Thursday, October 27, 2016

Brazil MTC Week Three October 26, 2016

Dear Family, 
The streets of Brasil are crazy!!!! São Paulo is the biggest city in the world and is like 10 times bigger then New York City. There are lots of homeless people. My companion and I handed out 3 book of Mormons so that was cool. 

The first guy was begging for money to buy food so i said I dont have any money but i have a present for you in Portuguese and then i gave him the Book of Mormon haha. Our next hand out was to this guy who said his friend is a member and he happily took it. Finally our last one was to this old lady sitting on some cardboard and she asked us for some food to eat, we talked to her about the gospel and how God blesses lives and we read her Moroni 10:4-5 and then gave it to her, she seemed grateful. 

The streets were pretty crazy because we saw homeless people jumping onto the back of huge buses and holding onto the back window. We also saw lots of gay people here and this one funny homeless guy without a shirt was fight dancing and then he saw us laughing and he put his thumbs up and ran haha. 

I did here about Kincade, today Elder Mcgary came and surpised me!! it was so awesome to see him, he is doing so well and he inspires me so much. We did an endowment together and we hung out at the temple for sometime and he was giving me a lot of really really good tips. All the Brasileiros were super surprised  that he looks so white but speaks such good Portuguese. 

Overall i have had a good week, i got a little sick with this bug going around but I'm already feeling better. This week i learned a lot through personal experiences with the power of prayer. I hope everyone is doing well. 

The ctm is good but I'm dying to get out of here. We are now the old group in the ctm which is weird because it feels like i just got here. 

Love you all. 

Elder Toma

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October 18, 2016 Week two in Brazil CTM (MTC)

Dear Family,

  This week has been great,I'm now teaching 2 investigators everyday along with trc were we have to teach a member. I'm excited for this Saturday because i get the opportunity to teach out in the streets of São Paulo. Today i went to the São Paulo temple so now i have been to two temples in Brazil. The endowment was hard because parts of the temple are hard to do in Portuguese. My daily routine is i wake up at 6:30, shave and brush my teeth, then i go to personal study where i study the scriptures, then i have breakfast which is ham paninis every morning lol, next i study the language with my companion and then we do a district scripture study in Portuguese and language fast. Physical activity is right after which is fun because we play volley ball with the Brasilairos. After that we basically have class and teach our investigator and then lunch and then class and teach more, but its really good. 

My favorite part of the day is the morning when i actually have energy because its very hard so im just exhausted later on in the day haha. I love my teachers they are great and they have helped me learn this language so fast! I'm glad to hear that everything is good! It is also hot here and Rio was like 114 degrees a couple days ago and everyone is saying that Maceio is just twice has hot! 

I have so many favorite memories honestly I'm not sure if i can even think of all of them! But i have definitely laughed many many times. An Elder in my district is sooo funny he is just not afraid so when he teaches his investigators he will just straight up try and speak which is good but sometimes it is just soo funny. I cried when we lost an Elder who went home in our district, i have so much respect for him for doing whats right. It was sad because i felt for him so much and he said he is going to make things right and come back out but that's what is so amazing about the Atonement of Jesus Christ is that through him we can be forgiven and come unto him. My favorite scripture today was definitely Moroni 10:4-5. haha I'm not sure what i want for Christmas yet. Surprise me! haha. 

ITs crazy Halloween is coming up! The first week in the CTM felt like a year but now it is flying!!  

Well miss you guys. Tell everyone i said hi!Tell everyone i miss them. If anyone wants me to email them they have to email me because i don't know anybodies email haha.

Love you!

Elder Toma

Friday, October 14, 2016

October 12, 2016 First letter from the Brazil MTC

Dear Fambam,

I'm doing great!! The CTM is amazing! The spirit is just so strong here and I don't think I've ever been so happy. My companion´s name is Elder Crowley and he is THE BEST. We get along so well and he is just a lot of fun. The food here is good I love the juices and flavors here. We have paninis every breakfast and it is always ham and cheese paninis and dinner and lunch we always get rice and black beans so its kind of getting old but its OK. 

