Monday, March 26, 2012

Baptized Vera

March 26, 2012
Wow, so Alicia is going to have the Baby!!! Yipeee! haha, how exciting, you´ll have to tell me as soon as possible how Bentley is! I’ll keep praying for you guys, so that everything turns out well. How crazy that it´s going to delay 12 hours to get there!!!? That´s such a long time, just for Georgia. Oh well, safe travels!!
Haha, let Gustavo be my friend. We baptized him in January. He´s awesome! He´s going to get married to his member girlfriend in November! Frankly, I would rather him serve a mission
than get married (he is 19 years old) but getting married to a member is good too. And they´ll be able to get married in the Temple too (I think?).
So you got called as YW second councilor! How exciting. You love working with the young women’s, and I’m sure you´re going to be able to serve the YW there really well.
How sad that the babies left. Eeesh, it´s hard, I know, but just be happy! I can´t wait to get your
tape. I haven´t been able to buy a tape player here yet, because I think they only sell them in the center of Curitiba, so I’ll have to ask a member to buy it for me, and then I’ll pay them back later.
Money, I’m doing fine, and we´re always well fed. But Elder Lopes and I are really frugal with
our money, we don´t buy too much. We don´t spend too much with bus fares either, we just walk. And utilities, the Mission reimburses us, so it´s not a big deal either.
Sooo... here’s some news...
we baptized this Lady named Vera yesterday, wow she is suuuuper prepared. She was a reference of a member, and her husband had been receiving the missionary discussions 5 years ago, but her husband died, so he never was baptized. We started teaching her about the plan of Salvation, and we told her that she could be married to her husband for all eternity in the Celestial kingdom, and she got suuuuper excited. She has already read the Book of Mormon, and all of the pamphlets that
we leave with her. She really studies everything! And Elder Lopes had the opportunity to baptize her yesterday. It was way spiritual. The water was cold, because the heater was broken (poor Vera, she´s 59 years old!) but she said she didn´t even notice because of the Spirit! hahah, it was awesome.
So, today we´re going to find out about transfers, but I still don´t know, I honestly think that I’m
going to be transferred, but I don´t know. I want to stay, because we went to teach Amanda yesterday, and she said she wants to be baptized! She already spoke with her parents, who are super catholic, but they´re going to let her. Amanda herself set the date, she´ll be baptized 7 of April. If I get transferred, I think President Cordon will let me return here in Bairro Novo for the Baptism. Wow, I am completely sure that I’m going to cry with this baptism, Amanda was one of the first people me and Elder Brino taught.

Well, I gotta go!
ELDER Twitchell!

