Current Mailing Address

Current Mailing Address

Elder Howard Derek McKeon
Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission
Rua Caa-Acu, 229
03171-020 Sao Paulo - SP

Monday, March 18, 2013

Two Week Update

I forgot to update the blog last week, so here is Elder McKeon's email from March 11, 2013:

Hey guys!!!

I am doing great! How is everyone back in cold Granite Bay?

I am doing great in HOT Brasil!

This past week was very good. We had a ton of people in Church this past week which is always good as a missionary. The only bad thing that happened was that our baptism fell through. Her name is Jení and she is 8 months pregnant and she didn't go to church because she was sick, so that is always a bummer.  That just means that we are going to have one more baptism next week I guess.

We are probably going to have at least 3 baptisms next Sunday! How great is that? We are going to have at least another 3 the week after! 

We have been teaching this lady, Luciana. We were walking down a road late at night on our way to our last appointment. I saw this lady (Luciana) and I knew we had to talk to her. We stopped by and she said that she had seen the other missionaries before, but never talked to them. We gave her a Plano de Salvação pamphlet and asked her to read it and we'll be back to talk about it. That was on a Thursday, we saw her next on Saturday and she had read the whole pamphlet and wanted more! We then gave her a Book of Mormon and marked a place for her to read and told her she could come to church with us. She couldn't go because she had to go and pick up her granddaughter, but she has read that whole part and has started to read the book from the start. She is going to be baptized this next Sunday the 17th. We are so stoked for her! She is so perfect and ready to receive the blessings of this Gospel.

We then have Nataniel. If you guys remember Marcelo, it's his brother-in-law. He lives with his mom who is already a member. We stopped by and gave him a message and he went to Church and wants to be baptized.  He justs needs to stop smoking and he really wants to stop.

Camilla, that mom who came to church last week all by herself doesn't live in our area, so that was a bummer but we gave her info to the missionaries who are in her area and they are teaching her. She is living with her boyfriend because she can't support herself and her son AND a house all alone. She needs to be separated from him before she can be baptized. She said she was going to look for a place to live in our area, so that's exciting and we're keeping our eyes peeled for a cheap place for her to live so she can be baptized.

The work is totally progressing down here in Brazil and I love it here so so so much. I am doing great here in São Paulo!! 

I love you guys so much! 

Keep being great!


Elder McKeon

Here is the email from today (March 18th)!

Hey guys!

We had a really good week this past week!

This past Sunday we had 3 baptisms, 2 investigator baptisms and 1 ward baptism, so basically had a pool party if you catch my drift.

Remember that family that we need to get married before they can be baptized? We baptized their middle son the end of last month and we always saw his older brother (Felipe) there, but he never sat in on the lessons. This past week, the 10th, he went to church and had a great experience and he wanted to learn more! So we taught him and he had a lot of doubts and we just told him, "You dont have trust our words, we're just 19-year-old kids in a different country, but you can ask your Heavenly Father if these things are true and you know you can trust him." We left him with a part of the Book of Mormon to read and the next time we came back he said that he had received the answer and that he couldn't deny that the things we taught were true and BOOM BAPTISM! He had already read 6 chapters in the Gospel Principles book and has been reading steadily in the Book of Mormon. He was baptized and will be confirmed this next Sunday the 24th (the same day that his parents will be baptized). This family is great and I love them so much.

We also baptized Luciana. She has been reading the Livrinhos that we leave with people after a lesson and reading in the Book of Mormon and she is going to help the Sociedade de Socorro so much and she will be a such a great addition to the ward here in Continental. We helped her to quit smoking and now she says that she doesn't even want to smoke and can't believe that she had been smoking for so long.

You guys know Marcelo and his sogra (mom-in-law) lives in our Ward and she has a son named Nataniel who is not a member of the Church. We have been teaching him for the past couple of weeks and he has been progressing so much. He used to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day and now he smokes maybe 2 cigarettes a day. We were teaching him last night and the only thing that we haven't taught him is Tithing, but we didn't know what we were going to teach at all (I know bad planning, but it just didn't feel right to teach Tithing at that time). So we go in there and I'm thinking, "What're we going to teach?" Then he started talking about how he's going through a really hard time with money and with cigarettes, so I thought, "We just need to talk to him." We talked and we read Ether 12:27 about turning your weaknesses into strengths referring to the cigarettes and he loved that idea, but he was still super down about not having a job, living at his moms house, just not doing anything and nothing going right. Then we read Mosiah 23:21-23 about how the Lord tries His chosen people to see if they will be patient in their suffering and cry unto Him with their Faith. And we asked him "Are you praying and reading in the scriptures everyday?" He just put his head down and said no, but then we talked about how he can ask Heavenly Father for the help that he needs to stop smoking and for things to start lining up in his life. And I sat there thinking "How are we going to help him stop this habit?"  We gave him a blessing, we fasted with him, we've set goals and it has helped but not really broken that habit.  Then i thought "Break... BREAK! You can break a cigarette!" Then we said, "Alright, now we have a rule about smoking Tael (Nataniel). Everytime you feel like you want to smoke, you take the cigarette in your hands, break the cigarette into 2 pieces and throw it away, and after wash your hands." He just looked at us and thought that it was a great idea. We wrote a note on the pack of cigarettes to remind him and he broke a cigarette in front of us right then and there to show that he really wanted to stop. It was such a great lesson and he will be baptized this next Sunday.

I miss and love you guys so much and i pray for you always!


Elder McKeon

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