Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Hello Family and Friends

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello from always warm and green and usually sunny Brazil.  We are in the rainy season right now which makes the heat a little more bearable.  

We had a wonderful holiday season spent with my family in Sao Paulo, friends and missionaries.  It still doesn't feel like Christmas though without children, grandchildren and sledding.

We celebrated the New Year here at home watching fireworks in all directions from our balcony and bitter-sweet feelings knowing it marked halfway for our mission.

Seems like everyday I'm more in love with this country and these people.(and the tropical fruit)  I've always loved our missionaries!

The work here continues.  It seems lately that everywhere we go people are contacting us!  People who once had missionaries and want them again and people who have questions.  We're always more than happy to send the missionaries to answer any questions they may have!  They are always so excited to find us and be able to talk to us.

Last week we had the privilege of speaking at EFY for the youth in our mission.  It was a huge gathering with so much enthusiasm and light!  One of the wards asked the missionaries for several copies of the Book of Mormon to give to the hotel employees where they were staying.  The future here in Brazil is in good hands!

Whenever we actually find time for a P-Day we love to go exploring.  We have discovered many beautiful waterfalls and breathtaking vistas!  Yesterday we discovered a tiny little town at the end of a dirt road that drove us through fields of sugar cane.  It was near the end of the Piracicaba River and is famous for the many birds that can be found there. It was absolutely charming and the people so warm and friendly,  We bought some fresh cheese and ate fried tilapia at a little hole in the wall by the river.  It was delightful!

BYW I'm sure our missionaries are the cutest, sweetest, and usually the most diligent that you'll find anywhere.  It is always so hard to see them go, but we're always blessed with a wonderful new army of warriors to take their place.

We love and miss you all and feel your prayers in our behalf.

Feel free to come visit!  We have room for you and would love to have more visitors!


Mom/Lissa/Vovo/Sister Bangerter 

We love our senior couples!

Delicious fresh fruit we eat every day 

 Just thought I'd throw that in there for fun.

 The sign from a place where we bought cheese

 Glad to know they're putting a limit on those things here in Brazil. Lol!

I love it when we connect with people our children taught on their missions!

Our beautiful Piracicaba River 

Our mission pin. Our Christmas gift this year. 

With family at christmas 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Hello Family and Friends!

Merry Christmas!  We're doing our best to make it feel like Christmas here but this morning when I went running it was 24 degrees when I left and 32 when I got home about an hour later.  The only problem is that's in Celsius!  We have a tree and we constantly listen to Christmas music which helps.  Last night we had a sweet experience.  We attended a concert of several choirs, most of them from various churches in the area.  It was all Christmas music, even a rendition of It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas in English which was excellent.  Of course we were represented and a women's choir sang The Nativity Song from the Primary Songbook with children acting all of the parts.  Then they sang I'm Trying to be Like Jesus.  It was beautifully done and we felt well represented!  The Spirit was sweet and strong.

We're getting ready for our Christmas Zone Conferences next week.  We had transfers this week so now the missionaries are scrambling to put together a song or skit with their new zones.  

Last month we had a leadership council where we had the zones do skits.  I laughed until I cried.  Our Zone Conference should be fun.  We also have some amazing musical talent that will be presenting.  We're planning on having a lot of fun and also feeling the spirit of Christmas in our hearts.

Until a couple of months ago all of our assistants have been Brazilian.  Howard called an American a couple of transfers ago and another one this transfer.  We love our Brazilians, our Hispanics and our Fillipinos every bit as much as our Americans, but it's been fun for me to have two BYU fans around!

We are so grateful for the privilege we have of serving the Lord here in Brazil!  We are grateful for all of the young men and women who have sacrificed this time in their lives to serve here with us and we are grateful for all of the families who give them the love and support they need and deserve.  And we are thankful to you, our family and friends, who constantly support us with your love and prayers.

May you have the spirit of Christmas, the spirit of love and of Christ in your hearts and homes this Christmas Season.

Love, Lissa

A visit from Elder Kasdon!

Choir concert

Our new missionary couple, David and Kathryn Pierce

The oldies but goodies

Always sad to see them go!

Happy birthday to me!

Wedding of one of our missionaries

Wonderful time with Sonia!

Good times with good friends and family at the mission presidents seminar

Missionaries leaving and former missionary friends who came to say goodbye

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Life in Piracicaba

Hello Family and Friends!

Time runs by so quickly and I don't write and then all of a sudden something like tonight happens and I realize that I need to save and share it.

We have lots of opportunities to see the struggles and frailties of the ward, branches and stakes here and sometimes it gets discouraging and I wonder what we're doing here.

Today was Leadership Council where the area seventy meets with Howard and all of the stake presidents.  Afterwards Elder Rais, the Seventy, held a meeting for all of the ward councils in the mission.  We have eight stakes and one district in our mission with areas up to 2 1/2 hours away.  And they came.  On a Sunday afternoon they left their families and came.  Some came in rented buses.  One bus broke down and that stake never made it.  But the chapel and cultural hall were packed.  Every chair in the building was used to fill the aisles and every inch of space in the room.  I'm sure we would've been considered a fire hazard.  There were people standing outside the windows looking in and listening.  My heart was full!  These are saints who are dedicated to the gospel.  They are willing to sacrifice for the building of the kingdom.  We will grow and we will have success here in Piracicaba!

