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, December 19, 2011

December 19, 2011 Tchauzao A Campo Limpo

Well... The curtain has closed on my time here in Pirajussara, Campo Limpo. It´s been an incredible 7 months here and I feel like I have learned so much and tried to make a such a difference. I´m definitely leaving here with my head held high. Turns out Elder Christensen will have to leave the area too. That´s right, they closed the area and are sending new elders here tomorrow. This was a really good week though so we kind of finished it all off well.

Lucas was baptized on Saturday and it was awesome! We also found a new family of 7 people that all want to be baptized and are marked for January 7th. The area is in top condition for the new elders. Everyone in the ward is really sad that we are leaving but we´re needed in other areas now.

Today has been a really good too. The stake relief society organized a huge lunch for the whole zone. We also traded presents! I got a mickey mouse picture frame! It truly was incredible.

Now I´m just super nervous to see how everything will work out. I have a whole new set of challenges that are unlike anything I´ve done so far on the mission. I was released as a Zone Leader and now I have 3 new responsibilities. 1 - I´m going to train a new missionary. 2 - I´m a District Leader. 3 - I´m opening a new area! I´m so scared but if I´ve learned anything here it´s that if you rely on the Lord everything works out.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Elder Taggart

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 12, 2011 Christmas Time is Here

Dear Everyone,

Well that was a fulfilling week for sure! I feel so good right now and I know that God hears and answers prayers and blesses those who choose to serve him.

The week started off a little rocky. We have been having a really difficult time in finding new investigators. Tons of people are lettings us into their houses but everyone says, "I don´t want to make any commitments until January. Come back then." This seems to a general problem here in São Paulo this time of year because all of the missionarys have been telling us the same thing. So what did we do? Well our new amazing district leader Elder N. Alves suggested that we have a district fast from Friday to Saturday. I woke up Saturday morning with the most amazing feelings. the Holy Ghost just kept telling me over and over again that everything was going to work out and was going to be OK.

We finished our fast at lunch then went out to work and knock doors. The first house we knocked after lunch was a family that let us in and accepted the message. At the end of the lesson we marked them for baptism on the 31st of December.

Saturday night was amazing too because it was the baptism of Vitor! It was during the ward Christmas pary so almost the whole ward was there watching. We watched the DVD 'Mundo Feliz' as part of the service and everyone was feeling the spirit then Elder Christensen gave an amazing message about giving our hearts to God this Christmas. I baptized Vitor (the water heater is still broken so it was really cold). And his parents were both really touched. They pretty much told us that their interest in the Church would depend on their experience at the baptism and the party so it was a blessing that everything worked out. After the baptism it was time to eat! Every woman in the ward had to bring a dessert and there was a table the length of the cultural hall full of delicious sweets. The Bishop got in gear and sat and talked with Vitor´s parents for most of the time and by the end he told us that he has already started to set goals with them to get married and baptized too!

Sunday: more blessings! As we were walking out of church a young woman in the ward came running after us and told us "Elder, you guys need to baptize my little brother!" His name is Lucas and when we went to visit the family they told us that the members who are inactive and coming back and that Lucas needed to be baptized as soon as possible. We were like "How about Saturday?" and they all agreed it would be the best day because of the busy holidays. It´s really funny because the first time we met him he was eight-years-old and we told him to get baptized and they said it didn´t really come to their heads until he turned nine just a few weeks ago! So that was a blessing that fell straight out of heaven into our laps.

Overall, this week was a testimony builder of the power of prayer and how the Lord does most of the work. It´s amazing to realize how little of it is actually you and how much you need to depend on God to help you. Humility is the key to success as far as I am concerned. I love this work so much and they joy that you feel on your mission is more real than anything else.

Elder Taggart

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5, 2011 I'm a Dream Guy

Hey Everyone,

How are all of you? Isn´t it such a wonderful time of year? I can´t believe that it is already December! And today is actually a pretty significant day. It´s December 5th. Do you all know what that means? That means that the six month countdown begins... today! That means that between now and June 5th I have a lot to do! There are so many people that I need to find and help follow Jesus Christ. I can´t waste these last six months!

Well this week was pretty normal. We have been working with Vitor and he was going to get baptized but once again something crazy happened. Early Saturday morning his grandma (who to be fair didn´t know about the baptism) showed up at their house and snuck him out of the house and took him to the other side of the city to spend the day with him. In the morning everyone was like, "Where´s Vitor?" His grandma doesn´t have a phone so their was no way of getting in contact with them to tell them to come back. We talked to him last night finally and marked for this Saturday. Third time´s the charm (I hope). At least he finally realized that all this stuff that keeps happening because, as he put it, "the enemy down there doesn´t want him to be baptized."

Artur continues excited to be baptized. We´ve been trying to work with him mom but it´s become really clear that she isn´t interested so we´re going to move forward without her for now. The last time we visited him he said, "Guys, it´s obvious my mom isn´t interested! Just baptize me already! I don´t know what we´re waiting for!" So that what we are going to do.

We are having some trouble with Marlene and Pedro. They are marked for baptism on Christmas Eve but she is not stopping to drink. It´s really interesting because her ex husband was a huge alcoholic when we started teaching them and now he is completely sober. He is showing a lot of interest. The last time we went there it was just him and when we asked him where Marlene was he said she was at the bar. We went up to see if it was true and we saw her in the front drinking and when she saw us coming she ran away. Not a strange thing to happen on the mission.

We are still making baby steps with Antonio, Zenita, Carol, and Joyce. This week we passed by there and Zenita told us that she received a really clear answer that they all need to be baptized. One night she was really tired but decided to read. While she was reading she lost her sleepiness and sat their thinking then she remembered a dream she had when she was a little girl. In the dream she was being attacked by some men in black and then a man in white appeared and saved her then smiled at her. She said she never understood the dream but that night that she stayed up thinking she realized that the man in white in her dream was Elder Taggart aka Me! Last night we visited the whole family with the Bishop and it was an awesome lesson. They need to get married and Antonio doesn´t have time until after Christmas to get things put together so they will be a January baptism.

As for the rest we are just looking for new people to teach and getting things ready for Christmas. We are making December a mega month in our zone of activities and plans so that we can end the year right. That´s all. Love you!

Elder MacLane Taggart