Monday, November 29, 2010

Week 1 in Jardim Jandaia

Howdy everyone!

It磗 been a fantastic week here in Jardim Jandaia. I absolutely love my companion. He is amazing. We are already great friends. He absolutely loves helping me and explaining everything to me. He has explained things I never really quite understood the first transfer and he is amazing at helping me with Portuguese. I have improved so much in the first week here with him. He is a lot more knowledgable of grammar concepts and has helped me a lot to understand why things are said in a certain way. my first companion knew all this stuff because he has spoken it his whole life but he didn磘 know the why or how to explain. I got a lot of ``just because创 kind of answers. But I have improved a ton, and he is good at complementing me on my Portuguese too. He is surprised at how well I already speak for how little time I have been here. He also is determined to have a basic understanding of English before he goes home in the beginning of January. We do a lot of reading in English so he can practice pronunciation. I always knew that English was ridiculous with spelling and pronunciation but after watching him have to labor through  verses in the Book of Mormon, holy cow English is difficult. Why is there a ``gh创 in daughters? sheesh. It磗 been really good though to work with Elder J. Santos. This is going to be an amazing transfer.

The only thing I don磘 like about here is the heat. It was quite a blessing there in Po鏾s, relativley cool and temperate there. Everyday is just super hot and its only going to get worse. And our tiny house is just a little hot box. Our house is just one little tile box on top of a members house. It磗 tiny. The room is a little bit bigger than the computer room there at home with a bathroom attached. Our ``kitchen创 is outside on the front porch on our brand new washing machine that is amazing. It actually rinses the clothes! The one in Po鏾s basically just swirled your clothes around in soapy water and that was about it. you had to rinse it all by hand and squeeze all the water our. This one here rinses and drains most of the water. A blessing of the heat is that clothes dry in about an hour instead of the 2-3 days there in Po鏾s.

Our ward here is amazing. Bishop William is awesome. He is only 32 years old but leads this ward like any other veteran bishop in the church, if not better. We live above Wellington, the first counselor to the Bishop. He gives us rides all the time and does so much for the missionaries. The whole ward loves to do stuff for the missionaries. We also have some amazing investigator families we are working with. We have four families all ready to be baptized but are waiting to get legally married. Marriage is a huge problem here in Brazil. Many people live together for many years and never get married. It磗 not uncommon to meet a couple that has lived together 30-40 years and never got married. Once the paperwork process is over these four families will get baptized. They all attend Church very regularly waiting to be baptized. I absolutely love this area. Though I am really sad that all the people we were teaching in Po鏾s now have no one to teach them, I am glad to be here in Jardim Jandaia.

It was sad to now celebrate Thanksgiving this year. But I want to share what I am thankful for...everything. Most particularly, this Gospel. Every day here I have some amazing experience feeling the Spirit. The Holy Ghost is the most amazing gift we have. It leads me every day in this work and I have seen it touch the lives of the people we teach. I am thankful for my family that supports me. Without all of you I don磘 think I could be here doing this work. And some new things I have learned to be greatful for: pineapple (abacaxi), mango (manga), rice and beans (arroz e feij鉶), and air conditioning (I don磘 get to feel air conditioning, except right now in this LAN-house).

Well, until next week everyone. I love you all so much. Tchau!
Elder McLelland

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