Elder Braden McDonald has been called to serve in the Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission.

He will be returning on December 21, 2011 and will speak in Church on January 1, 2012.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

2 Months

It's hard to believe that Braden has been out for about 2 months now. Yesterday he arrived in Rio. Here are some excerpts from his last letter, while he was still in Sao Paulo,

We went proselyting downtown Sao Paulo, all the missionaries, we went walking around and we found some really awesome people! They speak really fast :) It was hard to understand them sometimes, but we got most of what they were saying. They were very nice and it was such a good experience for us. I learned a lot from it. The first lady didn't have a religion and she seemed really interested in the gospel so we gave her a Book of Mormon and testified of it to her. It was so cool! We also talked to another guy who read it for a long time while he was in the park and we kept looking back at him; it was so awesome seeing him read for like 15 minutes while we were gone. We also met a guy from Nigeria who spoke English and we didn't have an English Book of Mormon so we gave him the Portugues one and gave him a number to call. It was a pretty amazing experience for sure, I learned the discipline and the study skills in Provo MTC, and the language skills here. We went to the Campinas Temple today and it is so beautiful! The temple grounds are gorgeous! Palm trees, flowers, arches everywhere, and the grass looks like astro turf because it is so green. It is also on a hill that overlooks the city and it is so pretty! I love it! I´m so glad we go to go to it before we leave. So I think we are still leaving in two days, as far as I know. I guess we get our travel plans tomorrow and no, I´m not sure when preparation day is, but I heard that it might be Monday. I´ll let you know though for sure. That is cool that you got a letter from my mission president, he is supposed to be an amazing guy and I´m excited to meet him. I'm still trying to work hard and everything is still going awesome! It´s been a really awesome week and I've met so many more people here that I've grown to love in just this short past week. It is so great here and I absolutely love it!
Love, Elder McDonald

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Message from Braden-17 February 2010

Braden arrived in Sao Paulo yesterday morning and wrote us.  He said that they have a lot of American businesses and some American fast food places there, so his last name makes him pretty popular.  He wrote, 

Right as we were landing, we looked out the window and this city is amazing! It is enormous and so pretty! Never seen anything like it and I love the culture and the people here so much already! This CTM is a lot different than the Provo MTC and it is deserted! There are only like 200 missionaries here and half of them are from Brasil. We are heading out to Rio on the 26th of February, which is next Friday! I´m way excited!! Right when we got here we saw some Brasilian Elders and they just come up and give you hugs and stuff, it´s the greatest! Everyone loves me here because of my last name! I´m pretty famous and pretty popular around this place.. I´m glad I get to go to two cities here in Brasil. they are building a chapel here up the street and it is gorgeous! It is two stories and a cream building with the red ceramic shingles... The skyscrapers here are huge as well! It´s pretty funny, we sleep with the window open and the fan on and it´s nice because we are on the top floor. The fruit and the juice and the food here is so good cause it´s all fresh; I love it! I met up with all of our old district... We get to go to the Campinas Temple next week on our Preperation Day because the Sao Paulo Temple is closed for cleaning so I´m way excited for that! I hear it is beautiful! The houses are all kinds of different colors and they are all pretty small and cosy. All have gates, the cars are all really tiny, lots of motorcycles and scooters, and stuff like that. There is this building right outside our window that is orange and blue and it is the sweetest! The shops don´t really have doors, they are just open and you just say "hey" to everyone when you walk past them. Each store has different stuff too, it´s so sweet! The money here is amazing too, way colorful and pretty! I still have the same missionary companion which is awesome and we have a whole new district that is pretty cool! Won´t be with them for too long though. We are going to go out and look around and buy some stuff maybe. I´m excited! I still need to sleep off the jet lag, but that will come later. Love you all! Talk to you next week! The plane ride didn´t take too long cause I slept for like five hours, surprisingly! Anyway, talk to you soon! Tchau.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

6 Weeks in the Missionary Training Center

Braden is studying the language and becoming more excited about teaching the people of Brazil about the church. Many of the missionaries have left for Brazil recently and he feels sad to see them go. We feel that Braden may be leaving for Brazil soon as well.

Elder Braden McDonald writes,

We had about a hundred visas come in and a ton of missionaries have left already. It was pretty sad for me because I have grown so close to some of them and it's just like saying goodbye to your family all over again.


Braden says that one of the teachers that is a native Brazilian calls him Elder "Burger King" for fun.


Braden is so excited about all of the great things he is learning that we wanted to share this with you from him.

He writes,

My testimony grows stronger everytime I teach with the Spirit. Things come to my mind that I need to say and the language doesn't seem to be a barrier. It is amazing what the Lord will do for us when we submit to His will, and as the scriptures say, as we "open our mouths" the Lord will fill them with what we need to say. I testify that I know that this is true and that this Gospel is a Gospel of hope, that will bring everyone Eternal Happiness through the Sealing Power and the Atonement of Christ. I love you all and hope that you are all doing well still. I wish I had more time to write but my time is going down as we speak. This is the greatest thing I've done in my life so far and I hope I will make the best of it and work my hardest. I love The Lord with everything I have. I love you all as well.
Elder McDonald


We are so proud of all that he is learning and the great growth he has gone through in so little time. Please write him if you have the chance, as he may be leaving for Brazil quite soon, and he has expressed how much he has appreciated family and friends writing to him.

Love, The McDonald Family

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

5 Weeks

Well, Braden has been in the Missionary Training Center (MTC) now for 5 weeks. He is learning a lot and is excited. He wrote;

"Tomorrow we have to teach our first lesson in all Portugues and I'm pretty excited! It's going to be so awesome! I look back in awe because I've only been here a few weeks and I'm already teaching in Portugues. It has strengthened my testimony as I see the Lord's hand in my life and in this work to help me learn this language and teach by the Spirit."