Monday, December 26, 2016

95th Week Out, Week 5 Horizonte, "We Baptized on Christmas!"

Dear Family and Friends,
                This week was the best Christmas ever!  To start of the week we had a Secret Santa with our entire zone and celebrated Christmas! Then 1 of the missionaries in my house went home. He wasn’t actually an Elder. He was just a member filing in for one, He lives here in Ceara, and my mission president sent him home to be with his family for Christmas and the new year and he won’t be coming back. So now I am in a Trio! Elder Rands is now with us! He is an American from Missouri. He has 1 year and 2 months on the mission. Christmas morning I made cookies! We baptized on Christmas!!!! I’m never going to be able to do that again! We baptized a boy named Gabriel and a woman named Marta! We have been working with her for a month now! She was literally a miracle! We met her 1 day walking down the road and we just felt prompted to talk with her. After the first lesson she told us that she felt really good about our visit, she said it brought her happiness she had never felt before. We found out the she had an addiction to drugs so she kept going to church but she wasn’t able to be baptized because she was addicted. Over time we were able to help her be free from this drug and she gave it up! Then to top it all off Saturday night before her baptism a bunch of people from another congregation showed up at her house telling her lies about Mormons, talking bad about us, putting pressure on her to not be baptized. Our branch president happened to be walking by the front of her house when this was happening (because they live on the same road) and he heard them talking bad about us, creating lies. Sunday afternoon at church he showed up to us and informed us of his discovery, and he explained his concern that he did not think she would be baptized today after all that he had heard. But sure enough, Sunday afternoon Marta showed up at church and was super excited for her baptism! This woman is powerful! She is an example to me! She has a daughter and 2 sons. She is divorced and cares for the family all by herself. She has a small humble 1 room house that they ALL 4 live in. she has a rent of $100 Reais (which is $35 dollars) for month because she can’t afford anything much expensive. She makes a living selling “doce de mamão”. It’s so sad sometimes to see how people are living here, but she doesn’t complain! She is happy with her life! It really opens up my eyes! I am so much more grateful for my life, I never would have known or understand the depth of the gratitude I need, if it weren’t for my mission here in Brasil! We all should be much more grateful for the blessing our heavenly father has given us! I hope that the focus of our Christmas this year was Jesus Christ and not Santa Clause! I thank you for all the love and support!

Impressions of Horizonte Brasil
-Christmas is not a really big deal here, it’s rare to find Christmas lights on houses, and I have never saw seen real Christmas tree here in Brasil. Basically people don’t have money to buy Christmas presents.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

94th Week Out, Week 4 Horizonte, "No Water in the City for 3 Days"

Dear family and friends,
Another great week! This week we had our mission conference for Christmas! This week there was no water in the city for 3 days… sooooo that stunk… we couldn’t take a shower.... I was called to give a talk in our branch this Sunday, my companion was called to be the other speaker haha. We had a baptism this week for a boy named Breno! He is 15 years old. I think Breno would be my name in Portuguese. Anyways This is how we found him; We contacted a man in the road one day and we marked with him to pass by his home 1 day and leave a message, then we went to his house and met his little brother and we started teaching his little brother as well and 1 day when we were teaching his little brother Breno showed up! Breno was very cool! Accepted all of our invites! He loved church last week! Saturday he was interviewed to be baptized and we found out that before we started teaching him he was atheist. I know that in missionary work there’s always a purpose! I know that sometimes people will not accept our invites but maybe heavenly father put that person in our path because he know someone that we need to know that’s looking for the truth. I love you all and wish everyone a FELIZ NATAL!!!!

Impressions of Horizonte Brasil
-The water that comes out of the faucet is brown because of how much chlorine they put in the water! And many times the city will cut the water without warning anyone!

Monday, December 12, 2016

93rd Week Out, Week 3 Horizonte, "Taught over 50 lessons this week and 13 came to church Sunday!"

