Date: June 29, 2011
Well it has been a while…
Last week was crazy and I didn’t have time to write any letters. We went to the temple and we did a session. When we got back the LAN house was closed so I couldn’t write anyone.
This week was even crazier. Today was pretty amazing we went to Atibaia with our president. President Tanner had planned a trip to Atibaia with my new comp. Elder Sousa Santos so today we travelled to atibaia with our beloved president to visit and go up this huge rock that is there. It was way cool! It looked like another world there also we got to spend the entire day talking with our president. President Tanner is a really cool guy. He bought us food and took us everywhere in his hilux. I took a bunch of pictures that turned out pretty cool. The name of the place is called ” Rocha Grande de Atibaia” it was a pretty cool trip. So we got back right now I don’t even have time to write that much.
Well I have been doing pretty great recently, the members here are taking good care of us. The Relief Society with our investigators are supplying a lot of cake for us to eat. I am really happy. The work is going great and we are teaching a lot of people.
We had an emergency transfer a while ago because of a few missionaries that went home early so I received — in two weeks he will return to his hometown and start looking for a wife. I really like him the work is going well and we are working good together.
These last few weeks have been tough to talk to you guys and I will have to cut it short today too. But maybe next week it will be easier to actually respond the letters that you guys have sent me.
So I am glad that school is over that everyone is actively engaged in work and activities. I am extremely happy that you are not feeling anymore pain mom. That is wonderful.
Dad asked last week what colleges I wanted to go to. I want to apply for BYU, BYU Idaho, and WSU. I don’t know what you guys will need or what the process is but you guys can tell me later.
Well our apartment here is pretty nice. It is just a little house with 2 rooms one bathroom and a kitchen. Perfect for missionaries. Up until now I have not seen any rodents.
So I love you all and I hope that you have a good week, sorry for not having more time. But our sweet trip took a lot longer that we thought. It was fun though. I had a great week and I know that this one will be great too. Tomorrow we have a conference with Elder Gadoy.
I love you all and I hope everything works out with dads job. Tchau!
Date: July 13, 2011
When I said WSU I meant UW. You know the college that is in Seattle. I would really prefer BYU Provo though. It would be the best option. I just need a school where I can get the basics down and then transfer to another school to get my other degrees. I don’t even remember how the whole college thing works anymore. I just need to be ready to enter when I get off my mission. I have been thinking a lot recently about being a lawyer. Not a criminal one but a business one. Our mission president is a lawyer that only deals with big businesses it sounds like a pretty cool deal he is extremely rich and he was able to work for the church here in Brasil.
Well this last week has been good. The work here is great we have some wonderful families that are progressing at a good rate and other people who will be baptized this week. I am really liking the area. It is a small area with a small ward but we have obtained the bishop’s confidence and the members are helping a lot. We are bringing people to the temple every week and life is just good. It is a bit tough because my comp doesn’t have much ambition but he is a good teacher and he doesn’t want to just stay inside and do nothing.
So I have taken a bunch of photos so I will try to send you guys some today.
Yeah our trip to Atibaia was great. Our president is really cool. He is an old guy. He is like 63 but he is really a cool guy I would like to know more about him. He served his mission in Brasil and also served in the marines. He went to school at BYU and mastered in law in UCLA. He served as the Lawyer here in Brasil for the church a couple of years ago. He is really an amazing mission president.
So this is my companion’s last week so today we went back to the temple and we went through a session with our mission president. It was pretty cool. 20 Missionaries will be going home this transfer so there will be a lot of changes in the mission. A lot of areas will be closed I am excited to see what happens.
You guys are feeling summer in Washington. It is kind of cold here in Brasil.
So I just tried to send some Photos to you guys but my memory card has got a problem. It was working a little while ago but now it is not reading the memory card. I will send it to you guys so you can restore the card and see what happened. I don’t want to mess with it here because if I do something wrong I will end up losing all my pictures since the beginning of my mission. that would be extremely sad. So I will send it back to you guys so you can do some magic on it. Be extremely careful I don’t want to lose everything. I hope I didn’t already lose them.
As for my return date I don’t know, I won’t ask for a while though. It will be some time in February. I am thinking like the 5-6 something like that. I don’t know. I will only know like 3 months before going home.
