Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Serving With My Twin!

Week of April 18-24, 2016
(18) SEGUNDA (Monday):  Today was my last day in Sao Luiz Gonzaga.  It was a great p-day, all I bought for the week was a new bar of soap, just in case the house in Cruz Alta doesn’t have any.  Everything is packed.
            So Luis, the returning member, called us this morning and asked us to pass by because he had someone who was interested in baptism.  We passed, and it was his 10 year old grand daughter.  She went to church with them yesterday, and I didn’t even see her.  It was the first time she had ever gone to church and she really liked it.  We taught her the restoration, simplified, and she understood very well.  When we asked her if she’d already seen the Book of Mormon, she said, “yes!  We read it in church yesterday.  Alma, chapter 9, about Alma and Muleque.”  She’s definitely going to be baptized, in about 2 weeks, hopefully.
            I feel like I did a good work here.  We don’t have a lot of results to show, but I feel like I gave my best.  I look at Claudia and Marco and know that I was used to touch their lives, and even if that’s all the good I did here I’m satisfied.  I think of all the people that came so close, then decided no.  I walked these streets everyday for almost 5 months, and I know I gave all I had and the Lord accepts my efforts.  Now, it’s time to improve and move to the next.  Today was day 286 of my mission.
(19)TERCA (Tuesday):  So, you’ll see in the picture I’ll send, why today we got called twins.  

