Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 06, 2011 - MTC

Oi Familia,
So, I’m still here at the MTC, but all is well. It’s drawing to a close, and I’m starting to enjoy the MTC for what it is, a place to obtain the word of God, and learn how to share that word. It’s not easy. It isn’t supposed to be. There are lots of things to learn and understand and in reality I think I’ll be spending my whole mission, and my whole life seeking to understand these important things. How can I more fully come unto Christ? How can I show humility and love? How can I improve my life, and live in such a way that my Heavenly Father is happy with me.
It’s a lot to learn and understand. I wouldn’t have it any other way. There are lots of burdens and trials that bring us low. But, these are our special blessings, and it is only through them that we can learn anything, and strengthen our Faith.
Our district is small. Our district meetings are actually glorified discussions. I don’t think I really have a companion now. Everyone in the district is someone I look after, and they look after me.
It’s beautiful when it works, and for the most part, it does.
Sister missionaries do not have to be here, and they are truly the best missionaries we have.
Friends are not yes-men, but people who will push you to improve and become better. They support you through everything but they also want you to grow.
Let me focus on the positive, though. I feel like I have two true friends here, in my district.
Elder Barkdull continues to impress me every day. When I first got here, I thought he was really
immature, and sort of a goof. And while I still think he’s a goof, I’ve come to see that he is one of the most mature people I know. Sure, he quotes Avatar, Pokémon, and Dragonball-2 constantly. He breaks out into random dances, jumps over making out couples at the Temple, and plays horseshoes with hangers. But in real situations, you know he knows what’s going on. He understands people, and knows how to help them. When Sister Patton was sad the other day, he just acted even more like a goof, which cheered her up and made her happy again.
In the language, I would say we’re about equal. I might know more words, but he knows what to say better, I feel like. It’s too bad, because we only teach together on Wednesdays now, for TRC. But man, this Wednesday, we dominated our lesson! We’ve learned so much! It’s nice, to not have to worry as much what you’re saying. I feel like God has really blessed us with the language. We still have tons to learn, but we’re not focusing entirely on the language anymore, but more on the message. I don’t know, it’s nice.
Sister Patton’s great!! She’s got this thing down. I know she had a hard time deciding to come, because she left her boyfriend to come, but she is totally committed to the missionary cause! Also, she gets tons of food all the time and she shares it. It’s funny, so her boyfriend’s name is Mark, and she still talks about him a lot. We now have this joke of this guy named KraM, or the anti-Mark. He is the opposite to Mark in every way. Mrk is a 170 lb white guy, KraM is a 300 lb black guy. Mark is a good guy, KraM is kind of a sleaze. We blame everything bad – no more food at a meal, no visas, etc – on KraM. It’s good times. Sister Patton is crazy good at Portuguese. She did some research thing in Peru, and lived there for a few months, so she got really good at Spanish. So, she already has a solid understanding of Portuguese already, and she speaks faster than any of us. Also, she’s been practicing reading a loud the Scriptures in Portuguese, and so now she’s pro. She is so good at both understanding the scriptures and pronouncing Portuguese words. It’s legit. She certainly can read quicker than any of us.
That’s such good news that Elder Olpin is in Brazil!!! And he has a Brazilian companion, nonetheless. I want that so bad! I feel like that would be the best thing I could do to learn the language! Ahh, I’m jealous!
My Visa has not come yet, which is ok. At this point I’m fairly certain that I won’t get reassigned which is a blessing. It’s just going to be unreal when I finally get to Brazil! “Irma Gonzales said that she quit speaking English when she got out on the field, and I think I’m going to do that. No English for 22 months. I’m going to come back with a hardcore accent. I’m excited.
Oh, BTW, Elder Nethercott got reassigned to Nashville, TN and he seemed sooo excited! It’s cool.
That’s weird about that missionary, wanting to go home. I don’t want to make judgments,
but I’m thinking he has some sort of worthiness or testimony issue. Sorry, but thinking that the missionaries here are fake is not really a reason to leave, not a real one. And honestly, I think you see the missionaries home at their “realest.” Their all trying their best, so maybe they are all better than they normally would be, but they also share such deep thoughts and insights with you. Also, you get really bored here, so you see how people deal with that. People show what they really enjoy. For example, you’d be surprised how many Avatar fans there are in the world. People try to hide it, but you can’t hide it here. If I could talk to that kid, and that was his legitimate issue with the Mission, I’d tell him to stop focusing on what others are doing, and focus on what you know is the right thing. In terms of people leaving, I’ve heard the statistic of 3% of missionaries leave early, but I also know a good portion of those are for medical reasons or whatever, and they end up returning. I’ve only heard of about three or four missionaries leaving within the group of missionaries I know. The fact is, almost every missionary thinks about leaving at times. It’s only when they dwell on it, however, that it becomes an issue. A lot of times people say that it’s ok to go on a mission if you don’t know it’s true, if you’re just going because it’s expected of you. And yeah, it is a good place to be, but it is so much easier when you make the decision yourself, and you know it’s where you need to be. I feel blessed for the struggles I had with deciding to go on a mission, because it forced me to know it’s true. When I decided to go, it
was that -- my decision. And because of that, when I start thinking about how hard it is, I remember how much God loves me, and how much he wants to help, and I remember that I’m doing this because I know it’s where I need to be. Get that knowledge. Engage life, engage the Gospel. Don’t live going through the motions, and being acted upon. Seek the truth yourself. Stop relying on others to tell you what’s what. The Lord has provided the church, the scriptures, prayer, all for the purpose of gaining knowledge for yourself. So use those tools!!
I hope you all are doing well at home. I’m jealous you get to be with Elaina and Austin. They sound like so much fun! Tell them I love them so much. Oh and thanks for protecting my guitars and Dwight. I know their in good hands!
Take care, tell me how everything is going back home! I want to hear about dad’s calling! Keep
going, keep reading the scriptures. The Lord loves YOU, individually, personally, completely.
Love Elder Avram Twitchell

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