Monday, December 19, 2011

December 19, 2011 Letter

Well this has been a great week. We had some cool things this week. First, we had a christmas devotional with President Lanius. All of the zones had 1 person speak, then everybody sang a song. It was really cool. The spirit was strong. And i only messed up on the piano 1 time.... oops. But afterwards we had lunch... Wow... It was the thanksgiving meal that i had missed... turkey out the wahzoo.... They even had gravy!! I didn't even know that existed here!

So, have I told you guys about ...... and .......? They´re a couple we´ve been teaching for some time now. They know the Book of MOrmon is true, but he was just looking for the "certainty" that it was really true. Well anyways, we fasted that they could recognize its true. And yesterday they came to church!! Their baptism is marked for this Saturday... I´m dreaming of a white Christmas... haha. Its going to be soooooo great. I love you all. Have a merry christmas. I love ya

Elder Tracy

December 12, 2011 Letter

Ya, so the woman i told you about,  She´s great. We´ve really been focusing on her. But this week we had two experiences with her. First it turns out that she´s not married... But she´s getting married in February... I´ve never been so dissapointed to find out that someone´s going to get married!! Why cant the people we teach already be married? Wouldn't that be easier?... But, she´s great. We also taught the Word of Wisdom. It just so happened that that day she was having a headache... and a lesson about a law of health, and how she could be healthier and happier was just what she needed... Interesting how things turn out perfectly....

We also are teaching a boy named ...... He´s 10 years old... He doesn't know how to read, but he´s a great kid. He lives in Nova Goiana, an area really far away(which by the way we go to everyday). But he comes to church alone... He comes to activities during the week. And yesterday was stake conference, the bus to go the stake center left at 7:30, and he woke up way early to go. He´s great. I think we´ll have his baptism this weekend. Wish us luck.

Ya, stake conference. President Eyring was there! And Elder Cook! haha it was a satelite transmission... But it was cool. President Eyring is funny... At the beginning there was an Elder from the Quorum of the 70 speaking in Portuguese.. Presidente Eyring just had this look of amazement... haha It was great.

Haha, Utah sucks at basketball.... Merry Christmas to me!!! hahaha

I love you all. Have a great week. Remember, the church is true.

Elder Tracy

December 5, 2011 Letter

Well, another week come and gone... This week was great.

So, this week was good. Elder Barbosa is training now... His companion is Elder Linton. He´s from Mona... Close to Nephi... Turns out he knows Jacob Howell... Weird huh? There are 7 billion people on this planet... It´s just crazy how small the world is, and how many people we know...

So, investigators... We taught a woman named .... She´s a stud! She knows the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet... She just didnt want to mark her baptism till after she went to church... and guess what?! She went to church yesterday!! And loved it!! So now we just go there, mark it, then do it. BAM! It´s going to be great! We´re also going to work with her husband... He "goes" to Assembleia de Deus... (By the way, do you guys know of a church in the US called Assembly of God, or something??? Because I cant think of any.. then again Im not that familiar with other religions...)

Other good news, yesterday we had 7 people at church!!!!!! It was sweet! We´re really going to work with these  people this week because they´re the ones putting forth the effort to know... So, they´re ready!! Yes!!

We had an interview with President Lanius on Friday. It was great. I love him so much. He shows so much concern and love. You can really tell that he wants the best for us. Especially his hugs... My goodness... Its the best hug ever! Maybe its because i cant hug many people... But his hugs just show so much love and concern. Their great.

Well thats about it. I want you all to know that we need to be happy. We have the true gospel of Jesus Christ!! Lets help everyone else know the same thing!!! Dont worry, about a thing... Because every little thing, is gonna be alright... Because we have Jesus Christ!!!

I love you all. Elder Tracy

November 28, 2011 Letter

So guys, how is everyone? This week was good for us... Kinda.. It´s really tough. We don't really have any strong investigators... Those we did have are really starting to show that they aren't interested... So that's been kinda rough...

But the good news... We found a woman who is pretty interested... She read, she just forgets to pray... But, she will. We´re going to have a family night with her tonight. That should be great.

We also found a woman carrying some buckets of water.. We helped her and then she invited us to talk with her. She´s really interested. She´s going to come to church next week...

That's about it. Goiana is going... slowly, but going for sure. Love you all. Elder Tracy

November 21, 2011 Letter

Well hey guys, I had a good week. Nothing really exciting happened other than Zone Conference. It was great. President Lanius was great. I know he´s inspired because he talked about what i was needing. It was really great. Yesterday we went to the branch choir it was good to sing with everyone... Things are going great here. Love you all. Elder Tracy

November 14, 2011 Letter

Hey guys,
This last week was pretty good. Our ´invetigators´ are kinda slow, but we´re working hard. But, this last week something really cool happened. So, we´re kinda low on funds and we had to do a course online. But if we did we wouldn't have enough money to go to district meeting this week. But we decided to do it and have faith that we´d get there somehow. So we did. Did the course and went to lunch. Lunch turned out to be money.... They gave us 40 Reais, which is double of what we usually get.... But it gave us the opportunity to eat and save money for the passage to district meeting.. It was really an answer to our prayers. I know that the Lord answers our prayers, even if its something simple. I know He´s there listening and wanting to help. We just have to do our part and ask. It was great.

I hope you all know that I love you. Have a great week, and make good choices... haha
-

November 7, 2011 - Picture

November 7, 2011 Letter

Hello,
So this week was really good. On Tuesday we received the challenge to baptize this week. President Lanius said that there were people in every area that were ready to be baptized. So, this week we focused on just that. We currently have nobody in our teaching group that could be baptized, so we started looking for former investigators. We asked members, looked through the area book... everything. We had a really cool experience. We had a list of people that we could visit. So, we said a prayer and asked for help. After, we both felt good about the same person. So we went there. There there is an amazing family... They are super friendly, loving, have testimonies of the book of mormon... Everything... almost. There was a problem with some of the members.... But, we both know that the Lord sent us there for a reason. Maybe it didnt end in baptism this week, but Heavenly Father knows whats best for us...

Also, yesterday we had the chance to follow the spirit again. We were walking to talk with one of the stake counselors. But, i felt like going to a house of one of our investigators... So, I did so, rather suddenly. Elder L. Ribeiro even said, `wow, what are you doing?` But we got there and started teaching her. Asking her questions and such. At the end she accepted to read the Book of Mormon and pray. She told us that she knew we were sent from God, because we taught with love while others teach with fear. She said she really appreciated the care and concern we have for her son. She told us the way to a mothers heart is through her children. And she knew that we were really there to help her. It was just a really cool experience. A great moment to realize the important of following the spirit always. To always be a disciple of Christ, because people are paying attention. It was cool.

This week was really good. I´m doing great and I hope you all are too. Love you all.

Elder Tracy

October 31, 2011 Letter

Well, this week was the complete opposite of last week... Last week was full of miracles, faith, and baptism... this week not so much... We worked so hard, walked so much, and taught almost nothing... I dont know what it is was, or is... We´re working, trying, praying, but having very little success.. It´s been a hard week...

But it´s made me think a lot. Life isnt easy, especially on the mission. Some times it´s really hard. Even in the Book of Mormon, there are many examples of prophets who were afflicted because of the people... I feel that way right now. We´re working hard, doing all we can, but Im pretty weighed down in afflictions... But, I know life isnt going to be happy and easy all the time, even if we are doing what´s right. But when we do what´s right we qualify ourselves for that "never-ending happiness". And that´s what´s important. Maybe we´ll have times in life that are less happy than others, but while we endure to the end, we can live happily ever after.

But, just one experience to show a little of our trials... We found a woman, who accepted to be baptized on my birthday.(yay!) But we went back 2 days later, and she told us that "her" pastor talked with her and said she couldnt get baptized in our church because her name was already in that church... hmmm.... How is her name in that church if she´s never been baptized? And who is he to take away her agency, Satan?... But, things were just this way this week. It´s been tough, but we´ll get through it. We´ll come out of this stronger and more faithful.

Happy Halloween! I love you all.

October 24, 2011 Letter

Well,

This week has been great. Training has been a new experience, but its really helping me grow a lot. His name is Elder L.(Lucas) Ribeiro. He´s from Curitiba, the same stake as President Lanius. He´s a great Elder, who´s willing to follow all the rules and always do what we should do.

This week we had an amazing experience. When he got here I was thinking of who we could baptize this week. President Lanius told us we need to baptize every week. It´s a steep goal, but not impossible. But we only had one man at church last week, ...... So, we decided to fast and pray for him. So we did. It turned out really good. The next day we went to his house and he was so happy! He told us that his day had been amazing! Everything was just going good for him. So we took that opportunity and invited him to be baptized. He said Yes! It was amazing! We´ve spent the week talking a lot with him, and yesterday was his baptism. He´s a great man, who I really think will stay strong in the church. But, the lesson I learned is the power of faith and prayer and fasting. There´s a scripture, Matt. 19, that talks about how things are impossible with men, but with God, all things are possible. It´s so true. Everything. All we need to do is have faith and turn to Him, put our trust in Him, and He´ll take care of the rest.

But this week has been great. I love training. It´s really helping me become a better missionary and a better person. Im learning a lot everyday. Sometimes I feel like Im being trained over again. Someone with the energy and spirit of a new missionary. It´s really motivating to be a better person. I love the mission. It´s amazing. I love you all, I´ll talk to you next week.

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17, 2011 Letter

Well, how is everybody doing? Things this week have been pretty good. Me and Elder L. Santos are getting along great and things are going good. But, there are a few things, or news items, that maybe you guys would like to know.

