Elder Keller & Elder Phillips in Sao Paulo

Elder Keller & Elder Phillips in Sao Paulo

Monday, March 9, 2015

#27 & #28 March 9, 2015 Update on Elder Keller

2nd week with no General Email from Ian, but I thought I'd send you a few clips from emails we have gotten because many of you have been following the story of what is going on with Ian and his mission recently.  In case you don't know, Ian got transferred to a new area about a month ago where there are 4 elders in the apartment.  The other companionship in the apartment consists of a new greenie from WA who is being "trained" by an older missionary who is Brazilian, like 25 or 26 Yrs old, and is leaving to go home next week.  We'll call the older missionary Elder A.  Elder A has been a zone leader and served as a secretary in the office for a while so people all look up to him as a leader in the mission but Ian was surprised that Elder A has his own secret Samsung Galaxy smartphone & often stays in bed most of the day on it, only going out for lunch appointments with members or if they have an appointment.  Ian has also discovered that many of the "legends" or leaders in the mission also have these phones & have been known to break many other rules, sometimes much more serious ones. 
Ian's companion, who is Brazilian, and who is very obedient, was leery of telling the mission president about what was going on.  But we encouraged Ian to discuss it all with him.  Last week, Ian used his time on the computer to write to the mission president to let him know, so he had no time to write a general letter.  Today was similar and they had to cut their email time short.  Although we haven't gotten the full story about it, I'll share a few clips from his emails to us....

(From his Mission Ties family letter to us written last Monday that we got this morning...)
I am starting to see more of what is going on.  At this conference we went to President literally talked about rules the whole time and it felt like no one in the entire group that was there gave a rats rear end about what he was saying.  What I am seeing is that all these older missionaries try to turn the new ones right when they get out here so that everything keeps on going.  But that can't happen anymore.  I know that! Things are gonna change, I just don't know how long it is going to take.  Don't worry about sending an email (to the President).  I've chosen my side now & I am kind of ticked that it took me so long but I'll tell President Silva everything I learn. Besides the cell phones, there are absolutely ridiculous stories that happened here!  It is crazy! (Missionaries stealing money from the mission office, going to visit girls in other areas, etc.) ...So I am gonna do everything in my power to stop it!  I promise!  If I was the MP I wouldn't want all this to be hidden from me.  So I guess we'll see what happens. 

This week I went on splits with one of our Zone Leaders, "Elder B" who is the legend of the mission!  He became AP at like 10 months out & everyone says he is an awesome teacher.  We started out the split teaching 3 lessons and holy cow the guy is an amazing teacher & awesome missionary. But Elder A had said the Elder B had picked up a cell phone this last transfer.  I was super confused because he was this awesome missionary who knew the scriptures & showed me awesome new ways to study the scrips but Elder A said he had gotten a cell phone.  The whole day I was drilling him with questions 1. because he is an awesome guy and I know I can learn from him but 2. I wanted to see if he really had one.  Closer to the end of the day he finally told me he did & showed me how he just got one of the secretaries (elders) in the office to grab an old one & then he bought some minutes.  Not a smartphone, a piece of crud actually, but still a phone. (You just buy these chips here to put into a phone with minutes on them.)  He said he was using it to talk to his girlfriend back in the Sao Paulo & I was totally shocked.  This guy had been to BYU Idaho to study for a year, which is super hard for a Brasilian to do & he speaks English fluently and is an awesome missionary.  So we ended up talking about that for a long time & why he thought it was okay to have one.  And this isn't some dumb kid.  He really is an awesome missionary & reminds me a lot of Dad just minus the cell phone.  So I asked him what he would do in my position, knowing all these things.  He said he didn't know.  I also asked him if he thinks he will be able to say that he did everything he could for his mission & he said he didn't know yet & would have to answer me before he went home.  (He is going home March 16th too with Elder A).  And that was it, the split was over.  He called me a few days later & told me that he broke the phone & knew it was wrong.  So I guess there is still hope.  It didn't make sense because everyone said that this guy was obedient to a T & was amazing, but towards the end started to tinker off the edge.  It goes to show that any of us can give into that & that is why we have gotta destroy this mentality out here on the mission.  I'm gonna be honest with Pres. Silva about everything now & make sure nothing is hidden from him. 
(Then this is from the email this morning)
i love you guys! everything is working out great with telling president! he knows everything and we have been talking to him on the phone a lot this week. we dont know when but it sounds like president knew about it and was just waiting to see if someone would say something. im not sure. im about to go read his email right now! but ill explain everything in the my family letter this week! but "elder A" and i are good! the guy has been hit pretty hard and just came into our room the other night crying... he is a 25 almost 26 year old man and just looked broken! i feel bad for the guy and we dont know whats gonna happen with him yet but we will see. i love and miss you guys so much! 

....alrighty so everything is good! we still dont know whats going to happen with Elder A but you guys were 100 percent correct! President sent me an email saying thanks and that from now on when i see something we give the comp one chance and then we call. and im an idiot! i know thats what it is supposed to be like! it'll never happen again! but i know for sure now what we have to do! i dont know why the heck i listened to elder william saying that president can just use the spirit of discernment to read our minds and that he isnt gonna care... that was retarded! haha but no we are getting everything back on track and im gonna do everthing i can to help the mission become more obedient!

Pres changed email time to an hour and 15 minutes this week so it is going to be a lot shorter! I just found this out so i already have to get off the computer which totally stinks... ): im so sorry! two weeks in a row without a general! i stink! i promise next week the first thing i will send will be my general! but i love you guys so so much and thank you so much for your advice and guidance and awesome examples! you guys are the best family that i could ever ask for and i love you all more than anything in the world! have an awesome week and ill send a mission ties! sorry again! 
Elder Keller

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