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, June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011 Tribute to Pres. and Sister Jackson

Well Gente,

Big changes are coming up for us here in Missão São Paulo Interlagos. Tomorrow morning Pres. and Sis. Jackson will be on a plane returning to Utah and our new mission President will be in control. It´s going to be weird writing my weekly letter to the President in Portuguese. President and Sister Jackson will be really missed. They really have been more than just leaders here. They have been the closest thing to family here in Brasil that you could have and they have taught me so much. I´m grateful for the service that they have given during my time here and before.

Anyway this week was pretty interesting. On Tuesday I gave a training for the district I´m following up with about the power for our callings. We read John 15(?):1-16 together and analyzed every verse. We created a web of types of disciples and their characteristics then read about authority in Preach My Gospel. We didn´t have time for a good practice so I opened the meeting up to bearing testimonies. I cried. First time on the mission that I think I really cried. (You´d think I would have cried at a baptism or something, but no.)

Then we had a companion exchange with the Elders of Catanduva. I stayed with Elder J. Oliveira in his area. It was good. A member gave me CDs of a brasilian boy band that is super weird. It´s like Justin Beiber times four. At night we drank a ton of coca-cola. I´ve created a new policy that I´m not going to buy cola anymore. I think this should bring my consumption down a ton and help me get back on the diet train. (PS. It´s hard to lose weight when people make you cake everyday! This is something I´ve learned.)

We found a ton of new families this week. It was awesome! We´ll keep working with them and see who progresses then I´ll tell you about people specific. I don´t want to pass info that doesn´t get completed, like João Batista a few weeks ago that disappeared.

Elder Batista the traveling assistant was in our zone this week and he was going all over the place. He is an awesome missionary and we became friends back in Guarapiranga. He helped us a ton and gave us really good advice on how to lead the zone. June finished with only 4 baptisms in the zone so we need to get on top of things so that July can be incredible. From what we are hearing from the missionaries it should be an awesome month in Campo Limpo!

Our strongest investigators at the moment are Areci and Marlene. They are both marked for the 9th and are keeping all their commitments! It´s awesome! Marlene´s husband never talks to us and I had never seen him until yesterday. I was afraid that he would be scary and huge by the way Marlene talked about him. We met him last night and he´s not scary at all he just isn´t interested in religion.

Yesterday it rained pra carumba! We got soaked on our way home from church and when we grabbed our umbrellas the rain stopped. We walked around the rest of the day with huge umbrellas and it didn´t start raining again.

Today we had another zone activity. Sister Shaha received a bottle of maple syrup (doesn´t exist in Brasil) from her family so we made pancakes and had an Uno tournament! It was way fun!

That´s the news for now! Hope you all liked it! Talk to you soon!

Elder MacLane Taggart


Monday, June 20, 2011

Here Comes the Tricky Part, June 20, 2011

Well hey there world!

Well I´ve past the one year mark! Can you believe it? Wow! The rest is downhill. I hear the second year is a lot faster than the first so if it is I´ll be home before you know it and maybe before I want to. :P

This week was way busy. Wednesday we had a 'specialized training' with Pres. Jackson and his family. We got there and it was a giant american bbq! They are going home in the next two weeks so they wanted to have a day to spend with us. It was awesome. I kind of got Sister Jackson mad when I asked, "Hey Sister Jackson, where´s the Coke?" Everyone gasped. That´s mission life for you. I didn´t know Coke was a swear word. Anyway it was really a good day.

After, we had an exchange with the Elders from Jardim das Rosas (Rose Garden). I stayed with Elder J. Silva and we pretty much just knocked doors all day.

Thursday was my Hump Day! People aren´t going to call me new on the mission anymore. It was a bad day to celebrate because I was sick (fever of 101). Friday I was feeling a lot better so we ordered pizza at night and listened to EFY aka partied missionary style.

Friday we also had a meeting with the assistants and Pres. Jackson. It was probably the last time I´ll see him on the mission. Wow, that´s really sad. I´ll have to write him my last email in a few minutes too. It´s difficult but part of the work. The Lord´s work doesn´t stop for anyone so you can´t be sad you just have to go with the punches and keep up.

I´ve entitled this email 'Here Comes The Tricky Part' because coming off our baptism of Priscila and her family we´ve got pretty much nothing. We have one woman who is a sure baptism for July but as for that nada. So we are working really hard to find new people. This is the real grind work of the mission. Building up when you´ve got nothing is hard but it is also the part where you grow and your faith is tested the most. I´ve been praying my guts out and we´re seeing stuff happen everyday that really shows how our prayers are heard and answered.