First, we had a Mission Tour with Elder Mazzagardi. He spoke to us for quite a while... It was pretty intense. He talked about a lot of things, but lets just say I think the mission here is going to get better. I know that i feel more motivated to do the best i can to be the missionary, and person the Lord know that I can be, that He wants me to be.

We taught two men that are pretty cool. One named Ailton, who stopped us on the street. We invited him to church, and he went! Turns out he was taught by missionaries quite a while ago. He really is elect. The members here in the branch love him. He really just needs to be baptized. The second man is Nanau. We found him on the street as well. He stopped us and asked if the church has any black, or dark members because he´s never seen any. We answered that there are darker people in the church... and marked a day to visit. When we taught him, it was really cool. He was really interested, and asked a lot of questions, like, "What did God tell Joseph Smith? How can I know this is true? Now what?" He really is a cool guy. WE invited him to come to church next Sunday, and i really hope he does.

Well, that's just a bit of the week. But know that I love you all. This church is so true. Read the Book of Mormon. Its amazing.

Elder Tracy

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 10, 2011 Letter

Well, this week was a good one. Busy, but good. We had some good experiences, and some good learning experiences... Our area is kinda far from everything. Its an hour from district meeting, and i feel kinda in solitary here. Goiana is a lot different than in Recife. Recife is buildings, lots of people, lots of the hustle and bustle of city life. Here is the exact opposite. Here has a nice calm quiet lifestyle. But, the city is huge. Also, has lots of other cities that are in our area. But, we probably wont spend very much time in those areas...

Ok, well some of the experiences this week. We did a lot of contacts... I don't know why, because Elder L. Santos already has 4 months here, but we seem not to have any investigators. hmm... But, we talked with a lot of people. That's not the hard part. The hard part is talking to them again. It seems like they dont want anything to do with us... Hmm... Strange... But, gives us lots of room for improvement.

We did happen to have a baptism. His name is Ygor. He´s 16. He accepted everything we taught. Then I found out he´d already been taught by 8 elders. But he accepted everything. Even the earring. We talked about it and he took it out right then and said he´d never use it again. It was pretty cool.

Also, we did a division with the Zone Leaders. I went with E. Meyers. Turns out that he has family that lives in Mapleton... So ask Grandma Olsen. I'm sure she knows them. Maybe... But E. Meyers is an awesome missionary. I really look up to him a lot. We talked about some problems here and how to overcome them. He really helped me a lot.

Well, life here in Goiana is good. Different, but good. I'm learning a lot, including learning how to sleep on the ground, take showers with a 2 liter bottle of water, and even had an opportunity to lead the branch choir. Life is good. It really is. I love being a missionary. I love you all. Until next time.... Elder Tracy

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 3, 2011 Letter

Well, it´s been quite the week. Last Monday night we got a call saying we would recieve another companion. So Tuesday, after district meeting we went to the office to get him. His name is Elder Pincerno. I guess he was having some "real" difficulties with his other companion... But, he´s doing good now.

Another exciting thing was Rusivel. He´s really an amazing person. We talked with him and everything with the Zone Leaders, and they kinda did an interview with him. Elder Labrum, one of the Zone Leaders in Agua Fria, told him to pray hard and to listen, because he would get his answer during conference. Well, Rusivel went to conference, but only one session. But it was good for me. As conference went along, I wasn´t only listening to the talks for me, but I was intently listening to help Rusivel. I dont know if you guys remember the first session, the second speaker, the lady that talked about inspiration and such. Well I feel that talk was pesonally for Rusivel. But the problem is, he wasnt there. But I know that the Lord answers our prayers. But, we have to do our part, being ready to get an answer at anytime.

Conference was great! I love conference! It was kinda a different experience in Portuguese, but it was good. They finally were able to hook up a tv, and me and some other elders watched in beloved english. Its so much easier! No having to try to understand! It was great! Also, I love the Prophet! He´s such a funny man! So loving, and happy! A lot of people are saying he´s crazy, but I know he just really loves us. But conference was a party. Kinda different having sessions at 1 and 5 in the afternoon, and having priesthood rebroadcasted at 8 in the morning Sunday, but it was great. I love conference and have so much that I need to improve. Now is a better time than any to start.

Some other exciting news is that last night, at 10:20, Elder Hocker called and said that me and Elder Barbosa were transferred.... So, we spent a good part of the night packing our bags. This morning we went and visited Joaquina and Rusivel. They´re really the only people that I´m really going to miss here. I´m really sad that I wont be there to help Rusivel. But, the good news is that President Lanius authorized, at least E. Barbosa that he could visit for the baptism. Im hoping that promise applies to me too... But anyways, the transfer. Yep, my new area is Goiana. (Goy-awn-uh) It´s the area farthest north in Pernambuco. It was a long hour and a half ride in a little tiny car, with 4 of us, and 5 pieces of luggage... But, we´re here now. It´s great. My companions name is Elder L. Santos...( I think, IM still learning) But things are good.

Well, thats about it.... for now. Hope you´re all well. Love you all.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September 26, 2011 Letter

Hey,

So, another week here in Torreão. This week was kinda slow. Not much is happening here. We´re "kicking" all of our investigators that really don't want anything... The sad part is we´re left with 2. Ugh... Gives us a lot of room to improve though. We talked with President Lanius and he told us to work with the less actives to first, get them re involved with the ward, and second to find new people to teach. So we´ve been trying that, but with very very little success. But, we just need to keep on going. That's all we can do.

Really, the only person we have is a man named Rusivel. His wife is a member, and he´s amazing. But, we´ve been struggling with him. Ever since he and his wife had dengue 2 weeks ago, there has been almost no improvement. We´ve remarked his baptism 3 times. He´s waiting to get an answer. I think he wants a huge answer like an angel or something. He´s already had spiritual experiences. He loves how people serve in the church, he already has a desire to share the gospel with one of his friends. But, there´s something there... We just need to find out what it is, and figure out how to help him.

Well, that's it. Not a very exciting week. But, a good learning experience.... But it would really be nice to have a happy week where things turn out good every once and a while...

Love ya,

Elder Tracy

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September 19, 2011 Letter

Hey,

Well, these past 5 days have been great. There are a couple things in particular that were amazing.

First, Wednesday I was finally able to go to the temple. It was amazing. I love the temple. It was a little difficult in a different language and all, but really, it was amazing. I absolutely love the temple.

Second, Thursday we had interviews with Elder Costa and with President Lanius. It was great. Elder Costa is such a great guy. He´s super spiritual. He really just talked with me. Asked about my family, areas, companions, and some things I can do to improve. He also told me he has a house in Draper, in case you´re interested... And I had my first interview with President Lanius. It was great. He´s so loving. He talked about the "new" rules, area, problems. It was really just a good talk. It was great. Afterwards he just gave me a hug. It wasnt like a normal hug, it was really caring... I don't know how to explain it... It was just.. different. I know that he really loves each one of us and wants the best for us. It was a great day.

Next, we´re being blessed. The Lord is really putting people in our paths. We´ve had some cool contacts on the street, at the store, meeting new people, friends of referals who are actually more interested than the referals... It´s just been a real eye opener for me of how the Lord works. Now, we just have to do our part and help them.

Finally, Léo finally was able to get confirmed. After suffering through 4 weeks of his mom and grandpa working against him to not be able to go, he was finally able to go to church! It was great. Also, Kaline was there too, and a miracle, her mom came. Her mom, Cicera, kinda doesn't want Kaline to get baptized... But, she came to church, liked it, and hopefully that opens doors for her. It should be great.

Well, that's just a bit. But know that life is great. Im great. The church is awesome and true. I love it. The End... for now...

Elder Tracy

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September 14, 2011 Letter

Hello,

Well, just to get all your worries away, yes, I´m still alive. I´m actually doing pretty good here. Sorry about not writing on Monday. Our Pday got switched to today... Why? Because we get to go to the temple today!! Finally! I´m so excited!! I haven't been to the temple in 6 months... Its sad, but Im finally going. So it´s all good.

This week has been kinda rough. We´re dropping almost all of our investigators. We´re really focusing on finding this week. We need people to teach that are ready to receive the gospel. It´s not the most fun work to do, but we´ve found some nice old ladies that have some potential. I´m excited to teach them.

And, this week we have the opportunity to have a general authority here in the mission. President Costa. He´s the area president. He´s interviewing every missionary in the mission. Our meeting is tomorrow. Should be great.

Well, thats about it on my end. Just know that things are good, I still love you all, and the church is and always will be true.

Elder Tracy

Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29, 2011 Letter

Well,

This week was good. We had zone conference and President Lanius was really kinda straight forward. He said, "Some of you have been talking and saying that I'm kinda strict... I just want to tell you something. I am." Wow! It was really powerful. I know that he is strict and strait forward because he loves us. He knows the potential we have, and he knows the importance of missionary work. He really stressed the part about having the Spirit. It´s so true. We all need the Spirit in our lives, especially here on a mission. We need the Spirit to guide us, to protect us, to tell us where to go, what to say, everything. So, that's what I'm trying to do now. Have the spirit really be a companion in my life.

Something kinda sad is that Léo didn't come to church yesterday to be confirmed. He went out of town with his grandpa. But, he´s an amazing kid. He´ll get confirmed this Sunday.

Also, we had a really cool experience on Saturday. We went and taught Rusivel. His wife is already a member but he´s not. They met each other over the Internet.... (kinda weird..:)) But he´s really a cool guy. The lesson was super cool. We had a lesson plan, we prayed before we went in, and we bore testimony and shared experiences and scriptures. It was really cool. The spirit was super strong and he accepted to get baptized! It was really cool. We´re really pushing for this Saturday because next Monday is transfers and we really want to see him get baptized. Because he´s awesome!

