Wednesday, November 15, 2017

FHE at the home of Leandro and Tammy

Last Monday night, November 13, we went to the home of Leandro and Tammy for Family Home Evening. At first it was just going to be their family and us, but Brazilians love to get together and party! Leandro and Tammy just returned to Tatui from living up North. Leandro is the son of Kerine, one of our Relief Society teachers. Leandro gave a wonderful lesson and we had fun singing with Antonio and Leandro playing the guitar. Pictured: Front row: Elder Barrus, Gil and Breno, Leandro and Tammy's daughter Helena, in front of Helena, Presidente Edivaldo and Mayra, Gloria and Antonio. Back: Leandro and Tammy's son Bruno, Bruno holding his little sister, Leandro and Tammy, Sister Barrus, Angelica and Roberto.

Festa de Mexicana

Saturday night, November 11, we had a Mexican Fiesta at the Church. It was the idea of Sister Kapp and Sister Gamarano. They decorated and made two pinatas. Al and I got tortillas and made the taco seasoned meat and bought a bunch of picolas (ice cream bars). It was a huge success. We had a great turnout and some of our students from English Class came. They had never had tacos before. I asked them what they used the tortillas for then, the ones there had never used them. But they loved it and wanted to do it again the next Saturday!

Wedding of Edsen and Debora at the Campinas Temple ... Part Three

In Brazil, the law is you have to be married civilly before you can be married in the Temple. The morning after their wedding at the Tatui Branch Chapel, we went to pick up Edsen and Debora to take them to the Campinas Temple. It is about an hour and a half drive from Tatui. Edsen told us Friday night to pick him up at Dalva's the next morning. We arrived at Dalva's at 7 a.m. We woke Dalva up but she said Edsen wasn't there and she wasn't sure where he was. So the saga continues..... We decided to pick up Debora and she would know where Edsen was. We went to Debora's and clapped and Edsen came walking out. Debora had stayed at Angelica's the night before because the water at her home had been turned off. Debora needed to go back to her place to get her make-up and hair stuff. We got there and it wasn't there so she thought it might be at the Church. Just as we arrived at the Church, she decided to just use Edsen's sister's make-up since she was coming with us also. We picked up Edsen's sister and Edsen and Al had to run in and give his other sister's baby a blessing because he had been sick all night running a fever. It was close to 8 a.m. when we were on the road to the Temple. It was a beautiful day and so beautiful in the Temple Sealing Room. We felt so blessed to be a part of their memorable day to be sealed for time and eternity.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Weddings ...... Part Two

At 9:20 p.m. Louisa, the darling little flower girl, walked down the path strewing rose petals. The brides followed, Debora accompanied by her father and Fabula by her uncle, and their bridegrooms waiting beneath the gazebo. At 9:30 they were finally all beneath the gazebo and Presidente Edivaldo began the ceremony, but wait, what was that we started to feel dripping on our faces? At 9:31 p.m. the heavens opened and the rain poured down in sheets. We all ran for the shelter of the Church including the brides and grooms. After some hurried arranging of chairs in the chapel, the ceremony began and the two happy couples were married. But the story is not over, they went to cut their cakes, but someone had forgotten to bring plates, napkins and forks to serve the cakes. It was 10:30 p.m. by this time and Al and I decided it was time to call it a day. We had to be up at 5 the next morning to take Edsen and Debora to the Campinas Temple to be sealed. We heard later that although most of the big grocery stores were closed, they did find a little market still open to get the needed things to serve the cakes. I told Debora and Fabula that this was a wedding they would never forget!

