Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Short Email -- More on Saturday . . .

From mom: Elder Titus is involved in training this week to be a district leader. He was allowed to send a brief email to me, which read:

Yo mamãe, tudo bem?

Então, estou na conferência ainda, mas o Presidente deixou a gente mandar email para as nossas familias dizendo que poderemos mandar um email no sábado. (Translation: So, I'm still at the conference, but the President let us send an email to our families saying we can send an email on Saturday).

I have to go to Jacarezinho sometime on Saturday to do a baptismal interview, and I don't know when I will have time to use the internet, but, I should have some time to send you something.

Conference is going great!!


Elder Titus

(From mom: Check back on Sunday. If Derek finds the time to send an email, I should have it up by Sunday. Thanks for following his blog!)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

There is nothing as sweet as a person that is converted by the Spirit.

Surprise!!!! I’m still here in Assis. Awesome...

I could have sworn that when I received my call it said that I was going to serve in the “Brazil Londrina Mission.” I think they should change it to “Brazil Assis Mission,” because I've been here and will continue to be here forever. I may indeed not ever get out of this place. My dear friend Elder Dunn who WAS our District Leader in Ourinhos, has left the coop and was transferred to my last area of Bauru, to be Zone Leader -- and I will be taking his place as district leader. I surely didn't see THAT coming. So what is a district leader? Well, he´s still a normal missionary, but has quite a bit more responsibility. First of all, he conducts the district meetings, so he has to plan out the trainings involved, the practices, all based on the necessities of the district. He also is the one that interviews the baptismal candidates of the other areas (in this case the areas of Ourinhos and Jacarezinho). And at the end of the week, he collects the numbers from the other areas, and passes them on to the zone leaders. He, if necessary, corrects any problems with the missionaries in the district. He motivates the missionaries to do better and to reach further, and sometimes if necessary, burns the heck out them if they are fubecas*(I’m not looking forward to doing that, but am completely prepared if necessary). So in conclusion, it should be an interesting experience.

On Wednesday night our dear friend Flavio prayed to know if the church was true and if he should join it. In response, he felt that it indeed is. Well, now it’s easy. There is nothing as sweet as a person that is converted by the Spirit. It makes my part SO much easier. I will admit that some of the people that I have baptized have not been converted completely by the Spirit. Namely, the family of Marlene, but for some people they just don’t need a spiritual confirmation, they just... believe. With Marlene, I invited her to be baptized, and scheduled a date and prepared her until the date, and if she was prepared she would be baptized. To be baptized, a person needs to have 3 things: desire; be keeping the commandments, and be willing to keep them throughout their life. If they have these 3 things, we CAN’T keep them from being baptized. The biggest part of conversion comes after baptism anyway.

So Flavio works on Saturdays, so we marked his baptism for last Sunday. Elder Morris did a great job of baptizing him.

As promised my top 10 most dearly missed foods:
1- French Toast
2- Dairy Queen Blizzards (namely Reeses peanut butter cups)
3- Salmon
4- Teriyaki (it is not found anywhere in this country!!!!)
5- Fettuccini alfredo (yes it is here, but after working at Cucina Fresca for 4 months, nothing comes close)
6- A good ole American burger
7- Real milk (it’s all boxed milk here that can last for a year on the shelf)
8- Cinnamon life cereal
9- Seedless watermelon
10- Pizza Hut (Brazilian pizza is common here, but it is my least favorite food. They just don’t know how it’s done.)

Next week I will not be doing regular missionary work at all. Monday we have a district meeting in Ourinhos, and then we will be going to Marilia to have a “Leadership Conference” with all the district leaders and zone leaders from Marilia, Bauru, Tupa and Presidente Prudente for 4 days with the Assistants and President Tavares. Saturday and Sunday is General Conference in Marilia. I’m not even sure if I will have a p-day next week.

That was a long blog. Take care, and good night!

Elder Titus

*a "fubeca" is a slacker.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

German Pancakes! Blissfulness!

How would you like a chicken for an indoor pet?

Olá meus queridos!

WOW everything went wrong this week!!! Okay! Tudo bem, welcome to my life as a missionary! Just another reminder that I’m in control of nothing!!! (Well, except my attitude, which is just fine.) So we had this activity at the church on Saturday, and it was really fun. We’re doing activities every week, related to missionary work. Each week we share a message from “Preach My Gospel,” because we’re trying to make it a home utilized book, not just a missionary book. And this Saturday was an activity at the church, and we got President Jorge (our branch president) to come, and he shared a message about developing Christ-like attributes, (which just so happens to be my favorite section). Then we ate some cake, and then had some egg racing. Flavio came, and he even brought along a friend, and his friend from the branch came too, as well as his roommate. It was a good turnout from the members, also. Flavio said that he would be coming to church the next day, Sunday. HE DIDN’T SHOW!!!! Arrghhhh! Baptism, cancelled!!! You have to go to church at least 2 times before you can be baptized.

