Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dia das Bruxas - 2 Baptisms Ana and Guillherme

October 29, 2012


Well, this week I think was one of the craziest weeks I’ve had on the mission. We´re working a ton here, finding a lot of new people to teach, and just talking to everyone we see. And, to end this crazy week, we had two baptisms!!! Ana and Guillherme got baptized this week (if you don´t remember, they´re the siblings of less active members we´re reactivating.) Wow, these two are really good, I was really impressed, because they´re still pretty young (they´re like 11 years old) but they both understood the importance of being baptized, and went in front of the rest of their family in returning to Church. Congrats to them!

Ok, for the questions, my companions name is Zachary Dell Windous (EVERYONE makes a joke of his name, because it´s like Windows. They ask if he´s Windous XP, or Windous 7. haha). And no, we didn´t have a Halloween party here, it´s something that nobody celebrates. They just kind of know about it, but don´t participate.

You´ll be seeing how my apartment is in a bit, I finally got off the letters (because there was a mail strike). IMPORTANT in my next letter will be the memory card with a bunch of pictures, so look out for it. I also sent Amber a card. But like i said before, things with mail will be a lot more delayed while I’m here in Ponta Grossa, I only get mail once a month when I go to Curitiba. I go there this Thursday, so I’ll be able to see if I got your mail.

What was the funniest thing that happened this week? Eeesh, right now I’m not remembering anything. The most spiritual thing was that we had two BAPTISMS! alright!
Oh, and I’ve never been robbed here in Brazil. Thank goodness!

Ok, I’m already running out of time. Keep me updated on everything! You´ll be getting letters soon!

Love Elder Twitchell!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mission Tour...

October 22, 2012

Dear family,

This week was an amazing week, we worked a TON! Elder Windous is a great companion, we´re already working and teaching really well together, although I was sad that Elder Oliveira left. He was a good teacher too. But Elder Windous has been out almost two years, I think he has just 3 months left. He was companions with Elder Brino when he left Bairro Novo. Elder Windous is from a small town called Spring Creek in Nevada, which is like 10 miles away from Elko. We´ve already made plans that I would visit him in Elko on the way to Utah for college (well, not anymore, he´ll have to come visit me now :) ) Elder Windous is a really hard working missionary, with a strong love for the gospel and the people we teach. And he really wants to baptize!

This week, we´ve been preparing Tainara and the other non-members in her family to be baptized, I think this week we´re going to have a least two baptisms. They’re such a special family, they all love the gospel already, and like every time we come to visit, they invite a friend to come here too. We´re working really hard so that they understand everything, and that they´re well integrated by the members, so that they don´t fall away later on. But I’m feeling really good about them, they´re a really special family.

Marcio and Giselle are still going along, but only Marcio went to church today. He wants to take it really slow with the church, but we´re trying to help him. we have a new Elders quorum presidente this week, and he is already making plans with us to help integrate Marcio with ward activities, we´re all pretty excited.

We had the mission tour this week, where a general authority comes by and sees how the mission is doing. We had Elder Godoy come, and it was sooo good, he´s a really good speaker, and he got us all really excited. He was talking about how we have a lot of people praying for us on this side of the veil, but we have even more people on the other side of the veil, praying that the missionaries will talk to and convert one of their relatives, so that they can do the temple work for them. When we convert one person, he´s going to have generations of people in the church, but he also will be the means of doing the temple work of generations of ancestors before them. It was really neat. He also told us to work more with less-actives, so we´ve been visiting a lot more of them. It was just a good tour, I’m sad that I won´t be here for the next one.

I do know Elder Ham, he´s in my zone, but I didn´t know him too well before. He´s with Elder Morris, and it seems like he´s doing well. Elder Ham is a really excited missionary, Elder Windous and I are really happy to have him here in our Zone.

