Monthly Archives: January 2017

January 23°, 2017

Hello, all!

This past week has been super rainy here in São Paulo! I now have only one pair of dry shoes of the four that I brought with me. It’s been difficult trying to encounter and teach people with all the rain, but we’re doing our best!

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This week on Tuesday we had to go to Jabaquara for a training for District Leaders. The training was awesome! They talked a lot about our duties and the examples that we should set for those we lead. I was able to learn quite a bit, and reflect on things that I can do better. Right when it got over, the new missionaries fresh out of the MTC arrived. We were able to see them walk in and then had to head home!

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We taught a man this week named Moisés (Moses) while we were searching for another address. Turns out that the person we were looking for was his dad! He used to be a preacher at an evangelical church. He’s super intelligent, and has a pretty broad knowledge of the Bible. As we got to know him a bit, he told us about his hesitations with religions and the things that they do that he didn’t think were right. Every single thing that he mentioned was answered when we told him about the Restoration. We were able to feel the Spirit very strongly as we testified of the truthfulness of the things we taught him.

I was pleased to find out today that I have a friend from home who has recently become interested in the Church. I sent an email to him, and I would like to share a part of it with all of you.

“Since I was eight, I’ve been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, aka the ‘Mormon’ church. I grew up going to church every Sunday with my family. Throughout my childhood and into my youth I was consistently taught the doctrine of the church, and was able to slowly gain my own testimony of its truthfulless. Although I was never a saint, I almost always tried to do my best to live my life in accordance with the things that I had learned.

When I turned 18 in December of 2014, I became eligible to serve a mission. As a child I had decided that it was something that I wanted to do, so I began to prepare myself to submit my application. At the beginning of March I sent in my papers and awaited my response. About 10 days later I got a large, thick envelope in the mail that, amongst other things, included a letter from the President of the Church stating where I would serve. I was called to the Brazil São Paulo South Mission, with a report date of July 29th, 2015. I spent the next several months preparing myself physically and spiritually for the journey that I was about to embark on.

July 28th arrived, and I boarded a Delta flight to Atlanta with connection to the Guarulhos International Airport on the northeastern rim of the city of São Paulo. In Atlanta, I met several others who would be accompanying me to Brazil. We all arrived in Brazil, and spent six weeks together in the Missionary Training Center. There we learned a little bit of Portuguese, and studied the material we would be presenting to people a few short weeks later. Over the last 18 months, I have been working in various parts of the southern metropolitan region of São Paulo teaching people about what we believe to be true.

You’ve recently met two young men that are doing the same thing that I’m doing, just in slightly different circumstances. Within the next few days, the Elders will tell you about what makes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints so different than others. I hope that as you listen to them you’ll open your heart to the Holy Spirit, and allow him to testify to you about the things you learn.

I’ve had to sacrifice a lot of my own wants and desires to serve my mission. I walk daily in the rain and under the hot sun searching for anyone that will open their door to listen to what we have to say. I had to leave behind school, work, hobbies, interests, and my family to do so. However, I know that what I have to offer to the people that I’m serving is much more valuable than any of that which I have elected to put on hold.

I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has the responses to all questions, and the solutions to all problems and difficulties that we may have throughout our lives. I know that what the Elders will teach you will have a profound affect on your life, and that it will change you for the better as it has changed me. In my time here in Brazil, my testimony has been consistently strengthened as I’ve learned even more about my Savior and His teachings, and applied them more in my own life. I know that Christ lives, and that He loves each one of us individually. Satan would have us believe that we’re worthless, or that we’re beyond repair. Christ promises us that we are not. His atoning sacrifice satisfies all justice, and guarantees us our spot in Heaven if we’ll accept Him in our lives, and do our very best to be obedient to His commandments while we’re here on the Earth. I testify of the truthfulless of Book of Mormon. I know for myself that it is the word of God. Coupled with the Bible, the Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ as our Savior, and points us to the path that we must take in order to return to live with Him again.”

I’m so grateful for the privilege that I have to serve my mission here in Brazil. This place and these people have made a mark on my life as I’ve grown so much over these past 18 months. I know that this is a very necessary stage in my life, and I’m thankful that I made the choice to serve!

Until next week!
Élder Chapman Tew

January 16°, 2017

Hello, all!

I apologize for my absence last week. Things have been busy around here! We went through a difficult patch during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays with lots of people traveling or otherwise occupied. This week we were able to make lots of progress with some of the people that we’re teaching.

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On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to go to the temple. We took Marcia and Bianca who were baptized just a few weeks ago. The two of them loved the temple, and had wonderful spiritual experiences while there. I enjoyed the peace that was almost palpable therein. I look forward to be able to visit more often while living in Utah!

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This week we tried to focus a little more on some of our investigators that are progressing. We tried to better identify their needs, and then help them receive confirmations regarding everything we taught. We decided to take Rodrigo (15), who we’ve been teaching for quite some time, to the church to chat with him. We ended up sitting there talking for about two hours. We invited him to pray and ask Heavenly Father about everything that we had talked about to see if it was true or not. We left him alone in the Chapel for a bit. After about 10 minutes he called us back in. We asked him if he had felt differently when he prayed. His response: “No. I felt a LOT different.” The Spirit was super strong in that moment. We testified that those feelings had come from the Holy Ghost, and that he should follow the promptings he had been given. He’s committed to be baptized in the next couple of weeks!

