I prepared a talk real quick

January 26, 2015

Hey... So this week we didn’t end up playing basketball because the assistants had to go to the mission office, so we’re planning on next week. I’m not even sure what our bishop does. He’s working on opening up his own gym.. so he’s gathering all the workout machines in his house.. but for now I think he works in one of the local gyms here.... but the gyms here aren’t nearly the size of the ARC. 

I remember that 7 page paper that Cole is writing. However, I can’t remember if Mrs. Huth liked mine or not. Probably not.. cuz she didn’t even like our movie we made that was good enough to go to theaters. Cole must be all excited that he took the SAT. Let’s hope that he can get into BYU Idaho. Maybe he’ll manage to get into Provo, but he might have to retake the test 5 or 6 times ;) 

So this week when we got to church on Sunday our ward secretary came over to me and said, "Hey, did Bishop talk to you about your talk today?" .. and I thought he was kidding, so I just started to laugh because he’s always joking around with us. But shortly I found out that he wasn’t kidding, haha. So I prepared a talk real quick on temple work, and it went really well. Our Bishop told me to talk for just 5 minutes, so it went well. In the MTC they always told us that sometimes in the wards where we will serve, someone who is supposed to give a talk won’t show up, and we will be asked when we get to church to give a talk in that same day. After a year on the mission, I decided it’d probably never happen like that to me haha, but it happened. 

So this week one of the families we are teaching was going to schedule their wedding in the... well I don’t really know what the word is in English... the building where people mark weddings. Here in Brazil, the couple has to have their documents and 2 witnesses as well as have their identity and CPF number (its like social security)... and the witnesses have to be Brazilians. So our investigators brother came to be the witness... however, he brought a childhood identity so we couldn’t schedule the marriage -_- ... but were going back this week and there won't be any more room for mistakes haha. 

So I hope you guys have a good week.  Transfers are coming up soon. There’s this week and the next and then there’s transfers. Hope you guys have a good week. Thanks for the letter :) Have a good week. Love you guys... and happy almost birthday to Dad. Boa Semana!

-Élder Udy

Someone donated the money for a bunch of Marriages

January 19, 2015
Oi, tudo bem?? Today my keyboard is one of those keyboards some of the computers have in Brazil that was created in the 50s I think.. but I think I’ll manage haha.  Sounds like the basketball game was exciting. I miss playing high school basketball. Today we played basketball with the Bishop, our ward mission leader, one of the young men preparing for a mission and us 4 missionaries. It was fun. Our bishop called President Bonini to ask permission, and he accepted haha. So now we can play basketball... here in Brazil everyone drinks Coke like water, so after we got done playing our Bishop went to the store on his motorcycle to buy a Coke for everyone haha, and he said next week we’re going to have a BBQ after we play haha. 

The life of the missionaries in PA seems so different. I don’t think our President would let us go bowling even if we brought 50 investigators haha. Every mission is a little different. So this week we decided that we needed to find tons of new investigators because most of our current ones weren’t going to church... so we’re trying to meet people that have more sense of commitment and a desire to learn about the gospel. so we ended up talking to basically everyone in the road. When we don’t have appointments, we talk to everyone who walks past us on the sidewalk. We hope that we´ll be able to meet "The Lord’s Elect"... but I think this week the Lord wanted to test our faith because none of them were too elect... some of them seemed like they were and said they would be baptized, but no one was willing to go to church. However, this week we are going to mark the marriage of one family that we are teaching and in about 3 weeks or so they will be baptized... here in Brazil it seems like almost no one gets married... so we’re always talking to people about the importance of marriage and one of the members here in Fortaleza decided he wanted to help the mission, so he’s buying like 30 marriages (its usually expensive to get married and families can’t afford it) for the mission, so this couple we are teaching is going to be able to get married for free! So we’re pretty excited about that. 

So this didn’t happen this week, but it was a good example of how God answers our prayers, so I thought I’d write about it. The other week I was feeling frustrated that so many people didn’t seem to want to accept any of our invitations to change their lives to be better with the gospel. It seemed that everything we taught, no one wanted to accept, and I felt like I needed divine help. I was feeling pretty down that day. That afternoon while my companion was in the bathroom, I said a prayer that God would give me counsel through the Book of Mormon that I had in my hand. So I told Him that I would open it and read where He guided me. So I flipped the pages and opened to 2 Nephi chapter 3 and my eyes went directly to verse 21 which was exactly what was on my mind... about how my words weren’t having enough power. I know that was a direct answer to the prayer I said a few seconds before, and I know He responded. 

