Thursday, October 11, 2012

General Conference in Guarapuava

Monday, October 8, 2012
We were so lucky to have had an opportunity to watch all the sessions of conference and in both languages. On Saturday morning the Elders called early to say that they were hungry and could the come eat lunch with us. We invited them to finish off our chicken soup and some cookies. John helped Elder Affonso try to index before conference and I talked with Elder Hartley about temples while I cooked.  I am already thinking about what conference talks apply to what investigator or member and how it will help them with the problems that they have conveyed to us. Most of the members do not have internet in their homes and so could not watch the sessions at home.

I am still experimenting with cooking.  Shaliese I used your Café Rio recipes on black beans and chicken and they turned out pretty well. We have listened to two sessions of conference.  Our visit to Armando and Evette was preempted as we got to their home because John did not feel well.  
John was able to watch priesthood session early on Sunday morning before we left Prudentopolis.

John walking down our street with a suitcase
We are headed to the church to catch the bus - look at the flowered trees!
We are in Guarapuava as I type this Monday morning.  We have spent the night at the home of Elder Reed Winslow & Sister Joan Merrill Davis. Sunday morning at 11:30 we met at the chapel and we rode on a church chartered bus from Prudentopolis with members of our branch to one of the chapels here.  The other members only stayed for the first session of conference which was broadcast live in both English and Portuguese from 1-3 pm in Brazil.  After visiting with the 4 investigators who came with us, we wished them well as they boarded the bus. We stayed to eat our pre-made lunch of sandwiches and apples. We then attended a 3:30 baptism for an older couple from a branch in Guarapuava.  I was asked to play interlude music between the baptism and confirmation. It was unusual because I was accompanied by an Elder on his violin.  After the baptism, John and I met with a genealogist from the area in the small family history center. {The building itself was large and very nice!} She opened  and to show me. I tried to communicate that I was well acquainted with these resources but wanted to know more about local resources available in Brazil (spelled Brasil here!).  She showed me how to order films on line from SLC. I will have to do my own research in order to help members of our branch.

After the second session of conference, which ended at 7 pm here, we rode on a bus (suitcase and all) with the Davis’s to their home.  She had used a crockpot to cook a roast, carrots, and potatoes. Along with a fruit salad and a variety of beverages, we had a late meal and then prepared for bed.  They have a small home and told us how they had furnished it.  They have previously shared some great tips with us before coming and while at their home that will make things easier for us.

The reason that we stayed overnight was we were to participate in the zone conference held Monday morning at another brand new building in Guarapuava.  We got up early to purchase the buns for the sloppy joes that had been requested by the missionaries in the Zone.  I had made several batches of cookies, oatmeal & chocolate chip, to bring. (Apparently they do not have our type of cookie here and they do not have sloppy joes.  Just as an aside, there are only three other American missionaries in our zone. One young lady is from Oregon, Elder Hartley is from Ogden, and there is an Elder from Black Foot who recognized my band bag as being from AF. He was apparently a drum major there the year that we had the bus accident.)

John was asked to give the opening prayer for the zone meeting. I was asked to play prelude and opening and closing hymns.  Due to a mis-communication, Sister Davis and I spent quite a bit of time practicing hymn #146 in the Brazilian hymnal, titled Se a Vida Ë Penosa, which is not in the English hymns. Then we ended up not using it but it was pretty lively and I hope to use it in the near future.
Guarapuava Zone Meeting - October 8, 2012
There are about 10 cameras going off and everyone ran to get in the picture the last minute!!!!
Elders protecting their balloons!

The victory for some came after a great loss!
 Zone conference was all new to me since I had never attended one before.  We sang, had prayer, had announcements about Elder Hartley’s trip to the temple (He is going home next week!), the meeting on October 19th with Elder Costa in Ponta Grossa, and other things I still can’t understand.

The different companionships took turns teaching about different points in the Missionary Handbook, Elder Davis gave a talk, we had a fun activity with balloons in the Cultural Hall where the Senior Missionaries and Zone leaders played the devils advocate trying to keep the companionships, who were tied together, from  getting converts (balloons) into the church to stay.

Now, what did we learn?
The sisters worked hard!

We then finished the training and had lunch.  Afterward while the Elders and Sisters had some relaxing time, we hurried by bus to the Davis home to take back the leftovers and get our suitcase to return by bus to Prudentopolis. We were so tight on time that a member gave us a ride in his car to the bus station where we met the returning Elders and took a 2 ½ hour bus ride. The chartered bus had taken only 45 minutes to make the same ride.

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