Wednesday, November 30, 2011

1st week in Brazil - Bairro Novo - 1st Baptism

November 30, 2011
Oi tudo bem familia!
OK I have to be quick today, we´re running a little bit late. This past week has been insane, I don´t even know how to describe it. Brasil is a really cool place!
So, I'm doing good. Today, for my P-day, we had a meeting, played some soccer (I´m horrible) and did some laundry, which was horrible, because the cycle for the laundry machine that we have is 2 and a half hours, and Elder Brino went first, so my clothes are still all dirty.
Pretty much all of my clothes. Pois é.
I actually haven´t met Elder Patton yet, he must have been talking about Barkdull and Trevisanut. Honestly, I have no idea how they are doing, but I´m sure they are doing great. Tell me how Sister Patton is doing when you find out!
My companion is great! He is such a good teacher, it´s incredible, he explains things in such a simple way. We´re teaching this family of 7, with three little girls under 10 years old, and they pretty much understand everything. Brino just knows how to teach things simply. Sometimes, it does get hard though, because he only speaks Portuguese, and I think he forgets that sometimes, because he´ll say something real quick to me, and then he´ll go off and do something and I have no idea whats going on. Like on sunday, at church, he was running around all over the place, and I just stayed in the Chapel, because I didn´t know what he was doing. It turned out that he was teaching a class with the new investigators, so he was preparing, but I had no idea. But he is suuuper patient, he never really shows that hes getting frustrated with me. I think sometimes he does get frustrated, but I can´t really tell. He´s good. Once I master the language, we´ll dominate Bairro Novo.
My area--Bairro Novo-- is fantastic, I already feel like we´ve had sucess! I keep doing contacts every day, at least 15, but our daily goal is 20. And out of these people, about half give me their adresses. It´s actually really fun, because the people here are so open to any kind of visit, and they all LOOOOVE Jesus. It´s great. When I´m doing a contact, I usually switch up
the phrase I say to them, but if it´s going bad, I have my secret phrase:
Realemente, nosso mensagem é sobre nos podemos ficar mais perto a Jesus Cristo, e conhecer Jesus Cristo melhor. Você acha que este seria bom? (really, our message is about how we can become closer to Jesus Chrsit, and know him better. Do you think that this would be good?) and they always say yes. It´s great.
So we already had a baptism!!! It was suuuuper quick, we start teaching this woman--her name is Fernanda--on thursday, and on Sunday, she was baptized. Really, she was already so prepared,
her parents were ´eternal investigators´ so she already knew most of the doctrine, and already felt like she liked the church. So, we went to visit her on Thursday, and extended a baptismal invitation (I actually did the invitation. Part of my training is that I have to take the lead with all baptism invitations. Which actually is really cool, and fun) which she accepted. We spent Friday teaching her about all of the important commandments (tithing, word of wisdom, chastity, sabbath day), Saturday was her interview, and Sunday she was baptized. The bishop of our ward baptized her, which I was sort of glad that he did, because really, I had no idea what was going on with Fernanda during the lessons. I didn´t even know her parents were investigators until at
the Baptism itself, which made everything make a lot more sense to me.
The language is indeed hard, way harder than I thought. Everyone speaks soooo fast, and really, for me, it´s hit or miss whether I understand them. When it´s during a lesson, and we´re talking about gospel stuff, I can more or less understand everything Elder Brino says, and a lot of what our investigators say. But anything outside of that is sooo hard. Honestly, it´s completely random. Some Brazillians I can understand just fine. Others, I can´t understand them, no matter how many times they repeat something. But, what I´m doing now is the best thing I could possibly do to learn, and really everyday, I feel like I´m picking up more. I carry a dictionary in my pocket everywhere I go, and I write new words in a little notebook. I´m going to Learn
Ok, I´m running out of time, I´ll try to write a letter soon. I hope all is well with you! I´m doing great here. It´s harder than I thought, but it´s also a lot better than I thought! I love you guys. Remember the Lord always. Pray to him, read about him, trust him. He´s with you!

With lots and lots of Love!
Elder Avram Twitchell
PS. I had an interview with President Cordon the other day, and we were talking about mailing, etc. It takes about a week or two for a letter to arrive, and about a week more for a package. DO NOT use Fed-ex because they tax the heck out of it, upwards to 200 or 300 dollars worth.

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