Monday, December 28, 2009

Feliz Natal

Sent: Mon, Dec 28, 2009 05:47 AM

Hey Fam,
This past week was awesome. I loved talking with all of you guys. That was the best part of Natal. I loved hearing your voices. Right now it is raining a ton. I don’t have any pictures because I left my camera. I will send you more next week.

I am sad that my comp. Elder Laxton left yesterday to go to Ribeirao. I will miss him he was a good pai. I am very excited to get my new comp. I will get him tomorrow. I think that he is going to be Brazilian.

I have not been feeling very good too, my stomach has been acting up, but I am doing very well. By the way we did not have a baptism this week. Our investigator did not show up. I will try better this week to try and baptize. Well I hope everything is going well. Hope you guys have a good week. Hey matt tell Brother Shepard that he needs to repent of his sin of being a Lakers fan. Hey I love you all. Have a good week. Hope everyone feels better and has better heath this week. Thanks for all of your prayers they are helping. I love you all.

Elder Shelley


How are things going? That is good that Matt did a good job. Hey that is really funny about Sid and his new toy. Hey that is too bad that everyone got sick last week. Hopefully everyone will feel better. Tell Janice thanks for the card. I really liked it. Hey tell Matt to keep me updated. This last week me and Elder Barbosa-an elder in zone-we went to the zoo and I found out that Tucanos means Toucans. I just thought that was cool. Hey it is a bummer there are two people that left--my comp and Elder Barbosa. Well I hope everything goes well for you guys this week. Thanks for all of your prayers, tell everyone hi.

Elder Shelley

Monday, December 14, 2009

O Christmas Tree Pictures and Email

Greg's first Charlie Brown Tree

It even comes with blinking lights

Here is a picture of a nursery so Matt could see
what another Primary's nursery looks like.

Sent: Mon, Dec 14, 2009 05:31 AM
Hey Family,
This week was okay. This week flew by. We had many divisions with the other missionaries. We did not baptize this week and to make it even worse none of our investigators came to church. Well this week we are going to crack the whip. It has been colder because it has rained a ton down here. It is good.

We did buy a Christmas tree, it is small-we call it our Charlie Brown tree. I will send a picture. Hey I sent some presents for you guys. I sent it on Dec. 10- It will be there in 25 days from Dec 10. I could of had it by Christmas but it would of been a lot more money. Hope you guys don’t mind. I hope I got the right sizes for everyone.

Oh yesterday we went to a members house for lunch and he wants a Real Salt Lake Jersey. I told him that I would email you guys. He is a Large. The jersey is read and blue. Could you send that as soon as possible? I will pay you guys back. The guy is way cool.

Hey Happy Birthday Juli of Friday. Hey tell mom that I am giving you 20 dollars and you can get what ever you want. I can not find anything worth sending you for your birthday. It was either too cheap or way expensive. So have fun spending a little money.

That stinks that dad has not had much sleep. Hopefully everything will go well for him. Jani hopefully everything goes well for you for choir. That is good that Grandpa Pehrson’s party went well. Thanks for all of the updates. Matt I hope you have a good week, keep working hard. Hey and how are the Jazz doing? Well have a good one buddy.

Oh the packages go to the office. They have it there. I have to wait until they have like a conference, etc. They have these things about 4 times a transfer. So you can send packages whenever and I will get it. I hope that makes sense. Well have a good and safe week. I love you guys.

Elder Shelley

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pictures from President Vieira

President and Sister Vieira with Greg

Greg and his new companion Elder Laxton

Friday, December 11, 2009

Letter from Greg's Mission President

We just received a letter dated Nov.19, 2009

Dear Shelley Family,
We are excited to have your son, Elder Gregory Layne Shelley, in our mission. This will be a great opportunity for continued growth and development as he serves faithfully here in the mission field. He will meet, teach, convert and touch the lives of many people who are seeking to know, understand and live the truths of the restored gospel. Your son will have the opportunity to grow closer to the Lord and better understand how to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Through his continued study and application of gospel principles, we pray his testimony will increase and his love and obedience to Heavenly Father's revealed truths will forge a pattern for the rest of his life.

Along with missionary service come many new and interesting demands and challenges. Your son will continue to learn and adapt to new and interesting customs, cultures and foods, as well as a new language and schedule. As parents you play a very important role in the well being of your missionary. Your continued love and encouragement will give him the support and help he needs. Please write him regularly, sharing your testimony and love of this great gospel plan and help him stay focused on this sacred work.

Trust the Lord's watchful care as you pray regularly for all the missionaries throughout the world. Remember the Lord has said:

"I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angel round about you, to bear you up." (D&C 84:88)

My wife and I are very grateful to have your son serving by our sides in this great missionary effort. The lives of many will be influenced and blessed because of your son's great service and dedication. We will do our best to help your son succeed in his service to the Lord. Thank you for preparing a son, that is willing and ready to be of service in this part of the Lord's vineyard. May the Lord bless you for your sacrifice and help in this important eternal endeavor.

With love,
President and Sister Vieira

Monday, December 7, 2009


Let the mission begin!

Me and Elder Laxton walking

Me with President Viera (left) and Elder Godoy (Right)


Cake (I made with help of the supermarket)

Me with a parrot (I can't remember the name)--
We decided it should be Sid 2

tree with fruit (I don't remember the name)

My bed

Our kitchen

me cooking

I am so glad that I am here...

Sent: Mon, Dec 07, 2009 11:53 AM
Hey Family,
Things went great this week. I baptized this week. The person we baptized was Iara(yara). It took me three times, first time her foot went up, second her head didn’t go down all the way, but the third was perfect. It was a really cool experience. We confirmed her a member yesterday in Sacrament Meeting.

We have a washing machine and then we hang the clothes to dry. It is pretty easy, except for today. I needed to do laundry and when I started to hang up the clothes it started to rain. It has been really rainy and hot this past week. Tell Mrs. Alder, Miss Johnson, and Mrs. Warby I say hi. Hey I will probably be using my debit card to buy some stuff for Christmas so keep an eye on my account.

Jani, I remembered my camera this week and I am sending pictures. Hey the mission tour was really good. Elder Godoy came and spoke. I could understand quite a bit. He talked a lot about what would help our teaching and talked about our biggest key is the Book of Mormon. It was really cool. Hey my mission president is way cool. He reminds me a lot of dad. Before the conference I talked with Sister Viera.

I am so glad that I am here. I wish you guys could be here and experience what I am. Hey it sounds like you guys have a lot going this week. Hey Matt thanks for the update on the Jazz. Hey it is good to hear that you are loving your mission keep me posted. Juli hope you have a good week, I am trying to send you a birthday present in the Christmas stuff. I hope you guys have a good week. I love you guys and thanks for all of your prayers. Well take care and I hope that the weather warms up for you guys. Well have a good one.

