has been called to serve as a missionary in the Brazil Ribeirao Preto Mission.
Speaking the language of Portuguese
August 11, 2010- August 2012
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Hola, Tudo Bem? Thanks so much for the letters this week. And i磎 glad to hear the pictures got there. I was worried about that. Sorry there aren磘 a whole lot of them. Also, I now understand the confusion a few weeks ago about the address to write me at. I totally have been writing it wrong on everything, I am in District 33A not 4. 4 is my branch number. So from now on just put 33A. Sorry for the misunderstanding Well, I can磘 believe I have already completed my first transfer. It磗 really weird to think that I have been here for six weeks already, kind of feels like 4-5 years because of how much I have changed in this time. My second set of Brazilian roommates just left this morning, I think we get some more on Thursday. This past week has by far been the best one yet. For two reasons, first a really cool oppurtunity to serve, and second, proselyting! So to start with the service. There have been several missionaries here from Cabo Verde, a portuguese speaking area in Africa. One of them was extremely poor, he only had one set of clothes, and they were all torn. He had no luggage or anything really. Quite literally just the clothes on his back. Elder Jacques Da Silva, one of my roommates noticed how much need he was in and rallied all the elders on my floor to pitch in whatever they could to help him out. I was confused at first because I didn磘 know what was going on. Everyone was coming into my room with armfulls of clothes and toiletries. I was really confused but I found out what it was for so I did my best to pitch in. They already had a bunch of clothes together for him so I tried to pitch in some razor blades and things like that. I felt really bad that that was all I could give. Then I remebered that I have two sets of bedding so I pitched that in. Elder Jacques and the other missionaries kept shaking my hand and saying thank you so much, I really don磘 feel like I deserved it. It was such a simple thing for all of us to help this missionary out and Elder Jacques told me about the missionary who received all the stuff. He was so grateful. I was so happy to be a part of this and see how quickly everyone jumped in to help out. It was so quick I almost didn磘 have an oppurtunity to contribute. It磗 amazing the feelings that come from service. Proselyting has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I don磘 have a ton of time so I磍l try to tell as much as I can. I have moer details written in the snail-mail that will be coming soon. So Elder Walker and I received 4 copies of the Book of Mormon to hand out in two hours around here in Casa Verde. It was absolutely amazing. We couldn磘 have been out more that 5 minutes when we were already having a wonderful conversation with Ricardo and Claudia. They seemed to be pretty interested and they accepted the Book of Mormon. We spent the next hour or so talking to people and not really having the best success. We still gave out our other three copies but the people didn磘 seem quite as excited as the first two people we talked to. One of the groups we gave a book of mormon to, was a group of three crazy old men. I still don磘 really know entirely was happened. There was a lot of shouting, though not necessarily angry shouting, and these guys were just flat out nuts. One of them took the book of Mormon, but kept asking about how many languages it was in and if we spoke Spanish....I think. I磎 not sure, I was so confused. So we had given out our last copy and still had 30 or so minutes to go so we just walked around talking to people and invited them to attend church. We ran into Elders Bashford and Anderson and they had an extra copy they weren磘 going to have time to give out so they gave it to us. And I磎 sure glad they did because we found the most amazing man ever. I really can磘 imagine him not getting baptized, he wa so happy and receptive. He kept asking why we chose to give him the book of mormon and not all the other surrounding people. He also mentioned that he had seen the missionaries walking around a lot and they never stopped to talk to him. I磎 so glad we were in tune with the Spirit and stopped to talk to him. He was washing his car when we found him. We explained a little bit to him about the Book of Mormon and our church. He talked a little bit about how there is a lot of evil in the world and so we testified that through the Book of Mormon we can bring more peace to the world. He really liked that. We never had to really ask him if would actually reaad the the book or attend Church but he must have said at least a dozen times ``I磎 going to read this book, I磎 going to go to church and invite my wife to come with me创. I shared Mosiah 2:41 with him and he was really touched by that and he said he would read every morning and night from the Book of Mormon, He was so excited he wanted us to write down our names in the back of the Book so that he would never forget who it was that gave him this gift. He also said his goal was to go to the USA sometime and that he wanted to look us up there. I promised him blessings, but he kept saying, ``no, I know you will be blessed for bringing the Book of Mormon to me创. At the very end he shook my hand, put his hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eye and said ``thank you创. I磛e haven磘 been so happy, ever. I love missionary work. I can磘 wait to get into to the field and do this kind of stuff everyday. Thanks everyone for making it possible for me to be here. I lvoe you all so much. I.U. Elder McLelland