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) https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/morm/9.21 and https://www.lds.org/media-library/images/meme-bible-mark-believe-possible-1342064?lang=eng  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