Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 7 - August 25, 2014

President and Sister Silva

Beach outside my apartment in Biguacu

Well first let me say... Its been a much better week than it was last week! It was about time I got out of the CTM, I was starting to go a little crazy. 

I left the CTM on Tuesday morning at 4:00 a.m. and headed for the airport. The airport in São Paulo is absolutely insane! We boarded our airplane and got to Florianópolis about 2 hours later where we met up with the mission president and his wife and the two assistants. We hopped on a bus and headed to the mission home about 45 minutes away. As soon as we got to the mission home, we all waited in this room together for our turn to come around to interview with the president. I met him and he is a really awesome guy. He doesn't speak English...but that's not the point! Very nice guy. That same day we had missionary orientation with the president. I was the only American among Hispanics and Brasilians (who are practically all fluent) and the entire thing was in Portugese. Super unfortunate because I really understood nothing haha. But I met my companion, Elder Magalhães (he looks American, but you know he isn't! Look at his name). Very cool guy! Very patient with me and with my awful Portugese! We found out where our area was and it is a city within Florianópolis called Biguaçu. It is right next to a filthy beach that smells awful, so there really is no temptation to go there hehehe. We arrived to our apartment there and we are rooming with two other Elders who are really awesome! Elder Albano (Uraguay) and Elder Gonzales (Columbia). Awesome dudes but the apartment was autrocious. We did a little cleaning the next day because all of my OCD senses were tingling... All good now :)

We went to a members house the next day and the people here are awesome. She literally had nothing and fed us so so well. This lady lived in a house that was pretty beat up and very very VERY small but we shared our message and left. Very different than what I expected. All of the lunch appointments we have had, the members either have EVERYTHING or NOTHING. There really has not been an in between stage...The people here are very kind and love the missionaries so so much. I definitely feel the love here. 

For the first three days we had no water in our apartment which was very interesting and kinda gross haha. I hadn't showered in 3 days... Yeah... We got that all worked out and ate with members a lot those 3 days. We walk a lot here and the ward is very spread out and covers a lot of area. I really don't mind it because I've been sitting for the past 6 weeks. I don't mind it at all! The food here is absolutely fantastic and I have yet to have a single bad or "weird" meal. Beans and rice every day, and some kind of meat to accompany it. So good! 

Lately, because me and my companion are new to the area, we have to do a lot of walking and knocking (clapping) doors. We have met so many people and it is absolutely astounding how open people are to hearing about the gospel. It is so different here, and I love it. Even though I really can't understand anything anyone says, and I can't say anything, it's still awesome!

I love every single one of you to death and hope you've had as good of a week as I've had! 

Eu amo vocês!

Elder Buck

 Our District
 The CTM Volleyball crew
 President and Sister Swensen

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Week 6 - August 19, 2014

Mom -

Sorry I couldn't read your entire email because I need to be really fast. I made it to Florianópolis and it is really beautiful. It is gonna be awesome! I love you and I'll make sure and email you when the time comes! Love you!

Elder Buck

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Week 5 - August 13, 2014


Well this week was full of a whole lot of nothing and I have about ten minutes to type this letter...

Wednesday: We rolled around town doing what we normally do.

Thursday: Elder Kagi and I got haircuts and let me tell ya, they look awful! Actually just Elder Kagi... He asked to get a little hair taken off the top and the barber who doesn't speak english went ahead and buzzed it. Hilarious! Now I call him Anne cause he looks like Anne Hathaway from Les Miserables... hahaha I'm the worst! Afterwards, Elder Stevens from our district said he looked like a holocaust victim...YIKES.

Friday: Uh.... I'm sure we did something really spiritual in the classroom...for 9 hours.

Saturday: We honestly waited around for Sunday...

Sunday!: Devotional and church were super cool. It was my jam buddy´s last Sunday (Elder Herrerra).

Sorry I'm so lame this week but honestly nothing really fun happened until I got letters! They were really super awesome! Thank you so much for everyone who has taken time to write to me!

Just know that I love each and every one of you and God will help you if you ask for it. I'd challenge all of you to read Jacob this week, I decided that is where I get a lot of answers to my prayers. Rely on the Savior, let Him help you.


Elder Buck

Note from Mom: 
Bailey will be leaving the MTC next Tuesday morning for Florianópolis. We probably won't get another letter until the following week.

Week 4 - August 6, 2014


This week was really full of nothing - and sorry mom I have 15 min to write this letter so please do some editing haha.

Wed: We walked around Sao Paulo again and bought some stuff which is always a good time. When I stopped by Mr. Cheney's he told me I had a pizza party which meant 4 cookies, a large pizza and a 2 liter bottle of soda. haha Sick! The best part about this is that Elder Hunt had gotten 2 pizza parties form his mom so in total we had 3 large (cold) pizzas, 12 cookies, and 3, 2 liter bottles of soda that day... uh... Thanks mom! We got a new elder in our district and his name is Elder M. from Utah.... Very unique elder. We have all been in need of working on our patience lately so everything happens for a reason haha. He is in a trio with Elder Hunt and Elder Stevens.

