Monthly Archives: November 2015

Not a Fan of Funk!

This is a snapshot from a brief 31 second video Chapman sent this week. It is too large to upload here.

This is a snapshot from a brief 31 second video Chapman sent this week. It is too large to upload here.

Hello from Brazil!

In my letter last week, I forgot to mention something. Here in the land of the favella (which makes the ghetto look like a vacation spot), there exists a music called “Funk” pronounced “funkey”. It’s a type of music that only has a beat, no real instruments, and is FULL of horrible words. Imagine the worst song you’ve ever heard and then multiply the awfulness by 10 and you’ll arrive close to this funk. Its wicked messages are sung in the voices of undeveloped children. The funkqueiros buy $10 cars, put a $5,000 sound system in the trunk space, and then play this horrible music at 100dB+ all day long on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays. It makes for a really interesting teaching experience. You can hear the music at full power within the houses of the people we teach. SO lovely!

The sport of soccer here is HUGE. People will literally get frustrated with you if you don’t like the right team. We were on the way to church with an investigator yesterday and his car has a Corinthians (soccer team) flag stretched across the whole front of the it. We got an “Aaaaaaaaahhhhh vai Corinthians!!!!” from everyone that we passed.

This week Claudio R.M. Costa, the President of the Area of Brasil for the church, came to speak to our mission. It was a really cool experience. He had a ton of great and inspiring words for us, all of which I left in my notebook at home…so I apologize.

Yesterday we were talking with people in the street, and we were approached by a drunk. He said, “Thank you guys for your service. Without you here, we would all be in Hell for sure.” After that, he kissed each of our hands (disgusting) and walked away. It was one of those wierd moments I don’t think I’ll forget.

Other than that, nothing super exciting this week! I hope everyone is doing well!! Love y’all!

Elder Chapman Rex Tew

Mom’s note: Pictures taken this week were on another person’s camera. So, he will send those next Monday, hopefully.

Encounters of a New Kind

Boa Tarde!

This week absolutely FLEW by! It was over almost as soon as it started. The days are starting to get faster and faster for me.

A few highlights from the week:

  • President Broadbent changed the way we encounter and teach people. In the new method, we spend 80% of our time finding people that are prepared to hear our message and 20% of our time teaching those people. We now are asked to talk with a minimum of 50 people in the streets per day. I like the new method! We’ve been able to meet a few people who are very interested in the message we have to share.
  • Monday, (last p-day) we went to a Zone Meeting in Mata Virgim which is about 45 minutes away by bus. It’s in a more wooded part outside the bigger city. It was refreshing to get some cleaner air. When we were almost there it started to rain, the kind of rain that chokes frogs. We got off the bus and hid under the awning of a nearby store. About 15 seconds later, a billboard fell down right where we would’ve been walking. Let’s just say I felt blessed that I wasn’t underneath it!
  • Sunday we baptized a man named Milko who is a 47-year-old Peruvian guy. He lives two houses down from us. He’s a really great guy with a touching story. He told us a few days ago that, “every time I speak with you two I always feel better when you leave.” THAT was a testimony for me of what the Gospel of Jesus Christ can do to the lives of those who receive it.
  • I discovered a new food this week called fogassa. It’s like a calzone of sorts. It’s R$9/$2.50USD which is cheaper than pizza and equally as good. So, I’ll be eating those a little more often!

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Other than that, not much really exciting this week. I hope this finds everyone at home/on their missions doing well. I love and miss y’all!

Elder Chapman Tew

Hiding under the awning while it rained...

Hiding under the awning while it rained…

We Are Capable of Doing Anything!

Happy Monday!

This week was very interesting. Monday afternoon, as we were returning from our District Meeting in Apura, I got really agitated. Everything around me was a catalyst. Trash in the streets, the awful smell in generated, the funk blaring from passing cars, almost getting killed by two motorcycles, and people walking past talking about all kinds of awful things. This really wasn’t anything new, but for some reason it really got to me. For the entirety of our 45 minute walk back, I was FULL of agitation. As we approached an investigator’s house, I realized I was completely without the Spirit and needed to change something. The thought came to my mind that the same people that were making me angry are the same people I’m here to teach and serve. I realized that I needed to augment my efforts so I can affect the lives of MORE of these people.