So sorry for not writing that much these last few weeks. we have been doing a lot of stuff.
You know working in the city is great. My area is like on the outskirts of the city not in the center so there is nothing that cool here. In Campinas one of the coolest things that they got is this huge flee market called Camelo. You can just get everything there for extremely cheap. Everything is falsified or stolen but it is still pretty cool the stuff you can find there.
So mom I will go now. I love you all and I hope you have a great week. I am doing wonderfully. I am just worried about my pictures right now… Everything will work out though.
I love you all and have a great week.
Date: July 13, 2011
Interesting… Everything changes. But it has to be that way though. I mean imagine if everything just stayed the same… That would be weird. Change is good though it makes life more interesting. Speaking of change my buddy Elder Sousa Santos returned to Fortaleza. Yep on Tuesday he left. It was good though. I liked him a lot. I was also able to visit an area that I passed by. On Monday we visited Rosolem and all the people there. I was able to sell my camera and also I was able to visit some of the people I got to know and baptized. I was there for a very short amount of time but everyone still remembered me and that was great. It is sad when no one remembers you and that happens to some missionaries. Everyone remembered me though and that was awesome!
So I got a new comp. His name is Elder Oliveira. He has 2 months in the mission. He is short and kind of dorky looking. He is from Rio Grande do Sul. He is a pretty cool guy.
So today I went and I bought a suit. It cost 100 reais which would be about 60 dollars. It is a plain gray suit. It is pretty cool looking. I didn’t have a bunch of cash so I just bought the best cheap suit I could find. This suit is inexpensive but it is good looking. I also got a new bag the other day. A missionary that went home gave it to me. It is a really pretty bag one of those hiking bags. It is really nice. It is a brand called Mountain Smith. It is way nice. These days have been pretty nice to me.
Last week was an interesting week. It was disappointing. There was this one girl that was going to be baptized. Her name is Gabriela. She was a member’s reference. It was going wonderfully but some theology guy came in and screwed everything up. She was so golden but then it just didn’t work out. Unfortunately she is running from us now. Dad should know how that goes but everything will work out in the end.
But beyond that we had a cool activity that was really effective to help the members. This Saturday we will have a party at the church. It is called Festa Julina. It is a Brazilian festival that they have every year. Usually it is done in June and I think it is to commerate something to do with the Apostles John and Paul, I don’t really know though.
So I have grown a lot physically this last little bit. I am pretty huge now. I just need to do some weight training after the mission and I will be pretty good looking.
That is pretty interesting about the jobs I hope it works out. I mean if he gets those jobs it will great. A whole lot closer to the family and in a city that is a little bigger than Oroville. It should be wonderful. I will have to fast this Saturday so that everything works out all right.
So did Preston cut his hair finally? He isn’t that handsome with that hairdo
Yeah beyond the new bag and the new suit I also learned some other tricks. My comp taught me some card tricks so now I am pretty cool. I know card tricks and I am tall and handsome with a new suit!
As for the return date I don’t know. I think it will be the 7th of February. I think that that is my return date I really don’t know though.
Have you already thought in 7 months I will be home starting my life. I will have to get married too. What do you think about me getting married to a Brazilian? Would that be weird?
So I am loving life. I am having success as a missionary. I am working hard I am learning about revelation and how to rely on the Lord. I am being obedient and I am focused on the mission. I can honestly say that this experience has changed my future because of the things that I have learned here I will be a different person. Because of these experiences I will be able to stay strong when the going gets tough and all get through and overcome all my weaknesses. I have grown a lot in 1 year and 5 months. I hope that these last 7 months are even better than the last and I really think that they will be. I have learned how to work and if the Lord continues to bless us like he has been we will have a lot of success this transfer.
Well mother I love you and I hope that you all have a great week. I am praying that Dad gets his job and that you guys can leave as quickly as possible. I wonder if moving will be harder or easier with one less person… That is a good question.
I love you all and I hope that this week goes well.
See you guys later. Tchau!!!
Date: July 20, 2011
So I bought a new suit but I am also needing new shoes. My shoes broke again. I don’t know what I am doing wrong my steps are so heavy that I just eat through this rubber. I mean I buy good shoes but they just don’t work out well.
