Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Leadership Council and Mission Life

Dear Family and Friends!

Time continues to fly by.  We've been travelling quite a lot with interviews and Stake Conferences.  We live pretty much in a concrete jungle but it always takes my breath away when we're out on the road.  It only takes a couple of minutes to be out where it's so green and lush and the dirt is red and the hills rolling.  It's so beautiful!

Today we had our Leader Council.  Dad wanted to have it here in the mission home.  In the past it's been at a ward building, but I think he was jealous of Paulo's having it at his place and decided to give it a try.  It was a lot like Thanksgiving at the farm-pretty crowded but lots of fun.  I like to have the missionaries here with us!  

It was a great meeting and Dad talked about the leadership qualities from D&C 121. Also we talked about the logistics of next week, which will be a red letter week for the mission.  Dad had already decided to bring all of the missionaries in to march in the Independence Day parade on September 7th and then have a conference with all of the missionaries together.  Then we received notice that Elder Anderson and Elder Aidukaitis and Carlos Martins were going to visit the mission on September 6th and wanted us to gather all of the missionaries,  It's so perfect!  They'll all arrive on the 6th for the conference, will march in the parade on the 7th and then will head back to their areas.  It's not often that they all get together so there are a lot of details to work out, but everyone is super excited, including me!

My stuff arrived and we now have family pictures on every wall and in every nook and cranny of the mission home.  I also bought a canary!  The house was so stark and quiet, but now with my things and the canary who sings beautifully all day long I feel quite at home!  I only need a dog (and my family of course) to make it complete but we'll wait three years for that!

This is such a wonderful experience.  We feel the Lord's hand in all we do.  I knew I'd love living here in Brazil, but I didn't realize how much I'd love these missionaries.  It is truly a blessing to be able to get to know them.  The future of this church is definitely in good hands!

Communicating with the Americans is easy.  We understand each other's accents really well and if we don't we just switch to English.  Speaking with the Brazilians is not bad.  Usually if I don't understand they slow down and explain a little more and we come to an understanding.  But communicating with those who come from Spanish speaking countries can be a real challenge.  I don't understand their Portuguese and they don't understand mine.  We're working on it.

We love you all and pray for you everyday.  We have faith that the Lord is watching over and protecting our loved ones.

Leadership Council meeting at the Mission Home

With President Calssi and family, 
Hortolandia Stake Conference Aug. 28th

  A young woman headed to Paulo’s mission in September, 
Sao Joao da Boa Vista on Sunday

 One of Cory’s sister missionaries, her husband and daughter, 
in Sao Joao da Boa Vista on Sunday

 Sunflower field enroute to SJBV on Saturday

 Storm Clouds from our balcony last week

With Pres Campos (SJBV stake pres.) & family, 
and others in Aguas da Prata on Sunday after stake conference 

 President Campos’ wife could be Suzie’s twin sister! (although the photo doesn't show it very well) 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

First Transfer and First Interviews

Dear Family and Friends,

It's been a busy couple of weeks with a lot of firsts.  We had our first group of missionaries leaving, our first missionaries arriving, our first transfers, and now our first interviews.  Okay, most of this was firsts for Howard.  I get to watch, sympathize and appreciate.  

Saying good-bye to missionaries that we'd only known for a few weeks was hard.  They are such great young men and women, it's easy to get attached really quickly.

The new missionaries we have received are so sharp and well prepared.  It's fun to watch them jump into the work.

Interviews have been fun.  While Howard is meeting one on one with each missionary I get to hang out with the other missionaries and listen to them joke and find out more about them and their backgrounds and future plans.  

We have a television but haven't turned it on until this week.  We've been watching a little of the Olympics this week.It's a little frustrating because we haven't been able to see much of what's going on with the US.  They just show what's happening with Brazil.  Go figure!  I did watch some of last night's volleyball match between the US and Brazil.  It was fun to watch BYU's Taylor Sanders on the court again.

This weekend we start with Stake Conferences and will continue with another week of interviews.

We're having a rich and wonderful experience, loving every minute.

We miss you all a lot.  We hope to see many of you here in Brazil.  We have lots of beds.


Brazilian sushi!
Working with the sisters