Hello Family and Friends,
General Conference went really well on Saturday and Sunday...all 10 hours of it. Equally great was the batismo of Ana Tiase Ferreira Pinto on Sunday. A ton of people were present to show their support...it was ridiculous! It was an amazing experience for all in attendance.
Unfortunately, something transpired this week that made me feel really bad. We were over at Marta's house eating and teaching (the best combination) and she got to asking if Elder Olsen and I plan to return to Manaus after our missions. Being that I know her pretty well, I jokingly said, "Yeah, of course...to catch some Indians." Instantly, Marta's smile faded and tears began to well up in her eyes. As you might guess, the first thing to go through my head was, "Oh, crap...what have I done." She then filled us in on the reason behind her sudden change in expression with the following story. Marta's brother made a living off of fishing the river and one day he and his friend drifted into Indian territory. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem, but the territory belonged to an angry, cannibal tribe. The tribe captured her brother and his friend. She proceeded to tell us that the tribe shredded the body of the friend and cut off her brother's head and stuck it on the top of the leader's throne. After hearing her story, I picked my jaw up off the floor and apologized for my comment. We then continued on with the meal. I guess I got lucky with that one and will refrain from making any more jokes like that in the future.
The work continues to be progressing. We possibly have two baptisms this weekend and several potentials for future dates. Some members of the ward left on Monday to travel to Venezuela to attend the Caracas Temple. The overall trip takes about a week and they usually go through about twice during their stay. Those who attend really don't mind the travel too much since everything is dirt cheap once they arrive in Caracas.
Around the corner from us, a cop shot a thief in the back and killed him earlier in the week. Due to the law, she will be the one going to jail rather than him. In other news, we had a massive pipe bust in our sad excuse for a street and we essentially step into a raging river every time we open the front gate. It's just one more thing that gives Cidade de Deus that ghettoness we have all grown to love. Other than that, nothing else too crazy occurred this week.
As for the pictures, one is of our recent baptism and the other is a brilliant idea that came to us during an early morning companion study. And yes...I still have eyebrows. For those of you who have asked, we still speak Portuguese in the house even though everyone knows English. It is better that way because it helps us become more fluent in the language.
Elder Taylor Mackay