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, April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012 Running to the Finish Line

Oi Família, Amigos, e Outros! Wow, I don´t think I have ever run around and worked so hard in my whole mission! This week was crazy! Like I said I was in the mission office on monday. My companion is Elder Hickenlooper! He is one of my best friends on the mission so I am so happy to be with him for my last transfer. He´s from Kaysville but will be living in Farminington after the mission. We also have another companionship that works with us Elder Archirots and Elder A Soares. They are both really cool. I think Elder Archirots is the most "interesting" missionary I have ever met, in every meaing of the word. Tuesday we did the big transfer meeting and in the afternoon we had to train the greenies. It was so fun to see all the new guys arriving. They speak portuguese so much better than I did when I got on the mission. Anyway we basically just told them about the mission culture and I became the 'mean' assistant when I told them that they needed to be obedient and if they didn´t want to they would be sent home. Well... what can ya do right? haha District meeting was wednesday and we talked about how to help incomplete families. Thursday we had to spend the day preparing the District Leader training on Friday. It went so well! I love giving trainings! We did some really cool practices too. Basically we have very little time to work in our own area so when we can we have to go a little crazy. The old assisentes basically burned out their teaching group so this week we went after a ton of new people and things are going really well. We have a bunch of young men that we are working with. We should have a few baptisms on the 12th and we have a good group for the rest of the month. I´m determined to go down baptizing! Anyway this week I learned alot about the worth of souls in the sight of God, especially mine. Basically we should not worry about what the world thinks about us. We should just be worried about what God thinks of us. When Christ visited the Americas the first thing Heavenly Father expressed was how pleased he was with Jesus. I got thinking if God would be that pleased with me. You will find a lot more happiness if you filter your life through that thought. That´s what I decided this week. Love you all, Elder Taggart

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012 Finally Paying Off!

Hey World! Wow, I realize that my email last week was a bit dismal. This week made everything better. Our weeks of hard work finally started paying off! Now the trasfer ended. I realize that these last five weeks have definitely been a learning experience. It´s unfortunate that the area had to suffer so that God could teach me a lesson. Anyway I learned a lot about patience and diligence. The ray of sunshine of the transfer was Alaor´s family. I showed up in the area for their baptism and I was able to accompany them as they became fully active members of the church. It was a pleasure. This last week was great! On Tuesday we did an exposition in the city square and met a lot of really awesome people and throughout the week we visited and taught. We finally managed to form a good teaching group. One of the most interesting families we met was Toko and his wife and kids. They live in a tiny little town way far away from our city. We managed to get a ride from a member. It was raining and the car almost got stuck in the mud but in the end we got there. The lesson was great and in the end they accepted a baptismal date! We also had an amazing visit with some ex-investigators. Tiago and Ana Paula were going to be baptized but because of word of wisdom related problems they couldn´t and ended up slowly disappearing. We went back and had an amazing lesson about how their faith can grow into miracles. At the end of the lesson they all accepted a new baptismal date. Anyway everything turned around this week and... I was transferred. :P Right now I am writing you from the mission office. I was called as Assistent and will finish my last six weeks here back in the city. They told me last night at 11pm and after 3 hours of sleep I was already on the bus to São Paulo. We´ve already had a meeting with Pres. Pinho. I am so excited! Well, O Fim Se Aproxima! Elder MacLane Taggart

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012 Working for Miracles

Well folks,

One more week has come and gone. This area is definitely a challenge. Unfortunately Sandra was just playing with us with the whole finally deciding to get baptized situation. She told Elder Brito in her interview that she isn´t ready to be baptized and that there is nothing we can to to help her. We visited her after and asked if she wanted our help to get baptized or not and she said no. So that´s how that ended.

We have been working with the zone a bit, trying to help them understand their purpose a little better and help more people get baptized. The training was pretty interesting. We taught them about the Doctrine of Christ and how our investigators need to understand that before anything else. Some understood and others flat out rebelled against us and basically told us they wouldn´t do what we taught them. When one of the District Leaders got up and said they needed to follow their leaders one of the Sisters said that her only leader was Jesus Christ. Long story short, President interviewed her on Sunday and she will be going home tomorrow.

