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

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Miracles in July

4 July 2016
Forth of July!

Hello Family!

This week was actually fairly uneventful.  We haven’t met President Leite yet, so we’re just kind of working without keeping in contact with anyone.  It’s actually pretty weird.
But hey!  Happy fourth of July!  Since there are 3 Americans here out of 4, we decided to do a barbeque this morning!


This week is gonna have a lot of photos: 
Here’s a new picture of our zone, we’re the smallest zone in the mission and probably the weirdest…

We found a less active member who works on a little animal farm and look what he had!  A beagle!  I actually got really, really happy to see this beagle and play with him a little bit.  Like way happier than any other kind of dog that I’ve seen here on the mission.  Good memories probably.

Here in Brazil, the second biggest holiday after Christmas is called Festa Junina (June Festival).  It’s basically a week where everyone dresses up like hillbillies and dance around.  I actually really liked it.  Way cooler than Carnival!

This here is a picture of me with a little bow and arrow that some kids in the favela made for me.  It actually works really well.  If it hits you, for example, it hurts, but not too much.  So you can imagine we’ve been having fun with that!

Look what Sister Nevin received today:  (I was in the office today and I saw this there

Alright.  Baptism!  Last Sunday, we were sitting there thinking who we would baptize, because we didn’t have many people who would be ready by this Sunday.  And as we were thinking, we got a call from the other zone telling us of a young man called Igor who has been going to church with his friend in another ward for a month and wants to be baptized who lives in our area.  So…
​We have now gotten to know his HUGE family a little better and will see what happens here in the next few weeks.
Anyways, tomorrow is our first conference with President Leite, so I’ll let you guys know how that goes.  But I love you guys and will talk to you next week!

Valeu,

Elder Biggs
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11 July 2016
President Leite

This week was really quick and not very eventful.

The only thing that is really worth note is President Leite.  On Tuesday, we had our first conference with President Leite.  He is WAY different than President Fusco.  President Fusco is a very serious, professional, closed man.  Nothing wrong with that, it’s just the kind of guy he is.  President Leite on the other hand is very open, charismatic, likes music, etc.  The first thing he did was hug everybody.  That isn’t something that President Fusco did a lot.

President Leite served in the same mission as President Fusco.  In fact, President Leite was President Fusco’s zone leader when he arrived on the mission.  He was also the president’s assistant before President Fusco.  So there are a lot of differences in the types of people that they are, but they have the same idea about work.  They both work like crazy!  President Leite said in the conference, “You guys probably wanna know which rules are going to change, right?  Well, none of them will change.  President Fusco was working hard, and I will too.”  So until now, the mission hasn’t changed too much.

President Leite is also a lawyer and is super SUPER rich.  President Fusco is also rich, but I don’t think he’s as rich as President Leite.  Not that that makes a difference.

One rule that he did add.  When we end our missions, we usually will pray and ask God if our offering was accepted by Him.  But he wants us to ask, not just at the end of our mission, but at the end of every day.  If that day was na acceptable offering, and if it wasn’t, change why it wasn’t and do better tomorrow.  I’ve done that this last week and it’s incredible to see the difference that it makes in the day to day work.

I don’t have very many pictures this week, but check this out.  He, they have sugar cane, and a member taught us that you can just put them in your mouth and suck all the juice out of it.  It’s way good!  They also make a weird sugar juice out of it, which I didn’t like quite as much  :P

I know, I've gotten pretty freaking gorgeous here on the mission. Look out ladies! 






Also, here is a picture of the sunset here.  
If you look close on the left, you’ll see a cool crescent moon.

I love all you guys so much and I’ll talk to you next week!

Elder Biggs
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18 July 2016
Miracles.  Two to be Exact.

This week was any other week,  that ended with some miraculous results!

First of all, to start the week:  Elder Kusuda and I went with Elder Pasqualini and Elder Clements (the other 2 missionaries in our house and our ward) to a super fancy restaurant on Monday called “Sal e Brasa” which is “Salt and Coals” in English.  You know its fancy because the name doesn’t make any sense at all!  Its a churrascuria and costs R$32, which is only like $10, so it was all good for us (except for Elder Pasqualini who is Brazilian).  But holy cow!  It was good! This is the first time of my mission that I spent personal money on a restaurant, so don’t worry, I’m not wasting my money here on restaurants (although I think I might have to go back there one more time before I come home!)

