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, February 28, 2011

February 28, 2011 I've Got My New Shoes On So Suddenly Everything's Right

Hey everyone,

Well, unfortunately this week was even less eventful than last week. Same stuff really.

Elder Moreira did have a little cold attack so we had to stay in our house for practically three days this week. Stuff I did: cleaned, cooked, and made a paper model of the old testament tabernacle. haha! Yeah, real exciting I know.

I also have worn out some of my shoes so I had to fix that situation. One of my pairs I took to the Sapataria and had them put a new sole on. I figured it would be better than buying a pair of crappy brasilian shoes. The heel is so high now and it has me walking a bit funky but I just need to wear them in a bit. I also bought another pair of shoes to use for church, conferences, and temple trips. They are really fancy and look really expensive so when we were walking to church I had a little strut in my step. It always feels good to have nice things. (Let´s not forget that true happiness comes from the gospel, not from stuff, but let´s be real and say that stuff really helps.) haha!

Well you may not believe it but that´s all I´ve got to say today. Really. Love you all!

Elder MacLane Taggart

Monday, February 21, 2011

February 21, 2011 Not Much to Say

Hey Everyone,

Well, this week was pretty normal and there isn´t much to report so sorry if my email is a bit boring this week.

Things here in Parelheiros are getting a bit difficult. People aren´t really letting us into their houses much anymore so we´re not finding many new investigators which is a problem because some of our old investigators are falling through. We´re just working our hardest and keeping the faith. I´m definitely learning about patience and humility, which are my two week points so the Lord is actually blessing me with the opportunity to learn.

We went to the temple this week which was refreshing. I love going to the temple because there is no other place on earth that you can feel that close to heaven.

This weekend was the Novos Incios of the young women and we took Valdo´s family. It was an awesome presentation. Elder Moreira da Silva and I both cried so it was a good thing we sat in the back.

Did I not say there isn´t much to talk about this week? haha well let´s hope this week is more interesting.

Thanks all,

Elder MacLane Taggart

Monday, February 14, 2011

February 14, 2011 Water and Coca Cola

Hey everyone!

Well this week was really interesting and pretty tough too so I have a few things to talk about.

Elder Moreira da Silva is awesome! He´s pretty quiet but we get along really well and we haven´t had any problems so far. I´m so grateful. I found out his whole name this week and you will not believe it. Are you ready? Richard Nikson Moreira da Silva! That´s right, he´s named after Richard Nixon! His dad heard it on the radio and didn´t know how to spell it as you can see from the use of 'ks' instead of 'x'. But seriously I love his name and he is a great companion.

Other big news! During district meeting last week Elder Vidmar said, "There has been a little rule change. We can drink Coca-Cola now." I almost fell out of my chair! I was plain giddy. It has been almost 8 months that I haven´t had a coke. I would have run to the market after the meeting but our money wasn´t deposited on time so we had to wait a few days to buy it. Man it was so good when I finally drank the sweet nectar of life which is Coca-Cola.

Speaking of liquid refreshment, we had a mini-draught in our neighborhood last week. We went three days without water so we didn't have anything to drink and we couldn´t take showers for a little bit. It was pretty gross. I also had to do some laundry while we didn´t have water so I used bleach on my shirts. One of them turned pink, then yellow, then white again. I guess some pretty interesting reactions were going on with my sweat, sun screen, and the bleach. When the water finally came back our electricty went out so I guess we have to count our blessings. Both are back now so all is well.

We had zone conference this week too. Pres. Jackson talked about our divine potential. It was pretty interesting. He said that the first step is to understand our relationship with God, then create the right environment, then serve. It was great. We also watched "The District 2". The District is a movie that the church produced which is pretty much 'The Real World' missionary-style. It is actually really entertaining but I think only missionaries would get some of the stuff that happens. Normal people would watch it and just think it´s weird.

