Sunday, December 25, 2011

December 19, 2011

December 19

Well by the next time we talk we will have talked in person. I am not sure where I will get the internet or where I will get to talk or when so just keep the computer on (skype keeps itself on usually even when you are doing other things so just keep it up and I wll try to call haha but if I can´t just relax and wait for mothers day ;)

This week was rough. oh my goodness. I am opening a new area here on the Island with the assistant. But he is working on the Christmas conference and being trained by the other assistant so he is not here so I am working with the companion of the other assistant. We both know nothing about the area and are pretty lost. Oh and by the way he is from uraguay so its pretty much a miracle that we can talk at all haha. He has 9 months and I have six somehow we understand each other and somehow people understand us. haha

He has a different attitude about this work. I don~t like talking to members because its not my purpose, I don~t like walking slow because people are waiting for me and I hate `punting.’ I want to give it all up haha. But people think I am crazy. haha I see this time as a time of repentance (change) a time to reshape my life into what I need to be for the Lord in His kingdom. So I am trying to do that. I think it is right.

Anyways this week I felt like we lost a lot of time and wasted a lot of opportunities to find people but it was necessary to open the area so I feel good. The island is really touristy and has a lot of people that speak english. Lots of super nice homes (look up jureré on google its a neighborhood in Florianópolis wow...)

So its hard to find people that want to listen and actually live here. It is difficult but I am excited to work with the new Assistant becuase he is old like 25 and I think I can learn a lot from him.

Thanks for the news about Hannah and Toni. I wrote them both these past two weeks.

Blaa blaa blaa Hannah blaa blaa blaa. (Hannah he does mention you every once in a while.) The work is hard but is so rewarding and i just feel so good. I feel like I am growing and like I am learning how to teach better and how to build my relationship with my heavenly father.
Feliz Natal!

December 12, 2011

December 12
Ok so the Christmas call.

We can skype. We have no more than 40 minutes total.... haha so if you want to set up two skype accounts then send me my password and username so we can skype together :)
This week we met a lady who loves me becasue I am a blonde american. super awkward appointment and then awkawrd church because she came to church haha but it was good.
There is not a lot more hilarious than your brazilian companion singing american music in the shower haha. He is hilarious.
Oh and I remember you saying before my mission that I would be so calm when I get back that I was stressed and rude before. I didn~t believe you but today we spent an hour in the post office waiting and I was so relaxed it was amazing haha. Something about learning what is important in life I guess. haha
Well tomorrow I will leave the area. There is an american family here that was born in brazil but lived in america for 10 years so they are all learning portuguese again and they are super cool. We planned an american party with for after my mission. Ill try to send their address so that you can send them a letter. They lived in Utah and she is amazing (the mom) but she hates brazil so they would love a letter or something.

Congrats to Hamilton! And Way to go Romney! As a Freshman almost placing at one of the hardest tournaments in the state! Wow. He is going to be so good. Haha He should go the same weight as Hamilton so that we can have two brothers in the same wieght at state :)

My companion is amazing. He really doesn~t care about numbers or baptisms but how to help the ward and how to help the people we are teaching come to Christ. He knows preach my Gosple and he does his calling as district leader as written in the handbook . He is teaching me so much more about missionary work, really missionary work the work as a representative of Christ. My dream now is to get transfered to the furthest spot away from the president and just work with a companion that loves to work. Not worry about zone leaders or Assistants or president. Just work. But because the Lord knows that that is what I want I was transfered to the Island (by the mission home) and I will be companion to the Assistant..... not really excited about it. But it will be a great chance to learn from a great Elder so we will see.

But Heavenly Father knows me. In the missionary handbook this week I read a scripture in Helaman 3:35 and this week i have prety much just studied that scripture and the heart and how the humble will suffer sometimes but it doesn~t matter because we can humble ourselves more and become closer to Heavenly Father when we give him our hearts.
Just a lot of thinking this week..

December 5, 2011

December 5

Christmas is coming here but its odd because it is super hot and instead of more clothes people wear less haha It is hilarious to see what people think is ok.

That story about Catherine is funny. Tell her to write more ;) haha just kidding

Its odd that I miss things like that but they really don~t have a big place in my life right now because I am just so busy thinking about people and my role and I am absolutely loving the scriptures. I get home and read before dinner and before bed and whenever because during personal study I don~t have time to study what I want. haha

I miss wrestling.... but all is well.

This week I have some stories for you guys..

Story Number one
First have you ever put a pick up load or a truck load of propane cans or glass bottles together and then driven over a bumpy road? You know how they just kind of bounce back and forth together swaying and wobbling. It is kind of humorous no? Well remember that image in your head.

In Brazil lots of people use buses. And the buses here have 6 seats and then a turn style and then the rest of the seats. Old people don~t have to pay so they don~t go through the turn style. This usually isn~t a big deal. But this p-day we went to the mission office (about an hour on the bus) to get Books of Mormon for our District. Apparently this day was Bring a retired person to work day because about 15 older people got on the bus. Almost all women. They, not wanting to pay, did not go through the turnstyle. So on this bus the back 3/4 of the bus had no one standing and the front 1/4 had about 11 grandmas standing up. This was a hilarious situation for anyone who got on the bus, well at least it was hilarious for the one American sitting in the back, and an even more hilarious situation because roads in my area are anything but smooth. (Sometimes standing up on the bus feels like a roller coaster) so sitting in the back I watched a load of grandmothers bounce around like a pick up truck full of propane bottles. It was hard not to burst out laughing but somehow I managed.

Story number two

In Brazil you don~t have water heaters. Just a shower head that has a heated metal coil that the water runs through and gets semi hot. Well this last week our shower head died. So after 1 day of cold showers we bought a new coil. And my companion installed it. Long story short we were treated to a small fireworks display and now we have a new shower head.

Well a pretty good week. haha I~m relaxing more and having fun. I kind of came into the mission with an attitude that I would never have fun and that I would be Christ like in a serious manner. But I think I am learning who he really was and that he had fun too. That he was probably like Presidente Hinckley or President Monson and enjoyed life. I am learning to enjoy the mission.

This week I was walking ont he street after trackting and was on my way to an appointment. I was on an exchange with my companion from the MTC and I thought lets talk to that lady sitting on her porch. I stopped and that lady had been praying for help. For someone to stop and talk to her. But this prompting wasnt scary or stressful just a thought. A quiet lets try this. It was so relaxing to me that the spirit can speak in a calming manner as well as a powerful manner.

November 28, 2011

November 28
I miss my muscles too..... haha But I went running 3 times this week with my companion to an outdoor public gym thing that was pretty cool. Almost killed him I think. Haha but it was great.

This week took a pretty big turn on saturday. I have pretty much been coasting here. With Elder Pereira I was really excited to get promoted and that was my attitude be ready to be promoted after my first two transfers. But here With Elder Barros its like we don~t have a senior companion we just work together we plan together, we teach together and we cook together. And he as all the responsibility as the senior companion. It was great. So I was just kind of coasting. Not really worried about a whole lot just really enjoying the service of the Lord.

