Well, two weeks have come and gone and I haven’t written a letter home. I apologize! Things have been super busy recently with the transfer and all. This past transfer was my tenth on the mission! It’s hard to believe. In the beginning two years really seemed like a ton of time but it really isn’t. Time is one thing we can never get back, so it must be used wisely!
On Wednesday, September 7th all the missionaries in the mission participated in various service projects throughout the stakes and zones. My stake cleaned up a big park and repainted all the curbing and benches throughout the whole thing. We wore yellow “Mãos Que Ajudam” (Helping Hands) vests that drew lots of attention from passersby. The park itself was in pretty rough shape, but it looked great by the time we finished! I didn’t realize it until after, but that was one of the only service projects that I’ve taken part of since I’ve arrived on my mission. They just don’t have quite as many here! Regardless, it was an awesome experience. I was excited to be able to put my painting skills to the test!
This past Monday and Tuesday were transfers. I’ll be continuing on here in the Mission Office! At the end of every transfer the church provides a training for the missionaries that will be going home. It talks about self-sufficiency, applying for jobs/school, etc. We do ours combined with the São Paulo Interlagos Mission. This time we hosted it. When their missionaries arrived I called their mission’s secretaries to let them know they were there. Much to my surprise I recognized an unexpected voice on the other side of the line when I called–Elder Burnside, who was my MTC companion! It was cool to get to talk to him for a few seconds.
Wednesday I had to make a trip to the Federal Police building. I had a group of 5 missionaries that I tried to take last week but their system was down so I had to go again! We often request the assistance of a member of the church who has a business that specifically deals with visas. He accompanies us and magically makes the whole process go along faster. Since they had just implemented a new system it took forever to get through the ordeal. We got there at 8 A.M. and left at 2 P.M. We were the first people to get done with everything that day, too!
I’ve started to realize how much the members of my ward here really love us. Not all, but most! Feeding the missionaries here is like a contest. They always want to do something special to make us happy. We have one lady in our ward that makes about 4 or 5 different desserts when we have lunch with her. Thankfully it’s generally not just us eating there! There’s a set of members that have, on two separate occasions, brought me things back from the United States when they went to visit. There are lots of other families that are always happy to see us and are always looking to help us out with things. In the last 7 months that I’ve been here in this ward, I’ve been able to meet lots of awesome people and form relationships that I hope will last a lifetime!
We’ve been working the past few weeks with this kid named Kawan. We’ve got him set up to get baptized this weekend and we’re hoping that everything turns out alright. We’ve been having some difficulties with the people in our teaching pool recently. Most of them are flaking out and we’re almost left with nobody firm to teach. Tomorrow will be our day to work full-time in our area, so we’re planning on finding as many new people to teach as possible. Prayers would be much appreciated!
Lately, I’ve increasingly been thinking about my progress on my mission. As I look back, I can see lots of different ways in which I know now that I could’ve improved what I was doing at that time. I’ve corrected a lot of my faults, am currently working on some more, and have a lot more to work on in the future. However, I know that my Heavenly Father loves me. I know that He looks towards my improvement more so than He seeks for my errors. I know that without Jesus Christ I have no hope of becoming better. It is through Him that we can achieve perfection.
I love you all and thank you for your never ending support,
Elder Chapman Tew