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.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

12 December 2011

Hey Guys,
Like you said, I wish that I could write a long letter today, but I don´t have a ton of time and I´m going to see you all next week anyway, so I can tell you more then.
Today is my lucky day, I get to go to the CHRISTUS finally! I´m really excited, today is the perfect day as well, perfect weather. I´ve been waiting to go there ever since the mission started, so today´s my chance.
Next Monday we are going to have a family home evening at President´s house with all of his family and all the missionaries that are leaving, I`m really excited for that! They usually do a lunch at his house for the people who leave, but this is the first time that we are going to do a family night and Sister Lima said it was going to be a lot more fun than just a lunch, so I`m excited for that :).
I can´t believe that this is the last letter though, that is nuts. I`m still with mixed emotions about coming home, but I feel that I did my best on my mission. I know that I didn´t have a perfect mission and that I could have done a lot of things better and could have avoided some of the mistakes that I made, but what can you do, right? It´s all part of the learning and growing process. I`m so grateful for Christ and for His Atonement. I would be helpless and hopeless without it! I`m so grateful that I can find peace and calm down through the power of repentance and forgiveness. God has a perfect plan for us, I know this. I know that Christ is our best friend and that He knows exactly how each of us feels. I´m so grateful for all of the missionaries here that have changed my life as well, all of the friendships that I have made, all of the awesome members here, I love all of the aspects of my mission.
We had an amazing experience this week when we were in the hospital teaching a lady whose son isn´t doing so well. She has been having a really rough time. We went and gave her son a blessing and taught her about the Plan of Salvation, one of the most spiritual lessons that I have taught on my mission; the Spirit was so strong there.
Samuel came and visited me one last time as well, it was awesome. He was at the hospital with us and came to church yesterday with me and gave me a birthday and Christmas present, what a champ, haha.
I am so grateful for all of you guys, I´m excited but nervous to see all of you. I´m glad that I have all of your support and that I have all of your prayers. I know that they have kept me safe and protected. I have a strong testimony about prayer and I know that prayer has power. I love you all. Hope that you all have an amazing week and I`ll see you next week.

Love, Elder McDonald

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hey Guys,

Sounds like you guys had a lot of exciting adventures this last week, that´s always good! Still can´t believe that it is already December, how nuts. So has it been snowing these days or not? Don´t have a ton of time to write today so I´ll get to the point here :) This week there were a lot of cool things that happened here in the Zone, a lot of miracles with baptisms.

So a few weeks ago, I went and did an interview in the Sister´s area with a woman called Monica. She is an elect for sure, was perfectly willing to keep all of the commandments and didn´t have any problems with anything, she just didn´t feel like it was time for her to get baptized yet. She wanted to wait and learn more…. Seems like everyone has problems with that, they don´t want commitment. But anyway, I explained to her that she was more than ready, shared a lot of scriptures with her, the Spirit was really strong, I invited her again to get baptized, but she used the same excuse again. So I just left her to read and keep praying. Well...her prayers and our prayers were all answered yesterday. She has been going to church every week for like 7 weeks now, and the Sister´s marked a date with her to get baptized next week, the 11th. After Relief Society yesterday, she had been talking with a Sister in the church about the blessings of baptism and after the class, she went up to the sisters and said, ``Hey, I know that we marked for my baptism to be next week...but I was just wondering if there would be a problem if I was baptized today instead...`` (HALLELUJAH!!!) ``Of Course!!`` said the sisters. So they call us up and we leave our church running, grab a bus and got there to help set up everything. It was amazing! We also had two other baptisms in the Zone, one of them was another part of a family that the Elders are working with. I interviewed him too this week and he is another elect! He never liked religion before...until he found the true one that is!! He got baptized yesterday and they are working with their Mom to get her baptized this next week. It is really awesome! I love this work, it´s the greatest! I love all of you, hope that you are all doing great. Have an awesome week, talk to you all later.

Love, Elder McDonald