Monday, June 25, 2012


June 25, 2012


Hey everyone, how has your week been? This week has been pretty good for Elder Little and I. Today, we decided to cook a real meal for ourselves, so we got out that Missionary cook book, and made a Spaghetti casserole with garlic bread, it was pretty good! I was surprised by myself, that we could actually prepare a half-decent meal. Also, the other day I went on Exchanges with Elder Devincenzi, and he taught me how to make brownies, so I’m going to test out baking brownies today, too. I´ll take a picture of the brownies if they turn out well.

So, just so you know, Leonida did go to church yesterday!!!!! Yes! Earlier in the week we visited Leonida with a member who kind of lives close to her, and he took her to church yesterday, together with two of her kids, Marisa (8) and Leonardo (11). Unfortunately they couldn´t stay the whole time, but we passed by later in the day, and Leonida said that she loved church, and will definitely stay the whole time next time. Elder Little and I are pretty excited about her, she progressing a lot in the Gospel. She is reading the Book of Mormon, and even is inviting some of her sibling to go to church too. She´s way cool. I don´t know if she´ll be able to be baptized this week, but we´re going to try to shoot for July 8th. Keep praying for her!

And we lost contact with that family that got thrown into prison. Oops! haha, it´s kind of hard, because they weren´t really that interested when they weren´t locked up in jail, but now that they have this problem they don´t really want to hear any message. Oh well...

Well, being a district leader is kind of busy. I call all of the missionaries in my district 3 times a week to see how they´re doing and see if they need anything. Then, the Zone Leaders call ME 3-4 times a week to see how I´M doing. Pretty much every night I have to talk to someone. It´s kind of cool talking to the district, because I get to see how they´re doing, and how to help them out. Another part that I like is doing is Interviews. It´s way cool doing a baptismal interview, especially for someone who is really converted. You just get to hear their testimony, and help them see how much the gospel has blessed their lives. It´s cool

I hope everything continues to go well for you guys out there. Keep working hard and being a good example to others. Have a good time in Georgia, I hope Alicia and her family is well!!!


Elder Twitchell

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

District Leader in Bairro Novo

June 18, 2012


Well, I haven´t gotten the package yet! I hope it didn´t get lost or anything!!

This week has been pretty crazy, as with every transfer week. Half our Zone got transferred. Every single companionship in the Zone had a change except me and Elder Little. In the other district, they took out everybody except for one Elder, Elder Edgar.

The big news is that I got called as a District Leader here in Jardim do Sol! wooo, I was not expecting this at all, because I knew that the District leader from the last transfer, Elder Devincenzi, was staying here. But on Tuesday, the Zone Leaders called me up, and said,

`Elder Twitchell, you’re the new District Leader!´

´Really? Alright.´ was my response.

And then they added in this little comment, ´Oh, and you’re going to do 3 interviews tomorrow for our baptismal candidates.´

Lol, then they just told me they would explain more to me the next day, and hung up. But they Zone Leaders taught me how to do a baptismal interview Wednesday morning, and then I did 2 Interviews on Wednesday and one interview on Thursday. It´s kind of different doing interviews. I feel like I’m so presumptuous, deciding if someone is worthy to be baptized or not. But it´s cool too, I like doing baptismal interviews. People say stuff to you that they probably haven´t told anyone else in their life!

Another part is I have to take care of other missionaries. I don´t know, I’ve never been in charge of anybody like this. It´s a big responsibility. I´ve spent a lot of my time kneeled down in prayer the past few days so that I could have the aid from God to be a good leader and help others.

So that´s the news now. It´s kind of crazy, and I feel a little bit overwhelmed--training and being a district leader--but at the same time I’m excited, and I know that I’m going to learn a lot.

Another crazy thing is that Elder Hobbs got called as the new Assistant to the President!!! Woooow! Nobody gets called as an assistant with just 8 months on the mission! But Elder Hobbs is a great leader, I’m really excited for him. On Thursday, they had a training meeting for new District Leaders, and he gave the training meeting. It was way cool to see him. He seems nervous but excited, too.  Wow, i can´t believe it! ELder Barkdull is a zone Leader! He´ll do great, he always has been a good example for me.

