Monthly Archives: April 2017

April 24°, 2017

Hi, All!

These last couple of weeks have seemed to have flown by in a blur. Since this transfer is just 5 weeks long, in two days we’ll already be in the middle of it! It’s crazy to think about. We’ve found some really interesting people to teach, though, and we’re excited to see where things go.

IMG_1297

I had to opportunity to interview a young man before his baptism last week for some of the other Elders in our zone. I was suprised to find out that, at 11 years-old, he’d had a number of interesting experiences in his life. It was a testament to me that Satan has gotten really good at his job, and is starting to attack people at younger and younger ages. Thankfully this young man was repentant, and had the desire to change his life and enter onto the straight and narrow path that can lead him to eternal life.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

This week we had zone conferences! Ours was on Friday. President talked a lot about goals and doing our best. He gave some examples to show us how we can be somewhat narrow-minded when we set our goals. We don’t always really push ourselves, but rather shoot for the more attainable goal. It’s really helped Elder Foote and I open our eyes a bit, and we’ve got some pretty impressive goals for this next week!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We started teaching a man named Guimarães several weeks ago who has been making some awesome progress these last few days. He’s been trying to stop smoking, so we’re working on him with that so that he can be baptized. We’re ALMOST there!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We also started teaching a man this last week named Renato. He made contact with the missionaries on Mormon.org and requested that we take him a Book of Mormon. He’s proved to be an awesome guy! He said that he “identified [him]self” with Joseph Smith’s story, and wants to learn more about the church. He’s an awesome guy, and will make a wonderful member someday soon! He went to church yesterday with us and wanted to stay to watch the other Elder’s baptism afterwards to “see how it works”. :)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I’ve thought a lot this week about how happy that missionary work makes me. I’ve been able to feel and recognize the eternal happiness that is available to me and others through the Gospel. I’ve learned that the only way that we can be truly happy is by keeping the commandments that the Lord has given us, and seeking to do His will in all things.

I love you all, and I’m ever so greatful for your love and support!

Élder Chapman Tew

April 10°, 2017

Olá!

This past week was awesome! It was a little different than most, just like last week was!

On Tuesday, we had a P-Day with the entire mission. We all met up in the Botanical Gardens in São Paulo. The day was full of a bunch of field-day type events involving all the zones, a big lunch, and a talent show. It was fun to get together with everyone to be able to talk with some of the missionaries that I already knew, as well as get to know some of the others that I had yet to meet.

original

The day of the Mission P-Day, we left the park around 5:30 and went to a nearby hospital. I had an ingrown toenail and needed to get it cut out. It was hurting every time I bumped into something, as well as bleeding and secreting a bit of pus so I thought it was time to get it looked at! We went to the hospital by the Mission Office and they weren’t able to resolve anything. We got out late, and ended up sleeping at the secretaries’ house rather than travel home late. It was cool to get to spend some time with them a bit, and try out the new pizza place they found! We woke up early the next morning to get home and back to our routine.

original

On Thursday morning, we went to a hospital in our area for me to see a doctor that I had heard was good with ingrown toenails. He ended up cutting out a nice slice of my nail that same day (after applying a local anesthetic). As we left there just after lunch my toe started throbbing. He told me that the first day would be rough and that after that I would be fine. We went home and I took some pain meds and rested for a few hours before we went back out to work that night.

This week we had a cool lesson with the man named Guimarães that we’re teaching. He had a problem with smoking, so we made “chá de fumo” for him. It’s essentially a tea made from the tobacco leaves from a few cigarettes. It’s absolutely revolting, but helps those who smoke to not have the desire to do so any more. Guimarães said the next day that just the thought of smoking make him nauseous! He’s progressing really well, and should be baptized in another week or two!

This week we baptized Ana Karoline (Carol) and Lívia. Carol is the sister of the girl we baptized last week, Grazieli. Her mom stood up during the baptismal meeting and declared that she would be baptized if we could get her 17 year-old son to go to church for two weeks. Needless to say, we’re planning on baptizing the two of them in a few short weeks! Lívia is the daughter of two members that went inactive for a time. We’re working together with her family to help get them back in shape!

Today is transfer day! I will remain in my current area (Yay!) and my companion, Elder Capello, will be transferred. He’s been designated as the new Assistant to the President. He’s an awesome Elder and will do a wonderful job! My new companion will be Elder Foote, who, until today, was one of the district leaders in our zone. He’ll be my first American companion! I’m excited to see what these next few weeks will hold.

