Elder Alex Evans has been called to the Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission. He reports on July 10th, 2013, and will serve for a period of two years.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Photos from Marica, Brazil






This is a 3 month old missionary shoe!

The streets of Marica

Elder Evans' Apartment(2nd Floor)

Hot and Humid...

Elder Evans with Elder Silva(from Brazil)

At the mission office

Friends on the streets..

Alex' First Baptism in Brazil

Festivities in downtown Marica

Fishing Village

Artsy Photo

Baptism this weekend

Front of the Church Building


One Month in Brazil

iai família,



I'm doing pretty good still. We've had another long hot week here in Brazil. It was over 110 degrees here on Thursday or something. It's killer to be walking around in that kind of heat and sweat in slacks and a shirt and tie. All my clothes are now yellow instead of white. It's pretty narsty.

 I don't really remember what happened this week, or what I did. It is all a blur of exhaustion and diarrhea. Holy crap, so much toilet time. I could count the number of times that I've taken a solid poop here in Brazil on one hand.

 More questions from Mom

1. the monkeys are anywhere. There are usually in the more wooded neighborhoods, but I've seen them at the plaza before too.

 2. Pday we didn't end up climbing the mountain, mainly because of poor Brazilian planning. Which is nothing new.

 3. My feet hurt. I've had blisters since I got here. The big blister on my right foot is a now a big blood blister too, so that's exciting, but my feet are getting rough and calloused, it hurts less and less each day.

 4. I haven't looked yet for shoelaces or insoles. I took one of the shoelaces off of my other pair of shoes and laced em onto my johnston and murphys for a short term fix.

 5. We don't have a scale, but they are all over at drugstores and farmacies, and I've been monitoring my weight loss. So when i got here I weighed 220 right? Right now I weigh more or less 204 lbs. The best weight loss program I've ever tried- move to Brasil, eat beans and rice everyday, walk for miles and sweat. 

Our transfer is dec 17th, next week. This transfer is only 5 weeks because of Christmas. I hope I get to stay here. And yes I can Skype with you, assuming that if I get moved somewhere else there is a member that I can do it at. So you guys need to make me a skype account please, and send me the login and password info because Christmas is in like 2 weeks.

 Typically I think that President Lima likes to keep missionaries in areas for at least a couple transfers, but lately there have been a lot of moving around. Since I'm not really getting trained, there is a possibility of me training another missionary soon too.

 Oh and mark down another baptism. Yesterday we had a baptism for a 9 yr old girl who always comes to church with her 3 cousins who are members of our branch. None of their parents are members, or want to be members, but all the kids are now, so that's fun.

 Like I said, not much out of the usual happened this week, just working and giving people the opportunity to receive exaltation in the celestial kingdom with their families for eternity. No biggie, right?

Sounds like you all had a good week. Proud of Sporting KC! I miss you all and hope you have a good week!

 Love Elder Evans

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A week in the life.....

October 28th, 2013
THE Mission

This week has been just the same old same old. Finding, teaching, and trying to baptize. Our zone had been really struggling this transfer with finding new investigators to teach, and so has our district and companionship, so the swift trio (us) decided to do more finding this week. And we got our goal of 3! Our mission standard of excellence is simply called 3 3 3. Each week, every companionship should get at least 3 member present lessons, 3 progressing investigators, and 3 new investigators. We shot for it, and we got 4 mp's, 3 new investigators, but only 1 progressing by last night. But this week it should be fairly easy to accomplish our 3 3 3. We've got at least one wicked solid baptism for november 23rd. I would like to be here for it, but I really hope I'm not.
 
I hope that the consulate hurries and fixes the error that they made on my VISA! My file should have been on the top of the list to get through and finished!



