Monday, December 25, 2017

Feliz Natal!

Merry Christmas! The Nativity - Joseph and Mary aka Jacob and Addy Bair (our grandies).

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Livia's Baptism

Saturday, December 16, just before the Christmas Party, Elder Barrus baptized Livia. Pictured at top left to right: Sister Gamarano, Sister Kapp, Luciana (Livia's mother), Livia, Sister Barrus and Elder Barrus. Al baptized Luciana about 2 months ago, then baptized her daughter Esther about 6 weeks ago and now Livia. Luciana has one more daughter that she hopes will choose to be baptized before we leave. Bottom picture, Elder Barrus, Livia, Luciana, Esther and Marila. On Sunday, December 17, Al had the blessing of confirming Beatrice, Maria Christina and Livia.

Interviews in Itapetininga

Friday, December 15, our zone had interviews with Presidente Ribeiro. Our zone leaders, Elder Lima and Elder Squires, asked us to bring something white to wear. We ended up making a short video. The letters we are holding up read, "We are the light of the world."

Monday, December 18, 2017

Tatui Branch Christmas Party

Gil made beautiful invitations for the Christmas Party. Eleven year Helena and Debora dig into the huge bowl of rice! Nicolas was loving the watermelon, it was almost as big as him. A party in Brazil isn't a party without dancing, so here Elder Barrus is dancing with little Mel. We were all so excited to see "Cricket" come to the party at only two weeks old.

Family Home Evening with Marivaldo and Gisele

Elder Barrus and Roberto went to the home of Marivaldo and presented a home evening. At the end of the lesson they played a game with palitos (toothpicks). The kids loved it and didn't want to stop. Beginning at top center, Roberto, Isabelle, Elder Barrus, Jean, Nayara, Gisele and Marivaldo.


This family has a wonderful story. Right to left of the family picture is Sister Gamarano, Sister Kapp, Janaina, Janaina's husband Paulo, Beatrice, Maria Christina and Elder Barrus. The matriarch of the family is Janaina. Some of the children she is raising are nieces, some are children of other family members, but she has brought them all together to make a family. There are eleven in total in the family. Beatrice and Maria Christina were taught by Sisters Kapp and Gamarano and baptized by Elder Barrus after Sacrament Meeting December 10. Janaina and Paulo are now receiving the missionary lessons.

Brazilian Truffles

Carlos (in the green polo shirt) had a class on making Brazilian Truffles, it was fun and delicious! Eight year old Hatme (Huhch-me) especially was in seventh heaven as he bit into one!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Time to Celebrate!

We had just been to District Meeting in Cerquilho and pulled into Tatui on this very hot day and saw the cane juice man at the side of the street. So we stopped to enjoy the shade and have an ice cold drink of cane juice. It really is good, they flavor it with lime or abacaxi (pineapple). We needed to kill some time before heading up for an appointment with Grace. Grace has two wonderful sons, Haury and Ronie, who are faithful, diligent members of the Church. Grace has had many missionaries talk to her over the years about being baptized. The sister missionaries asked us if we would come with them to Grace's to talk to her. Elder Barrus and I have been her home teacher/visiting teacher since we have been here and we dearly love her. Sister Kapp and Sister Gamarano had been praying that she would make the decision to be baptized. So Elder Barrus visited with her and I bore my testimony to her. She was ready, Al asked her if she would be baptized and she said, yes! Al asked her when she wanted to be baptized and she said she was thinking Christmas Eve, which was the date Sister Kapp and Sister Gamarano had been praying for. After we left Grace's we stopped at the corner ice cream store to celebrate!

The Many Faces of Tang

Here in Brazil, Tang isn't just an orange drink, oh no, it comes in all these wonderful flavors. Strawberry, marajuca, mango ...... We will have to fill a suitcase with them when we come home.

Family Home Evening at Tammy and Leandro's

We had such fun at Family Home Evening with Tammy and Leando's family. Presidente Edivaldo and his family came, Edsen and Debora, Roberto and Angelica. I am pictured with Angelica, her name aptly describes her, she is an angel in every way. They played a game that you had to pass an orange by balancing it between your ankles and passing it on to the next person's ankles. Elder Barrus and I were not that great at it!