A few weeks ago a decision was made that my return date would be changed. I’ll now be returning home on July 3rd, to arrive in Florida on July 4th! I’ll be accompanied by Elder Watson who’s from South Carolina. I’m both excited and sad. I’m ready for the next stage of my life to begin, but at the same time I’m not quite yet ready to let go of this one. I love missionary work, and the changes that it has wrought on my life, and the lives of those whom I’ve been privileged to teach.

original

My mom asked me today, “what are the three biggest things that you’ve learned on your mission?” My response was:
Repentance is not something that is negative in any way, shape, or form, but rather something that is extremely positive and should be an important part of our lives. Before my mission I often imagined repentance as something humiliating, embarassing, or unimaginably hard. But it’s not! The Lord delights in our repentance. He loves us, and desires that we become more like Him. To do so, we must pass through the same situations that He Himself passed through at some point in His existence. We must be tried and tested so that we can become better and more experienced. Repentance is the only manner by which we can truly become Godly. I’ve learned that Christ’s Atonement is sufficient for all of us. There is no “point of no return”. He will always accept us if we present a broken heart and contrite spirit unto Him. As much as I’ve learned about the Atonement and Jesus Christ, I’ve also learned about the Enemy. After the Heavenly Counsel in which Lucifer presented his plan unto God and was rejected, he rebeled against God and took 1/3 of all the heavenly hosts with him. When they left the presence of God they didn’t pass through the Veil of Forgetfulness like we did. They came straight here. Since the very moment in which man stepped foot on planet earth Satan and his minions have been doing everything they can to ruin our progress and make us “miserable like unto [themselves]”. They know us since we were in our pre-mortal state, have been here with us since we were born, and have always been paying attention to our every move so that they can know better how to mess us up. The evil force that is against righteousness is very real, and very powerful. I think that we forget that at times, and forget how really important it is. We must recognize Satan and his power, and then do everything that we can to build up our shields and battle armor to be prepared when the moment comes to fight against him, be it something big or small. I’ve learned how to recognize the presence of the Spirit and how to seek for that presence constantly. I can tell the difference between the moments in which he is with me and those in which he is not. I’ve learned that keeping the commandments and searching to do my best at doing so brings the spiritual power necessary to do all that Heavenly Father has asked of me.

I’m so grateful for this Gospel, and for my Savior Jesus Christ. I’m proud to be His representative at this point in my life. This mission experience is changing my life completely, and I’ll be forever grateful for it. I love you all, and I thank you for all that you do to love and support me!

Até Mais,
Élder Chapman Tew

Abril 3°, 2017

Hi, all!

This past week was awesome! On Tuesday we went to the Temple in São Paulo. It’s always a wonderful experience to be able to take some time off from our busy missionary schedule to do some work within the Temple. I intend to make temple attendance an integral part of my week while living in Utah and studying at BYU.

f64b2f02d04a34d8bd1a6c9613ad83e62e7ec6a9

Elder Capello and Elder Tew

Elder Capello and Elder Tew

We worked this week to prepare Graziely for baptism. She and and her sister, Carol, and her mother, Vera, have been accepting the discussions the last two weeks. Carol will be baptized next week, and their mother as soon as she can get some things worked out! They’re an awesome family. They have an older brother that has showed some interest as well. Graziely was baptized in between the General Conference sessions on Sunday. We had a joint baptism with some of the other Elders from our zone that were watching conference in our ward building. It was sweet!

82938ee0d2756de37aad24292782920ba6005ba0

We’ve been teaching a man named Guimarães. He’s a little older and has been very receptive to all that we’ve had to teach. Every time we go to his house he’s felt the Spirit so much that he’s cried, and always wants to hug us as we leave. He’s an awesome person, and has lots of desire to leave behind his sins and follow Christ’s example.

General Conference was wonderful! It’s like Christmas for missionaries. We were able to take a few people to the sessions and they all loved it! We’re blessed to be able to hear the words of the living prophets of God here on the earth today. Although God never changes and His teachings are the same today as they were a thousand years ago, the manner in which we learn them has changed over time. Today we have the privilege of having the fullness of the Gospel on the earth brought to us through restored Priesthood authority.

