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