Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bom Dia!! September 27, 2011

1st Letter
Hey Everyone!
How can I describe my first week at the MTC!? From the very get go, it has been completely crazy, but so interesting and spiritual that I hardly notice myself.
First off, it was so great to see so many familiar faces on the first day here. My host was Elder Hodson, and an Elder Twitchell (I’m not sure how we're related). Then, I found out that my companion is Elder Barkdull, a friend from fall semester at BYU last year, who also got called to Curitiba Brazil. Elder Barkdull has been great; he's really spiritual and fun to be around. I think I got really lucky that the person I’m going to be with 24/7 for the next 9 weeks is so great!
Then, I found out that Elder Olpin is my Zone Leader, along with Elder Bowser! Elder Olpin has helped me a lot since I’ve been here, showing me the ropes of the MTC. Also, he has a gift for Portuguese. This Sunday at sacrament meeting, he bore his testimony in Portuguese, and honestly it blew my mind. He just absolutely loves the language, and it shows. I feel like I’m really lucky to have Elder Olpin as my Zone Leader, not only because he's a friend, but because he is a solid missionary.
The language certainly is the most challenging part of the MTC experience. Within an hour of arriving at the MTC, I was already thrust into a language class, learning how to greet people in Portuguese. Every day we learn so many words, conjugations, grammatical rules, etc. that by night time my head feels like it's about to explode with information. It's definitely the hardest learning experience I have ever had, but I also have never cared so deeply about what I’m learning either. Irmã (Sister) Gonzalez and Irmão (Brother) Maxwell are our teachers, and they are amazing. Not only do they know the language, but they are true representatives of Christ. On the first day, Irmã Gonzales bore her testimony in Portuguese, and I felt the Spirit as strongly as I ever have with an English testimony. It´s really hard, but I have already felt the Lord help me to learn the language, and I am excited for him to work through me when I teach the gospel.
The schedule here is filled to the brim with things for us to do. We start every morning at six thirty, and are in our suits by 7. We then have an hour of personal study time, then breakfast. After breakfast, it varies from day to day, but it typically consists of about 6+ hours of Portuguese study, lunch, dinner, more personal study time, Gym, and then `Golden Hour´ which is when we get ready for bed, write in our journals, pray, plan for the next day, etc. It´s a breakneck schedule, but I have found that it forces us to be the best missionaries we possibly can. True, I go to sleep completely exhausted, but by the time I get up, I am refreshed, and ready to learn more!
Wow, I should have planned out what I was going to type before I sat down to write this. I´m already out of time! I love you so much, and I cannot wait to get more letters from you! I did receive the cookies you guys sent, but unfortunately it arrived on Saturday, and I can’t pick up mail until Monday. By that time, the Cookies were smashed to bits, but me and my roommates still enjoyed them!
I want to hear how the San Jose is going! Autumn, tell me how your classes are going! And has Dad gotten a calling yet! And Mom, I hope it´s hasn´t been too boring without me to hang out with you all day!
I hope everything is well with you, and I hope that the Lord has been blessing you. I know that if you give the Lord ~you´re all, he will help make up the difference. I have seen that clearly since I’ve been here. There is such a huge difference when I forget myself and my own trivial pains and worries, and trust in the Lord. I´m so excited to learn more about Portuguese, and more importantly, more about the Gospel. I hope that San Jose is treating you well, and that you have an optimistic perspective on things. And Don´t forget to watch General Conference this Weekend!

Com muito Amor,
Elder Avram Twitchell

PS. Mom, they don´t have the Tree of Life here.
PPS. Tell Bishop Hogan thanks for the letter! It was really thoughtful and helpful of him!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tudo Bem!

Our mission leaders wanted us to let our parents know that we’re safe. So… I’m safe!
It certainly has been a hectic two day. Let me say, they’ve got processing mew missionaries down to a science here first; I got my badge that reads:
Elder Twitchell

Then I got my room and classroom assignment, along with my key, a mission handbook, and several other things. After that, I went to the book store, where I got a bag with a Bible and Book of Mormon in Portuguese, several pamphlets, Preach my Gospel in English and Portuguese, and a few Portuguese language books. Oh, and it was all free. After that, I was introduced top my companion, Elder Barkdull, who I taught Elders Quorum with a year ago, and then they threw me into a Portuguese class, where I was confronted with the challenge of pronouncing Irma Gonzales correctly.
At this point less than an hour has passed.
While it certainly has been a callithump of activities, it’s actually been really spiritual and fun. Elder Olpin is my Zone leader, and he has been really helpful in orienting me. Also, Elder Hodson got reassigned to Spokane, Washington!
I’m running out of time to write, but I just want you to know that amidst all of this craziness, the spirit has been testifying to me that I’ve made the right decision, coming here. I am nothing without the Lord, and I hope you turn to him when you need help!

