Monthly Archives: May 2017

May 22°, 2017

Olá!

Well, it’s been another fast week! Since it was the week of transfers we had lots of abnormal events that took place. On Tuesday we went to the transfer meeting where the new missionaries arrive and the ones that are finishing their missions bear their final testimonies. I requested permission from President to go so that I could say goodbye to Elder Raulino (now known as Bruno). He was my first companion in the mission field as well as my trainer, and we’ve maintained a strong bond throughout both of our missions. I was sad to see him go, but excited for him to get started on the next part of his life. I received a letter from him today letting me know that he arrived at home safely and was well received. I was a little nervous that his family wouldn’t be there to support him, but it turns out that almost his entire ward was waiting for him in the arrivals terminal. He feels good and has had a great start to his new life so far!

DSCN6158

Thursday we had a Mission Leadership Council meeting at President Broadbent’s house. We woke up early that day to get a ride with a member (Homero) that works close to there. We were able to get a quick tour of his business before heading to President’s house. We spent almost the entire day there and got back just in time to help teach the advanced English class in our ward building that night.

DSCN6182

Despite all the extracurricular activies that took place this week, we were still able to teach 42 lessons, take 6 people to church this Sunday, find 18 new investigators, and maintain 7 people on date for baptism. We’ve made some goals to add a whole bunch of people to our teaching pool. President Broadbent has asked that we try to maintain around 40 people progressing towards baptism at all times. We’re like half way there, and working hard to hit the goal!

DSCN6186

I’ve learned to recognize more clearly how Satan works against those that we teach. As soon as he sees that they’re doing something good in their life he starts trying to mess them up. We’ve got one man that we’ve been teaching for like two months that hasn’t been baptized yet because he’s struggling to stop smoking. Since it’s a habit that he’s had for over 40 years, it’s proved to be really difficult for him to stop. This week, however, he’s seemed to have found a lot more willpower to fight against the temptations. He’s gone several days without smoking, and then ends up smoking one or two cigarettes before stoping again. We’re almost there!

DSCN6156

Today marks six weeks from my departure date. It doesn’t seem real at all. I’ve immersed myself in the missionary life and it’s hard to imagine actually being outside of it anymore. I’m determined to make my last six weeks count, and give my all until the very last minute that I have here. This is an experience that I’ve waited for my whole life, and will remember for the rest of my life afterwards. I’ve got to make the most of it while I’m still here! There are lots of God’s children that still need to hear my testimony.

I love you all, and thank you, once again, for all your love and support.
Élder Chapman Tew

May 15°, 2017

Olá!

Another day, another Real spent! Time seems to be slipping through my fingers. I can’t believe that in seven weeks I’ll be back home!

DSCN6115

We’ve had lots of progress made with the people we’re teaching, and we’ve recently found a bunch of new people to teach that look promising. Last Sunday night, one of our investigators was run over by a car. Well, he’s actually the father of one of our investigators. He had fought with his son and was inebriated. He decided that it was not worth living anymore and walked straight into the freeway that runs along the side of our area. The oncoming car was able to swerve a bit and he hit the side of the car rather than the front. We had just arrived at his house when his family got the news. They jumped in the car and went to go see what had happened. We made our way there and found him laying in the middle of the road all cut up and out of it. He was moving and moaning. We got there just as the ambulance arrived. They whisked him away to the hospital. He’s now alright, but still in the hospital. His lung was punctured so he’s staying there until it heals up. Lots of fun!

DSCN6136

Renato, whom we’ve been teaching for a month or so, was supposed to be baptized last week but was not. He got to church with all his stuff in hand and was all ready to go. Right before the last hour was about to start, he said that he had to go home to resolve things with his wife. We later found out that he had texted her during church to tell her that he was going to be baptized and she, obviously, kind of freaked out! We went there during this last week to talk to her about everything. She’s still not super comfortable with his baptism, but we believe that everything will work out for him to be baptized this week.

DSCN6122

Renata, who is the woman with two kids that we’ve been teaching, told us last Sunday night that she was ready to prepare herself for baptism! It’s been a long battle with her, trying to get her to go to church and keep the commitments that she makes with us, but we’ve finally reached the point where she’s really excited about it. She told us later in the week about some problems she’s been having in her life, principally with her divorce from her now ex-husband. She said that in her hour of need she looked to the Book of Mormon, the Liahona articles, and prayed to receive comfort. We’re beyond excited to see how wonderfully she’s progressed in the last few weeks!

