Monday, February 27, 2012

Thiago got baptized!!!

Feb 27, 2012
Hey family!
That´s great about Jen´s wedding, and that you got to visit Folsom. Jen is great, I hope you said "hi" to her for me. And Elaina, of course, had to dance with the prince, huh? haha, that´s too cute.
Tell Kieri I said "hi"! Kieri is the greatest, she´s helped me out a ton, I hope she knows I appreciate her a lot. How is Kieri´s family doing?
And wow, you´re going to Georgia, that´s kind of random, huh? but fun too, you get to go see Alicia and the baby. I do want pictures, but I am not sure if you can send them to me through e-mail, I think it would be better through normal mail. I´m sure Alicia´s a bit nervous, but I bet excited too. A new baby, wow! I can´t wait to meet him.
Things for me are going Great! We had a super spiritual baptism yesterday, with this young man named Thiago (James in Portuguese. Strange, huh?) who is a friend of a member here. It was cool because he brought his whole family--parents, sisters, niece and nephew, and grandparents--and the family was reeeeally interested in the church, they were asking a whole bunch of questions. It was a really neat experience.
My new Companion, Elder Lopes, is a goofball who really likes his hair and clean clothes. Wow, if I have extra time, I write in my journal or study the scriptures, but if he has extra time, he irons his clothes, or polishes his shoes, or does his hair, haha, it´s kind of funny. But we´re working really well together, and I’m excited to see what the Lord is going to do with us together in Bairro Novo.
Ummm, so I still haven´t received the Valentines Package!!!? I hope it got here safely, I’m not sure. I hope nothing super valuable was with the package. I have been getting all the other mail, though, and I’ve been getting mail from several others. In fact, I got a letter from Elder Olpin last week, it was really cool.
So, don´t get mad, but I didn´t send off your letter until today, so it´s going to delay a lot to get a
letter from me. I´m sorry, but during Carnival week everything was closed, including the Mail office! But I’ll write you another letter today, already, so that you can get TWO letters! Also, I’m going to write Autumn a letter today, so she should be expecting a letter in 2-4 weeks. Yay!
Ok, gotta run, I hope all is well back home, and that you guys continue to write me, even though I’ve been a horrible son and brother and haven´t written that much for you guys in the United States.
Love you LOTS!!! Happy Leap Year!
Elder Twitchell

Monday, February 20, 2012

Feb 20, 2012 letter - floor plan

February 20, 2012 –letter
Dear Family,
I didn’t have much time to send off this past letter, so now you get two! Hurray!
Ok, just to update from my last letter… Luis got Baptized!!! He got baptized on 14/2/2012, cool, huh! It almost didn’t happen, thought. We planned the Baptism for 7:30 pm, but he didn’t’ show up! Come 8:00 pm and he still wasn’t there!!! And the members we had invited were getting restless. So, we went and called his Aunt, Silvane, who gave us the number of Luis’s grandpa, who gave us the number of Luis’s dad, who gave us the number of Luis. And, wouldn’t you know it, Satan had made him work late the night of his baptism, and he had just arrived home, at about 8:30. Luckily, a member drove us to the house of Luis, we picked him up, took him to the chapel, dressed him in white, and threw him in the water -- BATISMO. And it was on Elder Brino’s last night here in Bairro Novo, too so it was really cool experience.
We also had the Baptism of Felipe this week, he’s this young man with I think 14 years. He already received the missionaries a few months ago, but his mom didn’t let him get baptized. However, this time we taught a super Spiritual lesson to Felipe’s mom. WOW, it was amazing. It’s cool, because if you really listen with love to what the people are saying, the Holy Ghost will give you something to say. When we were teaching her, I was on exchanges with my Zone leader Elder Elias, and wow, he understands the importance of listening really well. He just listened, asked a few inspired questions, and by the end of the lesson she was totally ok with letting Felipe be baptized. I was a true Miracle.
So yeah, this week’s been pretty good. The Lord has definitely been blessing us here. Elder Brino got transferred, which was a bit sad, but he became a ZL in another Zone, which is great. I’m really happy for him. And he taught me a lot, first and foremost, he taught me how to work! It’s a good habit to have, work hard.
Elder Lopes is my new companion and I still don’t really know what to think of him. He’s a tall, goofy, freckly, Brazilian from Bel Horizonte and has been on the mission for one year already (Incidentally I’ll be out on the mission 5 months tomorrow. But I’m really excited to have a new companion and to work a ton with him! Things are going to be a bit harder now because I’m going to be running this area now, alone, basically. This is because Elder Lopes still doesn’t know the area, the roads, the members, the investigators, etc. But I do. So, I’ll be working a lot. What a blessing.
So, sound like everything is changing back home. Wow! Will Hoggan is Stake President, huh? Tell him congratulations, that’s amazing. Also tell Alicia
congratulations on the new house! That should be a good feeling, having a place of your own. Also, she has a letter on the way, so tell her to prepare.
I got a letter from Autumn today, so I’m going to write her a letter next week. Lol, I can’t believe she went on a date. I can’t even imagine. How cool!!
And also, how cool that you get to go to EFY in Georgia! Should be interesting. But I’ll write a bunch more to her in my other letter.
Some quick answers to your questions.

