|Artur and Lidia|
|Caught in a rainstorm|
|Dancing at district meeting|
|Now that's a birthday party!|
|Doing the Hokey Pokey in the rain and mud|
|Matt. 5:45 God "sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust"|
|The good folks down at Pedal de Ouro|
|A participant in the govt subsidized recycling effort|
|Ya can't beat good old rice and beans with a Kuat soda!|
|On the way to visit a family|
The heat continued this week. But we got caught in a few good rainstorms, which actually felt good. But things don’t cool down too much, even with the rain. The forecast says that Sunday would begin a heat wave for this week. We thought that is what we have had all along. But we are doing well and just try to soak it in as we think of the weather at home. We actually ended up buying another umbrella….that makes 4 now……as we got caught in a rain storm when we were visiting our favorite store, “Pedal de Ouro”. So they sold us another umbrella. This store is owned by a member and his wife and several members work there. They are a great bunch!
We had a fun District Meeting this past week as Elder da Silva made everyone do crazy dances, along with pulling crazy faces. We continue to love and be impressed with all the Elders and Sisters. And they always make things fun! We also had a couple of Elders from Porto Alegre visiting from the mission office. We are including a pic, but it doesn’t do the dance justice! They begin all meetings by reciting the mission purpose and reciting the same scripture each week from memory: Alma 26:22. Wow! They really spit it out. Guess we will need to get up to speed on that. It sounds really cool in Portuguese!
Also President Castro, gave us a scripture and asked us to think about it and how it relates to our missionary work. It’s D & C 25:10. It talks about laying aside the things of the world and seeking for the things of a better. Thinking about this scripture makes us grateful for all of you at home that make it possible to lay aside the things of the world by taking care of so many things for us. It is a remarkable experience to be able to devote all of our time and energy to teaching and studying the gospel! We realize that it is a unique opportunity, a time in our lives like no other. We feel very blessed! And we hope we can bless the life of others!
Besides our regular visits, we went with Sister Gurreri and Sister Almeida one afternoon. They had been stopped by someone who asked if we could cast out evil spirits. So Elder Shirley and I went with the Sisters to visit this family. They lived behind a little store, a “mini mercado”. There was a man and his wife who had been raised in the Catholic church and an aunt who belonged to the Assembly of God. They welcomed us warmly. The sisters did a fabulous job of teaching them about the Restoration and about the priesthood along with some visual aids. We backed them up. Besides casting out evil spirits, Elder Shirley gave the man a blessing for good health as he was not feeling well. They had several dogs who really set up a fuss, barking like crazy when we first arrived and again when Elder Shirley started to pray. It was a little unnerving . We all wondered what was going on with the dogs. The family invited us to return and want to hear more about the church. It was an interesting visit.
The Sisters also wanted us to meet Monica, 19 years old with a 3 year old son. The Sisters have taught her a lot and have developed a good friendship with her. She really clings to them. Monica lives with her boyfriend who is a drug dealer and abusive. He is very suspicious of the missionaries. Monica just got a good job and is determined to pay tithing if she can keep her money from her boyfriend. It is a sad situation, with no easy solutions. She came to church yesterday with her son. She had written out her story and her testimony and wanted to read it during testimony meeting. It really breaks our hearts. But we also worry a lot for the safety of the Sister missionaries. Monica just went out and bought lottery tickets. She wants enough money to be able to get out of her bad situation. She says if it is right and the Lord wants her to leave, she will win the lottery. She has a lot to learn yet. She is so new to the Gospel and so dependent on the Sisters. It was good to see the members rally around her at church. She needs that. The Sisters feel very responsible for her. Hopefully, President Castro can advise them. It is a scary situation.
It was on this day that we got caught in another rain storm way out in one of the bairros. We had walked some and found a bus stop. But we had a long wait for the bus. Fortunately, we had one umbrella with us. But the Sisters didn’t. We all got pretty muddy before the bus came. Monica waited with all of us.
We got back home just in time to go out with Presidente Glauber and Dione to invite some prospective Elders to a branch party. We had some enjoyable visits with them. We stopped at the home of Artur and Lidia and their parents. The mom is almost to ready to be re-baptized. Their dad is not active. The kids were baptized in November and are so fun. Even before we got out of the car, Lidia came running (literally) out of the house to greet us with hugs. Artur joined in. Ever since Lidia got baptized, she says she just feels “so light”. A cute girl! Artur’s mom kept scolding him because he didn’t have a shirt on. Neither did his dad though. That is the usual state of things when it is so hot. In the evenings, everyone comes out and sits in chairs in any shady place they can find. Kids are playing in the streets. Everyone is trying to cool off. So walking down the street, we encounter lots of people, in the bairros especially.
English class was fun again. Lucas stayed after to visit a little. He is so eager to learn English and does so well. But Arielle was missing. We need to go check on her.
Francine turned 1 year old this week. Gelson and Roselaine had a “festa” for her Sunday afternoon. Of course, we went. They had a lot of family there. We took a little musical book as a present and it was a hit with her and everyone. They had lots of food….cake, salgados, little sandwiches, soda, etc. The table was full of food.
We have Family Home Evening scheduled with Gilmar, Luanna, and Kaleb tonight. Hope it doesn’t fall through. We worry about that as Gilmar has been out of town for work, but supposed to be back today. We have made some fun preparations to, hopefully, interest Kaleb.
Anyway it was a busy week filled with visits, meetings, and lots of fun stuff. We ate out a couple of times. We had good filet mignon at a restaurant we hadn’t tried before. One of the few that serves ala carte instead of a buffet. It was good. We also ate out on the street at one of our regular stops. Fun times!
Love and prayers and fun times to all of you!
Eu te amo!