Does the hotel have hot water??

October 5, 2015

Oi! I can’t believe this is the last email! So I’ll answer your questions first because if I don’t I’ll probably forget. You can bring some shorts and shirts. I have some but I think I’ll leave them with some Brazilians because they don’t have basketball shorts here in Brazil. As for socks I have plenty but I don’t have any shoes to wear with basketball shorts, just some flip flops that I bought. Everyone really likes American food (candy and maple syrup). Peanut butter as well. I can’t really think of other things but I know there’s a ton. If you ask Jackson maybe he can remember some things that the US has that they don’t have here. Also, anything that is from BYU the members and missionaries like a lot as well. So I’ll be in the mission office that is like 2 streets from your hotel. 9 o’clock. Do you know if the hotel has hot water?? 

So this week conference was great. I liked the talk about mothers as well, how their love for their children is the closest humans come to the love that Christ feels for us, and I liked that story he told about the mom and her son that had returned from the mission and how his mom had prayed and prayed for him for years until he went back out which made me think about how Christ must work even more for each of us. I also liked the talks from Elder Anderson about faith and President Uchtdorf telling the story of Daniel when he went to Babylon and explaining how it must have been rough for him but he had faith. I realized throughout the conference that they talked a lot about faith, keeping the Sabbath day holy, and keeping the commandments (President Monson in the priesthood session). Also I wrote my scripture to "ponderizar" as we say in Portugues which is Alma 34:38 on a sticky note to put in my planner and move it from day to day this week. Alma 34:38 reads… That ye acontend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the bname of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and cworship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in dthanksgiving daily, for the many emercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.

I can’t believe I’ll see you guys next week. This week was crazy. We are working with this 17 year  who is a 16 year old member’s boyfriend, his baptism is this week. It was a crazy week. My new companion Elder Ribeiro é muito bom (very good). He’s from São Paulo and has a lot of faith. I wish I could have been his companion for more time because he’s teaching me a lot. This week we’re going go all out because it’s all I have left. I’m excited to see you guys and the members are excited to meet you guys as well. Can’t wait to see you guys! Have a good week and get excited to get to know the povo cearense (people of Ceara)! Have a great week! Love you guys and can’t wait to see you!

-Elder Udy

I can't believe you'll be here in 2 weeks!

September 28, 2015

Como vai? I can’t believe you guys are going to be here in 2 weeks! I still have trouble imagining how life must be for people who aren’t missionaries. My last companion will be Elder Ribeiro, I forgot where he’s from but I think it’s São Paulo. He has about 10 months on the mission or something like that and he’ll be a new zone leader, so we’re pretty excited. We´ll be working in a three-some until Elder Freeman goes home later this week. I liked the photos you sent of the BYU football fireside. Sounds like the game was rough, but I liked the picture of the Slippery Rock score they showed at the game haha. 

So this week didn’t exactly go as planned, but I learned a lot. This week we were teaching 2 families (7 people in all) who had all accepted to be baptized on the 4th of October, and they had said every day of the week that they were going to go to church Sunday. I had prayed so much for these 2 families, especially Saturday night. After pondering on some scriptures that say if we don’t doubt, God will bless us according to what we ask, (Mormon 9:21, Mark 9:23) and  I was certain that God was going to bless us so that these 2 families would be able to go to church and be baptized next week. 

However, when we went to knock on the one family’s door Sunday morning they said that the 2 year old was super sick and the grandma had to take care of her and the mom had been called to work (she was unemployed and the first day they called her was this Sunday). When we went to get the other family they had reasons equally convincing and upsetting. I was convinced that they were going to be baptized on the 4th. We had taught them so diligently about the commandments and obedience.

As I walked to church with Elder Freeman and quietly pondered, Why didn’t this work out? Did I not follow what the scripture says, ask, doubting nothing, and you shall receive. Doesn’t God have power over sickness? So then why did the girl get sick Saturday night right before church if God knew that would stop them from going to church. Then I thought that anything can happen, but what’s more important is that I follow Nephi’s example never murmuring and never doubting. 

As we walked into the church with our heads down, after only 30 seconds someone from the other ward came over to us and said, Are you the Elders from Tancredo Neves? There’s a boy here who is 17 and I’m trying to figure out how he can get baptized. He’s been coming for 3 months and he goes to seminary every week day. She then called him and we talked a little and scheduled his interview for today and baptism for Tuesday before Elder Freeman leaves the area. So maybe I won’t end up baptizing 2 families this week, but I learned a lot about how if we ask, doubting nothing, God blesses us according to our will, but His will as well. But this is my last week to find people to be baptized during my mission, so I’ll be praying and working a lot to find a family this week. 

