CRESTVIEW — Chapman Tew was young when he decided to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
When he turned 18, he filled out all the papers, waited for the letter and learned he would serve the people of Brazil's Sao Paulo South Mission.
Chapman states that throughout his childhood and youth, he was always active in the church programs. This provided him with a broad knowledge base and gave him a wide variety of experiences that prepared him to serve a mission and his fellow man.
Tew's parents are Holly and Aaron Tew of Crestview. To prepare financially for his mission, he worked for his father's construction company, washed cars, built websites and did some digital design for local businesses and friends.
Tew attended Early Morning Seminary at 5:45 a.m. every school day for four years. An LDS scripture study class taught him a number of things, including the importance of sacrifice to achieve higher goals. The principles that he learned also gave him a knowledge and reference base that helped him in his teaching the people of Brazil for two years.
In one of his areas he taught a 15-year-old boy named Rodrigo.
"This young man already had a number of experiences in his life with the drug trade that most adults have never had," an LDS media release states. "Over time, Tew and his fellow missionaries taught Rodrigo about God's plan in his life and his purpose here on earth. They watched him as he gradually made changes that allowed him to live a happier life through obedience to God's commandments. This young man made a 180-degree turnaround and was richly blessed for his decision to change."
"This was one of the most rewarding experiences that I had while on my mission," Tew said.
"One of the most important lessons I learned was that we are all imperfect and hopeless without the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He allows us to repent and become clean of our sins so that we may return to our Heavenly Father's presence once again."
Chapman has these words of advice for those contemplating a mission: "Do it. It is the best decision you could ever make in in your life. God will bless you in ways you could never imagine.
"If there are are any impediments to your serving a mission, eliminate them now and get ready to go," he said.