"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

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tommy Boy

Hello Everyone,

This week was very busy but a good week overall. I'll begin by answering some of the questions I've received recently. The names of those we baptized last week in Flores were: Maria Benidita Azevedo Malcher and Josivane Azevedo Malcher. There are currently 152 missionaries serving in the Brazil Manaus Mission. Approximately, 3 out of 5 missionaries are Brazilian. With summer approaching, tourism should begin to increase in Manaus with people coming for river and jungle excursions. And, yes, the heat continues to progressively get hotter.

I have some great news from Jardim Botânico (my previous area). Elder Olsen has been keeping me posted on the progress of the investigators we were teaching before I reported to the Mission Office. I am pleased to report that all those who marked dates with us were baptized on their scheduled day: a big, tattooed dude named Luis Almeida Machado and the rest of Elizeu's family (his wife and children): Marcilene Azevedo Silva, Riandra Silva Barbosa, Raian Silva Barbosa, and Renan Lucas Silva Barbosa. Also, today will be the baptism of Fábricio, the nephew of the ward mission leader in Cidade de Dues, and his brother-in-law, Kleyton, will be baptized shortly. It is pretty crazy the way things are progressing here.

Besides teaching and baptisms, the work is getting ridiculous as Financial Secretary with only 2 weeks left to finish training!!! It's insane how much money and the number of requests that go through our hands in such a short amount of time. And if one little thing goes wrong, we're out of money! No pressure, right? In addition to being Financial Secretary for the mission, I just found out that I'm also Financial Secretary for the branches in Maués, Parintins, and Tefé. This will surely be interesting with some of the activities they have planned.

On another note, you'll never guess who stopped by the office last week to pay me a visit. It was none other than Daniel, Matheus, Selena, Cleonice, and a friend. Should the names not sound familiar, they are the family of Marianice from my first area (Compensa). Somehow they found out I was in the office and decided to stop by and surprise me. They brought by a nice food basket that we had devoured by the end of the day. Marianice's daughter also informed me that she turned her mission papers in and was awaiting her call. It was great seeing them again!

In other news, this week we learned some interesting information about the mother of Carolina. We discovered she was baptized but never confirmed, so we are restarting the whole process and teaching her all over again. Someone dropped the ball on that one! We also have the baptism of a man named Francisco on Sunday, which is really cool.

Since I'm on the topic of cool things, the Festival of Cupuaçu is coming up at the end of the month. Now that I am in the city, it will be the first festival I'll be able to witness. Something I have already witnessed, however, took place the other night in a little fruit garden of a home we were visiting, when out of nowhere, a bat started flapping around endangering our health, so we did the smart thing and continued the conversation inside.

This morning we played soccer (just 4 of us). It was Americans vs. Brazilians, and once again, we beat them! The score was 7-2. I don't know what the deal is because they get all dressed up in their soccer jerseys and whatnot but can't seem to keep up with the guys who only play basketball every morning. I'd initially say it was luck on our part, but it isn't the first time this massacre has taken place, so it's obvious that we have some skills.

In our free time today, we plan on starting our own version of The Office called The Escritorio. It's going to be a big hit...at least for the 5 of us starring in it. It gives us something lively to do on P-days being that we are a little more confined due to our responsibilities as secretaries of the mission.

Just in case you are wondering, the title of this email originated from an incident at our last Zone Conference. We were sitting in front of President Jayme when the zone leaders decided to make an analogy with suit coats. They had the biggest guy in the mission switch jackets with the skinniest missionary. The larger missionary couldn't move his arms around for fear of ripping the jacket. Then out of nowhere, President Jayme said, "Why am I thinking of Tommy Boy right now?" I couldn't help but laugh along with Elder Noorda and Guerrette. It reminded me of the following scene in the movie, "...here comes the meat wagon wee-ohhh wee-ohhh...we're on fire...I can't feel my legs...the medic steps out (pulls away cigar)...oh, my gosh...and the new guys in the corner puking his guts out whaaaa whaaaa."

Elder Mackay

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