Tuesday, December 31, 2013

First Missionary Christmas in Brazil!! Dec. 30, 2013

**Mom note:  We sent him a couple of Christmas packages and letters in the middle of November, but he didn't receive any of them!!  So this truly was a unique Christmas for him (and mom) but he had such a great attitude and truly focused on the true meaning of Christmas!

So this last week was just so good, very different and kind of strange, but so good. It was so good talking to all of you!! I felt so happy to see everyone´s faces, and I could hear you guys almost the whole time, sorry you couldn´t hear me! It seriously was such a blessing to me and I was so happy to hear your voices and see our house and everything! I love Christmas on the mission1 Why? Because we still get to work! Christmas Day not really because no one is on the streets and no one wants an appointment this day, but the entire time leading up to it was so great. Our President gave us a message to share with people, about Christmas from the Book of Mormon! So I didnt really talk at all with people about the story of Christ´s birth from the Bible, but it was so cool to share the story of his birth and what happened here, in the Americas. To share with people the faith that was needed for the believers as they waited for the sign of the coming of the Savior, even in the face of death. I loved this example and what it gave to me, I am just facing a lot of walking, heat, and people not wanting to hear this message, I need to have faith like those people who were facing difficulties much more significant and grave than mine. I loved sharing this message with people. 
Sorry that the skype call was so short and that it didnt really work very well! Our Branch president was waiting for so long and his family was at another house with their extended family. The other two elders talked to their families for like 3 and 1/2 hours... haha sorry about that! But I felt good about the time that we had and I knew that Mother´s Day we will get to talk more than 15 minutes!  After the skype call we went back to the house and cooked a Christmas feast with the other elders!! It was so so so good! Haha we were seriously so full, we had ribs and pork and potatoes and fruit of all kinds (they eat a lot of fruit on Christmas, and there is a cool market here that is really cheap for fruit so we went all out and bought a ton), and finished everything off with a super good chocolate cake! Oh, I like chocolate more since I have come on my mission, probably because it is food. And I like food more on the mission. 
On that note, dont worry mom, I am eating lots of food! The money we get from the mission is plenty to buy food, and they said that all the americans lose weight because we eat so much rice and beans and they dont really help you gain weight! So dont worry, I am eating!
It was a little hard the end of the week with so many people traveling, so that made it a little rough, but we still taught a ton and found some truly great new investigators. I have found myself praying more and more, I know that I need the Lord in this work, I dont know the area, I am a new missionary, and this area is a pretty difficult area in regards to finding people and getting them to church because of how large it is, and so I am relying on the Lord to guide me to those people who are ready to hear this gospel. 
In regards to the box, put religious stickers on it for sure! And maybe even write 'missionary supplies", I have seen some boxes with that and it seemed to work! The mission address still hasnt changed, but any box or letter recieved at the mission home after the change will probably be forwarded to our new address. As of now it hasnt changed, but I dont know when that will happen! 
Overall this week was really good, kind of rough not having people at church. We had three people on date for baptism this weekend, and none of them came to church. We had members pass by their houses to bring them, we did seriously so much to help them come, and none came. Which also means they arent going to be baptized this week. So that was rough. It is hard to see people use their agency for choices that arent the best ones. But that is ok, we are going to continue and we will help these people and find people who are ready to be baptized. 
I love you all so much! I truly love this work. Last week being on facebook when president gave us permission made me realize how grateful I am to be here. The things I saw on people´s posts and everything were good things, but this work is much more than a 'good thing". This is truly the work of salvation. God is the one in charge of this. I see miracles happen in my life and is the life of those around me. I am so grateful to have this small time to work here and be involved in the most important cause that exists. Love you all! And this week is the 6 month mark for me!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! It is so crazy!! I cant believe it has already been that long. It seriously blows my mind. In some ways it feels like I started yesterday, in others like I have been doing this for years! Haha it´s great, I love it here! Have a happy new year!
Elder Carney

Transferred!! Dec. 23, 2013

In Mairipora, 

The Metro terminal

The Sao Paulo Temple

Danny ran into Aaron Jensen, who is from Littleton, CO and friends of our family!!!

Well I got transferred! Last Monday was pretty much just waiting around, trying to focus on relaxing and cleaning the house and everything, but really just waiting to find out about transfers! It was a bummer to find out I was going to leave Vila Sabrina and Elder de Oliveira, but that´s ok, because I know that everything has a purpose! I am now in Itapêtininga!!!! In a branch!! Haha it is way way way far away, only one other zone is farther than ours, and I am loving it so far! I was able to go around and say bye to some members and our recent converts and investigators which was hard, especially because maybe I won't see them again, but it was so cool to be able to see how strong these converts are and how focused they are on progressing in the gospel! I love it!!! I am going to miss Elder de Oliviera, haha he is a great missionary and he is going home this next transfer so it would have been fun to send him out, but that´s ok! I followed the advice President Mecham gave while I was in Montana, and I prayed about my new assignment and definitely felt a confirmation and peace that I need to be here with my companion at this time! My new comp is Elder... F. Oliveira!! Haha so it wasn't hard to change names! He actually got here in this mission the same time as me! I will go home before him since I served two transfers before him, but we are both new! Haha so that was a little overwhelming, I found out I was going to be the Senior companion, and I was just a little overwhelmed, but I also am excited to work with a new missionary, and boy am I grateful he has already been in this area and that he is a native who speaks fluently!  I also am now living in an apartment with two other elders, one who also came here with me on the plane from Salt Lake, Elder Ashford, he is really great, and one who is our District Leader, Elder Agnelli, who was the Mission Secretary when I got here and this is his last transfer in the mission! They are great and it is so much fun living with two other elders as well! We got here Wednesday afternoon and went right to work, didn't even unpack anything, and this area is way, way different! Haha it is a branch, there are only like 120,000 people in the city, our area is HUGE, and the members don't really have a huge spirit for missionary work right now, but I am so excited for this! I know there are people here waiting to hear the gospel and who are being prepared by angels and by the Lord to receive this message of happiness! Then the next day we had our Christmas Conference in Sorocaba, with all the areas in the Interior part of the mission, it was so much fun and we didn't get back to our area until like 8 at night, and we don't live in our area, it takes about thirty minutes to walk there, so we just planned and called it a night! But these last couple days we have been working so so hard! And I will write more later!!! Love you!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dia das Gracas! Dec 2, 2013

 One of Danny's favorite teachers from Dakota Ridge, Ms. Steffen, sent him REAL peanut butter, all of the way to Brazil!!  Even his mom won't do that for him!!!  She is soooo sweet!! He was absolutely thrilled!!!

