October 16, 2011
Here’s some pictures. There you go. I actually have been taking pictures, thank you very much.
However, these pictures are already obsolete, two of our district members – Elder Frahm and Sister Horkley – are leaving Tuesday for Brazil. They got their visa this Thursday and Friday. Visas are starting to really flow in now. 20 people in my zone got visas this week. Mike McKinley
just got his visa. Also, Elder Barkdull got his e-visa, and while we were in the travel office we heard one of the workers predicting that within a month, most of the Brazilian missionaries will
be out of here. I’m sooo excited!!! Our teachers have been telling us all about Brazil, and I’m ready to go. It’s going to be sweet. But, I shouldn’t get too excited. I still haven’t had my e-visa in for too long, and Elder Olpin, Morrey and Bowser haven’t got their visa’s yet. But yeah, I’m super excited. I just want to go out to Brazil NOW!!!
The MTC has been great, though. I’m on my fourth week now! In five days I’ll be here for a month. It’s so crazy. The time is so trippy here. I honestly have no good gauge of time. The language is coming great. I’m so humbled at how much help I’ve been given by the Lord. E. Barkdull and I can teach good lessons, and we have the Holy Ghost with us when we teach. And I’m starting to get way into the BOM. I feel like I get Personal Revelation every day. It’s weird though, they don’t want us to ready the old or New Testament. But anyway, the Book of Mormon speaks to me so much. I encourage you guys to pray about the BofM before you read, and then with the spirit, read and ponder what you read. I promise you’ll find answersto difficult questions that arise.
Lately Elder Barkdull and I have been taking bold steps to improve our teaching. We’ve been tackling hard topics, like the Fall, in Portuguese. Also we’ve been focusing on doing discussions, asking good questions, and asking our ‘investigators’ to talk about how they feel from the Book of Mormon. This forces us to understand and respond to a variety of topics, with little preparation.
Sometimes it’s rough, but it helps us with Portuguese so much, and also it gears the lesson more towards our investigator. One particular bold step we took was to invite a “member”. The way the ‘investigators” here work is that our teachers play our investigators, and we teach everyday, either I the morning or in the evening. Right now we have two separate investigators: Irmao Simons
playing Gabriel, a thoughtful 16 year old that enjoys math and history and Irmao Maxwell, playing a twenty-something shirt designer that attends several churches. It might sound weird, but our teachers base these investigators off of real people they taught on their missionary, and they refuse to comment on anything that happens when we’re teaching them as investigators. You can tell that they help you out sometimes, but most of the time they act pretty real, and they ask hard questions (try explaining a colligao de Israel (gathering of Israel) in Portuguese) Anyway Gabriel is a Baptist and he has a really good friend, Adriana, who used to be Baptist with him, but then converted to Mormon like a year ago. Now, we never had an encounter with Adriana, so it was still unknown who she even was.
So, during our weekly planning session, one of the things we had to discuss was how to help our investigators more. And during this part, I looked up and saw Irma Gonzales, and suddenly, I had an epiphany. We don’t ever teach Irma Gonzales as an investigator, so she could be
our Adriana! I asked her if she would be Adriana at 6:50 for our appointment with Gabriel, and she said she could, so E Barkdull and I filled her in on who her character was, and then woila!!! We had a member. It was a lot of fun having Irma Gonzales be a member, and our lesson with her taught me how important members are for teaching lessons. They can connect way more personally than the missionaries can, and also recent converts know many of the doubts that new investigators have.
Well, I better send this so that you can get pictures. Oh, and make sure you keep your phone on hand. Tons of visa are coming in, and when I get my visa, I get to call you for like five minutes.
Just be ready. I’ll try to do the call in the evening so you all can hear, but it could come literally any day, and more or less at any time.
I love all of you!!! Good luck with the ward and remember all the little blessings the Lord gives you. Some of the greatest miracles that occur happen so gradually that we can fail to notice they’re even happening.
Pray hard, read the Scriptures, and may the Lord forever guide your life.
Tachu, com Amor,
Elder Avram Twitchell
PS Something I’ve been doing lately is writing in my journal at the top, one specific thing that
I’m thankful for. It’s been really cool, you should try doing it.