Brazil Salvador South Mission
March 2017-March 2019

Monday, June 12, 2017

First Baptism

This week was really good! I'm loving it here. it is amazing! okay, ill start with the baptism! Josemir. He is amazing, we are the third set of missionaries to teach him.he has always been solid, just never been able to go to church. he had to work Sunday mornings, so for 2 weeks, we went to our ward, ran to lunch really quick, then went and picked him up, and got a ride to another ward a little farther away in Federeçâo. he is awesome. he had a desire to be baptized, and he is so happy with his decision. this church truly is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth today. 
the hardest thing that happened was losing investigators.it'ss always sad when we take a name off our list! but I know were planting seeds, that hopefully one day something will change! 
something funny-yesterday, this drunk lady called us over to her and her family, and she was talking gibberish, and her family was behind her calling her crazy. but she was awesome haha. she told me she knows English, so I spoke english to her, and she looked confused, so I asked her if she understood and she said she doesnt know english. And the entire time, she was holding my hand really tight and wouldnt let me pull away hahah. but we gave them all pass along cards and were explaining our message. we have an appointment with her this week, that she may or may not rememebr about, but she promissed me a bunch of juivce and cake! haha so hopefully thatworks out! 

the best thing i ate, was yesterday. it was 2 types of lasagna. I don't know how to explçain it but it was divine. irmã dalva made it, she's in our ward, but she also cooks for the mission! so at zone conference or stuff at the mission president's house, she cooks! she is amazing, and a blessing to have in our ward! 
I pretty much like all the food here! this week we made pastels(kinda like an empanada) and we got a bunch of tapioca from this place elder high goes to a lot. the worker loves elder high! tapioca is one of my favorite things here, they put like beef, bacon, brisket and cheese, and other stuff in it. you can also put fruit in it. whatever you want. it's amazing. we make it in the apartment sometimes!
the food here is amazing. I love love love the food here! 
well, I don't have a whole lot else, I hope you all have a great week! 



You knew it wouldn't take Parker long to find a machete...LOL!!  He said that another elder bought them to cut coconuts and left them in the apartment.



FIRST BAPTISM!!!






Parker's district messing around...they sure have fun together!







Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 12

This week was great! we for sure have one baptism this Saturday!
so this week was another week of rain. when it doesn't rain its just hot. after 2 years, my legs will be pretty jacked, from walking all these hills. so this week, we bought coconuts and drank coconut water. it was pretty cool, and its super cheap. perks of living by the beach! we were able to teach a lot of lessons this week and meet a lot of cool people! we've got several solid investigators, and a bunch that need a lot of work. i'm loving it out here though! 
we had 2 barbeques this week! its called a churrasco! its soooo good! and i got some cool pictures of the favela from the top of this dude house! i love this area and the people here! nothing to exciting happened this week. 
i just wanna bear a quick testimony of the Book of Mormon. It is so true. i challenge you all to find out for yourself! have an amazing week! 

Parker's apartment



View from the patio


This is the view of the favela that Parker works in every day from a rooftop.  The tall buildings in the background are apartment buildings where the more wealthy people live.  I'm struck by the contrast.




Parker's typical breakfast, toast with margarine, and tapioca with coconut and sweetened condensed milk


From my letter:

