Week of November 14-20, 2016
(14) SEGUNDA (Monday): P-day! So, I fought with a taxi driver today. Here’s what happened. Our bus left at 5:00. We’re running late, so at center we grab a taxi to our house, and we ask him to wait a few minutes while we grab my bags. After about 40 seconds of waiting, he leaves the car, and starts clapping his hands and yelling at us to hurry. We were already leaving so it was all-good. We put my bags in the car, and I said, “Just stop real fast in front of the computer house, my friend needs these keys.” And he slammed on the brakes, and said, “Oh no, I don’t do stops.” I said, “No, it’s just in the front, we need to pass, and just hand him the keys through the window. So we went. Then I said, “Alright, just let us run into the church real fast because my suit is there.” He starts complaining, and I said, “Hey man, I’m paying you to do this. Let’s go.” So, we went and it took 1 minute to run in and grab it. Then we went to the bus stop and the bus was almost leaving. I wen to pay him the 30 reais I owed him, and I handed him another 5. He said, “Oh no, 3 doesn’t cut it. I need another 20 for what I did for you.” I said, “Are you crazy? Give me back the 5 then because I won’t pay you anymore then it says on the counter.” He starts complaining saying it doesn’t count the time he stays stopped. I totally call him out on that lie. I get out and start pulling out my bags. He’s yelling that no other taxi driver would make stops like that. I inform him that I have done that same thing with many taxi drivers, and until now he’s the only one to cry about it. So, he said, “Then next time call them and don’t get my taxi!” I said, “Count on it. Can I have the receipt for the 30 I paid?” He looked at me, and paused, then said he doesn’t have one. So, now I can’t get a refund for my 30 reais from the mission. It’s fine. Today was day 492 of my mission.
(15) TERCA (Tuesday): New Area! We had the mission council and then lunch, and then on bus to Santo Angelo. My comp is from the North of Brazil. His name is Elder Costa. He’s from a branch, and is the first missionary of his city. That’s cool. But today was all day in a bus. Today was day 493 of my mission.
(16) QUARTA (Wednesday): I’ve already met a lot fo the members here when I came a year ago in a division. We had a meeting with the bishop, and I learned that this ward has had 4 baptisms in the last year. WHAT!? That is so few! We also had a meeting with the Stake President and President Louza to talk about this. We’re going to work our tails off. Today was day 494 of my mission.
(17) QUINTA (Thursday): This area is very different. For starters, it’s flat. It’s small. And it has a lot of asphalted streets. We don’t have investigators, but our area is very big with a lot of people to talk to. We also have a subway sandwich and a Wal-Mart. It’s basically New York. Today was day 495 of my mission.
(18) SEXTA (Friday): Today was an activity with the ward. They had planned a movie night, with the movie, “The Pursuit of Happiness”. It was good except for only 9 people went. I hate doing movies. Everyone is at home watching TV. We do an activity movie, and NOBODY will want to leave their TV to watch TV in the church. No investigators. No less actives. That game we were doing in Cruz Alta, I’m going to bring here. It’ll be smaller, but I think it’ll work very well. Today was day 496 of my mission.
(19) SABADO (Saturday): Today we met 3 young men, brothers, who are golden. We met them knocking doors. Felipe, who’s 19, Marcelo who’s 15, and Enrique who’s 13. It was only them at home, and it was a great lesson. We gave each of them a Book of Mormon. They want to go to church with us tomorrow. I’m super excited about them. Today was day 497 of my mission.
(20) DOMINGO (Sunday): We started off today passing by the house with the young men to take them to church. Enrique came out and said, “My parents said we can’t go to your church because we already have a church and we don’t want you guys to come to our house anymore because you are strange.” But, he said it so fast and like a robot, I think he had been practicing. So yea, My 3 future missionaries will wait a bit more. Then I gave a talk in church to a ward with 52 people. 52 PEOPLE! This ward is weak in attendance and activities. But my talk went well. I liked it. We then had ward counsel where I presented the activity and everyone liked it. We need to resurrect this ward. Today was day 498 of my mission.
