Monday, July 25, 2011

. . . some trunkiness crept in . . .

Birthday lunch with Irmã Margarete and Irmão Nascimento

Well, the week was interesting as usual. Every week with Elder de Jesus in Cascavel is interesting. Nothing bland. Ever.

The beginning of the week was going well. We saw a dead guy laying in his driveway with a small black bag over him, in the pouring rain surrounded by cops, with his family screaming nearby. That was fun . . . pretty sure he was the victim of a gang drive-by shooting. I’m gonna miss my ghetto “free pass” aka “missionary name tag.” We’re pretty tight with the gangsters here.

William and Sabrina were excited for baptism, especially William. João (my Mini-Me) was excited as well. However, on Thursday we had to leave to go to Foz do Iguaçu for zone conference on Friday. We got back Friday at midnight. Zone conference was fun. Me and Elder Parrott gave our “last testimony.” It was intense. I almost cried, but then I didn’t. Unfortunately, by the time we got back, William and Sabrina had gone downhill due to lack of follow up, and didn’t get baptized. João had quite the adversity to deal with, but came off conqueror. His dad gave a little battle, saying he was kinda young, but I told him about me and then he said it was up to João and João said it is was he wanted. Awesome kid!

My birthday was okay. It’s kinda hard to have a great birthday as a missionary, but I don’t really care. In 3 weeks I’ll celebrate it with some Pizza Hut and a DQ Blizzard . . . ughhhhh soooo goooood!!!!

The potential for a major set-back for me occurred Sunday night when we went to a member’s house with the intention of scheduling a Family Night with them for Tuesday. When we walked into their home, they were watching the last 5 kilometers of the last day of the Tour de France. (I have been trying so hard to stay focused on missionary work these last few weeks – even to the extent that I forbade my mother from giving me any news about the Tour. Do you realize how hard that is for me? Focus. Focus. Focus!) I can’t believe Cadel Evans won. But whatev. Anyway, some trunkiness crept in as I explained to them why I was on the verge of hitting the TV. But I’m better now. I took a picture with him (below).

Well, gots to go,

Elder Titus
Me and Cadel Evans, winner of the 2011 Tour de France

Monday, July 18, 2011

He really, really, reminds me of me when I got baptized

Ugh, unfortunately I am not going to baptize consecutively my last 7 weeks. Fernanda didn’t get baptized this past weekend, but this coming weekend is looking excellent. Alex took two friends to church, Sabrina and William (siblings) and they are going to get baptized on Sunday.

This week we were given a less active member reference for Irmã Marina. She has a son who is not baptized yet. His name is João. He is nine years old and is a super cool kid. He really, really, reminds me of me when I got baptized. I was baptized when I was nine years old, also. I don’t remember why, but for some reason, my mom was not going to church at the time and when I turned eight, she didn’t push me to get baptized. She said it was my choice and I needed to make that decision when I was ready. So, I waited, and then at nine, I was taught by the missionaries and chose to be baptized. However, unlike me, João has a Catholic dad who we still have to go through for him to get baptized on Saturday, but I know that everything will turn out just fine.

Unfortunately, the computer lab lady is going to lunch in 1 minute and I have to log out.

I’m doing great. Every day that passes, I’m less trunky. Elder de Jesus is helping a ton.


Elder Titus

PS: And, sorry, I forgot my camera cable, so no pictures today. I know, I know, I’m lame.

PPS: 4 weeks! . . . hahaha

Monday, July 11, 2011

Baptism of Suzana

The bishop of the new Coqueiral Ward, Bishop Marcos Tasso.

"O Dedão," which translates to "The Thumb."

Yo yo yo 5 to go,

This week was boa to say the least. Let’s start with Suzana’s baptism. I think she was one of the most elect people I’ve taught so far on my mission -- especially when it comes to “feeling” the Spirit at church. She said that she got goose bumps during the closing prayer at Sacrament Meeting and that the entire time it felt like she was floating. She told us last Sunday that the sooner she could get baptized, the better. Now that’s something every missionary dreams of hearing. Wish granted to her. Her boyfriend baptized her and I confirmed her.

Other news: Cascavel 1st Ward has officially divided!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW! If that is not an achieved goal in a missionary’s life, I don’t know what is. Elder de Jesus and I will probably be part of the new ward since it’s in our area, named Coqueiral Ward. (coke eh ral - roll the “r” once – it’s a type of coconut tree, but also the name of a neighborhood here). Everyone is excited, except the young women who were crying during the entire Sacrament Meeting. Oh, and one 15 year old young man, too, was sobbing. hahahaha. The Lord is doing a marvelous work and a wonder here in Cascavel. 1st Ward had an attendance of 198 and 3rd Ward had an attendance of 126! Usually it’s around 95. That will make 3 wards with an attendance of 100 each, which is a really good headcount for Brazil. In 3rd Ward, Elder de Souza and Elder Ealey baptized a lady whose daughters have been members for 14 years, but has always denied baptism for herself. It has been and continues to be fun to watch miracles happen here in Cascavel. I remember in Apucarana everyone were rivals it seemed like, (the members) completely un-united, and the Lord did not bless them. But here in Cascavel, everyone has one thought and one mind: growth. And the Lord is on our side. President Tavares made a goal for the mission that every companionship can baptize this month of July, due to having 5 weekends. This is a goal that has never been achieved in our mission. Not to brag, but Cascavel Zone was the first zone to have all its companionships baptize. Boo ya! I’m so grateful to be a part of this work! It is epic. We’re growing, and growing faster than ever.

Tcau, later,
Elder Titus

Monday, July 4, 2011

5 more “Tchau's” until “Oi!”

Elvis, Elder de Jesus, Alex, me

Finally we had some success. 9 days ago we were looking for a “less active” member named Elvis, but he wasn’t home. Instead, we found his 14 year old younger brother Alex, who was kinda intimidating with his gang style earrings, but I felt strongly that he would be baptized. So we taught him, and he became interested in our message and accepted baptism for July 3rd. Last Saturday we taught him and Elvis. Alex read the parts of the Book of Mormon that we asked him to read, and he prayed too. Sunday, the two of them took a long bus ride and went to church. Sunday night we taught him about the “Word of Wisdom.” He doesn’t use any of those substances, in fact he has a dislike for coffee, which is hard to find in Brasil. We taught him everyday this last week and he passed the baptismal interview on Saturday and was baptized on Sunday. He even took out his earrings.

There is a recently returned missionary in our ward named Eduardo, who is dating a non-member named Suzanna. She will probably get baptized this week too.

The weather has been pretty nasty here lately. Tuesday it frosted!!! Everyone was going nuts. Then it rained 4 days straight, but it wasn’t horribly cold. And now it’s back to cold, but this morning it didn’t freeze. However, it’s supposed to tomorrow. Keep in mind that we don’t have heaters and the walls are made of hollow brick, and I sleep on a foam mattress on the floor because there are only 5 beds, and 6 elders. It’s okay though -- in just a few weeks I’ll be in my OWN bed.

Today is officially transfer day. We lost Elder Griner and Elder de Oliveira. Elder Stinocher and Elder Guimarães will be arriving soon. Today also marks the official 6 week countdown until teleportation back to real life.

Only 5 more blogs too! I hate to say this but, I’m so happy about that! I’m not a big blogger and will probably never do this again. However, I hope you all have enjoyed them -- there are only a few more to go!

5 more “Tchau's” until “Oi!”


Elder “I’m not thaaaaat trunky” Titus