Hey! sounds like a crazy week!! i cannot believe Aliza is a senior!! so crazy
It rained every day this week again, i think the rainy season lasts until august maybe, im not totally sure
the best thing that happened this week, was church. we went to two wards. our ward, and then we had to take Josemir, the man who is being baptized this saturday, to Federação because they have a later ward, and he works during the morning. it was just an amazing meeting, and he is so ready to be baptized. so to answer your next question, yes, we have 1 baptism for sure, and another one is still in the air. so possibly 2, but for sure one. 
The hardest thing that happened, was saturday. it was a rough day. We went to a members house for a churrasco (shoo-ha-sko) or a barbeque. they hadn't started cooking yet, so we were playing ping pong. we had to leave before they cooked the food, because we had to go to our lunch appointment in the other area. it was sooo hot. and it took us 50 minutes to get there. we were drenched in sweat. the meal was good though. so after, we went to the bank, got our money, and went home real quick to use the bathroom. i was sitting next to the fan, and i stood up to get water. i knocked the fan over, (it doest have the cover on the front) and i reached to do stop it from falling, and the blade smacked my thumb on the nail, and it cut it open under my nail. its all good now, its getting better, but its bruised and it hurts haha. but i cleaned it out with hydrogen peroxide, and i'm keeping it covered. it'll be okay, but its just an inconveinence. so after that, we went back to the churrasco, but it was over by then, but they had a party after, so we got to eat some snacks, and this thing called coxinha. its really good, its like meat and cheese, and its fried. it looks like a tear drop. and we played ping pong for a bit. we had an appointment, so we left, and started to work. the next 4 or 5 appointments fell through. it was just a really bad day. but it happens sometimes. we ended up teaching 4 lessons. which isn't bad, but it could've been better. 
something funny- i don't know if its really funny, but i call all of the kids here, my son. lie when i see them ill say ´´oi meu filho!´´ or `tchau meu filho´´ they all laugh, and the parents think its funny hahaha
yeah we found some new people! so the way we work is we always have an appointment scheduled with each of our investigators. and in the spots that are open, we try to fill it with references or street contacts. we just walk to appointments, and talk to people as we go along, filling our schedule for the next week. we never go tracting on a street or knock door to door. but we always have lots of people to teach. elder high was saying one week, me and Gomes had the highest number of lessons taught in a week in the mission for that week! 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Weekly

This week was great! 
I has rained, hard, every day for the past 8 days. so much rain! one of the days, we were walking down a hill, and there was 3 inches of water flowing down the street and it was dumping on us! but it is awesome!
so last Monday, we went and got our haircut from a guy we taught once. Hes really cool, but i don't know if well go back to him again to cut our hair, lol.(i'll add the picture) so it was interesting. my Portuguese isn't the best, so i wasn't sure how to tell him to cut my hair. i told him, ´´5´´ and i touched the side of my head. so he cut the side at a five, and then slapped a whole bunch of gel in my hair, and slicked it back. he never cut the top. so at some point this week ill have to try to cut the top of my hair. but yeah, my hair looked really strange, i looked like Alfalfa from little rascals. but him and his friends thought it looked really good. he totally butchered elder Gomes hair, so he just had him cut it all off. he wasn't too happy hahaah. but it'll grow back. 
so our microwave has some loose wires on the back, i don't know where they go, but oh well. so i was trying to heat up some pasta, and i pressed start and there was a flash of electricity and a pop, but the microwave started and it cooked my food. so i guess the wires aren't crucial, ill just have to try to not touch them.
i'm starting to get used to horses in the favela. last night, 8 men on horses, barebacking, no saddle, came trotting up the hill behind us all casual. its really strange. every body here thinks people from Texas ride horses every where, but i've seen more people here in 5 weeks riding horses than i ever saw in Texas!
The work is going well here. were preparing several people to be baptized on the 10th, and the 17th! last night we had family home evening at an investigators house, and it was so cool. the spirit was way strong, at the end, i added my thoughts and testimony. i am learning this language slowly, but i am learning every day. and the Lord helps me so much. there is no way i could learn this much in 2 months all on my own(and ill add a picture of everyone at family home evening)
i love the people in our ward, they are so loving and amazing. we have amazing lunches every day, and they are always willing to give us water when we pass by their houses. 
So it rains a lot here, but as soon as it stops, its back to being super hot. so im either drenched with rain, or drenched in sweat. haha fun stuff. 
We had 5 or 6 investigators at church this week! it was awesome, it was an amazing meeting with great lessons. 
well that is all i have for this week,
I am truly loving the mission. it is amazing to be doing The Lords work, and helping so many people. i hope you al have an amazing week, know that i love you all! 




From my letter:
I wanna tell you about one investigator. his name is A** N**. he has cancer. he breaths through a hole in his neck and he eats through a tube in his nose. he can barely talk. he has to lay in bed all day. he lives in one of the most humble homes i have seen yet. hard circumstances. but he is amazing. one of the most receptive people i have ever met. he came to church with us yesterday and he loved it. so the first time we taught him, he was shirtless in a swimsuit, because we just showed up at his house. after that day, he always wears his best clothes when we come to teach him. i love this man so much. i don't know how we can baptize him, with the hole in his neck, and all his problems, but he is definitely one of the purest, most humble guys i have ever met. he is truly amazing. we had to have a member drive him top church because its pretty far away, but the member is awesome. Fabinho. hes great. but yeah everyone at church was so nice to him, and he loved it. i am hoping we are able to baptize him. he is amazing


