Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A change of heart about owning a Brazilian car

Who needs a car when you have a horse and a cart?

The Garcia's heading out of town

Elder Shirley hanging out with "the professor"and the hot dog man

Arielle at work at the bed store "Ortobom"

Elder & Sister Shirley with President & Sister Castro
January 20, 2014

Here in Cachoeira, the heat has returned.  The thunderstorms of the previous week are gone.  The forecast is for heat and sun all week.  So we are back to trying to do our visits on foot in the morning or evenings.  But that is ok.  We like to walk!

Still no car!  Frustrating!  We paid a visit to the bank ourselves.  Banco do Brasil received our money on December 30, the same day it was sent.  But they did not notify anyone and the car dealer didn't know he had to actually go in and accept the money to get it in his account.  But it seems there are more hoops to jump through.  We had to take our passports and ID to be certified again.  Then they car dealer had to provide info on the car.  Now documents for the car had to be sent off by the bank for clearance.  We don't understand and neither does the car dealer.  So we are still waiting.  They keep saying "tomorrow".  Today was supposed to be the day.  But this morning they said "TOMORROW"!  We are ready to be done with this so we can focus on missionary work.  President Castro, Pres. Torres and others agree with us that it looks like the bank wants to hang on to our money as long as possible to make a profit on the currency exchange.  Hopefully we made the right decision in doing this.  We will see "tomorrow"! 
(As I’m posting this, “tomorrow” is now today – see below for a car update)

We were out walking to a visit one day and came upon a ward member in her horse-drawn wagon.  We ate at their home on Christmas and New Years day.  Christina was in the wagon worried about parking in a no parking spot.  Her mom, Jussara, was in the farmacia (pharmacy).  They live far out and a bus goes out there only a couple of times a day.  They bring their wagon in for feed for animals, etc about once a week.  We couldn't resist taking pics.

We made a lot of visits this week.  We met with Dione (Johnny) and Sister Gurreri and Sister Almeida.  Dione is the new branch mission leader for Marina.  It is always good to get more names of people to visit.  We also went out with Dione one evening to make some visits.  We walked and walked and arrived back home about 11-11:30pm.  But enjoyed it.

English class went well.  We had 9 people this past week.  There is a wide range of ability.  Our challenge is to make class beneficial for all.  Ariele missed class.  But she had told us that she wouldn't be able to attend this week.  We stopped by her place of employment.  She is always so cheerful and happy to see us.  We hope she will be back this week.  We stop by on a regular basis to see the hot dog man as we go by.  We are including pics.

The highlight of the week was a visit from our mission president, President and Sister Castro.  They took us to lunch at the "nicest place in town", Tutti Grill.  It is a buffet.  Most restaurants are buffets.  You pay according to weight of your plate.  Our problem is that we can't always identify what we are eating.  But it was good.  We enjoyed our visit with the Castros very much.  That evening we met in the Cachoeira branch and were paired up with branch members to go out and visit less-actives.  Elder Shirley and I protested at being separated.....we aren't accustomed to that!  But they just laughed and sent us off in different directions.  It was an interesting evening.

Sunday morning, President and Sister Castro spoke in sacrament meeting in both Marina and Uniao.  Afterwards, we went with them to visit some of the people we have been visiting.  Unfortunately, Gelson, Rosi, and Francine were not to church.  We took the president to their home.  But there were gone.  Baaa!!!!  We usually check up on them on Saturdays and encourage them to come to church.  We weren't able to do that with our meetings this week.  We were disappointed.  But we had another good visit.  We took President and Sister Castro to the home of Moises and Ivete.  President Castro had performed the marriage about a year ago for their daughter to the branch president of Cachoeira.  So they were acquainted.  It was a great visit.  Ivete comes to church.  But Moises is a trucker and not always home on Sundays.  President Castro encouraged Moises to come to church and told him how much he would strengthen the branch.  He needs the church and the church needs him!  Moises always insists on giving us a ride home when we visit him.  Sometimes we aren't ready to go home yet, but we always take him up on his offer!

It was great having the President & Sister Castro here.  They are very personable!  They will be released about the same time as us and are planning on a trip to the United States the January after their release.  They want to visit Salt Lake City and then come to Idaho.  We tried to tell them that January is not the best time to visit Idaho.  But he says that is the only time they can come.  (Summer vacation for their kids is in January!)   With the help of family, we may have to introduce them to sleigh rides and snowmobiling, etc.

Today is "P-day".  We have been busy doing laundry, cleaning, preparing a lesson for a FHE tonight with a member (Noite Familiar).  The sisters ended up being double scheduled and asked us to do the family home evening tonight.  Looks like we a have a busy week ahead of us.  President and Sister Castro brought our mail from Porto Alegre.  It was fun to see more Christmas cards.  We loved it!  We so appreciate your letters, love and support. Thanks a bunch!  It has also been fun to do some Skyping this past week.  We love you all!

Eu te amo!

**Car Update:

Just an update on the car.  It has been "muito complicado ate demais!"  Too complicated.  Vamos desiistir!  We give up!  Every day the bank keeps saying they are still trying to get a clear title on the car.  It seems Ceasar (the car dealer) was trying to sell it for someone else which further complicates things.  They have been warning us that it will be just as complicated to sell it when we leave.

 So we have decided to send the money back.

 The car dealer and the bank all agree.  We are tired of it taking so much time away from missionary work. We are also now hearing that there is quite an expense in insuring, taxes, licensing, etc.  (Now they tell us!) The Ortizs (car dealers: Ceaser and Paulo) are doing the paperwork now to take back to Banco do Brasil this afternoon.  Hopefully, the money will be back in our account tomorrow sometime.  

We are not too disappointed.  We like walking.  It is good for us and we meet lots of people.  There are places we can't get to easily on foot or by bus.  But we will do the best we can.  We will let President Castro know.  That may affect where he might send us if we get a transfer.  Did we tell you that they have submitted paperwork to SLC to change and divide and/or combine branches to make wards and stakes down here?  If it is approved, President Castro says Cachoeira will not be in the Porto Alegre South mission any more.  That means we will be moved somewhere else.  We will see what happens.  At any rate, our lives will be a little less complicated without a car.  We will look on the bright side!

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