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.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Horses in the Street--October 25, 2010

Well hi there!

Another week has come and gone so quickly. And what an exciting week it was!

I´ll start with District Meeting. So we were all waiting for our interviews when a brasilian woman came into the church from the street looking for an American. I of course was the first person she found so she started talking to me about how she is being chased down by the government and needed someone to get in touch with the FBI to save her. It was so weird! Crazy lady!

E. Pereira has been sick for the past week or so. Every morning he can´t get out of bed because he has a pain in his stomach so I´ve been studying alone for a while. The problem is he is allergic to everything so he can´t take any medicine! He doesn´t want a blessing either so it´s tough to have patience.

Nila´s granddaughter has asked me to baptize her. We´ve marked her for the first week of November. She is way smart and nice so it´s an honor to be asked.

There are a bunch of random horses that live in our area. It´s wierd because we have no open land so I have no idea where they live. They are just in the street all day. I have a funny picture but of course this LAN house doesn´t let you load photos.

We´ve been working with a less active named Shirley. She is so nice and has a really strong testimony but she left the church because of her visiting teacher. Attention members: Don´t be stupid! haha

A girl in Cocaia also asked me to baptize her. I´ve taught her about 3 times. Her name is Giselle. She only wants me because I´m the only American in the district.

Nila is a flippin missionary. She goes out trackting everyday now!

We baptized Valeria this week! and I did it! haha it was awesome, my first! The only bad part was that I forgot to bring extra clothes so for the rest of the night I was walking around wet. Haha it was great though. I was way nervous but I didn´t mess time, first time did the trick!

We had a meeting with our Bishop and talked to him about all the problems in our area. He is way good. He has already started working on things! It´s so nice to finally have someone in the ward that helps us!

Well that´s my week! Talk to you all next week!

Elder MacLane Taggart

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 18, 2010 Katia's Baptism and Rainforest Adventure!

Hey Folks!

Well it´s me again and another week has come and gone. I marked four months on the mission on Saturday! How crazy is that!?! It´s hard to believe that it´s already been that long.

This week flew by because we had a baptism so the entire week was scheduled around preparing Katia. We had already taught her everything so we just needed to keep her motivated and excited. Her family is having some problems right now so we were really worried that she would quit but she kept at it.

The day of the baptism was fun. We went to the chapel and while the font was filling we made a cake for her (well E. Pereira wouldn´t really let me do anything so he made the cake and got to lick the bowl). It was SO ugly! haha a big pink mess! But it tasted really good. We got a ton of people to the baptisimal meeting and Katia had a bunch of family there too. All went well!

I didn´t baptize her because she drew names out of a hat and E. Pereira got it, but next week I will be baptizing Katia´s sister Valeria. It´s really exciting for me because they were the first people I visited when I arrived in the field. I didn´t think they would ever progress then. It´s amazing to see how the Gospel can change people.

I don´t remember much else of last week because 1) I got zero sleep last night and 2) I didn´t have a chance to review my journal like I usually do.

Today we had an awesome district activity. We went to an island just outside our area called Bororé. It has very few inhabitants and is covered in rainforest. We hiked around for a while and it was raining. I got some awesome pics that I´ll send your way soon. Everyone kept saying, "Now this is Brasil!" It was way fun!

Anyway I don´t have much else that I can think of at the moment so I hope your week was as good as mine. Don´t forget to write! Love you all!

Elder MacLane Taggart


"Efforts and Courage are not enough without Purpose and Direction" - JFK
"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be DIFFERENT." - Coco Chanel

Monday, October 11, 2010

October 11, 2010 The Beat Goes On

Hey Everyone!

First, big news! Elder Dallin H. Oaks is coming to our mission on the 28th! I guess he´s going to be taking a tour of the mission and then we´re going to have a mission-wide fireside with him. Should be awesome!

Alright so the past week... The mission is definitely sending me new challenges as I go so it´s always an adventure. The past week was pretty stressful but there are always those great things that makes it all better.

