Monday, April 14, 2014

A great visit with a special family - the Reinbrecht's

The seasons are changing - here comes the rain

Lots of branch support at a baptism

At the Reinbrecht's

Claudinei & Marcia - members from Cachoeira branch - we love these guys!

Eating pipoca at a district meeting

With Elder Ritz and Sister Morales

Elder Shirley with Jean

Irma Mariza Quijentais - good member

Jonatas & Gizleine Quijentais

Love notes from Melissa

April 14, 2014

And the rains came and the weather cooled off!  The week started out warm, but turned cloudy, rainy and much, much cooler.  By the end of the week, we needed jackets!  We enjoy seeing the seasons change.  Rain and cooler weather didn’t stop the missionary work though.  It’s been a full week of great activities.
Since we made a video of Nelson, the pan maker, it gave us a good reason to pay him another visit so we could give him a copy of the video.  When he met us at the door, he said, “You aren’t going to believe this!  But I was reading the scriptures and just got down on my knees to pray, when I heard you clapping at my gate.”  (We clap at the gate.  We don’t knock on the door.)  He was quite amazed. He even went to get his Book of Mormon to show us what he was reading.  We were happy to be part of what he viewed as inspiration.  One member commented once, “God is trying to move that man!”  We hope he sees that too. 

Don’t know when we will learn our lesson. But one day as we were walking, a man stopped and was so friendly and offered us a ride home.  We didn’t know him, but he knew of the church.  He said that he was on his way to the Farmacia to get medicine for his sick dog.  We both climbed in the back seat of his car and evidently sat in the spot where the dog had been sick.  Gross!  We were wet and stinky through and through.  We were grateful for the ride, but had to take a shower and change wet and stinky clothes and do laundry when we got home!  Life is never dull!

Fernanda, a non-member from Pedal de Ouro, finally agreed to let us come and do a family home evening with her and her boyfriend at the home of her neighbors, Adao and Jussara Garcia.  The Garcias are a wonderful, very active family.  (We had Christmas and New Year’s dinner with them).  We have scheduled and re-scheduled this FHE with Fernanda numerous times.  She is always friendly, always has a good excuse and always willing to re-schedule.  She doesn’t get home from work until 9 pm, which is very late for us to start a FHE.  But the Garcias agreed.  So we agreed.  She told us that she “adores” brownies, so we made a pan of brownies to take.  The day was cloudy, and rainy. By 8:30, there was a strong thunderstorm with lots of lightning and thunder and a downpour of rain.  We were skeptical, but committed!  As they live far away, we called a taxi to take us to Garcias.  They were all prepared and their grandson, Jean, was there to join in.  He is a great kid and usually sits by us in sacrament meeting.  9:30 came and no Fernanda!  So we and Jussara took our umbrellas and walked down a very muddy road to Fernanda’s.  She was home, but her boyfriend was very sick.  It turns out he may have gall stones, so they couldn’t come.  Sinking in the mud with every step, we returned to Garcias and had a very short lesson, ate brownies and rice pudding that Jussara had made and made a plate to drop off at Fernanda’s.  Jussara also had some medicine that she thought would help.  We tried to call a taxi.  No phone service!  The Garcias told us the phones often go out when there is a storm.  They don’t have a car and there is no bus service out that far at that time of night.  We started to worry.  We stepped outside trying to get better phone service, looked up and there was our taxi!  Miracle!  The driver remembered we had told him we would call him again later.  He had been sitting out front waiting!  Someone is watching out for us!  But it was an expensive evening and late night.  We didn’t get home until 11pm.  Fernanda wants to re-schedule.  But I think we will try and find a better time. 

District meeting was fun.  We always have such a fun time with these young Elders and Sisters!  Since this would be the last district meeting before transfers, we took some pipoca.  Kettle corn has really become our speciality!  Elder Julca from Argentina brought a treat too. 

English class was fun.  We enjoy that!  We had a good turn out again.  Lucas was there and told us that he had just lost his job a Delta Sul as business was too slow and they had to let him go.  But he is optimistic and is taking classes at a technical school and now has more time to study English!  He and his girlfriend have family that live close.  And he gets one month severance pay.  So they should be OK.  He stayed after class and we had a good visit.  He is very likeable and we hope he can find work.  He thinks this may actually work out for the best anyway! 