Hello my wonderful family! This last week was truly insane. Haha one of the busiest that I have had on the mission so far, and one of the best! We started it out like champs and we are absolutely killing it in regards to lessons with members from the ward present and it was so great, we seriously taught so many people the first three days of last week! On Wednesday we had splits with the Zone Leaders, and I was working in our area with the American! Haha he wanted to talk in English most of the time because he hasn't spoken it in so long and so that was weird for me, we mainly switched on and off, it was fun though, he is from Salt Lake City, went to UofU and is a Jazz fan.... so it is a good thing that we are supposed to have charity, kindness, and patience, and other good attributes, because if otherwise I don't think we could have been friends. But it was good! I learned a lot from him, especially about contacting on the street!  We had a Multi-Zone Conference on Thursday (Happy Thanksgiving) and boy was I grateful to be there! It was such an uplifting experience, I learned so much from President and Sister Martins, they truly are inspired and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to be there. Also we learned our mission office will be moving in January, but dont have an address yet or anything so anything should still be sent to my address that I have currently! We also officially cannot use backpacks! Haha which is a big change because I use mine all the time since we walk everywhere, but that problem was solved today which I will talk about shortly! After the conference we had splits again so my companion could do baptismal interviews in their area, so I went with the other Zone Leader, who is a Brazilian and is awesome, we had a great time together and taught some great lessons. Then on Friday we went to Mairiporã, another area in our district for interviews, it was really good, I love the Elders there, one is from Star Valley, WY the other from Brazil and they are so great! We got a little lost trying to walk around and find the place where we were meeting them, but people are nice and give directions well (sometimes!)! Then on Saturday we had a baptism!! But it almost didnt happen! We got a call as we were filling up the font in the church from our ward mission leader who is a neighbor to the person, Antonio, who said that he had passed by and told him that he couldnt be baptized Saturday and needed to reschedule for next week! We were so bummed. So bummed. So we stopped the font, changed out of our suits, put up a sign on the church gate saying Baptism Cancelled, and went to Antonio´s house to see what happened! He is such a great investigator, seriously so awesome and had been progressing really well, we knew he was ready, but we went and talked about it and he was just really nervous and uncomfortable. SO we talked about it, bore testimony that this is the church of Jesus Christ and that through baptism he can have a new start in life, and then he agreed that he needed to be baptized that same day!!!! Haha we were so happy, we literally ran (I was happy about that opportunity, Bradley and I ran pretty hard the same day, but he ran faster), and filled up the font and changed and took down the sign and had a great baptism! He was really glad afterwards that he did! 
Then we went to the center of São Paulo for this huge expo that was going on and worked at the church´s booth! It was so cool, had people from all over the world and we worked telling people about the church´s Helping Hands and welfare programs! We even got our picture on the church´s webesite in Brazil, it was cool , my comp will send me the picture and I can forward it! Then we had this theater thing the stake was doing and had it involve around missionary work and inviting tons of non members, they asked all the missionaries to be there so we went to that! Then today we went to 24 de Marzo, one of the busiest streets in all of São Paulo, to buy a new backpack that has one strap and sits on the side and so is allowed and other things we needed. Haha it was so insane, there were so many people. More than I have seen in probably my entire life! It was fun and then we came back to our area, oh I had to call President to ask permission to go there (all the missionaries go there to shop because it has everything and is super cheap) and I actually understood him and spoke well! Haha I was nervous since it was Portuguese, but it went well! This week was so good, I was so grateful for the baptism and we are having such great progress with our investigators, I had a truly wonderful Thanksgiving being uplifted and edified by the Spirit. I am going to send some pics so sorry I cant say much more! Tchau!
Elder Carney     

Miracles - November 25

So this last week or so I have decided to be looking more and more for the miracles that are happening all around me! This is the Lord´s work and as we are obedient and have faith, miracles are for sure going to happen. As I have done this i have been truly humbled by the all of the great little miracles I have seen. Seriously, I have loved it and dont worry, have been writing in my journal all about them. I will share a couple! I also am going to send some pictures which takes some time so this wont be too long this week, sorry! We were going to an appointment last tuesday, when it fell through, we were way bummed as we had been really looking forward to it, but we kept walking and then we saw the old lady we were going to teach walking up the street. We had only taught her once and so we didnt know her very well but we went up and hesitantly said ´carmen?´, to which she said no, her name is Dirci! Haha but then we asked if we could share a message with her, to which she told us that very morning her friend at work was a Mormon and from another part of our stake, and had told her that she needed to talk with the missionaries, so she said she had been planning to come to church this Sunday to request a visit! We asked if we could mark a day to return, and she asked if we could talk right then in her home! Haha so we did, and she told us that her husband had died a year ago and her children lived far away and didnt have time to see her all the time and she just needed peace and a reason to keep on living. She was crying and it made us cry a bit and it was just way tender (dad word) to see this woman searching for purpose. We taught her the plan of salvation and when we told her that her husband has the opportunity to learn about teh Gospel now, she was so happy, saying he had never really been religious, and when we said she could live together with him forever this little old lady was crying and so happy. Seriously it made my week. I lef the appointment and was just so grateful to have been at the right place at exactly the right time. We had another appointment that week and then she came to church with her granddaughter who was visiting. It was so cool to see, seriously so grateful to have been a tool in teh hand of the Lord. Then on thursday we were trying this referral for the daughter in law of some members here, who lived in the same house as them, well no one was home, we had already tried our back up plans, and so I asked Elder De Oliviera if we would pray. A lot of missionaries here are hesitant to pray on the street, it was a lot easier in Montana with a car, but I love it! So we did, started walking, and then this lady stopped us and asked if we were looking for Elze and Nielson, the members who have the daughter in law, and it turns out it was her!! But because we hadbeen standing there praying in front of her house she knew we were looking for them and so stopped us and talked to us! We ended up teaching her right then and at the next appointment she had read and prayed and said that she needed to be baptized again in this church because Nephi had the power and authority to baptize and she knew that was important to have it with someone who had authority. Then she came to church too!! It was so great! Then that same day we were at another appointment which fell through and it was in a part of our area we dont work in a lot, and we decided we should wait five minutes to see if the person got home, well up walks a person who my companion recognized! It was his old next stoor neighbor from his home town, 8 hours away!! Haha he now lives in our area with his family of 3 kids and wife! We were in the exact right spot to find him, our area is big and is packed with tons of people, what were the chances that we would be there, with my companion who knew him, in a city of 30 million and have him live in our area? Haha I love miracles!! 
We also had a baptism this last saturday and I baptized her, Cristiana. She has been investigating for like 7 years, and we were so happy to see her finally join the church! It was a really cool experience and then at churhc we had 7 investigators there, almost all new ones who we found in the last week or two. I just am loving it!!!
This week is Dia das Graças, Thanksgiving, but here it really isnt a thing at all. Just another normal day, which is kind of a bummer, but that is ok! I am making my effort to be extra grateful and I think I am also going to make an A to Z list on Thanksgiving, gotta keep with the family tradition! 
We are working really hard with the members here, it is really great and I am loving it! We have 9 new ward missioanries, we hadnt had any, and some are really great, some are not really doing much, but that is ok! We are doing our best! It is really hot here, but also raining a ton! Either crazy hot or crazy rainy, yesterday I was soaked to the bone even with a big umbrella! Haha and one day we got caught up in the rain without umbrellas and it was just crazy!! definitely an adventure! I love you all so much and now it looks like I migth not get to send any pictures because of time, but I will next week! Tchau! Com Amor!
Elder Carney

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's crazy hot here!!! Nov. 18, 2013

