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, September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011 It's the Climb!

Hey Everyone,

Well hey there world. How are you all doing? Good? That´s just great! This week we got back on on our feet and are building up our speed again.

Monday night we found some amazing families as a result of the Finding the Fold activity we did on Sunday. The first family is Adeline and her children. Her mother Arlete was baptized but Adeline never was because they left the church when she was seven. She was super receptive to the message and they accepted a baptismal date in the first visit! We also found a family that is part member. Antonio and Vera we getting ready for baptism but they needed to get married and things just kind of fell apart so they never got baptized. Some of the kids were baptized but now they have another daughter with the right age too.

Tuesday was good. Elder Farris gave an amazing district meeting about the importance of the Book of Mormon. We discussed how the Book of Mormon is the source of solutions of any sort of doubt or question in respect to the restored gospel and how we need to us it whenever possible to teach. After the district meeting we did a BLITZ in Catanduva to help them find more people to teach. Everyone in the district was there and just talked to people for about two hours to find the elects in that area.

Wednesday we visited Francisco and Josefa. They are a couple that we have been visiting but it had never worked out well enough to actually teach them a lesson. We finally got the two of them together and taught them about the restoration of the gospel and Josefa got way excited and they also accepted a baptismal date! Francisco needs a little more help than Josefa but why not right?

Saturday we remembered some of our old investigators, Sergio and Durvalina. Remember her? She´s that woman that said she knew it was true but didn´t want to get baptized. We remembered because it was the day of their wedding that we helped organize before we stopped visiting them so we decided to pass by and congradulate them. They freaked out (in a good way) when they saw us and told us how much they missed our visits. We told them we´d visit them again this week. Hopefully Durvalina is ready to accept the gospel now.

Sunday was really good. Adeline went to church and loved it! After lunch we had another Finding the Fold activity with all the missionaries in the Catanduva ward. It was way more organized than ours and we visited a lot of people that really want to come back to church. I think it is so interesting to work with inactive people because usually they really want to go back but they are just super scared for some reason.

Today we got up and cleaned our house... ugh. I got stuck with the bathrooms. We have one bathroom that we use next to our bedroom and then there is the bathroom downstairs that we usually don´t even open the door because even before I was in the area it was a disaster. The toilet is broken so when you flush it all leaks onto the floor, how do I know? Because the floor is stained yellow, yeah... gross. Anyway I managed to make is squecky clean and then I quickly made a 'Danger: Do Not Enter' sign to put on the door. Hopefully I will never have to open that door again.

That´s the sitch!
Elder MacLane Taggart

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 19, 2011 Finding the Fold

Hey World!

Well one more week has flown by! I can´t believe how fast time goes, it´s crazy! This was a good week.

Monday was a normal work day because P-day switched to Wednesday when we went to the temple. We visited a really scary woman named Marilza. She is a witch. She said that she sold her soul to the Devil in order to try to kill her ex-husband and that she had the Devil’s baby, named Lucifer (I guess she doesn´t know that Lucifer is the Devil). We tried to talk to her about baptism but she said she´ll only be able to reconcile with God when her ex-husband dies and she is free from her evil contract. Interesting... haha!

On Tuesday we did a Blitz in the Sister´s area to help them find a few people to teach. They sent us to a rich neighborhood (bad idea) so we didn´t really get a bunch of contacts but I´m glad we were able to help them a bit. That night we went back to our area and taught a new couple we found named Sergio and Vanessa. Vanessa is pregnant and about ready to burst. They are really smart and open but they need to get married before anything can really happen.

We went to the temple on Wednesday! I was really needing a celestial getaway so it was just what the doctor ordered. It was an amazing session and I read by Patriarchal Blessing in the Celestial Room. I had my eyes opened to a few things, really awesome. After the temple we went to the Churrascaria and ate a ton of meat and then went to Walmart for donuts! haha.

Thursday we started teaching a referral named Ingrid. She was excommunicated for the Jehovah´s Witnesses and now is kind of against organized religion. We talked to her about the Book of Mormon and a little about the restoration of the gospel. She said she would not accept any commitments and I followed up with, "But will you read and pray about the Book of Mormon?" She said yes and I whispered to Elder Melo, "commitment accepted." We also visited an elect couple named Adan and Amanda but in the middle of the visit her drunk dad walked in and the Spirit flew out the window. In the end they didn´t accept another appointment because her dad was watching. It was a really sad experience.

But Saturday was baptism day for Mariana. We visited her everyday this week to wrap everything up and it all went so smoothly. The big question was whether her brother Elton would baptize her. The bishop interviewed him during the week but didn´t give us an answer because he wanted to talk to his old bishop. We were waiting there before the baptism and when the bishop walked in he said, "Elton you can go change your clothes. You´re going to baptize her." We all freaked out and were so happy! It was amazing to be a part of this whole process. We were able to help Elton and Adriana come back to church and be part of Mariana´s baptism; I´m so grateful for the experience of bringing that family that I love so much make such important steps in the Gospel.

