Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Transfer to Itacoatiara, Amazonas

I know I know I know.....I have been horrible to keep ya’ll updated but I will do my best to give ya’ll an update on me for these past couple of months. So this past transfer I left Cacoal. :( It was a really sacred time that I had to spend there and get to know the people there. Now I am here in Itacoatiara or however you spell it lol! I am starting to get to know the area and really enjoying it! It is nice to actually have a church building and a ramo (branch) so that is pretty nice. We don´t have to stress about doing EVERYTHING! lol But the ramo has about 50 people going to church and I heard that bout a year ago tinha bem mais (had much more)! We are going to work hard and try to get it back to what it was! So it is crazy that I am just entering my 3rd area here in Brazil ha-ha but what a great experience. So I guess I will just let ya'll know what I have learned over the past couple of months. So I don´t think I have ever seen better examples of people that stay firm in the church. Leaving Cacoal was one of the hardest places to leave besides leaving my family. I learned that we are doing the Lords work but more than that we are helping others out here in the areas that we serve. The members in Cacoal are so grateful to have missionaries. They will do anything for them and I would do anything for them to help them establish the church. But I know the church will grow there and I am excited to move on to new areas. Here in Itacoartiara it is a lot hotter lol. Our area is not a city anymore but it is still pretty big about 1/4 of the city. Nossa (Our) area is the poorer area of Itacoartiara but that also means the people are more humble. We found a man the other day and his name is G....We have been teaching him and he came to church but I feel that he came to church because he feels bad for us walking in the sun and stuff but were going to keep after him and try to get his family in it as well. Our mission has changed perspective where they want us to focus a lot more on resgate(rescue) rather than baptizing because there are a lot of baptisms that are not active. The other day I had the great opportunity to go on an exchange with Elder Sanford. One of the most difficult things for me here in Brazil is the language. I just can´t seem to get rid of my accent and speak Brasilian yeah not Portuguese haha but it will come each day but he showed me a scripture. I don´t remember exactly where at but it talked about Paul when we has travelling and teaching people. It talks about how he was them how he learned to become like them and did everything they did. I realized that that is something I have not really focused on. I have not focused on becoming Brasilian, liking what Brasillians like. He told me to just listen to the stuff they say. Learn all of the saying and copy them and he said you will then just love them because there is no other way. When you are becoming like someone you will automatically just love them. As I thought about it-- it is the same in life. When you want to get along with someone you become like them.... you learn to like what they like, love what they love! But that is my goal for the next couple weeks is to just become Brasilian. The language comes in leaps for me but this past week I feel I made a big leap. I feel a lot more confident and people understand me as long as I make sure I think and don´t just start blabbering ha-ha but I like to blabber if ya'll know me lol. But overall it is coming! The other night I was just thinking about how I don´t remember what it is like to really be at home and don´t remember how I was off of the mission. It made me so grateful that I came on the mission because I don´t want to imagine my life without the mission! One thing that I have taken so far from the mission is how I know with all my heart that what I am doing is the right thing, that what I believe is really the restored gospel of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I was talking with my companion this morning oh my comp is Elder Battraw right now as well! He is great and will send some pictures next week of him! But we were talking and I was just telling him how this can´t not be the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I was talking to him about how everyone believes in the basics. For example the Evangelho of Jesus Cristo é fé, repentance (Gospel of Jesus Christ is faith, repentance), Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. There are a lot of people that believe in having faith and repenting but everyone believes in each principle to a different degree. But the main thing that I told him is that basically a majority of people who go to church believe they need to do each of these things but they just don´t have all of the knowledge...we need to help them to expand their knowledge. He told me that you know other churches limit the knowledge of the people.....it is our job to help them to expand it. I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have. I am so grateful for everything that I have been blessed with! If ya'll need anything feel free to ask me! I will try to have the energy to keep ya'll updated with me a little more often and the people were teaching! I love ya'll and stay strong and share this wonderful message that we have about the restoration and that families really can be together forever!

