Monday, May 26, 2014

Teaching swing dancing and enduring cold showers

Dance practice

One of their favorite lancherias (snack shops)

At the Fenarroz Rice Festival

Inspecting some farm machinery

Elder Shirley on a big rice harvester

Valley center pivots - used all over the world.  Just like the one at home in Idaho!

Elder Shirley sporting a new gaucho hat that comes in handy with the cooler weather

May 26, 2014

It’s been another week of ups and downs.  But isn’t that the life of a missionary?  President Castro gave us missionaries a scripture to memorize.  It’s found in D & C 123:17 and basically says, “Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power, and then may we stand still…..”  We do our best, but can still experience disappointments.  But if we have done our part, we need not be disappointed in ourselves.  And so it was.
We began our week with an uplifting district meeting with the missionaries in our area.  We always enjoy meeting together with them.  They are always so enthused.  Our zone and district leaders prepare helpful, thoughtful lessons.  And often they bake a treat too.  Sometimes we take a treat as well.  We never lack for good food…good nourishment both physically and spiritually!

We had our first dance practice with the youth for the upcoming Baile (Ball).  This Baile will be similar to the one held a couple of months ago.  Again everyone is encouraged to wear a hat and the men can even wear a “tapete” (rug or wig).  Don’t know where that idea came from, but it should be interesting.  We have been asked by Presidente Samuel (President of the Uniao branch) to teach some of the youth a swing or lindy dance.  They observed us dancing at the last Baile.  And now they want the youth to do some couple dancing, American style. They want them to do the “floor show”.  They are busy making plans as to what to wear and how to do their hair.  They are even making skirts for the girls.  Never mind that they haven’t learned a dance yet.  But we are working on that. 

Tuesday was our first dance practice and followed their regular Tuesday night youth meeting.  We picked some fun swing music (Wake Me Up Before You Go Go by Wham---old stuff!) , loaded it on a jump drive and went to the church.  We had quite a few willing youth, both young men and young women.  We taught them a few basic steps and moves.  Practice time is really limited, so we tried to keep it very basic.  Basic is more our style anyway!  They were good sports and tried anything we threw at them.  They caught on pretty good.  We followed up this practice with another one on Saturday afternoon where we worked on perfecting the dance from beginning to end.  It looks like it may actually come together!  I think that we may have more trouble remembering the order of the steps than they do.  We are excited and especially excited that the youth seem to enjoy it.  We cheered for their success.  They even cheered for themselves!  We only have one more practice on Tuesday.  Our hope is mostly that they have a good time.  It has been a fun and unusual missionary assignment for us.  It’s made “study time” fun.  Guess it falls under the category of “member and leader support”, right?

Wednesday night was a bit of a disappointment for us and the Marina Branch Sister missionaries.  Sister Picula (Australia) and Sister Techmeier (Brazil) had planned a “multirao” or an evening where members of the branch would come together for missionary work.  Sister Picula was sick and had to go to the hospital which is more like a doctor’s office.  It was a windy, rainy, cold day.  But Sister Techmeier decided to do splits with another set of sister missionaries and let Sister Picula stay home and have Sister Morales come help her.  Our assignment was to make pipoca, the sweet and salty variety again for the 30 people that they hoped would be in attendance.  We got up just before 6 am to make the popcorn.  That evening, as it was rainy and we had a lot of popcorn to carry, we grabbed a taxi.  Don’t know if it was the weather or what, but members were calling the Sisters and cancelling.  We ended up with nobody in attendance and a couple of long-faced sister missionaries.  But we were reminded of our scripture of cheerfully doing all things that were in our power.  We had done our part.  That is all we could do!  We were all disappointed, but not in ourselves.  Such is the life of a missionary.  Popcorn went home with smiling Sister Missionaries!
The weather has indeed changed.  We now bundle up in hats, coats, scarves, gloves and carry our umbrellas.  Elder Shirley found a cool gaucho hat which he likes to wear.  One of the Elders told him that they weren’t allowed to wear hats.  Hopefully, that rule doesn’t apply to senior missionaries as he likes to cover his sparsely-clad head.  It is interesting to experience the changing of seasons.  We are still loving the rain!  Night-time temperatures have been down to 4 degrees C.  We have been told that some mornings we may see a little frost in the wee hours. 

