Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Where Did June Go?

We had a Zone Conference with President and Sister Campos.  Sister Campos announced that she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and would be starting chemo therapy treatments.  She received a blessing from Jeffrey R. Holland where he blessed her that she would be able to complete her mission.  President Campos also informed us that we were being reassigned to the Sao Francisco de Paula branch.  We were sad to be leaving Nova Petropolis branch, but are ready to serve wherever the Lord needs us.  

Our last Sunday in Nova Petropolis we were able to move into a new building that we had helped find.  Because the branch had been meeting in a school, our goal was to help them get into their own building.  With our goal reached we were able to feel a sense of accomplishment on hearing we would be leaving.

 This is the picture board we had made for the Nova Petropolis Branch.

 Sister de Paula had heard of a waterfall called Panelao, and the pictures on the internet looked great, so we went there, but could not find a waterfall, just some rapids and an old swinging bridge that was falling apart.

 We then took the Sisters to the Mina, a replica of an amethyst mine.

 Sister de Paula was also transferred to Sao Francisco de Paula.  We picked up her new companion, Sister Clark, and picked up some mattresses from the Elders in Canela, and then took them to Sao Francisco de Paula, where we helped the Sisters move into the apartment with the other two Sisters there.

The other two Sisters in Sao Francisco de Paula are Sister de Jesus and Sister Santana from Equador.

The Gramado Branch had a couples' night at a restaurant and invited us to participate, so we were able to be together again with some of our close friends. The first picture has Mariane, Heidi and Vanessa.

Luiz and Mara Machado
Vanessa and Ricardo Nacarado
Elis and Toninho Nunes (He is the current President of the San Francisco de Paula Branch)
Rodolfo and Mariane Rezende
In Sao Francisco de Paula the poverty level is much higher than in Gramado or Nova Petropolis. We have members living in very poor neighborhoods.

The Relief Society President in Nova Petropolis decided to remarry her ex-husband Ari Luiz, and invited us to come back for the wedding, and asked me to perform a religious ceremony for them. 

 We all then went to a restaurant for dinner afterward, and enjoyed the German atmo and entertainment.

Sao Francisco de Paula is not a tourist town like Gramado, but they do have one beautiful lake in the city called Lago Sao Bernardo.

 We decided to do a picture board of all the people in the Sao Francisco de Paula branch, so following are some of the first ones.
Gilnei and Renata  Paim with Natan
Ademir and Roberta Silva with Edwardo
Celia Medino
Gustavo and Rodrigo Ferreira with their non member mother Roselina
Isabel da Silva
Marcos and Saionara Milkiewicz with Nataly, Lorenzo, Spencer and Larissa
Nilza da Rosa with Joao Gabriel
Alan da Silva (grandson of Isabel da Silva)
Cleumar, Cris Rigol with Leonardo and soon to be Sophia
Bruno and Tais Almeida
Gabriely Stocco
Indianara Silva
One of the sisters in the branch, Jane Padilha, just had a new baby (Junior), born a month early so he is very tiny.

One idea we had to try to improve the attendance at church meetings was to have refreshments after the meetings.  Here is what we did the first Sunday, provided mostly by us.

The branch has many problems, like the poverty level, no local leadership, and many children and youth who were baptized without their parents.  There are many inactives, including most of the children and youth. All the leadership positions are held by members from other towns, who were called to work in this branch to help out. Before our mission ends we have been asked to try to reactivate and strengthen the branch so the leadership can all be local members.

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