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.

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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

March 6°, 2017

Hi, All!

This past week passed by in a whirlwind. Monday afternoon after we finished sending emails we went back home and I left almost immediately for my new area. I got an Uber rather than lugging my 150 pounds of baggage on the trains and busses. I arrived at the bus terminal where the rest of the zone was congregated, and waited on everyone to arrive. As soon as the missionaries that were new to the zone arrived, they all left with their compaions for their respective areas. We were fortunate enough to run into some members that offered to give us a ride home. We are whitewashing the area, so at that point we had no idea where we were going. We made it home that night, left our stuff at home, and went out to try and get to know our area a bit. We managed to get lost on the way home, but ran into more members that helped us out with directions!

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Elders Lewis, Tew, and Chandler

My new area is called Baeta Neves, in the São Bernardo Stake. My companion(s) are Elder Capello, from Londrina, Paraná, and Elder Pulley, from Pleasant Grove, Utah. I was supposed to end up with one companion, but things didn’t exactly work out like they were supposed to!

Elders Pulley, Capello, and Tew

Elders Pulley, Capello, and Tew

On Tuesday, we went to São Judas in São Paulo for a meeting for new zone leaders, and to take Elder Pulley to get his new companion. He was supposed to train a greenie, whom he would pick up at this same meeting that we had to go to. We were notified once we got there that Elder Pulley’s new companion had not made it to the mission, and had to wait for further instructions. We stuck around at the meeting most of the day and found out that night that Elder Pulley would have to stay with us for the time being until a new companion could be arranged for him.

Baeta Neves

Baeta Neves

That same day, while at this meeting, one of the sisters that arrived with me in the mission, Sister Caylee Hubert, came back with her parents to visit! Her dad is a pilot, so they get free plane tickets. I had been in contact with them several times during my service in the Mission Office, so it was cool to put a face to the names. I also had the opportunity to translate part of the meeting for them so they could understand what was going on. Cool experience!

The Huberts

The Huberts

On our second day in the area, we taught an atheist. It was interesting to hear his take on things. I guess there’s not much more that can be said about that!

The same day we taught the atheist dude, we ended up walking around and street contacting people to try and find some new people to teach. While doing so, we ran into two men from the ward that were doing their home teaching. It was so amazing that it was almost startling! Throughout the week we were able to meet a few of the members during lunch, and as we passed by the church at night. We were able to meet the rest of them at church on Sunday. From what we’ve seen so far, they’re all super nice and helpful! They seem to be really good people. We’re excited to work with them.

This area is significantly different than my last one. It’s situated in the center of São Bernardo do Campo, and has lots of richer parts as well as a few poorer ones. The previous missionaries left several awesome people for us to teach, about four of which we’re supposed to baptize next week! The ward is what I would consider to be exemplary. Things seem to function just as they should, which is super helpful for us. We’re working throughout the whole area which was meant for two different compaionships to work in. We’ve walked a TON every day. I’ve lost seven pounds over the last seven days. I can’t complain!

We had a cool spiritual experince while at church this week. We’re teaching a girl named Eliane, who is 32 years-old. While sitting next to her at church on Sunday, Elder Capello leaned over to talk to her just as the Sacrament was about to be blessed and passed. He said, “this is the most spiritual, important, and reverent part of the meeting. If you’d like, you could use this time to pray and ask God if all the things that we’ve taught you and the things that you’ve heard today are true.” She nodded her head and sat back up again. A few moments later she bowed her head, closed her eyes, and began to pray. She remained that way for several minutes. I felt prompted to do the same. I prayed asking that the Lord would give her the response that she needed, and asked that she would be able to feel the Spirit. I felt the warmth brought on by the presence of the Holy Ghost as I finished my prayer, and knew that I had done the right thing. During the rest of the meeting she prayed several more times, each time wiping the tears from her eyes as she finished. While talking to her afterwards, she indicated that she had, indeed, received her response.

This experience helped strengthen my testimony, and confirmed to me once again that prayers really can be answered if we have an open heart and real intent to follow the promptings that we receive.

I’m so thankful for the privilege that I have to serve the Lord during these two years. It’s been an immensely rewarding experience!