My Area: Bairro Novo is an awesome neighborhood of
lower to middle class people. They all
live pretty comfortably with PlayStations, etc, so I wouldn’t say they’re poor…
In general. There are a few people who
are really really poor.

My Bed/Bed room: My bed is normal size, I think it’s a twin. The sheet’s we bought fit perfectly, I can’t really complain, it’s comfy. I’ll do a quick floor plan of our house

But ok, I’ve got to get going!! I love the letters the way they are! Keep them long and full of pictures! I love it

Love you soooo much!
Elder Twitchell

New Companion - 2 Baptisms

February 20, 2012

Bom Dia!
The transfers happened, and wow it´s crazy! So, Elder Brino was transferred to Vila Oficinas, here in Curitiba, and became a Zone Leader there. Cool, huh! I could tell he was really excited.
And for me, I stayed here in Bairro Novo, and now I’m with Elder Lopes, another Brazilian! Yes! It´s really funny though, he´s Belo Horizonte, and he has an accent that is really different from any other Brazilian that I’ve talked to, so it´s still a little bit hard to understand him. But he´s a goof ball, I think it´s going to be a fun transfer. The transfer happened on Wednesday. I went to get Elder Lopes, and leave Elder Brino, and immediately afterwards, we went to work! it´s great!
So, on Tuesday night, Luis was baptized! wooooohoooooo! yeah. So it was the last night that Elder Brino was here, and we were all really excited. Wow. Luis is firm! He went to a church campout type thing this weekend, so he´s in good hands with the Ward. We´re really excited about him. Also, yesterday, on Sunday, we had the baptism of this other young man, Felipe! Felipe is the friend of a member, who has wanted to be baptized for a while now, but his mom wouldn´t let him. But, we talked with the mom, and taught her a lesson super spiritual, and
afterwards she said she would let Felipe be baptized. Wow, what a miracle! It was such a great experience, I can´t believe how much the Lord touches the hearts of the people. The Lord is blessing our area so much! Now, I hope I don´t mess things up, because I’m basically in charge here. Elder Lopes doesn´t know the area or the members or anything else, so I’m basically leading the work. It´s a lot, but I’m loving it, it´s a lot of fun.
Today I got a ton of letters! Keep them coming! But I still haven´t gotten the Valentines package,
it´ll probably come next week. I love getting letters, and I’m going to send off a letter today, hopefully with a picture of our zone. But ok, I’ve got to go, I’ll write you guys today! Love you Lots!
Elder Twitchell

