Monday, August 12, 2013

Branden arrives on August 20th around noon at the Pasco Airport
He will report his mission at 1 pm at the Hansen Park Building in Kennewick on August 25th, 2013.  
Please feel free to come support him:)

The Best Two Years...last E-mail of Branden's Mission

August 12, 2013

The Last Letter!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is the last e-mail that you will all need to send me. My plane is scheduled to leave at 3:30 in the afternoon the next week, but Presidente And Sister Fusco want to do something special for us, so I don’t believe that I will have any computer time. That is really weird to say... the last e-mail. The same thing that you explained is running through my head. I am So Excited to run off the plane and to be with you all again, But I feel like I am leaving all of my Brazillian family behind. But until now, I have only had about 5 min to ponder about all of that so it isn’t weighing me down too much. Don’t worry mom, you have the first hug!!!;)

Yesterday a missionary that arrived together with me met up with his mom here in Brasil. He lives together with me, and his mom came to visit Brasil for one week together with him. While we were waiting for him mom to arrive I began to get butterflies... and it wasn’t even my mom haha. I think it is a glimpse of what I will feel here in a week. It has been interesting to see the missionaries that are going home and watch their behavior. Everyone with their head high, and strong testimonies getting on the plane. Putting myself in their place I am very grateful for my mission and everything that I have passed, because now I can walk with my head high and my testimony and not look back. Last night my first companion (Elder Cornwell) had his last dinner! He had to go home a week early and so we got to dine with him and Presidente Fusco. While we were there they also had the dinner for the Brazillian Fathers day... HAPPY FATHERS DAY AGAIN DAD!... We were in the presence of Elder Torgan an area seventy, and Elder Godoy´s parents (a member of the seventy). To hear their testimonies was incredible, and also to hear my first companion’s testimony and to see how much he has grown is great. He Lives in Richland WA so we will see each other a lot after the mission ;)

This week was CRAZY!!! We are working on transfers... and we are helping Presidente with some changes that need to be made in the mission. So until Thursday we were in meeting all day and all night! The good thing about that is every hour that I am with Presidente Fusco I am learning. We also get to eat with him, where normal missionaries can’t afford to eat ;) We then had an assignment from Presidente to do a division with another missionary on Friday to see if he is ready for more responsibility. So we arrived on Saturday for the first time in our area! Our numbers were horrible, and three of the numbers that presidente looks at the most are baptisms (we called our baptism every day, and taught her through the phone and she was baptized on Sunday!), Investigators at church, and new investigators. We went out inviting everyone to church and teaching new families. We taught 20 new investigators and we were able to get 7 people at church too! That is completely with the help of the Lord! I am very grateful that He is watching over me. So even with all the meetings and tasks we were able to have a productive week!!!

I have been praying for experiences to strengthen my testimony, and also I have been praying for energy and power to finish my mission on FIRE!!! Sunday I received my answer. When I entered the waters and put my arm to the square I got a feeling very strongly in my chest. I looked around at everyone that was watching the baptism, and I saw the real reason of why we are here as missionaries. Not just to baptize everyone, or teach as many people possible, but to build a big family in the church. Help others work together, and grow together until they reach the Celestial Kingdom! It was a great feeling.

This next week is going to be even more rushed then last week! We are going to finish the transfers with Presidente Fusco, and We are also going to have 5 zone conferences!!! Today we are here preparing the training all day on our P day, so we can give trainings all week to the missionaries at the zone conferences. Then we are going to have dinner with the families that are visiting their missionaries Saturday night with President Fusco. Then we are going to have out last interviews Sunday afternoon and dinner Sunday night! We are not going to have time to breathe!!! But that is exactly how I wanted to finish my mission Sprinting!

I Know that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. I know that The restoration happened and that Joseph Smith Saw God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. Every time that I hear the words of Joseph sited I feel that it is true. I know that the Book of Mormon was written by ancient Prophets for our days like Nephi explained at the end of his writings. I know that My life has been changed because of this church, and I know that our family will be together forever!

I love you all!!!

Elder Heath

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Best Young Men's President!

August 5, 2013


There is a feeling that is passing through my heart after reading this e-mail... EXCITMENT!!! These next couple of weeks are going to be some of the best weeks in my life!

Thanks for the marriage tips, I will defiantly pass them to our couple that are preparing to be baptized! It’s not that I am tired of being single... because I am 19.... wait 21 years old!!!!!!!!!! WHAT?! ha I just love seeing married couples and seeing how they are so happy with their families. It is my goal, but this goal is not rushed... I have until Christmas ;) They are doing better every time that they go to church and participate of the ward activities. We have marked their weeding for the 16th of Aug, and the baptism on the same day!

On the 17th there will be a ward activity happening where all the members are going to the beach to have a picnic. Then the 18th while I will be having dinner with President Fusco and his family, They will both be confirmed as members of the church. Thank you so much for the prayers and please continue. We are doing our best to have FHE at their house and send member couples to visit them. When we passed there Sunday morning, I was very happy to see a member there already reading the Book of Mormon together with them. The ward where we are is great! Our bishop works really hard and our leaders are amazing! Our young mens leader is such a great example for everyone. I took a picture of him because I will send his story to the liahona! He was a leader in the baptist church but when he said a prayer and asked if the church was true he changed everything. Everyone rejected him and he continued the happiest man on the earth! He shortly after was called to be a young mens presidente! For three years he gets on his bike 2 hours before church and gets every young man out of bed and brings them to church. He goes around getting more and more people until he has a group of 25 bikes following him. Some members have trouble getting to church 5 min before, and Brother Luis gets there early every week, after waking up 25 young men which is not easy.

