Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Book of Mormon is TRUE!!!

May 27, 2013

Hey family!

Comfirmation! Joracir got confirmed yesterday, so that was great. She came walking to church alone, which shows me that she really wants to be here. I love seeing faith in action. There is no better feeling.

The Lord was helping us out a lot this week. The last few weeks we had problems in finding new investigators, but this week we had a lot of success, and were able to teach the restoration to people who had never heard this glorious message before. We even found a couple who are LEGALLY MARRIED. That´s a miracle, because since I’ve arrived in Tatuquara, I haven´t met anyone who was legally married. Their names are Claudio and Adriana, and they have a son, Tiago, who is 9 years old. They were a referral from some recent-converts in the ward, which was great. It reminds me that one of the best sources of referrals in the ward are the Recent converts. We were able to teach this family about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon yesterday night, and it was a really spiritual lesson. We invited them to be baptized, and although hesitant, they accepted to prepare themselves for baptism.
This week, besides focusing on finding new investigators, we were teaching a 9-year-old named Richard. His dad, Alexandre, is a less-active member who we´re reactivating. His mom, Adriana, isn´t a member, but is interested in the Church. The only problem (besides gaining a testimony, which we´re working on!) is she needs to get married to Alexandre. Richard, however, is already living all that he needs to, in order to get baptized. We spent the week teaching him everything, but he was feeling unprepared for baptism this week, so we marked his baptismal date for this next week. He´s really, really shy, so a lot of times he doesn´t say how he really is feeling. We´re going to try to get him to play Soccer with the other kids in the ward, so that maybe he´ll open himself up a bit more to the Church.

What was a funny experience this week? Well, it wasn´t really an experience, but Elder Rodrigues and I found a Church close to the our Chapel here called ´´Evangelical Church: Jesus Christ, path to the Restoration´´. We thought it was great, because it was like a signpost. Yes, Brazilians, you are on the path to the Restored Church.

Well, we´re going to have interviews with the president this week, for the last time. I´m excited and sad at the same time. President Cordon has been the best for me. I won´t be surprised when he gets called as a 70.

I had a great experience with the Book of Mormon this week. The invite found in Moroni 10:3-5 is not applicable only to investigators--we as members should ask for a confirmation, frequently, if the Book of Mormon is true. This week, I finished the Book of Mormon again. I fasted, with the specific purpose of asking if the Book of Mormon is true. It is. I know it. It´s such a comfort to know this. Joseph Smith really is a prophet, and this Church really is true. I know that the promise in Moroni 10 can be fulfilled in our lives.
Well, I love you all lots!!! Have a great week. Oh, and congrats to Autumn, when she graduates from High School and Seminary!



Monday, May 20, 2013

Baptismoooo ... Joracir

May 20, 2013

Hey family!

Batismooooo! We had the baptism of Joracir yesterday. Remember during the Skype call I said that we had just invited a woman to be baptized? Well, it was her! Her children were already baptized last year in Jardim do Sol, but she still hadn´t been baptized. It was a really special baptism. We were happy, too because she came walking to church, and went home walking too. I don´t know if you remember me saying this, but it´s like an hours walk to get to her house. I´m starting to be tough with our investigators, I make them really prove their faith to get baptized.

This week, I also got to go on exchanges with Elder Woodruff. It was back to good old times with him. Haha, it was fun. He made me a little bit homesick. He kept saying, ´´Elder, I can´t believe you´re going home!!!´ he also kept quoting Lord of the Rings with me. He agrees with me, the two towers with fire coming out in my area are definitely from the Two Tower. The funniest thing that happened this week was with him. At night, we decided to buy a pizza, to celebrate, so we bought a big pizza, with half of it being dessert pizza. It was really good, and we ate all of it. The only thing is that at night, Elder Woodruff started talking in his sleep and sleepwalking (because of the pizza, I think). At one point, he sat up in his bed, and looked over at me, and asked ´´Elder, what do you think?´´ I said I don´t know, and then he started talking gibberish, and fell out of his bed. hahah, it was really funny. When I woke up again in the morning, I saw that all of the lights in the house were on, because while he was sleepwalking, he turned them on. ahhaaha it was great.

Well, I’m excited to get to meet the new ward, they seem like really great people. I´m sure that I’ll be well received. I can´t believe that everyone is getting home already. Mitch, Kaleb, everyone. These two years have gone by incredibly fast. I´m definitely in super mode, and I’m sure that the Lord still has a lot of families for me to find and teach and baptize. It´s going to be a great next few months. Don´t even worry about the shoes, a member gave me another pair, so I’m set.

Well, I’ve gotta go already.

Love you all LOTS!!! Well, I’m pretty sure none of my birthday letters got to you guys in time, because last week the Elder that I gave them to told me he still hadn´t sent them (ahhhh!), but happy birthday to Amber, and Mom, and Dad. I was hoping you would get them for your birthdays.



Monday, May 13, 2013

Delicious Breakfast

Look at this delicious breakfast I made for myself! :)

Skype was great!!!

