Monday, August 19, 2013

LAST E-MAIL!!! Elder Twitchell will be home Saturday

August 19, 2013

Dear family.

  Well, I can´t believe it, but the end has finally come.  I´m not sure exactly what to write you guys, because I’ll be able to tell everything in a few days.

  Yesterday, we picked up Elder Funk from Portão.  He´s going to be my replacement.  We´re going to be in a trio until I leave.  Elder Funk is a great guy, super excited.  He´s going to do great in the area.  This will make things a bit easier for Elder Morales, They´re not going to have to close our area because of me.

  I actually ate lunch with Amanda and family this last Tuesday, during exchanges in Bairro Novo, but Juvencio invited me again.  I´m going more to take pictures and say good-bye.  They´ve been so great to me.  I think besides Amanda´s family, and other missionaries, no one here knows that I’m going home this Friday.  It´s going to be a crazy week.  I know that on Wednesday, I’m going to the temple, so that´ll be good.  I´m going with everyone from my group, so I’ll see Elder Barkdull and Elder Reeves again.

  I´m about to leave to go visit Juvencio, so I’m already going to wrap things up.  I just want to say three things that I learned on my mission, of greatest importance to me.

  1)  I learned, without a doubt, that the Book of Mormon is true.  If anyone wants to get closer to God, they should read this book.  The Book of Mormon has given me the answers to questions, time and time again on the mission, and has been a great source of power in teaching others.  I know that my investigators lives have been touched, as they read the Book of Mormon.

   2)  I learned to trust in the Spirit.  I learned to invite, recognize, and follow the Spirit.  This was one of the hardest things to learn on the mission, but when I learned to recognize the Spirit and follow it with consistency in my mission, my mission transformed.  It really is worthless to work without the Spirit.

   3)  I learned to love others, even those who treat me poorly.  I think that before the mission, I really didn´t have a capacity to love anyone besides myself.  But on the mission, the Lord has helped me developed a great love for others.

  Well, I love you all lots!  I´ll see you in just a bit!


  Elder Twitchell

Monday, August 12, 2013

Last Hair Cut

August 12, 2013

Eiii family!

  Wow, I guess I’ll have to go shopping after this e-mail.  I have a lot of things to get you!  It´s hard to believe, I only have this p-day and then one more after it.  

  That’s neat that you talked to Amanda.  I´m planning on buying a present for Danilo and Amanda today, so that I can give it to them on Sunday.  I´m also going to buy a present for Wallison and Emanuelle.  I´m going to develop photos from their baptisms, and then buy a picture frame, and give it to them as a present.  

  Well, things on this end are accelerating, each and every day.  I´m trying to bear my testimony to as many people as I possibly can.  We´re still in search for new investigators to baptize, but the Lord´s chosen are out there, and we´re going to find them.  Elder Morales and I are doing great as a companionship, I feel kind of bad that I’ll have so little time with him.  The time truly is short, but during the week, I act as if I still have a lot of time left on the mission.  I´m going to continue learning, continue getting better, and continue being a leader until the moment they take my Missionary Placket away from me.

  Ben and Andrew both sent me e-mails.  Haha, I could tell just by Ben´s letter that he´s a little lost.  Andrew´s letter was great, too, it´s amazing to see the difference in him just by the letter.  However, I will say that his letter left me trunky  :/

  Wish Autumn a Happy Birthday for me!!  She´s 18 already, I can´t believe.  Her letter should be getting there soon, I sent it a couple of weeks ago.  I´m super excited to see everyone, Alicia, Bentley, Mom, Dad, family!  It´s going to be great.

  I got my hair cut today, for the last time in Brasil.  :(  But the barber was one of the most interesting barber´s I’ve ever met, he´s an old man of 63 years.  He moved to the US and lived there for 11 years.  At one point, he decided to move to Mexico, and lived there for 4 years.  He then decided that he wanted to try to cross the US-Mexican border, so he swam across the river.  He was telling me that a lot of Mexicans drown in the river, or die while they´re crossing the desert.  Hahaha, I thought it was the craziest story I’ve ever heard.  But then, his Mom called him, and told him to come back to Brasil, so he did.  What a life!

  Well, I love you all lots!  Tell everyone I said hi, but I’ll see you soon anyway.

  Just one more e-mail from me!



Monday, August 5, 2013

Leadership Council - got to see old friends

August 5, 2013

Hey Family,

  This past week was pretty fun, we had Leadership council with all of the Zone Leaders and District Leaders.  I got to see a lot of old friends--Elder Rex, Woodruff, Little, Vighetto, Edgar, Rodriguez, etc.  It´s great to see everyone, and see how they´re doing.  I don´t feel that much older as a missionary, but I feel like everyone i know is getting a lot older.  It was fun to get to know President and Sister Fernandes better.  They take our calling really seriously, and gave us a lot of guidelines in maintaining the dignity of our calling, but at the same time, they joke a lot.  Sister Fernandes told us all that we have to clean our houses more (Mom, I think you´ll be glad to know that I have, in fact, learned how to clean on the mission) and keep ourselves clean.  President Fernandes spoke a lot about obedience and Faith.

  During the week, we continued searching for new investigators.  We visited a lot of them from last week.  We´re starting to develop a good teaching group here.  It´s funny because Parigot de Souza is really similar to Bairro Novo.  Every time I get transferred, it takes a bit to adjust, because each area is pretty different one from another.  But here, I’m not so much LEARNING how the area is, but I’m REMEMBERING how it is.

  This week we were helping a less-active family come back to Church.  They were baptized recently, but stopped coming to church because they got offended.  We planned well our lesson, and brought a member with us to help us out.  It was neat, because we taught Obedience, which is a really simple principle.  However, even with such a simple principle, it turned out to be exactly what they needed to hear.  We used John 14:15 (if you love me, keep my commandments) and we invited them to come back to church.  Whereas before they didn´t want to come back, this simple scripture helped them reflect about obedience, and have the desire to keep the commandments.  It was pretty neat.

  So yeah, the area is doing well.  Elder Morales is great, he´s the best Chilean I know.  We share a lot of interests in common, such as eating rice and beans, teaching the gospel, and helping others to be baptized.  Elder Morales is a calm, thoughtful missionary who likes to teach the gospel in a loving way.  He´s helping me a lot, because I, as a missionary, am a bit more spazzy and frantic.  I´m trying to think of a pop culture reference to describe our companionship, but I am not remembering any movie that has a wise Chilean and a spazzy American together...

  The ward is doing well, they´re helping us out.  They have a lot of activities, which is great for us, because we can invited investigators.  A lot of them I kind of knew already, which is fun, Parigot de Souza is a good ward.  We had lunch with our bishop yesterday, he´s a character!  He´s way funny, I like him a lot.

  I can´t believe they changed the film in the Temple!!!  I´ll have to go check it out!  I don´t know, I kind of like the old ones, they have a special place in my heart.  But, I can´t judge, I haven´t seen the new ones yet.

  I´m planning of buying some things here in brazil so I can remember better.  I´m planning on buying a Soccer Jersey, and a Brazillian flag.  Other than that, I’m trying to think of things I can bring.  Do you guys have any ideas?  I´m planning on returning with pretty much nothing in terms of clothing (yes, all of my white shirts are going to be left behind), so I think I’ll have space. 

  Well, I’ve gotta go, but I love you lots!!!  Keep praying for me!