Hello Family and Friends,
This week I decided to get sick, which is always fun especially in the mission field. I'm a little better now, but I had a fever of 101 to 102.5 for the past week. As a result of my illness, you will notice I don't have too much to write about. There were a few highlights, however, which included family night with João Bosco, Maria, and family along with another family that was baptized (a reference of the family). During family night, we talked about the importance of baptism and even did a little practice with the guys…it was pretty fun. I also got word that Hagar and Daiane (both from Flores) have dates marked for their baptisms, which is very cool. We started teaching them in my last area by way of a simple street contact.
I neglected to give a thorough introduction of my new companion last week. Elder Trage is from Passo Fundo, Rio Grande do Sul. He is pretty fair for a Brazilian…I'll send a picture next week. We are working together pretty well. He has six months on the mission, so together we have a total of two years (haha). I was Financial Secretary when he arrived, so I already kind of knew him. He's pretty cool. Now that I have had a week back in this area, I'm certain it is the biggest area in the entire mission.
We heard a good story which demonstrates the fact that drugs are bad. One dude is on drugs…his brother sells drugs…he gets scissors and stabs his brother in the heart…the brother dies. Don't worry about us missionaries, though. Like I've said before, unless you are buying or selling drugs or owing someone money, you are safe.
The electricity has been frequently going out lately. You don't realize how hot it really is until you're sitting on your bed at 11p.m. and it's 96 degrees with ridiculous humidity. The mosquitoes start swarming trying to find you and let me tell you…when there is no moonlight and no electricity, it is pitch black. It reminds me of those cave tours where they turn out the lights and you can't see your hand in front of your face. I'm truly glad I'm a Bio-chem major, because when I get back, I'm going to invent something a lot better than DEET that you can spray on and the little buggers will explode on impact.
In regards to the upcoming American holiday, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope it is a great day for all. I was thinking the other day…why don't they have Thanksgiving here? I then remembered that when the Portuguese arrived they started fighting with the Indians and killing each other. I suppose the event doesn't leave much to celebrate.
Although I have had a few low points on my mission, I'm thankful that I have been called to serve. Serving a mission is hard work, but when it's all said and done, I can look back and be really proud of the two years I spent in the Amazon. Thank you family and friends for all your support, love, and occasional letters.
On a side note, I would like to give a shout-out to my cousin who just returned from serving in Argentina. Welcome home, Trent! I'll see you in slightly over six months.
Elder Taylor Mackay