The language is amazing! Honestly the gift of tongues is the most real thing that I have ever experienced. My first night here I prayed in Portuguese and it's just only gotten better. I can speak more Portuguese then the 3 years I learned of Spanish. My Brazilaro roommates do help a lot and they have taught me so much. My Brazilian roommates are actually serving in Japan which is really cool. One of them is from Macieo and he is a convert who is the only member of the church in his family but i have never met anyone in my life with so much faith and when he was telling me his testimony about how he knows his family will convert and how much faith he has I was almost in tears. 

The Brazilians are so amazing and they are so friendly! I've made so many friends and native friends here and they are just loving people. 

Something really cool is that Elder Holland's grandson Elder Holland is here in the ctm and he is pretty cool, we got a lot of stories about his grandpa and we also got to listen to a devotional from Elder Holland the apostle that was so powerful. Today I went to the temple and did the endowment in Portuguese!! So scary but awesome at the same time. I have pictures but we can't send them until we get out in the field. Oh yeah and first day was cool because one of the sisters in our district was feeling sick so me and my companion gave her a blessing and i anointed so it was cool to do that right off the bat on my first day. I'm glad everything is good at home! Miss you!


Elder Toma  

Friday, October 7, 2016

Braden's first letter from the MTC September 4, 2016

Dear Family,
 I made it safe to Sao Paulo! The flight was sooo long but totally worth it.

The elders and sister I have met are really cool and friendly and I was able to meet some natives and lots of Latinos! The ride to the MTC was pretty crazy, when you look on one side it is the city and then when you look on the other it is totally junglely. The city is huge but a lot of it is run down and ghetto, while on the bus I saw motorcycles weaving around cars and sharing lanes with cars, it was insane!! My companion is really cool; we are already close. He is also going to be serving in Maceio Brazil and all the elders I travelled with are in my zone. My companion has red hair so all the natives and Latinos where screaming pelo rojo! when they saw him, I thought it was funny. My P days will be on Wednesdays while in the MTC so that’s when I will be emailing you guys. So not tomorrow but the following Wednesday. I was given only 10 mins to write this and the keyboard is a Portuguese keyboard so sorry if I miss spelled anything ha-ha. Anyways I’m here and I’m safe!

Love you, I’ll send pics once I’m out of the MTC and I’ll have a longer time to write next week.


Elder Toma

A message from Elder Toma's MTC Mission President

Dear Parents,

Sister Grahl and I are very happy to let you know that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil Missionary Training Center.  What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they begin their missionary experiences with us! We will surely take good care of your missionary.                                                                                                     

The missionaries now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  Their branch presidents and wives will meet them this Sunday.  These wonderful couples are richly blessed as they work with, motivate, and interview the missionaries assigned to their branch.

The MTC has a full-time live-in physician to care for their health needs.  He is assisted by his able wife who is a nurse. We are also happy to report that the MTC food is plentiful, healthy and very good.

Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Wednesday or Friday, depending on individual assignments.
Your missionary is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of many others. President Lorenzo Snow said: “There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children".  We love these missionaries as if they were our own.  We will watch over them carefully to ensure they are ready for a wonderful missionary experience after the rewarding time they will have in the MTC.

We thank you for preparing such a wonderful representative of the Lord.

Pres. Paulo R. Grahl and Sister Zuleika M. Grahl
PlEASE DO not send packages to the Brazil Missionary Training Center. All packages must be sent directly to the mission where your missionary will be serving, not the MTC. If you have already mailed a package to the Brazil MTC, please understand that the package cannot be forwarded to his or her mission and will be returned to you.

WE Strongly eNCOURAGE sENDING HAND WRITTEN LETTERS. Please write your missionary´s first and last name. Your missionary will provide you with his district and box number. Also, please DO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS, or other private carriers.  The cost to process this type of correspondence is exorbitant.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Braden's mission farewell

Braden spoke in sacrament meeting on September 25, 2016.  His assigned topic was how seminary has helped him prepare for his mission.  In addition, he was asked to play the piano.  He arranged a special musical number of his favorite songs.

Click the link below

Braden's testimony -- piano arrangement of his favorite songs.

Many were touched in the congregation.  I can't tell you how many approached me afterward saying that the musical number touched them deeply.

We also had a small open house for Braden on September 30.

Called to Maceio' Brazil April 2016

Called to serve in Maceio' Brazil October 4, 2016