Monday, November 1, 2010

Letter #11

Greetings from Poços de Caldas!

     Well, there I was yesterday cold, surprised and a bit nervous standing in a baptismal font baptising Nicolas Alexandre da Costa. I was pretty sure that the baptism wasn´t going to happen yesterday. The night before we were in Nicolas´ gome asking his mother for permission (he is only 8 years old almost 9) and she was pretty firm that she wanted to wait a while. But Sunday morning when the lady from the ward that has been helping us went to pick him up the mother decided it was alright for him to be baptised. It was quite an experience. I was really nervous. I hadn´t prepared at all because I didn´t think it would happen and I assumed Elder Azevedo would perform the baptism. But he handed me the white jump suit and told me to do it. There was another little girl from the ward that was baptised too. The Spirit was so strong as I spoke the simple words of the baptismal prayer. It was nice to have that good end to a rough week.

Friday/Saturday we did splits because our district leader had to go around doing baptismal interviews. So, Elder Walker and I were companions for a day in his area. That was pretty cool. The Spirit definitely helped us a lot to understand what people were saying and we knew how to teach pretty well too. Unfortunately on Saturday our appointments together fell through and it rained a ton which made it nearly impossible to contact people on the street. But it was nice to have some time with Elder Walker and speak some English. We both are unfortunately struggling with our trainers. We both have a feeling that our work could be much more efficient and that many of the small rules are being bent or broken. It was nice to at least talk about it and share some ideas to help improve. 

Sunday was also amazing because we finally had success getting investigators to Church with us. We had a family for four that came with us and they were all ready to go when we stopped by to pick them up. (Quite a relief after the past four houses we went to no one came through with their commitment to come with us). The family was Maria de Lurdes and her three kids William, Wesley and Isaura.  It was really nice to have them there and it made our week feel a bit more sucessful. 

We also have several individuals we are working with now that I have high hopes for. We are working with a couple of men that want our help to break their drinking habit. We are also teaching a lady that lost her father a little over a month ago. She was taught by the previous elders here but had to stop to give more time caring for her father. She was very greatful to hear about the Plan of Salvation because she is bery worried about the condition her father is in right now. Isn´t it wonderful to know that we can live as families forever and that those that have passed away are in a safe place and still have a chance to accept Christ and His Gospel?

Today we are going out to play some soccer with the youth in the ward. We are taking the two boys that came to church with us. William and Wesley, to help them get to know other youth better. I´m kinda nervous to play soccer with people that have been playing all of their lives. I´ve also been fighting a cold for the past two weeks, and its actually getting worse so I plan on sleeping a lot today to hopefully help. We get so exhausted from working all day everyday that its hard to recover from something as simple as a cold.

We work quite a bit with a family here in the ward that is absolutely amazing. I´m not even sure what the last name of the family is. Names are different here in Brazil and no one goes by their last name at church. It´s always brother/sister and then their first name. But they are absolutely amazing. They have a 17 year old son, Erick, that comes to work with us often. And their oldest, Nathali, leaves in about 3 weeks to serve a mission in the Provo Mission. They are always happy to feed us and help us out with the work. The father, I´m not sure what he does but he often travels to work in the Sacramento Area. It´s always cool to meet someone that has heard of Galt, especially here in Brazil.

Well everything is going pretty well here. I´m starting to get the hang of things better. I´m getting more and more excited to keep going with the work. I love being here.

Elder McLelland

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