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, August 19, 2013


Hey everybody!
How are you guys doing?
Alright, we had a cool experience this week. It was Wednesday night and we had not been by to visit a recent convert. We were coming back from the market and we passed by her house. We decided that we needed to stop by the very next day. So, we go to Val's house (the recent convert) to see how she is doing and there was this other guy there talking with Val's son. We were just sitting there talking and I didn't even have the feeling to talk to the guy, but then he asked the key question, "How did the Mormon Church start?" The gloves were off at that point. We then had an amazing lesson and invited him to be baptized the next Sunday, but then we got on the subject of smoking and the Word of Wisdom and we learned that he smokes a pack a day, which is around 21 cigarettes. 

(how the Elders have to wash their socks)

We made goals for him to stop smoking slowly. We made a goal for him to smoke 15 on Friday, 10 Saturday, 5 Sunday, and 1 or 2 Monday, and 0 by Tuesday. We made up a contract and he signed it. We left there feeling good and we set up an appointment to see him the next day (Friday), but we missed the appointment because we had to go to Cumbica to do some baptismal interviews for my district. We were super bummed and we felt  bad because we didn't get home until late. 

(Digital Jesus graffiti) 

On Saturday we went to his house and we had a long talk. The interesting part was Friday night I had a dream that we were talking to Adelçio (that is the name of our investigator) and he told us that he only smoked 6 cigarettes on Friday and 0 on Saturday. I woke up Saturday morning and told Elder Hanni that I had a weird dream and he said,"Hmmm that was a very specific dream." Then we go to Adelçio's house and we were talking and we got on the subject of his smoking and told us that he only smoked 6 cigarettes on Friday and none that day (which was Saturday). I was stunned! I stopped and asked,"Wait, you only smoked 6 yesterday and none today?" (just to be sure i wasn't crazy) And he replied,"Yes! And I'm feeling great!" As Elder Hanni and I were walking away, Elder Hanni just shoves me and says,"Dude, you're weird!" It was a really cool experience for me and really shows how the Spirit lets us really know our investigators.

We went by Adelçio's house on Sunday to go pick him up and take him to Church and he wasn't home. I was disappointed and we left to go look for our other investigators. When we got to Church we saw Adelçio was already there chatting with everybody. It was amazing! I loved seeing him there so happy and making friends, and to me, that was a miracle.
Well, I love you guys! I will talk to you next week!
Elder McKeon

("Tell Jan The Man that this one is for him. These cows just walk around right by our house! -- Elder McKeon)

Monday, August 12, 2013

One Year Mark!

Hey everyone!

Well, I am now in beautiful Cabuçú. It is so great out here! I got transferred from Jardim Camargo Novo, to Cabuçú, I am now District Leader over two other areas with my companion, Elder Hanni, from Alaska.

Elder Hanni and Elder McKeon

Elder Hanni and I work well together. We are already friends and he is a really good guy. He has and has been in this area for about a month and a half so we are going to do some awesome work here!

Elder McKeon with Tom from Camargo Novo

The cool thing about this area is that the Church hasn't been in this area for a very long time, so we don't have many members or even a ward yet. We have a branch, but we don't have a chapel yet. We rent out a school and hold our meetings there. There are about 60-65 people in our branch. They are all very humble people and they all live in the forest out here.

We had an interesting encounter with a mouse this week. I asked Elder Hanni if he had ever seen a mouse in the house because we were finding droppings. He said he had not, but 10 minutes later I'm in the bathroom and I hear Elder Hanni scream like a girl! I ran out and he says he saw the mouse run under the oven. We get him out and we almost catch him, but then he squeezes out under the door and gets away. The very next night we were planning our day and here comes the same mouse again running through the house like he owns the place. So this time we caught him and I unfortunately killed him by hitting him with a broom too hard against a wall. So that was our pet story for the week...

Poor little mouse...

Well I gotta go! I love and miss you all so much and hope you are all doing well!