Anyway, I´m simply working myself to death until further notice. Any questions? Haha! Later!

Elder MacLane Taggart

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13, 2011 Men in White

Hey everyone!

Well this last week was pretty good. Wednesday we went to the Temple! It was great and we did a session with a group of missionaries from the São Paulo North mission. It´s obvious how the missions have different cultures. São Paulo Interlagos (my mission) is all ghetto and flavela so all the missionaries are a little more wild and misbehaved. São Paulo North has better living conditions so all the missionaries are a little uptight. We all ate lunch together.

Our house is a mess so we´ve decided to create some more rules about cleanliness. We have tons of dishes and it was unnecessary so I put a few of them away and my comp thought I had broken them and thrown them out. Our living situation is kind of interesting. Our shower head that heats the water is broken so we are taking showers in our neighbor's house. Our other neighbors have parties that are so loud it´s hard to sleep. We share a laundry area with other neighbors. It´s a big family really...not. haha!

Saturday we baptized Priscila, Rafaela, and Rafael! They were having problems with the Word of Wisdom because they all love coffee but they are the type of people that when they decide to do something they do it. The water heater was broken and it´s been super cold the past few days so the water was freezing! In a city that doesn´t have hardly any water heaters, the few that exist don´t work. But it really was wonderful and their confirmation went smoothy on Sunday.

Now that we have completed our goal for June we have to get some new folks to baptize in July. Our investigators at the moment are either super mole (don´t want commitment) or super complicated so we are looking for new families and so far we´ve found a few good people.

Today we organized the first zone activity of the transfer and it was awesome! We played capture the flag then ate hot dogs. The last part was a pie in the face mission trivia tournament! I had to hand whip the cream which took a while but in the end everyone loved it. I hope it gets them all a little more excited. They have been dead the past few weeks so we are trying to inject a little joy into their rears. This zone is going through some tough times right now but it´s nothing a little TLC can´t take care of.

My Hump Day is coming up! Thursday I make one year on the mission. It just so happens that June 16th is also my mom´s birthday. Happy Birthday mom! I expect presents from you all. Haha just kidding! I can´t believe I´ve already come this far. I still feel like I don´t know anything! Anyway, I only have one more year to give my best to the Lord. Wow!

See you all soon (1 year),
Elder MacLane Taggart

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011 Welcome to Pirajussara

Hey Everyone,

Well I was right about the transfer :P I was sent to Pirajussara in Zona Campo Limpo. It´s a lot closer to the city and has pretty much everything; bank, post office, restaurants, etc. It´s a really big area but I´ve always had huge areas so it´ll be easy to manage, just need to plan smart. This zone has been having really low numbers the past few months and the missionaries here are a little dis-animated so we´re going to get them pumped up and ready to baptize!

My new companion is Elder Arnaud de Souza. He is so awesome! We are getting along really well and have tons of ideas to bring some life back to Campo Limpo. We´re going to make a zone newsletter called O Ceifador (the Harvester) because Campo Limpo means clean field. Clever right? It was my idea. haha! We´ve got some activities planned too. Elder Arnaud is really creative so we´re going to work well together.

We are going to baptize a family this week! Priscila is the mother of Rafael and Rafaela and they are incredible! We already knew they had a problem with coffee so I was kind of nervous to teach the word of wisdom. When we said they couldn´t drink it anymore they all let out a groan and said, "Tchau cafe!" It was awesome. They are going to dive into the baptismal font.

We are also teaching a complicated family. The mother is super catholic, the dad isn´t interested, the son doesn´t care, and the daughter is atheist. Why they continue to accept our visits I don´t know. Last time we started talking about authority and without directly saying it, we said the pope is a false prophet. Yeah, they didn´t like that. haha! They went on vacation so we´ll see how they are doing when they get back.

We are working on building our teaching group right now so we´re knocking a lot of doors. We found an awesome new man named João Batista (John the Baptist). We taught him on Saturday and he went to church on Sunday and has already told us he wants to join the church. We haven´t even taught the Restoration yet! We are going to baptize the baptist!

Another woman named Selia was studying for a college test so we had to do a really quick intro to the message and a short prayer and she started to cry during the prayer. It wasn´t even an incredible prayer and she still started to cry! I think she knows that we´ve got the power. haha!

Anyway, since I´m still getting used to the area so I don´t have a ton to say. If anyone has question please send them my way through email or letter. I´d love to hear from all my people back home.

We´re going to the temple this week so we don´t have lunch marked today. We´re going to eat at Habib´s! It´s a middle eastern fast food place! It´s so good! haha!

Elder MacLane Taggart