Elder Shelley

Hey mom,
I have not yet received the package yet. Yeah I think he is going to hate to shovel. Hey it is good you are doing well. I hope you have a good day even if it’s snowing. Well have a good one. Oh one of the Brazilians said that I looked like the kid from Home Alone. I guess it runs in the family. LOL. Hey when I get a recipe for food I will send it in an email. Hey that is cool the girls went to Christmas Around the World. Hey Jani’s grade is really hurting NOT, 107 that is cool.
Elder Shelley

Hey I found out a little more about phone call for Christmas. I will probably go to a members home or church-(this depending on bishop). I will call you guys, and tell you what number to call-the # for Brasil and for the phone. It is going to work out great. Well have a great day even if it is cold, hey it has been colder here too, it has been raining a lot lately. Well have a great week and I love you guys so much.

Elder Shelley

Monday, November 30, 2009

Eu Ti Ama

Sent: Mon, Nov 30, 2009 10:08 AM

Hey Fam,
This week was pretty good. We committed a guy to being baptized and he was good, until yesterday my comp went to get him, but our baptism said that his foot hurt from playing soccer and he said he wanted to do it another week. I think that it was an excuse and I can see how hard Satan works. Oh well maybe next week we will baptize him.

Hey I got the letter from Dave’s fam and tell Scott Eu ti ama (I love you). Hey I forgot to grab my camera so no pics this week. Hey to answer someone’s question about the food--it is really good. I love frango(Chicken). We eat at a member’s house every lunch. It is pretty good. I love it here the people are so nice. We slept over at the LZ´s House last night. We played chess and I am the champion. I creamed the people I played against.

Hey mom I will be probably sending some jerseys and hopefully a nativity set for Christmas. Hey don’t send jerky in packages I guess that it does not clear down here, another Elder’s package had to be sent back because of jerky. Hey Dad about calling here I am not sure yet but I will let you know when it gets closer and when I know.

Matt parabems(congrats) on your call. Hey thanks for all of the sports updates and GO BYU!!!!! Jani and Juli it was good to hear that your piano recital went well, I wish I could have been there.

Hey guess what I forgot it was Thanksgiving until one of the Elders told me. We cooked pasta and worked and chilled. It was so much fun. I can’t wait until Christmas and I get to talk with you guys. Hey mom we do have an oven, no microwave. Hey the apartments are pretty nice. Thanks for keeping me updated and hopefully soon I will send you guys a package. Oh I have not yet received the greenie package yet but I think I will this week because we have Mission Tour. Hey I am loving it here, by the way it rains pretty good down here. Well thanks for all the letters and prayers. Keep praying. Hey the language is starting to come, I can understand some parts for a conversation.

Elder Shelley

Hey guys,
Hey I am loving it here. It is the best. Hey that is cool that you were able to play outside. It is so stinken hot here, but I would rather take the hot than the cold. Hey guess what I got a letter from Aaron, it was when he was in the MTC em Provo. How is he doing in the campo (field)? Hey the language is coming. I am loving the field. I can’t believe I am on my 3rd semana (week). Time is passing by so fast. Hey I totally forgot about Thanksgiving. We cooked some pasta, rice, had pizza and just chilled. It was a lot of fun. Hey I bet it was weird not having grandpa and me there.

I love sharing the Gospel with the people here. This last week we had a conference with all the wards-like a stake conference and Presidente Viera spoke and I could understand quite a bit of his talk. It is too bad our baptism fell through. But the other missionaries in our zone theirs fell through too. We(Zone)were supposed to have 7 this week and ended up having 2-Elder Knowles and ELder Barbosa. Oh well. Well have a good one and hopefully work will go better for you dad this week. Mom hope you have a good week too, and tell the guys hi. I am trying to send you guys a package and Juli a B-Day Present. Hopefully. Well thanks for all of your prayers. Keep praying because I need all the help I can get.

Hey tell the Cleggs that I will include them in my prayers and that I am thinking about them. Tell Parker, Ava, Bro and Sis Clegg hi. Thanks for the update on their family. Hey if you see Austin tell him his buddy says hi. Hey could you send me the address for Mike and Catherine, Brian, Janice, Dave and Natalie- I will probably want to write them sometime. Well take care and tell Matt, Jani and Juli hi, and Sid too. I miss you guys so much. I will let you guys know when the package come, hey how big is it? Well have a good one.
Eu te amo.

Elder Shelley

Monday, November 23, 2009

Let the mission begin! Santana--Aracatuba

Hey Fam,

Everything is going great. My first area is Santana. It is a really cool place. My new companion is Elder Laxton, he is from North Carolina. I am so excited to finally be out in the mission field. Hey guess what, I baptized for the first time. I helped some guys in our area, Elder Knowles and Elder Barbosa. It was cool to baptize. I had to have help from one of the Elders but it was awesome. The mission is awesome. I am contacting people and teaching lessons. It is really cool, the spirit is strong in each meeting and when we contact. I am really loving it out here. Yesterday we ate at Mel´s mothers house. Mel is one of the ladies in the ward that helps out the missionaries.

Hey just the other day when we were teaching a lesson I was having the people read in James 1:5 and I said the chapter right but instead of saying cinco I said five, it was the first time I messed up on the number, but everything went very well. I am really liking the area and the other missionaries. Last night we had a sleep over at Elder Knowles and Barbosa´s house and we slept outside and about 1 in the morning it started to rain so we had to go inside. But I am really liking the area and the people that I meet. The bus ride from Rib. to Santana was about six hours by bus. I slept most of the way.

Hey Matt congrats on you mission call. I hope you enjoy it. Hey thanks again for all of the sports updates. Hey when does Carsten leave? Tell him congrats.

Hey mom for a package just put in whatever, I don´t know what I need. Whatever you want to put in. Hey by the way it was a good thing dad packed that extra bag because the night I was packing I needed that bag, it was hard to get the bags to weigh the max but I am glad we packed all the things because my area is on the other side. All of the guys in my MTC district are close to each other and I am the outcast. Hey well I hope that you guys have a good week.

Hey I forgot to get the card reader so this week I don't have pics. But next week I will get some. Hey my P-days are on Monday.

Hope everything is going well.

Elder Shelley
(Greg emailed Layne and explained that Santana is in the city of Aracatuba and the area is Santana if you want to use google map. He had only a 30 minute plane ride to Ribeirao Preto but then rode a bus to Aracatuba for about 6 hours.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

We got mail--again!!

