Thursday, December 12, 2013

YEAHH my people!!


This week was really good! 
Not sure where to start or what to say, so I will just start typing and see where it goes. Well I guess I will start with some sad news.. I made a bet with my campanion that if I won in a game of ping pong he had to shave his leg.. and he said if I lost I had to buzz my head.. I am unhappy to report that I did indeed lose and my head is very buzzed.. its a very very short missionary cut. It actually doesnt look that bad, but I am really missing my baby fohawk.. the baby fohawk will return.. it will.

This week we had christmas conference and mission tour! For christmas conference it was just all of us missionaries in mato grosso do sul.  They will have another with the other missionaries in the north part of our mission cuz our mission is so big! My zone did a skit about passing christmas as a missionary and it ended up really funny so our zone took 1st place! After we had a lunch all together!

This week we worked alot with our investigators with dates for baptism. We are actually going to baptize Rodrigo in a pool! There is a ward christmas activity this week and its his only day off of work so we are going to baptize him at the activity in a pool at the park! My companion said after he baptizes him he is just gonna stay in the pool a little while just to make sure all is good you know? haha its sooooo hot here... doesnt even feel close to christmas! This is defintitely the tannest I have been in December. Our other investigators couldnt get off work this sunday to go to church but they are really firm still. The daughter and mom both bring the BOM to school and work to read.  They are really progressing and are really excited to be baptized on day 22 of December! Other than that, this week we made a lot of really cool contacts and began to teach some new people that we found last week so should be another awesome week!

Today we played soccer again and you already know the american had a goal! Matt will be happy to know I ripped it from mid court in memory of Frank Lampart and then immediate went into goal to get a little Petr Cech action. After we went to the Shopping markets and I bought a Chelsea jersey that is pretty sweet! 

Well I hope you are all doing great and loving life!

Your favorite Marcus Jon Phipps,
Elder Marcus Jon Phipps


we were in the middle of nowhere and It rained so hard that the roads flooded and we had to walk in them for a really long time till we finally got to a road with houses to stay for a little! Love the RAIN.. mostly cuz it isnt 120 when its raining.

Chelsea jersey and Buzzed hair! It actualy doesnt look to buzzed in this photo but i promise its striaght up buzzed

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dezembro Already!


I cant believe its already December.. where did the year go? So like I said last week,  I was transfered again down to the south in an area called colonel antonino in Campo Grande. I am loving it here! By far its my favorite area yet and its only been a week. Its a little bit colder here, and when I say its a little bit colder its actually still at least 100+ everyday.. But at night its usualy pretty perfect. Here its like Tererê heaven.. its cheaper here and they have way more variety.. I bought herb of tutti fruity today so I am pretty excited to give a try! My new Companion is Elder Bowers from Oregon and I already really like him. He played football in highschool and has about a year on the mission. 
So.. lets talk about the week!
I left Rondonòpolis at midnight last pday and arrived about 10 in the morning here in Comp Grande ( happy to report there were no bus problems and I slept the whole ride there) in saying that I still havent read my letters but I am starting to open a few every night.. gives me something exciting to look forward to at the end of each day. This week my new comp and I have been able to work ALOT! He doesnt have any knee problems so we have been working a LOT
We already have 3 baptisms marked for this sunday and they are really firm so I am pretty excited for this week. One is a 22 year old dating a 16 yr old in the ward. He is awesome and is truly trying to make changes in his life but he has always been really hesitant about baptism.. We were able to have a strong lesson about mosiah 18 and how we only have things to gain through baptism and nothing to lose.. He then accpeted the day of 8 this month and so we only have to work around his work schedule.. so baptism could be thursday. We have two others that were a reference and they both accepted the day 15. Its a mom and her daughter! We have only had one lesson with them so far but they are already such great people and super excited about their baptism. We also found a family with 3 daughters and they took quite the attraction to me.. The whole lesson they were climbing all over me and giving me hugs.. Which was actually perfect becasue the dad at the beginning was really closed, but after the lesson and I think he noticed how much his daughters loved us, we gained his trust and confidence. Truly a very special family. One of the daughters has 8 years and she whispered in my ear after the lesson.. ``I didnt know that Jesus had power.. I want to talk about Jesus to the whole world`` it was really cute. It really remimded me how much I miss the kiddos back home and how truly grateful I am for my family. I am excited to get to know them and work with them more this week! 

Also, what I always thought was impossible happened.. I forgot about Thanksgiving.. haha But luckily an Elder called us to wish us a Happy Thanksgiving that night so my companion and I quicky acted. Obviously turkey isnt obtainable here sooooo... we went with the next best, most American thing we could think of and bought a giant hamburger the size of a pizza.. it was 35cm long and weighed 3.3 kilos which is like 8 pounds i think.. and it came with fries and soda.. so to say the least.. we feasted pretty epicly. 

Well to wrap this week up I am absolutely loving it here in Campo Grande. The members are great and are always feeding us. The work is really progressing here and I am excited for the week that is to come. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and an even better closing of the year! Te amo cada um de vocês!

