Well...President Jayme is getting real tricky with me. I think he gets a kick out of seeing me in complete shock. So, transfers happened this week. We got a call on Saturday saying that we would both be staying in the area but that we needed to go to the transfer meeting. I didn't want to jump to conclusions, but I figured I was going to be called as the district leader for our district and that I needed to be at the meeting, so I could be trained on the reports and things of that nature. Instead, President starts announcing the transfers and says that our LD is still Elder Yates. Now I'm thinking...real funny LZs...you tell us to attend this meeting, so we wake up early and make our way to Staff on a packed bus and we don't even need to be here. Then President Jayme says that he is going to divide our area again and calls my name to stand up. I start looking around to see who my companion will be when his name is called but instead I'm told, "You've been called as a trainer." I was in disbelief. I don't know if I've ever been so surprised and excited at the same time on my mission. After the transfer meeting, President Jayme sat down with all the trainers and told us how he chose us and what our responsibilities will be as trainers.
As I waited until 5 p.m. for my "son" to arrive, I did a division with Elder McNeil, who was enjoying his last day on the mission. Afterward, we went to lunch with some cool members that live in the center and then we were picked up by another group and taken to get ice cream before being dropped back off at the Escritorio. I waited nervously for my companion to arrive, not knowing if he would be American or Brazilian.
Eventually, the assistants brought all the trainers into a room and we started singing the hymn of the mission when all the new missionaries walked in. The trainers bore their testimonies and then the "noobs" had the opportunity to choose their companion. My new companion is an American from Farmington, Utah. His name is Elder Soelberg. Elder Trage, my previous companion, became a Senior and also got an American companion (who has been in the field 5 months), which is cool. Following all the excitement, we caught our taxi and headed to Jardim Botânico.
I know I said last week that we had four baptisms marked for Sunday, but being that we are in a third world country, sometimes there are water problems...like a lack of it. So, those will be happening this week rather than last which makes for a cool experience for Elder Soelberg. Wouldn't you like to knock down four baptisms with less than a week in the field! The month of January will be a good month for our area and the mission.
Our Christmas Conference was pretty cool. We had lunch, watched The Chronicles of Narnia, and then went on a sweet, little cruise to the Meeting of the Waters on two big wooden boats. From the reaction I saw in the missionaries, I would say it was quite a success.
As for health, I'm doing well and look forward to eating a barbecued pig's head with the first counselor on New Year's Eve...it's supposed to bring wealth in 2010!
It's been a pretty crazy two weeks, but the time is flying by. After this transfer, I've only got three more! Oh yeah...and Elder Olsen finishes in six weeks!
Elder Taylor Mackay