Well as the subject says, it is getting crazy hot here!! Haha I am pretty much dying. But that´s ok! Because every once in a while it feels like we get rain and it is seriously the biggest blessing ever. Yesterday it was cloudy all day and rained a good part of the day as well, which was so incredibly nice! 
Last week was really good, it started off with me opening my birthday package from Mom right after emailing! And THANK YOU SO MUCH! Haha it was seriously the best thing ever, who would have thought that snickers, some church music, sour patch kids, swedish fish, and GOLDFISH, would be the best thing ever, but they were. I was smiling so big and my companion and I have had a party this last week eating some great American food! And I went all out and bought some peanut butter (the not as good, Brazilian version) as well! But thanks so much and I love the tie, it´s Broncos colors which makes me so happy! So thanks for that! I still have almost all the food because I am saving it and slowly eating it!
Last week we worked really hard, we are helping this woman get baptized who has been wanting to for 7 years but has never been able to quite smoking. So we visit here two to three times a day, only super quickly to say a prayer or give her a scripture to read, and since she lives in the center of the area we can do it easily without interfering with other investigators. Her two daughters are members and she wants so badly to stop smoking, she has just been doing it for so long and she doesnt work so it is hard for her to stop. But she passed the baptismal interview!! She is getting baptized this Saturday, along with another solid investigators who we found on the street, he came up and talked to us and we asked if we could visit him, he came to church, and it is going from there! 
Last thursday we had interviews with President Martins, we have them every three months, and it was certainly interesting! Why? Because he is seriously exactly like Mr Carpenter!!!! Haha except he's my mission president. But he blows your mind when you talk to him and you have to be very specific and careful with what you say which is hard because most of the time it is in Portuguese. Haha but I loved my interview and I learned so incredibly much from him, he truly is an inspired man. I am so grateful that I get this opportunity to learn from him! Right afterwords we had splits and I worked in my area with Elder Macarthur from Star Valley, WY! Haha it was so much fun!! He has only been in Brazil a week but he already understands a lot which is good!  He doesn't really speak at all, but he is a great missionary, and is a little taller than me with blond hair and blue eyes and so everyone (even random strangers on the street) asked if we were twins.  It was interesting! But I think he enjoyed the opportunity to speak english, we spoke mainly portuguese but by the end he was only speaking to me in english which was fine, it actually was pretty hard to do, I kept wanting to speak Portuguese! But splits ended, we road up to his area, usually a 40 minute bus ride which was and hour and a half because of traffic and the most people I have ever seen on an omnibus! Haha I felt very violated, but unfortunately that happens a lot on the buses because they cram people on them. 
We are working so hard and I am praying so hard!  We are having a lot of success in our area and district right now and it is interesting because this last week I have felt so weak! I feel like I am making the transition to understanding more and realizing how little I can say because I have felt so humbled, but as I have really prayed for help I have felt the Spirit so much more during lessons and I am so grateful for that. I love it here so much! I don't want to leave Vila Sabrina or Elder De Oliveira! It has been so good here and we are working really well here together. Yesterday we had 5 people at church and it was absolutely wonderful!!!  So we are working hard! Maybe in the future could you send me a jump rope?? I heard from my teammates that it is really good to stay fit for cardio! If not I think I can probably find one down here! But life here is so good! Elder De Oliveira is a little trunky, but it was so good, President asked if he was to which I told him not really and he said he would be! Haha he said that it is natural to feel trunky to have emotions and thoughts about the future, the key is to not let it interfere with the work. And he isn't letting it so it has been really good here! I was going to bring my camera to send pics but I forgot! Sorry!! But I love you all! Good luck at Nike Booboo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I hope you all have a great week!
Com Amor,
Elder Carney

Friday, November 15, 2013

VVVVila Sabrina! Again! (Nov 12)

Well I am officially in Vila Sabrina for another transfer! Which is wonderful!! But my companion is not, Elder Mussin went back to the Interior part of the mission, and my new companion is Elder De Oliveira!! He is seriously so great! He only has two more transfers left on the mission and already served here in Vila Sabrina and so he is psyched to be back and I am psyched to learn from such an experienced and good missionary. It has been super busy, which I love, this last week. We have been continuing teaching our investigators and visiting and teaching a ton of people that my companion new from before. So it has been great! We are teaching this woman right now who has been wanting to be baptized for 7 years, but never has quit smoking, and boy are we working hard to help her. She has been improving and has such faith right now to stop and be clean so she can be baptized, it has been so cool for me to see. 

The Portuguese is coming along! Haha I have been feeling pretty confident and a ton of people have been saying they think I have been out for a year already! But then of course I have A LOT of experiences that remind me just how dependent on the Lord I have to be. Haha I have ´humble´ days. Like yesterday. Haha these are days when I have no idea what is happening and I feel like I can’t say anything at all! Well yesterday we were teaching this young woman for a second time and when we asked her if she had prayed to confirm that this was the true church, she apparently said that she was not going to read the Book of Mormon and that nothing would change her from moving churches.  Well I heard that she wanted to visit our church before she read the Book of Mormon. So I responded accordingly and bore testimony and everything of the Book of Mormon, well then it got really awkward when right before leaving I asked when we could return to see how the reading and praying went... haha oh. my. gosh. Thank goodness I have a great companion, and that this doesn’t happen all the time. Haha I just laughed about it when I clarified what happened with my companion, but it was such a good reminder just how much I have to learn and how much I need to rely on the Lord.

This week I also have been really focusing on teaching with the Spirit, a renewed effort! I have been praying so hard, seriously constantly: in the house, while we are walking, during lessons, everything.  I pray that I can speak with the Spirit and help create an environment where the Spirit can testify to these people. It has been so helpful, I have felt many times when I have said things that I normally wouldn’t say, and when I know they felt the Spirit as well.

Last night we had a good lesson with a family of all women because their spouses died, and in the past they accepted baptism but last night they said they can’t say yes or no right now. Well I was super bummed but I was able to bear testimony to them that this gospel is not just this life. That we are talking about eternities here. That they have loved ones who want to be sealed to them forever and that I am so grateful that I know that I am part of an eternal family. It was so powerful to feel the Spirit and to know that families really can be together forever. Basically I am so grateful the Spirit can speak to these people, because so often I can’t!

My birthday was great!!! Haha I didn’t get your package mom before, but I got a ton of letters last week which was great! I actually have your package sitting on my lap right now, we haven’t gone back to the house yet today so I haven’t opened it, but thanks so incredibly much!!!!!!!! My birthday was so great. One of the best I have ever had. Why? I wrote this in my journal, but because it wasn’t about me at all!! We taught 9 lessons that day, which was truly a little miracle for our little area!! I absolutely loved it, it was crazy hot, we walked all over, and I was so tired by the end, but it was truly wonderful. I am so grateful for this opportunity to forget myself. It is just great. But, I did go all out and buy a Snickers bar and saved it for my birthday. So I ate that. And it was pure joy. Haha I took a picture of myself with the wrapper so I will send that in the future! 

On Sunday our Stake did splits with all the missionaries with the leaders of the Stake for like 2 hours, they had the conference issue of the Liahona, 5 pass along cards, and a ticket to a stake theater event thing soon for a family to go together, and we went on splits with the leaders and it was so great! Our stake is working so hard to motivate the members to be missionaries and to help in this work of salvation because that is what it is, salvation! And I love being a part of it! Today we got to go to the temple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They even had some of the new changes that started in the US, it was so great. All in Portuguese too! But I understood a lot and felt the Spirit so strongly, and just an overwhelming sense of the love God has for me! And so grateful again that I have an eternal family! So it was great! 

Our Zone got totally changed! Now we have 2 companionships that are of older missionaries, and the other 6 are training, 2 with the second transfer of training (me and another American) and the rest are new missionaries! We even have one trio with the other American in the second part of training who has another new American too! Haha all the other new missionaries are Americans too except one from Cape Verde. So this Thursday I get to have splits with one of the new Americans and we are going to work in our area, I am so excited! His name is Elder Macarthur from Star Valley, WY. I am really excited to work with him and have a great day in our area!