Monday, March 19, 2012

6 Months out - Bump Day - Walls and Gates

March 19, 2012 (letter received March 31, 2012)
Well, I’m already on the last week of my third transfer. Kind of strange, huh? I will be out in the field for 6 months on the 21st, this Wednesday. Wow, it went by fast. I’ve got to keep at it, keep working. It’s so crazy, I still have so much to learn! I still have a lot to learn before I’m ready to save anybody! We’ll see if I get transferred from Bairro Novo. I’m kind of expecting it, I’ve already been here for 4 months. Every day we talk to people on the street, and it’s getting to the point that I feel like I recognize everyone. Like I’ve already talked to them. It’s really weird. But we’re still finding new people, and working our hardest to help them be baptized.
We got a reference of a member two weeks ago of this lady named Vera. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the word “elect”, but she definitely is and elect lady. Her husband was receiving missionary visits five years ago, but she was working, so she didn’t participate. However, everything her husband learned, he told her. He was really interested, but about a week after the missionaries started teaching him, he got sick, and died. Now, Elder Lopes and I are teaching her. She already is so prepared it’s incredible. We taught in our first lesson the Plan of Salvation, and we talked about temples, and how she could be sealed to her husband for all of eternity, and she got so happy, she misses her husband so much. We’re planning on
baptizing her the 25th of March. The member who referred us to Vera is helping a lot, too. Her name is Tereziahn. We went to teach Vera about the Word of Wisdom and Terezinha had already told her all about it! Vera said this. “Oh Terezinha already told me about how you can’t drink coffee, and since then I haven’t drunken any coffee!” Ha ha, we don’t even need to teach her, she already knows. She went
to church yesterday, so she’s well on her way to Baptism.
How were the Birthday? I can’t believe Aaron is already 29 years old. Wooah, OLD! How is his work going out there? Are they thinking of staying in California, or are they looking to move to Idaho?
That’s cool about the roadshow! I liked participating in it. Should have been better, being based on the Book of Mormon and not Twilight. What part of Helaman did they act out? Who was Autumn?
How sad the babies are going to leave. Veesh, and what are you going to do when they
leave. Neh, it’s always sad seeing them leave huh?
How is the family? How’s our neighbors, besides being robbed? Haha Amber is the neighborhood hero, how cool. How are the missionaries? You seemed a bit discouraged about them, because they are sleeping late, and treating the members poorly. It’s too bad, I’m sure Elder Scott was a great example for Elder Neal, and now, without him, it’s hard to do well.
How is Autumn? How’s she doing with school? I got her letter about the SAT last week, she did pretty well, huh? How’s dad? How’s the Bishopric? How’s President Hoggan? Just tell me Everything. How’s the scripture study? Are you learning a ton about the Old Testament? Lately I’ve been studying about Christ like Attributes. Woooow, it’s amazing. It’s helping me a lot to be a better, kinder missionary.
Alright, sorry I don’t have a lot to write this time. Any thing you want to know
about Brasil?
This week, the Strange thing in Brasil IS:

Bump Day on Wednesday! Crazy!

What!!!? Bump day on Wednesday! Crazy!
Haha, I can´t believe I’m already going to have 6 months on the mission. Veeesh, I need to work even harder, I only have a year and a half left!
Tell President Hoggan that I’m serving in the Bairro Novo ward (it´s pronounced bye-ho No-vo) in the Jardim do Sol Stake. It´s on the south part of Curitiba. Maybe he knows of Perigot de Souza, or Boqueirão. They´re close to us.
Things are going well with my companion! He´s really different from Elder Brino, but I like Elder Lopes. He treats people really well--investigators, members, Jehovah´s witnesses, whoever! The people in the ward really like him, because he´s from Belo Horizonte, which is kind of like the South for us. He has a funny accent, and uses words that no one here uses. hahaha. It´s really
funny to see how the members act around him.
I don´t really know why they want my full name, but they asked all of us to tell you to put our full name on the letters. It shouldn´t be a problem.
It´s a rule that we wake up at 6:30 AM, if not, we´re breaking a rule. It´s soooo important to be obedient, with the big things and the little things. If we start being disobedient for the little things, they´ll turn into big things real quick. But, it´s their choice. Maybe in the future, they´ll make the decision to be more obedient. It´s not easy, but you can´t be an effective teacher without obedience.
How crazy about the Burglar!!! wow, I don´t know what I would do if I saw a burglar across the street. Amber really is a hero! haha. She even got a reward for her efforts against crime. Food! is there a lot of crime out there in San Jose?
Well, I gotta go, but I’m going to send a letter today, for the family. I hope everything is going well for you out there. Everything is amazing here! I can´t wait to get your letter!
Elder Twitchell.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Elder Avram Tyler Twitchell

March 12, 2012
Ok first things first:
Yes, I did get the Valentines Package! Thanks a million! Wow, I need to plan ahead one day and try to cook this chicken tiki masala! I´m excited, but I’m not sure if I’m really that qualified. Oh, and Cameron is Elder Rogers. He was my first Zone Leader, and now he´s the Assistant to the President. He´s a really good guy, a great example.
I did try to use my Charge card, however, the people here said that it didn´t work!!? So I don´t know, maybe it was their mistake. But I think it DOES work here. I´m going to go to an electronic store today to buy a Tape Recorder (to take with you guys!) just for your information. But other than that, I don´t think I’m going to be using it. Maybe to buy some pants.

