Wednesday, October 26, 2011

``we should waste and wear out our lives`` DC 123:13

That´s about how I feel right now. I lost a lot of sleep last week
travelling and was severely needing this p-day. And then last night at
9:30 a member showed asking for our help in a service project. We help
him load up a semi-truck with 4,000 ceramic roofing tiles. My life is
pretty weasted and worn our right now. The pictures show my nice

So my new companion is Elder Mariano. He is already 26 so he is doing
a short term mission. He is from Ribeirão Preto. He will serve for one
year here in the region. He also didn´t go to the CTM. I have to teach
him everything. But he is fantastic. I´m super excited to have him as
a companion. He is learning really quickly. Elder Chaves also came
later on the mission and havin gan older companion can actually be a
little bit of a benefit. The extra couple of years of experience
really can make a difference. I´m really glad to be here with him. We
are going to see a lot of sucess here.

Speaking of my first son Elder Chaves, he got sent home this last week
for health reasons. I think I had already told you all about his
stomach problems. Well, he has to go gome to do a cirgery. But it
looks like he will be able to come back after about 3 months. I surely
hope so. The mission will surely miss him.

My responsibitly as District Leader has increased as well. I talked
with president in my last interview that it is really stressful in
this area because of all the travelling I have to do to do the
baptismal interviews. So what did president do? He gave one more
campanionship to take care of in the district. They also are working
ina different city and I will have to travel even more. But oh well. I
get to learn more. I guess that´s how it works. You ask for it to be
easier but it gets harder. Bring on the interviews!

WE had a bunch of good visits this last week. We have a bunch of
people right on the edge of baptism. We just need to get them to take
the final step. The work is really starting to move better here in the
area. It used to be one of the most dreaded areas but now it´s going
much better. But, it has nothing to do with me, it´s just the right
time for people to start accepting more. Also, great news is that we
should be able to move into a bigger chapel to attend church. We are
in a dumb little rented place that is aweful. They found a bigger
place for us to rent so in a few weeks we should be able to move in
there. I´m really excited.

WEll, I guess that about sums it up. I love you all.

Elder McLelland

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

McLellandic Covenant

Well, transfers! Today is transfers once again but I stayed for
another transfer in Birigui. Buuuuuut, I´m going to train again! It´s
going to be my third ``son´´ here in Birigui. I´m pretty excited. I
was really hoping to train an American but it looks like that it will
be a Brazilian, but I´m not positive. People are joking around that my
posterity is becoming numbered as the sands of the sea and that the
Abrahamic covenant will change to be the ``McLellandic Covenant´´.
We had a fantastic week this past week. We had great success getting
people to Church. We had three adult men (it is so tough to get adult
men to go to Church) and also a woman and teenage boy at Church
yesterday. One of the men is Geraldo. He is a funny old black man with
a big thick mustache and always wears a cowboy hat. He went to Church
and loved. It we found him on Saturday and already at Church on Sunday
he was saying ``here is where I will be baptized and where I will
stay!´´. We were obviously very excited.
The other two men that went are also very excited. They were both very
involved in Protestant religions but got tired of the bad things they
saw there and gave up. But they went to The real Church of Jesus
Christ and loved it. They both were commenting to us last night that
something is very different there and they loved our attitude of
service in the Church. One of these men about five years was robbed
and shot 4 times and left in a coma for several weeks. He was a firm
member of another religion and no one ever went to visit him. Not even
the pastor. He said he never set foot in a Church again until now. And
he loved it.
The lady that went is also very excited. We found on Thursday and she
was so interested in the message of the Restoration. She told us that
she has been praying for years to find the right Church and feels that
she finally found it. I´m so happy for her. She is a widow and
therefore really liked the lesson in Gospel Principles about vicarious
work in the temple. We are super excited for all of these people.
On the 30th of this month Elder Tobias a Seventy, President and Sister
Prieto, and the satke presidency will all be in our ward, Cidade
Jardim. It´s going to be wonderful to hear them speak but I´m also a
little nervous. President will be right there to see my work! Ahhhh! I
hope our investigators pull through, yikes!
I was really surprised to stay in Birigui for another transfer. I was
kind of hoping to be transferred but after last week I´m super excited
to stay. It also looks like I will stay at least two transfers with my
new ´´son´´. The Church´s new training program finally arrived in our
mission. We have very specific material to use to train the newbies.
The program lasts for two transfers so it looks like we will stay in
Birigui, unless we get trasnferred together to another area which has
happened in the past.
Buuuut, I guess that about sums it up for the week. I love you all and
hope you have a fantastic week!
Elder McLelland

Monday, October 10, 2011

Victory!....actually Vitória

We had the baptism yesterday of Vitória (translation victory). She is
the nine year old daughter of a less active family we are
reactivating. She turned 8 but was never baptised because the family
stopped going to Church frequently. We have been working with the
family a lot. All of their names start with V: Vanderlei, Veralucia,
Vítor, Vitória. It sure has been nice to have the work finally pick up
with baptisms here in the area. A lot of prayers are finally being