For the package for Christmas... I don’t think I need anything! Haha maybe just food... I can’t think of anything else! And yes we can listen to church music of our choosing on Preparation Days now so I am excited for that!!! Love you all so much, I had a great week! Happy Birthday Dad!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you get my letter in time for your birthday! Love you all!

Elder Carney

CRAZINESS in Sao Paulo (Nov 4)

Haha so this last week was very very eventful. Very eventful. Haha it started last Monday, right after emails, we were working and noticed that people just seemed tense, but we kept on working, and as we were walking back to our apartment to get Elder Mussin’s planner that he had forgotten, this cop on a motorcycle was trying to get this man who was running back and forth trying to get away from him. Haha well there standing in the middle was... me. Haha it happened right as I was walking through the area on the side walk and then the guy ran away and the cop rode off after him.

So then we were walking up to the house and the Bishop, who lives in a house connected to ours, yelled at us to come into the house quickly. We went in and he told us there were riots going on in our area, not exactly in our immediate area where our house is, but really close in another part of our ward. Haha so we called our President and our entire zone had to stay in that night because apparently the police had killed a person in our area and the people were rioting. It was all very interesting because there were seriously like 5 helicopters in our area and apparently the people were lighting cars on fire and stuff like that, but not really in our area, more in the area where our zone leaders work. Haha it was interesting for sure! This made it pretty difficult to contact people for the next two days, unfortunately, because people just didn’t want to talk on the street to strangers, so we used it as an opportunity to contact less actives that we have on our ward list, and we contacted like madmen. Haha we walked everywhere, and we were really blessed with a couple new investigators we found while trying to find these members. Most of them moved and so now the ward can have more information for the list as well.

But another fun story is Tuesday we were leaving the house of a less active, walking on the sidewalk and walked past the entrance to a bar, well right then like 5 police officers got out of a car and with their guns up and aimed walked right at the bar to the people they wanted inside... haha with us in the middle. Basically I am not very lucky. But we were totally fine and just kept on walking and I truly do feel protected. Several times we felt it was better to not work in a certain area and it turned out things were happening there or something like that but we didn’t know! Elder Mussin keeps on joking if the police want to do something with us he is just going to yell that I am an American and that I did it! Haha but we were totally fine, seriously though mom, no need to worry, that was the most excitement we had and we were very much so safe! I almost didn’t say anything because I didn’t want you to worry, but it was just way too different and exciting to not tell about it!

But now it all is good here and we are working super hard. We prayed so so hard for these people we are teaching to come to church... and none of them came. It was so difficult, that is one of the most heartbreaking times when these people who you pray about so much, teach, and try to help don’t come to church. BUT! Heavenly Father truly is merciful because we had three other investigators come who we weren’t planning on and some of which we hadn’t really seen last week and that was truly a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. We are working hard, and it is heating up! Haha yesterday we walked so much in a really hilly area and I was feeling fit! Haha I think I could probably run pretty good still, although I feel pretty fat with all the rice and beans I eat everyday! 

Tonight we will find out about transfers which is exciting! I don’t really want to leave our area, especially because some of the people here are really progressing. But we will find out and then have transfers on Wednesday so you will have to wait until next week to find out unfortunately! Oh also, if I don’t email next Monday it is because I am still here in the capital area and we are going to the temple next Tuesday and that will be our preparation day!! Tão bom? Haha I am really excited to go and it will be a really good experience! Oh two of our recent converts went to the temple on Saturday!! They absolutely loved it and want to do family history work and go back. It was so cool to see them really have the fire and thoughts about helping their ancestors! I am loving the ward here, we are really gaining their trust and working a ton with them and the newly called ward missionaries! Also the Bishop is great and he talked with us a lot on Saturday and taught us some great things about the priesthood! I am loving it here, it is definitely hard work, and times can be disappointing, but it is so great and I am truly on the Lords Errand here.

Love you all, if I email Monday it means I got transferred to the interior, Tuesday still here in the capital!! Seriously loved the picture of the twins for Halloween, haha that was so great!!! Keeping you all in my prayers. Love you all!! Next week I will be 20!!!!!!!!

Oh and mom yeah probably best not to put up pics of the baptisms, but I will send more in the future not of baptisms that you can put up! Also that is way exciting about the kitchen and BooBoo, I am so stinking proud of you!! Haha I wrote that in my journal, of which I am writing in a ton, but that is so cool, I was fasting for you and that you would have a great experience! I just love you all, happy late Halloween, happy birthday to the greatest blessing in your lives... just kidding!!! And go Broncos!!!!

Love, Elder Carney

Monday, October 28, 2013

Oct. 28, 2013

Haha well today the computers decided to freak out on us... so I have like no time. But I think I will be able to crank out a pretty good letter! Last week on tuesday we had a special meeting with the capital part of the mission (all the areas close to the city) and we learned about coping with stress as missionaries, I guess the church is starting this new program to help missionaries with that, and it was really good. Haha I definitely learned a lot! Me, stressed? Never. Haha then right afterwards I went on splits with Elder M. Souza, a brazilian in our district and we went to Mairiporã, this absolutely beautiful city! It is a lot smaller, outside of São Paulo, in the hills and next to this huge reservoir. It is so beautiful, trees everywhere and I just loved it the entire time. We worked our butts off and taught so many people who were being prepared ofr hte gospel, it was so great! Then Elder Mussin came up to Mairiporã for a baptismal interview and I did splits with the other elder, Elder Vieira, also brazilian, and loved working with him as well! It was just great! Then (this is Wednesday by now) we were told by the office we had to go to the Policia Federal the next day and that they wanted us to go to the office wednesday night and sleep there and then go with them the next morning, so after the bus back to Vila Sabrina and the 45 minute walk to our house, we changed really quick, ate a quick thing of food, and then started our way towards the office in the center of São Paulo. Haha it was such acrazy couple days of traveling all over São Paulo! By the time we were going to the office we were on the train in the middle of the city at night in areas neither of us had ever been, hoping we were going the right way! haha it was so much fun, super tiring, and I just loved it! We slept at the office (they have beds there for the missionaries and the secretaries live there) and the next morning made our way to the Policia Federal!and...
I AM OFFICIAL!! Haha so that was great! I can now stay here for another year, then I will have to return and renew my visa again so I can stay another year after that. That was good, then we went back to the office and started our way back to our area. The bus to go to our area is just past the temple as well, so we walked past it and I saw it for the first time which was great, I guess if our area is near the capital we get to go every three months, so that was exciting to ehar! It is beautiful and I got some pictures but I will have to send those another time since i have like no time. But funny story, as I was walking just past the temple, we saw some missionaries up ahead from a different mission, we said hello, shook all their hands, and the last one was just looking at me with this huge grin on his face and it was Aaron Jensen!!! From our Stake!! It was crazy, I had completely forgotten he was serving here, in the East Mission, haha and so random that in the third largest city in the world I would run into a person who I knew from Littleton Colorado! It was great, we got pictures which I will send in the future! Also, I got a awesome letter from katy at the office and a pillow, which I haven't had up until now because I forgot to grab one before I went to my area from the office and now I am sleeping wonderfully! Haha I have been sleeping well using an extra blanket as a pillow, but now I know what true happiness is while sleeping. It´s been great! 
Then the rest of the week was good, it is getting way hot, but I am enjoying it (also trying to stay positive about the heat) haha on Saturday we seriiously had an amazing day. We had so many people to teach and had 7 people on date for this next saturday which was so exciting! I was so grateful because you have so many days that are just really hard and you feel like no one is really listening or keeping commitments. But Saturday was not like that! It was so great!!!! Haha and then we had Sunday. Sunday was rough. None of those people came to church. Which means they cant be baptized this Saturday. it just killed me. It was really hard. Not only because they didnt come to church but because of it meaning they cant be baptized as well, especially because these people are so faithful and willing, they seriously just had crazy things come up in their lives. We had members helping us, we were searching for people, but they just couldnt come which was rough. But Jo and Lorivaldo, our two awesome investigators who are waiting to get married so they can be baptized came so that was great! And I just remembered after praying in the bathroom of the church that times like this happen, all I can do is continue forward, help these people, and do all I can while praying for the help I need. Haha because I will always need help. That is for sure, I have had my testimony of prayer strengthened so much. Sunday evening I asked my companion if we could ask the bishop who has been on his mind that we could visit, he told us of this member whos mom and husband both arent members, whos mom has been sick and asked for a blessing. So we went there, she asked us to give her one, and we asked how the woman was doing as well. While holding her baby she just broke down in tears and just said it has been really hard for her to do with everything, she also works 44 hours a week and their baby is 1 years old and needs a lot of attention, all while her mom is sick, and her husband works all the time as well. So I felt prompted to ask if she would like a blessing as well to which she said she really felt she needed one. So we gave them both blessings and I gave her the blessing, which was my first one in Portguese. It was very humbling. My words or lack of understanding didnt get in teh way, and no, I wasnt all of a sudden fluent or anything, but I just had this peace as I was able to help this woman feel comfort and peace in her life. It was a great experience. So Sunday was rough and really great! 
Overall a very great week!Haha so there you go! I love you all so much, i have been keeping you  in my prayers, I took pictures of our apartment and I will send those in the future as well! I am doing really well, eating a lot, and feeling good! Also pretty fat and out of shape even though I still am super skinny, and could probably still do pretty well on a run or race! Love you all!! Haha I actually cranked out a really good one this week with little time!
Elder Carney