So we did get to see the dedication of the Manaus temple. We also got to see the celebration. It was way cool, the people of Manaus have sacrificed a lot to have a temple there. It was kind of funny to see, because it was President Uchtdorf and Elder Quentin L. Cook that were there, and they tried to speak Portuguese a few times, but it was waaaay bad. Hahaha.

Things here in Bairro Novo are going pretty well, we´re finding a lot of new people to teach, but for now not a lot of people REALLY firm. There is this lady that we´re teaching, named Leonida, who is really interested, and told us she is seriously considering being baptized, but she didn´t go to Church yesterday, so that was a bit of a setback. But she´s really good, and I think in a few weeks she´ll get baptized.

Elder Little to doing really well, he´s getting more comfortable with the Language an everything. It´s hard, I don´t even speak right, and I’ve been out for almost 9 months. We both are learning a bunch. And now I’m going to have to leave the area a bunch to do splits and interviews, so he´s going to have to get used to taking care of the area without me. He´ll do great.

What do I want for my Birthday? I don´t really know... I like the candy, and I like the muffin mix and cookie mix, they´re good. Also, Peanut butter is a good thing to have... let me see what else.. I don´t know I can´t really think of anything right now, I’ll try to come up with some more stuff. It´s kind of weird on the mission, I don´t really have anything to ask for...

Well, I sent off a letter a bit ago, you should be getting it soon. I´m going to write another letter to you guys today, too, so watch out for it!

I gotta go, love you LOTS

Elder Twitchell

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bibles - Letter written 6/18 & 6/25, 2012

June 18, 2012

Dear Family

So I was Not at that training meeting, I think that this was just for DL’s & ZL’s.  I see there Elder Siplicio and Stevenson, our Zone leaders and also Elder Deviacenis my old District leader.

So as you probably know.  I’m the District Leader now, here in Jardim do Sol.  It’s kind of crazy because I’m still in my first area!  I have less than 9 months on the mission.  It’s a lot of responsibility I have to take care and teach Elder Little how to be a missionary and I have to take care of and encourage 7 other missionaries.  Sincerely, I’m a bit overwhelmed, because I’ve never had a responsibility like this before.  Also, everyone in my district has been out on the mission longer than me, except Elder Little.  It’s only going to be through the Lord that I’m going to do anything.  I hardly know how to be a missionary, let alone help others be missionaries.

Our area here is Bairro Novo is going along well, we’re finding a bunch of new investigators lately, which is always cool.  Among these new investigators is a widow named Leonida.  She lives with a bunch of her kids  --  both adoptive and biological.  I think she has five…  Anyway she’s been really interested in the church, and she even has a brother whose Mormon, so he’s supporting her as Leorida investigates the church.  She’s way cool, and pretty much accepts everything we teach, including the Book of Mormon, which she already knows is true.  She does smoke, so we have to work with her on that, but besides that, she’s progressing pretty well.  We’re planning on baptizing her the 1st of July so we’ll see.

Alright, answers to questions:

How do the fridges and stoves?

The fridges aren’t as fancy as the fridges in the US with water and ice disposers.  But other than that, they’re normal.  Most of the stoves here don’t have a clicker (I don’t know what it’s called, but it makes sparks) so you just turn on the gas and get a lighter.

How is the milk?

The milk is super light.  When I first got here, I didn’t like it, because it was almost like water to me.  But now I like it.

Missionaries go days without water?

I think those missionaries just didn’t pay the bills.  I haven’t had any problems with this since I got here, but maybe in some outback areas they have problems. 

What is the ward like?

The ward is great here, it’s one of my favorite things about Bairro Novo.  These people are strong in the Faith, and want to share the Gospel.  When I got here, my trainer said that the ward doesn’t do anything, but I’ve found that to be false.  When I need help, they help.  If I ask them to visit a recent convert, they visit.  They also tell me about all sorts of less-actives that need rescuing. 

But yeah, Bairro Novo generally has between 120 – 140 people at church…. So it’s pretty big.

How are the computer places?

They have a ton of “Lan Houses” here (they pronounce it Lan Housie) so when we write e-mails, we go to one of these Lan houses.  It’s basically a room, with a bunch of computers.  It’s not a library, restaurant, nothing. 

I hope all is going well for the family.  I hope Grandpa Twitchell starts feeling better, I think about him a lot.  I’m glad Bentley is doing well, too.  I’m sure he’s going to be way cute when I finally get to meet him. 

