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, November 29, 2010

November 29, 2010 And the Holiday Season Starts

Hey Everyone,

First, Happy Thanksgiving! There isn´t a holiday like Thanksgiving here so it was just a normal day. I definitely felt a lack of turky and stuffing but I´m trying to lose weight anyway so I guess it´s better this way. haha!

So E. Pereira is still struggling with his health. Some days are great and other days he struggles to get out of bed so it´s a bit of a rollercoaster, but we´re still working really hard and helping lots of people. Monday he had a scary incident in a hot crowded bus that resulted in a visit to the nearest health post (like instacare). He staid in bed on Tuesday so I made visits with Enais, our Ward Mission Leader.

We meet the most snaky snake (snake is a word we missionaries use for women that chase after missionaries because they think we have lots of money) so far on the mission. Her name was Regina and she was a reference of Nila. She was VERY inappropriate. It was pretty interesting and funny.

I had a division with the Elders in Noronha (the Zone Leaders) this week. I stayed with E. Justino in Noronha. It rained the whole day and I forgot my guarda-chuva (umbrella). All of our appointments fell through so we were soaked at the end of the day. Noronha is further away from the city than Grajaú and the Zone Leaders´ house is pretty scary. I was swatting away bugs the whole night and when I woke up my arms were covered in red spots from all the bites I got throughout the night. The mosquitos here are really dangerous so I´m lucky I didn´t get sick.

We´re getting really close to baptizing Denis and Derrick. Missionaries tend to have crazy goals (like baptizing twins) and I already have the opportunity to do it! Denis was going to be baptized last week but we didn´t think he was ready so we´re going to see what happens this week. He already knows the Book of Mormon is true so he will be baptized it´s just a matter of when.

Our new Bishop has started emphasizing missionary work in the ward so hopefully we´re going to get more help from the members here.

This week we also had a really trunk-tastic opportunity. Irma Ieda and Leda (the irmas we live with) asked us to help them decorate their little Christmas tree. Fake trees are really expensive here and they don´t have the realy thing so everyone just had little trees. It turned out beautifully tacky. After Irma Ieda made us a cake! It was awesome!

Well that´s my week! Love you all!

Elder MacLane Taggart

Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22, 2010 Gotta Laugh

Everybody! yeah! Rock your body! yeah! (Yes this is a Backstreet Boys reference.)

Well I marked 5 months on the mission Tuesday! Can you believe how quickly this is going? It was a great day because we got to take Severino and Angelo to the cartorio to get all their wedding stuff filed. They scheduled the wedding for the 30th of December so I might not be here to see it but tudo bem. I´ll be able to see them get sealed!

We had a crazy long service project this week in Res. Cocaia. The elder there have an investigator who is building a new house so we helped out. We installed two windows and a door. Guess how long it took? Seven Hours! Yeah, seven, that´s Brasil.

It was my first Zone Conference this week! It was so awesome. Pres. Jackson talked about the difference between Faith and Belief and it was really interesting. The jist of it is that Faith is belief plus action. Nossa que legal!

Remember our recent convert Nila? Well she has kinda gone crazy. I don´t know what happened but she is just super stressful to be around. She talks about E. Tibbs (my trainer who has gone home already) everyday and she is trying to raise money to get him to come back here and live with her. My reaction to stress is to have laugh attacks so when she was stressing us out we took her to a lesson and I could not stop laughing. It was so bad. She has gone off to the beach for the week so who nows what will happen when she gets back.

Irma Ieda and Irma Leda made us Pão de Mel (Honey Bread) this week! Oh my! So good! It´s a cake-like treat that is drenched in chocolate and filled with carmel! Ah! I have a store in house now! haha

We had another Baptism this week! We reactivated Shirley and she asked us to baptize her sons. This week we baptized Moises. He´s 10 so it counts as a convert baptism. Her other son is 8 so he´s not really a convert but he has asked me to baptize him so that will be coming up soon. He has to be interviewed by the Bishop so the baptism isn´t scheduled yet.

Sunday was the craziest day so far on the mission. We only had one person in church because Denis and Derrick´s dad had an emergency and Severino´s family is on vacation, it was actually a good thing. The relief society called us to talk about the lunch situation because we are only getting about two lunches per week. It was crazy. Some of the Irmas were crying, others were yelling, and we were just standing in the front while the Irmas fought. I taught Principles of the Gospel again and we talked about the Second Coming, it was great as usual. ;) Then Sacrament was about temples and lots of sacred stuff that isn´t supposed to be talked about was talked about. At night we had more crazyness because we had to meet up with the Elders of Cocaia but they were on a division with young men in the ward. E. Aguiar was with Carlos and Carlos went crazy! He was yelling at the people he was making contacts with and getting all up in their grills. We were already late so we had to leave him and then we sent the other young men to go get him. When things get crazy you just gotta laugh.

Love you all!
Elder MacLane Taggart

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010 Crazy About Casamento

Hey World!

Wow another week just flew by didn´t it? First off let me just say that the weather here is crazy! It´s Summer down here for those of you who didn´t realize Brasil is on the Southern half of the globe. Everyday is a surprise those. For half of last week is was freakin hot! And for the past three days it´s been rainy and cold. I never know what to expect.