August flew by.  The highlight was having Michael here for the month.  It was so wonderful to spend that time with him.  We also had a mission conference with Elder Campos from the Seventy.  To be honest I was a little resentful of his visiting while Michael was here, not that he knew.  But I just wanted to focus on Michael and not all of the planning and doing of a mission conference.  But what a sweet experience it turned out to be.  What a wise, kind and loving man.  Our mission received another shot in the arm as a result of his visit.

This month has been a month where we're focusing on obedience.  We touch on obedience often and it's disheartening to find the level of obedience in the mission is not as high as we hoped or desired.  But we're tackling this head on and every missionary in the mission has signed a contract to be 100% obedient.  Every leader has made a verbal commitment and we will be focusing on obedience and integrity at our upcoming zone conferences.  We have confidence that as our obedience increases so will our success.

As your days in the US are getting shorter and cooler, ours are getting longer and warmer.  Our winter was pleasant, our spring has been spectacular with the trees in bloom and now I'm psyching myself up for another sweltering summer.  I have been unable to run because of tendinitis in my hip.  I hope to be able to start again in the next few weeks but am rather sad that I missed the more comfortable cooler months to run and will be running in the heat again.  Oh well.  At least I hope I'll be able to run.

We love and miss you all and are grateful for your love and support!



My updated Vovó (grandma) wall with all of my grandkids

Leaving missionaries

Arriving missionaries

Sister Morgan (a sister who has returned home from our mission) visiting with Ashley's family. She fell in love with Mae. Who wouldn't??

Sunset from our balcony

Hanging out with the monkeys Pocos de Caldas

Visiting family in Sao Paulo while Michael was in town

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August Already?

Hello dear family and friends!

I can't believe it's almost August.  I had intended to write a one year anniversary letter but before i knew it here we are at the end of July.  Hard to believe we've already been here a year. The only thing that makes the passing of time seem real is seeing pictures of my grandchildren and how much they've grown.

And speaking of grandchildren, we welcomed two more to our family recently.  On June 26th Elsie Lucia Bangerter joined Nick and Gina and two adoring brothers and on July 8th Jett David Bangerter Jones joined Amy and Dave and two adoring sisters.  It's uncanny the way Amy and Gina "plan" these things.

Our schedule seems pretty redundant.  Add the end of June we said a sad good-bye to another group of wonderful missionaries.  We really get close to these missionaries and it really is hard to let them go.  It's knowing that the best is still ahead that makes it easier to watch them take this step.  Then we received a new group of wonderful missionaries to add to our mission family and army.

From there it was Leadership Council, zone conferences and interviews.  And then we repeat.  Redundant but anything but boring and unsatisfying.  We love all of the chances we have to interact with our missionaries.

I've figured out a way in our crazy schedule to go out with the sisters three times a transfer.  We have three pairs of sisters relatively close so I get to work with each pair once a transfer.  It's been a joy to spend time with them and bare testimony of the restored gospel.

In July we participated in three Festa Julinas.  Everyone (except us) dresses up like hillbillies. There's food and treats and dancing.  The standards seem to be corn on the cob, popcorn, cuscus and lots of cakes and candies.  There's also this wonderful hot drink that is a lot like wassail but it has ginger in it and burns as it goes down.  I love it!

This month we received our first official full time senior couple-the Wagers!  I met them before we came on our mission in a truly miraculous manner.  Sheyla is from Piracicaba.  Rich served a mission here in Brazil.  They met and married in Utah but returned and lived here in Piracicaba for seven years where Rich served as bishop. They have already saved our bacon more than once and its so nice to have someone here who can bridge both worlds so easily!  Now we're just waiting for the Pierces to get their call.

A couple of Mondays ago we had one of our most memorable P-Days.  Since we had interviews in Pocos de Caldas on Tuesday, we went Monday morning and, met up with most of the zone.  We had some typical street food and then hiked up to the Cristo Redentor.  Its a good hike and we hiked through forest with monkeys and these ring tailed things that I'm not sure what they are.  We took pictures at the top and enjoyed the view and then we took the tram down.  Many of the missionaries had never ridden in a tram before.  It was an adventure for all of us.  At the bottom we bought hamburgers from a food truck and sent them off to work.  It was a great day, doing something I love with people I love.

I'm taking Portuguese lessons!  I'm tired of not being able to adequately express myself and continuing to make the same mistakes.  I'm learning a lot and hope someday to become comfortable enough to actually not panic when I need to give a talk, which is about every week.

We love and miss you all and pray for you.  We feel your prayers for us!

Much love,

Festa Julia Botucatu


Smokestack a Engenho Central, Piracicaba


First church meeting of new Araras group


Americana interviews


Activity in Poços de Caldas

A visit from Sister Janser, Piracicaba bus station 


Missionaries in Pirassununga


Baptisms in Capivari


Festa Jau

Nick, Gina, and baby Elsie


Jonas (4), Derek (2), and baby Elsie

Derek, Jonas, and Elsie


Amy and baby Jett

 Dave and baby Jett

Gigi (2), Coco (4), and baby Jett 


Gigi, Coco, and Jett