Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dogs!! Letter dated May 7 & 14, 2012

May 7, 2012 (letter)


So, a lot’s been going on here since I last wrote you all.  Wow, it’s been an amazing few weeks.  Well, you all already know that I was called as a Trainer this past week.  I couldn’t even believe it when I was called.  It was on Sunday the 29th of April, and we had had the baptism of Zenerda that day so we were pretty happy.  Elder Lopes and I had finished planning and I was changing my clothes when we got a call from the Zone leaders.  Elder Lopes said it was for me, and gave me the phone.  The Zone Leader then told me I had to go to a training conference the next day, so that I could be trained as a Trainer.  WOW!!  I was so surprised.  Here I am, a Missionary of 7 months.  I still have a ton to learn.  I was a bit overwhelmed, and worried at the prospect of training a new missionary.  I didn’t sleep much that night. 

The next day we had the training conference which helped, and also I had an interview with President Cordon.  He said a bit about the responsibilities of a Trainer, and then said that the Lord had chosen me for this calling.  “It was pretty clear to me that the Lord wanted you to train,”  President Cordon told me.  That helped too. 

After that on Tuesday I already had to go get the new missionary.  So I went and met my trainee  --  Elder Little.  Elder Little is an Athletic American from Southern Utah. He is ready to work which is most important.  Even though he doesn’t speak the language well, we’ve been working pretty well together.  He’s got a good practical sensibility.  Like he’s way more practical than me.  I’m just kind of a nerdy punk from Cali, and he’s a farmer from Utah that was on the football and basketball team.  So, when he gets the language down, he’ll be a monster of a missionary. 

May 14, 2012

Alright, so I didn’t get the chance to finish my letter last week, so now I’ll finish it up.  Yesterday was Mother’s Day!  Wow, it was so good to see you all.  It felt like a long time since I’ve seen you already.  I hardly even remember what we talked about, it was just so quick.  It appears that you’re doing well, and that the Lord is blessing our family.  I can’t believe how big all of the babies are already.  They’re going to be adults when I get back. 

So how was Mother’s day?  Did everyone call you?  What did they do at church at Mother’s day?  It’s weird to think that I only have two more calls home now – this Christmas and in a year.  The time is just going to fly by.

Elder Little liked the Mother’s day call too.  I think he was worried about whether it would work out with the Skype.  That was good that you helped out his family beforehand.  He really enjoyed it, and I got to talk to his MOM for a bit and reassure her that he is in good hands (I know I shouldn’t lie)

Also, as you noticed, I was at the same place that I was at Christmas.  The family that let us use skype is a really good family, always helping out with the ward.  They’re son, Lehi (That’s not how you spell his name, but it’s basically Lehi) got back form his mission in Recife, Brazil like a year ago.  He’s a really good helper to us. 

So, I definitely forgot to ask you guys a million things and I’m sure that you guys didn’t get to ask everything you wanted.  Mom, how’s your calling?  How is our neighbor doing? How do you guys like being involved so much in the Ward?  Dad, what are some challenges that you’re having with your calling?  How do you like it?  How is Autumn doing with school?  How were the AP testing?  I forget was it just AP History that you took?  So Avatar: The Legend of Korrah isn’t that good.  Too bad L

Here in the mission field Elder Little and I are just working hard to find the Lord’s elect.  We don’t have any baptismal candidates super promising right now, but our recent converts are doing really well.  The only big let down is the Peterson family, they’re pretty much inactive, and they don’t go to church even though we pass by all the time.  The rest, however, are doing really great.  I’m really happy with these people. 

Alright, time for the weird thing here in Brazil…..