I thank you all for your support, and send my love to you from Brazil!

Élder Chapman Tew

February 27°, 2017

Olá!

This week was absolutely wonderful! We were able prepare Richard to be baptized on Saturday. We worked with him all week to get him ready. He’s 13 years old, and has aquired an awesome desire to change his life and enter into the straight and narrow path. The other elders in our district had set up to baptize two young men at the Stake’s youth conference, so we got in on that deal. It turned out to be a really cool experience! We tried to turn it into a positive experience for the young men who are preparing to serve their own missions.

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While there we encountered Rodrigo who was baptized a few weeks ago. When we saw him during the middle of the week, he had already packed up all his stuff a few days in advance to be ready to go on a trip. We participated in some of the activities they were doing as judges, and were able to observe his participation. The difference in his life between now and when we first met him is stunning.

Youth Conference

Youth Conference

On Thursday of this week, I did a division with said Elders in the neighboring ward of Pérola da Serra. I was able to interview two teenage brothers to see if they were ready to be baptized. I was amazed by the desire that the two had to follow Christ’s example. They were both examples to me of individuals that have allowed the Lord’s desires to surpass their own.

We got the calls last night for transfers. I’ll be going to the Baeta Neves Ward in São Bernardo do Campo to be a Zone Leader with Elder Capello. We’ll be whitewashing the area, so it should be lots of fun! Elder Macedo will remain in our current area and will train a new missionary. He’s about as nervous and excited as I am! It’s amazing how attached and comfortable we’re able to get with people after such a short period of time. I love my ward here, as well as the members and the people we’re teaching. However, I know that the Lord has a purpose in my being transferred, so I’m just going to do what he asks!

I had a day this week that I got really worried about my personal progress whilst here on my mission. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist, and I think that I judge myself more than the Lord Himself does at times. I had been thinking about that a lot, and decided to share my thoughts with my companion. I asked him to give me a blessing, during which he responded to all of the questions that I had. I know that the Lord is aware of me and my individual needs. I’m so grateful for that!

I wish you all a wonderful week!

Much love,
Élder Chapman Tew

February 20°, 2017

Hey!

This past week absolutely flew by. We hardly had time to breathe! We had a miracle baptism this week. We had worked hard the past couple of weeks to prepare a young man to be baptized. He was all set for this week, but then ended up traveling with his grandfather. After that, we were frustrated that all of our efforts to start baptizing weekly weren’t being quite as fruitful as we wanted. On Thursday we received an answer to our prayers. Another young man that we had been teaching moved back into our area. We were able to teach him everything that he lacked and get him prepared for baptism. He prayed, and felt like everything we had taught him was true! It was an awesome experience. We feel like the Lord helped us reach our goals despite all the things that happened to mess us up.

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Today we woke up early and went with four other Elders from our zone to the waterfalls that sit within our area. It was an amazingly peaceful and relaxing experience, despite all the physical efforts involved.

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I appologize that my letter is short this week. I’m running short on time! I love you all, and thank you for your love and support.

Élder Chapman Tew

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February 13° 2017

Hi, all!

One more week has come and gone! We’ve continued working hard and are continually seeing more and more results from it. We’ve met several people this week that are interested in the message we have to share.

Paulo and Daniela are a young couple that went to church with one of the ward members two weeks ago. We’ve only taught them a couple of times due to Daniela’s work schedule, but the visits we’ve had have been wonderful. This past Thursday we taught about the Word of Wisdom. Of the two, Daniela was the only one with any issues. She’s been drinking coffee daily since her childhood, but committed to stop drinking it. We got word from Paulo on Saturday that she’s stopped, and is having some severe headaches from the lack of caffeine. However, she’s pushing through! I admire her desire to change and be obedient to the commandments, especially considering how recently she began to learn about the Gospel.

This past Saturday we spent the whole morning doing a service project at Paulo’s house, who is an AWESOME member of the ward who helps us out constantly. He’s the only member in his family, and we’ve just started teaching his nephew, Antônio. They have several shallow ponds that they were using to breed fish until they flooded and lost everything. Since then they’ve become really overgrown, so he invited us to help clean them out. We got a lot of work done, and were really able to bond with him and his family a little bit better. That was the first time my poor white legs and neck had seen the light of day in quite some time! I forgot to wear sunscreen (I know, Mom. I will next time) and suffered because of that for a couple days. I’ve now got a myriad of different shades of skin on my various appendages!