Warm Regards,
Marcus Phipps




Monday, November 25, 2013

Eyyyyy Ai

Lots going on right now! To start the week last monday all the Èlders got together here in Rond. and raced the karts. I made a bet with my companion that who lost between us had to shave only one leg.. and on a turn he rammed me and both of our karts started really slow after, so it was literally a snails race between us.  But my leg is happy to report that I won. So Elder Pereira is currently hairless on his right leg. 
Tuesday we called the mom of a young man that came to church to set up a lesson and she said yes. 
Turns out when we got there she had told us that she has a friend that has been pressuring her to go to church but she always told her friend she will go to church when she finds one that touches her heart.
Not knowing this.. I made the first invite.. ``when god touches your heart that these things really are true, you will be baptized following the example of Jesus Christ?`` She said of course, and we continued with the lesson.. At the end she told us she had been saying NO to everyone who tried to talk about religion with her.. but when we called she said yes without wanting to. She said it felt like she was forced to. And, she told us at the end that because of this we were truly sent from the Lord. It was a really cool experience and testimony builder that Jesus really does prepare his people to hear His message! She and her family have their Baptism this sunday.. Unfortunately Prez Reber is taking us missionaries out of this area completely because its been really dangerous and the members of our area have been so bad. This was sad for me cuz I wont get to be there for the baptism of them but the Elders in the ward close promised to take good care of them for me! 
So as I had just said we are being taken out of this area and its being closed for a little while, and so my companion and I are headed to Campo Grande. Its Mato Grosso do sul. Everyone is jealous becuase it is known to be the `heaven` of the cuiabà mission so on the other hand i am really excited! I have heard it is a 18 hour bus ride and knowing my luck so far with the whole bus ride thing i am a little nervous. We are leaving at Midnight and SHOULD arrive sometime tomorow afternoon, but we will see! 
Also thankyou soo much for the Christmas package! I havent opened any of the letters or things yet but i am diggin the shirt and the notebooks were really needed! I think i will start reading the letters on the long bus ride so I am sure I will have lots to write about next week! 
Well, as always I love you all and wish you the best Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for each of you and all the support. Take some time this week and just focus on the blessings in life, we recieve more than we ever realize! Much Love my people.





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Monday, November 18, 2013

Whadup Whadup!


So compared to all the interesting things last week, this week was super normal. 
But I did get my Christmas Package!! I originally was going to try and actually wait to Christmas to open it, but that task is seeming impossible as it sits next to my bed and taunts me every single day.. So I am going to open it tonight! whoo! Last pday I didnt really get to do much cuz on our way back from the lan house ( computer place ) it started raining soooo hard.. so of course, naturally my companion and I went to this place where they have outdoor race go karts to race on the wet surface.. but they wouldnt let us.. I almost convinced them with `` but think of the pictures youll get of us to hang in your store`` but nope. But I think we are going to race them today and maybe play soap soccer.. I dont really know what that is either but I guess I will find out.. I am thinking you play soccer with soap..? 
But I'm pretty excited to shred the tracks. Some people call me the Danica Patrick of my generation.
Also heard the Chiefs lost, but its okay I am not worried. I have recieved very important Intel that they are looking to sign Andris Biedrins to the team. He made great impressions at last years combines but was overlooked when he chose basketball. He now tells me he will be suiting up for both sports. So basically we will see the Chiefs in the Bowl.
I also named my neighbor horse friend.. I named him Dillard.. he just looked like a Dillard. Trust me you would have given the same name if you guys could see him. I am in the middle of training him for the next horse derby and I think he has a really great shot at winning. I am also training my brazillian comp. here to be jockey because derby regulations state that I am indeed too tall but I am looking to find a way. 

As for this week I dont have a whole lot to report. My companions knees are still having big trouble and so the work has been a little more difficult. But President Reber ( MIssion Prez) made the journey down here to Rondonòpolis to have interviews and to check up on us. My interview was great.. It went a little like this.. Elder, everything well? Everything is great Prez. Well I have already heard great things from your two companions and you're already speaking the language extremely well.  So... all is well have any questions for me? ... Literally so short and everyone else took a long time and after told me prez was getting after them a little bit ( in a loving way of course) 
But made me feel good that prez already loves me. After my comp said he told prez I am ready to be a zone leader or assistant to the prez and started laughing.. and well now I am really nervous about transfers...

But all here is great still.. Our baptism is moved to next sunday because we are still working on getting the signature.. but we have other people who are progressing also so I am faithful despite the many hardships and determined to baptize here this week! 

Well I love you all and wish you all a great week! 

Love,
Elder Marc Daddy







Monday, November 11, 2013

Interesting Week


Sooo this week was extremely interesting.. EXTREMELY interesting! 
So, this week was pretty slow.. started the week off in the Hospital for my companions knees. Gave him medicine and we will see what they will do after the meds dont help. Because of my companions knees, the work this week was a little slow.. I think he is going to be transfrered to work in the mission office in Cuiaba, but we will see.

So, Wednesday I woke up about 4 am out on the street..? I guess I slept walked again, but I am just glad I wasnt too far from the house.  And, I luckily recognized where I was cuz it could have been very interesting if I woke up lost. 
But even so, it was one of the most disorienting experiences to wake up on the street.. hahaha I am soo weird. 
As if that wasnt enough akward sleeping experiences in one week, I woke up friday morning with a Cat in my bed.. I was so freaked when I woke up.  Man I jumped out of Bed so fast.. My companion joked saying I must have slept walked and robbed someones cat but I am pretty positive the cat just came into the house and decided to snuggle on up.. So basically what I am trying to say is my sleep was absolutley great this week and was perfect. ( just to make Edee happy ) 

Friday night we had dinner with my Brazilian buddy who speaks english.. and it was one of the most interesting nights. He took us to a really nice restaurant cuz I am american. Ordered for me, saying thats what americans eat. The whole time he talked about how great america is and that brazilian people are stupid and all these ridiculous things, and my companion started to get a little offended I think.  I was just trying hard not to laugh at how serious this guy was about america. He wants to be buried in an American flag with pink floyd playing in the background.  (pretty classy funeral if you ask me ). He also started dancing really strange and said oh this is how americans dance.. So of course to egg him on I mimicked his dancing.  He then told me he was more american than I was and I said okay hold up there pal.... too far..... But he was a really cool guy, he left everything he loved in America to marry his wife here and support their son.. I have respect for that. I helped him write a letter in English to his sons who live in NJ and wont talk to him, and he said some pretty angry things so I simply wrote nice things cuz he cant really read english and sent it haha  Hopefully his sons enjoy the letter. Oh one last thing about him.. at dinner he told me he was a Criminal, and did money laundry and at first I hear murdered somebody because of his accent. But it was indeed money laundry. So after being scared almost all dinner that he murdered somebody, it was good to clarify he did money laundry.. But he already served his time and honestly could see he is trying to change. It was a great night!

