Sunday, January 29, 2017

Campinas Temple

     Saturday we went to the beautiful Campinas Temple with members of the Tatui Branch. Left to right, Elder and Sister Barrus, Debora, Rafely and her mother Dalva, Divina, Sister and Presidente Vagner, Gloria and Antonio.  We were able to see our friend Mark Grover while we were there. He and his wife Ivelisse serve in the Temple.  It was so wonderful to be back in the temple.  It was so busy that day that the sessions were every half hour.


     Friday we drove Edivaldi and Gilmara and their sons to Jundiai to pick up their new car.  Jundiai is a very large city and has this beautiful, large shopping mall.  Gil and Edivaldi took us to Burger King in the mall for an American treat!

How many Elders can you stuff in the backseat of a very small car?

     We had a multi zone meeting Thursday, January 26, in Sorocaba.  Elder James and Elder Blaylock rode with us to Sorocaba.  After the meeting Elder Marinho and his companion needed a ride to their apartment in Sorocaba because they had a large box to carry and it was raining.  So four large Elders had to stuff themselves into the back of our little car.  Elder James had to form himself into a pretzel to fit.  We were worried if he'd be able to walk when everyone unloaded!

Stranded in Tatui

     Tuesday night, January 24, at about 9:30, we received a call from the Elders that two sister missionaries were at the Rodovaria (bus depot) in Tatui.  They are serving clear at the other end of the mission, near Campinas which is about 2 1/2 hours away.  They are trainers and were on their way to Cerquilho, 22 kilometers from Tatui, to work with the sister missionaries assigned there.  When they arrived in Tatui the last bus to Cerquilho had already left.  We were so grateful we had a car and could pick them up and take them to Cerquilho.  Sister Caten is from Tennessee and Sister Marrugo is originally from Colombia but her family now lives in Florida.  They are beautiful, sweet sisters.
     When we got to the sister missionaries' home in Cerquilho at about 10:30 pm, we called them to let them know we were there.  We woke up Sister Berntson and Sister Evans and they said, "Elder Barrus, what can we do for you?"  Actually they were thinking why in the world Elder Barrus was calling them that late at night.
     It turned out there had been a communication gap and they didn't know that Sister Caten and Sister Marrugo were coming.  A night of adventure.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Bill and Bonnie Hepworth

     We had a special treat this weekend with the arrival of Bill and Bonnie Hepworth. Bill and Bonnie live in the Jackson area of Cassia County.  They served in Tatui in 2007.  They were the last senior missionary couple to serve here until we arrived.  The members of the Tatui Branch had a celebration for them on Saturday night.  So many came and had a wonderful time renewing their friendships with the Hepworths.  Bill and Bonnie gave some wonderful talks both on Saturday night and Sunday Sacrament meeting. They still speak Portuguese so very well.  We loved visiting with them and appreciated the counsel they gave us.

Roadside Service Missionaries!

     Elder Barrus was on his way with Elder James and Elder Blaylock to pick up an investigator for Church Sunday morning when our car ran over a nail and went flat.  So blessed these young missionaries were with him to change the tire.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Welcome to English Class

     Presidente Vagner's son made two great banners to put up on the gates going into the Church to advertise the English classes Al and I are teaching.  They are learning English much faster than I am learning Portuguese.

Is it a rock or an old tree stump or ..................?

     Since we've been here we've passed by these 'monuments' several times.  In large open fields there will be 15 of them.  This one is behind our church.  We thought they were rocks and were feeling sorry for the farmers that had to move these rocks to open up farm ground.  Well, they are not rocks - they are ant hills.  Al was much braver then I would ever be,  he got up close enough to touch it and said they are as solid as they can be.  That is one ant hill I wouldn't want to stomp on or try to knock over!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tender Mercy

     Last Friday Al and I visited this young man at his home.  His name is Diego and it was so fun to spend some time with him. He and his Mom, Jocilene, (pictured above) are converts to the Church.  He hasn't been to Church for quite awhile so we invited Diego to come to Church this past Sunday.  He said he might but knew his Mom wouldn't.  To our joy they both were in Church Sunday.  We told them we would come visit again when Jocilene would be able to be home.  It made our day to see them!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Happy Birthday, Elder James!

Elder James' birthday was on Sunday, January 15.  We celebrated with him on Monday, P-Day.  We made an American breakfast for him, pancakes, eggs, bacon, juice, and...we found some real milk!
We couldn't find candles so I made a 19 out of the pancake batter.  He is a great missionary and the members of the Tatui Branch love him.  There is a man that sells shaved ice from a cart (like snow cones) at our praca.  We went there the other day to get one and he mentioned how tall the young elders are, and he said, "That makes them that much closer to heaven!"  Later, when the elders stopped by his cart, he said, "I just saw your parents."  We'll claim them!)

Inspiring Children

Haury, 15; Roniery, 12; Lohana, 5; Hatmey, 7.  These children never miss church on Sunday or their Young Men's Meetings during the week.  Their parents are not members.  Haury and Roniery get their little brother and sister up each week and get them ready for Church.  They live a few miles away from the Church.  They are always cheerful and go out of their way to greet Elder Barrus and I. They are such an inspiration.  I'd like to put up a poster of them in every ward building in our stake, They make no excuses, it's too far, it's too hot, it's too cold, they just DO IT.

Thursday, January 5, 2017


New Year's Eve Day we had a wonderful visit from Mark Grover and his beautiful wife Ivelisse.  Mark and Al were in the MTC together way back when. Mark and Ivelisse are now serving a mission as temple ordinance workers in the Campinas Temple.  Campinas is about 2 hours and 40 minutes from Tatui.  Mark and Al had a great time travelling down Memory Lane.  What a great treasure friendships are.

Darling little Sister Sousa and the Christmas card she made us and gave to us at the Christmas Party in Sorocaba.  She surprised me by talking to me in English.  Her companion who is from Indiana has been teaching her and she is a fast learner!