Elder Bezerra, with 3 transfers in the mission.  He is a great guy and I’m excited to work with him. He is from up north of Brazil. And this area is GREAT!  We are going to have a lot of success here.  We stopped by the seminary class and the soccer after, and there are more non-member youth then member,  at least 20 young men playing soccer.  There is a ton that goes on in the church, very different from Sao Luiz Gonzaga.
            Elder Bezerra is very humble, from a humble family, but he wants to work hard.  He seems great and it will be cool to learn with him.  His last comp, I’m seeing, which was his first, didn’t teach him very well, so I’ll have to show him more of how to do a few things.  But, he said right out, “I know I wasn’t trained very well, so whenever I do something wrong, just tell me.”  They have a small teaching group, but many of them go to church and it seems like they just lack the invite to be baptized.  It’ll be good here.  I’m excited to work here.  And the house is much better here, it actually had windows that open to the outside, and not the laundry room of the neighbors.  Today is day 287 of my mission.
(20)QUARTA (Wednesday):  Minha Nossa, this area is incredible.  4 lessons today that weren’t with less actives, of these 4, 3 of them ASKED for baptism. The 4th is 14 years old and excited and we marked a date with him and we’ll talk with his family.
            First, it was Simara.  Her son is Tiago, who was baptized recently.  When she saw the change in his life, she wanted to learn more.  Now, she’s anxious to be baptized as well, but she’s going to wit until after May 30th because that’s when Tiago turns 16 and she wants him to baptize her.
            Second, Graciele.  Her brother in law who is 16 was baptized last month, and then she met the missionaries now she also is anxious for baptism, but she’ll wait until January because she isn’t married, and they want to be married in January.
            Then it was Mateus, who is 14.  His older brother Samuel who has 16 years was baptized in January.  Mateus wasn’t only because his mom wanted him to actually want to be baptized and not just follow Samuel.   They’re awesome rapazes.  When I met Samuel yesterday t eh first thing he said was, “Hey, I’m Samuel.  I'm preparing to also serve a mission.”  He’s a member for less then 3 months.
            Then we went to the Elders Quorum President’s house, because his parents who are very old aren’t baptized.  The woman, after the message on eternal families, said, “I’m just here thinking when will be our baptism?”  So, we marked the 30th of this month.
            It’s a very small teaching group here, these 4 and 2 more.  But the other 2, elder Bezerra said they are of similar interest.  So, we’ll start working to grow the teaching group.
            Tomorrow there’s a talent sow, and everyone is super excited for it. also, I think I’m going to get very fat here.  3 of the houses we went to, they gave us food, and the others offered.
            Also, about the house, the knob to turn on the shower is metal, and in some place a live wire is touching it, so when you go to take a shower, you get shocked.  I tried to just be a man and grab it to turn on the water, but I can’t move my arm when I touch it!  Ha-ha.  So, I have to grab a towel and turn it on.  Today was day 288 of my mission.
(21)QUINTA (Thursday):  So, today was a talent show in the ward, with a dance after.  I haven’t seen so many youth together since I left Utah.  This activity was AWESOME!  And the young men’s leader said anyone who brings an investigator who performs wil get 75% of the trip to the temple paid.  Minha Nossa, it was awesome.  It’s been a year and a little since an American missionary passed through, so everyone is very excited.  There’s so much activity in this ward and so many people that invite friends that I think an English class would be perfect.  I’ll talk to Bishop and we’ll make a plan.
            We passed by the house of Felipe today.  He’s 16 and this was the missionaries 2nd visit.  He said he’s been praying a lot and is feeling very good.  He asked for a Book of Mormon and we explained it all to him.  He’s an awesome young man.  He asked if we could pass by again tomorrow.  Woot Woot!!
            I’m working hard to memorize the 25 scriptures from Sister Parrela.  I really want the certificate and the rock before they leave!  I’m very happy.  Today was day 289 of my mission.
(22)SEXTA (Friday):  Today, right after lunch, a muddy dog decided to hug me.  Then we had the rest of the day to go, and I had a muddy shirt, but it’s all tranquil.
            So, something hilarious that happened today, for 2 days when we went ot visit Samuel and Mateus, we called for Adilson, a recent convert, to see if he wanted to go with us.  Elder Bezerra called the wrong Adilson in the contact, and called an ancient investigator from other Elders.  Today, we were walking and I saw a blue house with the door open. I always knock the blue houses, and this time I felt like we needed to.  We knock, the guy comes right out, opens the gate, and we enter.  We sit down and start talking, and he says “Was it you guys that called me the other day?”  I had no idea and Elder Bezerra, in the hour, recognized his voice. It was this same Adilson he had accidently called.  He is super, super legal.  The other elders passed by his house a whole lot, but they never marked a part of the Book of Mormon for him to read.  He has a wife and a little 2 year old daughter named Valenticia.
            To be honest, I am loving this area.  I’m excited for Sunday to meet all the members.  I’m guessing that bishop will ask me in the hour to give a talk.  It’s all-good.  Today was day 290 of my mission.
(23) SABADO (Saturday):  Today was good.  Lots of rain in the morning, then a lot of sun in the afternoon.
            We had a few good lessons today, and I think we’re going to have a lot of people at church tomorrow.
            One less active that’s returning said today about how much his life changed because of the missionaries. I’ve had many people say stuff like that for us.  They see the missionaries as hero’s, the people who brought the truth of the gospel to their lives.  I hadn’t’ really noticed how much the missionaries mean to some people.  It makes me uncomfortable, really.
            Also, the showerhead broke, so it no longer heats the water and its’ winter here.  I always forget that if you touch the knob you’ll get shocked.  I touched it like 5 times.  Today was day 291 of my mission.
(24) DOMINGO (Sunday):  WOOT WOOT!  I love Sundays!  Today went very good.  Lot’s of rain, but I love the rain.  And I figured out why the showerhead wasn’t working.  It’s because my comp turned off the breaker switch!  He takes cold showers anyways, so he didn’t even notice.  Church was awesome today.  And we marked a lot of commitments for this week.
            This week went very well.  Lots of good lessons and good people.  I’m loving this area, and Elder Bezerra is awesome.
 Life’s good. All is well.  Tudo na paz.  Today was day 292 of my mission.
Until next week.  Love you all, Elder McKee
Our apartment is on the second floor so this is our view over all the buildings.
 Living Room.  There are only the 2 of us in the house.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Being transferred