Dear family and friends, This week Elder Tozin and I did a made a BUNCH of new investigators! 100 actually! 13 of these people came to church with us Sunday! We have made a goal to meet 1,000 people in my last 2 transfers! We only need to meet 849 more people! We are just using our time to the maximum! We taught over 50 lessons this week! We also made a HUGE map of our area this week! We had to print out over 200 sheets of papers to make it! We are going to know this area like no one knew before! I found out my 1st companion Elder Hwang, who trained me, started his mission here! Our goal is for this branch to be a ward before I go home! Let’s see if we can do it! I thank you for all the love and support!

Impressions of Horizonte Brasil
-I was in the city bus looking out the window and I was passing down a mainstreet (with many people) and a man just pulled down his pants and started peeing on the sidewalk in front of everyone! WOW

Monday, December 5, 2016

92nd Week Out, Week 2 Horizonte, "Branch Meets in a Storehouse"

Dear Family and friends! This week was great with Elder Tozin he is the best companion I have ever had on my mission! I don’t know If I mentioned But before when I had known elder Tozin 6 months ago we had always wanted to be companions! So we are both stoked!!! I wouldn’t have had it any other way! Here in Horizonte it’s not a ward. It’s a branch that meets in a storehouse! Some of you will get a kick out of our little church building here! And church here on Sundays is 4:00 in the afternoon! Until 7:00 at night! Theres no paved roads here its all rocks! This week we had to travel to a house here in our zone to clean it up because elders were coming to open up a new area! It’s been a while since elders have been in that house we went to clean because the area had been closed without elders! When we got there were plants growing inside the house DANG! It took us a whole day to clean that house up! But I am doing well! Thank you for all your love and support!!!
                Impressions of Horizonte Brasil
-it doesn't rain in the winter! Its just hot hot hot! 24-7 365 days a year!

Monday, November 28, 2016

91st Week Out, Week 1 Horizonte, "Transferred to my last area"

Dear Family and friends, this week............ I WAS TRANSFERRED! DANGIT I’m now in a place called Horizonte! but its ok because my new companion is awesome! I already knew him before! His name is Elder Tozin, he is 24 years old, and he only has 2 years as a member of the church! He is a convert! He is from São Paulo.  He loves MMA and Jiu-jitsu (If anyone knows what that means). I knew him when he was in Mondubim with elder Anastacio, we were in the same district. So I already have done many divisions with him! I will miss Pacatuba! It was a great experience for me there! I have learned a lot there and established many close friends! But I know I will go back there 1 day! I thank you for all the love and support!
Impressions of Brasil
-here at night there is a motorcycle man that is a security motorcycle and he rides around all night with a loud siren to scare off robbers and crime, If he sees anything strange he calls the police.

Monday, November 21, 2016

90th Week Out, Week 22 Pacatuba, "Baptism all the way from City of Horto"

