Monday, October 22, 2012

A week of Hosting and being Hosted

We started off our P-Day with some wash and intent to shop for storage/filing type furniture to use for books and paper in the office.  We got an early morning phone call saying that the Elders would be needing someone to meet them at the bus stop and help be with them as one would leave and another be left alone for a period of time.  What ended up happening is.... We visited with Elders Smith and Reeves until Elder Reeves left just as Elder Een got off the late bus and he and his companion, Elder Smith were stuck at 11:30 a.m. waiting for a 4:00 p.m. bus to Irati.  Soooooo .... We had the Elders over for lunch.  Did I tell you that Elder Een came off the bus with a guitar, 3 pieces of luggage and a backpack?  They gladly walked the mile to our apartment.  We spent a few hours getting to know them, cooking lunch, listening to some great primary songs with background guitar accompaniment and learning about Elders Een and Smith.  They both have musical backgrounds. Elder Smith was a drum major for an Idaho Band at the same competition in Idaho where AF performed and then had a tragic bus accident.  Elder Een is from Ivins in southern Utah.  When they found out we had internet, they stayed a little longer to e-mail their reports to President Cordon and then e-mail their families before they were off to Irati.  

We had seen several churches in our walks and decided to get photos on Friday, October 12th when everything was closed for the holiday here. 

We took our own bus ride on Tuesday the 16th.  Upon arriving we then took a long taxi ride to the apartment of Brother and Sister Beihn (pronounced Bean).  They were so gracious and fed us many meals during our stay. Sister Beihn is dealing with a broken foot and is apartment bound until they leave for home next month.  They gave us many helpful hints, showed us apps for the i-pad, gave us three keyboards to take for me to teach piano lessons to the members, and took us to the mission office for supplies. Tuesday afternoon was pretty open so we attended our second temple session  in Curitiba after another long taxi ride. We were again the witness couple.  They do not get many couples during their sessions.  Elder Heppworth was very kind to me in the Celestial Room and urged me to be patient about learning the language.

Wednesday we went to the mission office in the morning but the afternoon was taken by a rather long bus ride to the Policia Federal to get permission to stay in the country.  Elder Valdez very patiently shepherded us through our bus ride, paperwork, fingerprinting, and return to the mission office.  On the way back we had a copy of the paperwork notarized to be sent to Sao Paulo for safe keeping. That stop took over an hour and we ran errands while waiting for a number to come up.  Then we arrived at the mission office to have our papers laminated and had some laughs with the office Elders as they wrapped our hard won paper work around the laminating machine.  After much time and taking the machine apart, they pried the papers off the machine, peeled the laminate off, re-laminated the somewhat shredded papers and then reheated them and they don't look too bad!

We finally got back to Beihns for a late supper and preparation for an early morning (5:30 a.m.) taxi ride to the bus station for a bus ride to Ponta Grossa for the Regional Missionary training conference.  I was supposed to play the piano but when we arrived at the station the bus had gone at 6 a.m. instead of 6:30. We called ahead to let the Zone leaders know we might be late.  We were able to make the bus ride in record time, get a tax, and walk into the chapel at Ponta Grossa just as the meeting was to begin.  We prayed, sang an opening song, and heard our names announced as bearing testimony as the program began. I took a deep breath and bore the limited testimony that I can in Portuguese. Elder Godoy was very kind in giving me encouragement as John spoke.  I later sat by Elder Godoy at lunch and he told me that he travels all we to teach at mission training and weekends for stake conferences.  He commented that it is a very lonely calling as his wife does not travel with him.

After a really terrific luncheon we loaded our suitcase, three keyboards, our temple distribution center purchases (mine included a scripture carrying case -- all they had was a primary one -- so mine is red, yellow and blue!), and ourselves in the van with our Zone to travel back to Prudentopolis. We had a really fun group of Elders with us---The sister missionaries were transferred out on Monday--- so no more sisters in our Zone for awhile.

We ended the week with heavy rain storms here.  Friday after we had laundered all our dirty clothes, we headed off to try and find an open Papaleria, paper store, where we could laminated things I had prepared for Primary. We had also made a contact earlier in the week that we wanted to stop and visit.  It stored raining a little and was quite overcast.  Our walk was out in the direction of the bus station about a mile away. We took our papers and umbrellas and headed out.  The laminating took awhile and it was raining a bit harder when we came out but since we thought we were close to the home we were looking for, we headed out.  After about four blocks it really began to pour and there was no home in sight for either of the people we were to contact in the area.  We ducked into a loja to get out of pouring rain.  As we began to talk to the owner, we realized that we were finally in a large enough store that they had the type of bookshelf/office equipment we needed. While we waited for the torrential rain to abate we purchased two pieces of office furniture.  We finally took of in the down pour to find a bank since the owner didn't take credit cards and needed cash.

That was another experience since none of the ATMs would take our card on a late Friday evening. Our phone wasn't working. I was able to get internet for just long enough to e-mail Philip Gunther at Bank of American Fork who tweaked something that allowed us to get just enough to purchase the furniture.
It was a miracle! The furniture was delivered Saturday morning and the internet was down from the minute we got Philip's answer until late Sunday night. Did I mention all of that wash out on the line when we left to run errands was soaked and we got to start over Saturday morning. What a week"

When we woke up Sunday morning, we found that they had "sprung forward" in their daylight savings program.  Thus we are temporarily four hours different from the western US until they "fall back" when we will be 5 hours different.  There were several families late for church.  The Elders called to see if we would cook dinner for them if they provided ingredients.  They brought meat, cheese, & tomato sauce and wanted Lasagna. We through in carrots, onions, garlic, and some spices and had a dinner that I would not have thought to try. They have no cottage cheese here so the Elders brought a cream cheese that is salted to take it's place. I am constantly learning 

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