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, January 24, 2011

Hey Guys,

So Friday, we had interviews with President!! It was great! I bought a sweet tie at a store next to the church for $7! Brand new and it´s really nice. The ties here are great haha. The interviews went really well, President is funny. I talked to a bunch of missionaries there and also talked to Elder Walters, my first companion in the MTC. It was good to see him and talk to him again, he´s a good guy. I guess they had a bunch of members and some missionaries who went to help out where all of the flooding took place. It´s really sad hearing about all of the people who are suffering there.

Well, I hope that you are all doing great still! We have transfers again today so we will see what happens. I have no idea what is going to happen with me, so I´ll let you know next week. I gave a bunch of members my address yesterday at church just in case I get transferred! The people here are amazing and I really will miss this ward when I leave. It has been doing really, really well. Love you all!

-Elder McDonald

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hey Everyone,

The flooding here in Rio has been really crazy as well. It hasn´t ever rained that like before, but it isn´t where I´m at, don´t worry. President already took out all of the missionaries that were in those areas: Petrópolis, Teresópolis, Nova Friburgo. All of these places are really high up and so that just got hammered with rain and it destroyed everything. None of the missionaries were touched though. I heard there were about 600 people that they have found dead now, it is crazy! It is cool to see how the Lord is protecting His missionaries, though.

This week was a really good week here. We had another baptism yesterday and the mission is doing really well with baptisms. Our ward here is doing amazing and I am really impressed to see that the frequency keeps growing every week. We are almost at 100 people going to church every week. Yesterday I gave a talk in Sacrament and it was packed full, I was really happy. It´s funny, when the Seventy came to visit us, Elder Grow, he was telling us how much we change as missionaries. He said, I can tell you guys have changed, because how happy were you guys before the mission when you had a lot of people in the church or when you had visitors? None of you really cared about that before, but now you always become extremely happy haha.

We had a really funny family home evening this week. I was on Divisions here in the area of the other elders, Ilha, and we went to this lady´s house to teach her and a recent convert. Elder Ibrahim was teaching about the Tree of Life and Lehi´s dream. He asked them a question about the iron rod, and the member says,``the iron rod isn´t good, it leads to the pathway of the devil.`` I was trying not to laugh and Elder Ibrahim just said, ``Well, thanks for your opinion, but you´re wrong.`` hahahha it was way funny. Then we ordered a pizza and we had all kinds of people show up. When you order a pizza here, the whole neighborhood gets out of their houses to come and eat a piece and then when it´s gone, they all hide again, back into their houses haha.

Well, I´m running out of time here. I hope that you all have an awesome week this week. Don´t worry about me, I´m fine here. It isn´t raining where I`m at. I love this area and am loving the mission!! I´m praying for you all, always!! Love you all and will talk to you all next week!!

Love, Elder McDonald

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hey Everyone,

How was this week for everyone? This week actually was a lot slower for me as well, I don´t know why.

I still haven´t registered that it´s my last year on the mission yet, still doesn´t feel like I´ve been out here that long.

This week was good, we had a baptism Saturday night; a lady who is Jucilene´s friend that we have been teaching. Then she was confirmed on Sunday. We have had a lot of people in the church these last few months. This ward didn´t used to have missionaries, and they only had like 20 people who went to church every week during that time. But when they got missionaries again earlier in 2010, they started growing a ton and now we have about 70 people steady who are at church every week. It´s been really cool to hear from people how much it has changed and how much having missionaries in the ward has made a difference. This ward is one of the strongest wards in the stake now; I really love this area and this ward. I have been really blessed by the Lord to have passed in the areas where I have. He knows where I need to be.

Well, I hope that you guys all have an awesome week and that you enjoy Megan´s birthday tonight and eat a lot of really great food. Thanks. I love you all. Have a great week!

Love, Elder McDonald

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year

Hey Everyone!

Your New Years sounded about as fun as mine haha. We had to be inside at 8, so I just read the Liahona from conference that we finally got, finished that up, then went to sleep early. It was nice actually. Then we woke up at 12 to what seemed like being in the middle of Vietnam with tons of bombs and fireworks going off haha our whole apartment was shaking. Nobody really slept that well that night. Other than that, not much changed with the schedule.

Sounds like you guys got hammered with snow! That´s crazy! Here has been really, really nice. It´s been raining for a week straight now and it is perfect. Reminds me of spring back in Utah. I´m loving this weather for now; trying to enjoy it while it lasts.

Time is passing so fast now though; everyday just blends into each other, it´s ridiculous! I still can´t believe it´s 2011 now! That´s crazy! Well, I hope that you all had a great New Year´s! I hope that this year goes great for all of you!! Until next week! Love you all!

Love, Elder McDonald