. I promise to do my best daily for all of you, our investigators, and most importantly the Lord. He deserves it.

I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ, and that through it we can become closer to God. Jesus loves us and is our Savior. He suffered for our sins and loves us. The Book of Mormon is undeniably true and amazing. It is the pure word of God. I love this work and know that it is of God because of the joy it brings me daily. LET`S DO THIS, SECOND YEAR!!!!!!


Elder Brown

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010


There will be exactly one subject in this letter: Augostinho.
We showed up at church on Sunday - a normal day, nothing different - and started getting everything ready for the meeting. Calls, designations, making sure the people who were going to be confirmed were there, saying hi to everything that moves, etc. It all started during the announcements, and I heard it. A man´s voice coming from the back of the chapel, shouting stuff that didn´t really make sense. Stuff like "eu consigo!" (I can do it), "____ em meu coração" , "sai diabo, sai de mim", "mai, porque não me ama", stuff like that. It started to get out of control and I was receiving many a glancing eye from the Bishopric, the relief society President, the little girl in front of me eating her brother´s hair, etc. I decided to go back and sit by him. When I got back there, I saw a sight. A lot of people were slowly inching away from a very disturbed-looking young man, about 18 years old. His hair looked like it had been badly chopped by a dull lawnmower blade and he had bloodshot eyes, and was sweating profusely. Now I´m no messer of drugs and the like, but I think that after some , ahem, hangin out in the ghetto, I know the type a little better. He was going through some pretty severe withdrawals, and even is Spirit wanted to get outta there. I tried to get him quiet, ask who he was (I had no idea who he was - I had done a contact with him a month previous but completely forgot) and find out what he needed. He didn´t use his inside voice very well, or maybe his outside voice is a bellowing foghorn, and as we conversed - me whispering, him half-screaming, all the members looked in half admiration, half disgust, and half confusion at us. Finally, after a while, my efforts were starting to run short and e decided to take matters into his own hands. After having told me that he wanted to be baptized right then and there by the bishop, he got up from the back and walked with a purpose up to the front of the chapel. Right as Bishop was about to confirm Millena a member of the church. In front of the whole ward.  
 Yeah, I might have been a little tense. He then proceeded to sit down in the chair that was for Millena, and she looked more than a little confused. Bishop handled things very well and brought the guy to sit down next to him afterwards. After more persuasion and more looks of confusion from the members, he came back and sat next to me again, all the while talking about how he wanted to be baptized and "receive the Spirits". He sat down next to me and asked if I would read him some of the hymns. As I whispered still in the middle of sacrament meeting), he started crying and freaking out even more. I then decided that it was time for drugman to go byebye. I asked him if he wanted to go outside and talk, and we went. I then talked to him a little, then started to teach the 2nd lesson (Plan of Salvation). It actually went pretty well, and Elder Marx became hip to the situation soon and ran outside to meet us. I thought we were ok, and right as we came in, it was time for closing prayer. We made it through the meeting! Just two more hours to go!
Then: Gospel Principles. It was about tithing, and, naturally, he felt a large urge to pay his tithing, and tried to give Elder Marx 40 reais. Continued controlled chaos.
Then: the meeting about missionary work with the whole ward. With us in front, with him - the both of us on his both sides. He tried to answer to every question and almost got them right (but not when he said that the Spirit feels like Satan. That was bad). We then brought him out again and he talked to a member of the Bishopric for a while, which was better. After 3 long hours, he finally left, muttering to himself. I feel a lot like Mormon, only able to write a 100th part of the history, but I´ll leave that to your imaginations.
Oh, and it gets better. The next day, during District Meeting, Bishop calls and tells me not to visit him (we had it marked for 8 oclock on Monday)...because right after church he shot and killed someone. Yeah. Let´s just say that the mission is insane. And yes, Mom, we´re ok and still protected by God.
Agostinho. Hope he´s ok.
The church is true. Love ya´ll.
Elder Brown

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.