Most of this week was alright, but kind of a blur. I have my up and my down days in terms of being stressed out of my mind and doing normal and running around. We had an awesome experience happen to us this week while we were biking! So on thursday evening we were having a super successful day, I think that we taught 6 lessons and had a new investigator and we flying between appointments. So Thursday is when we have the Hour of Power, from 6 to 7 pm we tract because the prophet and apostles go to the temple and pray for missionary work, and all the members in THE Mission pray for us to find new people to teach in that one hour. It's incredible the numbers that our mission generates from that one hour each week, but back to the story. We were biking up and down a street called N Tram rd. Look it up!  So we were down south on the road near Evangeline dr. or the highway 1132, and had to go all the way north in 5 minutes to a recent converts house to teach them the Hour of Power lesson, a 15 minute lesson on faith before we actually go knock doors, so we were peddling as fast as we could up the road in a line and a bunch of cars were passing us, more than usual. We were in a line and I was in the back of all 3 of us, and E Satele was right in front of me. A line of cars pass us by and this orange van drives by and throws this small piece of paper out of the window in between Jones and Satele and lands right on the edge of the road where we were biking. I wasn't paying attention, so I didn't see it until it hit the ground, I looked up to see Satele staring at it as he rode over it, so it caught my eye and right when I rode past it all of a sudden it exploded! I freakin had a heart attack. It was a firecracker taped to a piece of paper for some reason and it blew up right under my foot! Don't worry mom! It didn't hurt or anything, only scared the crap out of me, and made for an awesome mission experience and journal entry! 
We went on exchanges on Friday with the fourth ward elders, and we had some awesome lessons with them too!
The only other thing is that I'm sick. My chest is super tight and all of my joints are killing me. And I have a headache. I woke up at 2 this morning and watched church movies until 5 when I was able to fall asleep again. It was not pleasant, but I do feel better today. 
Hey I got your package, and I got Gmas and Gpas. Just another reminder, It's 5200 n main. NOT 5020. Repeat, 5200 n main.

Well

October 21, 2013
THEM
 
Well...

Well, this week was pretty good. I hope it was good for y'all too. The best part of the week was definitely this weekend. On Friday we had almost the whole day off basically. There was a parade for homecoming that started in the afternoon after our district meeting. We went with the Chandler and Horton families to sit on the side of the 105 highway (main street) in the center of town to watch the floats and cars drive by. Basically all that it was was a bunch of girls sitting on top of their dad's corvette in a big dress and a guy with a shirt and tie on next to her for everything imaginable. They are the Sweethearts and Beaus of every single club in the school, every sport, and like ten just for seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshman etc..  But literally every Vidorian was watching and freaking out about it.Then later after we got our baptismal program all finalized we went to VHS to the homecoming football game. (They don't actually have homecoming dances here. You ask a girl to go to the game with you and you buy her a ridiculously large corsage thing and massive ribbons and bows to wear all over her body. Again, strange)  They were playing the Central high school of Beaumont, They held their own, though, and only lost by 4. The half time show was pretty cool. Their band is really good at marching in the dark, and the schools down here have cheerleaders, a drill team, and twirlers who twirl batons and such. The twirler girls spun flaming batons at the beginning of the show and it was pretty sick. I got my picture taken with the pirate mascot from the stands. We were on the front row at half field, so we couldn't see a whole lot of the game, so we had fun just being there. It was good.
Saturday was fun too. I've officially got two more baptisms under my belt and marked down on the front page of my Preach My Gospel. It's exciting because K was the first person on my mission to be baptized that I was the one who started teaching and "found". There is a funny story about their baptism though. The font here in the Vidor Williamson Chapel takes a loooong time to fill up, so we biked to it at 2 PM to start for the service at 5. We turned it on and it was blasting like normal for about 5 seconds, and then it just died down to like a weak stream that would come from a sink faucet, not a font. We freaked out because it was taking so long, we went around the whole building to check out all the sinks and bathrooms and fountains, and they were all broken. The water pressure system and heater that had just recently been put in broke, and there wasn't any pressure in the building. We had to leave and get ready and do other things. So we got back at like 4:30 and the font was barely a foot and a half high. We left it on until the actual baptisms, and they both had to kneel down to go under all the way. Glad I didn't have to baptize anyone because it was freezing! haha
Yesterday was their confirmations, and K asked me to confirm her. So I did. It was my first confirmation, and I was nervous to give a blessing in front of a whole congregation, but it went very well and either way they both received the gift of the Holy Ghost and are now members of the Kingdom of God on the earth today. They both have strong testimonies of the restored gospel because of the different trials and hardships that they have had to go through earlier in life. BH has a really cool story. He has had the biggest change of heart that I have ever seen in any person ever.
I see that you got all the pictures of us from Sister Moore. She and the whole Moore family are awesome! I love them so much, and I can't wait to come back and visit Vidor when I get home from my mission. Even if it is to just finally be able to swim in the Moore's pool! We walk past it to get into the Taj everyday!
I'll send some pics. 
Love yall
Elder Evans



 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Last week in pictures- October 2013

 A family in Vidor 3rd Ward
 Leaving my mark at the Taj Mahal
 Kids that like to play!
Waiting out the rain at an abandoned gas station-2 hours, gone!
October 14. 2013
Another Week in Texas, I wish somebody had a Viola I could play...

