Monday, December 27, 2010

Feliz Natal!!!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

I hope this Christmas was as great for all of you as it was for me. I got alittle homesick thinking about some of the family traditions I had to do without this year, but overall it was fantastic. We got to do a lot of things to help people understand the true meaning of Christmas, the Birth of Jesus Christ. We s閚t most of our Christmas Eve and Day with a recent convert Adriana and her family. They had never officially celebrated Christmas before so we gave them a Christmas. Unfortunately, as usual something came up that isn磘 allowing me to send pictures from my camera. This week it磗 batteries. But, the two attached pictures are from the Christmas Conference we had last week.

The Christmas Conference was amazing. The whole mission was there, all 130 of us. It was fantastic. We had some good training from our president and a nice musical program. Each of the zones in the mission was responsible to provide a musical number. My zone combined with another as a choir to sing Angels we have heard on high. We had a massive lunch of churrasco, which means BBQ. It was delicious. We watched a picture compilation from all the missionaries in the mission that sent in pictures. And the big surprise, the President let us watch The Grinch with Jim Carrey. That was quite fun in Portuguese even though some of the Dr. Seuss translations were a little lost. For example ``Cindy Lou Quem`` (quem means who in Portuguese). The conference was awesome and got us all even more excited to carry on in the Lords work. 

Christmas Eve we had a wonderful night with Adriana磗 family. Me and Elder J. Santos 创made创 a Christmas tree from fallen Pine branches we took from a planted pine grove near our house. We used wire to bind it together and look more or less like a Christmas Tree. We bought some decorations to make up for the ugly parts. Also our lunch that day was with Hamilton and Ednete, our amazing investigator family. They have a few challenges to overcome before baptism but they are already strong in the Church and sign up on the monthly missionary meal calendar. At Adriana磗 we exchanged gifts and had a wonderful dinner of lazagna, rice, chicken, and pork roast. Fantastic. 

President made Christmas day more or less a P-day because here proselyting can be a little on the dangerous side because of all the drunk people on the streets. So we spent most of the day at Adriana磗 house again and had a nice lunch with them. That family had a wonderful first Christmas. Adriana is usually a pretty stressed out person but I could see that she really enjoyed herself and I磛e never seen her smile more. Christmas night we went and made some visits to some of the less actives in our ward. It was a real nice and peaceful day. It was so nice to call home and see how everyone was doing. Christmas can be a bit sad your first time away from home, but it was wonderful doing the Lord磗 work and bringing the real meaning of Christmas to people. I hope it was equally great for all of you, focusing on the Birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I shared Isaiah 9:6 with many people. From this verse is take words for Handel磗 messiah ``For unto us a Son is given...创 Thanks to everyone for helping make this Christmas a wonderful time for me.

I love you all. And Happy New Year!
Elder McLelland

Monday, December 13, 2010

Another Week

Howdy everyone!

Well I got really excited today, I recieved a package today and it had my camera cord. But unfortunately the computer I am at doesn´t want to recognize my camera. So yet again you guys will have to wait a while to get some pictures. I´m trying.

This past week has been good. We almost had a baptism but the father of the boy we almost baptized decided that he needs to wait a little longer. The parents will be baptized sometime in January I think, they have to wait to get legally married first. This family is amazing, they have faithfully attended church for two months only missing one week. They are fantastic. We just have to work a little bit more to get rid of some of the doubts they have. It´s coming along. 

I went on splits with another Elder for a day, Elder Arrazola. He is from California but his parents are Hispanic. His mom is from El Salvador and his dad from Guatemala. He was really excited to hear that Mike served in El Salvador and was super happy to have someone to talk about papusas with (that really good Salvadoran food we had at the El Salvador Restuarant in Provo). It was fun to have a day with an American companion and actually converse in English for a while. 

I´m loving my area. The members here are amazing in my ward. We have low attendance but the people that do come are fantastic. Everyone is willing to help out in someway. We went on splits yesterday with a couple of men from the ward to help us do street contacting. It went really well.

Sorry I don´t have a whole lot to say today. It´s been another great week, and a great P-Day. We met up with other elders and played some soccer for a couple of hours. I´m loving my area and am seeing the Lord´s hand in the work everyday.

I love you all.   Até Próximo!