Friday, April 25, 2014


April 14, 2014
Well, wow, so this week was pretty crazy and sorry I haven’t had all the time in the world to be able to write lately. So last week I didn´t really get a p-day because I was traveling for almost a whole day--but no worries, I arrived here in Cacoal safely! So the Church has only been here for about 5 months. This past Sunday we had about 25 people in church and of that 25 I think about 15 were baptized members. It is amazing to see how the church is here because it makes me realize some of the difficulties Joseph Smith might of had. It is crazy because we rent a school courtyard for sacrament and we do everything. We bring bread, direct the meeting, give the talks, bless and pass the sacrament, and give opening and closing prayers every Sunday!  I never realized that the church was so small in some areas, but I know for a fact that this gospel is reaching the 4 corners of the Earth! Well enough with how the missionary work is going I am just going to get the good part of my letter...so I am great. I am happy and wouldn´t want to be anywhere else. Well that is somewhat true (lol) because I really do miss my family more than anything in this world. But nah I am kidding I´m not more important than this work going on!!!! Something that I learned this week is to not be so self centered. So this week I had the awesome opportunity to ordain two boys to the office of priest and deacon and also confer the priesthood to them! It was such a great experience and after my companion was like we need to give them a shirt and tie for church on Sunday. So I went and grabbed a shirt and tie and didn´t realize that one of the shirts I had grabbed had a stain and he looked at it and was like Elder get another shirt so I grabbed another one. Well, of course after he gave me the Cain and Abel talk about how I need to give my best and you know--he was right. I shouldn´t of just grabbed a random shirt but I should of checked it and made sure that it was going to be the best shirt that I could give him. You know at times it is difficult. It is difficult to give stuff away. Of course a white shirt and tie on the mission is nothing because as a missionary you usually have a lot of those. But it made me think about things that do mean a lot to me and would I be willing to just give my best away. My whole time here on my mission I have thought that what is mine is mine and yours is yours--but should it be that way? You know of course you can´t be taken advantage of, but I thought about how I have been on the mission and how would the Savior be. I thought about the sacrifice the Savior made for us.  

41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, aremove this cup from me: nevertheless not my bwill, but thine, be done.43 And there appeared an aangel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an aagony he prayed more earnestly: band his sweat was as it were great drops of cblood falling down to the ground. 45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
I have thought about these scriptures a lot this week. He sacrificed so much for us...he sacrificed his life. There are things or times where I don´t even want to sacrifice one of my things for my brother or sister here on this earth. Don´t fall asleep and find yourself putting things away just for your self. Always put the Savior first. I know what He did wasn´t easy, but I know that he did it because he loves us! Don´t ever forget that! I love all ya'll and if ya'll need anything please don´t hesitate to ask!    
Love Elder Brock 

Countdown Clocks

Monday, April 7, 2014


Today, Elder Brock was transferred to Cacoal, Rondonia, Brazil.  This city has a population of about 50,000 people.  It is about 1400 km or approximately 900 miles south of Manaus.  Cacoal is located along the Rio Jiparana' River. We are excited to hear about the people and the area in this area of Brazil.  Following are the last pictures that Elder Brock sent from Manaus!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

My Two Front Teeth.....

Well another week in the mission field. I can honestly say that whenever you feel like life is getting easier on the mission something is ALWAYS thrown at you. You know it is just crazy how life is right now! So we had another baptism this week and it was one that has been waiting to happen for about a month or so now so it was great to see Antonio make the decision to be baptized and united with his family! I had the amazing opportunity to be able to perform the baptism so that was awesome as well! Other than that we have another investigator on date for this coming up Saturday. Her name is Bárbara and she is about 20 or 30ish! She just told us in the last lesson that she received her answer that the Book of Mormon was true so she is excited for her baptism, as are we!