Well this summer should be weird for you.  You got to hang out with me and Autumn, but now just Autumn.  I’m sure Autumn’s going to make the right choices, but you’re right, mom, you’ve got to be in charge.  Something I don’t like here in Brazil is a lot of times the fathers – the head of the family is so weak, and doesn’t support his failiy.  Of course, a lot fo times the father is consumed by drugs or alcohol, bu ti still get frustrated.  It makes me want to be a dang good Father when I have a family.  I’ms seeing what happens to a family that has a thather who doesn’t support his family, and the results are usually tragic.  How grateful am I that dad was always a firm foundation for us as a Family!!


Sorry I didn’t finish this letter last week.  But I’ll wrap it up now.  Today is P-day and so far it’s been pretty good.  Elder Little and I decided to cook a good lunch.  I have that Missionary cook book, and I actually used it today.  We’re cooking up a spaghetti casserole with garlic bread.  Right now I’m just waiting for everything to cook.  I’m pretty excited.  I’m also planning on cooking some brownies.  It should be good.  Actually it was Elder Devincenz who taught me how to make homemade brownies.  I went on exchanges the other day, and he showed me how to make brownies.  Elder Devincenzi is a really good guy.  I think he’s had a hard time on his mission until now, but he keeps working hard and serving others.  He’s just a really good example.

Elder Little and I are working together well, although I think Elder Little is still having trouble with the language.  But, little by little he’ll get it.  He’s kind of shy and doesn’t talk a bunch, which makes it a bit harder for him to learn quickly.  But he’s doing fine.

Other missionaries in my district are Elder Palmer, Robinson, Nunes, and my Zone leaders are Elder Joa’s and Elder Stevenson.  It’s pretty cool district, lots of Americans.  The only Brazilians are Elder Joa’s and Nunes.  It’s kind of weird because Elder Stevenson and Robinson are going home in July.  Pretty strange.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Letter written June 12, 2012

Letter mailed 06/12/12

Hey family,

I just wanted to get a quick letter off so that you don’t go a lot of time without hearing from me. 

Elder Little and I are going great.  I can’t believe it’s almost been a month since he got here.  It kind of freaks me out.  My mission is passing by so fast!!!  I wake up, get ready, study, and then before I know it, it’s already time to work!!  We make some visits, talk to people on the street, and before I know it, it’s already time to go home, plan, and then I’m in bed again.  It goes by crazy fast.  Can you believe I’ve been out for more than 8 months!!!  Man, I almost start crying when I start thinking about my 1 year mark. 

Anyway, it’s fun being with an American Companion.  We just understand each other better than if I had a Brazilian companion.  We both get excited when the members give us strange fruits, and understand me when I quote Napoleon Dynamite.  It’s fun.  Of course, we have the difficulty of the language; both of us have problems with speaking clearly the language. But, we’re both learning.  Out here, we’re having some cool experiences.  Two months ago, when Amanda was baptized, her cousin, Tabatha came to the baptism.  That same day, Elder Lopes and I went to Amanda’s house to see how she was doing.  Tabatha was there too, and she seemed really curious about the church.  So, we taught her the Restoration, gave her the Book of Mormon, and invited her to read and pray about it.  It was a really spiritual lesson, one of the better ones that Elder Lopes and I taught together.

But weeks past, and we didn’t hear anymore about her.  Tabatha lives in another city, so we couldn’t just past by and see how she was doing.  It was kind of frustrating.  I thought that maybe we had scared her off with the Book of Mormon.

However, yesterday Tabatha came to church in our ward!!  Wow, it was super random, but it was awesome.  So Elder Little and I came by after lunch to talk with Tabatha, and see how she was doing.  We soon found out that Tabatha didn’t get frightened by the Book of Mormon – on the contrary, she had read it every day since we gave it to her.  She’s already in Alma!!  And when she didn’t understand something in the book, she went to and, and used the resources found there.  Wow, it’s so coot to see somebody with true spiritual hunger.  I don’t really know what we’re going to do, because she lives in another city, but at least, little by little, she’s gaining a testimony of the church!!

