Friday, September 6, 2013

Signs of Spring

26 August 2013 
These beautiful lilies just emerged.
There are signs of spring here. One day last week I carried the camera as we walked on our errands and took these pictures of spring.
Blades of grass
- a different shape here!

These look
 suspisciously like
morning glory

This moth was on the steps
to the church

John is recovering – from the ulcer caused by the anti-inflamatory medication he took for his foot. Since part of the symptoms indicated that he might have heart trouble and we were assigned to meet with the cardiologist. We did!  He has us checking Elder McKinney’s blood pressure in the morning and at night on alternate days at a local pharmacy. Since that involves about a mile round trip walk we are caught in a Catch 22 situation because that aggravates the pain in his heal that caused the initial problem for which he was prescribed the anti-inflammatory medication. The good that has come from it is that he has had to delegate and think about allowing others to perform more of the branch duties --- which is why we are here in the first place.

two-tone blossoms - this is next to the church
All homes are behind some kind of fence.

We walk by this evergreen tree daily. One day
I looked closer and saw the purple flowering vine
wrapped around the trunk.  This fence has the
typical post office box attached at the right.

This yard is quite extensive. I loved the purple blossoms on this leafless
tree. The scroll work on the fence is also beautiful. Most of the older
homes have this open type of fencing. Newer ones seem to be behind walls.

6 September 2013
Monday is supposed to be preparation day. Last week we had no internet access and thus did not post the blog. This week on Monday the 2nd we had an unusual day. We were up just after 4 a.m. to prepare for our follow up visit at the cardiologist’s office in Guarapuava. We walked to the rodivaria and were seated on the bus around 6 a.m.  We had been notified of a surprise transfer on Sunday afternoon and the Zone leaders had told us to meet the new elder and send off the old via Elder Santos Silva who was leaving. Since it wasn’t possible because of our appointment we ended up escorting Elder Pereira to meet the Elders in Guarapuava.  We met the elders at 8 a.m. and then took a cab to Santa Teresa Hospital to pick up the xrays taken on our last visit, then went for more test by the cardiologist. We were carrying results of multiple blood tests. 

All in all Elder McKinney had a pretty thorough set of exams. The Good News---his heart, cholesterol, triglycerides, etc. are all wonderful. All we can figure is that he had such extensive blood loss from the stomach ulcer created by the ant-inflammatory meds prescribed via the phone by the area medical doctor for his bursiti on his heal that he was extremely weakened. Again the Catch 22 – we were told it would be good for him to walk for an hour a day [which of course is no problem because it is the only way we can get around but it hurts for Elder McKinney to do so].

Bush by our front gate.
This is the most unusual
of the shrubs in our
front yard.

This shrub in our yard
might be more common
at home.
The palm tree, white & pink blossoms and variety of
sidewalks are different.

The flowers are on the ends of bare branches with
no leaves whatsoever.

Beautiful yellow trumpets
- all over town!
Upon our return we learned that our new district leader had missed the bus to Guarapuava  and would now be arriving at 7 p.m. and we would need to meet Elder Pereira coming off the bus just after 6 p.m and wait with him until Elder Long arrived. So we fixed a meal, met our youth at the church for seminary and spent several hours at the bus station visiting with Elder Pereira until Elder Long finally arrived at 8 p.m. As we walked with the Elders toward their apartment we found out that Elder Long is from Idaho and related to the Merkley family in American Fork.  It is a very small world. We learned more as they had lunch with us the following day. Then we met as a District on Wednesday morning. Elder Long will be a good leader here. We are glad to have Elders back in Irati and in our district.

Lone araucaria
As we left seminary on Wednesday evening, Ivete called to invite us to dinner with them at the opening of a new restaurant. Since we were just going home to make dinner, hadn't ever eaten out in Prudentópolis, and hadn't visited with them for several weeks, we accepted.  It turns out that it was the grand opening of the new Mr. Gordon’s pizza. We had heard about Mr. Gordon’s wonderful pizza from several different sets of Elders. The new building was huge and beautiful.  It was painted a soft butter yellow inside, and had an upper level were a guitarist played music the whole evening. The unusual part was the rodizio type of serving.  We are used to Rodizios being a place where servers walk around offering you different types of meat. What the word literally means is rotation – thus we were served many different slices of a vast variety of pizzas for several hours and finally concluded with desert pizza. This doesn't sound a lot like missionary work does it.  Well, we ate with the Faccios who are still investigators and met and sat with one of Ivete’s fellow employees. It turned out that Daniel Oishi showed up with friends and thus we were finally able to meet the city councilman we had wanted to set up a service project with.  So all in all it was a meal that will hopefully result not only in friendship but will open up some new doors.  It turned out the owners of the store are people we had previously met with and we were also able to strengthen that relationship. It turns out that there hasn't really been a Mr. Gordon for a long time but the name has stuck with the restaurant over the last couple of ownership changes. (Do any of you remember the "dread pirate, Robert"?) A very unusual and unplanned way to end the day.

Poppies & roses also at museum next
to the hospital.
Thursday we also had to adapt after receiving a call from Michalina that Otavio was in the hospital. We walked down for a visit. We have also becoming quite well acquainted with some of the hospital personnel who are always very friendly and courteous as well as helpful.  Otavio will be fine and probably was dehydrated from his long bout with the “gripe” that so many have had here lately. We were able to complete our spring picture folio as we walked and have here shared with you Sinais de Primavera – or Signs of Spring. 

Bird of paradise - flowers at the museum
that is next to the hospital we visited.

New construction can be seen every where
we walk.

I have challenged 4 of my piano students to each prepare a simplified version of the primary songs we will sing in the sacrament meeting program next month – since it would be difficult for me to both lead and play.  It has turned out to be an interesting and hopefully motivating assignment for them. We haven’t found the habit of daily practice to be one of the gifts most members have here. However, three of the youth come twice a week for lessons so we know that they spend at least several hours a week working on music. We have started 3 new students this week. One young man just showed up with his cousin for lessons. We hope to see him back.

We have also spent time ordering supplies. The distribution center has a hard time with us wanting things shipped to our address here in Brasil and paying with money from the U.S.  Since we have been asked not to open bank accounts here – that is all we can do. We have also straightened out membership records and made calls to FamilySearch on behalf of members.  It seems that the engineers really messed up a lot of Brazilian last names when they transferred information over to the new genealogy program and they all have to be fixed by the engineers since they are listed as entered by the membership department. I also take a little personal genealogy time while we are waiting at the church for the seminary students to arrive.  Since the two high schools let out at different time they tend to arrive over a twenty minute period of time. I have found that I can do quite a bit in that amount of time in merging and connecting sources to our family tree. I really enjoy the new system and am glad for the ability to add photos and stories.  I hope you will all take a look at and the family tree posted there.  I have even found two new people while connecting these sources and I know that this is missionary work for the dead.

Lysenko is Ukranian - we got to see
a business with that name when we were
in Guarapuava on Monday.
Sister Lysenko has returned home and is back at BYU. I hope some of the family will get to meet her since she is one of our favorite people.

We are very aware of all the family birthdays, anniversaries etc. coming up. Myles, Jennie, Mom, Jeremy, and Deborah -- 

Love to you all!  Casal McKinney

Standing on the porch of the church as we locked up after seminary we turned to see the moon rising.
This motivated me to start taking the spring shots we have in the blog this week.

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