This week has been a little off. Elder Jones has been really sick with the Flu and we have had to not do anything since like Wednesday. It was a lot of resting and sitting around, but it felt kinda weird to not be doing anything. That extra news from yall about my VISA is super happy. Not. So they legit messed up my VISA? I'm never going to Brazil. But whatever.
About the baptism, it got rescheduled to this Saturday. The man getting baptized is related through marriage to a family in second ward and they could all only make it if it was on the 19th. Also, it will be a joint baptism with a girlfriend to one of the sons. The girl getting baptized will be the first investigator of my mission  I started teaching. Elders Wright, Memea, and I started teaching this girl, K~, and taught her the first 2 lessons then when I got moved out the Sisters picked her up. So I taught both of the investigators getting baptized this week. Pretty sweet! I'm going to count it as mine anyways :P
Also on Saturday is the Vidor Pirates High School homecoming football game, and all the Vidor missionaries get to go to it! I've literally been told about this game since the very first day that I was in Vidor, no joke. If you came here and asked someone about the Vidor Pirates you'd think they were an NFL team or something, and the homecoming blackout game is bigger than the superbowl here. The baton girls have flaming batons and then there is fire everywhere while the lights are out. I'll take a video for yall. But that is just because every single person that lives in Vidor grew up in Vidor and went to Vidor High and is crazy about the High School for the rest of their lives. With some people it goes incredibly far. The best part of it is to me, though, is that I am pretty sure that even Olathe East could spank em in foosball.  I haven't been in even a remotely diverse city since before my mission. From Provo, to the city that founded the KKK, and has a troubled past, but also one full of Mormons.

So you guys watched that video of Satele and I singing? Oh gosh, how bad was it?? We were on our way back from church yesterday with the Moore's that we live with and they were telling us that we had to sing a song for them. So it was just basically "Hey sing for us now" kind of thing. I then played a bunch hymns on one of their violins for like an hour last night too. I am pretty good at the violin. But I wish somebody had a Viola that I could play...
Not much else is going on. I guess I might as well get used to the fact that I'll be permanently reassigned to Vidor, Texas. But oh well, everything will be fine and maybe I'll get to Brazil.
Thanks for all the emails this week and everything. My new address here is 

5020 N Main ST
Vidor, TX  77662
If you are going to send me a letter or package do it quick. I don't think that I really need anything. Money is always fine. Ties are awesome. Treats and candy is good too.
Love yall
Elder Evans

Monday, October 7, 2013

Photos From Texas











10/7/13 Letter 'Still In Texas"


Hey familia. I know y'all have asked if I have gotten any more info about my VISA and travel, but just put all of those questions at ease - you know more than I do. If my paperwork gets in to President Crawford, I'll know like the week after it happens. I don't get told anything. So I'm still just working here in Vidor and waiting for something to happen basically.

But about my week, I got moved to the 3rd ward here in Vidor. I live in a member's guest house missionary nicknamed the Taj Mahal. It is massive for a mission apartment. It just stinks that we all have to sleep in the same room because there are 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, an extra bedroom converted into a study room, a kitchen, and a big living room with 2 couches and 3 recliners. It's pretty sick.

My new companions are named Elder Jones from Idaho Falls, and Elder Satele from American Samoa. They are both goofballs. Especially Satele. I should be able to send pictures today, so I'll try to send like my whole memory card basically. I like being with them.

Either way, this area is a bike only area. bllleeeeeehhh. It stinks. But it's good cuz it's helping me to stay in shape. I'm glad I'm going to Brazil soon because being a missionary in Texas makes you FAT. It's gross! I don't even like all the barbecue and burgers I'm getting fed. These people need to go to KC and learn how to barbecue. I guess it just proves that everything is better in Kansas. Which reminds me of how flippin often people tell me "you're not in Kansas anymore" line. It's ridonkulous.

If I do end up staying until Saturday, I'll have another baptism under my belt. It's the same investigator that we have been stuck at for 3 hours at a time. So it wouldn't be too bad. I just hope I get a call from President letting me at least know when I fly out. I just read all of the emails from the missionaries from my MTC district who left on the same day that I was supposed to a week ago. So that's neat for them. I found out that my Pres. down there doesn't speak English at all. Which is funny because I don't speak Portuguese! It's been way long since I was able to hear someone speak the language, so it's going to be a massive shock to my brain.

Well I hope that all y'all are doing good. Good luck to Dad for your job interview, hope it all goes well! Good luck to you Mom with everything that you do! Happy Birthday Landon! Have fun and enjoy it.