We got a letter dated 11/8/09 (day is dia, month is mese and year is ano)

Hey Family,
How are things going? I can't believe how fast the time has gone by. I can't believe I have 9 days left here at the CTM. I went proselyting on Friday and it was the best experience ever. It is just what I needed because during that week, I was struggling really bad with the language and I didn't think I would do very well.

On Friday, we went to the center of São Paulo to Sâo Bento Square. The first guy we talked with was an older man. We shared our message about the gospel then we started talking about the Book of Mormon. He seemed to be really interested. We gave him the Book and he sat there reading it for an hour and a half. It was cool to see how someone accepted something we had.

Another experiencia we had, we talked with a guy that was in his early 20’s. We started to share our message. My comp. Elder Huxford shared a scripture in John talking about sheep of this fold. Then this guy started getting emotional. At first, I thought dust got in his eyes because it was kind of windy. Then we started bearing our testimonies to him about the church, Book of Mormon and families can be together forever. Then he really let it go, he was crying. I right then gained a testimony of how powerful testimonies are. It was a really cool experience.

My other experience was one of our last. We were walking by and some guys wanted to talk with us. We started sharing our message and one of the three came up and showed my comp. some scriptures from the Bible, don’t worry they were good. But, while he was doing that I taught 5 guys about the Book of Mormon and answered some of their scriptures. I gained a testimony on D&C 100:6 (“For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea in the very moment, what ye shall say.”), because I experienced it that exact hour. It was not hard for me to speak, I was clear and best of all I was not nervous. It was what I needed in my life at that time. It was the best ever. I am so excited to get out into the field. I also witnessed a guy going from yelling in our face to being humble by sharing testimony. It has been a great week.

Thanks again for the pictures, my district and Irmä Elías liked them. Thanks for your prayers. Thanks for all that you do for me.

Love you all,
Elder Shelley

Monday, November 16, 2009

We Got Mail!

We got a letter dated November 1, 2009
Hey Family,
Another week has gone by. Time is flying by so fast. I can't believe that I only have 16 days left in the CTM. I am doing pretty good. My body is finally getting use to the food. Today is Fast Sunday. We had a mission conference. It was really good, but I fell asleep during one of the talks. We had Fast and Testimony meeting. I was the first one to get up and share my testimony. This was the 2nd time I was one of the first ones to share testimony. It was a very good meeting.

We had an interesting week this week. The Brazilian in our room got sick and he was coughing all night long. He went to the doctor and they quarantined him. Then yesterday they wanted to talk to us. They think he has swine flu, but they don't think it is bad because he didn't have the great big symptoms, they caught it early. They told us to watch our temperatures and just be smart. I am doing very well.

This week we worked on lesson 3 em Portuges. I am doing okay with this lesson. I am learning quick and I can see how the Lord is blessing me with learning the language.

I am doing very well. Today's lunch was very good. We had pasta and watermelon. It was very good. I am glad I am on a mission and learning the gospel in Portuguese. Thank you guys for all the updates on Grandpa and other things in life. I missed not going to Disneyland with you guys, but it was good to hear you guys had a good time. Hey, I wondered what you guys decided to be for Halloween. They had a holiday like it down here. They celebrated it on the 30th.

I still can't believe how fast the time is flying by. Some of my good missionary friends are leaving on Tuesday. When you guys get this, they will be out into the field. I can't wait to get out and share the gospel. We get to go proselyting this Friday. I am so excited.

It is so much fun to email you guys and hear how things are going. I especially like emailing when mom and dad are there, it makes it seem like you guys are right next to me. I really appreciate the sports updates Matt and all the other updates Jani and Juli. Hey, take care and thanks for all of your prayers. I miss you a ton.
Elder Shelley

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Week 8 at the CTM

Sent: Wed, Nov 11, 2009 09:31 AM
This week was one of the best. On Friday we went proselyting to the Heart of São Paulo. It was really cool. The first guy we met showed interest in the Book of Mormon. We bore our testimonies and he wanted the book. We gave him the book and he started to read it right there. Then we went to contact other people and the guy was still reading it. We guessed that he was reading it for an hour and a half. It was cool that someone accepted what we were teaching.

The other experience that I had was when we contacted another guy in his early 20's. We started and shared a scripture in the Bible about lost sheep in Matthew. He started to tear up. We thought he had dirt in his eye because it was a little windy. Then when we bore testimony he really let down a rain storm. It was so cool the power of testimony. I gained a testimony on how strong testimonies really are.

Ok my final story. It was toward the end of the time, well we were walking and some guys stopped us and wanted to hear our message. Well we started and Elder Huxford started reading from the Bible and one of the guys came up and started sharing other scriptures-don´t worry they were not bad. Then there was one guy that asked me about the Book of Mormon. I could share my testimony and tons of stuff about the Book of Mormon. I was not scared or nervous. Words came into my mind and I spoke very clear. I gained a testimony on D&C 100:6. I know that the Lord was helping me that day.

Hey maybe in the next package you guys send maybe put a couple packs of the scripture crayons. Hey I did get a package of cookies the other day from Bro. T´s sister. It was very good, she is an awesome lady.

Hey I have a couple questions
First what time is it? I want to know the time difference because of Daylight savings time.

Hey could you send me an email about our family pedigree chart. I need to bring it tomorrow for class and I need the information.

Dad I have a quick question do you remember what my suit cases weighed before I left. The reason is I think I have a weight limit of 50 pounds per suit case.

I just had ice cream with my teachers it was really good, they had a sweeten condensed milk one that was very good. I went to the temple again for the last time. It was cool I was with Elder David, he was the first Brazilian in my room.

Well I hope everything is going well back at home. Hey write on at tag for the balloon thing for Grandpa that I love him and will always remember the good times we had.

Elder Shelley

Hey Juli
The Banana pizza is really good, it taste like chocolate and bananas. Hey good to see you are doing very well. Take care.

Jani that is good you did your talk. Well I hope that school is less stressful. Well take care.

Matt thanks for all of the sports updates and hey that is way cool that you received the Melchizedek priesthood. Hey that is cool about your mission, keep me updated on how well you do.

Mom and Dad thanks for all that you do for me. I can´t believe that I will be going into the field next week I think on Tuesday. Well that is good that the funeral went well. Well take care and keep me posted on new news. I love all of you guys very much.

Hey I forgot to tell you that last night they had a black out. It was cool to see the lights flicker. I don´t know if it happened to you but it was way cool. Oh yeah and yesterday during the fireside my district sang the prelude music, we sang I Feel My Savior’s Love, Abide with Me tis Even Tide, and I Know My Redeemer Lives. We did a great job.

