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.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Week 16 in Volta Redonda

This week was really amazing though! We were walking around in Padre Josimo, coming back home, and we ran into this girl that me and Elder Glade were teaching our first transfer here, clear back in April, and she came up to us and said that she was ready to be baptized! It was amazing! We baptized her yesterday and we are going to baptize her little brother this week as well! We got up around 5 yesterday to go to the church and warm up the water in the font and go to Padre Josimo to pick her up. We baptized her at 8 in the morning right before Church started so that we could confirm her during sacrament as well. Everything went so well for us yesterday; we were so blessed. The returned missionary, Adriano, brought about 10 of our investigators to church with him, and four of them are going to be baptized this week. Everything is getting better here now; he has helped us so much. He´s still in the missionary mode, it´s way sweet! Elder Young and I were so tired by the end of last night, I didn´t think I was going to make it home when we were walking. So tired haha. It was an amazing day though.

We also had interviews with President on Thursday so I got my package. Thanks. The candy is great; I´ve been sharing it with some of the members and with the Sister missionaries, they are very grateful haha. ``American Candy, yay!!`` haha. But interviews were so good with President. He is so amazing! He gave us a little training before and it was so awesome, the Spirit was so strong. But he said that from now on, we will only have an interview every 3 months. I guess it is a new rule that the First Presidency sent, it kind of stinks. I think I´m going to be transferred though here in two weeks. President was telling me that this is one of the hardest areas in the mission and he thanked me for being so patient here. It has been a little tough getting baptisms and stuff, but it has been an awesome experience for me. I really like this area and I have had some amazing times here and met some amazing people! I also asked President if he could find out more information about the Tribe of Asher for me and he said that he would. I´m so grateful for him, he is such an amazing President. I am so lucky to have him for a mission president! I am so grateful for the Lord for everything that I have here and that I am experiencing. It really is so amazing!

Well, I hope that you are all still being safe and enjoying the rest of summer. Don´t worry, the weather hasn´t changed much, never really changes a whole lot with the seasons haha.

Love you all!!

Love, Elder McDonald

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Week 15 in Volta Redonda

Hey Guys,

How´s everything going? Thanks for the emails and everything, they were great! Sounds like you guys are having a fun summer!

Well, this week was pretty interesting, we didn´t really find anyone new to teach, just people who don´t want to hear anything. Kind of a bummer, but just have to keep going. We had a lot of funny times this week that kept us laughing and kept us entertained haha. Elder Young has another snakey woman after him that asked if she could have a picture of him because he is so beautiful! Haha I was dying laughing, she is really creepy. We´ve found some really strange people these last few weeks. We went to this store so that Elder Young could buy an umbrella because it has been raining this last week again (so nice) and he ends up buying this 25 dollar watch that is the cheapest piece of garbage I´ve ever seen and he didn´t really how cheap it was until after we left the store and he was messing around with it. It was pretty hilarious, he´s like, I´m an idiot! Why did I buy this? I couldn´t stop laughing. We were also on the bus going to lunch one day and the music that was playing was some kind of Gospel Metal; it was pretty hilarious. Gospel Lyrics with this ridiculous guitar going off haha ridiculous! And one of the mornings when we were studying, we hear this huge crash outside our apartment, and we open the window and look out and see these people yelling at each other and figure out that there was a car accident. It was crazy because we hardly ever have any cars on this street haha. So during companion study, we tell each other what we learned in personal study, and Elder Young says, ``Today, I learned some things from the Book of Mormon, I read some talks from the apostles, and I learned how to get in a car wreck on a deserted road`` haha it was so funny!

We also went and visited Vanessa again this week and her daughter is pretty hilarious. She´s about three years old I think and we were sitting there talking to Vanessa outside and she has her closeline for her clothes and a bunch of close pins in a pile, so Her daughter, Isabel, comes up to me with the close pins and starts putting them on my finger nails and my ears like earrings and she´s like, ``I´m going to make you look BEAUTIFUL`` haha It was hilarious! A little painful on the ears, but hilarious! If I tried to take them off she would freak out at me and just put them on again, it was too funny. Elder Young and Vanessa were also telling me about all of the great Brasilian movies and music that I have to watch and listen to after the mission as well.