Dear family and friends, this week the Power went out at night! And that’s one of the worst things here in Brasil! Why? What do you use at night to here in Brasil? A fan! Fortaleza is SUPER hot! Even at night. I Remember in California that… yea it’s hot there to, but during the morning and night its cold. But Fortaleza no... It’s hot AND HUMID, during the day, during the night, and during the morning! It’s simply always HOT! You can’t sleep at night without a fan! So that’s always not fun! You just stay laying there in bed and you start to get super sweaty and you automatically wake up and you can’t sleep even if you’re dead tired and want to! This week we had another baptism for 2 sisters. I met them last transfer, I had contacted their mom in the road, unfortunately she is not legally married with her spouse, only living together with her Marido(very common) BUT she told me that she had 3 daughters so I marked with her another day to teach their family. This transfer I had gone there with Elder Arias and we were able to get to know them; Tainara who is the oldest with 17 years old, Taiz who is 15 and Ticiane who is 13. And they were VERY firm in their church (which I will not name). They even had callings to help there, they had uniforms and everything! Tainara even had the responsibility of tasting the wine that they use for their sacrament (they use wine instead of water) to see if it was good. In the beginning they were open to our message but they were very clear that they have their church. Even the first day that Tainara decided to come to church on a Sunday she went home and then attended her church that night. Tainara was the first to visit, we had invited her on a Wednesday to come to church and Sunday she showed up with other recent converts (Recent convert=members recently baptized) from “HORTO”. These Girls live all the way in “Horto” Turns out the bishop here went out to pick up one of the recent converts  in “Horto” who didn’t have any $ to grab the bus to come to church and when He got there Tainara was there to! Tainara had a very spiritual experience That Sunday that she came to church and the next week she showed up again, but this time with her sister Taiz. With help from our messages and the confirmation from the spirit she knew that our message was true and Tainara and her sister Taiz were baptized this last Sunday, they stopped going to the church they were going to, and ever returned their uniforms and all! During this process many people talked very bad about the “”mormons” But 1 thing I know is that they truly felt the spirit. It’s something you can’t ignore! I know and bear testimony that Joseph smith is a prophet of God; heavenly father and Jesus Christ did appear to him! Many people told Joseph that he was lost and that no one can see God and to not speak of his experience with anyone! But if heavenly father and Jesus Christ Truly appeared to you, would you reject it just because everyone is telling you that you’re lost? I KNOW that this is the true church here upon the face of the earth, I didn’t see Jesus Christ or God, I didn’t even hear their voice! BUT I DID FEEL that these things are true through a simple prayer. You feel it and you know it’s true! I can’t deny nor will I EVER deny this feeling. So yea they faced a lot of rejection... But they knew it was the right choice because they felt the same thing I feel! I’m so grateful to know without a shadow of a doubt that this is truly the church of Jesus Christ! If anyone that reads this has not found it out yet I invite you to simply pray and ask! And visit your local “MORMON” church and you will find the answer that maybe you didn’t even know you were seeking! I thank you for all your love and support!

Impressions of Pactuba Brasil
-EVERYONE is playing with YOYOS!? Like Everyone! Little boys and even men!? I don’t know if it’s big in the U.S. Right now but everyone here is playing with YOYOS! There’s going to be a competition here so everyone’s practicing!

-The power is always going out here! Like literally it’s a common thing for the power to cut out in the city! And its funny at night because the entire city goes black! And everyone starts to scream until it comes back!!!!!!!

1st photo: Baptism of Tainara and Taiz.
2nd photo:  here is a picture from the city; “Horto“ that I talk so much about.
3rd photo: Feeding a monkey ice cream!
4th photo: some type of Bird.

Monday, November 14, 2016

89th Week Out, Week 21 Pacatuba, "My Companion Sings Well"

Dear Family and friends! Did I ever mention that my companion is a singer? Well he sings REALLY well and to thank our lunches he singes after lunch everyday and its really neat! This week we had zone meeting.  Our focus was sending families to the temple! We ALSO had a baptism for Gabriel! He is 15 years old. We have been teaching him for 3 weeks now.  He finally accepted to be baptized! His mom went to church this Sunday to assist his baptism, and she really liked it at church! So we will be working with her as well as she is LEGALY married, which is hard to find out here. I thank you for all you love and support!

Impressions of Pacatuba Brasil
-People use alot of english words to make more sells
For example; Compra 1 camisa e ganha 1 T-Shirt de gratis LOL

Monday, November 7, 2016

87-88th Weeks Out, Week 19-20 Pacatuba, "Lunch at the Mission Presidents House"

 Dear family and friends so on monday we went to the mission office to get materials and while we were there, President Leite (our mission President) showed up and invited me and my companion to lunch at his house with his family! he lives in an area SUPER RICH! every single house looks like a temple where he lives! He even took us to see the beach and take a picture because he lives super close to the ebach here!!!!!!!! like I haven't seen the beach in so long! Then on tuesday we had Mission counsel  with all of the leaders in the mission! then on Wednesday "Dia dos Mortos" day of the dead, (when everyone goes to visit their ancestors). with a group of 10 missionaries, we went to one of the  Bigest cemetaries here in Fortaleza which is owned by a member! and  we were given a huge room in this cemetary to pass videos from the church talking about the atonement and resurrection and we invited everyone there to watch the videos ! many people were curious and we got many addresses to pass by! Thursday I did a Division with the assistants I went to their area. Friday I did another division with missionaries in my zone. andSunday our stake had a missionary devotional about missionary work! I thank you for all your love and support!

