I'm writing from a LAN house that is currently playing Poker Face by Lady Gaga. It's not quite the type of music one might expect to hear in Brazil. This week was zone conference for Zona Norte and Zona Leste. One of the many highlights of the conference was the three packages I received at its conclusion. The only downfall was having to carry them the entire two mile walk back home since buses don't run between the Stake Center and our house.
Last Friday, we did a division with the zone leaders and I had the opportunity to serve in Riacho Doce for a day. Rumor has it that I won't be serving in Cidade de Deus for more than a transfer. At least I'll be here for my birthday and Christmas. Speaking of which, I bought a CD of Christmas songs being played on the cavaquinho (a small string instrument of the guitar family). It's really cool.
So, an incident occurred this past week that I had yet to experience. I got robbed on the bus! I suppose it was bound to happen sometime before I return home. Fortunately, he just took my phone and didn't even mess with my money. The dude reached in my pocket and snatched my phone without me noticing since the bus was so crowded. He had an X-Ray in his hand and quickly hopped off at the hospital exit. I wasn't mad, but if I see him on a bus again, I'm going to bury my fist between his eyes and give him a real reason to go to the hospital (in case you were wondering, I still have a sense of humor...I'd never fight the guy).
P-day consisted of playing soccer and basketball at the Stake Center and later going bowling. We started off with soccer (Americans vs. Brazilians). I was disappointed in their playing skills. We beat them 5 to 4. Then came time for basketball...once again it was Brazilians vs. Americans. I don't remember the score, but I'm certain you can figure out who walked all over their opponent. We just got back from bowling in the center. Yours truly won even though it has been over a year and a half since I have chucked a bowling ball. It was pretty cool.
Big news...the zone leaders want us to mark baptismal dates for two people every day this transfer. That's crazy! In one week, that's fourteen people! Needless to say, we got to work and since Monday we have already marked dates for a family and a brother and sister. Wish us luck with Ingrid and Felipe who have baptismal dates for next Sunday.
Everything is going well except for the fact that there is an occasional lack of water and electricity. I guess it's just part of the experience.
Thank you friends and family for all the birthday wishes. The next time you receive an e-mail from me I'll be 21...that's the same age I'll be when I step onto US territory in June of next year (haha).
Finally, I'd like to give a shout out to Trent. Get better, buddy! At least you got the pictures...nobody needs to know how it ended.
Elder Taylor Mackay