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Oct 21, 2013- Almost a month!!!

I have officially been in São Paulo for almost a month!! How absolutely insane and crazy is that!?! And I am loving it! Last week was very similar to the weeks before it, a lot of ups and downs, but for the most part ups! It is really starting to crank up with the heat here. Haha it is killing me. I am already starting to get a tan line on my collar, and I am in a constant state of overheating. Haha it is nice though when it rains, those days are the best by far.

Last week we had a great district meeting where we practiced inspired questions. We had practiced this in Bozeman and I love it so much! When we were practicing I felt such peace and calm, the first time I felt confident practicing with our district full of brazilians and veteran missionaries who all speak fluently. It´s funny that I was most confident in going into a practice having no idea what I was going to say because I was going to completely listen to the Spirit on what to say. it was awesome to see that the questions we asked and the things we said were exactly what the missionaries needed for the investigators they were role playing as. It was great!

I also had another blessing last week. I GOT PEANUT BUTTER! Haha it is called creme de amendoim here and really isnt the same but it is very close! They dont sell it anywhere but we found it in this one market place and I absolutely was in heaven having peanut butter this last week.

Haha last week we had a rough start because we had a super hot day and our appointments fell through, things just werent going our way and we werent feeling too great about it. It is hard when you dont see many results after working so incredibly hard! But then the next day we had a huge blessing: it absolutely poured all day long!!! So then the bigger blessing that day: we taught so many people and found two new investigators! The new investigators thing was big because we had decided that we needed to take a leap of faith and stop teaching some of our investigators. The reason we are doing this is because we are teaching a couple people who are not keeping committments and just dont have a desire to learn more or do the things to learn more, which is hard because you really grow to love these people when teaching them and so it is so hard to see them not do the things that you know lead to happiness eternally. But we felt we needed to demonstrate our faith by trying to find new people who are being prepared by God to hear our message and live the Gospel. So on the day it was pouring, Wednesday, we taught a couple new people, passed by a contacts house and committed him to be baptized, and also tried to find a referral, but knocked on a door across the street to ask where the house number was we were looking for. This older lady told us the person had moved a while ago, but she accepted us into her house for a message and absolutely loved it! She lives just with her mom who is... 102 YEARS OLD! haha it is crazy, she cant hear really or see very well so she just sits there and smiles at us and tell us´´vai com Deus´´ a lot. Haha but the woman, Maria, we told her about the Plan of Salvation and that her family can be an eternal family, and she loved it. Well we didnt really have a lot of time but we returned yesterday and it turns out she had read the whole pamphlet we left her, and then called her daughter and read her the whole thing, to which her daughter said she needed to talk with us and learn more about this religion and how families can live togther forever. And we committed Maria to be baptized! It was so cool to see that we were led to this family and other people being prepared, even if it took a lot of walkign around and other things to find them!

The rest of the week it felt like we walked so much! Haha thank goodness for running, I remember all the crazy workouts I have done and all of a sudden walking isnt so bad! Funny story, we have daylight savings ehre as well, and in district meeting the zone leaders told us to change our clocks ahead one hour friday night for Saturday. So that was rough waking up at what felt like 5:30 when it was 6:30, but we did it. Well that day seriously all our appointments fell through. Appointments we felt like were for sure going to happen. Fast forward to 7 pm and we were going to an appointment with the great family who came to church last week and we were waiting to go with a member of the ward. We were waiting for him and getting nervous at more and more time went by and it was 7:10. We called and it turns out we and the zone leaders were wrong... day light savings didn't start until Sunday!! Haha we felt so incredibly dumb. Our appointment fell through because we were an hour early. Haha it was seriously the biggest smack on the head. I laughed so hard when I found out because of how tired I was from that day. But it was cool to see because when we had not had those appointments we actually got to contact a lot of people we needed to talk to and would not have been able to if we were at other places, so even in our mistake we were blessed. Haha but seriously, it was so painfully funny.

That family that is so great is still so great! We found out they arent married which pushes back hope for them getting baptized soon, marriage here is pretty expensive and no one does it. Seriously like no one here is married, it just isnt as much a cultural thing like it is in theh US, but it was so cool to see that they both feel like they need to be baptized and so they are going to get married as soon as possible, like in a week or two so they can then be baptized. I love teaching them and it is cool to see that s they feel the spirit and their testimonies start to grow marriage is now important to them and they naturally want to do it so they can enjoy the blessings of baptism and eternal marriage.

It was so awesome hearing how great everyone's week was, happy belated birthday mom!! I am so glad you got my letter in time for your birthday, haha i was praying so hard it would get to you! Also, this is to all the world: MY LITTLE BROTHER BRADLEY IS A STUD!!!!!!!!!! Haha great work BooBoo!
Love you all!