We had several missionaries that are getting ready to go home because of injuries, and it is very easy to get sad and depressed. We are calling these missionaries every day with a scripture, or a how are you? to help them.

About the next assistant, I did a report for Presidente Fusco about the missionaries that I feel are ready and why. He said thanks and took the report. It is tradition on the mission to only know who will be what, and who your companion is the day of transfers. So I don’t think I will find out who the next assistant will be. But I have a good feeling about who it will be. This week is full of meetings!!! I am at President Fuscos house right now for the whole day!!! (it is very nice here!!!) We are going to have meetings all day, and eat lunch whit his family. We are going to prepare a mission training for the zone leaders, and then we are going to have three zone conferences this week where we will train the missionarios as well. I have a feeling that his week is going to FLY BY!!!

This last week we did divisions with the missionaries and we had a week full of WORK!!! We wake up in the morning thinking about who will be baptized this week, and go to bed thinking about who will be baptized the next week. Elder Sampaio is helping me a lot with the work and staying focused. He sings ``the end is coming`` every day and tells all the members that I am going home tomorrow. haha

Yesterday I was able to bare my testimony to our ward. I felt really good being able to see my testimony grow so much in these two years. I think before my mission I had lots of beliefs and hopes. But here on the mission I have gained a testimony that these things are true. I have seen them work in my life and the lives of others. More importantly I have felt the truth of the church and the doctrines. I didn’t even cry ;) Following me my companion Elder Sampaio bore his testimony and it really touched me. He isn’t the type to say thanks, or share his feelings with me. But he began to cry and said thanks for everything that I have taught him and for everything that we have done together. I was very surprised and happy to hear his testimony.


Elder Heath

Stopped by a Policeman in a Humvee!

July 29, 2013

Clark, Becky, Cassie, Danielle, Trevor,

Thank you for the wonderful letter this week. Sounds like everything is calming down a little, the last couple of weeks of summer are coming up! I am very excited to see the new Josh. I was in the MTC together with him at the beginning of the mission. I have changed a lot here on the mission and so I just imagine everyone else as well. I heard this week that Caleb got engaged too!!! That is crazy! I have lots of work to do when I get back from the mission.

This afternoon we arrived in the office and Presidente said, I hope you haven't eaten lunch!!! I already knew that was a good sign. He took us to a Steak house that was REALLY NICE! We went together with his family. I have not been to a place like this in so long! I am so used to the restaurants that sell all you can eat for $3, When they brought hot towels for us to clean our hands before we ate I knew something was different! I tried for the very first time sushi too! Wow it was GOOD!!!!!!!! I can still feel the burn of wasabi on my tongue! We arrived there and Presidente Fusco explained why he took us to eat with his family. He told us that our work this last week was worth a trip to Disneyland(Here in Brasil that is a BIG thing) haha. We worked our tails off this week, President Gave us a goal and we Passed it in our numbers of baptisms and all of the other numbers. I didn't know that our work would result in this kind of treatment! By the time I get home I will have gained some pounds eating at this restaurant! ;)

We had a wonderful meeting with Elder Godoy this week. It inspired the missionaries and he was able to explain in more details about the missionary and member work. We are working as a team now and the results are a lot higher. After the meeting Elder Godoy called me to have a personal interview which was very special. It was great to learn from him and see his example.

We have several missionaries that are on a list for my replacement :( . through Prayer and the divisions I have been able to narrow that list down to three missionaries that I will pass to Presidente Fusco with a description about every missionary. He will Pray about it and Choose who it will be. On the divisions the missionaries only ask me trunky questions... haha. What is the first thing that you will do when you get home? Did you know you will be able to date in 4 weeks? I had a missionary ask me, What does it feel like to end your mission? I haven't even thought about these things, and on the divisions I was thinking.... hmmm what is it like? What will I do? haha

This week we have Zone Conferences. We are going to do it a little different this week. We are going to pair up twio zones and do a smaller zone conference instead of everyone together. So Elder Sampaio and I are goin to prepare our training to give to the zones. We learned from Elder Godoy about teaching principles to the missionaries. If you want a missionary to teach more new investigators you don't tell the missionary in his face to do more new investigators, but you teach about Work, or Diligence and so while he is listening the spirit can touch him and guide him to what he really needed to change.

We had a pretty crazy experience this week too. We were walking in one of the more dangerous areas of town and while we were walking, a police car (humve) screeched to a stop at our side. They rolled down the window and yelled, Where are you going!. I was thinking alright, these guys are going to try to send me back to the states! My companion was thinking, they think we have drugs in our backpack. Elder Sampaio answered quickly I don't know where we are going. haha The police man said, you don't know? They in a calmer voice he said come on in, we will give you a ride. I looked at the man in the front with a shotgun in his hands and thought.... ok. haha We found out that the driver is a member that always gives rides to missionaries. It is a hobby to scare missionaries haha.

We have a special couple that we are working with that are very dedicated to the church. They are going to all of the activities and going to church. We planned their weeding for here in a couple weeks. They are having some troubles with fighting over little things though. If you all could pray for them that would be great. But they have gained a testimony that when they go to church they don't fight, but when they miss church the little fights start.

There is another couple that will get married after I leave. They are very in love with the other, but we are helping them to stop smoking. We bought everything that we could think of to substitute the smoking and we found a cure!!! Oranges!!! Everytime that they hae the urge to smoke they drink orange juice!!! It is working too! They have been praying a lot and eating lots of oranges and the want to smoke is passing! WOO HOO!!!

I love you all so much and I hope you have a wonderful week!!!

Elder Heath

P.S The money was perfect, I am learning how to go a long way with little money. And Elder Sampaio is the expert in negotiating too so that helps ;