Saturday during lunch... President called and told my companion that he needs two Americans to train next transfer (2 weeks) and he was asking how I was doing. All I heard on my side was this (certantly President, he helps he is ready more or less this) When I learned what it was I got pretty stressed. I have been stressing out the past three days about this and if I am ready or if I can do this. I realized that I really don~t know what Im doing and that I really don´t speak all that well. I was stressing out about this saturday afternoon and sunday and was really really worried. Sunday we had the primary program in our ward. I was excited because that meant that I could read my scriptures during sacrament meeting. I did a little reading but found myself listening to the music that they sang more than reading. I read DC 6:36 and just listened to their voices sing songs like I´ll bring the world his truth and When I was baptized and I~m trying to be like Jesus. I remembered Ether 12:27 and the words that Mormom wrote their. He was so worried that the people would mock the words he wrote because he felt week in writing but the Lord responded with verse 27 and we can learn so much about what the Lord expects of us (humility and faith) and how much power we can receive when we are humble and faithful.

It was incredible how much power a primary singing without a piano in a Chapel in Brazil could bring to me and how much peace they could bring to my Heart.

Had someone yell GO back to America from a Motorcycle this week. And had some girls yelling something about my hair. It was an interesting week.

We had about 18 appointments Friday Saturday and Sunday and we had 18 appointents fall through. Which meant a lot of walking in the sun not a fun thing and very discouraging but it was good for us. The work here is really odd. The people here are so Good. Lots of return missionaries and lots of people with great faith. I want to help.

November 21, 2011

November 21
This week was a pretty good week. We are teaching a ton of lessons and not baptizing anyone haha. It is difficult here to get people to the church and even more difficult to get them to want to go to church.

This week was a crazy week in our ward not really crazy for the members but for us behind the scenes it was a crazy week.

I got the christmas packages!! haha super excited. Thank you :) i~m saving them for Christmas so I hope that I stay in this area for Christmas because I don~t want to lug those things all the way to my new area. Haha (He was transferred the week before Christmas. HA)

This week I feel like I progressed a lot. In my relationship with the members and in our ability to make sacrifices to follow the mission rules. We had a division yesterday where I taught a family with a member about some doubts they had. They have a lot of doubts that I have had and still have. Primarily how is this whole mortal experience is fair at all and how we can even be judged when so many of our actions here are based on our ability to think which is greatly influenced on who our parents were. It is hard to explaining to someone in English (including me) and even harder in Portuguese.
Basically I had to just use simple questions to try help him see that Heavenly Father loves us and it will all work out. I hope he can understand.

It is odd teaching someone with the same questions that you have.

OH and something that happened three weeks ago, We were walking down the street when this cop on a motor cylce was chasing this other guy on a motor cycle, not a big deal, then the motor cycle comes flying down the road the other directions back at us and stops not 30 feet in front of us. At this point the cop has also stopped and is trying to pull the other guy of the bike. They guy gets away with his motor cycle and flies down a side street the cop turns around and chases him (naturaly)
By this time the entire street is looking and yelling and making a rucus. As we continue onward we see the cops bike tipped without the cop.... (this is where the fun starts)
We are kind of watching curiously when every young man on the street starts yelling and running down the street chasing the bad Guy. At that point we left hoping that the people were going to beat up the bad guy and not the cop.
Pretty crazy day haha

November 14, 2011

Sorry, a bit late getting things updated.

November 14

This week was a pretty good week (i~ll share two stories here that you need to share with dad)

1 - I hate it when people say - this is the ONLY true church on the face of the Earth.

I hate it for a lot of reasons. One I think it orients our thoughts toward the fact that our church is different and the away from the purpose of church in general. I also think it is a little prideful and can be a little combative as well. Also, my understanding of the attonement and the love of my Heavenly Father is that they are not going to send anyone away just because they weren~t memebers of this church. The church will not save anyone. (they love to say that here there are a ton of evangelicals)

I was doubting my testimony pretty hard. We ran into a lady whose church also had a prophet in the states and they follow the teachings of him. I started thinking why this church? Why should I be telling people to join this church othere churches have profets as well. I was praying about this while we were tracting and this one lady said we could talk to her. we were talking to her and her husband when she said, (Deus é um só) basically it means that there is just one God and your church doesn~t matter. I have always had a hard time responding to this phrase because I don~t know what to say. But this day it came clearly to my mind. If there is just one God then there is just one way to him. And if there is just one way to him only one church has that way. I testified to her that that way that path was in our church. After her we had the chance to teach the first discussion 3 or 4 times to people who just let us in to talk. It was such a good chance for me to strengthen my testimony.

Heavenly Father gave me a chance to share my testimony and thus help it Grow. It was a great day.

2 - I am scared of this lady in my ward.

She is crazy. I love her and she is hilarious but she is crazy. haha and she gave me a reference 2 weeks ago and I did nothing with it. I didn~t have confidence in the reference and didn~t want to waste the time going to talk to her so I didn~t. (pretty bad of me) We had lunch at this ladies house yesterday and I was scared. I was scared for my life to be honest with you haha.

I was thinking about this the last three days before this lunch and had a revelation. The spirit helped me come up with a plan about how I could use this family to teach her so that it wouldn~t be just the missionaries but rather the family teaching.(I told her that before my mission giving references to the missionaries was like lighting a firework. You drop it and run away and that I didn~t want that to happen here) At one point during the plan she shook my hand because she was so excited that a missionary understood this relationship.

It was such a blessing to me that insteading of losing the confidence of the member we gained it. I am really excited to work with this family.

My companion is Elder Barros. He is from Campinas, São Paulo. He is a lot different than my other companion and drives me nuts a lot at home but on the street he is amazing. He loves to teach and follows and knows Preach My Gosple. It is a good relationship.

The food is good. A lot of rice and beans. And stroganoff (made that today) the stroganoff is just tomato sauce and cream with corn and chicken or beef. The lasagna here is with lunch meat and white sauce its a lot different but really good. They eat spaghetti but spaghetti is always with the sauce never separate. The food at the bakery is really cheap like 30 cents for a cinamon roll thing but in general food is more expensive. Milk is 2 reals for one liter but vegetables and fruits are really cheap.

I am learning to cook brazilian food so that I can share it when I get back :)

We eat with members everyday except p-day which is hard because It takes a lot of time and sometimes is more stressful to me and less efficente but its ok.

I know that we are procted because we walk in some pretty crazy areas in the dark with people doing crack right next to us and nothing happens :) love you !!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Nov. 2, 2011

Wow Elder Oaks! I~m jealous haha. Good luck getting a seat anywhere in the city of bellevue haha.

So this week was great. I have a new companion which means new things that bug me but he is amazing. My first lesson with him he sat down and just taught from his heart. He didn~t use the flip chart thing we have here which I hate and he didn~t just recite his speech he really taught people. ( I came to learn later that his speech is a little less rehearsed but he still has a set plan and that set plan killed a lesson) He likes to work. And more importantly he likes to follow Preach My Gospel. So many missionaries don~t read it. Or don~t use it because its the manual and the manual isn~t in touch with reality. It really bothers me because this tool is amazing. It is half for the lessons and half to convert us to the Gospel. If you really study it you can learn so much.

I am having a hard time with my zone leader and the leadership in general. This is a ladder mission. Which means that everyone is trying to get to the top. With Elder Pereira I had that attitude as well. But my new companion is relaxed and just likes to help people which means that he should be a leader but he isn~t because he is kind of immature and doesn’t]t have that leader attitude. The thing that drives me nuts is numbers. My trainer told me to stop by eternal investigators if you are having a bad week because the numbers will show president that you are working. And my zone leader told me president only cares about numbers. That drives me crazy. I hate that. Because if I am worried about numbers I can~t worry about people and if I am not worried about people I can~t be a successful missionary. I am praying for understanding and sent a letter to My President about this dilemma.

