Monday, October 3, 2016

Marriage and Baptism!

Week of September 19-25, 2016
(19) SEGUNDA (Monday):  Today was your normal average P-day.  I sent a package. 
(20) TERCA (Tuesday):  Today was a division, with Elder Bezerra!  Ha-ha, and while I was waiting for him to come, I was in first ward with the elders there, which was my last area.  We went to get Bezerra from the bus stop, and returned to first ward.  Everyone flipped and started taking pictures with us. 
            Today was a big holiday, so there were a lot of activities in the church.  That’s why we saw everyone, we passed by the church.  Then we went to our ward to help with a few things.  I showed some of the young men how to play football.  Today was day 440 of my mission.
(21) QUARTA (Wednesday):  We walked SO much today. But it was all-good because today went very well.  We helped clean up the church from the party last night. Today was day 441 of my mission.
(22) QUINTA (Thursday):  Today was a division, and I was back in 1st ward with Elder Jesus Santos.  We visited some people, but it wasn’t really anything special because I see these people all the time still.
            But!  I know a super funny card trick that I always win and I do bets with people on it.  I’ve already won 13 reais from people.  I bet 3 young men 25 push-ups and when they lost, they said, “I bet you can’t do it again!”  So, I did, and they had another 25.  So they’re doing the 50, and one of them stops, and says, “No.  One more time another 30 push ups.  And the other 2 say, “SHUT UP!  I’M NOT BETTING ANYMORE!  MORMONS DON’T BET!”  Ha-ha.  So, he did it again alone, and lost again.  So he owes me 80 push-ups.  There’s a lot of progress in that area.  Today was day 442 of my mission.
(23) SEXTA (FRIDAY):  Not a very action filled day.  We’re trying to build up this area, but knocking doors is the worst way to find new people to teach.  We’re going to start doing stuff with the youth.  So they can bring their friends and we can baptize them.  Today was day 443 of my mission.
(24) SABADO (Saturday):  Today was productive.  I got a lot of exercise.  I think I’m getting skinnier. 
            The Elder that’s going home, Elder Levita,  got a letter from his girlfriend who is in the mission.  He let us read it.  So, I was reading out loud, and when it got to the gushy part, Eder Rapuzzi started yelling as if it were a soccer game.  Something like this:
--“My love, I miss you so much.”
--“I think of you everyday”
--“I miss the sound of your voice”
--“But for now, we need ot focus on the mission.”
--“Yours is coming to an end”
--“And I can’t help but think of what we will be”
--“I don’t want you to be the hummingbird that kissed me and then flew away.”  (It’s a line to a love song here.)

And Rapuzzi goes running, grabs the guitar, and starts playing the love song of the humming bird, meanwhile I’m doing the famous dance that Ronaldinho Gaucho always did when he made a goal, and Marcelino is singing with Rapuzzi.  I’ve never laughed so hard in my life.
            I’m sure none of this made any sense, but I recorded it more for me to remember when I read my journal.  It’s crazy how fast this transfer passed. This is the best house I’ve lived in.  Today was day 444 of my mission.
(25) DOMINGO (Sunday):  Today was the first time in months that we didn’t have any visitors in church.  Today was day 445 of my mission.

