November, 2010

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My district and my zone all sang “Happy Birthday” to me this morning

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

November 24, 2010

Well, today I will just say that I love you guys and that I am loving my mission. I am loved by my district and my zone — they all sang “Happy Birthday” to me this morning. It was great.  I will buy a cake or something. It will be a good birthday celebration. Unfortunately living here in Cordeiro Sozinho we can’t go to Rio Claro today but it is still alright. I can’t even explain the love and the brotherhood I feel in the mission. I will not lie, everyone loves me — and that is awesome!

Well, my family, I will send photos today and I will just tell you how the week was. I mean, it didn’t end up great, but it was good. We worked a lot and we really had a lot of learning experiences.

I am doing great and I am happy. Happy and progressing and an ever brighter and productive future. It is great!

I am 20 years old too. Next I will be 30 and then 40 and then 50 and then 60 and then… I hope I will be gone by then. It is weird how time flies. I don’t even want to think about time. In a little while I will have done 1 year in the mission. Can you believe it?

Alright I will send photos now. I love you.  Goodbye.

Your son,

Elder Isaac Iverson

Cordeiropolis is a small town…I feel really good here

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

November 17, 2010

Well, yeah, it was a strange transfer. I like it though, this area is… I don’t really know… but I just feel a lot better here.

I am starting to feel the success. We will have a lot of success this transfer. We are finding families — perfect families. Not just one, but many. It is wonderful the blessings of training.

It is a bit tough though, I remember when I started the mission and it was tough for me because of the language (I didn’t learn much in the CTM) but it got easier as I got comfortable with the whole language thing. My companion is missing his house, family, and girlfriend. I think it would be tougher to be in the same country. He is a really cool guy. He reminds me of a gorilla for several reasons. He has had a tough life. I can learn a lot about humility from him. I am excited to work with him. Right now, he is a little downhearted though.

Well, Cordeiropolis is a small town. It has 20,000 people and is really, really tranquil here. I mean not much happens. Everybody works hard and there aren’t many problems. I feel really good here. I like the smaller city deal. I also found strawberry pop here! It was the first time in almost 10 months that I was able to drink it. It was wonderful. They don’t have strawberry pop here in Brazil. It is really sad.

Well, that is strange that Kayla and her brother are both getting married. I hope it works out good with them in the end. 19 — that would be strange. I almost have 20 years, that is cool!

I will not open the presents until Christmas. Christmas would be terrible without presents. There won’t be any snow here this Christmas, but I will have presents. As for my birthday, I don’t know what I will do. I guess we will see. I haven’t planned anything yet. My birthday will be on a p-day. Yeah!!!

What else?… we had a baptism this week. We completed an inactive family. It was really cool. I let Elder Cavalcante baptize them and it was pretty funny because the kids have long names and he didn’t know all of the prayer and had to do it several times.

This week was a great week. I am growing a lot and learning a ton of lessons. I feel bad for all the other people that are just wandering around without direction — without a prophet, without God, just with their hearts fixed on the vain things of the world.

I will just have to say that I am loving the mission every minute. I am loving the lessons, the people, and the service that I am doing. It really is the best 2 years of life. Not easy, but worth it.

I think God is calming my heart and the storm now. But I guess we will just have to see.

Good luck with bazaar, mom. I hope that you make a lot of cash to send to your son in another country!

I am glad that you are all happy and that football was good and that all is good there in Oroville. I am glad that life is going great and that you are seeing the blessings we get when we put the gospel in action.

I hope you all have a great week. I know that I will. I will learn and grow a lot. I love you all so, good bye for now. Tchau!!!

I have seen God’s hand a lot in this work - I know that he is preparing me in every step

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

November 10, 2010

I am glad that I am like Nephi being born to righteous parents.

Well, my mother, I was not transferred just moved. I was moved to a small city called Cordeiropolis. That is ten minutes from Rio Claro. I am still a district leader but now I am training a missionary. A fresh Brazilian called Elder Calvacante. He is a pretty cool guy. He is from the northeastern part of Brazil close to Recife. It will be really interesting to work with him. I am really happy and excited for this opportunity.