We made 100 contacts this week. haha It was really cool. We were focused on contacts but we had lessons too. People let us in and we tracted into some non members that needed our help. My companion just said lets tract this city so we did. we are about half way through and have some promising new investigators.

Right now I am trying to tell the sisters in the ward that we can~t eat with them alone. They don~t follow that rule here. I have had lunches with a lot of sisters alone because their husbands work during the day and they want to feed the missionaries. I am talking with the relief society president about this and I will address the sisters next Sunday. Pray for me!!

Love you Dad,


I have been studying humility this week because it is one of my weaknesses and this is my thought about Christ,

Christ died on calvary but he lost his life in Gethsemene. So must we be willling to lose our lives if we want to be truly humble. Also dc 67:10 showed me a lot about

So my truck is runny well? It sounds like a glow plug problem. Be careful with ethenol You can ruin a diesel engine with that spray. Any offers yet?

P-day with elder pereira we hung out with the youth in the ward which I didn~t really like because I wanted to write letters or study ( its odd I don~t really like to sleep on p-day so many other things I could be doing) but anyway I wanted to just relax and cook or draw. My new companion is the opposite he wants to use his p-day to rest so I think now we will just stay in house the rest of day haha. Next week we will to the chapel because I want to practice piano. I want to play here because no one plays ( i know you told me so) so I am learning haha.

We teach about 20 lessons a week. ON a good week. The work here is slow. The church was born here in Brazil. About 80 years here and the entire state only has 5 stakes. The state above and the state below have temples but we don~t. There are a lot of people here who just don~t want to change. They are happy in their religion and think that religion isn~t important just that we are baptized and have faith. They don~t have logic. One woman told us that heaven doesn~t have a plack of a chuch. Just the plack of the church of Jesus Christ. I wanted to say oh you mean like this one on my name tag? haha

Satan has a strong grip on the people. In his half truths they think they are saved, and many of them are becasue they really have faith, but their lives could be so much better. I have been thinking a lot about my purpose as a missionary because I don~t believe that God will damn someone for not listening to two boys in white shirts. It doesn~t fit with my conception of God. So I think the purpose of the Gosple is to bless our lives and we get more blessings through the ordinances of Salvation but everyone will have the opportunity to have these ordinances. I don~t know if that makes sense but thats what is going through my head. That my job is just to help people have more peace through the Gosple of Jesus Christ,

Well enough introspection, Thanks for the spices!!! I used them a lot this week.

Love you Mom,

Elder Noel
Oct. 31, 2011
I~m glad to hear that you~re excited for wrestling. I really really want to wrestle someone here. Especially because here they all do jujitsu so I want to see how I would do. I think I would do pretty well. :)

Hamilton has recruiters after him huh? That is cool :) Are they offering money or just a spot on the team?

This week was pretty good. Got to work alone twice (see moms email for more) and learned a lot about working as a senior companion. I am not in such a hurry to be a senior now. haha But it was really good.

You are exactly right about the pride. I am studying humility right now in Preach My Gospel (you should take a look if you have time) and trying to learn how to have more confidence in the Lord and less confidence in me. Because I think that fear really is an indication of pride. We are afraid of what people will think or do or say and we don~t trust the Lord because we are worried about ourselves. Really it is a lack of faith in him or an indication of pride in Us.

I~m learning a lot about myselft. I spent the first 11 weeks trying to keep my mind 100 percent on the work. Never thinking about home or about my truck (how is that by the way) or about marriage or anything other than missionary work. And it was good. But now i~m just exhausted mentally. I don~t know what you did to keep your mind on the work without killing yourself but I would appreciate your advice on the subject.

I am relaxing a lot more. It is good. I can feel the spirit more when I am less worried about rules. Its hard to explain but I think I am learning a balance between life and rules. And when life is different than the rules and when we need to sacrifice our lives to obey the rules. It is a tricky balance and one that I will hopefully have figured out by the end of two years. haha

This week we talked to a Jehovah Witness couple. It is interesting to see how missionaries deal with people who want to fight. I find it really immature when people say something and then say the reference right after and I hate it when people do that and hate it more when missionaries do that because it makes us look like we are just trying to flex muscles (biblical muscles). And I would rather pretend to be stupid and let them talk and then present a simple message about love than bible bash. I really think that we can avoid bible bashing if we focus our messages on love. And compliment people on the faith they have and show them how this love can be more present in their lives. It’s what I want to do as senior companion.

There is a lot of people out there who don~t understand the bible and who have great faith but don~t know where to put it. It is really sad. I hope I can help a few of them. but really they just want to teach us. Pray that I can find people who really love to learn and who are really looking for truth.

Love you Dad,

Elder Noel
OH thanks for teaching me to work. One day you said to me that your goal was to make me work until I loved work. I love work. I love learning and I love being active. I’m less interested in naps or in general recreation because its time lost for learning. I think that is a gift from you.

I did get the packages. Infact I am wearing the tie right now:) It was really funny my companion got the package before me so everyone in our district saw a package from my family to him but not to me. Thank you so much for the picture!!! I love it:) I put it in my book of Mormon. And peanut butter on pancakes was such a treat!!! haha I have pancakes everyday. (almost blew up the house this week making cake..... hahaha) Thanks for the packages. They really are great. It is crazy how much a little love from home can do for your moral.

This week I got to work 2 days back to back alone with Elder Christensen (new elder here from utah but he served for 4 months in Alabama) so that means 2 days not having a Brazilian to have my back. It was really good for me. Good for me to know that I can make decisions and good for me to know that I can speak that language in a manner that people can understand me.

The bad thing is he wants to speak English at home. That isn~t terrible but it is harder for me to maintain my image as a missionary in English because I have patterns of speech in English that are less than formal. And its easier for me to talk bad about my companion in English which is really bad. haha so I~m learning two things. 1 be more patient with Brazilians because they don~t have the opportunity to re structure their language and 2 learn to control the things I talk about. It is good. I am also translating. Which is good for my confidence.

Our lesson to new investigators was rough..... haha but we taught them and I think we demonstrated our church well. We will see how well when we return next week.

I spent a lot of time worrying that people wouldn~t talk to me after my companion left (he leaves tomorrow) because he has been here for 6 months. But yesterday at church the relief society president was already talking to me and not him because she knew he would leave. That was really cool. It is really good for my confidence. Usually I am worried about what people think of me. Especially because I can~t speak and express myself in the manner I can in English.

Well I love you mom. This was a good week. I can~t believe its already been 5 months since I left! Crazy huh?!

I love you mom!!
interested in naps or in general recreation because its time lost for learning. I think that is a gift from you.
Oct. 24th 2011

Ok so this week I wrote a letter to you both and to you both individually. Feel free to share:)

I am learning here that missionaries are just boys. If you want your son to be a good missionary teach him how to be a good husband and teach him how to work. Missionaries here are pretty much the same as they were before. Sometimes that is really good and sometimes that is really bad. haha

I really hope that Hamilton can help unify the Youth program. Unity is so important. I see mission leaders here use the word (I) a lot. And while it is good to show missionaries a good example it is really bad for unity when a leader tries to show people why he is a good leader. And unity is so important. We remember that in Moses we read that the people of Zion are of one heart and one mind. Or unified. And that in unity we can find strength

Well This week I taught alone. :)

Literally Alone haha.