Elder McLelland

Monday, December 6, 2010

Another Miraculous Week

Hey Everyone,

Well this has beena long tiring week, with lots of blessings. Yesterday we baptized a family of three: Luana the mother and her two children Lucas and Giovana. She also has another child Jo who is only a year old. They are such a wonderful family. When I first got here we went to Luana's house and she wasn't really interested in the Gospel. My companion had already taught her a few things but she didn't really want to commit to anything. But after the lesson we taught when I was there she had more interest and agreed to go to church if we arranged a car ride for her. She went and that was all it took to help her gain a testimony. It's amazing the power of a good Sunday church experience. We went to her house a couple of days alter to teach a lesson on the commandments and she kept saying things like ``i have been wondering about the exact things you are teaching about." It helped her gain a testimony, and me too, the power of following the Spirit in our teaching. It was a really special day for that family yesterday and they will be confirmed next week. Yesterday was also Giovana's 10th birthday so we had a little surprise party for her last night with some members. Now we just need to keep the members involved with them and it will be no problem keeping them strong in the Church. 

It was also a tough week because we worked a lot of long days and it was super hot. And also super rainy. Friday night was ridiculous in the rain. We were with our Zone Leaders because they did our baptismal interview for us. We waited a little bit for the rain to pass but it didn't let up so we just went for it. It must have been a funny sight seeing four missionaries plodding through the streets that were basically rivers. And I experienced the car driving by and splashing muddy water all over you. Not the funnest thing, but makes for good mission stories. This week has been the wettest and hottest I have experienced. And it's only going to get wetter and hotter these next couple of months.

It's really cool to be here in Ribeiro Preto because we get to see other missionaries much more frequently. Every week for district meeting we get to see about 20 other missionaries. Our district is only two companionships but we have almost two whole zones that meet their every week. And everyone you talk to on the street says stuff like ``why do i always see big mobs of missionaries in central Ribeiro? People always see us around the mission office and it actually helps to spark interest in our work.

I was planning on emailing some pictures today but I'm having troubles with my memory card in the camera. It's not just the normal SD card it's and SDHC card(whatever that means) sp none of the computers here can read it. I'll have to wait to get my cable in the mail to send some pictures to you of my new area and the baptism photo from yesterday. Hopefully I'll get it straightened out soon.

Well that's all I have for this week. I love you all and thanks for all the support you guys give me. This work is marvelous and it's wonderful to see the power of the Spirit working in peoples lives; investigators and us as missionaries. Getting little promptings like ``go knock on this door right now" or ``say this to her" really is an amazing experience. Until next week everyone!

Elder McLelland

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

Monday, November 22, 2010

Letter #14- Transferred

Greetings from Ribeirão Preto,

This has been a sad past couple of days, while also exciting and good. I have been transferred from Poços de Caldas 1 to Jardim Jandaia. I´m had a pretty tough time saying goodbye to my area. Every missionary I talked to was so sure that I would stay because it is very rare that a new missionary stays in his first area for just one transfer. This last week was so amazing too. We had been working with a family with inactive parents and 4 un-baptized kids. They are such an amazing family. I don´t know why the Spirit helped me so much more in the lessons, but every time we were there it was so easy to break from my usual lesson plan and follow the Spirit and say things that specifically pertained to them. It was so amazing that one week we had to teach them. Literally, if we had never met them I would have had no major problem leaving the area and going somewhere new. But, that family was just amazing. We made a visit to them on last Saturday to say goodbye and tell them the news that I was leaving too. They already knew that Azevedo would be leaving. We all had a good cry together. Renata, the mother, cried really hard to know that I was leaving. It was amazing the relationship we built with them in only one week. I learned a really valuable lesson from that really helped me realize my true purpose as a missionary. Many would think that it was a failure there because we didn´t baptize the kids and the parents hadn´t been back to church yet. But I know that we brought the Spirit into their home and because of the things Renata said to me, I know we had a big influence on their lives. She told me that I have been forever engraven in her heart, right next to the elders that baptized her and her husband 20 years ago.

Now for the really sad news. not only was I transferred from the area, Poços de Caldas 1 closed. Not enough missionaries are arriving every transfer to compensate for those leaving. Many areas have to close because there are no missionaries to fill them. I can´t beleive there won´t be any missionaries there for at least one transfer to continue the work we started there. I hope the ward will be able to keep working with the families we were teaching. 

My new area is Jardim Jandaia, a neighborhood in the actual city Ribeirão Preto. My new companion is Elder J. Santos from Goiana(city), Pernambuca(state). He is an awesome guy and I can already tell we are going to get along great. He is a friend to everyone. And he is an amazing artist. I saw a painting he did while I was in Poços. It was absolutely amazing. So that´s gonna be cool to see more of the stuff he can do. As sad as I am to leave the Poços, I know that the Lord is directing this work. Also in my district is Elder Antone(the former Elder Christensen from my CTM group). I´m excited to be close to him and it sounds like we will get to go on splits together so that sheould be really fun.  I´m excited to get to know this new area and teach new people. I can´t wait to have great experiences here too.