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lunch - letter Feb 13, 2012

February 13, 2012 – letter
Dear Family
Well, here’s another letter! Veesh, I have so much stuff to say, but it always seems like I have such little time. But I love getting letters from you. Keep them coming! I want the letters long to. Tell me everything.
This past month has been a little bit complicated. We’ve been finding a lot of new investigators, but they haven’t been progressing. Eve out best investigators have been a bit problematic. For example, we’ve been teaching this woman named Silvane. And she was awesome! She liked everything we taught, and she wanted us to teach her children, too. Also, in church, she was asking questions during the classes, and really searching to know the truth! But, out of nowhere, she went out of town one weekend. We called her to see what happened, and she said that she’s living with her boyfriend, now, in another area. Come ON!! We had already taught the Law of
Chastity! Oh well, we can only show them the path, we can’t make them take it.
Sivane’s nephew, Luis, on the other hand, is amazing!! Wow, He’s been super receptive basically the whole time we’ve been teaching him. He’s really smart, and understands the message really well. WE taught about the Restoration, and then the next lesson we asked him if he remembered about the Restoration, and he remembered everything. He basically taught the lesson back to us. WOW! We’re planning on baptizing him this week, so we’ve been finalizing with him, making sure he’s ready. We asked him how he felt about baptism yesterday, and he said, “I feel prepared.
I’m keeping all the commandments, I’m reading. I feel prepared.” Haha, crazy.
He is elect! We’re really excited about Luis.
But wow, I’m learning so much. I can’t believe it. And you know what’s the craziest thing? As of today, I’ve completed my training. I’m now basically a normal missionary. And later tonight we’re going to find out who’s going to be transferred, but it’s almost 100% sure that me and Elder Brino are going to be separated. How weird!!! Elder Brino helped me out a ton, and is a great example of an obedient, hard-working missionary. And we worked a lot together. I’m a little worried that my next companion is going to be lazy or disobedient, but whatever happens, I’m going to continue working and learning. And I’m not going to be treated like a new missionary any more, I’ll be treated normally. Which is exciting and scary at the same time. But I’m ready!
And how are things going in the USA?? I can’t imagine how it must be with Dad working with the youth so much. Haha. And so, he’s doing all sorts of things with this calling, huh? He’s giving callings, speaking in church, visiting people. This is great!! How is he liking all of the responsibility?
How are those new converts doing in the ward? I can’t stress enough how important it is to befriend a recent convert. Every convert needs three things to stay
active: Continue receiving the word of God (Scriptures, pray, HOME TEACHERS), a calling (Bishop responsible) and a friend (the entire ward has responsibility here). Just talk to them! Invite them to do stuff. Something as simple as a friendly hello can help them keep on the straight and narrow. I really like what Elder Neal said “Shame on you” for not sharing the gospel. Sometimes we become content and
don’t do the little things, but this is literally of the Devil. It’s one of his strategies (2 Nephi 28:21 And others will be pacify, and lull them away into carnal security that they will say: All is well Zion: yea, Zion prospereth, all is well -- and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to
hell) I’m not saying it’s necessary to put on a plaque and go preaching every day.
Just be a FRIEND!!
But how is everyone out there? How’s Bishop Hoggan? Our neighbor? Sister Erikson?
How’s Autumn doing? It’s got to be a littler hard out there. I know how hard it is to be without friends at school, and I can only imagine how hard it must be to live in a city without friends. You said she’s been staying out a lot lately, though, so she must be making friends. That’s good. I just hope they’re good friends, that push her to be better. But Autumn has always been amazing, staying True to the Faith and all. Just make sure she continues praying and reading the scriptures everyday. I’m not all that worried: she’ll make the right decisions at the right moment.
I’ve started being better with my journal. Now I write at least 3 -4 times every week. It’s so important to write in your journal, especially on the mission.
I’m also writing more letters, for the family for my siblings. It’s a good habit. I’m also receiving a good amount of letters form random people. Tell them to keep ‘em coming! But yeah, things are going pretty well here on the mission. We’re working a lot, and only going to keep working! The area here is amazing! The people here are poor-middle class. They all have TV’s and normal things like
that, but they definitely don’t have a lot of money. And the ward is great, we always have LUNCH! I have yet to have a lunch fall through.
See above diagram:

Well I’ve got to go, I hope I answered your questions. Keep being positive, choosing the right and praying!

Love you all!! WRITE ME!!!

Elder Twitchell

PS I need more pants!! I have three pairs, but two of them are really discolored and grey
PPS Thanks for the Ground Hog droppings.

I'm No longer being trained, so it's a BIG STEP!!!