Next week I would like to buy some new ones on my P-day with a member so if you could put a little extra money in my account that would be wonderful. I don’t know how much they will cost. I think I will buy a little more expensive this time more or less 80 reais ( 50 dollars)
I hate asking for money and stuff but I am seriously needing new shoes. I love you guys and I am extremely grateful for all the things that you are doing to help me. I know you have to sacrifice a lot but I am extremely grateful.
Elder Isaac Iverson
Date: July 27, 2011
So this week that went by was another week. Sunday was great because we were able to bring a couple of great people to church. The rest of last week was kind of difficult though. My comp is really different. I can live with him and all and not fight and argue but it is a bit difficult. I am working on it though.
Well last week was a bit tough but this week is going a lot better. On Monday I preached in an evangelical church. We have this investigator that has this church that she runs every week. It is just a church where she invites various pastors and other religious people to speak. I had never gone to an evangelical church before and I really don’t want to go back. The religious leaders of these churches just teach things to make the people feel good and yell and shout and imitate miracles to take the peoples attention away from the spirit. The church service was held in her household and about 25 people were there. Mainly pastors and other religious leader but it was pretty interesting.
I taught about the restoration and Joseph Smith and told them the first vision. Everyone paid a lot of attention and a very sweet spirit filled the room I invited everyone to pray to God to know the truth and then I turned the time over to a member to bear his testimony that was unnecessarily long. It was good though at least those people know a little bit more about what we believe. I hope that we see fruits in the next few days. It was a cool experience though. I would never have done that before the mission but it was really easy to testify about the divine truths. I have really been converted. I have really had a change of heart. I just hope that I can continue to grow and have more success on my mission.
Yesterday we were able to have a family night with a family that the dad isn’t a member. I think he will be baptized here in a little bit. We then taught another family that the Dad isn’t a member. This man is married to his wife for 16 years. She has been a member since 13 years of age but he has never had much interest in the church. After talking with him he finally is progressing. We will visit the temple with the entire family this Friday. I think he will also be baptized in these next few weeks. They are progressing well and I have had a couple of very spiritual experiences with them that I will share with you all when I get home.
So this week has started out wonderfully. I hope that it continues to go well.
So I was able to take out the money that you sent. Thank you! I got this huge hole in the heel of my shoe I will go and buy new ones after writing you guys emails. Oh and I haven’t gotten any of dad’s emails recently. Has he changed his email address?
So hope you guys take a lot of pictures of your vacation I want to see how Long Beach is considering the fact that I have no recollection of ever being there. I hope you guys can really relax a bit.
Well mother and family I love you all. I am doing wonderfully and I am happy.
Date: August 10, 2011
Well sorry for last week. I was sick so I didn’t write anyone. Well that is wonderful that your vacation is going well. I hope that you all have fun.
These last few days have been rough I have had a tough time with sickness. I am still a little sick. It is just a cold but it won’t go away. It stinks! I have never had trouble with sickness in my mission up until now. I hate it! It hasn’t kept me in the house though. I am able to go and work and like normal so that is the good thing.
So here things are going great. We are teaching, and doing a bunch of cool stuff. The Ward is excited and everything is going pretty wonderfully. I will send some pictures of our last temple trip with this one family that I love. I am loving the work. I have really been able to help this ward grow a bit. I mean it wasn’t me it was God but I am glad that I was an instrument in helping this place grow a bit. I hope I can help a bit more in these next few weeks.
So I also got an email from Andrew and David this week. It was good to here from them. Life has changed a lot for them. Things will be different when I get home.
So I am doing good. My comp is doing good too.
Well as for exciting changes since the last time that I wrote… I really don’t think that there have been any. life is about the same. I can’t think about anything interesting to write.
I do have some questions about the new house. Where is it at? How much does it cost? Where is it located? I need the address and phone number to give to the mission. They have to know when we change addresses. So if you could send me this information as quickly as possible it would be greatly appreciated.
Well I am glad that you are liking the Book of Moses. I also love that book. It helps you understand the temple a lot more. I am grateful for all the things restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I feel bad for those who reject all this wonderful information.
You know what I miss. I was thinking the other day and I am missing hot cheetos. They don’t exist here in Brasil. If you could send some in the next package I would love it.
