Sunday, August 25, 2013

Almost out of the MTC

Bom Dia,

Got about a week and a half left here at the MTC!! The time has flown by. I remember when I just got here. It is so cool seeing how much I have learned in this short time. Last Wednesday I was able to be a Host missionary for the new arrivals. It was pretty cool! We would wait outside for them to be dropped off, greet the family and talk with them and then grab his bags and take him to get all the stuff he will need and to his dorm and classroom. It was tough seeing all these families dropping their missionary off, but the new missionaries are all super excited and ready. I got to Host three guys. They are going to Norway, Mexico City, and the West Indies. Some were more upset than others, but they are all ready and excited to serve. I met a mom from the Dallas area as she and her family was dropping her son off so we talked for a few minutes. She guessed I was from Texas before I said where I was from. She said it was the "yall" and the "yes ma'am" that had her guessing it. Ha. Her son was a stud safety for a 5A school there. 

Thank you for the package of cookies and stuff you and Aspen made!! So good, I have already eaten about 15 of them and I got it last night. Ha. Its funny because on Monday I was sitting in class and I zoned out and started thinking about food cause I was hungry and then it made me really want some of your cookies. haha. Guess you got a little inspiration for making them, Thanks :)I’m getting better with the language! It’s so crazy about how much easier I can remember things after only studying it a few times. My study habits are a lot better, since I really didn’t have any before I came here. It is so cool speaking with people in Portuguese and then not having to really even think while you reply to what they said. It just flows and comes out right. Kinda choppy sometimes but it's alright ha. I am getting better at rolling my tongue when I speak but some words I have a lot of trouble with saying. I just can’t pronounce it right since it is spelled completely different then it sounds. But it is going great! Today we get to teach someone over Skype in Brazil!! Its gonna be crazy hearing how fast they speak.

I have got to see Kyle (Elder Nunez) a few times this week! He is doing great. He brought me a huge bag of sour patch kids. haha. We mess with each other about whose language is better since he is learning Spanish and it is similar to Portuguese. (Portuguese is way better).  Above my classroom is where the Italians are. I can actually understand what they are saying which is pretty sweet. Portuguese is like in between Italian and Spanish so if you know Portuguese you can kinda understand both of them.  Just a few little differences. It is cool talking with people from the dorms who are actually from Brazil and learning English, we get to help each other out. I went up to one of the guys and opened a conversation, taught a little bit, then bore my testimony. He said beside my accent, it was perfect. It’s pretty cool! 

With school starting up it has made me think a lot about home and yall and what I am missing out on, Noah senior season, Aspens first year on varsity cheerleading, and Olivia starting up school sports, all my friends and family, and my awesome parents.  But that is just a testimony about how much I love this gospel and my Savior to give that up for two years. Heavenly Father truly is blessing yall and understands the struggles. I know I am being blessed. 
I can feel yalls prayers when I get down on myself or miss home. The more I learn, the more excited and stoked I get to be in Brazil!! I can't wait!!!!! 
I am so blessed to have the opportunity to come here and serve! It is a blessing to be able to do it and I am so ready to get out there! After meeting and becoming friends with some of the disabled missionaries, it has opened my eyes. Some of them serve their mission here at the MTCfor two years, getting to talk with people all over the world. They are always so happy and smiling, and its an inspiration seeing how happy they are to serve and do what they can. They are awesome!! 

I love you all so much!! You are all a blessing in my life. I am who I am because of yall. Thanks for all the love and support. Eu te amo.


Elder Bean

[ If Lofton's visa isn't processed before September 2, then he will receive a temporary assignment somewhere in the U.S. until it is ready.  He will find out this week what that is.] 

 Lofton and Kyle Nunez, his friend from Texas who is going to Argentina.

Looking like a FB player on Pday.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

3 Weeks In

Oi familia,

 A lot of stuff has happened this week. It has been great!! So every Sunday and Tuesday Night we have devotionals and we get together with all 4000 missionaries here. The Tuesday Night one is held in the Marriot Center where BYU basketball plays. The set up on the stage for the speaker is usually nice but when we walked into in this Tuesday, the set up was legit!! I knew we would be hearing from an apostle and not just some "average Joe" haha.  Sure enough, Richard G. Scott was our speaker, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles!!  I had a middle seat about 13 rows up so I had an awesome seat! It was such a great and spiritual experience. I knew for a fact that he was a man called of God. He brought such a strong spirit into the room and you could feel the genuine love he had for us. His talk was about prayer. It opened my eyes to a lot of things, and I have never taken so many notes or paid attention as well as I did that night during a talk haha.   Throughout the talk he was pretty emotional, and at then end he decided to tell us why. His wife died in 1995, and he said that Heavenly Father had granted her permission to attend the talk. It was so cool. He talked about how the times will get hard. But to always be prayerful. He is an old man, but when he spoke he was so powerful and strong. I will always remember that experience.

