Soon after we arrived, on one of his first morning walks, Dennis took pictures of scanty foot bridges that spanned the drainage canal (sewer - :) . Then, in September, he captured the fall of one of the sewer canal bridges. Before the final collapse, he watched 2 teens crossing very carefully. We wonder if someone was on it when it finally tipped over on Oct. 4. Some day when we visit Brazil and Campo Largo again, it will probably still be there, an untouched piece of evidence that broken things are rarely fixed in Brazil.
A FEW PIANO STUDENTS IN BOCAIÚVA DO SUL, June 2014 - February 2015
MOST OF THE PIANO STUDENTS IN CAMPO LARGO, June - October, 2015
Hold your curser over each picture for names and comments.
There were others who started lessons, but for one reason or another, couldn't continue (Táina, Maria de Lourdes, Leticia, ___, ___, ___). For example, 17 yr. old Rodrigo (not shown) was another piano student for a while, until his school schedule changed and he couldn't come when I was available. His twin brother plays very well; I think he wanted to learn, but didn't realize that it is a long process to learn to play the piano. He often brought his Simplified Hymns to the church and practiced the piano in the Primary room. I hope he will soon be asked to play for Priesthood.
CAMPO LARGO WARD CHOIR, June - August, 2015
Funny story: When we first came to Campo Largo, Bishop Elico Santo asked me to help with the choir, and prepare for the August 30th Ward Conference. I assumed that was a call to be the choir director AND pianist, somehow. The first week, I came prepared with a grand plan. Just as I began talking, Bete (Primary President) came in and took charge (I didn't know that she was also Ward Music Chairman, Sacrament Meeting Chorister AND Choir Director). Apparently, she had tried to tell me, when she gave me the two songs we would be singing; but I couldn't understand her running Portuguese! I smiled at Dennis and quietly walked to the piano, where I was expected to be . . . and no one knew the little drama that had just taken place. Dennis and I laughed about it for quite a while. We practiced nearly every Sunday to sing "Helaman's Warriors" and __?__. Then the choir disbanded.
ÍGUAÇU STAKE YOUTH CHOIR, July-September, 2015
The Campo Largo youth were kept very busy with activities and challenging assignments. They were assigned to sing in the Stake Youth Choir in The November 1st Íguaçu Stake Conference. Since now the Campo Largo had a Chorister (Bruna) AND a pianist (Sister Thomas), permission was granted for our youth to stay in Campo Largo for initial practices of two very difficult songs ("A Child's Prayer," EFY Medley "As Sisters in Zion / We'll Bring the World His Truth"). I was given EXTREMELY POOR COPIES of music to learn. I couldn't even see some of the notes on several pages, or even see where they were on the staff. The Stake music leaders couldn't give me better copies, so I spent hours--days--guessing what notes were meant to be played and re-writing the music. I still didn't do very well on the medley. When the Stake Music Chorister came for a couple practices, she was patient, as Bruna had been, but disappointed in my accompaniment of that music! After that, the youth traveled to Curitiba. Oh well, I did my best.
Perhaps our paper chain countdowns did not keep Elder Bryan from being "trunky." His release date is the same as ours, October 26; but he was transferred last Monday, Sept. 28, with one day's notice. Of course, we will never know why. Elder Lima (Rio de Janeiro) completes our quartet. Elder Bryan is in Curitiba, serving with his companion of Elder Low, who was serving in Campo Largo when we first arrived here. To the right of our banner, I tried in vain to keep up with the changes!
We'll never know why, but Elder Núnes was transferred, after less than a month with Elder Fontes. Elder Pérez (Peru) filled his spot. He was excited to return to Campo Largo, since he served here about a year ago. The first night he as here, Elder Bryan brought him to meet us. We were having our famly night with Ronaldo and Raquel. What a surprise! Elder Péres baptized them a year ago! It was a great reunion. It looks like Elder Péres has many people here who already love him and will help the Elders even more than usual. He speaks some English and is very personable.
Bispo Elico (Bishop Elico Santos), Janete and their son Gabriel treated us to a short trip to the hills, were Otávio and Arlete live in a small chákara (forest home). There we had a wonderful almoço (lunch) prepared by Otávio (killed two chickens), Arlete and their good friend Maria. It was a wonderful relaxing day with very special people who are dedicated to living the Gospel of Christ. We found out later took us beyond the boundaries of the Curitiba Mission. Oh well - - - -
With Elder Carvalho's release, his space was filled with Elder Núnes (São Paulo). He was brand new, from the Mission Training Center ("CTM") in São Paulo. Elder Fontes was his Trainer (Dad). Elder Nunes is older than most Elders, since he served in the Brazilian military before his mission.
In June, the Brazil Curitiba Mission baptized and confirmed 345 people, surpassing its 4 month old goal of 340 people. They earned another Super P-Day. In August, our missionaries baptized and confirmed an unprecedented 364 people! Once again, the mission goal of 450 was smashed, and the Elders and Sisters were rewarded with another SUPER P-DAY. It included several kinds of sports, snacks all day long, a super lunch, movies, free time to visit all day, and time to grab some well-deserved shut-eye. Also, graphic designer Sister Monteiro designed a celebratory T-shirt for everyone. We ordered ours, which we will hopefully receive before we leave in October. "If they fit," we'll add a photo of us in our T-shirts on this post. We took few pictures of this Super P-Day, but watching the "kids" enjoy themselves never gets old. We left about an hour earlier than most so we could keep our 7:00 p.m. home visit appointment with Kika and her family.
No, we don't usually teach the missionary lessons; nor has Elder Thomas baptized or confirmed anyone during our mission. But we're in the "APOIO," or SUPPORT role--that's our calling as Member and Leadership Support" missionaries. As well has helping the ward, we help the Elders any way we can, so that they can be successful in their calling: finding, teaching, baptizing and confirming people who have felt the Spirit, believed the Elders' message, and asked to be baptized. (See comment added at the end of our July 30 post of the previous Super P-Day.)
We had been in Campo Largo for three months, and missed our dear friends in Bocaiúva do Sul, where we had served a full year, from May 27, 2014 thru June 8, 2015. We had promised to return. We were able to make only one visit, which was our way of celebrating our 46th anniversary.
Our anniversary weekend began with an invitation to a nice dinner with the Monteiro family. The timing was perfect, because we were planning to stay in Curitiba on Friday, September 4th, before our two-day trip to visit Bocaiúva do Sul, where we had served for the first year of our mission.