Well I loved the pictures. I would also like to see a picture of the new house. Have fun on the beach! Man that does look like a lot of fun!
I love you guys and I will talk to you later!
I Iove Brasil and my mission. There really is nothing better. I will tell you though Brazilians love tall white Americans. The people think I am just beautiful. They also think I am filthy rich. I just wanted to let you all know. Haha!
So I will go now have a great week.
Date: August 17, 2011
That is pretty interesting that you guys are moving. That is definitely a weird thought. I guess I will never be going home. I will just be going to where I was born. It is weird that you guys are going to the place where the family started out.
So the last time in Oroville. That is kind of a sad thought. I liked that place but I am pretty happy to start completely over again. Weird huh. I will return to a completely different ward with completely different people. so weird!
Sweet that you will be working though. I hope the job is pretty cool.
You guys don’t really need a big house though I mean really right now all the kids are going to be leaving the nest a starting their own lives. I will come back and go to school. Preston will be in the mission. Colton will be preparing to leave on the mission. It must be strange you and Dad are really entering the next stage of life where you get to see if your kids will make it in the world. I bet you guys must be feeling really weird. I sure am.
So as for the mission and my life… Well this last week was pretty good. It was a little disappointing in some ways. I mean the mission is wonderful and all but it gets a bit annoying always having to rely on other people to do what you asked them to do. Rely on members to give people rides. Rely on investigators to do what they said they would do.
I have learned some extremely important lessons about leadership here in the mission. Leadership and planning. You have to gain people’s trust and confidence and you have to follow through with everything that you promised. If you don’t do that no one will do what you ask. The mission has taught me a lot about how to deal with people. I was never much of a people person before the mission but now I have learned how to be the guy that everyone likes and trusts. But in the end, many people are not reliable and that unfortunately brings unhappiness and frustration sometimes in the mission. This week really wasn’t that bad though.
Yeah about those “people” we talked about, it is unfortunate that they are making bad choices. It is really sad that they don’t have that desire to be different. One of the things that Satan uses to take people from the path of righteousness is peer pressure. People worry way too much about what other people think. If you do that you just end up being unhappy and making stupid choices. It is sad but peer pressure and wanting to be accepted keeps a lot of people from the truth. Usually you know you are doing something right when idiots and fools start to criticize you. The weak change their minds and the strong persevere in their decisions to do what is right even though it is almost always hard. I’m sad, but we can’t make decisions for other people. We can only decide for ourselves who we will follow.
You know transfers are coming up. I have no idea what will happen but I am pretty excited.
So this Sunday was Father’s Day in Brasil. So wish a happy Brazilians Father’s Day to dad. I hope this week was good for you guys too.
Thanks for the address. I like it Peach Tree lane. It is a rather pleasant sounding name. It would be cool if there were really peach trees there. I love peaches. So I need to see a picture because I am having a hard time imagining this place where you guys live.
As for the pictures I will do better and I will take more photos and send small amounts in the emails. This week doesn’t work because I am in a division and I don’t have my camera with me. So you will have to wait until next week.
Well I am happy and excited for the move. I hope that everything goes well. Good luck with my stuff. ha-ha. Unfortunately I won’t be there to help.
Well my family I love you all. I am glad that your vacation was cool. Who all went anyways? and how long were you guys there?
Well my family I love you all and I hope you have a great day and week. See you guys later!
Date: August 31, 2011
Still no pictures of the house? That is kind of sad I wanted to see what it is like.
So yeah my comp is way cool. I mean he doesn’t talk much but he is really relaxed and he has a desire to do the work. That is all that matters. He is a new guy but he already has many of the skill necessary to be an effective missionary. It is nice when you got a comp like that — it is really nice.
So the ward here is pretty amazing. Our bishop is a professional pianist and half of the ward plays a certain type of instrument. Everyone is really talented here so it is cool. We had a music-based activity last Saturday that was really well done. I was impressed with the ward there was this one girl that made a song and sang it in English. It was really well done. I heard that this ward was terrible but I am liking it a lot. The members are practically worshipping us because we arrived. They were without missionaries and now that we got here everyone is just loving us. It is nice to feel so wanted and loved. I am happy with the ward and we have our own chapel.