Well, let’s see what happened to me this week… It was a normal week. Elder Hunt and I worked a lot and we found a lot of people. Unfortunately, after this we were transferred. So all those people won’t get our attention right now. It is kind of sad, but one day it will all work out. We were transferred so suddenly that I couldn’t even say goodbye to all my investigators. This is kind of sad, but I am close and I will have divisions in my area. So it will all work out.

Well, what else is going on… We just had a short meeting the other day and I picked up my son and we returned to Cordeiro. It was a good day. I am really liking my comp. He is really mellow — a beach sort of guy. He is humble and obedient, so it will all work out right in the end. I feel a lot of responsibility but I like it. I like the challenge. It is in the moments like this that we grow the most.

I hope that you guys are doing great –I am really happy right now. I love it. It is great that Preston is happy and prospering and Colton too. Now it will just be tough for Preston because he will maybe get a bunch of college offers in place of a mission. I hope that he chooses to stay on the mission path. Well, we just have to pray.

Beyond this, my mission life is going pretty good. We are teaching a lot and finding a lot of people. This transfer, we will baptize a lot and have a lot of success. I am really happy. The President of Mission has a lot of confidence in me and also all the missionaries. It is a great feeling.

I will be 20 years old in a bit. Are you excited your first son to be more that 20. How great is that. I will be an old guy in a bit. It is a very strange thought. Very strange indeed. Here in the mission I don’t even think that I will feel it because I already feel like I am 23.

I am loving life as a missionary. I am also loving the food here. I am trying to get lots of recipes to bring back with me to the U.S. So that you guys can try them out.

You guys have to try Guaraná when you get the chance. It exists in the U.S. you just got to search it out.

Well, I will go now. I hope that you guys have a great week and I hope that you all prosper there in Oroville. I love you all and I know that I have a purpose here. It was not coincidence. I have seen God’s hand a lot in this work.  I know that he is preparing me in every step.

I love you all and I wish you well.

Good Bye!!!

Your son Elder Isaac Iverson

Life is going good here in the quiet town of Rio Claro

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

November 3, 2010

Well, my mother, life is going good here in the quiet town of Rio Claro. I have really enjoyed my time here. I have helped some people and also seen some miracles happen. It has been a truly great experience. I am not anxious to be transferred. I could stay here one more. I mean, we will have transfers this week and who knows what will happen we have a bunch of missionaries that are going home — 17 missionaries and the mission won’t receive that many. It will be interesting to see if some areas are closed this transfer.

I am doing great. This week wasn’t wonderful, but it was good. We taught a lot of people and also had some new people at church this Sunday, a young couple that has to be married. I hope that we can get them married and baptized in a little while.

I worked so long without seeing my fruits that it was a little tough but now I am seeing my fruits and I am happy even though we didn’t baptize a ton of people here. I think the next transfer there will be a few baptisms happening. It will be interesting to see how things turn out with the families that we are teaching now.

I will just put down some of the people that we are teaching: José e Lourdes, Lucia, Alex, e Isabela, Josalein e Evanilda, Benta, Evelyn e Everton, e Micael. These are the people that are progressing well that have gone to church or are going to go to church.

Well, what else has been going on here… Not a lot. We have been working a lot and having a good time. I am really liking the mission and the things that I am learning I have to start making plans for after the mission and what I will do to keep myself spiritually fed and happy.

I think the most important thing that I have learned up until now is about the atonement. I am going to devote the most time possible studying it. It is the most important thing that we have in life. I have learned a lot about Virtue and also about Charity. I have never learned so much in my life up until now. I have never been filled with such a holy desire to improve.

Well I like the pictures too. Did you get a new camera?

I hope that you all have a great week. I love you and I am praying for you. Tchau!

Your son,

Elder Isaac Iverson

I don’t think I have ever received a better birthday gift

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

October 27, 2010

Halloween huh?  I don’t think they have Halloween here. They are preparing for Christmas already though. It is funny to think about a Brazilian Christmas. It will be like 110 outside and we will open presents. It will be fun

Well what else… This week was great. José and Lourdes asked us to baptize their kid. Mateus, so we got him all prepared and he will be passing the sacrament in a little bit. That is a cool thought.

