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, SagĂș 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!

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