I love you guys!


Elder McKeon

Loves getting packages!

Monday, August 5, 2013

More Investigators

Hey guys,

Can you believe that ANOTHER transfer has gone by? It feels like last week we were just starting the transfer and now here we are finishing this transfer out.

I can't believe that in a week I will hit my one year mark here on the mission. It has been so awesome and I am so glad that I have one more year. People ask us how long we have been out and I say, "I have one year here in Brasíl left." Then, they always give this look like they feel bad that I still have another year, but I look at it like "Dang, I only have one more year left on my mission." My friend here in Camargo Novo, who served his mission in Espírito Santo, told me,"The more you want it to slow down, the faster it goes by."

This week was a good week. We had a bunch of people come to church. We found this family making a contact. Well actually, the kids made the contact. The kids here love for me to speak English and I get kind of tired of it after awhile. So, we were walking down this street and these three kids yelled,'Hey! Americano! Come here!" I decided to have fun with them this time. I told them that I wasn't an American, but that I was born in Portugal, and then my family moved to Rio Grande do Sul (a state here in Brasíl). They all just sat there for a minute bummed because I wasn't an American, but after a few minutes I told them the truth and we got in and taught his mom and him and his friends. Then, they all went to church and had a great time! We actually are going to stop by their house here in a little bit to see if they will be baptized. They seemed to love it and already have friends there. They are great family and I know that this Gospel can help them even more.

The only bummer was that yesterday we were supposed to have the baptism of Leticia. It didn't happen because a member who is a really good friend of Leticia couldn't get there to watch the baptism. Now we have it rescheduled for next week. Now the transfer is coming up and I am afraid that I might get transferred and I won't be able to see the baptism, but that's life as a missionary.

Well, we have a few appointments we have to get to! I love you guys so much and I hope you all have a great week!


Elder McKeon

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Winter Time in Brazil

Hey everyone,

It got to 37 degrees this past week here in Brazil. Weird, right? When I get back to BYU I'm going to freeze.
It's even worse when we got home because the houses here are made of stone and they don't have carpet here, only tile. Throw in a couple of windows that don't shut all the way and you have got yourself one REALLY cold house. It was so cold we could see our breath and we had to wear 8 layers of clothing to stay warm during the night. I even bought gloves!

Other than me complaining about it being cold, we had a pretty good week.  We have been trying to find a bunch of people to teach, but now everyone "está de ferias." It's what they call summer break down here so school is out and no one is working, so they all travel or have family over which makes it difficult to teach during this time of year. We have been making contacts and trying to find new people, but this upcoming week should be better because the summer break will be over. 

This past week we confirmed Antonio. It was great because everyone in the ward loves him and calls him "Vó" which means grandpa. Antonio reminds me of Grandpa Gale! He just goes walking throughout the day and no one knows where he goes or when he comes back, but he is awesome and I love him! Right now we are working on his granddaughter, Vitoria. She has accepted baptism, but has to be baptized at night because her mom works during the day and wants to be there for the baptism. It is going to happen either Friday or Saturday night this week.

Do you guys remember Leticia? Well she was an investigator of ours and had some problems and needed time to really think about baptism. Then at Church yesterday, she came up to me and says,"Elder, I want to be baptized, what do we have to do?" She will probably be baptized this week by her boyfriend, Lucas. Things are going really well here.

Today, we went to Guarulhos with Marcelo and some other Elders. After we had breakfast we played games and then Elder Diaz and I made a detour and stopped by Luiz and Katias in Continental. We surprised them and it was so great to talk and catch up with them and see how much that they have grown in such little time. We were talking when Katia says,"I am so grateful for you and Elder Padilla for bringing this Gospel into our lives and I have no intention of leaving, or my family." I was so happy I ALMOST cried, I kept it together! It was cool to see them and see how they were doing.

Well, I am running late, and I have to go. I love you guys so much and miss you! 


Elder McKeon