All is well -- May 28, 2012

May 28, 2012 

Hey family!
This week was pretty fun, Elder Little and I always have weird experiences. This week we ran into like 6 or 7 pastors who wanted to Bible bash with us, which is always really annoying. They just start citing a million scriptures to us, and in the end we ask them if they would like to ask God if Church is true, and they always say no. Haha, and then, we just testify and leave as soon as we can. There are a ton of silly things that people say here. One older Lady told me that Mary (Jesus´s mom) created the Earth. lol wut?
So Thiago´s family stopped taking discussions a while ago. His Sister didn´t like it when we taught about marriage and Chastity, and his Mom doesn´t want to leave the Church she does to now. Even though she told us she believes everything that we say. But, this stuff happens. We can´t force people to follow the answers they receive from God. We´re getting kind of worried, because Thiago lives really far from other members, and so we´re afraid without his family going to church he´ll fall away soon, so we´re planning some activities here with the YM president to get Thiago to make friendships with the other YM in the ward.
The 5 people that Elder Little challenged to baptism did not get baptized... yet. Well, three of them actually moved away, but they didn´t tell us, and we have no idea where they went. The Other two, Jean and Leide, we still pass by, but they´re really hard to find at home, they go out a lot. However, the last time we talked to them about the importance of the BOM and Church, and they said that they would go to Church. However, this Sunday they called us before Church and said that they were sick... I don´t really know what that means, but we´ll continue trying to get them to Church.
Elder Little and I are doing pretty well, I think that Elder Little is getting used to Brasil here. I try to talk to him often and see how he´s doing, and see if he needs anything, but as far as I know he´s doing well. The language, of course, is a challenge, but he´s learning really fast. He´s brave as heck, when I first got here I was afraid to ask people to go to church or be baptized, but he just goes for it. It´s great.
The weather here, as always, is crazy. We have four seasons per day. In general, it´s getting colder, but I stay pretty warm, I have that sweater you gave me.
Well, I’ll try to get another letter off to you guys today, but I hope all is well for you! I´ll keep praying for Brandon, I hope everything goes alright for him!
ELDER Twitchell!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Come Unto Christ - 8 months

May 21, 2012
Hey family!

Wow, you guys are really doing some missionary work out there! That´s awesome. What, you´ve already had like 4 baptisms there since I’ve left, right? That´s incredible. The Lord is really blessing you all. Baptism meetings are always really spiritual events, especially when there are a ton of people involved. It also sounds like Brandon is really doing well; it would be great for him to start having the missionary discussions. Yeah, it´s kind of a weird next step, suggesting to him to meet with the missionaries. I never got to that step! But just keep praying and fasting about it and the Lord will provide a way for you guys to invite Brandon to meet with the missionaries. Like that person said in conference (I forget who it was), he said that if we trust in the Lord, be a friend, and act with Love, we will be able to invite others to the Church in a way that is natural. I hope it all works out, keep me posted.

This week I have actually been focusing a lot on the ward here. Bairro Novo is an excellent ward, with a lot of faithful members, and I’ve kind of been forgetting to work together with the ward. So, during this week, I have been trying to work more with the Ward Council and with the bishopric, and also I’ve been trying to just offer myself for help to all of the members I run across. It´s already helping out, I feel like the members here trust me more now, and some of them told me about some friends or relatives that they would like to receive the missionary discussions. It´s a really cool feeling, because you know that these referrals that they give are sacred, and it makes me want to do my best to help them come unto Christ. We´ll see how this all goes!

We´ve also been trying to reactivate some less actives in our area, we have about 550 ´members´ in our area, but only have about 120 people at Church every week, so we´re trying to help some of them return to church. We had the opportunity to bring a lady back to church that had fallen away over 10 years ago. I told the bishop about her, but he couldn´t remember her, so I was thinking that no one would recognize her. But after Sacrament meeting, a ton of women from the Relief society went over and started hugging her, and catching up with her, and seeing how she was doing. It was a really cool experience, and it reminds me that my purpose as a missionary isn´t just to get people baptize, but to invite others to come unto Christ. This includes rescuing those who have lost their way a bit.

Elder Little is doing really well. The language is still hard for him, but it’s the same thing for all Americans! He´ll get it soon. I´m not sure if it´s better for him to have an American companion, because he can always just speak in English and I’ll understand, but with a Brazilian, you HAVE to speak in Portuguese. Sometimes I have to be kind of a jerk and make him speak in Portuguese when he´s not really sure how to say something, but it will help him in the end to speak Portuguese quickly. It´s kind of crazy, it´s already been three weeks since I started training him!!!?