Our apartment heater is not working yet.  We have talked to the “dona” a couple of times.  She says she will ask someone to fix it.  President and Sister Castro are buying heaters for all of the missionaries, but they haven’t been delivered yet.  We did go out and buy a small heater.  We especially need it to help dry the laundry.  We don’t have a clothes dryer.  With all of the humidity, it takes days for a batch of laundry to dry.  Hopefully, the little heater will help.  We also have a nice oven in our small kitchen.  We like to pull our chairs into the kitchen in front of the oven to eat.  We also have improvised with a couple of socks filled with rice to use as our rice bags.  They are great for our cold feet.  Every season has its challenges.  We also love our nice, heavy blanket that we bought at Pedal de Ouro. 

With the cooler weather came shower problems of the indoor variety.  Sometimes, our shower turns cold in the middle of a shower.  That is if you can get hot water to begin with.  We have a big holding tank of water up on the roof.  In the summer, the water was pre-warmed nicely.  But not now.  We bought a new shower, hoping that was the problem.  No such luck!  It may be a problem in the building or maybe with time of day and usage.  But we were treated on Sunday morning with a warm shower for both of us!  We just never know.  We figure that if our son, Brian, could handle cold showers, so can we!  It makes us really appreciate the conveniences of home.  We are not complaining.  Such is the life of a missionary!  It’s a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Our experiences with a cold house and cold shower are not unique.  At church on Sunday, there was no heat.  In sacrament meeting, people wore coats, hats, and gloves.  Windows were still open for the needed ventilation.  Many told us that they also had no heat in their homes.  Although there are some who cook on wood stoves.  Presidente Samuel and his wife don’t have a shower that works right now either.  We all laugh together as we discuss our situations!

Roberto and Marcia Reinbrecht and family gave us a friendly call.  It seems that their son Cristofer had a belated birthday party with friends on Friday evening.  They asked to postpone our visit til next week.  However, as seems to be the case, they can never escape us.  We decided to attend the Fenarroz Rice Festival on Friday afternoon.  We saw lots of tractors and farm equipment used to harvest rice and soy.  Huge tractors!  We saw Massey Fergusons, New Hollands, John Deere, Case IH and even saw a Valley Center pivot exhibit.  Elder Shirley especially liked it.  While there, we attended part of a performance by a small orchestra from Porto Alegre.  When the performance finished, we looked up and saw the Reinbrechts in front of us a few rows.  They saw us and came back to visit.  Hope they don’t think we are stalking them!  Roberto’s mom, Magali, was with them too.  They were all very friendly and apologetic for having to miss our appointment.  As we missed Cristofer’s birthday, we are planning on taking over a birthday gift for him.  He just turned 13 and plays the keyboard. He is a very smart, cute kid and speaks English pretty well.   We think that we may burn a CD for him with some BYU Vocal Point a cappella music or something like that.   We have another appointment with this family on Friday as it is the only night each week that they have free.  However, we aren’t sure how time will work out with the Baile.  We hate to be the ones to cancel.  Hopefully, we can do both.

We were excited to learn from a branch member that, as seniors, we may be able to get a pass to ride the city bus for free.  So we sought out that office this week.  We were expecting a lot of hassle and that we would probably be turned down as we were foreigners.  But to our surprise, they asked no questions, just took our id’s and info and pics and made us a card.  Now we can ride as often or as far as we want in the city.  Sometimes, we are glad to be old!

