Connor's Rio Address

Here is the mission home address for letters and packages:
Elder Connor Keetch Ottosen
Brazil Rio de Janeiro Mission
Dois de Dezembro 78
Salas 703/704 Flamengo
Rio de Janeiro RJ 22220-040
You can also e-mail him at
He can get e-mails AND now he can e-mail family and friends back!!!!!
THANKS for the letters! He says they are like gold!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Traveling and training

Hey Family!! 
Wow what a week, without a doubt the most tiring week of the mission but it was good. haha. This Friday we woke up at 3 30 and took two buses to have training with Elder Costa, who used to be in the presidency of the 70. I learned tons and really felt the spirit there. He told us of this story about when he was mission president in Manaus and he had a missionary teach 150 people in one lesson, and baptize 47 in one day.. wow. Blew my mind. haha But it gave me more hope that we can have some baptisms soon. It was a bit frustrating yesterday cause we worked our butts off, and had 11 people that said they would go to church. We visited 7 yesterday morning and called 2, only one came.. haha but it happens. The one that came is Rafaela. She is 10 years old, and has a 16-year-old brother who is a member. He mom is inactive but Rafaela wants to be baptized next week so we are going to talk to her parents and see what happens. She is super smart and reads better that any of our other investigators. haha we have at least 2 that don´t know how to read so its complicated sometimes. But this is still going really good with Elder Lima, we are finding lots of new investigators and learning and growing tons. We had a division with the ZL´s last week and I loved it. I realized a bit more why it is so important to follow the spirit and not always what seems logical. Go to the back of the Bible and look at the Map of the Exodus. It makes no sense why Moses wouldn´t go up and over the red sea instead of directly into it, but he followed the spirit and it is what saved them, because if he would have gone up and over, probably the Egyptians would have caught and killed them I thought that was really interesting.

93 names! Wow congrats!! We had classes all yesterday about family history and the temple, I would love to be able to do lots of researching and temple work after the mission. Find any other cool stories or anything?
Unfortunately the weather is returning to heat, but the semi cold weather was great while it lasted. haha 
Anyways love you all so much and send my love to everyone there! Hope you guys have a great week! Love, Elder Connor Ottosen

Monday, July 23, 2012

surprise investigator at church

Oi Família!! 
So another good week with Elder Lima! We are finding tons of new people to teach. We have almost 10 people that aren´t married but with a free marriage coming up here September 1st, so we are trying to prepare everyone we can. Yesterday in church we had 6 people lined up to go, but no one showed up at the beginning and I was getting frustrated. Then as a super blessing one of our non-married investigators brought a 19 year old friend, then one of our contacts on the street showed up, who is 17. I have almost never heard of a street contact going to church before being taught. It was super awesome and we are going to teach both and see about baptizing them this Sunday. We also had some contacts that had already been to the church lots of times in the past but never gotten baptized so we are going to work with them too.
Being a senior is a ton of work, every day we get home I am completely dead, we are working way hard, but I love it. I feel so satisfied and we are preparing this area to have lots of baptisms.
So the members help with missionary work, we can usually get some references and have the ward mission leader leave to teach with us, but we want to excite the ward a lot more. We are planning ward integration nights every Wednesday in hope to help the ward get excited about missionary work, and it seems to be working. The area hasn´t had tons of success recently but we are excited to change this.
Also had a cool experience doing contacts this week, we did a contact and the lady was a less active that had been thinking about returning. She saw the fact that we talked to her as a sign that she need to return and went to church yesterday! Man I love it when I can see that I was used to help make someone’s life better.
Another cool thing is I was called to give a 20 minute talked about respect in sacred places, I thought it would be hard at first but by the end I was excited to talk, and actually went over the time limit. Man what a change that is. haha
Hope Draper Days was a blast!! It is blessedly cold last week, in the 60s all week, hahah everyone here was complaining and in full out coats and scarves. Amazing... Tell Grandpa happy birthday, I will send a card to him when we make it to the post office. And tell Paige congrats on girl’s camp. 
Well I love you guys and hope that all is well. We can be happy no matter what our external situations if we are close to God. Thanks for everything and have a wonderful week! Cause I know I will. Love Elder Ottosen