Sunday was complicated and exciting. We had our 'Finding the Fold' activity with the men of the ward and all the missionaries of our zone. Everyone was given about 5 less active families to find and grab information. It wasn´t as organized as it should have been but in the end a ton of families were visited and we recieved a ton of referrals that we are going to visit this week. The new focus that Pres. Pinho is trying to pass is to grab families less actives and baptize their families. Let´s do this!

Thanks for the love and support,
Elder M. Winsor Taggart

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12, 2011 Split Divisions

Hey World,

Wow, that week flew by! Alright so let´s get started.

Tuesday I did a division with Elder Farris. It was pretty interesting. He is our new District Leader. We had a lot of success in our area and everything went really smoothly. I need to help him out a bit in the leadership department but he has a great spirit and will help Elder J. Oliveira.

Wednesday we had (another) leadership training. Everyone had questions about baptismal requirements and in the end we found out that there aren´t going to be any other requirements other than what is written in Preach My Gospel. "Follow the spirit" is the right way to go but unfortunately not everyone knows how to do that.

Thursday we did another division with Elder J. Silva and Elder Peterson. I went to their area and worked with Elder Peterson. He is a brand new missionary and has an interesting story. He was born in the US but as a child his family moved to Brasil, then when he was a teenager they moved back to the US and now he is serving here in Brasil. HAHA! He speaks English and Portuguese fluently so he has no problems in the communication department. He has a lot to learn still so we´re going to keep a good eye on him.

Remember Priscila? The woman we baptized right when I got in the area? Well she recieved a calling in the ward! I was so happy when I found out. I really have had the opportunity to be with their family in the whole process of conversion and now they are normal members of the church! It was awesome!

We had a miracle baptism fall into our laps this week. Elton and Adriana are a less active couple that we have been working with for a few weeks now and Elton´s sister accepted to be baptized! The baptism is marked for Saturday, maybe will happen next week but either way it´s going great with her!

We are working to find new investigators and build a new teaching group. This sunday we are going to do an overhall with the whole ward to visit ALL of the less active members registered in the ward to find all the families that need to be completed and update the ward records. Everyone is really excited and should give us a good boost.

Well, that´s it for now! Love you all!

Elder MacLane W. Taggart


Monday, September 5, 2011

September 5, 2011 Learning to Pick Yourself Up

Dear Everybody,

Well this week was a bit stressful but I´m learning that sometimes you just have to let things go and move on. The week started off slow because on Tuesday we had Zone Leader Council and once again Pres. Pinho talked about the printing off the graphics incident in front of everyone. It was a good training. It´s so wierd now. I realized today that I only have 9 months left on the mission! That is just crazy. I realized I was old at the council also because I am one of the oldest zone leaders and there are a bunch of new people that I have never met on the mission.

Wednesday was Mission Leadership Training. It got pretty crazy. Pres. Pinho is changing EVERYTHING and they announced a bunch of changes to the rules and expectations here. Everyone was confused and didn´t understand (partly because everyone was indoctrinated with Pres. Jackson and Pres. Pinho is the opposite). It almost turned into a yelling match because everyone was disagreeing with eachother. Even the Assistants were contradicting eachother. In the end Pres. Pinho had to mark another training for this week to explain and get everyone on the same boat. For anyone that only had one mission president, you´re lucky because it is super hard ajusting and learning how to do things in a completely different way. I almost feel like I am being brainwashed and I have to forget everything I already learned about missionary work. But whatever, Pres. Pinho has the keys and I am in a position where I have to represent him so I better learn fast and get moving.

The rest of the week was challenging and has put us in an interesting situation. We started the week with 10 people marked for baptism this month and we finished the week with two. Practically everyone we were teaching fell through. Have you ever felt so frustrated that you just wanted to yell and cry at the same time but you couldn´t do either? That is how I felt Sunday night. But I´m learning that I can´t let myself get disapointed. I don´t have the ability to force anyone to do anything they don´t want to do even if they know they should, that´s part of God´s plan. Unfortunately not everyone is going to return to live with God. Not everyone is going to be happy for eternity. I´m always reminded of a saying that Nana gave me that is hanging up in my room back home which says "What we do in life, echoes in eternity" by Maximus. What we do today is defining our eternity and each and everyone of us has the personal responsibility to do what we know is right and if we don´t we´ll have to answer in front of God why we didn´t and Christ isn´t going to be able to do anything more to help us than what he already did. I can only show people the way and they have to follow. Maybe right now isn´t just the right moment for our old investigators or maybe I´ll have to testify against them on the Judgement Day, either way I did my part. Even though these people didn´t accept to follow the answers God gave them there is always someone else waiting, we just have to find them. Now we need to get out there and find the people that are ready for a commitment with God.

I know I seem ticked off right now but it really is true. I´m learning how to move on and pick myself up when difficult stuff happens. I know that next week I´ll probably have 20 emails waiting for me to give me some comfort. haha! Anyway, I don´t have much else to say. Thanks for the love and support. I love you all.

Elder MacLane Winsor Taggart