Brazil Fortaleza East Mission

This blog will share my experiences for the next 2 years while on my mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the people of the Brazil Fortaleza East Mission.

I will start my mission with 6 weeks in the Sao Paulo Brazil Missionary Training Center (MTC), where I will learn to speak Portuguese and receive training on teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am very privilaged to be able to do this, as it will be a great opportunity for me to grow as individual, all while bringing others to Christ. My mission is to share the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Brazil, as well as serve them as Christ would serve them. I am very excited for this opportunity and hope to do my very best.

Elder Daynen Biggs

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March in Trindade with a New Companion

March 2nd 2015  My Birthday Week

So my birthday was this week, and it was no different than any other day. I was going to make myself a milkshake, but here, fast Sunday starts after lunch on saturday and ends after church. But Friday was
super cool!

This Friday we planned a huge activity for the Branch, and Elder Young was having a hard time coming up with something. So I brought up an activity that Bishop Mabb had done with me at Scout Camp.  The activity involved blindfolding everyone and leading them to a course of strings that led in all different directions. One leading to the end.  This represented our life and when we took a wrong path, we were making mistakes.  We started upstairs of the church building and I was an angel (my tie around my head and a peice of tape over my tag that read "Elder Anjo") and i led them downstairs and they started.  Elder
young was already downstairs and would help people who were lost. This represented Scriptures, or Prophets or church or whatever.  Then once everyone made it we had a good devotional and ate lots of ice cream. So that was a good birthday present for me :)

We have a new Elder in our district from Tonga, and he is even newer than me! So I am not the newest anymore! SWEET!

Oh, and one other cool thing I discovered, Thursday was my 100th day of my mission! That was fast! And crazy long... Weird...

As far as Portuguese goes, lets just say I wrote grandma and Grandpa in Portuguese already, and this is harder.  I am not fluent yet, still got 13 days, but its definitly less of a problem.  Some days are better than others. Saturday my Portuguese was actually pretty bad, but yesterday was awesome! To be honest, the hardest part is hearing them.  Just like at home, I can't hear people too well. Language isn't the problem a lot of the time, just hearing.

Anyways, I'm doing pretty good! We've been teaching this kid Alex (18 years old) and hes extremely receptive. So he may be my first baptism this Saturday! We'll see! I love you guys so much! Thanks for the birthday wishes. Talk to you next week!

Elder Biggs


March 9th 2015  Week 16!!!

This week was fairly uneventful to be honest... Found a lot of new investigators, dropped a lot of old investigators (because they weren't progressing), GOT dropped by a couple investigators, and I made pizza!

As far as out of the usual... we had zone conference. Got a letter from Grandma and Grandpa, but not the one from Dad.  But this week we have Mission Conference, and I'll get it then.

I did learn a good deal about the Atonement and the Sacrament this week and what it really means to be cleansed through the Savior, as well as just how far the Atonement can stretch.

OH! I gave my first talk in Sacrament meeting... Wasn't bad, but wasn't good... Language wise, it was fine, but our sacrament meetings lack that spirit that church is supposed to have.  We had lots of meetings with the Branch and leaders in the branch on how to fix that.

But other than that, a pretty good week.  I did discover oatmeal and how its basically like little wheaties, and I eat a bunch of it everyday now.  Seriously, my favorite thing right is oatmeal! It's AWESOME!  But yeah... this week is sure to be more exciting as Mission Conference is on Thursday, so I promise next week will be more exciting!

Love you guys

Elder Biggs

March 16th 2015  "Chasing Buses in Suits while Carrying Dinner" - A new song I'm working on

So this week has been fun! And long.
Me and E. Young leaving Trindade

Elder young is going home today and I will meet my new comp after.  I am staying in Trindade and will probably be here for the next 6 months (which is common apparently).  Yesterday after church Elder Young told one person that he was leaving and last night we had a "meeting" with this person at the church which ended up being a goodbye party for him. Its interesting to see how much the Branch really loves their Branch President.  Lots of tears were shed and even more photos taken. We gave everyone our FB info so they can tag us (their idea).

In other news, this week we had (half) mission conference in Juazeiro Da Norte (5 hour drive).  That was really fun and included designing flags and I totally designed ours!  Afterwards, my Zone had to leave and catch the bus heading back, but Elder Young and I missed it by 5 minutes.  So what did we do? We chased it down.  About a mile of sprinting in suits with our bags and I had dinner for the Zone.  We finally caught it at a stoplight and it took me almost the whole 5 hour drive to recover.

I figured out how to whistle finally! And am trying to learn how to whistle the Andy Griffith theme.  I only whistle though when Elder young isn’t around because it is super annoying still.

So that was my week.  Haven’t baptized anyone yet, but there is a family that has attended church a couple times, has a testimony, and want to be baptized.  But the parents aren’t married.  So... They either will get married and be baptized in about a month, or sleep in different house until they get married and be baptized this Sunday. They’re talking about it and we'll talk to them on Wednesday.

