Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015- week 43- P-day in Poços de Caldas, Brazil!


Great news for you all! After some 10 months of long, hard work, I have finally had my first baptism! Woohoo! His name is Edivaldo, and he truly was an elect of the Lord. We met him some two weeks ago when I got here. He is dating one of the members here and went to church with her for a bit and was interested. We went over there and taught him. He had some problems, especially with smoking, but I am still amazed that with all the courage he had, he quit smoking within two weeks. It was awesome to see someone progress so fast. I can see that he really does have a genuine desire to follow Christ, and I am truly blessed to have been able to help him learn more about the gospel and see him make the choice to be baptized.

Also, this week was absolutely crazy. I have never worked so hard on my mission. We were able to teach some 36 lessons during the week and for being as hard as this area is to navigate, I believe this to be a great feat.

On Monday, I completely destroyed my body when we played a little soccer with some guys at a park. I got a blister the size of a half dollar coin and then it ripped off, and I was super sore the whole week with my legs. And, our area is about an hour away from our house, walking.

Also, I literally have no money. I've spent it all coming here, and also on the necessities- food and transportation. I even took some money out of my bank account, but that did not suffice. My comp is paying for time here at the LAN house. This week, though, I will be receiving more money and also, I'll be sending off reimbursements.

Next bad thing is that I don't have any photos except for the ones my comp took because the batteries for my camera run out super fast and I don't have money to buy more. But don't worry- this week will be better. We have another baptism marked for this Sunday. I'll tell you guys all about it the next week.

Well, I hope you all have a great time in Utah! It's gonna be really fun! I love you all, and have a great week!

Your brother, son, and friend,
Elder Collins


Baptism of Edivaldo

Baptism of Edivaldo

Baptism of Edivaldo

Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22, 2015- week 42- P-day in Poços de Caldas, Brazil!

Olá Fam!

Well, I have been transferred to Poços de Caldas!! I spent a whole day and almost all of my money getting here. First impressions of this place: wow. this place is beautiful! So as you all know my companion is Elder Chipana. He's super cool. And because we already know each other, we've had a good start. I have a feeling that this transfer is gonna be a good one.

Anyways, Poços de Caldas is a SUPER hilly area. We work our legs out so hard every day, and I get home exhausted and ready to die. I think if I spend 6 months here, I actually will die. There are two other Elders that live with us. Elder Portilho and Elder Moss. Elder Moss actually has a blog too. You guys should all check it out! 

Also, in our district, there are a lot of Sister missionaries too! It was kind of weird for me when we had our District meeting last week on Thursday. There is quite a differences between Districts with Sisters and Districts with only Elders. Needless to say, I miss my last District. Oh well, onto a new area! The members here are pretty cool too, but most of them fled the chapel after church, so I don't know them too well. I'm sure I'll get to know them well pretty soon.

So, yes, I was able to fit all of my stuff in my two bags. There were really heavy, but I managed. As for my bag, it's pretty good. Still in good condition, but starting to break down a little. 

As for spiritual experiences, there is this one man here in Poços de Caldas who is preparing to be baptized this Sunday. He has a few minor problems, but really wants to follow the example of Christ. Last night, we went to his house (he lives with his girlfriend's family who all happen to be members!) and brought another member with us. We taught the Plan of Salvation, but the ending prayer said by him was really good. He expressed his true thoughts and emotions, and brought me close to tears with the sincerity of his prayer. He's progressing really well. 

Also, back in Sumaré, one of my investigators (the one who I felt prompted to talk to on the street) just got baptized! I was really excited to hear the news from my old companion Elder Maxwell. Although I wasn't there and able to see the service, I am so very grateful for the chance I had to be able to know her and share the gospel with her. We'll see how this weekend goes, but I have a feeling it's gonna be a good one. Also, we're gonna work harder than we ever have with lessons and contacting people. 

Thank you all for the emails and letters! Have another great week of summer! Talk to you next week!

Elder Collins


Goodbye Augusto.
Two more Elders from my group. Elder Driggs and Bush.

The youth who got his mission call.

She got baptized!- Tamara

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15, 2015- week 41- Received transfer to Poços de Caldos, Brazil!

My beloved family,

So, the results are in!!! I have been transferred!!! And.... I'm going to a place called "Poços de Caldas" WOOOHOOOO!!!! When I first got here on the mission, I looked at the map I have from the mission call packet and chose the areas I wanted to go to. This was my number one area. Haha, I'm super excited. My companion is gonna be Elder Chipana. I don't know if you guys remember, but he lived with me in Sumaré. In the beginning, it was me with Elder Holder, then the other dupla was Elder Chipana and Elder Murray.

Anyways, this past week was pretty good. I went over to Paulista and did a division with a missionary named Elder Stone. He's american and super chill. The past weekend, we had a Stake baptism service, where 5 people in our zone baptized. That was cool. Then, right after, there was a stake activity. It was super crowded, but really fun. It was "a Festa de Junino" It's some traditional festivity that they do here every year. There were tons of booths for hot dogs and popcorn, other food, games, and all sorts of fun. Plus, all the Elders of the Zone Hortolandia were there.

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures for this email (I left my camera cord at the house because I was too focused on my future), but I'll be sure to attach some next P-Day.