February 13, 2012
Dear Family,
Wow, this week was crazy! Well, not too crazy, but it seemed jammed packed with things to do.
So, Tonight we find outabout the transfers, so I still don´t know. But what´s probably going to happen is Elder Brino will probably leave the area, and I´ll stay. It´ll be really strange without Elder Brino, and hard too, because I’ll have to do a lot of the work on my own now, but I’m really excited to see what will happen. As of today, I’m no longer being trained, too, so it´s a big step!! haha.
Wow, Elder Scott is getting transferred? How crazy. But it´s good, too. 7 and a half months is a
looooong time for a missionary in one place. Elder Brino has only been here in Bairro Novo for about 4 months and he´s ready to leave. haha.
I explained a little bit in the letter I’m going to send, but with Silvane and her family, things
got a bit complicated. Silvane moved to another area with her boyfriend :( So now it´s looking like she won´t get baptized. At least not with us. And Patrique is not super interested in the church, and doesn´t want to get married. We´re still working with them, but it´ll be really hard. But we have faith! However, the Silvane´s nephew, Luis, is amazing! We’ve been teaching him too, and he´s already ready, it´s amazing. We´re preparing him for baptism this week. Haha, me and Elder Brino are both kind of anxious with this transfer, because we both are soooo excited for Luis, and want to baptize him. But, one of us will be transferred before the baptism, so..... haha, we´ll see. But it was awesome, we asked Luis the other day if he felt ready for baptism, and he got quiet for a moment, started to think, and then said ´Well, I’m keeping all of the commandments, and I’m reading the book of Mormon every day... So I think I’m ready.´ lol whaaaaaat!
My goodness, it´s cool when they understand principles, and they understand what it takes to be baptized!
Wo, the 5 week thing is kind of crazy. I don´t know if it would work for everyone, but I think it would have been a lot better for me. You learn waaaay faster and waaay more in the field. But it´s important to learn the basics at the MTC. it´ll be interesting to see how this pans out.
Here, with Carnival, it´s pretty peaceful. We just keep working straight through the Holiday.
However, this Missionary that just returned in the ward here, he was serving in the Northern Part of Brazil (Baiana) and he said that the whole mission shut down for two weeks. I asked him why they did that, what do the people do during this holiday, and he said ´It´s just apostasy. Complete apostasy´ LOL, I didn´t ask more after that.
Ok, I’ve got to go, my times up! I´m writing you guys a letter today, so be waiting for it! I´ve been
getting your letters, but still haven´t gotten the Valentines package. I probably will this week.
Elder Twitchell

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Got to go to the TEMPLE

February 8, 2012 (today’s letter was on a Wed, because he got to go to the temple)
Dear family,
The temple was great today! Wow. I went with a big group of missionaries, including President
Cordon. It was suuuuper spiritual, and I understood almost everything, which was good. It was a little weird having Portuguese voice overs for the movie. Lol. And I actually did see an Elder Ham today, but I didn´t speak to him or anything, I’ll have to talk to him. It´s funny, because there´s another Elder Ham in the mission, but I think that he just barely left last transfer. I don´t know. That´s cool that you guys got to go to the Temple too. The Temple is such a blessing in our lives, I think sometimes we don´t even realize it. At the MTC, during a fireside, the talk was about what we need to remember when we´re inside the Temple, and it was a reeeeaallly good talk, I’ll have to send you some of the highlights of it later in a letter to you.
At the Temple book store, I bought this little bible, and guess how much it cost!? it cost about 2
Reais, or in other words, 1 dollar. This small bible, a little bit smaller than a normal Book of Mormon. How cool! I bought it, and I’m going to mark it up like crazy. I´m super excited.
Elder Brino was really excited about the Journals, by the way. He´s obsessed with the one with the sacred grove on the front. lol, it´s really funny. Here in Brasil, they don´t have journals like that. In fact, their notebooks, planners, etc in general are really different. They don´t have normal spiral bound notebooks like in the US, which is a bit annoying.
I had a really good week this week. In the ward here, a Missionary just returned home. His name is JuvĂȘncio, and he´s awesome, and he´s teaching me how to draw reeaally good. He´s kind of a nerd like me, and really likes drawing stuff like Avatar, and Legend of Zelda, and he´s teaching me how to draw too. I´ll have to send you a drawing in my next letter.
Well, my time is about up, so some last minute things to say--
About the shoes: honestly, the Eccos are amazing, but you need both the boots and the normal
shoes. Why? Because the normal shoes are more comfy, but they wear down fast. I don´t think my normal shoes are going to last another year. Probably less. The boots are great, because they last long, and it rains a lot down here.
About my health, I’m as strong as an ox. I´ve lost a bunch of weight because I’ve been walking a ton in the heat. haha. But it´s really good. I´m healthy. Being a missionary, I have the advantage of being able to run without getting weary, or walk without fainting.
Alright, my times up, I love you lots! Write me letters, and read the scriptureeees!!!
Elder Twitchell.
PS. Eeeesh, I forgot to send pictures again. SORRY!