Week of November 21-27, 2016
(21) SEGUNDA (Monday): Wow. Today we had quite the lesson. His name is Beao. We taught the 10 commandments. This man has problems with EVERYTHING! He has a little saint to which he prays. I taught him about taking the Lord’s name in vain, which he does a lot. He said, “Oh no, I don’t do that. I just say xxxxx” and he started swearing HARDCORE. Like HARD, HARD CORE. So, we get off that topic. Keep the Sabbath day holy. He started talking about how much he drank yesterday and has other sins. Don’t kill. He starts swearing about the people who kill and everything. Then he says, “But I myself shot a guy a while back.” Don’t commit adultery. I won’t even go into what he shared. Let’s just say he spends 600 reais every other day…. He’s robbed, He said he always lies. I said, “And the last one is don’t covet” and he starts talking about his friends wife. The guy is the lowest of low, but he is super funny. But he’s addicted to beer and women. Today was day 499 of my mission.
(22) TERCA (Tuesday): Today We did visits with a young man from the ward. It was pretty good. Today was day 500 of my mission.
(23)QUARTA (Wednesday): All day in the bus, but at the end of the day I spent in my first area! Andressa heard that I was in the area and came to the house to visit. We’re in Santa Maria for a conference with Elder Costa, who’s the president of the area Brazil or something, I think. Today was day 501 of my mission.
(24) QUINTA (Thursday): Today was the conference. 5 hours we sat listening to Elder Costa. It was incredible. I learned a TON of new stuff, and also discovered a TON of things I need to improve. He talked a lot about the atonement, and shared a lot of cool stories. One interesting thing he said was “If you really understand the atonement of Christ, any sacrifice that is required of you turns into a privilege to serve the Lord.” Those made me think of a lot. That really it is a privilege to give back to the Lord a little of what he has given us. So, when things get difficult. Study the atonement. Compare your difficulties to the difficulties that Christ passed through because of us. It’s a lot of think about. Today was 502 of my mission.
(25) SEXTA (Friday): Today was a long day, but it was good. Something interesting that happened. The other day Elders from another city called us to get a birth certificate from the city for them. It was for an investigator they’re teaching that’s going to get married and baptized. Today, knocking doors, we found that person’s parents. They said, “Our daughter lives in Ljui and she’s going to get married and baptized in your church.” We went talking and it turns out it’s the same person! Today was day 503 of my mission.
(26) SABADO (Saturday): So, today I killed a bird and a girl kissed me. It’s stake conference in Sao Luiz and we came for it. So, I saw Alex, a young man that I did a bunch of splits with. I’m talking to him, and a young girl, about 15-16 comes from behind me and gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek, which is a common way of saying hello. She talks with him a bit, then looks at me and says, “hello!” And give me a FREAKEN KISS ON THE CHEEK! I hadn’t realized how much I had changed, but I froze! She just turned back to Alex and he’s laughing, but she didn’t notice. She hadn’t seen my nametag! So, I just leave, and I go to another part of the hall. During this time, my comp was in an interview with President. Alex then come up to me after, and said, “I told her you’re a missionary and she got super embarrassed and said to tell you she’s sorry.” Ha-ha, it was pretty funny. I can’t even imagine how I’m going to be after the mission, without a comp, hugging girls, or going on dates. I hope I get back to normal fast.
And the bird. My comp and I walking in the street and we see a bird on the sidewalk. I got to it, and it’s just flopping around, its head all messed up. It doesn’t know how to fly. I pick it up, and I see that its neck is broken. It seemed like a baby bird that tried to fly and fell and broke it’s neck. When he breathed it would swell up his neck, like a balloon beneath the skin. Super messed up. So, to stop his suffering and save him from the dogs, I broke its neck the rest of the way, like we do when we go hunting. My comp was very disgusted.
President called me up on the spot today in Stake Conference to talk a little. It was a bout a paper that we use to track the progress of the recent converts and returning members, and how to sue it, and the importance of the members help in these things. He literally, in the middle of his talk, said, “Elder McKee and Elder Costa, come here and explain this. Thank you.” Ha-ha. It was all-good.
Today was day 505 of my mission.
(27) DOMINGO (Sunday): Today I saw Marcos! Woot Woot! He’s got a missionary calling now. He came with a nametag and everything. I also saw a man that called us in the street one day, saying he was inactive and wanted to return. I went to his house only 2 times, then I was transferred, but he remembered me, and he’s now the ward mission leader. That was super, super cool! But today was just the conference really. Today was day 506 of my mission.
Making pancakes in Cruz Alta.
Elder Gates has been out 3 months in the mission.
And Jake has been out 1 year and 5 months.
Making Tapioca with his district. Elder Gates, Elder Robledo, Elder Costa, Jake and 2 sisters