Monthly Archives: October 2015

Picnic in the Park

Bom dia!!

This week went by fairly fast. Last Monday, we had a Zone P-Day where we all went to this park called Ibirapuera. We had a picnic and then rented bikes to ride around. I’d compare the place to something like Central Park in New York. It’s really beautiful! After we rode the bikes, I strung up my hammock and enjoyed some rest.

Chapman's view from the hammock.

Chapman’s view from the hammock.

Transfer meeting was Tuesday which happens every six weeks. On Sunday nights, you get a phone call letting you know if you’re being transfered to another area or not. I get to stay in mine! I’m happy. I love the ward I’m in, and the people here.

On P-Day, Raulino twisted his ankle pretty badly, so we were a little slower this week. But, we got everything done to meet the Gold Standard in three days!

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We had a baptism on Saturday. The boy we baptized is named Eric and he’s the 11-year-old son of a member. We had two more baptisms lined up for Sunday, but we had to bump them back a week!

Eric and his family before his baptism.

Eric and his family before his baptism.

A little about the two people we’ll be baptizing this week:

  • Flavia: She’s 39 years old but looks like she’s 25 and has a 4-month-old baby named Joaquim. He’s adorable! His dad left Flavia before he was born. She was being taught by Elders Raulino and Gold before I got here and Raulino and I finished the teaching. She’s super awesome and ready to be baptized. She just has a problem with coffee that we’ve been trying to kick!
  • Elaine: Her husband, Fransisco, was baptized about 4 months ago. She hasn’t been able to come to church because of her job. About 2 or 3 weeks ago she told us, “I want to be baptized too so I can receive all the blessings that Fransicso is getting!” Needless to say, we were excited. She’s been attending a ward in the afternoon and searching for a new job. She should be baptized this week.

Fresh fruit juice is a big thing here. This week, I started to make maracujá juice (passion fruit) every morning with breakfast. You just cut the fruit, put the pulp in a blender with some water and sugar, and then strain it. It’s my FAVORITE! So delicious.

I’m loving my time here SO much! By no means is a mission easy, but it’s worth all the effort. I have a lot to improve personally while I’m here, but I know I’m being assisted in my self-betterment efforts because of my service.

This photo marks Raulino's 4 month mark and Tew's 3 month mark.

This photo marks Raulino’s 4 month mark and Tew’s 3 month mark.

I love you all and I hope you’re doing great!! I miss home like crazy, but I know I’m in the right place.

Ate Mais,
Elder Chapman Tew

The Gold Standard

Hello from Brazil! 

This week we did several things that were out of the ordinary. On Tuesday, we had the chance to go to the Temple in São Paulo which is about 1.5 hours away by bus. I really enjoyed getting go to back there and spend a few hours without any stressful thoughts. It was MUCH needed. Afterwords, we went to a store across the street called Deseret Brazil. It’s owned by members of the church that vend church-related items. They also have some American food. I spent $20 (USD) on Dr. Pepper, Reese’s, and cookies. WORTH IT.

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Doesn’t he look soooo happy about that Dr. Pepper?

Thursday we had a meeting called Nova Força for the new missionaries. We had a training from the mission President. We talked about some of the things that were troubling us and how we could get through them. It was awesome!  

Outside the temple in Sao Paulo.

Outside the temple in Sao Paulo.

Afterwards, we went to the mission office to wait for Pizza Night with the Mission President. It happens once every transfer (6 weeks), and those that are invited are missionaries that met the Padrão de Oro, or Gold Standard. Basically, every week we have to talk with a certain number of people, have a certain number of lessons, have so many new investigators, and so on. If you meet the Gold Standard once in a transfer and come close to it the other weeks, you’re rewarded with pizza (all you can eat and REALLY GOOD). I’m glad I was able to participate, but not just for the pizza. It made me feel like I’m accomplishing things here and helping other people know more about Christ. THAT’S the real purpose, but pizza is an added bonus. :)

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Sunday, I was talking with a guy in the street trying to mark a lesson with him when a motorcycle pulled up next to us. The motorista handed the man I was talking to 4 small sticks of weed wrapped in plastic and then left. The man kept talking like nothing happened. It was an interesting experience. When I see stuff like that, I try not to look interested to avoid any trouble! 

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The President sent me a letter this week. I got the opportunity to sit and talk with him for like 30 minutes (not an interview). I really like him. He said “You’re Portuguese is coming along great and so is your accent. You’re learning really fast.”

We have 4 investigators that should be baptized next Sunday! Their names are Flavia, Ane, Eric, Elaine! I’m running a little short on time now, so I’ll try and describe them better next week. 

I hope everyone at home is doing well! I’m loving my time here and trying to work my hardest.

Eu Amo Vocês! Ate Mais.

Elder Chapman Tew

 

Answers to Questions from Dad!

How big is your area?

I don’t know exactly, but it’s significantly smaller than the area of our missionaries. I do cover just one ward, so that’s nice.