May 13, 2013

Dear Family,

Skype was great!!! It was great to see you all again. I can´t believe how big the babies are! When Austin started talking, I couldn´t believe it, he´s already speaking like a grown up. Elaina too, she´s a little person now. It was nice to meet Ford and Bentley too.

Well, this last week was pretty crazy. I´m getting back into the rhythm of being a Zone Leader. It´s a lot different, because instead of just worrying about your own area, or training someone, you have to worry about a big group of missionaries. I went on exchanges with Elder Machado in his area Rio Bonito (pretty river). It was fun, we invited a few people to get baptized while we were there.

It´s funny, because like I said during Skype, I’m going super speed on the mission now, because I have so little time left. I try to talk to everyone I see, and I’m always walking really fast. Also, in every lesson, I’m talking about baptism with our investigators. I´ve only got a few months left where my total focus is helping people make covenants with our Heavenly Father through Baptism. So, long story short, I’m getting crazier as my mission is coming to an end.

That’s good that we´re finally a part of our ward. It seems like a nice neighborhood, and a nice house. Haha, I kind of forgot how big the houses are in the US.

I got excited to hear that you signed me up for bowling!! That´ll be neat, Ben took bowling, and he loved it. Speaking of, I heard from Spencer that Daniel Scott and Tania are getting married, wo how crazy everyone´s getting married.

Well, it was great to see everyone. This last Skype call was the weirdest of the four, I wasn´t really sure what to say, but it was great too. I hope I made sense when i was speaking. I kept slipping back into Portuguese, because I’m not used to speaking in English.

LOVE YOU LOTS!!! Send a big hug to everyone. Tell Elaina to paint my room Pink with Purple Polka-dots! haha, that was funny.


Elder Twitchell

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Elder Rodrigues in new area Tatuquara

May 6, 2013
A new area! Arriving in a new area is always a great experience. Getting to know the area, the ward, the investigators, helps me recognize that this same work is being done all over Curitiba, and all over the world. It´s cool, too, because Elder Barkdull already passed through this area. And Elder Brino, too! He finished his mission here.
Tatuquara is a blessed area. I´m having difficulty remembering all of our investigators, because we have so many! We have a lot of people coming to church, and want to be baptized. They just need to get married! This process takes a while here, but while these investigators are trying to get together all of the documents that they need, Elder Rodrigues and I are preparing them for enduring until the end. We´re marking family nights and visits with members with these investigators, so that they have this integration with the ward. Also, a lot of the families that we´re teaching are part-member families. Elder Rodrigues and I talked about these situations, and we´re wanting to complete these families, or at least leave a great impression of the church with these non-members. My vision while I’m here is to focus on the father and head of the household. This work is a bit harder, but when coupled with working with the ward, it leads to long lasting conversion.
Elder Rodrigues is actually from my MTC group, but he was at São Paulo, while I was at Provo. He´s a Brazilian from Minas Gerais (Elder Lopes is from Minas Gerais too). Elder Rodrigues is going home a bit after me, in the beginning of October, because Brazilians have a bit more time on the mission than Americans. He being a Brazilian, we decided that speaking Portuguese would be best, because if we spoke in English, I would be the only one understanding. I´m already loving it, being with Elder Rodrigues. He´s like my trusty sidekick. You know in Rush Hour, there´s Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, beating up all of the bad guys? Well, I’m like Jackie Chan (but I’m not Asian) and he´s Chris Tucker.
It´s funny, there´s an investigator here named Tiago, and his (future) wife, Larissa. They haven´t been baptized yet just because of marriage. So we´re just waiting for their marriage, but in the meantime, they´re learning a lot about the gospel. Tiago got a Triple-combination, and is studying Pearl of Great Price. He already finished the Book of Mormon. He´s a really curious person, and he´s always giving us tough questions. Questions that I’ve never had before on the mission. So it´s good to have him, it keeps me on my toes. One of the questions he gave us was about us being gods through celestial marriage. Wooow, where did he hear about that!? He also made the infamous question, ´´Where is Laban´s sword!?´´ What I would give to know. Last night he asked us if Abraham´s idolatrous father Terah was a believer in God before. (well, at that moment, I got a bit frightened by the question. But Terah had been, in fact, a follower of righteousness before.) It´s been fun.
Sounds like things are going well for you out there. Poor Austin, getting stitches is no fun. He´s seems like a crazy baby. I´m going to get some questions ready for you all for Skype too. This time, the time for Skype was increased to 1 hour!!! It was funny, we were at the Leader Council last Thursday, and the topic of Skype came up. Someone asked the President how long we would have on Skype. President Cordon looked over at Sister Cordon, who quickly blurted out ´´An hour! One Hour!´´ President Cordon then looked at us and said, ´´Ok, it´s going to be one hour this time.´´ haha, of course, this would come from the President´s wife. They´re great, I’m going to miss them when they leave the mission.
Well, I love you all lots. I can´t believe I’m getting to my last Skype call. Eeeesh, it´s going by so quick, I can hardly believe it. Who said two years is a long time, it´s not all that long...