"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

Tough to Avoid the Water (8/25/08)

So, I guess in the grand scheme of things, this was a pretty eventful week. It rained pretty hard yesterday...even inside it is hard to hear others talk because of the force of the rain on the roof. It's still hot here, though, just in case you were wondering. One of the members already gave me some towels to wipe off my face (they feed us dinner every night). By the way, I'm going to get dark here and probably blend in with the natives.

I'm pretty far away from what I call a civilized area with hotels, microwaves, air-conditioning, and stuff like that, so it appears changing currency is out of the question for now. And as for the transfers, it looks like most will be by boat. There are only four areas that require plane. The only problem about the boat transfers is if the boat goes down. You'll probably be okay for about 2 minutes...then there are at least four things in the Amazon and Rio Negro (that I know of) that will kill you before you make it to shore...I guess that's kind of exciting.

As for the food here, I eat it even though 85% of the time it's questionable, because they often make you share the same cup and don't really cook the food all the way through. However, I'm being as careful as I can with being sanitary. Sometimes, though, there isn't much you can do, since you can't reject food from members. My mission doesn't serve monkey, but the two things they do serve that I won't be looking forward to are turtle and sea manatee. All I'm going to say is getting all those shots was definitely worth it.

For the most part, our neighborhood is very friendly and accepting of the missionaries. There are some parts, though, that we have to take off our watches before we enter just for safety sake, but that's everyone's problem. By no means are any parts of my mission well off, but some parts are the complete opposite...it's really amazing how a lot of these people grew up in these conditions and are still alive. I'll send some pictures once I get the USB reader. As for the temple grounds, I took pictures...nothing has started, though, and it appears as if it will stay that way for a while.

Our district, Compensa 2, is very small...only four missionaries. It's a busy day every day here...teaching from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., break for lunch, then continue to teach from 2 - 9ish with some sort of pit stop for a snack or dinner thrown in there. Anyway, everything is good. We have our first baptism on the 29th, and hopefully, there should be more the following week.

One weird thing here is that everyone is certain there is a homem peixe in the water (man-fish)...essentially a mermaid except this one eats people. I laughed once when a local told me and then I realized he was serious.

It's election time here, so it's pretty crazy. There are lots of candidates on top of vans traveling around the city with big megaphones shouting about how they will change Manaus. Speaking of noise, everyone here blasts their American music that they don't even understand. It's pretty funny at times, especially when it's a rough looking guy listening to a remix of "Because of You" by Kelly Clarkson. I also went into a house yesterday and they were watching "Bet on It"...it made my day. Thanks for the emails. It sounds like everything is going well for everyone. Glad to see that the U.S. won the overall medal count.

Elder Mackay

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