Impressions of Pacatuba Brasil
-NO one ever uses shoes! its always sandals! all of the kids that skate here skate with SANDALS! YEA!

Monday, October 24, 2016

86th Week Out, Week 18 Pacatuba, "Interviewed by a General Authority"

Dear Family and friend

This week my new companion showed up! Elder Arias he is from Columbia! Yea that’s right! Now you have an American and a columbium together, trying to speak Portuguese. It’s funny because he has a Spanish slang and I have an American slang so we never understand each other.  He is 20 years old he has 1 year and 1 month on the mission! He is the youngest in his family and his family is members of the church, his brother already served a mission. He was a singer before the mission! So he’s always singing!  A cool thing about my companion is more than a year ago when I showed up here in Brasil, I was going through training in the mission office and the first elder I met was Elder Arias, he was being sent home that day! He passed 8 months at home and decided to come back on the mission! He would have gone home with me had he never left but now he has 11 more months, but I’m so happy that he came back so that we could be companions today! He is a good guy and we are becoming the best of friends! 
SO this week you will all never guess what happened to me! Elder Basset a member of the 70 gave a mission conference this Thursday for our mission! AND Wednesday night before the conference I get a call from the assistants informing me that my mission President received inspiration that I will be interviewed by Elder Basset! I was FLIPPEN OUT Like IM GOING TO BE INTERVIEWE BY A GENERAL AUTHORITY!!!! THAT DOSENT HAPPEN AND WHO KNOWS IF IT WILL EVER HAPPEN AGAIN?! I started thinking what did I do wrong? Nothing! Did someone in my family die? I hope not! Is he going to offer a calling to me? A million things were going through my head! As I sat in the chair outside his office to be interviewed! But in the end it was just a special opportunity to be interviewed. My mission president chose 1 other elder and 3 sisters to be interviewed out of 160 missionaries!  He explained to me the importance of marriage and many other things of deep doctrine! He gave me the opportunity to ask him questions also! Such an amazing experience! I would like to write everything he told me but it would take too long! But I do have it all written down!

SO a funny thing I saw this week; the photo bellow shows the front gate of someones house, Here in Brasil the average house has the width of 2 cars and is super long! Its like a line of bedrooms that all conect you look in the front door and you can see all the way in the back of someones house in the 4th,5thrd room! But anyways normally theres no room for a car in your house so people get creative. This person in the photo restyled his front gate to fit his car in! 

This week we had another miracle baptism for a girl named Emilly. She is 12 years old and her mother is less active. So Mondayof this week we had no one to baptize. So what many missionary’s do on Monday (Preparation day or P-DAY) is also having a P-NIGHT and after 6 o clock they plan a Party family night at someone’s house, and don’t work the rest of their P-Day. Because Preparation day is only until 6:00 then you go to work! So these last 2 weeks Emily had been to church but was never able to catch her at home! And we could have easily had a “P-night” at a member’s house but we decided to work and I know heavenly father blessed us for our efforts! Because Monday night we went to Emilly’s house with a friend of hers who is a member, we were already thinking she wouldn’t be there… AND she answered the door! We had a super spiritual lesson an invited her to be baptized that Saturday! She accepted! That week we passed by teaching her the lessons and Saturday night my new comp was able to baptize her! I love you all and thank you for all your love and support!

Impressions of Pacatuba Brasil
-It doesn’t ever rain here, but when it does it only rains SUPER HARD for 5 seconds… You feel like it’s going to rain all day but then after 5 seconds it passes.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Special Post "Elder W. Mark Bassett Letter to Mom and Dad"

From: W. Mark Bassett <>
Date: Sun, Oct 23, 2016 at 12:35 PM
Subject: I found a powerful young man in Brazil!
To: "", "

Dear Brother and Sister Horton,

I just finished a tour of the Brazil Fortaleza Leste Mission. While there I had the privilege of interviewing your son.  I expect that you are very proud of him. You should be! He has a beautiful countenance and he exudes strength and testimony. He loves the people, looks healthy and is serving well. I also want you to know that President and Sister Leite love him. They are powerful leaders here in Brazil and your son is blessed to be under their capable stewardship.