Last week we had a Zone conference that was amazing. It was awesome to meet up with two of the other elders that were in my CTM group. We all have had struggles with our first transfers. We all notice that there are things in the mission we would like to see done differently and we also promised each other to never give in to being mediocre missionaries but that we would lead the mission by example in the direction it needs to go.  We also learned a lot of great things from the Assistants and the President. It was a very nice spiritual boost.

Well it´s been a lot of bitter sweet experiences this last week. truly what missionary work is. I´m so glad to be hear doing the Lord´s work. And I cant believe how fast the time is already going. One transfer in the field already done. Much love to everyone and thanks for all the support.

Elder McLelland

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Letter #13 with a Picture!

Como Vai?

It has rained so much here this past week. Last night was especially bad. I´ve never been so soaked in my life. I still love the rain, but it sure makes missionary work tough sometimes. Putting all s]your scriptures in plastic bags inside your back pack and lugging around an umbrella. Adn then the clouds go away and it get hot and super humid. Last night we left the house around 5:00 after passing through real quick to pick up more copies of the book of Mormon to deliver. It was nice and sunny so I left my umbrella at home. Big mistake. I´ve never seen it rain so hard. And of course the hour or so it rained was when we were outside walking home. Elder Azevedo said it was inevitable to have an experience like this because it was his last working Sunday (next Sunday he will be traveling to the Mission Home before he heads home).

I have a picture attached from the baptism a couple of weeks ago. Hope you guys enjoy it. The lady on the left is Irmã Cida and she loves to work with missionaries. She goes out with us on visits at least once a week. She was a big help with the baptism of Nicolas. The other little boy is Nicolas´s half-brother Adré. I absolutely love that little kid. He usually sits on my lap during Sacrament meeting. And yesterday he came with Irmã Cida to the new convert class and he was really upset. I was proud to be the one he ran to calm him down.

We have started teaching several new people this week. One family I am particularly excited about. We were trying to find the home of a street contact and a 15 year old girl came out of the neihbor house and recofnized us as mormon missionaries. We found out her grandma is a firm member in another town and later foudn out her parents were also baptized. They were active for about four years and then moved to Poços de Caldas and stopped going to church. I think it´s going to be quite easy to get them re-activated. The father, Gilson has some health problems though. He has one very weak kidney and is waiting for a transplant. They have four kids Amanda, Aline, Bruno, and Ana Julia. Their neighbors next door were in the house when we were teaching and one of the girls from that family came to church yesterday with us. The girls made some really good friends in Young Women´s already. i´m really excitd about this family, right now I feel pretty sure we will have sucess with them.

We are also teaching a college aged guy, Domingos. We walked past his apartment as he was leaving and he wa talking to a friend and he saw me, an American, and said in English, ´´did you understand what I said?´´ I said yes and we started talking as we walked down the street. He was curious to know why he saw Americans dressed like me walking past his apartment so often. So I told him we are missionaries and that we wanted to come by and share a message with him. He is one of the friendliest guys I have met. He has never joined any church, not even baptzied as a baby in the Catholic church but loves to study religions. He has entirely read the Bible, Quran, Torah, and a bunch of other religious texts. So it wasn´t too hard to give him a Book of Mormon. Another blessing for being an American, I have had so many oppurtunities these past two weeks to talk in English and people that want to know what an American is doing all the way out here. It´s so awesome.

I recieved a nice bundle of letters Saturday. Thanks for all the letters everyone. And I´m repenting and will get a bunch of letters sent out tomorrow to all of you. I have written/am writing a bunch of letters today.  

Dad has some questions for me that I think everyone would benefit to hear the answers:

  1. Can you print our letters?    Yes. But I´m not sure how much it costs, probably not much
  2. Does including a full talk to much for you to print? I would love to have church talks sent. I´m running out of church magazines to read (surprisingly).
  3. Can you give out treats, pictures or trinkets to the children there? if so would you like us to send you some?  It would be niceto have stuff to pass out. Kids here love to get $1 bills or other little stuff.
  4. Are there any pictures  church or otherwise that you would like for your apartment? We already have quite a bit of this stuff around so no need to send this kind of stuff
  5. Are there any personal products that you cannot get there, toothbrushes, deodorant...? I haven´t encountered really anything I can´t get here. Maybe some Gold Bond foot powder. The stuff they have here isn´t quite the same
  6. Can you chew gum? How is your supply holding out?  I can´t chew gum unfortunately. I gave most if it away =(
  7. Is there any clothing needs that you have  shirts, socks...? Maybe a few pairs of thinner socks. The ones I have are nice but a little warm and take forever to dry. But I can buy them here too if necessary.
  8. And I can send pictures but, I´ll still send the majority through mail on the SD cards.