Oh and what about that General Conference!! Talk about a spiritual smackdown! That was the best conference I've ever watched, and apparently it was the best that President Monson has too. I took a bunch of notes. Conference is way awesome as a missionary. Our schedule on Saturday was eat, conf., eat, conf., eat, conf., sleep. It was so relaxing and uplifting. There were many good messages. There was a trend to be talking about gender roles and equality, but also the atonement and repentance, enduring to the end, and for sure keeping the commandments. It was good. I don't have my notes with me and don't remember a whole lot without them, but I loved Bednar's talk on tithing, Uchtdorf's talk about repentance and getting back up when you fall (might have been priesthood session), and the whole Sunday morning session. Can't wait for the ensign to come out for this one.
Well I'm going to start sending some pictures! Love Y'all
Elder Evans

9/30/13 Letter From Texas



So a lot of stuff has changed this last week and it has honestly been pretty stupid. Besides going to the temple on Wednesday and then having a double baptism on Saturday

So I found out from the APs on Wed. that my flight was actually on Monday, today, at 6 PM. So that was exciting and we were getting stoked and I was all ready to leave. And then transfer calls come around (the APs call on Friday if you are getting flushed from an area, they call on Sat if one of you is leaving, and President calls on Sunday if you are getting a leadership position your next transfer) On Friday the APs called to tell us that both Elder Memea and Wright would be leaving the area, and then that I was going to be picked up Sunday afternoon by President and taken to Kingwood to the mission home. But literally as we hung up the phone, President called and wanted to talk to me. He told me that he had some bad news and that I would not be leaving on Monday like I was supposed to. Apparently Salt Lake messed up my passport and switched my name with someone else's, so they goofed up and I'm really not sure exactly how bad the goof up is. Either way, I'm back to not knowing when I'll be going to Brazil. So that was a huge blow to the gut when he told me that. It was extremely hard to get motivated to do anything on Saturday. But I eventually got moving again and I guess I'm still barely standing. So I know how excited yall were for me to go to Brazil this week, but as of now, I'll will be moved to the Vidor 3rd ward and I'll work with the Elders there. 

The rest of the week was just a blur after that. I hardly know what happened. I was really really bummed and I kinda still am. Especially since I just found out that a couple other people from my MTC district are leaving today and they were all "can't wait to see you in Rio!" and then all the emails from everybody with the same thing in them. But I did get your package. Thanks for the tie! I like it a lot. I've got some more pictures printed out that I need to mail home since I still can't email em. 

Hope yall start to feel better. And stay in school. and all that good stuff.

A good scripture that I read Saturday that seemed to help me out was Alma 17:10-12 It's about a prophet named Alma in the Book of Mormon. Him and the Sons of Mosiah had all been on missions among the wicked people called the Lamanites for many years, and they prayed to the Lord to allow them to stay strong I guess.

10. And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit, and said unto them: Be comforted. And they were comforted.
11. And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.
12. And it came to pass that the hearts of the sons of Mosiah, and also those who were with them, took courage to go forth unto the Lamanites to declare unto them the word of God.

So that is what I am trying to do now. Just allow myself to be comforted and go and work, so that I can be a good example to all of someone who can do good things even when every fiber of his being is telling him just to give up and lay down somewhere and sleep, I know that once I really get over it, I'll be like Alma and the sons of Mosiah and take courage to forth unto my brethren here in Vidor and teach them some more. Until it really becomes my time to go to Brazil. If I ever make it there, as I sometimes feel might never happen. And ShucksDern! I was so close this time too!! 

But it's all good! Love Y'all and Mom, go yell at someone in Salt Lake for me please, and get this thing figured out quick, I know you're really good at that kind of thing! Thanks!

Elder Evans

Monday, September 23, 2013

Last Full Week in Texas

Well, here starts my last week in Texas and my last full week in the United States. I thought I wouldn't like being reassigned, but I love it here. And to be honest, I would really love to stay here for another transfer. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Evans for the package that you sent me! And thank you Grandma and Grandpa Payne for the money for the new scriptures! It is all much appreciated! (The peanut bars are delicious like always)

So like I mentioned last week we could have had 4 baptisms this coming weekend, but we are actually going to only have 2. But that's fine because just yesterday and this morning actually we committed 3 more investigators to be baptized on October 19th! And all of these are for sure. The girl that we met yesterday is a friend of a member and works at a restaurant that we eat at. Actually it was the restaurant that we were at with Sister OToole when she sent you that picture! It's called James Brown's Gumbo House. But she came to church yesterday and we had a lesson with her right after and she was tearing up practically the whole time, and I got to be the one to recite the Joseph Smith History. Because that's how we roll here in THE Mission. When we are teaching the full Restoration, we memorize the JSH from verses 10 to 17. We skip the first part of his experience in the grove and go straight to I saw a pillar of light... But it was awesome yesterday! Most spirit filled lesson of my mission so far. Then this morning we had a lesson with two young girls who have been coming to church for a long time with their grandma, and it's a weird legal situation with divorced parents and we didn't know until the YW Pres. came up to us last sunday and was like "I've got a baptism for you!" haha. So we met the girls today and they are also going to be baptized on the 19th. Which is why I'm bummed that I'm not going to be here! But oh well.
I'm excited to go to the temple on Wednesday and I'm excited to get some new scriptures! That's awesome news about Ethan and Landon, and Madi it's good that your ACL isn't torn. Hope that heals quick. Keep finding guns in peoples bags bro. Hopefully it was one of those apostate Utah fans and not one of us righteous Cougars. Either way, make some bank and have fun learning mais portugues!
Love Yall!
Elder Evans

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bad News This Week(Just Kidding!!!)



