Monday, February 11, 2013

10 days in February

This is the youth leaving for EFY.
However, this bus is like all the caravan buses.

February 2nd we participated in our first caravan to the temple with Guarapuava District. The onibus leaves there at about 2:00 a.m. and is supposed to get us at 3:30 a.m.  We actually ended up leaving,  from our branch building, closer to 4:00 a.m.  They track you by number on bus rides: Brazilians by general registry number, while missionaries use RNE or the National Registry of Foreigners (Estrangeiros).  The purpose of the caravan is to get Guarapuava District to the temple for an affordable price.  At $R36 (reais) or about $US18 per person, round-trip, it is a bargain to charter a bus and go for a day. It usually costs us $US42.00 per person, round-trip  so it is a significant savings. The other good thing is that it takes us straight from the branch building to the temple and means we don’t have to change buses or pay for cabs to get from the bus station to arrive at the temple.  

The district consists of three branches in Guarapuava: Bonsucesso; Guarapuava; and Villa Bela then the branches in our district: Prudentópolis & Irati. Several of the branches are big enough to be wards but they need our district to have more members before they can form a stake and become wards.

When we arrived just before the 7:30 session, Elder McKinney was assigned to help in the baptistery at the font as a witness along with Daniel da Silva while Maria da Silva and I helped with the young women and mopping up water from the font.  We were able to listen, with the youth, to a talk by a temple worker and some testimonies by the youth. All of the youth from the Guarapuava District were then assigned to do the 1st session of baptisms. They were confirmed: first young men then young women; and baptized in that same order.  So while the young women were waiting, we got to hear from President Arais, the Curitiba Temple President. 

This was an unusual trip for us. We had not known that we would do anything other than complete several sessions. After the baptism session we were able to complete initiatory for some family file cards before exiting the temple to use the lunch room/changing area to have our lunch.   We also made purchases at the distribution center from a list of DVDs that we didn’t have in our branch library. They were much better stocked than our last visit – we will have to place an order for the rest we were unable to purchase. We were able to purchase triple combinations for several of the new primary children to use in their homes – along with a scripture case for one of the newly baptized members. The missionaries had requested hard cover Books of Mormon and we also found them. Then we re-entered the temple for a regular endowment session.  

Afterward, Elder McKinney was to help with an Eagle Board of Review, for Dallin Cordin, at the temple worker’s housing complex. There had been a mis-communication on time but because we had changed to get there, we were unable to go to another session before the bus was to leave.What a blessing in disguise, as we were invited into President Hepworth’s home to visit. They are a couple from Idaho, serving their third mission in Brazil. After a 1st mission similar to ours, he was called as a member of the temple presidency.  Sister Hepworth has taught the Teclada program and I was grateful for advice from her on how she ran her program.

This was a good break, especially for Presidente McKinney who has been dealing with honesty and morality problems with members of the branch. These problems have opened up the need to understand the Atonement, not judging or gossiping about others, forgiveness, etc. We were glad to have time in the peace of the temple to ponder, pray, and put names on the prayer roll.
Juliano, Ezeqiel, Leandro, Danielle, Tatiane, Thyago - EFY youth

Renato & Viriginia with Daniel Oishi
- tired of waiting for the bus.
Our youth were invited to participate in EFY (a once every four years opportunity) for 5 days, 9th-13th of Fevereirdo, during the Carnival Week, at Castelli Di Palma, Bocaiúva do Sul. The paper work for the youth, signatures of parents for permission and picture rights, training meeting, purchase of white shirts and dress shoes for the boys have been a source of our attention until they left on Saturday, February 9th at 7 a.m.  Contrary to the comments about Brazilians always being late, our kids were all packed and ready to leave at 5 a.m. only to find out that problems in Guarapuava made them several hours late. It was fun to visit with the youth and parents who had come to wait with them. They did however eventually arrive at the castle in Curitiba safely, according to a text message we received later in the day.
Casa São Paulo sewed the sheets and washable pillow
covers for the pillows they sold us. We have shopped
for personal items there. 

Teca made the bed covers for the humanitarian
project.  This loja is closer to our apartment.
Note the truck - there are many of similar style
on the streets here.

Meanwhile, we have seen the completion of the second humanitarian project. We were invited to São Vicente de Paulo, Lar Dos Idosos (home for the elderly), to take pictures of the pillows, sheets, and bed covers they chose to spend their money on. They invited a couple of residents to step into the picture with the director and secretary at the home.  This project was also completed by purchases from two local merchants, Teca & Casa São Paulo, who completed their work quickly and professionally.  Our only snag was when the payment for the materials that came through the district seemed to take an uncomfortably long time. It had Elder McKinney on the phone while we were in Curitiba checking to make sure everything was taken care of and the churches good name intact.

Translation of the sign: Welcome to the home, St. Vincent of Paul. Do not leave for tomorrow the love you can give today.
Note the telephone number is in two sets of four numbers here.
The side walk has the words House of the Elderly. (Lar dos Idosos)

Director, residents, & secretary
St. Vincente de Paulo with
pillows & pillow covers, sheets, coverlets

The building has outdoor facilities and a store where
they sell clothing to make an income.

For those who keep track of the weather: it has been rainy and surprisingly cold here for summer time. My umbrella is one of the most necessary possessions here. It made for interesting walking as we collected all of the information for EFY.  The dirt here is red like you see in the St. George area and quite clay-like. I know that the unusual cold and ice in Utah have been a problem. When we talk to the Texas-Oklahoma kids they seem to be having more moderate temperatures.

We add fruit and yogurt
1 KG of wheat = 2+lbs
I have been asked by several people recently what we eat for breakfast – thus the following photos. This is whole wheat brought to a boil and simmered for 30 minutes. We then divide it into portions and freeze some until needed.

Cooked Wheat
 It usually takes a full day to do our wash and cooking for the week.  Because of the small oven, things I cook in less than an hour at home can take up to 4-5 hours as there is only one very narrow rack in the oven. We spent the entire day, last P-day, preparing to have Armando and Evette Faccio (investigators) over for dinner last Monday evening and the district Elders for lunch Tuesday after our district meeting.  Thus, no blog post last week. The washing machine is similarly small and since the weather has been cold and damp and we have no indoor heating it takes up to three days for things washed, to dry.  I am really grateful for the microfiber towels that we brought with us since they dry so much faster.

Today we will be going into Guarapuava on the late afternoon bus and staying with Casal Davis so we can be to our 2½ hour zone meeting tomorrow.  We will then wait to catch the first return bus at 2 p.m., thus taking a full day. The zone leaders could save the Elders a full day of work by looking at the bus schedule between the two cities. More next week….

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