Monday, August 25, 2014

Walking 'Til Our Shoes Are Worn Out

Late afternoon in the Quita area

Aldeni and Maria at "Fast Shake"

Artur in his shop

How's that for a saddle?!

Brazilian fast food restaurant

Lots of foggy days recently

Enjoying fresh squeezed orange juice with Artur

Friendly folks that you meet

A Brazilian lemon

Enjoying a visit with Mateus and his aunt Beatriz

Oranges, lemons, sugar cane and cookies

One of Brazil's rarest trees - a Parana Pine

Picking oranges with Artur

Pretty yard near Rosi & Gelson's

Looking for shade while out in the Quinta neighborhood

Another welcome sign of the approaching springtime

Taking a shortcut with Sisters Pikula and Souza

Girls playing soccer in Quinta

A street in Quinta

Waiting at the bus stop with Dionne

August 25, 2014

It’s been a week of contrasts.  Weather-wise, the first half of the week was filled with lots of fog and humidity.  The fog would last until afternoon, almost mid-afternoon.  Kind of yucky!  Also we both had “gripe” (head colds and coughs).  Yucky also!  We missed District Meeting on Tuesday morning and pretty well stayed home that day.  The younger missionaries kept calling to be sure that we were ok.  Good kids!  Nice to feel like we are not alone.   Our colds improved rapidly as did the weather.  Every day was a little warmer than the day before until by Sunday, the temperatures were in the high 80’s.  We are supposed to drop down into the high 50’s starting tomorrow though. Another cool down.  With such warm weather so early, natives are wondering if we are in for a real scorcher of a summer!

We did try to go out to have lunch on Tuesday at a lancheria close to us called “Fast Shake & CIA”.  Their version of “fast food”, we guess, but better!  It is run by some really nice people by the name of Aldeni and Maria.  They have a little buffet that is usually full of veggies which we like.  We had plates in hand and were about to dish up the food when Elder had a coughing fit and we had to make a fast exit.  Aldeni followed us out the door to give Elder some potent cough drops.  But Elder never did recover enough to return to eat.  So we just kind of took it easy the rest of the day.  We returned later in the week to have lunch at their place and to thank them again.

It was wonderful to visit Tuesday afternoon with someone from home.  Mateus, a native Brazilian, brought his Aunt Beatriz to visit us.  We first became acquainted with Mateus and his cute wife up in Idaho.  He goes to school at BYU-Idaho and is a student mechanic assistant in the department on campus where our son-in-law, JB, works.  We were waiting for visas and living in the home of JB and our daughter, Jessica, at the time.  JB and Jessie invited Mateus and his wife up a few times for food, guitar playing, a little Portuguese, etc.  We enjoyed their company.  Unfortunately, Mateus’ mother, who lives here in Brazil, was hit and killed by a bus this last month.  She was only 52 years old.  Mateus came back to Brazil for the funeral and to help with other arrangements.  His wife and new baby stayed home in Idaho.    He was nice enough to make time to visit us.  It was almost like a visit from home.   We enjoyed talking with him about good times back in Idaho as well as good times now here in Brazil.  He and his aunt brought us all kinds of treats from her orchard, bergamotas, sugar cane, and lemons.  And cookies besides!  We found the lemons to be very different from what we are used to.  The yellow lemons we know from home are hard to find here.  Mateus brought us lemons that are orange in color, but have a wonderful lemon taste!  They make great lemonade!  Anyway it was a fun visit!

We spent the rest of the week trying to make up for “slacking” a bit the first part of the week.  We met with Artur for another discussion.  We found him in his shop repairing what we call a weed whip in Idaho and he called a lawn mower.  He took us out back to pick oranges from his tree.  We then went inside and he made fresh-squeezed orange juice for us.  It was really good!  We had a good discussion.  We read the Family Proclamation with him and presented him with a framed copy.  We also continued to encourage him to pick a date as a goal to work towards for baptism.  He told us that he would for sure be baptized before we go home, which he said would give him lots of time.  Elder reminded him of how fast time goes.  He told us that he could probably be ready for baptism sometime this summer.   He still has a few issues that he is working on.  But this sounds like a good goal!  We are hopeful!  Since Elder has so many white shirts, we presented Artur with one along with a tie.  Although Artur is fine wearing what he does to church, we thought it would be nice for him to have another option if he would like.  Besides, he had admired one of the kids at church in their white shirt and tie as the boy had come up to Elder for help in tying his tie before meeting started. Artur told us that a young Elder had given him a tie a few years ago.   There have been a lot of us working on him!  We always comment to each other how much we enjoy our visits with Artur.