The funniest thing this week? I was at the bus terminal the other day, because we had been doing exchanges with Elder Azevedo, a new district leader here. Anyway, I was waiting there, sitting on a bench, when out of nowhere a drunk guy came and sat next to me. He was way drunk (and this was like 10 in the morning...) and he asked me to share with him a ´Good word´. So I got my Book of Mormon out, and read from 2 Néfi 2:25 and read ´and men are that they might have joy´. I then told him that he has to stop drinking so that he could be a happy man. He just nodded, thanked me, and thanked the good word. Then he took my Book of Mormon, and like embraced the Book, and put it up right against his heart. then he pointed up to heaven, and then gave me a thumbs up, and returned the Book of Mormon. Haha, it was pretty funny, he really enjoyed the Book of Mormon. Maybe a little too much.

So, just to let you know, I only get mail once a month when I come to Curitiba, so for this I’m going to be kind of slow for now, responding to letters. In my package, I’d like some new socks, maybe a tie or two. A pair of pants would be nice too. My shoes are getting a bit worn, and they don´t hold out water as well as they used to (especially my boots) but don´t worry about it, it´s not been raining that much lately. I would like assorted candies, some peanut butter (crunchy!)(oh, by the way, thanks a ton to Aaron, I think it´ll be a while before I run out).

But yeah, I’m doing pretty well, I’m super happy being on the mission, we´re seeing so many miracles like everyday, and I’m sure we´re going to see many more. I´ve never grown so much in my life, like I’ve been growing on the mission. It´s amazing.

So, I’m CTR, I’m keeping away from snakes, fleas, dogs, and floods (although I don´t think they even have floods here). I’m studying the scriptures every day of my life, and trying to follow what I learn. The Lord is helping me, hearing my prayers, and guiding me. How truly sweet this is.

Have fun with all the big changes. Tell me what´s going on!


Elder Twitchell

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New companion Elder Windous

October 15, 2012

Hey Family!

Sounds like you had a fun family trip in Utah there. You can never have too many grandbabies around, huh? That´s cool that Grandpa got to go to the blessing, and that he´s feeling better, too. I think about him often, I can´t wait to see Grandpa Twitchell again.

Haha, how strange it is to think that someone quoted me at Church. They should be quoting Prophets and Apostles! But yeah, it´s weird because I feel like I didn´t even get to know anyone in our ward at home. So the Hoggan family. But that´s neat, maybe I’ll have to give a homecoming talk there too.

Way to go for Autumn, preparing for a mission and college. It will truly be a blessing! I can promise you that going to College and serving a mission will be eternally more gratifying than being a Disney Princess. And you get the chance to bless the lives of others. Just look at Jasmine from Aladdin. Do you ever see her doing something to serve others? Of course not. Keep reading the Preach My Gospel, it will really help guide you in your study to be a missionary, especially Chapter 3.

Well, today we had transfers, and Elder Oliveira got transferred to Parigot de Souza in Jardim do Sol. This is the Zone Leader´s area in the Zone that I started the mission at, way over in Bairro Novo. His house is like two doors down from Bairro Novo´s house. He´s going to like it there. Elder Oliveira was a great companion, he was very focused and truly has a desire to find the people that the Lord is preparing. He´s also kind of goofy, and loves to scare off dogs. I had absolutely no fear of dogs while with him, because he did all he could to scare them off. I hope he does well in Jardim do Sol!

Oh, and hey, you´ll be getting pictures soon, I promise!

So now my new companion is Elder Windous, an American from Nevada. He didn´t move very far--there are two zones in Ponta Grossa, and he was the Zone leader in the other one. Now he´s here.

This week was a good one, we were able to find a lot of new investigators, which was neat. Among these new investigators is a less-active family that we found. They´re all siblings living together, it´s one man named Vinicius, and then his four sisters. From what I could gather, only Vinicius and one of his sisters are baptized, so we´re just going to have to baptize the rest of the family. They all seemed interested in going to Church, but only one of them, a young woman named Tainara, could come yesterday. But Tainara was really well received, and was already making friends with some Young Women in our ward. I would say finding them was the most spiritual moment of the week. We taught them about the Restoration, and they all were asking a lot of questions, and all of them said that they would pray. Afterwards, Vinicius came up to Elder Oliveira and I, and asked us what he would have to do to be able to serve a mission. Isto ai, that´s what I like to hear, I hope they continue doing well.

