Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Year New Chuveiro

Before I get into the story of the new shower I should report on our latest baptisms. The photo on the right here shows a member group with Adenilson, who was baptized on Saturday the 11th and confirmed on Sunday the 12th. Adenilson is the one with the Book of Mormon and Elder da Silva on his right is the Elder who taught and baptized him. (His first in the Mission, he has been out a few weeks now).

Adenilson is the brother of our Relief Society President and has moved to Prudentopolis recently. He met the Elders on the street one day and told them he was ready to be baptized. upon talking with him they found that he had attended church with his sister several times before even Sister McKinney and I arrived and had been taught by the Elders at the time. The Elders re-taught him the lessons and he was baptized the same week.

On the left is Adenilson and the young man (Cesar) who was baptized the same day with the four Elders serving here. Cesar was baptized by Elder Cesar (not his real name) and is the brother of one of the young women who was baptized at the end of the year. An explanation of Elder Cesar's name is probably in order. Cesar is in fact one of his names but not his surname. In our zone, we have Elder Silva (zone leader and Elder da Silva who is in our district. There are other Elder Silvas in the mission and each has a different variation of the name. There is Elder Silva, da Silva, F. Silva etc. Well Elder Cesar is also Elder Silva but decided to use one of his given names rather than be thrown in with all the other Silvas. Silva in Brazil is something like Smith multiplied by one or 2 thousand.


Now to my shower (chuveiro) story. A shower in Brazil is in reality water dripping out of the wall through a heating coil. The shower shown here is the same as the one we had in both bathrooms. The one in the master bath burned out so I proceeded to replace it. In doing so I had to see the wiring 
scheme so I pulled the wires of the one in the guest bath. You can see the wires I have pulled form the wall. You may think it is not a good idea to have electrical connection in the shower like this and I won't argue with you there. So now I was ready to install our new shower head in the master bath.

You can see that the new one is much sleeker in design than the old one but the picture on the right is not yet complete. You can see the coils that heat the water and it is ready now to receive the tank and shower head. The coils you see will be encased in a tank where the water will collect to be heated. There is a closer view of the coils below.

I should tell you that I put this thing on 5 times to get it right. The first time I got the mount wrong, the second time I noticed it wasn't heating the water and I had to remove a gasket from the wall mount. I swear the instructions said nothing of a pressure reducing gasket, the third time the heating coil came unplugged as I was putting on the last piece, the fourth because the shower was not level and the fifth was not the charm because it still doesn't heat as well as our old one but I am leaving it as is because I think it is just not as good a unit. But finally you get to see the finished product. If you think it looks a little like the starship enterprise, sister McKinney and I agree with you.
Side view of the Enterprise

The underbelly of the Enterprise

Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 Feliz Natal!

To wrap up 2013 I wanted to document some of our end of the year activities and add some odds and ends that have not fit in previous blogs. 

Presidente and Sister Mazzagardi surrounded by half of the Brazil Curitiba South Mission.
We are the ones that live farthest away! 

Our white Christmas began when we had a baptism for Elisiane e Franciele on the 21st of December. They are two beautiful young women. Daniel was grateful to be able to perform the baptism.

Prudentópolis members and friends - 21 December 2013 baptism! That's a lot of white shirts.

Our Christmas choir and scripture reading was very well received. President Elias and Sister Mehl were our readers for the scriptures in Luke and Matthew about the birth of our Savior, his early trip to the temple, and the visit of the shepherds and later the wise men. The concluding remarks by Elder McKinney about the signs spoken of in the scriptures leading the wise men to know where and when to look for Christ and how that ties in with our ability and obligation to know the signs of our times in preparing for the second coming, were spoken in a room where you could hear a pin drop.

Of course that was not the end of the day for President McKinney as there were still interviews, tithing settlement etc. When we finally did arrive at home, we took a deep breath, and as we rested for a minute, we realized that we had a brand new year coming and that there was one last opportune 5th Sunday to use for teaching everyone together.  So, we started preparing again.

I was looking for stores that celebrated the true meaning of Christmas. There were a few nativity scenes.

Meanwhile, since we had a mid-transfer, transfer of Elders, we had 4 Elders here just in time for Christmas. We had them all to dinner for Christmas Eve, and then the two new Elders came back on Christmas day to making phone calls to their families. That was an experience. The Brazilian Elder really knew how to get around on the internet as he talked to different branches of his family. 

We chose to make hamburgers, baked fries, cubed watermelon
and chocolate ribbon pie to celebrate Christmas Eve with all
four Elders serving in our branch. Two are in their first transfer.
We were very fortunate to speak with all of our children and grandchildren either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. We even got to watch James’ children get up and open gifts.  We were able to get the inside story on how James and Chelsea made the kitchen set for the younger girls.

We hired a taxi one day to visit all the members in the farthest areas of our branch. We chose to take a plate of cookies or zucchini bread and wish them Happy Holidays. Most seemed quite surprised, others were teary eyed, and all grateful. Since many of our members live in part member homes, it gives us a chance to visit with other family members and learn about them.

Toys in downtown park.
We have a neighbor down the street that is an older woman with an extended family of 8 children and many grands and greats.  She has always been interested in me and why I do not communicate as well as she would like.  She invited us over to see her beautiful Christmas tree and showed us her garden.  She made me feel right at home. She was growing corn, squash, beans, etc. and had grape vines growing across the eves of the house. Her Christmas tree was a young araucária from her back yard and decorated with beads, balls, and tinsel with a beautiful nativity scene below.  One son and one daughter dropped by while we were there.  The son had co-written a book about Prudentópolis and another about Irati (Elder McKinney purchased one!)

Local soccer quadra - there are a lot of McKinney's that would like to play here

This is looking from our quadra into the patio at the branch.

The 5th Sunday presentation, translated from the December 2013 Ensign (not in the Liahona in either language) Making a Living, Making a Life By Elder Lynn G. Robbins Of the Seventy, was given to all the adults and youth present. Our Elder’s Quorum President was very excited about President McKinney sharing the concepts of making the world a better place with our service while making a livelihood here on earth. He used examples from different motivations in the work place and their results. Hopefully the youth will listen and understand while they still have time to prepare to care for a family of their own. 

I use the folder on the left to teach music in primary. This is their plastic
sleeves.  All of the paper here is 8.5 x 12 (not 11).  The yellow folder is called
a "pasta de plástica" Note the two punch set up. Behind is the plastic box I
use to keep things dry when we are walking in the rain.

The following week we prepared lesson manuals, yearly schedules, and packets for the teachers in all the organizations. Then, just after New Year’s Day, we received two Christmas Cards.

Our friend, BenHur, at the local post office!

We spent a pleasant lunch with the Mehls on Sunday. They are still waiting for the mission call. It seems to have been delayed by the holidays and we hope it will arrive this week. Meanwhile this is the listing in the church directory:
Missionários  Designados - Prudentópolis Branch de Guarapuava
Ëlder Cesar Martines da Silva
Ëlder Cristobal Ignacio Matamala Henriquez
Ëlder Dayslan Rodrigues da Silva
Irmã Jan McKinney
Ëlder Jason Hogge
Ëlder John McKinney

This clock shop is where I replaced my batteries for my watch and Elder McKinney bought a new watch. 

Typical door knob.
This is on our front doorl
Note: the toilet has no water tank. The toilet paper holder is
Bathroom door knob.

armário de roupas or clothes closet -
there is nothing attached to the
wall or built into the wall

This is an old and new water tank. This is how we get water pressure
on our homes here. That is why the toilet doesn't have a tank.