Wednesday, July 28, 2010


How is everyone?!  (You can send me a letter to respond to that question :)!! )  I can tell you I am amazing here in Coite Brasil!  Things have just been going perfect!  Don’t get me wrong the work is hard but when you hit the most problems that’s when you know you must be doing something right! This transfer has just been a lot of fun its crazy to think another transfer starts today!  Speaking of transfers I have a new companion Elder Vieira, I have been living with him for three months so he just switched wards into my ward.  We are excited for this next transfer it should be a good one.  Well it happened this week! My trainer went home.  It makes you feel like your growing up in the mission when the Elder who trained you finally hits the end of two years! Best of luck to Elder Mierjewski. Thanks for being such an amazing missionary and teaching me what it’s all about! 

Well I guess I should apologize for not writing a letter last week. So I’m sorry and ill try and tell you what you missed now.  Lets start off with some of the fun stories. So it all started on a normal day just like another.  My companion and I were at a members’ house for lunch and after we had eaten we were sitting down about ready to share our message when the sister noticed I was sweating and she asked if I was hot?  I said “yes, I always am here in Brasil”.   She said I was crazy, and that it was freezing that day.  She then asked if she should open the door to let some air in.  I said it wouldn’t help I would still be hot and she just looked and me and said, "have you hit menopause?"  Story of my life right there...  What can you do but laugh when a grown woman asks you that question?  Then another day our district was walking home and a car pulls up in front of us and tells us to get in.   Of course we didn’t want to, but our District leader tells us to get in so my companion and I who don’t know this man.  We think he is a member so Elder Conrad starts to get in then our district leaders companion walks away so he has to leave and he says, "its ok just get in".  Well I’m not feeling very good about this, but what can I do, so we get in and he starts to drive. As he is talking I realized I can’t understand a word this man is saying, I mean I know my Portuguese is bad, but it isn’t that bad. And then I see that Elder Conrad has his door open a little bit as we were driving and I think to myself “huh that’s odd.” Well to say the least I am not loving this car ride -- I’m crammed in the back of this little two door car and every time we go over a bump the man throws his hand in the air and screams.  We almost hit a tree about three different times and somehow made it to our corner safely.  When we got out I asked my companion “why did you have your door open the whole time?”  He just responds, "the man was drunk so if I had to bail I could."  I’m thinking  “wait.... I WAS STUCK IN THE BACK!   I had no way of bailing out” ---thank you Elder. 

This week we played some more soccer and I’m getting pretty good at this little game! I made another goal this week with my HEAD. Yeah the Brazilians were pretty impressed. ha-ha (it was all luck but don’t tell them that) Oh yeah, the fun part of that story the field we played in had cows, dogs, ducks and geese running around the field so we were playing soccer in between all these animals and trying to not step in animal poop. It was an interesting time.

I trust all is well!  I love you all and am so grateful for your support! Remember to read the scriptures and pray daily, its better than an apple a day, it keeps Satan away!   Have a great week!

Elder Mender

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Brain is Fried

Mom,  I'm not writing a big letter this week.  Sorry, my brain is fried and I'm super tired.   I also forgot my planner at home so I don't have all the stories I wanted to tell.  I'll write more next week.   I hope you know I love you and check your Dartmouth account.  I sent a bigger letter to you.  I love you tons!  All is well, so don't be worried.  I'm just tired from a long week.  ;-)  But all is good right?

Miss you Mom.....Love you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Your Face is Cute!

Hello everyone!!!   I have had an amazing week here in lovely old Coite!  First off, some fun stories. I killed a fly with a toothpick. I will repeat that I killed a fly with a toothpick.  Yep I stabbed a fly how amazing is that?! I really wanted to show you a picture of it but the fly fell off the toothpick as I was carrying it home... so im sorry you don’t get to see the picture but its true!  I was pretty excited about that one!  

Second, on Monday we were at lunch at a members house and the craziest thing happened... he came out with a bb gun! I thought he was just going to show us his gun, but nope he wanted to shoot it!  So he and his friend set up a target in the back yard, which was just a old baby bottle, and then they proceeded (this was another you know you are in Brasil when moments) to shoot the gun from the living room through the dining room, kitchen and washroom to hit the target in the backyard it reminded me of a very redneck thing but I also think it is a Brazilian thing to it was pretty funny to watch this man and his friend shoot then run through the whole house to see how good there shot was. Very exciting day for me.  

Third, yesterday we were at a members house trying to get references and this very talkative six year old was having a lot of fun conversing with me and after a while she asked if I wanted to play a game and of course I love games so I said yes!  Well she went into her room and came out with a school workbook and then showed me a math page well I never liked math a lot but I figured I could do this six-year-old math and I was right!  So I started to tell her what numbers to put where and she stopped and looked and me and said, "you don’t know anything, I will show you how its done" and the she explained a very complex math system that I do not think has any logical bases but she ended up winning every time. Now of course I didn’t like this so I asked her if we could play another game and she said yes so I drew a tic tack toe board and I asked her if she knew how to play she said, "of course!"  And then had me go first so I put my x down and then she did the craziest move ever and drew a tic tack toe board in one of the squares of the tic tack toe board and exclaimed "I win!!"  When I asked how she said, "if I go here or here I win."   I felt like I had a flashback from when I was younger and playing with my brothers!  

