Friday, May 14, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears? Oh my!

A special greeting for all of you today!

It's special because it's from me! I feel a little bad being so vain,
but hey I guess I'm entitled to it every once in a while. Okay maybe
not but I'd like to think so.

Parnaíba continues to be Parnaíba! It was an interesting week, not
becaue crazy or weird things happened, but because things were just
all over the place. We were on our toes a lot, because so many things
feel through, and our plans were constantly changing. We didn't have
a whole lot of success but it wasn't a horrible week. I feel like my
Portuguese degressed a little, I had a lot of trouble understanding
things, but it was just a hump in the learning process. I'm going to
do better with my study of the language by being a bit more technical.
It's not extremely difficult to be able to get my ideas across, I can
do that right now with the exception of a few things. I want to be
very well-versed in the Portuguese language so that any word that the
people here sling at me, I can pull out my awesome vocabulary and
grammatically correct sentences and eventual as an extra cherry on the
pie, ending with an awesome brazilian accent. It will happen, trust

So enough with my silly antics/witicisms. We had a baptism yesterday!
Tálison was the investigator I was telling all ya'll about last week.
He was baptized after the meetings. It was definitely the most
interesting of baptisms that I've had so far. He was a little afraid
of leaning backward into the water even though I was there holding him
all secure-like. Needless to say, we tried a few times to get him
completely immersed in the water. I couldn't do it. So the first
counseler in the branch presidency stepped in because he definitely
had more experience. But even then it took a few more times and in
the end he kinda had to body-slam Tálisson underneath the water so
that he was completely immersed.

Now I should be careful because I don't want this story to demean the
sacredness of the ordinance of baptism. Baptism is very important and
sacred, because we have the opportunity to make a sacred covenent with
the Lord that allows us to have the Hly Ghost with us at all times as
we fulfill our promise to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ and
keep His commandments. Through this we can continually receive a
remission of our sins, the same remission of sins that we receive
through baptism. Tálisson, despite the difficulties at first, met the
requirements of the ordinance so that he could make that covenant.

I have another chance today to send some more photos! I'm using Elder
Banks' camera again. This time, the pictures are from our trip to the
Zoo while I was still in Taquari with Elder B. Santos! Our whole
district there went and it was a lot of fun. Elder Souza and I are
outside I think the tiger exhibit. Those are the first 2 pictures.
Next is Elder Chiba and I standing in front of the European bear they
had there. How they got a European bear, I'd rather not know. The
pens are small enough as it is, and it was definitely on the sickly
side. I don't want to know their transportation methods. Moving
along, there's the awesome lion! It was a rather loud lion too.
Elder Chiba and I were a little bit behind the rest of the group when
we heard it starting to roar, and I'll be honest the thought that it
escaped and was eating my district did cross my mind. But, I guess
lions just like to roar randomly or often, rather. And the last
picture is all of us together as a district!

I'm looking forward to this next week of work! But, until next time!

Elder Rackham

Monday, May 3, 2010

The little engine that could?

I think the title of the email applies. Here in Parnaiba 3 are
starting to accelerate. We have 4 missionaries in total now like I
said last week and things were off to a slow start as we adjusted to
having new boundaries and working together instead of seperately in
order to help the branch. But like the little engine that could, he
started off slow but he chugged along and made it up the hill. I can
definitely see that we're chugging a long and pretty soon we'll be
really going!

Usually we have an average of 56 people at church on Sundays. But
with a few miracles, we had 72ish people this past Sunday! It's
amazing! We need to have a frequency of 120 people for 3 trimesters
in order to have authorization to build a chapel in this part of the
city. Another thing that was really cool: we've been teaching this
family, it started with the parents, then they weren't keeping the
commitments so we started teaching the grandmother, and things were
better with her, so we passed by her house to bring her to church this
Sunday but she gave us an excsuse (it may have been legitimate, I'm
not sure). But she pointed out her grandson and said that he wanted
to go. We never taught him. He listened to a few of our lessons, but
never a full one. We never invited him to pray about Joseph Smith or
read the Book of Mormon, but he wanted to go. So we took him. We
introduced him to some people and he took a look around, found a room
he was comfortable in and talked with a few of the members. After the
2nd hour, the 1st counselor of the branch presidency called Elder
Souza and Elder Santos over. Talis, the kid we brought, said that he
wanted to be baptized next Sunday, Mother's day! He has a Book of
Mormon already and he's made friends. It's just amazing how this
works out sometimes. This Sunday went amazing, and the week was only
so so. We have a potential 12 baptisms this next Saturday and Sunday
and they're all really good, firm baptisms that will stay strong in
the church.

I have learned a lot of things this week, mostly about pride and
humilty. Unfortunately I learned it the hard way. But in times of
difficult and trials, I think we tend to learn the most. I can't
imagine how much more I will learn and grow. But this week was one of
the weeks with the most learning and growing. Things continue to look

Oh yeah, I'm officially addicted to Coca-cola now. They have these 1
liter glass bottles here that are returnable so it makes them really
cheap. In Teresina and Timon they were 1.50 reais, here in Parnaiba
they're a little more expensive, 2.00 reais, but it's cheaper than the
plastic bottles. Let's just say that I share one bottle with my
companion Elder Banks pretty much everyday. It's delicious!

Until next week!

Elder Rackham