The mission is great. I absolutely love it. Time is really flying. Before you know it I´ll be home talking to you all in person. But, as for now I got some more work to do. A lot of it. I love you all.

Until next time,
Elder Tracy

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 23, 2011 Letter

So,

Another week. This week was good. Some good experiences, and some... others... haha

This week I went on divisions with Elder Tyler. It was good. He´s 2 transfers "younger" than I am, but I really learned a lot. But, I learned a lot positively and negatively.... if that makes sense. Like, they do some things there, like 'teaching a lesson' by doing a contact on the street, throwing in a gospel doctrine, and thats it. Count it as a lesson. But i feel that they´re just trying to get lessons. Numbers arent everything. Especially when they dont have a significant experience. We´re here to baptize and help people come unto Christ... not just teach 100 lessons a week...

Sunday we had a baptism. Léo(José Léonardo) got baptized. But it happened kinda differently than we had planed. We had scheduled it at 8 in the morning so his mom could go and then get confirmed during sacrament meeting. But, people get ready slow,... lets just say we got there at 8:30. By then the other ward had started so we couldnt do it. But it was good because his mom stayed for church. She´d never been and i think she really liked it. Then was the baptism, it was pretty cool. It just reminded me that sometimes things dont work out as we plan. But, the Lord has a plan. And it´s definitely a lot better than ours. We just have to do the best we can to try and make our plan, and the Lords´ plan, the same plan.

But, things are going good. Elder Barbosa is helping me a lot with portuguese. And he´s also been playing chess with me. Im getting better, so watch out! haha. But really, the mission is great. I love it. Some days are tough, but, you just have to "arise from the dust... and be men". Thats what Im trying to do.

I love you all.

Elder Tracy

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 2011 Letter



It´s been another week here in Torreão. Things are going better, but still... slow. The first week we pretty much just did contacts and contacts and contacts... This week was better because we actually started teaching some of these people. I like teaching a lot better than finding. I just feel like i can actually help them when im teaching them. Just a thought. But ya, we´ve met some cool people and this area has potential.

So, first person is Léo. He has 14 years and is a stud. Everything we teach him he eats up. He loves it all. Everytime we go there he has a question about what he should, or can, do. Like dating, music, etc... He´s a stud! He wants to be baptized so much, but his mom wont let him. But we´re going there tonight to talk with her and see if we, and the spirit, can help with that little problem. Hopefully we´ll have a baptism for him this weekend!

Next, is a man named Rosivel. He´s like 30 years old. His wife is a member and they just got married like 4 months ago. First off, their house is pretty sweet. She´s japaneese, I think, so they have lots of open spaces, glass windows and doors.. It was pretty cool. But Rosivel is elect! I dont know how he isnt baptized yet, but we´re going to change that. He is such a nice guy, and he loves everything about the gospel. He´s great!

And the last cool thing that happened this week was yesterday we went looking for former investigators, because we still dont know many people here. But we went to one house and asked for Vinicius. The lady we talked to said that she has lived there for 11 years and has never heard the name Vinicius. Then she said, "Who knows? Maybe God sent you here to talk to me."... Ya! That´s exactly what happened! But it was so cool! It really made me realize that the Lord works in mysterious ways.. We just have to be ready and willing to work with what the Lord gives us.

That´s it. I love you all.

Elder Tracy

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8, 2011 Letter

Dear Family....

So, this week has been interesting... Last Monday night I got a call from the AP saying I was being transferred... It was weird. I thought that I would have been transferred the week before, at transfers... But this one was a "mini". Where new missionaries arrive, or President just needs to change some things around.. But anyway, said bye to a couple people in Setubal and went to the office. There were a lot of people there. My new companion is Elder Barbosa. He only has 3 months on the mission. Now I´m a senior companion, and we´re opening an area, Torreão... Oh man. It was really surprising to me. I have so much to learn and i feel so inadequate... Lets just say I´ve been praying a lot lately....

But one thing that is hard is getting transferred... Its even harder when you and your new companion were both transferred. You have 6 luggages... Its kinda ridiculous to try and get on a bus with all that stuff... And some bad news, the handle on one of my bags broke.... But its ok, I just have to get stronger to be able to carry it around....

Torreão... It´s hard to open an area. President took the missionaries out of here for a transfer, and now he´s putting us in. It´s hard because neither of us know anyone, anything.. nothing. We´ve been doing a lot of contacts, knocking doors, and trying to find members.. Things will be slow for a while, but hopefully we can change things around here in Torreão.

Thats about it for the week. Done a lot of walking, trying to find, little teaching... It´s been kinda rough. But things will be better this week. I love you all and will talk to you next week.

Love,

Elder Tracy

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

Well, it´s been another week here in Setubal... Things have been fairly rough this week. We went through our investigators and we dropped the ones we didnt think were progressing, or the one´s that arn´t really interested. We cut quite a few... It was sad. They´re people too. They need the gospel too.... It´s just hard because they arnt interested at the moment, or they dont want to change. But hey, what can you do? Just the best you can, all the time. Thats it.

So, since we cut down our investigator pool, we had a lot more free time than normal. So we used it to do contacts. Its hard, because you dont find many people doing that. But the members here dont really like to give us references... So that leaves the finding to us as well. Elder Hocker doesnt like like tracting and contacts, but im kinda liking it. Ya, it´s definitely hard getting rejected house after house, drunk after drunk, but thats part of life right? How many times in our lives are things always going to work out? How many times in our lives is everything going to be great and dandy? Not all the time. So it´s good for me to learn how to accept rejection. Finding is also helping me "open my mouth" more. I CAN talk, but I dont do it a lot. So, finding kinda forces me to talk, which is good. Thats the way I´ll learn.

So, this week we found a really cool lady. She actually had came to church two times... I guess we kinda missed the ball on that one, but we´re getting it now. Her name is Quiteria. She lives right next door to some members. She´s pretty cool. She has a little "cart" that she sells foody stuff on at a market. She came to church, and it happened to be the same day that we had lunch with these members. So we invited her over to hear the message.... And we taught her about The Restoration and we marked her baptism! It was the greatest lunch message I might ever have! haha.... The only problem is she might drink coffee... because she´s brazilian..... But, we and the Lord willl help her get through that little bump. Shes a really cool woman. It was a great blessing. Because we had knocked a lot of doors, done a lot of contacts, and nothing had happened. So the Lord was blessing us by giving us a nice woman like her. It was really good.

Well, President Lanius just changed the rules.... We cant play soccer, we cant leave our areas, we cant do anything fun! haha  So looks like going to see all the cool sights is off the list, unless its in my area.... Hmm.... what else can i do in the area of Setubal...?

Love you all, Hope all is well,
Elder Tracy

July 25, 2011 Letter

Oi,

Well, its another week in Brasil. Today was transfers, but I´m staying here with Elder Hocker. Almost nobody got transfered. I think it´s because the new mission president doesnt really know many people. But we have interviews with him this week, and i bet after that there will be more transfers... But ya, for now im staying here.

So, some exciting stuff that happened here this last weekish....

Last Friday we were contacting people on the street. A woman came up to us and asked if only men could go to church. We told her no, and we marked to meet with her that night. So we did. We taught her, gave her a Book of Mormon, and she said she´s pray. It was cool. Then Sunday, she came to church and absolutely loved it. We passed by throughout the week and everytime was a super spiritual experience. One night was super spiritual and we invited her to be baptized that upcoming weekend. We thought for Sunday night but we didnt want to have to make her wait another week to get the Holy Ghost. So we called the Zone Leaders and asked if we could do it Saturday night and they said we could. It was great. This lady, Gilvanise, is absolutely amazing. She is so strong. She has so much faith. She will do anything for the Lord. I can definitely see how the Lord has prepared her to recieve the gospel. She used to smoke, do drugs, drink, "have fun",... everything. But she´s stopped everything a while ago. She´s completely turned to the Lord. It was really amazing. So ya, she got baptized on Saturday. It was amazing. We also had a 14 year old boy named Leandro get baptized too. It was a cool night. I think the highlight of the baptism was playing ping pong with Gil. hahaha It was so funny! I love that lady!!

Something that I have learned, or started learning this week is about life.... Most people think that life is to have fun. But thats because they dont know any better. But i was also thinking about members of the church... They know the truth, they have it, they hopefully learn more about it every Sunday, if not everyday. But even these people dont understand. They feel like the church is good, as long as it doesnt interfere with their other plans. I see it so much here... Its sad. Thats not what life is. The purpose of life isnt to do whatever you want, and fit in church if there´s room. What we really should be doing is focusing our lives on the gospel, on the Savior. Because really, this life is soooooo short. 80, 90 years.... Its not that much.... But eternity... thats like forever.... What people i think dont realize sometimes is that everything we have, everything we are, is because of our Heavenly Father. And some people are so selfish to not recognize that, or not do anything in return. We´re here on this earth to become like our Heavenly Father... How can we do that if we dont give everything we have to the church? If we´re lazy, if we put other things in front of our callings, our duties, our families.... It just doesnt work. So ya. Do whats right. Think about what stuff is taking up time, and maybe throw it out the window, and remember why we´re here.. Alright? :)

Well, thats whats been on my mind lately. So ya. Dont know what else to say. Love you all.