Faces of Brazil

We were invited to the home of Leandro and Tammy for Home Evening. These two cuties had a wonderful time playing together. Left is Mel (mel means honey in Portuguese), daughter of Leandro and Tammy, and Renata, niece of Gilmara. Renata's mother Sheila used to live in Tatui but they moved several months ago further north. Renata's big sister has been called to serve a mission on Temple Square. We are looking forward to visiting her when we arrive back in the States.

Just Arrived from Heaven!

Just as we were pulling into Tatui from Sao Paulo, we received a call from Paulo that Thaynna's water had broke and they wondered if we could give them a ride to Church so Thaynna wouldn't have to walk. I told Al, "There's no way that girl is going to Church today if her water has broken!" We took Gloria and Antonio home and right after we dropped them off, Thaynna called and said she thought she had better go to the hospital. We told her, 'we're on our way!' Two minutes later Paulo called and said, 'can you hurry?' We did and got them to the hospital safe and sound. That afternoon Thaynna had this beautiful baby boy. His name is Murilo. Al told Thaynna that Murilo sounded like the name of a bug, not cool Elder Barrus. Anyway, we call him Cricket, even Thaynna calls him Cricket. He is a doll!

Christmas Dinner in Sao Paulo

Jo and Ricardo, Jo is the daughter of Gloria and Antonio from our Tatui Branch, invited us to their family Christmas Dinner December 2. It was a beautiful, elegant feast! Ricardo took us earlier that day to Embu. It is an artist town just outside of Sao Paulo. Everything there has to be handmade from Brazil. It is one street after another of store fronts and booths. We had such a good time. Pictured at the end of the beautifully decorated table are: Jo, Jo's son Mateus' mother-in-law, Gloria and me. See how much taller I am? I am loving this while it lasts!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Happy 3rd Birthday Jacob!

Today is Jacob's birthday! They are even having a holiday in Tatui today to help celebrate his birthday! Grandpa and Grandma love you Jacob.


Today begins 3 days of celebration. It is celebrating the Patron Saint of Tatui. That is the statue of her in our praca. They have been working very hard the last few weeks to really fix up this praca that is just across the street from our apartment. You can see our apartment just behind the statue. The official name of the praca is Praca Martinho Gueddes but everyone calls it Praca de Santa. In Al's pictures you can see the steps are painted like a piano keyboard. Tatui is the music capital of Brasil. They have a wonderful Music Conservatory here that students from all over the world come to to study. Just about every weekend at the praca that is a block away from us there is a band or orchestra performance.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Conference for the Sister Missionaries

December 1st, Sister Ribeiro, our Mission President's wife, hosted a special conference for all the Sister Missionaries in the Sao Paulo North Mission. I was a guest speaker, they all kindly said they could understand my Portuguese. Photo 2 is all the Sister Missionaries. Photo 3, besides a wonderful meal, later in the afternoon they had a 'tea'. Photos 4 and 5 are our own beautiful Sister Missionaries here in Tatui, Sister Gamarano and Sister Kapp.

Sealing Mail with Glue

Here they do not have envelopes with stickum on them. We had some Christmas Cards to mail and the post office worker sealed them all with this bottle of glue.

Star Wars!

I found this bug out on the balcony of our apartment. I thought it looked like some kind of character from Star Wars. It was pretty big. I took a clothespin and hooked one of its antennae and sent it over the side. He does know how to fly!

Our Brasil Thanksgiving

We were going to celebrate Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day but we received a call Wednesday night that we needed to be in Sorocaba all day Thursday. So we decided to do it Friday, but then we found out Thursday night we needed to take the Sister Missionaries to Sao Paulo on Friday. Saturday there were meetings in Itapetininga. Finally, on Sunday, we were able to cook our big chicken. They don't have turkey here until just before Christmas and we understand they are very expensive. We couldn't find canned pumpkin so we bought a squash at the fiera and steamed that and they don't have evaporated milk so I used cream. It actually did taste just like a pumpkin pie. It's a blessing to learn what you can do without and learn to be resourceful.

Feliz Anniversario, Angelica!

This is our dear, sweet Angelica. She celebrated her 30th Birthday at Seminary Class on November 21. Angelica was just baptized in September and she is a very important part of our Tatui Branch. She serves as secretary in the Relief Society Presidency.

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!