Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21, 2015-Start of the 2nd Transfer!!

Hey All, 
All is well I am doing great and I love my calling here in Brazil! I have learned a lot this week. One thing I learned is that I think I am a lot better at Portuguese than I give myself credit for. I definitely make a lot of mistakes, but I have conversations with people everyday and that is quite a miracle in itself. I pray to God everyday and ask him to bless me with this language, to love and be loved by these people. I can confidently say that God has blessed me thus far, and I know he will continue to bless me. I do not feel stressed or worried about Portuguese because God has promised that he will bless me when I do my part. I know that as I am open to learning and I put forth my effort to practice he will bless me and I will develop the skills I need to be the best missionary that God would have me be. I really am doing great and all is well. Haha sometimes after I get done with a contact or teaching something I think to myself: "hah I wish my mom could have seen that she would have loved that.. she would have cried haha".

My new comp is good and I am excited for this transfer. He is 27 and was converted when he was 19. he is the only member in his family. I really respect him for his courage, and I think I can learn a lot from him. I realize now that not every missionary is all that great and not every companion is the exact companion I want, but everybody has something good so I just need to find the good in everybody.

Because the last transfer ended kind of dead we have to kind of start from level 0 so we have been doing a lot of contacting so hopefully next week we will start having some progressing investigators. Its kind of crazy the things you see out here that you wouldn't ever see in little Orderville. 
On our walk home from the church there is always a group of kids out in the street and every time I walk by they all swarm me and ask me how to say this or that in English, its funny. Everyday without a doubt.

All is well I love my calling and I am progressing everyday. I am loving the mission! 

Elder Millard

Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015

Hey Family,

Another week in the field. All is well and I am progressing everyday. The language is coming little by little everyday. I love my calling here in Brazil so much and I know that it is a calling from God. 
That is so great that Katie and Hannah have decided to serve missions, they will receive so many blessings. Katie did great on her farewell talk I just got done listening to it and she did great. That testimony she has now will grow so much. 

I have been sicker than a dog for the last 3 days so I have been kind of miserable, but I am getting better. 
We had dinner at the Bishop's house a couple days ago and I was talking to them about my family and Brazil, the bishops wife asked what my moms name was and I told her Neeleman. She works for the temple and knows president Neeleman. She got a little teary and told me how amazing he is. She said that she promises that he has stood face to face with the savior, and how he just has so much love. She loved him so much as the President.

We have transfers in 2 days so I will let you know how that goes next week. My companion is leaving so I have had to kind of step up and start memorizing all the houses and getting references and addresses so it has been good and I hope and pray that my next companion will want to work. All is well and I love my calling. Thank you so much for your prayers I feel your love and I know I have a lot of support. I love you so much and I pray for you everyday. I truly am so blessed to come from the best family in the world. Love you mom! I read Elder Hollands talk about moms from the last conference, Eu chorei como a criança haha.

Love you,
Elder Millard

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November 30, 2015

Well this week has been tough there is no doubt about it, but not the tough that I would like it to be. This is my companions last transfer so he is beyond trunky. He doesn't want to do much. But it's alright, he is helping with Portuguese and that's most important right now. I have a lot of personal study time so my testimony and knowledge strengthen everyday. I really just feel a burning in my heart when I study some things and I cannot even explain how much my testimony has strengthened in a way that it never would have if I didn't serve. I see the importance of my mission and I know that it has eternal significance. I know these two years will set the tone for the rest of my life, and help me to know what kind of husband and father I want to be. 

I just cannot put it in words, this Gospel is so much greater than we can comprehend. God is real, he loves us, he hears our prayers. Jesus Christ is our savior He has an infinite love for everybody that he did so much more than die for us. He took away our sins, he set the example for us. One day we will stand before him to be judged and I will personally thank him face to face, and all I want is for him to reply to me Well done my good and faithful servant and thank you for your service in helping souls find their salvation. I want to take my place with my wife in my hand and live in eternal Celestial Glory with my family.  The fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored and it is true. It is sweet and it is simple and I love it. 

Other things for this week: We were at a lady's house and we were talking about were I lived as I described it she said that she has always remembered a Elder from a place like that in southern Utah. He is form Kanab. Yeah I know Kanab that's right next to my tiny little Orderville!  I don't remember his name but Ill get it next time we visit her. She is great, she is 83 years old and makes some amazing food. 

