Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The hardest work you will ever love!


Dog or bear??

Presidente Glauber & Luci as Carmen Miranda

Presidente Samuel and the chicken & egg hat

Elder Shirley with Alair & Alex

FHE with Alair

Elder Shirley looking for suspicious characters

Kitchen prep before the baile

Elder Shirley & Nelson at the forge

Sister Shirley taking in the view

March 31, 2014

Bom dia!  It’s Monday and P-day again!  This is our day to catch up on things like laundry.  This is when we really miss our clothes dryer at home.  We have a clothes drying rack and a line strung in the laundry room where we can hang the sheets and other clothes. Some days when it’s cloudy and the humidity is up, it is hard for the clothes to dry.  So we have to turn the fan on them.  But actually, we get along just fine. 

We hear that winter doesn’t want to release its hold in Idaho.  Down here, summer is trying to hold on!  It is now outono (autumn), but this past week sure felt like summer.  We’ve had some pretty hot weather.  Thunderstorms came in yesterday and cooled things off a bit.  We had a real downpour in the afternoon. 

Alair and Lisi and family invited us to their home for Noite Familiar (FHE) on Monday.  They also invited friends, a non-member couple, Alex and Shayla, and their little girl.  Alair lives a ways out.  But he works just down the street from us.  So he gave us a ride to his home and back again.  Alair gave the lesson and we supplemented it with our testimonies and a couple of short videos on the importance of family.  Lisi prepared a really nice meal and we took dessert.  Alair and Alex are longtime friends who have played in a band together.  As you can imagine, it was a real treat for us, especially for Elder Shirley, to do some guitar playing and singing!  It was a fun evening, but a late one!  

We had another Family Home Evening scheduled for Tuesday with Fernanda, a non-member from Pedal de Ouro and her boyfriend.  But she got sick and we had to postpone. But we managed to have a very full week.  District meeting was on Tuesday with the Elders and Sisters which is always a good time.  We get a kick out of Elder Julca from Argentina.  He always gives Elder Shirley a hug and tells him in English, “You are beautiful!  I love you!”   He makes us laugh!  It was interesting at Zone Conference last week when they told all of the missionaries that they were encouraged to practice speaking English when they could.  There is an online test they can take to qualify for an English-speaking certificate.  It is supposed to help them get into Universities easier.  This is a little departure from just strictly speaking the language of the country in which you are serving. Interesting news. 

This week we really put forth an effort to do a lot of visiting.  We walked a lot!  We even got a few new blisters.  We met lots of interesting people and lots more dogs.  We sure feel like detectives as we try to track down people.  We continue to discover that most people here are friendly and very helpful.  Dogs…..not always so friendly!  English class was good too.  We had 5 people in attendance this week.  It is good to see them make progress.  Lucas was there, but not Nilson.  We will make a visit to him to deliver his “homework”. 

We visited Nelson again as we haven’t seen him at church recently.  He is a pan maker.  He has a forge and makes the pans right in his home.   He asked us to come again the next day and watch an actual pour. So we returned Saturday morning.  It was really interesting!  It looks like hard work.  But he says that it keeps him young!  Says he doesn’t have any wrinkles because of all the sweating he does as he keeps the fire stoked.  (We don’t see that sweating is helping us much though.  If anything, we think we have aged!)

Saturday was the night of the “Baile” (Ball) and the “Concurso de Chapeus” (Contest of hats) hosted by the Uniao branch.  It was a much advertised and anticipated event.  Lots of inactives and non-members had been invited. They had a good turnout.   Presidente Samuel, president of the Uniao branch has a party planning business.  So we knew the decorations would be good.  They were.  It was a fun evening.    The youth did their dance that they had learned for their EFY trip earlier in the month. They actually call it FSY (For the Strength of Youth).  They were so enthusiastic and did a great job.   As we have always enjoyed dancing, we had a good time.  We had comments about our dancing American style to Brazilian music. They gave us a hard time.   So they had to teach us the “gaucho” way.  Before the night was done, they told us we were almost dancing like gauchos.  We didn’t have hats.  But lots of people did.   There were lots of interesting ones.  They had a parade of sorts and then awarded prizes.   It was a really good time and so fun to see young and old alike participating.    But it was another late night.  The Sister missionaries came to watch.  They called President Castro for permission to stay later.  It was announced over the microphone that he gave permission for them to stay!  We all cheered!  Fun times!  We were grateful for a ride home with President Torres and his wife. 

We tried to work extra hard this week.  We continue to think of the phrase “It is the hardest work you will ever love”!   We met lots of people, issued lots of invitations.  Results aren’t always as good as we hope for.  But we keep remembering thoughts from Zone Conference.  Why should we expect missionary work not to be hard?  They showed a film based on an article in the March 2001 Ensign about missionary work and the atonement by Jeffrey Holland…”Salvation never was easy!”  So we will keep spreading the good word and encouraging!  We really look forward to General Conference this weekend.  We will be watching the live feed at the same time you are seeing it! 

Thanks for your support!  We love you!
Eu te amo!

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