So these last few days have been good. We have gotten to know a lot of members and we have started to find quite a few investigators. Everything is going pretty well missionary work wise.
So this next Tuesday we will be meeting our new president and that will be pretty cool.
I am glad your birthday was great, I forgot to send a birthday card. Hey what letter did you guys get from me? I don’t remember the last time that I wrote and sent a letter.
Hmm… I need to send you guys some photos. I will do that now.
Date: September 7, 2011
That is great that everybody is getting back into the swing of things. That makes me feel pretty happy.
Well this weekend was a little disappointing. My comp is sick, there is nothing more annoying than a sick comp. because you can’t do anything. He has some type of sinus infection and a sore throat. I don’t know what is going on exactly but we already went to the doctor’s office and everything now we just got to buy the meds and hope for the best. Luckily the ward is supportive, they are all praying for him and our bishop visited us the other day so that was pretty nice. We had to stay home both Saturday and Sunday (after church) there is nothing I hate more than staying in the house. Fortunately in my mission I have not had to do that that much. Thank goodness.
So beyond that everything is good. I am happy and I am loving the ward here. It was so easy to gain their confidence and their help in the missionary work. There are some great members here.
So how is the ward like there in Yakima? Is it enormous? Is there a bunch of cool people that go there? what is it like?
Yeah I know how that feels to prepare something and then not be there to reap the rewards. That happens a lot on the mission. It really doesn’t matter in the end but it is always nice when you can reap what you sowed. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen in life but the blessing are the same. I found out the other day that the only family that I was able to help bring to church here in Rio Claro is still active. that was an amazing feeling. I don’t know if you remember José and Lourdes. they still have not been able to sort out the marriage problem but they are still going strong and it has been almost a year now. If they’d been baptized when I was here I could watch them be sealed in a couple months. That would have been really amazing to see. Unfortunately they aren’t married still but they are going strong and one day they will be married and baptized and sealed so that is an amazing thought. I am really happy to know that they are active in the church still.
Well yeah you guys got to help Preston a lot now. It is a really tough time waiting before the mission. He has got to get a job that will help a lot with the depression. It is a tough time and really Satan does attack a lot harder before the mission. Usually with feelings of guilt and inadequacy. He has just got to get into good study habits (scripture wise) and has to get a job. If he does this and becomes very active in the church with the activities and the callings everything will work out right. He should be happy and enjoy this time before the mission. He has to prepare well because the beginning of a mission is tough spiritually. It is a completely different world.
Yeah Andrew wrote me again. It looks like the situation is getting worse. Everyone of my friends is just living their lives like the world want them to. It is sad. I should have done better before the mission in helping them to get to know the church. God’s plan is perfect and it will work out great in the end. I am sure I will be able to help them after the mission. I have changed a lot. They will either change to stay close to me or they will slowly fall away. I hope that they want to change.
So about schooling… I think I just want to do my bachelor’s in BYU Idaho and then transfer to another school. Or just do everything in BYU Provo. Well did you already get that paperwork started?
How is Colton doing has he gotten better? And the rest of the family? Are my Grandmothers fine and still going strong?
Well today is a Brazilian holiday! how wonderful.
And also I forgot to tell you I am living in a house with 4 missionaries again. It is way cool. There is one missionary that likes to cook so there is always good food to eat. I already know all the guys that are here so it is way easy to live with everyone. It is nice to live with 3 other missionaries. There is never a quiet moment and P-day is a lot more enjoyable. The other companionship consists of Elder Almeida and Elder Santana. They both have a good amount of time in the mission. Elder Almeida 1 year and 1 month and Elder Santana 1 year and 8 months.
Well tell everyone in the ward and family that I said “Ola”
I am really liking this time in the mission. The end is looking more real but I can clearly see that this is the time that I can have the most success as a missionary. I can take one of two paths: I can work hard and try hard to help the wards where I serve and teach and help a lot of people, or I can just pass my last few (5) months passing the time away doing nothing memorable.
I have recognized that exists these 2 choices and I chose the first. I will serve faithfully until the end. I feel great about everything that I have done in my mission up until now. I just want to baptize more people. Unfortunately I don’t have complete control over that decision.
I love you all. I am loving my mission and my choice to serve it really has been the best choice I have ever made.
Until next week tchau!!!