We also had a missionary return to the ward here this week and he is really awesome! He is going to help us a ton here, I´m excited! He had a really good talk yesterday in church about how the ward needs to help us out more with the missionary work and do their part as well, it was really good.

Other than that, there isn´t really too much going on here that is different. I can´t believe July is almost over already, that´s pretty insane! I hope that you are all doing well still! Tell Grandma and Grandpa hi for me! Send me some more of those pictures that I asked for please. If you could, could you maybe send me a new belt, the same one from Mr. Mac that I bought before, with the next package that you send as well? Thanks. I will let you know if I think of something else; I know there is something else but I can´t think of what it is now, so I will write it down when I remember it. Just don´t send the package yet. I love you all. Talk to you next week!

Love, Elder McDonald

Week 14 in Volta Redonda

Hey Guys,

This week was pretty crazy, lots of running around. Elder Young´s snake, the old lady who loves him, is hilarious haha. Oh man, everytime we go over there I just sit there laughing forever at the stuff that she says to him. Everytime we go there to teach her, she just talks about how beautiful she thinks he is and if he thinks that she is beautiful to. She´s about 60 years old, doesn´t have any teeth, and a little on the larger side of the scale, if you know what I mean. And the last time we were there teaching her, she was just saying how beautiful Elder Young talks, with ``such sympathy``, as she described it hahaha! Oh man, I about dyed laughing! Then she always asks him if he´s going to get married, and he is already engaged, so he just tells her that and then she says how she wants to go to his wedding and wants him to bring her a cake. He says that he will put a piece in the fridge for her if she ever goes up there to visit hahaha. Oh man, too funny. Everyone thinks that he is American because of his name, I think he gets a little annoyed by that haha. Good times over here.

We went and had dinner at Tania´s and Vaviane´s house again with their family and Vladir was there again this time; I love going over there, they are the coolest family! I was teasing him if he got me a Flamengo jersey yet; we were joking around about that last time I was over there talking to him and he gave me that little keychain thing. He said that it was ``arriving`` haha. The next thing I know, he comes out with this jersey in his hands and he´s like, this is my jersey of theirs that I bought I while ago....now it´s yours! I was like, What?! Seriously?! It was so sweet! I was so excited, he is such an awesome guy, holy cow! Still can´t believe it haha, these jerseys cost more than 100 bucks. All I know is that I need to find a way to thank him! I need to get his address and stay in contact with him for sure, he is studying to be an architect. We´re trying to get him back into the church, because he is less active and hasn´t been for a while. We also went back to Márcia´s last night and visited her again. We haven´t been there for awhile. She is really awesome; it gets really sad going over there though to these houses because they are such awesome people but they are missing something in their lives with not going to church. Every one of these families that are less active are some of the most awesome people I have ever met in my life; we just need to help them come back into the church.

We found another elect last night, his name is Eric and he´s 18. He went to church for the first time yesterday in the Sister´s area, but he lives in our area. We visited him last night, and he said that while he was in the church, he was seriously thinking about asking to be baptized right then. We are going to baptize him this week. :) He is awesome, he said that he loved the church; his dad is a less-active and yesterday was his first time returning in twenty plus years! Crazy!

Things here are going really awesome! Winter here is really nice, nice and cool. Elder Young is hilarious and we´ve been having some great times together for sure. Elder Glade is still here for his last transfer, he hasn´t gone home yet. He is a Zone Leader in Nova Iguaçú now; all of my old companions are Zone Leaders now, it´s what I do, I create Zone Leaders. See how good I am here? Haha just joking. I gave him our address and phone number so he should be contacting you guys when he gets home to go and visit you guys. He is an awesome guy, I miss him as a companion, we had some awesome times together!

Well, I´m glad that you are all doing great! I haven´t gotten my package yet, but I did get some more letters this last Zone meeting that we had, that was good. I will get my package at this next Zone Conference I think, I will let you know alright? I hope that you guys have a good week! I Love you all!