This week we kinda went crazy about casamento (marriage) with our investigators. First with Leidi and Rogerio. Leidi really wants to get married and they have lived together for 14 years so they should be but for some reason Rogerio doesn´t want to and he´s disappeared since we tried to talk about it with him. Next we have Derrick. He´s just 16 but he was already engaged and his fiancee lived with him. Luckily (for us) they broke up two days ago and she has already moved out so he is ready to progress. It would be cool if we were able to baptize him with his twin brother Denis on the same day. And finally we have Severino and Angela. They are really poor and when we talked to them about marriage and that we could marry them for free (it´s super expensive to get married in Brasil) Angela started to cry! They have wanted to get married for a really long time but couldn´t afford it. We´re going to the Cartorio with them this week to start the papers. It seems like with them we have everything they need... elect?

We have been working with a less-active named Shirley and she is so cool. We have practically reactivated her and she has been to church the past two weeks. This week she asked us to baptize her kids! Ah! I´m so excited! Moises is 10 so he will count as a convert baptism. Her other son Philipe is only 8 and since she´s active again it won´t be a convert baptism but still it´s great.

Sunday we had even more goodness. We got 7 people to church! That´s the most I´ve had since I got out into the field. It was awesome! It was also my first week as the new Principles of the Gospel teacher! Since we had so many people in church the class was packed so I was a little nervous, but it went well. I taught about the signs of the second coming.

Hm... anything else of interest? The other day a dog followed us around the whole day and we named him Gaga (my comp is way into Lady Gaga). Oh, people have started giving us tons of food all of a sudden. We live with two irmas, Ieda and Leda, who almost everyday make us some sort of torte or treat. Things are really looking up here in Grajaú!

Love you all! Remember that prayer starts in the heart, not in the head.

Elder MacLane Taggart

Monday, November 8, 2010

November 8, 2010 Transfer Confusion

Hey everyone!

My second transfer just ended! There was so much confusion about the transfer. I was told 3 weeks ago that I was being transfered, then 2 weeks ago we were told the area was being closed, then Pres. Jackson redid the entire thing last week so no one knew what was going on. The secretaries are supposed to call and tell the missionaries what is going on but we got no call last night so we assumed we were both staying, then we got up this morning and we had 8 missed calls from the assistants. E. Periera called them back and they told him he was called as a zone leader and that he was being transferred. Then we called the secretaries to ask why they didn´t call us last night and what was happening with me and they told us that E. Pereira was called as the new district leader and that he was staying. So we called the assistants again and they confirmed that what the secretaries said was the truth. In the end this is what´s happening, E. Pereira and I are staying together and he is the new district leader.

This week was great because we baptized Larissa! It was such a close call. Earlier in the week her mom told us that it was too early and that she wouldn´t let her this week. Two days later she completely changed her attitude and said we could move forward. We decided to bake cakes for the baptism so we stayed close to our house and make them in a members house and asked our ward mission leader to fill the font. After we made the cakes we realized we had no way of getting them to the chapel so we carried them the whole way walking and it was about to rain the whole time but we made it! Then we looked at the font and it was only up to my knees. The baptism was so complicated! I had to do it 4 times on account of the water level! But HURRAH!

We had a really cool unity activity in district meeting this week. We all sat in a circle and each person laid on the next persons knees while keeping our feet on the floor. Then they took the chairs out from under us and we all had to hold eachother up! It was so fun!

We started teaching a set of twins this week, Denis and Derrick. They were street contacts and they are really good. Their dad had really severe cancer and their mom spends her days helping him. She has already heard the missionaries as a kid and it seems like she is really wanting our help and the gospel. Derrick and Denis are 16, Derrick is engaged already and she lives with them so we´re going to have to get them married. Denis came to church already and he already knew most of the young men so things are going quite swimmingly right now with this new family.

Well, that´s pretty much all I´ve got for this week. Sorry I haven´t send any pics in a while. Something happened to my memory card and i haven´t figured out how to get my photos on the computer, especially at the LAN house. Love you all! Send some love my way and pray for me, I need it!

Tchau! Até proximo semana!

Elder MacLane Winsor 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, November 1, 2010

November 1, 2010 Apostle Power!

Hey Everyone!

This last week was pretty interesting, difficult but good.

Something for people to try: read 3 Nephi 8 next time there is a thunderstorm. We did that with Rondinelli last week and it was so cool! It´s the chapter after Christ died when everything is going to... well, you know.

Right now we´re teaching Larissa, Nila´s granddaughter. She is so awesome and smart. She really wants me to baptize her and this is the last week of the transfer so she is marked for this Saturday. I don´t know what´s going to happen. Her mom is really concerned that it´s too soon and I´m concerned that she only wants to be baptized because she has a crush on me. haha! But seriously...

Elder Dallin H. Oaks visited our mission! It was awesome. The whole mission was there for his talk. I was way suprised because whenever he talks during conference he is so stern and cold but he was so funny! He said love is the whole purpose of the plan and in order to be an effective tool we have to be healthy and usable. After he did a Q & A with missionaries. One of the questions was about humility and he said that pride is a lifelong struggle that he has been trying to overcome for his entire life and he still hasn´t. It was so good!

Also, HAPPY HALLOWEEN! The brasilians have halloween but it is not big at all. I dressed up as one of the 'men in black' cause there is only so much you can do with a suit. I got a great package full of candy too! Who needs trick or treat when you´ve got my folks?

Right now E. Pereira and I are planning a suprise party for an Elder in our district because today is his birthday. E. Pereira is with his companion right now baking a cake for him and he´s with me so I have to keep him entertained all day. We´re going to a member´s house to watch church movies and have lunch, yeah that´s fun for missionaries.

Anyway, those are some of the highlights of the week, hope you enjoyed them! Love you all! Don´t forget to write me everyonce in a while!

Elder MacLane Winsor Taggart