Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Wow, exciting news in Auberry Ward. I never got to know Bishp Rasmussen very well. I spent so little time in the ward after moving back. But I really liked him for the little time that I knew him. I´m excited to hear that Marty Page is the new bishop. he will do a great deal. I have learned a lot on the mission how important the bishop is in a ward. If the bishop doesn´t do things well, it can cripple an entire ward. Or it can lead to great success.
Well the things are going great here in the area. Elder Bean and I are working very well together. It´s going to be a great experience. It´s really nice to have an experienced companion finally. It was a lot of fun training but also stressful and tiring. We found a ton of new investigators last week. We are teaching so many families, it´s fantastic. One of the families we have been teaching for a long time finally got their wedding marked this morning. They will be officially married on March 16th and their baptisms will be that weekend. It´s going to be so awesome. Reginaldo and Maria (the ones that have given us pig ear 3 times) are some of the most humble and faithful investigators ever. I´m so excited for them.
This week we are going to have a bunch of training with president and the assistants. Tomorrow we have the monthly zone leader council, wednesday a training for all the leadership of the mission and thursday our zone meeting. It´s going to be a very busy week. But ``correria´´ (busy work) is a lot of fun.
I don´t really know what else to say, the week was great but not too many big events. It´s always a bit different adjusting to a new companion, but it´s been great. Kind of a relief. And that´s about it I think. Have a great week folks!
Elder McLelland

Monday, February 20, 2012

A new horizon

Well, today is a new transfer and I´m really excited to have stayed in my same area. I was really nervous to leave because we finally are getting the work to run more fluidly and are having a steady flow of 7-8 investigators at Church weekly and soon the baptisms will come rolling in. I really didn´t want to miss this opportunity. But, I do have a new companion. Elder Bean from South Jordan, Utah. We have the same amount of time on the mission. But, he went to the Provo MTC because of visa delays. I´m really excited to be his companion. We are gonna have a blast together. I can´t lie, I´m really excited to have an American companion. It´s awesome how we have an instant cultural connection. But it was sad to say goodbye to Elder Mateus.

We had some great experiences this week. We took a new family to Church this Sunday. We are really developing the work with families in the area. Ever since the great experience in Birigui baptiziing that complete family it has become my main focus. Here we have 4 couples that we are teaching and they are showing good progress. The biggest challenge is getting them legally married before baptism. A majority of the people we are teaching are from different states that have come here for work opportunities. The North Eastern region of the country is very poor and has very few work opportunities so many move here to work in construction to try and build a more stable lifestyle. They are such humble people and come here not knowing anything and have ready hearts to hear the gospel. It´s been quite a humbling experience. Also, the pig ear soup is starting to grow on me.

Our mission really kind of strayed from the basics of Preach My Gospel and numbers had been used in many incorrect forms and we all basically turned into robots. But we are having some amazing changes in the mission to really get us more focused on the people and their specific needs. These past two weeks I feel much more relieved and less stressed about my numbers and more focuse on my investigators. Interestingly enough, focusing less on the numbers in themselves is actually helping them to improve. We are getting a lot more people to commit to go to Church and they all are loving it. I´m really loving the mission again.

This weekend is a big Brazilian holiday called Carnaval. It is probably one of the most wicked holiday traditions ever. But luckily it´s not too big of a deal here in Ribeirão Preto. It´s basically Mardi Gras but 100 times worse. Kind of sad to be honest. I can´t wait to celebrate a good, clean 4th of July celebration.

Well, I hope you all have a great week. This has been a great one here for us. I´m really excited and pumped of for the mission. My gas tanking is filling up rather that draining out on the mission....despite the occasional trunkiness and excitement to see you all soon. I love you all!

Elder McLelland

Monday, February 13, 2012

1 year 6 months!

Can you all really believe that on Saturday I hit hte official 1 year six month mark. I also found out the day that I come home. i get the plane on July 31st and on August 1st I will be arriving in the Sates. It´s so wierd to be writing this kind of information. Bummer that I´ll miss Cousin´s Camp.
This week was strangely one of the most spiritual yet least successful and most frustrating of all I have had on the mission. Every night planning we had so many people to visit that there just wasn´t time to fit everyone in, yet executing our plans was terrible. No one was home. It was really stressful. But it was a really spiritual week because of a great zone conference we had. Things are changing on the mission and we are receiving a new vision, the correct vision of using numbers. A lot of things in the past I didn´t agree with, especially a part in Preach My Gospel that says a Standard of Excellence may be established by the President and it is not used to impose goals or to be used as a quota. I always believed so much in that phrase and the mission is finally realizing this correct vision. Such a stress reliever. We have a new assistant on the mission that is really revolutionizing the mission and eliminating bad habits such as the incorrect view of the Standard of Excellence.
It was also a great week being on Division with my Zone Leader Elder Davis. In his area they received a referral from a pass-along-card and she was baptized yesterday. It was quite a miracle and a greta experience. I did the baptismal interview and have never seen someone more prepared to receive the Gospel. We also contacted a referral from a pass-along-card. He is a young policeman and has suffered a really sad tragedy. Him and his wife had an argument about financial stuff and she went off the deep end and ran away basically kidnapping his two daughters. No one, not even his wife´s parents know where they are. He was really heart broken and called for the Lamb of God DVD hoping to find solace. It was a really neat spiritual experience. We explained the healing power of the Atonement, that it doesn´t only cover our sins but all of our sorrows.
The week despite being difficult was great. And I can´t believe we will already have transfers again next week. I can´t be positive but I have a feeling that Elder Mateus and I will e separated. It´s been a great time working with him. One of the humblest missionaries I have ever met in my life. Have a great week! Love you all!

Elder McLelland

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Another threesome!

So I´m in a threesome for a few days again with Elder Davis. He is our Zone Leader and his companion was Elder Rich. Elder Rich went home a coupe of weeks early with his parents. Elder Davis came to stay with us for a few days and should be getting a new companion tomorrow. It´s been fun to talk a lot with him. He is a fun Zone Leader.
Yesterday was a little frustrating because our planned baptism fell through. We had a crisis with the water at the Chapel not working. WE were running around bucketing water into the font and half way through the girl called us up cancelling the baptism. WE aren´t even sure what happened we didn´t find much out. Hopefully we haven´t lost this invetigator. But it was also a good Sunday becuase I got to attend two wards and meet the investigators of Elder Davis´ward and we also had some cool investigators in my ward. I´m loving the area and hoping to stay a while.

The realization that my mission is coming closer and closer to its end has been settling in. It´s a really strange feeling. I can´t believe I only have 6 months left! I´m still loving the mission with all my heart and at the same time excited to come home. I got the package you sent and about cried with joy to get the boxes of Reese´s Puffs and Honey Bunches of Oats. When Elder Davis saw it he was speechless. I shared the loot and let him have a bowl. I´m also excited for the blueberry muffins, yummmmm. I also really enjoyed reading the Thanksgiving leaves from everyne in the family. My favorite was Odin´s tooth getting whacked and Lily´s ``cowboy girl boots´´. Oh I can´t wait to see all the little ones again.
Well, it´s been a pretty normal week. I hope you all have a great one. And remember, give referrals to your local missionaries. We have been having some great experiences teaching through referrals.
Elder McLelland