Hello Family and Friends,
This week passed by pretty fast. All went well on Saturday with the baptism of Leonardo Rodrigues Dos Reis. However, we marked 7 o'clock with the ward and the leadership, but nobody arrived until 8 p.m. I was a little more than disappointed, but then again, I guess it goes to show why the ward is having difficulties. They take little responsibility and have little desire to be true to their word or magnify their callings. Fortunately, with the exception of starting late, everything went as planned and many friends and relatives of Leonardo were there to support him. If all goes well, this Saturday will be a cool baptismal ceremony for Jéssica and Anderson, two people that I have been teaching since last transfer. On the other hand, we learned this week that the sister of a family we are teaching decided to run away and has yet to return (she lived with the family). Saturday will be a week since she's been gone and living on the streets.
Yesterday was ridiculously busy. We woke up and headed over to the Quorum President's house to tear down some banana trees that he didn't want. It was quite a sweet workout since the trees were huge and we were only given a normal kitchen knife and a hoe. After 40 minutes or so of hacking away, we managed to destroy more of the Amazon's wonderful vegetation against our will. We then ran back home, got washed up, and headed over to lunch, which was scheduled at 11 a.m. since we had interviews with President Jayme at noon. Fortunately, we managed to arrive at the Stake Center for our interviews prior to the president. In my interview, I was asked one of those questions that reminded me my mission is coming to an end in 4 months and change. "What do you think about your mission so far?" It's not the easiest question to answer, but it made me think of the work that I've been doing every day of the week since arriving in Brazil.
Today we had a zone activity where I was able to sport my new futebol kicks. I must say, they made a significant difference since I've been playing with my running shoes that have lost their grip and are ripped up pretty good due to usage. After several hours of soccer and a game of basketball and dodgeball, Elder Soelberg was getting burnt to a crisp, so we decided to call it quits. After a little rest, we're here at the LAN house.
Last week we got a ton of references, so we'll be spending a good part of this week contacting them. That's all I've got for now. Since pictures are worth a thousand words, I'm going to limit my letter since I'll be sending quite a few photos today.
Elder Taylor Mackay