Elder Tracy

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18, 2011 Letter

Hello,

Here it goes again. Its been a good week here in Brazil. Things are going good. Things are going kinda slow here.. But slow and steady wins the race right? Why rush through life trying to force things?... Its just eternal salvation we´re trying to help them with.... But thats alright. If they dont want to come to church because of the rain, thats alright. Sorry, im kinda complaining, but its tough ya know? We spend all day everyday trying to help them, but they just dont understand the importance. Honestly i dont think i did either before the mission. But that is one thing that I have definitely learned. I understand the importance of the gospel so much more. I realize how short this life is, and also how significant these short years that we live on earth. They determine our eternity. That´s one concept that still blows my mind,...  But its hard because people here dont really seem to realize that there is more to life than drinking beer, smoking, and watching soccer... But we´re trying to help them.

Transfers are next week. Im thinking im going to get transferred. I´ve been here in Setúbal for almost 4 months. I think that my times almost up here. Its hard, because I know this area has potential. I´ve seen it. It´s just hard sometimes. The members, the people, .... things are just slow here sometimes. But i know we have investigators that will get baptized soon. Even if its not in the time frame we want, the Lord has a plan, and it´s a lot better than our selfish desires.

Well, tomorrow will make 6 months on the mission. It really is crazy to me how fast time goes by. A fourth of my mission is already passed. I only have a year and a half left.  Melinda is already a senior companion and has less than a year left. Life is short, and my mission is way short. It really made me reflect and recommit to being the best missionary i can be and help everyone i can in these remaining 18 months. I dont have much time left, even though to you guys it seems like i wont be home forever. Dont worry, I´ll be back... sooner than you think. NO WAIT..... When you think... it´ll just come fast. haha

I got a lot of letters this week. Tell Grandma and Grandpa I sent them letters already. It sounds like they arnt getting my letters.... But if they´re at the cabin I hope they  get forwarded to their cabin... because i sent them to their house in Pueblo... They´ll get them eventually at home. I hope.

I love you all. Hope you all are doing "magical".... I miss you. Be safe , and make good choices.

Love and miss you

Elder Tracy

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

This week has been a good one. Kinda rough but still good. It´s good to hear that everyones doing good. Glad everyone had a good fourth of july. Sounds different than mine, but still good. I miss fireworks... It kinda stinks not being able to buy or do any, but it´s ok. In a year and a half we´ll have a giant firework party alright?

Not much real exciting news this week. So i´ll just talk about some things that i think are kinda cool.

The woman we baptized on the 2nd, is so amazing. We stopped by a lot this past week. She is so solid. She´s just absolutely amazing in everyway. She knows everything. She´s even inviting her neighbors to come listen. They arnt really interested in our church, but Maria sure is doing everything she can. The family of one of her sons spent a couple of days at her house. We explained to them what our purpose as missionaries is, what the church is like, stuff like that. Well they left, but a couple days later Maria told us that her son, whose family was there, was going to go to the ward where they live. He´s going to stop smoking and drinking. Wow, right? All of these changes come because of one woman. One amazing woman. If she wouldnt have gotten baptized, this family wouldnt have ever gone to church, her son never wouldve decided that he needs to stop drinking and smoking. Ya know? It´s just amazing how much of a difference one person can have. Sometimes, I know i feel inadequate. Like nothing i do is even helping. But then i see these amazing experiences. These amazing changes that are happing because of the gospel, and it reenergizes me to keep working hard. To keep finding people that the gospel can help. The gospel really is an amazing thing. I love it.

Something else that i absolutely love, is sacrament meetings. Now, more than ever. Because Pedro is passing the sacrament. I absolutley love it. It makes me feel so good inside to see him doing his priesthood duties, to know the priesthood is blessing the lives of that family. I cant even express how excited i am till next June, when that family will go to the temple, recieve their endowments, and be sealed for all time and eternity. I ... I cant even explain how excited i am. I just cant wait. The temple is such a great blessing and in 11 months they will get to experience it. Ahh! Its so great!

We had a family night with a family here in Setubal. They talked about the importance of families. They made paper chains and wrote everyones names on one. Then he had everyone think of something they wanted to do, but not being able to do it with the people you love. Then he hooked them all together. But left it as a chain. Then he connected the first with the last, and explained the importance of the temple. It changes our families from being just some people whos lives are connected, to a family who can be together throughout eternity. Then i got thinking about generations. There´s one family who is sealed, then the kids can be sealed... and it just keeps going. It´s just amazing. It really is. I absolutely love the temple. It´s so amazing.

Those are the coolest things that are happening, or at least what im thinking about right now. Sounds like all´s good back at home. I love you all. Keep up the good work and always remember that we can be together forever through the temple, and doing what the Lord expects of us. SO DONT BE STUPID!... Love ya, haha

Elder Tracy

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 4, 2011 Letter

Happy fourth of July! It feels weird... It´s not the same, but it´s good. Yesterday, we had lunch with an American consulate. He made ribs and mashed potatoes and corn bread and pecan pie. It was really good. Not like being at home, but it was still a little 4th of July. It was nice.

This week was good. Im happy. I really am. I promise. But, some highlights.

We got a new mission president as well. It was kinda a weird day. Elder Hocker and I went to the mission office earlier that day to get a prescription filled for E. Hocker. But it was weird. He said he´d been crying a lot, his son was crying. Just a lot of tears. Then, later we went to the airport to great the new mission president. It was a really cool experience. There were like 40 or 50 missionaries. We all started singing the mission hymn when we walked through the gate. Everyone in the airport was staring, but we didn't care. It was super cool. So, new mission president. Exciting stuff.

Next, we had a baptism... It was a real miracle. We had been earlier and she was kinda hesitant. She had a problem with "her man"... The father of her children. She said she would get baptized. So, the ZL´s came and interviewed her. Her name is Maria. But, she said she didn't want to. She had some real doubts. But they did the interview anyways. Everything was good. Then the Zone Leader, Elder Labrum, told her to pray that night and ask if she should really get baptized tomorrow or wait a week. So we went back the next morning and asked how it went. She said no. Ugh, i died a little inside right then. It was awful. But we talked to her a little. We found out that she had a debt. One of her children died and so she owes 3000 Reais. So this man helps pay 200 a month. And she´s scared that he´ll stop helping. But we told her that we cant fear anyone else except God. she just has to do what´s right and the Lord will help. So she thought, and then said that she´d get baptized. It was a real miracle. She just left everything that she had... She doesn't know whats going to happen, but she has so much faith to get baptized. To leave everything to do what she knows is right. It was amazing. She´s such a sweet lady too. It was really awesome. So cool. It made me think that i cant worry about other people. Just do whats right. Just do what the Lord wants me to do.

Well... don't know what else to say. The work is going really good. We have some people to teach, and the members are getting more excited about the work. They´re inviting a lot of their friends to be taught. It´s really exciting.

Well, that's about it. The work is good. I love you all.  I miss you and hope everything is going good. Talk to you next week. Love ya.

Elder Tracy.

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011 Letter

Lets see, what else..... Oh ya. Last Monday, our pday. We spent the whole day with one of our investigators. His name is Diego. We walked along the beach, helped him with English, and just talked. Then we went and got açai, and went to teach him. Then he bought us dinner. So it was great. There´s a real problem if we´re spending our pdays with investigators and they don't get baptized right? But anyway, it was a little late, it was 9:30. So we started booking it home. But it´s on the other side of our area, so buy the time we got home it was like 10:15. But, what really makes me mad are the members that drive by and yell, "Oi Elderes! Horário!" Like yelling at us for being on the street. But hello!!!  You know the rules, why don't you pull over and say., "hey elders, its a little late, can i help out by giving you a ride home?" Is that too hard? Ugh, just wish some people here were a little more helpful, and a little less nagging. But, ya. That's me on my soapbox. Sorry.

So this week has been a little rough. It was a holiday on Thursday called São João. Some holiday celebrating John the Baptist. They all build fires in the streets, do fireworks all night long, eat a lot, A LOT, of corn, and drink a lot of beer. Plus, the parties are a lot bigger in the interior, cities like Gravatá or Caruaru. So, everybody leaves the beach, and travels 2 or 3 hours to go to these parties. So there weren't really a lot of people here. It was weird. We´d walk down the streets and they´d be empty. Really weird. But hey, they´re having fun right?

That's about it. Just a lot of missionary work. Sometimes its really tough to be a missionary. Life would just be easier at home. But, I know this is where I'm supposed to be. I know its where the Lord wants me to be. So that's where I am. I can only do what I can, but that's what I´ll do. I love being a missionary. Knowing that there are so many people out there that i can help, that need me..... It just makes me want to be the best missionary i can. I don't know how to explain it. Its just a different feeling than im used to. But its great. I love it. I know this church is true. I love it. And i love and miss you all. Keep being your good ol´ selves.

Elder Tracy

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 20, 2011 Letter

Dear Everyone,

Another week come and gone.  So yesterday was my 5 month mark! Yay for 5 months...... haha

Ok. This week has been a little tough. I have a new companion, Elder Hocker, so i have to kinda show the area and find people to teach and stuff. So its been different. I'm used to Paiva telling me what we´re going to do. We´re trying to find new people. It´s hard. There are a lot of big buildings that we cant just go knock, or clap, door to door. So we got like 50 pamphlets of the plan of salvation and wrote our phone number, the address of the church, stuff like that, and left it with the gate keeper guys. Hopefully someone calls us. That´d be great.

We´ve been teaching Maria this week. She still has a problem with her "husband".. But we´re getting through it, and we remarked her baptism for this Saturday. She´s an amazing woman, she´s just used to a different lifestyle. Everyone in Brazil is. It´s so different. But i can see the gospel really changing her life.

