Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Zone Leader in Tatuquara with Elder Rodigues

April 29, 2013

Hey Family!

So I got transferred today!!! Ahhh! I had to leave Elder Vighetto and Bom Pastor. Now I’m in Tatuquara, which is in Curitiba. I´m serving as a Zone Leader again with Elder Rodrigues. He´s actually from my group from the MTC, it´s just that he was at São Paulo, and I was at Provo. Elder Woodruff is opening an Area in my zone, too, so that´s exciting, I’m glad to be with him.

Elder Barkdull got called as the Assistant to the President! Wow! I´m grateful to be part of this group from the MTC. Our whole group of missionaries is amazing!

I wasn´t able to go to the wedding, because I never found out the time of the sealing. Thursday, no one called me or anything... That´s too bad, but how great that they did get sealed. Send them a congratulations from me, and apologize for not being there. I really would have liked to, but I guess it didn´t work out.
This past week was great! Our main focus was on preparing Reginaldo for the baptism. We made plans for each day of the week, to help him arrive at baptism. We sent his home teachers, the Elder´s Quorum president, and we taught special lessons. On Thursday, he was interviewed, and on Saturday, in the morning, he got baptized. It was a really special baptism. He came walking with his crutches to his baptism, and Elder Vighetto performed the Ordinance. There were quite a lot of people there at the baptism.
I wasn´t able to go to Amanda and Danilo´s sealing, because I didn´t ever find out what time it was going to be. But that´s ok, the baptism was at the same time as the sealing, so I don´t think I could´ve gone anyway. But, they DID get sealed, so that was great, I’m so happy for them. It´s a great feeling, knowing that Heavenly Father let me participate in this miracle.
So Elder Vighetto and I finished the first 12 weeks program. I let him invite everyone to get baptized this week. He was happy to be able to finally baptize someone, too! That was good for him. Elder Vighetto has always been a dedicated and focused missionary, and I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to train him.

Well, I’m excited to get to work in a new area, in a new zone. I´m guessing that this is going to be my last area, so I want to make it count!!! It´s going to be crazy these next few months.


Elder Twitchell

Monday, April 22, 2013

Excited for Sealing

Dear family,

President Cordon called me today, and told me about the sealing, but I still haven´t had any word from Amanda or Danilo. I can go, but I have to confirm what time is the sealing with President Cordon.  I hope we can get a hold of her, I really want to go. You can ask Elder Vighetto, when President Cordon told me that they were getting sealed, I was bouncing off the walls!!!  Hahaha, I’m so excited for them, they´re so important to me. Baptism is great, but Sealing is best!
So, this week, Elder Vighetto was senior! It was great, I let him have the final say in all our planning and teaching situations. When he needed it, I helped out, but I pretty much left him to lead our companionship. One inspired decision that he made was to mark interviews with some of our investigators. In the end, we were able to have one interview in our area, with Reginaldo.  Reginaldo´s wife and kids are members of the church.  It´s been a while that Reginaldo has been taught by the missionaries, but he never was baptized. This week, he was forcing himself to quick smoking, so we brought Elder Bramucci to interview him, to strengthen his resolve to be baptized. The interview really helped out! He is certain that he wants baptism, and knows that the only thing holding him back is smoking and coffee. Right after the interview, Reginaldo got his thermal canister full of coffee, and dumped it all out. He then gave me all the coffee he had in the house. So, it seems like he´s not going to be drinking coffee anymore! We made plans with him, and he´s going to get baptized this week, if he´s able to keep away from smoking. To me, it strengthened my testimony in the baptismal interview; it is powerful in helping investigators progress for baptism.
In our weekly planning, we made plans for Reginaldo every day until the baptism, to help him stay away from temptation. We´re coordinating with the members and the ward to visit him, and we´re inviting everyone. Until now, our plans have gone smoothly. The Quorum president already visited him, and his Home Teachers visited him too. We´re going to be diligent, and make sure that he gets baptized this week.

Idalecio still hasn´t been able to find another job, but he´s still looking. He taught his son, Gustavo, the other day. Everyone in the family wants to get baptized, but they want to wait for Idalecio. So, we´ll see what happens, we´re going to keep visiting.

I know all of those missionaries that you mentioned. Elder Sudweeks, Rio, Morris, Gray, Reeves, Larsen, and Diamond. They´re great, I was Zone Leader of all of them except Sudweeks and Diamond. Tell their moms hi, they have great sons!

