Dear Family and Friends,
This week went well. This Saturday we have planned the baptism of the brother of a member (Gabriel- 13) and then his sister will be baptized the following week. The family is really cool and very humble. We are teaching their mother and she has accepted everything so far and has even ditched the café which isn't easy. The determining factor will be marriage. Once again, we have managed to find a great family that keeps progressing, but then we hit the whole commandment of marriage and everything slows down a bit.
Today we got up early and headed over to Êxodo to play some soccer with a few locals and a kid that I'll be interviewing later to see if he's prepared for baptism. A good time was had by all. I don't have any pictures to share this week, but I'll have a few for sure next week with all that is going on.
I have some cool news regarding a friend I met while on the mission. Remember Selena? She is from Compensa, which was my first area. She was called to serve a mission in Recife, Brazil and will be leaving the beginning of April.
It's kind of a weird feeling knowing I only have two more transfers left, which is the amount of time I have been training Elder Soelberg. I have no doubt that the remaining time will fly by even faster. It's funny how the mission works...in your first year, you kind of wish you had more time under your belt, but once you hit a year and change, time starts flying by. It reminds me of the movie, Home Alone, when he wishes he never has to see his family again. The moral of the story: be careful what you wish for...it might come true.
I'm anxious to see what will happen this next transfer. Hopefully, I have the opportunity to leave Manaus and serve in another city or state. Don't get me wrong, I have very much enjoyed serving the people of Manaus in Zona Norte and Zona Oeste. However, since the mission is so expansive, it would be cool to get to know another part of the country.
A highlight of the week is that we have been teaching the next door neighbor of Carlos, Teresa, Dany, and Jéssica with their help. After several visits, we made a goal with her yesterday. With a lot of support and visits, we decided she will be 100% ready for baptism and confirmation on the 8th of May. I know I'm probably not going to be here when it happens, but it's cool to know that I had a part in the process. Hopefully, all goes well.
Apparently, the new church building they are constructing in Alfredo Nascimento should be ready by April, but we'll see. In my opinion, it still has a long way to go. They originally said it would be ready November of last year.
So, this week I bought some new shoes to get me through the next couple of months. They have managed to give me some sweet blisters in just a couple of days. They're not Eccos, but they will have to do.
In other news, I received the package from Grandma and Grandpa Mackay this week. It was full of a ton of great stuff. Thanks for thinking of me...I really appreciate it.
The preparation for the World Cup should be flaring up any day now. According to locals, there is Brazil apparel everywhere. Although I have yet to see any, I might just have to get myself a jersey when I do.
I know I'm a little lost when it comes to news, but it seems like there have been quite a few earthquakes lately, i.e., Haiti, Chile, and Turkey. There are several people here from Haiti that are staying in an immigration building waiting for the situation there to improve. Since Chile is quite a bit more established, I'm sure there will be fewer people leaving the country to seek refuge. That's all I have for this week. Até mais.
Elder Taylor Mackay