Something random--here they have some extra keys on the keyboard, so I can
write with this little letter: ç ç ç ç ç. And also ãõñ. Cool!

Here, we did set our clocks; however, we lost an hour, so we got an extra hour of sleep! Oh the blessings of living on the Southern Hemisphere!
So I’m going to send off letters for Alicia and Aaron today, waaaay late, I don´t think it´s going to make it in time for their birthdays :( but they´ll get them eventually, hopefully.
Ok, so about the pictures... I sent some this last letter! Yes, you´re going to get some nice pictures of me at the Botanical Gardens, the Curitiba Temple, and also a very special baptism! Also, I included a spiritual experience for you, Mom. It´s really special, it talks a bit about this baptism.
Missionary work is going! We´ve been working really hard to find some families, but wow, it´s hard! However, the Lord has been blessing us a ton! I don´t know if you remember me talking about Amanda--She´s the wife to Juvêncio´s brother, Danilo (Juvêncio is the RM that taught me how to draw :)). Anyway, me and Elder Brino taught her in December, but she ended up not letting us pass by anymore, because she was pregnant, and was feeling really pressured into baptism. But now, she had the baby, and the baby was blessed at church yesterday! Also, she
said that we could come by this weekend! So, maybe we´re going to start teaching her again, and baptize her. Wow, if she got baptized, I think I will literally cry. Seriously.
But yeah, Missionary work is going great, I’m learning soooo much it´s crazy. Everyday, it´s something different. Today, me and Elder Lopes cleaned our house, inside and out. It was crazy, it took 3 hours! But now it´s super clean, and we feel the spirit waaaay better. Now, we´re just preparing for the baptisms that´ll come because our house is clean :)
Ok, I’m going to try to do the tape recorded thing today, so maybe the next time you get something from me, it´ll be my voice!! Wow, que loco!

Elder Avram Twitchell

PS They want you to put my full name on letters when you send them to me now--
ELder Avram Tyler Twitchell
PPS in 9 days I’ll be out for 6 months!!!!! whaaaat it went by suuuper fast.

Curitiba Temple

My Zone!
Elder (from left to right)
Twitchell, DaSilva, Christensen, Aparecido, S. Andrade, Simplicio,
Brino (Avram's companion) , Elias, Fuchs, Finato, Crook, Reynos

Monday, March 5, 2012

Invite - letter March 5, 2012 (picture)

Baptism of Thiago Feb. 26, 2012
Elder Lopes on the left, the boy in the white is Thiago, the man in the white is Irmao Osni's
Elder Twitchell on the right

We found Thiago at Osai's house. Thiago's family

March 5, 2012 letter (received March 29)

Dear Family!
Well, Well, things are a lot different for me now. Me and my new companion, Elder Lopes, are working harder than ever! And now I’m basically running this area in Bairro Novo. I’m coordinating with members, planning, praying, everything! I flet a little overwhelmed at first, becaue there are so many things I have to worry about. But now, the Lord is blessing me like crazy! I sincerely feel like I’m getting to know my Savior more and more. I feel exactly like Moroni in Ether 12:2. I have sooo many weaknesses, and sometimes I think that everything is going to cave in on me. But, the Lord can take weak things, and make them strong. I just need to let them.
Ok, you want a spiritual experience?


