Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm Here!

I´ll try to include the best stuff. So much has happened in this first week. I can´t remember it all. And I can´t fix the spell checker on here either so get ready for some mistakes. I arrived at the airport in Brasilia and was taken to the mission home where I met the pres. and his wife. They fed us an ambrosial meal and told us about the mission, things we would need, and gave us pillows. I then went to the chapel and met some new missionaries, heard more about the mission life, and then got assigned to a companion, Elder Parada .  He can understand English and speaks a little. We are able to communicate most things in Portuguese. He´s a great trainer and I´ve already learned a lot. This area is a very difficult area in terms of baptisms. In the last 2 years they´ve had 9. Houses have fences around them and are in closed off areas so it´s almost impossible to access people by knocking on their doors. To do missionary work here you have to work a lot with the members to get references. The missionaries that were here before us baptized João. He´s been a member for a few weeks so we still get to teach him. He´s so cool. You have no idea. He´s the typical warm friendly Brazilian but x10. He´s very nice and loves to talk. He knows a little English so he helps me out when I don´t understand. Elder Parada and I visited him in his (really nice) house just to talk and familiarize ourselves with him and the area. The next day we watched Mountain of the Lord (I think that´s it in English) and taught about temples. His mother is so so nice. She´s not a member but she asks lots of questions about the church. She makes me eat a lot of food and is very friendly. It´s so great to teach João and to get to know his mother. This week we also met Edson, who was preparing for baptism when we came. His baptism was yesterday. I gave the talk about the significance of baptism and such before the event. It was funny. Most of the audience was American, but I spoke in Portuguese (as well as I could) and someone translated to English. I wonder if it even made sense to the Americans, considering my Portuguese. 

I met many American families in the ward and had lunch/dinner with them. One person I met practices music therapy. (there you go, mom, your dream for me) I was so happy to talk to her about it and she told me a lot about what it was (all in English of course). She went to BYU too. Their whole family is American. One of the members in the ward who has fed us twice works in Computer Science. So I got to talk about Ubuntu with him. This place is just full of blessings for me. He told some really cool stories about his mission over dinner to Elder Parada and me in Portuguese. It´s fun to learn Portuguese by listening this way. 

This area (Lago Sul) is very spread out, so making contacts and getting places takes time. The buses we have to take don´t come as often as we would like so we spend a lot of time either walking or waiting for a bus. Typical missionary complaint, I know, I´m just laying out the details for you guys. Haha. I got to see the center of Brasilia on the way to my area. It´s so different. I love it. The architecture is very modern and unlike anything I´ve seen. There are hardly any stoplights and traffic runs very smoothly. 

Once I get some pictures I will send them.

A few things I need. I actually need that mission bag you were considering getting me, Mom. A backpack is too big. I just need a small bag like the one you sent a picture of. That´s what I need the most. The only other thing I need is sprees and mike and ikes.

I love hearing the news as always! I have about an hour for email every Monday, but the time goes very quickly.
I might send more emails before my time is up

Much love!
Elder Young

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Elder Young Leaves MTC to Serve in Brasilia

We didn’t hear from Bryce on his preparation day last week.  We’re sure he was packing or traveling from the Sao Paulo Missionary Training Center to begin serving within his mission boundaries in Brasilia.

We hope to hear from him soon.

To send him off in style, he had a pizza “party” with his MTC District!

Here are a couple of pictures Bryce recently sent home...

Bryce and his MTC District attending the Sao Paulo Brazil Temple!

MTC companion Elder Bell, MTC Teacher, and Bryce.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hurrah for Israel!

So this is my last P-day! I leave next Tuesday for Brasilia. I anticipate the plane ride is around 1.5 hours or so...I'm not sure. So don't worry, everyone, I don't have to take a boat through the amazon and swat mosquitos away as I battle wild tigers.

The past few weeks, EFY rock stars such as Chad Neth have been the talk of the MTC. (huge over-exaggeration) Haha, he is an artist that has a few songs on the youth.lds.org website and that's really all the music we have. So naturally, I've adjusted my music tastes a bit to compensate. Music is a nice comfort from the quotidian tasks of the MTC, though. This week it rained a little bit. And it so happened that it rained the day we went out to talk to people on the street. Many of the people around the MTC are accustomed to missionaries walking around, but Sao Paulo is big enough that often you get people who know nothing about the church. Even though it was raining (this was on Monday), we talked to quite a few people and many were interested enough to want a Book of Mormon. Elder Bell and I talked to a nice old lady about the gospel and more particularly about the Book of Mormon for about 15 minutes. She was very kind and curious. She spoke slower than most people we found, so we could understand pretty much everything she said. She liked the news of the restauation (Portuguese has already messed up my english spelling) of the gospel and agreed the world is in need of guidance. We were also stopped by a man who was pulling some kind of trailer in the street. This was interesting. Before we had anything to say he just started asking questions. He had a very heavy accent and didn't really finish his words. We couldn't understand anything he said. He had known about the gospel and has two Books of Mormon but he was insistent that I draw the "heart of the world" for him. Haha. He wasn't really interested in what we had to say, but we listened to him for quite a while. After 20 minutes of utter miscommunication, we ran out of time and had to leave. I loved these interesting experiences. We ran into some other guys (20yrs or so) who were both interested in the Book of Mormon--or at least appeared to be. I'm sure one of them was sincere. He asked where the church was and wanted to learn more. It was so great to be outside talking to people about what we believe. It was a great experience. We get to do it again next Monday too.