It was nice to see all your emails this week! I had a lot to read! I'm just going to take care of some things before I get into the real meat of the email.
 
I did get my picture book on Wednesday night. So I got it and that's all done.
 
So my quad is starting to fall apart from excessive use and some age and humidity. We are going to the Temple on the 25th of this month and they have a distribution center there and I was wanting to buy a new quad, hopefully one of the small kinds too, so I don't know how much they cost, but I think somewhere around 50 bucks. If instead of you guys sending me something before I take off for Brazil, could you check to see how much those are and put that much or something close to it on my card so I can buy one and send mine home in a package? Thanks.
 
And that last point leads me into the bad news that I got on Wednesday night this last week. President Crawford called me and told me that I was leaving this mission. BECAUSE THEY GOT MY VISA IN! Haha so I leave onOctober 3rd! I'm going to end up finishing this transfer and I'll get to Rio in time to start their next transfer period! So in a little over 2 weeks I will be in Brazil! Talk about crazy! President made me promise him that I was going to work as hard as I can until then, and I am. We had an up and down week this last week. It felt like nothing was happening, we weren't getting in with very many people, we weren't able to teach very many lessons, and it all culminated into Saturday night where we all just kind of felt like garbage. But that didn't mean we worked any less hard. We tried our best to keep on going and then all of a sudden yesterday exploded. Two of our solid investigators came to church and we had a lesson with them afterwards, and we got a solid referral who we might be able to baptize in 2 weeks. That's the goal anyways. Two of our investigators are scheduled to be baptized on the 28th. And if everything goes well this week, which I think it will. We could be having 4 people being baptized on that day! It's exciting!
 
I went on my first exchange out of my area on Friday. I joined with an Elder Giles in Orange, TX for the day. It was pretty nice to get out of Vidor for a little while. But let me tell you, the people in Orange may have actual houses instead of just trailers, but they are just as crazy haha. I still love them, though, and it makes for an interesting day no matter what! We got trapped in this way less active 65 yr old  bikers house for an hour and a half because he had to show me everything that he owned basically haha. It was entertaining at least. And I'm pretty sure he was drunk too. So that was something. He had like 4 really old Harley Davidsons, a Jet boat, and a barn that he and his son built so that they could play Metallica on their guitars crazy loud. They had 7 huge amps along the wall and It was insane.
 
I know how badly you guys want really detailed info about every day this week, but it's all pretty boring. Besides that news and it being an iffy week until Sunday there's really not much else that happened.
 
But just be aware that the Lord is definitely there to help us out when we need it, but also there to allow us to struggle so that we can grow. For anybody who has ever said "why me?" when times started to get a little tough, or a lot tough, just know that all those experiences are for your good. It reminds me of DC 122 while Joseph Smith is at the Liberty Jail wondering the same question. Why should we think that we have it so hard, when we know that our Savior suffered for all of our pains and afflictions? It doesn't matter!! We just need to push on and plow through doing the things that the Lord wants us to do, and we will be blessed for it. God is in the details, look for him. Alma 37:6-7.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Third Week in Texas

Thanks for the emails everyone. Dad, thanks for the email and updates on everybody. So I got one package, but I never got the shutterfly book. Where did you send it to, and when did you send it? Because I still don't gots it. Sorry that my emails don't include much info about everything. It really sucks emailing here because they only have 4 computers, and you are only allowed to have 30 minutes on them. So I have 30 minutes to read all the emails that I got, write this one and any others, and then read and write to the mission President. So cut me some slack will ya? ;) The best story from this week is from Tuesday. So we generally work down in South Vidor. That's where we ride our bikes and that's where most of our investigators and potentials are. So you guys can look it up, we park our car and get on our bikes on Orange St right by Vidor High School, and then go down Butler st. to get to all of our people and appointments. We decided on Tuesday that we didn't want to ride bikes, and we walked instead. So that we could talk to more people. We did that and while we were on Butler just before getting to the next street, and this old drunk man came up to us with his two high drug dealing teens and began to tell us that we couldn't walk down this street anymore, or it was going to be bad for us. Because he owned that street and not anybody could just come a walkin down it. We talked with him for a minute and then just kept walkin. It was pretty funny. I got a good laugh out of it. Later his neighbor came and told us to just ignore him. We haven't had any trouble yet and we go up and down that street many times a day. We were out in the pouring rain for about 2 hours on Saturday. Lightning struck about a block from us while we were riding. It was SCARY. hahaha but awesome as well. Sorry I cant say more. I am getting yelled at to get off. Love y'all Elder Evans