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New comp

Hey!! Hope everyone is doing great in Utah!! Sorry this week will be a bit rushed.
So my new comp is Elder Lima da Silva, from Fortaleza, Brazil! He just has 6 days in the mission field and I will be training him for the next 12 weeks. It is funny because the missionary in his home ward is actually a missionary that was in my district in the mtc, elder orchard. Also everyone that arrived with me from the mtc is now at least senior. Elder Kerr my former comp is now zone leader. haha I knew he was a great missionary.
This past week has been lots of work, but lots of time to grow, really a great opportunity to train. Elder Lima already knows tons and really has a strong desire to serve. He is the only member in his family, but his family is supportive.
So this week we did lots of finding new investigators. We found a family of 6 that we will teach tonight, and I am really excited to teach them. We also have like 6 couples, many are willing to get baptized, but they need to marry. So we are also working on that. haha
There is lots of work to do this transfer and we are excited to get some baptisms and reactivations!
So the other day I was thinking about my faith. I came on the mission with faith, but all that strong. So I would constantly pray to have more faith. It is funny because there was never one specific moment on my mission where I can say, wow, ya right there everything change, but really after months it slowly grew and slowly and slowly until today I have such a strong testimony. I am so grateful to be a missionary.
Another thing I realized is that God is light, literally. It is like we are in a dark field, and it is the middle of the night without any stars or anything. There is a house on the other side of the field. We can´t see it in the dark, we don´t know anything about it, even if it exists. But as the sun starts to rise, we can first make out the borders, and slowly and slowly more details are understood. Until it is midday and we have a perfect understanding of the house and every little detail. The more the spirit and the Lord are in our lives, the more understanding and perfect knowledge we have of the gospel, until hopefully one day we can know every little detail. 
So tell Cole Happy Birthday! And Grandma also! I will write them both letters.
Hope the 24th is fun for you guys, one of my favorite holidays.
Love, Elder Connor Ottosen

Monday, July 9, 2012


Well Happy Independence Day!! And Happy Birthday Cole!! Hope it is a good one. So this email is going to be super quick. I am here in at a Stake Center because we have training in an hour. Because I am TRAINING!!! haha I am super nervous but way exciting, we will meet our new comps tomorrow. I don´t even know who mine is yet but I will let you know next week. I will stay in Saracuruna and this transfers we will do some WORK!! haha Well love you guys tons tons, talk to you next week!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

One little light

Hey Family!
Sounds like Alaska was a blast! Glad you guys were able to have fun! Reminds me of living in Washington, I would love to go back and visit some time. So we had a decent week this week. On Tuesday we did divisions with the Zone Leaders, I stayed here in the area with Elder Duce. I learned a lot from him and really loved the opportunity. We were able to find some new investigators on the street, and hopefully we can help them progress. We have a few people that are progressing and going to church right now, only that they are all not married. There is a free marriage thing on the 1st of September, but it’s a long ways to wait.

 I am particularly excited for this one guy named Eduardo. I think I talked about him a little last week. We taught him and he loved the message, and loves the church. Then this fast Sunday, he went up and bore one of the best testimonies. I think everyone was impressed with him. He will be a great member and leader, we just need to get him married. Besides that we reactivated a family. The dad’s name is Bruno, he is super cool, speaks Arabic, English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French. It is because he worked on Royal Caribbean on their Europe cruises. We meet him at a ward party on Saturday and talked to him and got him to come to church Sunday! He is married and has a daughter of 2 years. He is also a former missionary. It is funny because when one of his cruises was in Turkey, he met the missionaries there. They said that their last transfer the entire mission baptized 16, Bruno served in Salvador Brazil, and would often personally baptize 20 in one week. Crazy, haha. But we are trying to work a lot more with less actives and try to re activate while at the same time baptize.

 So Saturday we had Festa Juninia at the Church. It is a party that Brazilians throw in the months of June and July (Depending what day you choose to have it) It is a Northern celebration, basically the equivalent of a random holiday for hicks. haha But it was seriously awesome! We had tons of non-members and less actives show up, and there was tons of food and dancing. I really think it surpasses any ward party that I have ever been a part of. haha, But Brazilians really know how to party, that is for sure. It was good through cause it shows non-members that church can be fun and helps them make friendships really fast.

Last cool thing is that last night the little 4-month-old girl of a member was feeling sick. The member lives underneath us so we went to give her a blessing. It was like 8 30 at night a dark, and halfway through the first part we heard a bang, and all the lights went out except for the room we were in. Something happened to the power in our street, and the entire neighborhood didn´t have enough power to power a light bulb except for that one room we were in, so we finished the blessing and went home. haha pretty cool. 

Anyways I pray that you guys get some rain. Sounds like the fire danger is pretty bad! It hasn´t been cold here either, even though it is winter. 90´s this past week. Tell Paige to get better soon!

 So I read a talk by Holland, I have heard it a lot before, but I loved it! It is Safety for the Soul by Holland in 2009. Also something I realized about the gospel that I love, is that is gives us the opportunity to really create our own happiness and pleasure. Many people these days become slaves to things in order to have enjoyment or happiness. Money, cars, drugs, immorality, anything really. But the gospel allows us to find happiness independent of worldly things, happiness inside of us, free for all if they will just follow some simple counsel. How great that is! Anyways I love you guys! Hope that the anniversary was great and also Happy 4th of July! Hope you guys have fun! Love you and thank you. Peace out!
Elder Connor Ottosen