Monday, January 3, 2011

Feliz Ano Novo!

Howdy Everyone!

Well it磗 been a pretty eventful week. I experienced a ridiculous Brazilian New Year. I hardly slep because of all the noise. New Years here is way get drunk and party at least. But we spent a lot of time with the same family of Adriana that we spent Christmas with. It was awesome.....and I ate a ton of delicious food. I had fish for the first time since I磛e been here. Salmon and some other type as well. Delicious!

Elder J. Santos is no longer my companion, he is spending the day with the president, the Temple tomorrow and will be at home tomorrow night. According to mission slang I 创killed创 another companion. My new companion is Elder Holmes from Orem, Utah. It磗 going to be a great transfer. I can tell we both want to work hard.

Yesterday was one of the most amazing testimony meetings I have experienced. Our fantastic investigator, Hamilton, bore his testimony. He talked about how he thought he almost lost the year of 2010. Things were difficult to them. But he bore his testimony of how the last month made it the best year of his life. He bore his testimony of our role as missionaries, he wants his son to serve. It was such an amazing feeling to know that I was a part of that miracle. And he has finally decided that he truly wants to get married to his 创wife创 after living together 8 years. This testimony along wiht all the rest made it the best testimony meeting I have attended.

Dad wanted to hear what our daily schedule is like. So here it is:
630 wake up/excercise
700 shower/get ready/etc
730 breakfast
800 personal study
900 companion study
1000 language study
1100 start working (if you don磘 have a slacker companion)
1200(ish) Lunch Time!!!!!!!
    Work, teaching, contacting, etc
900/930 Arrive at home, plan, shower
1030 Sleep!!!!!!

The only time this changes is Monday for P-day, we have P-day from 10:00am until 6pm and then we work. tuesday is district meeting in the morning. And sunday is a normal day but without study time because that is when we are at church.

Dad also asked how to be better member missionaries. The biggest thing I would ask is first say a sincere prayer asking for the oppurtunity to find people....anyone. Friends, coworkers, people in the supermarket---anyone! Then do all you can to find those people. And most importantly give the names of those people to the missionaries as referrals. Referrals almost always lead to sucess yet missionaries (at least here) hardly ever receive them. Thay are super important. Ask the missionaries if you can get some pass-along cards to give to people. And remember that throughout all of this pray sincerely for help. If you are sincere and try the Lord will most certainly put people in your way to teach.

Another question: what do I do that helps me feel the Spirit? Unfortunately this last transfer I had a lot of free time at home. But, I learned to use all of that time to read scripture/Jesus the Christ/conference talks/etc. This really brought the Spirit into my life. I have learned even more than before to read the Book of Mormon. Also having some church music to listen to lately has been helping a lot. I feel the Spirit as I listen and the songs get stuck in my head which a blessing because they stay with me all day.

Finally: what makes Brasil different? I don磘 really know how to explain it. So many things are the same. Obnoxious music being played from cars on the streets. Teenagers addicted to Facebook, etc. Strong and humble members of the church. Members who don磘 want to do anything or just do the bare minimum. The differences: rice and beans every day, which I love; everyone believes in God whther they practice it or not; no one here likes to get married (in some aspects even wh]orse than the USA); and it磗 always uncomfortably hot. But this is has been the most amazing 5 months of my life. I have learned so much about myself if nothing else. I have learned my weaknesses, my strengths, and my commitment to the Lord. The mission is the most amazing blessing ever.

I love all of you so much. I  hope you all had a great Christmas, New Year磗 and have set great goals for this year to come. Do all you can to really think of how you can change and apply all of your hearts to fulfilling them. I have made my goals and promise all of you I will fulfill them. Until next week!

Elder McLelland

PS I finally atached some pictures from this past transfer. The baptism, our chapel the neighbor of the Catholic church, Our awesome Christmas tree, and Christmas goodies.

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