Hey thanks for the info. Hey in a next letter could you print out a copy of a pedigree chart and send it, so I can have it. I hope that won´t be hard for you. Thanks again for the info. I am so glad for email and how fast I can get info. Have a good day.

Elder Shelley


Sao Paulo Brazil Temple

Greg at the Sao Paulo Temple

Our District with Irma Camila (left) and Irma Elias (right)

Irma Elias and Elder Wooley and Elder Huxford

Me and my Basketball Buddy

Another Picture of the Sao Paulo Temple

A Brazilian Missionary--Elder Nacimento

Here are some Brazilians that helped me learn some Portuguese and I helped them learn English. We read the Book of Mormon together.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Week 7 at the CTM

Sent: Wed, Nov 04, 2009 08:05 AM
Hey Family,

This week has been a great week. I went to the Temple again. I can´t believe I only have one more time. I had a really cool experience in the Temple today. I loved the spirit that was there, but I especially loved being able to feel Grandpa´s spirit there. I could tell that Grandpa was with me as I did the session and also when I was in the
Celestial Room. It was the best feeling ever.

It is too bad that Grandpa passed away. I am really going to miss him a whole bunch, but I know that we will see him again. I am grateful for the knowledge that I have about the Gospel. I am glad that I know that there is life after death and that we can see our loved ones. These past couple weeks, I have more fully understood the Plan of Happiness since I have been here. I understood it before I got here but it has touched me more these past few weeks.

Hey I wish I could make it to the funeral, but tell everyone that I love them. Thanks for letting me know. Yes it will be okay for you to send me Obituary I would definitely like to read it.

Thanks for all of your prayers for me.

Elder Shelley

Thanks for calling the CTM this week to let me know about Grandpa, I actually was hoping you would call and let me know. I am glad that I know what I do about the Gospel and that I will be able to see Grandpa again. Thanks for all that you do for me and for all of you prayers because I need them so much. I still can´t believe that I have less than 2 weeks left. It is crazy how fast time is flying by. Well I hope everything goes well at the Funeral and know that I love you guys so much. Hey and by the way every time I hear a bird tweet I am reminded of Sid, I hope he is doing well. Well anyways have a good week.

Hey everything is going very well. Hey this last week Elder Ellis of the 70 came and spoke he did a very good job. He talked about helping build up the kingdom and how you can get the trust of members and many more topics, after I talked with him and he served a little time in my mission. I thought that was cool.

Well I hope everything is going well at home. I can´t believe that I have 2 weeks left mais um-one more P-Day. Well take care and I hope the funeral goes well and tell the Fam that I love them and miss them a whole bunch.

Thanks for all that you do for me I miss you and I especially miss your food, not to be rude but the food here is terrible, but at least we get fed. Well have a good day and hopefully everything will got better and the funeral will be good. I love you so much. Thanks again keep emailing me as much as you want.

Elder Shelley


President Obama--no just kidding it is a Brazilian missionary

Elder Hooker

Elder Smith

Elder Lyman

Elder Hulse

Elder Nelson
Elder Steck from St. George
Elder Kendrick

Elder Payne and Elder Duckett

All of these Missionaries left yesterday. These guys were in the classroom next to us, our gym buddies and they are my best friends here in the CTM.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

We got mail!

Here is a letter from Greg dated October 18, 2009
(Just so you know, Greg’s Grandpa Shelley passed away Oct. 31, 2009)

Hey Fam,
How are things going? I am doing very well. Today is Sunday. I am so tired because of the time switch, but I am doing well.

Me and Elder Huxford taught about the importance of setting goals in district meeting. It went very well and the spirit was very strong. I love the guys in my district, we all just seem to click and get along with each other. Our District leader, Elder Brewer was just made the A.P. I am so excited for him. He will do great. Our new District leader is Elder Wooley. He is an amazing guy, very shy and humble. They both will do great in their new callings.

I can’t believe I am starting my sixth week. It has gone by so fast. I can’t believe I have been in the CTM for a month. Where has the time gone? I am so excited for Friday because Elder Scott is coming to the CTM. I just finished polishing my shoes. They are so shiny that I can see myself in them. Thanks dad for teaching me how to shine my shoes, it made it easier. This Friday we get to go proselyting here in São Paulo.

Just this past week yesterday we had TRC which is where we teach actual members a lesson em (in) Portugês. We did very well. I struggled at the beginning because I was nervous, but after the first minute I was fine. Oh yeah they film you as you teach and fix some things and repractice. It was tough but we made it through. It was a good learning experience. I can’t wait to go proselyting and share my testimony sobre (about) O Livro de Mórmon.

Thank you for keeping me up to date with Grandpa. I hope things will start to be better. I understood the Plan of Salvation, but it has not hit me until now and before I left with Grandpa. I am glad I have that knowledge that there is life after death, and that we will see others in the spirit world. I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is the true gospel and it has been restored through a prophet Joseph Smith. I also know that Thomas S. Monson is the current living prophet on the Earth. I also know that my Savior loves me so much that he atoned for my sins, sorrows and misdeeds. I am grateful that he did this for me and for all of his brothers and sisters. I also know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and Joseph Smith translated it through the power of God. I also know that the Savior is always there for you and can lift you up when you are going through a rough time in your life. I know that Families are Forever.

It will be sad when Grandpa goes, but I know that we can see him again. I know he has lived a great life. I am grateful for his example for his love for the gospel.

Tell everyone I say hi. Tell Grandma G. and Grandma Shelley thanks for the letters. I miss you guys and love you guys so much. Thank you for all that you do for me. Thank you for your prayers. Keep praying for me because I need all the help I can get. I still can’t believe that 1 month from yesterday I will be leaving the CTM and going to Ribeirão Preto. I am so excited. It will be hard but in the end it will be worth it. I love you guys and pray for you every day.
Elder Shelley

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pictures at the São Paulo Temple

Greg, Greg and Elder Huxford, and Greg's district at the Sao Paulo Temple. Elder and Sister Brinton, Greg's Branch President, attended a session with his district and took these pictures afterwards. They emailed them to us this week. We love to see the temple and we love pictures!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Week 6 at the CTM

Hey Fam,
Another week has gone by. This past week was the best. On Friday Elder Scott came and spoke. He talked about the importance of Personal and Companion study on the mission. It was a really awesome experience. I especially loved his testimony about the Savior. He said that the Savior personally runs the church. He also said that the Savior lives because he knows him. When he said that, it gave me the chills. I really liked shaking his hand and looking into his eyes. I could tell he has so much love for missionaries. This is the second Apostle I have met. Also Elder Jay Jensen of the 70 was there too. He spoke on the importance of Hymns in our lives and in the mission field, and also how the spirit comes into the places. It was a good experience.We did not go proselytizing this past week because Elder Scott came. We get to go in a week to the heart of São Paulo. I am so excited. I can now say the first two lessons in Portuguese, and I am working on the third one. It is crazy on how fast the time flies by. I have a couple questions: How do I sew a button on suit pants, because it is falling off. Last week you told me that there was a kid that just came back from my mission. Could you find out if they have washers and dryers or if it is by hand. Also just what it is like. Today at the temple we met some Brazilians from Ribeirão Preto and they said that it is an awesome place. I also heard that it is the highest baptizing mission in Brazil. I think that it is way cool. At the Temple our Branch President took our pictures at the Temple, one of the District and one of me. It should come by email. Just wanted to give you a heads up. Hey you know that flash drive thing for SD cards, well it is a big hit, all of my mission buddies are using it and say that it is way cool.