We had a new Elder arrive in the area next to us (they are opening the area that hasn~t been opened for a year, which means the house hasn~t been lived in a year and is unlivable right now so they are living with us) My companion and I went with them to show them the new area and a few investigators. One of the investigators needed to have the 3 lesson because her baptism is this thursday but my companion had to introduce the other Brazil to a new family. So Elder Christensen (3 days in Brazil) and I showed up at the lesson with lots of enthusiasm and little Portuguese.

It was wonderful. We prayed before we entered. Talked a little and then left. It was fast, efficient, and the spirit was strong. Also I felt for the first time like I really can teach. It was really good for my confidence and I thank the Lord for a companion that let me teach alone. The funny thing about teaching in another language is that you really get to experience the gift of tongues. But the gift of tongues doesn’t mean that you can say words you don’t know only that you can see ways to say what you want to say. It basically is like faith.

I think about faith like standing on the edge of a cliff looking into the darkness below. And when you take the step off the cliff the bridge appears. But you have to be willing to take that step into the abyss. You have to be willing to take the fall before you can make the walk.

This week was a good week. Hard and lots and lots of walking but really good. My study schedule is all out of whack because of the other elders living here and it bugs me but I’m more relaxed now than I was before so things are ok.

We sacrifice perfection to teach responsibility. It is a phrase that I want to use as a trainer and something that I miss from my parents. Generally people don~t understand this. I was blessed to have two parents who understood this concept and helped me learn responsibility.

Elder Noel.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

10-17-11 Learning

I guess that means that the UW beat Utah!! And 5-1 that is great:)

I wish I could read conference talks... haha because hearing them I didn~t understand a lot honestly.

First off, Day light savings time in Brazil... exists.... and is really exciting when your companion realizes that we lost an hour overnight when you are in the shower. haha sunday was kind of like that.

This week was hard for me to keep my mouth shut a few times. People don~t realize when they are being rude. One family home evening a return missionary father and my companion swapped stories about funny situations and stomach problems of Americans here in brasil. For me it hurt. I was surprised how much it hurt. Before my mission I laughed at these stories too so I can~t be too upset but people don~t understand what it is like. They don~t understand what it feels like to be utterly lost in a conversation to be unable to do anything yourself because you can~t speak the language. They think it is funny that Americans suffer here. I really just want to stand up and yell at them. That it might be funny for them but these are real people suffering And its hard, not because learning a language is hard but because it is the hardest thing in the world to sit in a lesson and feel the spirit and not be able to say what you want to.

I am relearning the importance of rules and when rules are less important than people and when people are less important than rules. It is a balance I thought I had before my. That is an attribute that Christ had Perfectly and it is an example I want to learn from.

Wright I hope that was good. Haha my english is a little shaky right now and my skills as writer are not what they used to be. I tried to pray in english the other day and it was almost impossible haha. It was definately an awful prayer.

Mom you really taught me about faith. Every time I felt lost or alone as a child you helped me turn to the gospel. I remember as a child I asked you in a safeway one day, `mom what if this isn~t true what if this gospel isn’t true ‘it was a very profound question for a child now that i think of it but you answered it perfectly. Remember what you said? You said, ìf it isn’t true will I be ashamed of the way I’m living right now at the end of my life`?

I am learning that same lesson now. Haha. It is amazing how much a little time will do to help people. I imagine Christ always had time for people. Like the Woman who touched his robe and was healed. He stopped and talked with her when the disciples wanted to leave. I am glad you shared that experience with me because it helped me understand the lesson I am learning right now.

I will write to the ward if you want but I always thought it a little tacky when missionaries wrote back to the ward and the bishop read it over the pulpit. But here it goes:

Elder Noel

10-10-11--Continued Growth

Well I~m full of cookies. Yes finally found a member who would let us use their oven and I made cookies using the recipe book that Sister Ward gave me and the recipe care of Sister Greenhalgh:) Was amazing to have a little taste of home this week.

This week I learned that giving ourselves for someone or for some cause means that we truly give ourselves. We give our lives for the greater good. I think we can learn a lot from the Savior in this situation. He asked that the cup could pass from him. That we could do this a different way. But then he said, `thy will be done` Here Christ gave himself for the church.

Christ Died on Calvary but he lost His life in Gethsemane.

I hope I have the courage and the humility to lose my life during these next two years.

This week we found a bright spot,

These past two weeks were difficult. Not very many investigators not very many lessons, lots of walking and lots of discouragement. But on Friday we taught a part member family that has been inactive for 8 years more or less and they have a 13 year old daughter. We taught her and her mom the first lesson. I got to give the first vision story and the spirit was so strong. My Portuguese was perfect during this part. And the girl accepted that was good. After the mom said, (how much time before a Dad can return and baptize his daughter?) That was better. It truly was a bright spot. A spot that I needed right now. And it was made brighter by all the darkness.

It is amazing how much wrestling helps you on a mission. First this is not that hard physically. I can eat all I want and the work is a lot a lot a lot of walking but I have put in more work physically on the mat so it’s not really as difficult as it could be. Second, learning a language is a lot like learning to wrestle. When you are learning moves you go from thinking about it to sometimes doing it on reaction to full reaction. My senior year I could feel moves hit moves in positions that happened and it was smooth.

The same thing is happening with my Portuguese. Sometimes it is reaction sometimes I have to think. But I know with drilling it will get to the point that I can just react. Just like wrestling. But it will take work just like wrestling.

I am learning a lot about members of the church in General. That often we really don~t worship. Truly worship. We go to church and pray but we don~t study the scriptures or fast with purpose or treat others with true charity and honesty.

I am learning a lot about what kind of father I want to be, what kind of husband I want to be and what kind of disciple I want to be. I get to see different houses and feel different spirits everyday.

Also I notice that a lot of people are only obedient when obedience is easy. For example fasting. Missionaries tell me that if an investigator offers you food that you should just eat a little not to be rude. That this isn~t breaking your fast. And they are right. But they don’t understand that is a great opportunity to demonstrate to investigators what is fasting and why we do it and bear testimony of the purpose of my fast. So many people don~t understand the importance of sacrifice. That when we do hard things to be obedient the Lord will reward us. I am learning this lesson now and Hope that I can learn this lesson for the rest of my life.

Missionary life is good. I really do like it. I am learning a lot of patterns here that I want in my life after my mission. It really is a special time to be closer to the spirit. I was thinking about this time and how I will answer to the Savior about my misson about this time that I am giving him. And I realized that it isn~t my time i am giving Him but His time he is giving me. And that this time is important for me as well as my investigators and the people of Santa Catarina.

The Church in brazil started in this state. First mission was here in Florianopolis. And now the entire state has 3 stakes. 3 stakes. It is incredible. After all these years 3 stakes. Cities to the north and south of us have temples and we have 3 stakes. It really is amazing. I used to think that this was the fault of bad missionaries but I am learning that you can be perfect and people still won~t change. My goal is to never lose hope that people will change. To never lose the faith that I can bring this person closer to Christ.

Love you,

Elder Noel

Sunday, October 9, 2011

October 3, 2011

I did get to see conference! And here it is way different. Times are 1 to 3 and 5 to 7 so a lot different. Also people go to the chapel to watch because they don~t have internet in their houses. It is so much more powerful with a group of people. I wish we did that in the states. I did think about you guys having a picnic and I was jealous. haha

I can find good shoes here for good prices so I should be good. Thanks. My clarks just hurt to wear because the sole is thin now and we walk on rocks and my rock ports are fixable. haha

This week was rough but good. Learned a lot and got to see the progress One thing I trying to develop right now is charity. I have no problem loving people who need love or who are hurting but I have problems loving people who are disobedient or who directly defy the rules.

