Thursday, October 11, 2012

More Visits & Visitors

Sunday, September 30th, after church we were invited to have a meal at the home of Sonia Marieade Bahls de Mello, the RS president. I did not know that she was president since we have only attended one meeting and it was fifth Sunday.  I found out later the relationship of all these members. Her daughter, Virginia Mirian Bahls de Mello Mehl and her husband, Renato, who is 1st counselor in the branch presidency, live next door to her and she helped to cook a meal for us and the Elders.  Their son, Thiago de Mello Mehl, has been the Teacher’s quorum president and he was set apart today as a priest.  He is darling. It is said that he will be the only active priest.  The missionaries have been blessing the sacrament.  Virginia’s daughter, Thalyta de Mello Mehl, is a young adult attending college. Sonia looked at me close after church and told me that I was the only American she had ever met who had dark hair and eyebrows.  She has two sons and their families living in Boston and working on computers.

We found out that Daniel Hiramine Oishi, Elder’s quorum president, who is also the 2nd counselor in the branch presidency, is married to Dinorah Nair Bahls de Mello Oishi , who is a niece of Sonia’s. Daniel is of Japanese descent but born in Peru.  He speaks Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, and English.  He currently works teaching English.  His mother is 82 and lives with them.  When we dropped into visit one evening she stopped to visit and said she likes me. She is small and shy but reminds me a lot of Grandma Bowen.

The members are quite inter-related and I have to learn to understand the naming system.  It seems that the a young Elder, Anderson Garcez Faccio, straightened out the ward records then left on a mission two months ago and they haven’t been changed since.

Alanna, The Elders, Evette making cookies
Sunday evening was spent holding family home evening at the home of Anderson’s parents, who are not married, and are investigating the church. The Elders brought ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies.  Armando Facchio and Evette are very gracious and warm.  She had made little meat pies, cake, and rolls. Just as we blessed the food it was mentioned that it was her birthday. So we all sang to her.  Apparently she is ready to be baptized but because there is no marriage there are complications that need to be worked out.  He is still working on his smoking habit and is more interested in making sure he makes a living right now. Apparently our picture was on Facebook since President Cordon called that evening saying he had seen it even before we knew about it. 
Faccio Home for Family Home Evening
Monday, October 1st, was our 1st preparation day here.  We watched The District. These are Preach My Gospel DVDs that demonstrated principles of planning, finding, and working with members in Set 1 [5 hr. 33 min.]. Set 2 [3 hrs. 50 min.] demonstrates principles of teaching and on extending commitments. These films center around the missionary purpose “to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.” These DVDs follow real missionaries, investigators, and members in unscripted, unrehearsed missionary situations.  We have watched a little before bed each evening and have not completed the whole set yet.
Since we were unable to obtain a Portuguese Bible in the US, we purchase them at the Temple Distribution Center when we were in Curitiba. I have been marking mine and adding the scripture stickers that I had bought in the states. It has helped me to compare the English and Portuguese scriptures and find references for common Bible stories.

Doing the wash is a fairly lengthen process that would have been completed in several hours at home.  The washer is small and cannot take the same size batch as I am used to. It takes about 1 ½ hours to complete the cycle. Since we have no dryer the process of hanging up clothes takes a bit of time.  If the day is hot and the object light weight, it could be dry by time I finish hanging out a load.  If the object is heavy it takes longer. If it is raining or overcast it can take a day or two in this humidity to dry.

Tuesday we again watched the District, did more shopping to get the things we need to store and cook food, clean dishes and clean the house, and then continued to clean mildew from walls, floors, and curtains.  We are able to use our credit cards here to pay for things. There is a 1% international fee for everything we pay.  The current rate of exchange is about 1 dollar for 2 reis.  

Wednesday we met with Daniel, who brought us a member calling list.  His wife, Dinorah, came along. She would like genealogy & temple preparation lessons. She has already been to the temple but felt really unprepared. She is not yet sealed to Daniel in the temple. There are several people who would like temple preparation lessons so we have lined up a class starting Saturday, Oct. 13th.  We had to wait to get permission from President Elias, which we finally did on the 10th.  We also have several interested in piano lessons but still do not have the keyboards necessary to do that.  The organ at the church is not a good instrument since some of the keys do not work and it is not a full range. We also fed missionaries as they brought several maps and helped locate the homes of the members and then talked about members, their activity, and their needs.

Michalina was the only member to pass us her phone number the 1st Sunday we were here. We called and ask if we could meet with her family. She invited us for Thursday morning.  We met with Paulo Henrique & Michalina Baliski Bonfim and their sons, Thiago and Otavio.  We talked about Paulo’s health.  He is on dialysis for a bad liver.  For the last couple of years he has been unable to work because of his health.  He goes into another town on the bus 3 days a week for treatment.  He then goes to a larger town once a month to be checked by a doctor.  
Elders Affonso & Hartley, with Michalina
after lunch & a message.
He has done this for the last three years and even though he is only 39 he is not on a donor list. They, however, seem to be fairly self-sufficient as they have a large garden and raise their own chickens. She walked us through her garden of vegetables, fruit and herbs. I could see where our meal came from.  There is clear evidence in their humble home of church activity. When you enter there are pictures on their brick walls and church music in the background.  She told me how they read the scriptures together every morning. She wants to work on her genealogy with me. She is the first of Ukrainian descent we have met.  The boys left for school while we were still there.  They attend school for 1/2 day  for five 50 minute blocks starting at 12:30 each afternoon. They were uniforms to school. The boys are happy and healthy and active in their quorums.             

Paulo, Michalina, Elder & Sister McKinney,
Elders Hartley & Affonso
Noite do Cinema - Friday, 5 October 2012:  The missionaries had rented a space to watch “The Restoration” (John found it on and had invited members, investigators, and friends to attend. We listened in Portuguese to this beautiful film. Afterward we, all four missionaries, bore testimony of the restoration to these good people.  Many youth, 3 adult women, the Elder’s Quorum president, and 2 investigators participated. 

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