Sunday came and both our baptism fell through because the mom wont give us her signature for her kids... but we reactivated one of her sons that was already baptized and he went out 3 times with us this week and is preparing for his mission in 2 years. So hopefully through him, one day his mom will give signatures for the other children. BUT we marked another baptism for next sunday with another young man with 14 years named Wàtila and hopefully his mom will give permission.. Pray for the signature!  Also sunday when i arrived Bispo asked me to conduct the first meeting and lesson ( without prep. ) and I did it and it went good (law of chastity) thanks Bishop.. and then Sacrament meeting came and last minute he asked me to give a talk for 10 minutes so I winged that one too.. haha was a great Sunday! Will relate my talk next week, this email is already longer than the winning streak the pacers are going to have (Matt) GO WARRIORS.. Steph Curry!
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Love you all so much and hope you have another great week!

tranqüilidade,
Elder Marcus Phipps












Monday, November 4, 2013

Hey Hey!


What Up My People!

Just want to start the letter off by welcoming back the NBA season.. you were missed. Expecting big things from the Warriors this year and expecially this years MVP Andris Biedrins. 

So this week I got to speak a lot of English and I was actually really struggling. 
Its funny how that happens.  I always told myself I dont understand how people cant just speak english normal when speaking other languages, and that will never happen with me.. But its happening! 
I contacted a man who lived in the U.S. for 23 years and his son is super rich, and left him here in Brasil. And he cant get back without certain things.. So saturday I am going to help him send a letter to his son.. Should be interesting because he didnt make it sound like a happy letter. But, he wants the missionaries there to help him, and we are going to teach him this week.. In english.. ( I dont know how to teach in English) but he used to work at olive garden and he is a crazy good chef!  He told us he is going to make us dinner every night this week, so I am cool with that.  He gets mad every time I speak in portuguese or mess up english, and every other sentence he says that he hates brasil. He is pretty cool though, I think I am going to like teaching him. I was trying to tell him a story and I frequently say when I had 14 years.. which doesnt make a lot of sense but thats how they say it here so I am just really confused in both languages now. 

Also, here in Brasil they dont celebrate Halloween.. Sooo that was the most depressing halloween of my life.. So to make up for it I bought 40 dollars (exaggeration) worth of candy.. Yay marcus and his sweet tooth were satisfied! Well for 2 days cuz I already ate it all.  I have a problem with candy and chocolate I have decided. 

The work here has been good!  The members have been great at helping here and giving refrences, which is making life a million times better.  And lessons are always better with members.
But, we have 2 baptism dates for this Sunday so I am pretty excited about that. 
Also have a lot of lessons already planned with members this week so should be a great week! 

Well I love you guys and hope you all had a wonderful week with lots of candy!

Warmest and most tender regards with a side a sincerity,
Elder Marcus ``buckets´´ Phipps

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hey!


Hello my people,

So, this week was up and down.  Whats new on the Mission right? So here in Rond. its a lot more metropolitan but my area is pretty ghetto not gonna lie.  But we have church in a house cuz we dont have a building here yet.. which is a little different, but at the same time its all the same which is a cool experience.  Same spirit, same church, same truth.  But after church we found a house with a huge sign that said Jehovas Witnesses, and my compainion went to take a pic and while he was posing I starting clapping my hands ( which is the same as ringing the door bell here) and he had to stay and talk with them for a while... It was really funny, tho he was so mad at me. 
But lets see what else.. oh and as if being colorblind wasnt confusing enough, oranges here are green? Yeah, I know my world just got more confusing. Also Uno is a difficult game sometimes.. Well only with the yellow and green, but I still won. Brazilians arent good at card games.

So there were a few short things from this week, but would like to focus most of my email on Rogerio.  
My first contact, investigator, and best friend here that was in my first area. He was my investigator that was progressing incredibly. So this week I recieved a call from his Mom and she told me that he had died. 
Rogerio had died of a heart attack.. at first I didnt believe it, it just didnt seem real.. And then she said I really wanted to call and tell you because you changed his life.  She told me that after every visit, and everyday he would talk about `Elder Phipps`all the time and how much he was starting to love the gospel.  It then got really real for me, because I knew I meant so much to him and he really meant a lot to me. He had finally quit smoking and was on his 5th day of smoking 0 cigarettes, and finally had a baptism date that he was beyond excited for, because he had finally met his goal to quit smoking.  At first I took the news pretty hard because he was so close to recieving so many blessings of the gospel.  But then I began to think.. God truly has a plan for all of us.  And because of this plan, and through the Savior these types of things arent the end. I know that he has a special work for Rogerio and that he has a plan specific for him. I learned a lot from this experience but also I really learned a lot from him. He taught me how to love more, how to focus on the happiness of life. He was amazing father to his 4 yr old Samuel. Please keep Rogerio and His Family in your prayers.

Not much more has happened this week. We are starting to work really well with the members here, and recieving lots of contacts through them which has been great! Help the missionaries in your ward, its hard to do it alone, and the influence of the help of members goes a long way for investigators! Make a goal to give a reference a month to the missionaries.. think how many people you know. How many firends you have on the face book.. Pass one to the members and work with them you will be suprised of the miracles that will occur! 

Well I love you all and hope you have another blessed and safe week!

Elder Marcus Phipps

Monday, October 21, 2013

1st Week here in Rondonòpolis!


Sooooo I am here in Rondonòpolis..  Finally!  The travel turned out quite interesting so I will start with that.. 
SO,  I was told 7 hours by bus to arrive there and I thought okay, not terrible. Beleza.  I can do 7 hours.. Well, about half way we were traveling through these smaller mountains and literaly we were out in no mans land!  Like everywhere you look there was trees and small mountains.. But anyways the Bus broke down and at first I am thinking ´hmm this is a weird place for someone to be getting off the bus´ but it was broken down.. And so I am just sitting there and decide well this could be a while, I will just take a quick nap here.   I woke up 3 hours later, still there.. and waited and waited.. and got really hungry and thirsty and waited and we were there through the day and through the night.  Out no where to be found and I was just thinking man I am probabaly going to die here.. this is it for me.. I am a gonner.. No, but finally the next day another bus passed through ( a REALLY SMALL BUS) and stopped for us, and all of us crammed onto the small little bus with all our stuff.  And keep in mind here that I am traveling alone in a foreign country knowing nothing about the area.. Yeah it was terrible. but we finally arrived and I got off with all my stuff and sit and wait to get picked up... and then I realized wait no one knows where I am.. why I didnt show up when I was supposed to.  I dont have a phone and then a miracle happened.. a member of the ward that I am being transfered to was leaving to travel to Campo Grande and he called his brother and he came and picked me up and took me to my companion.. AND after 2 and a half days of wearing the same clothes.. and not eating or drinking anything I had arrived! But I am extremely lucky for the member and I never want to go 2 and a half days without food or water again please! But I am here and the area is awesome!!

