Thursday, October 4, 2012

What do Senior Missionaries Do?

September 28 & 29, 2012

“In the leafy treetops the birds sing good morning.”  That song must have been written about here!  Starting around 5 in the morning I can hear many different warbles, chirps and whistles surrounding our apartment though I have yet to see any of these vocalists. 

Everyone seems to be off to work each morning by 7 to 7:30 and they seem to stay up quite late at night.  We have had several evening appointments that end with a meal that starts at 8 or 9 pm.

We arrived here on Thursday. Our first visitors that afternoon were Branch President Elias and his wife, Evaldette.  They came into town about 20 kilometers from their farm to the bank and to meet us. I understood very little of the very fast speaking conversation but the abraços & sorrisos (hugs & smiles) are the same in any language.  

That evening missionaries invited to us to accompany them to meet with some investigators in the home of Daniel Oishi and his wife, Dionorah nair Bahls de Mello.  Their sister-in-law, Susannah, and niece, Maria Eduarda, who is Duda are investigators that the young Elders are teaching. I took my Proclamation on the Family and we used it to introduce ourselves and bear testimony. I connected with Dionorah as I told about Rachel’s death and she mentioned her mother had died two years ago. Then at 8:30 they brought out food and we were astounded at the amount of food the Elders could eat.

We met the land-ladies on Friday as we tried to set up internet service and find out how we paid our bills here.  Friday evening we attended a family home evening sponsored by the Elders at the church.  I had been asked to make 4 dozen cookies to bring.  I had most of the ingredients for oatmeal cookies so I began the adventure of cooking one cookie sheet at a time in my tiny oven. Mind you I only have one cookie sheet so the cooling, washing the pan, and re-loading made this process quite long. I had been given some kitchen spices in a care package from Elder and Sister Biehn and purchased some things with Sister Cordon so I had to figure out which brown powder was cinnamon, which bag contained oats etc.  I was grateful to have my own measuring cups and spoons so I did not have to convert the measurements. 

Many young adults and mutual age kids along with families with young children came to Noite da Familia. After the missionaries had me lead a song, John prayed, the Elders gave a lesson and played a game, then everyone visited, played ping pong in the courtyard and had a good time eating sandwiches, cookies, and pop. The missionaries said we were celebrities since so many people in the area loved The Carters and they came to check us out.

Saturday we cleaned our apartment and then translated in the aisles of the grocery store as we shopped. We found a hardware store were John could buy tools and met the owner. (Nice guy! --- future member?) We had to buy converters for any of our electrical appliances that we brought with us from home.

Ooma works (the name of our voice over IP-- it works through the internet and is our phone service to talk to loved ones at home): We have been able to Skype with Shaliese and have talked to Deborah on the phone as John was setting up our phone system.  We usually have a good internet connection here in the morning but seem to lose our service in the evening which is unfortunate since that is when most of our family members would be available.  [We are currently 3 hours earlier than those on Mountain Daylight Time.]

Sunday was a busy day!  ..... more later.

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