This transferencia I am pretty much guaranteed a new companion in this area. This will be interesting because I think that I could be a senior companion but at the same time I have a lot to learn and this scares me. haha so I am ready to trust in the Lord and be his servant.

I loved that quote by Marion g Romney too! That when we truly give our hearts to God our desires to act contrary to his will will die. I am thinking about ways I can give my heart to him.

Speaking of obedience it is interesting to me to see people’s attitudes on this. Rationalization is so dangerous. People rationalize little things and soon find themselves outside the safety of the commandments. It is a dangerous thing that I pray I can understand and keep myself away from.

Oh btw imagine the united states with a 1 month mail strike... brazil is almost 1 month without mail. haha That is crazy to think about. here people are still relaxed. In the states people would be rioting in the streets haha. Crazy.

We were teaching gustavo and fernanda (recent converts) and she has lots of duvidas. Her duvidas are questions regarding the name of God and if fasting without paying fast offering is `valid` we had prayed before this lesson and we had the spirit really strong. It was amazing because I could work with my companion. We both talked and both explained doctrines of the gospel. It was a powerful day. We taught them until 11 at night :/ haha he doesn~t get off work until 830 and they just needed to talk so we just listened and responded.

Oh here are some pictures of me in Brazil, these pictures are in the nicest neighborhood i~ve seen here and do not reflect the general standard of living in anyway.

Oh btw thank you for not having a tv in the house. I hate tv. People watch it always their kids watch it always and the spirit is so much different without the tv. I don~t want one in my house. haha

September 26, 2011

This week I grew a lot. Last week my companion told me that I need to have confidence in him and this week I have tried to do that. It made a huge difference. I was so worried about not being a bad missionary that i lost sight of what a good missionary is. He really is a good missionary. Perfect... No. But a fantastic missionary. Our differences really are just that, differences. He sees people and I see objectives. My schedule is a planned event and his is flexible agenda. There are advantages to both and my job right now is to learn his style and then adapt mine when latter.

This week we had an exchange. (divisao) And I basically got to be senior companion for a day. It was really good for my confidence. My companion is someone who dominates conversations and I have no problem with that in English or Portuguese I like to listen and understand situations and talk when I think there is something that needs to be said ( i know that wasn~t true at the dinner table but in social situations in general thats how I am haha) Having him gone was nice because I could have relationships with people. I really am progressing quickly with the language. I try to think in protugese and learn 4 new words every day. The program for new missionaries is 12 weeks of training with the same companion and is designed to have Elders ready for mission leadership after 12 weeks. This is my goal. Be ready to be a senior companion after 2 transfers.

Go Dawgs:) haha

I am learning a lot about my mission. My president is a run run run type of president. And sometimes this is really good. Other times it is not so good. For example we had a zone conference on P-day today. Which means we got up at 5 rode the bus for an hour and had an amazing conference until 3 30 and now have to ride an hour back and p-day ends at 6. With an hour of email we basically have no time for (preparation).

Elder Bednar gave a talk about the difference between Doctrines, Principles and Applications of the Gosple. I find that when we follow applications we can understand doctrines and principles but we need to show our obedience first. I have so much I am learning haha I want to write it all but I can~t.

Oh heard you got the truck up to the road. Thanks

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I cook

I am loving cooking. I am kind of on a health food thing right now. My pancakes have oats in them and I made granola in a frying pan. I even put a little postum (cevada) in them. Here is my homemade postum maker:)I talk to the sisters in the wards and I get tips from them. Haha if only I had more time to try things out. I learned how to make rice in a frying pan, and how to make beans (brazilian style)

Mission really is like a mini life. I am born here to my ^pai^ and I really can~t do anything. I learn from him about the missionary work and then I get to live my own life. I hope my sins with him are his fault like they were before I was 8 haha.

Do you have any ideas for sweets in one pan? I really want to make cake or cookies or something but don~t have a whole lot of options without an oven; We can get eggs, really cheaply actually. I can find almost everything here, incredients wise, that we have in the states but it might be really expensive. So give me some ideas and i~ll make substitutions and have experiments :)

My companion really likes peanut butter, they don~t have that here, and I think he would love reeses, because they don~t have them here and he loves peanut butter and chocolate.

This week was better for us. Rained less and was easier to find people in their houses. Last week we had 15 appointments fall through. It was awful. We walk everywhere so it was alot of time walking around and little time teaching. Frustrating to say the least.

I got stung by a bee... sitting in someones house felt something on my neck and swatted it.. Ouch. haha

Silvia came to church! It was amazing to see her there. We finally got an investigator to come to church. We have a new investigator named Nilo. He is a really chill guy but he commited to october 8th as a baptismal date. Pray that we can have that happen but more importantly that we can build a relationship with members so that he stays strong in the church.

THEY HAVE POSTUM IN BRASIL!!!! Its called cevada and its just ground roasted barley. You make it like coffe with a filter and everything. I made a coffee maker out of a 2 liter bottle and a coffee filter. I feel so grown up drinking it haha. Sometimes I drink it black just because it makes me feel like a cow boy.

I am drinking the water here now.. I hope i don~t die. I really can~t find a way to use the water filter bottle they give us. They want us to use it always even in the house of members. But I can~t find a way to use it without being rude and the water here is really clean.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Here are some pictures from this week,

Sweet hot dog (no hot dog just bun i was a little disappointed), and frisbe with my companion in a brazilian soccer field. oh and my companion with marriage rice He is a little love struck haha.

We have this big indoor drying rack that works pretty well when it is sunny but the problem is we have weeks of rain and then things are just wet. We have clothes pins so that is good thank you though. I appreciate you watching money in my account.

crazy how fast time moves. I have already been out 3 months! Weeks just seem to move by. time is really strange. So is this. Some days I think I want to go home right now and other days I think I want to do this forever. It is really a strange feeling being out here. But I absolutely love it. It is hard but the best moments are after the hardest things.

It is a lot like wrestling. You look back at a day and see moments when you could have gone harder but you still won. I am seeing moments where I could have had a better desire in my heart or where I could have had a better thought about someone. I was thinking about this and I think this is a lot like the atonement. We look back and think I could have gone harder here and here and here but Christ says it is ok. And we forgive ourselves and given the opportunity again we act differently. But sometimes we make the same mistakes the same thoughts over and over and over again and we need to be patient with ourselves. I was not being patient with myself my first 3 weeks. Now I am a lot more relaxed. I understand that mortality is really important but part of that importance is our ability to change. Our ability to change ourselves. We know that we had thoughts and personalities before this life and that we will have them after this life (alma 34 34) and so this life is a unique opportunity to change those personalities. An opportunity that we have only during mortality. How important is it. And then I think about the role of the gospel in this change and commandments and I could go on forever haha but i wont.

Ok I love cooking:) But we don~t have an oven... so do you have any easy recipes I can make with limited dairy products and no oven? Here we have milk and cream but everything is really different. haha I just need some ideas.

Dad I~ve relaxed so much this week. I really stopped worrying about rules and started to worry about people and the spirit. And guess what? I felt the spirit more this week than ever before. I realized that i am here to serve people not follow rules. And when my primary focus was following rules I lost the spirit. It is amazing to have the spirit with you.

I progressed so much this week in portuguese. It is amazing. When I have a thought now I can speak it to people because I understand what is going on. I say the thought and then the spirit leaves and I stop talking because I have no more words. Crazy how much I am growing. It is so relaxing when you have the spirit Dad. Since I started my mission I have been falling asleep thinking about a scripture or a scripture story or a thought I had during the week. I find that a lot of revelation comes at that time. And I find myself getting out of bed two or three times to go write something down.

