2 Nephi 22: 2,3

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation. Therefore, with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

July 28, 2010

Hey All! / (again working with a bad keyboard so no paragraphs, just slashes.) This week has been a whirlwind and it´s really amazing to see how great this work is and the power of the gospel! And normal life is pretty good too! haha Notice: They are crackin down on some new email rules so I can´t send pictures til I´m out in the field and I don´t have much time at all to write so here we go! / So the CTM is under some major construction and our already small world is even smaller. Seriously we eat lunch in hallways and we can´t open the windows during class because they are building a new gym outside (which they have been working on for like 9 months or something), so it gets really hot in our classroom which makes us tired and our teachers don´t get why we are falling asleep because they are Brasilian! haha it actually is really funny to think about! / Last P-day I got the coolest shirt on earth! There is a store right outside the CTM called Komora (yeah, cheesy church history reference) that sells stuff to missionaries. The shirt has all these missionaries in armor and with swords and stuff, looking like the army of Helaman, waving a Brasilian flag and it says, "So Os Fortes Sobrevivem!" which translates to "Only The Strong Survive!" Basically I´m going to save it til I get home so that I can show how awesome it is to everyone I run into. / Friday we went proselyting! Oh my freakin heck! It was the most amazing thing ever! We had 5 Books of Mormon to pass out and we had like 3 hours. E. Abernethy and I were pretty nervous and so we decided to just talk to the first person we saw to get over that. It just so happend that the first person we saw was actually a group of 4 hardcore automechanics. We just walked up to them and started talking and they were pretty interested so we gave them all books and commited them to read it and call the number for more info. We just flew from that point on! Yeah we had some rejection and all but we ended up get some extra books and in all passed out 7 in 2 hours! It really was so amazing and I felt the spirit so strongly. I almost started to cry when I was bearing my testimony to one of the people we talked to but I got a hold of myself. He ended up taking a book so mission accomplished. I can´t wait to get out in the field and actually do that everyday. It is ON!!! / So this elder in our district is a flippin guru or something. E. Overton is a self-proclaimed master of self-evaluation (and non-self-evaluation apparently) and he has been 'reading' some of the people in our district. It is crazy how accurate he is. He will be like, "I noticed you tuck your shirt in this way, did you ever get bullied as a child and you feel insecure about it and worry about your appearance?" and he is usually right! He did a reading on me and it was way close to reality, it was kinda scary actually. / The other night I had a crazy vivid dream about my future wife and it was pretty much a movie about our life. It was a way beautiful dream and if it came true I would not mind at all because she was beautiful. You may ask, "why is he telling us this?" but it was seriously that real that it is worth telling you guys. / Last night E. Abernethy was having a really hard time and as a district we were discussing the plan of salvation. He had some thoughts that were kind of wrong and E. Pockrus certainly let him know. It was pretty harsh and Abernethy was shook up about it. I ended up pulling him aside and we talked for like an hour and a half about everything that has been hard for him and it felt really good. I think I was actually able to help him with some of his stuff so it made me feel good. I´ve actually been talking with a lot of people and helping them with there problems. I´m glad I have the ability to understand people and work them through things. / Our Brasilian roomate left this morning. Goncalves and Castro Silva were so much fun and they helped us a lot with the language. The Brasilians are very open about their feelings and they told us they loved us every night when we were all going to bed. It was pretty funny but also nice to hear every once in a while. I hope they do well out there. It is actually ironic because the Brasilians are way nervous about understanding the gospel while they have no problem with the language while the Americans are always freaking out about the language but for the most part have the doctrine down. / Anyway, all is well. I only have 3 more weeks in this place and I´m so excited! I appreciate all the love that is being sent my way and want it to keep coming! I love you all so flippin´ much you don´t even know! / - Yours truly, Elder T

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 20, 2010

Hey Todas Pessoas!
So one more week down and let´s just say I am growing increasingly more aware of time down here. haha. But things are still going really well. E. Abernethy and I are teaching in Português now and we are getting better every time! It´s like watching hair grow, you don't notice that you are making progress until you can actually hold a conversation with a Brazilian. Irmão Carboni called me a Brasiliero so I´m feeling pretty good, but I still have a long way to go.
On to the events of the past week... last P-day our district wasn't scheduled for the temple so we just chilled the whole day. We went out and I got some Coke Light (Diet Coke) and it lasted me a couple days.
We went to the Federal Police to register our visas. It was way cool and they had these really techno machines that scanned our hands and everything! It was like being in a Jason Bourne movie! And I´m not being deported so that´s awesome!
My life has gone music crazy! So I'm in charge of putting together a song for our sacrament meeting in a few weeks and who´d of thought that no missionaries can play 'Called to Serve'? AND I´ve been asked to direct the MTC Choir in a few weeks and they want all my info right away so I have to figure out what the heck I´m going to do. I think I might do an acapella version of 'I Know That My Redeemer Lives'. AND E. Abernethy and I are writing a song together. So music central right now.
The weather is pretty crazy down here too. It was raining for three days straight and now it´s super hot. Weird. The Brazilians are saying it´s weird too so right on. I guess it just followed me from Utah.
We got our new AP and it´s E. Wilkinson. I was kinda jealous but he knows the white handbook from cover to cover so I´m okay with it. He will be a great AP. And I´ll have a better opportunity out in the field anyway.
District 21A left today and I am way sad! They are such cool guys and they are our districts closest friends. I´m happy for them though cause they are going to do great and we´re going to stay in touch.
Well... that´s about all the news I have for you guys. Not a very exciting week. No news is good news I guess, or just the monotony of the CTM. haha! Love you all! Keep up the letters and emails, in fact send me more! No pressure. :P
From your favorite missionary,
Elder T