It was an awesome week, we taught a lot of lessons and also found a lot of families to teach. It was really a great week. I am changing a lot. I am a lot more efficient and powerful now. It feels good to know that the work is going well here. I just hope that it keeps on going.

I almost started to send some pictures but the computer here didn’t like the machine so it didn’t work out right. Oh well one day it will all work out.

I need to take more pictures but sometimes I just forget. It is so easy to forget the pictures when we are just going from here to there and all.

I am really liking Rio Claro. I like my comp and I am having a good time. I am loving life.

Well we had another leadership meeting. It was all right. I don’t like leaving my area unattended. I like being with other leaders and learning with the President and also seeing my friends who are leaders too, but I don’t like losing a day of work. I was able to see Elder Fa, Coelho, and Lopez on Monday. That was kind of cool.

In the meeting, I got my package. My birthday package. I couldn’t wait to open it so I did. Thank you very much. I don’t think I have ever received a better birthday gift! I mean I have so many jolly ranchers and other treats that I will be satisfied for a long time. I liked all the cards too they were really cool! I took pictures so when I do send pictures you can see all the stuff I received. Thank you very, very, very much!!! It was great.

Well what else has been going on… Not much you know it has just been going good.  We will all eat fried pizza today with the District. That will be sweet. We will also relax a bit.

I was thinking that maybe you guys could send me another pair of pants in the next package. Another package of black socks would be good too.

Um… What else… I don’t even know. I sent out another letter to you guys and to Andrew that should arrive there soon. Two weeks until transfers. It will be good to see what will happen. I can stay another here in Rio Claro. Sometimes you just want to move. In this case I could stay one more here.

I think that is all. I love you all and I will say goodbye for now. Sorry about the football game. I hope you do great in the playoffs.

Well, my family, I don’t have much to say today but I am happy and I am growing everyday. I love and I am praying for you. Until next week. Tchau!!!

Sincerely,

Elder Isaac Iverson

My shoes are comfortable and I am great!

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

October 20, 2010

I love Elder Richard G. Scott. He is such a cool guy and a very loving person. I think my preferred apostle is Elder Jeffery R. Holland. I loved the talk that he gave in conference — the first talk that is. It was powerful and it touched me when he talked about his various stories. I love President Monson’s talk on gratitude. That touched me a lot too.

I forgot to mention how grateful I am for you guys and all the sacrifices that you have made for me so that I could be here on the mission having a good time and not having to worry about anything. It is truly a great gift that you guys are giving me.

Well, this week was a little weak. I had a lot of meetings to attend and also interviews to do. So I didn’t end up with a big difference in our area last week. This week is going really good though. I mean we started out strong and we are finding many families. I have had a little change of heart that has made a lot of difference. It will really be a week of miracles.

I know that none of the work I do is in vain (1 Cor.15:58) I mean, every drop of sweat has some significance to God. Sometimes we just don’t see the fruits of our labors. Look at the Prophet Abinadi, he was cruelly killed and only had one convert, but that one convert led many to eternal salvation. I have no doubt that I will have much success in my mission. It says that in my Patriarchal Blessing. We are teaching more family members of Jose e Lourdes right now and they are accepting really well too. I know that this time will be a time of great growth for me.

Well what else has been going on? My district is great. I had a multi-zone meeting and I was able to see some of my friends. It was an amazing experience to be able to be with them again.

Well, as for the culture here in Brazil, it isn’t a whole lot different. I mean it isn’t what you would expect. I am in Rio Claro, which is just an average city of 200 thousand people. I mean they don’t have a fast food type culture. Nobody eats much breakfast and everyone has a big lunch and a small dinner. It is kind of funny in the US, we have a lot of breakfast and dinner. Lunch is usually a quicker meal.

Food wise they don’t have a lot of snack foods. I should say, snack foods aren’t cheap like the US. There is a bakery close by in every place. That is actually really cool. You can buy a little French bread and a lunchmeat called “mortadela” for 2 dollars and feed your hunger pangs. I like it. As for the meats, here is a lot of beef and sausage. The beef here is good and the sausage is amazing. I am a big fan of the sausages. They don’t have cheddar cheese here. That is a little strange. We eat a lot of mozzarella - em portuguese se chama mussarela. They have provolone and gorgonzola too but cheese is generally really expensive. Chocolate and just about any American brand candy here is also really spendy.