Marcio also went to Church this week, but Giselle wasn´t feeling well, so she didn´t come.

What was the funniest thing that happened this week? There were actually quite a few funny happenings this week. One was last night, Elder Oliveira and I passed by the Stake President´s house to say good-bye. The Stake President has a daughter named Deborah, who has like 8 years. President do Carmo were always teasing her that she would marry Elder Oliveira, and Deborah always got mad, and refused to talk to Elder Oliveira. It was always soo funny. But last night, when he said good bye, and was leaving, Deborah just started Wailing like none other, she was so sad to see Elder Oliveira go. It was quite funny.

I still haven´t received the Halloween package, and I won´t know until the beginning of November when I go to Curitiba. In my Christmas package, let me see... I´m not really sure what I’m needing at the moment... I’ll try to find some things that I need in the Christmas package.

Well, I’ve got to run, but I Love you ALL lots. Tell everyone hi!


Elder Twitchell

PS Autumn keep studying Preach my Gospel, and keep studying to get into BYU also.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

WOW the conference was awesome

October 8, 2012


WOW the conference was awesome, I thought that nothing could top the last conference, but this one was amazing. I got to watch it all, but two sessions I watched in Portuguese because the English feed wasn´t working. Oh well, it was still a super spiritual experience. Everyone got really excited about the announcement about the missionaries. There were a few young women in our ward that got way excited, and are already making plans to serve missions. The first thing I thought was ´Wow, now Autumn needs to serve a mission. Haha, I thought it was great. I think it will be interesting, there are for sure going to be way more Sister missionaries now, which is great, there´s going to be a lot of powerful Sisters coming soon. I also think it´s cool that they´re going to let young men become Elders with 18 years. I think they want them all to serve missions earlier, so that they can have families earlier. But yeah, I hope that Autumn is seriously considering a mission now, that´ll be so cool to have another missionary in the Family!

The talks were incredible this time, and it easy to see that there is a big change going on in the world, I felt like the Prophet and the Apostles were making strong stands on some things. For example, Dallin H. Oaks tore apart abortion, divorces, gay-marriage, everything! I didn´t even know he was such a bold speaker, but I gained a lot of respect for him.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, as always, got right in the faces of the members, and in particular the missionaries. Peter must be feeling pretty dumb in the Spirit World after that talk. I can get fish when I want! I need disciples who love me. It´s true, sometimes missionaries do their work on their mission, and they after, they basically abandon Jesus and ´go fishing´. At the judgment day, there is no way that these missionaries will be able to look at Jesus Christ and say that we loved him. Wow, all of us missionaries there were going crazy. Jeffrey R. Holland is the definition of a bold speaker.

And of course, I loved President Monson´s message, especially during the Priesthood session, when he talked about being a missionary that helps people change lives. I also liked that he said that we have to be on the Lord´s errand, and be a blessing to others.  Other honorable mentions were the talks of President Uchtdorf, Elder Ballard. These were that talks that were really speaking to me, I felt like.

Now I can´t wait to get the Liahona for this conference and study it. I liked what President Monson said at the end, that we´ll learn a lot more from the talks when we study them afterwards. Lately I’ve been studying more the Liahona, so that I can have the words of both ancient and modern prophets.

The conference was a good end to a truly busy week. On Tuesday, we had leadership training and interviews with the presidente. We didn´t even get back to our apartment until 6 PM. On Thursday we had Zone Leader Council in Curitiba, which took the whole day. And of course conference, which took up most of Saturday and Sunday. We just had a ton of spiritual nourishment!

This Friday, Elder Oliveira and I put on a fireside for our ward about missionary work and the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I talked about the Life, miracles, and Suffering of Jesus, and Elder Oliveia talked about how we can give value to this sacrifice (Through the gospel of Jesus Christ). We had a lot of participation from the ward, and the Stake President´s family sang a special hymn at the end. It was a special activity designed to bring together the ward in unity, and I think that it worked well.

I am jealous that you got to spend the whole month with my nieces and nephews. I´m sure that even though it was hard to hear the conference, you didn´t mind, being in such good company.