I was thinking about how much of this experience is focused on Faith. Everything we do is focused on Faith. I was thinking about when that experience ends. And I think that probably we will walk by faith until we meet God again.

Also I was thinking about the plan of salvation and how interesting it is to be here. Eternity is now. We are experienceing eternity. This experience is part of Eternity. And God chose special people to help others. those people were prophets. Those people are people in the scriptures. Those people are missionaries. Those people are me. It is my job to find people because I made covenants before this life to help find people and teach them.

Ok my families, Danielle and Ghardell, he is a drug addict and they are really poor one room house. Wonderful people but religion isn~t really important right now. We are praying to have the spirit to show them how much this can help them.

Silvia, older lady with a smoking problem. Wants to be baptized but hasn~t come to church yet. We are working with her to help her quit smoking and join the church.

Andrei and Eliane, 22 and 20 year old couple with 2 kids. Work all the time to keep above the water. They feel differnt when we come into their home and my companion is great at talking with them giving them a friendly impression of the church.

Gustavo and Fernanda, baptized last week. Wonderful people, investigated the church for 3 or 4 years before joining. Now they are baptized and will be super strong. THey have a hard time with the prophet and his purpose but they know the church is true so we are really excited for their future.

This week was great. Our numbers were horrible but i grew so much. For Andrei and Eliane we were out working and couldn~t find anyone to teach because it was raining and no one would open the door and no one on the street would talk to us. We were cold and wet and my companion said lets go to the church and plan a lesson for them I thought this was a little Fubeca (lazy) but followed. I told him my idea for a simple lesson on Jesus Cristo that ended in a convite to read o livro de mormon.

We went in, i gave the lesson and he invited them to read the book of mormon. It was a great lesson. In a Zone conference the day following my companion bore his testimony that this was the best lesson he had ever participated in on his mission. And I was upset about planning it.


My shoes are hurting. My clarks are wearing down (one elder said his only lasted 6 weeks) and my rock ports (amazing becasue they are waterproof) already have the sole separating at the front. Clothes are good. Its going to be a long two years of white shirts haha. And garmets are really tough because they never really dry.

As far as wash goes we have a machine (not really sure how it works becuase i~ve never seen it spin... haha) and no dryer everyone here air drys, not really sure why becuase the climate is a lot like seattle... so garments are moldy some times.

Money comes on cards and we just use our cards to withdraw money on the first and 15 of every month. It is really easy for us. i have 70 us dollars in my bag but don~t ahve anywhere to change it so we´ll see how that works out haha.

haha they don~t have laundry mats here haha it really is 3rd world like sometimes. Others it is like america but it is really different haha I thought it would be like america but it deffinately is not haha. But I love it. Ithink the Lord knew I needed to come here for 2 reasons. 1 humble myself while learning the langauge and 2 give me something to do for 2 years. I think this would get boring in the us after a while. This is like a new adventure everyday. haha crazy here.

Oh today or tomorrow I am going to make syrup for my pancakes. I have pancakes almost every morning becuase I am starving a lot haha.

Ok glad to hear my huskies are one and 0:) hahaha

Had my first baptism this week. Was .... interesting. Family that I told you about. I expected to feel the spirit super strong but it was kind of so-so. It is really different here. The members wear jeans and t shirts haha just a more relaxed culture. I had to baptize the wife twice which was terrible because she had a fear of water.... yeah..... haha but we survived. They will be super strong in the Gosple. They cry at sacrament meeting every week.

My companion is a really good guy. Its interesting because I see myself in Him. He is a really good teacher and knows his scriptures really well. He is really confident in himself and loves talking to people which is really hard for me because i am really objective oriented so I~m more like a fish or cut bait with investigators but he is more talk talk talk. Which stresses me out a ton!!! haha He is really in love with his fiance (they do that here get engaged and go on missions) which means that he talks about her a lot.

One thing i~m also learning is the importance of planning. When we don~t plan the night before I always know that my day will be worse the next day. I really cant do a whole lot in the planning sessions but I try.

Sometimes it is really lonely here. I can~t participate in conversations and people are kind of impatient with foreigners (kind of like I was before my mission haha oh how perspective changes) But we have a great ward and the bishop always helps us when we need it.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

He Speaks

I hope all is well. I~ve really relaxed this week. I~m progressing in my ability to understand and my ability to teach in Portuguese. I have one of the best teachers in the mission and he teaching me how to teach people not lessons. This is something I need to work on. In reality I love people and love the people I get to teach but sometimes I~m too objective oriented. For example mission rules is 1 hour for lunch. In my opinion that means you get to the house, start the clock and in 1 hour you leave.

In Brasil this is what happens, you get to the house they start making lunch, you finish you share a message and you leave. Sometimes lunch is over 2 hours. (usually close to an hour this is an exaggeration) my first week I freaked out. I couldn’t say anything and I couldn’t leave so I just stressed. This week I took off my watch. Because I was looking at it all the time so I just put it in my bag. It makes life a lot easier. I can check time when we need to but in general I can just listen to people.

Missionaries and return missionaries tell me that I just need to relax. That the rules are there to help me focus and so If you~re not being lazy it is ok to break rules like be home by 9 30. But i~ve learned that the `higher law´ means understand purposes of rules as well as the rules themselves. It is a hard balance. I don~t want to be someone who doesn~t follow the rules but I also don’t want to be a Pharisee. So i~m learning, watching my companion and learning from him.

Even in English I don~t really like talking to people for a long time (he loves it) so he is teaching me how to be people oriented. It’s something I really need to work on so this is a good place for me right now. It is hard not being able to do much. Generally I just start street contacts and my companion finishes them. People here are really nice (generally) and enjoy talking (which is frustrating because I enjoy getting to the point and leaving the house. I~m learning so much.

When I study about faith and about grace and about the atonement, I think, I can do this. My God loves me and My savior knows me. To me I would rather study for 7 hours on the atonement then think for one hour on the eternities. I don~t know if that is right or not but it comforts me.

I have attatched some pictures of our cooking adventure today haha super good :)

Its crazy that after this mission i~ll be cooking for myself forever haha and someday for a wife as well. haha crazy how fast life moves. President Mgarachi talked about how fast things move. And they really do fly.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wright's Address

Wright loves letters. If you want to send him one, here is his address for the next 21 months. Because the letters are delivered by the mission office, he will only get them about every 12 weeks. So it might take a while for him to write back. He does love piles of letters. Anyway here is his address:

Elder Wright Noel
Brazil Florianopolis Mission
R. Feliciano Nunes Pires, 42 Centro
88015-220 Florianop[olis-SC Brazil

Thanks for sending him letters.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Its been pretty crazy. Remember all that stuff I said about being able to teach in Portuguese and being able to understand a lot. Remember all that stuff about Florianopolis being just like the US but a different country? Yeah.... you can forget all that. hahaha

My quote for this week is this: ^(When you are learning to ride a bike you have to bounce your face off the pavement a few times) Its been rough. I don~t know what is going on at all. I really don~t understand anything and my companion (elder Pereira) is Brazilian so we don~t tLK much. haha It is an adventure.

The people here are really strange. Infrastructure is awful. Houses are made of scrap wood and tin roofs. The streets are muddy and general hygiene is just different. That being said its amazing here. I~m in a different country!! haha The people are nice though I only know that because they smile at me. They feed me really well and try to talk to me. We have a ward in our area(fairly rare I guess) and a really nice chapel. There are a ton of non active members and we spend a lot of time with them.