We continue to visit members and non-members when we can.  We returned to visit Nelson and his wife.  They are the ones who cancelled the FHE we had planned for their family.  As we got to their home, they were just coming up the street with a load of lumber on a bicycle and heavy bags in their hands.  We helped them the last little ways.  They seemed genuinely happy to see us and invited us in.  We took a new and improved version of the pan-making video.  Elder Shirley put “Eye of the Tiger” music with the video for Nelson followed with some church videos.  Nelson was happy with that and played a short Mormon message video from the CD while we were there.  They were both smiling.  That is a good sign, right?  She had just made some jam and wanted us to try it.  She brought each of us a small bowl of jam….no bread, just jam and a spoon.  It was really good, but neither of could eat the whole bowl of just jam.  She asked if we didn’t like it.  Hopefully, we didn’t offend.  Nelson keeps saying that he needs to come to church again.  We along with other branch members are keeping after him.  They are good people!

We have visited with Nilson and Lucas.  Lucas is back in town and both of them want to start up again with English classes.  Guess we will start that again this week.  Also Dione wants to go visiting with us in the Cachoeira branch this week.  He is in the Marina branch, but likes to go visiting with us.  So we set up an appointment.  Looks to be another full week ahead!

Anyway, we continue to try and cheerfully do all things that lie in our power.  Boa semana to all!
Eu te amo! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

District Conference Training Report

Band in the Fenarroz festival parade

Cooks at the District Conference luncheon

Waiting for lunch at Per Tutti Grill

District photo with the addition of four new missionaries

Fenarroz festival mascot Arrozinho (little rice)

Hungry missionaries walking to Per Tutti Grill

Melissa Reinbrecht at parade

Sister Shirley and Melissa watching the Fenarroz festival parade

Sister Shirley and Sister Torres

President and Sister Castro with son Gabriel

Queens of the Fenarroz festival

Roberto & Marcia Reinbrecht

Lots of tractors in the Fenarroz festival parade

Watching the Fenarroz festival parade

May 19, 2014

It’s been quite a week!  We spent quite a lot of time in preparation for the district conference training session for auxiliaries that we were in charge of on Saturday afternoon.  We are grateful to kids who sent ideas and examples.  That helped a lot.  We are also grateful to have our computer and printer here with us and to have the internet.  That is a blessing we as senior couples have that the younger missionaries don’t.  We think often of when we were first arrived and left our bag with computers in one of the two taxis that were transporting us and the missionaries who came to greet us from the airport to the mission office.  That still stands out as such a blessing that the taxi returned with our computer.  It was our first huge blessing in the mission field.  We use it often.   Also, is a wonderful and helpful site.  We were able to find the handbook on line and prepared our discussion from it.  Our preparation felt a little like when we prepared discussions with Douglas for our skype language lessons.  Good memories!

 The theme we chose was “The Savior’s Way of Leading”.  We also found 3 short videos to add to our discussion. We tried to make it a discussion because we know that leaders learn a lot from each other as well.  We had them do some role playing of a presidency meeting.  Besides acting out a presidency meeting done the right way, one of the groups acted out a presidency meeting done the wrong way.  It was fun!  We think everyone enjoyed it.    For the intro, we stood up front together and tried to make it a discussion between the two of us as well.  It was a challenge and, hopefully, they understood what we were trying to say.  We also had the recorded music to accompany the opening song as they rarely have anyone who knows how to play the piano.  What a blessing that talent is in the mission field.  Wish we knew how!  Typically, the song leader stands up front and sings out the first line and then we all join, hopefully on the same note.  We also found nice tablecloths.  A really nice touch was the picture of the Savior that we had brought with us.  Brother Austin Thomas from the Centerville, UT, ward gave it to us as a parting gift.  It had a spot on the side where we could insert our theme.  It worked out so well and added a lot.  We were feeling grateful to Brother Thomas. 

We prepared a little treat with the message “Sweet is the Work” (in Portuguese: “Doce é o Trabalho”).  Of course, we used our pipoca (Sweet and salty popcorn)!   The table display with it turned out nice thanks to grandkids who taught us how to make tissue puff balls.  We found some tissue paper and made yellow and white ones to go with the popcorn.  We had lots of sisters wanting to know how to make the puff balls.  Sadly, we only had three to give away.   Sounds like they want to schedule a time to have us teach them how to make them.  Reminds me of the good times we had learning to make them with granddaughters.  It also brought back memories of good times with young women in the ward!  We sure made lots of puff balls with them!  When we were making them, it made me homesick and I almost wanted to cry thinking of the good family and friends and good times we have had! (We will have more again!)  We also had lots of requests for the pipoca recipe.  We have to make some this week for the branch missionary night (about 30 people) on Wednesday night.    

