Tuesday, January 27, 2015


We're just finishing up district leader training - a special training the President wanted to do in order to prepare leaders for the new President arriving in June-July of this year.  The new president is Brazilian - from São Paulo, and we've heard he doesn't speak any English! :)

Here are some pictures I missed, from past events.  I was going to go back and put them in the past posts, but figured most people wouldn't read back through things they already read, so I decided to make a new post.

We were in Chapada (the town) and found this tiger -that's my best scared face...

We visited a catholic church in Cuiabá and it was all set up for a wedding, very pretty.

A couple weeks ago we showed up to church and there was a full marathon going on out front!

We went over and helped the elders teach a lesson the other night - I love this shot.

Another lesson taught - just in a different way! :)
This one deserves a little explanation - I think in the past we mentioned the 2-minute challenge that we issued to office elders before.  If they could eat a banana split in under 2 minutes then Mom and I would buy it for them, if not, they had to pay for it.  So far, the first two sets of missionaries to try it are the only ones to have succeeded!  Our current office elders (shown here) are in a lot of pain as you can observe in the photo.  They have about 30 seconds left and a LOT of ice cream...

Love to all, the church is true

Tender Mercies 2015-01-23

Dear Family
Here is a good story about the tender mercies of the Lord.  A new missionary Elder Neves was sent to San Mateus for his first transfer.  While there he was visiting with a member.  She said she had served a mission in his home town and had taught a large family that had been baptised.  She could not remember the names but had a photo which included Elder Neves' grandparents, uncle, aunts, and parents.  Can you imagine how excited this sister was to meet the son of someone she had shared the gospel with.  Elder Neves was also very excited.  He served in this small group in San Mateu for only one transfer but it was a joyful meeting for all involved.  Below is a picture of elder Neves with the photograph.


Transfers 2015-01-18

Dear Family
Always on the week of transfers we find ourselves underwater no matter how much we do to prepare. And this transfer was no different.  Three of our favorite sisters went home this transfer and we will miss their leadership and their wonderful spirit.
Us, with the sisters that left.
They stayed with us and we had a wonderful time together before they left.  And of course when we met the new missionaries the three new sisters coming in were very impressive - yet another testimony of the Lords hand in the work.  For training we make welcome packets and Dad does financial training.  He gave out his telephone number which was awesome because at three in the morning, Elder Batista called to say there was no one at the bus station to meet him and "I don't know where I am or where to go" (you can imagine).  Just thinking about one of you being in another country in the middle of the night at a bus depot with no one there caused my heart to pound.  Anyway, all turned out well and all missionaries are accounted for.  In a mission this large with the bus system how it is, that is bound to happen but I hate it when it does. Departing missionaries come in on Sunday, have departure training on Monday (which I oversee - not the teaching just the setting up), and then leave Tuesday morning.  The new missionaries come in Tuesday afternoon, receive orientation, and leave Tuesday night or Wednesday morning for their newly assigned areas.
Pres & Sis Reber with the new missionaries (Elder Batista is in back, far right!)
Then on Friday we do a leadership training conference that is pretty intense. Dad taught the Area book presentation this time and it was great.  He has a wonderful spirit and the elders listen when he speaks.  I helped by saying we were asked to train so the time is now Elder Harris´s... the end, Oh yes, and I did help with the prep work (Dad - Mom did most of the prep work).  Saturday they sprayed the office for bugs so we went to the mission home for breakfast then off to the Chapadas for a lovely hike.  Dad will include some pictures (yes, I will - here they are!).
This is the trail we walked on down to two waterfalls... Awesome!

Sweet clump of bamboo - over 30 feet high (two story building next to it)

These are the four elders in the office, Gadelha, Zárate, Richards, França

Yes, we were a little hesitant, but we had already grabbed an alligator by the tail!

Anyone reminded of Havasupai? (without the turquoise!)

I really wish this had been in focus - there were tarantula legs sticking out of this nest!

And, as usual, the clouds and sky were spectacular for the hike.
I made some sandwiches and the office elders came along for a picnic.  The day was perfect and we had a blast hiking.  This week we will inventory and prepare for district leader training.  We are totally busy and loving the experience. Of course, the church is true.
Com Amor, Dad and Mom  

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015 - A New Year

Dear Family
The New Year is filled with hope and joy.  Hope that I will improve, understand, and serve better and joy in the great gifts of God that are being given to me daily.  We are so loving the people of Cuiabá.  We went to Nobres yesterday to have dinner with a family. Some members and some non members all wonderful and kind.  We had a blast I learned how to make bread lasagna, got a lovely croquet table cloth, went to a beautiful river with falls, clear water, fish, and lovely people having fun.  Dad will insert pictures here.

At a friend's house, where we were fed and friendshipped.
Mom had to try out the water, of course.

There were large fish in the water where everyone was swimming and jumping in...

We and the Daivses by the side of the swimming hole.

We saw the Statue of Liberty on the way home... who knew!?
A very wonderful family blessed their baby today and dad stood in the circle, and we have pictures that were taken after.
Marcelo, Renata and their baby Davi (David)
Their first boy is named João (John), so they are a little backwards... :)

A very close family friend of Renata´s was visiting from Orem Utah.  She grew up in Brazil and went to BYU married a man from New Jersey and is living in Utah.  She asked me how my Portuguese was coming and I told her sometimes I understand quite well and other times it makes no sense at all.  She said that is because people in Cuiabá speak very fast and have a very difficult accent.  This is the part I found so funny.  She said it would be like mixing accents from New Jersey and Texas and then mumbling English which made me laugh and gave me a little hope that one day I would figure it all out.

Love to all,
Mom and Dad

Tire...ing experience

Dear Family
A short note to tell you of dads great eight hour experience putting tires on the mission car.  He and brother Davis left the office at eleven to go get new tires - they told the clerk what size they needed and even checked the sign above the tires to be sure, which is a process.  They then went to the people who are authorized to put on the extra brand tires and waited an hour.  When it was their turn the workers fiddled around for some time then came in to show dad and Elder Davis they had bought the wrong size.  They returned to the store with the tires to get the right brand and were pleased that they got the right tire and were on the way out the door when the door checker person indicated that they had paid for the wrong tires and had to go back in to fix it.  So they had to wait in line at returns and then wait in line to pay for the new tires which amounted to about a seventy cents difference! They then returned to the tire place and waited.  When it was their turn the car had just been put up on the rack and one tire off when the power in the place went completely out.  So they had nothing to do but wait, by now it was close to three o'clock and the place closed at six.  They tried bringing the car down by hand but it was too difficult so in the middle of a pouring rain storm this employee was standing in water trying to strip and rewire the jack so they could lower the jack and get the car on the ground.  Dad told Elder Davis not to stand in any water... while all this was happening a three car crash occurred out in front so all work had to stop so everyone could check it out.  They did get one old tire off and sent it across town to another place to mount on the rim.  At six the owner came in and told them to get the car down they all had to go home..  They were able to use the spare and the tire they sent across town and told dad and Elder Davis to return tomorrow and they could put on the other tire!  Everything is a party.  The good news of course was Sister Davis and I had a blast in the Air Conditioned office just laughing and working together.

Dad - I'm just happy this wasn't my Groundhog Day!!

On the rack, waiting for power to return... it never did.