Well here goes my last email from the CTM. I can hardly believe I have just one more week here and I'll really be in the field doing real missionary work. This past week has been great, and watching conference absolutely amazing. Last Friday we went to do street contacts again but this time it was in the middle of Sao Paulo. I haven't been around that many people in one place I don't think. It was intense, but awesome. So we had a goal as a district to ``contact" 100 people in our two hours there. We defined a contact as talking to someone and getting further than just a ``hello". Our district made it to 86, and the reason we fell short was mainly due to me and Elder Walker. We ended up talking with one man, Marcos, for about 40 minutes. We found out he already had a copy of the Book of Mormon, but he had questions for us. His main worry was that if he joined the church he would have give up his family and work to serve a mission like us. He didn't understand that that wouldn't be required of him. We explained that the best we could and we talked a lot more about other stuff in the book of mormon too. He also hadn't ever talked to missionaries so we gave him the phone number that usually accompanies the Book of Mormon they recieve. He didn't have it so we wrote it down for him and he said he would call it to find out more. He seemed pretty excited to understand to understand more about the church.
Elder Bashford, my district leader, is an amazing violin player and he had a really cool experience using his talent while we were contacting. He saw a guy playing a violin on the street to get money from people so elder Bashford went up and started talking to him about the violin. After a while the guy asked him to play so Elder Bashford play from memory Glory to God on High. He really amazed the guy and he accepted a Book of Mormon. While Elder Bashford played, his companion Elder Anderson talked to the people that were slowing down to see what was going on. They gave out some pass along cards as along witht the Book of Mormon. It was a really cool experience for all of us, even though it dumped rain on us for about 30 minutes. Luckily for Elder Walker and I the 30 minutes of rain happened to be while we under a bridge talking to Marcos. So we lucked out.
So it seems funny stories have been a common request, so I'll share a story. About 6 weeks ago I bought a tie from who we call ``the tie lady". SHe owns a little shop around the corner and sells cheap nice ties. So I bought a really nice blue tie that has black stripes on it. I was wearing it about 3-4 weeks later and Elder Bashford was also wearing a blue and black striped tie to so I said, ``hey, our ties match today." I got a blank stare from Elder Bashford. It turns out my nice ``blue" tie is actually a nice purple tie. It took me a month to find out. I love being color blind.
Conference was absolutely amazing this weekend. It was one of the most relaxing weekends because we watched conference and had free study time in between. It was really nice. We watched conference in English, which I was really glad about. Also the Seventy that spoke, Jairo Mazzagardi, is Brazilian and he was one of our devotional speakers we had a few weeks ago here at the CTM. I got to meet him when he was here. I'm totally blanking on who said, it was one of the Twelve, that talked about the 5 steps to living a consecrated life. Was that Eyring, maybe? I can never remember if I don't have my notes with me. I also really enjoyed the one from Patrick Kearon, the one who told the story about being bitten by a scorpion in Saudi Arabia. I absolutely love general conference.
Well I have just one week left here and I can hardly believe it. I am sooooo excited. We leave really early next tuesday morning for the airport. we have to leave the CTM by 4AM for a 30-40 minute plane ride to Ribeiro Preto. But I am getting so excited to go. I feel really quite confident in my speaking skills. I still don't understand a lot but definitely enough to get by. Even today while waiting for Elder Walker at the Post Office I talked to a man who is a motorcycle courier. They have a lot here in Sao Paulo and he was telling be about how dangerous it is here. One person dies every day from a motorcycle accident here in Sao Paulo.But it was really neat to talk to him a little bit about me and the church but more importantly to just have a casual conversation with a complete stranger. It definitely has been boosting my confidence. I can't wait to be teaching people and helping them find the way to true joy and happiness. We have practice lessons everyday and I promise people blessings in our fake lessons. But I still feel the spirit so strongly as I do it because I really know it's true.
Well I hope all is still going well at home. How has it been babysitting Lily? Leah and Brian, you will haev to tell me all about your nice vacation. How is all the extended family doing? I hope all is well. I look forward to hearing more soon.
Love, Elder McLelland