Elder Carney

Saturday, October 19, 2013

October 14, 2013

Well this week was by far my favorite week in São Paulo thus far. And yes, I am aware I have only been here three weeks, but I loved it. The weather is definitely warming up here, haha I am beginning to roast and wonder why missionaries cant wear a really nice pair of shorts or something, but that´s ok, I can do hard things. This last week during District Meeting we were doing practices for teaching lessons and I realized that I can actually say a lot of the things that come to my mind. haha that was an exciting thought, I really am enjoying portuguese more and more, and i have a renewed motivation to learn it and to speak like the Paulistas (people from the São Paulo) so that they can focus on what I am saying, not how I am saying it. This week i also was trying to have a renewed effort to stay positive in all that I do, which most of the time is not very hard for me, but when I cant understand what everyone around me is saying, haha at times it is easy to get down. But I am staying positive and smiling to just about everyone! Some details about where I am serving! São Paulo is absolutely huge. So huge. And very modern, but mainly in the central parts of the city. I am on the northern edge and the houses here are very different, everyone has a gate of some kind and we have to clap to get their attention, so they can come out of their house and come to the gate and unlock it. The streets are absolutely crazy, but I am used to that now! Haha we were on the bus last week and I saw a bunch of cars driving really fast on the wrong side of the road which made me a little worried but apparently that is pretty normal! It is also very humbling seeing the conditions that a lot of people live in. There is trash seriously everywhere, and a lot of the houses are really really small or in pretty destitute conditions. Our area has some favellas (slums) but also has some pretty wealthy areas, but these areas are pretty much just like suburbs in the US, but down here they are really nice. 
I found out from President Mecham that my mission in Montana is now being a pilot mission to use ipads in proselyting efforts... haha but that´s ok, I am loving Brazil more and more, although that does sound fun! 
Like I said, getting hotter here, right now I am absolutely roasting in a Lan-house (little internet cafes they have here, haha this one doesnt really have fans or anything hence me dying.) It is pretty cloudy here a lot and the air is extremely polluted, as are all the rivers. Seriously, I am positive if you go in the rivers here in the city you will come out with two heads or dead. I am pretty sure that they would make Dad cry. 
We have a ton of different accents here as well, people come from all over Brazil! Also, it is interesting because a lot of times we will say hi to people and they will completely ignore us, just stare past us and keep on walking. Apparently a lot of the churches here teach that they aren't allowed to even talk to people from other religions which I thought was very interesting. But I usually think it is pretty funny because we are saying hi pretty loudly and they are very determined to not acknowledge us! Ah well! Most other people are very friendly and will accept any type of message about religion.
This last weekend we had three baptisms! I was so excited, Emanoel and Mariana, an old couple I told you about, and Matteus, a twelve year old boy of some less active members of our ward here. It was a great experience for everyone, the ward was super supportive and a lot of people came and Elder Mussin baptized Mariana and Matteus, and I baptized Emanoel which was a really cool experience for me. As we were leaving the font I felt the Spirit so strongly and loved it as he told me how good he felt. It was a sweet experience, but then after the baptism on Saturday we were trying to find more people to teach since three of ours had just gotten baptized, we hadn't had much luck that week, but we were working hard and ran into a family who had tried to contact before but we never could run into them, well we taught them a lesson that turned out great and we really felt the Spirit, and then they came to church on Sunday!! It was so great to see, and they loved it. It is pretty hard to get people to come to church here and so we were so grateful that they came and they said it was a blessing that they had come. 
Last week we had to go to the Policia Federal to register as an official resident of Brazil, so we had to leave at like 5:30 AM since we were taking the bus and we traveled there and met up with a bunch of other american missionaries here in our mission who had to register or renew their time here. Well as I was being processed, I found out my visa says I am only here for 90 days... which is not correct obviously. So the lady said a bunch of fast Portuguese and talked to the missionary in charge of us there, and he joked with me saying I was going yo have to go back to the US. Thank goodness he was joking, but he said he would try to fix it and we would have to return in a couple weeks to register with the police. So that was interesting, haha I am still not official here in Brazil, and I hope that they can fix it and everything will go smoothly. I am sure everything will be fine and it will work out exactly as it is supposed to. But it was interesting all the same!
Fun story, last week we were on the street trying to contact people and right as a woman was opening her gate, I saw a cockroach crawl onto Elder Mussin´s shoe and dissappear, well I started to freak out, stopped when the woman opened the door, but I didnt know how to say anything in Portuguese about it to Elder Mussin so as soon as she closed her gate I motioned for him to stomp his leg and when the thing fell off and ran away we both freaked out and got the chills. haha it was pretty funny but it was the first time I saw one down here and we both didn't like it very much. Also there is this one bar in one of the favellas down here that has a live band every night and whenever we walk by it in between apartments there is always this older woman who just stands there in the street and jams by herself to the music, it is hilarious because she dances very interestingly. But overall I felt very much so lifted up this week as I felt many times guided and led to people who had been prepared to hear our message. These people had met with the missionaries before but we had no record of them and all of a sudden we find them on the street, and their lives are in a place that they are ready to hear the gospel, it is very humbling to see us being led to these people. I love it here! Mom - that´s ok that you cant send ibuprofen, I don't really know, candy or little things like that from the US are nice, haha I don't really need much else, but any kind of snack or candy like sour patch kids or snickers or I don't really know what else oh, actually gold fish if you can, I love those things so much and miss them! Congrats Bradley!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was praying so hard for you this whole last week that things would go well for you and I will continue to do so! Love you all, until next week!

October 7, 2013

Well this last week was good, hard at times, but definitely good! It was hard last week as it felt like so many of our appointments with people were falling through, that was discouraging because we so badly want to help these people and help them be able to progress. I also found that as we worked with the time we had to find people on the streets we met success and were able to meet people we never would have otherwise. So that was nice to see that even when that was discouraging we were able to do that and be of service to the Lord.  
But teaching has gone well besides a lot of appointments falling through, I am getting more confident in Portuguese and it is pretty easy to approach people or at doors haha it is just difficult to understand what they say after that. I was having it kind of tough at the beginning of the week but I decided to just change my attitude, think positive, hum some hymns, and that night I asked E Mussin to give me a blessing which was way nice. I didnt understand all of it but I understood what I felt through the Spirit. This whole last week I was so incredibly excited for General Conference and we seriously invited everyone we talked to to it. I was trying my best to prepare for it and had questions in my heart that I wanted answered. Well come to Saturday, we get to the church and find out from the ZLs who are American that they cant find the cord they need to watch it... I was literally heart broken. I was so wanting to be lifted up and edified and instead it was going to be a translating experience, not a really spiritual one. Well I prayed my guts out, we kept looking, and a couple minutes after it started I opened a drawer and found it!!! Haha we were so exited and I got to watch all the sessions except for priesthood because it started at 9 here in English! So that was definitely a little miracle. Another cool ting is how missionary oriented it was! It was so great, I absolutely loved it and loved hearing such wonderful talks. Then on Sunday between the sessions, we went to contact people and invite them to the last session because our area is too far away to walk there and back and be productive in between sessions, well we met this guy who was a part of another church and didn't really like ours, kind of yelled at us a bit but when asked if he knew anyone who could benefit from our message he said his brother who had converted to Judaism and lived down the street. Well we go, he comes to the gate and immediately opens it which was strange, then he invites us in and when we tell him we wanted to invite him to something he was confused and said he thought we had a message for him and a booklet about families. Turns out he had gotten a pass along card from a member friend, wants to start a family and requested a book the church has on eternal families, spoke with the missionary over the phone and said he would accept a message as well, but the area hadn't gotten this referral from the church yet. Well we shared a quick message and then invited him and he said he would really like to come to conference but needed to change and shower first! So we went contacting for 10 more minutes, he comes out in a suit and is super excited and he watches conference with some Brazilian elders in our zone. Haha it was so cool to be a tool in the hand of the Lord and randomly meet him before we even had gotten a referral to go see him from the Church and for him to have a great experience at Conference, something he would not have had if the referral was what had first contact with him. But that was way cool.
Conference was such an incredible boost to me. I seriously felt so re energized and really felt the importnace of covenant keeping and being patient and enduring al things in life in order to receive blessings from our Heavenly Father. Overall it was way exciting! I had a rough week but it ended in an incredible way with little miracles and Conference. 
Mom, the mission address is the same!
 R. Dr. Rui Batista, 165
Jardim Caxingui
15507-080 Sao Paulo, SP

