Thursday, June 5, 2014

Walking, Working, Wishing

Elder connecting a new shower head, again!
This may look like a leaf but in reality is very good
camouflage for a moth.  
We are excited to be working and walking to make our contacts. Why? Elder McKinney has finally seen some improvement in the area of his surgery on his heel. He is even using his shoe in a normal fashion with his heel protected.  As you can see, one of our outings was to purchase another shower head for our master bathroom. The up side is that we now can have warm water showers instead of cold. It is great since the weather is a bit cooler here now. We have taken a few pictures while walking to show some of the more interesting things in the area. 
These beautiful blossoms that we would expect to see
in the Spring time at home are coming out in the winter here.

 We were shocked to learn our friend and bus driver had been shot and killed while in Guarapuava waiting for his return trip with some of the university students.  Since we have felt fairly safe here it was a pretty big surprise to learn that someone actually put out a "hit" on him.  We attended the wake and found a really distraught widow at the "funeral home" (for lack of a better word since it is like a parlor where people stand to view the deceased and comfort the family -- all very rapidly put together since the burial has to be within 24 hours of the death.) When we left, we stopped at the cemetery next door.   

This beautiful garden is on our way from home to the church. We just noticed the statue of Mary this past week.

 We have been making plans to maximize our remaining time and wanted to line up a service project for the youth. The young man in charge of the cemetery told us he was also interested in cataloging the information on burials in the Municipal Cemetery. However, he had to get permission for us to do so. The following week he called to let us know who we needed to talk to at their municipal building. We walked there and talked to one gentlemen. He had us make an appointment with another gentlemen who was out of town. We arrived for that appointment the following Monday to learn that he had told his secretary we would need to talk with another department. Then we were told, in essence, our volunteer time would make them bring their records up to date and they are behind two years and did not want to invest the time and money to do so.  

Poinsettias are not a small houseplant here -- this bush is big, beautiful and typical here during this season. 

We have walked out to see our Young Women's President with training materials and thought this view was interesting.
We were also interested in this Ukrainian Cemetery. We made similar appointments and long walks to communicate with various leaders working in the cemetery and then later in the seminary for the Ukrainian Catholic Church.  They very politely let us know that we wouldn't be helping with any of their records. 

This Ukrainian Cemetery has a lot of European immigrants buried here. None of the records are available online. 

Mehls and Cavalcantes shared dinner after Thalyta was set apart. Her mother served as her companion until
she left the airport in Curitiba for the CTM in São Paulo.  We were very lucky to participate in the setting apart.

We have been very lucky to be spiritually fed in many different ways over the past few weeks.  We traveled to Guarapuava for the setting apart of our new "Sister" missionary. Presidente Lustoza gave her a final interview and then invited the family in to participate in the setting apart. After everyone shared some thoughts, Elder McKinney was able to assist along with her father as Presidente gave her a very special blessing that had us all weeping.

We were thrilled when our friend was baptized but sad the Elder McKinney could not participate in the baptism when he was given 2 days notice of a leadership training in Curitiba with Elder Russell M. Nelson on Saturday, May 24th. [Only stake/district leaders had been previously invited and the invitation to bishops and branch leaders wasn't extended until the last minute!] Fortunately he was able to carpool with our District President from Guarapuava. I was sad to later learn that the wives were invited to attend a session with Sister Nelson at the same time. 

Thais, parents, fiance & parents on baptism day, 24 May 2014.  It is hard to believe that most of the parents could
be our children - thus Thais could be one of our grand-daughters.
We were saddened as a young man had to postpone his baptism day because his sister entered the hospital seriously ill. We visited with his parents at the hospital in Guarapuava to find out how we could help out, only to find out they didn't have a way to and from the hospital from their home on the weekend -- since the regular health system transport only traveled on week days. Elder worked out the Saturday travel arrangements with the father and offered a ride into Guarapuava on Sunday with our branch who was going to attend the District Conference. We were so pleased when the family of 4 attended the conference before the parents traveled to see their daughter during visiting hours. Juliano and Daniel (who was to young to visit according to hospital rules) returned home to Prudentópolis with us.

Very few hands don't have fancy fingernails here and
these helping hands are pretty true to form.
 On Saturday, May 31st we traveled by municipal bus at noon to our training in Guarapuava, made the contact with Vieira's at the hospital previously mentioned, then attended our respective training sessions at 4:00 p.m., and the adult session of District Conference from 7-9 p.m.  We were very grateful to have a counselor with a car willing to bring us back to Prudentópolis that night.  

This temple bookmark was the 
handout for the Relief Society
training session.
While we learned a lot from President and Sister Camargo from the Curitiba Temple and President and Sister Fernandes of the Curitiba South Mission, it was a very long day and we got home just after 10 p.m. instead of around midnight -- which would have been the time if we had taken the bus home. 
This cute favor from our Primary Training Session indicate
that we are the hands of the Lord.

We have a non-member acquaintance who sells his own honey all over Brasil. Elder McKinney has been experimenting with our honey popcorn recipe so we can take him some. The zone members were recipients of his experiment at our most recent meeting and we have had a lot of them lately.  We had District meeting May 20th, and Zone Meeting in Guarapuava, Tuesday May 27th, then district meeting June 3rd. Elder Moura has been good to give us a bit more notice before meetings thus keeping us from rescheduling appointments quite so often and his thoughtfulness has been much appreciated. It is a leadership quality that hasn't sunk in for some of the others. 
Our current district minus Irati Elders who are in Curitiba
for the day. With a mission district and a district instead of
a stake our "district meetings" can be confusing. 

Sister Hermes tried to get us all in the photo at once but
didn't have any luck with the timer on my camera.
One of our sister missionaries was injured when helping to set up our baptismal font. She lifted our portable stairs and they came apart and part landed on her foot. After the swelling went down it later recurred and the doctor thinks she has a bone fragment that is trying to come out so she is taking a week off to try and recover which means there is some creative companion pairing going on right now in our district. Hopefully she will be recovered soon. 

We have been praying daily for the recovery of our brother-in-law, Don, at home after finding out about his serious illness. We are grateful for the fasting and prayer that has resulted in the beginning of his recover. 

This is pretty typical of the side of the rode. 

These beautiful flowers grow dangling down. There were
read and yellow bushes side by side on our way to Evas.

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