We anxiously anticipated all week our meeting with the Reinbrecht family….Roberto, Marcia, Cristofer, Melissa, and Roberto’s mother.  We kept meeting them by accident at the grocery store.  They are always so friendly.  We took brownies, chocolate as well as lemon.  (The Lemon Brownie recipe was Amber’s.  It turns out well down here.)  Elder Shirley describes our visit as muito agradavel!  (very good).  They had prepared a very nice meal for us and liked our dessert. Since they speak English pretty well, they asked for a blessing on the food from each of us…one in Portuguese and one in English.  We were happy to oblige!  They like that we talk to God in a personal way.  Earlier in the day, Melissa had insisted that her dad take her to the store and wouldn't tell him why until they got there.  She wanted to buy us Easter treats!  She had also been busy coloring “love notes” for us.  When we arrived, she wanted to know our favorite colors.  It turns out we chose the very colors that she had used for our notes.  She was happy about that!

After dinner, we had planned to show a couple of short videos and talk about family and the gospel.  (The Plan of Salvation).  But after dinner, we never left the table.  They were full of questions which led right into Joseph Smith and the restoration.  They had been searching on line for information about the “Mormons”.  We took our family picture.  They were very interested and asked about names and ages of each one in the picture.  One of their first questions was “Why would you do this?  Why would you serve a mission and leave your family…your kids and your grandkids and serve without financial compensation?”  It led into an interesting discussion and gave us opportunity to bear testimony.  They all had questions, especially Roberto’s mother.  We really liked her too.  We spent two hours at the table.  We kept telling them that we were only supposed to stay 45 min – 1 hour.  They told us that we would have to come back as they have lots more questions.  We are excited about that. We left them copies of the Book of Mormon with our written testimonies.  We really like this whole family and are anxious to talk more with them.  We invited them to witness Saturday’s baptisms.  They showed us the invitation they had for a baby shower at the same time.  We invited them to church on Sunday with us.  They had a previous dinner appointment.  But they indicate they want to go in the future.  Easter also complicates things as they are supposed to leave town for the holiday.  But we are hopeful that we will be able to continue our gospel discussion and friendship with them.  They are full of questions and so welcoming.  Melissa (10 years old) hugs us all the time just like our grandkids.  We love it, although Elder Shirley has warned her that as a missionary he can’t hug the girls. She respectfully gives him a handshake! They live in the boundaries of the Cachoeira branch.  We think this is probably a good time to start working in that branch.  We will continue to visit some in both Marina and Uniao however.  We think we will keep busy! But we love it!

Rosi and Gelson had good news this week.  Rosi decided to try to find work as a seamstress.  She said after praying, she had 3 job offers.  She felt like her prayers had been answered!  She accepted a really good offer and they hope to buy a car and start paying tithing so they can get to the temple.  We still have high hopes for them!  She was excited!
Saturday was baptism day in Uniao branch!  They ended up with 5 baptisms!  It was a great day!  For the special musical number, all of us missionaries, 8 total, sang “I Need Thee Every Hour”, some verses in English, some in Spanish and a couple of verses in Portuguese.  There was a lot of support from branch members and it was a beautiful day! Sister Rodrigues and Sister Morales have had 8 baptisms this month! Every one of the missionaries here are great.  They all work so hard!  We love them!

On Sunday, after meetings, the Uniao branch prepared kind of a thank-you meal for all of the 8 missionaries in our area.  It was a fun time!  The food was good (rice and potato salad) and there were lots of people.  It was also kind of a celebration of Elder Julca’s birthday and a send-off for Elder Ritz.  Elder Ritz leaves for home tomorrow (Farmington, UT).  We will really miss him!  He has been a great missionary!  Tuesday is also transfer day for the young missionaries again.  They will receive their notices tomorrow!  We hate to think who might be leaving.  We’re glad we can stay.  There is still a lot to do!
Have a good week….wherever you may be! 
Eu te amo!  

1 comment:

  1. Elder & Sister Shirley, this is Mateus, Idaho greetings! I read many of your posts, sometimes it makes me feel hungry! Marise is pregnant 6 months already, its a baby girl. I'm still working at the heat plant, I always talk to JB. I wish you all the best there in my land... I miss the churrasco a lot. Hey you should ask (I'm asking) to your mission president to send you to Charqueadas. That is my home town, there is a branch there that needs a lot of help, then you could help my mom to come back to church...she is less active now. Anyway, keep your journey in this great work, we miss you, we love you.