Well I love all of you guys. This past week has been quite good. It´s improving and I´m excited to see what comes next week. Who is going to be my new companion? Will I be transferred (I definitely hope not)? Things are forever good here as a missionary.

-Elder McLelland

Monday, November 8, 2010

Letter #12

Minha Familia e meus amigos!

    We confirmed Nicolas, the boy be we baptized last week. Unfortunately he ended up not wanting to do it in front of the whole ward. But it was kind of a blessing for me, I didn't have to worry about saying things wrong in front of the whole congregation. That was really cool. Irm Will, in the bishopric, coached me through the part of the confirmation that has to be exact. Then it was amazing to let the Spirit take over during the blessing part. The gift of the Holy Ghost is such an amazing thing. I see it work with me everyday and it's so exciting to be helping others receive it too.

Interestingly, this past week I have encountered a bunch of English speakers this week. They are really excited to have a native speaker to talk with. A lady that works in the juice shop across the street from us stopped us and started talking perfect english asking me to stop by some time so I can talk with her in english. I think she just wants to speak in English, but who knows it might be a great oppurtunity to share the Gospel too. I met a man who goes back and forth from here and New York every 6 months for work. He spoke very broken English but was really excited to talk to me and invite me to his home. A couple of weeks ago we were walking to our lunch appointment and a lady stopped her car and asked if we were ``mormons创. We said yes and she then told us she had friends in USA that are mormons and while she lived there starting reading the Book of Mormon but doesnt have a copy here. We went and delivered it this week and she also spoke very broken English but wants us to keep coming to teach her the Gospel and wants my help with English. I hadn磘 really thought that my ability to speak english was going to bring teaching oppurtunities. I had been focusing so much on forgetting about English so I could connect to the people in Portuguese.

Unfortunately this last week also had a lot of struggles. Many of our investigators haven't been progressing much. The family we took to church last week has kind of gone cold. After we extended an invitation for baptism the mother was pretty firm that she has already been baptized. Kind of strange, I've encountered this a lot too, she doesn't seem to realize the contradiction she made. She had just said and agreed that her baptism was invalid because of the lack of authority and lack of choosing to be baptized (she was only an infant) but still is firm that she has already been baptized and doesn't need to be baptized again. The children seem interested still but mimic the responses of their mother.

This coming Saturday I have a commitment to attend a Seventh-day Adventist church service. A young man pulled over and offered us a ride so he could talk with us. He was really eager to learn about us and also share his religion. We are going to one of his services on saturday and he will come with us on Sunday. He also has a book for us just like we gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon. I'm kind of excited to see what it's going to be like. Apparently it's more or less common to visit other churches as missionaries to show respect to other churches too. I had never really thought of doing that.

Well, the work is still plugging along despite some disappointments. And despite the struggles I'm still happier than ever to be here. I hope all is well there too. Glad to hear weather is cooling down there. It's getting wetter and hotter here. I love you all.

Elder McLelland

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

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Scott's mission president sent these in the mail.
It's so fun to see him looking so good!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Letter #10

Howdy Everyone.

Well we worked quite a bit this week and taught a lot of lessons. It磗 such a wonderful feeling to testify multiple times in a day about Jesus Christ and the Restoration of his gospel through Joseph Smith. It磗 so wonderful to have the Spirit testify to me and investigators so frequently.

I磛e already encountered a few interesting things during lessons too. For example we were teaching a really nice old lady and her family and they were so accepting of us. She told us that she used to be very active in another church until her pastor told her she couldn磘 pray to Santa Maria (an obstacle we will have to work hard to overcome). She took here little picture/shrine thingy of Santa Maria down off of the pedestal and passed it around and kissed the picture and then did the sign of the cross with her hands. Luckily they didn磘 expect us to do it but I was quite nervous watching it get passed around the room getting closer and closer to me. In another lesson the young mother we were teaching just out of the blue started breastfeeding her child without any covering whatsoever. It磗 a natural thing but completely took me off guard. Definitely some different culture things to get used to.

We have a good pool of investigators to work with right now. Unfortunately we weren磘 sucessful in getting many to church. It磗 so disappointing to see people feel the Spirit, and even say they know the it磗 true but not have a desire to act on it. We are teaching a man and his wife and her father and they are wonderful and accepting. They all believe our words to be true, but the young man said ``I磎 already Catholic. You are wlecome to come share the Word of God whenever, but I磎 already catholic and don磘 want to change that创. I still have hopes for the rest of the family but it磗 so tough to see people not have desire to act on the Spirit. We are also teaching a woman who is ashamed to go to church because she doesn磘 know how to read. While in the CTM i bought a nice book that had a whol bunch of church paintings in it. I gave it to her and she absolutely loves it. She could hardly put it down while we were trying to teach her. She promises to go next week, hopefully she does.

