Sunday, March 22, 2015

Feeling a Sense of Urgency

Happy Birthday! Celebrating at Per Tutti Grill.

A house in the neighborhood

Another neighborhood soccer game

Bird of paradise

Ledi and her new grand-daughter

Missionary activity at the Uniao branch

Out visiting

Scripture scavenger hunt with sister missionaries

Uniao branch members at sister missionary's activity

March 23, 2015

Well, as they say, nothing is as sure as change.  Our week did not turn out the way we had planned. 
It started out nicely.  We had a quiet, relaxing P-day, followed the next day by a birthday dinner at Per Tutti to celebrate Elder’s birthday…the last one he will celebrate in Brazil.  We love birthdays as it is an opportunity to hear from family and friends.  That is what makes the day!  We are both grateful for that! 

We had a great District Meeting with the young missionaries.  We also had some really nice visits during the week with people that we hadn’t seen in a while like Kevin, the 16 year old who plays the guitar, and his grandma, Ledi, who was happy to introduce us to her four-day old granddaughter.   After Nilson (from our English class) requested more church videos, we made another DVD and delivered it to him.  We had a request from a branch member to visit Fabio.  Fabio is a young guy who is a barber downtown.  He is a member afastado (not active).  We sought him out.  At first he appeared to not be interested.  But after conversing with him a little, he warmed up and we had a really nice conversation with him.  His wife is not a member.  They are very busy with work and family.  We issued him an invitation to come to church and talked about future missionary visits.  We will see how that goes.  He is a really nice guy and we enjoyed meeting him. 

The Sister Missionaries organized a fun missionary activity for the members of the União branch.  It was a kind of scripture scavenger hunt.  We were divided into teams.  Everybody really got into it, young and old alike.  There were some investigators there too.  It was a good activity. 

Mostly, our plans for the week kind of fell apart about mid-week.  It seems like everyone in Cachoeira was sick this week.  Some had colds with bad coughs.  Others had stomach flu.  It started with Thais and her little cousin (daughter of Debra).  Then Claudia was sick.  Natália was also sick.  Grandma Iná got sick.  One by one, most of Claudia’s family got sick, all of them with what appears to be intestinal flu.  Some had to go to the doctor.  Needless to say, it changed the plans for Thais’ baptism.  It will have to be re-scheduled.  We will wait for them to feel better and see if anyone else gets sick.  We were disappointed.  It left us feeling pretty deflated.  They seemed disappointed too.  Gabriele, in particular, had seemed pretty excited about the upcoming baptism for her daughter.  She told us that she wanted it to be special for her.  They still seemed determined to have it happen.  So we will see how this week goes.  We went to check up on them again Saturday evening. Natália was not well and neither was Claudia.  They still had hugs for us.  We will see if we can remain healthy. 
Julio was not home when we visited this week.  But his family was.  Rosangela and the baby were not doing well.  They both had congestion and coughs.  They had medication.  But when we checked back later in the week, they were actually feeling worse.  So once more, we were exposed to who-knows-what.  But we are determined to remain healthy!

Artur has a cold and cough too!  We took him a lemon when we visited.  He wasn’t too familiar with our yellow lemon, limão Siciliano.  They have lots of the green variety that we call limes.  Artur liked it, but he still had his cold on Sunday.  However, he came to church.  (We provided cough drops for him during the meeting!)  When we asked Artur if he was ready for baptism yet, he told us he was at 70%.  That only leaves 30% to go…..1% for each day that we have remaining in the mission!  We think he still lacks the courage.  He told us again about his Catholic heritage and how his mother was a woman of faith.  He told us that she had him baptized, having faith that it was right thing to do.  He also told us that he knows that the Book of Mormon is true! He seemed pretty interested as we discussed Lehi’s dream and the tree of life this week.  He has four missionaries working on him right now, us and the two young Elders.  We will keep trying!  We are going for that last 30%!

One of our greatest possessions here in Cachoeira has been our bus card that lets us ride the city buses free.  Elder’s card expired the day after his birthday.  However, we were able to get it renewed.  We were glad for that as we ride the bus multiple times daily.  It has turned out to be a great blessing for us. (Sure glad that we never bought a car!)

Weather-wise, Saturday evening and Sunday brought some cooler weather, with still plenty of sunshine. It was the first day of autumn. It was such a welcome relief to the heat we have been experiencing!  It was a beautiful weekend.

So our week got shuffled around pretty good this week.  A lot of our plans got changed! With time getting short, we are feeling a sense of urgency to get some things done!  I suppose we are having some typical end-of-mission feelings about whether we have done enough, whether we have made a difference.  Elder continues to remind us to “take it a day at a time”!  We will just do our best!

We can’t help but have thoughts of each of you and of home!  We miss you lots!  We love you! 
Eu te amo! 

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