Thursday, March 22, 2012


Well, Reginaldo and Maria were married on Friday and baptized on Saturday night. We also had several investigators at the baptismal service which was wonderful. We are teaching another great family, Raimunda and Salete. We also need to help them decide to be married so they can be baptized. It was really good for them to see the service.
Church on Sunday was also fantastic. We are seeing lots of miracles here. We are getting more people to CHurch than I ever have on the mission. The best part is that they are families and adults. It´s great to have youth and children investigators, but it´s even better when they are adults. And better yet, men! The Church really needs to focus on growing through increasing ppriesthood holders. Yesterday was one of the best Sundays I have had. I also gave a talk in Sacrament meeting about the difference between testimony and conversion. We need to have a testimony of the Gospel, but it´s more important to be converted to the Gospel. I think it went fairly well. I was informed Saturday night about the talk. It´s amazing how the mission teaches you to prepare talks on the last minute if necessary. I spit out the Doctrine so quickly.
It´s so amazing to see snow at home! I am soooooo jealous. It has been hot as can be here. Luckily it´s cooled down a little these past few days. I think the brutal summer heat might be finally ending. I sure hope so. May-August gets pretty chilly here and I´m excited for it.
Things are better than ever on the mission. Our zone is struggling a bit but, the area here is amazing. I really hope to stay until the end of the mission. It´s not likely, but prayers can be answered.
Have a great week!
Elder McLelland

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I´m not dead!

P-day was moved to wednesday this week. Elder Tobias of the 7th quorum of the Seventy came to my ward on Sunday for a ward conference (the second time he spoke in the ward I was serving in). Then on Monday we had a short little conference with him, that´s why I didn´t write on Monday. 

Things are going really great here in the area. On Friday we have the wedding of Reginaldo and Maria. They will be baptized on Saturday night. It´s finally happening. We also had a bunch of great investigators at church for the conference. 13 in total! It was so wonderful. We are teaching another family that needs to get married. They are really cool. We helped them move to a new house because their last house was in such horrible shape. They were afraid of their kids getting sick from the rats that were infesting the property. Their landlord didn´t take very good care of the place. They are still a bit hesitant to officially get married despite having two daughters and living together for eleven years already. I think it´s more of a financial issue though. It´s such a  joy to be teaching whole families.

We basically only teach people from the Nordeste (northeast) of the country. They all come to the state of São Paulo to work and save up money. Working conditions are much better here. There is a lady in the ward from Bahia. She was telling us that where she lived she would work hard for a full month just to earn 40 reais (about 25 dollars). Here in São Paulo minimum wage is about 800 reais per month (equivalent of about 500 dollars. It´s such a  big difference. All the people from the Nordeste are so simple and humble. It´s so much easier to teach them than people naturally from São Paulo. It´s so much fun to be teaching them and how happy they are to hear the message. I can´t believe I have less than five months until I come home. Can you believe that I hit the 1 year 7 month mark on Sunday? It´s too soon!

Elder Bean´s birthday was on Monday. We were excited to be able to celebrate his birthday on a P-Day, but lo and behold it was cancelled. But we will celebrate today with the Betty Crocker brownie mixes his family sent him. I might be more excited for it than he is.  I´m loving the work with Elder Bean. He is such a fun guy. Its a big stress relive to have an experienced companion.

Í´m about to have a heat stroke. We have been having 100 degree weather about every day. And we are in a stifling hot lanhouse right now. I can´t wait for the cool season. It actually does get surprisingly chilly  in Brazil in the months of May-August. I can´t wait!

I love you all and shortly I will already be writing again. This P-Day in the middle of the week has really thrown off my weekly routine. 

Até Segunda-Feira!
Elder McLelland

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Big Black Creek Park (it´s fun to translate the names of Brazilian locations)

This week was a really busy week and a bit frustrating too. We had a bunch of meetings with the Assistants this week. We had a meeting with the all the zone leaders on Tuesday. Then on wednesday we had a meeting with all of the district leaders and zone leaders together. We lost a lot of time in our area because of it. But things turned out okay. We had two cool families at Church yesterday. We had kind of a miracle too. we are teaching a couple that had a lot of difficulties going to Church because the wife worked on all but one Sunday a month. But she was fired so she is able to go to CHurch every week. The cool thing is that she realizes it as a blessing to be fired. Now we've got to work on getting them married.
Next Weekend we had the wedding/baptism of Reginaldo and Maria. We are really excited. This family is one of the most devoted families I have met. It is truly a pleasure to work with them. Maria is learning to read through the Book of Mormon. She never went to school as a child and is just now learning. It´s fun to hear her reading slowly and deliberately. She has made a lot of progress. The GOspel inspires so much change in a person. Not just a desire to obey the commandments but to improve your quality of life.
We were challenged by our president to work closer to the Church because it´s easier to get people to go on Sundays. We started knocking doors and it was incredible to find out that people that live basically next door have never talked to missionaries before. Even people that have lived there for 15 years. We had some cool teaching expereinces as a result.
Well, I guess that about sums it up. I love you all! Have a great week.

Elder McLelland
Dad asked for a couple of teaching experiences I have had.
A neat teaching expereince I had was teaching that family in Birigui which was baptized. The dad, Jair, told us one day about an experience he had at work one day. He always got there a bit early and a co-worker said to him that he seemed different. It wasn´t clothing because they wear a uniform at work. It was just a change in his countenance (Alma 5:15,19). He made miraculous changes because of the Spirit. We never had to make direct invitations to have him change. He himself decided to stop smoking/drinking/etc.
Another was last night teaching a young couple that is having a lot of marriage trouble because the husband drinks a lot and gets violent. We visited his wife in the morning and cheered her up and she said the day was so much better just because of our presence their. I had kind of a reality check when her sister-in-law (a member) told me to go there and help because I am the only one this man will listen to. It was really strange to realize how much he trusted in me. and I really haven´t taught him that many times. We went back last night and taught them together about the Word of Wisdom. He was still a bit drunk but calmed down. Even drunk he felt the Spirit and started to show signs of wanting to repent. He told us he wants to fix his life and one day be baptized. He has a long journey ahead of him, but he will make it. It was a really neat spiritual experience.
Elder McLelland