I just looked out the window and it pouring outside. It was hot and sunny 20 minutes ago when we got here. I磎 jealous that you guys keep saying it磗 been cooling down a lot there. It磗 just starting to get hot now. Not super hot, 95ish but in church clothes with humidity it磗 not my favorite. It takes FOREVER for clothes to dry. we don磘 get drying machines. On Sunday morning I had a unique experience. I was ironing my socks to get them dry. I felt a little ridiculous passing the iron back and forth, over and over on a dumb sock. But I磍l get used to it.

Today for P-Day, we met up with the other two companionships here in Po鏾s and went hiking. Here in Po鏾s they have a lot of hills and on the top of one of them they have a big statue of Christ. They call it ``O Cristo创. It was absolutely beautiful up there. Sorry you will have to wait a little while to get some pictures of it. It was a pretty grueling, steep climb but well worth it. There are a bunch of pretty trees along the path. Quite tropical looking in some places actually. Then on the other side of the hill the trees are types of pines. It was awesome but now I磎 sunburned and exhausted. 

You guys asked a little bit about packages. I guess you got some instructions. Don磘 send any major electronics. You asked about CDs, that would be fine. i was actually going to request some Tabernacle choir. Musis can be anything by the Tabernacle choir, and hymns. EFY type stuff, if they are hymns are OK too....but I don磘 really want that kind of stuff to be honest. Just Tabernacle choir or instrumental hymns are great. Try to make packages as light as possible, for costs and if it is heavy people will want to take a look and possibly steal things or they will hold onto it at the post office and charge big fees. I can磘 really think of much I磛e been wishing for...except Root Beer but that磗 not really possible. You did mention blister stuff, that might be handy. And just send everything to the mission home, thanks.

Well, everyone I磎 doing great here. I磎 picking up on Portuguese more and more everyday. I can understand a lot more except for a few of the sisters that talk super fast. The work is picking up more. And I love the city I am in. I磎 so happy to be a missionary. 
I love you all!

Elder McLelland

Monday, October 18, 2010

Letter #9

Hello Everyone!

      Well I'm finally here in the mission field. We had to leave the CTM by 4am last tuesday to make our flight. It felt a little ridiculous flying for 40 minutes. It was pretty much like taking a plane from Fresno to Sacramento. But, they said statistically it is safer for us to fly even for that short period. We arrived at the little airport in Ribeiro Preto and President Prieto and his wife, and the assistants were there to pick us up. We drove to the Mission Office and had some training there. That reminds me, they want all mail to be sent to the mission office, never directly to us. Which is kind of unfortunate because I'll probably only be able to get my mail about once a month or so. But oh well, rules are rules. The mission office has a different address now too. Anything sent to the old address will get to me so go ahead and use that for now, I don't have it with me at the moment to tell you guys now.
       Anyways we had lunch at the Mission President's home, and were assigned our companions and Areas. My companion is Elder Azevedo and our area is Pos de Caldas 1! Elder Azevedo is Brazilian, he is from Teresina and speaks no english. I'm definitely going to have to learn quick. I was really confident in the MTC about my Portuguese, but now that I'm here....holy cow. I have a lot to learn. The people here are super hard to understand, they mumble a lot and have a little bit different accent. Our first day in Ribeiro Preto we have to register with the Federal Police there. But the 12th, the day we arrived, is a national holiday, Dia das Crians, or Children's Day. So everything was closed and we had to stay the night in Ribeir Preto. We had nothing to do in the afternoon so they sent us out to street contacting. I wasn't ready for that, 7 hours of walking and not having much sucess because no one was out in the streets because of the Holiday. Wednesday we got registered and took a bus to our area. We got here in Pos around 11:30 at night. 
        My area here in Pos de Caldas is absolutely beautiful. It's so nice to be out of the big city of Sao Paulo and breathe some fresh air. My area is also the only area in the mission has a lot of wills to climb to get to peoples houses. The hills are quite brutal here, I've got some pretty gnarly blisters. Some of the hills are so steep that you decrease altitude quick enough for your ears to start plugging up. It's pretty intense, but awesome. The people here are great. The first couple of days we spent most of the time introducing me to members and asking for referrals. I'm not sure why Elder Azevedo didn't already really have many people he was working with. He has already been here for one or two transfers. But we have some good people now I have high hopes for.
        I went to church yesterday, which was amazing even though the plans we had for investigators to come fell through. There are three wards here in Pos, our averages about 80 people a week. The Spirit was awesome sitting in our tiny little chapel and I was trying my best to understand the talks. The members here are so nice here. I think the hardest part for me about Brazil will be our lunch appointments. Here in Brazil lunch is the primary meal so we are fed lunch by the members. You have no idea how many times I've already heard ``Come mais Elder, come mais创. It means ``eat more, Elder, eat more创. The sisters take pride in how much they get to feed the elders. So far i've been basically only eating one meal a day, but the equivalent of a normal 3 meals. It's going to take some getting used to. 
        I'm going to take some pictures of the area today and get them sent next week hopefully. I'm not sure how doing snail mail is going to work since I only receive it once a month. But, feel free to go ahead and send as much as you want. I'm just not sure how often I'll be able to send mail to all of you. I will hold off on taking pictures of our apartment. it's in pretty bad shape right now. My goal for the day is to get it looking nice. It's actually pretty disgusting right now. It looks like it hasn't been cleaned for quite a few weeks. I sometimes get the feeling that my companion is kind of loosing steam. This is his last transfer. I hope I can get things working a little better around here even though I have no idea what is going on most of the time. I kind of feel like we waste a lot of time and our planning isn't very thorough at all. I don't know how to suggest improvements when I can hardly speak and I'm so new and don't know the process. But from what I was taught in the CTM i feel like a lot of improvements can be made to increase our success here. 
         I'm super excited to be here. We have several investigators I think we will have some good success with. We taught an awesome lesson on the Restoration yesterday to a young couple. They seemed really interested and the wife. Camila, was already reading from the Book of Mormon before we left. We are teaching an old man named Sebasti, and he seems to be very interested as well. And yesterday while trying to find someone else's house, we met a lady named Angela. She at first had no interest at all to talk to us because she is already a firm member of another church. But she began to share here worries about one of her sons who is having a lot of troubles. She was basically begging us to come and help her son. She was even in tears while we were talking on the street. She really wants the best for her son.
          Well I want to all know that this truly is the work of the Lord. I feel the Spirit so often already. It's one of the most difficult things I've done but it is already bringing me great joy. I'm doing very well and I look forward to hearing more from all of you.