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Last week I had an interesting experience while on the train going to a doctor’s appointment for my companion. I was reading the February issue of The Liahona while on the way to Vila Olímpia and suddenly was overcame with an intense feeling of the Holy Spirit. I felt His warm embrace, and a confirmation of the things that I was reading. I was reminded of the Youth Theme from a few years ago: “Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen.” (D&C 87:8) I now have a testimony that we’re all capable of feeling the Spirit regardless of where we may be, even in a busy and packed public transportation train at rush hour.

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This week I got caught up a little bit in thinking about my imperfections. I had been thinking about my life, the things I had done, and all the progress that I have made towards becoming better. Elder Macedo had asked me to explain a scripture in Ether to him, and after reading it a couple of times in Portuguese I decided to pick up my English scriptures to try and get a different perspective on the wording. When I opened up to the page, I was met by a scripture that I had marked up before that reads:

“Now behold, O Lord, and do not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires.” (Ether 3:2)

The scripture was accompanied by a note that says: “The Brother of Jared, one of the greatest prophets of all time.” I thought about how he must’ve felt as he was asking the Lord for help. Even he, being an exemplary spiritual warrior, felt like he wasn’t good enough to be asking the Lord for things. I compared my own situation to his. While I am not now nor have ever previously been a saintly figure, I know that I’m worthy of calling upon my Father in Heaven so that I “may receive according to (my) desires” as long as I’ve done all that I can to repent and become better. I’m very grateful for my Savior and His Atonement. I testify of our ability to become clean through His grace. I know that He is waiting with open arms to receive all those who will receive Him. I invite all to take the necessary steps to become clean and worthy to “stand uprightly before God”. True repentance requires a broken heart and a contrite spirit, accompanied by the profound desire to change and become better. Forgiveness is available to all of us through Christ’s Grace. None of us are excluded from that offer. If we are, then it is because we have chosen to exclude ourselves. Our exaultation will not be handed to us on a silver platter, but will remain within our reach if we but search for it with all of our heart, might, mind and strength.

I testify of the truthfullness of these things, in the name of Jesus Christ, whom I represent, Amen.

Élder Chapman Tew

February 6°, 2017

Hi, all!

This last week passed by in a flash. It’s finally stopped raining so much here, so we’ve been able to dry ourselves and our shoes out a bit.

I started the week off with a really nice infected blister on my foot. I got a combo bacterial and fungal infection which made for really comfortable walking conditions. I was able to get some meds from the dermatologist that helped fight the infection and brought down the inflammation. I’m now walking normally and comfortably again!

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We went to Vila Olímpia, which is on the other side of São Paulo, on Wednesday for a doctor’s appointment for Élder Macedo. After the appointment we enjoyed lunch at the Brazilian version of Carrabba’s! We sat outside and did some people watching in one of the wealthier business districts of São Paulo.

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At the start of this transfer we had a few rough weeks. The rain wasn’t helping us work more effectively, and we weren’t having much success in general. This past week has been the absolute opposite, for which we have been extremely grateful! We’ve been able to find some awesome new people to teach and reconnect with old investigators that have become interested once again. We have been able to see very clearly how the Lord was testing us and preparing us for what we’re doing now.

Yesterday Rodrigo (16), who we’ve been teaching for about a month, was baptized, and I had the privilege of performing the ordinance. Since we sat down with him a few weeks ago and had a “Come to Jesus” meeting with him, he’s changed his life completely. He has a visible light within him that testifies of the wonderful cleansing power of Christ’s Atonement. After his baptismal service yesterday, he came up and hugged each one of us and thanked us for helping him out. I’m so thankful for the opportunity that I’m having to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands!

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I love my mission and the work I’m doing. I love the change it has wrought in my life, and the lives of those I’ve encountered whilst here. I’m thankful for all the love and support that I receive, and love you all immensely!

Until next time,
Élder Chapman Tew

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