Are there any senior missionaries in your mission?

Yes! One couple, the Metcalfs.

Is your church building in your area?

Yes, it’s right on the furthest edge.

Do you spend much time in the church building each week?

Not really! Sunday, and two hours on Saturday for English class.

How long will the weather be nice? 

It comes and goes. It’s starting to get hotter here. Their seasons are the direct inverse of ours, naturally. But, that means I’ll have 3 winters here and not 3 summers!

Are you getting letters in the mail?

I get stuff from the mission office every week or two, so yes! I should be there in person later this week.

What time do you usually head back to the apartment?

It’s actually a house. But, we’re always using all of our time right up until 9:30.

Do you spend extra time each day studying the language?

Yes! From 10-11 every day I study Portuguese and Raulino studies English.

 

I Love Brazil!

This week wasn’t really exciting. Nothing extraordinary happened. I’m starting to feel much more normal in the routine and it’s getting easier to work.

A couple of things:

  • The pizza here is really great. We have places in the U.S. that have pizza this good, but it’s not common. Catupiry, which is a type of creamy cheese, is REALLY good on pizza. It makes the whole deal.

    Chapman and his companion had this pizza delivered. They split the $5 cost between them.

    Chapman and his companion had this pizza delivered. They split the $5 cost between them.

  • I had several people tell me this week that I speak really good Portuguese. I think Heavenly Father has blessed me with the ability to learn other languages fast. Hopefully, that means that I can finish Spanish and German without problem when I return home!
  • One of the members of my ward just started working at the MTC! I thought it was ironic since I just left.
  • The first counselor to the mission president lives on my street. His name is Otavio Fortunato. He’s really an awesome guy. He’s always smiling!
  • Our ward really feels like a family almost. When we eat with members on Sundays, there are normally several different families in the house eating with us. It’s been cool to get to know them.
  • All of the people here regularly talk about the United States. Several have visited (even as recently as last week). It kind of puts things into perspective for me. We complain about a lot of things, sometimes even rightfully so, but we have it a LOT better than most other countries do. I’m grateful for that.

    This picture was taken today. I just LOVE getting current pictures!!!!!

I LOVE Brazil. The people are awesome, the food is fabulous, and the culture is awesome. I don’t know what more I could ask for!

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This yellow bug is parked in front of Chapman’s abode. If you look back to the last post, the wall in front of his house has been painted blue since the Google Earth image was taken.

I hope everyone is doing well. I think about home a lot and miss it a ton, but I know I’m where I should be.

Eu Amo Vocês!
Elder Chapman Tew

General Conference was Amazing!

Happy Monday!

This week was abnormal. We had Zone Conference and General Conference. So, our normal work was greatly inhibited but for good reason! Zone conference is when several zones of missionaries (groups of 20 or so) get together to hear the mission president speak and have some training. It lasts all day. I really enjoyed hearing the President and a few others speak and learned a lot. They spoke about our agency (our ability to choose right or wrong) and the blessings we get for working our hardest and being obedient. At zone conference, I also got a package and some letters from home. So, that was awesome!

General Conference this weekend was amazing. I realized how at times in my life, I took the blessing of having living apostles and a living prophet for granted. I realize a lot more now how big of a blessing that really has been in my life.

I think my favorite talk of them all was the one given by Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  He talked about mothers. He said, “No love comes closer to that which the Savior has for us than the selfless love of a mother for her child.” Throughout the whole talk, I thought a lot about what it entails to be a mother. It’s a whole lot more than just carrying a child for nine months, “it is a sacred responsibility of the highest order.” I thought about the things my mother has done for me throughout my life and how there has never once been a lack of love there. Now, more than ever, being thousands of miles away from her do I appreciate my mom. “Maternal love has to be divine. There is no other explanation for it.” Conference had a plethora of other really awesome talks, but that one was by far my favorite.

Conference as a whole was very rejuvenating and I would encourage everyone to watch some of it if you didn’t get the chance.

One cool thing – The guy that does the voicing for General Conference (this is the 185 semiannual…) is the uncle of an American missionary in my district! I thought that was great.

This week, as a result of our meetings, was a bit slow. So, we didn’t get to baptize anyone. :(  But, we have 3 on track for next week! I’m confident that this week will be 10 times better!

I’m grateful for all the support I have behind me at home and miss you all. I know that here, in Brasil São Paulo Sul, is where I need to be at this time in my life. I’m grateful for the opportunity I have to make a change in people’s lives for the better. I’m grateful for my parents, family, and all those who have helped guide me to this point in my life. I’m especially thankful for my Savior. As a representative of Him, I know that He lives and loves us all.

I love you all so much and may the Lord be with you always,
Elder Chapman Tew

So, of course we used Google Earth to check out Elder Tew's current digs. He lives through the black gate.

So, of course we used Google Earth to check out Elder Tew’s current digs. He lives through the black gate.