Monday, September 24, 2012

It rained in Brasilia!


It hasn´t been too long since the last email, but I have a few cool things to talk about.

We visited Eduardo on Thursday and he shared an experience about repentance that I think got him to realize a little more the importance of faith. We also met his family. They´re are really nice and there is something different about them. Just like Eduardo they are all genuine in the way they act. I really hope they come to church soon because I know they´ll love it.

Maria (João´s mom) went to church on Sunday. She got to know the ward a little bit and she shared a lot of her beliefs and feelings during class.

Yesterday we got to know some more of the members (Lago Sul is a relatively big ward). We ate dinner with Kurt and his family of 5 kids, and with a guy named David who just moved into the ward. In Lago Sul you see a lot of people who stay here for a determined duration of time at the embassy. David and Kurt both work with the embassy and will only stay for a determined amount of time. David is from BYU and is about to graduate. He also worked at Geek Squad and Apple so it was fun to talk to him about techy things and our funny experiences at Geek Squad. Kurt also works in the IT field doing web development and programming. I´m amazed that I´m finding people like this that have a lot of good advice for things I love. It´s great to work with the members here.

Oh and  just so you don´t worry about my dying from the heat, it rained on Friday. It felt wonderful. When it started I just stood still and got soaked for 5 minutes.

Considering it´s only been a few days, I don´t have much more news. But everything is just swell!



Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brasilian Zoo [Pictures!]

Hello Family!

This week was the hottest week since I´ve been here. Oh my. BUT! It doesn´t really bother me. I just feel like I´m in Arizona a little bit. :D

Eduardo came to church again this Sunday and we get to meet with him tomorrow in the afternoon. I always look forward to talking to him. During sunday school he asked a lot of questions and related that he understood the subject of vicarious temple work a lot better. He met some members and had good conversations with them too. 

We recently found a new sub-area in Lago Sul that looks very promising. We found people to teach just by walking around. It´s not gated and closed off like all the other places in our area so it´s easier to talk to people. 

We haven´t been able to teach Maria Rita recently. I really hope we can soon because her and Felipe are so humble and I can see directly how the gospel can affect them positively. Thank you for your prayers.

During the afternoon we have been visiting members and less active members to get to know them. We visited the previous American gospel doctrine teacher in our ward. His name is Reuel. He´s 68 or so, and served his mission in Brazil so he knows Portuguese. We met to discuss good ways to go about teaching Eduardo. Reuel is so cool. He gave us excellent advice and has a wealth of knowledge about the scriptures. He shared an experience about receiving personal revelation through pondering and praying about the scriptures that I learned a lot from. 

João is still as great as ever. He´s helping us teach new investigators and helping us teach his mom. His mom still hasn´t come to church and is shying away a bit from making a change but we´re hopeful and João is helpful in our lessons with her.

We visited with a less-active member, Raul on Saturday. A few weeks ago he attended a family night in the house of a member. That night we had talked about the iron rod in Lehi´s dream. When we met with him this time he brought up the story without us prompting it so I can tell he has thought about its importance. I asked him to read Mosiah 2 so we could talk about it the next time. I think he has realized what role the Book of Mormon used to have in his life and how he has missed it. 

Until next week!

- Bryce

Elder Young goes to the Brasilia Zoo with his District
Zoo Entrance
"Hi 911?  An amazon tiger is trying to scare me."

Brasilian Giraffes

Portugese Speaking Zebra
Amazon Elephant

Monday, September 10, 2012

Greetings Once Again!

Greetings once again!

First, thank you for your prayers, I have never felt the reality of unseen help as I have this past month. I´m so happy everyone is well.

We have in our apartment slash house a big stack of Ensign and Liahona magazines. It´s great to read the talks given at general conference and see the principles within directly applied to my experiences. I especially love the talk Concern for the One by Joseph B. Wirthlin that I found this week. Reading the Ensign, I´ve found, is a great way to practice and learn Portuguese while reading something very applicable. After reading many talks this week and being in the homes of many families, I want to echo Elder Robert D Hales in saying **The more I live, the more I recognize that the teaching moments in my youth, especially those provided by my parents, have shaped my life and made me who I am**. Thank you Mom and Dad for always making sure we eat dinner as a family and always taking the time to highlight gospel principles daily. The more I reflect on my experiences in my youth and experiences I have with people here, the more and more I appreciate the foundation I have been blessed with.