It´s hard to believe that this is the last week of the transfer. Next week, I’ll probably have a new companion here in Ala 2. Time is truly flying now, I don´t know if i like it. The more I learn, the more I understand the importance of this missionary work, and the true joy that comes from it. I have the opportunity to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ--the means by which eternal life can be reached--everyday, in Brazil, in the Portuguese Language. A year ago, I wasn´t even capable of doing anything, but the Lord has really blessed me, and is making me a polished shaft in his quiver.

Tell me about your feelings about the Conference! What were some of your favorite parts! I´ll be getting a letter off to you soon, because the strike ended. I already had a letter written, but couldn´t send it, so I’ll just write another and send it with the last one, so it´ll be two letters.

Well, I love you all lots. I feel so lucky to be serving the Lord, and bringing honor to my family. I feel so blessed to be part of this family. (even though no one can pronounce my named right (: )

Elder Twitchell

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Holy Ghost

October 1, 2012


So I did try to use my credit card this week, because I ran out of contact solution. However, the computer at the store denied access, and I couldn´t use it. So I went to the bank to see if it worked, and took out $R 20. Wow, $22? what a rip off, $R20 is more like $12 in Dollars. I bought the eye solution, but it´s way expensive here, in the next package I think it´d be good to send me some :)

Congratulations for Ford being born, that´s so neat! I did get the pictures I think that you guys should keep him It´s going to be a party with all of your grandchildren out there, huh? I can´t wait until I get to meet him in a bit!

This week was way busy, we had to do interviews and splitz like all week. I feel like I wasn´t even with Elder Oliveira at all. But we had a few baptisms in our Zone this week, so that was cool. Elder Oliveira and I are working hard to prepare some investigators for baptism, but this week we didn´t have any baptisms.

That family that I was talking about last week (the one where the mom already has an answer) went to church this week. It was just the parents that went, Marcio e Giselle. But it was cool, there was a lady in our ward that greeted them at the door, showed them around a bit, and helped them get to class. It was neat, I didn´t even know who this woman was, but she helped out a ton. It makes such a difference when there is a good member to greet investigators. This was a special Sunday too, because it was ward conference, so the stake president spoke, and there was a special musical number by the Relief Society. One of the ladies in the RS invited Giselle to participate in singing, so she did, it was way neat. Marcio and Giselle both really liked it.

What was an embarrassing moment for me this week? I don´t know, I’m always doing embarrassing things. We´re always talking to people on the street, so sometimes we talk to the same person like 2 or 3 times. This week, I talked to a man on the street for the third time, without remembering him. He got all frustrated, and murmurred ´You already talked to me, AND wrote down my address, and you still haven´t passed by my house!´ Haha, oops, but we really do talk to a lot of people. This type of thing happens to me all the time, I’m kind of retarded with remembering the people i talk to on the Street. In Bairro Novo it was even worse, there were people that I had spoken to like 8 times.

I have a funny story, the other day we were reading with some investigators 2 Nephi 31. We got to verse 8, which talks about how the Holy Ghost descended upon Christ in the form of a dove. Well, it was a little girl of about 10 years that was reading. In Portuguese, the word Dove is written as ´Pomba´. Also, in Portuguese, there is the word ´Bomba´ which means bomb, and they´re pretty similar. So when this girl read this verse, she read ´o Espírito Santo desceu sobre ele na forma de uma Bomba´ which means ´The holy Ghost descended over him in the form of a Bomb.´ Hahaha, it was sooo funny. Who says that the Holy Ghost whispers and is gentle? When the Holy Ghost wants you to feel something, it comes like a Bomb.

Well, enough of my shenanigans. I´m super excited this week, because tomorrow, Presidente Cordon is going to give us a training, on Thursday there will be a Zone Leader Council, and on Saturday and Sunday is general Conference. It´s just going to be a crazy spiritual week. The Holy Ghost is going to descend upon us in the form of a Bomb! I´m preparing myself by writing down personal questions, and I’m going to see how they´re answer during Conference. It´s going to be awesome.


CONGRATS to little Ford!

Elder Twitchell