Well...another week here in Cidade de Deus has passed. I apologize for this email being a bit on the short side. I attempted to send a letter earlier this morning, but there was a problem at the Internet house, so my time is limited.
As for an update on our investigators, we were very disappointed with their lack of personal drive to attend church the last few weeks, so we had no choice but to cut them and start fresh all over again. For those of you who have served missions, you know the frustration that accompanies having to drop an investigator, but unfortunately, it isn't all that uncommon. From now on, Elder Hodges and I will be focusing mainly on references and teaching family members of members, so our investigators will have an automatic line of support.
We played futebol (the equivalent of American soccer) as a district this morning on an indoor court located on the third floor of the church building. Within an hour of playing, everyone was completely soaked due to the humidity, but we kept playing anyway. It was a lot of fun. Of course, I scored the most goals and was the last to tire (T-MAC is back!!!).
I have been noticing more and more fruit on the trees lately...especially bananas. There are a few different fruits this season as well...the most popular being cupuaçu. Cupuaçu fruits are oblong, brown, and fuzzy. They are about 8 inches long, 2–4 lbs. in weight, and covered with a thick, hard outer skin. It is known for its creamy, exotic-tasting pulp, which is used to make fresh juice, ice cream, jam, and tarts.
Our lunch of alligator last P-day was delicious...much better than the alligator we had in the Brazilian restaurant back at home. It was caught by one of our investigators in the interior of the jungle. It was 4 meters in length and had to be shot several times and beaten before it eventually was killed (at least that is what we were told). I also tried pirarucu (a type of fish) and it was pretty good. It is a bit on the expensive side, so I don't imagine I will have it too often.
Our newest addition to the house is Elder Portes. He took Elder Cain's place and is companions with Elder Morris (ZL). He is from Rio Grande do Sul.
I wish I had pictures to share this week, but to be honest, the mission is really strict about us going out in public with our cameras because they don't want us to look like tourists or run the risk of being robbed at knife or gunpoint. Hopefully, I will be able to take a picture of our English class later this week, so everyone can see our students. The classes are going well and are bringing in a lot of nonmembers. It is a great missionary tool.
Happy Valentine's Day to all!
Elder Taylor Mackay