I don't have enough time to explain my love for this chapter, but 2 Corinthians 4 taught me a lot this week. When you consider that the glory of god (vs 17 "weight of glory") as intelligence or light, a great opportunity for analogy appears. Cross-referencing has been a great instrument for learning for me recently.

Gotta go!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Greetings from Bdahzeeoo (that's basically how it's pronounced)

Greetings from Bdahzeeoo (that's basically how it's pronounced)
I wish I could send more pictures, but other than my district, there's not much to take pictures of. We aren't allowed to take our cameras out of the MTC because if all missionaries did that, they'd all look like tourists. I'll try to send more though. In two weeks you'll get a lot more, I'm sure.
Everything is very routine now and my thoughts are shifting more and more to how things will change in two weeks when I leave for Brasilia. I'm very anxious to be there already. Because business is fairly static here, there isn't much that's new...so I'll share a few scriptural/spiritual thoughts from this week.
First, yes, I did find another scripture I found funny. It's Mosiah 7:14. The more you read the same books the more you get acquanited with the characters' mindsets/situations. So in this chapter, Ammon goes to the land of Lehi-Nephi. He talks to King Limhi, assuring him that he means no harm and that he is a descendant of Zarahemla. (Too much background for this lame joke, I know) Limhi rejoices and says "now I will rejoice; and on the morrow I will cause that my people shall rejoice" When I think of this situation in my head I just picture him saying to his servant or the like, "hey, uhh, could you maybe schedule a get together for the people tomorrow?" "like....a party?" "Yes, a party. Could we maybe...?" The more I am confined in the same few rooms the more I go crazy, I know, but I found that funny in the moment. And I already typed it so I'm not going to erase it, haha.
One of my new favorite chapters as of this week is Mosiah 25. I love the reunion described. Mosiah is reading the records of Zeniff and Alma to the people in the land after they return from their journeys/adventures. First of all, it's amazing that the people that followed Alma and the people following Limhi and Ammon all were delivered from their burdens and grasps of the Lamanites to return to Zarahemla. I love this chapter because you can see how 3 individual acts of faith (Abinadi, Alma, and Ammon) led to such a gathering and reuniting. Because they were willing to walk in faith to deliver the gospel, they were brought back to Zarahemla by the hand of the Lord. There's no doubt that a main purpose of this reuniting was to share their stories written in their records--the new scriptures. The people, after King Mosiah read the records, were ":struck with wonder and amazement" because they were all delivered from bondage. Many were baptized and converted and churches were established in the land. This chapter illustrates perfectly how God is rearranging the puzzle pieces that are our lives, experiences and adventures to fit together. All the things that happened leading up to this gathering were anticipated by the Lord, yet he still let everyone exercise their agency. All it took for this wonderful puzzle to be put together was faith of a few individuals (which compounded on each other). If we could have faith such as these men, just imagine what the Lord could do with us and for us.
My time is up!
I love you all,
Elder Young

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July in Brazil

Heloooooo fammilyy!
Today has been a fantastic P-day so far. After getting back from the temple, we were surprised to see an fancifully decorated cafeteria. There were streamers and balloons everywhere. We had HAMBURGERS. American food! And ICE CREAM with copious amounts of delectable toppings and POPCORN. Delicious. I'm completely stuffed. They cafeteria crew went all out to celebrate the fourth of July. And it sounds like I get to have real pizza today for dinner! Great day. Yesterday we got to sing all 3 verses of the Star Spangled Banner. I've never been so happy to sing that song as I was last night.
Things I came across this week that I really liked:
"We Lived with God" - It's a Mormon message on lds.org under Media Library - Our Heavenly Father's Plan
"You are what you repeatedly do; your excellence is not a feat, but a habit"
I wish I could share all the scriptures that stood out to me during my scripture study. I wrote them all down but it would take quite a while to type them all. I absolutely love having time (as I've said before, I'm sure) to read as much as I want.
A few scriptures:
-DC 130: 18-19  -- We will have "so much the advantage" if we gain more knowledge and intelligence in this life through diligence and obedience than another.
-In weights and measures in the Bible Dictionary, it says a talent = 75.6 pounds. So all we really have to do is gain wait to get more talents.
-1 Peter 4:9 - This is the scripture I should have used when Mom said I couldn't have a friend over to spend the night (sorry if this scripture gets used on you now, Mom....I had to do it)
I'm out of time. It sounds like everything is great at home and that you guys are having fun summer experiences.
How's that cardboard cut out of me doing? Is he still refusing to eat his food?
Much love,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New pictures from Bryce !!!

            This is a picture of the BEAUTIFUL sunset taken from Bryce's window in the Brazil MTC!

Elder Jacob,Elder Reese, Elder Bell and Elder Young
They lived in the Hall across from Bryce at BYU and they didn't even know each other!  Bryce says they are great Elders and they have a lot of fun!