We entered into a lesson this week with a family of investigators and realized that there had been some contention between them before we got there. So, we started to teach about how the Gospel can bless families and how we should think with an eternal perspective. I asked each of them if they loved the other members of the family – first the mother, then the daughter, and lastly the father. When it was his turn to answer, his response was a simple, “Não”. Shortly thereafter, the two girls left the room crying. Elder Raulino and I had NO clue about what we should do. I read a few scriptures to him and after 45 minutes of talking to him realized that nothing I could say or do could really change his mind. I decided to tell him that he needed to work on his love for his family and that he had a responsibility as a father to do so. He was receptive and the prayer he gave afterwards was evidence of that. This, again, is an example of WHY I’m here helping these people. It made my very grateful that I’ve never felt like I lacked any love or support from my family and really opened my eyes to how much they do for me. I’m so thankful for that.

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Just before Flavia’s baptism…

We had a baptism this week, and I got to do the baptizing! The girl’s name is Flavia. I wrote about her a few weeks back. It was a really neat experience. After she was baptized, I could almost feel how happy she was. One more reason to enforce my efforts and do more! 

Just after Flavia's baptism...

Just after Flavia’s baptism…

I hope everyone is doing GREAT! I’m loving my time here serving and all the blessings I’m getting in my life. I know this was the right choice, despite all the difficulties. As children of an all-powerful God, we are capable of doing ANYTHING as long as we are keeping up our part of the bargain and doing the right things.

I love you all. Ate mais!

Chapman

 

Heck Yeah!

Oi!

This week went really well. It’s starting to get pretty hot here. It reminds me a lot of Florida in the summer, complete with the random rain showers. The only difference is I’m in pants here, not shorts!

We met a couple of people this week that have a TON of potential. One we encountered while waiting for another investigator to get home. Her name is Latissia. She’s 20-something and works for an optometrist. She was really receptive to us and our message. She’s at a time in her life when she needs the Gospel, so I know we must’ve been inspired to talk to her!!

We got a reference from a member to visit a friend of hers. We’re now teaching the friend, her husband, and daughter. They, too, have TONS of potential. The first time we went, as we were leaving, she said: “You guys are welcome whenever you want! We need as much of God in our life as we can get and we felt good with you guys here.” So, we’ve been back twice since then. They’re a really great family.

We met a guy in the street that lives like two doors down from us. His name is Milko and he’s Peruvian. He’s in his 30s and is taking care of his mother that has Alzheimer’s. He’s got a touch of depression, too. Last time we taught him, he told us that our messages always leave him feeling better. Heck yeah!

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We baptized two people this week! Elaine, who I mentioned last week in my email, and Ane. Ane is in her early 30s and is fairly recently divorced. When we started talking with her about a month ago, she brought out a Book of Mormon that she had kept for 15 years which was given to her by other missionaries. She, too, is at a time in her life when she needs the Gospel most. There’s a marked difference in her countenance between now and when we first met her. She says that things are only getting better!

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Yesterday we ate with a member after church and had a churrasco (barbeque). I ate several pounds of meat. I don’t have a single regret. It was delicious! I’m not sure what he seasoned it with, but it was cooked perfectly and full of flavor. After that, we visited Ane before her baptism and she gave us cake (I had two pieces). Then after the baptism, we stopped by a recent convert’s house and they fed us Pão de Chuva or Rain Bread. It’s basically little bite-sized pieces of funnel cake. I ate plenty there, too. I’m not sure how I’m losing weight (13 pounds) with all that I’m eating. So I’ll continue to thank the Lord for the results!

Gap Pants!

Gap Pants!

I’m doing well with the language. I get compliments a lot on my ability to speak and how good my accent is. In the beginning, it was SUPER hard. But, it’s much more natural and fluid now. When I write these emails, I sometimes have to stop and think about what the word is in English before I continue typing.

The view from his abode.

The view from his abode.

I’m pretty well adjusted to being here. I miss home tons, of course, but I know I’m where I need to be in my life right now.

Love y’all!
Ate mais,
Elder Chapman Tew