However, as nice as things turned out, we had our stressful moments.  Of course!  It seems that nothing every goes as planned. (We will get to that in a bit.) We had district meetings with the other missionaries scheduled for Saturday morning.  Two more sister missionaries have been called to serve here in Cachoeira.  We now have six sister missionaries and four elders, counting the elders from Caçapava who always meet with us.  Counting us, we have a total of 12 missionaries here.  An amazing force for good!  It feels great to be part of this group! 

After our morning meeting, we met President and Sister Castro and their son (we think he is 15) for lunch at Per Tutti Grill….the nicest restaurant in town.  President and Sister Torres met us there as well.  President Torres is the District President.  We really enjoy him and his wife.  He has helped us out a lot, especially when we were starting out the mission.  They are both so helpful and friendly.  They speak a little English.  In fact, President Torres has a business/school teaching English.  We had a table for 18 at this restaurant.  The food was good as was the company!

As our training session was scheduled to start at 4 pm at the Cachoiera chapel, we left the luncheon a little early.  The chapel was on the other end of town and we were on foot.   In retrospect, we should have taken a taxi.  We arrived at the chapel about 3:30.  We set up tables and chairs.  We still needed to test out the DVD we had burned with the music and videos on the TV.  But Brazilians seem to run a little late.  We were counting on that.  But then we couldn't find the DVD.  We were pretty sure that we had packed it.  But we looked everywhere and couldn't find it!  Panic!  A member gave us a quick ride home to look for it.  Still couldn't find it.  But we grabbed the computer and figured that we could always play the videos from it if we had to.  He had to stop and pick up his wife.  She was running a little late.  It was hard to sit and wait and watch the minutes tick by.  We arrived at the church at 4:05 to a full room.  We had been told to expect 15-20.  We thought maybe 10.  We had at least 25 or more!  So glad we had the tables and chairs already set up!  We tried to appear calm and begin our meeting.  I moved a stack of handouts on the table up front and the missing DVD fell out.  Yay!!!    Anyway, things worked out great. Our meeting went for about 1 hour and 40 min. We had been assigned 1 ½ hours.  We ended up cutting out a little.  We had lots of good input from the sisters.  We feel like that is when we all learn the most!   The music and videos worked out great.  We finished with the little video, “I’m Trying to be Like Jesus” with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  It is a really good one.  There were sisters with tears in their eyes.  Check it out if you haven’t seen it!

We came away feeling so grateful for faithful members and leaders here.  Several had traveled from Caçapava which is about 2 hours away.  They would have to find places to stay overnight to attend conference the next day.  Also, as we talked in our training a little about delegating and read the wonderful scripture in Exodus 18:18 about the need to delegate, we had several sisters let us know that sometimes they are the only one serving in their organization!  What strong, faithful sisters!  It made us feel pretty humble.  They are really wonderful!

The meeting that evening and conference the next day were great and much more relaxing for us.  Besides President and Sister Castro, we also had President and Sister Worthen in attendance.  President Worthen is the Porto Alegre temple president.  They are from Las Vegas.  We met them when we attended the temple a couple of months ago.  It was so good to see them again!  It always feels like family when we visit with someone from the U.S.  Sister Worthen surprised me with a gift…..measuring cups!  We haven’t been able to find measuring cups here.  We didn't anticipate that need.  So that was a fun surprise! 

After conference, Elder Shirley was asked to give a blessing to one of the missionaries.  Also, it seemed some of them just needed to talk.  We were glad we could do that.  As we were finally leaving, a branch member took us by the hand and led us to the kitchen where they had prepared a luncheon for President and Sister Castro and family, and for President and Sister Worthen.  They wanted us to join.  We enjoyed roast beef and potatoes and green salads with ice cream for dessert!

