|Birthday dinner steakhouse|
|The standard mode of transportation|
|Busy bus stop|
|Busy street they cross often|
|"Go ahead, make our day!"|
|Typical flower in bloom everywhere right now|
|Branch activity Noite dos Casais (Night of Marrieds)|
|FHE with Rosi & Gelson|
|View across town|
|"Is the bus ever going to get here?"|
March 17, 2014
The heat returned this week to Cachoeira. It felt like we were back in the middle of summer instead of fall. Walking became uncomfortable again. But we did a lot of it. We are still working hard on verifying addresses for the Uniao branch and meeting with menos ativos (MA or less active), and investigators. However, it must be the angle of the light because it just looks like early fall. We have had a few thunderstorms but, luckily, most have come in the night or when we have been home, or when we have at least had an umbrella with us. We continue to meet great and interesting people. We love hearing their stories. Nearly every member has a great conversion story! In fact, that seemed to be the theme at church on Sunday. We got to hear the conversion stories of many members in both branches, many who have remained firm in the gospel for many, many years. We loved it. Verifying addresses for the branch has really been a blessing. We have got to meet many good people who have needed a visit from someone in the church and an invitation to return.
Sister Rodrigues and Sister Morales asked us to make a couple of visits this week, one to a lady who works in a fruteira (fruit stand) and a lady who works in a gaucho store on our street (a store that we have not been to yet). These ladies have seen us walking up the street and wanted us to visit. We presented a Book of Mormon to the dona who works at the fruit stand. She wanted the visit during the lunch time. She is one of the few stores that don’t close during the lunch time. But business is slow during that time. She wanted the lesson then. It was a little difficult though as a few customers came in. But she seemed to find our message interesting and is planning on reading the Book of Mormon. The gaucho store dona was really nice as well. She kept calling us “simpatico”! We have been called that by quite a few people now as we visit around town. From what we understand, that means pleasant, nice, favorable. So I guess that is a good thing!
We became a bit “pushy” this week. We kept Nilson and Lucas for a bit after English class. They had requested a copy of a Bible in English to help with their reading skills. So far, we have not been able to get one. But we did have the Book of Mormon in English. So after class, we presented each of them with a Book of Mormon, one in English and one in Portuguese, along with an explanation of what it is and where it came from. They seemed to be interested and accepting. Guess time will tell if we pushed too hard. We will be anxious to see if they come back to class. And unfortunately, we won’t be holding class this week as we have a Zone Conference in Porto Alegre on that day. They both work at Delta Sul, a furniture and appliance store just down the street from us. We will have to pay them a visit and see how we are received.
We were also “pushy” with Gelson, Rosi, (and Francine). They are the less active members who “talk” of wanting to go the the temple. We joined Sister Almeida and Sister Techmeier (both from Brazil) in a Noite Familiar (Family Home Evening) at Gelson & Rosi’s home. Rosi made Cachorros Quentes (hot dogs cut up in a sauce on a bun). We provided the fudge jumbles. The Sisters brought the lesson on the temple and forever families. Elder Shirley and I each added our thoughts along with 3 very short, inspiring Mormon Message videos on the family. (We took our lap top with us). Mormon Messages are so great! Elder Shirley talked to them about how easy it would be for them to go to the temple as they have no real problems except not attending church regularly. We were all pretty blunt about the need and importance of getting to the temple. They are such a nice, beautiful family. We want this so badly for them. They seem to want it too. Hopefully, they can follow through. They were out of town this Sunday visiting family. But will hopefully start attending church regularly soon. Everybody seemed to have a good time. We ended up playing our traditional game from Elder Shirley’ first mission, Escravos de Jo. The Sisters were acquainted with it. Gelson and Rosi were not. It was a fun time. Sister Techmeier knew the game and had a slight variation to it. We will have to remember it and try it out on family when we get home!
The Marina branch had a “Noite dos Casais” (night of married couples). The branches hold these nights regularly for the married couples in the branch. They are always well attended. We usually eat and play games. This time we had a message, ate, and danced. They had a “macaroni” night with all kinds of pasta dishes. There were quite a few good dancers. We showed off a little “sugarfooting” we learned from Bob Oliphant years ago. We had a laughing, good time. Rosi and Gelson attended this night as well. The message was on marriage and family. Rosi and Gelson are really getting it this week! It was a great social event! Now Uniao Branch wants to hold their own dance on Saturday.
This seems to be a week of parties as each of the branches are also holding Relief Society Birthday socials. Many are only for the sisters. We will probably stick together and only attend the couple parties.
It is also birthday week for our St. Patrick’s Day boy, Elder Shirley!!!*** How lucky is he to be able to celebrate his birthday in one of his favorite places….Brazil?! And his birthday is on P-day!! We plan to go to one of his favorite restaurants down the street for filet mignon. It is one of the few places that serve ala carte. And one of the few (that we have found) that serves really tender beef. We will probably go there for lunch. Lunch here is really the significant meal of the day. All the stores close up for about 2 hours from noon to 2:00 pm. Evening meals just seem to be a light snack generally or whatever. Or a really late meal like 9:30 or 10:00 pm.
Looks like we will keep busy this week too. Lots on our calendar already! We think of all of you at home often. You are always in our prayers!
Eu te amo!