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, April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011 Egg Hunt

E ai Gente!?!

Well happy Easter to you all! I hope you all stuffed yourselves silly with chocolate bunnies! Here the tradition is giant chocolate eggs. Also during the holy week most people only eat fish so we ate so much fish last week that I almost couldn´t look at one on Easter.

We had an unofficial egg hunt against the elders of Ranieri this week aka trying to get people to buy us chocolate eggs. We didn´t get a single one the whole week! How many did the other elders get? 6! I had given up hope to receive one but Easter Sunday my companion and I both received eggs (see photo). Maybe now that the holiday is over people will buy us some because they are cheaper.

Man we fought for baptisms this week. Maria José and Alice were both marked for baptism Sunday night but neither worked out. Alice disappeared and when we finally got a hold of her it was too late to mark an interview and she didn´t go to church. Maria José was a little more complicated. She has had a really difficult life and loves the difference that has occurred in her life. Our District Leader showed up for the interview and almost ruined everything (a story too long to tell) and in the end she didn´t pass and has to be interviewed by Pres. Jackson. Maria will be baptized on the 7th and we´re not sure if Alice is still firm.

I was so freakin sick this week. It was ridiculous! I was coughing and sneezing and I couldn´t sleep. The weather is a little crazy right now because we´re moving into winter so that didn´t help at all. I finally got medicine on Friday and now I´m a lot better. I still have the sniffles but I´m not coughing nearly as bad.

Let´s see what else happened? We received a greeny american in our zone! His name is Elder Crandall from Washington state. It´s so funny to see how lost the new missionaries are and to think that I was like that 8 months ago.

This next week is going to be way busy. We have Zone Leader Council, Leadership Training and a special meeting with.... drum roll please... Elder Hallstrom from the Presidency of the Seventy. Should be exciting. I´ll have a lot to talk about next week.

Anyway I love you all!

Elder MacLane Taggart

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 18, 2011 Castelinho

Hey World,

To start, I realize that my email last week was a little weird. However, it was the truth. Don´t worry, I not self hating or anything, I just had a pretty reflective week last week. I kind of thought stuff back home wasn´t going to change on my mission but boy was I wrong. Jackson moved to Colorado, Kenzie moved out (again), Maggie and Ryan are trying to start and family, and mom and dad are heading off to Paris for the week. Yep things change! haha but that´s part of life I suppose and I guess that is kind of what I was trying to say last week.

Anyway, I´m super happy right now. My area is great! Last week my comp and I had to talk some stuff out but now we are super strong. This week was the transfer but we´re staying together one more so I´m excited.

Last Monday we had a great time with some of the elders in our zone. We went to a restaurant called Habib´s. It´s like McDonald´s but they make middle eastern food. I bought their version of a big mac (they use velveta cheese sauce instead of thousand island). It was so fun. This transfer I made some really good friend here in Guarapiranga, like Elder Hickenlooper, who just got transferred. It was nice to spend the day with the awesome elders of our zone.

Tuesday we had district meeting and I then we went into an exchange with Jardin Angela. I stayed with Elder M. Melo in Aracati. It was great. He corrected my Portuguese every few minutes and then got embarrassed. I still need to learn so it was good.

Wednesday I did and exchange with Elder Amauri in our area again. It was good. He is the oldest missionary here in Sao Paulo Interlagos. He is 27 and pretty bald. We got out to work earlier than we thought we would so we went to Castelinho for a little bit. Castelinho is an abandoned mansion on the lake. It is so cool. There are tons of stories about it. One guy told us that it was a drug lord´s home and the police killed everyone that lived there and that their spirits haunt the place now. Others say it was just an old rich guy that died and no one took care of it anymore. The point is it´s creepy and full of brasilian graffiti (see photos).

Friday I went on exchange with Elder Beron in Chacara Santana. He is one of the first Argentinos to serve in Brasil. Brasil and Argentina are huge rivals so people always say funny stuff to him. I did my first baptismal interviews during the exchange. It was awesome! It´s a lot of pressure to think that you´re the one who decides if these people will be baptized or not but it really is a spiritual experience that I enjoyed and hope to do a lot more.