You know, here in Rio Claro there isn’t anything really pretty. They have a forest that we will visit next week but that is about it. Rio Claro is just a sleepy city. I like it. A lot better than Campinas, which has 2 million people.

I am glad everything is all right with you guys, it sounds like everyone is doing great so I am happy. Preston is being a stud and all. Colton is growing and maturing. Kloey is writing letters and growing too. I am glad that everything is good. And congrats for having family home evening. It is a thing that will slowly change the house into a little piece of heaven. A thing that will change everything. Keep it up. It will build a little barrier in between you guys and Satan. We always are having them with investigators and members. It works out great.

My shoes are comfortable and I am great. I love you all. Until next week! Tchau!

Elder Iverson

Life is still good

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

October 13, 2010

Life is still good. These 8 weeks in Rio Claro have been tough. It is really hard to work and work and work and not get anything in return. It is really tough. I am not depressed, but it is hard to have the same attitude that I had when I started. I need to fast and pray more.

Despite the fact that the work isn’t simple — life is great. I mean I have my companion who is loyal and funny. We make the joke that he is my squire. I really like Elder Hunt. He doesn’t have a ton of experience but he is obedient and he works hard. He is a great comp.

This week was good. We worked and worked and it was great, unfortunately it wasn’t miraculous. I think this week will be a lot better. God has a miracle waiting for me. I am obeying the rules and working hard. I am improving everyday too. There has to be a miracle just around the corner.

I have learned a lot these last few weeks about patience and faith. I have also learned a lot about leadership. It really isn’t easy being a leader, but I like it a lot. The Lord has put a lot of trust in me. We had a DL meeting on Monday. I was the 2nd youngest DL there. It is interesting, but I like it.

Well, what else has been going on in my missionary life?… I ate barbecue with my district. I have a multi-zone meeting tomorrow, but beyond that I don’t even know what to say, it has just been the same thing these last few weeks.

I don’t even know what else to say. I think I am tired. After eating so much meat and cheese I just kind of want to take a nap. I am sorry I am so boring today.

I know that family Jose and Lourdes are still progressing well. They will be baptized after the wedding. That will be an amazing day. I am really looking forward to it. Through those baptisms, 2 missionaries can be sent to the field in the future and who knows how many others. I have a lot of happiness with them.

Well, I am working hard and I am having a good time. I am loving life and learning an innumerable amount of lessons everyday. I have another letter that I will send in a bit.

Hmm… I will see what I can do with that DVD. I would like to see what is on it but I don’t even know if I am allowed to.

I will go now. I will go chill out a bit. I need to relax read and sleep. And after all that — work.

I love you all my family. I will write again next week. I hope I will be inspired then to write something good to you guys. I hope so. Make sure you send me other questions if you have any. I hope you are all well.

I am glad that you guys are doing great in football too.

Tchau! Tchau!

Elder Iverson

Can you believe that I almost have 8 months in the mission

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

October 6, 2010

In my district there are only 4 or 6 missionaries. I don’t even know if the ZL are in my district or not. I like being a leader. Luckily in my district I have good missionaries and I have already worked with some of them before. I don’t understand why these other people aren’t leaders. I mean, I knew I would be called but I still don’t know why. I just will trust in God and excite my troops. I love being a leader because you get more blessings — more excitement and happiness and you can see the miracles of the gospel more easily. You can also get to know other missionaries and see the individual talents that they have.

Well about that man… I won’t go back. I don’t need to do that kind of thing. I know the difference between running — because it is God’s command and running because of fear. I don’t fear many things and I know that I was following the Spirit’s voice.

It is great that everyone is happy and doing well. I am doing great. Luckily I don’t have to worry about any sicknesses up until now. I think I won’t have to worry about that kind of thing for my entire mission if I stay worthy and if it is God’s will. I hope that you guy’s are alright and nothing is too serious. It kind of stinks that everyone is sick and Colton had to miss a race. Oh well, it is a normal kind of thing.

