Monday, February 6, 2017

Hello From Piracicaba!

Dear Family and Friends,

I know it's been a long time since I've written.  I figured most of you are following our mission experiences and didn't need a detailed version of my trip home.  Besides I got to spend wonderful moments with many of you.  A quick overview:  I went home for Emily's wedding which was perfect.  Thank you to all of my Friends who helped with this special occasion. I was also able to attend my grandson's baptism which was an honor.  Howard got to be an unofficial witness via Skype to both the baptism and the festivities of the wedding.Having a cardboard cutout of him didn't quite make up for his absence especially when Emily tried to dance with him.

Other than those two special occasions I was able to spend time with family sledding, attending BYU basketball and a grandson's lacrosse game, making candy for the reception, an awesome bachelorette party (Watch out.  We're all trained in self-defense now) and lots of fun hang out time.  I got to meet my new grandson Solomon who was born in September and found out I'll have two more this summer: a girl from Nick and Gina and a boy from Amy and Dave. That'll make it an even dozen.  Lunch and dinner with friends and family and even a long run with Felicia, and cross country skiing made it the perfect trip.  Maybe a little too perfect.

I had to go through the adjustment of leaving family and being a missionary in a foreign land all over again.  Fortunately this adjustment came much faster and I'm back into the full swing of things.

A couple of weeks ago there was a worldwide missionary training and we pulled all of the missionaries in for that and a zone conference.  It was a great day and so great to be with all of the missionaries again.

Now we're doing interviews.  According to the new schedule we will be doing zone conferences and interviews every transfer.  Last week we left on Tuesday and didn't get home until Sunday night.  We have two more weeks of interviews, but we'll only stay in hotels two or three times in those weeks.  While Howard is interviewing, the zone leaders are doing training with the missionaries.  Last week's trainings were impressive and I love the time I get to spend with the missionaries!  They're amazing!

I see many complaining of all the snow you're getting and I'm somewhat envious.  My first winter home when I'm running in the snow you need to remind me that I said I'd rather run in the snow than the heat and humidity that we have here!

Life is good.  We feel blessed!  We see the Lord's hand in this work everyday and are surrounded by miracles.  We appreciate your prayers.  We feel them.  And we hope many of you will come visit us while we're here.  We'd love you have you!!


Driving to the worldwide training

 11 investigators Howard crammed into the car last Sunday

This Elder's first baptism in Portuguese. 
He's only been out 2 weeks. 
He doesn't speak much Portuguese but he makes up for it with his smile!

 Sao Joao de Boa Vista


 Sao Carlos

 Baptism in Villa Sonia

 Nova Piracicaba

The Bride

Amy and Dave's boy due in July

Nick and Gina's girl due in June

 All my children

 Almost all of the Americans in one place. 
The bravest of the brave watched the training in Portuguese.

 My newest grandson, Solomon

Sammy's baptism