Now, as I think you know, we baptized Thiago about two week’s ago, and he has a really cool story, that’s all about INVITING!
We found Thiago at a members house. Me and Elder Brino were having a hard week, (really a hard transfer) because we weren’t finding good investigators, and weren’t baptizing. We went to this member’s house to drink some water. While there, we saw Tales, a member, with his friend, Thiago. Thiago has 13 years. So we did something crazy. We invited him to Church! At first Tales got embarrassed and said that Thiago didn’t want to go. But we kept inviting him, and wouldn’t you know it, Thiago really wanted to go to church with Tales and other member friends. He just didn’t think he could go! But, the next day, he went to church, and we started teaching him!
Jump forward in time. Elder Brino and I were preparing Thiago to be baptized, but beforehand, the family hadn’t shown much interest, so we thought they wouldn’t want to attend. But what did we do? We invited his mom and Dad. And they got really excited, and said they wanted to go. So, the mom and dad attended his baptism, but not just them. Thiago’s sisters, niece, grandparents, and brother-in-law all came to his baptism! During the service, the spirit was super strong. It was so special to see this family together to attend the baptism of a loved one. The family entire felt the spirit, and after they were asking us a million questions about the church. Wow, it was really amazing.
Now we’re teaching the entire family. The parents who I thought weren’t interested turned out to be really interested. We sat down with Thiago, his parents, and a sister, and shared with the family the glorious news of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At the end of the message, I felt impressed to invite them to be baptized. When I finished the invite, Thiago’s mom looked at me and said “yes, I already believe that all of this is true. If I didn’t believe, I wouldn’t have let my Baby be Baptized.” She, Thiago’s father and sister, all said they wanted to be baptized. We still need to continue teaching them, and there is a lot of work to be done. But thus far, the Lord has been here, leading us to invite this family. At every point, the Spirit says the same thing. Share the Gospel. Invite others. I’m reminded constantly of D&C 28:16 -- “ And thou must open thy mouth at all times, declaring my gospel with the sound of rejoicing”
Why are we rejoicing? I think Mosiah 15: 14, 18 expains it well: “And these are they who have published Peace, who have brought good tidings of Good, who published Salvation; and said unto Zion, Thy God Reigneth! … for O how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that is the founder of peace, yea, even the Lord, who has redeemed his people; yea, him who has granted salvation to his people.”
We are the people of peace. We have the Gospel of Salvation. We each have a treasure with us that will abide forever with us, and has the potential to exalt us on high with our families forever. Open your mouth. Speak, Invite. Share what you have. I promise you that if you strive always to share the gospel, the Lord will sanctify your lives, and you will never be confounded before men. This experience I share with you in the name of our Advocate and savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

Ok, go ahead and use that, if you want.

I hope you all are doing well. I get really excited, Mom, when you tell me about what you’re learning with teaching. In fact, I love it when anyone in the family shares what they’re learning! Keep sharing, and I’ll try to write what I’m learning also.

Oi Familia!!

March 5, 2012
Oi Família!
How are things going for you in California! Sounds like your busy!
We´re busy here too. We´ve been working a lot, trying to find more families. Our entire mission here is focusing on "real growth" in the church, which means baptizing more families, more men who are worthy to receive the priesthood, keeping recent converts, and "rescuing" the less active members. So, Elder Lopes and I have been striving to do just this. I think until now I have just
been trying to baptize youth, and not focusing enough on their families. But now, we arrive in the houses of our investigators, and invite the whole household to learn with us, hear the message of the Restoration, and yes, be baptized. It´s been a great improvement, and we´re having lot´s of spiritual experiences.
You said that you wanted spiritual experiences from me, so I’ll send you a letter today, and I’ll try to include something super spiritual for you. I think I have an idea of what I could share, that has to do with the members helping us also, so it should be good for the ward there!
Things here in Brazil are amazing! Wow, we work a lot, but I’m loving every minute of it. It´s
extremely gratifying. Me and Elder Lopes are calling all these people to repentance :) haha. Elder Lopes is a great missionary, too. He´s teaching me a lot about listening to our investigators, being their friends, and really teaching the PERSON, not just a lesson.
I still need to improve with my journal writing. Veeesh, I’m terrible with this, it´s usually two times a week. But, I’m really trying to force myself to write more.
We did have daylight savings time here. Weird, huh? for some reason, I was thinking that they didn´t have it here. But they do!
How scary with the Tornadoes! Man, where is Alicia living! haha, in the middle of tornado valley. I hope she keeps safe!
And wow. Elaina is too smart, isn´t she? Holy crap. I didn´t that many things when I was her age. Keep her learning!
And ok, I am going to repent with my letter writings, and write a lot more! aye aye, I’m really
sorrry, I’ll write more, I promise.
Ok I’ve got to go!
Elder Twitchell