Sunday, February 15, 2015

Update 2015-02-15

Dear Family
Happy Sabbath here are a few pictures that I think you will like.   This place where we are cleaning vegetables is the water supply for the church and the elders house.  It is pumped up to the blue tank so there is water pressure. Also in this area they still use the horse and cart to deliever things. Not so much in the city but very often in small towns just outside the city.  The Church is true.  We love you all so so much.  Com Amor, Mom & Dad

                                               They filter the drinking water.                                                                                                           This water storage is not clean enough to drink.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Choose the right 2015-02-14 (Valentines!)

Dear Family
Happy Valentines Day we sure love you all.  Just a short update to my thoughts about protecting the gates.  We have had alot of training lately about cultures that creep into the mission, and give Satan power.  (Zone activities that go past six, music that isn´t approved, playing cards, three hour dinner appointments, etc.)  And what promises are given to those who are obedient.  Cool story, there are several waterfalls in the mission south that are prohibited.  Two zones in the south were hiking to some falls that they thought were ok they had hiked quite a distance and could hear the falls just ahead when they came to a sign that said these are such and such falls and they knew then that they were the falls that were dangerous.  They were almost there, they could hear the falls just ahead and one district leader said,"You guys do what you want but as for me and my district we are turning around."  Then another district leader said my district is also turning around.  The other districts followed and the whole zone turned around and went back.  That to me is guarding the integrity of the mission.  That is being firm at the gate.  Probably nothing would have happened and they could have seen the falls but the very fact they would choose not to is so impressive to me. We feel the obedience level of the mission rising and the blessings being poured out. Sometimes it is hard to do the right thing, especially if you don't see the immediate danger and you can hear the roar of the world.  But protecting the integrity of your family and your lives is what is important.

Now for our fun Valentines Day activity.  They don't celebrate Sweethearts day in February they celebrate it in June so yippee, we will celebrate it twice!  Today is the official start of Carnival. Which means nothing to us except we will be a little more careful.  We went to Nobres for a BBQ with members and non members and we really enjoyed ourselves.

I had Elder Davis do a Panoramic shot while I ran behind him and got in 3 of me! (not photoshopped!)
They were planning on fishing with us but last night it rained like crazy and the river was totally brown (Picture).
Yes, totally brown.
They told us that when that happens the fish can't see the bait so they won't bite.  So no fish, just really good steak at the BBQ.  
The friend had his own little grill setup, it burned alcohol.
We took this Awesome hike thru the jungle to a small waterfall which was lovely (Picture).
This is the trail we went down... awesome.
These were wooden stairs along the trail - notice the nice handrails, oops, there are none!
Sorry we're so dark in the picture.  I didn't take it! :)

This was our reward at the trail's end.
It was very humid but we could not have asked for a better day.  Dad climbed a rock and is king of the hill (Picture).
I came down via the tree - it was a little awkward!
I saw an amazing large bright blue butterfly (no Picture :() . We played a fun game called General which is a lot like Yahtzee (Picture)
Mom playing - the Brazilian ladies loved her, and she won, just sayin'
but we played with partners and if you say "baixo" (pronounced bye-show, it means "below" or "under") the dice numbers on the bottom are used.  Eu ganhou! (pronounced A-O gone-yo, "I won") It was fun.
Everyone is getting ready for Carnival, this was in a small city (Acorizal) that we passed through on the way home.
We traveled back and are now at the office getting ready for Sunday, but we are tired.  Our mission is Wonderful.  The church is true and you are all our sweethearts - Happy Valentines Day!
xoxoxoxo mom and dad

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Update 2015-02-11

Dear Family
David said he checks the blog daily so I thought we should at least update weekly.  We love you all so much Your lives bless us abundantly.  I thought I would share the rainy season with you.  How to describe the rain here.  It is often like a waterfall from heaven lasting only about ten minutes.  Today the sky is totally gray and the rain has been coming down for several hours but more often the sky will have puffy white clouds, some blue sky and a gray puffs dumping rain.  I love the rainy season here, it is delightful.  And it cools off the air for a while.  The thunder and lightning are spectacular. It pretty much rumbles the earth and fills me with excitement.  Dad and I are having too much fun and we love this experience.  Dad told the elders we would feed them once a week (if their appointments fall through - which happens regularly) and that computes to fun.  I love having them in our home speaking portuguese.  I think I learn best in that setting.

  Short story Sister Reber shared with me about Cáceres which is where Dad and I were last week for the Family home evening.  When President and Sister Reber arrived three years ago they came into a very relaxed mission, rules were more like guidelines, really.  President was talking to an elder and felt to ask several times how is the work going for you.  Finally the elder said, "They hate me here. All the Elders hate me."  So president asked "What do you want to do?"  To which he replied, "Work".  So president said that he would open an area several hours away and trust him and his companion to make it grow.  This elder was well into his mission but he left Cáceres a hero because of the work he did there.  They still talk about him and how much he loved them all. And the group is doing well.  There is a great moral in there somewhere I am sure. We have four great elders serving in that city now and I am sure it will just keep growing.
This was part of our group at the Cáceres home evening.
Mom´s little sermon.  Remember how I wrote about the fortifications of Moroni and how he put the strongest men at the gate so Evil could not enter in and get on equal ground.  And I likened it to parents being strong and being at the gate not allowing Satan into their home and always making preparations to keep him out, because Satan´s forces will keep attacking. (The Lamanites came with shields and breast plates thinking they could easily overpower them.  But they were astonished by the defence they had prepared.) Now for the addition to that thought.  The keeper of the gate is the Holy one of Israel and with Him as your leader and by your side you will not fail in this most sacred of callings.  The key is never negotiate with the enemy. Example:  Lehonti (Alma 47:13) he came down off the mountain and met with the enemy and look what happened.  Just saying, no middle ground with Satan.