This week I found myself in a bit of a spiritual slump. I’ve been doing lots of praying asking to have the Spirit with me, asking for confirmations of things I’ve learned, and asking for responses to questions I have. Towards the end of this week I finally realized that all the faith that I had put into those prayers was without works, and therefore dead. I felt that the Lord was testing my faith to see if I would give up on him for not responding immediately to my requests. Over the following days, I tried to pay more attention to the Spirit as we taught and studied. I was able to receive the responses and confirmations that I had been looking for.

I’m loving Brazil, the work I’m doing, and the people that I’m encountering and serving. When I initially opened my mission call, I was hesitant about coming here. But, over the past 18 months I have gained a very strong testimony that God is very aware of me and my needs, and that He has a plan for my life, and that the plans He has are far beyond my own. I’m grateful for the friendships that I’ve been able to form, and the people that I’ve been able to help find their way to the straight and narrow path.

I testify of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have no doubt that one spring morning in 1820 a young man named Joseph Smith had a question, and took that question to God. His desire to follow God’s teachings turned into one of the most siginificant events in the history of the world. The Gospel that was restored to the earth in its fullness through the Prophet Joseph Smith has the answers to all questions and the solutions to all problems. All that the Lord requires that we do is follow him and do our best to keep His commandments. In return, He promises us Eternal Life and Exaltation.

I’d invite all to do exactly what James invites us to do when we have doubts: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). The Lord doesn’t make empty promises. Take him up on his offer. Get on your knees to ask Him what He would have you do, and I promise, in the name of Jesus Christ whom I represent, that you will be shown the way.

Com Amor,
Élder Chapman Tew

January 2°, 2017

Hi, All!

It’s been a busy week! When there are holidays in Brazil, they like to stretch them out a little bit. They also receive one month of paid vacation per year which facilitates them relaxing a bit during the months of December and January. The vast majority of the people that we’re teaching have been away visiting family or friends in the surrounding cities. But we haven’t let that stop us!

One day this week we decided to explore a part of our area that probably hasn’t been worked in by missionaries in a really long time. It’s situated completely out of the way, about 10 miles down a two lane road away from the center of our area. It’s actually a small village named Paranapiacaba. I had been there before on one of my P-Day excursions during my time in the Mission Office. The village has a population of about 700 people. There are no banks, ATMs, gas stations, grocery stores, and very few restaurants. While we were waiting for the bus that would take us there to arrive, we asked one of the other people waiting for some more information about the area. The girl’s name is Míria, and she’s 28 years old. We sat there talking to her and getting to know her a bit while we waited. She was carrying a couple of buckets of paint and a few other things that she had bought to take back home. We offered to carry them for her, and wound up lugging them all the way to her house once we arrived. We continued to talk to her and teach her a bit once we made it to her house. Later on her neighbors joined in. By the time we left, we had taught several different lessons and met a whole bunch of people. I can’t help but think that the Lord put her in our path for a good reason!

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Due to Brazil’s extravagant party nature, we were required to arrive home early the past two days. We decided to make good use of our time and the big grill that we have behind our house to do some cooking! We bought lots of meat, cheese, and fruit and made the best of it. I’ve gotten pretty good at making natural fruit juices! My favorite is a mixture of passion fruit (maracujá), orange, and beets!

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As we enter into the new year, we all naturally seek to make goals of things that we’d like to do or accomplish during the upcoming year. President Broadbent spoke a little about this with us. I found some of his thoughts helpful and I’d like to share them. He spoke about how sometimes as we make these goals, we may feel inadequate or overwhelmed about all the things we’d like to change. He stated that those feelings don’t come from God, but rather from Satan. What’s-his-no-face consistently tries to make us give in or give up by making us feel that way. We, as children of an almighty God, are capable of doing anything that is in accordance with His will. He wants the best for us, and as we seek to become better He will support us every step of the way.

It’s hard to believe that I’ll be headed home in just over 6 months. I can look back and see the Lord’s hand every step of the way throughout my mission. I can see how He has been molding me into the person that I am becoming. I still have lots of goals and things that I need to work on, but I know that I’m on the right path.

I love you all, and I thank you for your continual love and support. I wish you the very best of New Years!

Élder Chapman Tew

December 26, 2016

Hi All!

This Christmas week was absolutely wonderful. We had a bit of a rough time encountering people at home because lots of them were either traveling or busy with family. But, we were still able to get lots of work done.

I enjoyed getting to Skype with my family yesterday! The feeling that it brings on is rather strange. I felt like I was momentarily transported back to my own house with my immediate surroundings almost being put on “pause”. It was good to see  faces and hear voices that I hadn’t heard in 7 months. I’m immensely grateful for the modern technology that made all that possible!

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Elder Tew during our Christmas Skype

This Thursday, we had a mission Christmas party. The first half was filled with a talent show and skits that were put on by the various zones and individual missionaries. It was fun to see some people that I hadn’t seen in a while. Being so far out, it’s kind of hard to keep in touch! Later on, we watched a compilation of different Christmas videos and heard the words of our Mission President and his counselors.

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I love Christmas as a missionary. It helps us with our work in the sense that those around us are paying more attention to God and Jesus Christ than they are during the rest of the year. We’ve been able to find some new people to teach over the last couple of weeks that are absolutely awesome! A group of five girls were invited to our ward Christmas party where we made contact with them. We’ve been teaching them over the past week and they’re turning out to be awesome!

Well, time is short today (who’s surprised?), so I’ve got to run. I hope that everyone is doing well. I send all my love and appreciation your way!

Elder Chapman Tew