Ths was probably the most hectic week of my mission. I slept outside
of my area on exchanges 5 of the 7 nights. It was pretty crazy. Monday
night I went back to my old area Pérola to do a family night with a
family I baptized there. Tuesday I went to Pérola again to do a
baptismal interview. Wednesday we worked like normal in our area.
Thursday would have been pretty normal as well, but Elder França got
super sick. He was throwing up all day long. So to get some work done
between the two areas I went on exchanges with my zone leaders, and
slept in Pérola yet once again. Friday night I travelled to Lins to do
a whole bunch of baptismal interviews there. Saturday afternoon we
stopped in another city called Penápolis that has a branch but is
without missionaries. The members have been teaching a few
investigators so we went out to interview/finish teaching them. We
finally got back to Birigui at about 8:30 saturday night just in time
to barely miss the baptism of Marcelo in Pérola. We got home so late
from travelling it didn´t give time to make it all the way back to our
house so I slept yet once again, in Pérola. Wow what madness.

We ahd a pretty interesting experience on the bus coming back from
Penápolis. We were at a stop in a little city called Coroados and
there was only one more seat available. One lady bought her ticket and
got on and some other random guy forced his way on without paying. The
bus driver tried to explain that he had to leave because he had to
have a seat. The man kept shouting no, the money is right here, jsut
take it. He refused to get off the bus. The bus driver got frustrated
and turned to all of us and said ``this bus won´t leave until he gets
off the bus. The problem is yours.´´ He walked off and waited for us
to figure it out. What a pansy! Everyone was arguing with the guy. I
was just laughing. Then all of a sudden the bus started going again
and I thought the bus driver decided to gfive up and just go. But, a
new twist. He took the bus right to the police station. A police
officer got on to persuade the man to get off. But he kept refusing.
The officer said ``do you want to get off the bus or do you want me to
take you off of the bus.`` I love how police officers learn to talk
with attitude. Then he said ``you have two options. you can get off of
the bus or you can get off the bus. you can decide`` The police
officer made it very obvious that his hand was on his hand cuffs ready
to use them. The man with a look of defeat, walked off the bus with
his head down. He seemed pretty ashamed. Everyone in the bus shouted
with joy. Me and Elder Brindley (my Zone leader) were just laughing.

Well I guess that about sums it up for the week. Things are going
pretty well. Next email you will all know if I was transferred or not.
Transfers already!
I love you all
Elder McLelland

Monday, October 3, 2011

I Believe in Christ,so come what may!

Man, General Conference was fantastic! I especially loved the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing ``I Believe in Christ´´. I´m really glad President Prieto, my mission president made it a rule for us to watch all of the conference sessions. I loved this conference. We also had several investigators go, which was really nice. I loved the talk by Elder Richardson. He talked about teaching with the Spirit and by the Spirit. It was a great talk for a missionary to hear. I also really enjoyed Holland´s talk at priesthood session calling us to arms. (It´s kind of cliché these days to say you liked Holland´s talk, huh?)
Last night after the sessions I was full of mixed emotions. I was so happy to have learned from the prophets. I was filled with so much desire to be better and apply all that I learned. I really took to heart Uchtdorf´s counsel in the last Liahona edition to prepare ourselves for conference in the Spirit of prayer and with questions you want answered. But I was also filled with so much sadness for the people, member and investigator alike, who didn´t take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to learn from the chosen servants of our Father in Heaven. I hope I can help others realize the importance of hearing conference, and not forgetting about the teachings as soon as it is over.
The work went pretty well this week too. We have a bunch of possibilities for baptism in these next few weeks. And the young men we baptized should be receiving the Aaronic Priesthood next week. I´m really loving the work these days. Last week I went to Lins again to do baptismal interviews. I was on exchanges with Elder Farrington. He is absolutely hilarious. And he is a musical genius. I am so jealous of his capabilities. He plays piano and guitar amazingly well. The most important trait I saw in him is his continuous positive attitude. He is always smiling and telling jokes. I loved the exchange with him.
I can´t believe 1 year and 2 months is right around the corner! The mission is going by too fast. This last week though I got a little ``trunky´´ though and was thinking a lot about what it will be like getting back home. I´m so excited to go back to school and continue studying Arabic. It´s so unfortunate that I have forgotten nearly all that I had learned. I was talking with Elder Farrington about schooling and I got so excited to be back at BYU again. It was really the funnest year of my life up until the mission. But don´t worry folks, my ``eyes are fixed on the Glory of God still´´. I´m not looking forward to the mission being over.
Well I hope everyone has a great week. And like in the words of the hymn, ´´I´ll raise my voice in praise and joy!´´
Elder McLelland