Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Hello again from Piracicaba!

Dear Family and Friends!

How time flies when you're having fun and we are definitely having fun!  I don't mark time by months anymore.  I hardly know what month it is and I really have a hard time keeping track of the seasons but time is marked by transfers.  Each transfer seems to zip by and we sadly say good-bye to missionaries who have become like family to us and happily welcome new members to our ever growing family!

This last transfer we had the privilege of having Sister Neill Marriott come visit our mission.  She is as charming, delightful and wise in person as she is when she speaks in conference.  We had a brief but wonderful time with her and her husband.

During interviews this time I had the chance to visit some cities in the mission that I was not yet acquainted withand make some new friends.  Always fun.

We see miracles happening all over the mission.  Howard started making a file and he already has over 100 pages just for 2017.  Some of these are happening within the families of our missionaries.  One Sister left on her mission without her parents even being married.  Within the first couple of months of her mission her parents were married, baptized, and now her mother is serving in the Primary presidency in her ward.  Others have parents who are receiving the lessons, or feeding the missionaries, parents who would have nothing to do with the church before their missions.  We still have some missionaries who receive no support from their families and we constantly pray that their hearts will be softened.  We are seeing people just show up at church and wanting to be taught and baptized and people who are praying for guidance and the truth and having the missionaries knock on their doors the very next day.

We are also strengthened by the faith of the members here.  Yesterday we heard of a sister in one of the branches here who can't afford the bus fare to attend church every week, but she attends once a month so she can partake of the sacrament and pay her tithing.

I guess it's winter here.  We had one day last week where it didn't get out of the 60s but for the most part we're in the 80s.  It is cooler in the mornings, usually low 60s, which makes running a little easier.  Except I did something to my hip.  I think It's tendinitis.  Fortunately these next four weeks are super busy and I wouldn't have time to run much anyway.  Hopefully with a little rest I'll be good as new soon.  

This last weekend I had to do a 50 minute training to YW leaders on chastity and then give two talks.  Way out of my comfort zone.  I wore the bracelets my children gave me for Mother's Day and some special earrings from special friends.  They gave me strength and courage, knowing I have people loving, supporting and praying for me.  I think all went well.  Howard in the meantime gave four talks.  He's amazing.  He gathers ideas as he sits on the stand and then gives an amazing and inspiring talk on whatever he is guided to say.  Yesterday we were invited to a Forum on Religious Freedom at one of the Stake Centers.  We only found out about it yesterday morning and with a really busy day we didn't even know if we'd make it.  There were two other pastors speaking and the stake president.  Partway through the meeting the counselor in the stake presidency leaned over and asked Howard to say a few words.  He knocked it out of the park!

As far as family goes, we should have two new grandchildren in the next few weeks!  So excited.  Michael is going to Alaska to stay with Sonia and Wilson until he comes to Brazil for the month of August.  Daniel graduated from SVU and has taken a job teaching math at a jr. high in Arizona.

We're loving Brazil, our home base of Piracicaba, the people, the language, the food, the missionaries.  We feel very blessed and very humbled to have this opportunity.

We love and miss you all!


Two stalwarts in Avare


Capivari elders and sugar cane harvest

Lara's baptism and 8th birthday party

Lissa near her favorite smoke stack

Sister at mission ropes course

Ropes Course

So long Sister!

Visit to Roberto's home and family just before his baptism

5 great ones headed home

Welcome to Piracicaba!

Silvana's daughter's baptism and family!

Pres. Lima's food storage

In front of Avare Christo Redentor

Playing Uno with headlamps during a rare power outage

4 generations of stalwarts from the old days in the 60's

Setting apart another Brazilian elder from Botucatu

Pioneers of the addiction recovery program in Rio Clara

In front of the Piracicaba Falls near flood stage

Lunch with 4 generations of Toyamas in Pocos de Caldas

Mission conference with Sister and Brother Marriott

Mission conference with Sister and Brother Marriott

Leadership council

Leadership council

Leadership council

Leadership Council

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