Thursday, June 30, 2016

First Days

Hi Family and Friends!

We're just coming to the end of our second day in the field.  On Monday we flew out of SLC.  On Tuesday we arrived in Sao Paulo, minus two bags, and spent the afternoon with the area presidency and the medical personnel for Brazil.  After flying all night I don't think I paid as much attention as I should have.  Just today I've received calls from a sister with dengue, an elder with a broken tooth, a sister with a rash, and three or four others.  So far I'm sending everyone to the doctor.  I'm sure that's not the best solution, but President Canuto said that if they're too sick to work they should go to the doctor.

Yesterday morning we were driven to Piracicaba and were warmly greeted by President and Sister Canuto.  We were shown around what will be our home for the next three years.  It will be great and we have extra beds and couches for lots of company.  After lunch with them we met the office elders.  They had made a big welcome sign for us and were all adorable.  After a little time there, we said good-bye to the Canutos (all too soon) and went back to the apartment to move in.  We spent the evening with the assistants getting a little more oriented and then home to finish unpacking.

This morning I found a park about a half a mile from the house that has a 1.25 mile trail around it.  I'm not super fond of running in circles but it seems safe with lots of walkers and runners and it had a bathroom so I guess I'm set.  It's really pretty, with a pond in the middle with swan boats, and these trees that look like Dr. Suess trees.  They have no leaves but these big white puffy "flowers" that look like dandylions.

This afternoon I got to go work with the sisters and Dad went out with the elders.  We tried to find many referrals but nothing panned out so we started "knocking" doors.  The second door we clapped at we ended up going in and teaching a lesson on the restoration.  The family had recently moved and the mother had been praying to find a church.  They marked another appointment for Saturday.  They seem prepared.  It was an awesome afternoon.

Tonight Dad is preparing for our Meet the President meetings tomorrow and Saturday.  After the meetings Dad and I will go out and work with missionaries again.  I won't have time to run tomorrow or Saturday because of these meetings and of course I won't run on Sunday.  I hope the Lord recognizes my sacrifice and I don't gain too much weight! :-)

That's all for now.  I figure I'd better write while I can and before I get too buried.

Love you all!!

The view from our bedroom

Sunday, June 26, 2016

MTC Week, Provo Utah

Hi Amy!
As I sit down to write Elder Holland just walked by.   It has been a crazy and amazing week.  I have missed having you here to join in our fun!
Monday and Tuesday we worked our brains out trying to get moved out and packed and get the house ready for Nick and Gina. Monday evening we were able to get together with President Pinegar and some Portuguese missionaries and on Tuesday evening Shelly Loong had an Open House in her yard for us. It was nice to have a chance to give our last hugs and say goodbye to everyone.

As far as saying good-bye, I still feel like I’m living in a dream and none of this is real.  I think the Lord is protecting me. Otherwise I’m afraid I’d be a puddle of tears al of the time.  I still feel like soon this experience will end and I’ll go home to my family, house, bed, friends. (Adam from new movie 1 just walked by)

This week we have heard from every one of the twelve this week, the Women’s Auxiliary Presidents, a member of the Bishopric, and many other members of the missionary committee.  We have eaten at the same table with Elder Andersen, Elder Christofferson, and many members of the Seventy (including the Keetchs).  We have been taught about The Book of Mormon, Adjusting to Missionary Life. Repentance, Measuring Success, Baptizing and Building the Kingdom among a few.  We’ve had the chance to teach missionaries here in the MTC.  We were assigned to a group who had Kaden Watts as their MTC teacher.  We truly have been drinking from a fire hydrant!  Many times we have been reassured that whom the Lord calls, He qualifies.   Probably the most comforting thing I‘ve heard was when Elder Bednar read D&C 31 to us.  He told us to substitute our names for Thomas Marsh’s and then said that that scripture had as much authority and power for us as it had for Thomas Marsh.  I am really unsure of my ability but have received much comfort and assurance while I’ve been here.

It certainly hasn’t been all work and no play.  Wednesday night Ashley and family came to the hotel and we played in the pool and got mango popcicles.  Friday night we added Nick’s family to that and Michael and Em.  We were in all of our glory and I’m sure we chased Sister Renlund and her family out of the pool.  Ashley brought popcorn and we had popcorn, watched the Olympic trials and played games. Saturday night we went to Midway to watch Madelyn’s dress rehearsal for The Wizard of Oz.  She was adorable!

Today we will have a testimony meeting with an Apostle and lunch.  Then we get to go home and have Sunday dinner with the family.  I’m so looking forward to that!  Tomorrow we’ll have the traditional IHop breakfast and off to the airport.  That is if I don’t wake up from this dream.

I love you and your family so much!  
Love, Mom