Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 18, 2011

Hey Family!
Yes yes, I know. Pictures are on the way. I actually have been taking pictures! Not a ton, but I’ve been doing it. They're coming in my next letter, which I will try to finish later today. I just did not plan out my time very well, and so I wasn't able to finish it off. I'll try to get that in by tomorrow. I think you'll like the pictures.
Oh, and I actually have been getting a lot of mail from friends and family. It's been great. It's actually the reason why I wasn't able to finish the letter to you guys--it's because I was doing quick letters to others. I just always end up writing a ton, and include one or two gospel discourses in the mix. It really gets out of hand. So, next time I write, I’m going to make sure to
finish YOUR letter first. That's the most important one. I've been getting letters from Alicia, Adam Sink, and Amber. Oh, and I got a letter from Sydney, and a letter from my friend from school, Kyra Klopp. On top of that, I received a letter from Mitch this Monday. But I look forward to your letters the most, so keep them coming! And Write long ones too. I can print them off and read them on my P-day, without taking up my writing time. It all works out. The only suggestion I have is maybe write me e-mails on Monday night, because Elder Barkdull and I every
Tuesday morning at like 7:30 go to print off our letters, so we can figure out what to write by the time we go in for our letter writing time, which is typically 2-4 PM (we write while we do our laundry.) Today at least when I went to check the e-mail I didn't see the letter from you guys. No worries though, I printed it out later in the day.
Visas, Visas, Visas. Yes, they are flowing in. It's a veritable cascade of Visas. Ok, that's maybe an exaggeration, but this past week two of our District members got Visas: Elder Frahm and Sister Horkley. Sister Horkley left this morning at 8 AM, and Elder Frahm leaves tomorrow at like 5 AM. It's actually a litter weird, because now Sister Patton is a "solo" sister, and me and Elder
Barkdull are her "companions." Basically she's like a normal companion, except, you know, she's a girl. So, we go basically everywhere with her during the day, and she's going to start teaching with Elder Barkdull and I. I'm a little weirded out by this, but I think it will be a good think,
because hopefully she'll keep us more focused when we prepared lessons. She is such a spiritual person, and, on top of that, she lived in a Latin American Country (I want to say Peru?) for like four months, so she knows Spanish pretty well, which helps with her Spanish. It's muito bem. So, I still haven't gotten my Visa, but I’m really hopeful about it. Ben hasn't got his either, but I'm positive that he's going to get it before he leaves next week. It's going to suck to have him gone, though. I've been spoiled, having all these friends here.
That's too bad that Mitch doesn't have his Electronic Visa yet. But from what it sounds like from his letter, he's having a good time in Billings, Montana. And sometimes, the Lord just needs us elsewhere, and trials like these are just to bring us into remembrance of all the things that the Lord does for us. I pray often for Brazil Visas, and I hope that Mitch gets his soon. Speaking of friends, yesterday I saw two friends here: KC Boyce and Nick Serafin (Lorenzo's little Brother.)
I saw KC Boyce yesterday morning in the building I learn Portuguese in. He does like Custodial work there. It was so cool to see him. He told me how BYU was going, and then said that he saw Andrew White at Uruguay. I don't know, it just hit me then how spread out all my friends are. We are literally all over the world. It's so unique and awe-inspiring to me. Then, at Lunch that same day, I saw Nick Serafin, refilling the lettuce in the salad line. I talked to him real quick, and he told me how Lorenzo was doing in Rio de Janeiro.
And speaking of, I have not been able to go visit immunizations on Thursday so see Sister Hope, I have class at that time. It's ok though--I wouldn't be able to redeem the hug you gave Sister Hope anyway. I can't hug girls anymore.
My time here has been intense as usual, but the days are going by quicker and quicker. Yesterday, our three hour class sessions didn't even seem that long. And we're getting into some really difficult Portuguese topics that I never went into when I took Spanish, like Subjunctives, pronouns, etc., so it's been more interesting. Also, Elder Barkdull and I have stopped being wimps with the language. The first couple weeks, when we taught, we would stray away from topics that were hard to explain even in English, like the Fall and Chastity. It was probably good that we did that, because we got really good at the basics--God loves us, the BOM is the word of God, etc.. But we're not two weekers anymore. So, we took on the Fall this past Saturday, and