Week of April 11-17, 2016
(11) SEGUNDA (Monday):  Today was good. All of our commitments, plans, plan b’s fell through.  So we knocked doors. A lot.  Still nothing.  So, we decided to go to a contact we made the other day.  We go, and the man that answers is Jehovah Witness…. ha-ha, he stats talking with us, and just wants to bible bash everything.
Started asking about baptisms for the dead.  I already knew all of his arguments, and how to counter them using THEIR books, because a few weeks ago I grabbed a few of their books and read it all and now I have defenses prepared.  Ha-ha, then I made the goal to never bible bash.  It’s like what dad said000you can use the scriptures to explain, but never to prove someone wrong.  So, we let the man give his spill, explained our beliefs, and left.  He wanted to prove everything to us using his bible.  The JW bible is different. 
            So, now we have one more hour in the day, and we haven’t had a single lesson.  I have a goal to never go a day without at least one lesson.  Until now there’s only been one day, when my comp was sick.  So, we start knocking doors like crazy, running from door to door, praying, and talking to everyone because I really wanted a lesson.  The, we knocked a door and the man came out, said, “Look, I don’t have much time, I'm watching my daughter, and studying for my class, but you can share your message.”  WOOT WOOT!  And it was awesome, the lesson.  And it showed, for me again, the difference between people who want the truth and those who don’t.  If they have a desire, they find a way.  They don’t make excuses.  They don’t flake.  But Rodrigo liked a lot of the message. 
            I decided today that I would always receive missionaries from any religion in my house.  I’ll always talk with them.  Here on the mission, I will avoid bible bashing, but after I won’t be so strict.  Today was day 279 of my mission.
(12) TERCA (Tuesday):  Today was a good day.  We found two new families, which are still young, and showed a lot of interest and potential.  Carline showed the most interest, and we taught her while she was holding her one-month-old baby, which is her first child.  I couldn’t help imagining, in 18 years, him on a mission. Her husband was working, so we marked another day to pass by and teach her and her husband together. 
            At one point in a lesson, we had Carlos, a new investigator read the second to last paragraph in the intro to the Book of Mormon we asked him to identify the 3 parts of the invite made there.  He read again, and said, “Read, ponder, and …” then he sat there for a good 3 minutes.  I was proud of Elder Martins because he didn’t go and instantly break the silence.  After 3 minutes of silence, during the which I was wondering if we should say something, but feeling like we shouldn’t, he said, “Then ask God.”  I could tell it really touched him.  I was glad we had waited and let him think about it.  Gave the spirit a chance to talk. 
            Today really was a good day.  I’m ending today happy.  Today was day 280 of my mission.
(13) QUARTA (Wednesday):  Today was….RAIN.  So, yesterday we were walking in the street and a man in the front of his house calls us over.  We go, and he starts talking to us, asking, very humbly, for help.  We keep talking to him and it turns out he was baptized with his wife and 2 of his kids, in 1997.  He thought it was pretty funny that that is the year I was born. They moved back recently to Sao Luiz and they want to join the church again.  So, we marked today to pass by to talk more with him. 
            So, they lived in Sao Luiz Gonzaga Luis Walter and Maria and in 1997 they were baptized. After 2 years active in the church, they moved because of his work.  Now, the closest church was in another city they didn’t recognize, and it was far way.  They kept going, at one point had it set up to do the sacrament as a family on Sundays sometimes.  But as time passed, they grew less and less active in the church, though they never stopped reading the Book of Mormon.    Now, a month ago, they moved back to Sao Luiz.  Luis Walter told Maria he wanted to return to the church, she agreed.  Later that day, we passed in the front, he called us over, and here we are.  It’s amazing how God is always caring for his sheep.  They returned to Sao Luiz because he has a heart thing he’s getting treated. T his really strengthened my testimony that God loves, and KNOWS each one of us.  They asked if they could take the sacrament Sunday.  I didn’t know how to respond, so I said we would introduce them to Bishop.  They really like that idea.  Luis said he wants to talk to him, and be well prepared when he eats the bread and drinks the water again.  They talked of old friends in the church and al the people they know.