So this next week is transfers, and I’m not sure what´s going to happen, but I’m sure that one of us is going to leave. I think that I´m probably going to leave, and Elder Vighetto will stay. Maybe he´ll train, I’m not sure. But I think that I’ll leave and open another area, like I did with Elder Vighetto. We´ll see. I just want to baptize someone here before I leave. Reginaldo is our best chance! Well, there´s another person, Adrian. He also is part of a part-member family, and he turned 8 this week. His mom always goes to Church, but isn´t baptized yet. So he´ll be a mission baptism, but he almost doesn´t count. :)

Well, I love you all lots! Hope everyone is doing well. I´m excited for Mothers day!!! I´m going to have a STRONG accent when we talk! haha. I hope I don´t cry this time. I was talking to Elder Vighetto the other day, I think I’m going to cry when Amanda gets sealed. I also think that I’ll cry when the stake President takes my missionary tag. Ahhh. I´ve got so little time left. But I’m excited, it´s going to be great.


Elder Twitchell

Monday, April 15, 2013

Week of Miracles!!!

April 15, 2013

Hey family!!!

We had a week of miracles here! The Lord was truly working with us this week, which humbled me, and strengthened my testimony that HE is in Charge. I can do almost nothing, which makes the thought that the Lord is helping me reassuring.

In our own area, we had an amazing weekend. We were teaching indoors almost the entire day, going from one appointment to another. When some appointments fell through, the Lord blessed us in finding new families! It was incredible; we found several new investigators (including six families) in two days. Not ALL of them are super excited about the gospel, but they do have a desire to receive answers from the Lord, which is the start!

When we started noticing how much the Lord was helping us, Elder Vighetto and I started to analyze our situation, and what made the difference for us to receive so much help from the Lord. I think it was our sincere desire to seek the Lord´s help. We did all of the preparation necessary before: we planned well, we prayed for help, we studied personally, and in companionship. It was just incredible to me how the Lord helped us so much.

Another blessing was that we had twelve investigators at our Sacrament meeting. I haven´t had so many investigators at Church since I was in Gauraituba! Among them were two families, Idalecio´s family and Cesar´s family. These two families have been taught by the missionaries for a long time (especially Idalecio), and Elder Vighetto and I have been praying, studying, and seeking inspiration in how we can help them progress.

Idalecio has a problem, because he has to work almost every Sunday, and he doesn´t want to get baptized until he gets a job where he doesn´t need to work Sundays. Well, the Lord always has a way. During Elders quorum yesterday, the Quorum president mentioned SRE (The Church´s organization to help with Employment). Cesar asked me what the SRE was, so I explained to him, and then, he commented that there were several positions available at his company. Wow! The first thing I thought was Idalecio! After the Quorum, I sent Cesar to go talk to Idalecio, and tell him about the job offerings. For me, it was a miracle. Of course, I’m not sure if the job will work out for Idalecio, but it is a hope. It was funny, Cesar gave Idalecio his business card, and when he handed him the card, Idalecio looked at me and said ´See, I really am looking for another job!´ haha, he´s a good guy.

Elder Vighetto and I continue doing well, Elder Vighetto has always been a great missionary. He´s very proactive, and seeks to learn everything he needs to, to be a great missionary. This last week we learned more about the commandments, and inviting others to repent through commitments. we´re on week ten, now, in the first twelve weeks program. I´m really excited for this week, because Elder Vighetto is basically Senior Companion this week, taking control of all teaching and planning situations. It´ll be a great week.

It was fun seeing my schedule last week. I´m not sure if i want to do weights class (but leave it for now, unless you find a cooler class, like bowling! :) ) I´m fairly confident with my current physical stature :P Yikes, I was trying to remember some things from economy this week, and I forgot a LOT. I think the first week I get back, I’ll spend some time every day reviewing.

I got to talk to Ben this last week, he´s doing well. It´s fun being able to write friends now. It´s been pretty much two years that I haven´t really talked to any of them. He´s excited to get back to BYU too. It´s going to be cool, we´re all going to be Brazilians basically. Only Portuguese at home.