My new house is extremely Ghetto! I went to plug in the iron and the wall started smoking really bad so I dont think I will be ironing my shirts for a little while, until I can figure out a new method haha.. But I really like it here already! My companion is awesome! He is from Curitiba and only knows the offensive words in english and he says them all the time and doesnt know what they mean.  I am working on explaining them to him haha its bad but really funny. He plays the guitar really good and is teaching me. Everynight we sit on our roof drink tererê and he teaches me guitar.. I am already pretty good if I dont say so myself.. No, I am terrible but I will get good just wait and see! Also!! here I talked Prez Reber into giving us permission to go to the Gym, down the street because my companion has bad knees and it would be great to do workouts to help, and so he gave us the okay! And what did i do? yupp we went and bought gym memberships to the Gym of Brazil and its awesome! So I am really excited about this area cuz I get to use the GYM!! I missed the gym so much. But the first day a lady there made us take a physical test...?  Like okay haha, and made me run a mile, and ride the bike for 30 mins.  And I am just like wait a sec here lady I want to lift not run... and to enter they scan your finger print so its pretty legit, they dont mess around.. But I met a Huge dude there named Françisco and he wants me to come over and teach him and work out together so even at the gym I am a missionary! 

Well, other than that I dont have a lot.. the work was really slow because of the travel here and the problems with the house and getting to know the new area but this week should be a great one and I am excited to jump back into the Mission work!

Thanks for all the support and I love you all! Hope you all have a safe and blessed week!

Warm regards, 
Elder Marcus Phipps

Monday, October 14, 2013

What up my people!


Sooo, might as well begin with the big news.. I am getting transfered today!  So I am just as suprised as everyone else.. 
But, I leave in an hour for a 9 hour bus ride to.... duh duh duh duh duh duh duh!!! Rondonòpolis Brasil! Dont really know too much, but my new companion is a Brazilaro! And it gets better I am almost 80 percent positive that they told me I am training him...? But I think they meant another Elder because why would I train a Brazilaro when I have only had half of training..? So I will find out later today I guess! But due to me leaving in less than an hour I dont have a lot of time to email, which makes me sad because I love the email and my pday is going to be spent on a crammed bus..

But this week was good, Rogerio is extremely sad I am leaving.. cuz I was going to baptize him next sunday.. but its been a great transfer here in the Jungle. I dont think my new area will be as thick jungle but I hear its a little colder which means 110 maybe, so that will be nice! 

To start the week my investigator that tells extremely animated stories gave me a legit palmeiras soccer jersey with marcus written on the back.. and it was worn by him during a game and valcenil gave it to me cuz we have the same name! 
Its awesome, will send a pic next week! Also my companion and I went running one morning this week.. yes I actually went running just to run.. and we got attacked by dogs so I have decided to give up running again for a while. Neither of us got bit bad, just scratched and stuff.  But lets just say the fake rock throw only worked on two of the 3  attacking dogs haha But all is good, so no worries!  Other than that, was a good weeek!  Taught a bunch of lessons and had 7 investigators at church last sunday. So it was a great last week here in Morada Da Serra! Well i dont have time to send any pics but I will send a bunch
next week to make up for it! Love you all!

Com Sinceridade,
Marcus Phipps

Monday, October 7, 2013

Heyy!

Whadupp My People!

Soo today i bought a blow dart gun.. We went down to the jungle jungle where legit tribal people live and well yeah i bought a blow dart gun.. i know what your thinking.. ´´why in the world would he buy a blow dart gun´´ and well right now i am thinking the exact same thing. BUT, in the moment i was only thinking two things. 1. holy smokes its a real blow dart gun.. how many times in my life will i come across one of these. and 2. i only had the thoughts of protection and well being of my companion and district. so yeah i bought it. i also bought a crocodile tooth necklace and a basket woven baseball cap which is also way sick looking. So yeah today i went down to chapada which is where the waterfalls are and really cool views i have some awesome pics this week!

So last Pday i played basketball with all the elders in the near bye areas and it was really fun. I dunked and to a bunch of brazilians that is a miracle so i had a lot of fun playing around with all them cuz they all play soccer. Also here everyone thinks cough drops are candy...? uhh no they are not but everybody loves them so why not eat them with them right? 

This week was a great week! well not really too great but got to always stay positive! Our really firme baptism fell through.. we cant figure out why she says she truly believes everything and knows she needs to be baptized but doesnt think she can right now...? but we are just trying to show our love and support because pressure wont help anything, we cant make the decision for her. Our other baptism his dad changed his mind after signing the paper saying his son could and wont let him.. His name is pedro and he is pretty sad he wants to be baptized so bad but we are going to continue to work with them! and as if that wasnt enough dissapointment our other baptism fell through becasue she said she has been faking everything because she just wanted us to keep coming over to teach becasue she thought i was really cute... and my companion is really funny.. so that was all really sad.. BUT it was still an awesome week..? why? becasue we still have a bunch of progressing investigators and the work always goes on! and we had conference so it. was. a. great. week!

How great is conference? So this week before conference i got a copy of the may sessions and marked up the talks like scripture becasue they are like scriptures for us in these days! i would suggest doing the same get a copy of the talks and mark them like scriptures and save them and read them like you read the scriptures.. i have learned so much and improved myself so much from doing this! I mean think about it.. WE HAVE A PROPHET! another thing that struck me that i think i always took for granted a little bit.. Just like Moses or Noah or Isaiah.. Thomas S. Monson is the same kind of prohet! i always use this when teaching our investigators.. say moses lived down the streat.. the same moses that split the red sea and conversed with god face to face to recieve the 10 commandments.. and this moses started a church.. how easy and clear is it that everyone would join and follow him.. becasue he is Moses!! We have the same thing today.. a true living prophet of god that talks to him directly for us to guide us and our families.. thats as big of a blessing as it comes my friends. 