Juli to answer your question the food is the same. Today is pizza night, I have decided that my favorite pizza is banana and chocolate. It sounds gross but it is pretty good. Things are still the same but I am improving tremendously in the language as I do my best. The thing that changes is time and how fast it moves. I can’t believe I only have less than 3 weeks left. I can’t wait to get out into the field. Hey Matt I hope you get feeling better. Hey that is cool about Devan getting his call, tell him congrats from me. Well congrats again for hearing about becoming an Elder. Hey tell Freddy hi for me. Jani I hope school gets better for you and you get less homework. Thanks for the short message. It was the best meeting Elder Scott. The spirit was so strong and it was just one of my favorite meetings I have ever been too. We did not go proselytizing because he came but I will be going in the next week or so.Well I hope everything is going well back at home. Thanks for all of your prayers.
Love you always,
Elder Shelley

Hey everyone,
Things are going well. This last week Elder Scott came to the CTM. IT was one of the best experiences in my life. Oh and here is the cool part. After Elder Scott spoke he came to the congregation to sing the closing hymn. He sat about + or - 10 feet away from me to the left. It was really cool to be that close to an Apostle. Before the meeting I felt bad that I was not singing in the choir, but when he came down and sat close by me I did not feel bad at all. I went to the Temple again, it was an awesome experience. The food is still the same. The only thing that changes is how fast the days go and how many weeks until I go out into the field. I can’t believe I only have less than 3 weeks left in the CTM, time is flying by. Well hope everything is going well back at home.
Elder Shelley

Hey can you ask Sis. Westwood if she knows anyone by the name of Steck. I am good friends with one that is leaving in 6 or 7 days, he is from Saint George. That is cool that Matt will be receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood. Hey well I hope that you guys had fun at Disneyland. That is good that Juli is getting better, I hope Matt will get over his cold soon. How is the Bishops Storehouse working for him? Tell Matt thanks for updating me on the latest sports scores. How long until the Jazz start? When they do I want to hear every score even if they stink it up. That is cool that you are going for the Philles. Who is the other team playing? Well I hope everything is going well back at home. Right now I am so hot in Mr Cheneys Cookies. I bet it is snowing at home. I can’t believe that it is already snowing. Well have a good one. I hope Grandpa gets doing better, but when he does pass on I will be sad but happy at the same time. I am glad that I have the knowledge that life does not end after death and that we will be able to see Grandpa again. I also know that it will be good because he won’t be in so much pain as he is now. I am truly grateful to know all that I do in this church.
Elder Shelley

Saturday, October 24, 2009

We Got Mail!

Here is Greg's letter dated October 11, 2009
Hey Fam,

Hey how is it going? It is so much fun to receive letters from you guys and emails. Every time I email I feel you guys right beside me telling me these. It is the coolest feeling ever.

I have had a good week. I am doing okay with the language. Even though I am struggling I am learning to be better. I can’t believe I am on my “fifth week” at the CTM. The time has flown by. The guys in my district said if our mission was on a clock—24 hour—we would be at 1 a.m. right now. It is crazy how fast time flies.

Today I gave my first talk in sacrament meeting. It was on the Christ-like attribute of Hope. I did a good job, everyone after told me how good it was.

Let me tell you about an experience I had today. After sacrament meeting we have a district meeting. The District Leader, Elder Brewer and Elder Jeppson taught about Christ-like attributes. The spirit was strong. Toward the end my eye caught on 3 Nephi 12:16. It talks about letting our light shine that people may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” The Spirit hit me strong that I shared my feelings about this scripture. I told them that yes we need to develop the Christ-like attributes now, but they don’t stop there, we develop them forever. Even when we get older, people will notice that we have a glow about us or the light of Christ in our lives. During that time the spirit was so strong. I am glad that I obeyed and listened to the spirit. Just my small comment changed the tone of that meeting.

I have grown to love the Brazilians that have been in the room. Elder Lopes and Elder David. They are the best. Elder lopes wants to learn English and we want to learn Portuguese. We teach them English and he will teach us Portuguese. I am sad because they are leaving on Tuesday in two days. I have grown to love the Brazilian people. They love to have fun and party and when they share the gospel it is so powerful. They bring in the best spirit ever. I am really going to miss them, but I know they are going to be awesome missionaries. Just the other day, me and Elder Huxford taught our Brazilian friends and their friends. The spirit was so strong for when we were teaching and when they were teaching.

I still miss you guys and pray for you guys every day. You guys would love the humble people of Brazil. They are the best people you will ever meet. I am glad I am here serving a mission and teaching the gospel. I can’t believe in a week and six days I will get to go out and tract on the streets of Sao Paulo. I can’t wait. I can see the Lord helping me each day as I learn the language and teach. I can’t wait to share the gospel to the people of Ribeirao Preto. I leave on the 17 of November. I don’t know what time.

I love the people here, they are the best. I love all the missionaries. I have become good no great friends with some of the other missionaries. I am glad I am here and I know it is the right thing to do. Thank you for all of your prayers, it really helps. Tell everyone hi back in Utah.

I still don’t like the food very much, but it is okay. The other day we had pig tail, it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good. I still miss your cooking mom and Jani and Juli and Dad and Matt.

Take care, and I know that this church is true. I have one piece of advice: Always Be Obedient! Even if you don’t know why, do it and you will be blessed.

Elder Shelley

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pictures of my Brasilian Missionary Friends

This is a picture of my Brasilian roomates, Elder Lopes and Elder David. They were the best. They went to the Sao Paulo Leste Mission.

This is Elder Santos, he is one that we met at the Temple. He would always come up to me and say, "Hi my friend."

This is Elder Torres, he is the other one we met at the Temple. He was just an awesome missionary.