Elder McLelland

Friday, October 8, 2010

Letter #8

Boa Tarde!              
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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Letter #7

Howdy, Howdy!        
Well, It's been another great week, but I have to admit that the CTM is starting to wear on me a bit. We are feeling so anxious to get out and teach real investigators. Last Saturday we taught in what they call TRC, or Teaching Resource Center, I think. It's a pretty cool way for them to evaluate how well we are progressing. We taught in a little classroom set up like a living room and taught a lesson in exactly 15 minutes. The people that came for us to teach were a group of young men from a ward in Sao Paulo somewhere. How fun would that be for a young men's activity? They brought some non-member friends with them as well.  The scenario was a family who were really excited about church and were accepting the lessons but the father had a problem with smoking. We had to reinforce the previously taught lesson about the Word of Wisdom and commit them to a specific baptismal date. The classroom has a small camera set up the in the corner so our instructors can watch us as we teach. They said that Elder Walker and I did really well. Of course we have some improvements we can make with our Portuguese, but we are doing really well. I feel like I could leave now for the mission field and be able to hit the ground running. We also get to go proselyting again this Friday. But this time they take us out into downtown Sao Paulo. It's going to be nuts but I can't wait, especially after the experience we had last time.        
Another kind of funny story I could share is about Elder Christopherson's translating in our devotionals. He is the executive secretary to the MTC presidency here and he does most of the translating at the meetings. But it's really funny to hear because he doesn't translate word for word and it makes for some funny experiences. One time a Stake President was talking about us needing to ``cut the umbilical cord" and be ready to serve. It was pretty easy to tell that he was uncomfortable with the phrase though and he kept trying to come up with euphemisms to replace it but it just didn't work. I guess it might be a ``you had to be there" kind of thing. And this past week he was translating for Sister Clark the president's wife who is from the Czech Republic and has a strong accent. The very first sentence she said, he just stared at her blankly and said, ``I'm sorry i didn't catch any of that".  Later on President Clark was speaking in English and Elder Christopherson was translating into Portuguese, halfway though Pres. Clark switched to Portuguese but Elder Christopherson didn't really realize it and just kept repeating the Portuguese phrases. he didn't notice for a while and it made for a good laugh in the room. I guess I don't have many super exciting stories, sorry.              Well it's been great to hear from you all. I love you all a ton. I'll have some more exctiting stuff next week I'm sure after Proselyting.          
 I.U. Elder McLelland (by the way I love our last name. It's one of my favorite things to hear brazilians try and figure out the pronunciation)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pictures From Brazil!

