Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy 44th Anniversary (on July 3rd)!

"Check out the price of bacon. Isn't that outrageous?"

Anniversary dinner at Per Tutti Grill

A stand of bamboo

This is cowboy country

Elders Hiatt and Hoopes: "Star Spangled Banner" singers

Enjoying the sunshine on a park bench

More visits to Habitar Brasil

Happy 44th anniversary!!

Postcard from Elder Julca

Loving those Massey Fergusons!

Posing with a mother and daughter

Even pinker than "Pink Truck"!

Another beautiful sunset as seen from the apartment in Cachoeira

You know there's been too much rain when it starts coming through the ceiling!

July 7, 2014

It has kind of been a week of change for us here.  It’s now July which is hard to believe.  It was also transfer week and we lost four missionaries (and gained 4)!  We lost Elder Julca (our Zone Leader from Argentina), Sister Techmeier (Brazil), Elder Tapp (our District Leader from Rigby, ID) and Sister Johnson (New Mexico) who finished her mission and left for home.  We gained Sister Munoz (southern Chile), Sister Mendoza (Peru), Elder De Alves (Brazil) and Elder Hoopes (Mesa, AZ).  Elder Hiatt and Elder Hoopes are now companions and both are from Mesa, AZ.  In fact, they come from rival high schools.  This should be fun!

On Monday afternoon (P day), Elder Hiatt and Elder Julca came by our apartment to say goodbye.  We have enjoyed Elder Julca.  We will miss his “You are crazy”, or “I love you, man!” statements. He gave us a pretty funny picture of “old” people, ready to serve a mission.  They arrived just as cinnamon rolls were coming out of the oven.  We are not sure they actually tasted the cinnamon rolls as they wolfed them down. 

We have also had a bit of a change in the weather this past week.  Temperatures have warmed up a bit.  We have still had some rainy days.  But some days were too warm for a jacket.  It was good to see the sun shine a little.  However, we still had days of rain. Wet spots are appearing in the ceilings and walls of our apartments.  So far, there are no drips above our bed, for which we are grateful.  But you can almost see the mold grow.  It’s not only in the bathroom, but in most of our other rooms too.  It’s in the corners, on the floor on the walls and on the ceiling.  So we took the Clorox to it this week.  It works wonders on the mold.  But there’s not much we can do about the leaky ceiling.  A break in the rain has been a good thing for that.  We did have a fierce downpour for most of the night on Saturday and again on Sunday.  The thunder and lightning were ferocious!  We walked to and from church in the rain again on Sunday.

Another change that we are not happy about came with the Reinbrecht family.  When we called to confirm our weekly appointment with them, they informed us that they had a birthday party to go to and that they would be out of town a lot in the future for Roberto’s schooling.  They want to postpone indefinitely and call us when they have time.  Last week, during our visit, we put a bit of pressure on them to attend church, read the Book of Mormon, and look towards baptism.  Perhaps we pushed too hard.  However, they seemed to accept it well at the time.  We have left DVDs with Mormon Messages as well as the Book of Mormon and many pamphlets about gospel principles.  We hope they will take time to read, ponder and pray about the gospel message.  They remain our good friends and we hope to hear from them again.  Hopefully they will miss us and especially our message. 

Artur is one of our new contacts.  We met him this week after the Sisters referred us to him.  He is very intelligent and already knows a lot about the Gospel.  He is the same age as we are.  He has a lot in common with Elder.  He has tools and the ability (and determination) to fix about anything.  The neighbors bring things to him to repair.  He is Catholic, but doesn’t attend.  We met with him once and have another appointment with him this next week.  He has an interest in hearing more about the Plan of Salvation.  His wife died some time ago of a brain tumor.  He also has some little tractors that he made and wants to show them to Elder.  This could be interesting.  And he has a car so he could drive himself to church!  Yay!

We have had some good visits with some of our “regulars”.  We visited with Rosi, Gelson, and Francine again.  They still have a problem getting to church as they don’t have a car and don’t want to walk with Francine in the rain.  We have to work on that.  (Wish Artur would come to church and give them a ride). 
Another visit was with one of our favorites, Nelson, the pan maker.  He has wanted a copy of the Doctrine and Covenants.  We were able to get one when we went to the Porto Alegre temple last week.  He was pleased to get it.  Nelson likes to read the scriptures.  We had a really good discussion with him.  He has quite a complicated history with his family. He also has some issues with a member.  We are still working on getting him out to church more than just once in a while. (He doesn’t have a car either).  His daughter, Lucianne, lives close to him.  We have visited there before.  We tried to visit her again, but have missed her twice.  The Sisters are also going to try and make contact with her.

The Tischler family is always glad to see us.  Bless them.  Although the Sisters are going to make contact with them, we decided to stop by and drop off a picture we took of them last week.  They were delighted.  They were also so interested in the names and ages of our grandchildren and asked what color their hair and skin was.   (We didn’t have a picture with us!!*?)  They wanted to know if they liked Justin Beber!!  They also wanted to know if the church gave away free food and clothing.  Oh! Oh!  But they are fun to visit.  Now if we can just get them as interested in the Gospel.

We made our way to Quinta again this week to take a Book of Mormon to our shoeshine guy, Alexander.  As we were walking down the little street, Maximiliano, brother to Alexander, called to us from the window of a house nearby.  So we had a good visit with him.   He smoked his cigarette the whole time.  Alexander was baptized a long time ago.  Although he doesn’t attend church (yet), he always puts out his cigarette when he sees us coming.  We enjoy these two friendly guys. 

Don’t know if you remember Emilyn, Kauana, Whendel, and Thifany.  We met these cute kids back in December and visited at their house until their dad told us he wasn’t interested in our visits.  Then a couple of weeks ago, we met Emilyn and a friend in the street.  We hadn’t seen her in a very long time.  She remembered us and fortunately we remembered her.  She asked why we hadn’t been to visit and told us she was no longer living with her dad, but they had moved in with her mom and step dad.  We gave the info to the Sisters who had planned on visiting on Saturday.  In the meantime, we decided to stop by for a little visit and to confirm the address.  The kids weren’t home.  Mom and step dad were.  The step dad was very welcoming and accepted a visit from the Sisters on Saturday.  That is until mom heard.  She was not happy and let us know that she didn’t want missionaries.  She was pretty outspoken and/or rude!  (We could really be offended with the rejection this week!)  She was friendly back in December when we visited.  We don’t know what happened. Step Dad kept insisting that we would be welcome.  But we don’t want to cause trouble in the family.  So we will let it be for a while.  Although, Elder wants to drop by and give them a copy of the picture of the kids we took back in December. That will take a bit of courage!  We will see!

We have had lots of other good visits and referrals along the way.  We meet all kinds of good, interesting people, on the streets, in stores, on busses and at bus stops.  It’s always an adventure!

Thursday, July 3, was our anniversary.  Who would have ever thought that we would be celebrating our 44th anniversary in Brazil!?  And for the 4th of July, Elder Hiatt and Elder Hoopes called on the phone and sang “The Star Spangled Banner”.  It was the funniest and most appreciated rendition we have ever heard!  We are loving Brazil, but love and miss the good ole USA!  We love our country, our family, and the gospel!   Boa semana!

Eu te amo!

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