Monday, August 28, 2017

Mission 2 - Week 46

Monday was a good productive day at the office.  My last overdue first registration was completed so now I'm caught up on both first and second (renewals) registrations!  Yea!  FHE was on couple relationships, and meeting challenges of being on a mission together, etc.  It was taught by a family counselor that is serving with her husband in the São Paulo West mission office.  Afterward, our little dinner group went to Galettos and we had the parmesan chicken that is always excellent.
Tuesday I still wasn't feeling well, but made it over to the office.  I had awakened in the middle of the night very sick (I was going to provide some details, but decided I'd better not).  It was girl's night out tonight so Mom went while I stayed home and rested.
Wednesday neither of us was feeling well, so we went over to the office and little late and made up the time by leaving early 😛.  Mom went over to the store and bought a few things while I napped.
Thursday morning we got up early and went to the Police station with the Moores to do their first registration.  We also did our visa renewals at the same time.  

This is the Moores with some of the Elders getting registered

We went over to the office in the afternoon.  Mom was so tired she put her head down on the desk and fell completely asleep!  This was a tough week.
Friday Mom picked up a temple session in the afternoon while I was still catching up on work in the office.  She sat next to a Sister from the Cuiabá mission - Sister Cônsolo.  Toinght we went over to Sharmahds for dinner with the Whitings and Shumways.  The food was great and we watched the new Independence Day on their Apple TV.
Saturday we went with Sharmahds and Whitings to the "swap meet" feira, as I call it, then to the Adidas outlet store.  I bought some kaleidoscopes from an old gentleman selling them on the street - planning on giving them to the kids in our ward when we leave.  We had Chinese food at our favorite restaurant off of Paulista avenue, then hurried home to get ready to go see "Singing in the Rain" at the Santander theater - where we saw "My Fair Lady" last year.  It was fabulous!  The Moores came along and we brought Sister Cox as her "going home" present and they all loved it as well.  Three highlights were the two songs "Bom Dia" (Good Morning) and "Faça Rir" (Make 'em Laugh), and then when Don Lockwood was singing in the rain - the theater had been set up to have real water dropping as if it were raining (indoors!) and he walked along kicking the water onto the orchestra and the front row of guests!  It was fantastic, but we did get home a little late.

Us with Sister Shirley Cox

Singing in the Rain cast

Sunday we made it to church (still not 100% though), and the meetings were very good.  We Skyped with the younger kids, then went over to Giovanna's for dinner with her family and a couple friends - that also spoke English.  The food and the company were wonderful.

Br Roman, Us, Son, Mom, Friends, Giovanna
A couple more pictures, just for fun - remember the colorful cows we took several pictures of?  Now it's colorful elephants all around town, here are two!

OK, last pictures - one of a beautiful flower here (grows on a tree), and the other one a picture of the temple under repair - it was closed for two weeks.

Love to all
The Church is True
Dad and Mom

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Mission 2 - Week 45

Well, playing catch up again.  Sorry, sometime we just get too busy!
July has come to an end.  FHE on Monday was on Spiritual Learning, presented by Elder Sharmahd and it was good.  Afterward, we went to Mancini for Italian food since it was Elder Passey's birthday.  It was very nice, Mom and I paid for his meal and he said afterward it was one of the most memorable birthdays that he has ever had!
Mom started out the new month by having her teeth cleaned at a dentist that we found here in São Paulo.  We worked late, then taught our last English class before taking off the month of August.  Being a new month, we also made it back over to the gym - I can't say we've gone very regularly, but we do it enjoy it when we make it over to work out.
Wednesday we went to the temple after our office work, with the Moores.  Thursday was a good day at the office, then we did some shopping and study.
Friday marked another day when no visa renewals were overdue - that's a big event for me because it doesn't happen that often (and apparently never happened at all before our arrival).  We got a lot done in the office, then went to dinner and a movie because it was Lori Whiting's birthday.  We saw Planet of the Apes.
Saturday I went out to EMBU (das Artes) to pick up some wooden birds that we had made by a craftsman there.  He didn't have all of Elder Shumway's done, so I let him take ours that were done since the Shumways are leaving in just over a month.  But the big event for the day was Jameson's baptism!  We got to watch it all via Skype - thanks to Michelle for making that happen.  Our house Internet was down so we went over to the office where they were holding a big training meeting (so we had to do everything hush, hush).  It was wonderful to "attend" his baptism from afar, and was such a special experience for us - especially since we thought that we would have to miss it.  Afterward, we were able to talk to him and quickly tell him congratulations and we didn't miss it!   Later, we went to El Dorado mall with Giovanna Roman (Sister Roman from the Boston mission).  We found this little kiosk and thought of Michelle! (Scarf Me... what a great name!)

For some reason, that night I couldn't sleep at all (sleeping here has been a challenge for both of us!).  I woke up feeling terrible, so Mom went over to the nearby ward for church and I slept.  We Skyped with the older kids - our internet was still out, so we "borrowed" internet from our missionary neighbors.  Kind of amusing, because the FM group changed everyone's password recently so they couldn't be guessed by others.  I guessed our neighbor's password on the first try!! :)

Love to all
The Church is True
Dad and Mom

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Special Story - Santos flat tire

This was actually recorded by Sister Willa Sharmahd, who was in the car with her husband, MarJean, and Sister Whiting on the trip to Santos.

We had an interesting experience, four naive American senior missionaries driving at night in a port city, which apparently was more dangerous than we ever imagined. The roads were dark and the only traffic we encountered as we drove seemed to be an occasional freight truck. It seemed like we were driving forever and not getting anywhere.
It was very dark which made it impossible to see the road surface clearly. The road was bumpy and uneven, made of cobblestones-like material with lots of potholes. We weren’t going very fast, when all of the sudden we went over a railroad track or a pothole and we heard a loud clunk. We complained about the awful road and continued for a ways when we realized we had a flat tire. There was no safe place to stop on the road, so we drove until we could find a street light and a place where we could turn off the main road to avoid being hit by a truck. We got out of the car and soon realized the tire was not only flat, but it had come off the wheel. The place we stopped at was dark and we were surrounded by huge shipping containers all around and not a person or help in sight. The weather had also changed, it was now drizzling and quite cold. We were not dressed for this kind of weather. The four of us came together, offered a prayer and asked for help. As I looked around I was not sure where the help would come from, but I felt a sense of peace and I knew help would come. We finished our prayer and Steve began to jack up the car.  Within  minutes  of our prayer a man pulled up in a car and asked if we needed help. Sister Harris said yes, yes and we all responded yes with great gratitude. The man pulled over and got out then said it was not a safe place to stop. I thought he meant the location on the street was precarious, so I asked him what he meant. He said it was a dangerous area, not a safe area to be in. A very dangerous part of town, too many thieves.  I explained to him that we were missionaries and didn’t have any money. He said it didn’t matter to thieves.
The man stood by watching over us of us as Steve worked as fast as he could while I held my IPhone flashlight so he could see what he was doing.
As soon as we finished our guardian angel got in his car and said “God be with you.” We thanked him and I said “God be with you.”
He remained in his car waiting for us to get in and pull away. Only after we had merged on to the road did he drive off into the darkness. Brazil is not always a safe place and you have to be watchful at all times. In our moment of need, this godsend stranger watched over us. He was an answer to our prayer and definitely our guardian angel that night.
This was another miracle for us. Tender mercies are all around and yet so often we do not see them. He truly was an answer to our prayer. This was yet another demonstration of the inherent goodness of many of the Brazilian people.​