April 28, 2014
OH MY GOSH. I GET TO SAY HI TO MY FAMILY AGAIN!!
It feels like it's been forever. The CTM was supposed to email a picture of us at the temple. Sounds like they didn't. My mission President was supposed to send fotos of us when we arrived. Sounds like that didn't happen either. So I'M SORRY. It wasn't my fault.
So I also have some really weird news. Our Mission President doesn't allow duplicates names. He gets people mixed up. There are already 2 other Elder Taylor's. One is now Elder Peterson. So, when they asked me what I would switch to, I said a quick prayer and chose Elder Jackson instead of Elder S. Taylor. So, I am now Elder Jackson. I should get new name tags this week. So Trev, I'm sorry that our name tags aren't the same anymore, but I will always have the one that is the same.
I am here in my mission! Ha! Presdente Brum opened our first training by saying, "welcome to your mission. Yes, your reassignments were good, but this is your mission. The one you were called to." It was kinda funny. I am here in The Ribeirao Preto Sudoeste zone. So yes, I'm in the city of Ribeirao Preto. My area is Vila Virginia B. I live here with the zone leaders and my companion, the district leader. I don't think I told you, my companion in the CTM was the district leader too. That makes 4 out of 5. My companion is Elder Henrique Souza from Manaus. Yep, a native trainer. And he doesn't speak any English. It's a good thing my Portuguese really was as good as I thought. (I don't mean to brad, but it's good.) I thank our Heavenly Father that it is, because I'm having some narly culture shock. I don't know if I could handle it if I couldn't speak. I speak really well, everyone keeps saying that. But it's really hard for me to understand people. I got my first haircut in Brazil today and I couldn't understand the cabeleireiro. BUT< it looks dang good!
Now, I just need to drop some pounds. I lost 10 pounds in the CTM. Ha. In case you can't tell in pictures, I've gotten fat. I left on my mission at 190. And got to Brazil at 220. Yep. It was BAD. My nickname to everyone is Gordinho. Ask Trev what it means.
But I love my area! I love my ward. Our are is brand new. The Vila Virginia ward was just one area, but they split it with this last transfer. I arrived mid-transfer, so my companion had some things going. We've been doing a lot of contacting and had 8 new investigators this past week. Que Chick!
And I had a birthday party! I am now 19 years old. Here's a SUPER weird thought. I almost have 8 months on my mission, but without the age change, I would still be home. Crazy! And guess what! My birthday party was in the middle of a favela! ha. every Thursday we have a family night with all the members in the favela at Irma Digna's house. It was only my second day in the area. But my companion called Irma Digna the day before and they made a cake for my birthday! I didn't have my camera, so all the pictures are with Elder Souza. So i will try and send them next week. It was AWESOME!!
I love it here. BUT, keep me i your prayers. I am just feeling really stressed out and feeling A LOT of pressure. I know that's normal considering they don't speak English, but please just keep me in your prayers.
I love you all! Have a great week all over the world!
Love, Elder Scott JACKSON Taylor
PS Tell everyone I'm sorry I was unable to email them back personally. I had 28 emails today to read. 2 weeks and a birthday will do that. And today I'm kind of crunched on times.