Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Baptisms and a new companion!!

May 21st, 2012


Dad Parabens with your marathon! Running and finishing in 3:39 is INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!! You should see the looks that I get when I tell people that you are running your 15th marathon! And when I convert the 26 miles to kilometers for them to understand it is funny. Someone this week was doubting that running 26.2 miles was possible! I told her that for me its impossible but for my superman dad its a piece of cake! I love seeing the reactions of people here when I show them pictures of us playing tennis, and the photo of mom and I doing the tri athalon! People don't believe that you two are old enough to be my parent :) They think that you are brothers and sister! ha And everything thinks that it is really cool how much our family works out and exercises! GO FAMILY!

So this week we had some BAPTISMS! It was a pretty darn crazy experience! So in the morning on Saturday we went and cleaned the font and we filled it up to the top! We left to teach some more and then we came back at 7 o'clock that night to prepare a little for the baptism at 7 30! We put all the chairs in place and get all the hymn books out and then we waited for the people to come! It was a good turn out and we got all ready for the baptism. The moms were there with the cameras and everyone was ready! So we started the meeting and we got to the part of the baptism. I went to baptise first one of the young men and I opened the door and my jaw dropped to the floor! The water was GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just stared and I couldn't believe what I was seeing! Ok, it wasn't all gone but there was about one foot of water left! I stopped and thought for a second! I was really happy that in the CTM we went over tons of situations that could happen during baptism. So I explained to the young men that we will stand and I will say the prayer and then after they will just have to lay completely down in the water. :) The water was just enough to do that. So we went right ahead and it worked perfectly! ha The baptisms were great and they were all confirmed on Sunday as well! It was an awesome experience!

I am glad that you liked the song that we sang haha Must of been inspiration to sing it for you all. And last week I sent the lyrics so you can read them. There is a scripture in there and a phrase in Portuguese :) Dad, that is awesome that you could understand what we were saying! That is really impressive! haha

So there is an elder here that is from Spokane that is returning this next week. His name is Elder Garcia and he is really awesome! He said that he will be going to the temple in Richland this next month and so I gave him your number and our address. I am going to send some pictures home to give to you all. And I told him that you would make him lunch or something.... haha Sorry I said that but you will love him! I told him to call and see when everyone is home! I wen on a division with him and he is a really good missionary!

But I love you all and I hope that everything is going great at home!

Elder Heath

May 28th, 2012

Hey Family!!!

Oh man a Bridal shower!!!!!!!!! That is crazy that Jessica and Todd are getting married! Marriage for me still seems a little distant in the future haha But I'm happy that the shower went well and that they opened a bread shop near costco! You should tell them to make SWEET BREAD! There is this sweet bread that almost every bread shop here makes! It has some sugar glaze on top and coconut! OH MY GOODNESS IT IS DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! haha It doesn't go exactly with the healthy thing but its so good!

Congrats on the 26 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so blessed to have such amazing parents. You two are the best example that I ever could of asked for! Have fun in Salem (try to avoid any black cats or witches ha) and dont kill dad with all that pollen in the air ;)

ha I liked the joke that you made dad... that it has been a year sense I have worked! hahaha On September 7th I learned the real meaning of work haha. But ya, the time has passed so fastly!!!!!!!!!!!!! It seems like I was at home training just the other day with you all. We don't receive money for being a missionary but seeing a family change their lives and watching others receive blessing from the gospel doesn't have a price.

21 days ago we found a family that had never been to church and had never really had a faith. When we came in the first thing they said was we are not going to church with the Mormons and you can try but we will never wear those goofy shirts and ties to church. haha this family has not missed a Sunday of church and this last friday we helped them be married in the central of Fortaleza, and then on Saturday we helped them fufil a covanent with their Heavenly Father through baptism. It was a really special day, and this family is so awesome! They have such big desires to go to church and to follow every single commandment. It was kinda funny when we were going to their wedding they were so nervous! They have been living together for 12 years and they have an awesome family but they had the wedding nerves. It was pretty funny to see. I ca'nt even imagine when it will be my turn, I am super excited! But after the baptism I was talking with the father of the family and I asked him how he felt. He looked at me with teary eyes and said`` this feeling I have is enough to beieive in everything`` (rough translation) haha It was really special and I got a little teary eyed as well.  After we had dinner at their house and they were telling us about how 21 days ago they didn't want to go to church, never thought in being married, paying tithing, following commandments.... then you guys came and 21 days later you two did all of this! haha It was funny but I love this family so much!

The food is pretty calm here in my area, but there is tons of ice cream! Of all kinds, chocolate, fruits, all!

I love you all and I know that Christ lives!