Also during the week i wrote a talk just in case i had to give one and i wrote it about alma chapter 59 when moroni commanded to build dirt mounds and various things for protection along with all their armour. well Rich G. Scott basically gave the same message i had prepared so i am feeling pretty good i wrote a talk like an apostle but also a little dissapointed becasue now i have to write another haha. But in mine i focus on in one verse it says the lamanites had prepared with armour too. I drew a prallel that the adversary knows us now better than ever and he knows we put on the armour of God and so he is trying to put on armour too. This is what makes the dirt and others preparations important. It isnt enough in this day in age to only put on the Armour of God but we need to build preparations with wearing the armour of god to prevent the firey darts of the adversary from even reaching our armour. it is not enough to only read the scriptures.. we need to feast upon them and conference talks too. it isnt enough to just pray anymore.. we need to pour out our souls daily morning and night! we need to not just attend church but go to be edified to learn more OF christ not ABOUT him and renew our promises with him.. This is how we can build our dirt walls of protection!

Also i thought it was really funny when.. i forget him name.. and dont have my notes.. but he spoke sunday afternoon. but he was english i think but he had a fly pestering him the whole time he was trying to talk i thought it was hilarious i couldnt stop laughing!

Well this email is quite long already but know i love you all and miss you every day! Hope you have another great week!

Much Love to my people!

Big Marcus

Monday, September 30, 2013

YAYYYYY

Well, another week has passed already!  Can you believe it?  I think I figured out why missions go by so fast.. I think its because when serving, we are on the Lords errand, on the Lords time and the Lord doesnt use time so when we lose ourselves in the work one day its Tuesday and tomorow will be Friday. Just my thoughts, but seriously time flies!

I honestly have not the slightest idea of what to say for this week.. BUT it was a good one!  This week we have 4 batismal dates and 3 set for the next week so me and my companion are stoked with many possibilities and hope none fall through! 

Also, just so everyone knows, we have water again!!!  Yay, best news I have ever gotten..  I never realized how much we need water until you go without it for a week... My gosh we use water for everything!  Dishes, shower, drink, everything! So, I am pretty excited to have it this week if you couldnt tell!

So, my investigator (Rogerio) is awesome still!  We meet every night and drink tererê to help him quit smoking. 
He seriously accepts everything so humbly, and marks his Book of Mormon and always confirms everything with me. Everything, its great.  And everytime we mark a time to meet again he always calls that morning to confirm and I am just like wait isnt that our job?  But he dropped from 16 cigarros to 5 in 3 days so the progression is great!  He played soccer with the youth the other night and it was hilarous.  Everyone here is soooo good at soccer cuz thats all they do.. and I am not that great but i kicked it and it hit a youth and rogerio comes walking over and says `´cara quase acrobar meu amigo`´ with a huge smile which means man, you almost broke my homie.. hah he is 27 and loves the YM.  But, the people here are great!  So humble, always willing! 

Also this Sunday was fast Sunday, so we fasted for rogerio to help him quit smoking and its incredible the progression he has made. I have gained a grande testomunho about fasting, prayer, livro de mormon, and everything.  I seriously love the BOM, like its the best and the Novo Testamento too because they are just great and help guide me every time I read! 
Its important not to just read, but to read with purpose.  Read to find an answer.  Read to gain something.. but dont just read to say you've read. 

This week I painted a house.. well a hut looking thing, I dont know if I would call it a house.  It was an inactive and it took forever because well when painting a hut its not like painting a house where one coat or maybe two is good..  It took 6 and 7 in some parts.. wish I had a pic but I forgot my camera for the day.. but thats not whats important.. Whats important is she has returned to church and will be reactivated next week! 

Last item of business.. The food is ridiculous. I am not joking when I say every lunch is Thanksgiving.. I eat so much but I dont eat breakfast or dinner so I have to eat a bunch for lunch.  We dont get time for dinner really, so i just skip it and snack when I get back for the night because there are just too many people we have to visit and teach and other things, which is a very very good thing!  I will sacrifice dinner to change someones life any day.

I lied and this is the last item of business, only because I wanted to save this for last...... 
Well this week I had to eat man parts of a horse.. yupp no lie.  It was with a member for lunch and lunch was great!
Soooo good and then she brings out two circle things one for me and my companion and I had no idea what it was or called.  To be polite I took a bite and thought it tasted a little different than anything I have tried before and my companion starts laughing and says ``good huh? you want mine?`` then explaining what it was... 
All in all to summarize my experience, it actually wasnt terrible when I didnt know what it was.  Don't get me wrong it wasn't by any means good.. and I would prefer not to get it again.  But, I am pretty stoked to get my first bad food experience out of the way!

Well as always you are all in my prayers and I love you guys!

Much love from Cuiabá!

Big Marcus





Monday, September 23, 2013

What up What up What up


Hope all is well! well this week has been kinda annoying.. we had zone conference and leadership conference and 3 other meetings so i had to travel a bunch down to the town.. (1 hour and a 30 min trav.) 3 days in a row.. and so we ran out of water.. so we have been without water for 4 days now.. which has sucked.... BUT! the work goes on and we were able to shower at a members house once so we are making do and still working hard! we had 5 investigators at church this week, 2 commited to baptism but i only think one will go through.. and he have a Family that wants to be baptized but doesnt want to get married so we are working with them towards marriage so they can be baptized too! so despite all the things that have been a little chato, it was still a great week!
 
Ladies and Gents, i have been introduced to Tererê!!!! so aqui in brazil tea is encouraged and its a little diferente so its actually really good for you. Like everyone drinks it all the time and its culture so we do too and the first time it was terrible.. but now i drink it all day ery day.. you drink it out of a bull horn and with a straw spoon thingy called a bomba.. but i am on a search for the best flavor.. so far its between mint and lemon.. but i will send pics! there are like a billion culture rules when drinking it, like Always finish and pass to the person who set it up each time for the next person and cant move the straw thing.. its really weird but its super legit and i just feel cool drinking out a bull horn all day! I will send pics of it!
 