And last but not least, one day last week we were sitting there teaching a family and this little girl I think she is three was sitting on her moms lap mumbling and rambling on about stuff. My comp and I were just sitting there laughing at her because she was too cute and then she stopped mid ramble and looked at me and said "your face is cute" and then just sat there grinning it was probably the funniest cutest moment of my life.  Priceless.  Maybe you had to be there....

Now on a more spiritual note, we have had some really fun experiences here.  If you remember the boy that we baptized last week well this week we were teaching his mom and she told us how she wanted to be baptized and one of the reasons was because last week she tried to tempt her son by making him coffee but he said, "Mom you know I cant drink that!"  How amazing is that?  He doesn’t even know how influential he is being in the salvation of his family. It is so neat to see how kids can change the lives of their families just by living and standing up for their beliefs.  And second I found out today that one of the people I was working with in Park City got baptized I practically jumped up and screamed right her in the land house because I was so happy to hear that.... everyone kind of looked at me weird but that’s ok.  I love this Gospel and I love this work!  It truly does change lives. I hope everyone is doing well and that you are remembering the important things in life, the things that truly bring happiness in this life and the life to come.
I love you all and am so grateful for your support!

Love, Elder Mender

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Crazy Food Gods

Bom Dia!
    Well it has been a wild week!  Another full week of rain!  Now in the states this isn’t really problem, but here they don’t have drying machines for your clothes (this made me laugh- It’s like he forgot the word dryer).... some of you might be wondering why this is a problem, well when missionaries can’t dry their clothes for a long time they can’t clean their clothes, and we as missionaries, only have a certain amount of clothes.  Not like teenage girls in the states, so by the end of this week we all ended up wearing wet clothes because we didn’t have dry clothes!  We have fans at home blowing on our clothes but that really just makes them a little less wet and a lot colder! So that was an adventure! It was interesting because this week I got sick again and cold!  It was a relief to feel cold for a bit even if I was miserable. Ha-ha but the good news today it is sunny and we have hope our clothes will dry out and maybe in a few weeks, our shoes will too! ;)
     This Sunday we had a baptism!  This one was a lot of fun because it was a young boy whose family we have been teaching and the parents have been kind of wishy washy but this week the boy said I want to be baptized. So we had the chance to baptize him and then after that his parents got really excited for his baptism and you can tell they are a little more anxious to make this convenant themselves.  It is very interesting what the courage of a young child can do to change the course of his family! 
    Also did you know Brazilians do not like twizzlers?!   I was shocked to find this out!  Who does not like this wonderful family treat that is perfect for going to the beach?!  I guess Brazilians. Well, me and my companion were first shocked to find this out, but then grateful that it meant we got to have the whole bag to ourselves.  The bag was gone in 2 minutes but that’s a different story....
  OK who in the world decided that liver was a good meat to eat?!?!?  At one of our lunches the Irma put this awful smelling and not normal looking beef in front of us and my comp was like "oh man..." and I was like "what?!"  and he said "ohhhh nothing" and I said "ohhhh crap"   so he asked if I wanted to know what it was and I said "heck no" and put a slab of it and my plate and, mom you would be so proud of me!  I ate that whole thing and I didn’t throw up!  Well after I was done, I said "ok Elder what was it that I just ate and you were to pansy to eat?"  And he said liver, well I wanted to throw up, but I didn’t. I took it like a champ.  That is called taking one for the team ladies and gentleman. You see irmas get very offended if you don’t eat their food so at least one of you has to eat it and for some reason it is always me that’s gets sacrificed to the crazy food gods but I suck it up and take it like a champ.  I am very grateful for all those times my mom made me sit at the table for three hours until I finished that tomato slice on my plate she truly was preparing me for my mission!  And because of those hours of crying and screaming at the dinner table are now paying off in Brasil when I get liver, and cow toe and chicken intestine placed before me.  So mom and dad I salute you, and thank you.
      One last thing!  I heard a talk I loved this week by Elder Packer and he shared a story that I think a lot of people know but I really like it so I’m going to share it.  he said that he likes to carve birds and one day he had a bird and he and a friend were taking this final project into town to show another friend (these birds take years make) and the friend driving it had to slam on the breaks and this beautiful bird fell onto the ground of the car and broke into pieces. Elder Packer says that and pulled the car over immediately and was devastated but Elder Packer just calmly said, "It's ok I can fix it" and he did just that" he fixed it and made it better and stronger and all this because he loved this little carving of a bird.  He then related how much more or master loves us the great Creator and how he will always fix us and help us be better.  I know this is true we all have to go through trial in our life every single one of us we have t be broken and crushed and burnt and mashed and stepped on and destroyed until we are humble and then the Lord will step in and help us because he loves us.  But we have to make the choice to let him help us! Are we doing everything we can in our lives to allow the Lord to fix us and make us better? Or are we mocking that sacred sacrifice of the atonement by not letting him in?
    I know that this Gospel is true and I hope you do too!  All you have to do is pray, read the scriptures, and go to church and you too can know hope you do just that!  I love you all and I hope all is well.  I’m so grateful for all your help and support!  Have a great week!