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Weddings ........ Part One

We had two wonderful couples in our Branch who decided to have a double wedding. All the same people would be invited, so it just seemed like a good idea. They decided to have the wedding outside, in the parking lot of the Church. The benches from the chapel were lined up outside and decorated and they made a gazebo where the vows would be taken. The couples were Edsen and Debora and Carlos and Fabula. The wedding was to take place at 7 p.m. on Friday November 10. Al and I went up to Santa Rita and picked up Roniery and his little brother and sister. We arrived at the Church at 6:45. A few people were there but no brides. At about 7:20 p.m. we asked the bridegrooms where their brides were, Debora was at Susi's house and Fabula was still at the hairdresser's. At 7:45 Edsen asked us if we would go pick up Debora at Susi's house. And then Carlos came running up to us in a panic and asked me if I had white thread and needles. I assured him I did and he said Fabula's zipper on her wedding dress had broken and we needed to take her the thread and needles. Then Edsen said to Carlos, I need them to pick up Debora. Carlos in a panic explained he needed us to take care of Fabula first. So we ran up to our apartment to get what Fabula needed and Carlos jumped on a motorcycle and met us there to take the thread, needles and scissors I had put in a little zip loc bag to Fabula. We found out later that when Carlos got to Fabula, he reached into his pocket to pull out the zip loc bag and it wasn't there! He retraced his route back to our apartment and thankfully found it lying in the street. We went back to the Church to get Dalva to show us how to get to Susi's house to pick up Debora. Debora was ready and very beautiful in her wedding dress. Just as we returned to the Church, Dalva said, 'Debora will stay with you and you need to go get Fabula.' We asked where Fabula was, she didn't know. So Debora called Fabula and got an address but the address was not any good. So Fabula was trying to guide us over the phone how to get to where she was, did I mention Fabula is not from Tatui? We were all over Tatui and by this time it was about 20 minutes to 9. We called the Church and told them we had no idea where Fabula was. They sent a guy on a yellow motorcycle to guide us to Fabula. Our little Debora was about in tears. The hairdresser's place was on the opposite side of the city from where Fabula had been telling us she was. Fabula, beautiful in her wedding gown, got into the car and just as we were pulling away, a little red car pulled in front of us and stopped us from leaving. It was Fabula's uncle who was giving her away and a good friend of hers. Unbelievably, her friend's zipper on her gown had broken and she ran into the hairdresser's to have it fixed. They called the seamstress again. Fabula did not want us to leave until her friend's dress was fixed. Finally at 9:10, we left at breakneck speed for the Church with our two beautiful brides in the backseat of our little car. That is Fabula on the left and Debora on the right.

Family Home Evening at Antonio's and Staci's

Each Monday night we have a Family Home Evening with one of the families in the Branch. This night it was with Antonio, Staci and their family. Clockwise: Rita and her baby Larissa (Staci's sister); Yasmim (Staci's daughter); Sister Barrus, Fatima (Staci's mother with Staci's son Carlo sitting in front of her): Gloria; Antonio; Staci and Staci' father Joao. You can tell we had a lot of fun that night.

Tatui Branch Deacon Presidency

Two of the great young men in our Branch, Renato and Roniery. The Young Men always, always, make a point of shaking your hand when they first see you at church and then again when you leave. They all are very much gentlemen.

Tatui Branch Primary Class

This is our darling little Primary class of the younger children. There are just two Primary classes, one for the younger children ages 3 to 7 and then one for the children ages 8 to 11. Clockwise: Louisa, Miguel, Bryan, Gustavo, Nicholas, Isabelle, and

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Celebrating One Year Today

We celebrated our one year anniversary beginning our mission today. We had District Meeting in Boituva and took sonhos with us. Sonyo means dream in Portuguese and this dessert is a dream! It is a soft pastry filled with custard. When we got back to Tatui we tried a new restaurant. It was an Italian Restaurant, only Italian, Brazilian style!

One Year Today!

One year ago today, we began our mission. The year has gone by so fast. We have been so blessed as has our family. We are so thankful for all the support and encouragement we have received from family, friends and our Pella Second Ward family. We are looking forward to the next six months here in Tatui working with and loving the wonderful friends here.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Freddy the Frog, Alive and Well in Tatui

     As the children were growing up, Al would make up Freddy the Frog stories that always had a moral to them.  Al presents the theme for the Primary the first Sunday of each month.  So, Freddy the Frog (s) is making his debut in the Tatui Branch Sunday!