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Week 2 in Texas



Hey everybody! Sorry no email came yesterday, the library was closed because of the holiday. And I found out that these computers don't allow me to send pictures at all, so I will print out the best pictures at the walmart and send physical copies as long as I am here.

Oh man what a week. I'll start with Tuesday. We ride our bikes everywhere to do our proselyting, and It has been flippin hot and humid here, and it smells like rotten animals and poop haha. It's still all good though. So one of the funniest stories of the week happened on Tuesday. We are teaching a man named R...... He lives in a trailer out here and he doesn't have a job or a car. He is a nice, funny man but he lives in humble circumstances for sure. So last friday he asked us if we knew anybody who could cut hair, and all three of us have and can cut our own hair so E Wright offered to do it for him. We brought clippers over to his house on Tuesday and Elder Wright cut his hair outside of his trailer. It was really funny to watch. They were both sooo nervous. I have a picture of it, but of course, I can't send it home.

Skipping to Thursday, we had a baptism! T.... was baptized that night. It is a cool story. He has been taught by missionaries basically his whole life, but has never been able to be baptized because of his fear of the water. He couldn't ever bring himself to get his face under water or even wet. Until this summer that is. He was able to work through it with a member in the ward, and get baptized. I have pictures from that as well. 

The rest of the week was pretty ordinary, just the same old tiring missionary work. Riding our bikes and teaching people. Sorry I can't include much in these emails. This dang library only gives you 30 minutes on the computer and I have to write my president and read all the emails that I got during the week as well. Just to let you know I did get my bag on that Friday

Hey something that I was thinking would be cool is if I could get one of the original replica Book of Mormons. They have them in the BYU bookstore. When you send me packages just send them to my address not the mission home. I get them like 4 weeks sooner.

Love y'all
Elder Evans

Monday, August 26, 2013

First Week in Texas

Hello Fam and friends, So I have like no time so this might be a quick email, but I'll include the best story of the week for ya'll. I hope you got all the info and pictures from President and Sister Crawford, they were supposed to email you some pictures of me and my comps and stuff. So I am in a trio with my trainer Elder Memea and Elder Wright. Memea is from Hawaii and Wright is from South Carolina, and we are in Vidor, Texas. Look it up. I am in the boonies, trailer homes, wild dogs, broken down cars sitting in lawns and beer cans on the side of the rode, but all in all it's a great place. You should check it out. So I got off the plane in Houston and the President and Sister were there to pick us all up and we were waiting for our bags. We waited and waited and I got my smaller bag with a bunch of misc. things in it, but my huge suitcase with literally all my clothing but the suit that I was wearing in it never came down the chute onto the claim circle thing. I was getting worried, and nervous and we eventually had to talk to the baggage people who would send it to the mission home in Kingwood, Texas once it came in (they let us know that it was in Dallas still.). So we left and we went through that day and the morning of the next with orientation stuff and lessons and everything, and then we had transfer meeting where I met my comps and soon after drove about an hour and half out to Vidor. I was told by the APs that they would drive it out as soon as they got it. So Wednesday I just wore the same clothes that I had for the 3rd day in a row, and we ride bikes mostly out here. Wednesday evening Pres. called and said that the airport called and they wouldn't have it until Thursday morning. We waited for it and everything but we had a bunch of stuff to do on Thursday and It never showed up. That night I got a call from Pres and he told me this "Elder Evans, guess where your bag is right now? It's on a flight back from Seoul, South Korea!" So that was a fun bit of information. My suitcase was sent all the way to South Korea and back. That's pretty neat. It was an interesting week only having the one pair of underwear and pants and shirt and tie. It was a sweaty week too. haha. We are having a baptism this Thursday! It's with a 17 yr. old kid named Tyler. He is a cool guy and the missionaries have been working with him for a long time. The only reason that he wasn't baptized earlier is that he used to be and still kind of is, very afraid of water. But we've been meeting him at a member's pool with an adult member who goes in with him and helps him overcome that fear. But it's awesome to see how much progress he has made and it's going to happen for real on Thursday! I'm excited for it! We are teaching several other people and a couple of other great families and hopefully they can all overcome the struggles that have and everything. The Book of Mormon is true and everybody needs to read it and pray about it. JUST DO IT. That's about all I have time for right now. The rest of the stories will just have to wait for 2 years until I get home! Love, Elder Evans Here's the address to my apartment! (We live in a member's home) 6282 Woodridge Drive Orange, Texas 77632