I have for sure seen some of those rainstorms that Grandpa always talks about. One thing I would like for Christmas is a dry bag, just a small one for my scriptures because I would hate for them to get ruined. Me and my comp were just leaving the church a couple days ago when it started dumping rain "like it can only rain in Brazil" we started home and we were soaked to the bone in seconds. Most of the drainage here is plugged with trash, so I was running through this lake of water and I hit a low spot and almost fell over! So here I am in my slacks and silk tie wading through this lake that is up to my thigh!  Yeah it was bad, so anyways I would like a dry bag for Christmas. Tyler will know what I am talking about.

You asked about the bus ride, yes I rode the Ônibus with all my bags and yes it was the worst.  All is well!  I love Brazil.  When I was in the CTM I wasn't a hundred percent convinced that I was in Brazil, for all I knew I was just living in TheTruman Show. But now I know of a surety that I am in Brazil. haha It is different than the States for sure!

Other than that I don't have anything! I am doing great and I love you!


Elder Millard

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015

Another week has gone by and I am doing great, no need to worry about me. Just keep praying so I can get the language. 

I don't really have anything special this week. 
When I was at a members house eating we were talking about how her son has Diabetes and its just really hard because he has always wanted to go on a mission and has always planned on it, but they just don't think he can because diabetes has slowed him down, and he really struggles with it. I know Tyler has to go through a lot and it is really difficult for him, but just think about how blessed he is that he was able to go on a mission before. He loves his mission and it made him who he is, it would have been so hard to not have been able to go. 

To answer some of your questions
We don't get mail in our house, we can only get it when we go to the mission office every transfer so I can't get the package for another couple weeks. 

Yes we eat with members. We eat every lunch with members so I don't cook anything at our house, I just have some snacks and stuff. 

My companion leaves at the end of this transfer so he is beyond trunky so it's hard because we don't have a lot of investigators, we sit in members houses for hours at a time and it drives me nuts. The guy I baptized is doing really well. He is pretty great.

Yes we walk a lot, Other than my shoe laces which have both broken already my shoes are doing great. No I don't need anything for my feet I am tough.  

We do our emails in a little internet cafe thing.

Yeah the church building is normal size, its bigger than ours in Orderville, but its nice. 

I had to leave for a while. A member called and said she needed us.  But now I am back, so I have a little more time to send some pictures.  

Love you,

Elder Millard
Sao Paulo Temple

First Baptism

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16, 2015

Well now I know I am actually in Brazil! In the CTM when I didn´t know something in Portuguse I could always just turn to English. I really got my world rocked when I came out here. I am honestly still struggling but I have confidence that the Lord will bless me when I do my part. I have more faith now then I ever have in my life, because right now that is what I am living on. Its hard not being able to communicate or not understand. But I have a lot of faith and it grows everyday because I have to excerise faith in knowing that the language will come and I will do this. I know that my mission has eternal significance and I am going to work to be the best missionary I can be. 

My 2nd or 3rd day we had a lesson with our investigator, we went over there and of course I mostly just listened because I am cant really talk, I just bore my testimony at the end and we left. When we went back the next day to his house he told us about something he saw. The day before we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. He said when I bore my testimony he felt something in his heart and he saw a glow over my head. He said the day before when we stood up to leave he saw this glow over my head and under my feet. He said it was like a halo or a lighting bug over me and he watched us walk down the street and it was on the bottom of my shoes and over my head. He says it was O Espirito Santo (Holy Ghost). Hahaha so that was awesome. I don't know what he was seeing, but anyway when we talked to him about who he wants to baptize him he said me. Obviously I have the spirit with me so he wants me to do it. So I had my first baptism yesterday! That was a great experience!

Its kinda funny cause in the CTM your "investigators" are perfect and always progressing  then my first lessons in the field are perfect and I get a baptism. We had a lot of other lessons this week to and got shut down a couple of times. We were teaching a family and when I invited them to baptism the Mother shut us down and said no way, but the dad said he would when he knows its true. 

Really my only problem that I have is Portuguese. Others struggle adjusting to missionary life or miss people back home, but I know that I am here for 2 years to serve with all my heart. Portuguese is hard but I with some extra help I will get it little by little. Jesus Christ gave me my salvation the least I can do is serve him with all my heart, might, mind and strength for 2 short years. 

