Dear Family and Friends,
This week was like a week and a half all jammed into one with an intense heat wave and conference. It was absolutely amazing to do a lot of last minute, serious financial moves because nobody planned ahead...and when the mission needs money, there is no other option. I was able to finally start my own system that will, in the near future, give us a little bit of financial freedom since things right now seem to be a bit of a mess (this new plan does not involve robbing a bank...it isn't that efficient).
I guess the big highlight of the week would be the baptism of Maria, which was a 23 year process. I felt like the detective who finally cracked the case and found the evidence to prove a point. Her family was very grateful and it was awesome to see someone so prepared do something she has been praying she might be able to do before her time is up on this earth. I made the delicious funfetti cake, as I promised I would, and it was a big hit at the baptism. Everyone was asking for my secret recipe. I told them it was nothing special, but I did put a lot of love and care into it.
For the third week in a row, I was given the awesome privilege (being sarcastic) of teaching the Gospel Principles class. It was on service, so as a missionary, it wasn't too terribly hard to pull a lesson out of nowhere. Here in Brazil, the key to having success in the classroom is keeping everyone on their feet, entertained, and participating. Our lunch appointment on Sunday fell through at the last minute, so we joined the other elders from Alvorada in order to get fed. That's the point where you kind of feel like an animal wandering the streets to find food...but it worked.
We had a big ward planning meeting where the members got burned for not doing their visits and we laid out a plan of action to get the ward back in shape. Unfortunately, the teaching really suffered this past week due to the ridiculous amount of problems with planning but...we did have 13 investigators at church on Sunday. When you see numbers like that, along with the amount of recent converts, it makes it clear that missionaries are a necessity here in Brazil. All is going well with our area and it looks like we should have quite a good rest of the transfer.
In other news, the highly anticipated High School Musical production is going to happen on the 8th at 7 o'clock. We are hoping to watch the show with our investigators and not have to ditch them at the door. Although HSM is ridiculously lame, it would be nice to see a little bit of worldly Disney entertainment. I would imagine I'll get most of my laughs from the unfamiliar English lip-syncing by the Brazilian performers.
Today is Elder Rangel's birthday. In honor of this occasion, we had legit Pizza Hut last night, which runs about $2 USD per slice. Even though it is a bit pricey for the amount of food, it was totally worth it.
Elder Taylor Mackay