Monday, November 14, 2016

Hello From Piracicaba

Dear Family and Friends!

Tonight Howard is at a Stake Priesthood Leadership meeting so I figured I'd take a few minutes to try to catch up on the news.

Time is flying by!  And we're loving every minute of it.  

At the end of October we had a visit from Elder Bassatt and his wife.  He's the second counselor in the area presidency.  We got the whole mission together for this visit.  We understand that getting the whole mission  together is not something that's done, but we've been able to do it twice so far.  It is so much fun to have all of the missionaries together in one place!

Elder and Sister Bassatt were wonderful and we received excellent training from them.

Just before they came we got a new group of missionaries.  They come to the mission home for training and lunch and then over to the chapel for their assignments and new comps.  This is one of my favorite moments in the mission.  The new missionaries all stand and sing Called to Serve and on the second verse their new companions come in through the back singing.  It gives me chills just to write about it.  The volume doesn't just double but it's like all of the angels in heaven have joined in!  I always get too emotional to sing along.

This last week we had our Brazil Mission Presidents Seminar  in Iguacu.  It was amazing.  I felt like I'd been invited to a very exclusive event by mistake.  The training was amazing and being able to be with other presidents and wives and pick their brains was a real blessing.  I was somewhat jealous of other missions where there was another mission president and wife in the same city (like Paulo and Jalayne) or other Americans close by (Paulo and Jalayne) or a beach (P&J).  But the more I learn of other missions compared to ours the more I feel Heavenly Father picked this one just for me.  I feel really blessed.

It was also great to spend time with Paulo and Jalayne.  With more than a year under their belts they were a great source of information and it was wonderful to be with family again.

On Thursday we went on an excursion to the falls that was so much fun!  This group can be wild and crazy which made me feel like I fit in a little better!

The week before we left we started with interviews.  Okay, Howard started with interviews while I attended a special zone training meeting-a wonderful idea from Elder Bassatt.  We'll finish up with those this week.

Today we had the privilege of attending a meeting where one of our branches was made into a ward.  So great to see the church growing.  We have a lot of work to make sure those who are baptized are really converted and stay active and to seek out our "lost sheep".  Howard got some great tools from Paulo when we visited with him last Spring that he's ready to implement.  We hope to see a lot of work done in bringing many back to the fold.

We love our work.  We love Brazil.  We miss you all and hope you will come visit us!  Piracicaba is not really a destination spot but we've found some fun things to do and we're not far from Campinas International Airport, so we can be a jump off point for anything you want to see here!



Iguacu Falls with Howard's brother Paulo and his wife JaLayne 
(serving as mission presidents in Salvador Brasil)

 Iguacu Falls

Members from the old days in the 1960's

Elder and Sister Bassett

Lunch at the mission home at Leadership Council

 At the cemetery on Dia dos Finados (Memorial Day)