Monday, May 22, 2017

2 Months

It´s crazy to think i've already been out for 1/12 of my mission. Time is going too fast! i am loving every minute! I love being in Salvador! 
This week was really good! Last p day, after i emailed, we went to Mercado Modelo, and the huge elevator  there. (i'll attach a picture of it!) it was cool! the view was pretty, when we were leaving, the sun was setting over the ocean. i didn't take a picture though:( but yeah walking around the historic part of Salvador was sweet. there's a spot where Michael Jackson filmed a music video so i went there and saw that. there's a lot of African-Brazilian culture and a lot of cool stuff. there were some dude doing some sort of martial arts in a patch of grass. i can't remember the name of it, but it looked super cool. I love Bahia

Tuesday was another day of hard work. we found a lot of new people this week! They are all so receptive, but they just dont pray! i know if they pray, they will receive answers. its a struggle. but were working with them, and hopefully this week week we can have more success. We just gotta get them to church. if they come to church, they will feel the spirit, they will know its true, and they will have a desire to be baptized. our ward is amazing. i love the people so much. i dont speak super weel, and i can barely understand anything they say, but man they are awesome. 
We had a priesthood activity on saturday, and we had a barbeque. holy moly, brazilian barbeque is sooo good! so we had barbeque and played ping pong. 
So we were walking to an appointment, and we waled around a corner, and i was a little startled at first, because as i looked up, i beheld an old black man, with long, gray dreads, mounted on a horse with no saddle. he was casually having a conversation with a man and buying some drinks, from atop his horse. it was bizarre, because i think i was the only person who thought it wasnt normal. every body else was just going on with the rest of their days. 
i wasnt hit by any cars this week, so ill consider it successful. 
probably one of the funniest things ive seen, is at the moto taxi stations, they all have a slogan. ´´Deus é Fiel´´ God is faithful. Those things terrify me. i dont know how anyone can get on the back of one of those and not fear for their life.
also, i took a picture with this super creepy tree, ill send the picture. but yeah it has a bunch of stuffed animals hanging in it. kinda strange.  
it rained evry day this week except for sunday. it rains a lot haha, and then it clears up and its super hot again. its impossible o get dry. its eaither raining, or super humid and youre super sweaty. i have never sweated more in my life. 
so i guess the American missionaries that have been here in the past, would do magic for the kids on the street. because every little kids asks me to do magic. they are all convinced that i can do magic. or they ask me to speak in english. 
i dont know if i mentioned this in previos emails, but im being absolutely eaten alive by mosquitoes. theyre some sort of different breed, that doesnt care how much bug spray i wear, they can still bite me. and i sleep with long pants on to try to help, but its super hot. and my fan broke on day 3, so its fun sweating to death every night. haha but hey those are just little things. im still alive. im still here. i get the privelage of doing the Lords work so i cant complain too much. 
i learn to speak more and more Portuguese each day. i just cant understand anything lol. Bahianos are soo hard to understand. but yeah i understand enough during the lessons that i can teach, but its difficult. i'm learning though.




From my letter:

The best thing this week was a barbeque we had at the church! it was so so good! but the best spiritual thing, is that we have one investigator, her name is nelia. she is amazing. she is 52, and we teach her and here 16 year old son joão gabriel. when we taught her this week, the spirit was so strong. and i bore my testimony to here, and every time i do, i talk about how much i love the book of mormon and how much it means to me. and yeah the lesson was super good. i definitely think shell be baptized. she has a date for the 10 of june, and she just has to come to church twice. shes solid. 
my favorite meal was the barbeque. chicken, beef, sausage. a bunch of good juice. it was awesome. 


