Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bon Dia!

November 25, 2013
{I just received some pictures that I've added to the bottom of the post, 11/26, 2:30pm}

Well it´s been uma semana!  We continue to adjust.  I am now beginning to see the beauty around me instead of just the strangeness.  We are settling into more of a routine.  And it was so good to hear from everyone.  I will try to respond to everyone individually, but here at Pedal de Ouro, we pay for internet by the hour.  It is a very small space with lots of computers and people and noise.  A lot of the letters on the keyboard are worn off and things are moved around a little.  Sometimes the computers just say that you are done.  So we will see how it goes. President Castro is coming from Porto Alegre this week to help us get into a new place.  Pres. Torres drove us by the new place yesterday.  It is right in the center of the city and is totally unfurnished.  So it may take a while to get into it and get what we need.  I am looking forward to a full-size bed.  We have pushed two single beds together.  Sometimes they separate in the night and we `fall through the cracks´.  We will be able to get internet then or we may just get a new cell phone.  President Castro will advise us.

It has been a busy week.  We have had district meetings with the young Elders and Sisters.  It was fun to meet them all.  We already knew how amazing the young sisters are.  But the Elders are great too....so enthusiastic.  I admire them all so much.

We have been given the keys to the church.  It seems that we always arrive first and end up unlocking things for the meetings and then locking up at the end.  We had a "married couples" party in one of the branches.  Elder Shirley and I went over to the Branch President´s home (Brother Fortes aka Brother Glauber...his first name).  Brother Glauber has really taken a liking to Neal, I think.  He had to pick us up as we don´t have a car.  However, we have got acquainted with the bus this week.  That works out well.  Good thing we practiced riding the bus in Centerville!  Anyway, Neal helped cut up meat into little cubes for a type of stroganoff.  I shredded a lot of cabbage and grated carrots!!  They put the shredded cabbage on a plate with a little carrot on top and then decorated the top with pickles.  We made lots of plates of that. Then we took the food to the church and helped set up for the festa.  There were a lot of investigators.  It was a fun party.  They played games too.  I worried a bit when they took all of the ladies into another room to explain the rules of the games.  I wondered how I would understand.  Fortunately, it was an easy game and I could catch on easily.

Every day we get out and about to visit or to just let ourselves be seen.  Everyone is friendly.  One lady asked if she could give us a ride.  We had a nice discussion with her.  She asked about the church.  She was a devout Catholic, but so friendly.  The man who delivers drinking water to our apartment told us that he had seen us around and asked questions.  Most people have seen the sisters or elders already but are curious about us old people.

On Saturday, we sent to a baptism.  It had been a joint effort by the sisters and elders.  It was great!

Pres. Glauber asked Elder Shirley to speak on Sunday in the Marina Branch.  I think Neal had anticipated that as he already had some preparations made.  He did a really great job.  Also, it was the Primary program yesterday.  Such familiar music in such a strange tongue!  But it sure touched my heart!  They had just 10 kids.  They each had multiple parts.  There was just one leader and a music person.  But they did have a piano player, which was impressive.

I don´t think that they do much for Thanksgiving here.  But they have been preparing and decorating for Christmas.

We are doing well.  We feel safe and are keeping busy, hopefully doing what the Lord wants us to do.  I think that they are still figuring out what they should do with us.  But we try to pitch in and help with whatever is going on.  Posso ajudar is our motto!  (I can help!)  I am picking up a little more all of the time on what is being said.  I work on speaking and studying  every day.   But when we are at home, I sure like to speak English!  That probably isn´t good.  I know that I would learn faster if I used it more at home too.  I do try to speak to people when we are out and about....especially at church.  They don´t give me a choice.  They don´t stop at a hug, a pat and a smile.  They ask questions or tell me things.  I feel that I have to try and respond.  I am sure that I don´t make much sense sometimes.  But they seem pleased that I try.

Happy Thanksgiving!  We are so thankful for you all! Thanks for your enthusiasm and support!!!!
Lots of Love!

1 - Elder Shirley checking out the local John Deere dealership

2 - A local nativity scene

3 - Elder Shirley helping prepare food for a branch party

4 - Sister Shirley doing branch party preparations

5 - A good rainstorm

6 - Current sleeping situation - 2 twin beds pushed together

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