Saturday, January 5, 2013

2013 - A New Year

Elder McKinney told about going with Armando last week in his The first of the waterfalls blog.  I wanted to add a few photos taken from my perspective.  I need to note that Armando has made up his mind to stop smoking and it has been several weeks now since he has had a cigarette. 
This dam allows hydro electric power to be made and
is just before the falls. 

On the left side of the falls you can see birds
attached to the rocks.  They would fly
through the mist then land.  My camera
could not catch them flying.

I was able to catch one of the many colorful
butterflies & moths
This petunia size morning glory is beautiful.
I can't believe it is the same thing I work
so hard to eradicate at home.

I have to try hard to get the snapdragons to grow in
our yard at home and here they are wild.

Aruacaria tree looks like a giant dandelion

Bamboo - dwarfed John
Quite a contrast to my tiny start at home.

I thought of Provo Canyon as we looked out over the rail.
However, I have never seen such flowers there.
The outdoor facilities made us think this
might be a good place for a youth outing.

The brick lining the trail is the same
that they build their homes with. 

Early in the evening of December 31st, we met at the Elders apartment. They have area books because they keep area records for the years past. These are kept since the mission has sent missionaries here. We are concerned about all the lost members that we found on the branch rolls when the computer finally gave Elder McKinney a printout this week.  Most of the members here were converted less than 6 years ago.  We started looking over two years back and found that at the time, many of the members were helping the elders meet new contacts. We are trying to link the converts with the active members who visited with them in hopes that they will know something about their whereabouts. There are whole families that were baptized that we have not yet met and we do not know why.  Some of our future walks will be in search of these members. There are enough members of record here to form a ward.
A poor photo of the city lights
taken through the car window

We are very fortunate to be friends with the Faccios.  All the missionaries were invited by Evette to spend New Year’s Eve at their home to have dinner.  We ate with Armando and Evette and his parents. On the walk from the Elder's apartment to the Faccios, Elder Brooksby told us that we might have pig (an animal who looks forward when it eats) because of the belief here that this is more likely to bring good luck for the new year than eating chicken or turkey (which are animals that scratch for their food and who look backward thus bringing the bad luck from last year with them).   We did have pork ribs and loin along with lentil soup, fruit salad and soda pop.  The Brasillians always serve soda to the missionaries because they know we are cautioned about drinking unfiltered water here.  I took the tomato-onion salad, an apple pie, and some peanut clusters to share.  We visited with Armando and his parents in the living room while Evette finished the meal , talking with them about our ancestors.  They have some German and Italian family history. Evette gave in and let me help by setting the table for 8.  We really enjoyed our meal and visiting--getting to know more about the family and their history.  The Elders were just getting to the fruit salad portion of the meal – which was the dessert—when they noticed they had to leave since they had been cautioned to be in their apartment by 9 p.m.    They are both very obedient and left right away. Apparently the custom for many here is to wait until midnight to heat on both Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  Elder McKinney and I were able to stay long enough for dessert and to help with the dishes. We left at 10 p.m.  Armando choose to drive us to our apartment via downtown so we could see the lights displayed that evening.

This tree start in front of the
branch building
has beautiful flowers.
I have mostly recorded this for our memory.  However, I anticipate this family will eventually become strong members of the church in this area and do much for good.

We are in the process of finding members at home so that Elder McKinney can issue callings and releases for the branch organizations and make sure that they have all participated in tithing settlement. My resolution has to be to learn to speak the language better.  There is a lot for us all to learn this new year.  

One last note: I don’t remember ever using hydrocortisone before.  When the other senior couples recommended bringing it with us I was puzzled.  I am very grateful to have it with me as I use it daily.  A little bit is a great help in reducing the redness and itch that come with bites.  I have been trying to remember who told us that they leave the windows and doors open in Brasil and they don’t have any bugs.  This had to be a very tongue in cheek comment.  Since there is no heating or air conditioning in most homes here, the windows and doors do provide most of the ventilation and are wide open most of the time.  John has provided protection from most of the flying insects by putting up screen on the windows.  However, we have not been able to come up with a cover for the doors yet. 

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