Well, how's everybody doing? This week was full of interesting experiences. I bet right now you're wondering...where is Elder Mackay? It was transfers so he's got to be somewhere new, with a new companion, and speaking a new language of clicks and clacks. Let my words put you at ease...I am still living in the same house, with the same companion, and speaking the same language. So, yesterday the members let us in on a little secret. They were fasting so Elder Rocha and I wouldn't be transferred. At this rate, I might be here for a while. Elder Spotts left the district and we got a Brazilian who is brand new with only three weeks on the mission. The best part of it all was the fact that of all the places Elder Spotts could have been transferred in the mission, he got moved right across the street into Compensa 1. It's kind of a joke if you ask me, but he'll be in the same church building every Sunday, which is cool. I attached the last picture of our district with Elder Spotts (the redhead).
Looks like my birthday will be spent here in Compensa 2. It should be interesting. The members want to throw a massive party for me with a Batman theme, which is pretty cool. Supposedly, they're inviting 60 people (hopefully a joke) with tons of food and guarana, all of which I probably won't eat too much of now that I'm trying to stick to a healthier diet. I got above 160 pounds and realized it isn't fun being normal weight, so I'm trying to get back down into the mid 150's. What's my trick you might ask? Well, I got a killer workout of sit ups, weight lifting, push ups, hopping, and wall sits. I even went out and bought cereal to eat in the mornings, which is a delicacy here.
Anyway, a couple of things occurred this week that made it especially great. For starters, our washing machine broke. That always makes the day when you have to hire a guy, who lives in a hut full of random wires, to come over and fix things. Another interesting occurrence was that we had a cockroach the size of a bar of soap (see picture) fly in the house, so I burned it with aerosol and tossed it in the trash and set it outside. The next day we discovered our trash can was gone. Thinking it was lost forever, we forgot about it. Then out of nowhere, it appeared up on the balcony of the people living across the street. Desiring that justice be served, I went on a top secret mission the next morning and stole it back. The next story is one that Grandma and Grandpa Mackay will appreciate. We had cleaning inspections by the zone leaders this week, which ended up being a hilarious experience. Everything was perfect, with the exception of a few dishes in the sink, so they got tossed in the cabinet. When the zone leader discovered what we had done, he couldn't stop laughing. Needless to say, everything is spotless now.
So, for the good news...I don't know if you remember James, we baptized him a couple weeks ago, but three of his children are getting baptized on Saturday along with another one of Daniella's daughters. The teaching continues to go well and we already have a baptism lined up for the following week. All in all, it was a good and productive transfer and it looks as if the next one will be just as good if not better.
Our Family Home Evening went smoothly this week. I gave a lesson on fé e esperança (faith and hope), which was pretty good and ended with cake and cookies. Probably the most exciting news of all, that will hopefully affect me in the future, is the President of the mission decided to open up new areas and add more missionaries to the interior zones of the Amazon. Awesome! Not so awesome is the weather. It has been ridiculous...extremely hot in the mornings and then at about 3 p.m. the storm of the century rolls in taking out whatever is in its path.
Recently, there were some changes made in our mission regarding missionaries sending emails. The Mission President has asked that all missionaries only send emails to their family on their P-day (my parents will then forward the main email to everyone). All my correspondence to other family members and friends are to be done through handwritten letters. This change only affects missionaries. Family and friends can continue to send emails my way through firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll do my best to send back written letters when I get a chance. I really do appreciate the love and support of everyone back home. Take care.
Elder Taylor Mackay