Monday, June 2, 2014

Who says missionaries can't dance?

Christopher and his CD

Dancing at the Baile

Dionne and Elder Shirley making a plan

Elder Hiatt (Mesa, AZ) and Marcello

Elder Julca (Argentina) and Ana Paula

Elder Julca and Elli


Getting ready to enter dance performance

Luciano making encrencas

Patrique after his baptism

Patrique and Tiago at his baptism

Paulinho and President Samuel at the 70's Baile

Practicing the entrance to the dance

Preparations before the dance

Sisters Morales & Holden - California girls

June 2, 2014

Life is good!  For some unknown reason we have had hot water for our showers again every day this week. No more cold showers! And the drip that was getting worse and worse has stopped.  Miracles happen!  And we are sure glad.   We really appreciate a hot shower now!  Maybe it was the prayers!

It’s been a fun and busy week.  Of course the highlight was dancing.  The youth have been great to dance with. There have been six couples dancing and others that just come to learn and watch.   We have had a couple of non-members in the group.  In fact, one young man, Patrique, got baptized on Saturday.  We are anticipating the baptism of another soon. Sister Morales and Sister Holden have been working with them.   We think that this has been a good experience for all of us.  The youth arrived for practice on Tuesday very hyped up.  One of them warned us that they were “electric” (full of energia!)  And were they ever!  Besides the regular group, we had some who had not been to practices.  It was fun to see their excitement and enthusiasm, but a challenge to teach them.  We had another practice on Thursday.  It went really well! 
Friday was performance day.  They arrived early and began preparations with new skirts, ribbons, makeup, etc.  This was a big deal!  They had all gathered in the afternoon to help Presidente Samuel with the decorations.  The 70’s was the theme of the Baile.  Adults came dressed in bell-bottoms, topetes (wigs), etc.  Pretty fun!  We took lots of pics.  The youth did such a great job!  They danced well and seemed to really enjoy it.  Presidente Samuel had some music from the 70’s and asked us to bring some music from that era as well as some more modern stuff that we had on a jump drive from grandkids.  We had a great time.  Now we are hearing that they want to teach us some Brazilian quadrilha dancing.  We think it must be like square dancing.  It is tentatively scheduled for June 14.  President Samuel called us dancarinos. (President and Sister Castro are encouraging us too.)  Fun missionary work!

We went visiting one day with Dionne.  We used to go with him often in the beginning of our mission when we were working more in the Marina Branch.  He volunteered to go with us again to visit some people he knew in the Cachoeira branch.  We had some very interesting visits.  We met a non-member (Dionne had thought he was an inactive member), Luciano.  He makes and sells “encrencas”, a thin, cone-shaped treat. He makes them in his home and was in the process of making them when we arrived and was happy to show us how he made them and give us samples.  We had a nice visit with him.

Dionne also took us to meet Alice Gomes de Varga, a 62 year old grandma.  She is an inactive member who had even been to the temple.  She had managed to quit smoking at one time, but had started up again.  She was very welcoming and nice and still seems to have a testimony.  She has a 9 year old granddaughter, Estefani, living with her.  She wants Estefani to hear the lessons and get baptized.  We had a really good visit with her.  Then we notified Elder Julca and Elder Hiatt.  They met with Estefani and her grandma the next day and were able to mark Estefani up for baptism on June 14!  On a first visit! They will continue to meet with her and give her the lessons in preparation for her baptism.  She came to church yesterday.  She is a really cute girl.  Exciting!  We are grateful Dionne was inspired to take us to meet her.  We continue to say that members can do so much to help in this missionary effort!

We made a short visit to the Reinbrechts.  Christopher just had his 13th birthday.  Some of the grandkids sent us a playlist of songs to put on a CD for him.   We added a pic of all of our grandkids on the label. He has his own computer and likes music.   He was really pleased with it.  The Reinbrechts continue to be great friends with us.  Although we see them for brief visits, we have had difficulty finding a time they can receive us to teach a discussion.  Friday is the only day they have available.  Last Friday, we had the Baille and this Friday they have a doctor’s appointment in Porto Alegre for Melissa. Marcia apologized and explained that it was with a knee specialist that is very difficult to get into.  They continue to show interest in hearing more discussions though.  They are always concerned with our safety and express concern at how much walking we do.  We think walking has been good for us and we always feel safe.  But appreciate that they are concerned about us. 

We have had some good visits with others too.  We visited with Karla, the fiancĂ©e of Nilson from our English class.  We had met her previously but found her at the store where she works in the daytime.  In fact, she called out to us as we were passing by.  We had a nice visit.  They are a nice couple.  She can’t come to English classes with Nilson as she has college classes at night learning to be a physical therapist. 
Saturday was a big baptism day.  The Elders had a family of 3 siblings to baptize.  And Sister Morales and Sister Holden had prepared Patrique (from our dance group) for baptism. He will be the only member in his family.  But his family was all there to support him.  Tiago, a member friend from the Uniao branch did the baptizing.  We think it was the first baptism that Tiago had ever done.  The water in the font was a little low and Patrique is quite tall.  It took three tries to get it done.  His knees kept coming up out of the water.  But the water was at least warm this time.  It was a pretty special day!

President and Sister Castro came to town on Sunday.  President Castro did some missionary interviews and then met with the Priesthood.  Sister Castro met with a few Sisters in attendance.  They brought us a heater.  Yay!!   We always enjoy visiting with them. They are really great!   We have our interview with them this afternoon.  Even though it is P-day, he wants to finish up the interviews.  He will be interviewing the sisters this morning.  His visit was unexpected and the Sisters had planned to go with a member on a bus to a park for Sister Picula’s birthday.  She is a new missionary from Australia.  This is her first time away from home.  She has been a little homesick and has had a cold too.  She is a really fun girl.  We had been invited to go too.  In fact, the sisters have put quite a bit of pressure on us to go.  But President Castro wants to push our interviews back to this afternoon.  He has been doing his best to accommodate the sisters.  So we will plan a visit to the park for some other time. 

We received word from President and Sister Castro that a member of the Marina branch has requested that we teach the boyfriend of his daughter, Bruna.  Normally, we let the missionaries do the teaching of non-members.  But this has come as a special request.  We met Bruna’s namorado (boyfriend) at the Baile.  It will be a great opportunity for us to teach him. 

World Cup in Brazil is coming up. It goes from June 12 – July 13.  Of course, it is a big deal in Brazil.  Some of the games will be in Porto Alegre.  We had a taxi driver ask us if we would help him out.  He wanted us to act as interpreters for him.  He offered to put us up in a “nice” hotel.  However, President Castro has met with other mission presidents at a conference in Sao Paulo.  They are concerned for the well-being and safety of all missionaries and have asked us all to be in our apartments one hour before a game involving Brazil until 1 hour after the game ends.  Besides celebrations, there may be protests.  So we won’t even be in the streets during the games! 

Anyway we are enjoying missionary work here!  Life is good!  Hope you all can say the same!

Eu te amo!

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