Week 5 at the CTM

Hey Everyone,
Hope everything is going well? Today I went to the Temple and it was an awesome experience. I am so excited for Elder Scott to come on Friday. Thanks for all of your prayers and support. Take care.
Elder Shelley

Hey Fam,
This week has been great. Today I went to the Temple. It was an awesome experience. This past week Elder Godoy from the Seventy came and spoke to us about being careful of the little things. He has been my favorite speaker yet, because he threw out jokes during the talk. He did a great job.

Guess what? Elder Scott is coming on Friday to the CTM. I am so excited. I also have some bad news, we are not proselytizing this Friday because he is coming, but hey you only meet an Apostle once in your lifetime.

How was Disneyland? Hey keep me posted and I hope the Angels win. I hope everyone is doing well. Hey Matt and Juli get better. I know how it feels to be sick, it is not fun getting sick down here. I just love P-Day because I can get out of the CTM and I get to go to the Temple. Hey I got to tell you something cool. The Brasilians that were on our floor that left a week ago we saw them at the Temple. they were so excited to see us, it was way cool.

That is cool that the kid at the store realized that you were different. That is cool that he wants to save his money and raise his family in Utah. Way to be the good examples and letting your light shine to him. Well I hope everything is going well. Thanks for keeping me posted with grandpa and other news. Hope you guys have a good week and get better.
Elder Shelley

Question for Matt:
Hey who are the Angels playing? And who are the other teams in the playoffs? It sounds like the Saints--football are undefeated. Matt keep me posted on the NFL scores too. Hey has the Jazz opened their season yet or is it soon? Well I hope you are doing well. Keep working hard at the Bishop's Storehouse.
Elder Shelley

Sunday, October 18, 2009

We got mail!

We received a letter dated October 3, 2009

Hey Family,
Everything is going well. The past few days I have not felt very well. I think I am catching the bug that is going around. I am doing better. I can't believe I am going into my fourth week tomorrow October 4th. I am excited to listen to conference live. The meeting starts at 1:00 p.m. here We will be watching the priesthood session tomorrow, Sunday October 4th at 8 a.m. I am excited to hear what the brethren are going to say. I am getting sick of the food. After I eat for the past few days my stomach has not felt very well. I am also tired of eating the same stuff over and over. Hey if you want you can send me pictures. I am excited to be here and learning how to preach the gospel. I miss you guys everyday and pray for you guys. One of the leaders at the MTC said that missing family is a good thing because it shows how much you love them and how well you grew up in the church. I thought this was very true. I did my first lesson in Portuguese yesterday and it was the worst. I crashed and burned bad, but my comp. helped me when I needed him to. I can't wait to be fluent in Portuguese and that I can share the Gospel as fluently as I do in Ingles. I hope that everything is going well back at home. Keep me posted on new and upcoming events. I love you all, and miss you very much. Thanks again for all the letters that you send. Keep sending them, it is exciting to hear from each of you. Tell the Primary class that I love them and how much I miss teaching them. I can't believe again how fast the time has flown by. In only 5 more weeks I will probably leave for the field. I am excited to share the message of the gospel. I have to tell you something funny. My comp. Elder Huxford does not like when sister missionaries cut in line. Yesterday one sister cut in front of him when he had soap on his hand and was about to wash it off. He got really mad. So today in class I leaned over to him and showed him 1 Corinthians 14:34. He burst out laughing. It was the best. I love you all. Take care!
Elder Shelley

Week 4 at the CTM

Hey Fam,
How are things going? Everything is going well. I can’t believe I have one more month left. It is crazy. I miss you guys every day. Well hopefully Grandpa will be better. I went to the temple today. It was a great experience. Hey I have a couple questions for next week’s email. Dad can you find out from Randy Moe to see if I have to pack hangers or leave them at the MTC? I hear that they don’t let you stay for the full two years because of visas, so I think that I may come home a transfer early. I don’t know, but I know that I won’t be staying for two years. I just thought that was cool.

Hey Matt that is sweet that you will be receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood. That is too bad with the Cavemen. At least BYU won. Hey I hope everything is going well. Hey just the other day I played basketball. We were playing speed and I whooped everyone. I told them that I played basketball a lot before I came. They could not believe how good I was. Thanks for playing with me before I came to Brasil.

Jani, well hopefully this week will go by better. Things are going slow and fast. I wish they would change the food schedule a little more. Hey, that is awesome that Austin is my little buddy. Tell him that I say hi. Mom I am receiving the letters, they just take some time but I get them. The stuff here is somewhat expensive. It is not bad but some is more than at home. I have enough money right now. Juli I hope everything is going well with you and school.

This week the Brasilians that were in our room and floor—6th went out into the field. I am going to miss them. I have grown to love the people already. They are like family. It was fun being with them. Hopefully the group that comes this week is as good or better. That is cool that I picked the same team as Stewart. I forgot that he picked that team. I miss you guys so much. Thanks for all for all of your prayers and support that you give me. Keep praying for me. I need all the help I can get. In a week and two days we get to go proselyting here in Sao Paulo. I am so excited.

Hey dad, I know how it feels to be in an airport for 5 hours and 30 minutes. That was how long that layover was for us. Well everything is going well. The church is still true :) . I went to the temple today and that was a good experience. I love going to the temple. Well I have been here for one month. Hey I leave on the 17 of November so tell everyone. Tell them that they can write me until about a week and a half before I go. The reason is that if I leave the MTC and they get mail they wait until the next transfer or a set of missionaries to go to that area.

Time is flying by. I can’t believe that I have 4 more weeks in the CTM. Well I hope everything is going well back at home. You can tell it is about summer time because it is hot. I am probably going to send pictures in the mail so they will probably be there in 2 + weeks. I hope that everyone will have a better week. I can’t wait to get out into the mission field. I can do the first lesson in Portuguese pretty well. We are working on the second discussion. I just love P-days because I get a little bit of freedom. I know it is not good to think of the CTM being a prison but it is. There are big gates and the food is terrible. Some days are better than others. I think of it as a spiritual prison. O well it is good. Well the church is still true :). Hey yesterday for devotional they showed us the devotional when Elder Scott came to the Provo MTC in August. It was a very good talk. There is a rumor going around the Elder Scott might come to the CTM on the 23 of Octobro. We talked with Presidente Woodward and he said that Elder Scott is coming to Brasil in 2 or 3 weeks but does not know if he will stop to the CTM. I hope he does cause then I could say I have met two Apostles. Hey want to know something cool? President Eyring is in Elder Wooley’s ward—a missionary in my district. Hey to answer your question mom about the district. Our whole district is going to Ribeirao Preto. I am so excited. Well hope everything is going well at home. Keep praying for me. I need all the help I can get.