Also, here in the Ward, one of the youth got his mission call. It was really cool. A member of the stake presidency came in during the meeting and announced that he had his call. Then, he gave it to the youth, and he opened it up right there during sacrament meeting. haha He'll be going to the Brazil, Fortaleza mission. When he announced it, we all wanted to clap and shout with joy, but we all had to keep reverent haha. Also, I guess they'll have to find another ward pianist, cause this guy is outta here.

Well, thanks for the emails! Talk to you next week!


Elder Collins


Elder Collins with Elder Chipana a few months ago. They lived in the same home before and will now be companions.

Monday, June 8, 2015

June 8, 2015- week 40- P-day in Monte Mor, Brazil!

Hey Family!

GUESS WHAT?? I FINALLY GOT THE PACKAGES!!! THANK YOU OH SO MUCH!! I loved the package full of candy and food and goodies. You would not believe the attention that I got from all the other Elders at the Zone meeting that happened last Tuesday. The Americans were all over the sour patch kids and swedish fish. And YES- KRAFT MAC AND CHEESE. WOOHOOO!!!! I also got some letters and another packages with some more shirts! Yeah!

Anyways, like all the other weeks, this week went by almost as fast as the last one. While my companion went up to Piracicaba for a meeting, Elder Holder and I were once again reunited. It actually went a lot better than I thought it would. We had a good day of work and got to catch up on our missions. It has been 4 months since I was his companion. Also, I did another division (split) with our Zone Leader Elder Vargas. He's super cool and is about to die on the mission (finish his mission). He's got about a month left, but he has knee problems, so he's probably gonna go home earlier than his return date. We shall see. I took a picture with him, but its pretty bad quality. Eh, dá pra ver.

Also, this week is the last week of the transfer. I don't know what's going to happen, and I don't think I should throw out any guesses, but most likely either me or my companion will be transferred. I don't really want to leave this area because I like it a lot. I'm not really seeing too much success, but all in due time.

So, lately, I've been reading a lot of the Book of Mormon (in Portuguese of course), and I will be finishing it within the next week. As for language study, all the words that I hear and don't understand, I write down in my planner. On Monday, the start of the new week, I write down all the words I learned that week on sticky notes and stick it on my wall. I've got tons of words on the wall. I'll have to take a picture to show you guys.

Also, I obtained a Brasilian high school Portuguese language book that I've been studying a bit. It's pretty much just like an English language book, just in Portuguese haha. It's a good source of new words for me. There's also this one poem that pretty much anyone who's ever gone to school in Brasil knows called- "Minha Terra tem Palmeiras". When people ask me if I'm Brasilian, I recite this poem, and then they go crazy because it's something only they know. haha

Also, yes, people ask me my first name all the time. When they see that both of our tags say "Elder", they get a little confused haha. They always ask ahh, you guys have the same name? Then we explain that its just a title and all that, and then they ask what our real names are. Usually, I tell them. They think Matthew is a really neat name. (Probably because they can't pronounce it right) In Portuguese, its Mateus, or Matteus, or Mattheus, or Matheus. There's a lot of varieties.

People here like to give their kids American names, but then they all pronounce it wrong. It's kind of funny.

The most spiritual thing this week was when I was with my first companion Elder Holder and we taught this family about Joseph Smith. The spirit was really strong, and made me feel really good. (Response to a question by Matthew's youngest sister)

Well, thank you again for the packages and letters and emails! Till the next week!

Elder Collins


Boxes of goodies!!

From my beloved family.

Elder Vargas and I

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015- week 39- P-day in Monte Mor, Brazil!

Hey Familia!

Thanks for the emails! Also, Happy Birthday to my brother John! 17 years old haha. I remember when I was that young...but now I'm not! haha This week went by super fast. I don't know why, but it's super crazy. So yes, the divisions. I believe that they're actually called "splits" in English, but I'm so used to the word "divisão" in Portuguese, that I just say division haha. Because my companion is the District Leader, and our district is huge (14 missionaries) he does two splits per week. That being said, I know almost everyone in my District pretty well haha. One day is enough time to see how well they teach, what their life story is, and everything I need to know haha.

Also, there is a meeting up in Piracicaba for all the leaders of the mission, so that means my comp will be going up there. Also, Elder Holder will be coming to Monte Mor for two days (his companion is the other District Leader of our zone). Well, I never thought that would happen haha. Oh well, lets see how that goes. But, my companion will be getting the mail for me. He's gonna take my 121 Reais up to the secretary for me. I will tell you next week about that!

Elias Fausto! Yes, so I did take one picture, but its not really good and doesn't show much of the area, but I will attach it anyways. It's another city about 25 minutes away using bus. We don't go there very often (we've gone twice) because the bus tickets are expensive and we don't have much money.

Hey! That's awesome that school's almost over for you guys. I remember how long school felt for me when I was there in Naples. It took so long! But now that I'm out and on my mission it feels like it was a little shorter than last year haha.

Yeah! You guys don't have to move off base. That must be a relief. I wonder if you guys will still be in Naples when I get back. My guess is that you guys will probably be transferred to a different place if you guys decide to try.

Anyways, have a great week and again- HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN!! I love you all!

Your son, brother, and friend,

Elder Matthew Collins

This is the Interior.

CAMPINAS!!!! (not my mission)

This one dude named Elder Basante (at Elias Fausto)