My companion and I can communicate now so I ask some questions. He is a good elder and loves the people. We are spending a lot of time working with members. We have been visiting a sister everyday because her daughter is in the hospital. Luckily our days are planed out by my companion and so we~re doing what we need to I guess. This is really hard. A lot of fun and amazing but really hard. Every day I worry i~m wasting my mission because I can~t help people. I really don~t know what to think. I spend a lot of time on my knees.

It is especially hard because I start to zone out when I can~t speak. I got a bit freaked out when I found out we only get mail once every zone conferenc. (btw thats once every 12 weeks) But then we were talking to this man, i don~t know what about, and he started crying. It was such a wake up call that I need to quit worrying about my problems and start helping other people. I am alot more relaxed now and feel so much better.

MY daily schedule is as follows:

6:30 up and exercising
7:30 breakfast (they don~t eat breakfast here so its like two small grilled cheese sandwhiches, they love panini makers)
8:00 study starts
9:00 companion study starts
11:00 finish companion study
12:00 lunch (huge lunches b;c they don~t eat dinner or breakfast)
1:00 work until 9:00 when we return home and eat a little before bed

Its odd not eating dinner really but its good because they weight I gained in the CTM will come off. We walk everywhere so my shoes may not last as long as I thought but its ok.

Well thats about all. I~m ataching some pictures. Hope you enjoy them

Love Wright

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I~ve struggled a lot of my life with why we need the gosple. If matt 8 is correct then many people who aren~t memebers of the church will get into the celestial kingdom so why do we need the gosple. We need it because it provides perspective. Those people who truly worship, not just go to church, realize that they are Children of God and that this life is nothing. Christ tells us that whoever Hates this life will find it in the next life. I sometimes hate mortality it is hard. But I remember that Christ loves me and that he fights for me.

This is my last email from Sao Paulo. I hope that you tell everyone that my address changed. I^m excited for the package:) I am so blessed to have you as my mom. I see so many missionaries who struggle just because their mothers never taught them the importance of little rules. They will not be the best missionaries just because they don~t know how to act like Christ like examples.I wish I had more time to write you guys but they crack down pretty hard here. Btw send pictures of your adventures I would love to see all the crazy stuff you do without me!!! I love you!!! Elder Noel
Wright's new address
Elder Wright M. Noel
Brazil Florianopolis Mission
R. Feliciano nunes Pires, 42 Centro
88015-220 Florianopolis- SC BRAZIL

This is the mission home. This address will be good for the rest of his time in Brazil. We may get an address to his apartment once he gets settles but this is a safe address to send packages and pictures and letters. Thanks for all your support, he really loves letters from home!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I am learning so much stuff about life. haha Laundry doesn´t do itselft!! I know crazy huh. But at least here the washers are automated so they put in the soap and detergent for you. We live basically in dorm rooms with 6 people and study there in the mornings. companion study is done in the courtyard or classroom depending on the weather (i mean if its too hot we go inside) haha its crazy that it is winter here and I am sweating so much everyday.
I did get the cookies. i only ate 2 though. I gave the rest away. There are a lot of people here who could use a cookie so I found ways to give them out. I honestly liked that better. Thank you so much they were such a great birthday gift. honestly that was probably my hardest day. haha Idk why it was pretty much the perfect storm of little things that just made that day really rough. I~m doing really well. The language is coming along well. I can now write out a plan in english and use the plan to teach someone. The hard part is understand other people. the brazilians talk really fast and they structure sentences different than us so it is hard to translate things. For example I ask de onde vocé e? (where are you from) that is one of two ways to ask the same questions today the the temple someone asked me (vocé e onde de)(and you are from where) its just a lot of little things. Luckily portuguese is a really system language. The conjucations are all pretty regular and once you learn the system you can use verbs and nouns in different tenses fairly easily. The hard part is talking like they would talk. but oh well its fun. I hope your camp goes well!! I know how amazing you are and how lucky those girls are to have you as a camp leader. (ps i sent romney a birthday letter today so keep and eye out for it)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The language is coming pretty quick. Its still super hard to understand people and its a spritiual struggle everyday to be surrounded by people who don~t speak your language but its also really fun. I used to think that God sent me here so I would be humble and rely on him not just my speaking skills, and i think thats part of it, but he also sent me here so I would have something to do. I~m so excited to learn the language. Its a challenge everyday and sometimes I win sometimes I lose. I~ve been thinking about how much I need the spirit to teach. I love teaching in portuguese because I can only do it with the spirit. It is impossible for me to teach without the spirit because I cannot speak portuguese. I~m ahead of most of my class in my ability to form sentences. I~m behind in vocabulary and grammar but because I have good language skills I know how to use the words i have to get my message accross. Too many kids try to translate directly what they want to say. The key is using the words you know and keeping your message simple. Don~t get too deep and let the lord speak through you. I love it here. Its hard. This week has been really hard. It is sinking in how long this thing is
. yesterday I did some shadow drilling. I really miss wrestling. I am seriously thinking about trying to wrestle at SVU when I get back. We´ll see. It is easy when I am not getting beat up to think about wrestling in college. but i do miss it. I did mountain climbers and pushups last night just so I could feel like I was in the wrestling room. I put my hoodie on and went at it. hahaha it felt so good.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Well my birthday was a little disappointing honestly. It was just a hard day (one of those days) and I think i got pink eye and I did not get any mail..... oh and I´m not a teenager anymore (a fact I hold over the heads of the other missionaries all the time hahah) But this was a good week. On the 4th they had ice cream here!!!!! It was great. We have had a few portuguese only days where we speak nothing but portuguese and it really helps the language come along. We are speaking a lot now and all our practice lessons are in only portuguese. The Lord really helps you teach. It is a lot easier to say things and remember things when you speak with the intent to practice than when you speak with the intent to goof off. I had a brazilian room mate who is really homesick. We talked a lot (in portuguese) and I gave him a blessing (in portuglish). We are pretty close now. Things are going really well. I had a great temple session today so i^m feeling really good and am really excited about this week. I hope everything is going well. I love you guys!!! (btw you never answered my question about my truck did you sell it?! have you had any offers?! ) love, Elder Noel

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Editorial Correction

Well the grapevine was wrong. There was not multiple legs of a flight that took him through NY on his way to Brazil. Maybe there was another elder that had the fun experience but it was not Elder Noel. He flew first class from Seattle to Dallas and then from Dallas directly to Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Oh well, we will try to do a better job of spreading confusion, I mean truth.

The parents.

3rd Week

I got your letters! there were two waiting for me. and since i´ve gotten a lot.

I literally have 30 minutes to read and write email right now. in the field it is an hour but in here it is 30 minutes and the computer shuts down at 30 minutes so it is kind of crazy. The food is good... they put vinegar on all their vegetables so i~m not a huge veggie fan here. but the cafeteria food is really good considering.