So this week was pretty interesting...well first of all I received my Christmas package so HOORAY!!!!! Ha-ha I was pretty excited about that! But then the next day I broke my 2 front teeth.... yeah I should have asked for 2 front teeth for Christmas. I feel like I get problems thrown at me left and right being out here on the mission but I just got to keep going. I know that I am doing the Lord´s work and he will bless me and the people that I am serving here in Brazil! This whole situation with my teeth and everything has kind of been a blessing well I try to look at it as that way. My whole mission I have been a little worried about my teeth moving and maybe not being straight and now I am missing parts of them! But besides that fact it made me realize that we should be grateful for what we have. We don´t need to be always dwelling on--Oh I wish I could do this or I wish I had that because if we are doing that then we will always be doing that and we will never be truly happy with what we have. Last night I was laying in bed just thinking and I remember my first couple weeks here in Brazil I was wondering why everyone was always so happy. I remember we ate lunch with some members one day and their house was about the size of my bedroom at home but they were so happy! I was eating lunch right next to where they slept and I remember sharing a message on how putting others before ourselves help us to have Joy! I remember the dad said, "you know I don´t have a lot, I work a lot of hours and don´t spend a lot of time with my family, but because we put the Lord first we are truly blessed". He said we have a place to sleep; we have food on the table. This made me realize my whole life I have always been concerned with things that I want to change. It made me realize that instead of dwelling on things that we want to change we should be happy with the things that we have because there may come a point in time where we don´t have that. Just like with my teeth. Always be grateful for what you have. Don´t be concerned with things you want to change or things you don´t have because there may come a point in time where you don´t have anything! I love this gospel. I love that my teeth just like we teach in the first lesson about the RESTORATION will be restored!!! That is our joke-- so don´t worry I hope my teeth will be fine and I am sure they will be, but for the fun of it--here is a picture! Thank you for all the support you all give me at home and know that I love all of you! If there is anything you need please just let me know!           Love, Elder Brock

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 13, 2014

So transfers were actually today so I am in the same area with a new companion! My companion is Elder Maia and I am excited to be able to serve with him and learn from him! To give you the update on the language.....I am pretty much fluent I guess you would say now....lol jk! But the language is coming great! I just take it day by day. Some days I feel that I will never learn it and then the next I feel great so I am learning more each day so that is all that counts. So this week was a pretty great week because I got to experience probably the biggest rainstorm of my life! This storm like soaked me in literally 15 seconds if that! And to even make it better, I was on an exchange with another elder so we had to run in it to get me back to my area! I love this mission! I can honestly tell you now that the greater the trial the greater the triumph. This mission is different and there were times that I just wanted to give up and go home, but you know the Lord knows each and every one of us. He knows what we are able to handle and he knows exactly when he needs to help us out and give us that little boost. It is when we are going through that hard time or when we want to just give up and quit that we are given the opportunity to improve ourselves. We are given the opportunity to become a better person, to learn and to grow. But the one thing that I absolutely love is that it is OUR decision. The Lord doesn´t just throw us into a situation and make us grow....we have to decide to grow. We have to make that difficult decision, but He is there to help us when we make it. In our lives we are faced with difficult decisions every single day. Some are more difficult than others but each one is OUR decision. It is so easy to just make the easy decision at times but have faith. Have faith that He is there. Know that He is ALWAYS going to help you. It is weird being out here on the mission because at home I always had people to turn to you know? Like on the mission you have people to turn to but at home I could talk to my parents, but here on the mission it is my life now. Always has been my life but this is really like my mission, my decisions you know? Well it makes sense to me so sorry for those that are confused lol. But one thing that I have learned from making decisions on my own is that He loves us. He helps us. We just need to have faith and let Him help us! I want all of ya’ll to know that he is there! Whenever life gets tough and you just want to give up...Keep Going! Keep pushing forward and in the end you will become the person that He wants you to be. You will become stronger than you were before and you will become more prepared to return to live with our Father in Heaven! I am so grateful for this gospel. Going out to preach the gospel and giving up 2 years is the hardest thing I have ever done. Leaving my family feels impossible at times, but I know that I owe this to the Lord. I know that He is going to help me become the person that I need to become! I love all of ya’ll and know that He is always there and that life isn´t easy but possible! I am praying for each and everyone of ya’ll and know that if ya’ll need anything I am here!  Love, Elder Brock


Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year's!!