Well people, the gift of tongues is real.. a guy stopped me on the street and started arguing about how the bible can only be right because thats how it is and i totally confounded him.. i was like okay buddy.. say you had two sons one in Jerusalém and one in Américas.. would you talk to both or just one? and he said both duhhh.. and i said oh interesting thats exactly how it is with the Bible and the Book of Mormon.. Jesus had a people in Jerusalém and Américas and so he communicated with both and showed him 2 nephi 29 and bore my testimony and he had no idea what to do so i gave him the book of mórmon and said read it, its true and nicely signed from Elder phipps and contor.. haha i guess i could have gone about it a better way but i think he got the idea so i see no problem!
 
I bought a súper legit radio and i can play music from a pin drive so i can download music onto my pin drive and thats been nice to get some music, yes they are efy songs and hyms but they are way good!
 
Things i miss.. besides the fam and peeps. Pizza..Brick oven Pizza. being able to work out, and shoes.. and most of all having water all the time!
 
Well i dont have much more for this week but i love you all and hope you all blessed this week!
 
Love you long time,
Marc the Shark
 
P.s. my bishop looks like Barack Obama, no joke... i asked him if he knew and he said yes but one problem.. He was darker than Barack haha i thought it was really funny!
 
Also, Mitch where you at brooooo?? also Mitch please update me on Jordan shoes i feel seperation issues and i need to know so i can have you buy me some when they are release! i really want the Thunder 4!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

HEY HEY HEY

WHATS UP MY `PEOPLE!

Hey everyone, hows it going? Hope everyone had a great week! Like always, i dont know where to begin so i will start simple.. had to go into the city this week and so i got to eat mcdonalds! it was soooo goood (words i never thought i would say) but also here in Cuiabá all the workers wear jeans with a huge yellow embroided M on the butt.. its so classy and think it should be mandatory at all mcdonalds. Also in case you were wondering Ronald is still just as creepy here as he is in the States! Also, they eats roots here... ?? why... i dont know but they dont really taste like anything but they are just really hard to eat.. kind of like eating bark.. But sure i will role with it. Every lunch we eat with a member and its great! Its like thanksgiving everyday! They make so much food and it is sooo good.. well most of the time sometimes you get pretty weird things but i have been lucky so far!

Wednesday, we taught my homie Valcelnir.. let me tell you a little about him. so the first time we met he was smoking a cig up and asked us to come teach him so we were like okay why not. He then tells us the 20 minute story and we was very animated and said he was super sick and had a dream that his spirit was leaving him but he yelled out JESUS and then he was saved.. he then proceeded to tell us that becasue of this he thinks he is Jesus... and at this point i am just like you have got to be kidding me right now..haha  but anyways we taught him and asked him to come to church not really thinking he would becasue well he thinks he Jesus and doesnt need no religion.. anyways sunday rolls around and my companion and i are waiting outside for our investigators to come and sure enough i see this tiny 4 seater car with his 5 person ffamily come rollling up honking the horn, huge smile yelling our names.. i look to my companion and said ´´i dont believe it´´ and ´´well church today could get very interesting´´ BUT here is where it gets cool.. His family loved church and closed their shop just to keep the sabath day.. they are now all wanted to be baptized and have the most faith i have ever seen.. so as soon as we can get them legally married and stop his smoking problem we can baptize them which will be awesome! It was a really good lesson that everyone can suprise and not to judge people cuz you never know who is ready for the gospel.

Also , had my first baptism this week! i baptized a 9 year old boy named Jonathon Fernandes Ferrida Da Silva.. that was a mouth full but it went really well and i didnt mess up in portuguese! I forgot my Camera USB chord so i will have to send pics next week i apologize... Other than that we had 12 Investigators come to church this week so were excited to work with them this week towards baptism! 

Well its really tough here and extremely tiring and my feet hurt really bad all the time..and hair cuts are twice as sketchy here as they are in Sao Paulo.. and my haircut today they cut my ear with a straight blade..? thanks.. and i am going to but one to shave with so i can look cool down here.. BUT i love it. Nothing like seeing peoples eyes light up when they understand something and see the light of Christ.They people are awesome and the work is awesome! Well i hope you all are continually blessed and have a great week! Keep it real like a fishline!

Warm Regards,

Marcus Phipps

Also! My address is... 

Av. Hist. Rubens De Mendonça, 1731
Sala 10, Bairro: Consil
Cuiabá - MT
CEP: 78050-975

Now the kiddos can send their letters here and everyone else too, i am accepting all letters, drawings, packages, or anything else at the moment.. well at all moments 

Monday, September 9, 2013

26 investigators NBD

WHAT IS UP MY PEOPLE!!!????



Okay! So, let me see here! I am not exactly sure how to start this email, because there is so much! 
Well, let me start with this, my first area and I am litterally serving in the Jungle..  Like I am in an area called morada da serra which is in moto grosso which is literally translated to ´´Thick Jungle`´ and that is exactly what it is!  It is so hot here, and we walk for ever! I already have terrible tan lines from my watch and shirt and even through my shirt I have a tie tan line.. not sure how that happens, but I have accepted it as my friend.  
My first day here my comp and I walked 4 hours in 100 plus degrees just to get to a members house for lunch.. I would say we walk about 7 hours of the day on average.  So yeah my feet hurt really really bad.  But, the food here is amazing!  Its always rice and beans and then some kind of meat.  The people here are really, great and super inviting.  
They have a lot of faith too, so no matter what we get invited in to teach a lesson about the gospel even if its just to be polite.  Its nice cuz I dont feel like I am being rejected all the time.  Its also hard to because you can never tell who is just being polite or who genuinely cares!  My portuguese is coming along.. I understand really well, but cant speak too well yet..  They can understand me, but I just have to speak slow and sound like an idiot, but its okay because the Brazilaros are always helping me! 

On Thurday we were walking to an appt and a lady stopped us to give us water and she liked my tie so she invited us back for a lesson.  I was wearing the tie sis gave me, that purple one so thanks sis you are making my job easy!! haha  
Also, while we walk we see dogs ALL the time all over.. and one started chasing me so I took off running and my companion yelled fake throw a rock!  So, I turned and bent down and acted like I was grabbing a rock to throw and the beast stopped and ran away..  I then told my companion I am really glad  that wasnt some kind of joke, cuz the dog was huge and would have destroyed me! haha  It was pretty funny but a good lesson on faith? yeah we will go with that! 
Also, I havent caught a monkey yet.. I have seen a few they are pretty cool!  BUT I came across a wild horse and wanted to saddle it up and have me and my companion travel!  A horse in this jungle, I think it would be a really good way to get everyones attention, besides the fact that were both these tall white guys!

