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.

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.


October 21, 2013

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