Wednesday, November 2, 2011

11/1/11 Oi Familia! Tudo Bem?

Oi Familia! Tudo Bem?
Wow, so I got tons of mail yesterday! I got three dear Elders, two normal
letters, and everyone else in my district got a letter from Mom! They loved
that! That was so thoughtful, thank you.
I'm glad you've been taking my suggestion for journal writing. It's been
something that's really helped me out, and I enjoy looking back. I don't know,
it's just a good thing to do, especially if you don't think anything good
happened that day.
I'm also glad that you look forward to my letters! I love getting your letters
too. And I try to put in as much detail as possible into the stuff I write, so
you kind of know what I’m up to. So, I’ll be trying to answer some of your
The speakers at devotionals:
There have been really amazing speakers here. I don't think i have been to a
Devotional or Fireside that has been so-so. We've only had on Apostle though,
Richard G. Scott. He was great, he taught about how important it is to record
personal revelation we receive. he encouraged us all to carry around a little
notebook to record any promptings or ideas that we received through the spirit.
It was a really cool, and interesting, talk
My favorite by far, though, was this past Wednesday, on 10/30. It was Brother
Robert P. Swensen, who is the director of missionary services or something. He
basically oversees the process when missionaries are called to their missions.
He gave the most amazing talk about bearing powerful testimony. You can't THINK
you know, you can't HOPE to know. You just have to KNOW when you're bearing
your testimony. It was sweet. And at the beginning of the Talk, when they were
introducing Brother Swensen, they said that he served in Curitiba, Brazil,
and was a Mission President there! When they said that, our little four person
district applauded silently, which Brother Swensen noticed. So, when he got up
to talk, he talked a little to us, and how much we were going to love Curitiba,
and a few times throughout his talk, he directed his words specifically to us.
It was soooo cool, I felt like it was such a personalized message for us. After
the talk, Elder Trevisanut, Barkdull, and I all went up to shake his hand. We
told him that we were the ones going to Curitiba, and he got SOOOO excited. He
literally had no words to describe how excited he was. He just said, "You’re
going to Love it! It's the best! It's the Best! It's just... the Best!"
lol, it was so funny, and it got us all super excited! I just wanna gooooo!
My schedule.
I thought I already described my schedule a bit? Oh well, I will talk about it
a little again.
We get up at 6:30 every morning, and get ready. Typically between 6:30 and 8 we
have some sort of daily planning session or personal study time. At 8 is
breakfast. What happens between 8:30 AM and 12:45 PM, 1:45 PM to 5:45 PM, and
6:30 PM to 9:30 PM changes every day, but we have the same activities every
day. It's always 6 hours of class instruction, 1 hour of language study, 1 hour
of gym, and 1-2 hours of personal study. So, typically we're in the classroom
for about 8-10 hours every day. It can get kind of rough, but for the most part
it's ok. And the Classroom instruction time is usually pretty fun, we're
typically teaching or learning the language, which are both invigorating. At
9:30, we go back to the residence Hall, and from 9:30 to 10:30 is our time to
do everything else we need to do: brush teeth, shine shoes, write in journal,
write family, read letters, etc.. It's really hard to get to bed right on
Do we talk with people on,
Nope. We do not do that.
Is the food good?
I don't know who told you it is good. It's not Horrible. But it cannot possibly
be categorized as good. I've kind of gotten to the point where I KNOW what is
going to kill my stomach and make me feel horrible, and what i can digest successfully,
so it's not so bad anymore. But for like the first two weeks, I would
accidently eat something that is not good at all. For example, the fruit here. The
fruit is almost always not good. I miss fruit. :( oh well. They occasionally
have some pretty good dishes here though, so it's not all horrible. I have
noticed that I’ve been eating less and less though. I started off eating two
and a half plates of food. Now I usually eat just short of one. It's not like I’m
starving either. I'm fine. It's just... food is not appetizing to me here.
When we first got here, I believe we had about 400 Missionaries headed to
Brazil? But now it's definitely diminished. One week we had like 100 Visas
come. If I had to guess, I’d say we have about... 100 to 200 Brazilian
missionaries here right now? But that guess really has no concrete evidence to
back it up, so I’m probably wrong. Also, we're supposed to be getting a ton of
Brazil Missionaries tomorrow, so we'll see. O trabalho esta progedindo, esta e
com certa.
You were so right when you said I’d enjoy the smaller district more. I feel
like I’ve gotten waaaay more out of my lessons now. It's mostly because
everyone in our district--Elders Barkdull, Trevisanut, Sister Patton, and
I--all are about the same level in Portuguese. Whenever I teach with them, I
typically don't have to worry about what they're going to say: they know how to
speak correctly for the most part, and they can say meaningful things in
Portuguese. Because of this, our teachers have been more challenging for us,
both during Language lessons, and when we teach them as investigators. Also,
instead of focusing on speaking the language during our coaching missionary
study, we've been focusing on the actual content of our Lessons, which is a
really good place to be. It's just a really exciting time, we're all so anxious
to get out to the field and teach for real! We know we're going to be horrible
when we actually have to teach real people, but that's ok. We just want to test
what we've learned.
So, that's why I’m soooo excited about my Visa! It should be coming anytime in
the next week, because that's typically the time frame they give to missionaries