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Alex is in Houston

Your Missionary has arrived safely to T.H.E. Mission!  Upon arrival we met your missionary at the airport and took them directly to the mission home where they were fed Texas Bar-b-que and met the office staff.  An orientation by the office staff followed lunch while individual interviews were conducted by President Crawford.  That evening they were invited to share their testimonies.  The following morning was focused on training after which they met their new companion and were transported to their area of service.  They are now out diligently searching for our Heavenly Father's children and doing the work of the Lord. Thank you for sending your daughters and sons to us, they have added great strength to our small army here in the Texas Houston East Mission. We love them and are so grateful to have them with us. You will find attached a picture of your newly arrived missionary with Sister Crawford and myself as well as their arriving group.

We are writing to confirm your e-mail address.  We use this method to keep you informed in case of hurricanes or in getting you other important information concerning T.H.E. Mission.
 We are delighted that your Missionary is here and look forward to working with them.
Sincerely, 
President and Sister Crawford



So today we were surprised with our REASSIGNMENTS IN THE MAIL!!!!!! Just some background info on my thoughts and wishes for this mission call. There were 2 missions that I wanted to go to. 

1. Houston, Texas - Dad's mission
2. Los Angeles, California - Landon's mission

So I was really hoping and praying to go to one of those missions. AND.

DRUMROLLLLL PLEASE!!

Elder Evans, you will be serving a temporary assignment in the TEXAS HOUSTON EAST MISSION!!!!!!!! So I don't know if that was a recent split or if it used to be your mission dad, but it is close enough! 

I leave the MTC on Monday morning at 2:30 and my flight leaves from SLC to Dallas at 6. and then I have a 2 hour layover until I fly to Houston. I am soooo excited! I will call sometime before 6 I honestly have no idea what exact time but it will be probably like 5, and I'll be able to email on Saturday. The Church is True and there are no such things as coincidences. I cannot wait to get into the field and meet the people who are being prepared for me!

The other missions that my District members are going to are

Tacoma, WA
Gilbert, AZ
LA, CA
Cleveland. OH
Rapid City, SD
Charlotte, NC

Email me back by Saturday and send me that picture book!!


Love You all!!!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Week 5 AKA - The Longest Week of My Life

This last week has been roughhhhh. So like I mentioned last tuesday, I was feeling kinda sick. Then from Wednesday until probably Sunday night I had the nastiest sinus infection. I was blowing my nose every couple seconds, my sinuses felt like they were going to explode, and on top of all that, I couldn't sleep. It was like a little personal hell here in "Spiritual Prison" as those of us who have been here for longer than 4 weeks like to call the MTC. Don't get me wrong, though, I am still loving my time here and am still continuing to learn way more than my brain can physically handle, but you get a very real case of cabin fever here (Cue the song from Muppet Treasure Island). But I powered through what I could. I tried to stay back and sleep most days until about lunch time and I was able to make it to at least my evening class or studies. Mas tudo bem em Sião.
So to answer some questions that Mom asked me in a dear elder this week:
1. The MTC gives you a nice set of Scriptures in your mission language along with all of your other language materials on your first day here. Free.
2. In regards to the food here. I hate it. I feel gross and fat just thinking about having to eat in the cafeteria. It's not bad for the first couple days here, but all the meals are cycled every week and they all are just mass quantity thawed frozen meals basically. The meat is all Nast.
3. Bed bugs. We actually are just all sleeping in one room now, our district elders that is. The other room has 6 beds and there are only 6 of us left, so we keep all our stuff in our room, but sleep in the other one. I have not seen anymore for like a week and a half or so.
4. Tuesday Devotionals and Sunday Night Firesides here are awesome. Up until today they have all been emeritus general authorities and their wives on Tuesdays and on Sundays we usually have an administrator for the Missionary department in the church HQ, or somebody like that. But two weeks ago we had Jenny Baker Oaks (Dallin H. Oaks' daughter) who graduated from Jiulliard in Violin Perfomance and she came and played her own arrangements of a bunch of hymns with her friend who also went to Jiullard for piano. She was a huge diva, but it was some of the best violin I've heard live in my life. Also big news. Tonight at the devotional we are all expecting someone big. We are singing Jesus Once of Humble Birth and the whole devo. is being broadcast to all the MTCs worldwide. So crossing my fingers for an apostle. (Please be Bednar or Holland!) haha.
5. I did see Marissa Miller. It took me 4 days to find her, and I've seen her a couple times since.
6. Being a Zone Leader isn't too hard in the MTC. I really don't have that much responsibility or very many duties. But I've enjoyed it a lot. I like to introduce all the new frightened sheep that show up every Wednesday haha. I like leading.
I think that was all of them.