               Elder Walker (companions), Elder McLelland
                             Courtyard in the CTM

 Elder McLelland, Elder Jacques Da Silva
 Elder McLelland, Elder Do Vale
 Baptismal Prayer in Portuguese
 Shovel for the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the CTM
 Elder Bashford (District Leader),Elder McLelland
Casa Verde, Brazil

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Letter #6

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

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Letter #5

Hola Minha Familia!               How is everyone doing? Sounds like things are going pretty great at home. Once again, thank you everyone for the letters. I really enjoy getting mail from everyone. Sorry I´m not always able to send real mail every week, but I have some coming this week. Grandma Dawna sent me a letter about the shooting! I can hardly believe it. There is another elder here at the CTM from Fresno and we were talking about it. So much happens in the short time we have been gone. How are those families doing?          Well what to say about this past week? It´s kind of hard to recall, every day is running into one at this point. Things are still going fantastic with me here. I went to the São Paulo temple again today, but instead of a regular session I got to do initiatories. I think one of my favorite things about being here in Brazil is Brazilians trying to pronounce McLelland. THey had to try a lot today while doing initiatories, it made it quite fun. But it was really amazing to do these ordinances in Portuguese. I love the Spirit at the temple. After we did initiatories we got to go into the Celestial room as well. I stayed for about 30 minutes and it was one of the most amazing and peaceful experiences ever. I get so excited every week for the temple trip.             Dad requested a funny story and I do have a decent one to share about word confusion. One of the elders in my district, Elder Anderson. Our teacher Irmã (or Sister) Gaspar was teasing him and he tried to call her ´´mentirosa´´ which means liar.  But he got a little tongue tied and instead said, ``menstruoso´´ which as you might guess, means ``menstruation´´. We all had quite a good laugh at that. I guess every missionary has to have a goof-up with the language sometime. Our teachers are so great, Irmã Gaspar and Irmão Ramon have such great stories to tell us all the time. We learn a lot and have fun at the same time.              Well I´m not sure what else to say, nothing to big happened this week. But, this coming Friday we get to have our proselyting experience and give out copies of the Book of Mormon here in Casa Verde. I haven´t been more excited for anything in a long time. I am quite nervous because I have a lot more learning to do. Everyone comes back with some amazing story about someone so ready to hear the Gospel. I can´t wait to experience that. Brazilians are so accepting and will at least listen to what you have to say. I know its going to be fantastic, I´ll tell you all about next week. I can´t wait to hear more from you guys. I love you all, Elder McLelland.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Letter #4

Boa Tarde!                
Hopefully you all haven't been worrying that I didn't send any e-mail on the scheduled tuesday P-day yesterday. Yesterday was Independence Day so the Temple and all the shops in town were closed, so our P-day was changed to today. Happy Birthday Mom(tomorrow)! I hope it's a great day for you. Happy Anniversary Leah and Brian! It was the 3rd of September right? I hope you guys had a great anniversary. When do you guys go on your trip? How's everyone doing? Mom, glad to hear seminary has been going well. I really like the activities you have described, I bet the kids liked them more than you think. Dad, How is work going? Get anymore sweet gift cards? Thanks for the letters, I have been receiving them just fine. I have been kind of confused too on all that is necessary to include in the address. Just stick to what you have been doing and it will be fine. I mixed up numbers a couple of times I think on the District number, I am in district 4, box 6. I'm sending some mail today, and I'm going to try sending my memory card for the camera so you can see a little bit what it is like here. I don't have a lot on it yet though.
 I hope it gets there safe, other missionaries said it might be risky to try, but we'll give give it a whirl.                 Well, we have started speaking a lot more Portugues this week. our instructors speak solely in Portuguese now, and I actually understand pretty well. We are also teaching basic discussions in Portuguese now too. It's so tough but so awesome at the same time. We speak super slowly, but we eventually get the message delivered well, and with the spirit. Elder Bashford and I went on an ``English Fast" for a whole day to speak only Portuguese. It went surprisingly well, I made it for only ``two meals" though. I forgot while we were playing volleyball and spoke some English. But it was really cool to see that I actually could make it a whole day speaking just portuguese. Elder Bashford did amazingly well and only spoke 3 English words the whole day. We were also much quieter that day than usual haha. Last night I had one of the coolest experiences here. I was talking with one our new Brazilian roommates. By the way, the originial Brazilians that came the same week as us left already and now we have a new set of Brazilians in our room. I was talking with Elder Barreto from Rio de Janeiro and I asked how his day was. He said it was actually not very good at all, so I asked him why. He said he and his companion Elder Jacques Da Silva had been having some troubles and that thier personalities didn't match very well. I was able, to my surprise, help him out and I understood virtually everything he said to me. He mentioned a quote from a scripture and I recognized it and helped him find DC 121:7. We talked about it a little bit and then just had a very casual conversation after that for 30 minutes or so before bedtime. It was so amazing to see that I could have a real conversation with some one and be able to actually help him out and ecourage him.....all in Portuguese! It was such a cool experience, this was probably the coolest thing I have experienced yet, and it seems like such a simple thing too.             
We went to Sao Paulo temple today again and it was super amazing. I was the very last one in the session so I had a lot of time to just sit and wait in the ordinance room. While doing so, I started reciting the scriptures I have been memorizing and I recited in my  mind the First Vision in Portuguese. During this I had one of the strongest witnesses from the Holy Ghost that Joseph Smith really did see God and Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith really did restore the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and I am here to share that message with everyone I can. I know without a doubt that this gospel is true. I can never deny it. I'm getting ever more excited to leave the CTM so I can truly start teaching this glorious message. By the way, we have five more weeks here, a total of 9. We leave on October 12.           
Well, I hope all is still well at home. Or as we would say it in Portuguese ``Tudo Bem". I can't wait to hear more from you guys and how everyone is doing. I love you all so much. Thanks for all the letters!            
 I.U. Elder McLelland