The temple opened this week so we are all so stoked about getting to go later today! It will be so cool going and I can’t wait.  My testimony of Jesus Christ continues to grow and grow. When I think it hits its peak, it just keeps on going. I have gained a greater appreciation for the Atonement, and for him atoning for our sins. I feel so blessed and lucky that I have so much support from people back home.  Yalls prayers mean a lot and I can feel them when I am down. Every time we go and teach our investigator I am able to say more but more importantly understand more and more which is so cool. One time I didn’t even have to translate what he said in Portuguese into English in my head. I just started talking back in Portuguese before I could even think. It was so cool.

My nickname around here is "Tank". It is cool meeting guys from all over the world who have the same beliefs and want to serve our  Heavenly Father. The room down the hall near where the pull-up bar is, has a guy from France, Hong Kong, and Fiji. I have talked to them a lot and their English is phenomenal for only being in here a couple weeks. I have run into some guys from Brazil that are going to the U.S. They are learning English so we will go back and forth correcting each other on how to say certain things in the language we are learning.

I love yall so much! I pray everyday God will watch over you and I know he does. I am so excited to get out there and bringing happiness to these people!!

I miss yall!! Families are forever


Elder Bean

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Thanks for the care package!!!! I”ve been stuffing my face and all that is left is the oreos. Haha.  Saved them for the end ha. Thanks also for the DearElder's. Its nice going to get mail each night and seeing you got one. Even if its just a short message. I miss you all so much. Im starting to get into
the groove of things and the language is starting to click and make more and more sense each day. I am able to study words and phrases and I don’t forget them! Heavenly Father truly does bless and help with learning the language. They always tell us that if we do our part he will take care of the rest. Its true. I will write a little bit of my testimony but I am just going off memory without any books or anything so some words might be misspelled.

Eu tenho um testemunho, Jesus Cristo e meu Salvador e Redentor. Eu sei que O Livro de Mormon e' palavres de Deus. Deus e' o nosso amorosso Pai Celestial.  Eu sei que voce podge voltar e viver com Deus. Thomas S. Monson e' um profeta hoje. A igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Ultimos Dias e' verdidara.  O Livro de Mormon e' verdidara. Com batchismo, nos podemos voltar e viver com Pai Celestial. Eu amor o meu familia e amigos. Eu sei que familias e' eterno. Espirito Santo e' o nosso Consolador. Deus abencoas familias. Meu famila e' bencaous por meu servir Jesus Cristo e Pai Celestial.  Eu sou missionario por A igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Ultimos dias. Eu tenho fe em Jesus Cristo. Ele o nosso Salvador. Ele vives.  Eu tenho fe que Deus repostas orandos. Eu sei que nos podemos ser limp outra vez. A igreja e' verdadiera. Eu sei que.  Em nome de Jesus Cristo, amem. 

I'm sure a couple words are misspelled but its ok haha. I wanted it to be from memory so it would be genuine. It is so cool being able to speak to people.I am at the point when say thanks I always say "Obrigado", haha or "Oi" for hi. We try to use SYL (speak your language) as much as possible. So if we know a word in portuguese we use it so when we talk its alot of "portu-lish" haha  Marcos was just a teacher for a different district that played the role as an investigator. But starting today we are doing TRC.  TRC is that we will get either an actor that speaks portuguese or an actual nonmember! We have no idea until we knock on the door and find out.  A companionship learning korean  got a nonmember to be actually baptized last week! It was cool, she spoke at our Sunday devotional and had a translator.  She was saying that even though their korean wasn't perfect, the Spirit they brought into the room is what she always remembered when they left and is what testified to her that it was true.

I actually got taught a lesson yesterday that I noticed was a great experience. So usually, I am able to go into the sessions when we teach our investigator as a companionship in a great mood and feeling the Spirit really strong and the words just come naturally and I always know what to say. Yesterday, I was really frustrated.  When we got in the room, I just wasn't feeling the spirit and every time I tried to talk, my words would be all jumbled up and it made no sense. I forgot a lot of the things I had planned on talking about and just couldn't really speak.  I realized later that day that what happened was a blessing. I truly found out for myself, that without the Spirit, I cannot teach these people and help them come unto Christ. I had a heart to heart with my companion and he agreed. Without the Spirit between us, the investigator won't be able to feel it. I know that I can only speakthis language and let others to come unto Christ if I have the Spirit with me. Without it I am nothing. Just useless words with no true meaning.  It was a great experience.