Elder Heath

p.s. I also have a new companion!!!! Elder LINS!!!!!!!!! he is a Brazilian and I just meet him 2 hours ago. I don't know much but he is SUPER SMART! He is a computer programmer and he seems like a good missionary. He has 1 year and 8 months! so one more year than me! I will let you know more next week! love you!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day!!

HEY HEY HEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Man it was so awesome to hear all of you yesterday! It is so funny that when I heard you call I stopped and that feeling when you are at the top of Tremors ready to go down came over me. haha I was so excited to talk to you all! Sorry if my English wasnt up to par but I was trying. haha It was actually really hard to talk and think in English. I think that menas that I need to practice my English a little more. My companion felt pretty good correcting my English for me. But it was so awesome! That time passed SOOOO FAST! I wrote a list of things to tell you all just in case I couldn't think of what to say, but I didn't say any of them. So today in my letter home I will tell you all about them! haha
Could you understand what we sang in the song? Did you like the song? I was thinking all week what I could do for you on your special day, and I figured that we are always singing anyways so we should sing to my special mom :) We were practicing waiting for a member to make lunch and we were writing the words, I think the member thought we were crazy but its all good. :)
Ha, did you understand the portuguese? Did Dallin translate for you? ha I have been trying to get a brazillian accent so badly! I still sound like an american but I will get it there with practice. You think my english has an accent? Oh boy, that is exactly what I want!!!!!!!!!!! WOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! But you could all understand right? ha
My companion wanted to ask if you all understood him? And two days ago, if mom understood him. He has been practicing a lot and I have been helping him. He has a friend that is going to BYU right now and I think he is thinking about going there after the mission as well so he is trying to learn English as well. It is amazing how much it is a dream of so many Brazillians here to go to BYU. Just in my ward there are about 6 people learning English so they can study at BYU. It really is an amazing College. Maybe BYU will be in my path when I get back too :)
Dad, I wanted to tell you as well that today I was brushing up on my Spanish as well! One day I want to learn Spanish! There is a guy from Uraguay that is going to get married to a Brazillian in our ward. He served a mission and everything but he doesn't speak anything of Portuguese! So I remember a little Spanish from class and from dad so he hung out with us during church and I was able to translate a little for him. I'm not going to lie, his accent was super heavy and I have a TON I need to learn in Spanish but It was an adventure trying to understand him :)
Mom, I am glad that you had a wonderful mothers day, and I know you had 4 wonderful kids at home that love you so much! And you have one more here in Cecilia Brazil that Loves you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm working hard and keeping the rules for you :)
Hey, about the package, Just to re-state, a heavy duty jump rope would be awesome to get a little more into shape haha, and some oreos to gain it back ;) The guitar capo that is in our house. And I thought a little I don't need the hymn music for the guitar. And Elder Mauricio said if the wallet is more than 10 bucks don't worry about it. :) and I was craving Rasberry Jelly the other day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So I don't know if it is in season yet, but if you could score some that would be awesome!!!!!!!!!!!  
But I love you all so much and it was so good to hear your voices again! Just another 8 more months and then we will talk again! I will practice my English a little more for you all by then :) I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sorry about the wait.... here's Branden's last few letters. :)

April 23rd, 2012
TRANSFERS CAME THIS LAST FRIDAY AND CURRENTLY I AM IN CECILIA FORTALEZA WITH ELDER MAURÌCIO!!!!!!!!!!! My new comp is from sau paulo and he is really awesome!
Before we received the phone call I was feeling pretty darn ready to see a new area and to meet more people or to have a chapel. But when I actually got the call that I was leaving I stopped and thought... maybe I don't want to go. Staying in this area for so long, I got really attached to a lot of people and I made a lot of really good friendships. I never thought that Saying goodbye would be so difficult to everyone. There is one family that helped me so much with the language and always feeling welcomed and they were always there for me. Almir, Alini, Victoria, Sabrina, nana. When we went to their house to tell them I was leaving The words came out and a tear came from my eye. It was really sad, and the little 2 year old started crying as well. I was thinking ow crazy the life of a missionary is. We get so attached to the people here and we have so many good times together, then one day we have to pack up and leave and maybe never return! crazy!
But We had a really cool experience yesterday at church. We have been doing activities and those have been getting the ward excited! So we have had more and more people visiting church on Sunday. But there was this girl that had visited church for 4 weeks now but every time we went to her house to teach her, she was never home. But during her Sunday school she went p to the teacher and she said I don't know why I feel this way, but I feel like I need to be baptized today! The teacher ran to get up and to talk too us. We found out but we had not taught this girl anything! How can we baptize someone we have not prepared? So we stopped, said a prayer and we started talking to this investigator. She said she has this special feeling and it was like some small voice was telling her that she needed to be baptized that day. So we decided to do what we could. We went to talk to her parents about baptism and they have lots of family that are already members and they were very open to the idea of baptism, and that if she feels that way she should follow her feeling. That alone was a miracle because that was a first for us. Then we went on a wild chicken race to find our district leader to do an interview! We searched and searched and searched..... and finally found them walking. We pulled over our car, and they did the interview in the car. Because there were no other member close. She passed the interview and so everything was good to go with the baptism. It was amazing to how much she knew about the church, from going to church for 1 month and from having other family members in the church! We basically didn't need to teach her anything! We went back, ate a little lunch and then we had the baptism at 4 that afternoon! It was a miracle! This goes to show that when someone has the will to do something you can always find a way, because Our heavenly father will prepare a way for us!
I love all of you!
Elder Heath
April 30th, 2012