Something kinda cool is last Monday we were teaching Diego in the house of the ward mission leader in Setubal 1. There were also 6 Americans there for a study abroad program. They all had served missions in Brazil so it was like a lesson with 8 missionaries. But at the end, my heart started beating fast and my face got really hot, and i felt like inviting him to be baptized. I was a little confused because we´ve asked him 2 weeks in a row and he´s always said he´s not ready. But i asked him anyway. And..... he still said that he´s not ready. Kinda a letdown huh? But he said something interesting. He said he´s thought a lot about his baptism. He´s just looking for a bigger something. And he doesn't know if the bigger something will come before or after his baptism. But he´s really a good guy, and he´s progressing a lot. I know he didn't accept the invitation to be baptized, but i know there was a reason i had the feeling to invite him. And I'm glad i followed that feeling.

But ya, other than that just another week in the service of the Lord. It´s great. I'm really loving my mission. It´s super hard at times, I get really tired at times, but i know that this church is true. I know that I'm here helping people have the greatest thing they can have on this earth, the gospel of Jesus Christ. It´s amazing and i love it.

I love you all. Keep being the great people you are.

Elder Tracy

Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 13, 2011 Letter

Dear Everyone,

Sounds like things are going really good at home. Well another week.... It was a great one. This week we focused a lot on Pedro. 2 weeks ago he finally accepted baptism after 3 years of missionaries. He went to catholic school and was a catholic priest. He was searching for the truth and was really trying to do good with his life. Anyways, his whole family are members... his wife, and his son. So it was really exciting when he accepted. So this last week was foccused a lot around him, making sure his questions, doubts were gone. But honestly he didnt have many. He´d been taught by missionaries for 3 years so he was pretty darn solid. The only question he had was where he could get garments... It was great. But his baptism was on Saturday. It was really something. We went there at 2 to help the family with food and such. THen went back at 5 to clean the font and set up more. The font didnt fill up very fast, and Pedro is a big guy, so we had to speed up the process by filling it up with buckets. And who says missionaries dont do a lot with their arms? Phew.... But the baptism was something special. There were like 50 people there. It was so cool. He had his son Aeron baptize him. WHen he came out of the water they hugged for about a minute. It was so cool!! The spirit was so strong. Then after, Pedro and Aerlani both bore their testimonies about family and all the missionaries that helped throughout those 3 years. It felt good to know that we were able to have a part and to finish and really help that family even more. Im really excited too, because in one year i get to go to their sealing in the temple! It´s going to be so cool!

Well thats basically the week...... except... TRANSFERS!!!

AND..............................................................................

im staying in Setubal. But Paiva got transfered. He´s going to be a Zone Leader in Olinda for his last transfer. Remember earlier when i said i was pretty sure i was getting transfered and he was staying and training? Well after that he and President had a little chat and Paiva told him that he couldnt do it. He needed someone to help push, or drag, him. So thats what happened. Ok so the part you all want to know. My new companion is Elder Hocker. He´s from Idaho Falls, and he laughed when i said Dad was from (Ririe?) But he´s good. Hes been out for almost a year. Im looking forward to get to know him.

Well thats about it. Things on the mission are great. I love it. I can already see it changing my life. Its great.

I love you all. Think about you lots, but not too much...

Elder Tracy

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

Sounds like things are good at home.  Well, this has been a good week. The most exciting news is we had a 2 baptisms, and marked 2 more. It´s been a busy week, teaching them everyday and such. We had stake conference this weekend so we had the baptism in the morning. They´re usually at night here, so it was different. But it was good. 2 young women, Leila and Estefani. Im trying to send a picture, I´ll work on that later.

This week will be busy as well. Tonight we´re going to mark another baptism for Diego. He´s a referal from Setubal 1. He´s 21 and our ward mission leader found him on the beach playing soccer. They talked, and he came to church the next day. He also came to stake conference, which was cool because it was in a different city. But ya, Diego is cool. He´s been coming to our english classes too. We teach the bishop and now Diego every wednesday night. It´s good. They learn english, and i piece together grammer principles. It helps me to understand better. It also is a great missionary tool. 2 weeks ago we were in the bishops office, and Diego started asking questions about the prophet, because of the pictures. Then we started talking about it. It just opens lots of doors for teaching. It´s great.

The other 2 marked for this Sunday are Maria, the awesome lady I told you about before, and a man named Pedro. Pedro has been going to church for about 3 years. His wife is a member, his son is a member, ... he´s just been postponing for ever. But last Monday we went there and invited him. It was great. The silence after you ask is crucial. It gives a chance for the spirit to tell them it´s true. He looked around and nobody said anything. And he accepted! It was a great night! So ya, 3 baptisms this Sunday, hopefully. 2 Men, and 1 Woman. It will be great.

Next monday is transfers. Im pretty sure im going to be transfered.... Mostly because President Emerick called Paiva. First he asked him what he wanted to do his last transfer, then he told him what will probably happen next transfer, disregarding whatever Paiva said earlier, so I´m not really sure why he asked. But, Paiva will stay in Setubal and train again, which means I´ll be transfered somewhere else. Im excited. I´m really looking forward to the new experience. New companion, hopefully someone who doesnt speak any english so i can learn more, new area, just new everything. It will be great.

Not much else to say. Life is good here. Love you all.

Elder Tracy

Monday, May 30, 2011

May 30, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

Sounds like things are good.

Oh Brazil.... Life´s been good here. This week we marked 3 baptisms... Well, we kinda had the sisters help with 2 of them.... We´ve been teaching these young woman for almost 2 months now.... Leila, who was baptized 6 months ago and never confirmed, and Estefani, who is the older sister of Weverson and Amanda who we baptized last month. But we´ve been talking and teaching and asking about baptism... and... no.... So we got the sister missionaries to come and try. Some of the girly talk stuff. It worked! They´re both going to be baptized on the 4th, this saturday.... Things just work different when a girl talks to a girl.... but it´s great...

Then there´s my favorite. Maria.... She is the mother of Tiago, who we´ve been trying to reactivate. We´ve been teaching lessons, getting them to come to church, the usual.... But, last Wednesday, we felt like it was time to ask. So we did... she was hesitant. She said she didnt know... wanted to talk to Tiago first...... So we watched the Restoration movie.. After bore testimony and asked her to take Moroni´s promise, and to ask if the church is true and if she should get baptized. She said she would... The next day, we went by to check her answer. She was so excited to see us! She brought us in, and told us that she prayed, and she felt this warm feeling in her heart. She said she knew she should be baptized. She told us she couldnt wait till we came back and she could tell us. It was so cool!! It was really my first experience of someone "I" taught and they had a big spiritual experience like that. It was awesome.

And last night we taught Johnny... A referal from Lion, (cool name huh?). (PS Lion was the trainer of Irmão Dodge, my teacher in the MTC, they both served in Manãus Brazil) So, Johnny, he´s a tennis player, he has a "wife" and some kids. He told us that he knows he needs to change his life, so 3 weeks ago he stopped drinking. He still drinks coffee and smokes, but we can take care of that..... We bore testimony of the Word of Wisdom, and how God will help us, if we try to do whats right. He told us that we´re his favorite missionaries he´s talked to... Probably a lie, but thats ok. ..... But, he needs a good example, and Lion.... isnt. When we left, he grabbed a cigarete from Johnny, started smoking..... He has a woman, and a kid on the way.... We talked to him, he says he has a testimony, he just needs to change.... Ugh.... It´s ok. Just more people to help.

But, the wards here are different. Members are somewhat slackers. For example, our ward mission leader, a japanese guy... He hasnt spoken to us in a month. He doesnt come to church, anything. Lindenberg called him, and i guess he hates our ward. He hates how nobody does what they´re supposed to (hypocryte?)... So he has been going to a different ward. And now, he´s moving.... Ugh, just people are so much different here. I know if that happened in our ward, Carl would be there hanging on his ear till they did what they were supposed to....

But... it´s good. I love Brazil. I love my mission. I´m really looking forward to this saturday. We have our baptisms, and stake conference. It should be fun. I´m also looking forward to next transfer on the 13th..(really its the 15th)(????) Im excited to experience more, new companion, new area, new everything. I think it will help me a lot.

Thats life in Setubal. Love you all.

Elder Tracy

May 23, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

Things sound like they're going good at home. I got Grandma's package. Thanks so much. Dont worry, I really like black jelly beans. And my companion doesnt, so more for me. Thank you.

Rain... Ya, we have a lot of that here too. But when it rains, it floods the streets. The canals overflow, the drains fill up, and the streets are like rivers. It's pretty exciting.

This week has been pretty busy. We had zone conference this week. And President Emerick called Paiva to help out at the office. So we didnt have a lot of time in our area this week... Kinda dissapointing really. But ya. 2 days at the office. 2 days at zone conference. Thats about it.

Zone conference was cool. They divide it into 2 days. Starts at 9 and goes till 4. They have breakfast, which is basically a giant box of cookies, and a giant lunch, which was super good. President and Sister Emerick give talks, and trainings, a training by the assistants, testimonies by the elders leaving. It was cool. Really motivating to do better. And i got to see it twice! Ya! Oh ya, and i got to see Elder Clark again. That was nice to have someone i knew, another friend. It was good to catch up.

We had a kinda cool experience yesterday. In the morning, we usually go to Borborema to pick up our investigators. Usually the bishop or someone goes and picks everyone up, because it's kinda far. But yesterday, nobody came. So we really wanted this old widow and her son to go. So we practically ran back to our house to get money for a taxi, went and got them, then went to the church. Then, after church, two members in Setubal 1 gave us awesome referrals. And, to top it all off, we found 50 Reais. We were standing infront of the church, and we turned around and there it was. Nobody came by.... Paiva said it was a reimbursment for the taxi... But it was cool.

But, everything is going good here in Brazil. I love you all and will talk to you next week.

