Hello, pessoal do mundo normal. This week was a little bit busy due to some serious changes that have impacted our mission. Missão Manaus now has an extra 38 missionaries, and in my opinion, might just be the biggest mission in the world! If you are wondering where we got this extra land, it was due to a realignment of the Cuiabá Mission (under the direction of Ulysses S. Soares). The areas we gained are: Porto Velho, Rio Branco, and Cruzeiro do Sul. I must say it is all pretty exciting but a little bit of a headache for the Financial and Executive Secretaries, who now have the responsibility of putting everyone in the system, creating the areas, zones, and districts, and making sure rent gets paid. But rest assured, the work will get done!
By means of office work, it was a rough week, but a lunch appointment that we had on the Estrada to Itacoatiara made up for it. The family came and picked Elder Noorda and me up by car and took us to their home, which is literally right on the edge of the jungle. They are really nice and make a lot of sacrifices with regards to commuting to work, school, and church. Following a tour of their place, we ate lunch and then went on a jungle excursion through an overgrown trail that gave just enough room for our feet to hit the path. I thought it was hot and humid in Manaus, but when you enter into the jungle, it's a whole different story. The sweat just rolls off of your face, and before you know it, your shirt is sticking to your back. On the way back to the office, we picked up some fresh orange juice and took a picture at the city limit sign to show we had finally made it out of the city after about a year in Manaus.
This past week we went to the port to ship some stuff to Maués and Tefé and got a ridiculous surprise. The water has officially entered into the city. We walked to the docks on top of thousands of sandbags that had been placed in narrow paths leading to key areas of the port. I'm not going to lie, things got a little tricky walking on the bags with a box on top of my head and another under my arm. The unfortunate part of the trip was having to pass through the middle of the fish/meat market. Let me tell you...if there is one smell that makes me want to puke, it's freshly gutted fish and bull liver.
I know you all are probably wondering...does he know that the King of Pop (Michael Joseph Jackson) died? If the way I phrased the question wasn't a good enough clue, then my answer is, "Yes." Here in Manaus, classes stopped during the day to have a few moments of silence to remember his legacy. It made me think if the U.S. would react the same way if someone famous died from another country.
In respect to teaching, things are progressing but not at the pace we would like. Given all the work in the office and the Festas of the Manawattans, things are getting a little difficult. Fortunately, though, we have an activity planned for this month that should really rally the ward's missionary efforts. Due to our limited time in the field (only after 4pm), we really depend on the members and their references. It should be great.
Just in case it interests you, Elder Noorda's girlfriend, who broke up with him during his mission, is getting married. I thought it was kind of funny and he actually did too. Although, he probably didn't find it as humorous as I did. Anyway, it was a good and productive week. Thanks for the love, support, and prayers...até mais.
Elder Taylor Mackay