"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."-Isaiah 40:31

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Elections Already (10/8/08)

Well, it's October and my favorite holiday is coming up...I'm hoping they celebrate it here. Anyway, to get to the good stuff...we had another baptism this week. Her name is Nilce Ferreira da Silva. It was another interesting experience. We (Elder Rocha and I) realized that for some reason all the women choose me to baptize them and all the men choose him. I don't get it. Everything is going well, though. The funny thing is that after the baptism, like last time, I was left standing dripping wet as the rest of the meeting went on because Nilce decided to use the men's restroom to get dressed. I also left my sandals at the house, which you need when you walk from the bathroom to the font or you'll get some sort of parasite in your foot, so I had to borrow some from a member which were size 7-8...only about 4-5 sizes too small, but they got the job done. We have a ton more references and people we've met on the street that have really taken interest in what we have to say. So far, all those who have been baptized are remaining strong and active in the Church.

So, the bats and critters are starting to show up more and more...obviously getting ready for Halloween. Once again, the other night we were sitting in a member's house when an army of cockroaches flew in and started landing on everything. I'll admit I was a little less than comfortable but running out wasn't an option due to respect issues and the fact that it's a 15 foot drop down to the street out the front door.

The main type of service we do here is move things. The other day we did work for the Bishop and we had to move rocks...well, my companion moved rocks and I moved boulders. That's the one downfall of being the biggest person...you get stuck with harder work, but I enjoyed it. It's another chance to work out.

We had a General Authority relay a message to our Mission President when he came down to talk to us last month. He wants one ward out of every missionary before their two years are up. That's right...he said more or less that he wants 100 baptisms from every missionary. It sounds pretty high, but I'm thinking it's well within reach. After watching all five sessions of conference, 10 hours worth, I feel I have all the tools I need to get a jump start on this goal. The first step toward this objective has already begun. I don't see any reason why I can't be at or above ten baptisms by the end of this next transfer, especially with a well-written plan of action which combines spiritual and mental aspects I believe we need to have in order to increase our success.

The other great thing about this week was that elections ended on Sunday night. That means no more cars blasting slogans and no more people trying to hand me fliers. On Election Day, the streets were covered in voting slips, so people would know how to vote for their favorite candidate. We had to report to the booths on Sunday, so Elder Rocha could vote. If Brazilians are over 18 and don't vote or turn in a slip, they get thrown in jail. As one could guess, they had a great turn out for their elections.

The weather last week was the hottest it's been for a while, but after yesterday and today, I am beginning to see signs that the rainy season, which officially starts in December, is on its way. The language continues to improve. I've found that rather than talking fast, like I would prefer to do, it's better to pronounce words clearly, so it sounds more like what it should...makes sense, right? The work is going well and the word "idle" can in no way describe our missionary efforts. When we aren't teaching, we're finding, and when that's not happening, we're studying. Needless to say, I learn something new every day. The people here are very kind and continue to feed us well, even though it appears the value of the reais continues to plummet. Thank you for the emails and your support. If there are any questions, just let me know. I'd be glad to answer them. Happy Birthday, Grandpa! Take care.

Elder Mackay

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