You guys look awesome in the pictures that you sent me! And it sounds like once again you all had a busy week! Stealing swing sets and buying ophnoes and tennis matches! Sounds like my family is having an awesome time! That makes me happy! But this week has been Awesome! I will explain a little about what has happened! My New companion is from Santos which is close to Sao Paulo. And he lives right on the beach! He has one year and 8 months here and he is an awesome missionary! We have a lot in common! He loves singing and he Speaks English FLUENTLY!!!!!!!!!! And he hardly has no accent which is really cool! So we have a good time singing in English in the streets! We decided that we are going to try out to sing with the Mormon tab after the mission! He also sings with SOUL! We have a good time singing music from Remember the Titans! ``Aint no mountain high, aint no valley low``! haha but he also has a personality really similar to mine. He likes talking to everyone and he has lots of good examples for lessons! We now bring our hymn books with us to start lessons to invite the spirit! haha its awesome! 

Our new area is a lot different than my last area. We don't have any dirt roads here and there are a lot more shops and main road here. And we have a chapel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! woo hoo!!! Air conditioning!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a lot different than having church in our house church! Our area is also pretty stinking big! Lots of walking and I'm getting buff legs! I have also been doing push ups everyday and I'm up to about 50 now at one time! haha But we also live with 2 more missionaries in a little house. It is ok though, we are never in our house haha. One other Elder who is our LZ (brazillian) lived in provo for 2 years as well. cool stuff!

But we had 9 people at church this week and we are looking at having lots of baptisms this next week! We are definitly getting blessed with references and this week it seems like everything went perfectly! haha Everyone read and everyone went to church! I love it! Definitely a good way to start off a new area! I am also teaching an English Class here! It is funny all the questions people have, and how in English we don't have rules! You just have to memorize words haha

But I love my life and I am learning a ton of things! Keep busy and achieving all you want!

YOUR Elder Heath 

Also next week I will send information about the calling time and what is happening! I will try to plan it for about 3 o'clock your time. I am sending this letter at 4 46 here :) 
May 7th, 2012

Man it is good to hear from my beloved family!
So really quick I will update you guys on the phone call. Ya it is going to be the same thing as Christmas. We will call you and then you will call us back! Man its going to be nice in that air conditioned room! ;) So I am going to be calling at 7:00 pm Brazil time on Sunday . So I believe that is 3:00 your time :) But before that we are going to call on Saturday to set up the call. I will try to call the cell phone around the same time. 3:00 your time. :) We will get everything squared away haha there is one downside though. We have a new rule that we can only talk for 40 min. I don't know what happened or why, but what presidente says is for our good...
Sounds like this week you all are getting to spend some good family time together! Dad, the name teancum timbers sounds really really familiar. As you are going up to blue wood is it on the right hand side, where you go down a little and there is a river and everything? Maybe I am remembering another place. But I'm sure you MEN had a good time camping! I loved fathers and sons so much! I remember going with dad, Jordan and christian and Neal and Preston. Good old times! Do you remember that time christian and I were breaking rocks and one flew back and hit me in the forehead and left a huge goose egg? haha oh boy. And Mom you played mario cart! That is awesome! It is on here in a year and 4 months! haha That coconut icecream sounds delicious!
This week was awesome! Our mission President has been making a new focus in the mission. We are going and re activating members in our areas more. And at first this sounded a little strange but it really was inspiration. There are so many non active members here in Brazil it is crazy! Because of missionaries baptising people that don't have testimonies and just want to baptize. So we have been working with the less active members and we found a great family two weeks ago. We started teaching them again and they decided to come back to church because they knew something was missing in their lives. It was awesome to see them and one other ls active family come back to church. But later this week we were visiting with the first family and found out that their daughter was not baptized yet. We spoke to them about baptism and the daughter was really excited! It was a really special meeting to have the whole family smiling together watching the baptism of their daughter, or sister.
I love you all and I know that this church is the true church of Christ. He is our Salvador and redeemer. I love him. I also know that the power of the priesthood is real! and that we need to be worthy to use our priesthood at all times.
Elder Heath
1 Baptism with new comp
2 THE HULK!!!!!!!!
3 Showing brazillians how to stick pull! haha