At an investigator’s house, named Eloi, we made root beer. It turns out some missionary that passed through here about 2 years ago left them some extract. And they never used it. So I saw it and got excited. The root beer turned out okay. I told them it would be good with vanilla ice cream, so they went to the store and came back with strawberry and chocolate ice cream. Well.... it wasn’t that bad, but it’s certainly wasn't as good as vanilla would have been.

I sat down and compiled a list of the top 10 things I miss most (not necessarily in order). Family and friends not included.

#1 - French Toast (food has sooo many categories that I will create another top 10 list just for food another time)
#2 - My Bicycle
#3 - My Freedom/Independence
#4 - Wearing Shorts 24/7
#5 - Cold Weather
#6 - BYU-Idaho
#7 - English (Elder Morris doesn’t count, I can’t understand his English)
#8 - American Measuring System (pounds, gallons, miles, feet, inches....)
#9 - Facebook
#10 - Flirting


Here’s a challenge for you. Try to say this: Três Pratos de Trigo, para Três Tigres Tristes. (Roll the “r’s,” but only once; Brazil is not Mexico) Translated: 3 plates of flour for 3 sad tigers.

Well, transfers are next week on Wednesday. I’d rather not stay here for 4 transfers. But we'll see. So, do you remember the zones? Starting from south to north. Iguaçu Falls, Cascavel, Apucarana, Maringá (Elder McCombs!!!), Tiradentes (Londrina #1), Londrina (#2), Bauru (been there, done that), Marilia (current zone), Presidente Prudente, Tupã. Where do you think I will be writing from next week?

Elder Titus

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hanging out with a Brazilian goat

Awesome flowers. I have no idea what kind they are.


This week, like every week, was good, but kinda uneventful -- especially as far as funny stories or spiritual experiences go. Sorry....

Well, my pessimistic prediction was fulfilled as Jozie and family have gone on vacation and won’t return for a week. Baptism, hindered.

For the last 2 weeks we have been having a ward family night on Fridays, in hopes of getting some new investigators from the members. The first week went well, but the four investigators weren’t really investigating. The second week went really well. We did it in Candido Mota, and we had a turn out of 27 people. Nine investigators, one of which was Flavio, a friend of a member who was just baptized last December, named Christiano. Flavio is 23 and he is way cool. He asked questions during our lesson about the Plan of Salvation," that me and the ward mission leader taught. And we went back to teach him the first lesson and he liked it. He even went to church on Sunday, and we have taught him more. Cool guy, super potential. Might just be my last hope before the transfer on the 22nd of this month.

We did a division this last week, and Elder Dunn our District Leader came here. It was nice to teach with someone who could assist. (My companion is still struggling with the Portuguese language.) We taught Augusto an awesome lesson that we had prepared for him about sacrificing. He said that he will make a super effort to come to church this week. And then we taught Flavio about The Book of Mormon.

Well, I will try to make something funny happen this week for ya´ll.

Tchau, until next week.

Elder Titus

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I'm Wanted...

Beautiful Brazilian countryside, just outside of Assis

Supermissionary is called in for the tough jobs!

Olá, meus queridos seguidores, (translation: Hello, my dear followers)

Okay, so sorry I didn’t really give any updates, I know you guys are dying to hear about what’s going on currently in my life, so forgive me, I am unworthy...

So, at the one year mark, all missionaries have to renew their visas, and get re-fingerprinted. We have yet to do this. So, if I get picked up by the police, I’m a gonner. I could get deported. But, it’s the secretary’s problem, and both the secretaries are former companions, ahh, it makes more sense now – they’re getting back at me!! Elder Carter and Elder Villela are their names. If I get deported, I’m egging their houses.

However, until I get deported, I will continue to preach the gospel.

Jozi was sick but is better now. She went to church last Sunday and after Sacrament Meeting came up to me and told me that she was touched by the Stake President’s talk and wants to mark a date for her baptism. Well okay now, take it easy, we will. Don’t worry. So it’s marked, September 10th. But it’s not over, keep praying that everything will go well. A lot can happen in 10 days.

Augusto still has to decide if he’s going to farm, or if he’s going to church. Decisions decisions!!!

So, we live close to a grocery store that has 4 American goodies. I am happy. Estou FELIZ!!!!! (If you look closely at the labels, the name is in English, but the other information is in Portuguese!)

Well, that’s about it. Tchau


Oh my sweetness! American candy just down the street!