            It was incredible to see the humility and desire of these two to return to the Lords house.  I remembered the parable of the lost sheep.  They now have a bunch of grandchildren that are living in the same house. The children of their daughter who is also baptized, but inactive as well.  We’ll have to do an awesome Family Home Evening.  They live a few blocks from a family in the church that is awesome.  I can definitely recognize the Lord’s hand in rescuing his lost sheep, and maybe bringing a few new ones to the fold as well.  Today was day 281 of my mission.
(14) QUINTA (Thursday):  we passed by Marco today and talked about the temple.  He’ll be able to go in Feb of 2017.  The bus for the ward to go in is June of 2017.  There’s a good chance that’s the month I’ll finish my mission, depending on transfers.  The chances are very small, but it would be SO COOL to go with them to the temple.  Marco is doing great.  He’s doing the classes to prepare for the Melchizedek Priesthood.  They’re planning on going this June to do baptisms.  Man, he is awesome.
            We also passed by Daley, who is starting to make excuses for not keeping commitments.  I really don’t want to have to move him to ‘former investigators’ and leave him for future missionaries, so we are going to see if he goes to church with us this Sunday.
            But today was harder for me to stay positive, but I still saw many tender mercies.  So today was good.  Tomorrow transfers will come. I’d be happy, very happy, to stay here a little more, but I’d also like a change.   Donde mondares irei (where will commandest!)  Today was day 282 of my mission.
(15) SEXTA (Friday):  I’M BEING TRANSFERRED!  I’m going to Cruz Alta, and I’ll continue as District Leader.  Elder Hawk, my American friend, is the zone leader.  He called me today to tell me about it all.  My companion has 4 ½ months and that’s all I know about him.  AHHHH!!  I’m so excited!  Cruz Alta is VERY GOOD!  Today went well.  We passed by Luis and Maria, the people who want to return.  They are excited to return to church.  The lesson with them on the gospel was the highlight of my day.  We talked of faith, repentance, baptism of water, of the spirit, and enduring to the end, with sacrament. They are very, very good. 
            I don’t have much time to write because I had to cut everyone’s hair, but let it be known today was a very good day and I am very happy.  Today was day 283 of my mission.
(16) SABADO (Saturday):  Today was very good.  I’ll tell about one lesson only today, which was hilarious.  We were walking to the house of Daley to teach him and invite him to church.  We saw him at the neighbors, so we went over and sat with them.  One of them was very drunk.  We were talking with the others, and when we went to share the message he said, “I was in prison for 12 years, and in that time I read the whole bible.  But you can still read your part; I’ll still listen even though I already know.  Just let me take one more drink before the prayer.”  So we are sharing a scripture, and their dog comes.  A flippen ugly dog. She starts smelling us and stuff.  GUARDA HISTORIA POR DIA DAS MAES. 
            Today a lady kicked us our of her house because when she asked “what is the true church?” I said, “The church that we represent.”
            But the rest of the day went well, a lot of good lessons.  One drunk who when he heard I was American shook my hand and felt my pulse or my wrist.  Then he said, “I’ve never felt an American’s pulse.  They have different blood than us.”  That was strange.  Then, when a dog started sniffing us he said, “Let the dog sniff you, hopefully she’ll catch a blessing.”  I’d like to know how people see us. There’s some who yell to us, asking for prayers and blessings, others who see us coming and run to the house to shut themselves in.  I think a lot of people honestly think we are prophets.
            I’m super excited for Cruz Alta.  It’s about 3 times bigger then Sao Luiz Gonzaga.  My district will have 3 companionships, one of which are sisters. I’m already packing my bags and giving the elders a lot of stuff I haven’t even touched yet, shirts, shorts, ties.  I really only need two t-shirts.  I have about 12.  But it’s all-good. It’s better to have 12 and need 2 then to have 2 and need 12.  Today was day 284 of my mission.
(17) DOMINGO (Sunday):  Lots of goodbyes today.  I took a bunch of pictures with people after church today.  And Daley went to church!  He walked almost all the way with us.  Then Marco passed by and gave him a ride.
            Ha-ha, so with the glow sticks I received Elder Pasao De Silva grabbed them all.  His favorite thing to do is light one, then put it under Elder Martins pillow. Then, after everyone’s going to sleep, after a few minutes when he rolls around to get comfortable, it comes out and lights everything up.  I don’t know why the 3 think it’s so funny, but he’s gotten him like 5 times now.
            All of my stuff is packed now.
            We met a new family today.  The dad is already baptized fez tempo, but he’s inactive.  They showed a lot of interest.
            ALSO!  Luis and Maria went!  They met with bishop to make a plan to become active again.  AHH, they are super good.  I’m super excited about them.  Today was day 285 of my mission.

