I just got back from a zone activity where we had a churrasco...it was pretty entertaining. We started off playing soccer then moved on to volleyball, and then after eating some really salty meat, the activity ended. It was pretty fun. It was actually the first time since I have been here that we were able to escape the office to go to an activity on P-day. After being indoors during the sunniest part of the day for the last 6 months, my skin has become very white, but that all changed today. I am now a nice shade of light red. I haven't had this sunburned feeling for a long time, and with the fire for the churrasco, it was like a mini beach party without the sand, ocean, or marshmallows.
This week went really well and Andrews da Silva Bezerra was baptized as planned. He learned extremely fast and is now helping us teach his cousins, Alexandre and David. We have also planned two ward baptisms that we are teaching since the members aren't taking the initiative and the Bishop isn't the best at scheduling meetings.
So, tomorrow I will learn when I will be training the next Financial Secretary. I'm thinking I will start next week, but then again, maybe I'm doing such a great job I'll be asked to stay. Of course if that is the case, I'll immediately ask for a pay raise and health care benefits along with a nice bonus. A new spring-loaded leather chair with wheels would be nice as well. The big question is whether or not Elder Reis will stay working with me in Flores or if he will return to Alvorada and I will have 2 new companions (the trainee and the new Supplies Secretary)!!!
As for an update on teaching, we are working with the brother and sister of Paulino (a returned missionary in the ward). With the help of Paulino, we have already marked one of the baptisms after only one visit. The brother is 9 and I believe the sister is 17, so it will be a nice addition to the ward. Wellington and Erica are two of our investigators who are difficult to get a hold of because they both work during the day and study at night (except on Saturday and Sunday when only Wellington works). We are helping them plan their wedding since it's not a priority for most people, but they, unlike others, have the desire to get married. We have one BIG problem, though. Wellington is 18 and has 2 children with Erica who is only 16! Bummer...right? Well, in Brazil there is a crazy law that allows minors to get married if their parents give their consent and sign a paper. Given the situation, we aren't going to force anything, but surprisingly their parents are all for it. We'll see what happens.
The upcoming transfer is looking to be a pretty legit working, teaching, and baptizing transfer. One of the things I'm glad I was able to accomplish with my companions, and with a little help from the ward, is that the once dead and dreaded area of Flores, which went without a baptisms for 7 months, is now an area that functions like a well-oiled machine. Is it a hard area? Yes! Is the ward helpful? Rarely...but if you make goals and have a desire to change things, do contacts, pump members for references, and use selective cutting, there is no reason Flores should ever return to its previous state. Funny thing is...looking back on the other areas where I have served, they have all been like this: Compensa, Jardim Botânico, and now Flores. As a missionary, you really don't realize the difference you have made in an area until you leave. It is very rewarding when you run into members from previous areas and they remember your name, ask how you are, and give updates on the ward. That's about all I have for this week so TCHAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!
Elder Taylor Mackay