who’s Visas are ready or whatever. I can't wait, I want to go to Brazil! Right
now. I'm really feeling like it's my time to go! Obviously, I might be waiting
longer, but I have a good feeling about it.
Olpin hasn't gotten his yet, as far as I know, nor Elder Morrey. Elder
Nethercott hasn't gotten his yet, either. I think he gets reassigned next week.
Hopefully they all get it soon, they deserve it more than I do.
It sounds like a lot of crazy stuff is going on down there!
What's the Basketball clinic that Landon is doing? That sounds like a ton of
fun. I would say that I have a Volleyball clinic here, of sorts. Elder Barkdull
played volleyball in High School, so he's been teaching me how to get better. I
can now spike the ball if someone sets me really good. Lately, we've been
playing Volleyball with some Tongans during Gym time. It's so legit! They’re
crazzzzy! They just loooove the big hits, so they do whatever it takes to set
someone up with the ball. So, when i play with them i get some pretty good
hits. My personal favorite was this one time, I was on the left side of the
net, and Elder Trevisanut was on the other team, right across from me. This
Tongan set me the ball, and I went up to spike it. Trevisanut jumped up to
block me, but... I slammed the ball, and it hit him in the Head and bounced off
out of bounds. That's one point for Twitchell. It was so funny, the Tongans
were dying with laughter. hahah.
That's so funny about the fruit. Lena probably thinks you guys are the worst.
Stealing all of her fruit. haha. Have things with her gotten any better, or is
she still angry at us?
Autumn, I’m glad you're still watching Office. That's very good. But what is
this Vampire Diaries shenanigans? Come on, i thought you were better than that
:P I can't believe a sister of mine is watching a television show that is a
spin-off of the worst series ever: Twilight. There is still a chance for your
soul, though. If you stop watching Vampire Diaries immediately, and watch
Avatar instead, I promise your life will be blessed :)
Speaking of Avatar... That little kid was sooooo cooool!!!! What the heck! I
want to meet him! If only I was a fraction as cool as that kid! It sounds like
you guys had a good Halloween! I'm glad! The party sounded cool, and the actual
Halloween day seems fun, too. It's cool that people still do Halloween down
I had a pretty good Halloween myself. I brought all of the Salt water Taffy
that I got and shared it with my District and Teachers during class Monday
night. Oh, and I didn't open your Halloween package until last night, I hope
you are proud. Those little fruit nuggets things or whatever were sooo good! I
was not expecting that! And the rest of the candy was great, too. Thanks!
Oh, and don't think that we didn't have a costume party. between 9:30 to 10, it
was a costume contest in our residence hall. We all just used random items in
our rooms for costumes--blankets, sheets, pillowcases, jackets, ties, etc.. I
was Neo, from Matrix, because I have that Big black coat, and Trevisanut had a
pair of sunglasses. So, I looked just like him. Barkdull was Darthvader: he has
a pillowcase with Darth Vader on it, so he wrapped it around himself, and then
put on all black. It was legit. There were also a couple of missionaries that
wore these blankets (and that's it) and then put some towels around their
heads, and voila, they were Egyptians. More specifically, Moses and Pharoah
from Prince of Egypt. It was legit. I got a picture of it,
but I realized this morning it was kind of blurry. I'll still send it, but it's
not that great of a picture.
THAT'S SO COOL ABOUT DAD'S CALLING!!!! What!!? I love the subtle blessings in
life, but you have to love it even more when you see a direct answer to a
prayer! Second Councilor in the Bishopric! That's pretty high up! That's high
enough in Church organization that Unrighteous Dominion actually matters. Good
work! I will take all blame for this calling. I'm ok with that. It sounds like you’re
going to be in over your head, dad, which is the only real way to do a calling:
when you have no idea what you're doing or how you're going to succeed. That
forces you to humble yourself and turn to the Lord. What a great opportunity!
I guess I’ll be praying even more for you now, dad :)
I love that Bishop Hoggan asked you guys to read the BOM. I know that it will
bless your lives if you read it every day. I agree with him too, you should put
aside reading other things, and focus on the BOM. That doesn't mean not read
the Old Testament, though. It's just that the BOM is so clear, and invites the
spirit so much, that you kind of have to pay more attention to it. I remember
when I first got here, I was reading through the New Testament, and planned on
continuing to read in it. But, they discouraged us from spending too much time
in it, and focus instead in the BOM. It was hard at first, but I’ve realized
how amazing the BOM is. I haven't quite on the New Testament, because it often
goes into subjects a lot deeper, and it can at times be a source of
clarification. But, when you get right down to it, the BOM is the most correct
book on earth, and you spend a lot of time reading it.
I hope you guys are having a good time, and are staying true to the Faith.
That's fun that Amber is coming down. Tell her I say hi! And Elaina and Austin
too! That's so cool how smart and faithful little Elaina is! You just know
she's going to be an amazing person when she grows up. It kind of reminds me of
this scripture I just read in Alma. I can't remember the Reference, but it's
when Alma is talking to his son, Helaman, and he says that if you teach your
children to walk in love and righteousness, they'll be blessed forever. I
definitely think Elaina is off to a good start!
Well, I think I have to go, I’m like ten minutes over my time. I'm going to
write Joylyn real quick. Keep reading, keep praying, keep pondering. God is
listening, always, and is planning out a path for you, more personalized than
you can even know!
Elder Avram Twitchell

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