1dd10f0766be779ec63b8af073eca08f30b340b3

Throughout my mission I’ve been able to strengthen my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon, and the power of the Priesthood. I’m thankful to have been born to such awesome parents in a home where the Gospel is present. As expressed in one of the conference talks, it is extrememly important that we all gain our own personal testimony of these things, through which we can remain strong even in times of weakness or struggle.

I bear witness that Jesus is The Christ, and that he Atoned for our sins. I know that we are all capable of being forgiven of all of our sins if we show the Lord that we have a broken heart and contrite spirit. There is no hole deep or dark enough that we might have dug for ourselves that we can’t climb back out of with Christ’s help. He loves us and delights in our repentance. In doing so, we are taking part of the blessings offered to us through his atoning sacrifice. I invite all to come unto Christ and partake of the sweet blessings that await us as we follow Him diligently. I leave these things with you all in His name, Amen.

-Élder Chapman Tew

March 20°, 2017

Hi, all!

This past week was wonderful! There were some pretty interesting events that took place.

We got a call on Wednesday morning and received the notification that one of the members of the ward (who was less-active) had died. He had passed away on Tuesday night, and that day they were already going to have the viewing and funeral. They like to do things fast in Brazil. All of the ward leaders were going to have to work most of the day, so they asked us to go to the Church and help take charge until just after lunch when the Bishop would be able to arrive. We spent most of the morning and part of the afternoon at the churhc with the Bishop’s wife and relatives of the deceased man. I had never met him, nor any members of his family. It was an interesting yet saddening experience to watch as they all said their goodbyes to him. I had the privilege of playing the piano for the funeral service. I had never done that before. Despite the melancholy air about the room, I was able to feel the presence of the Spirit as he comforted the family in their time of grieving. The Bishop bore his testimony during the funeral service. He spoke of the Plan of Salvation, and the opportunity that we all have to return to live with God again if we live our lives as He has asked us to. It was a powerful experience.

e877028e5c05f7d5dbb7c7dde28a061068d5c484

We were finally able to get in contact with a woman that the previous Elders had been teaching. Her name is Renata. Her daughter, Ana Paula (18), moved to the US two years ago for a foreign-exchange program. After she finished high school, she decided to stay there and study at one of the universities there. She lives in Utah, and consequently was converted and baptized in the church while there. Her mother, Renata, went out to Utah to visit her, view her baptism, and spend Christmas with her in December. While there, she had a number of spiritual experiences while at Temple Square, and her daughter’s baptism. She said that she was able to notice a marked difference in the environment in Utah compared to that of São Paulo. She said that she believed that the proximity that the population has with God makes a huge difference in the overall spirit of the location. We’re doing our best to help her recognize the Spirit in her life, and gain a testimony of the Gospel. We hope that within the next few weeks we’ll be able to baptize her and her two younger children.

We have an English class that goes on in our ward every Thursday night. We went for the first time this week and were absolutely astonished at what we found. There were at least 50 people there, three of which were members of the Church. We were able to talk to a few of them, and have made appointments with them for this week!

Elder Capello and Elder Tew

Elder Capello and Elder Tew

On Saturday we received money for our lunch instead of eating with members. We decided to use said money (and quite a bit of our own money) to go to Outback! There’s one right in the middle of our area attached to a mall. It’s situated outside of the actual mall, so we didn’t have to ask permission to go there. It was great! I was contemplating whether or not to get dessert. I thought about my mom and her love for the “Chocolate Thunder from Down Under” and decided that I would partake as homage. Sometimes you’ve just got to make the sacrifice!

Elder Tew and his Chocolate Thunder

Elder Tew and his Chocolate Thunder

 

We met a teenage girl named Taís this past Saturday. We invited her to church on Sunday, and she came! Generally people take some prodding to come the first time, but she showed up by herself 30 minutes before the meetings started. She’s 14, and an awesome girl. She has lots of desire to know more about the church!

Well, I’m short on time. To quote myself from a letter that I wrote to a friend today, “I KNOW and feel in every fiber of my being that the Gospel is true, and that it changes lives. It has changed mine continually as every day has passed by. I’m excited to see what the Lord has in store for me during my life. Following Him is not the easiest choice, but it is certainly the best one.” May the Lord bless each and every one of you.

Much Love,
Élder Chapman Tew