Upon our return home, we discovered that there was a parade down the street right in front of our apartment.  It was a kick-off for the 18th annual Fenarroz fair.  This is the rice festival that celebrates being the rice capital of the Americas!  There will be activities all week…kind of like the Blackfoot fair we think.  We looked across the street and there was the Reinbrecht family.  Amazing!  (They can’t get away from us!)  Melissa joined us on our side of the street.  We enjoyed the parade together.  We are scheduled to meet with them again this week.  We can’t decide if they are really taking our discussions seriously or if they just like to visit with us!  We will keep working on them!

Anyway, it was a busy but great week!  Thanks for your interest, and your love and support.  We miss you and love you!

Eu te amo!  

Monday, May 12, 2014

Exploring Fenarroz

Sister Shirley always loves a burger!

Busy street in Fenarroz

Welcome to Fenarroz!

Mother's Day flowers lining the streets

Hamburger Brazilian style - with peas, corn, ham and optional chicken hearts

Sister Shirley's Mother's Day flower

One of many roosters regularly encountered

Overlooking Fenarroz

Posing with Sisters Holden and Morales

Sunset from the apartment in Cachoeira

May 12, 2014

Hope everyone enjoyed a Feliz Dia das Maes!  Brazil celebrates Mothers’ Day too…in a big way.  Vendors lined the streets with gorgeous flowers, stores held big promocoes or sales, gifts and tributes were given to mothers at church, etc.  This is one of the two occasions during the year that missionaries get to skype or call their mothers.  Excitement was high.  Two of the Sisters, Sister Holden and Sister Morales, came to our place to skype with their families on Sunday afternoon.  We also had our turn and were able to skype with all of our kids and grandkids!  It was a great day!  Ended the day feeling very grateful for our family and friends!

We spent a good part of the week getting acquainted with Fenarroz and trying to locate less-active members who live there.  Fenarroz is on the outskirts of the city of Cachoeira and required a long bus ride out there and lots of walking when we got there.  But it is a beautiful area and it was fun to get acquainted.   Fenarroz is a rural area famous for their production of rice.  They advertise that Fenarroz is the “rice capital of the Americas”.  They have a yearly rice festival there the end of May.    It’s a big celebration and natives tell us that we have to attend.  We found very nice houses there as well as favelas, both ends of the scale. We were stared at a lot.  We think that we kind of stand out. Once again, we felt like detectives as we tried to track down members.  Many times we stopped to ask directions.  The people were helpful. We met one young mother at the top of a hill.  She was carrying an infant and had a toddler in tow.  When she found out the street we were looking for, she walked back down the hill with us to show us where it was.  We were grateful and shared a package of “smarties” with her and her toddler.  (We were able to find a smartie-like candy in the supermercado that we take to church to share when the need arises.)  The streets were busy, full of people standing around talking, dogs, chickens, kid riding bikes, etc.  One young boy was in the street with his mom.  She was helping him learn to ride a bike.  He kept looking at us with a big grin.  He was pretty proud of himself!  We are really enjoying Fenarroz and the people there.

Once again, we enjoyed good times at the District Meeting with the 4 sister missionaries and 4 elders. They are a great bunch! We took our pipoca again.  It continues to be a hit.  In fact, we got a phone call from Presidente Glauber, president of the Marina branch.  Along with two of the sister missionaries, they are holding a branch missionary night and they want us to furnish the popcorn for about 30 people.  He said that he had heard how good this sweet/salty popcorn was.  Guess we will put our popcorn popper to good use! 