Week of September 26-October 2, 2016
(26) SEGUNDA (Monday):  Today we did a huge churrascho with all the missionaries in Cruz Alta.  It was SUPER cool.  So much meat.  We got a gas fire thing we borrowed form a member and played cards while the meat cooked.  There’s a super fun card game from Argentina that I flippen love!  The other elders popped my football that I bought last week.  It fell on a pile of broken glass.  Today was day 446 of my mission.
(27) TERCA (Tuesday):  Today an Elder called to tell me there were 2 packages for me in the post office.  He pulled them out for me, and THERE WAS NO TAX!  WOOT WOOT!  And I love the iPod, and the camera.  And my companions love the candy.  Thanks mom.  Love you.
            AND!  Today we went to first ward.  WHY??  BECAUSE IT WAS BAPTISM INTERVIEW FOR SIMARA AND MARCOS!  AHHHH!!  Finally!  Friday is the day.  I didn’t do the interview, which I thought better because I know them better then almost anyone.  Months we patiently worked with them and FINALLY they will be baptized!  And they only speak of the temple and being sealed.  I can’t even explain how happy I am.    Today was day 447 of my mission.
(28) QUARTA (Wednesday):  I'm staying in Cruz Alta 4, and Marcelino is going to be transferred.  My new companion is Elder Nacimento, who came to the mission together with me.  He’s good.  Also cool is that Sister Moss, from the MTC, is coming to Cruz Alta to work in the same ward as I.
            Today was a good day with lots of visits, but I still feel like it’s very little. I want people to teach who want to learn and go to church. 
            Also that post card that dad sent came.  Pretty sweet bows, boys.  Today was day 448 of my mission.
(29) QUINTA (Thursday):  Today the transfer came, and here’s what happens.  I’m staying; Elder Nacimento will take my current cops place.  That’s about all the excitement for today.
(30) SEXTA (Friday):  Today was the happiest day of my life.  I felt the spirit stronger then ever, and I thought I would explode with Joy.  Simara and Marcos were married and baptized!  AHHH!  I got a bunch of pictures.  All the elders in Cruz Alta went.  For 6 month now, I have been praying for this day.  I’ve never felt anything so rewarding.
            The 3 Elders who live with me and I sang, “When I am baptized.”  We sang the first verse, Levita and I, in English. The second verse, Rapuzzi and Marcelino, in Spanish, and then the 3rd verse in Portuguese.  The spirit was so strong.
            There were 93 people at the baptism.  Marcos grabbed me, and introduced me to all of his family saying, “This is Elder McKee, who brought us to the church.”  Then did the same with all of Simara’s family.
            I don’t even know what to write really.  I wish everyone could feel the excitement I have right now.  After we played the hymn we were standing in the back to listen to the last speaker.  I felt the spirit stronger then I ever have, and I felt the Lord was satisfied with my work.  I had been an effective tool in his hands. 
            If I go the rest of my mission without a single day of success, I’ll still be able to return with my head high, proud of my mission, All because of today.  Today was day 450 of my mission.
Elder Levita, Elder Rapuzzi, Jake, Elder Marcelino, Elder ?, Elder Jesus Santos
 Marcos and Simara getting married.
Elder Levita, Jake, Marcos, Simara, Elder Rapuzzi, Elder Marcelino
Marcos and Jake
And then the baptism....Simara was baptized by her son, Thiago
Marcos was baptized by a friend.
All the missionaries in Cruz Alta and ___________.
Jake told the missionaries to pose like the girls pose when they take pictures. 
Jake, Marcelino, Rapuzzi, and Levita
Thiago, Simara and Marcos son, and Jake.  They are great friends.

(1) SABADO (Saturday):  General Conference!  I think one of the things most targeted at me was the J. Devin Cornish.  I watched in Portuguese, so if I mess up on the quotes, forgive me.  But, I loved how he talked about there is  no ‘good enough’ for the celestial kingdom.  Left to our own merits, we all fail.  One of my faults is that I am very critical of others and myself.  I realize nobody is perfect, but I get real down on myself thinking of all my flaws.  This talk, along with a letter I got from a friend, really helped me.  A quote from the letter I got, “Even if you aren’t doing as good as you think you could be, you’re doing better then you think.”  Today was day 451 of my mission.
(2) DOMINGO (Sunday):  General Conference again!!  WOOT WOOT!!  Man after today, I feel very inadequate and unworthy. But its ok, because we have the atonement!!  So, I’ll be working hard to better myself little by little.  Today was day 452 of my mission.

Thanks for everything. I love you all,

Elder McKee
Simara, Thiago, Jake, and Marcos
 Elder Levita was going home and the district make these for "Team Levita" to say goodbye!
 Thiago and Jake
 Jake and Elder Marcelino
 Elder Rapuzzi, Elder Marcelino, Elder Levita, and Jake.  They made a video for us and wore these hats. 
 This is an older picture that was sent to mom today...
Elder Jesus Santos, Elder Bezzera, Simara, Marcos, Jake, and Elder ______.
 Elder Jesus Santos, Jake, Thiago
 Thiago, Jake, and Elder Bezzera
 Thiago, Jake, and Elder Jesus Santos

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