So next week I’ll try to send more pictures. I don’t have much time today. It’s pretty hard to type on this keyboard, but have a good week. Love you guys. Thanks for the love and support. Beijo. :)

-Élder Udy

We went up and took pictures from the rooftop tower

Jan 12, 2015

Elder Udy in Fortaleza, Brazil

So this week was pretty good. Our house is slowly but surely getting better as we do more and more cleaning each week. No house could be as bad as the first one that I had in Conjunto Ceará haha. So this week a recent convert visited us in our apartment and brought me Christmas presents. One of the things he brought was a gigantic watermelon that he brought all the way from Rio Grande do Norte just for us! (the next state over) So we took some pictures of the watermelon, I’ll send it to you. As well this week, I went on exchanges with the zone leaders, and in their house there’s a hatch in the roof that you can get onto the roof of their building, and once you get onto the roof you can go up this tower that's on the roof.  And we went up and took pictures. From the top you can see everything. Downtown, the beach, all my areas, it was pretty wild. We took pictures. Now I’m just waiting for them to send the pictures, and then I’ll send them to you guys. 

So sometimes I think about how Cole will be different when I get home... but it seems like he’s still the same watching Bill O' Reilly and loosing things. He must be Jackson’s brother. So that’s exciting that Slippery Rock is winning some games! Maybe they’ll even make it to playoffs! Hopefully they’re being well coached and enjoying their season. 

So this week we had lots of ups and downs. When we were teaching one of our investigators, he tried to cut us and give us back his Book of Mormon and his teachings of the prophet Ezra Taft Benson that he got in church. He told us how he had talked to his Priest and learned about a bunch of apostasy and had decided to remain Catholic... so then we reminded him about how he had read the Book of Mormon (Alma 32 and 3 Nephi 11) and asked him if he believed it was true, and he thought for a few moments and said “yes.” So then we read with him 3 Nephi 11:22-26 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/3-ne/11?lang=eng and verse 38 and taught him that Jesus Christ taught in 3 Nephi 22-26 how we should be baptized, and we read in verse 38 that if we aren’t baptized the way that Jesus taught, it is impossible to enter into the kingdom of God.... so his baptism was delayed a little bit but it'll happen in a couple of weeks. This week we’re trying to make plans and do things different to bring more people to church... if I learned one good thing with Coach Bushre it was that the definition of craziness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So next week I’ll have some stories to tell. So I hope you guys are all well. Dad should be getting excited to be released.. or sad at the same time. Hopefully he likes his next calling. Maybe he’ll get called to be a mission president and Cole will have to leave all his friends to go live in another country, haha. 

Have a good week! Don't forget to be missionaries!  Love you guys. 

Elder Udy

For New Year's everyone just makes as much noise as possible all night

January 5, 2015

     Oi, tudo bem??? Sounds like you guys are making the best of the holidays. Sounds like everyone had fun skiing. Here, since it never snows, a lot of people don’t even know how cold it has to be to snow... most people here have never felt anything less than like 60 degrees in their lives! So today I don’t have much time to email... only 1 hour because today I went to make myself a CPF (Brazilian social security number.... basically) and it took forever... I don’t think the workers in the Federal tax office knew that our P-day is so short cuz they were all working pretty slow.... but at least now I have my CPF number, and I can get a bus pass next p-day that will save me a bunch of money :)
      So I ate at Burger King again today. We don’t have any of the American fast food restaurants in our area, we’ve just been busy doing lots of stuff outside our area so we get to eat there.  This week we’re preparing this guy to be baptized who is an ex police captain of the city and Military Captain. We thought his name was Manuel but then after we taught him a few times he told us that everyone calls him Captain Brauna. So now we just refer to him as Capitão. 
      So for New Year’s everyone just makes as much noise as possible all night long. It started up about 7 and ended... about 7 in the morning haha. Midnight they had a bunch on fireworks kind of close to our area.... so we laid in bed for like 2 or 3 hours before we could sleep... but Elder Daniel was happy to start 2015 because last year it seemed like everyone always said to him... Hey Elder Daniel, you’re not going to go home this year, or in the next year, only the year after, haha. So here we’re excited to start a new year. To celebrate New Years we watched Ephraim’s Rescue as a zone. It was a really good movie.  (see trailer for movie below)

 I´ve already watched 17 Miracles like 7 times on the mission, so it was good to mix it up a little. Afterwards we went home (7 o’clock) and I read a little about our ancestors who were in the Martin Handcart company with Elder Savage and about what they went through. But anyways.. I gotta go because I have little time today. I’ll try to write more next week. Hope you guys have a good week. Was Dad released yet??? Happy New Years. Chau! Amo VocÊs

-Elder Udy