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, October 29, 2012

Small miracles

Hey Family!
Well I am still learning to work in this area but things are starting to get a bit better. We had interviews with our President last week and they were awesome. He shared the story with Paul was teaching and he suffered tons, was beaten, and thrown in jail. Only after many trials and tribulations did the Lord send a miracles (an Earthquake) and the jail guard and his entire family were baptized. Presidente explained that this area is a lot different that the others that I have served, I need to really work a ton with the members here. But I am excited to work here, it is really giving me tons of opportunities to grow and get better. This past week we found some really good new investigators that we are going to work this week. It was interesting last week we saw a recent convert on the street. She came up to us and told us she was leaving the church. That she didn´t feel comfortable at church, that she didn´t understand and because the gospel was too hard to live. After talking with her for about an hour with couldn’t convince her to stay, so we told her to pray about it and we would return and see what she thought. We returned Sunday and she was all ready for church. She never told us how she was answered, but it was obvious God answered her prayer very clearly. It was awesome to see that an honest prayer can do.

 I love you guys all so much and hope that you guys have a great week. Also that is great to hear that grandma is doing well. Tell Grandma and Grandpa I love them and good luck getting better or having surgery.
Anyways I love you all so much and wish you guys a happy Halloween and a great week
Love, Elder Ottosen

One Year!

Hey Family!
So finally got one year. Man it is absolutely crazy how fast the time goes, it seriously seems like one month ago I was getting ready to leave on the mish. It really goes to show how we need to take advantage of the time that we have to use. So this week we tried a lot of new ways to find new investigators. We have very few, and they aren´t progressing at the moment. We are trying to mark a time to help with an English school, and meet some new people like that. Also I am starting to know some of the members, and we are going to work with them to get new references. Last Saturday there was a cool activity that happened in all of Rio. The ward got together, and everyone (30 members that came) grabbed some pass along cards and then went out of the streets, knocking doors and making contacts. I thought it was really cool cause gave the members a taste of missionary work, and will help them to continue participating in the work. They bore their testimonies after and many had some cool spiritual experiences. It was also cool yesterday, we didn´t have any investigators in church so we prayed and went to the front of the chapel and did contacts. Right when we were giving up we talked to a man who gladly accepted to come watch. It was literally a miracle because everyone was not receptive at all. He lives really far away at the top of a mountain but we have marked to visit him this week. It shows the tender mercies of the Lord in our life. Besides that the week was pretty normal and a bit difficult, i am seeing the we will need to be really creative to find people to teach
in this area. But it was cool one night we were walking down the street and heard a person say "hey do you guys want some water?" in perfect English. This guy was born in Germany, and has lived all over the world doing missionary work. His Dad was from Georgia. He has now
lived in Brazil for 12 years and has a family here. He is part of some church I had never heard of, really small. But I was really impressed on how happy he was serving others and doing this work his entire
life. His mom did the same thing. She served in Africa the majority of her life, really an inspiration. She died in a suicide bombing in South Africa during the 2010 world cup. Anyways I thought it was really
cool to see the sacrifices some good people do to help others. It is so so true, that we will only find our lives when we lose them. I have been studying a lot about love, I think that is what we are really
needing to have more results here. Anyways wish Grandpa and Grandma luck with the surgery. Without a
doubt everything will go fine, and I expect to see a wonderful garden planted by grandma when I get back.
Well I got to go, we found a Wal-Mart in our area that we are crazy to go to. I love you guys and thank you so much for the prayers and help. Have a wonderful week!
Love, Elder Ottosen

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Clean, clean clean

Hey! Sorry I am just emailing today, everywhere was closed yesterday because it was a holiday. Labor day or something. 
So this week was a bit difficult. Man I miss poor areas. haha But me and my comp are working really hard to find new investigators. The area is really cool though. Lost of city and huge apartment complexes, and the hills are covered with favelas (That we can´t enter.) It is a ton ton different that my other areas. My members that I have meet are really cool. In church is was testimony meeting, no one was getting up so I went up and bore my testimony about missionary work. About how I wanted to see all the banks filled and have to have them open the curtain to put more chairs. It was really cool cause after that almost all the testimonies were about missionary work. Without a doubt it will be a great transfer. Last week we had a really inspiring zone conference with president. He talked a ton about obedience, and doing miracles in our areas. He is super spiritual and I learned tons that I will try to apply in my work here. He talked about how it is important to really apply what we learn. So many people go to church, or listen to conference, feel the spirit, and then return to normal. We need to really do what we learn. 
Also I got the journal, plus the one-year package and the Halloween package. Thanks so so so so much! My comp and me loved it. Haha Looks like the last package you sent only took 10 days to get here. So don´t worry about sending Christmas early, maybe the beginning of December. Also my shirt size is 16.5.
So living with 4 is more fun, I like it more. The only annoying things are the house gets dirtier a lot faster, and we have to walk longer to get to our area. 
So it sounds like you guys had a blast in Cali! Dolphins, Six flags, flea market? Wow I am jealous. Haha Say hi to Grandma and Grandpa for me. I wasn´t able to write them because yesterday we used the ENTIRE day cleaning the house, it was still horrible after one p day. But now I can actually feel the spirit. President said something interesting. We are hear on the Earth to progress and become more like God, one day be Gods. Gods house is perfectly cleaned and organized. Ours should be too if we want to one day be like him. It was cool because there are lots of problems with mistreated houses in the mission. Anyways wish Grandma luck with the operation.
And no I never did get that email of the week. Try sending it without pictures attached.
I love you all and am always praying for you all. I hope you guys have an amazing week full of miracles, because miracles will never stop as long as we have faith. 
With Love, Elder Connor Ottosen

