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, November 28, 2011

November 28,2011 Giving Thanks

Well everyone, how are you?

Wow that was a pretty interesting week. Seemed to go by a bit slower than normal but that´s alright.

So our baptisms fell through. Vitor is still going well he just needs a week more to get a little more excited so he´ll be a sure thing this week (I hope). Artur also didn´t get baptized, funny story. His mom has been a little nervous that things were going too quickly and said she´d let him but that she thought he needed more time. Then we taught him that you shouldn´t worship idols (catholic family) and in the middle of the lesson his mom came home and he grabbed one of the saints they had on the wall and tore it up and threw the pieces in her face. So... he needs a little more time to prepare.

Other than them we are really just working to find LOTS of new people. Our plan: The Snowball Effect. We have marked days during the week with all the recent converts for them to invited their friends over and meet us. The idea is that every recent convert turns into two more baptisms and those two baptisms turn into four and so on. They all seemed excited about it so lets cross our fingers and pray.

So Thanksgiving was great. I was on a division with Elder Brady (a huge football player from ogden) and he was determined to eat a ton. So the last family we visited that night made us bologne sandwiches (I´ve actually com to love bologne now) and then when we were walking home we ordered pizza. Not just one, but two. With a huge bottle of Coke! It was so fun but let´s just say I didn´t sleep very well.

Seeing how the holiday passed I feel like I should share some of the things I´m thankful for: Coca-Cola (haha), brasilian bakeries, missionary moms, real moms (and dads), and really good shoe insoles. But the thing of greatest worth that I have in my life is the atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that it is real and I know that he lives and loves me. It is an honor and a priviledge to be here in the Lord´s vineyard. That is what I am most grateful for.

Elder Taggart

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011 Referrals of Gold

Dear Everyone,

Remember how last week I told you that we got some referrals on Sunday? Well turns out these people are super elect and we are going to baptism two of them this week! Artur and Vitor!

Artur is a 16 year old who is good friends with recent convert Marcelo. Artur loved Church and when we went to visit him after he said, "I really want to serve a mission. Do I need to get baptized before I can go?" Haha! It was awesome! He has so much desire. He suffers from a learning disability and he feels really limited by his own comprehension (sp?) of things. He wants to go alot fast than his brain legs are carrying him. It is so cool that he has so much desire. When we went to teach him the word of wisdom he said he had never drunken coffee in his life because he didn´t like it and didn´t feel like it was something that was good for him. Elect? We are also teaching his mom and sister. His mom Vera is really open but we can´t teach her as much because she works so she´ll be for December. When we asked her how she thought she could get an answer she said, "Well the only way to actually feel like the baptism is right is by doing it so I don´t think I would ever really know unless I get baptized." Is sister is kind of a stinker. Her name is Sthefanie, yes that is how you spell it. She says she Catholic even though she never goes to church.

Vitor is our other miracle. He is the little brother of Pamela, one of the young women in the ward. He is super shy and is 8 years old but is really smart. His mom was never baptized but has a testemony that the church is true, so she is helping him a lot and even taught him how to pray and is reading and explaining the Book of Mormon to him. She can´t be baptized at the moment because she recently got back together with her ex and they aren´t married. He couldn´t come to church this week but sent us a message saying that even though he didn´t got to church this week he still wants to be baptized on Saturday.

This week we had a ton of work to do. We are teaching a few good families that we are trying to prepare for a 'December to Remember' and so we are running all over the place. The familiy that is progressing the most is Antonio, Zenita, Caroline, and Joyce. They are super good but the thing with families is that everyone seems to progress at different rates. The whole family went to church this week for the first time. Antonio loved it because he feels like religion today has turned into a big marketing scheme and he didn´t feel like The Church of Jesus Christ should be a business. Zenita is interesting. She loves us so much but doens´t really understand that we are there for the whole family, not just the kids. Caroline makes me a little nervous. She is a really beautiful young woman who for some reason always tries to sit next to me on their couch. Last night was way funny because I sat down and she sat next to me again. I was pretty much glued at the arm of the couch trying to sit as far away from her as possible. Then my comp sat on the other side of the room (laughing at me) and I said, "I have to sit next to him." Then I almost fell off the couch. Joyce is pretty much a spaz and loved playing the primary. We are planning on going to the Cartorio to mark a wedding date this week. We are trying to establish a baptismal date for Christmas Eve with them so cross your fingers.