We have visited a lot of people and nobody can pronounce my name so everybody either calls me "Elder Milagre" (miracle) or " The American". I also had to give a short talk in church. The members are all very nice and welcoming so I am excited to learn more and work with them.

Thank you all for the Birthday wishes, I can´t really say that it was that great hah but I love being here! This is the Lords work and I am so proud to be a part of it! LOVE YOU!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

November 12, 2015

Hey Family,

I just got to the field. We were at the mission office for a while, then I traveled for a couple hours to our area on the most crowded bus you've ever seen! We just got to our apartment.  Now we are going to the church so I can meet some people.   I am out here in the real world and I think the first thing I have learned is that I don't know any Portuguese. It has been hard to communicate with my companion, but I know that faith will see me through. I am confident that with a lot of help from I will learn slowly but surely. It wasn't meant to be easy. The Lord wouldn't send me here if I couldn't do it. Ill make it mom, there is no reason to worry about me just keep up the prayers. 

I am grateful for the CTM but I am ready to  be out of there. I have received so many blessings so far and I hope and pray the Lord will continue to bless me, especially helping me learn the language and the gospel. I have so far to go, but I really hope I can learn quickly. I am so excited to start helping people come unto Christ. I love this work and even when I have struggles I know I am doing the right thing. I love this work and I am excited to share it with the people in my area.

 Thank you so much for all your support, and please pray for me I need all the help I can get.

(Mom, you would be bawling if you saw where we are living haha talk about a hole in the wall.  Maybe if I ever learn the language I will send pictures Until then, Love you! and keep sending photos.)

Elder Millard

Deus restaurou o Seu evangelho através de Joseph Smith.Jesus Cristo é nosso Redentor enosso Salvador! Ele é o filho de Deus. 
O evangelho de Jesus Cristo é verdadeiro! O livro de Mormón contem a plenitude do evangelho. O Livro de Mormón é pelo palavras de Deus. 

Eu sei que isto é verdadeiro atraves do Espirito Santo. Eu orei e Deus respondeu a minha oração. 
Eu sou grato para vocês. Eu sou grato para minha testemunho. Eu amo você! Eu amo Jesus Cristo e Eu sei que ele é minha Salvador! Eu sou grato para meu missão!

Obrigado! Tchau

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 6, 2015- Last week in the CTM! Week #6

Hey Mom! 

This is my last week in the CTM! I have enjoyed it, but I am more than ready to move on!!
The days are all the same here but my testimony strengthens everyday. We teach a lot of lessons and learn a lot everyday but i am muito animado to get in the field and be a real missionary. 

I just got back from the Campinus temple this time and it was so amazing! The temple is massive, and it is so beautiful! The whole experience was so amazing and I loved it so much. When I was in the locker room after we were finished I was talking to one of the temple workers and he said he served in Brazil when the country was one mission and I told him my Grandpa served when the country was one mission and he served when President Sorensen was here and he asked his last name and I said Neeleman and he said GARY NEELEMAN!? I know Gary, we are friends! He said he remembers when David and John were babies then I asked if he knew Jule an he sai YES! He said he was in the presidency when Julie and sister Santana were serving here! He said he remembered those two sisters! His name is John Hawkins, we had a great conversation!

Crazy to think we are the oldest district in the CTM now! We are leaving next Tuesday! SO EXCITED! My testimony has grown so much and I know this chuch is true! I love this work and I can´t wait to share in with these people! I like my companion and we work pretty well together. The Portuguese is mais o menus but it improves everyday, I am confident with a lot of help I can get to where I need to be. 

I love you and the church is true. Keep collecting gold.

Elder Millard

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November 1, 2015- Week #5

Hello Family,

It's crazy to think I am a month in!  It has been just another week here in the CTM. I am loving it and my testimony grows everyday along with my Portuguese, but nothing really special happens. 

I like my district, and we have a lot of different personality´s. I really have liked the CTM but in all honesty I am ready to get out in the field. That's why I loved proselyting so much, I really just felt like I was really helping people and in the real life, but here we just do the same thing day after day.