Its really great here. I mean its very sanctifying. its good because it brings me closer to the atonement. And our message is really only that. Everything else is auxiliary to the fact that Christ died for our sins. I~ve fasted twice since getting here. Once for strength and once for guidance. Its wonderful to be somewhere with the spirit and be fasting. today i ended my fast in the celestial room of the temple. It was wonderful i felt a peace and relaxation that sometimes is hard to come by here. I wish I could spend some time alone in the celestial room. But that probably won~t happen in the next two years.... haha

Getting in shape is hard. I´ve started doing 100 pushups and 120 sit-ups every night before bed. for two reasons... 1st to keep in shape (cafeteria food is not healthy) and 2nd because i have yet to sleep an entire night without waking up. it is a noisy city on the weekends but for some reasons even on quiet nights i wake up several times. i don~t know why. i miss wrestling. I ran into a kid from deer park here who took 3rd at 189 my senior year and a few kids in my district wrestled for a few years. mostly i miss the competition but i~ll get over it.

mom!!!! I love you. I~m glad your liking relief society. I understand what you mean about service. I~m a leader here and i try to include everyone. But its hard to include those who are awkward or who don~t follow the rules.

I~m glad romney is growing up! im so disappointed that i won~t be there for his freshman or sophomore wrestling season. I love you guys. I hope that you put some stuff on the blog. Ahren wrote me about the mariners and told me that the blog hadn~t been added to yet. but that might have been a week before i wrote. I love you guys thanks for the letters they are great:) i~ve been thinking a lot about the missionary i want to be and who i want to be after my mission. I~ve been thinking alot about how my mission will shape the rest of my life and i want to perfectly dedicate my life to Him so that I can carry those habits into the next stage of my life. I love you mom. thanks for being such a great example to me. send letters!! its kind of a popularity contest here and i have a reputation of having tons of letters so lets keep that up here ok? :) thank you for being such a great example to me and to my sisters. I love you mom!!!!!! - elder noel

Brazil is amazing! I have very little time to write at this point so I can´t update you on everything. But know that I am loving here and can´t wait to get out of Sao Paulo and into Florianopolis. Brazil is a crazy country! To merge here you just put on your blinker and go for it. I have never seen such crazy driving. Brazilians are awesome! They are super friendly and are absolutely crazy. And its crazier because no one can understand them haha. Anyways I need to go. I´ll put up longer posts after the first 9 weeks (ill have more time then)

Love you all ~Elder Noel

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

plese remember that this portuguese keyboard is of limited functionality and this emial is going to be long and hiccupy... anyways..... I´m glad the trailer is fixed. i kind of felt bad leaving you guys with the trailer like that. by the way... any news on my truck? im excited to hear how much you get for it. though i already miss it. there are several guys here who had trucks like that (not diesels though :) so we talk about them a lot. they are all jealous of the jeep truck i have waiting for me. it is waiting for me right? i love it here. it is very hard. and the whole time i worry that my ability to teach and to talk to people by the spirit will be handicapped by portuguese (or the lack thereof). but i keep treasuring up the words with the faith that when the time comes they will be where i need them. the food here is actually pretty good. its brazilian themed cafeteria food so its very different and actually really good. but at the end of the day its still cafeteria food. the new sport here is volleyball so i~m working on my bump set spike. the brazilians consider your foot as part of the whole volley ball experience so things get really exciting really fast. haha i was worried about a lot of things back home. but i was reading the other day in d;c 6 versus 36 and 37. the lord expressely tells us to look to him in every thought and (doubt not, fear not) he reminds us that he is the Christ and that through him we can do all things. i found great comfort in that scripture and even put it on the back of my name tag. i also put a sticky note there that says (enjoy the day) it is a revelation my companion got and its kind of our theme. i realized that we spend so much time focusing on the forrest a mission and brazil and portuguese taht we forget to enjoy the trees. sometimes its more important to focus on one tree at a time. at the end of the day we can look back and see the forrest but we must not forget the individual attention that each tree requires. bad news... i didnt get to use any jujitsu. it is really difficult to schedule with someone who doesn~t speak your language. oh well i~m sure i~ll pick it up somewhere. HAPPY FATHERS DAY we were at choir practice working on a song chosen by the mission president~s grand daughter at about 7 00 pm. she got up and said ( i~m sure most of you know this but today is father~s day back in america) our entire district looked at each other and our eyes got really big. then we laughed at how much we had forgotten already. i love you dad. but honestly the spirit here is strong so i don~t feel homesick. i miss parts of home and definately being around the family but i know that i~m doing what i~m supposed to and i~m at peace with my situation. i~ve been praying for peace all week to relax and let things at home work themselves out. it has been such a miracle to witness the feelings that have overtaken me as i~ve jumped into the work. i appreciate all your prayers and your support. i love you all Elder Noel
oh and tell romney i love him. also tell him that if you have a car to work on its a great place to hide from any unwanted attention. tell him if he gets really greasy then mom won~t want him to come inside :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

First Letter

I´m alive!

This keyboard is a portugese one so please forgive any mistakes. i dont know how to push enter so i guess that this is going to be a big block letter. haha well my first week has been crazy. i love it here. Because im so good at charades i can kind of communicate with the brazillians. they brazilians are super cool they are really happy in general. though they don~t follow the rules. apparently in brazil rules are more guidlines. also in brazil no one runs on time. they just kind of show up whenever. it really makes me mad. but because i~m a spiritual person now i don~t get mad at anyone. my companion is a kid from fruitland idaho. nice kid. we don~t have a ton in common but we definately like each other. food is good but it gets kind of old. i miss moms cooking (i know mom you thought i~d never say that) it has only been a week.... that is pretty sad to think about. it feels lke forever. i check my watch almost 6 times a day because i can never remember what day it is. we spend almost 8 hours a day in classes mostly portugese but a lot of preach my gosple as well. i got a letter from hannah. i heard that you guys had a party for me the night i left. thanks for inviting her. tell her i responded although i have some skepticism about the brazilian postal system you guys should be getting a letter from me soon. i mailed it the first day i got here. i know this letter is all over the place but so am i so it is a really good reflection of my mental state and personality right now. i~m very excited to get into the mission field. very excited to preach about jesus christ. i~ve learned that our message is really about jesus christ. that is really all we have to talk about. everything else is auxiliary to the fundamental doctrine that jesus christ is our saviour and redeemer. what a beautiful message. it brings so much comfort and joy to know that he paid for our sins. we got to go to the temple today which was really nice. it helped me get some perspective on why we are here on earth. i love it here. some days are hard but i love it. it is crazy how sensitive you become over two days (long story about that on a later date i~m excited to keep learning. i~m trying to get this brazilian to teach me jujitsu. (watch out little brothers) i love you guys so much can~t wait to hear from you love elder noel (btw everyone here knows noel as cristmas. so i~ve become ender santa clause. good thing i brought my christmas tie)

What a flight

We heard through the grapevine of letters from others serving in Brazil to their parents (thanks Robeys) that Wright's flight was longer than anticipated. The schedule had him going from Seattle to Dallas and then on to San Paulo Brazil. Wright did leave from Seattle and land in San Paulo but that was the end of the similarities. Apparently something happened in Dallas, as he went from Dallas to Salt Lake City and from Salt Lake City to New York and then on to San Paulo, but San Paulo was fogged in so they circled for a while and then went to Rio to refuel. After 30 hours of travel he finally arrived in San Paulo.

Tuesday we had a party to celebrate Wright starting his mission. :)

Nothing like starting an adventure with an adventure.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Wright Leaves Tuesday at 12:15pm to Sao Paolo, Brazil for the first stage of his mission. Write him a letter at the following address:

Elder Wright Noel
Florianopolis Brazil Mission
Box # 13, District 23-A, Brazil MTC
Brazil, Florianopolis Mission
Rua Padre Antonio D'Angelo, 121
Casa Verde, Sao Paulo - SP
Brazil 02516-040