The home will move sometime in the future, but for now send away! Haha I had the thought that my church music on CDs would be wonderful. We actually are allowed to listen to music but not with ipods, maybe booboo could do that. I dont need all of it,just a couple with some really good songs. Also maybe some ibuprofen, like a bottle of it, it is really really expensive here. But also no pressure with a box or anything, that can wait until whenever!! And I got to buy nutella!! Haha they don't really have peanut butter here which I was sad about but one day I saw nutella and it is pretty expensive but i had to buy it so I did! We get plenty to live off of and yes i am eating enough, don't worry, a lot of the Americans here are fat, haha so I don't want to become fat! The weather is pretty cold right now, colder than it was in Montana when I left, but I am dealing with it and Elder Mussin lets me use some of his sweaters. I will deal with that eventually but summer is on it's way so not now. Also I need help on my credit card, what are the rules and charges and things like that right now? I haven't used it and don't really need to but just in case I would like to know. Elder mussin is doing well, hahaa he actually said and members have said that I have a better accent than he does because spanish makes him say a lot of things like he would in spanish, so thats good that english and portuguese are so different I guess, although he has been teaching me a ton so that is nice! I am sorry, I dont really have a lot of time, but dont be afraid to write stuff, I love hearing from all of you, and I am keeping all of you in my prayers! Booboo, good luck this week! Kill it and I am praying for you!  Love you all!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 4, 2013


Haha so this week has been extremely eventful. It was so incredibly hard to leave Montana, it really surprised me actually. I was so bummed to say goodbye to the Mecham´s, they are truly incredible people. In the Salt Lake Airport I met up with two other missionaries going to Brazil, one to my mission. On the flight from SLC to JFK I had a great experience! I was able to sit next to this lady named Tanya who lived in Long Island and we got talking about her weekend and it somehow turned to the topic of families and that our genders are something divine, so i had her read my mini Family: A Proclamation to the World and she loved it. Then we started talking about death and life after death and that even though it can be very very difficult, it also can be a strengthening experience for us. She started crying as we shared our beliefs and I was able to bear testimony to her that I know that families can be together forever and that those whom we love who pass away live still and we can see them again. She was just ana awesome person and I had been praying the  days before to be able to meet someone I could share the gospel with on the flights. I was so grateful and then I was able to write my testimony in the Book of Mormon as well as the Mormon.org info and give it to her right before we landed, at which point she started crying again. haha it was super cool! Then as wel left the airplane a man in a wheel chair stopped myself and the other elder and told us he converted to the churhc a year ago and he has cancer and wanted a blessing. Well he lived in new york, we had a plane to Brazil to catch, so we gave him a blessing right in the middle of JFK with interesting music playing and interesting people all around us, but it was so cool to feel the Spirit as we were able to give this man comfort through words from our heavenly father. Then I had a good long flight to Brazil, we got here like 10 AM the next day and it then took us like 2 hours to get to the mission home because traffic here is so crazy. Haha that is one thing i really learned, there is a reason missionaries dont ride bikes or drive in Brazil, the roads and drivers here are absolutely insane! Like so insane. It was definitely interesting. But we got here, I was able to meet the other missionaries, which was different since most of them were brazilians and loved talking SUPER fast. Haha but I met President Martins and he is great, super funny, but also very strict in his rules. In some ways he is very similar to President Mecham, in others not as much, but he is a great man all the same. I had a pretty short interview with him and then found out I would be going to Vila Sabrina and be companions with Elder Mussin, an elder from Argentina who doesn´t speak english. Haha so we came here and our apartment is interesting, definitely not like my old super nice one! But I am getting used to it and to the things that are different here. The food here is really good, that has been different as we eat lunch with te members and not dinner, and most of the times we are working so much that we dont really eat dinner, but that´s ok, I love it! There is so much work to do here, it´s ridiculous. We seriously walk around all day just teaching people, I also have found Brazilians have a lot of problems with the law of chastity, coming to church, and keeping appointments. Haha but at the same time they are also super religious and talking about religion is a common things on the street. There are some Bolivianos here as well, they are very hard working people and love it when I tell them my dad served there. We have like 20 investigators right now and 4 people on date for baptism on the 12th of October. On Saturday we had a baptism, this 50 year old lady named Joselangi, she is super kind and she actually asked me to baptize her, haha which was interesting since I don~t understand a lot of what she says! But I was able to and it was such an uplifting experience for me and was cool to help someone onto the path of going back to live with our Heavenly Father.
It´s interesting because everyone thinks I am either a Brazilian or a German, never American, haha until I speak! This 14 year old girl said she thought I was Brazilian until I opened my mouth, but I also have received a lot of compliments from people who are surprised it is my first week because I am speaking pretty well. So that is nice to hear, although sometimes I don~t understand when they say it beacuse they speak so fast! Haha ah well! Also, Elder Mussin is awesome, he is seriously a great missionary. I am loving working with him and it is great for my Portuguese to only speak it all the time. At times it can be super hard and lonely, this last week had a lot of ups and downs, especially when I am frustrated beause of the language barrier and all I want to do is go back and serve in Montana, but I have also found that even when I feel like I can~t talk with anyone, I can always talk with my Heavenly Father. He is always listening and he understands. I love prayer because I have had to do a whole lot of it this last week. This week has been hard but I am learing to love Brazil. Haha oh last night I had my first night time favella experience! It was interesting, on the weekends and especially in the favellas there is constatnyl loud music playing, tons of people, havoc everywhere, it is all very interesting and it makes it hard to teach so we dont go there a ton during those times but it was definitely pretty interesting for me to see.
Mom, you´d be proud of me, i hard core cleaned the walls of our apartment today, haha they needed it. I will send some pictures next week but I hope you all are doing well! I am keeping you in my prayers and so excited for General COnferene, I found out we always watch in English so we can fully understnd the words of the prophets! So excited! Also, it really isn´pt very expensive to send letters so I am going to do that in the future. Love you all!!!
Elder Carney

Monday, September 30, 2013

Danny is in Brazil!

Danny officially made it to Brazil last Tuesday and was able to send a quick email letting us know that he was there safe and sound:

I am here in Sao Paulo!!!  We only have like two minutes to email and tell you that we got here, but just wanted to let you know that I got here safely. Haha the Portuguese is definitely difficult, but I am loving it already.  I am about to meet my companion, he is from Argentina so that is exciting!  I will be able to email next Monday!  Love you all, tchau!
-Elder Carney

We also got a pleasant surprise from the President of the Montana Billings Mission where Danny was serving until his visa came through.  President and Sister Mecham sent us the following email:

Dear Brother & Sister Carney,

It has been our extreme pleasure to have Elder Carney serve in the Montana Billings Mission.  You should be proud of such a fine young man, gentleman, and spiritual giant.  We wish he could have been ours for the duration.  We know he will bless many in Brazil with his testimony and engaging smile.  He will definitely be a leader in the mission.  Here are a few photos from the time he spent here.