I hope everyone’s doing well at home, sounds like all is well.  I hope you guys have a good week, don’t forget to study the Book of Mormon every day personally and as a family. Have a great week! Love you guys

-Elder Udy

It's not how we start, but how we finish that matters

September 21, 2015

Fortaleza mission--Can you find Elder Udy???  Back row, left side

Oi, my week was good but could have been better. Everyone who had accepted to be baptized couldn’t go to church and everyone who went to church isn’t married yet, so they aren't able to be baptized yet. However, the Lord will bless us if we increase our work and faith in Him. I liked what you said about the importance of finishing. ”It’s not how we start, but how we finish that matters.” I think about that every day, how it’s so important to finish the mission stronger spiritually than ever because we were told that the way we finish the mission is the way we’ll be for the rest of our lives. Doing everything the Lord’s way and keeping all the rules is more important in the end than at any other time.

Sounds like Cole is having fun in Calculus, haha I don’t think I remember much of that stuff haha, but I’m sure it’ll all come back to me one day. This week we worked a lot with the members, and everyone who went to church this week were referrals that we received these past weeks. The members here are really good and willing to help in the work. We just need to have some baptisms to get everyone excited. The Lord will bless us this week because of our work and faith. 

I don’t have much time today to write but thanks for the email :) I also just discovered about 3 months ago that the mission has a facebook page haha. Thanks for all the love and support! Tell Cole not to forget to read the Book of Mormon amongst the AP homework. He’s gotta get ready for the mission :) Have a good week! Love you guys! Sorry I couldn’t write more, but next week I will. I’ll send a picture of the mission. 

Elder Udy

Elder Pinho from the Seventy taught us all kinds of things

September 14, 2015

4 weeks! You’d better start learning your Portuguese. Sounds like BYU football is pretty good this year, even without Taysom Hill. Hopefully basketball is good as well. All my BYU friends that have already gotten home from their missions are sending me pictures of the good ol Y. #Tranquza Maybe on that Sunday when I talk, if I invite everyone I know, we could have an attendance of 200! Imagine! 

Elder Pinho
This week was great. We had a visit from Elder Pinho from the 70. He taught us all kinds of things. The general authorities sure know how to teach the missionaries. One thing I learned with him is how to get referrals. Usually when a missionary asks the members for a referral he just asks after the meal if the family knows anyone they could teach. Elder Pinho taught us to turn this into a spiritual experience, asking the family if we can say a pray on our knees with everyone and promising them that as we pray names will appear in their minds of people that have been prepared to receive the gospel. And after the prayer asking them who appeared in their mind. 

So on Sunday we put this into action. We had lunch with a family who is non-member and their son is on the mission. He’s one of the elders that slept in the room next to me in the MTC! Anyways, his mom loves the missionaries and always invites a bunch of members over to eat on the missionary’s lunch day. So there were about 15 members there eating with us, and when it got time for the message we talked about the members and missionaries working together and said a prayer with everyone on our knees and then everyone gave us referrals! And, along with the referrals, the members started to love us and say how happy they were for us to be in their ward. This is exactly what Elder Pinho said would happen.

Sounds like you guys are getting everything ready to come to Brazil :) We’re getting to know the ward and streets. Now it’s just prayers, work and faith. This week will be the best one yet here in Tancredo Neves. Hope everyone has a good week! Thanks for all the prayers and support! Have a good week! Love you guys! 

-Elder Udy

The members help a lot

Sept 7, 2015

:0000 sounds like BYU made the Sports Center top 10 this week haha. I can’t believe Taysom Hill got hurt already!!! He always gets hurt! Hopefully the other quarterback is good for the rest of the season too. Sounds like Cole had some fun with the jeep problems this week haha. And it sounds like you guys are getting things ready for Brazil. Elder Ballard told me you guys sent him the email. He’s in my zone. I can’t believe it’s getting so close!

This week I was kind of lost with Elder Freeman because we are both new here, but we’re getting to know things a little better now.  Here in the ward the members help a lot. On the first day when we got in the area a returned missionary came to our house to take us to lunch because he knew we wouldn’t know how to get to our lunch appointment. It’s great to see when someone thinks about the missionaries enough to know their necessities and be there to help with out being asked. Our area here in Tancredo Neves is a lot smaller than Aerolandia, which is great because in Aerolandia we had to walk 45 minutes to get to lunch half the days of the week haha. I’m excited to show you guys the streets and houses of the people here. Pray for me this week so that my companion and I can find a family that will be baptized by the time you guys get here, and you’ll be able to say to them that they were an answer to your prayers. 

I don’t have much time to write today because it’s Independence Day here in Brazil. I can’t believe you already bought me a season pass to Park City and the Canyons!!! The blessings from the mission are real haha. So this week I’ll talk with my President about the ecclesiastical endorsement, I’ll have to discover how to say that in Portuguese first haha. Have a good week! Love you guys! 