we're going to go full steam ahead with the Law of Chastity sometime later this week (oh gosh, I just remembered that when we talk about the Law of Chastity, it will be one of our first lessons with Sister Patton. Woops. Oh well, no backing down.) Also, we've been able to converse really well lately. We have our "investigators" (our teachers, Irmao Maxwell and Irmao Simons) read the Livro De Mormon and pray about it, and then each lesson, we discuss with them what they read. This is actually my favorite part, because there is really no way you can prepare for the questions they will ask you. So, you have to just use the language you do know, and explain to them why Nephi had to kill Laban, or why Jerusalem had to be destroyed. But normally, E. Barkdull and I do an ok job. That's not to say it's not rough sometimes. We were following up with our one "investigator", Rogerio (Irmao Maxwell) about church. He said that he liked it, but he was confused about the lesson during Priesthood about the "coligaçao de Israel" (Gathering of Israel), which perhaps doesn't look too difficult to understand in writing, but in Portuguese, it's pronounced "Co-leeg-a-soun jee Iz-Hi-el", which absolutely bamboozled both Elder Barkdull and I. So, we just put on a smile, and told the "investigator" that that was a good question, but that we didn't know what he was talking about. Pois e (whatever). It seems like everything is going pretty well over there! I'm glad.
That's going to be fun to see Landon. I miss all of the babies. They're so fun. It's cool though, I have their pictures on my camera, and since I use my camera all the time, I see them a lot :).
And what's this Great America/Ballroom dancer thing? That sounds so random, but really cool! It's always fun meeting new people. I'm sorry you had to clean my room, though. Was it terribly dirty? I can't remember. The Dancers are probably going to think I’m a dirty, prideful secular recluse, though, with all of my books (Two volumes of Anthology of Western Literature? Who does this guy think he is, Samuel Beckett?). That sounds like a lot of fun.
It sounds like you’re a Hero, Dad! What the heck? Popping in that Elder's knee? That's awesome. Hopefully he gets better. That would be so hard, to work like he did to get on a mission, and then get hurt like that so quickly. I hope he heals quickly. I will pray for him. Oh, and I’ll pray for the Elders that Dad's taking to Pho, also :P haha no, that sounds so good right now. I am not really
a complainer here, but the food that they serve here is... it's a challenge. You have to be careful with what you choose to eat, because if you misuse your agency in the meal room, God will not hold back his judgment upon thy bowels. That's cool that Work is getting better for you Dad. That has got to be tolling, and I’m glad it's easing off. I pray about you every night, too, that you will be able to cope with your work environment. At least you have Basketball still!
Autumn, your letter was the best thing ever. Elder Olpin and I were just giggling for like a half hour, reading all those Mark Livingston quotes that you sent. I'll be sure to send you an awesome letter in return. For now, good luck with school, and Read your scriptures. Oh, and read Life of Pi, too. That book was legit! During one of our activities here, we had to make up and investigator and then have another missionary teach us, while pretending to be that investigator. The
personality I made was Pisces Patel (Pi from that book), and I pretended like my parents died in a shipwreck, and that I owned a moderate sized zoo, and that I was a Hindu, Muslim, and Christian, all at the same time. It was fun for both me, and the sister trying to teach me, because she had read the book too, and tried to base her lesson off of the needs of Pi. Next time, I'm going to go for Harry Potter (I think that he would know a lot about faith, because most of the muggle world don't believe in Wizards, but they are Real.)
Well, it's time for me to get out of here, I’m quite a bit over time. Like I said, I’ll try to send my letter in tomorrow, which will have pictures. Also, it will be a bit more spiritual. The rush that comes with the e-mail makes it hard to write anything super spiritually edifying. Sorry!
Good luck family, keep reading your scriptures. Any question you have can be answered by the BOM. Follow the Path of Christ, and the Lord will be with you, every step of the way.

Elder Avram Twitchell

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