We started teaching some new investigators and they have been great so far. We found a family! Dad, Mom, and Kid! Seriously perfect. Rongerio is the dad and he is firefighter, he takes the Book of Mormon with him to work and reads when they aren´t out. Leidi is his wife and she is awesome. She is going to be starting the job courses the Church offers downtown. Their son is Leonardo and he prays everyday, at one of our visits Rongerio told us Leonardo calls him and reminds him to pray everyday! Take note that we´ve been teaching them for a week. We also started teaching a Rimunda, a little old lady. During our first visit she asked if she could be baptized! Hello? So things are good on the new people front.

Nila is still being a rockstar. She gave us about 20 references this week and they are all pretty golden. She has a table set up now in her sew shop now with pass-along cards for people. She thinks I love grape soda so everytime we go over there she opens a new bottle and we all drink it while we talk.

I did a short division in Cocaia again on Thursday and most of the people we taught we contacts I made while I spent the week there a while back. That made me feel good. I also ate pig ear and nose during the division without knowing it. They didn´t tell me till after. It wasn´t bad...

We had a random gorgeous day this week. Seriously the nicest day of the mission so far! It was a nice break for the rain that we´ve been having everyday. It is really cold right now down here.

We finally got a new Bishop after a month without one! He´s a really cool guy so let´s hope he is willing to help us in the work. The ward had huge attendence the day he was called, which just shows hot big the less active rate is.

And the worst part of the week was definitely yesterday. Yolanda was marked for baptism this week but she has been dodging us for the past couple weeks. She started sending her daughter to the door to tell us she wasn´t home. Earlier this week we had a family night planned with her and we had a ton of people coming and she canceled 10 minutes before it was supposed to start. Then yesterday we tried to talk to her and she wouldn´t answer the door. My comp rang the doorbell about 10 times (stupid!) and Yolanda came to the door and started yelling at us, unfortunatley I understood. She told us not to come back and that we weren´t welcome in her home anymore. I´m pretty shell-shocked from it. She was so good a few weeks ago. E. Pereira keeps telling me to get used to it.

Well I hate to end on a sour note but that´s the most recent news. A tough week but I´m surviving and there is always a reason to smile.

Til next time,
Elder MacLane Taggart

Sunday, October 10, 2010

October 4, 2010 Happy Spring/Fall

Hey everybody!

I can´t believe it is already October! Wow, that is so wierd! Spring started here a few weeks ago but it has been really cold. It´s still been raining everyday. I saw how beautiful the weather is in Salt Lake during conference and it made me so trunky.

Well, a new transfer has begun and with it a new experience. My new companion is Elder Pereira. He is a brasilian from Recife. We don´t have a problem communicating at all because I´m thankfully good enough at the language to express myself pretty well and he has been studying English for several years so he can talk to me when we need too. He snores like none other so I haven´t gotten much sleep the past week but I´m hoping I´ll get used to it soon.

Our area is a mess right now. Our ward hasn´t had a bishop for a month now and we´ve been told it might be another two til we get one. Our ward missionaries don´t work much and our invesitigators don´t like them very much. No one in the ward will give us references except the returned missionaries who all live on the other side of our large area so we don´t get out there much. But we are still finding people and we have a few really good investigators so all is well.

I´ve been having some pretty impactful experiences with investigators that I want to share.

Yolanda is an invesitigator we´ve had for about a month and she is marked to be baptized this weekend. She has been awesome but now she has a ton of problems in her life and for some reason we can´t get in contact with her so we´ll see what happens. She is having a legal battle with the father of her children because he hasn´t been paying child support and her brother got in a horrible accident and is in another state dieing. She doesn´t have enough money to get to church some weeks so she definitely doesn´t have a way to get to her brother to say goodbye. I read a talk by Pres. Monsoon the other day that talked about death and the miracle of ressurection. I think I´m going to get a copy for her.

Nila is our recent convert of two weeks ago and she is a rock star! Before she was baptized she was attending three different churches, now she is still going to three different churches but she´s taking the Book of Mormon with her and telling everyone there about how our chruch is true! She has a mountain of references for us and even though she is kind of old she asks to come with us to lessons! She is definitely elect!

