Monday, November 26, 2012

We don't BITE!!! Staying in Ponta Grossa

November 26, 2012

Heeeey family,

So I’m still here in Ala 2, and Elder Windous is too. He´s going to end his mission here with me. Also, our Zone here got enormous. Before there were two zones in Ponta Grossa, Ponta Grossa and Campos Gerais. But now the two zones merged into one giant Zone with like 24 missionaries. We´re the biggest Zone in the mission now. It´s going to be a lot more work, but that´s fine. This means that I have two missionaries from my group in my Zone, we still have Sister Horkley, and now Elder Reeves is part of our Zone.

Sidney and Carla are going great, they went to Church yesterday, and they´re firm and steadfast with everything. They´re going to get married on Saturday and baptized on Sunday.  They´re such a special couple, they´re going to be amazing in the Church. This ward is really lucky to have them here.

What´s the craziest thing that happened this week? Well, the other day, Elder Windous kicked a dog in the mouth, that was pretty neat. I´m being protected out here. Haha, also, the other day we were teaching a family of five, and it was all going well. At the end of the lesson, I asked if I could use the bathroom, and they all kind of started giggling and said I could. I thought it was strange, but I got up to go to the bathroom, and there was a guy in their bathroom, sitting on a bunch of wet clothes in a bucket. This guy was like a cousin or something. When we had arrived there, he went to hide in the bathroom, and stayed there for like half an hour. He just gave me a sheepish look and shuffled out of the bathroom. Elder Windous said ´We don´t bite you know!´ haha it was so funny, sometimes people act like children to avoid talking with us.

Our most spiritual moments this week were basically all with Sidney and Carla, they´re accepting everything, reading the Book of Mormon and all. It´s so neat, they´re way excited for the baptism. Carla’s grandma is a member of the Church, and she´s going to see the baptism too.

That´s neat that you are visiting the inactives. This is so important for these people, a lot of times they don´t return to church because they don´t know how they´re going to make the first step. The mission is focusing a lot on less actives recently, and it´s going really well. We´re finding a lot of neat families and helping them come back to church. They just need a friend to support them as they come back.

Sounds like thanksgiving was a lot of fun, having everyone together. It must have been great! On Thanksgiving day itself, we didn´t really have anything super special. We got money from a member that couldn´t make us lunch that day, so we went to our house and had French Toast. But the day after, on Friday, Elder Windous and I went to a ´Churrascaria´ with a member. What´s a Churrascaria? It´s a Brazillian BBQ, but it´s amazing. You go there, and these men come around constantly with all kinds of meat. I never knew that there were so many kinds of meat until I went there. They also came around with this kind of fried cheese, and fried pineapple with cinnamon on top. It was all delicious. I ate so much that it was hard to walk afterwards.

I hope the family is well, and that everyone had a great time together for Thanksgiving. I´ll be calling you guys in just a little bit, so that´s good. Tell Autumn she has to finish her application soon so that we can study together at BYU. Can´t fool around with this, it´s important! How´s the ward out there? How is school going with Autumn? What´s new back home? Keep me updated with everything!

Love you all a ton!

Elder Twitchell

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!

November 19, 2012

Hey family,

Well, this week was a good one, we´re seeing a lot of miracles here in Brazil. That couple that i said we were teaching, Sidney and Karla, are going to get married on December 1st!!! Yay!! we went to the Cartorio (I don´t even know what it´s called in English) on Thursday and marked the marriage. It´s going to be great, although Elder Windous and I are really worried, because this next week is transfers, and we´re afraid that one of us won´t get to see the baptism on the 2nd of December. Ahh, but I think we´ll both stay.

That´s too bad about the profanity at the BYU game, but I’ve stopped being surprised at the pride and iniquity of people. Our times are compared to the times of Noah in terms of wickedness. The only difference is that God saved some of his best, greatest, and noblest children for these times. What a great cause we defend! And It sounds like you had a powerful sacrament meeting yesterday. All about missionary work too, that´s great. Man, things are getting crazy with missionary work, the work is really accelerating. I´m sure that we´re going to be getting a TON of new missionaries soon. I´m just thankful I get to see all of this happening while I’m still on the mission. I´m thankful for missionary work, and how much the mission has already blessed my life. Pretty much all of the prophets and saints in ancient times wanted to participate in the marvelous work and a wonder that is happening in our times.