"Efforts and Courage are not enough without Purpose and Direction" - JFK

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

pics from Brazil

July 13, 2010 One Month In

Wow! I feel so loved right now! I am so grateful for all the letters and emails and I´m going to do my best to write everyone back! Keep them coming. Oh and Katie T is definitely in the lead right now for the package and the snickers and starburst AND all the letters! I can´t believe I´ve already been gone a month (well in 3 days it will have been a month)! I just have 23 more! haha I´ve been told the best way to count down is by Fast Sundays. So I have some congrats to send out: Paige Elizabeth Neff! Mr. Culter hit the nail right on the head with you. I´m so happy to hear about your engagement! Add 2 kids in the next 2 years and you´ll be set when I get home! And Scott! Congratulations on the mission call! I freaked out when I first found out! I am so excited for you and know that you will do an awesome job!

So life down here is pretty much the same. We just go through the same schedule everyday. The days move slowly but the weeks fly. This past week had some interesting stuff though!

Every Wednesday is pizza night down here. Yeah, the CTM built a brick oven in the back so we have pizza a lot. It´s not the same as the pizza back home but it´s still pretty good. I always eat way to much and feel sick afterwards. But I´m still being good about watching my weight. I weighed myself this morning and I´ve lost 13 lbs! Get ready ladies cause when I get back you all are going to be wanted a piece of Mac Daddy! haha!

The other day Elder Abernethy and I translated some hinos (hymns) during our study time and the Português words are so much better than the English! I love the hymns down here.

We got some new Brazilian Elders in our room and they are way nicer than the ones who left last week! They are Elder Gonçalves and Elder Castro Silva. They always help us with the language and they know some English so we talk a lot.

The biggest thing that happened this week would have to be our baptism by fire on Friday. Our district has been falling a little behind because Irmão Carboni has been gone (he´s back for good finally) and we all got a little complacent. So they administration sent in the big guy... literally. Irmão Peçanha is this huge black dude who is way smart and has a voice like Mufasa from the Lion King. He spent 4 hours doing activities with us to show us how missionaries should be and kinda throwing us under the bus with some language activities. In the end it was definitely a wake up call for most of our district. We definitely had some problems and they got fixed. We are learning machines now.

On Sunday I spoke in Sacrament Meeting about hope. I think I did well. I had written a talk but when I got up to the stand I decided to just wing it and follow the Spirit. It turned out really well and everyone complimented me on how well it went. It made me feel good.

I helped Elder Lund pull a prank on Elder Larrot (the AP) and Elder Lund totally sold me out and said the whole thing was my idea! Now Elder Larrot has sworn revenge on me but he´s leaving next week so he better get to it. haha

Things are going really well down here and I miss you all so much! I really took so many of you for granted and I definitely love you all more than I can say! Stay strong and everything will turn out for the best!

Yours truly,
Elder T

"Efforts and Courage are not enough without Purpose and Direction" - JFK

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

3 weeks and time is beginning to fly

3 weeks down! Wow time is beginning to fly! So funny story... the whole not hearing from anyone thing... Turns out minha familia sent a letter the first week BUT they sent it to my mission home and not the CTM (Centro Treinamento Missionario) so I didn´t get it til yesterday! Luckily my mission president did the devotional on Sunday and he was kind enough to bring it over. He is such a nice guy and his wife was so cool! That is a huge blessing. Their devotional was amazing also.

I´m loving all the emails and letters from all of you guys! It means a lot! (Reminder: I can´t email anyone back unless they are direct family so please give me your address.) I´m sorry to hear that you guys took down the trampoline, such memories. I really got emotionally reading that. That with Independence Day really kicked me with some homesickness but I´m good. Having Independence Day on a fast Sunday was não bom.

So things of note: I got a haircut with the CTM barber the other day and he did not speak English... I´m kind of a fuzz ball right now. haha! I had a terrible canker sore so the CTM doctor have me some baking powder to help it heal and told me to put it on ever other hour. It was in a plastic bag so it looked like I was carrying around a bag of drugs!

Our amazing instructor Irmão Carboni has been out for a while because he is having some serious kidney stone problems. He told us the first one was 8mm! Anyway he´s been in and out of the hospital because his surgery gave him internal bleeding. I have been praying for him and our whole district is really worried. He is an amazing guy! He stopped by the other day and told us everything and it was hilarious! He called his doctor the Penis Man! At least he can laugh about it!

We got a new elder in my district named Elder Maner. He seems pretty cool but he´s kinda quite. I guess it would be awkward moving into an already established group.

My district kolobs so much! If you are unfamiliar with the term don´t worry, neither was I. It means to talk about doctrine that is so obscure that it does´t really matter. For example, last night we spend an hour and half talking about all the prophecies of the end of days. Real productive! haha! It´s really funny most of the time.

I´m getting better at the Português and Elder Abernethey are rocking our teaching practices so right on! I love you all so much and hope everything is going well! Please keep up the letters and emails!

Muito Amor!
Elder Taggart

"Efforts and Courage are not enough without Purpose and Direction" - JFK

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Before and After

MacLane seems destined to have become a missionary.