Inspiring Wall Quotation

     As you are leaving the cemetery, this engraving is on the wall at the entrance of the cemetery: Translation:  Jesus said: I am the resurrection  and the life, who believes in me even though they are dead, will live.

Dia dos Mortos - Day of the Dead

     Thursday, November 2 was a holiday here in Brazil, the Day of the Dead.  It is like our Memorial Day in the States.  Top Picture: Lots of vendors are selling fresh and silk flowers just outside the cemetery to decorate the graves.  On the other side of the praca from where the flowers are being sold were vendors selling cane juice, churros, bolinhas, churrasco, ice cream and fruit.  It is quite the celebration.  Picture 2: A child's grave is decorated with not only flowers but candy and toys. Picture 3:  It used to be that candles were placed on the graves and burned, but,  as you can imagine, it made quite a mess.  Now two partial enclosures are provided for those that want to, can light a candle for their loved ones who have passed on. Picture 4: A quaint little sepulcher.  Picture 5: The Barros Sepulcher, hmmm, I don't think that would be appropriate for the our wonderful Pella Cemetery.
Picture 6:  Beautiful crypt.  Many of the crypts have statues on them. None of the burial places are in the ground, all are above ground. Many of them are granite.  Granite here is very reasonable, much of the granite used in the States is from Brazil.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


     Our grandchildren at Witch's Fest in Utah.  Batman aka Jacob Bair, Zorro aka Eli Taylor, Wonder Woman aka Addy Bair and Harry Potter aka Nate Taylor.  Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Faces of Brazil

     This handsome little guy is the grandson of Vagner and Evone of our Tatui Branch.  His name is Bryan and he is four years old.  He loves watermelon.  His hands are not naturally green!  He was playing with green colored clay just before he dove into the watermelon.

Paozinho de Canela or Cinnamon Rolls

     Sister Gamarano wanted to learn how to cook some American food, what could be better than Cinnamon Rolls!  Sister Kapp and Sister Gamarano did a great job and they were delicious.

District Meeting

     Our District now includes Boituva, Cerquilho and Tatui.  Left to right, Sister Barrus, Sister Gamarano, Sister Kapp, Sister Sierra (from Guatamala) Sister Azevedo (from the Amazon), Elder Vargas and Elder Dantas. This is in front of the Church in Boituva.


          We had the wonderful blessing of welcoming a new member to the Tatui Branch, Esther.  She is 13 years old.  Her mother was baptized by Elder Barrus just two weeks ago and Sunday, Otober 29, he had the blessing of baptizing Esther.  Top Picture: Sister Gamarano and Sister Kapp who have been teaching this family, Luciana's daughter Livia, Luciana, Esther, Luciana's daughter Maria and Elder Barrus.  Bottom: Esther with Elder Barrus and Sister Barrus.

Loving this Picture!

     Our grandsons Nathan and Eli are admiring this very large Praying Mantis.  They are much braver than Grandma would be!

Brazilians Know How to Party!

     We had a District Relief Society Party October 21.  The theme was fashions, fads, bands and dances of the different decades, 50's through the 90's.  Tatui Branch was the 50's and they kicked up their heels to 50's music. Left to right, Debora, Gil, Dalva, Yngrid, Rafaely and Angelica.  A slide show was presented for each decade, featuring the fashions and music.  Many of the songs were American, but the whole audience knew all the words whether they were in English or Portuguese.
They were up out of their chairs dancing to the music and clapping.  They have a good time.  A clip was shown of the famous Brazilian soccer player, Pele, making a goal.  You would have thought they were watching it live and it just happened!  Fun, fun, fun!

Our Sister Missionaries!

