Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The zone is immaculate and enthusiastic

Entertainment on a recent bus ride.

A local park in Cascavel.

Our Zone: (back row) me, Elder Mortensen, Elder Tew, Elder L. Shaw (front row) Elder Ealey, Elder K. Santos, Elder Cavalcanti, Elder de Oliveira, and Elder Azevedo (Elder Griner wasn't there that day).

Wow I’m tired!!!! Tired of sitting around! So, (name withheld) is notorious for being ill, and he is having a bunch of problems lately; fever, body pain, swollen throat . . . the doctor told him that he needed to stay at home for 4 days (that was on Saturday). I´ve never had to stay home before, it sucks. Needless to say I’m catchin’ up on some reading. Nonetheless, the future looks bright as he seems to be anxious to work tomorrow.

President Tavares came to Cascavel on Saturday and did interviews. It was cool to be on the “inside.” The zone is immaculate and enthusiastic, and many baptisms await us.

I forgot to mention that my adopted brother´s mission finally ended. Remember Elder Galdino? I’ve mentioned him before in previous blogs. I got an email from him today and he sounds like he´s doing great. Elder Villela was also in the group of elders that was recently released (he was my companion from a year ago, in Bauru), and Elder Carvalho, my old zone leader for 9 months. All became great friends. The mission will miss them, but life goes on. Soon it will be my turn to leave.

In other news, my son, Elder de Jesus is training! I’m a grandpa!! He´s also a district leader now.

The number of missionaries in our mission is 178. Just 4 months ago it was 135. Brazil is responding to a Prophet’s call.

The division of our ward here in Cascavel was approved by the First Presidency!!! It will divide in July or August!!!!

Well, gotta go. Falou!
Elder Titus

Monday, May 23, 2011

We had our first missionary scandal . . .

This past week has been okay. Elder Cavalcanti has been suffering a bit from high blood pressure and migraine headaches, so we didn’t work as hard as in previous weeks. Hope we can ramp it back up soon.

The visit with the lawyer couple I told you about last week was cool, but they're pretty devout Catholic. We hope that one day they will go to church, and then all should change.

We went to teach English at a special English school called “Wizard,” which is the biggest chain of English schools in Brazil. It’s owned by a Latter-day Saint guy. We sat in front of their 12 teachers and answered their questions. It was fun. They all spoke English very well. They asked questions about religion, and what we think about Brazil, and what it’s like in the States. They even made us some apple pie and it was pretty good for not being American!

I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to be a zone leader over a large area, like Bauru, or Marilia. Thankfully, it's not nearly as hard when the area is smaller, like here in Cascavel, especially when all of your elders are obedient. However, yesterday we had our first missionary scandal unravel. It was interesting how Heavenly Father used us as instruments in His hands to figure out what was going on, and how to resolve it. He put us where we needed to be, at exactly the perfect moment, and helped us ask exactly what we needed to ask, in order to be told some news that was NOT good. But it needed to be discovered, and handled, and it was. It turns out there was an inappropriate relationship going on. Because of divine assistance, the issue was dealt with and said elder is headed to Londrina today to talk with President Tavares. Today was transfer day, which made it a little easier. On the flip side of this ordeal, we’re excited to be getting a lot of new missionaries, and as far as I know, there are no problematic ones. We’re super excited for the month of June

Last p-day I fulfilled another mission long dream. We went to the lake and we saw Capivara -- the world’s largest rodents!!!! They’re pretty awesome! They’re like guinea pigs on steroids!!! But, they were tame and lazy.

Well, tchau!
Elder Titus

Monday, May 16, 2011

The outside of our apartment in Cascavel

Awesome sunset!


We had a quality week this week! Principally, because of the news that we get one more companionship of missionaries! They will be arriving in Cascavel next week. That will make 3 companionships in our ward. This is mainly because of the preparations being made for the ward being divided. President Tavares has been very impressed with the work that has been going on here in Cascavel. Elder Cavalcanti and I, had a meeting with the stake president last week and he is also very excited to work hard, and work together with us. When we told the bishop that one more companionship was coming, he hugged us really tightly. We will be the only ward in the mission to have 3 companionships.