We have taught a bunch of people this week and have 26 new investigators and 4 with bap. dates and 5 came to church with us on Sunday.  So, although we walk for days, its seeming to be worth it and hopefully we can keep up the good work! 
Another thing.. the house i am in is in the favelas, which is the poor of poor and its in the actual jungle.  Living here is very interesting..  I have had to shower by bucket for 4 days this week (nokay)  But, we got a shower thing so I am excited about that for this week!  Also, last funny thing of the week I am kicking myself over.. So, we have a gay neighbor, and he came over 2 nights atraz and asked me who I am living with, and me not thinking reply.. ´´oh just with my partner´´ and then I realized what I had said.  But, it was too late he was just standing there and he just smiled with his 2 missing front teeth and I told him we work together, I have to go bye! And its really akward now,  hahahahah  He tries to come over all the time now and Im just like bro please leave you have the complete wrong idea!

Other than that we have some really cool progressing investigators.. One has a little girl about Sweets age and every time we see her she runs up and hugs my  leg, and every time I think of Sweet hugging my leg after my farewell talk..  I miss all the kiddos so much!  I also miss the fam!  No emails this week from any siblings besides Mitch, so thats dissapointing.. Step up your game Mike, Matt and Sis!  Well, thats pretty much my week!  I love brasil and the jungle..  I feel like bare grillz trying to survive out here, but the people are awesome and cant wait to have some cool spiritual experiences with them that I can share next week!  I hope all is well and I love you all a lot! 

Com sinceridade,
Elder Marcus Phipps

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hey fam!

Well, I am here in Cuiabà!  I met prez Reber he is pretty awesome!  I also met my new companion and he seems really awesome as well!  My Portuguese is getting there, I am getting pretty good at understanding.  I really need to work on speaking without studdering all the time.  My companion only has 7 months left so he is really experienced, and he is American from Oregon.  So, I think he will be really good at trraining me and helping me learn the language!  Also I got off the plane here in Cuiabà and its really, really hot and humid!  And then I come to find out its cold today??  That is never good news..  And also in the MTC whenever I would tell any Brazilharos I was going to Cuiabà they would laugh and say good luck, and they would tell me its so hot its preperation for Hell..   And well they werent kidding cuz its really hot and its the winter here.. haha  But, I only get a quick 5 minutes to let you guys know I am here and my p day will be on Monday. I will send pics this week because I will actually be able to!  I hope all is well! Tudo bem!  Also, I got my first area and everyone else I traveled with is heading to the Grande sol which is a 14 hour transfer all the way South, where its a little bit chillier.  I am staying here in the north of Cuiabà.. and no matter what they say they arent transfering me out until I catch a monkey and train him to hand out Book of Mormons for me.

Com Sinceridade, 

´´Big´´ Marcus Phipps

P.s. the keyboards here actually function very well (despite my million typos) so i can actually use question marks now????? whooo hoooo okay i have to go, but Much love to my Fam, homies, and friends, thugs, peeps, and MIke.. I will get you an address on Monday! 

HEY HEY HEY


Hey Americanos and Bulgarian!
 
Lets see, hasn't really been to crazy of a week!  I finally got the letter from TIFF and sweet and falcon.. I loved it! hahaha  Sweet cracks me up!   And, I quote... "I know your on a Mission because you are the most famous of them all.'  And,  "I know you will come back, cuz you always come back."  I miss all the kiddos, I feel like they are growing up way to fast and I haven't been gone too long.. slow them down!  
Also, I got new Brazilharos roomates!  Also, 5 more days and I am off to Cuiaba! So, if you are sending me any letters or things wait a week and I will get you my new address..!  Also, they a have a huge candy store here and I have started a CTM wide trend with these chocolate cookies..  People act supprised i know my sweets. ha  But, now everyone buys them and you never see someone not eating euros cookies.
 
Also, I think you guys will like this.. So, I was selected to be in a 40 person choir and uhh the director asked for anyone with a lot of experience and a good singer.  So obviously, I naturally raised my hand and yeah turns out Im First Tenor, which I dont even know what FT exactly does!  So, I am interested to see what happenes next rehearsal when everyone figures out I am tone deph... haha  Also, I tried to bribe our secretary here to let me conduct the going away number.. I didnt get it unfortunately.  I guess a lot of heart and spirit isnt enough to be a conductor..  Also my instructor Merichelli tries to always speak Engrish and he asked my companion how his 'thong' was and all of us were really confused and he kept asking and then we finally realized that he was trying to say tongue, and it was super funny!
 
Today is my last Pday here, and we went to the Sao Paulo Templo and one of the workers looked just like van deisel, so i was pretty pumped about that.  Mike and Matt would have loved him!  We have a new sister, and so I am in a quad companionship with two elders and a sister..  Dont ask how it works, I am still trying to figure it out but all four of us have to go everywhere together, and its so weird.  But, we use our quad membership to expand our range of within sight and sound so we can cover more ground.  Still trying to figure out a way to use it so get cookies from across the street during class..  well at least i am!
 
Also Elder Zenteno came into my room again, and started crying because he left last week and said he was going to miss me so much.  And so i traded ties with him and he gave me some Bolivian things which was cool. He then bore probably the most powerful testomony I may have ever heard.  He was supposed to have his whole leg amputated off, but prayed he could be okay so he could serve a Mission, and they were able to do a surgery and keep his leg.  That was a super cool miracle and a great testimony builder for me.  I already miss my big Bolivian, but he is going to be so awesome he has the biggest heart!
 
Not really sure what else to add besides I love all of you and hope all is going well! I pray for you guys every night! I love getting your emails and letters so please keep sending them! I will get you my new adress next week and let you  know all the details.  Crazy to think I only have 5 more days here in Sao Paulo.  I am super excited to hit the amazon of Cuiaba!
 