We didn’t visit Maria Antonia this week as the Elders are trying to make contact.  We are anxious to hear how their visit went.  Hopefully, they were able to catch up with her. 

Monday began a 40-day fast in our mission.  Missionaries in every district have been assigned a day to fast.  The 26th of September will mark the 40th day.  Interesting idea!  It’s nice to be able to be a part of that.
Dionne wanted to go out visiting with us this week.  We always enjoy doing that.  We had a list of less-active members to visit in the bairro of Quinta and planned to take him there.  We all boarded a bus. But before we arrived in Quinta, we got a call from the Sisters asking directions to the home of a part-member family.     So we bailed on our plans to go to Quinta and met the Sisters.  We spent some time with them walking neighborhoods in the Cohab area.  We took everyone to meet Nelson, the pan-maker. His wife, Lucia, wasn’t home.  But Nelson took all of us back to show everyone his set up for his foundry.   There were 5 of us!  Quite a force for good!  Nelson seemed to really enjoy the visit and meeting the Sisters.  We are glad for them to know who he is and where he lives. He lives in their assigned area.   And as for Dionne, instead of working in his Marina branch, we ended up in the Uniao branch.  But we think he enjoyed it too.  He has asked to go with us again one day this next week.

Later in the week, we spent a lot of time in the Quinta area.  We saw everything from really nice homes to little shacks.  In some areas, we had more than one person caution us about it being dangerous, especially after dark.  But we don’t stay around there after dark.  So we are ok.  One man who works at a garage, painting cars, followed us down the street.  He told us about his 2 year old son who was in the hospital with gripe.  Some Batuki people had told him that his little son was cursed as he has been sick a lot lately.  This father wanted to know what we thought.  He said that he would accept visits from the missionaries.   We had another really nice discussion with a man who has been very active in the church until the last few years.  He said that his life just got so busy when children came.  He knows the Sisters already and knows that he needs the church in his life and in the lives of his children.  We were really impressed with him.  In fact, we found so many friendly, nice people.  We had four non-members agree to have visits from the missionaries.  On the poorer side of Quinta, by the railroad tracks, (where we were told it was dangerous), we seemed to create a lot of interest.  Many came out of their homes or right up to us to visit.   If it hadn’t gotten so late in the day, we probably could have had more referrals for the sisters.  We also managed to fit in a visit to Rosi and Gelson.  We love this family and sure hope they can get to the temple one day!  It seems like they always have a good reason why they can’t attend church.  We hope they will recognize the better reason to go!  They need the blessings of the temple in their lives!

With all of our walking, we are proud to say that we are wearing out some of our shoes!  With summer approaching, we decided to take Sister Shirley’s sandals to be repaired at the “Sapataria” across the street from us. He sells all things gaucho, including saddles, etc.   It took him a week or so to locate the glue that he needed.  So he went to a bit of work. He is not a member of the church, but is always friendly to us.  When we went to pick them up, he wouldn’t accept payment.  Nice people here! 

It must be the angle of the light as we approach the spring season, but everything is just so beautiful!  We have really enjoyed walking around and seeing the different neighborhoods.  And we have certainly had a taste of hot, summer weather this week.  The weather up home sounds crazy.  Hope things settle down up there! Or you can just come visit us in Brazil!!

 It looks to be a busy week ahead.  It may also be a scary one as one of the speakers in sacrament meeting next week is Sister Shirley. (Not Elder this time!  No fair!)  It will be a week of frantic preparation and cramming Portuguese!  We also have another opportunity on Saturday to take the bus to the Porto Alegre temple, along with Branch members.   Good times ahead still! 

We think of you all every day and love you!  Be safe, happy and CTR!

Eu te amo!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sharing Beautiful Important Messages with Families

A selfie at the bus stop

Posing at the supermarket with their favorite checker Jessica

Claudio, water deliveryman extraordinaire

Claudio has them supplied with water for the week

Arriving at Antonia's house for a visit

Winter's ending in Brazil, which means summer is ending for us :-(

Beautiful mangoes at the supermarket

Front gate of the fiercely independent Maria Alica

A menacing sky as seen from the veranda

More early spring flowers

Orelhao (Big Ear) phone booth

"Hmm, should I go healthy or pick the sugar-coated cereal?"

