"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, October 14, 2009

When in Amazonas...

Hello Family and Friends,

The financial training continues to go well. It's kind of nice knowing before hand when you are going to leave an area, so you don't have that immediate shock from a phone call saying to pack your bags. Fortunately, we have managed to juggle our investigators pretty well in the mix of transfers and the Zone Leader Conference that took place this week. Several people are progressing and really becoming quite excited about church, baptism, and life changes.

The other day when we were walking in the street looking for a reference, we made quite a few contacts in a matter of a few hours and ended up meeting a girl named Hamayana from Parintins. We marked for another day to teach her, not thinking too much of it, and she ended up being one of those people that you find at just the right time who is searching for the truth.

A lot of cool things happened this week. I will begin with the events of Saturday. We received special permission from the assistants to go to the wedding of Jusse Maria and Heraldo in Lagôa Verde. I don't know if you remember Anna Karolina, I think she was the last baptism we had when Elder Guerrette was still here. Well, it was the wedding of her mom and step-father. I remember we used to talk to Jusse Maria about the church and it came to a point that all that was missing (keeping her from baptism) was for her to get married. The other day we were walking down a street in Bairro da União and she was at the bus stop waiting for a ride to take her home from visiting her sisters and daughter. We walked over to her and talked about life and whatnot. Out of nowhere, she invited us to her wedding. At a later time, her sisters, Silvia and Juliana, also invited us to the wedding, so we took it as a "for real" situation and went. It was super cool and they were thankful to have us present. The very next day, on the 11th of October, they were both baptized.

Also on Sunday the 11th was the baptism of Gabriel Martins Nery de Araújo, the brother of Paulino who has only been back from his mission about 3 weeks. With Paulino's help, we have been teaching Gabriel and his mom and he was the first to make all the necessary changes. It was nice to see his brother baptize him. It's a rare occasion when you get to see a ward member or family member perform the ordinance.

So, the party continues here in Alvorada with the Boi Manaus. This week we decided to partake in the food, not the dancing, that occurs before the actual "festa." It reminded me a lot of the farmers' markets in Brea and San Luis Obispo. The food was good and it was a welcomed opportunity to sit down and enjoy the culture and surroundings. We even ran into a few ward members that were trying to take advantage of the once a year festivities. There is one family in the area who really stands out from the others in regards to help, friendship, and hospitality and that is the familia Leite. Being that I'm on my way out of the area, I invited them to dinner with the missionaries at a little street vendor. It was nice to be able to give back to the family who helps out so much. We actually had lunch at their house today and it sounds like they had an awesome time at the festival. This news made my day since they have endured many trials. It was great they finally had a chance to just be free and have fun.

I hope the attached pictures explain themselves. As for the jaguar outfit, it is Boby's, so I decided to take some pictures with it. It's an example of clothing they would wear at a samba or an indigenous dance get-together. The area is going strong and I think the ward is picking up the pace with the missionary work.

Elder Taylor Mackay

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