Thursday: We had to take another trip to the police station which took precious time from our exercise which as a result did not make me happy at all.

Friday: Proselitismo! We took a public bus all the way to the guts of Sao Paulo and handed out Book of Mormons. It was an amazing experience. We handed out 8 Book of Mormons within 30 minutes of being out. These people are SO ready for the gospel. It was incredible to watch their faces light up when you said, "I have a present for you!" The culture here is so different. If anyone is seeking for joy, try missionary work. Its a beautiful thing :)

Saturday: Sorry, I really can't remember.

Sunday: Fast Sunday! We did a 24 hour fast and it was super cool. I just love Sundays here. they are the best. The devotional given was incredible too! (Sorry these entries are getting shorter, I am running low on time.)

Mondays:  Are no fun.

Tuesday: Elder Kagi and I taught our investigator about word of wisdom and he asked the question, "When did the commandment of no drinking strong drinks change from just a suggestion to a commandment?" Again we left him with no answer because I didn't know how to answer in English... Those moments are very humbling, but very good for building a testimony. That night we found out Elder Kagi would be leaving to his mission one day earlier than everyone else in our district because Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is going to be in his mission that day visiting all the missionaries... haha so cool. We also were told we have to move to a different dormitory today which was definitely not cool. The devotional that night was very cool.

"Don't let anything separate you from the love of Christ"

I loved hearing from you all, and know that I've felt your prayers!

Elder Buck

Week 3 - July 30, 2014

Alrighty...I have no idea how its already Wednesday but here we go!

This week flew by. The days are very long but the weeks are so short!

Wednesday: PDAY Was super dope! I really really appreciated all of the emails thank you thank you Thank you! I love hearing about everything that is going on! It was our second day getting to walk the streets of Sao Paulo. We have no clue where we are going half the time, its still a blast. All I do know is that the cookie place across the street is bomb. Thanks mom for the Pringles and KIT KAT It definitely brought a smile to my face :) I also bought another tie from this place across the street. It's pink and looks FABULOUS!

Thursday: I'm convinced Thursdays are the most depressing days ever out here...PDAY hangover hahaha :) But Thursday was full of adventure too! Our whole district went to the Brazilian Police Station to get our fingerprints done and stuff. As me and the the other three Elders were waiting around, a tall white guy came up to us and asked us how long we had been serving. I'm going to call this guy John for now because I have no idea what his real name is... but anyway we told him we had barely been out for two weeks and were currently at the CTM in Brasil. He proceeded to tell us this awesome conversion story about when he was on his mission and helped this man find the truth. When John told this story, tears flowed and the Spirit was so strong. I didn't cry this time but his story was awesome. He had served in Sao Paulo South a year and a half ago. Super cool guy.

Friday: Elder Kagi and I were teaching our "investigator" Hugo about the Atonement. We taught all the basics on this topic and afterwards asked, "How did Christ take upon himself all of the sins of the world?" Silence. "Also if God can do anything and everything, then why didn't he just make everything be simple and easy?" Elder Kagi and I kinda looked at each other as our "investigator" asked a question that we couldn't answer in our native tongue, much less Portugese... We left Hugo without an answer and we got to the classroom and started our research. Needless to say, we found our answer, but I want y'all to find it for yourself, it built my testimony so so much. Christ loves us so much.

Saturday: I love to exercise :) More volleyball! Its fun playing with the soccer players cause they just use their feet. It's so funny! After exercise we did some service in the CTM sweeping the staircases. As we swept, we sang every song from Disney to Justin Timberlake. It was awful but you know the missionaries we're just trying to find joy through their loving service hahaha. That night we checked the mail, and I GOT SOME. There is nothing more exciting and exhilarating than getting mail. I may or may not have done a small pelvic thrust in front of my entire district, I don't knowww... But I would like to give a special shoutout to Leanna, Denice, Matt, Maddy, Becca and Rachel Riffey, and Dad :) Those letters made my day that much better.

Sunday: Sundays are sweet. We go to sacrament, go to priesthood,. gospel doctrine, then we do nothing for the rest of the day until the devotional at night. BOOYAH.

Monday: Bleh. Nothing really different or exciting happened.

Tuesday:Tuseday night devotional! The Sao Paulo west mission president came and spoke to us about how we can become the best missionaries we can be. He is one awesome guy and I loved what he had to say.

Today: We went to the Campinas Temple! It is so so unique and different. It was a great way to start the day and we were allowed to take our cameras this time! So expect some pictures in the next 3-4 weeks y'all ;) Oh and we found out like a hour ago that we have a new elder in our district so that should be different...