That´s sooooo neat that Sydney Chartrand is going on a mission to Russia!!!! haha, you have to send here a congratulations from me. I know that she always had a desire to learn Russian, so now she´ll get her chance. That´s cool, I can´t wait to get the letter from you guys that says where everyone else got called.

Ok, I’ve got to run in a minute. I love you guys lot, the mission is being such a great blessing for me. I´m so grateful that I’m serving the Lord in this moment. I´m becoming a much better person because of the gospel. I love you guys a lot, I am so thankful for having such a supportive and loving family. Every day I’m here I realize how blessed I really am having you guys.

Read the Scriptures! And pray! And go to Church! The Lord will bless you´re life if you do this!


Elder Twitchell

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November 12, 2012

Nov 12, 2012

Dear Family,

Wow, one year ago yesterday I received my Visa for Brazil!!! pretty crazy, huh, it´s been a while! I´m going to hit my one year mark in Brazil next week.

I know I’m doing pretty bad with pictures. But the thing is that I feel weird taking pictures during a normal day. We´re not supposed to look like tourists... I basically take pictures only on P-day or when there´s a baptism. But you´re right, I’ll try taking more pictures. I´ll set a goal to take pictures every p-day.

Yeah I heard about Mitt Romney. It was funny when we found out here, it was quite anti-climactic. Elder Windous and I were doing a service project for a less-active lady in our ward. We were basically weeding. Anyway, Elder Windous got a call from a member that told him that Obama won. Elder Windous told me, we both were like ´Well, shoot.´ and continued weeding. Haha, this way is a lot better, people get way too angry and violent about these kind of things. My vote was for Jesus Christ. Things probably won´t change all that much, Obama didn´t do a whole lot the past four years... well, he killed bin laden and threw 1 trillion dollars into the ocean... but the only thing that I want when I get back is to study at BYU and get married forever.

That´s sad that that lady from Quincy sent that hateful post. I wonder what she was thinking while she´s writing that? ´Wow, they´re so hateful that I’m going to send an angry private message. That’ll teach them´. haha, what a clown. You should copy the message she sent you and paste it in the comments so that everyone can see. Hey, look what she said! People are so cowardly with the internet. But no, don´t do that, it won´t help anything. I think when I get back, I’m not even going to use facebook anymore. I do have a plan to write for the BYU Political review when I get back, though. Man, I had such high hopes to do that while I was studying at BYU, but now I’ll have to do that after the mission.

Well, this week was pretty good, we found a neat family this week that we´re already making plans to marry them so that they can get baptized. I hope it all works out! Our lunch fell through on Saturday, but that was fine, because Elder Windous and I had a classic American breakfast... for Lunch! We had pancakes, bacon, and omelets. It was delicious.

I don´t know what I’m going to do for thanksgiving day here. They don´t have it, so I’ll probably just be eating rice and beans at a members house. That’s fine though, I think that Christmas we´ll have a big meal.

Well, I’m glad you liked the letters, sorry that it took soo long.

But hey I got to goo. Love you lots, don´t get too discouraged about Obama, if we´re doing the right things, the Lord will bless us. It´s not even that big of deal, the Church is True, the Book of Mormon is true, so what else matters?

Oh, and you forgot to warn me about floods and dogs and fleas and snakes, so I think I’m going to have problems this week.