Well, like I said, this letter is just a quick little one.  But I want to know how everyone is doing?  How was Mother’s Day?  How did Autumn do with all the tests and finals?  How is she using her summer break?  I can’t believe school’s already out.  How’s Brandon doing?  I get so mad at the girls of your ward. Why do they get mad at Brandon?  My goodness they’re spoiling a perfect missionary opportunity.

Well, I hope you all are doing well.  You are in my prayers.  Continue making the right choices, and be good examples unto others.

Love       Elder Twitchell

OK, I still haven’t sent this letter so I guess I’ll write some more.  These weeks have been pretty good, I’ve been learning a lot.  I’ve been working really hard lately to work together with the ward.  Missionaries shouldn’t have to work alone, and neither should the ward – they need to work in Union.  So I’ve been making meetings with the Bishop and with other leaders.  It’s been going pretty well.  Something I’ve realized is that everyone wants to fulfuill their calling, serve others, or have missionary opportunities, but they just don’t know how.  I’ve been having the opportunity to help the members of our ward with this recently, and it’s been a blessing.  Leadership isn’t about ordering others around, but it’s helping them and inspiring them.  You have to be a good example.

This past week we’ve started teaching a lot of new people (12 in total) so I’ve had the opportunity to present the Book of Mormon to a lot of people.  I think I gave out a Book of Mormon every day this week.  This Book is such a blessing!  It’s kind of hard imagining what it would be like without the Book of Mormon.  My love for the Savior, and his plan for us, has definitely grown through reading.  Something good that I’ve been doing lately is I write down good questions that our investigators ask.  For example “What’s the purpose of Life” or “Why does God allow suffering?”  Then in my personal study, I look for a Book of Mormon scripture that answers that question.  It’s pretty cool. 

Well Elder Little and I continue to work in this great labor here in Brazil.  It’s fun, because he’s still new, so he helps remind me of all the weird stuff here in Brazil.  So, without further ado, here’s my “Weird Stuff in Brazil”

Brazilians Are Talkative!!
Alright, for those who have been in/served in Brazil, they’re probably thinking I’m crazy.  Curitiba is kind of known as having people who are more reserved and/or cold.  And I can see how they would say that.  But, even so, compared to the US, the people here TALK A LOT Man!!!  Sometimes it’s hard to even teach!  (OK, not sometimes, most of the time)  We start teaching about how God is our loving Heavenly Father, and Woosh!! They sweep in, talking up a storm.  Goodness gracious.  Just for you to get an idea about this, the other day we started teaching these two men (they’re brothers) about the restoration.  We got one sentence off, and then, these brothers just started going off.  They talked about their work, crappy co-workers, about how they had visited about 10 churches already, about their favorite pastor, how this pastor speaks in “tongues” sometimes and so forth.  I got a few more sentences out, and one brother started telling me about his son, his first wife, how treacherous she is, and then finished the discussion off nicely by mentioning, rather nonchalantly, that his brother had a drug problem.  And there I was, trying to talk about prophets.  Haha, but it’s good, I like it, it can be pretty entertaining.  They get so excited when a “man of God” comes by that they end up saying just about everything they have to say.

Well, that’s about it, sorry I didn’t get this letter off last week!  I hope everything is going alright with you guys!  Man, I can’t believe it’s summer already.  You’re in my prayers and my thoughts!!  Keep praying for me!!

Love Elder Twitchell

Monday, June 11, 2012

PICTURES - Doing great!!!

Elder Luke Little  --  Elder Avram Twitchell  --  Elder Brandon Barkdull  --  Elder Zach Armitage
Avram's currant companion                Avram's MTC companion and friend from BYU

June 11, 2012
Hey family!

How´s everyone doing!

So, I still haven´t gotten the package!? I hope it didn´t get lost, but I’m sure it´s fine. I think sometimes it gets delayed a little bit. Haha, that´s cool that you finally got pictures, even though they weren´t from me. I know, I suck at doing the whole pictures thing, but if you´d like you can send me the SD card, and we can switch off every once in a while. I think it would be good. Yes, we do have a washing machine, but it´s outside of our house. We don´t have a dryer, however, which gets a little annoying in the rainy weather, because nothing gets dry!!! haha, I’ve already gotten used to it, but I think that Elder Little doesn´t like it too much. And yeah, Elder Little and I buy a LOT of Pizza! haha. When he first got here, it was like 3 times a week. But now we´re tapering off a bit and buying just one or two pizzas a week. It´s good, it´s a good way to end the day.