Well that is it for now.  We love you all so much.  Stay firm in the truth and keep praying for us, we so appreciate it.
The church is true.
Love Mom And Dad

February 7, 2015

Dear Family
Just a couple of good experiences I wanted to share.  While at Sister Rebers yesterday she shared this experience with me:
Lucas is a northern area in our mission and every year the branch rents a bus for a temple trip and it will hold thirty-five people and no more.  The branch president felt impressed to invite a man who was a member but he smoked and would be unable to enter the temple. There were some who felt he should not be allowed to take up one of the seats because he could not do any temple work.  He even said to the bishop, I can not go into the temple what will I do?  The branch president said, each day we are there I want you to walk from the hotel to the door of the temple.  So he went and, for the week they were in São Paulo at the temple, each day he would walk to the temple door and around the grounds. Sister Reber said this year (a year later) when the bus went to the temple he and his whole family went and were sealed in the temple. She said this little branch is so awesome and she loves the time they spend there.  Today we had a fun activity at the São Mateus branch.  It is called the 24 hour mission.  The stake gave the young men the opportunity to spend a day with full time missionaries and work.  When they arrived in the small group building we had a few short testimonies and then divided into quadrants, there were about fifteen groups and we went out batting doors (clapping hands in front of the house).  It was so fun and São Mateus got about fifty refferals and we invited everyone to church and to a BBQ.  I had a blast, here I am with a couple of the children. The baby belongs to a non member but the little girl is a member.

Mom with Baby and member girl.

Mom and Elders talking to cute family.

Update 2015-02-02

Hello, Dear Family
I realize that we start every blog the same way telling you how much we love you and how much we appreciate your support.  I guess somethings never get old.  Dad flew to Rondonopolis last Wednesday right after District Leader training on Tuesday.  Be exhausted for him, that was a crazy idea but the Lord has been blessing us beyond our own abilities since we arrived, so why am I surprised.  His objective get a contract signed, buy a fridge, microwave,stove, oven,  gas unit, bunk beds, mattresses, guarda roupe, table, chairs, desks and catch the bus home.  They arrived at about ten and tried to get the contract signed.  It had to be signed before anything could be bought.  The couple said, Why dont you come to our home first so they did but they did not want to sign yet so they waited.  Can you sign now?  No, we need to fix  lunch first so they waited. Can you sign now?   No we need to eat lunch, so they waited.  Can you sign now? No, I need to feed my mother, so they waited.Can you sign now?  No I need to shower so they waited.  Can you sign now?  No we will drive you into town and sign there.   They never once said no we are waiting until one oclock because we have an appointment with a lawyer to look over the contract.  They just kept making up reasons why they could not sign yet.  They had no idea until they drove up and parked in front of the lawyers office. Both Elder Richards and Elder Harris thought, there is no way this is going to fly,  They needed power of attourney for president Reber and all they had was his signiture on one page he had not even initialed the other pages.  But the lawyer must have delt with the church before,because she pointed out all the problems and looked at every page and said there is nothing out of the ordinary here.  I see no reason not to sign the contract. The other things still need to be done but she could have really made it impossible.  But she did not,que bençao!  So the race began.  They bought everything and left money with a clerk(in an act of faith to deliever everything) And caught the five oclock bus home.  About an hour into the ride they got a call saying we did not get anything, (heart drop) but by the time they had phone service again everything had been delievered.  The house will be set up to start a group in Vila Linda. The Lords hand is in the work and we thank Him for the miracles we enjoy pretty much on a daily basis.
This is the sweet turbo-prop plan we got to fly in.

I just put this here for fun - Mom by her favorite pastime... :)

This is the little yellow fruit on top of a rice and meat dish... see below!

Also quick note about this crazy fruit we tried the other day at the home of an investigator, pequi is the name of it, and they sell little bags of it everywhere. The table was beautiful and on the top of the rice and chicken dish was this cute little fruit.   Before we started to eat, one of the elders said don´t bite the fruit just scrape the edge with your teeth because the center is filled with spiky, barbed, needle like thorns that have to be surgically removed if you get them in your tongue.  Who eats that?

Yes, there are actually thorns inside the fruit... lame!
Two of our lovely sisters were robbed and spent the night at our home while their locks were being changed. We had a wonderful time together singing ,eating carmel corn and playing games. Dad even gave them new mission bags, scriptures, money and treats.  You might think why did this happen to these two amazing, hardworking sisters.  First, you have to know a powerful spirit of love and assurance was given to them and we learned some important thing from their experience.  When their bags were stolen so were their cell phones, house keys, money etc.  No way to call for help and our mission is very large.  Dad made stickers with emergency numbers and free calling directions to be put on the back of each name tag.  We are having duplicate keys made so we can get needed things out while locks are changed and we are working on a safety policy.  Sometimes the Lord needs to guide us with a strong hand.
These are the sisters that spent the night with us.  It was very nice.
We are partying today because a emergency transfer is sending one of our great sisters south and it is p-day so we need to send her out with a bang any reason to party.  We are also having the Davises over to watch groundhog day and having dinner.  It is difficult to find a good diet that fits in with my lifestyle.
We love you all the church is true.
Love Dad and Mom