This week we taught Eduardo, Maria Rita, and Raimundo. I don´t know if I mentioned Raimundo yet. Ahhh, he´s so cool. He works at the entrance to the condominium of a member. He loves to talk to us (for work, he sits in the same room alone for almost the whole day) and he loves to ask questions and listen to us talk. He is getting married soon so lately we´ve shared what we believe about families and about eternal marriage. He says he appreciates our visits a lot and is always open to talk.

Eduardo continues to amaze me. Since Sunday he has been staying up late (sometimes till 3AM) reading the Book of Mormon and searching for answers to his questions. He has a huge desire to learn and really likes the Book of Mormon. He has a lot of questions. He is very logically oriented in his way of thinking and knows the scriptures very well. Our conversations with him are always fantastic. I learn so much from his perspective. He is out of town this week but he says he´s going to continue acquainting himself with the church and attending church to learn as much as he can and to evaluate more. He doesn´t just talk, he does. And I am so excited to continue visiting him.

Maria is so great. I love her family (Mom of João ). We watched The Testaments with her (about Christ´s visit in America) and she really liked it. When we have the chance to teach her (sometimes it´s hard to find a time to meet with her) it always goes well. We also gave a Book of Mormon to João´s brother and explained what it was. Experiences at their house are always great.

Until next week!



Monday, September 3, 2012


Hello. I´m a bit startled at the fact that I´m in this computer cafe place again already. Of course the weeks will get faster and faster as they go, but I didn´t anticipate this speed. I It´s hard to re-cap such a fast moving week. I´ll just start re-capping wherever my mind chooses.

Living in a house with other missionaries is great. It´s relaxing and nice to have people to talk to. Today was the first transfer since I´ve been here. My companion and I are staying in our area. We got a new missionary to live in our house now that got transferred to São Sebastião. I got to see a lot of the people that were in my district in the MTC today. It´s crazy how much you grow to miss your friends at the MTC after only 1.4 months. 

This week we visited Maria Rita and Felipe again. We also met her husband. They´re such a warm family. We talked more about the Book of Mormon and explained how we can receive personal revelation for our own lives. Felipe is such a cool kid. He read all the parts we asked him to read out of the Book of Mormon and he is always willing to pray. I know Maria feels the spirit that Felipe brings when he prays and I hope she can realize how happy she can be by reading the counsel of the Christ in the Book of Mormon. I´m always reminded of the attention Christ pays to children when I observe the families I get to visit. The more I open my eyes, the clearer the genuinity of children becomes. It´s wonderful, the synergy that this missionary work creates. In the Doctrine and Covenants we read that when the spirit is present in our interactions, the teacher and learner are edified. How true that is. Sure, being a missionary involves teaching, but the teaching is not done by the missionary. The missionary is only the instrument for relating the message of the gospel. I feel much more like a learner than a teacher. I continually learn from the people around me. I know that will be the theme of this time I have in Brazil.

We visited Eduardo this week. It was so refreshing to meet with him. He lives with such a bright curiosity. He has studied the beliefs and doctrines of many churches and he is self-driven to learn. I love finding people like him because people that want to learn more (Eduardo) naturally gravitate toward founts of knowledge like the scriptures. We spent a good amount of time just discussing the nature of God and of the scriptures. He goes to church by his own volition and wants to know that what we say is true is true. He wonders how people can just say (quotation marks) I know that this church is true (quotation marks). I like that he has this question because it enlightens the difference in mindset between members of the church and investigators of the church. How strange it must be for someone that is just becoming acquainted with the church to hear over and over that the members (quotation) know (quotation) something is true but struggle to find an explanation for how they know. It´s important that we, as members, explain how we gained a testimony, and why we know what we know is true. The wonderful thing about the communication of the Holy Spirit is that the feelings it brings--like love, peace, joy, long-suffering, kindness, pure intelligence-- are as undeniably real as something we can touch physically. Upon acting in faith, we can come to know without a doubt that something is true. Alma talks a lot about how we can develop this faith in Alma 32 in the Book of Mormon. 

I hope life is great at home!