Our regards,
President and Sister Mecham

Danny with Pres. and Sister Mecham

All the missionaries who were waiting for their visas

Their trip to the Bozeman Temple

Pres. Mecham, Danny, Elder Pirillo, Sister Mecham

It was so great to hear from Danny's Mission President and to hear how loved he was there.  It's so great to see that contagious smile of his and the joy in his face as he is serving the Lord.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Danny's on his way to Brazil!!!

Note from Mom- Danny finally received his VISA, and is on his way to Sao Paulo Brazil!  He flew from Billings to SLC Monday morning, then from SLC- NYC, then from NYC to Sao Paulo.  He will arrive in Brazil Tuesday morning, after 24 hours of traveling!  We got to talk to him during his layover in NYC-- He sounds really great & very excited to go to Brazil.  He had a difficult time saying goodbye to the wonderful people in Montana, and truly loved his time serving there.  Here are his letters from this past week! Again, we are blocking out names of people he is teaching to protect their privacy.

NOTE* We are not sure that the address in Brazil is correct, so for now, email would be the best way to write to him!  We'll update as soon as possible!

Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2013- So I got here in Billings and I have been loving my time here. My companions, Elder Bishop and Elder Nielson are really great. We are in Shepard and I am really loving it, it is up above Billings and isn't too far away. But the reason that I am emailing you all on a Thursday afternoon is...

Haha just kidding, that was definitely not the truth. The real reason that I am emailing on Thursday is below

I GOT MY VISA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Haha I am so incredibly excited!! It was funny because the way my companions were acting and the former zone leaders (Elder Burrows and Schlenker) and just how things have been working out made me really think I was getting mine, so it wasn't really surprising but very very exciting. I am going to be so incredibly sad to leave Montana, but I am excited to go! I will let you know as I find out more details, but I know I leave Monday! Love you all! Sao Paulo Here I come!!!!
Elder Carney

Here is his letter from Sunday night, his last day in Montana:

Sun. Sept 22, 2013 -Well since I am leaving tomorrow morning I was given the opportunity to email tonight since I wasn't sure if I would be able to tomorrow. Before I left Bozeman I was able to see some fo the people that we were teaching for a last time and we also set a baptismal date with T and R which was great! T is getting baptized this next Saturday and I so badly wish I could be there. He is an incredible kid and I am so grateful that we were able to teach him and his family. I also wasn't sure about setting a date for R, we weren't sure if that was the best time to do it, and I really didn't want to just because I was leaving, but Elder Brown felt very strongly during the lesson that we needed to, so on Tuesday night we set dates for both of them and R is scheduled to be baptized on October 12th. He has a lot of progressing that he needs to do, but if he is diligent then I believe he can be ready by then.
On Tuesday night we had dinner with this family, the Pitcher's, and their daughter and grandson was there, well they were talking about "party ice cream." So I asked their six year old son what it was and he replied "It's a party in your tummy!" All while rubbing his stomach with this little grin on his face. Haha this kid was cracking me up, but anyways it was a fun last little night in Bozeman.
 It was sad saying bye to people, and on Wednesday morning it was a huge downpour the entire first half of the day, basically all the way up until I left at like 1:30, haha so I felt like Bozeman was sad that I was leaving too. It was such a bummer to say goodbye to Elder Burrows and Elder Schlenker. They are fantastic missionaries and I was way bummed to not be able to be around them again. Like I said before, Elder Burrows reminds me SO much of Kyle and we have talked a lot about post mission things but I also am very aware that that is just a tiny bit in the future, Haha it was sad to say goodbye to him but that's all right. I was sad to say bye to Elder Brown, I truly have grown a lot in being ith him and learned a lot about being a companion and how to best be a companion for someone. He is a good elder and we met his new companion, and it seems like they will do well together. Haha I was talking about our area so much to him and to Elder Brown, I felt so responsible for it and these people, it was interesting as I was surprised at how hard it was to leave. So that was a bummer, but we were able to say goodbye to some families as well so that was good as we talked to them. Several of them were very kind to me and I was grateful as they said some nice things in parting.
So also on Wednesday, we had breakfast at my old apartment and Yani, the Indonesian lady who lived beneath us, made us all breakfast. I had told you a little about her before but she made and bought us SOOOOO much food. Haha like seriously, she was way super kind and we called her our "Mormon mom" even though she isn't Mormon. We all went down and sang "As armies of Helaman" to her and she starting crying since most of us were leaving. She is just such a neat lady and in her broken English she told each of us individually thank you for being her friend and God bless us. She is seriously one of the most charitable people I have ever met. Haha and she can talk someone's ear off but that made her all the more memorable! So then I said goodbye to my wonderful district and to all the people I had loved serving and serving with and came here to Billings. It was a long day but then I met my new companions, Elder Bishop and Elder NIelson.
Now some words before I go into that, I had discussed with Sister Greenfield, a sister waiting for her visa in my district in Bozeman, that I felt like if I got put in a trio or if I was moved to Billings this transfer then maybe that meant my visa was close. So then when I got put in a trio in Billings everyone thought for sure my visa was here, I was wanted to think this, but I was not sure since another elder had been put with these same elders for a whole transfer then was moved back out in Bozeman again. Haha so that was in my head, and I was way overanalyzing everything the Elders were doing and thinking if they were indicative of me receiving it or not, but I didn't ask them and just served as normal. Then on Thursday afternoon during our weekly planning session, I got a call from one of the assistants, Elder Olsen, who told me my visa was here and I was leaving Monday. Haha so I wasn't crazy surprised, but I was crazy excited!! Haha my companions said it was one of the most excited they had seen a visa waiter, because most were sad, but I told them how sad I was leaving Bozeman, and those other ones had served here in Billings when they found out, so I already went through the bummer news of leaving the area I had served so much in as opposed to an area I had been in for one day. But these last couple days have been really good as I have been serving with them.
 The Color Me Rad 5k was here in Billings on Saturday, and the Elder were volunteering Friday and then racing for free on Saturday morning. Well they raced in white shirt and ties and name tags with b-ball shorts, but there weren't enough volunteer spots for Friday, so I volunteered with some other elders to actually work the race Sat morning. We were assigned to the liquid green color station, so we were in charge of soaking all the runners with this green liquid that they had in abundance attached to a ton of hoses. It was super fun, and by the end I had complately green hands and arms, with it soaking through all my clothes, haha which meant basically everything had to be properly disposed of. Haha it even dyed my skin underneath my clothes, so basically I was the Hulk. I mean, the bulging muscles already lent to the effect, and the green was just a little side effect tthat finished it all off... haha nope, don't worry, still as distant runner-y as ever! So it was fun volunteering and targeting the other missionaries specifically as they ran by. We have been able to contact a lot of people these last couple days and I have loved being able to work hard even though I am leaving here soon. Today church was really good, also I was able to see Elder Wilson and Elder Devine, two elders from the MTC, as well as Elder McLaughlin who was moved to Bozeman to be in a trio in a different ward from the one I served in. Overall this week was really nice, just very crazy! I am really looking forward to tomorrow and going, but I am truly going to miss this place. I hd felt very strongly before that I was here for a specific purpose, otherwise I would have gone straight to Brazil. I was here for a reason and as I have prayed about it, I have felt very strongly that my purpose in being here has been fulfilled. I feel good about leaving here and I feel like I did my best to be the best missionary I could be for my area, my investigators, my companion, the other missionaries I served with, my mission president, and for Christ and God. I love Montana so much and am so incredibly grateful for the time I have spent here. I am sad to leave here but very excited to go on to my next adventure!
Com Amor,

Elder Carney