"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

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Office (5/7/09)

Dear Family and Friends,

A lot happened this past week...progress with some, loss of interest with others, but overall the week ended up on the positive side. I'm not going to lie and say that being Financial Secretary is easy because it isn't. There have, however, already been quite a few cool experiences that have come with the job. As Financial Secretary, I am in charge of paying for all shipments in person, which means I must be present at the port when sending things off to the "interiors" i.e.: Tefé, Parintins, Manacapuru, Maués, and so forth. On one particular day, we called our taxi (which is cool because he lives in the area and arrives in only 5 minutes) and headed down to the port to make some shipments. Due to the recent rain, the Amazon River is huge! It has risen several feet and is starting to take over the city. As we walked around on the docks trying to find our boat, we could see what was once a boat launch area and a bridge. Currently, only about 3 feet separate the water from the arch on the underside of the bridge! Still, people were paddling in their make-shift canoes to get their fruits and supplies to the boat. It was a pretty cool sight. I guess it'll get dangerous for those living in the center soon enough if the levels continue to rise. Fortunately for us, we are far enough away from water to be out of harm's way.

So, lately we have been doing a lot of divisions to make up for time spent in the office and we are working with an interesting character. He is Brazilian and his name is Kennedy Boby. He served a mission, is moreno (look it up in the translator), and he teaches Boi dancing to professional dancers for Carnival. He helps out a lot, but after seeing Bring it On, it's weird to be working with a choreographer.

Sunday was an interesting day, to say the least, because the neighborhood of Alvorada/Flores decided it didn't want water. As we were getting ready for Carolina's baptism, we turned the water on and after 3 seconds everything stopped...shoot! We ran around looking for buckets and then started filling them up running to and from the font, but once again, after only 4 or 5 buckets...game over...the water ran dry! So, in a rush to get this event on the road (Carolina's mom got permission to leave work to see the baptism, so it was time, money, and disappointment on the line), we called the elders in Dom Pedro to fill up their font and it all worked out. The ward was awesome...they piled into their cars (they have quite a few here) and hauled over to Dom Pedro (in a less than safe manner) leaving Elder Guerrette and me in the dust. Fortunately, a few minutes later we hitched a ride with a passing member and it all worked out. The support of Carolina's ward friends was cool. They had practiced a special song to sing for her and were all present for her big day. Contrary to its rocky start, the baptism was a huge success.

As for the rest of the week, it kind of flew by between bank runs and mail drops. This week, though, we have 3 baptisms on Saturday and possibly one on Sunday. Those being baptized on Saturday are: Graça, Josivane, and Gabriella. Ozorio, a refugee from the interior, is our hopeful for Sunday. He'll be going back home in a week or so...hopefully it works out. That's about it for the week. Happy Mother's Day and I'll be calling home from a good phone this time!

Paz e amor bichos,
Elder Mackay

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