Elder Twitchell

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Power of Prayer

November 05, 2012

Hey family,

Wow, everything is going crazy in the United States right now. I had some investigators get worried about my family and friends, because they know I’m from California, and they thought that California is close to New York. All week I was hearing about the Hurricane that hit New York. Wow that´s pretty crazy that it went so high north. Did a lot of people die? Just another sign that the world´s going to end. Who knows, maybe it´ll even be like the movie 2012. I`m not too worried if the world ends in 2012. We have the Christmas conference marked on the exact day that the world is supposed to end, so even if it does, I think that all of us missionaries together will be taken up to heaven or something. No worries :)

I bet everyone is going crazy with the elections in the US but it´s been pretty normal out here, there aren´t that many people talking about it, although I’m sure I’ll hear who wins before next Monday. Oh well, I feel so disconnected with it. I think if I were to vote right now, I would just put on the ballot Jesus Christ. Come on down, let´s start the millennium already!

That’s cool about the Folsom 6th ward, things really are changing. Nothing’s going to be the same when I come back. Haha. Folsom is just exploding, isn´t it? I got a letter from Elder Olpin the other day, he´s doing fine, I’ll have to tell him that he´s not even part of Folsom 3rd ward anymore. Who’s going to be the bishop of 6th ward?

This week was good, it´s getting hotter, so now it´s feeling more like Brasil. Zone Leader Council was good, but it was pretty rushed, there are a lot of things happening. We´re going to be getting a lot of new missionaries soon, with this change in the ages for missionaries. We have 50,000 missionaries in the field right now, but i heard within a year there are going to be 110,000 missionaries, wow, que loucura! Well, now everyone´s going to hear the gospel. What a good thing, the world is needing it.

I´m reading through the Book of Mormon again, and I got to the Isaiah chapters in 2 Nephi, which is already hard in English, but Portuguese is even worse. But I read through them this past week and I actually was understanding pretty well, which is crazy. Anyway, I was reading in 2 Néfi 25 about the marvelous work and a wonder that God will do in the last days. Wow, it was super spiritual. This work is already happening, and we´re part of it! And, even more, the work is accelerating, becoming more intense every day. It´s an exciting feeling.

So for funny things this week, I’ll tell you a joke that Elder Windous told me.

So there are a lot of Churches in the world, and every single one thinks it´s the true church, thinks it´s better than the others. So there was sent a grand invite; every denomination, sect, church, religion, etc. has to send a representative, and everyone will get together, there´ll be a great debate, and whoever wins will be the true church. So everyone got together in this one building to have this debate. Unfortunately that building exploded, and everyone from all of the religions in the whole world died.

The only one that was living after this big explosion was the LDS representative. Do you know why?

Because he was on Mormon standard time and arrived way late.

Hahahahaha. I thought of this when you were saying that everyone at Church gets there late. I liked this joke.

Something spiritual that happened this week:

Yesterday morning before Church Elder Windous and I went out to get investigators and bring them to church. Unfortunately, NOBODY came, so we went back to Church, because we had arranged for some members to go and get some investigators, and we wanted to see if they had arrived. When we returned to Church, we saw that we had zero investigators!!! This is a missionary nightmare! So, during Elders Quorum and Sunday School, we went out again and tried one more investigator. This investigator is a young couple that we started teaching a couple of weeks ago. When we got there, they had just woken up, and were still in pajamas. We told them that they could get dressed and everything and still come to sacrament meeting. They said that they would come, so we went back to church.

Sacrament meeting came, and they still hadn´t arrived. I sat there anxious as I prayed that this young couple would come. The first hymn was sung, the first prayer offered, the announcements declared. As the sacrament hymn was ending, I was feeling discouraged. We had done everything to bring people to church, but nobody came. I was already in prayer, repenting for not having brought anyone to church, when this young couple came into the chapel, Just in time to partake of the bread! What a miracle!!! after the sacrament meeting, all of the members were excited to have these investigators at church, too, so everyone went to go talk to them. This really strengthened my testimony, that when we do everything, and force ourselves to the maximum, the Lord helps us out.

But yeah, I’ve got to go, but I hope everyone is doing well. I love you all a ton, keep reading, keep praying. Keep me updated on how the move is going.


Elder Twitchell

PS I didn´t get the Halloween package yet. I´ll be getting it in the beginning of December, then :)