Haha, so we´re now officially from Utah, with Utah phones and everything. It just had to be done, we can´t go on acting as if we´re Californians anymore. I´m excited for our new ward, it seems like a strong ward. But with so many missionaries coming back, I don´t think I’ll matter THAT much, just one more RM. I´ll have to give an extraordinary homecoming talk to call their attention. Also, I’ll have to convert those 10 households that aren´t coming to church. Get the brownies ready.

I remember when I was at the MTC, going to the Provo temple. That was always my favorite part of the week, I never understood the missionaries that wanted to stay at home and sleep instead of go to the temple. I found a lot of direction, peace, and learning at the Temple. I never CRIED (I think that´s a Sister thing :P) but it was always neat. Wow, missionaries getting sent all over the place. Elder Vighetto and I have been talking about the second coming--it´s coming up! I think it´ll be in 60 years, Elder Vighetto thinks it´ll be 40 years. We talked to Bishop Miner (remember, he´s an American) and he thinks in 10 months it´ll all be over. ahah. it´s funny to hear everyone´s theories.

I´m excited for Autumn to serve a mission. AHHHH, it´s so neat, she´s going to love the mission. Also, Erica Greenhall will LOVE Brazil, I’m excited for her. Speaking of, any word about Lisa Barker? I think she´ll be arriving here in two weeks.

Well, I love you all a lot! The church is true, this is Christ´s Church. Keep up the good work!


Elder Twitchell

Monday, April 8, 2013

WOW Conference was GREAT!!!

April 8, 2013

Dear Family,

Woooow, Conference was great! It´s such a blessing to have and hear from the prophet and the Apostles of the Lord! But, before I talk about conference, I’ll talk a bit about the area.

Our area is going well. We had some important progress in our investigators. We´ve had basically the same teaching group for a while, so we´re trying to motivate them to make the necessary changes in their lives so that they can get baptized! A lot of our investigators are having the same problem, with keeping the Sabbath day holy. They just need to come to Church!!! Elder Vighetto and I practiced a bunch, teaching with power this commandment, and extending the appropriate invites. We had a great experience with one of our families, Idalecio. He really does love the Church, and about five years ago went to Church every week (I don´t know why he wasn´t baptized then!). But since then, he´s has gotten a job where he works Sundays, so it´s hard for him to come. Elder Vighetto and I, together with Paulo, our Elder’s quorum president, went to teach him. We invited him to keep the Sabbath day, by either asking not to work on Sunday, or finding another job. Wow, it was one of the most bold, direct invites I’ve done on the mission, and for that, Idalecio knew he needed to change. Paulo helped him out, telling him about the Church´s services with finding employment. So Idalecio is going to start looking for a new job.

Elder Vighetto and I are doing great; we´ve established a good pattern of work in our area. We´re far from working perfect, but we seek revelation to solve our problems. When a day doesn´t go as well as we would like, or a lesson doesn´t go like we wanted it to, we talk a bit, and try to identify the problem, see what contributed to that problem, and then find ways to resolve it. I´m amazed, I feel like I’m receiving so much help from the Lord, because of simply seeking revelation to help his Children.

A lot of the time, we find our solutions in our companionship study, and we try out our ideas in practices. This week, in the ´first twelve weeks´ training program, we were studying about inviting others to make commitments, which we applied during the week. We are always, always, always, practicing. We practice the same situation a few times, imagining different outcomes from the investigators. In this moment right now, my study--both personal and companionship--is more effective than any other time in my mission. It´s effective, and always applies to the day at hand.

Conference, was, to say the least, amazing! I did get to watch all 5 sessions, including the Priesthood session (it starts at 9 PM and goes until 11 PM, so we get to stay up late!) I felt like every conference talk was written for me, even the one from the Primary President. Elder Vighetto and I came prepared to conference. I was in the spirit of fasting, and I came with several questions that I wanted answered. Almost all of my questions were answered (they only missed one, which was ´what should I do with my life´. I was expecting the Prophet to say, at the Pulpit, ´Elder Twitchell, you need to study Economy!!!´ or something like that.)

Something I learned while watching is that, even if the talk is directed to another kind of person (mothers, married men, children, deacons, etc.), they are always talking about eternal, gospel principles. So, it applies to me, too. I liked the speaker who said that the ultimate measure of success for a YM president is not if HE gives a great lesson, but if one of his DEACONS gives a great lesson.