We are currently teaching Beatriz´s daughter, Laurissa, and we are doing our best to get her ready to be baptized this Sunday. There is also a lawyer couple that is interested in our message. There is a member of the church who works for them as a maid, cleaning their house, and she asked for our assistance because the lady lawyer has cancer. Elder Cavalcanti went there and gave her a blessing, and two weeks later her doctor told her the cancer is gone. We’re going there tonight to see how she is feeling, and to find out if they would like to hear our lessons.

Things are going great! I apologize for the short blogs lately, but I’m using a lot of my p-day internet time to work on my college registration -- so please forgive me!!!! Hopefully I'll have it figured out soon. (And yes, I have permission!)

Have a great week!

Elder Titus

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It was something I will never forget.

Yours truly.

Sister Tavares, President Tavares and me. I just can't stop smiling!

Elder Galdino, my adopted brother.

Some of my buddies from the MTC (left to right) Elder Burt, Elder Titus, Elder Parrott and Elder Yuma

Hey blogger buddies -- I only have a couple of minutes, but I wanted you to know

Surprise!!! I went to IGUAÇÙ FALLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was a surprise for all of us! On Monday we had a zone leader council meeting, and instead of traveling to Londrina, President Tavares held the meeting in the City of Foz do Iguaçú, and for p-day, he took us to the falls. It was SO COOL! Every elder that comes to this mission wants to go there, but it seldom happens. Finally I got my chance and was able to put my face in those classic pictures!! It was something that I will never forget. It's so massive! There are multiple falls, and all of them are huge and absolutely beautiful.

On Sunday we had the baptism of a lady named Beatriz. She is the fiancé of a member named Adenildo. The baptism was cool. It was funny though, because she was sooo nervous to get baptized and was even trembling in the water, but when she came out she said, "Wow, that was fast!" How tight! (que massa!)

Believe it or not, I'm out of time -- but hope ya enjoy the pictures.

Elder Titus

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

. . . and many were the words which he spoke unto us.

Elder McCombs gets a new blanket

Elder Thiago (zone leader from Iguaçu) drinking LOTS of açaì juice


At the moment, I’m quite dead. Elder Cavalcanti and I, just got back this morning from a zone leader meeting in Londrina. The bus was nice, but the ride was horrible. It stopped every 20 minutes, in every little city, causing the trip to take 9 hours!! We left last night at 8:30 PM, and drove all night, and most of the morning. I got the last seat on the bus, right next to the bathroom, of which everyone and their mom used, consequently, I didn’t sleep very much.

BUT, the meeting was good. We were with Elder Araujo, of the Seventy. He was on special assignment from the First Presidency. He talked about how us zone leaders need to step up our game and not focus so much on doing divisions, unless our area is exemplary first. He also told us how leading by example is a lot more important than leading by words, because we´ll be able to show our zones that it’s possible to meet the goals of the mission . . . and many were the words which he spoke unto us.

At the end, he shared a story about when President Kimball came to Brazil. Elder Araujo was a missionary at the time. President Kimball was there to dedicate the Sao Paulo temple, and Elder Araujo was chosen to help escort President Kimball. One day, President Kimball was at the mission president’s house, taking a nap and the mission president had to leave, so he asked the missionaries to keep an eye on Presdient Kimball, and check up on him every now and then. Elder Araujo said that he went to check on him and he carefully opened up the door and saw President Kimball sleeping on the ground due to his back problems. He said that he had the greatest desire just to hug him and kiss him, but finally just shut the door. He went back outside and fell asleep on a chair. A while later, he was awakened by President Kimball, as he put his hands on Elder Araujo’s face. Then President Kimball hugged him and gave him a kiss, and then said “Lets go study the scriptures Elder.” He told him to open up to Alma 29:4, which reads “I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.” Then President Kimball said, “Was it not your desire to hug me and kiss me?”

Crazy. Then Elder Araujo told us that we need to have “just*" desire in our lives, and the Lord will grant them unto us.

Elder Titus

*just: morally correct (done, pursued, or given in accordance with what is morally right)

Monday, May 2, 2011

(from mom) Derek warned me last week that he might not get to a computer today due to a zone leader conference in Londrina (which is a 6 hour bus ride for him). But, two weeks ago was similar, and he got a chance to pop into an internet place for a few minutes on Tuesday -- so, I guess it wouldn't hurt to check back tomorrow evening and see if he was able to send something. As always, thanks for checking his blog!