Love ya,

Elder Tracy

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 16, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

All is well here in Brazil. Well life is good here. Me and Elder Paiva have both been a little sick this week. So that's been a little tough. But we´re both getting better.

I finally get to play soccer! President invited our zone to play with him today because last transfer our zone(and district..) had the most baptisms. So today we get to go have lunch at presidents house, and play soccer and stuff with him. It'll be great.

Well, this week has been a little rough in the teaching... The other elders asked president to transfer them because "nothing was happening". So now, me and Elder Paiva are covering both wards. It´s tough. Its like opening an area. We have no references, dont know any members.... Its just tough. But we're doing everything we can. We taught a cool lesson in Setubal I yesterday though. The consol? for the United States and Pernambuco lives there. So we went to his house, which is super amazing. It's really beautiful. Wow. The best building i've been in. But they had friends, the teacher of their daughter. Her and her fiance were both really interested. Im excited for the opportunity to teach and share the gospel with that cool couple. But one thing that bugged me was the family of the consol is going on vacation this week and wont be there on Sunday. So the wife told our investigators to not go to church this sunday, but wait till they get back.... Who tells someone not to go to church!?!?!?! Especially someone you're teaching the gospel?!?! UGH!! BUT, they said they'd come. I really hope they do.

Love you all super much,

Elder Tracy

Thursday, May 12, 2011

May 9, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

Well, not much has changed since i talked to you last... night. But anyway, things are still good here. I got a haircut today so i look more like a missionary now.

I dont really know what else to say. I feel like I told you everything yesterday. That was great to see you all again.

Well, if you have questions and stuff dont be afraid to ask. I´ll answer the best i can.

Love you all

Elder Tracy

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

This week has been crazy. We basically spent all week teaching our investigators and making sure they were ready for saturday. But it was good. Time went really fast this week though. Kinda good, and kinda bad. I get all the days mixed up. But anyways, back to the baptisms. Our baptism was scheduled for 6 oclock on Saturday the 30th. So we spent the whole day getting ready. We went to the chapel at 11 after studies. There was no water at the chapel. So we had to call a water truck to come and fill it up. It was kinda weird. We organized the program, and i practiced the hymns, i am a child of god, and families can be together forever. After lunch, we went and bought stuff for brownies. We made them, cut them, and got everything ready. It was exciting. So at 5 oclock we went to the favelas to talk to them and make sure everything was good. We got there and everything was going good. Then we talked with Leila. She didnt feel ready. She wanted to talk to the bishop first. Which is good. Im glad she wanted to clear things up before she got baptized. But that was rather dissapointing. Then.... the bishop was supposed to come at 5:40 to pick them up and take them to the chapel. He didnt show up till 6:20! Goodness! It threw off our whole night! Very frustrating!!........... But finally we got to the chapel. We changed into white, and boy do i look good in white! jk. But seriously, i like it. But right before we were about to start, Paiva talked with a little boy. He was baptized 6 months ago and never confirmed. So he interviewed him right there and we baptized him. I was a little weirded out. I didnt really think that was right. But there really wasnt anything i could do...... Anyways, the names of the people that were baptized. Amanda Ferreira da Silva(8), Weverson Ferreira da Silva(9), Tatiani Araújo da Silva(13), Maria Marli de Araújo(45?), and Anderson Henrique Diniz de Araújo(12). I baptized Amanda and Anderson. Amanda is so cute. She grabbed my hand, looked up at me and said, I want you to baptize me. I felt so cool right then. It was awesome. The baptism was definitly different than in the US, but still an ordinance of God, so it was really special.

I miss you guys. Love you all. Talk to you on Sunday! Tchau

Elder Tracy

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

Feliz Páscoa!!! Happy Easter! It´s definitely weird being in a different culture for holidays. Things are much different. They dont sell chocolate bunnies here, only little or giant eggs that are super expensive. I really missed dying eggs with the family. Thats ok. It was a great day. I know that Easter is a lot more important than peeps, or chocolate bunnies.

This last week was my 3 month anniversary. Its weird to think that. I only have 7 of those left. Its so weird to think about. I need to work harder!

I havnt gotten any packages yet, but i am excited and looking forward to them. There is a big stadium kinda..... I dont live at the address i gave you. Thats the address of the mission office. I live in Setubal, a neighborhood in Recife. The city of Recife is huge. Its called the Grand Recife, so people call areas by the neighborhoods, like Setubal. But ya kinda a big stadium close by. Not super close though. I live in an apartment type of thing. It has 2 floors, 2 bedrooms, and 1 1/2 bathrooms. The downstairs is just a giant room where we can study, and the kitchen, and a little area for the washer and a toilet(no door). Upstairs is the 2 rooms, a bathroom(with a door). Its a good house. I hear this is one of the better houses, so i was lucky.

We are really only teaching 5 people seriously. They all came to church this week!! It was great! They all live in the favela de borborema. It´s tough to find new investigators. Everyone leaves in buildings that we cant get into without referals. So its tough. We really need the help of the members. But we have a baptism scheduled for this saturday! All 5 of them. We have two young women, Tatiani and Leila, two primary kids, Weverson and Amanda, and a women named Marli. Marli and Leila were baptized 6 months ago but never were confirmed. So were going to do it over again. They´ve all been coming to church every sunday for about 2 months. Its great. We´re both super excited. We´re going to make brownies and everything. Speaking of which, Mom, can you send me your recipe for brownies? Thanks

There havnt been many baptisms here because the elders that were here before were lazy, and didnt work very hard. I dont understand how they could have done nothing all day. What would they do? Go to the beach and sit all day?? I just dont know.... But we´re definitly working. The bishop said the other day, that he´s grateful to have 2 elders in his ward that really know how to work. Me. too. I´m glad i have a companion who knows how to work and how to teach me to work.

This week has been great. It really has. But everyday i feel like im going to die. My legs are dead, my feet hurt, my head hurts from all the portuguese. Its tough. But, every morning i have enough strenght to get up, and do it all again. Im thankful for this blessing. I know the Lord is helping me with this work. Im so thankful, because i know i cant do anything without Him.

I love you all. Keep in touch. I love reading your letters. Tell me everything. Love you guys.

Elder Tracy

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pictures



On Saturday we went to a wedding/baptism. It was this couple in the late 50´s. They were taught by an old companion of E Paiva. E Paiva got to baptize them. It was really cool. But, the wedding started 2 hours late, because the bride needs to show up late.... (annoying), so we got home pretty late. And the cake was kinda gross. I dont understand why you would make a cake that looks so pretty on the outside, but tastes awfull on the inside. I decided that my wedding cake will taste good. No matter what.

April 18, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

One thing that i forgot to write last week was about the movie Rio. I bet you´ve probably seen it already, but the director is Brazilian. I dont know if you could tell or not, but he was the director for the Ice Ages, and Robots, and others. But ya, he´s Brazilian, from Rio. He took his whole crew down to Rio to get the experience of a new culture, kinda like the bird. It made me think of me. Ya know? I´ve kinda been thrown into a new culture, new language, and new life. Everything is different, and it´s hard sometimes. I dont know how the movie goes, but i bet its close to how mine will go. I know that I can get through this because I have the help of the Lord. I know that with his help I can do everything. I´m grateful for that.

Ok, now on to my last week. It´s been about the same. Still struggling with the language, learn more everyday. Still not comfortable or fluent. It´s kinda frustrating sometimes, but it´s ok. I´ll get it eventually. Hopefully sooner than later.

We had a pretty cool experience. Well, at the time I didnt know it was that cool, but now i do. Anyways, last sunday Elder Paiva and I were standing in front of the chapel. Not with any purpose other than to invite people in. We saw a man walking towards us. His name was David. He´s from Virgina learning portuguese for 3 weeks. He asked what ward he should go to, and obviously we told him, Setubal II, because it was our ward. So we went, and that was the end we thought. But, yesterday we ate lunch with him and a family. I guess earlier that morning he was praying for a friend that he could have to feel more comfortable, and someone that could help him with the language. While he was at church he met this man, Marcos and his wife. Marcos saw that he was a foriegner and could use some help. So he went and talked to him. I know this was an answer to his prayer. First through us, we invited him to our ward. If we wernt there, he probably would´ve just gone in to the chapel and sat for the sacrament. But, because we told him to go upstairs, (because we have classes first then sacrament last) he got to meet Marcos. And then through Marcos, being able to feel he needed help. I just know this is a miracle. It´s so amazing. The Lord has a hand in everything. We might not always recognize it right away, or even that the Lord is working through us. But He is. It´s so amazing. It really made me think that we need to always be where we should be, and do what we should be doing, so the Lord can work through us. It was really cool.

On Saturday we went to a wedding/baptism. It was this couple in the late 50´s. They were taught by an old companion of E Paiva. E Paiva got to baptize them. It was really cool. But, the wedding started 2 hours late, because the bride needs to show up late.... (annoying), so we got home pretty late. And the cake was kinda gross. I dont understand why you would make a cake that looks so pretty on the outside, but tastes awfull on the inside. I decided that my wedding cake will taste good. No matter what.

But mission life is good. I´m loving it. There are those days when I´m super sweaty, tired, feet hurt, it´s raining, or all of it. But, I know I just have to do my best and keep doing the work of the Lord and He´ll help me. I´m grateful for that knowledge. I love this church. I really do. I know that our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered for our sins so we can return to our Heavenly Father. I know that we can become like our Heavenly Father by following the example of Jesus Christ, and following the words of the scriptures and the prophets. I´m so grateful for this church. I know that it is the true church of our Heavenly Father.

I miss you guts. Love you all. Till next week.

Tchau
Elder Tracy

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 11, 2011 Letter

Dear Family,

It´s my first P-day in Brazil. It´s been good so far.