I am excited for the birthday package. It is hard to believe that I will turn 20 here in a month or so. I mean, really — 20 that is just a weird thought. I don’t like to think much about time. It moves so fast, can you believe that I almost have 8 months in the mission. I mean time just flies now.

You know I am doing great, I am happy and all, but I am not having baptisms. I don’t know why. I hate this — I am teaching and always working. I am doing everything right but I am not having much success here. I know that every effort has some effect on the eternal outcome of these children of God but I want someone firm and in the church. We find so many people so weak and annoying. I need to find some other people. I know it will all work out. I have not a doubt about this.

Well this week was good. We are working and I got to work with my district and it was awesome. I mean nothing extraordinary happened, or I should say, nothing out of the missionary norm. We see miracles so many times in our missions that sometimes we forget that they are miracles.

I got a letter from the primary the other day. That was cool, you will have to tell them many thanks. The only problem is that I don’t have a CD player to play the music they gave me.

Oh about gifts for Christmas. I want nice ties and a sweet watch. That is all I can think about right now. I think I don’t really need much else or want much else.

Well my family, I will say that I want Alma 29: 1-4 as my scripture. I like others but that one is simply one of the coolest.

Well my family… I must go. I Love you all and I hope that you have a great time doing whatever you are doing. Congratulations on the victory in football, and Colton good luck with CC and WASC. Give Kloey a big hug and tell her I love her. I love you all and I will go now to relax a bit on this beautiful day.

Tchau, Tchau!

Elder Isaac Iverson

I was called as district leader!

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

September 29, 2010

Well, I was called as district leader. That is pretty cool I can already feel the blessings of a mantle of leadership in my life. I like it. I can talk with other missionaries and help them. It is awesome.

We also are getting a lot blessing in the work too. References of gold and other things. I am loving life right now. I mean, last transfer was extremely tough – a great trial of faith, but I made it through and I am receiving blessings. I am loving it.

Oh that thing that I wrote to Preston. Hahaha. It was the weirdest thing in my life to talk with that “man” it was strange I haven’t went back to that area in a while. I think I will avoid it unless the Spirit sends me back there.

Kloey — spelling and reading! That is a funny thought.. her in 1st grade learning and growing like an actual person. A strange thought indeed. It will be interesting after a while. Preston, a senior… it is weird to see this part in life arrive. It is like with investigators. You prepare them the best way that you can for baptism and confirmation and then they have to learn their own way with a little less contact from the missionaries. It is weird to think that he will be joining me here soon.

This week was good. The transfer ended and I am here with Elder Hunt again. It is good. I mean, the members are all excited we are finding good people. The work is going good here and I didn’t want to be transferred. I knew that I wouldn’t be. I knew that my hour hadn’t arrived. I really like here. I will change a lot in this little city.

What interesting lessons have I learned these last few days… not much that I feel compelled to share. But one story is sticking out in my head. We ended up teaching this one couple that had a dream about us. I didn’t turn out too well unfortunately, because they were people so closed-up, but I learned that God works in such strange ways.

We ended up finding them because of a wrong address. But I got kind of upset because of the hardheartedness of them. I mean, really, God gave you a vision but you still don’t want to hear our words. The dream was about two men leading a person. When the person didn’t listen and started walking by vision and not by faith she stumbled and fell. When she just shut her eyes and followed by faith she was led on the right path. The meaning was so clear to me that maybe I didn’t help them enough to see it. All will work out. Maybe one day we will be able to help them.

For dad: We taught this one Brazilian guy that is 2 meters and 10 centimeters. He played for Saint Mary’s college four years ago. His name is Marcelo. Unfortunately he didn’t want anything more than get to know a little about the church. His is catholic. Very Catholic, but it was cool he was there for four years playing basketball. He is a giant!

I am doing great, I am full of a new type of energy and I am loving life.

It is good that all is well with jewelry season. Maybe inspiration only comes during fall. Maybe it hibernates during the summer.