Until next week.  I love you guys!
Elder McKee
Elder Passao de Silva, Elder Alvarenga, Elder Martins, YUMMY Pizza

 Alex, a 16 year old who comes on splits with the missionaries
 Lourenco and Vera with their son Iuri and Lindomar and Neusa

 Ward mission leader, Leonardo and Katherine.

 Jake's apartment above a parts store.  He said all the houses have bars on the windows. 
 It's just a common thing.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

All's Good in Zion

Week of April 4-April 10th, 2016
(4) SEGUNDA (Monday):  Man, it’s insane how fast the week passes.  Today was another great P-day, talking with the family and sending a lot of letters.  I sent a knife, and the woman got a little scared when I pulled the knife out of the bag to send.  She, and the woman on the side said, “You can’t send knives!”  I said, “I sent 3 in Santa Maria to my home and they got there with no problems.”  They said, “And you put in the declaration that the box had 3 knives?”  I said “yes.”  And they said, “ok, let’s send it but on the declaration put ‘1 talher’, which means like one silverware.  Ha-ha.  That’s quite the silverware.
            Then we taught a woman who ‘knows all of the messages from the bible’ but didn’t know what a prophet was.
            Yesterday and today I worked with a bunch of members to do lessons with us.  We’re going to have a good week.  We’re finding a lot of new investigators, which is always a joy.  Also I organized my desk today, so yea, all’s good in Zion.  Today was day 272 of my mission.
(5) TERCA (Tuesday):  Today was a very good day for us.  We did a division and I was with Elder Alvarenga. We had one commitment marked with a man named Ronald.  He’s 30, lives with his girlfriend, and is also a returned missionary.  He returned and left the church.  He was a reference from a member.  We are going to the house, and I saw him in the front of the house drinking Chimarrao.  We were about 3 houses away, and he saw us, grabbed his Chimarrao and RAN into the house.  Ha-ha.  All of the windows were wide open, and the garage and the door.  We knocked, he’s hiding.  We knock again, nothing. So, I say loud enough for him to hear in the house, “I don’t think anyone’s home.”  Ha-ha, then we left.  I’ll never understand, after 2 years on a mission, how can you go inactive?  And even so, how can you run from the missionaries.  I’ll never understand, but I won’t judge.  Just keep praying for them.
            Also, today I realized little more how people see us.  A woman today said, “I haven’t taken years of bible class nor read the whole bible like you both have.”  Ha-ha, I didn’t tell her that it really wasn’t like that.
            OH!  Remember that drunk that asked me the capital of Nebraska?  He came back.  From across the park he YELLED, “ELDERS”, and of course we turned and he came running.  He hugged us and called us angels and covered us with the smell of beer.  He again asked me the capital of Nebraska, which I said Omaha, and then he asked me the capitol of  Arizona, and I said Phoenix.  (We will let Jake know the Capitol of Nebraska is Lincoln. Haha) He said, “Alright, you are American.”  Then started talking about his powers, and how the world’s well being is connected to his body.  How he likes to drink because he likes to see the world spinning under his feet.  He was basically telling us about how he is God.  Then he just turned and left.
            District meeting today, and at the end we do 30 minutes of practices.  I gave training on the importance of the Book of Mormon, and how He answers our questions.  For the practice, I had everyone, one at a time, open the book to a random page, a random verse, then they had to use that verse to answer a question like ‘Does God exist?’ ‘Does He love me?’ or the hardest, “why do I have to pay tithing?”  We were dying we were laughing so hard trying to use these random scriptures to answer questions.  Today was great.  Today was day 273 of my mission.
(6) QUARTA (Wednesday): Funniest quote form today:  “You’re really American?” “Yes” “Then tell me, why do you guys have so many terrorist there?”  “Are there a lot there?”  “Yes!”  “Strange!  I lived 18 years of my life there, never met a single one.”  Ha-ha, oh man, the questions some people ask me!
            I don’t know why, but EVERYTHING was making me happy today.  First off, we went with a young man from the ward, our plan fell and he wanted to knock doors with us.  His name is Alex, he’s 16.  His older brother is the ward mission leader.  He’s super awesome and way strong in the church.  He came with us in full church clothes, with the triple and bible his brother used in the mission and had given to him.  He was way excited, and he took the part on prophets, then on Joseph Smith in the two lessons we found in the time he was with us.  We found one woman and this lesson went GREAT!  Her name is Marcela.
            As the day went on, I was just feeling more and more excited and happy.  I had to step in the street at one point because I couldn’t breath, I was laughing so hard trying to tell Elder Martins a story that really wasn’t that funny.  He shook his head and told me I was ill.  That made me laugh harder.  Today went very, very well.  Today was day 274 of my mission.
(7) QUINTA (Thursday):  So, let’s talk about how today was great.  First off, in my studies, I finished Jesus the Christ, which made me happy because now I can start over, this time in Portuguese.  That book is incredible.  I learned a whole bunch studying Him.