Thank you for raising such a righteous young man. I pray that you will recognize the blessings that are yours as you watch your son serve from afar. Your sacrifice does not go unnoticed.

With love and admiration,

Elder W. Mark Bassett

Sent from my iPad

Elder W. Mark Bassett was serving as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in the North America West Area when he was called to be a General Authority Seventy at the April 2016 general conference.
Elder Bassett received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Brigham Young University in 1991. Upon graduating, he began his career in the wholesale auto auction industry. Recently, he functioned as CFO and co-owner of West Coast Auto Auctions, Inc., operating automobile auctions throughout California, Oregon, Nevada and Idaho.
Elder Bassett has served in numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Guatemala Guatemala City Mission, Young Men president, bishop, high councilor, stake president, president of the Arizona Mesa Mission from 2007 to 2010, and Area Seventy.
William Mark Bassett was born in Carmichael, California, on August 14, 1966. He married Angela Brasher in December 1989. They are the parents of five children.

Recent articles, addresses, and speeches

For Our Spiritual Development and LearningOctober 2016 General Conference

Monday, October 17, 2016

84-85th Week Out, Week 16-17 Pacatuba, "Asked to Extend my Mission by MP"

Dear Family and Friends,

SO transfer calls came this week my companion Ended his mission. He was SOOOOOOOOO trunky (“trunky“ means  giving up) I have been trying so hard but he has been killing my battery.  I said goodbye to him today, He was a really good guy though! One of my best friends, Even though he was so trunky, I will miss him! I will be staying here in pacatuba AGAIN! Man I never was a missionary that gets transfered a lot! I only have 3 areas here in Brasil until now! And I have 1 year and 8 Months on the mission! I am now waiting for my new companion to arrive, he will get here tomarrow so I dont know anything about him yet.  This week I also made a really big decision, I was informed by my mission President that I could stay 1 more transfer if I wanted to...That would mean that I serve for a little more than 2 years! President does not give many missionaries the oporunity to stay either... I know he told many missionaries that they cant stay another transfer. So after Prayer and a long talk with President leite I will be staying another transfer! Im so greatful for this oportunity and I know it was the right thing to do! I love being here on a mission, Its so hard and chalenging but its making me a better person! I thank you for all the love and support!

Impressions of Pactuba Brasil
-Women will breastfead their child right infront of you!!!  Sometimes im in the middle of a spiritual lessons  testifying and they just pul down their shirt and YUP.... AWK 

1-We had zone meeting here in the best zone in the mission! the name of our zone is Maracanaú
2-A stadium here for soccer very famous called castelão look it up!
3- throwing down gang signs for the soccer teams here! Im sporting Ceara and my companion is sporting Fortaleza

Monday, September 26, 2016

83nd Week Out, Week 15 Pacatuba, "Patience is A Blessing!"

Dear family and Friends,
This week was great we has 2 miracle baptisms! the First was for Wesley! he is 15 years old and he eat and sleeps soccer! I had contacted him over 2 months ago! but he could never make it to church because he was is soccer season and he had games EVERY Sunday! SO I patiently waited for his soccer season to end and the 1st week it ended I showed up at his house and Invited him to church! last week he went to church and he loved it! so We invited him to be baptized and I baptized him this Sunday! His mom even came to church to support him and we are going to be working with her now as well! The second baptism was for a Woman named Rosicler. She is 45 years old, the mom of Raiani ( A recent convert, that I baptized here 2 months ago) and her other son is preparing to get married so he can be baptized as well! She is one of he very first people I met when I showed up here in Pacatuba. Before the missionaries started teaching her, she had a dream of two men in white shirts and ties , so when she first saw them she couldn't help to stop them. When I started teaching her she was living together with another man and she used MANY  drugs because of her strong Depression because her first husband committed suicide. But as the time has gone by these last 3 months here she started to go to church she started to understand the message we have to share and she has completely stopped using all her drugs for depression! she has a dresser in her house, loaded with all the medicine she was taking, but now she is free of it all! she has become a second mother to me here in Pacatuba, Every single night she makes food for me and my companion, LITERALLY every single night! she always takes care of anything I need! I love this woman and last week she separated from this man that was living together with her so that she could be baptized! I was so happy for her! these past couple of weeks had been tough, so many baptism that had fallen through!  during these past 4 weeks I had prepared 8 people to be baptized, taught them every single message, they were interviewed and all  8  of these baptisms gave up... I know it was heavenly father testing my faith to see if I would give up the fight or keep on trying and I know he blessed me for my efforts! We are all here in life to learn, if we never faced trials we would never get better. There is opposition in all things! But please don't give up , I KNOW THIS is the true church! If you don't have a testimony of it yet you can borrow mine until you get one! I promise you that you will find success I thank you for all your love and support!