Happy New Years everyone! I hope that you all had a great new years and that everything is going well for you all. This week was a little bittersweet because it was my first time not being with the family for new years but it was a great week! The language is beginning to get a little easier and I feel that I am finally being able to settle down and get my mission off on a good start here in Manaus! So New Years was pretty fun here and I would say different than the US but it was a great experience. Everyone is on the streets and fireworks go off everywhere. Usually just small ones but they are everywhere and it is so loud. A lot of people drink the whole week so that was pretty difficult this week to teach people. I can honestly say being here in Brazil that I have never felt so alone but then again I have never felt the Lord so close to me than at this point in my life. You know the mission defiantly is not easy, but it is because of our Savior that it is made possible. That is one feeling that I never want to go away is when I can feel him helping me and even carrying me throughout the day. This past week was fast Sunday and it was probably the hardest fast that I have ever attempted in my life haha. Going without food and water in this area is so difficult but during this fast I gained a strong testimony that he hears and answers our prayers. I know that when we sacrifice that he has sacrificed so much more. That is one thing that I always remind myself being out here on the mission. I always ask myself why is this so hard? Why do I worry about little things? If I am doing the right thing making good decisions than why is it hard? These questions run through my head ALL of the time. Every time I think about that I think about our Savior and reflect back on his life. You know, he was absolutely perfect, but his life was harder than I think all of ours put together. He didn´t do anything wrong, but yet he has felt everything that we have felt and that is because he loves us. He did that so he could help us, so that our lives would be bearable. Looking back on my life it seems that whenever I make the right decision it is always the hardest at first.... but after sticking with it and persevering it is the most beneficial for my life. I look back on all the decisions that I have made and I can see how when I make the easy decision that it really just makes it more difficult for me in the end and although it might appear to make me happy.... in the end it doesn´t make me as happy as I could be! Just this past week we had a family home evening with a part member family and we watched this DVD Juntos para sempre (Together Forever). In this film it showed people making hard decisions but the end results being true and everlasting happiness. I know that this is so true. This decision to leave my family for 2 years has been the hardest thing I have ever done, but I have already learned so many things that I wouldn´t change for the world. I have learned so much about our Savior and everything that he has done for me and I know that living this gospel is not east. I know that doing the right thing isn´t easy and it isn´t suppose to be. If it were easy than a lot more people would be doing it, but I can tell you one thing. That living this gospel is WORTH it! I have made mistakes growing up...we all make mistakes, but I can tell you that when I made a mistake I was happy at first. The difference is EVERLASTING happiness. You can go through life and go with the crowd, be the cool kid, do the cool things and be happy. But I can tell you one thing, you would be missing out on so much. You would be missing out on so many blessing and most importantly you would be missing out on having EVERLASTING happiness. This gospel is not an easy thing to live, but it is worth it in the end. The blessing that our Heavenly Father have in store for us is amazing. He has provided us with a way to return to live with him.... and not only just that but be with the one thing that I miss the most and makes me the happiest person in this world...My Family! I know without a doubt this gospel and church is true. I know that it isn´t easy. I know it isn´t easy to stand out growing up and I know that sometimes we make mistakes because I made my fair share of them. But none of us are perfect and that is why our Savior, Jesus Christ, came to this earth and atoned for our sins so we could repent and learn from our mistakes! I know that living the gospel is what will make you happier in the end and I leave that with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

I love you all so much and if there is anything that you need just write me and I will do all I can to help you out! I pray for you guys every single day and can´t wait to be able to catch up more when I return! Be strong and make the right decision, even if it is the harder one! I love ya'll!      
                                                                                         Love, Elder Brock