Love, Elder McDonald

Monday, July 5, 2010

Week 13 in Volta Redonda

Hey Everybody, how´s everything going?

Thanks for all of the emails, they were really great! Sounds like you all had a great Fourth of July yesterday; I forgot that it was the Fourth until today haha. I don´t remember the American holidays very well anymore. Sorry this email is a little later than the others; the place where we usually go to email was having problems with the internet....same with the other one.....but we finally found one! haha today was good; we had to go and clean the stake center; the garden area and all of the grass and stuff. I can´t seem to get away from doing landscaping, even on the mission. What is this? Tell Jeff that I´m still practicing here on the mission and preparing to come back to work haha.

Well, I got a new companion, you were right, good guess. I´m still here in Usina though, very happy about that. I have my first Brasilian companion finally haha he is Awesome!! He has an American name though haha Elder Young; his real name is Elder Oliveira but someone already had his name when he got here, so they had to use his middle name, which is Young from  Brigham Young haha. He´s hilarious! I finally have a companion who looks like he has a beard 24/7 like me; we both look like 30 year old missionaries walking around the streets haha. He freaked out when he saw our house for the first time, I just laughed. I love when we introduce the new missionaries to our house, it´s always great. We have so many awesome missionaries in our Zone. Elder Taffarel, Elder Mendonça; they are hilarious!! I always know when they get to Zone meeting because I always hear, ``MAC!!!`` haha it´s awesome! My new nickname is Elder Mac Feliz!! It´s pretty awesome, it´s the slogan for McDonald´s here, fits pretty well for me, huh? I think I´m going to make a t-shirt or something that says Elder Mac Feliz with the McDonald´s sign on it, or you could make it for me? We were playing some soccer again today, that was really fun. I´m pretty terrible, it´s been a long time since I´ve run or done anything like that haha.

This last week was pretty crazy; there were two Brasil games and during the games, the city just goes nuts!! We are inside studying, and when they make a goal, you just hear the whole city start screaming, horns blowing, and fireworks going off everywhere!! It´s insane, but way sweet! All of those illegal fireworks that are banned from Utah are all here haha sounds like a bunch of bombs going off!  It was a really awesome experience to be here during the World Cup though, the streets are decorated with all kinds of awesome paintings on the walls and banners everywhere, it´s so sweet! I can´t take pictures though, unfortunately. I don´t dare return to Rio for the next World Cup that will be here; it is going to be insane!!!!! I´ll just play it safe and watch it on TV haha. I value my life too much.

Nothing much really new here, the Ward still keeps getting better and we are getting a lot of help from the members now; a lot more references and a lot more people who want to leave on divisions with us and have family nights with us and investigators! One member, Ozair, is so awesome! I love that guy! He helps us out so much and we go over to his house a lot. We are trying to have a family night with him and I´m really excited! We also found a member who wants to help us as well, Vanessa, and she brought us to her neighbors house and we taught with her there. The Spirit was really powerful when she bore her testimony about the Book of Mormon and told us about her conversion story, so cool. Everything is getting better here, I love it!!!! We have another activity this week as well so that should be awesome!! Endrigo is going to the Campinas Temple this weekend and I told him to bring me back a new Bible because my old one got messed up a little bit. Elder Young also found a snaky old woman who likes him and I always laugh when we go over there; he hasn´t even been here for a week yet and already he has a snake, what is this? I feel like I am growing a lot more though for sure, I feel like the Senior companion because I have to show Elder Young where everything is and introduce him to all of the members, it is really good. I get the responsibility without getting burned by the Zone leaders haha. I am learning so much everyday and growing so much as well. I can tell that I´m already a completely different person and I still have a ways to go on the mission, so this will be cool to see how much I change for the better.

Well, I hope that you guys have an awesome week this week! Sounds like you had a lot of fun watching those movies, they were pretty awesome! I don´t remember them completely, but I remember a little bit of them. I heard Toy Story 3 was really, really good. Viviane said that she cried during it as well haha. Um dia eu vou assistir! I will talk to you all next week. Love you all!

Love, Elder McDonald