Monday, May 15, 2017

Salvador Week 2

Elder Gomes created this of the elders in their apartment



hey! how was everyone's week? this week was good here in Bahia. i'm loving it here. the people are amazing, the food is amazing. the language is hard. haha but I'm learning so much every day and my companion is amazing. this week, we committed 6 more people to baptism. so now we have 12 investigators with dates! buuut, we have so much work to do. we have to get them all to come to church, which is super difficult. but man there is nothing i would rather be doing right now then this work. yesterday, i was able to skype with my family! it was super good to see them and talk to them. after i was finished, the people whose house i was at were having a barbeque, so i got a bunch of steak and sausage and terere. it was so good! 
i've been studying a lot about the restoration of the gospel, and the history of the church. i'm so thankful for this gospel in my life. i love teaching it to the people of Brazil. 
the people here are awesome. there is one man, who rides a shopping cart up and down the road. he sprints and then jumps on the back, and he keeps up with the cars. its impressive. also, there's a tree here, with a bunch of stuffed animals hanging in it. i don't know why, but its super creepy. ill try to taker a picture this week. and i don't remember what ´picture i sent last week so ill just add a few. man i love my area. the members here are super great. Sunday is always cool, because the people are so loving. We've had a few family home evenings with members and investigators. its super cool. Families, and having a strong family is so important. its cool to come together and experience the love these families have for each other. 
i cant really remember anything else that was super cool, this coming week ill try to write stuff down so i have a more interesting email. 
today were gong to a super famous elevator that is here, and going to a huge market. ill update y'all on that next week. Love you all!


The stuffed animal tree

Monday, May 8, 2017

First Week in Salvador!

I made it to salvador! my first area is called santa cruz, in salvador. its right next to the beach! its a cool area. our area has sooo many hills! its a serious workout. my companion is elder Gomes, from sao paulo. he has 7 months on the mission. hes an awesome guy, and an amazing missionary. getting out here, i realized how little portuguese i know, but i learn every day. its difficult, but i love it. the people are amazing! we already have 4 people with baptismal dates, but we still have a lot of work to do with them. this week was full of ups and downs, but im happy to be here, and i love getting all your emails each week. so a few things about brazil. EVERYBODY has a motor cycle. and they are insane. we walk up and down the narrow streets dodging motor cycles. and they have moto-taxis. you would have to be insane to ride on one of those. another thing, the roads are way narrow, so were always dogding cars. i got hit by a car yesterday! well, i got hit by the side view mirror, so nothing happened, but it was really funny. the people here are really friendly, we talk to a lot of people, and a lot of people accept our message another day. great, nice people. the food is good! a lot of beans a rice, or pasta, strogunof, and meat. lots of meat. coca cola, or guarana with every meal. and a lot of maracujá! its my favorite. i think its passion fruit, but i don't actually know. but its insanely good. the bread here is amazing, i don't know why. we get some every night on our way home though! last night, a less active member gave us a whole bunch of snacks to experiment, and then made us some maracujá. it was all super good. 

so, to conclude this email, i just wanna say how greatful i am to be a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. it is such a privelage to wear my saviors name on my chest every day. im so thankful for the gospel, and how it blesses my life and how it blesees others lives. im grateful to be serving here in brazil. it is very humbling. i would like to invite you all, if you have ever wondered about the Book of Mormon, or the church of Jesus Christ, please, get in contact with the missionaries. Just hear the ,essage, and pray with real intent. Heavenly Father does not lie. ask him if its true. i know you will receive an answer. i love you all, i hope you have an amazing week. 

CTM Pictures:




above, view from the CTM

below, CTM District



First Pictures from Salvador
Elder Gomes from Sao Paulo








Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Arrival in Salvador

Parker made it to Salvador and is alive and happy!
This is his mission president for the next two years, President G. Paulo Bangerter and his sweet wife.


Elder Opfar and his trainer, Elder Gomes from Sao Paulo, Brazil.  


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Last Week in the CTM

ola! this week was just another week in the CTM haha more long days in the classroom. Luckily on pday I buy a lot of snacks to eat during class. they sell this roll of cookies called boa vida, they're 1 real, which is the equivalent of $0.33! they're are the best! I love my district and my companions! it's gonna be hard to say goodbye to them in a week! but I'm so excited to get to the field! Very excited to get to Bahia. the food was still the same this week, beans and rice, with beef or chicken. a few different things. I'm still loving it though! feijoada is definitely one of my favorite foods here. and they have guarana machines in the refectório, so I definitely drink 7 glasses every meal. I'm definitely loving it here in Brasil, the people I have met are amazing and I can't wait until I can speak Português with them. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Week 4

