Current Mailing Address

Current Mailing Address

Elder Howard Derek McKeon
Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission
Rua Caa-Acu, 229
03171-020 Sao Paulo - SP

Monday, November 5, 2012

First full week in the mission field!

Here is Elder McKeon's email after his first full week in the mission field!  He sent us pictures as well, enjoy!

Elder McKeon's area.

My companion or trainer is Elder Cole Robert Squires from Gridley, CA. Its only about an hour and a half drive to the north for you! Cool right? He´s been on his mission for 1 year and 5 months, but he spent 7 months in Texas waiting for his visa.  He is an awesome trainer and I am learning so much from him!  I am in my area, which is called Continental, and its pronounced differently so ask dad how its pronounced.  

Elder McKeon's district on the last day they were in the CTM.

My zone is called Guarulhos, they have these massive, massive ´neighborhoods´ called bairros.  It is very different here.  These bairros are like cities but they're neighborhoods, for example, Brooklyn would be a bairro.  

Elder McKeon and Irmao Ramos, one of his teachers in the CTM.

We have had an awesome week this week! Last Wednesday, the 31de Outubro, we had to walk to our District meeting, which was about an hour BUS ride, but we walked and it was so hot and such a long walk.  I have never walked so much in all of my life.  We got a bus back after our meeting and that was nice.  I have an amazing district!  I don't know them that well so when I know them better I'll tell you everything I can about them.  

Presidente and Sis. Degn, as well as Elder McKeon. They are the mission presidents at the CTM.

After the meeting we went to lunch and then we were able to go teach this family where the 2 kids were baptized but never confirmed.  They live smack dab in the middle of the FAVELA!  It was so cool going in there!  It is like another world in there.  No rules, no government, just everything.... I can't quite explain it but wow, it was an experience.  I could reach out with one arm and touch the wall with my hand and my shoulder on the other wall.  The poorest of the poor circumstances that you can imagine.  I haven't gotten any pictures but I will.  We taught them a lesson and then by that time we had to go home.  

Irmao Fabian a really good friend at the CTM

When we got home, we had no water!  Our water pump on top of our apartment had not yet pumped the water back to the top and so we didn't have any water in our apartment.  

The morning Elder McKeon left for the field.  He said it was the first time he had seen the moon in 2 months!

The next day, Thursday, we had to get to this another investigator's home, Rosangela, and in order to do so, we had to hike over a mountain.  We were in the jungle and it was so cool!  This big old dog came running out of nowhere and luckily it was chained up.  Anyway, she is a great investigator too and I know shes going to get baptized!  Then we had to hike back over the mountain in order to get to our lunch appointment where we had, feijoada, and I am going to have to acquire a taste for it.  Anyway, I ate it all and even had seconds.  Then we had this awesome dessert where there were grapes on this orange jello.  

Irmao Vander, another really good friend in the CTM, with Elder McKeon

After lunch we went to check up on a recent convert but couldn't find her because we were back in the Favela!  I love the Favela if you haven't noticed!  We ran into this family and we start teaching them and the grandma is loving it!  Her name is Marcia, we've taught her and her family.  They are awesome!  We went home and the water was back on so that is always a good thing!

Elder McKeon's district and Branch Presidency.
Then Friday we had lunch at a member's house.   Then we went back to visit Marcia.  She told us this story that her son saw her (Marcia) suffering in her life and he prayed to God to send his mom (Marcia) an angel to help her life.  After he had told her that story, we walked around the corner and taught her and her family.  She told her son that the Lord did send her an angel, except they were men, white, and from America.  We were her angels... that knocked me way back!  We were just looking for another person to teach and happened to be there at the right time.  It was so amazing.  We made contacts for the rest of the day and then went back home.

Elder McKeon and his companion, Elder Squires.

Saturday was a rough day.  We walked and walked and walked so much that I can sort of in a very tiny, little itty-bitty way appreciate what the pioneers had to do.  We walked all over our area.  We have to schedule our appointments by how long it is going to take us to walk there.  Anyway most of our appointments fell through so we got a lot of exercise and made a ton of contacts along the way but we went back to Marcia and shes coming to Church!

Irmao Ricardo, another really good friend at the CTM.

Sunday, we went and picked up Marcia and took her to Church.  I have an awesome ward!  A lot of wonderful sisters, but our Priesthood is on the low side.  We have a rule in this mission, that if we have a certain goal of baptisms, a certain number must be male.  

Elder McKeon and Irmao Viana, another one of his teachers at the CTM.

Anyway the bishop is great and I was blessed to stand and share my testimony in Portuguese.  It is a great ward and afterward we taught Marica about the Sacrament, fasting, testimony and she´s getting baptized this next Sunday the 11th! My first baptism within a week of being here!  She wants to be baptized and we are going to do it this next Sunday!  I'm so excited!!!

Elder McKeon wrote the caption to this picture, "My field to harvest!"

Eu sei que eu estou aqui por um razão. Eu amo este trabalho e estas pessoas aqui no Brasil!! Eu vos amo e vou por sempre!!

Your missionary,

Elder McKeon

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