            Then we had a lesson with Jefferson and Angelica.  We taught the gospel of Christ, and it was a great lesson.  She isn’t baptized in any church, and I think it was in this lesson that he started to realize what his church is lacking.  We invited them to go to church with us, and they excitedly accepted! Woot Woot!  He is very excited.  Man, I am praying so much for them!  I’m super excited for them because they have 3 kids, a son with 8 months, another with 3 years, and a daughter with 7. 
            I just realized that tomorrow is 9 months.  That’s crazy.  Then it started to rain.  HUGE clouds with a lot of lightning came out of no where.  And so we’re walking and a drunk calls us for help.  We go to him, and he is very drunk.  And lost.  And he couldn’t remember where he lives.  He was very out of it.  Finally he said he lives close to the police station.  So we each grab an arm and help him walk.  We get there, and he remembers the next part. We go, and someone recognized him and told us where he lives.  By now it’s 8:30, raining, and we smell like beer.  So, we just went home.  Really it was a miracle that we found his house.
            But yea, I’m doing well.  Weeks going great. Finished Jesus the Christ.  Got my little picture frame on my desk with the picture from Christmas with my 2 families in Jerseys.  Couldn’t be happier.  Today was day 275 of my mission.
(8) SEXTA (Friday):  I met a woman from Israel.  She was pretty cool, and the first person I think I’ve met that doesn’t believe in Christ.  Her husband is a Catholic, with a lot of questions.  He asked, “Why don’t you have saints?”  I said, “Because we believe in the Bible, which says not to have saints.”  “Why don’t you believe in the Pope?”  “Because we believe in the Bible which says god works through Prophets.”  With Catholics like that I like to use the Bible to show why we do what we do, because they’re more stubborn about the Bible and only the Bible.  So, I use the Bible to explain our doctrine, slowly tying in the Book of Mormon to answer to show it’s value and how it answers all the questions we could have.
            I also met a Lutheran.  Man, he was cold.  We did the contact, saying we had a special message to help people strengthen their families.  He responded, “No, I’m Lutheran.  I already know the word of God, much better than you both.”  We said, “Alright, but it was only a short message we had.  He said, “Do you guys study the Bible?”  “Yes” “And the Book of Mormon?”  “Yes” “And you compare them both side by side?”  “Yes, everyday”  “Then it’s plain to you both that they deny one another?  The Bible teaches that salvation comes through Christ, the Book of Mormon says good works and missionary work.”  “No, that’s not true, sir.  The two testify of one another and the two testify together of Jesus Christ.”  Him: “Are you sure you read the Book of Mormon carefully?  I invite you both to read the two books again with a more careful eye.  I thank you for your time, but really I don’t need your message.  I already know them all.”   We just sat there listening to the guy trash talk our religion and the Book of Mormon.  I didn’t write all that he said.  He said he read the Book of Mormon.  I felt like he was trying to bait us into a Bible bash.  I felt very frustrated, not really because of what he was saying, but because he’s so blind to the truth and too proud to accept it.  2 Nephi 29 came to mind.  As we left he said again, “But really compare the two book’s together, and you’ll see.  Happy Studies!”  Man, it’s crazy.
            But I know the Book of Mormon is true.  More so then the Bible.  I have no doubt in this.  I know our church is the only true church.  If I didn’t why would I waste my time talking to people like him?  I didn’t leave for a mission because I thought it would be fun.  I’m here to proclaim the truth I know to be true.
            Also, today is 9 months in the mission.  The Elders said I needed to do my belly thing for a picture because now I have a baby.  Today was day 276 of my mission.

