Saturday, December 1, 2012

Skype, Sidewalks and Semínimas

We are new grandparents again!  

Abigail Jolien McKinney was born early in the morning on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012, which is three days earlier than Chelsea planned to be induced.  We got a call, during the early hours in Utah, as James and Chelsea were checking in at Timpanogos Regional Hospital-- her contractions were coming pretty close together.  Later, James called with the good news that mom and baby (7 lbs. 8 ozs., 20 inches long, born 7:27 a.m.) were well. We were home having lunch the next day--5 hours’ time difference between us and Utah right now—when James, Evelyn, and Amelia [in pjs]--Skyped us to show us dark-haired Abigail.  It seems that she does not sleep all that well at night yet but she is strong and beautiful.  We are soooooo blessed. 

Many designs are found in
the sidewalk 
This is actually the road
- not the sidewalk!

This is the sidewalk - (aka "calçado")
Cement  sidewalk with typical cracks &
the little yellow birds I love.

paralelepípedo - the term for
the beautiful  stonework

In less exciting happenings this week, I have made observations about the local sidewalks since we are always walking.  There do not seem to be any covenants about how the property owner provides the material in front of the home.  Thus, there is a definite variety of material and degree of craftsmanship (or lack thereof) involved in construction.  The main business street in Prudentópolis was under construction when we arrived.  I despaired for a while because it took quite a toll on my knee especially when we carried luggage with us to the rodoviária (bus station).  I have gradually regained muscle strength in my operated knee and can walk farther with only some slight swelling as a consequence.  It turns out that they were remodeling many places and adding handicapped corners to the sidewalks.  John's favorite is the dip for handicapped access that feeds directly into the 7 inch raised sidewalk at one point.  The photo will follow when we can download it. 

We have another young investigator, André, who participated in our Sunday Primary program practice.  We walked to his home with the Elders yesterday to meet his mother and brother.  She is also investigating the church but was unable to attend with André because she owns a bar/store that is open on Sunday.  You can see this might be a slight problem in the future.  The family is very friendly and very intelligent.  André is reading the Book of Mormon and has his own testimony of the book.  Because of his age, 8, Elder Brooksby wanted to make sure he understood what he was reading and asked him to draw a picture of what he read in the back of the book.  Lehi’s dream was very clearly depicted in the back of his Ó Livro de Mormon and he can explain it too.  John and I talked with his mother and invited the family to sacrament meeting to hear the Primary Program on December 9th.  They have agreed to come.  Meanwhile the Elders made an appointment with one of her customers, who lives another 5 kilometers out from her store.  He said he had seen the missionaries before and had a copy of the Book of Mormon. We will see!

We stopped on our way home, from this rather long walk, to visit Evette at the Agricultural store where she works for her sister-in-law.  We arranged to visit with her and Armando at their home last evening.  This non-member couple -- our friends – is not legally married. This is one very common hurdle for prospective members here in Brazil.  It is very expensive for people to marry, so it seems that the majority skip what many call “just a piece of paper.” We would like to help Armando overcome his smoking habit so they can eventually become members of the church and because it is a detriment to his health.  They attend all of our meetings regularly on Sundays.  Their son, Anderson, is a member and a missionary serving in São Paulo.  We visited with them about our children and the awaited “Skype” session that will happen when missionaries can talk with their families on Christmas. Please pray for this very good couple. 

One of my unique experiences is teaching the piano course -- Curso de Teclado.  The singing in reunião sacramental (sacrament meeting) is very beautiful and the members sing with great enthusiasm.  However, they have had no one able to accompany the singing.  The goal is to leave members here that are able to play hymns for the meetings.  Since there is also a conducting course that should be taught prior to the piano course, I am trying to work both into the time I have.  Elder Biehn had been teaching lessons in Curitiba.  They returned home to Bountiful several weeks ago so he made the materials he had available to me.  I have started teaching three young people and a member of the branch presidency lessons.  I don’t have that many keyboards and not enough course materials so I spend time preparing handouts and creative ways to teach.  Otavio is willing to come and learn in the chapel on the organ on Saturdays while his older brother takes Seminary.  I have printed and laminated some materials that we can use repeatedly with many people and hope this works until we can place a keyboard and course materials in the homes that don’t have any.  Since musical is fairly universal and normally noted with Italian directions I was confident I could contribute in this area.  I have included a page from the course for those of you who are musically inclined.  I am again learning new terms. 

It is a good thing I have seen the Sound of Music!  They really teach Dó, Ré, Me in school here. 


  1. Contratulations on the granddaughter! Also, ask Elder Brooksby where he is from? Brooksby is Ella's maiden name and also we know some Brooksbys from Hyde Park (who we are related to)

    I don't know why it says I am Isa A, but this is Jill

  2. Congratulations on a new grand daughter. So touching that they are using mom's beautiful name. It goes beautifully with Abigail, too.

  3. Congrats on the granddaughter! She has a nice name.
    Nice pics too.