Saturday some of our investigators got married! Sergio and Cristina! They have been way busy the last few weeks so we haven´t been able to talk to them a lot but they invited us to the reception and it was so fun. Cristina looked so beautiful and Sergio introduced us to everyone and gave us a lot of attention. Now we just need to get them to accept a baptismal date.

I got pretty sick this week too so I´ve been running on empty. I feel like I´m getting a little better everyday so I should be back to normal soon. Irmá Eurotides (arrow-ti-gees) made me an herbal remedy of ground up garlic, lime juice, and honey that makes you want to throw up but does the trick.

Anyway, that´s the week for you! I love this work and I love all of you! Fica Cique!

Elder Taggart

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011 Boring Week

Well everyone, this week I really have nothing to say. Nothing really interesting happened, I´m just working my butt off as usual in the service of the Lord. I´ll try to make next week a little more exciting for you all.
Since I´m not really writing a ton today I´d just like to tell everyone that I kind of had a revelation this week. I really have changed so much in these short 10 months on the mission and I realized that I don´t really like who I was before the mission. If I did anything that made any of you feel bad I´m sorry; I´ll have to make it up to you in 14 months. As corny as this sounds, I think I truly am becoming a man.
I know that this Gospel is true. I see the miracles of it everyday. I see and apply the atonement on a daily basis and I´m so grateful for it. Don´t take it for granted. Love the blessings that God pours out upon you. Love the challenges too. If there is something wrong in your life, change today. What you do today could define your eternity.
I love you all and hope to hear from you.
Elder MacLane Taggart

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4, 2011 I Need Some Sleep

Dear World,
Hey everyone, how are you doing? I´m doing great! This week was the fastest week on the mission so far, seriously I can´t believe it´s already time to email again. It was a good week for sure so let´s go!
On Tuesday we didn´t go to district meeting because we had zone leader council (sp?) in Ferreira. It was so cool! We had like a big round table and we talked about the trends and difficulties in the mission. Sister Jackson made us all cinnamon rolls too! yum!
Wednesday we found a big family of single women that is really receptive. We´ve already marked the mom for the 23rd and every time we go there we get a few more referrals and new investigators. It´s great to find families like that but it´s hard to teach them because everyone is going in and out the whole lesson and some people haven´t received certain messages. We just need to focus on the mom so hat she can lead the rest of the family.
We went back to Ferreira on Thursday to do an exchange with the Assistants. I worked with Elder E. Silva in their area. Half of their area is really rich and the other half is favela. It was pretty fun and at the end of the night we ordered the mission famous pizza Kadaloras! It was so good. In our mission everyone orders pizza with chocolate filled crust, sounds weird with a savory pizza but it´s like having dessert with every piece! Right before we went to bed Elder E. Silva told me he yells in his sleep and he actually did. I did not sleep at all.
Friday we had another exchange with the Elders of Riviera Paulista. I stayed with Elder Lima and it was really fun with him and we talked a lot about teaching techniques and how to get better. I think I helped him a bit. I didn´t sleep there either because the bed was messed up. Their shower is broken so I took a freezing cold shower!
Saturday was the first day of conference! Conference eats up our whole day here because it starts and 1 and the last session ends at 7 at night. It was so great. Thomas S. Monson is the prophet, no doubt! We had a few investigators their too. The priesthood session is too late for us to watch so we had to get up early on Sunday to watch the early morning rebroadcast. We all slept in Raneiri because they live closest to the chapel and it was way fun but I lost the Uno tournament so I had to sleep on the floor. Their neighbors were playing music all night too so I didn´t sleep for the third night in a row.
During the Sunday sessions I couldn´t even pay attention because I was so tired. I think I actually fell asleep a few times. Good thing I can read the talks in the next Liahona. I finally got to sleep in my own bed last night and it was good.
Today is my companions birthday! Parabens para Elder D. Silva. I made blueberry muffins and he really loved them and now we´re going to have a movie day with a few other elders. Of course it will be church films but a little media stimulation is always good.
I love you all and hope all is well. Please send me a letter every once in a while to tell me about life. Again love you all! The Gospel is true!
Elder MacLane Taggart