Enjoying lunch with the sister missionaries at the apartment

Portuguese word of the day: Pare!

August 18, 2014

Well this was the week of transfers.  Sister Morales finished her mission and left for her home in California.  She has been a great missionary, a real force for good.  She has been in Cachoeira for quite a while and we have had the opportunity of getting to know her quite well.  She left with mixed feelings, as they all seem to do.  She worried about what comes next in her life.  We will miss her, but know great blessings are in store for her.

We were also sad to see another California girl leave Cachoeira.  Sister Holden was transferred.  We are thrilled that we get to keep (for a while at least), Sister Pikula (Australia), Sister Rosado (Brazil), Sister Mendoza (Peru), Sister Munoz (Chile), Elder Hiatt (Arizona) and Elder Hoopes (also Arizona), Elder D. Alves (Brazil).  New ones are Sister Souza (Brazil), Sister Costa (Brazil), Elder Lopes (Brazil).  From the U.S., there are the two Elders and us.  That is 5 of the 10 from Brazil and 7 out of 10 from South America.  It’s great to see that kind of strength from South America.  We got to all meet at District Meeting and heard some strong testimonies born. They will be a great bunch.

Tuesday was the travel day for most of the new missionaries which meant some of the missionaries here had a bus trip to Porto Alegre to meet and bring back their new companions.  Sister Pikula, Sister Rosado and Sister Mendoza came to our place for lunch on Tuesday.  For reasons that we don’t really understand, they were supposed to be bringing food that a member was preparing for them.  They just wanted to eat it at our place.  Just in case, we made some soup and baked some bread.  It was a good thing that we did as the member preparing the food thought we were actually providing it and she had to scramble to come up with something for them to bring to our place.  It was all quite confusing, but turned out great.  With everything together, we had plenty of food.  In addition, Gilly, from Pedal de Ouro had made another treat for us.  So we shared that too.  They had a 1 pm bus to catch, so they ate and had to literally run up the street to make the bus.  We enjoyed having them here for lunch and being able to fuss over them. 
Later in the day, we stopped by one of the Tischler supermercados.  We wanted to visit again with Cristiane who we had met on the bus.  We had a nice visit with her.  She works in the bakery and told us she had hot bread just coming out of the oven.  Of course, we had to buy some.  It was a day for hot bread!  But you can’t beat hot bread.  And the Sisters pretty well ate what we had made at home.  So it was good!

One day we were walking up the street, when Maximiliano (one of our shoe shine guys) overtook us on his bike. We later commented that when we don’t go to them, they seem to come to us.  Amazing!  He didn’t even ask to do a shoe shine this time.  He apologized for missing church the week before and said that he overslept.  But he showed us his new ring tone, loud.  He asked us also to be his 8 am wake-up call on Sunday morning.  (Interesting, since Artur also has us calling him at 8 am on Sunday mornings.)  Unfortunately when we called Sunday, he was still in bed and still didn’t get up in time to come.  Guess we keep trying with him. 

We didn’t have a set appointment with Artur this week.  So we just decided to stop by.  We caught him just as he pulled into his yard.  He welcomed us warmly.  We had a good discussion with him.  He had tears in his eyes as we talked about families and he told us how much his family meant to him.  He is so proud of them.  After his wife died, 30 years or so ago, he was left to raise the three kids himself.  They have turned out well and he is really proud of them. We plan to get a copy of the Family Proclamation to him this next week.  He told us that he had a few things to clear up before he could be baptized.  Elder told him not to wait too long to decide to be baptized.  We want to be here when that happens!  Even though it was raining, he showed up to church this week, without a wake-up call!   And since his car had an expired license, he walked.  And he has some difficulty walking, so we were really impressed and pleased.  He participated a lot in Sunday School.  He has actually had missionaries in and out for about 4 years or so.  So often we hear people say they aren’t quite ready yet or that they are too busy right now.  Guess we all do that.  Hopefully we don’t wait too long!