 I love and miss you all so much! I know that Heavenly Father is blessing not only me, but also you! I pray every morning and night that you will all be watched over and protected and I get up afterwards feeling a strong peace that I know He knows. I can feel the blessings I have received from all your prayers. Thank you so much for raising me the way you did, and I was blessed with the best siblings to be an older brother to. I love you all so much and couldn't do this without yall.


Elder Bean

 All the Elders in his District

  Provo temple in the background

 Angel Moroni on top of the temple

In the Book of Mormon the 2000 Stripling Warriors (a group of young men) defended their freedom and the freedom of their people. "And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all–they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted." Alma 53:20 "Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.  And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it." Alma 56:47-48

 Elder Williams
 Companion Elder Smith

Friday, August 2, 2013

Espirito Santo (Holy Spirit)

Lofton's Pday (preparation day) is Friday while he is in the Provo, Utah MTC.  He can read and respond to email on that day. His address is  To get him a message any day you can go to and fill out a "letter" to him, his unit #258.

These are two emails that we got from Lofton today:


Oi from the mtc!!! I miss yall so much. Friday is my Pday so I can use email and do all the laundry which I just finished. Everything is going good here!! The spirit is so strong and my love for this gospel and my Savior has only grown since I got here. Everyone told us when we first got here that the first couple days until Sunday would feel like eternity then it would start to fly by. They were right! It felt like seriously 2 months over just 4 days. So much information is being given to you and thrown into the fire starting day one. But since Sunday the time has flown by. Getting in the rhythm of things.  We started learning Portuguese day one, and had to teach our first investigator as a companionship on our first Friday in only Portuguese!! We just finished our 5th lesson with "Marcos" and are about to receive two more investigators. I am starting to understand more and more of the language each time and I can now speak without relying on my notes.
I can now hold conversations with ease and bear my testimony in Portuguese. I have memorized a couple scriptures and our missionary purpose as well. I can say a simple prayer, but I’m almost to the point where I can mix it up each time.
So here at the mtc you are split into districts, which is like your family. You do everything with them. Then several districts make up a branch. That’s who we all meet with on Sunday for sacrament meeting.
My district is very unique and different. First of all we have no sister missionaries in our district. Most have at least 6 or more. We just have 14 elders. (which means we get distracted easily). The sisters have a special spirit and are able to keep the elders on task. Also, everyone is from somewhere other than Utah which is pretty cool! We all have similar experiences. 6 of us are straight out of high school and the other 8 have either one year or are almost done with college. The oldest guy in our district just turned 26 yesterday.
My companion is Elder Smith. He is from Minnesota, 21 years old, and went to BYU-Idaho for two years.
In Portuguese "Smith" is pronounced "Smeetch". So I call him "Elder Smeeeeeetch". haha.
He is a good guy who loves the gospel and has a strong testimony. He is a little socially awkward and doesn't show emotion so it is frustrating at times but he is a great guy. He is always focused and trys to speak the language all the time. It helps me out cause I get distracted easily but he helps me stay on task. He never smiled for the first few days but now he laughs occasionally and smiles sometimes haha. He doesn’t like hugs but I’m trying to break him in.
The district is awesome and the MTC is full of spiritual powerful guys. I actually ran into and talked with Trevor Anderson and Braden Call from Logan if yall remember them?
Its good hearing from yall. We get our letters each night besides the emails so it is awesome when you get one or a few ha!

I love you all!!!!


Elder Bean


So me and my companion just got done teaching our investigator, Marcos, his last lesson. As we were talking about baptism, he said he didn't want to because his mother believed in a different church than him and she would be upset and hurt. He knows the church is true and that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He just couldn't get pass that hump. So I started bearing my testimony. Using broken Portuguese to help explain things and hand signals but the spirit was so strong in that room. The Spirit was so strong. He started to tearup and cry. I started to tear up as I explained my purpose and why I was on a mission. And how I left all my family and friends behind in the U.S. so I could bring the gospel to him and him have the true happiness that comes with it. I told him it would not be easy, that it would be hard. But to have faith and he would receive blessings and his family would be blessed. Through his tears and mine and invited him to follow the example of Jesus Cristo and be baptized. The Spirit testified
to him that it was true.

He accepted the invitation to be baptized. It was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life.
This has opened my eyes to why I am here. I felt such a deep love for him and knew that by being baptized and having faith, everything would work out and be ok.
I truly do know now why I am here and what my purpose is.

Afterwards I celebrated like I had just thrown a TD pass.
Not because I got a baptism, but because he decided to take a leap of faith and follow in the footsteps of his Savior, Jesus Cristo.
And Espirito Santo (Holy Spirit) testified to him, that what we were teaching him was true.


Elder Bean