It really is crazy to think we are the oldest district here now, it doesn't feel like that long. Last week we had over 120 missionaries leave so this place has been kinda empty for a while. I am missing all my Brazilian friends they really helped my Portuguese a lot!

The days are really long, but the weeks are flying by. Everyday all day we are either in the classroom, the cafeteria, or teaching lessons. Sundays are the best here they are always super spiritual.  I wish I knew more Portuguese but it is coming little by little everyday. 

P days are always a really nice break, every p day we go to the temple, then go out in the city and usually eat somewhere do some shopping and go to "Chaneys cookies" where my companions mom gave him 400 reais to spend so we eat a lot of cookies and milk shakes. 

I love pictures so please keep them coming I would really like to have some printed ones of the family and Zion and just everything.

Mom & Dad I know this church is true and I will never forget it. Because of this amazing gospel that you guys have raised me in I now get to share this with all the wonderful people of Brazil. Thank you so much for raising me to a higher standard and getting me on a mission. This is truly the best thing I could ever do! I love you so much you don´t even know! Thank you for every thing, sorry I don´t have much time, but know that I love you and I am eternally grateful for your example!

The church is true and through the atonement of Jesus Christ we can return to the presence of God and live together with our family forever!

Thank you for everything you do I love you all so much! I have the greatest family in the world.

Elder Millard

October 23, 2015- Week #4

Hello Family,

What an amazing week! Thank you all so much for the emails, I love them all so much but we don´t have much time. Thank you for the pictures I love them! Sounds like it has been a good week back home I would have loved to been there and celebrate with all the kids. Tell them Happy Birthday, and that their favorite uncle Justin loves them! 

This week was great! The Portuguese is coming along each day. I have made really good friends with a lot of the Brazilians, they leave later this week so it will be sad to see them go, they helped my Portuguese so much. We also went out proselyting this week! That was an amazing experience! O dom de linguás is so real! Before my comp and I went out we shared something that would help us... I shared the one when we are promised that we will be given the words in the hour yeah the very minute I don´t remember the exact words but it was so true. I gave away 6 copies of the O Livro de Mormon and everytime was really awesome. We went to this bus station and talked to a lot of people I only got rejected twice, and I got a lot of compliments on my Portuguese haha! They were all so fun, and we had a lot of really good talks with some people. It was so nice to get out of the CTM and talk to real people! My favorite one was when we were talking to this guy for a while then after we got done some lady came up to us and started talking to us! She said she listened to our message and wanted a copy, she was so impressed with us. She told my Portuguese was really good then she looks at my companion and says "yours.... meis o menus" hahaha so I have been teasing him about that for a while. Really though we are pretty bad, but we fill in for each other and teach pretty well together. This week one of the sisters in our district was really sick and she went to the hospital, before she went she asked me to give her a blessing so that was a good experience for me.

I just got back from the São Paulo temple and it was so amazing!! This church is true and I feel it more and more every day!
I love the work I am doing here, I know I am doing God´s work! Learning the language and the gospel is really hard, but when we went out proselyting it really made me see how important this work is!! Its hard but thats the way it needs to be! Salvation is on the line and Salvation was never easy! Last Sunday we watched the "New Testament" and "Meet the Mormons" They were so amazing!! This is such a marvelous work its hard to comprehend!! "why would it be easy for us, when it was NEVER easy for HIM". 

Love you all! keep sending pictures! Hasten the Work and keep collecting those tiny flecks of GOLD!  You are the BEST Mom I LOVE YOU! Thanks you so much for getting me here!!!!! 

Elder Millard

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 16, 2015- Week 3!! - Portuguese is still hard, but I love this Gospel!

Hey All! 

This week has been great!  For those who know about the MTC, it has been about the same as every other week, haha. A LOT of time in the class room, and a LOT of eating. I still struggle to speak in Portuguese, but I would say that I can understand a lot more, of gospel talk that is. When someone talks to me about real life stuff, and not the PMG lessons than I feel very humbled. 
Just got back from the São Paulo temple and it was amazing as always. Both times I've gone I think about that picture of you and dad there! It is a wonderful experience!! This gospel is so awesome! The power of prayer is amazing, and the gift of tongues is real. My testimony has strengthened so much in these last couple weeks. 