Don’t know if you remember Renato, the hot dog vendor, we love.  (The hot dogs are good too!)  He is an inactive member and has been for many years and he is married to a non-member. His kids are grown and are not members either. But his parents were members of the church.  His wife has a restaurant at the other end of the street that is only open in the evenings.  We paid him another visit this week.  We hadn’t seen him for a while and we have had members of the branch telling us that Renato has asked them why we aren’t coming to see him anymore.  He actually sets up his hot dog stand in the Cachoeira branch area, which is down the street quite a ways from us.  He is only there after 7 pm in the evening.  We just haven’t got down his way in the evenings for a while.  He was just setting up, but stopped to visit.  He jumped right into a gospel discussion.  He evidently had been thinking about our discussion from a while ago about the life after this one when Elder told him he didn’t want Renato calling to him in the next life saying “Why didn’t you tell me these things?”  He told us that he thought what we were doing a beautiful thing.  But he asked Elder what he would do if I hadn’t been a member.  Elder demonstrated that he would get out the Book of Mormon and convert me.  We all had a laugh, but we could see that Renato has been thinking about things.  As we waited in line for our hot dog, we conversed with a family in line ahead of us and had a pleasant conversation with the man and his wife and 9 year old daughter.  Renato even joined in, telling them that he was a member of the church and he liked us.  It did our hearts good to see that!  Hope he keeps pondering and decides he would like missionaries to come visit more with him and his wife. We have such a beautiful and important message for families.  He tells us that family is “tudo”!  (everything!)  He is a really good guy!  It was a great visit.  We would sure like to see his family have the blessings of the gospel.  We plan to take the Family Proclamation to him this week.

We sought out the little solteira that we met some weeks ago, Maria Alice Trindade.  We were curious to see how she had survived the winter and the cold weather.  She barricades herself in her house, putting bricks and vines to block her front gate.  We knocked and knocked and called to her.  Finally, she opened the shutter on one of her windows.  She was all bundled up.  Evidently it was cold in her home.  Last time she moved the door to her home which was off its hinges in order to let us in and moved the stack of bricks blocking her gate.  But today she just visited with us through the open shutter.  She is very independent and insists that she doesn’t need help.  Once she got started, she talked and talked.  She told us that she had food and everything that she needed.  Although she did complain that some family members had been there and took her tv.  No wonder she doesn’t want to let anyone in!  She told us she likes things natural.  So she has turned down any offers to clean up her yard. What a fiercely independent little old lady.  We keep worrying about her.

Saturday afternoon was the day for our lesson with Maria Antonia.  Turns out she prefers to be called Antonia.  We taught about the Plan of Salvation.  She pretty well agreed with everything we said. But she doesn’t want to leave her sister who needs special care in order to attend church. There are three sisters living there and another lives close.  None of the sisters are married although one has been married and divorced.   Antonia does have caretakers coming in to help every day though with her sister.  She especially liked it when we suggested that we kneel in prayer.  She felt like that showed such great respect.  Thought it was beautiful.  She could remember the steps of prayer too.  Once again, we mentioned the Elders to her.  This time she agreed to have them stop by and teach the next lesson.  The Elders are excited to do that.  We will be anxious to see how that goes.  We hope they can get her to agree to attend church.   We really wanted to take some pictures of her.  Her home is very nice.  But it didn’t feel right to ask.  We hated to spoil the spirit that was there.  Sometime we will have to get a pic though.

Although we didn’t attend, the youth of the Uniao branch had an interesting activity this past week.  They met for a skype session with some youth in California.  Because of the time difference, the youth here met at 9:30 pm and the youth in California met at 5:30 pm (California time).  They skyped for two hours with the help of some translators.  It sounded like a very fun activity.  They hope to do it again with youth in other locations. 

On one of our late evening walks home, we saw an interesting thing.  It was dark and we were walking down Avenida Brasil, one of the main streets here.  Coming the other direction towards us on the sidewalk, a man on a bicycle evidently hit the branch of a tree.  It must have hurt as he was really mad.  He got off the bike and started to attack the branch of the tree.  He was hollering (we didn’t understand many of the words…maybe that was good) and pulling, twisting and ripping at the offending tree branch.  He was right in front of us.  So all we could do was stop and watch.  We weren’t sure what we should say or do.  But the man won the battle and ripped that bad branch right off of the tree.  It was hard not to laugh.  But we were afraid of further offending him.  So we stifled ourselves til later.  Guess that branch learned its lesson!

We have been out looking for and visiting more less- active members this week.  That has meant lots of bus rides and walking.  We enjoy that.  Mostly the weather has been great, just perfect.  We have had a few rainy, cold days, but we can tell spring is coming.  Although we see blossoms all year round, we are seeing more that remind us of spring.  There has sure been a difference in temperature though.  It can be rainy and cold in the morning and then turn sunny and warm in the afternoon. Sometimes, it is sunny and warm outside, but still freezing cold in our apartment. When the weather is cold, the shower is not as hot either.   As a result, we have seen quite a few people with colds, now including Elder.  Hopefully, it passes quickly. 