I just want to let everyone know how much I love and appreciate you, thank you for your prayers, the missionaries are truly blessed. I pray for my friends and family every night, and I know Heavenly Father answers prayers. Till Next week :)

Elder Buck

Week 2 - July 23, 2014

Hello everyone!

Second week flew by! It feels like it was just yesterday when I was sitting down sending my first email. This week went by much quicker.

Wednesday: Last week after emailing, we got to go walk around the streets of Sao Paulo and explore the terrain for the very first time of the week. We hadn’t been outside the MTC, so it was awesome being able to walk around and breathe in the (not so) fresh air! I also can’t tell you how much I really cherished each of your emails and letters. They truly mean so so much! But when we were walking around it was awesome seeing all of the different people and things to do in Sao Paulo (which really isn’t that much) but it was still fun getting out of the classroom!

Thursday: We got two new sisters in our district who were at the Provo MTC, and they knew absolutely nothing so it was funny to watch them acclimate to the CTM here in Brasil like we had to! Haha They’re alright though! We get an hour of exercise time every day, which is really cool; I have learned that exercise is my stress release. Exercise is the best; we either work out with Elder Hunt or go play volleyball with the other elders, which is a blast. This day I started to gain more appreciation for the language, but it is still killing my vibe.

Friday: Had a district pose off after lifting weights.... Elder Hunt won.

Saturday: Honestly the day was a blur, I don’t even know...

Sunday: Sundays are the best! Sacrament meeting was amazing; a couple of sisters gave some great talks in which I really enjoyed. Sunday school, President Swensen taught about putting ourselves on the altar and from his lesson, I came away with a really great quote which really helped my perspective change a lot. "We (as missionaries) are sacrificing something good, for something BETTER." President Swensen is the bomb! After his lesson we had free time to do whatever we wanted so me and this other Black Elder from our Branch, decided to jam out on the piano. He can literally play anything. His name is Elder Herrera. This kid is sick, here’s a few songs he knows how to play:

-Frank Ocean – Thinkin’ Bout you/ Swim good
-Drake - Headlines
-2chainz - I’m Different
-Robin thick – Sweetest Love/Lost Without You
-Michael McDonald - What A Fool Believes
-Trey Songz - Na Na
-Alicia keys – Fallin’
-Childish Gambino - 3005/ Heartbeat
-John Legend - Ordinary People

Needless to say, we had a jolly good time hahaha!

Monday: Sweater day at the CTM! (The pictures are priceless!)

Tuesday: Realized I have gained 8 lbs. Whoa…rice and beans ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you thank you thank you for all of your love and prayers, I love you all!

A special shout out to SKYLAR, NICK, GRANDMA CAROL, DEANNE, RACHEL, and lastly MY MOM! I loved your letters…they were awesome! MUUUUUUUAHHHHH!

Elder Buck

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Week 1 - July 16, 2014

Boy oh boy is it good hearing from you guys! I feel as if I'm spending time in a spiritual prison for the past six days and the week has gone by so slow. First, my pdays are on Wednesdays around 1:00ish. I miss all of you like crazy. It's insane to think that it's been a week since I've seen any of you! (BTW...I can't send pictures in the MTC unfortunately, and I can only type for about 45 minutes so please excuse my grammar and punctuation.)

The MTC is great. The spirit is so strong in this place and it's awesome to think about every missionary having the spirit walking by their side. It is incredible. My first companion's name is Elder Kagi and he is from a little town in southern England called Dorset. HaHa GOOFY kid, but his accent is freaking awesome! The other two companions in my district are Elder Stevens and Elder Hunt. Elder Stevens in a interesting kid but he is a little...STIFF. Elder Hunt is way cool though, he is Las Vegas and he is stronger than crud. He is 5'10" and benches 385 lbs. and dead lifts 635.

Uh the week has been hard. The language specifically. I feel like I just sleep off what I learned the previous day every day. It's been a tough one lately. I never thought I could miss my family and friends so much either.

A couple of nights ago I was feeling super down and missed everyone a lot. I prayed for comfort that night but felt just as poopy as I did before I prayed. I went to bed feeling like crap and couldn't really fall asleep. Elder Hunt asked if I was awake, and (this is maybe an hour after falling asleep) and I said yes. He proceeds to tell me that he loves me. What the heck! I didn't really understand what was happening until I asked him why he said that. He then said, "I don't know, I was just feeling it." At that very moment I busted into tears and I kinda let the spirit overwhelm me. I have never felt so incredibly loved by my Heavenly Father in my life. I came to realize that I'm not the only one going through what I am. Every missionary at the MTC is going through the same thing. Leaving their family, friends, jobs, etc. I would like to thank every single one of you for your prayers, the missionaries need them and can feel them.

Anyway...thought I would share a little highlight of my week. I love all of you soo soo much and miss you like crazy!

Love, Elder Buck

p.s. I really enjoy reading all of your emails!