(9) SABADO (Saturday):  Today went very well.  The only thing I didn’t like about today was at the house of a less active we are helping return she told me I need to come back to visit after, and I asked if she’d already found my instagram or Facebook.  She said, “I think so” and went to instagram.  Then started looking at my pictures and the pictures of my friends and telling me about their lives, and asking questions about mine.  I didn’t like seeing pictures of my friends, nor answering questions of the member.  It’s fine, when it comes in emails or letters, but on insta it felt too real.  I don’t know, but we quickly left.  I’m really trying hard to focus on where I am.  I only write letters to people on p-days or when I’m on the bus for hours along.  I try not to talk to members or investigators about home or my life.
            Our family that was doing great will have a visit over tomorrow so they can’t go to church.  Deley will go with us.  This will be his second time.  Vinicius will also go, which is AWESOME!
            I’m feeling like I’ll be transferred this transfer, which is fine but I don’t really want to leave this ward.
            Ha-ha, today someone said, “You both walk in the sun all day and when it’s not sun it’s rain.  You get rejected, left family, and studies, and your country.  You’re arguing religion in a different language.  You have 18 years only, and he has only 19.  And worst of all, you don’t gain any salary, but PAY to do this.  Why?”  I realize it really doesn’t make sense to people what we do.  But I was able to look in his eyes and say, “Because I know the gospel I’m bringing to people is true.”  He shook his head, almost laughing.  I’m sure we seem like crazies to him, but that’s ok.  Today was day 277 of my mission.
(10)DOMINGO (Sunday): Today was good.  Vinicius went to church!  He got home from Porto Alegre at 6:00 am, and went with us to church at 8:55!  Jefferson and Angelica called us last night saying they would have a visit, so they couldn’t come to church. The, today we got a text from them: “Hey Missionaries, it’s Angelica.  I’m sending this message to tell you that you don’t need to come visit us anymore.  It’s not worth it.  We won’t go to your church nor be baptized.  Don’t insist.  I know it’s ignorance on our part.  Don’t be mad at us and please don’t visit.  Thanks.”
            I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, or what I need to change.  I keep loosing the families.  Stephani and Juliano, Angelica e Jefferson, Sabra e Jose.  It’s super annoying, the agency of others.

            Today was the best lunch I’ve had yet in the mission.  It was Churroscinhos. 

Super good, and while they are cooking, he pulled out a pellet gun, which is very rare form someone to have any kind of gun.  He let us each take a shot.  Ha-ha.  It was the first time Elder Passoa Da Silva had ever held a gun, looked like it was the first time for Elder Santos, and Elder Martins was a little better, but not much.  This week went very well, over all.  Today was day 278 of my mission.
Love you all, Elder Mckee
Jake said he found the zoom on his camera.

 Out on splits with Elder Alvarenga