Well, Valdo is still the man, but... we found out he and Janete aren´t really married so they can´t be baptized quite yet and with the new mission focus on families we can´t baptize their daughter Monica until we baptize them first. It stinks but there isn´t really anything we can do right now. They are going to the Cartorio this week to mark a date. They are still elects. They have started saying 'our church' so it´s pretty much a given that they will be baptized. I just hope that things work out so that they can be baptized before I get transferred which could be in three weeks.

Last night we had a really awesome Family Home Evening with a group of members and Valdo´s family. We watched "Together Forever" then played a bunch of games. Cake-time afterwards.

So yeah, that´s the week. It was pretty hard but had it´s funny stories and the everyday miracles that happen here in the mission field. I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine´s day, I´ll have to wait a few months until the day of boyfriends & girlfriends here in Brasil, not that I have anything to really wait for :P. Love you all!

Elder MacLane Taggart


Monday, February 7, 2011

February 7, 2011 Valdo is the Man!

Hey Family, Friends, and Random People,

Well this week was the start of a new transfer and a new opportunity to work hard in the service of the Lord! Elder Alves de Oliveira was transferred (I´d say finally but we were only companions one transfer). My new companion is Elder Moreira da Silva! I´m noticing a pattern in my companion´s names: Pereira, Oliveira, Moreira. They all end in eira. He´s really cool and quiet but he is an awesome missionary. He is on the final months of the mission just like all my other comps. He´s pretty short and has a pretty young face, the sisters in our ward make fun of him a lot already. But it will be a good transfer so I´m way excited.

One of my closest friends on the mission just got transfered real close-by too, Elder Orton from way back in my first transfer. Back then he was desperate to be a leader and since then he´s been a district leader and is now my zone leader. It´ll be good to have someone close way up in the leadership, oh the politics of the mission, haha! Just kidding!

The mailing system is beginning to drive me a little crazy. The letters I sent home before Christmas are finally beginning to arrive back in the states so if you are still waiting I´m sorry but it´s coming. I received the news about dad´s new calling this week (a month late). Congrats dad! The young men of the ward will be really blessed to have you. You´re an amazing example and father and I´m sure you´ll do a lot of good. A notice to all: Please encourage young men to prepare to serve a mission. Our mission is beginning to downsize a lot because young men aren´t serving as much as before. It´s amazing to be a missionary and the prophet is calling each and every one of the young men in this church.

I need to talk a little about our amazing investigators Valdo and his family. I found them knocking doors one day about a month ago and they are all progressing really well. Valdo has been to church twice already and his family came this week. Janet his wife (I didn´t understand what her name was for a long time because it is pronounced way different in Portuguese) has already made us 2 cakes and a chicken torte, we are also going to have lunch with them today. Their daughter Monica, 14 and gorgeous, is making tons of friends in the ward already and wants to join the ward choir. This week we invited them to be baptized on the 26th and they all accepted! They are a little nervous that it´s a little fast but they said, "We´re going to be baptized either way." They have another daughter Jessica, 18, who is a little rebellious and has had bad experiences with church in the past but she´ll come along sooner or later.

On Sunday we had an interesting experience. We had lunch with a family and one of their daughters doesn´t believe in God. The mom took the opportunity to have the missionaries in house to attack her daughters beliefs that turned into a big debate about not only how God exists but why we need him to exist. We tried to explain to her that if we don´t live by faith we´ll never be satified because many things don´t have explanations other than God. But she wasn´t interested in understanding and Elder Moreira da Silva said that if you don´t want to believe you never will.

I also wanted to mention something really small but made a difference to me. This week we got home one night and it started to pour, I mean pour, rain. São Paulo has a cool tendency to ´mist´ when it rains but it was raining so hard that it was raining and misting at the same time and the wind was blowing a bit. I stood on our front porch and took it in for a while and felt the water and the wind. It felt so good and reminded me how we always have a chance to be clean and to start over and rededicate ourselves to doing good. I decided that this transfer I´m going to be different and I´m going to do my best.

Well, that´s all I got for this week. I hope you liked it. I love you all and hope all is well. Don´t forget to send me a shout-out every once in a while. Tchau!

Elder MacLane Taggart