What a concept! For me, as a trainer, or as a District Leader, I must be an example. But if my missionaries aren´t doing well, I’m failing in my calling. I need to be a great example, and help THEM do well, as well. It goes without saying that I loved each of the talks from the first presidency, especially President Monson´s talks. He really is a prophet inspired from God.

One idea that called my attention was the story about the man who wrote a letter to his family, consisting of only 25 words, about what is important in Life. I thought it´d be fun if you guys each write me one of these letters, and I’ll write one to you. Let´s do it.

I didn´t hear about this announcement about Sisters, but sincerely, it makes sense. When I was in Ponta Grossa, we saw the need for Sister Leadership, because we had 4 duplas of Sisters in the Zone! We ended up using Sister Hass, sometimes, a Sister from my group who went home a few weeks ago.

Speaking of, I didn´t get to meet Sister Patton´s mom, but I did get packages from you guys, including one with the Mini Preach my Gospel. THANKS!!! haha, I love it.

Well, hey, I’ve gotta go, but I love you guys a lot!!! thanks so much for everything, for the help with BYU. I´m excited to get studying again.




We were able to e-mail back and forth today to get Avram’s BYU schedule set.  It was GREAT, his personality really came out.  It really made me miss him, this is a paragraph that makes me laugh it is so Avram.


“So I tried finding something to change, but as I was looking through the classes, I soon found out that I have no idea about anything!!!! haha, so I think I’ll leave it as it is, it looks great to me, thanks for the help. Ok, I’ll start writing my letter to you guys now”

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter!!!

April 01, 2013

Hey family!

Easter was fun for us here, we got a lot of chocolate (although I have to say, I didn´t get as much as I did last year. I got TOO MUCH chocolate last year :) )

Wow, it seems like our ward is like super Mormon. We´ve got the Bishop and the RS president all close. haha. That’s great, good luck to you. I´m excited to give my homecoming talk there, it´s gotta be good for a ward like that, with 15 missionaries.

Wowow, you decided not to get a TV. Haha, that´s a big step, but it´s a good one too. I´ve already decided that I don´t want to play video games when I get back (well, not a LOT of video games). My companion, Elder Vighetto, gets really worried when I say stuff like that to him, because he played a lot of video games before the mission. He´s kind of like me in this sense. I also told him that I’m going to use a planner when I get back. This frightens him even more :) But yeah, I think nowadays, you can watch pretty much whatever you want on the internet. I think the only things I’ll be watching are like movies and the new Avatar: Legend of Korrah!

That´s neat that you got to go to the YW conference. President Monson is amazing, I admire him so much. You can be sure if you follow the prophet, you´re going to be blessed. It´s even better for Autumn, because she´s going to be a missionary in a little bit. I´ll have to study together with her after the mission from Preach My Gospel. Preach My Gospel is great, it´s an inspired writing too! In my mind, it goes like this:

1st Book of Mormon

2nd Bible

2nd Preach My Gospel!!!

As you can see, Preach My Gospel is tied with the Bible.

For me, things are going pretty good. I´m suuuper excited for General Conference!!! Woohoo!!! General Conference is like going to a rock show for me. It´s just an intense experience with the spirit! I´m going to find some questions that I want answered before Conference, and then see how these questions are responded by the General Authorities. It´ll be great.

So I haven´t heard anything from President Cordon about registering for classes, so I’m not really sure. Can you guys help choose classes for me? I don´t really remember what I’m missing for my generals, but if I’m missing anything, go ahead and choose a class for that (please, no social dance class) I think I’m missing a religion class... but I don´t remember. And with all the other classes, I’m thinking I’ll study Economy. I don´t know, frankly I’m not sure what I’ll do with Economy... Maybe what you can do is go ahead and choose these classes, but do some research for me and see what I can do with economy. Right now, I have three things in mind: Economy, Business, or Administration (a lot of people have recommended these things for me here in brazil). But I’m not exactly sure what these things are, or what my opportunities will be with each one. Economy is my choice, just because I pretty much know what it is, and Professor Kearl wrote me that letter, recommending that I study Economy. I don´t know, just go for it, I’ll figure it out when I get back.

Hey, try to sign me and Autumn up to a class together!

Ok, I gotta run, sorry I didn´t say that much about my week!!!


Elder Twitchell

PS I`m not a zone leader, I’m still training Elder Vighetto. But I’m a district leader here, so I still do interviews.