Happy to report that our recent converts Iara and Anthony are super integrated and everyone in the ward loves them! Iara is already participating fully in Releif Society which is a miracle (Releif Society is pretty much a make or brake investigators thing in Brasil, maybe even the world, because most of the woman are straight up crazy). They are in the ward choir and everything. It´s awesome!

Hm... What else interesting happened this week? I don´t really know. We are working so much that all the days kind of just melt together. Anyway, that´s it then. Love you all!

Elder M.W. Taggart

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14, 2011 Home Improvement

Hey Everyone!

Well this was an awesome week! I would send you all pics but none of the LAN houses let you send pics anymore.

The main focus this week was Anthony and Iara. It was a race to the finish line with their baptism because at the last minute Iara started having a really hard time to quit smoking and her exhusband suddenly got back in the picture. We visited them every day. She is such a cute lady. We got there and she always had something fresh out of the oven for us to eat. One day she made us lasagna, the next meat stuffed pancakes, and the day of the interview she ordered pizza. They both made it in the end and it was an awesome baptism. There were a ton of people there including Anthony´s dad who was against the whole thing but in the end went to show his support for his son. They are super integrated with the ward too. Iara has already read all the the books that have been given to her (Principles of the Gospel, Daughters in His Kingdom, etc.) and she is devouring O Livro de Mórmon. She is totally the next releif society president.

One of our worries was that we wouldn´t have very many people to teach after the baptism but miraculously a ton of people that we had never met before showed up and they are all really interested! Families!

During the week a bunch of suprises showed up at our door. The mission office bought us a bunch of stuff for our house: new washing machine and new beds! We have absolutely no time during the week to do anything in house so today we spent the whole morning doing home improvement. We threw out a ton of old furniture that we aren´t using, including a moldy old bed frame that scared me to death when I lifted up the cover. We put in all the new stuff and cleaned up a bit. It was needed.

Anyway, I didn´t get transferred! I´m so happy. Elder Christensen are putting together a December to Remember with a ton of families to be baptized and I will spend Christmas in an area where I actually know and love the people. This year is going to be so much better than last!

Stay cool,
Elder Taggart

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7, 2011 Avante, Avante!

Dear Everyone,

Wow I am super tired. We just finished our fiesta zone activity. We had some of the wardies help us out and make mexican tacos and we all played uno! It was so much fun! It almost didn´t happen. Reason 1: We got to the chapel and the gas was out. 'Someone' had accidentely left the gas on when they were trying to heat up the baptismal water and the gas ran out. I really hope it wasn´t me but I can´t remember. Reason 2: Well... I don´t really remember. I just know that everything worked out in the end and it was way fun. They don´t eat avacado like we do. Here they eat it with sugar and in sweet stuff but one of the women in the ward made guacamole!!! Yum!

Anyway this week was good. We are still working with a bunch of families and the bishop in our ward is super pleased with us. He is starting to help us out a lot more. All the members trust us now and we are starting to work with everyone. It´s so cool to see the whole ward working together (and it´s so much easier too)!

This week Iara and Antony are going to get baptized. She is fighting her smoking habits but she is determined to succeed before the baptism. We have a ton of families we are teaching who are all really liking the message but NO ONE in Brasil is married so we are going to have to get them all married. So pretty much we are going to have not just a white Christmas, we´re going to have a white December.

Well there isn´t really much more to say that I can remember other than the fact that Elder Christensen is the most interesting comp I´ve had so far. This week alone he fell down the stairs and had an 'accident' while running to the bathroom. I have never had so many crazy people walk up to me in the street either. It´s just super fun right now. Haha!

Elder Taggart