Love, Elder Mender

Greetings from Coite Brasil!


Bom dia,
Greetings from Coite Brasil!  It has been a wet week and for some people a cold one (i think they’re crazy) it is weird because here it doesn’t just rain it either pours buckets and gets you completely soaked in 3 seconds or mists and just makes it uncomfortable to work.  Despite the weather being against us we have kept our spirits high and the work moving forward. We have taught a lot of amazing lessons and seen the power if this gospel as we talk with these amazing people.  We have some amazing investigators who i am so happy to be working with. One named Marcia, i don’t remember if I've talked about her, but she is so closed to being baptized she knows everything she just doesn’t have the "desire" to be baptized yet which means something is up. So we will continue trying to help her she has been so much fun because in the middle of us teaching her she will turn and start teaching her children these important truths it really is neat thing to watch.  Another investigator is named Jesse he is a really humble man who wants to believe everything but hasn’t gotten his answer yet i feel that once he goes to church his doubts will be solved.  It has been a hard month to get people to church because of the world cup and the million holidays they have here. Either people aren’t home or if they are they don’t want to leave their home!  It’s been crazy.  Speaking of the world cup Brasil one their last game and we were trying to get some work done but as soon as they won every member of Coite ran out of their houses screaming and yelling with horns and drums and the streets were crowded i was scared for about the first 15 minutes thinking i was going to die.  I cannot imagine what it will be like if they win the world cup... i hope president makes us stay inside. I'm not a fan of working during the cup games you get yelled at a lot. Ha-ha but i guess that’s what i signed up for right!?  This week has been an interesting week and a fun one im so glad i have had the chance to serve here it really is amazing!
Yesterday was Zone conference, which was a really good zone conference.  We talked a lot about faith.  Faith is a very interesting principle of the gospel i feel it is so simple and yet so complicated.  Often times we think of faith as believing but it is that and more when you believe you will get up off the couch and go do something about your faith.  If we as missionaries have faith that we can baptize but then we sit at home all day it does nothing for us and our faith cant grow but when we get up and work, talking to everyone, teaching, and sweating every minute we see the fruits of our labors and our faith will turn into a perfect knowledge which is everyone’s goal is it not?
I know that God would not send us to earth without a way to return and live with him again. That way is the gospel, as we live the gospel as taught by Jesus Christ and his prophets and apostles our faith will grow and become a perfect knowledge of Christ.   I know that this Gospel is true i do not have a doubt of that.  I have started a fun little experiment, which i have learned a lot from.  As i have been reading the Book of Mormon and i see a promise from the Lord (or a prophet which means its from the lord) i have put it on a card and made it a goal to test that promise.  And as i do my part i really can see the blessings pouring down from heaven, more than the rain we have been getting. :)  I know that God wants to bless us he is just waiting for us to be obedient, to do our part, and then to ask.  So much is dependent on if we will ask. Prayer is such a sacred tool that we have to communicate with our Father in Heaven, i hope you all are daily praying and asking for whatever thing you need and then thanking for the thousands of blessings you have been given.  I know that gratitude will help strengthen your faith and is an important part of this beautiful Gospel.  I am grateful for all of you and your support i am so lucky to have you as friends and family.  I am grateful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ without whom i could not return to live with my Father in Heaven, my God, whom i love, serve, and worship with all my heart.
I hope you all are well and as happy as i am.  I love you all.


Elder Mender

World Cup Frenzy

Hello everyone,

Sorry this week wasn’t very exciting so I don’t have alot to write about.   But i hope you all know I love you and I’ll write more when I have more time and stories. I guess what I do have is this week we had a few funny things happen...

One the world cup has been insane people have huge banners and streamers that go over the street from house to house and Brazil colors are all over the place. You have no doubt what country you are in as you walk down the road.   Every time Brasil scores it  doesn’t matter where you are you can hear it as people scream and fireworks go off it is pretty exciting to be here during the world cup!

Second we went to an investigators house and I saw her walking down the hall so I waved to her and when her grandpa came to the door he told us she wasn’t home.... think about that one! 

And last, but not least my companion and I have been having a lot of fun as we work, it is amazing what a funny companion can do for the work!  This week has flown by and I’m not excited for it to end which means he goes home... it seems like all the Elders I become friends with go home! Why does everyone leave me? Story of my life tear, tear!! No, I’m just kidding! 

Oh one more thing!  So the next few weeks are a holiday called Saint John, I guess he is the Saint of the fireworks because the sale of fireworks and small bombs has increased and they seem to go off every few minutes.  It’s really annoying because kids find it funny to throw it at us.   Well more at me because I don’t pay attention when I walk and when it lands 5 feet from me and blows up really loud I jump pretty high!   A couple times I almost dived on the ground but I stopped myself. It really is a scary thing! haha  well that’s about it for this week.  I hope all is well.


Elder Mender