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, May 2, 2011

May 2, 2011 Bare Feet and Seventies

Hey everyone,
Wow, this was quite a week! Lots of stuff happened and the time pretty much flew (I realize I say this every week but really this week was special).
First off, I´d like to explain something about serving in Brasil. Your shoes do not last very long. I have already destroyed 5 pairs of really good shoes. My solution: construction boots. All the Brasilians use these horribly ugly boots that you buy at the local construction stores. I feel like this is going to be the best route to resolve the problem so I´ll have to take the bullet. We´ll see if they last.
One highlight of the week was Tuesday. We have a greeny here in our zone who happens to be the companion of one of the district leaders so we had the opportunity to do an exchange. Elder Crandall is fresh off the plane, he stayed 6 weeks in the MTC in Provo and then 3 here in Sao Paulo and now (if he´s anything like me) he´s finding out that the language they taught him isn´t Portuguese. Haha! It was great and was his first exchange EVER! One of our appointments fell through and he knocked his first door with me. It´s hard to believe that I almost have a year already because I still feel like a greeny at heart.
We went with Oliveira and Karla to mark their wedding! They are getting married on the 21st in the morning and their baptism will be at night. They are not very well integrated which is their main concern so we are going to try to have all of our visits with them from now on be with different members and assign a family to visit them during the week without us.
The rest of the week was full of meetings, meetings, and more meetings! Thursday we had Zone Leader Council. ZLC is basically the 20 ZLs sitting and talking about the problems in the mission and waiting for Pres. Jackson to tell us what to do. Friday was leadership training in the nicest chapel in the mission. It´s in the middle of a busy part of the city so instead of building out they built up. It´s 5 stories tall and so fancy. One of the things I don´t like about leadership meetings is that there are so many missionaries that are desperate for attention. They just talk and talk and talk and never actually say anything. It´s way funny when Pres. Jackson tells them to stop talking and doesn´t call on them for the rest of the meeting.
Saturday was our special meeting with the whole mission together. We had Elder Coeh who is an area seventy I´ve never heard of, Elder Soares who is the Area President, and Elder Hallstrom who is in the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy. It was a pretty good meeting, not nearly as good as Elder Oaks but what can you do. They all kind of burned us a little and I left the meeting a little ticked. The next day I was thinking about repentance and realized the first step is recognizing you´re doing something wrong so we´re doing some evaluation as a companionship this week to see what we need to do better.
Sunday was awesome! It was fast and testimony meeting and one of our investigators, Ronilton, bore his testimony and said that he is so grateful for his friend who invited him to church because he now knows that it´s true and that he´ll never leave! He´s a youth so we need to get authorization to baptize him but hopefully we´ll baptize him later this month. At night we had an awesome family home evening with a bunch of our investigators in a member´s home too!
We are also teaching Aline. She is the wife of a recently reactivated returned missionary named Robson. She is so good. She was raised super Catholic but now she is wanting to join our church. She is reading everyday. We can only visit her on Sundays because Robson works during the week. This Sunday when we started the lesson we asked if she had question and she asked about the gifts of the Spirit! Then we taught the Word of Wisdom and she is already living it because of Robson! She doesn´t even drink Coca-Cola, she´s a better Mormon than I am! haha! The 28th should be really special.
Maria José is our investigator closest to baptism. She has already been interviewed but didn´t pass so she has to be interviewed by Pres. Jackson this week. She also had a family emergency on Sunday so she couldn´t go to Church. The baptism should happen Sunday right after the meetings so everyone in the ward can see it. Hopefully this puts some fuel in the members here.
Really things are so great right now. I´m super grateful to be a missionary and love the work. I hope everyone has a good week and a happy mother´s day! I know I will because I´m going to be calling my family!
Jesus Loves You! (that´s what they write on cakes here)
Elder MacLane Taggart

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