I´ll tell you a little about what happened the last couple days. Wednesday after I emailed you we went back to the airport and registered with the police so they dont kick me out. Then went to our apartment, it has two stories, two rooms, and i dont know what else to say about it. It´s good. Some people were renovating it so it´s a lot nicer than it was before.

Thursday we really started to work. We´re opening the area in Setubal 2. There has only been 1 baptism in the last 4 months so it was closed recently. So it´s tough. We are trying to visit the members, especially those in nice buildings, so we can get referrals. Oh ya, the buildings are really different here. Everyplace has a gate and a lock. So you cant really just go and knock on somebody´s door. You can try to clap to get their attention, but usually if they´re not expecting you you cant really do much. So, thats kinda a bummer, but its ok. Thats pretty much how our week went. Walking around trying to find investigators, talking with members, and doing that over, and over, and over.... But it´s good. It really is.

Hmm, I guess i can tell you more about my companion now that i know him a little bit. His name is Elder Paiva. He is 26 years old from Sao Paulo. He has spent almost half of his mission in the mission office. He was a secretary for 6 months, and an AP for 4 months. So, he´s like the best. But ya, i get the best missionary to train me.

Hmm, the city?? It´s beautiful! So pretty! I love it! Every where you look there is green. Trees, bushes, plants of some sort. It´s gorgeous. The clouds are amazing here. Just poofy clouds almost all the time. And the beach.... Oh man! It´s so cool. We had lunch at a members home on beach. She lived on the 16th floor of a building, and had a great view of the ocean. It was awesome.

But, there are some gross things about it. Not, gross, just..... different. The trash, is pretty much all over the place. People just through it on the side of the road. I´m still trying to figure out how that system works.... The favelas are gross too. Their living conditions are really bad. The other day we walked through one and i saw a little boy naked, just running around. It´s so sad. They have like nothing.

The word of wisdom is different here i guess..... E Paiva said that we can drink all tea except one, and all coffee except one.... I dont know if i understood him right or what, but that was kinda weird. I havnt tried any so far, that i know of....

Hmm, the money here is 1 us dollar to 1.6 Reais. The money looks pretty cool. The different bills have animals on them. I´ll send you pictures.

About sending stuff.... E Paiva said that on the outside of the box you should write what is inside.
For example....
Missionary Supplies.. $3
Candy... $2
Clothes.. $6

He said that they charge import taxes or something if the total is over $20, $25 bucks. So be careful about that. Also, he said it helps if you put Jesus stickers on it. Just so people wont steal it, and it´s less likely to be charged for taxes and such. Also, if you do send something expensive, hide it in a poptart box or something. Because they might check inside for things, and it´s just better if you hide it somehow.

Ya.... So the address here is    (I think, and hope)
Rua Sao Franciso, 110/102
Paissandu - Recife - PE
52010-020
Brazil

But ya, life´s good here.

Bye

Friday, April 8, 2011

Brazil - April 6, 2011

Dear Family,

Well I tried to call you from the airport but something didn´t work. I could hear conner and Sams voices, but then when you tried to put in the card number it didnt work. Oh well. I made it here safely.

Ok, well i left monday at 1:45. There were 4 of us from Salt Lake, but lots of missionaries. We transferred in Atlanta, where we picked up a bunch of missionaries. It was kinda cool. One terminal had about a hundred soldiers, and ours had about forty missionaries. It was cool. Anyways, we were supposed to leave Atlanta at 9:30, but we had too much weight or something, so we burned of 2,500 gallons of fuel.... We all just sat on the plane for an extra 2 hours... It was great... But, we eventually left. We were fed dinner at 2 in the morning. It was like a 10 hour flight. Soooooo long! It was tough to sleep. Anyways, we landed in Sao Paulo about 11 oclock. so, i missed my next flight to Recife, so they rescheduled one at 5. So, i got to explore the airport a bit. It was weird being in a different country. We got off the plane, and we were behind these glass walls. Immigration and customs were a blast.... It was all just super different and definitely a new experience. Anyways, the flight to Recife was great. I finally got a window seat! Oh ya! We got to walk up those cool little stair things to the plane! It was very exciting. Then we landed in Recife about 8:30 at night. Got my bags, and walked out the doors and there was a little welcoming party! Sister Emerick, the mission presidents wife, and 3 other elders.

My companion is Elder Paiva.... (I hope i spelt that right) The other two were the AP´s. I found out that Elder Paiva was the AP before this. He was also the Executive Secretary, and now he´s a district leader. I get to learn from the best!

Oh man, Brazil is super different than the United States. First, I don't understand portuguese. I know i tried to learn it for 2 months, but i lost a lot of it during those 2 weeks. But, i´ll hopefully learn fast here. Second, it´s super hot here. Got off the plane at 8:30 at night, and it was about 90 degrees! Man, i was sweating when i walked off the plane. It´s tough to sleep because it´s super hot. No blankets, windows open, fan on high.... It´s just different. The sun sets and rises differently too. Didn't really think about that before. But the sun set probably around 7ish last night, and rose at like 5ish this morning. It´s like its a whole new country!

But, i´m super excited. I'm going to learn so much. I already have. This is going to be a great experience. I am so excited for this opportunity and will tell you more about life here in Recife on Monday. Love you all

Elder Tracy

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Conference Pictures!

 Mitchell and his two companions eating lunch between Conference Sessions!
We saw Mitchell as we went to the Sunday afternoon conference session!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mitchell's Letter - March 28, 2011

Dear Family,

Well, i was just told i only have 5 minutes, so i'll have to make this quick.

We have 3 cool investigators. One named Victor, one girl named America, and another called Estanislao. Estanislao is so awesome. I dont have time to type everything.

Anyway life here is good. It's definitely a different experience. But it's great. It's really making me grow fast. I have to learn how to manage money, buy food, (healthy food is expensive! And CHEESE!! WOW!) but no. Life is good.

Sorry i dont have a lot of time. Today has been crazy. No missionaries were able to give us rides, we had a marriage, it's just been a busy P-Day. But it's been good.

Im excited to get to go to conference. It'll be a neat experience. We get to spend almost 2 days down at temple square. It'll be really great.

Oh ya, Estanislao is on date for April 9th. So ya, Melinda and I both have investigators on date for Hope's Birthday. Its a great day.

Well, I got to go. But I want you all to know that I love you all so much. I miss you, Thanks for sending those pictures. They were great. I'll be sure to write more next week. Talk to you in a week. Bye!

Elder Tracy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mitchell's Letter - March 21, 2011

Alright, I'll do this in two parts. First to the family, second about my mission stuff.

Melinda, Oh my. No way did I expect to go to Salt Lake. It blew my mind. But, I'm trying to be positive. I figure they kept me close so i could just leave when my visa comes.... Hopefully this week. But no. Life's good. The church is still true everywhere. Doesn't matter which language, which continent, or who you talk to. The church is still true, and everyone can have a chance to feel the spirit. It's just our job to take it to them. As I've recently found out, we're not called to a specific place. We're just called to help other people come to Christ. It doesn't really matter where. Everyone needs it. So take it to everyone.

Hmm... Don't really know what else to say. I guess I could tell you my address.
Elder Mitchell Tracy
Salt Lake City Mission
3487 South 1300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84106

Hopefully it'll all get to the right place.

Hola!

I think thats how you spell it.... I dont really know. Well, as you all know by now I've been temporarily reassigned to the Salt Lake City Mission. Ya, it was really weird to find out that I was being reassigned so close to home. I never expected that at all. But, there was 7 of us from our district that got sent here. Elder Clark and Elder McLean got there visas and leave.... today. Weird. But ya, I'm here in Salt Lake.

We left the MTC about 7 am on Friday. Took the shuttle down to the mission office at a church in Salt Lake. It was weird. We talked with President and Sister Winn. We kinda just talked for a bit then ate a little breakfast. Afterwards we took pictures then went back up and got assigned companions. It was weird. I'm in a tripanionship with Elder Flaquer from Barcelona Spain, and Elder Homer from South Dakota. They're cool guys. But anyway, it was weird, because we got assigned companions, and were out doing stuff within an hour. I never expected that at all. Super weird. Oh ya, by the way... Im speaking Spanish now. Bet you didnt see that coming. Well neither did I. Now I have the privilege of learning spanish, and trying to keep the little portuguese that I know. It's super tough but I'm doing the best that I can.

Well, that was the end of our little district. We thought that some of us would get to stay together, but nope. We're all separated. Wont see them again for another 2 years. It's weird to think about. We were together for 2 months and now we're all gone. So weird....

Ok, well.... where to start?? Mission life is so much different out here in the field than at the MTC... We wake up at 6:30 and all, but then we personal study, companion study, and language study for an hour each. By then it's 11 o'clock, we plan, eat lunch, then we work. We walk, we talk, we teach, and we preach. (Pretty good eh?) It's tough. But it's a good experience.

On Friday we got to go to Temple Square. It was really cool. We took an investigator named Estaneslou? He is super cool. He was really interested and knew lots of answers to the Sister's questions. He is super ready to get baptized. But, the only problem is that he needs a kidney transplant. His wife was a member, but now doesnt like the church. But she supports him. She just says that he cant go outside because his immune system is really low. It's sad. He's really our only investigator, and he's sick. We're praying for him everyday.

We've had so many experiences these last 4 days. They were super cool. We talk to a lot of people everyday. Well, I dont, but my companions do. I feel a little like a third wheel. They're all just yappin in Spanish, and I'm just kinda sitting there like a little baby. But worse, because even the little kids speak better spanish than i do. Its sad really, but im trying my best. The families we eat with are super nice. One family just blew my mind. There were 3 sisters, in their 30's. They were talking so fast, so loud, and all at the same time. It was insane. And the fed us flan. I dont really like flan that much. Hopefully i dont get that again.

