"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

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jungle Warfare (9/10/08)

It was another interesting week. The elections here are getting a bit ridiculous...24/7 there are people driving up and down the streets blasting their slogan music to get people to vote for them.

Last Wednesday was pretty awesome. We went to a jungle preserve where the National Army practices their military tactics. The great part was they also have a ton of animals there that are indigenous to the area: jaguar, caiman, tons of monkeys, leopards, anacondas and whatnot...all without regulations for safety, so you can get within feet of all these animals. The best part when we were walking back was seeing a sloth, or "lazy" in Portuguese, sleeping lazily on the branch of a tree.

It was way hot again this week. I guess the weather cools down in January. The pictures I sent are of me and my companion at our first baptism and the other is my first day here on the docks of the Rio Negro...both back when I was still really white from lack of sun. I'll try and send more later since it only allows me to send two at a time.*

All the people here are really kind. It's very rare that someone has something negative to say to us. At most, it's just words, much of which I don't understand, so I let Elder Rocha worry about it. I came here to Manaus thinking I was going to lose weight or possibly starve, but the funny thing is the members of the ward literally fight over who gets to feed the missionaries and surprisingly the food is generally good. It's hard to go wrong with black beans, rice, chicken, and Fanta or Baré (the local guaraná).

We continue to find people to teach, the most successful people coming from references of ward members. It appears that we have three more baptisms lined up before the end of the month. I was thinking our numbers were a little weak, but I found out that our area is the smallest in the entire mission and the people here are very resistant to change. I guess in the past this is where all the assistants to the President were sent.

Something I found pretty comical, that actually happened less than 24 hrs. ago, was when we were teaching a darker-skinned lady and she just snapped and started throwing stuff and saying God doesn't love dark-skinned people. Since she believed He felt that way, she didn't feel like believing in Him and would rather serve another god, so she didn't want to go to church...it was really weird. Unfortunately, we won't be talking to her again.

Everything is great and I continue to learn more every single day, which is preparing me for future experiences. Every once in a while we run into weird snakes on the road...the last one was black and white and had two heads and the one before that was a coral snake. Lastly, you have to be careful on the buses here. They stop for 5 seconds but leave their doors open for 15 seconds because they are on such a strict schedule. The other day I found myself jumping out of a speeding bus (very carefully as not to get injured), which was something I've always wanted to do. I can check that off my list, so I don't have to do it again. We have another conference next week and our district leader should be bringing the mail later today. Take care and thanks for the emails.

*I wasn't able to download the pictures...hopefully next week.

Elder Mackay

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