     Elder Langford and Elder Lima were transferred to Sao Paulo and now we are blessed to have these beautiful sister missionaries serving in Tatui.  Sister Kapp is from Draper, Utah and Sister Gamarano is from Rio de Janeiro.  That is Bryan with them, Presidente Vagner's grandson. We had almoco with Presidente Vagner and Evone. They are wonderful missionaries and we are loving having the opportunity to work with them.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Cleaning the Elders' Apartment and McDonalds!

     Elder Langford and Elder Lima were transferred to Sao Paulo.  Elder Langford worked very hard while he was assigned here, we will miss him.  Although the Elders told us their apartment was clean, Elder Barrus and I went over and spent three hours cleaning to prepare it for the Sister missionaries who are now in Tatui.  We took a break and went to lunch at the McDonalds that just opened here a few weeks ago.  We never go to McDonalds in the States, but it was a treat for us here in Tatui.

Faces of Brazil

     This little cutie came to Church with her aunt who is investigating the Church.  I tried so hard to get her to smile.  As soon as I put the camera down, she gave me a big smile!  She is one of the truly beautiful children here.


     On the same day that Luciana was baptized, Savio, who was baptized just a few weeks ago, baptize his best friend, Gustavo.  Left to right:  Gustavo's mother, Gustavo, Savio, Elder Langford, and Elder Lima.


     Sunday, October 15, 2017, Luciana was baptized by Elder Barrus. Back, Elder Langford, Luciana, her three daughters, Elder Barrus and in front Elder Lima.  Luciana really loves the Church and she was confirmed last Sunday, October 22, by Elder Barrus.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Two Days in Sao Paulo

     Gloria and Antonio, members of the Tatui Branch, invited us to go to Sao Paulo.  It was a whirlwind of activities that we thoroughly enjoyed.   We arrived in Sao Paulo the night of Wednesday, October 11.  We stayed with their daughter Jo and her husband Ricardo in their beautiful home.  They were the ultimate hosts.  Top Picture:  Jo took us on a tour of Sao Paulo Thursday morning.  She wanted to show us the Governor's Mansion but it was closed so we took a picture outside the gates.  Beautiful building.
     We went to a park that was huge and very lush and beautiful.  Most everyone in Brazil has a dog or more, parked at the side of the street in the park was a van that was a mobile pet wash and groomer.  That is service!
     After arriving at Jo and Ricardo's we went to the Sao Paulo Temple and went through an endowment session.  The Sao Paulo Temple is elegant, elegant.  The wood is a luxurious dark cherry color. There is a wonderful story that goes with the type of wood that was used.  There are beautiful stained glass murals as you come in. 
     Picture 4:  Antonio, Jo, Gloria, Kathy and Al.  We are standing in front of the Theatro Municipal.  It is a beautiful, elegant theatre.  It reminded me of the Pantages in Los Angeles.  We saw ballet that was called the Ballet of the Blind.  All the dancers were either blind, deaf or handicapped in some way.  It was heartwarming and inspiring to see how they had overcome their challenges so beautifully in their ballet performances.
     Pictures 5 and 6:  We went to the Mercado, a huge, huge market.  Booths are set up by individuals selling fruits, vegetables, gifts, cheeses, anything you can think of.  Upstairs were restaurants where we had lunch.  They are famous for their 'Dagwood' sandwiches. 
     Pictures 7, 8 and 9:  Jo and I at another park.  Orchids just grow wild in Brazil, eye candy.
     Pictures 10 and 11:  At the Mercado we bought some fruit. The fruit guy was quite the salesman, he kept slicing off these different fruits to try.  After a while you felt obligated to buy something.  The fruits above are Pitaya Amarela (Dragon Fruit), Dekopon, Granadilla and Kiwi Gold.  The Dragon Fruit is delicious, sweet and smooth.  Fruit in Brazil is very inexpensive so we didn't ask how much the Dragon Fruit was, we should have!  When we went to pay for it all, the Dragon Fruit was about $12 American dollars apiece! Good thing it was so good!