We've gotten to eat with members a lot. I really like that. They feed us so well. I get really full though. It's super hard because we're supposed to eat everything so they dont get offended. But sometimes, I really am so stuffed. I cant eat anymore. Its good though. And I love mexican food, so thats definitely a blessing. Definitely.

We go to a little Spanish branch on sunday. Oh my goodness. What a different experience. Spanish wards are so much different than English wards. They're much louder, kinda walk in and out of the chapel whenever they want, and take as much time as they want. The Branch President was just kinda calling people up out of the audience. It was weird. Elder Flaquer had to "try" to translate. Because we have some Senior missionaries here that dont really speak spanish either. But, it's good. Sacrament meeting lasted an hour and a half. It was the longest meeting that i'd ever been in. But it was good.

There is another companionship in our area i guess. They have so many investigators and we have none. It kinda upsets Elder Homer a bit. But we're good. We're not upset. We just need to work harder and have more faith that the Lord has prepared people and we need to find them.

We got to go to the Salt Lake Temple today. It was super cool. I'd never been before and I'm so glad that I got to go. It was soooo cool. It was awesome.

Well, mission life is different than expected. But it's much better. I love it. I love seeing people that don't have the gospel in their lives get interested. Even if they really arnt interested, it's good for me to see these experiences. It'll help me a lot I think.

I love you all. Talk to you soon. Bye

Friday, March 11, 2011

March 4, 2011 - Letter

Well, its time again for another letter. Its so weird. Been here 6 weeks... only 2 weeks left before im gone. Its kinda nerv-racking. Nothing like Melinda's murder/shooting. Man, that was so crazy. Im glad she's ok. Thats insane!

Wow, well we're the oldest missionaries in our zone now. Its weird because i definitely dont feel like the oldest one. I never do. Not in high school as a senior, or not now. Oh well. I've learned that age doesnt really matter. Especially here at the MTC. We're all here to serve the Lord, and 1 year doesnt make that big of a difference.

A couple missionaries in our zone got their visas this week. 4 of them. So there is hope. I'll get to Brazil eventually.

Um, some kinda sad news is that Sis Jensen cant go to Brazil because she has stomach issues. She throws up after every meal. It was really bad last week. But anyway, the doctors said there is no way they are sending her to Brazil like that. So she got reassigned to Orlando, Florida English Speaking. They dont send sister missionaries Portuguese speaking in the US which i think is strange... They'll send them to the middle of the Amazon, but not portuguese speaking to Boston, or New York... Oh well. I know there is a reason for it. ANd i know that there's a reason Sis Jensen was supposed to learn Portuguese. I know the Lord has a plan for everything and we just need to trust Him and serve anywhere we go.

But speaking of reassignments, i either get it next week or the next. I really dont know. I get confused on which week we're on. Because we've been here for 6 weeks and 2 or 3 days, but its technically our 7th week. So i dont really know when they'll come. BUt when i do get a reassignment or travel plans i get to call home so be ready for that.

Me and Elder Clark got roomates this week. Its definitely different. They seem like nice guys but i dont really know them very well yet. They have a strange odor to them, but it'll be good. I dont like sleeping on the top bunk. Its a lot hotter up there and im a little nervous of falling off. Just kidding. But kinda seriously. But it's fine.

Irmão Shaeffer came back on Monday. It was really good to see him again. We all missed him very much. That night, we all taught him a lesson. We kinda just talked about scriptures and then bore testimony. But it was really cool. It was all in Portuguese and the spirit was super strong. His father passed away and i know it was hard for him. Sis Jensen's father passed away several years ago as well. So when she spoke, Irmão Shaeffer started to cry. It was sad, but the spirit was strong and was testifying that it was true. When i bore my testimony, i could feel it so strong. I felt so much love for him. More love for anyone that i met 6 weeks earlier in my life. It was so cool. I know that im going to need that same love when i go and teach people the gospel. Im going to need to love complete strangers, so it was good to get an opportunity to love him like that.

Im learning a lot about the gospel. I love it here. I kinda want to stay longer and learn more, but i know i cant. I know i need to get out there and teach people about Christ. I cant wait for that time. I know the gospel has brought so much happiness to my life, and i cant wait to share that with other people. I want them to know for themselves that Heavenly Father loves them, and that they can return to live with him again. Im so excited for the opportunity i have to serve a mission. I love it.

Talk to you later. I love you all. The church is true.

Friday, February 25, 2011

February 25, 2011 - Letter

 Well another week has come and gone. Its so weird how fast time goes by here. Its so weird. But all the districts that were here before us are almost all gone. The last two leave next wednesday. They're all being reassigned to different states. No one has been sent to Brazil except the Elder a couple weeks ago. But its good. They're all so excited to get out there and serve the Lord. It'll be weird though because we'll be the oldest group here, and we only have 2 or 3 weeks left here. Its so crazy!

I dont even know what else to say. Brother Shaeffer comes back on Monday. We're all excited. Its been 2 or 3 weeks and we all miss him.

Me and Elder Clark got Brother Dodge a new portuguese hymn book because he lost his. His birthday was on Monday so we got one engraved and wrote our testimonies in it. IT was cool. He really liked it. I love him so much. He's a great man.

Uhm, we've had some substitutes because Bro Shaeffer isnt here. But we've had two that went to Recife. They're both awesome. They have an official Recife Mission anthem that we've been trying to learn. Ha we love it. Everytime we see Brother Allred we put our hands over our hearts and start singing. Its great. They've told us some stories that i probably shouldnt tell because mom and grandma will freak out. But lets just say that its one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Im excited. I know it'll be cool to be there and i know the lord will protect us. Also, they've told us that Recife is the most beautiful city in Brazil. It'll be great.

I know that this church is true. I love you all so much. Im so excited to be here on a mission. I love it here. Write me more if you'd like to. I love you.

Elder Tracy

Friday, February 18, 2011

February 18, 2011 - Letter

 
 Well, another week has come and gone. Its so weird. Life is good here in the MTC.
  
We went to the temple today. We did sealings. It was my first time and it was really cool to be a part of that. I love the temple so much. If you think about how important it is to the people that you are doing it for it means so much more. It makes me happy to be able to provide them with the same opportunities that we all have.

Anyway, life here is great. Yesterday we started this thing where we have to speak Portuguese at all times. If we speak English we have to carry the "English rock". It weighs 10 pounds and everyone makes fun of you. Its really hard to just speak Portuguese. But i know that this will help us all out with learning the language.

Oh. One of my teachers, Brother Shaeffer, his dad died. He died really suddenly and unexpectedly. He's going to be gone for at least 2 weeks. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.

People are leaving and coming all the time. We had our old zone leaders leave on Tuesday. It was weird. The new zone leaders are Elder McComber and Elder Gage. They seem frustrated but they'll do a good job. We and 29 new missionaries come into our zone this week. 2 Districts so lots of missionaries. We were supposed to get new roommates but we didn’t.

Oh. I filled out my online visa application on Tuesday!!!! So, between 2-6 weeks till I should have my visa. So hope for the best.

I love it here at the MTC. I’m so thankful for the opportunity i have to serve a mission. I am learning so much everyday. It has and will continue to help me become the person that i want to be for the rest of my life. Elder Pearson spoke on Tuesday. He told us we need to become disciples of Christ. I really want that. I am so thankful for what he did for me and i want to help people return to him. I love this gospel. Got to Go

Love you. Elder Tracy

Friday, February 11, 2011

February 11, 2011 - Letter

Well, its Pday all over again. Time is flying by so fast. Seeems like just yesterday was our P-day, but oh well

The days fly by so fast. Some days I dont even remember what we did earlier. Its tough. But we're speaking only portuguese in class now. We kinda had to because our teachers dont "understand" english anymore. But its good. Its helping me to learn faster and better i think.

Oh ya. Parker O'very got his reassignment to Tallahasee or somewhere in Florida. Dont know if you knew that or not. But I heard that the mission president down there has been asking if the reassigned missionaries can go there. I guess there are a lot of Portuguese speakers in the southern states. Florida, Alabama, Georgia. And no. North Carolina is not in the south. So if i get reassigned, I'll probably go to one of those three states.

Um, we had a fireside on Tuesday. Someone from the seventy. His wife bore her testimony in spanish, portuguese, and English. It was really cool. It was simple, but very powerful. The spirit was very strong.

We taught at the TRC on wednesday. We taught about the plan of salvation. He seemed to feel really good about it. He prayed and read the scriptures. He felt the spirit both times. He told us he had been baptized when he was born. We told him that he needed to be baptised in Christs name to get to the celestial kingdom. He said he wanted that, and if thats what God wanted he said he'd do it. I know it wasnt a real lesson, but it was still my first opportunity to commit someone to be baptized. It was cool.

Im doing good though. I feel like im getting fat. I eat a lot here. 3 meals a day, snacks throughout all day, and then we only get 50 minutes to excersice. Its not enough time to burn off all the food im putting in my body. But oh well. One of my teachers, Brother Dodge, lost 60 pounds on his mission. He had some disease, and had worms in his stomach, but still. 60 pounds. So i figure what ever i put on here, i'll just lose it with diseases.

Also, there is a teacher who went to Recife. He said its really poor. There are favelas? Super poor area, lots of houses dont have addresses. But he only got a gun pulled on him once, so not too bad.

Any way, im doing great. I only ghave 30 seconds so i got to go. I love you all. The church is true.  Bye