Monthly Archives: June 2017

June 18°, 2017

Hi, All!

These past couple of weeks have, once again, been super busy! I would love to be able to push a “pause” button to stop and catch my breath. I’m currently sitting in the Mission Office awaiting my turn to be interviewed by President Broadbent. Since I’ll be leaving two weeks into the transfer, I’ll be participating in all of the end-of-mission events with the others that’ll be leaving on Tuesday. Tomorrow, we’ll spend the day in a training that the church gives that’s focused on self-sufficiency, followed by dinner at the President’s apartment. On Tuesday, there will be a meeting with the whole mission where we’ll meet the arriving missionaries and bear our testimonies about our missions for them. I don’t think it’s really sunken in yet that I’ll be leaving in two weeks. I feel so strange! I feel excited and ready for the next phase of my life to start, but at the same time I’m not really ready for this phase to end. I suppose that all plays a part! My mind is racing and wandering around as I write this, so I apologize if it lacks coherence.

I found out at 8:15 this morning that I would be transferred this afternoon. President Broadbent called and told me that for the last two weeks I’d be in trio with Elder Westenhaver (American) and Elder W. Souza (Brazilian). We went to church, ate lunch, and ran home so I could pack all my stuff up in 90 minutes and then leave for the Mission Office. I was grateful to have known before church got over so that I could say goodbye to some of the members. I’d been there four months and had been able to develop some pretty great relationships with lots of the members and youth. I was sad to have to say goodbye, but I feel better knowing that technology will allow me to maintain contact with them all once I’ve made it home!

This week we were able to attend the wedding of Renata and her now husband, whose name is Alírio. It was the second time I’d participated in a Brazilian wedding, and this time I was one of the witnesses! From start to finish, the wedding took three hours. Afterwards, we went to her mother’s apartment complex and had a lunch with her family there. Elder Foote and I made brownies with hot fudge sauce and a chocolate mousse pie to take. Both were a hit!

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The following day (Saturday) we had an big stake-wide service project. We spent almost the whole day cleaning up, painting, and otherwise bettering a big park. After it was over, we went home and showered and got dressed to go back to the church for Renata’s baptism. Both she and her son, Gustavo, were baptized. Her family was in attendance. They’re all fairly devout Catholics so it was nice that they were there to support her. We Skyped her daughter, Ana Paula, that’s living in Utah. We had invited her to give a talk and it turned out to be really cool! The Spirit was really strong throughout the whole meeting. We made two different types of cupcakes for treats: red velvet with cream cheese frosting, and chocolate with Nutella frosting. I got the recipies from one of the ward members, Melissa, who has a small baking business that she runs with her family out of their home. We bought the ingredients (which are SUPER expensive here… like $60 US) and stayed up late to make everything. It turned out well and all were happy so I guess it was a success!

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Other than that, I can’t really think of any other really exciting events to relate. Elder Foote and I worked hard these past couple of weeks trying to find new people to teach, and trying to help out those that we were already teaching.

I can say that I love missionary work and my role in it. My mission has been one of the most wonderful experiences that I’ve had thus far in my life. I’ve learned so much, and have gained a much stronger testimony. I feel much more prepared to take on life now than I ever did before. I know my Father in Heaven loves each one of us individually, and that he wants our best. I know that He has a plan for all of us, and that Christ’s Atonement plays a crucial role in that plan. I love my Savior, and am eternally grateful for all that He has done on my behalf. I’m going to use the next two weeks to give Him all I’ve got! I guess it’s the least I could do.

I love you all, and thank you for your support. I’m excited to re-encounter everyone in a few short days!

Until then,
Élder Chapman Tew

It looks like Elder Tew ran into another person with heterochromia! Her eyes are blue and brown while his are green and brown.

It looks like Elder Tew ran into another person with heterochromia! Her eyes are blue and brown while his are green and brown.

June 5°, 2017

Hi, All!

The clock is ticking, and the time is passing by faster than I can manage! Things have been great over the past couple of weeks. We’ve been able to find a whole bunch of wonderful new investigators that are really interested in the church, and we’ve also made a lot of progress with the people that we were already teaching.

Here's a group of missionaries being resourceful to fill up a font in a hurry after something went wrong.

Here’s a group of missionaries being resourceful to fill up a font in a hurry after something went wrong.

Our ward here is wonderful! As we were sitting in church last week I started to think about how much they help us, how they treat their callings, etc. In Gospel Principles, for example, the Elders Quorum President and the Bishop are almost always present, as well as a few other members we put with our investigators to help them out. While in a Priesthood Executive Council meeting a few weeks ago, the new Elders Quorum president talked about how they had fasted and prayed to know what to do to help out their quorum with home teaching visits, who they should pair with who, etc. I can see lots of desire on their behalf to better their ward and so far it’s working out great! There’s one recent convert in particular here who was baptized with his wife in January. His name is Rafael. He actively searches for opportunities to take time out of his busy schedule to help us out. If we ever ask him for anything he’s immediately willing to help out. One day this week, we stopped by and asked him for a reference of anyone he might know that we could teach. He called us later that night and told us to be at his house the next day at 4 PM to teach the son of one of his employees. He’s a perfect example of a member missionary!

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The past couple of weeks we’ve seen lots of success with Renata! She and her kids are progressing wonderfully. As we’ve been over to visit her, we’ve often found her reading the Gospel Principles book, and have been told about all kinds of documentaries and things that she’s watched on Youtube about the Church and the Book of Mormon. Thankfully she’s found the good stuff and not the bad! She’s got an awesome testimony and will be baptized next weekend!

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So this week we had an interesting experience with a thief. We were walking to an appointment and passed in front of the home of a guy that we’d taught briefly a couple of times before. He was super happy to see us and invited us inside. His house is one long narrow room that’s probably about 3/4 the size of my bedroom at home. His furniture consists of a twin bed, a small stove, a refrigerator, and a small armoire. We sat down and talked to him for a bit, asked him how his life was going, etc. He told us he had broken up with his girlfriend and was having a rough time. We soon learned that he’d started robbing people to make ends meet. We noticed that we were sitting right beside a woman’s purse and that its contents were dumped out all over his bed. We talked to him about how that wasn’t something that he should be doing, how he needed to stop and repent, and how the Lord would bless him for it. I could tell that he really trusted us so I decided to ask him to give me her bag, cards, ID, and anything else that he was just going to throw away so that I could get them back to the person. He’d already taken the money and sold her phone at that point. I felt somewhat prompted to do that, even though the thought scared me. He agreed, and gave us all her stuff. That night we were able to use a bill she had in her bag to locate where she lived. We called the gate guard (who’s number we found on someone’s phone using the Almighty Google) at her apartment complex and asked him to give her our contact information. The next day her husband came and picked up the bag from us. It was a rather unique experience!

Well, I guess that’s it for today. I love you all so much, and I thank you for your consistent love and support!

Até mais,

Élder Chapman Tew