DSCN6143

As I sat in sacrament meeting yesterday trying to entertain Renata’s 8 year-old son Gustavo, I stopped for a minute to think about how happy I was in that moment. I identified clearly in my mind a number of recent situations in which I’ve been able to feel an overwhelming outpouring of joy from my soul. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is centered on love and the constant search to become better in an effort to be able to return back to God’s presence some day. Being 100% involved in the work of spreading the Gospel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week has taught me how wonderfully full of the Spirit our lives can be if we but search to fill it with His presence. Missionary work makes me so happy! It’s really hard at times, but it’s totally worth it when I’m able to see the difference that it has made in my own life, and the lives of those I teach.

DSCN6151

I thank the Lord daily for the things that He’s done in my life over the past 22 months. I feel as if I’ve progressed emotionally and spiritually more in that time than I could have in 20 years had I decided not to serve a mission. I testify that Christ lives, that He loves us, and that He wants our best. He never will abandon us even though we often choose to abandon Him. All of us are qualified to receive bountiful blessings by His hand if we do our very best to live the commandments and repent of our errors. There does not exist a “point of no return” as far as our salvation goes. Christ has given all of us the invitation to follow Him, and quite the reception awaits for all those who accept it.

With much love,
Élder Chapman Tew

May 1°, 2017

Olá!

This past week has once again passed by in a blur. The days pass by in the blink of an eye. Every time I stop to think, the time I have in Brazil gets shorter and shorter. July 3rd is only two months away! In some emails I’ve exchanged with my other mission colleagues, we’ve all reached the conclusion that time does, indeed, fly.

DSCN6092

I had kind of a funny experience at the end of last week that I forgot to write about. After zone conferences, Élder Foote and I had to go with Élder Pulley and Élder Gaona to do baptismal interviews for three young men they were preparing to baptize this last week. We took a bus to get to our area, and then one more bus to get to where these boys live. Right as we got close to their house, we got off the bus and stepped into a light rain. We asked Élder Pulley where these boys lived. And he, in response, pointed towards a large, ominous hill that seemed to lead straight to the sky.

As we started to climb the incline, the light rain began to intensify into an outright downpour. The road we were walking soon turned into a rain gutter as the streams of water along the sides of the road widened until the entire road was covered by one continuous water rapid. Our slow, steady pace quickened until we were in a flat out sprint to the top. Naturally not one of us brought an umbrella, so within seconds we were all soaked! The funniest part is that we were all laughing like a bunch of fools! When we got to the person’s house, we were all dripping wet and tired. However, the work was all worth it! The boys were baptized last week.

I’ve started to take advantage of the variety of fruits that are available here in Brazil. This last week I bought 48 oranges (to make juice), bananas, mangoes, limes, a pineapple, passion fruit, avocadoes, kale, beets, and carrots. I’ve invented a whole variety of juices using different combinations of all of these. My favorites are orange juice with lime and kale as well as passion fruit juice with beets!

DSCN6082

We’ve continued to teach Renato throughout these last weeks. He’s proved to be an absolutely wonderful person and a truly golden investigator! He has been marked to be baptized this next week. We hope that everything works out!

We’re also making great progress with Renata. She and her children have been coming to church the past two weeks. She’s shown a lot more interest and desire as of late. We hope to get them all on date here soon.

On Sunday night, we found ourselves with two hours to go until we needed to be home and we hadn’t met our goals for the week for new investigators and investigators with a baptismal date. We went to one of our investigator’s homes to try and find his wife and children who he said would be home and would want to hear our message. We were pleased to find his wife and two sons there all ready and willing to talk with us! Within a few minutes, Jeferson’s wife (Priscilla) transformed from a closed and quiet person into a happy and smiling one as she opened her heart to our words.

We left their house and made our way towards another investigator’s house. One the way there, I felt impressed to knock on the door of an ex-investigator of ours. He was not there, but his mother and sister were. We spent the better part of the next hour talking with them about the church. By the time we left, both of them had a baptismal date marked and were super excited to learn more about Christ’s Restored Gospel. Had we not been determined to meet our goals, we wouldn’t have met all these wonderful people!

I’m loving my mission and the opportunity that I have to serve the Lord at this time! I love you all and thank you for your love and support!

Élder Tew

05011701