Much Love my people!
 
Com Sinceridade,
Big Elder Marcus Phipps

Most sketchy haircut of my life!


Whadup MY PEOPLE!
 
Okay, I dont even know where to begin!  Wait, yes i do.  So I have decided that the most random things always happen to me!  Just getting that out there!  But, okay so this week.  I was able to go real life proseliting in the busy city of Sao Paulo and it was a really cool experience.  We gave out 4 Books of Mormon and pretty much got rejected every other time.  BUT! there was an older lady I talked to, probably had about 45 years or so, and she said she already had one, and hadnt been reading it.  We asked her to promise that she was going to go read it and I gave her some fav Scrips to give her a little direction.  So, hopefully she will follow through! 
This week I also got the most sketchy hair cut of my life.. I mean this guy pulled out a straIGHT razor to shave me while talking so someone else and not even looking, and well Im alive..  But, lets just say my side burns were extremely uneven, it was a great experience none the less. classic moments.  This week I also gave my teachers rootbeer candy and sour patch kids cuz they dont have either here, or real sour stuff and he was freaking out so it was pretty funny.. I miss US candy, all the good stuff is so expensive here, its very sad for a guy with such a big sweet tooth.. but an even bigger heart. haha
 
Also this week I decided to try and do what no phipps has done before, and try out for a solo part for our Sunday devotionals..  Well, let me just say this, there is still no Phipps to ever have a solo. hahaha  It was pretty funny tho cuz she kinda started laughing while i was singing and trying out.  Do not worry, during the devotionals everyone here is required to participate in choir, so i dont have any chance of getting kicked out... for now!  Also here on sundays its way better than Provo because they give us 3 hours to nap.. thats unheard of, and I am not a napper!  Yet, I really enjoy the relax time!
 
I still havent received any mail yet here, but hopefully I will soon.  It takes a while sometimes!  I am going to get one sent back to Sweet and Falcon here this week or next week, whenever I get all the way down to the post office.  So, dont worry Uncle Marcus always comes through! 
Lets see... OH! hahahah  So heres the update with Elder Zenteno my Bolivian buddy.  A few nights ago he was knocking on our door and we were all in bed, so we didnt get it.   He then spent the next 3 days really mad at me because he claimed I said i wouldnt open the door because he was brown and I was in the KKK... hah i dont know where he got that but I never said anything so I had to explain to him for 45 minutes how I am not in fact in the KKK and he is a perfect tan brown.. me and Zenteno are back to buddies.
 
I really miss the fam and wish I had more time but they only give us 40 minutes.. I love all the pics you guys email so keep them coming and the emails.  Also, I love hearing from you guys!  Matt.. your Portuguese is decent.. haha  No, its pretty good!  I am excited to converse when I am fluent!  MIke, Tiff, Matt and Kate- Happy anniversary,  I love you guys!  Rach and Ben- stay classy and thanks for running the blog..  Mitch- Live senior year up man it flies and before you know it youll be out there in Wyoming serving!  MOM and DAD- I am so proud of all your work in staying healthy and fit keep it going! Also, boat or audi yet... let me know!  All the kiddos, I love and miss you way too much!  Hope all is well and you guys are blessed!  Bom Dia!
 
warm regards
Elder Marcus Phipps
 
P.S. You like luke Bryant
 

In my fourth week


WADDUPPP MY PEOPLE!!
 
So, I have now been Brazil living for a week now!... And, let me just say this, I have already gained 7 pounds.. I know  what you're all thinking. .but I get to lift everyday so I am going to pretend thats why and not because we eat so much here. 
For breakfast they have these panini things, at first I was skeptical because who eats sandwhiches for breakfast.. I dont.. But, I do now and they are so good!  I have 3 every morning and if I don't get them I have seperation issues the rest of the day. Its awesome though, because I never ate breakfast before and now I eat like a 12 course meal for breakfast alone.. I am really glad they make us run 5 laps on the track here every atividade fisica time.
 
Lets see, today is my 2nd pday this week because the CTM prez thinks im the bomb.. not really but he is so funny.  We got to go to the Campinas Brazil Temple today, and it was the coolest Temple I have been to!  Seriously, so cool and awesome! I am definitely making a trip back when I am home! After the Temple we walked the streets and I bought hand carved scripture cases and pick them up in 2 weeks. I also bought a tie, and of course a churro because here they go all out for churro's. They are fresh and they fill them with melted chocolate and caramel and they are soooooo good.  May or may not have bought 3.. but that is beside the point!
 
Okay, so there is this Elder named Elder Zenteno from Bolivia and he looks like the little chunky orphanage kid from Nacho Libre and he decided it is the funniest thing to tell everyone that its my Birthday.. everyday..  So, I get all these Brazilians telling me happy birthday with the little english they can muster up, and I have to try and explain it is actually not indeed my birthday. The dissapointment on there faces is undescribable when they realize it isnt my birthday..  Also, this Elder Zenteno without fail comes into my room every night!  I mean every night, and asks to see my pictures of Ally and then tries to leave and take them saying OBRIGADO ELDER PHICH (because thats the only way he can say my name) and I am like NO those are not for you (hahahaha) he is soo funny!  But, he also is the biggest hugger and tells me goodnight every night and hugs me, and then has to take a picture with me..  Again, did i say every night (haha)  He is the most loving guy you could meet!
 
There are only 3 of us Elders total in my whole district and so we are all companions.  Also.. its nice because it makes focusing better, but its also a lot harder, but my companions are awesome!  Also I cannot believe Sweet is starting school already.. Mind=blown!!!  Seriously, that is so crazy and she looks soooooo cute!  Send me those pics if you can!  I think it takes about a week for mail to get here and like 4 for mine to get there..  But, keep sending them I need letters!  I loved everyones emails!  Sorry if I couldnt reply,  I only get 40 minutes here but keep emailing me I love reading them, makes my whole week better!
 
Well, can't think of a whole lot more to say other than I am loving being a Missionary and am growing so much!  The Church is true and the Lord knows us all personally!  Love you all soooo much!!
 
Warm Regards,
 
Elder Marcus Phipps