Hope this finds all of you healthy and happy!  We love you!
Eu te amo! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Happy Brazilian Father's Day!

The swing at Per Tutti Grill

Exploring another trail

Marcia enjoying some warm chimarrao before a cold church meeting

With Dionne at church

Father's Day gifts at the "Chocolate Show" store

Saying goodbyes to Sisters Holden and Morales

Kaleb and classmates

Kids singing at Father's Day party

Loving the meal at Per Tutti Grill

Father's Day poster: "Papa, I love you to the moon and back"

Luanna, Gilmar and Kaleb at school program

Lucia and Eduarda - she loves Elder and Sister Shirley!

Maximiliano showing off his ring purchase

The meat department at Tischler's market

P-Day with 4 of the sisters at the apartment

Richardt and Sisters Picula and Morales

Sisters Holden and Morales with Venicius and parents

Sisters Morales and Picula

Baptism of Venicius

Youth choir

Youth reenactment of Anti-Nephi-Lehi's and a great photo bomb by Sister Shirley

August 11, 2014

Every week is busy, but this week has been especially full of so many and such varied activities.  It’s been great!

Last Sunday night, President Castro was in town for the priesthood meeting.  Elder Shirley attended that while I spent the time visiting with Sister Castro and their son, Lucas in another room.   On other occasions like this, we have ended up playing “hangman” with Portuguese words.  Lucas didn’t waste any time requesting a repeat session of hangman.  It always turns out to be fun and is a good class in both Portuguese as well as English for all of us.  We had a good time and the time passed quickly.

Monday, P-Day, we met the Elders and Sisters at Per Tutti Grill (our favorite restaurant) for lunch.  Sister Rosado and Sister Mendoza weren’t able to come as they were off to Porto Alegre for an appointment. And the Elders from Cacapava weren’t able to be there.   This was in anticipation of the upcoming transfer and especially because Sister Morales has finished her mission and will be leaving for home.  Per Tutti is a buffet and everyone really got their money’s worth!  It was a rare treat for everyone. 

After Per Tutti, the Sisters came over to our apartment to visit and to send off emails and transfer pics.    The last of the Sisters left in time for us all to go to the home of Presidente Samuel to have a meeting and pick up invitations to deliver for the upcoming fireside.  We love having things like invitations to deliver.  It gives us a really good reason to drop by and visit people.  We spent a portion of the next couple of days doing just that. 

We visited Nelson (the pan-maker) and Lucia.  We were fortunate in that Lucia’s daughter was there with their granddaughter, who they are very proud of.  She is a cute, animated little red head by the name of Eduarda, 16 months old.  Lucia kept telling us that she looked like Americanos.  And Eduarda liked us.  She even gave goodbye kisses!  It was a good visit. 

The home of Nelson’s daughter Luciane and her husband Edson was our next stop.  Edson was home, but Luciane wasn’t.  She was in Porto Alegre with a son, Railandr, who had an emergency appendectomy.  But it was a good visit with Edson. 

Another good visit was with an inactive member we met last January or so by the name of Elaine Scortjanha.  Her husband, Geronimo, was home, as were her three kids (a boy and two girls), Vitor, 11, who likes to make cupcakes, Valentina, 5, and Teodora, age 1.  We had a really enjoyable visit.  Geronimo is not a member, but indicated he would be interested in having the missionaries visit.  They told us of some fun times they had with some Sister missionaries some time ago.  He said he was open-minded and wanted to hear more about the gospel.  Sounds like a good referral for the Sisters.

We also made another friend waiting at the bus stop one evening this week.  We struck up a conversation with Christiane, who was in the neighborhood visiting her grandma.  She works at the grocery store, Tischler’s.  She invited us to stop by and see her at work.  We did that the next day.  She was surprised.  And then we saw her on the bus on another day. 

Artur is still interested in having us come.  So we gave him the lesson on the commandments.  We talked about tithing, the Word of Wisdom, fasting, chastity, etc.  We reviewed with him all the things you have to do in order to be baptized and challenged him to think about a date to work towards for baptism.  He still seems very agreeable.  However, we have become aware that there is some big stumbling block for him, something in his past.  He wants to talk with Elder Shirley about it on the next visit.  And once again, he had family come on Sunday morning to take him out of town.  So he told us on the phone that he would have to miss church.  So we will see how things go with him.