This week was a good week! we sit in class for 15 hours a day, but it's awesome. I buy a lot of candy and cookies on my pday, so that helps me make it through lol. one of my teachers got mad at me for eating so much, then the next day, congratulated me for not eating any candy during class. little did she know, I didn't eat any candy because I finished it all the day before. Easter was awesome, we heard some great messages at church. I hope you all had a good Easter! we got ice cream with dinner that day so that was awesome!! i learned a good amount of Portuguese this week, it's coming along great! crazy I only have two more weeks until I get to the field! I'm way excited! we get to go to the Sao Paulo temple every week, and it's so beautiful! 
well, that's pretty much all I have for this week, I will send pictures once I get to the field. I hope you all have an amazing week!!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Week 3

I'm half way done at the mtc!! this week was super good. so I'm in a trio now, and I'm loving it!
on Saturday we went proselyting and we gave out 4 Book of Mormons! it was so awesome! it was cool talking to real people. and it was cool bearing my testimony in my terrible Portuguese. 
the food here is awesome. beans and rice every day. plus we have chicken, beef or hot dogs every day. they have these weird crepes with meat on the inside. they're one of my favorites. 
the language is coming along great, I've learned more Portuguese here in three weeks than I learned Spanish in 2 years. the church is true, and the Lord truly blesses us. 

last night we watched an Elder Holland talk from a Provo MTC devotional from 2014. it was so powerful. 
I'm so glad i get to serve the Lord and the people of Brazil for the next 2 years. A mission is the best decision I ever made. I know this church is true with all of my heart. I know it is the restored gospel. I know Heavenly Father has called a prophet and apostles today, and i am so thankful for that. I'm so thankful for the knowledge and peace this gospel brings to my life. Read the Book of Mormon with real intent, pray to our Heavenly Father, and He will tell you it is true. I love you all, I hope you have amazing weeks. My emails will get more interesting once I'm in Salvador, instead of stuck in classes all day haha 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Brazil!!

Sorry I didn't send an email last week! it was my first pday and i just chatted with my mom! But anyway the first week was a serious culture shock! I love Brazil so far though and Portuguese is amazing! ANYWAY I'LL TELL Y'ALL ABOUT MY WEEK!
Wed-we went to the São Paulo temple, which is sooo insanely beautiful! after that, we emailed and got to explore the area around the ctm.  We found the biggest avocados ever! They're a solid 2-3 pounds!
Thursday- we went to the police station and got our fingerprints scanned and some other stuff. it was cool to see more of Sao Paulo. it's a huuuge city! 
Friday was a pretty normal day, just classes all day and teaching our investigators.
We got to watch general conference this weekend! it was so amazing to be in such a spiritual environment and hear the words of the prophet and his apostles. 
 This week we got 3 new missionaries in our district from Provo! so I'm in a trio now, and we have 4 sisters in the district! Sorry this email is so short, I don't have a lot of time to email today! but I love you all, I hope you have amazing weeks! I promise next week's email will be better!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Letter From the CTM President

Dear Parents,
Sister Grahl and I are very happy to let you know that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil Missionary Training Center.  What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they begin their missionary experiences with us! We will surely take good care of your missionary.                                                                                                     
The missionaries now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  Their branch presidents and wives will meet them this Sunday.  These wonderful couples are richly blessed as they work with, motivate, and interview the missionaries assigned to their branch.
The MTC has a physician to care for their health needs. We are also happy to report that the MTC food is plentiful, healthy and very good.
Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Wednesday or Friday, depending on individual assignments.
Your missionary is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of many others. President Lorenzo Snow said: “There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children".  We love these missionaries as if they were our own.  We will watch over them carefully to ensure they are ready for a wonderful missionary experience after the rewarding time they will have in the MTC.
We thank you for preparing such a wonderful representative of the Lord.
Pres. Paulo R. Grahl and Sister Zuleika M. Grahl


Monday, March 20, 2017

Lots of hard goodbyes


The first goodbye was G.  He came down from Provo to see Park, go to his farewell, and to say goodbye.




Oma came for the farewell and helped with the yummy treats for Park's open house.

Tyler came for the weekend, we loved having all three of the kids together again in our house, even if it was only for 4 days.


Will was in town from UVU, Parker loved being able to see him!


Bishop Brown came by and they were able to say goodbye.


Zach and Nate, and Isaac on FaceTime.


These two have never gone more than a week without seeing each other since they were in 7th grade...


Saying goodbye to Zoey as we walked out the door...


Parker and Tyler say one last goodbye over FaceTime at the airport.


Aliza....



Dad...




And Mom.  :(


See ya in 2!  :)