                                                         Brazilian Pizza - Avram loves them

                                           Avram's companion Elder Little enjoying a pizza

Avram's Washing Machine outside his house

Avram's kitchen

How weird being empty nesters! It must be quiet. Although, I don´t know if Autumn makes a lot of noise? But that´s crazy that you let Autumn drive all the way to Folsom! I remember you guys got worried when I was planning to go there. And I’m the best driver in the family! But it´s really not that hard to get there, you pretty much only have to remember two exits.

I hope that Brandon didn´t get offended yesterday. It´s so important to help the new person feel welcome. The Mormon world is such a different place; you need a friend to help you out. Yeah, missionary work IS hard; you have to rely a lot on others. It´s not just the missionaries, but the whole ward that needs to participate in conversion. Speaking about this, where are the missionaries? Do they still not know about Brandon?

So I guess that all of my friends back home are already married? haha that´s cool, that´s the next step for them. For the YM it´s going on a mission. Man, the mission is SOOO important every YM needs to go. I feel bad for members who don´t have the courage or the testimony to go on a mission, because it´s such a building experience. But tell Ellee congratulations, and also tell her I told her so (that she would be married before Blake got back).

Well, do you want to hear a spiritual story!!! Well, I don´t have a super spiritual story to share this week, but I have a kind of weird one. We´ve been teaching this family for 3 weeks now, and they´re probably one of our stronger families lately. They´re super poor and have like 5 children, so it´s kind of a missionaries dream. The only problem is that the parents aren’t married! Dang! Anyway, we passed by yesterday to leave a message, and nobody was at home. We waited a bit, and there came passing by the girlfriend of one of the kids of this family. We asked her where the family was, and she said they were in jail!!! WHAT! The dad works with trucks. People load stuff into his truck, and he delivers the cargo to wherever it needs to be delivered. Anyway, apparently some of the cargo that he was delivering was stolen goods. So they arrested him. Along with his two sons that were working with him. Oops. So our most promising investigators are in Jail! lol, kind of sucks, but it´s a good experience to put in the journal. But the Lord is truly blessing us with many good people here, we´re just trying to find the elect investigators that are ready to accept the gospel.

Well, I gotta run, but you should be expecting a letter from me! Thanks for the letters by the way!


Elder Twitchell

Monday, June 4, 2012

June 04, 2012


Yes I’m in the Curitiba mission! It´s just that the zone conferences are just with a few zones, not all of them. Also, sometimes the zone conferences are just for certain types of leaders, like Zone leaders or district leaders. However, I will be having a conference on Wednesday, if you´re curious. My zone is Jardim do Sol, and I think that that zone conference that you saw was for nova portão or something like that...

How cool that Autumn got called as the Laurels president! I didn´t really realize this before the mission, but it´s a big responsibility, being a president! You´ve got to really take care of the people in your organization!

Oh man, I always get scared when fast and testimony comes around. It´s normally fine, but sometimes you get people saying the worst things!!! A few weeks ago, an older man went up to the pulpit, and started praying, but he said some weird stuff. He started it off by calling for ´Jesus!` and ended in the name ´of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost´. One of the many sublime truths that he spoke during this pray was this: ´The 7th day Adventist church is a very good church... And so is this church.´ Well, at least he mentioned the LDS church :)

Scriptures that you can give to Brandon, there´s always the classic Alma 32, that´s always a powerful one for everyone, no matter their religion. Also, I personally like Mosiah 2-4, and also 2 Nephi 31. But I don´t know, the whole book is good too!

Hahah, I didn´t even know that Elder Little had blisters. When I read that, I leaned over and asked him if it were true, and he said yeah. lol. Elder Little is doing well, we´re both continuing onward! We´re having a hard time finding investigators really firm, but there are some people with potential that we´re going to follow up on. Something good is that our ward is getting really excited, and they´ve started giving us a lot of people for us to pass by. It´s pretty cool.

I´ll write more about my spiritual experiences in my letter, I gotta go!

Oh, I’m starting to forget what I’ve already written in my ´Strange things about Brazil´ part. Could you send me a list? Thanks!


Elder Twitchell