The weather here is crazy, it´s kind of annoying´. It´ll get cold for a few days, and then the next few days it´ll get really hot. It´ll rain for two days straight, and then for the next few days it switches between clear skies and overcast--all to trick us out! It´s annoying. But, in general, it is getting colder.

Ok, I gottago, but I hope that everything is going well. You should be getting letters soon, if you haven´t gotten them already!!!


Elder Twitchell

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Call - HI to everyone

Mother's Day Skype was FANTASTIC !!!   Avram sounded really good he struggled with English a little, which was funny.  He is doing great, he loves Serving the Lord. 

Hey, Tell Everyone Hello   and I Love them!!! 

May 14, 2012  - e-mail

Hey family!

Yeah, the Mother’s Day phone is kind of evil.  45 minutes just pass by so fast, and you feel like you didn´t have time to say anything! Then afterwards I just feel dumb that I didn´t say anything.  Haha, that´s pretty much how I felt last time too.
My companion great, he´s a hard worker, and he´s pretty patient with me as a trainer.  I´m still trying to figure out this whole training thing.  After the phone call, he seemed fine.  A little sad right after the call, but I think he´s fine. We just sat and talked with the family who let us use Skype right after the phone call, and then went home.  I’m not super homesick, it was just good to see you guys. Tell everyone I said hi.
We used Skype at this big member family in our ward. The head of the house is named Charlie Schwambach (a really really weird name).  But within the family they have a Nephi and a Lehi :)  They´re really good people. And that’s funny that the Bishop added me as a friend,  I like him a lot.
That was cool to hear that your ward is baptizing. That is such a huge blessing, when a new member comes to the church.  I´ll keep praying for Brandon too.  I am kind of sad that I never participated as a member missionary, bringing somebody to church.  Autumn has an awesome opportunity right now.  Just be a friend, and invite him! But leave the baptismal invite to the missionaries.  They want to do that... :)
Yeah, I liked telling you guys about my experiences, I’m happy that you enjoy them. It´s still amazing to me all that the Lord lets me see here. He is the person in charge of this work, and for this, the miracles come all the time.  The Lord is preparing so many to receive the gospel.
I´ll also get off a letter to you guys today.

Love you lots, and tell everyone else that I love them too!

Elder Twitchell

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bairro Novo - New companion Elder Little

May 7th, 2012  --  Bairro Novo – New companion Elder Little

Everything is beautiful here in Bairro Novo!
Alright, about Skype, so it´s basically going to be the same as last time, I’ll be starting at about 7 PM here in Brasil, so it should be about 1 or 2 PM there in California. I´ll be using my account, avram.twitchell
Hope it all turns out alright!
So, my new companion is Elder Little! He´s an American from Paragunah Utah, and he´s great. He was a part of that MTC program where he was in the MTC for less time, so it´s been interesting. We´re getting along great, and I am trying to help him out the best I can with the Language.  It´s kind of hard the first little bit, but I’m trying to talk as much as I can in Portuguese so that he can learn quickly.  But, I also explain things in English when he doesn´t understand. We´re working really hard here, though. So in the first week, the new missionary has to do ALL of the invitations for Baptism, and Elder Little already invited 5 people to be baptized!!!!! Wow, it was awesome, he´s doing amazing.
Yeah, I know Valdecir, he´s great!  He´s a member of our ward, he´s a really good guy with a deep testimony of the church. Oh, and your message to him kind of makes sense. He´ll understand!
Oh, so yeah, go baptize Brandon. Now.
That´s cool that you guys had a convert baptism.  That’s really great news.  It´s so hard to get baptisms in the US.
So in that package, maybe send me some more peanut butter, and some sour skittles or sour starbursts or something like that. I can´t think of anything right now, but put whatever you want in there, ill love it!
Oh, so I got to go!!!!
Next time you get communication from me, it´ll be on Skype!
Elder Twitchell