-Elder Udy

The higher our goals in life, the more success we will have in the end

August 31, 2015

So this week 31 missionaries left the field and only 7 arrived. 28 went home and 3 went to the mission home to be trained as secretaries. So our zone and another zone were put together to form a mega zona haha. So now our zone went from 14 missionaries to 27 missionaries!. So my new companion is Elder Freeman. And he’s going home in 4 weeks. So that means I’ll be sending another one home! So I’ll still have 2 more companions!  He’s going home early to see his brother’s wedding or something like that. Anyways, the zone leaders area here was whitewashed and will now be a district leader area so I’m being transferred to Tancredo Neves which is pretty close by. (Hopefully the house is better haha) So I’m pretty excited to be able to get to know a new area. Elder Freeman as well is being transferred there so we’ll have to get to know the area together. 

So last week we started an activity in the area going to member’s houses with our bishop’s counselor and asking them if we could teach their neighbors and such, and we got to know a couple last week, A and F. We taught them for the first time and told them about the importance of having faith in Jesus Christ and following Him (using Ether 12). F said he really needed to follow God and do what’s right. 2 weeks later after lots of ups and downs they were baptized. F will be a great help in the church. He already went on visits with us before his baptism testifying to everyone about the truthfulness of the church and saying how he was going to be baptized Sunday. Usually we don’t think about taking investigators with us to go on visits or splits (I don’t know what it’s called anymore haha), but he really helped bring the Spirit and help other investigators. So I’ll send the pictures of their baptism. 

So yesterday I was sleeping in another house because Elder Vasquez went to the mission home yesterday so I was in a trio with our district leader. We were talking a little bit this morning about how sometimes people set low goals so that they can feel better about themselves knowing that they will reach their goal. For example, a companionship that sets a goal to baptize 4 people in 6 weeks maybe will reach their goal, and if they do they will be excited that they reached their predetermined amount of success. Perhaps they didn’t want to set a goal to baptize 30 people because they were afraid they would fail. However, if the companionship had set a goal of 30 and only baptized 15, they would have baptized 3 times as many people. The goal has to be high, because it’s the performance and outcome that matter, not just the satisfaction of reaching a humble achievable goal. The higher our goals in life, the harder we will work to get there, and the more success we will have in the end. 

I hope you guys have a good week! Sounds like Cole is busy with school and Dad’s having lots of work to do these days. Hope all is well! Now I will be a little bit further from the airport so that’s good, haha. Hope you guys have a good week! Love you guys!

-Elder Udy

We live in Aerolandia: "Land of the Airport and Airplanes"

August 24, 2015

Sounds like you guys had a busy week. We did as well. I’m sure Grandpa and the rest of the family must be sad, but it’s the trials that bring us closer to God in the end. I sure miss everyone. Everyone in the family looks so old and different now.  


We found some families this week that went to church and have baptismal dates. Its really sad to see someone pass away, but when we see a family coming to know and live the gospel it brings so much happiness because you know, and they know, that they will be able to be together forever if they remain faithful. The Joy is incomparable as you see this change that happens in a family that you’ve known for just 2 or 3 weeks, that could affect generations of families; kids and grandkids, just like our family. 
Elder Vasquez is getting kind of trunky because he only has 1 more week and we live in Aerolandia that translated means "Air Land"or "Land of the Airport and Airplanes" haha. So the planes are always passing by real close. However, we’re still working and giving it all we got. 

We made this for lunch one day
This week I got to thinking a little about the scripture in D&C 4:7 and Matthew 7:7 that says “ask and it shall be given, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” This promise is repeated so many times in the scriptures and yet sometimes we ask for things and we don’t receive them, so I started to think about it. I found another scripture in D&C 8:9 (I think) that says we can ask for knowledge on what to do in any circumstance and God will let us know. So instead of asking for free blessings without exercising my faith and works, I decided to ask the Lord exactly what I needed to do to be able to find people who want to be baptized in the next week, and then write down the revelations. As I sincerely asked Him, ideas and thoughts came to my mind about what I needed to do. As they came, I wrote them down knowing that if I followed these revelations I would be able to baptize people in the following week. Well we didn’t end up having as many people to baptize for this coming Sunday that I had hoped for because I didn’t follow exactly what the Lord revealed to me. However, we did have 7 people at church and 5 of them have a baptismal date for this Sunday, and we baptized 2 people Sunday, M and his son, and soon his wife will be baptized too. I didn’t follow exactly as the Lord instructed me. If I had, we would have been more blessed, but I did give an honest and conscious effort and the Lord blessed us for it.

So maybe when you come we can go see the sights of Ceara like Jericoacoara and after see the sights of the Amazons, but I don’t really know what they have there to see, so you guys can decide or we can go to Iguazu or Rio. What looks the best to you guys works for me :) 
I hope you guys have a great week!  Love you guys!
-Elder Udy