Hey do you know what mission in Argentina Austin is going to serve? Do you know when he is leaving? That is cool for him. If you see him tell him I say hi and congrats on the mission call. Hey I have gotten sick—like upset stomach, diarrhea from the food here. Hey I wanted to tell you guys that I had pigs tail. I only had a little bit but hey now I can say I had pig tail. It is nasty but I wanted to share the worst thing that I have eaten here at the CTM. Hopefully Grandpa will get doing much better.
I love you guys so much.

Elder Shelley

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We got mail!

We just got this letter from Greg in the mail. It was dated 9-27-09

Hey Guys,
How is it going? Things are going great. I can't believe I am starting my 3rd week. It has gone by so quickly. Today is Fast Sunday and I am writing because I have some time. The food here is not bad, but not good either. It is too bad that my companion Elder Olson had to go home. He was a really good guy. I admire him because he listened to the the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Also he gained a strong testimony about this gospel. I like my new companion. His name is Elder Huxford. He is from Elkhart, Indiana. He is so strong, but very humble. When we teach the lessons on the first discussion the spirit is always there and it is just the greatest feeling ever. We just "click" together. It has been a blast here at the C.T.M. I love having the spirit with me wherever I go. I love the guys in my district. They are the best.

In our class we have a joke. The instructor instead of having 10 people, she wanted 8 and she was praying for 8 people. My comp and Elder Huxford's comp. went home. That left us with 8 people. She wanted this because it would be easy to practice the lessons. I don't think she realized how her prayers were being answered until now. So there is the joke.

I just love it here. Now I don't feel too bad for missing the BYU vs. Florida State game. That is too bad that they handed the game over. Well how is life? I am glad that I am out here. This week we are starting to give the first lesson in Portuguese. I am excited and scared at the same time. I know that I can make it. I can't believe in less than 2 weeks I can say a prayer and bear my testimony in Portuguese. I thank you guys for my prayers. Keep praying for me and I will keep praying for you. I can't wait to listen to General Conference next week. I am so excited. Well take care. Only 23 more Fast Sundays. Hold in there. I love you guys.
Elder Shelley

Pictures from the CTM

My District: (Back Left) Elder Anderson, Elder Hughes, Elder Wooley, Elder Brewer, and Elder Jeppson
(Front Left) Elder Thornley, my companion Elder Huxford and Me.

The view from the 7th floor of the CTM.

The Police Station

Week 3 at the CTM

Hey Everyone,
This week was a really good week. I can't believe that I have been out for 3 weeks today. I am on my fourth week. Time is flying by. I hope everything is going well back home. Keep praying for me. I need the prayers. It rains a lot down here. The lightening is cool to watch. I am really sick of the food. It is nothing like at home. The beef is really good. The desserts are weird. I am glad that I am out here and serving the Lord. Well got to go.
Elder Shelley

Hey the first day we were here on Wednesday Elder Neeleman spoke to us. So sorry, but tell Mike that that is cool. Hey I forgot to say how excited I am about Austin Brunson. Hey if you see him ask him what mission and when. I want to know. Did you tell Grandpa G. about Elder Duckett? I thought that was cool. Well hope everything is going well back home.
That is all
Elder Shelley

Hey everyone,
How are things going? Things here are great! This week has gone by so fast. I can't believe I am on my fourth week here. I taught the first lesson in Portuguese the other day. I felt like someone threw me to the ground and stomped on me. It was bad. When we started I forgot everything I had studied. Then into it I did better. I am doing well. The food is gross. I am sick of it. I really like my new companion Elder Huxford. He is awesome, he tells us stories about his childhood and they are hilarious.
Hey Matt Congratulations about being able to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. That is awesome. I have told people in my district and they are way excited for you. I also am excited to know that you are gong to do a service mission soon. Tell me when you get it. That is too bad for the Cavemen. Hey I miss you Buddy.
Jani I remember when I first went on the freeway and by the side of the mountain. It was one of the most scariest times of my life, but it went okay. Hope everything is going well. Hey tell Dallin that I say hi.
Juli hey that is awesome that you were helping mom. How is student council going? How is school? Just yesterday we had a huge rain storm. Remember the lightening at Mount Pisca. This lightening lit up the sky and the whole CTM. Hope everything is going well for you.
Mom the reason it is called the CTM is it stands for Centro De Treinment Missionario (Center to train Missionaries). The guy in that picture was my old comp. Elder Olson. The Temple is small. The ordinance rooms are small. But it was much like ours at home. The celestial room is awesome. I hope everything is going well? That is good that grandpa is doing well. Thanks so much for giving me updates on how grandpa is doing!!! I miss you guys so much. Today we went to the Federal Police. It was for visas and to be finger printed. Hey don't worry about giving me the addresses. Tell people to check the blog. Mom I really miss your food. I am excited to get out in the field so that I can have a variety and make the food.
Hey dad, I hope everything will go better this week in DC. Hey I learned this week that your choices do matter. Like you heard, my district leader wanted to play a joke on the sisters and tie ties together and put apples in the last one and knock on the window. Well instead of the sisters being cool they flipped out and the whole thing became a big mess. It was not good, but hey I learned a lesson to watch what I do. Well that stinks that you have to go back to DC. How are things at home. We had a huge rainstorm yesterday and it was cool. If you thought the lightening was cool in Mount Pisca, here it is awesome. It lights the whole sky. It is cool to watch. Hey I hope everything is going well there? I hope work gets better.
Hey I sent a letter today. I will be sending pictures. Hey I love you all. Thanks for all your prayers. Hey tell Matt again how excited I am for him to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. Hey when you take the picture of my primary class send it to me in the mail so I can put it in the photo album. Hey that is great about Ryan. Hey tell Aaron and Freddy Hi for me. Hey I hope everything is going well.
I love you all.
Elder Shelley

Hey Matt
Hey I am so excited for you to get the Melchizedek Priesthood. That is awesome. Hey I do play basketball but mostly volleyball because I play with my district. Elder Jeppson could not believe that I kept sinking the ball. Hey all that playing has paid off. Hey take care buddy and keep me posted on the mission.
Elder Shelley

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pictures from Sao Paulo, Brazil

Here are some pictures from Greg.

Week 2 at the CTM

Hey Fam,
How are things going? This week has gone by fast. I am so excited to listen to General Conference. Hey that is too bad about missing the deer. Dad how was DC? Is it true that President Obama sent 45,000 troops into Iran? There was just a rumor going around. Hey my new companion is Elder Huxford. He is from Elkhart, Indiana. I sent you a letter in the mail. The other day I ate something that didn't agree with my stomach and I am not feeling good. I think that I am getting the sickness that is going around. Hey I went to the Temple again this week. It was such a great experience.