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Letter #3

Hey Howdy Hey!         
 Well, all the guys in my district are starting to hate me, I get way more regular letters than all of them. Thanks so much for all the letters, I really appreciate them. Sorry I don't always have time to respond the old fashioned way. I sent some last week and again today. Mail getting here is taking about 8-10 days, so anytime some mail from me should get to you guys. So how is everyone doing? What else new is going on at home? I guess it can't be a whole lot different, it's only been three weeks. It feels like way more than three weeks for me.              
This week we are starting to teach basic lessons is Portuguese. It's kind of scary but once I actually make myself try, it's really not too bad. I think I'm picking up on it pretty well. It's really cool to start having semi-real conversations with the Brazilians. The other day I went to go iron a white shirt and there was a Brazilian in there that didn't speak any english at all but we actually communicated pretty well. He was surprised to hear that I only had about two weeks of exposure to the language. The Brazilians that came to the CTM the same week as us left early this morning to go out to the field. It feels kind of weird that they are here for so much less time than we are. It's made us all even more anxious to get out too. We don磘 have the two Brazilian roommates anymore, but we might get a new set tomorrow. I hope so, it helps so much in the learning process to have them around to talk to. They all love to help us as much as possible, and most of them are trying to learn English from us too.         Well the Sao Paulo Temple has opened back up so we got to go there this morning. It was amazing. It has a bunch of dark, rich Brazilian Mahogany trim all throughout the building. It reminds me of the beautiful dark wood in the Sacramento Temple. My Branch President (also a temple worker here) told us the story of how the Church chanced across the rare Brazilian Mahogany. Apparently it is illegal now to harvest it, but a man had a huge warehouse full of it that was just sitting there so the church bought it. It's so beautiful. I've said this about every letter, but I love going to the temples.      
 On our fifth week here we get to out of the CTM into some of the close neighborhoods and give out copies of the Book of Mormon. Also in our last week here they take us into the very center of Sao Paulo to do street contacts. I can't wait to do this. Other Missionaries have been telling us there stories about it. A companionship told us about getting grilled by an Evangelical Minister for about 30 minutes followed by a bunch of  other rejections. Then they met a lady who immediately started crying as they talked to her. Her daughter was diagnosed with cancer the week before and this lady had been praying constantly to find answers to these troubles. She accepted the Book of Mormon and requested to have missionaries come teach her family. Just one person like that makes all of the other rejections completely worth it. Even though I am not prepared enough with the language for this I can't wait for my chance to go out and have similar experiences.               
 Well I want you to all know how excited and happy I am to be here. It just keeps getting better and better. I see everyday how I am so blessed to be here. Visas aren't going through still and only 2 new Americans get to come this week. I feel so priveledged that I got to come here right off the bat. The CTM is great, I'll send home one of my SD cards of pictures next week so you can see a little bit of what it's like. Unfortunately we can't take our cameras to the temple so I won't have any from there. Oh, and byt the way, have you seen my white temple tie at home? I hope it was left there, because if not I'll need to buy a new one. Can you guys send it to me sometime. No rush at all to get it here. I can borrow one at the temple so I'll just need it in the field eventually. Or if you want I can just buy one at eh temple Distribution Center. that actually might be easier because they are only like $3 there. Weel, I love you all so much, and can磘 wait to here from you all again. Thanks for all the support!            
I.U. Elder McLelland (or if i spell it how the Brazilians pronounce it ``Macky-Lay-Lawn-Gee")