Thanks for all the emails and letters!  I love all you guys so much.
Have a good week

Elder Biggs

March 23rd  Crazy Weird Week!
The area I have been serving in this week

Greetings from Fortaleza!  My Companion is Elder Kreling (Brazilian) and I'm a Zone Leader!!! And I'm only kinda kidding!
Me, E. Kreling, Micaele, and her brother Bruno

Ok. So, E Young and I arrived in Fortaleza on Tuesday to pick up my new comp so we could return to Trindade. But he wasnt there.  Apparently, President hadn't even done transfers yet. And instead of waiting around for a week, I worked with Elder Kreling for a whole week, who is a zone leader.  And the best part: I had no clothes or money. Thinking I'd spend about 2 hours in Fortaleza, I brought nothing but money enough to return.  So every night I washed all my clothes and just ate lunch and gross old bread.  And I'm leaving today. 

But I did read a scripture (in Mathew I think) when Jesus sends out the 12 for their missions and tells them not to bring money or "a second coat" and not worry about food, that if they relied on the Lord, all would be provided.  And since this talked EXACTLY about my current situation, I decided to follow it.  That night I was crazy hungry and had nothing to eat or buy food with and as we were walking through the rainy night, a member stopped us and invited us in, and fed us dinner.  It was the first time I had ever been fed dinner and I thought it was pretty cool.
A long day of walking in the sun, gratefully it poured on us!

Anyways, my Portuguese is almost, ALMOST "fluent."  Its good, but... you know... still not perfect.  Apparently about 80% of the areas are in Fortaleza, so I'll definitly be serving in the city eventually.  This area that I was in, Tamandaré, was kinda like the Mesa to Phoenix.  Little nicer, really good roads, had a whole stake.  Way different than the last 11 weeks.  E Kreling "worked" but only when it was convenient. When it rained, was too hot, or when we passed by the church, he wanted to stop.  So that was an interesting difference between Elder Young.

It's weird that while I was in Trindade, all I wanted to do was leave. But right now, I wanna go back crazy bad.  I'm going to meet my new comp, Elder Rodriguez, at the bus station in 2 hours and head back!

Oh, and I had my first baptism!!! A little 9 year old girl named Micaele (Me-Cai-Ellie) who totally reminded me of Ellie.  I invited her to be baptized on Tuesday (her Brother was baptized last week and was confirmed yesterday) and taught her and she chose me to baptize her!  Was definitly super cool!

Anyways, I'm glad to hear all the good news from home!  I always read all the letters before writing this, and I'm excited to hear from you guys next week.

Elder Biggs


March 30th 2015  New Companion

Directly after my time on the computer last week (in the mission office) President called me into his office.  He had been doing interviews all day and said "Your Turn" (he is fluent in English, but the way he talks in English is kinda funny).  He didn't sit down, just closed the door and said, "Elder, I'm going to say this very directly. Elder Young didn't care about you.  he had lots of things in his head and unfortunately, you weren't really one of them.  But he did teach you -by example- how to work.  Your new companion has a very sweet heart, but is a little negotiable   Right now I trust you. I don’t trust you very much or very little.  I either trust you or I dont, and right now I trust you. And only you can change that.  Right now you are in test (he said 'in test') with this very difficult area and a companion who will rely on you."  He then told me that I'd have an interview with him later this week, and I left.

After this, I met Elder Rodrigues at the bus station, and we headed off to Trindade.  He is Brazilian, from Manaus, shorter than I am, has 1y8m on his mission and is pretty cool.  Elder young never talked to me or laughed at anything or made me laugh, we jst walked.  E Rodrigues and I talk, make jokes, buy ice cream every once in a while, and already are pretty good friends.  He is definitly more negotiable, but has a great love of President.

This is where we study like bosses! 
This week has been a complete flip on my role as a missionary here in Trindade.  Because he knows nothing about the area, I'm planning everything and leading everything, and talking to people.  Before I only followed, but now I HAVE to lead.  And it is definitely much better. Its WAY more frustrating when people say no, or don't want to improve their lives or families, and I'm totally feeling the weight of this branch.  Right now we dont have a president, but the secretary, Elibrauli, has totally taken the lead.  He' made the initiative to organize the leaders in the branch to visit less actives and partial member families which has helped a lot.  But this Branch is extremely fragile   We used to have 50-70 people attending church every week, this week was 30...  Right now we're at the point where it could completely fall apart in a day.  So right now we're trying to create a firm foundation for the Branch.

Today, I have been in the feild for 3 months, and it feels like its been 1,000 days, but not 3 months yet.  Weird.  But this week has passed by crazy fast, and I think that might be because Ive been taking initiative and leading.  I have been trying to work just as hard as Elder Young, and follow all the rules still.  Our numbers weren't great this week (granted we had 2 days less than usual) but still.  We decided on a small portion of Trindade to work in that is close to our house and the church. This way we can be doing more teaching and less walking.

My Portuguese has already improved a lot with E Rodrigues.  All the members yesterday at church told me that i seemed different.  One even asked me "What happened in Fortaleza?  You left last week and came back completely different." Even the kids and youth were telling me that my Portuguese sounded better.  But in my journal and even this email, I've thought "whats that word again?" or "How do you phrase that sentence?" It's fun!

Anyways, I love you guys very much!  We should be baptizing a woman and a 15 year old boy this Saturday after conference, so cross your fingers!  Oh, and only 6 more weeks until morhers day!

Elder Biggs

1 comment:

  1. I've read this, and Elder Biggs makes everything look fantastic, haha so funny. We're very happy with his work here in Trindade. I wish that in all of his transferences he can have some fun and many baptisms. :)