Other news, Tuesday was our bishop’s birthday, to which he invited us

This is how we travel around the city here, by bus
And I found Wolverine!

Ok, now the miracles (miracles because more than one).  We have been pretty close these weeks to not baptizing anyone and this week seemed impossible.  To be baptized a person has to have gone to church at least twice.  So a lot of the times, we bring someone to church one Sunday, then the next Sunday, we baptize them after church!  Anyways we’re teaching this young man, William, who wanted to be baptized, but hadn’t gone to church with us.  We talked with him about being baptized next week because he hasn’t gone to church yet, and he said “no, I’ve already gone a couple times, but it was before you guys got here.”  So...

He was baptized yesterday!  He also brought some friends to church with him who are now also interested in being baptized!  That’s one reason why its much easier to baptize here, because baptisms bring more baptisms.  You baptize one and find 10 more!  And you want proof of that?

2nd miracle!  Igor’s brother, Eduardo, turned 8 this week and wanted to be baptized!  This week we were basically out of options.  So we just decided to work, work, and work some more.  And God blessed us not with one, but TWO baptisms, and a LOT of other people to teach for the next few weeks.  I haven’t even talked about Gabriel’s parents who are almost ready to get married, a 19 year old inactive man named Bruno who has a huge family that asked us to baptize them and all of the members flooding us with references to young families!  There really isn’t anything better than working for the Lord! 

I love you guys and I’ll talk to you next week!

Elder Biggs
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25 July 2016
I’ve Been Here 5 Months Now…..

TRANSFERS!

Yesterday we were walking from lunch with Elder Clements and Elder Pasqualini, the other two missionaries in our ward, when we got a call informing us about the transfer!  Only one of us was transferred and it was… Elder Clements.  He was transferred to another city close to Fortaleza that has a beach!  Lucky dog!  
And who is coming here is Elder Ramirez who lived with me in Castel√£o!  So that’ll be pretty cool!  That means that at the end of this transfer (6 weeks) I will have exactly 7 months in this area!  And then after that I will only have one more transfer. And usually when you only have one more transfer you stay where you are, so there’s a good chance that I’ll be staying here for the rest of my mission!  Which will be such a blessing!  I absolutely love this ward!  This is an amazing neighborhood with some of the best members you’ll find!  The ward is working hard to divide by the end of the year, so it’ll be my privilege to work with them almost until the end!
each one of these planners is one transfer.  A mission for elders is 17 transfers.  So these will be all of my planners of the mission.  Can you tell which two I haven’t used yet?

Alright.  Now that we got that news out of the way, on the pictures!  The first counselor in the bishopric taught me how to make hot chocolate really good!  So now, everyday, I make hot chocolate for everyone in the house.  And I’m not gonna lie, it is pretty good!
Speaking of drinks, this here in TURNIP-juice!  I'm making an ugly face here but it was actually very, very good!  A member in our ward makes Maracuj√° juice (which I think is Passion Fruit in English) mixed with turnips.  And I learned that the 2 go really well together :)

Sidinei (Sidney) hadn't been confirmed yet because he's been traveling these last few weeks.  Its actually really annoying because its summer vacation here and everyone is traveling :P  But anyway, he made me and the TARDIS in Minecraft!  I gave him the Mad libs Doctor who book that you guys sent me and told him that it was from my family and he loved it.

So after 6:30 am, we cant lay back down, so sometimes when I have difficulty staying awake, I read my little pocket bible...
Apparently, that doesn't work too well :P

Speaking of sleeping!  Sunday after church:

But yeah!  It looks like I’ll be coming home on October 18th.  The mission will call you guys here in about a month or two to buy the plane tickets.  But you guys and my companion are the only ones who know this.  No one else knows because I don’t wanna get trunky and have everybody telling me that I’ve only got 85 days left (I’m not counting).  I’m gonna finish this thing running!
  
I love you guys and I’ll see you next week!


Elder Biggs