Monday, January 31, 2011

Sorry. No post from Elder Titus today. He had a doctor's appointment, and did not have time afterwards for sending me his blog. He is fine, just needed some tests run. Thank you for reading, and for caring. He should be back on track next week! --Beki

Monday, January 24, 2011

...the necessity of having a clean “inner vessel”

The world's tallest cathedral.

Looking out at the tree-iest city, Maringà (notice the tiny tiles on the walls of the building)

This last week one of my mission-long dreams finally came true, I got to go to Maringá! Yes! Although it was mainly seen from the inside of a van, it was still cool. I got to see the tallest cathedral in the world (at least that’s what they say... it appears so) and I got to stand under the shade in the tree-iest city in the world (at least, that’s what they say). It indeed has many trees. The city itself is really pretty and clean. About 350,000 people. The centro is covered in skyscrapers, like Londrina, and they are all covered in little tiles, which makes for a very pretty building. They also have a Burger King there. Zone Conference was also very good. No “cool” speakers (like General Authorities), just president, and the assistants. But it was nice and inspiring. At the end he talked about repentance, and the necessity of having a clean “inner vessel” as the scriptures say. President Tavares got out a clear vase and filled it halfway with oil, then poured in some grape juice, and it sunk below the oil because of density, which kind of hid it. He said that if he continued to pour in more juice, the oil would spill over the top, leaving just the grape juice (which represents sin). The only way to clean it out is to repent, and then president put a tube in the vase and siphoned the juice out, and it became "clean" again. Cool analogy and example.


We changed apartments this past Saturday. We have these big white tables, and they didn't fit in the elevator, so we had to carry them down 12 floors. Yikes! The apartment is brand new, but kind of small for all four of us . . . and no view! But it's nice to finally get all moved in.

Transfers are tomorrow, and it looks like I´ll be staying a 3rd transfer with my son, Elder de Jesus. Elder Prado has been transferred, so Elder Schirmer will get a new companion, Elder Jackson, who is coming all the way from Bauru, which is a 6 hour drive by bus.

So, we have a progressing investigator, Rodrigo (ho-dree-goo). He looks a little bit oriental. He’s cool, about 22 years old. He got an answer to his prayer, but he lives with his super, yet non-practicing, Catholic parents. So he’ll have to make a decision. Just letting us in the house is already a major move, but as far as following his answer goes, well, let’s just hope he chooses the right.

What should I do with my life? Any suggestions? I think I may just stay in Brazil as a beach bum.

Tchauzinho. (little bye)

- Elder Titus

Monday, January 17, 2011

. . . someone who´s life I helped change.

A nasty storm is brewing on the far side of Arapongas


Well, a quality week this week, but as far as progressing investigators goes, it wasn’t all that great. Anyway . . .

So we are teaching this one family that has 2 huge dogs that like to bark at us, and I got to thinking, maybe I could buy some doggie treats. Well I did, and the next time we went there, I gave them each a treat, and now every time we go there they run up to the fence and only bark in whiney tones. Haha, they love us. Why I didn’t think about that earlier, I do not know. It could have saved me a lot of grief.

Funny story: So we were eating lunch at a member’s house, and she asked us what the law of circumcision was. Haha. Can you say, "Awkward?" Well, we explained it as simply as we could and she said “Huh, that’s interesting.” She looked like she was going to ask more, so we quickly changed the subject.

Cool story: Last week while walking on the bike trail to an appointment, some lady was walking fast behind us, then yelled, “Oh, Elder Chee-toos!!!” (that is what my name sounds like in Portuguese.) I turned around, and to my surprise it was Camila (for those who don’t remember every part of my life, she was my first baptism from Ibiporã). It was a way cool experience. We talked for a while on the way to the bus station. She is still active. Her dad is the branch president now. Jefferson, her older brother, is waiting for his mission call to arrive. Anyway, it was cool, and nice to be able to talk to someone who´s life I helped change.

Well, gotta go.


Elder Titus

Monday, January 10, 2011

. . because he has to be obedient to God.


My companion, Elder de Jesus is blue! He officially received a “blue letter” as they call it in Brazil, or in our terms, a “dear john.” Ahhh, poor thing. He was sure that his girlfriend would wait. Wow, was he deceived, not even 3 months!!! haha. I’m laughing because he’s in good spirits, and laughing as well. It actually was a “blue email.” She had some good lines in there, too. My favorite was something like “I’m not sure what type of design God is drawing in our lives.” So poetic! haha. I’m glad I came on the mission single.

Anyway, don’t worry about him, he won’t be pulling any stunts out of the movie “Best Two Years” on me. He’ll get over this quickly.

Oh, before I forget -- I am legal again! It went very fast. However, the lady belonged to another religion, and was quite grumpy. I couldn't help but laugh thinking about how she must feel. She's in charge of letting in Mormon missionaries who are working hard to convert members away from the church she attends. We just basically got re-fingerprinted, and sent on our way . . . and no time for pizza. Bummer.

This last week was incredible for us. We met Pastor Walter, a fairly new pastor. So the first time we met with him he just wanted to know more about the Book of Mormon. We marked a day to come back, and teach the Restoration. Anyway it went super well, and in the end he accepted baptism for the 22nd! It was incredible. There is only once difference between him and other pastors I’ve conversed with, he listens. Anyway, it all depends though, on his prayer, and God’s answer, because he said if God answers, then yes he´ll be baptized, because he has to be obedient to God. However, he was super busy this weekend, and he wasn’t able to go to church, so his date fell through, because you have to go to church twice before you can get baptized. That means we have to re-mark it. We’ll see how it goes.

Elder Titus

Monday, January 3, 2011

There is a time for everyone.

My new best friend

Can you say "cheeseburger?" YUM!

My table at the Christmas Conference. Good times!

Merry Christmas!!

Well, Christmas for us was last night. Yesterday, President Tavares passed through Arapongas and stayed for church. He brought with him our long lost packages that were in Iguaçu Falls. All four of us got one package each. I got a package from my mommy, who knows how to make a package, good grief I love American candy. Love it!

While President Tavares was there, he talked to one of Elder Schirmer’s investigators who wants to wait for her husband to get the Aaronic Priesthood so that he can baptize her. Problem is, that’s gonna take a while. And she was dead set on being baptized by him. We don’t know what president said, but after their interview, she was set on getting baptized that night by her uncle who is a member in Apucarana. Crazy. But a good kind of crazy.

Well, this Thursday I will be going to Londrina to become officially legal. Phew! I was sick of running from the cops. Now I kinda know what American aliens must feel like. While I’m in Londrina, I’m gonna do everything in my power to eat some pizza at Pizza Hut.

Also, this morning I accomplished something super interesting. I finished reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese. But also, I read it completely out loud. 600 pages! I started in like April, but that’s why it took me so long. And here's the best part: it’s still true in another language!!! I love that book. That’s the 4th time I’ve read it through from cover to cover. I was kind of a fubeca* as a teenager.

Other random news: I got a letter from a girl I baptized in Assis. Her name is Miria, and she told me her sister got baptized!! When I was there, her sister was impossible. There is a time for everyone. That’s for sure.

Well, that’s it. Pray for me. The Pizza Hut task will be a difficult one!