While we were at District Meeting, we received a call from Marcia Reinbrecht.  We were scheduled to teach them the Plan of Salvation lesson on Saturday.  She called to ask us if we could come a day earlier.  We had been worried that they might cancel as they are always so busy!  So it was a great surprise!  We were happy to oblige!  Elder Shirley couldn’t wipe the smile off of his face!  The lesson went well.  We took some visual aids and at the end of the lesson, 10 year old Melissa asked if she could summarize what we had talked about.  Using the visual aids, she went through all the basic points of the lesson.  It was wonderful!  Roberto said he had way too many questions and we would need to come back next week again.  We can’t wait.  Roberto’s mom, Magali, has been unable to attend the last two times at Roberto’s.  She has indicated to us that lessons in her own home might be better.  We have given her name to Sister Morales and Sister Holden.  Hopefully, she will be receptive. 

President Castro called on Saturday.  We have District Conference (like our Stake Conference) coming up next weekend.  He wants us to conduct a training session for the auxiliary organizations, Primary, Relief Society and Young Women next Saturday as part of the conference.  He has left it up to us as to what we will teach.  A challenge for us!  But we will give it a try.  We have turned to the handbook,, and our kids for help!  Our kids have had especially good suggestions!  We feel so grateful for the support of family!  Anyway, we have a week of preparation ahead of us!  Especially so since Presidente Samuel of the Uniao branch has also just asked us to teach the youth some swing dancing to prepare them for another Bailie, or night of dance.  It will be fun but also will require some preparation.   As Lucas has been out of town, we have cancelled English classes for two weeks until he returns.  Looks like we will need that time to prepare for everything!
With the help of the Lord and lots of you, we will keep on trying to do what we are supposed to do, hoping we can make a difference.  Sweet is the work! 
Eu te amo!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

It is Prohibited to Be Discouraged

Idalia's baptism

Idalia, Sister Picula, Sister Techmeier

Loving the rain!

Lunch in Porto Alegre with Brother/Sister Burnett

Family Home Evening with widows from the Uniao branch

Rua da Praia, Porto Alegre

Enjoying Sister's Conference

Sisters Conference

Subway in Porto Alegre. Gostoso! (delicious)

May 5, 2014

We had every night and day booked this week.  We had a busy week ahead filled with high hopes! In fact, we wondered how we were going to keep up.  We filled the week with lots of visits, meetings, and lots of walking, as always!  We were successful in our attempts to verify about 10 addresses for the Cachoeira branch! 

Although we had a few warm days, the weather has turned cold enough to warrant pulling out heavier jackets.  We used our umbrellas a lot!  Kind of fun walking in the rain though!

The week started off great with a Family Home Evening scheduled for the widows of the Uniao branch at the home of Airton and Gorete.  Presidente Samuel gave a nice lesson.  Airton cooked.  And we enjoyed!  It was scheduled for 8 pm which meant a walk of some distance, both ways in the dark.  But it wasn’t raining and we did just fine.  Airton cooked chicken and rice out on a patio of sorts.  It was really nice.  Gorete sent home with us some of the dessert, Sagú with sweetened condensed milk.  It was pretty good!

We had an early morning the next day to catch the bus to Porto Alegre for the first ever Sisters Conference.  Elder Shirley had received a special invitation to attend also.  The four Sisters in Cachoeira were supposed to meet us to catch the 7 a.m. bus.  But the city bus to get them to the bus station never came and they missed the bus to Porto Alegre.  We arrived early in Porto Alegre.  The conference didn’t begin until 1:30 pm.  Elder Shirley was very excited to do a little sightseeing in his old “stomping grounds”.  Just the two of us!  It was fun!  We checked out streets he remembered like “Rua da Praira” where a lot of the shopping is.  We mostly just wandered up and down the streets.  We were excited to take some pics.  But after taking a couple, a man came running up to us saying “Cuidado!  Cuidado!”  (Be careful!  Be careful!  Don’t let them see your camera.)  It seems they have had a lot of crime there, especially with tourists getting their money and cameras stolen.  It kind of scared us and we didn’t dare take any more pics.  But we sure had a good time.  The city feels a little European.  A lot of it hadn’t changed much from when Elder Shirley was there. 