Yes we get to go out into the city on P days and the city is massive! Buildings as far as you can see. Our room window looks out over the city, so it is a great view. I don't think the stars or the moon exist in São Paulo. My companion is from Georgia along with one other Elder in my district, so we get in these big arguments about how there isn´t a better state than Utah.
I can´t send pictures in the CTM so I´ll send them in about 3 more weeks. My district is super awesome and we have a lot of fun, sometimes we get a little distracted. My Brazilian roommates are awesome and I have learned a lot from them, but they just left yesterday so that's a bummer, we will probably get some new ones in a couple days.

I hope you all know how much I love and appreciate you all. Sorry for all the scattered talk and errors we only get 45 minutes and they stand here and watch us so it's hard to think straight. I love you all and you have all played a large part in getting me here. I love this work and I know for sure I am doing God's work. I LOVE this gospel and the work has to be hastened. Keep praying, and keep collecting those tiny flecks of precious spiritual gold. 


Love you all thanks for the prayers and all the support!


Elder Millard

Friday, October 9, 2015

October 9, 2015- CTM- Week #2

Hey mom, I just want you to know how much I love you! The CTM has been good. I can truly testify that learning a language is extremley hard!! I have enjoyed everything, the only thing that is kind of demoralizing is Potuguese, but the gift of tounges is real! I have progressed a lot from the first day so I am confident!
General conference was so AMAZING!  we got to listen with headphones in english, and it was so powerful. When Holland gave his talk on moms it had every missionary in the CTM bawling. hahah All the talks were just so incredible. We just got back from the São Paulo temple, and it was amazing! It was so beautiful!

About life in the CTM: We live on the 6th floor of the building so we climb a lot of stairs. The food is GREAT and yes we eat rice and beans every single day. I like my district a lot, my companion is massive. We are basically sit in class all day everyday, but a couple days ago we got our first exercise which was very much needed. I saw the Elder from Colemans mission ward so that was cool. I can´t even describe how awesome Conference was. We do mostly language study, not a lot of gospel but we teach about 2 lessons a day, so that helps.

I haven´t struggled at all with my emotions, but I honestly do lay in bed everynight just trying to comprehend how much I love my mom! and I can testify that the power of the priesthood, and the gift of tounges is real.
Make sure dad knows how much I love him, he is the one who has been that amazing priesthood holder in my life, and I am eternally grateful for that. I would love to be out hunting with dad and jake, but I know of assurity that I am doing the right thing here in Brazil. Make sure my everybody know how grateful I am for them. The whole community, my brothers and my amazing sister!

I love you guys all so much and I will keep on working hard here in Brazil to hasten the work.We have been blessed!

Elder Millard

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

September 29, 2015-Letter from the CTM President!

Dear Parents,
Sister Swensen and I are very happy to let you know that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil Missionary Training Center.  What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they begin their missionary experiences with us. We will surely take good care of your missionary.                                                                                                     
The missionaries now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  Their branch presidents and wives, will meet them this Sunday.  These wonderful couples are richly blessed as they work with, motivate, and interview the missionaries assigned to their branch.
The MTC has a full-time live-in physician to care for their health needs.  He is assisted by his able wife who is a nurse. We are also happy to report that the cafeteria food is plentiful, healthy and very good.
Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Wednesday or Friday, depending on individual assignments.
Your missionary is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of many others. President Lorenzo Snow said: “There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children".  We love these missionaries as if they were our own.  We will watch over them carefully to ensure they are ready for a wonderful missionary experience after the rewarding time they will have in the MTC.
We thank you for preparing such a wonderful representative of the Lord.
President Robert Swensen and Sister Julie Swensen
PLEASE DO NOT SEND PACKAGES to the Brazil Missionary Training Center. All packages must be sent directly to the mission where your missionary will be serving not the MTC. If you have already mailed a package to the Brazil MTC, please understand that the package cannot be forwarded to his or her mission and will be returned to you.

WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE SENDING HAND WRITTEN LETTERS. Please write your missionary´s first and last name. Your missionary will provide you with his district and box number. Also, please DO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS, or other private carriers.  The cost to process this type of correspondence is exorbitant.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

May 16, 2015-Called to Serve!!!

Called to Serve in the Land of Justin's mom Julie's Birth!
You are hereby called to serve in the Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission! Reporting September 29th, 2015.