Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Progress in Tatuquara

June 17, 2013

Hey family!

  I think Elder Rex likes the new area.  We made a lot of progress in Tatuquara.  We focused a lot this week in finding out which of our investigators really are willing to change and repent, and which ones are not quite willing or ready.  The reason we´re doing this is because we have a BIG teaching group, but many of these investigators we´ve been teaching a while now, and haven´t kept commitments with us.  We have stopped visiting some of them, so that we have more time to focus on new families who are ready to be baptized now.  We discovered that even though each week we were teaching the lessons we needed to, these lessons weren´t leading to baptisms, or investigators at Church.

  We´re hoping that if we focus more time on finding new families, we´ll see more progress and baptisms in our area.  This week the Lord has already blessed us with two new families.  One of these families is a new couple that is living with members in our ward.  They´re names are Wallison and Manoele, and they are doing great.  They came to church last week, but yesterday they didn´t come because the members they are living with didn´t come as well (they all woke up late.  Come on!  :P ).  However, we had a family night with them this week, which was fun.  We watched the film ´´The Restoration´´ with them, and then we ate Lasagna.  They´re also reading the Book of Mormon, which in and of itself is a miracle.  We´re way excited for them, they have a lot of potential to get baptized.  We have their baptismal date marked for 30 of June, at the end of the month.  The members they´re living with are already planning the after-baptism-party!  ;)

  Mario and Cleane are going better this week too.  Mario, unfortunately, had a relapse with alcohol, but he´s super sorry about it, and they all came to church yesterday.  This week we´re going to get everything ready so that they can get married next month.

  Elder Ryan Rex has been amazing, I think we´re going to be able to accomplish a lot this transfer.  I´m going to use the Rush Hour analogy again, but with a twist--this time, I’m playing the role of the sassy black guy, and he´s more like the Jackie Chan.  And again, just wait for the photo to see why.  I think Elder Rex´s greatest strength is study and planning.  He thinks things out beforehand, and likes to really hone in on what the investigator is needing to progress.  He´s teaching me a lot!  Also, i think out of all of my companions, he likes companionship studying the most.  The entire hour that we study together, we´re practicing.  He has just 7 months on the mission, but he´s already got this whole missionary thing down.

  In my personal study, I’ve been learning more about having Charity for investigators, and working WITH investigators instead of THROUGH them (in other words, focusing on the person, instead of the numbers).  It´s interesting, because Charity, like Faith, leads to action.  We have to be willing to work hard and make sacrifices to really have charity for our investigators.  And, a lot of the time, it´s kind of hard to really love someone you´re teaching.  It´s pretty easy to love someone when there´s no commitment, and you´re just kind of hanging out together, eating food, or playing video games.  But, when you´re calling is to invite someone to change their life and follow Christ, the relationship is a lot different.  If they´re prideful, our call to repentance is not received well.  Also, it´s a lot easier for us to see someone´s defects and flaws.  However, we have to love, love, love them, and be willing to work hard to help them with their difficulties. This kind of attitude will reflect in our teaching.  Our investigators will likely not want to go to church or get baptized, if our objective is just to show off to other missionaries.  But if our objective is sincere worry and love for them, and a true desire to help them, they´ll see that.  I´ve been trying to apply this in our teaching, and I’m seeing how it is important.

  This week was kind of funny, because on Saturday, apparently Brasil played against Japan in Soccer.  Japan lost, so since the game, everyone has been making fun of Elder Rex, because he has Japanese ancestry.  It´s been pretty funny to me, but maybe not so much for him.

  In our zone are a bunch of new trainers.  Wow, I’m way excited with all of the missionaries in the zone.  Elder Woodruff is training here, Elder Little also is in the zone, training an American named Elder Ritchie.  Elder Reeves came also, and is training a Brazilian.  There´s also two other Elders, Elder Wurdel and Elder Carvalho, both of whom are training new missionaries.  I love having new missionaries in the Zone, because they´re a lot more willing to learn and work.  Old missionaries may bring wisdom and experience to the zone, but they also bring tiredness and laziness.  The oldest people in the zone are Me and Elder Little, and neither of us are tired nor lazy, so we don´t have this problem anymore.

  Our District leaders are Elder Woodruff and Elder Little.  I feel like I can trust them :P

  Well, tell me how it is when Autumn goes to college.  I think I can safely guess that Mom´s going to start crying  :)

  LOVE YOU ALL LOTS!  Happy Father´s day to dad!


  Elder Twitchell

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