The Sisters Conference was nice too.  There were 150 sisters in attendance…all from the Porto Alegre South mission!  146 young sister missionaries and 4 of us oldies.   Amazing!  We got to see all the sisters that have served here in Cachoeira with us.  It was good to see them again.  What a force for good!   It was informative, inspiring and fun!  It’s close to a 3 hour bus ride one way.  We caught the 8:00 pm bus back to Cachoeira…a long day, but worth it!  (The Sisters also missed the bus back to Cachoeira.  They were busy taking pics and visiting with previous companions and ended up catching the bus back the next morning.)

Both the Uniao branch and the Cachoeira branch held a “Night of Casais” (married couples) on the same night.  We went to the one in Uniao as Airton hoped we could meet his son and daughter-in-law, who ended up not coming.  We ate and played games.  It always makes me nervous when they separate married couples and I am on my own to try to interpret their instructions as to how to play a game.  But it went well!  They actually played some games that we had played before.

President and Sister Castro send out weekly e-mails to all missionaries.  They usually inquire about our health, give us instruction for our spiritual and physical well-being, remind us of mission rules, etc.  This past week we were reminded of one of our important mission rules, “It is prohibited to be discouraged!”  We probably needed that reminder this week as we had a number of cancelled or postponed appointments. 

We had a full schedule marked up for the week.  First, Roberto and Marcia Reinbrecht called.  They had lots of family coming into town on “Labor Day”, May 1.  They had a big dinner to cook for family on Friday, the night we had marked up to meet with them to discuss the Plan of Salvation.  We actually weren’t too surprised as Roberto’s mother, Magali, had told us that she was doing a lot of cooking to prepare for the company.  Earlier when we talked with her, she had requested that we wait a week to come visit her.  So we were kind of anticipating a call from Roberto.  But he was really nice and apologetic about it.  He wanted to postpone for one week.  Not too bad!  But we were still disappointed.

On our way walking to District Meeting, we met Nelson (the pan maker).  We were scheduled to do a big Family Home Evening with him, his wife and a couple of married daughters and their spouses and children this week.  Nelson said he was kind of in trouble with his wife for scheduling the lesson.  She is firm in her Catholic faith.  She was having second thoughts and he wants to cancel for now.  Although he said that we were welcome to come visit him anytime.  We were disappointed again!  But we have a dvd with some church videos on it that he wants us to drop by.  At least that’s good news.  He is a nice guy. 

Even though it was a holiday, our English class had requested that we still hold class.  But their plans must have changed because we only had one person show up.  But we went ahead with the lesson and it was actually a good class.  He received the individual help he needed and in turn helped us out with some Portuguese. 

There was a branch baptism (not a convert baptism) scheduled this week.  It was for a sister in the Marina Branch, Idalia de Mello Pereira.  She is the mother of Artur and Lidia who were baptized a few months ago.  It was scheduled to take place at the Marina chapel.  From previous baptisms, we knew the water heater wasn’t working.  Elder Shirley had the privilege of doing the baptizing and didn’t want to freeze again and we especially didn’t want Idalia to have to go into ice cold water.  So we made some inquires early in the week to see if it could be fixed.  The morning of the baptism we got a call from Sister Techmeier saying that the water was shut down for that area of the city.    In talking to President Glauber, it was decided that the baptism would be moved to the Cachoeira branch.  They still had water there and it would be warm.  But it would require President Glauber to act as a taxi and shuttle people to and from the Cachoeira chapel.  The way the week had been going, we were determined that this baptism was going to happen!  We arrived there early along with Presidente G.  Well the water would not heat!  Evidently, they have a problem now! But we forged ahead.  Water was heated on top of the stove and helped some.  Idalia was so happy to be baptized, even in cold water!  (But it took two tries to get her clear under!) 

We always plan and prepare carefully.  Then we always remark how things never ever go as we plan.  It’s interesting to see where life takes us.  This week was no exception!  Although it didn’t go as we planned, we still have high hopes and are not discouraged (as it is prohibited anyway!)  We will keep trying! 

Hope your week goes well!  We send our love to all! 
Eu te amo!