So yeah, that´s what we´re working with here in the Interior. We are working so hard to get our investigators and our missionaries to understand how important it is that we not be robots that spit out 'The Restoration' at people. The Doctrine of Christ is the key to everything we do as missionaries. People need to understand that in order to be cleansed from sin they need to be baptized and that we are there to baptize them. Without this understanding nothing else that we have to teach them makes sense. It´s also the fastest way to know if someone is elect or not. "Do you want our help to be baptized with the authority of God? No? Alright then, bye." It´s so simple! We are battling our hardest here in the area to find the people that are going to say yes to this invitation cause when we find them we know they want what we have to offer.

Well that´s my piece for the week,
Elder MacLane Taggart

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012 Here I Am Again

Well world,

Here I am again! One week older and wiser too. haha! Anyway this week was awesome! We have been working so hard!

Tuesday we had interviews with Pres. Pinho. He basically told me that I had a few weeks to fix this zone. So after that we got running and things are already getting better! We are spending a lot to time with the missionaries here in the zone and they are getting happier and more excited every day.

We had a miracle happen with our investigator Sandra. I don´t know exactly what happened but all of a sudden she got super firm for baptism. She´s been investigating the church since she was a teenager a few decades and six kids later she still hasn´t taken that step of faith. This week she told us and she couldn´t keep denying what she already knows is true and that she will be baptized on Sunday. Two of her sons will be baptized with her and the next Saturday another one of her sons and a daughter will be baptized also. All I know is that some sort of holy ghost magic happened and I couldn´t be happier about it :)

We also started teaching a super elect couple named Paulo and Janaina! They are newlyweds and neighbors of our recent converts. Janaina went to a family home evening at their house and at the end she said, "I heard your church does baptisms for the dead. Can I baptize my mom?" haha! We told her that we would visit her and her husband to explain more. When we visited them she had made a cake! She was a little embarrased because the cake didn´t turn out well and her husband was trying to make her feel better by joking around with her. It was exactly how I want my marriage to be. (I still have 2 months left, I can´t be thinking about these things! Ah!) We taught them about the doctrine of Christ and marked them to be baptized in May.

Anyway that is all there is for this week. Love you all!
Elder MacLane Taggart

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012 New Beginnings in Itapetininga

Dear Everyone,

Well my second week in the interior has passed and I am discovering that it is a whole new ball game out here. The culture, the people, and even the missionaries are different, but these new challenges will teach me new lessons.

We were preparing Levi for baptism this week but unfortunately things fell apart. He demanded that God give him a job that he wanted and if he didn´t get it he wouldn´t baptism. He didn´t get the job and basically told us that he has already been saved because he accepted Jesus in his heart and that he didn´t want to be baptized. He wanted us to keep going there as friends but that won´t help us in any way so he´s out of the picture now.

We also lost our hopes with Beatriz. She´s the daughter of a less active couple in the branch who was marked for baptism. Her parents were on neither side of the fence so we did an extremely powerful lesson about the Plan of Salvation. At the end of the lesson it was very clear that they would have to choose to go back to church or not and they told us that they are not interested in any kind of future commitment, even if they means they won´t have an eternal family.

We are working with a really crazy lady named Sandra who is marked for baptism with her children for later in the month. She is insane! She just sits there and gives us a crazy looks while we teach and when she prays it looks like she is storing up energy to send some sort of beam at us after the amen. Haha! But she faithfully goes to church and fulfils commitments. The only thing we need to work on now is helping her make friends in the ward because she is super antisocial.

We are searching high and low for the elects in the area and have made some good plans so we´ll see what fruits this next week brings.

I am loving my new companion Elder Shettell. We are getting along really well and our teaching is getting better every day. We laugh and have a really good time in the work. I like working with people who find joy in the work. It´s hard when they don´t really care and are negative. We are both working hard and the blessings are starting to come.

This week we spent a lot of time in the Sisters´ area because of General Conference. We did an exposition in front of the bus station with the district between the sessions on Saturday. It was so cool! We had a bunch of missionaries and a table full of materials to give to people. We talked to a lot of people and found some really interested people. Even a few families that live in our area! Yeah! I loved General Conference. Even the part where Elder Holland burned me a bunch! It´s crazy to think that this was my last conference on the mission and that I´ll be going home in two month. It´s sad but at the same time I feel like if I just keep working my best til the end, everything will work out.

Well I love you all! I hope everyone is well.

Com Amor,
Elder MacLane W. Taggart