Well...the week passed by really fast. With regards to Simone and Pedro, they had to take a trip to an interior city last weekend, so the baptism plans were postponed. Fortunately, it's a go for this week along with Gercé, the 14 year old brother of a member.
This week I picked up a book from the Mission Office that summarizes the history of the Church. There was a part that reminds me a lot about the mission...mainly the pioneer trek to the western states. NO...nobody has tried to kill me or kick me out of Brazil, but the whole trip, lessons, and sacrifices along the way can be compared. I found it interesting that Brigham Young had the Saints plant crops along the trail and move on before the harvest (only leaving a few people behind in order to care for the fields), so those who followed would have one less burden. How can this be compared to the mission? Well, as you go through the mission, you leave behind a legacy and many times you are unable to be present for the "harvest" or in other words a baptism or marriage. The president always leaves one person behind in a transfer to take care of the fields until the companionship is able to work in unison and reap the blessings of a work well done. It's a never-ending cycle that is completed upon arrival in Zion (aka the end of the mission)...BUT those two years of work have immeasurable value in the eyes of fellow missionaries, those you teach, and God.
So, this week we were able to take some difficult steps with our investigators. Yesterday at 8:30 a.m., we met up with Walquiria and Alcides at the cartório (don't know the word in English) to enter the 30 day waiting process for their wedding. They were excited and even more excited were their children, now fully grown who have been waiting quite some time for this day.
The months of May and June are marked by a lot of rain. Unfortunately, since Boa Vista is relatively flat, there runs the severe risk of flooding. As you can see in the picture, life becomes dependent on transportation by little, wooden boats. It's not exactly a fun situation, but I guess since it happens on a yearly basis, they are pretty used to it. Another interesting sight I ran into this week was a few little pigs snorting around a pile of trash. I'm sure people thought it was weird that I was taking a picture of the scene, but little do they know, I've never seen anything like it!
I had the privilege, with the rest of the Boa Vista Zone, to travel to Manaus once again. We left at 2 a.m. on Thursday and returned 1 a.m. on Friday...awesome, right? We were able to watch the conference with Elder Holland, Elder Godoy, and Bishop Edgley again (this time in better quality) and we had the Tur da Missão with Elder Linhares, a Seventy. I gave my last testimony at the conference. It was an interesting experience because at every conference you see missionaries bear their testimony and you think that your turn will never come. Well...it does and it did and this whole experience is going to be just a big dream once I wake up in my own bed in another country where people speak English.
The others that we are teaching are doing well and progressing. I'm not sure how the situation is with Angelo since he had to move back to Bonfim, a city on the border of Guyana. Fortunately, he should still be making weekend trips to go to church, so it shouldn't change too much. Also Bruno, a reference from a member, looks to be one of my last mission baptisms. It is marked for the 5th of June, less than 24 hours before my final flight back to Manaus. He is 19 or 20, so I'm pretty excited for the potential of him serving a full-time mission in a year or so. He speaks a little English, so who knows, maybe he'll get his call to Anaheim, California (haha). Until next week.
Elder Taylor Mackay