Some more news from this week. I got my haircut yesterday, it looks good. The ladies in the barbershop are technically not allowed to cut the top of you hair shorter than about a 5, but I told the lady just to cut it as short as she could and she got it down to at least a 4. It's so much nicer. Life is a lot better when you don't have to deal with curly hair. 

So this is my last week here at the training center and I am excited to get into the field wherever the Lord sees fit to send me for now. I will get my reassignment on Friday most likely. So to explain how that works for everybody: When you are going to Brazil or Argentina, you are probably not going to receive your VISA until you are out of the MTC for a while. So they have us all here learning Spanish and Portuguese (which is way better than Spanish), for our 6 weeks, and after the 6 weeks we are all fluent in the language (ha), and about 3 days before you are supposed to leave you all get a new mission call with travel itineraries, and it's not certain when you will be leaving. There's usually at least one missionary who gets his or her reassignment on Friday and they leave that night at like 2 in the morning. Either way, after I get my call I'll get to have a "Pday" and I will email and then I'll call when I fly out, or if I just walk down the street to the Provo Mission Home haha which happened to one of my friends here who left last week. 

I still wish that I could go straight to Rio de Janeiro for a couple reasons, mainly being that I don't want to forget Portchy, and come on, I'm going to Rio de Janeiro, probably the most amazing and beautiful mission in the world. Plus from all that I have been hearing about Brazilians and Brazil missions, it sounds like the promised land, the people are all so faithful and religious already, they love Christ and God and they accept the true Gospel of Jesus Cristo happily and smiling all the while. But I am also so excited to know where I will be going in a week! I know it will be a much needed learning experience and will help me tons as I truly become the missionary that I am going to become.

Eu amo este evangelho. Sei que Jesus Cristo é meu Salvador e Redentor. Se léssemos o Livro de Mórmon e orássemos sobre a mensagem dele, Deus vai responder por meio do Espírito Santo. Precisamos escutar para os pensimentos e sentimentos que ele nos dá continualmente. Estas coisa são verdadeiras. Eu sei isto porque escutei e continuo a escutar ao Espírito. Vocês podem saber isto também. Como fala em Tiago 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, ask of God. Who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given you" or something like that. Mom - you can fix that scripture before you post it to the blog. Tiago=James 

Pedi e recebereis. Bateis e ser-vos-á aberto. Amém.

Com amor!
Elder Evans










Wednesday, August 7, 2013

MTC Week 4
August 6, 2013

This week went by crazy fast. And I only have 2 more weeks here. It's coming up quick. I'm starting to get pretty nervous about entering the real world and leaving this bubble of spiritual seclusion. Especially since I'll most likely get my reassignement next friday. If I don't get my VISA by then. VISAs have been coming like crazy this last week. it's good news. I know of 4 missionaries that got their VISAs through the LA consulate even. It made me feel a little bit more optimistic. There was one elder in my district who got his last Wednesday i think, and he left for the airport this morning along with I think over 20 other missionaries that got their VISAS last week, including Elder Phipps! So if I had been able to do my paperwork in Kansas I would have probably got my VISA too. That was a bummer, but I got over it, kinda. Not much happened this week besides all that commotion. I have been trying to work hard and FSL, (Fala Sua Lingua, Speak your language). We started teaching our other teacher now too, so we have 2 progressing investigators and we do TRC every Friday morning. We also will start to be investigators for other companionships in our district, and teach each other. So it'll be a busy last 2 weeks, but I have never not been busy here. And I don't expect to never not be busy for the rest of the next two years.
Keep praying and wishing upon stars that I'll get my VISA quickly! I am dying for it! I know that I'll get it sometime, I'd like that sometime to be soon, though. That's awesome that your promotion covers a little bit more than the payments for my mission. The Lord is looking out for you guys back home just as much as He's looking out for me. It sounds like everybody is staying busy and working hard. It's crazy to think that summer is almost over! Good luck to Madi and Ethan in school and I hope everything goes smoothly for you Landon as you get back to Provo and go to school. Theres actually a possibility that I could get reassigned to the Provo mission in 2 weeks. That would be sweet. That's actually the mission that I want to go to haha. Keep sending me mail and stuff! Good luck in Omaha Dad! Good luck as manager Mom!
Love you all!