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My new area

Hey Family! Well What a week. haha So Transfers happen every 6 weeks, but President doesn´t have a schedule for who leaves when.
So my new area is super different that the other ones I have had. Tijuca is more or less rich with lots of huge apartment buildings, lots of stores, and even a subway system and stuff. On the hills there are a bunch of favelas though, really poor areas that used to have lots of crime but are more or less better now. Look up the favela of Borel, supposedly it is famous and sits right next to our church. I live in a house with 4 missionaries in the area of AndaraĆ­. We live 5 minutes from the stake center of AndaraĆ­, but like 30 minutes from our chapel. My comp is pretty cool. He is actually a red head from Coalfaux? California, close to sacramento. He only has 5 months on the mission so he is still learning, but he is really dedicated. The other two that live with us are 2 Brazilians, that are pretty awesome. It is interesting to see how wealth has an affect of people accepting the gospel. In Saracuruna most of the people were pretty humble, and out of 20 street contacts we got 7 to 10 addresses. Here if we do 20 contacts we get maybe 1 or 2 if we are luckily. So this area we will have to work a lot with references and the members of the ward. Besides that the area is cool. Last week we ate at McDonalds for lunch and another day a member took us to a delicious pizza buffet because she didn´t know how to cook. 
So we have very few investigators and are working to get more. We just had one person that came to church, it was the friend of a member, which we are going to try and teach this week. Unfortunately most of the old investigators of this area live in Favelas, and President is telling us we shouldn´t work there very much now so we have lots of work to do. So yeah the Tijuca forest is in my area, and I am excited to visit that. There are no beaches in my area, Jardim Botanical is actually part of the AP´s area. My area here isn´t too big because so many people live in such a small area. 
So we don´t do District "Activities", but I have to arrange a district meeting once a week. But I liked those Ideas and will have to use some of them to get the ward excited. 
I hope you guys had an awesome time at California! Sounds like you guys had a bunch of awesome things planned, and you will have to send me stories and pictures. 
So Wow can you believe that conference!!!! 18 for young men and 19 for women! I am super excited about that!!! Think of all the opportunities it opens for people. Man it is awesome to think we will have more missionaries now. And the talks they had, amazing! I could talk for an entire day about the talks, but one I really loved was Jeffery R Holland, as usualrelated the apostles 3 years with Jesus with a missionaries 2 years on the mission. It really touched me and changed my way of thinking. I love conference!!!! I can´t believe at one point I thought it annoying to have to get up at 10 on Saturday.. wow. haha. 
Anyways I love you guys! And am constantly praying for you. It is interesting how my point of view, priorities, and everything has change. I am of course the same person, just that the mission helps you too see with spiritual eyes, hear with spiritual ears, and be overall more learned and experienced. 
Love, Elder Connor Ottosen

Monday, October 1, 2012

Farewell Saracuruna!

Hey Family!! 
So I am leaving Saracuruna! My next area is Tujuca!!! I am super excited because it is in the center of the city, more or less close to Crist the Redeemer. My new comp will be Elder Marston. I don´t know him but he is a new missionary that only has two transfers. It should be a great transfer and I am really excited. This past week was lots of work but unfortunately not a whole lot of results. But remember that woman I talked about early, Cintia who was going to marry but the marriage was canceled? She was getting ready to separate from her husband because he was drinking tons. But she invited us over and we finally had an opportunity to talk with him. He is great and I pray so much that he can stop drinking so they can get married and baptized. Cintia is an investigator I will always remember, even though she didn´t get baptized with me. When we received her as a reference she was living really worldly and not very happily. Over the past 3 months I have noticed the change in her. It is hard to describe but exactly like a new life a light in her. This happens with lots of our investigators but I thought it was interesting just how strongly I was able to see it in her. Only Jesus Christ and his Gospel could do this. But besides this things are going well in Saracuruna. I think that the members are really trusting us and I am super excitied to hear what happens this next transfer. 
But that Missionary Mom meeting sounds like it was awesome! I almost died listening to the food you guys ate. haha But yeah that would be cool with the weather forecast and questions in bold. 
So I will translate the letter and leave it with Elder J Lima. I loved the letter, I remember that experience perfectly. Man it goes to show how the spirit talkes to other people for us sometimes when we aren´t listening. The Mom has 2 kids, one is a guy of 15 years that is a member. Also I haven´t seen monkeys.. yet. I have seen videos from other missionaries or monkeys though. haha I am dying to see some. 
Congrats to Cole on the new job!! And Paige on LAX! Sounds like things are pretty busy at home. hahah I laughed so hard to hear kade ate a pepper. Sounds like me. I actually have a desire to taste the one he tried. hahahaha
If you here anything about Jake let me know. 
Wow will send me pics of California and have lots of fun! I am jealous! hahah 
Anyways I pray you guys have a good week. The baptism of Maria was the coolest baptism I have had yet. We had a family night with her last night that was amazing. What a woman of Faith.
It is so true how we grow and improve on the mission. Before the mission I didn´t like studying the scriptures,  now I love it! I actually just finished the Book of Mormon in Portuguese today! What a wonderful book! I am really happy and loving the mission. It is interesting when you focus on the work, how you are able to find so much happiness (with a fair share of disappointments also. haha )
Have fun in Cali! Love you all!
Elder Ottosen