Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Lord knows you, whoever you are!

OPA, it´s been crazy here! In a good way. I am really grateful for your prayers and thoughts of me, it has helped me greatly. Surely serving a mission, is a family ordeal. I am so grateful for all emails of letters of support and care. I am grateful for the sacrifice of my parents and others in helping me be here. I know that as I have grown, my family and friends have grown as well.
Just before I got here, the missionaries miraculously found Andy Black, who served in Korea with Travis Crittenden, small world. (Travis Crittenden is also from Oakley and the father to a good friend of Daylen. In the year or so before Daylen left he had grown quite close to the Crittendon family, and Travis was a great example)  Andy had gone through some very hard times, and became less active in the church. But because he met me and my companion in such a way, there was no disputing that it was what the Lord wanted. It was a testimony to Andy that the Lord was aware of him no matter where he was.
In meeting Andy, we met his girlfriend (to be wife) Silvana. They are amazing. It has been great to see miracles in their lives, as Andy is now fully active and Silvana was baptized last week.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Right place right time

No more than two hours ago I was in the baptismal fount with a 30 year old man named Tassio Leonardo Do Amor Pimenta. We met him yesterday!  We had just started to use a computer in a libary we´ve never been to. He was there working, and approached us. He was actually baptized by some missionaries a few years back, but was never confirmed. Then he moved here, and we were the first missionaries he´s seen. He asked us what the pre-requistes for baptism were. We began to explain all the qualifications. He then asked if it was possible if he could be baptized the next day.
We thought he might be crazy. Turns out, he´s just an really awesome dude. Through the interviews and calling the mission president and leaders, it happened.  His desire was right, he had faith in the lord jesus Christ and he had repented of past transgressions, he had been to church many times. He knew the lessons, he believed it all and wanted to keep the commandments. I couldn´t believe it, we had much prayer, but he was ready. The lord is blessing us. We are going over to house later today to teach him and his wife too.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Universal Language

Oi! I´m really glad things are going well at home! Love you all so much.
Something I love about my companion is he shares the same desire I have to be exactly obedient. To do the best we can. We understand and recognize that when the Lord wants to give us power, He gives us commandments. (D&C 82:10) We don´t find obedience as an irritant, rather it´s our quest. Understanding that it must be done and motivated by charity. Just as much faith without works is dead, so is service without love is dead.
The language is challenging at times, but for this I am grateful. It has caused me to rely more on the Lord. To trust in Him to take my sincere but imperfect effort and carry it through His spirit, to make it into something just right, indeed something that is perfect because He is. I have greatly enjoyed sharing testimony, and striving to speak the language. I think about what dad wrote to a few weeks ago. That smile, laughter and love are all the same language. Most of the time  all I can do is smile when people are talking, then laugh when they make a joke, because I don´t get it.
I have thought and wondered what Language we all spoke when we were in the presence of God. I have a very strong suspicion it was Portuguese. Elder Uchtdorf once taught that in our pre-mortal life we learned first-hand from the Father of our spirits, a universal language, one that has the power to overcome emotional, physical, and spiritual boundaries. This language is the pure love of Christ. It is the most powerful language in the world. We received our first lessons in this language of love as spirits in God´s presence, and here on earth we have opportunities to practice and become fluent.
This is the language I want to learn. When our primary thoughts and behaviors are focused on serving God and others, and when we truly desire to bless and lift those around us. Then the power of this pure love of Christ can work in our hearts and lives.
This is the Truth. This work, is the work of the Lord. I know it. We have the fullness of the gospel, with the doctrine that is perfect. I testify we have a living prophet. Jesus Christ stands at the head of this Church, it is His church. I was sent here by Him, to represent Him among these people. When I promise them specific blessings, it´s the same as Him promising them.  I have felt greater strength and assistance than I ever imagined possible.
Sou grato por todo, ti amo!

(I am grateful for all. Ti amo)

some Photos

The kids here are so cool, haha. They are funny how they all run around with their home made kites.

It´s funny, a lot of people will live in a little shack, but in their backyards they´ll have big trees with exotic fruit. I´ve also been surprised how many have flat screen TV's, I´m always like wait..... you have a nice TV, but no shower and only half a roof? Huh.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Working like a firework's stand on the Fourth of July

(Sent to Joslyn)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Farmer Jo! Miss you and love you so much! 
 I really enjoyed your last hand written letter, I shared what Nate wrote with my companion. We already work like April´s firework stand on the 4th (except it´s hotter here!) And we are being obedient the best we can. So decided to follow Nate´s advice, and be ourselves on top of that. It´s been so much fun. We laugh all day. When things go bad, we can just laugh it off and throw our hands up in the air saying Aaaayyyooo got to let go. 
We´ve also had some really sweet spiritual experiences with these people. It´s been so amazing. Love you Jo, and bro Nate.

The place is so amazing, hard to imagine you guys  probably have snow right now.