Well, as for my testimony, I will write another letter to you guys today. I have to write a letter to Andrew too. He finally wrote me. He had a dream about me coming back from Brazil all different, it will be fun to write him today. But as for my favorite scripture… D&C 122 is my favorite section of all. I love 2 Nephi 9, Isaiah 53, and Alma 29:4 — all have special meaning to me too. I love Alma 29:4 because it talks about our desires. The other ones talk about Jesus The Christ. I will think a little bit more about the other ones that I like. There is one in Job and Isaiah that I can’t remember right now. Section 122 is my favorite, it is where I go for a little spiritual pick-me-up in times of need. It makes me remember of Christ and also God gives a challenge to us.

I love you all and I hope that you have great weeks — I know that I will. I am happy, healthy, and closer to God everyday. I love my life here and it will just keep getting better. I know I will have more trials, but with my Lord at my side I will confront any barrier and any enemy with a testimony that cannot be denied and with a Devine force that pierces to the very core. I am called by God to do this work. I will have success if it is His will and if I am humble calling on His name with every step.

I love you all. Have a great week.

Just for your info it has been raining a bit these last few days. I love Brazil in the rain.

Tchau, Tchau!!!

Elder Isaac Iverson

The truth is always true no matter how many people believe in it

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

September 22, 2010

This week wasn’t great but it was good because I was able to learn a lot.

Well, where to start… Really nothing that interesting happened this week. We just worked hard and had no results. It is rough right now. The zone Rio Claro is one of the toughest zones in the mission. The people here are tough. I think I have to change the neighborhood. The only problem here is that the chapel is 30 minutes (on feet) from our house. If I change the neighborhood to a neighborhood more humble where I could baptize a lot, no one would become firm in the church. I have to think hard about this.

I mean we are teaching a lot. We are finding a lot of people. but we are missing a lot of quality. That one family is amazing and we have others that are good, but we are having trouble finding more. I have high hopes for this week though. I feel great, renewed, and refocused. I am happy too.

I never knew you were an AP dad that is cool. How long were you with that job? I think it would be interesting to be AP — you could learn a lot and have a lot of cool experiences working with the President and helping with transfers and taking care of all the people in the mission. Imagine the things that you could learn. I loved having a division with the AP here. I was able to learn a lot.

You know, here they don’t have a place where you can buy American snacks. I mean they have Doritos and M&Ms but they are really expensive, so I haven’t bought any until now. I think the thing that I really miss is peanut butter. It exists here but it is really expensive and I heard that is different too. As for other things I don’t miss much. It would be nice to have some Mexican food. I miss Mexican food, but other things not really much at all.

About that one family, marriage here isn’t terribly expensive. If you want to be married, now you have to pay but if you make a declaration of poverty you can be married for free in 2 weeks. He has to be divorced first and then we will marry them. I am not too afraid though, I mean they are already pretty much members — they are paying tithing and going to all the church activities. I just hope I am here when they are baptized. We have transfers this week. I think I will stay here for a little more time.

The whole thing with Botucatu… I didn’t love the town or the members but I loved the experiences that I had with my leaders and my friends. The town was just hills, but it was beautiful though. It was a pretty place. Here in Rio Claro, what is good here? Well, it is a very tranquil place. All the members are cool. It really doesn’t have anything that is really sticking out to me right now though.

Well then… I bought new shoes. They will last a while and they only cost 50 dollars. I need buy inserts though. They are construction-type shoes. They are leather with a thick, really thick sole. I like them.

I will try to find a place where I can hook up my camera for free. As for now, I can’t do it. And where we live is 30 minutes from the center of the town so I don’t have many options.

Well, I just want to let you know that I am doing great. I am learning how to be a spiritual giant. I am trusting in the Lord and improving everyday. I am seeing my weaknesses and improving them. I am memorizing scriptures everyday. I am loving life and the miracles I am seeing here.

I think the problem with Rio Claro is the amount of churches and the lack of a chapel close by. All is well though. I am seeing the hand of the Lord with me. I am loving everything about life — the good and the bad. You can learn a lot from the bad.

I want you all to know that I am safe and that I am amazing. I know that at times it is difficult, but the truth is always true no matter how many people believe in it.

I love you all and I hope you have an awesome week — I will.

Tchau, Tchau!!!

Elder Iverson