We have a family that is marked for the end of the month. They are all adult brothers and sisters who live together and it is amazing how much they have changed in the time we started teaching them. Katia is the most prepared and she reads the Book of Mormon everyday. She is almost done with Alma already. Her sister Valeria has some forgivness problems with their mom and other brother but Katia is being an amazing example for her. Elvis is their brother and he is a single dad with three kids. He has stopped drinking and is looking for a job but his life is being changed by the gospel. Awesomeness!

Did everyone like Conference? How was it? I don´t know cause it was in Português. haha! Pres. Jackson created a new rule that all the Americans have to watch it in Português so it was a struggle but what I understood was great. We had to get up at 4:30 on Sunday to go to another zone to watch the Priesthood session. I was so tired by the time the last session ended.

Yesterday was the big election here. It has been crazy because everywhere is just covered in election stuff. It is the law in Brasil that everyone has to vote so everyone was actually involved. The streets were littered with fliers!

I´ve been doing some refleciton and I´ve come to realize that the mission is the hardest thing I have ever done. Not to sound proud, but I´ve never really struggled at things. I´ve always been pretty good at school and work. I´m so far out of my comfort zone here but it´s so good at the same time. I´m learning so much and really growing up. I am coming to appreciate more and more the Gospel, which unfortunately I´ve taken for granted for a while. I really love the challenge. Everyday has its ups and downs but overall this is so amazing! Thanks to everyone for the support.

Love you all,

Elder MacLane W Taggart

September 27, 2010 I Killed My Dad!

Hello world!

Well this week is a special one because we are in the middle of transfers! E. Tibbs and I have parted ways and he will be on his way back to St. George tomorrow afternoon, in missionary terms I have killed my father. Então I am on a division with E. Lembranzi. He is a brasilian from my same group and is awesome. We actually can communicate really well too. We´re in his area which is in the city part of the mission, skyscrapers and the like, SO different from Grajaú. I will be staying in Grajaú for probably the next three months by the way.

This past week has been great! Last p-day we had a churrasco at our house with E. Orton and E. Griffin to send off E. Tibbs. It was a blast! We all became really good friends this transfer but they all are being transfered. Well I guess I have a new opportunity to make friends right?

The weather this past week was very rainy. We had thunderstorms every night and it was drissling for most of the days. We have a leak in our bedroom ceiling so we have a big bucket full of water in there next to my comps bed and I can hear the drops falling all night but the storms are really cool to listen to!

So last week we introduced Nila to Katia and Valeria and they all became best friends. They started having gospel study at Nila´s house. They always call us to come over during them and it gets kinda crazy sometimes but it was such a blessing. Nila has been helping Katia and Valeria progress so much and I think they will be ready for baptism soon because of her.

We have two other investigators that are marked to be baptized on the 16th, Yolanda and Jásson. They are the best investigators, they have no problem accepting commitments. Yolanda is pretty much ready for the water but I don´t know about Jásson. I think he has a crush on Yolanda so he is just kinda going with it to impress her but he has introduced us to his family and we´ve started teaching them so I think he´s in it for real.

We had house checks this week so Pres. and Sis. Jackson came to our house and gave it a look over. Our laundry machine thing is broken and our shower heater doesn´t work either so they gave us the go ahead to get them fixed or replaced! Hot showers here I come!

We baptized Nila on Saturday! She wasn´t sure about it but she did a lot of praying and when it was time she was sure it was the right thing to do. We spent the whole day by the chapel getting ready for the baptism because if something can go wrong it will. We had everything ready by three so we went to go get our stuff. When we got back at four someone had unplugged the font and it was empty! The baptism was scheduled for five so we turned the water back on and put a hose through the window and it was ready at five thirty. I didn´t do the baptism but I got to do the conformation on Sunday! I was so nervous but it went really well!

The irma´s we live with threw E. Tibbs a party last night and a ton of people from the ward came. He got tons of presents and they made a huge Palmerias (one of the soccer teams in São Paulo) cake. We had a tone of salgados too. Salgados are the general term for fried things with meat.

E. Tibbs and I jammed out to EFY last night and this morning we said bye. I hope all is well for him when he gets home. He was a great trainer and I learned a ton from him. What will come next? I don´t know but I do know that I am being helped and guided. Thank you for all the prayers and thoughts back home! I love you all!

Yours truly,
Elder MacLane Winsor Taggart