I don´t know why but all the light switches our sideways.
I really need a picture of a monkey, there were a lot in Salvador, 2 hours south of here, where the mission home is.  My companion says there are a bunch in the trees, but I haven't seen any here. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Luke 24:15 (companions letter)

Monday evening Nanette and I received a phone call from a woman named Joanna Briggs. She had received a letter from her missionary son serving in Brazil who was describing his new companion and the experiences they had in the short week they had been together. Sister Briggs felt impressed to find the parents of this young Elder so that she could share the letter with them too. Guess what??? It was Daylen and we were his parents. So now we are sharing it with you. Enjoy!
The letter has been shortened to just let you know the facts between Elder Briggs and Elder Pollard which by the way are Dylan and Daylen

Elder Pollard, Elder Clark, Elder Briggs :)
 Letter home from Elder Briggs
Hello Family! 

 So today we went to Salvador to register Elder Pollard, my new comp. 
Well this week was a little bit overwhelming with such a  big area... we are trying to find efficient ways to work... a good missionary isn't someone who walks a lot, he´s someone who sits a lot.. because if we´re sitting we´re teaching lessons haha :). Well my companion Elder Pollard is from Oakley Utah, he served in Las Vegas for 5 months waiting for his visa, he is super awesome and a great friend!  His last mission was very different from Brazil so we are apply the things both of us have come to know and have learned so far... :) but he´s awesome, he´s a mix between jared and justin ...(This apparently are two good friends of Elder Briggs back home) just about as funny as you could get. haha. It has been great this week serving with him and having him as my companion! We had some incredible experiences this week. We found some incredible people that we will contact  and start teaching. We tried to follow the spirit with exactness this week to find people, and it worked! Heavenly Father helped and blessed us to find  those who are searching, many people accepted baptism in the first contact. :)


Well I hope that this week we can organize everything out in our area :) 
  Love you all so much, Have a great week. Thanks  for all you do! 
            tchau  -Elder Briggs

Monday, November 4, 2013

Alagoingas Brazil

I´m in a place called Alagoingas, a large area with my amazing companion named Elder Briggs. The place is amazing, I had culture shock for the first couple days, constantly laughing and grabbing his arm and pointing at things (look at those trees! look at the people! What kind of fruit is this^{ Look at these houses! Is that a pack of wild dogs! Where´s there question mark button on these keyboards} I can´t find one! How come people are so nice} How did we just teach 23 lessons today{ These people are so prepared! I don´t know what they are saying! We´re in Brasil!! These bugs are huge, these rice and beans are amazing. wow it´s so green and tropical, I have never seen anything like it) 

So my companion is Elder Dylan Briggs, from bountiful, Utah. yeah. At first I thought he was Brazilian, because he speaks the language so well without any real accent. People we talk to think he´s from brazil, but when I speak, they ask where I´m from because I have a big satacty`´ or something, or accent. Elder Briggs is so much fun to serve with, he has an attitude of working to the death. We walk everywhere, don´t think I´ve walked this much in my life. But it has been one of the most amazing experiences too! We have talked to over 300 people that we have shared a testimony or a pass a long card and invitations to baptism, to come to visit the church. The people here are so kind, and so respectful. Living in the most humble conditions I have seen, and It brings me great joy to serve them. To raise them up. To be a representative of the Lord here and administer to them. 
The food is super good! Always a base of beans and rice, but it´s good beans and rice. It doesn´t get old, sometimes the beans on bottom and the rice on top. Or the rice on bottom or the side (if they get fancy). Than there will be different types of suco (or juice) that are super good. And really great meat. The members are great, lunch is huge down here, so they feed us a big lunch. They always say ´come mais, come mais´ until we eat so much we can´t eat any more. I love the food. 
I feel my ability to understand and speak the language each day. The first few days I had no clue what anyone said, haha. But I could feel the spirit, and could recognize when to bear my testimony. Tears have swelled in my eyes many times throughout the day as I bear my testimony of the savior. Of his restored gospel. The words always come, and I feel each time I bear my testimony, the spirit bearing witness to me and those I speak to, that the things I say are true. 
My companion works incredibly hard, I could not have asked for a better trainer or a better friend. It has been wonderful. 
Address.....I don´t know. It would be the mission office address in salvador than it would be forwarded to me. I love you so much mom! I hope you send pictures, these people love pictures of seeing our family. 
The only thing more beautiful than the area, is the people. I love this place. I have felt an abundance of help and strength far beyond my own. It has been a great testimony growing experience so far, I have seen and experience miracles. There is such a light in these people eyes, and each time I look at someone I can see them as a child of God. They are so greatly loved. 
I testify of the Lord Jesus Christ, that He lives! I know it. He leads this church, He has lead me and I have felt of this great love. He has called a prophet today. I know the book of Mormon to be the writings of ancient prophets, they are the words of Christ. I know that through our Redeemer things can be changed, we can be changed. He didn´t just die so that we could live again. But that we could live more abundantly here. We have access to His great atonement daily. There is a  real healing and strengthening power from it. 

Eu sei que families são eternas. Jesus Cristo vive, ele e nosso salvador e redentor. Temos um profeta ojé, que chama thomas s. monson. Eu sei que O livro de Mórmon e verdadeiro, por que eu orei e O espirito toca me coração. Digo estes coisas em nome de Jesus Cristo, Ámen.  
(I know families are eternal. Jesus Christ lives, he is our savior and redeemer. We have a prophet who is called Thomas S. Monson. I know that the Book of Mormon true, because I prayed the spirit touches my heart. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.)