I hope everything is going well. That is too bad about the Cavemen losing. The other day an Elder by the name of Elder Duckett said that his older brother was in Calgary when Grandpa was serving so ask if the elder was the AP. I am really good friends with Elder Duckett. I hope everything is going well. Take care. Keep praying for me.
Elder Shelley
I can only send some pictures. So don't expect many.

Hey Everyone,

Everything is going great. I am sick of the food here. We have the same things. I went to the temple today and it was a really great experience. It was the best. Hope everything is going well back home. Thanks for your prayers for me. I love you all!!!!!
Hey how is Ryan doing in South Carolina? That is cool that Thomas is going to Cambodia. Tell him congrats. Hey how is Grandpa Shelley doing? What is new at home? Hey I can't believe that I am on my 3rd week. It has gone by so fast. The other day it rained a lot. My district leaders room was soaked. I love it here. I can't wait in 2 or 3 weeks when we get to go out tracking here at the CTM. But I can't wait to get out in the field in Ribeirao Preto. Things are going great. Hope everything is going well at home. Juli ,I hope that your arm gets better -too bad you fell. Jani -that is funny that your partner thought you were the meanest person ever. Keep working hard. Matt keep me posted on the sports scores. Take care Buddy. I love you all. Hey tell Kelsie congrats for me on Sunday or whenever.

Hey I can say a prayer and my testimony in Portuguese. I am excited because the language is starting to come. Love you all.
Elder Shelley

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oi from the CTM

Wednesday September 23, 2009

Oi fam,

How is it going? I am learning some Portuguese. Hey it is my first p-day, it is so much fun. Me and my companion went with two guys in our district and ate a hamburger. It tasted so good. I liked it most of all because I could eat it and not feel sick afterwards. :) Hey this week has been the best. First when we were in the airport at Dallas me and some elders were eating and someone came up to us and asked more about the church. We gave her a pass along card. It was the best feeling ever. Then the plane ride was so long. I sort of slept that night. Hey I have to tell you about the fun I have had here. My companion is the best. His name is Elder Olson. He is leaving I am going to miss him. It has been fun getting to know him. I went to the temple today. It was the best feeling ever. The nice thing was that the endowment was in English. Hey I don't know about the toilets. The ones in the CTM are power flushers, they just go straight down. I am loving it here. I am glad that we finally got a chance to get out of the MTC. Well hope everything is going well. Hey sign up for . It only cost like a dollar for you guys to send. It is free for me. For gym we played volleyball. My district leader Elder Brewer from Queen Creek Arizona said I am the best server ever. Hey I got a jersey the team is Palmeiras. The jersey is really sweet. Last night there was something that got to me and I farted in the room and it made the whole thing stink for about five or six minutes. You guys would be proud. The guys in the room could not believe I had so much power. Hope everything is going well. Everything is going well in Brasil. I can't believe that it has been a week. The days go by slow and the week has gone by fast. Thanks for all of the prayers and keep praying for me. O I forgot to tell you that my room is on the top 6th (7th) floor because the bottom is the T floor. I don't need to get exercise because I get it going up the stairs. Hey at Cheney's cookies they have computers and I pay to use them. There is not a time limit. Well I got to go. Hey I forgot to tell you guys about my teachers. The morning is a 24 year old girl named Irma (sister) Camila. She speaks pretty good English and I like learning from her. She is the best. The afternoon one is Irma Elias. I don't like her as much. She has only been here for a month and she really doesn't know English. Hey I can say my prayers and my testimony in Portuguese. Hey the other night was really cool because I got to help give my companion a blessing. I anointed him and Elder Jeppson did the blessing. The reason we gave Elder Olson a blessing was because he was feeling really homesick. He would have these panic attacks at night and he couldn't breath very well and we felt it would comfort him. I sat next to Elder Olson from Dallas on the airplane. I did not know he would be my companion. He is from Provo. The guys in my district: Elder Shelley, Brewer, Jeppson from Salt Lake, Olson, Hucksferd from Indiana, Thornley from Tremonton, Anderson, Hughes and Fuller. It is the best district ever. See you guys later. I miss you guys very much. Thanks for the prayers and support I have been getting, it has helped so much. Take care.

Elder Shelley

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First REAL Letter

September 16, 2009

Dear Mom and Dad,

Hey everything is going great. I miss you guys. I just love the spirit here. My first companion is Elder Olson. We flew down together from Dallas to Sao Paulo. It was a very long flight. I have got to tell you about what happened in the Dallas airport. Me and a couple elders were deciding on what to eat, we walked by this one Japanese restaurant. The girl at the front asked us about our church. She really has a deep respect for us elders. We gave her a pass along card. Then just a couple minutes later a women that is LDS and her friend were walking by. We decided to give her friend a card. I remembered that I had a card in the folder. It is so awesome to be a missionary. I am glad I am doing the work. I think Dad forgot to send me hangers. They don't have them down here. I am going to be getting some from down here, so don't worry. By the way they do have washers and dryers and irons down here. But not to worry. Hope everything is going well at home. See you later. I love you guys.

Elder Shelley

Friday, September 18, 2009

He has arrived in Brazil.

The following letter was sent by the MTC.

For his complete mailing address, please contact his parents.

Dear Parents,

We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil MTC. What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time.

They 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. The branch presidents and their wives, who are usually a senior missionary couple or mature Brazilian couple, will soon give them a second greeting. These couples are rewarded in their callings through the love they always develop as they embrace and watch over the missionaries.

The MTC has a full time live-in physician to care for their health needs. He is assisted by his able wife. We are also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant 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 Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on individual assignments.

We are also parents of children who have served as missionaries. And we have been missionaries who have left family. Please know that we are mindful of you and know of your love for your missionary.

Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “There is no mortal man that is so much interested in the success of an elder [sister] when he is preaching the gospel as the Lord that sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord’s children.”

Please accept our love,
President and Sister Woodward

Important information
. . . PLEASE REPLY to this email so that we know, you know your missionary is safely here in Brazil.

We Strongly discourage sending packages to the Brazil Missionary Training Center. If you have already mailed a package to the Brazil MTC and it arrives after your missionary has left for the field, please understand that the package cannot be forwarded to his or her mission and will be returned to you. WE STRONLY ENCOURAGE SENDING HAND WRITTEN LETTERS. Please write your missionary´s first and last name and district and mail box numbers above the Brazil MTC address on all letters. Your missionary´s numbers are:
District (38-A) and Box (45).
Record these numbers for future reference.

Packages are only accepted if they are sent through USPS mail.