Impressions of Pacatuba Brasil
-There is always something burning, literaly theres a fire ever day! but since the houses are made of brick and cement. no on ever has to worry! People always start brush fires to clean up because they are to lazy to weed! I can count on my fingers the times I have seen a fire truck! and many people call fire trucks just to fill up their water reserves when the water in the city is cut.

Monday, September 19, 2016

82nd Week Out, Week 14 Pacatuba, "Mission Counsel"

Dear Family and friends,

This week I got no sleep! Monday I had to get up @5:30 to go to the mission office to get materials, Tuesday I had to get up @5:30 because we had a mission counsel with President Leite, Wednesday We had to get up @5:30 to travel to one of the areas in our zone to do a division that is 2 hours away! Thursday we had to get up @5:00 to get back to Pacatuba because we had to give a zone meeting, and ONLY Friday I was able to sleep until 6:30but I was so used to waking up @5:30 that I woke up at 5:30 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! I´m a lot more greatful for sleep! I now have 1 year and 7 months on the mission! DANG! its crazy to think I have been here for more time than a sister serves a mission!  I feel OLD! but Im not even thinking about time anymore! Im just living it up! Thanks for all your love and support!

Impressions of Pacatuba Brasil
-EVERYONE thinks my companion is german because he is blond with blue eyes!

Monday, September 12, 2016

81st Week Out, Week 13 Pacatuba, "Mormon Helping Hands"

Dear family and friends,

       So this week transfer calls came and I will be STAYING here in Pacatuba! my new companion is Elder Wedekind! He's and American from Colorado! thats right 2 americans together speaking Portuguese! he is 21 years old and this is his last transfer! so maybe I will stay even another transfer after this! This week I had my very first Mormon Helping Hands service project! it was super cool we handed out papers about Dangue; its a mosquito Virus very dangerous here and we passed out procedures to reduces the chances of Dangue here in the community. It was very cool for people to have a different Kind of view of us missionaries as people to help the community, not just the people who are here to baptize you! But My companion is super awesome, I already knew him back in Juazeiro! ands looks like this is going to be a good transfer! I thank you for all your love and support!
Impressions of Pacatuba Brasil
-people are always asking what time it is! in the stores in the streets EVERYWHERE! like people will be waiting at their front door for someone on the street to pass by and they will be like HEYYY what time is it!? like go buy yourself a watch!

Monday, August 29, 2016

79th Week Out, Week 11 Pacatuba, "Loaded the Onibus for Church"

Dear family and friends,

This week it was stake conference and the stake center is father than our church building and our church building here is already super long for the members that live in "Horto". So our ward payed for a bus to pick up all the members in Horto and bring them to stake center and bring them home after, We loaded that onibus! we are focusing on this city and literally all week long, all day long we are now only working in this city! I thank you for all your love and support!

Impressions of Pacatuba Brasil
-No ones Blond! for real, its been SO long since I've seen someone blond! many people die their hair blond but naturally blond is not a thing here! No one thinks I'm american at first because I'm not blond, so I fit right in! LITERALLY everyone thinks my companion WHO IS BRASILIAN is american and I who am an American am Brasilian!
Picture 1- Indians here in Pacatuba!
Picture 2- motorcycle of an investigator
Picture 3- The indians water reserve that no one else can use!