Elder has had his shoes shined a lot this week.  He can never turn down Alex or Maximiliano.  Maximilano did stop us once this week, not to give a shoe shine, but to show us the ring that he had bought to give his fiancée.  He was pretty proud of it.  We had just been candy shopping for Father’s Day at a cute little store by the name of Cacau Show (Chocolate Show).  So we shared some of the candy with him in celebration of his ring purchase.  Elder suggested that he have President Glauber perform his marriage ceremony.  He is a really likeable young man! 

We have been anticipating our next visit with Maria.  But we got a call from her wanting to postpone for a week as she was really busy.  So we set up another appointment with her.  We have been unable to get the whole story on her yet.  She appears to never have been married.  Yet she lives in a really nice, big house with a sister who needs special care.   She seems to have a lot of people coming in and out all of the time.  It all seems a little strange. But she wants another visit. 

Gilmar and Luanna and Kaleb got moved into their new home.  We stopped by to visit and drop off a little “Lar, Doce Lar” rug (Home, Sweet Home).  Gilmar was there and Luanna was just getting home from work.  They insisted on taking us to the Father’s Day program at Kaleb’s school.  Kaleb is 4 and has gone to this school (a type of daycare) for 3 years.  It was like a little kindergarten program with songs, skits and stories, etc.  We really enjoyed it.  It was interesting to see the similarities to programs at home.  They even had a big poster that said “Pai, I love you to the moon and back!” (in Portuguese). They were leaving town to visit Gilmar’s mother for the weekend for Father’s Day, but insisted on taking us home instead of letting us ride the bus.  We really enjoyed the evening.  It was good to see that families and their activities are the same wherever you are at!  It surely made us think of family!

Yes, Sunday was Father’s Day….”Dia dos Pais”.   Mother’s Day is celebrated on the same day as we celebrate in the U.S.  But we had thought that they must not celebrate Father’s Day as nothing was said back in June when the U.S. celebrated father’s day.  The Marina branch had a special night to celebrate on Saturday with videos, pictures and food and songs by the kids.  So it was another party night for us.
Sunday, Elder was the main speaker in the Marina branch.  And the Uniao branch was having branch conference.  So after attending sacrament meeting in both Marina and Uniao, we went home for a quick bite to eat.  And then we were back to attend the baptism of a young man by the name of Venicius Morais.  He is one of the young men who danced with us at the Baile.  Sister Morales and Sister Picula, as well as Sister Holden have worked with him.  This was a wonderful way for Sister Morales to spend her last day in the mission field.  Venicius is a great young man, friendly, outgoing, and talented.  We continue to be amazed at the number of youth who have been baptized recently.  As we sat in sacrament meeting, we could see so many new converts in general.  The church is really growing here in Cachoeira!  It is great to see.  It was another wonderful baptism.

Following the baptism, the Uniao branch held a “Serão”, a type of fireside.  Under the direction of Presidente Samuel and his mother who is the YW president, the young men and young women did a re-enactment of Anti-Nephi Lehies when they converted and determined that they would never again shed blood and made a covenant and buried their swords.  The youth were in full costume and really acted out their parts well.  This was followed by a special speaker they had invited.  The youth ended with a special musical number.  The whole program really touched our hearts.

Sister Morales was there bidding her goodbyes, as was Sister Holden who had received word that she was being transferred to another city.  Tears were shed.  It was a good way for them to spend a last day in Cachoeira.  Both of these sisters board a bus at 6:30 am tomorrow.

We have had a big variety in the weather this week.  Some days have been cold and rainy.  Other days we have seen the sun and it warmed up a bit.  We don’t know if it’s weather related or not, but our internet decided to start working.  We had talked with the repairman on the phone and he was supposed to come configure a new modem for us.  He told us that lots of people were having trouble with modems right now.  He kept postponing his service call, telling us how busy he was.  But then our internet started working.  And we never heard any more from the repair guy.  We have begun to wonder if it was a problem with Oi, the internet company, rather than with the modems.  Anyway, we hope things continue to work.  Maybe everything just needs to dry out a bit.  August is the last official month of winter.  September, October and November are considered to be spring months.  And December, January and February are summer months.  So, we probably don’t have much “winter” left.  We had better enjoy winter while we can!

We look forward to whatever the next week will bring.  There are always surprises in store!  What a variety in the work we do.  We are also curious to meet the new incoming missionaries.  It looks to be another great week!

Hope things are great with each of you!  We love and miss you!
Eu te amo!