As I jog through my memory reviewing the events of the past week, nothing too extraordinary has transpired since I last wrote, but I'll share some experiences nonetheless. So, being that I'm the guy who goes to make big purchases in the center or ship things at the port, I had another chance to get a better look at just how high the water has risen along the edge of the city. The most ridiculous part of all is people continue to go about their lives as normal even though the streets are legitimately flooded.
After finishing our task of sending packages to Maués, our taxi driver, Marcos, suggested we check out a butcher's market and fish market. So, we, the three musketeers, jumped out on the bustling street and entered the market. It was crazy! It's been about a year since I have smelled formaldehyde so strong. There was blood and guts everywhere...oh, the humanity...cleavers pounding against chopping blocks and heads flipping in the air after being brutally severed at the spine. I'm not going to lie, if I ever thought about being a butcher in the past, that idea has officially been removed from my mind. Although the scene was violent and the smell was less than soothing, it was pretty cool to see one more aspect of how the city functions. Markets like this definitely wouldn't fly in the United States due to FDA regulations. While with Marcos, we got a great view of the city during our sunny ride and eventually made it back to Staff safely. There are some pretty cool buildings in the center with vines growing all over them, kind of like a ghost town due to government restrictions.
One cool thing that occurred within the last week was that everyone got sick and started drinking a rip-off version of Sunny Delight called Yo-Suco, which I actually like better and it's only $6 for 5 liters. Fortunately, we recovered quickly. There is no rest for the weary in the Mission Office...business continues as usual whether you are healthy or not.
On Sunday, everything was going well until something happened with Francisco's brother, so he had to go to the center to take care of him, which postponed his baptism until this upcoming Sunday with Karol. They both live on the outskirts of our area in a neighborhood called União (union in English). Let's hope everything goes smoothly this week and they are both baptized as scheduled.
My days with a trainer (Elder Guerrette) are numbered. In about 5 days, I'll officially be the new Financial Secretary with 100% of the responsibility on my shoulders. The reality of this transition is exciting and overwhelming at the same time...mostly exciting, though, due to all the learning and experiences that lay ahead.
A missionary couple just arrived yesterday from São Paulo, the first of their kind here in Missão Manaus, which was pretty cool but also a lot of paperwork. Rather than have them remain here for 23 months, President Jayme shipped them off to Tefé for the next little while.
Other than that, all is still well here. In fact, there has been a large spike in party invites by ward members, which is almost always accompanied by cake and kikão (hot dog). Teaching is going well and the ward continues to help us out a lot. For the most part, people have been very accepting of our message. Last week more visitors stopped by from Compensa to say, "Hi," due to the conference...it's always good to see familiar faces. Thank you all for your love and support.
Elder Taylor Mackay