I’ll write more next time, I promise!

Elder Twitchell

1st Picture from the MTC and letter from Sister Hope

Elder Twitchell & Elder Barkdull
Bro. and Sis. Twitchell,

My husband, Greg Hope, has been attending your ward for a few months and he told me about your son coming into the MTC. I volunteer at the MTC on Thursdays and met your son and his companion today. I thought you would enjoy a picture of them together. His companion, Elder Barkdull is from Pleasanton, CA. Their p-day will be on Thursdays, so you can expect an email then.

I will be attending your ward on Oct. 9th and would love to meet you.

Enjoy having a missionary!

Jolene Hope

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Entering the MTC - September 21, 2011

Elder Avram Tyler Twitchell


Goes in Avram

Comes out Elder Twitchell

Good-bye to Grandma & Grandpa Twitchell

Tuttle happen to be having lunch at Brick Oven, they came to bid him farewell.

Said our Good-byes at the Provo Temple

Amber, Austin, Avram, Alicia, Klaudia, Elaina

Alicia's goodbye to Avram

Austin and Avram were best of BUDDIES

Elaina loves her Avram.

Elaina fake cried when she saw all of us crying

she said "I miss Avram soooo much"

They were buddies.

Amber saying goodbye

Elder Spencer Hodson (Avram really good friend from Folsom & BYU)

was Avram Host to show him around the MTC.

What a relief that was.

Avram's HOSTS were

Elder Twitchell (from Washington)- Elder Twitchell -Elder Hodson

Avram entered the MTC on Sept 21, 2011 - WOW what a day today is, such mixed emotions. Avram is going into the MTC today. He is sooooo nervous, he has had an upset stomach for a couple of days. We went to Brick Oven to eat lunch, Twitchell’s joined us. While we were there the Tuttle came in for lunch so they gave him a hug and wished him well. We took him up to the Temple grounds to walk around till it was time for him to check in. He was so nervous, when it came time he was pretty teary, he tried to call Ed and Autumn but couldn’t get them so he left teary messages. They did end up calling him before he went in. We then got in line to have him go to the MTC it wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be, there was a line up of missionaries to welcome him. Then he spotted Elder Spencer Hodson one of his really good friends, he ran after our car, then greeted Avram. It was great it really made Avram calm down, he was so excited to see Spencer. Spencer got to be Avram’s host so that was nice and Spencer spoke Portuguese to Avram so that was exciting the funny thing too was that the other Elder that Hosted Avram was an Elder Twitchell. It calmed him way down and we left him being really happy so that helped out a lot. Elaina was so funny she saw us all crying so she faked cried and said that she misses Avram so much. Austin loves Avram it will be hard for them to be separated. I miss him so much already I won’t see him for TWO years that is way too long. I love him so much

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Carol Brumfield a good friend that went on her mission to
Brazil about 50 years ago

Good-byes started in April when Avram had to say
Good-bye to Ben his roommate

Avram's Spring roommates, they were all return missionaries
from Spanish Speaking missions they helped Avram a lot.
And gave him a lot of good advise for his mission.

The group Avram hung out with Spring Semister at BYU
The great thing about being the last guy to leave on his mission IS
You get all the GIRLS to yourself, too bad he was already a Missionary.
Erin, Clarissa, Sara, Avram, Brittney, Ellee, Sydney

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Farewell at Berryessa Ward / Set apart as a Missionary September 18, 2011

Ed, Klaudia, Autumn, Avram, Aaron, Joylyn
Thayne Landon Lena
At church after Avram's talk

The Elders from our mission came to say Good-bye to Avram, they gave him a couple of ties.

Avram and his big brother Aaron.
Lena, Thayne and Landon, boy they will grow up a lot while Avram is gone.
Avram spoke in church today, then hung out till he was set apart.
Avram was set apart to be a missionary
September 18, 2011 – By President Randall Kimball Mack at 8:45 pm