Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week of the Doldrums

This has been a different week. We are still trying to figure out what we are doing here. First of all IT IS HOT. Even though we have air conditioning it doesn't keep up with the head and humidity. Although it was more expensive we got a portable air conditioner that we could move between the living room and bedroom instead of one that fits in the window. It also dehumidifies the room so we need to drain the water. It surely gets a lot of water from the air. It has a little catch try that is hard to drain so we set up a system to collect water in a pop bottle laying in a tray for when it overflows.

Our air conditioner vented to the window

Our drain for water removed from the air
Monday we had our first day at the mission supply room since the mission office closed. The room is not air conditioned so we were really sweating from cleaning off shelves and replacing Books of Mormon. For Family Home Evening Monday night we had the three Portuguese elders and Sidy (who stayed after her Portuguese lesson with Sister Wheeler).

On Tuesday we had interviews with President Brower. We had a skills meeting in the morning (while other missionaries were being interviewed). Being a senior couple we were the last to be interviewed. In fact we were able to return to our apartment for lunch before the interview. Sister Stebar needed to go see a doctor about her sore hand so Sister Wheeler went with Sister Phillips to give a lesson to a lady at a Lady's shelter. Since I couldn't go in the shelter I was able to walk around for an hour while waiting for them to finish. I walked past an African drum shop and talked to Saikou, the owner. We had a good talk about African musical instruments (he had a nice balafon and kora there) and about the church. When the sisters arrived I gave him a Book of Mormon he said he would read. I didn't have a camera at the time so we returned on Friday (our P-day) to take a picture of us drumming.

Saikou and Elder Wheeler drumming
We like to walk around the neighborhoods every morning. One day we took the camera to show you what it is like on our walks.
One of the nice homes we pass

A corner grocery store (note the pink mailbox)

Some homes like lions. There must be some meaning.

We finally foud the black sheep we have been looking for

On Tuesday evening we went with the Portuguese elders to visit Adriana (a member), her husband Dereck (a nonmember) and their daughter Melody. We really had a nice visit with Adriana telling about her conversion. Dereck has had the lessons, but seems more interested now that he has a daughter to care for.
Adriana, Melody, and Dereck Rosw (spelled correctly) from Brazil
Wednesday morning we found out that Elder De Moura had a sudden transfer to Trenton to work with some Spanish elders. We will really miss him. He has been having difficulties from his family in Brazil. He is a great missionary and a good friend. The missionary work among the Portuguese-speaking people is hard here. There is not yet a critical mass to sustain the work. The Portuguese are VERY Catholic. The Brazilians want to be friends, but not listen to the gospel. Everyone seems to be focused on working hard for what the world has to offer. Salaries are high, but so are the taxes and cost of living. Everyone is  working to get ahead with no time for family nor the gospel. Even active members may only attend church every other week because of work.

The Lindsay's are finally going home. Elder Lindsay has been in the hospital for the past few weeks receiving the Canadian version of health care. Finally a doctor flew in from Salt Lake City to accompany them on the airplane back to Utah. He is now home and improving. Sister Wheeler helped mend Elder Lima's pants so hopefully they will hold up until he completes his mission. We got a call from Sister Fatheringham who was sick (something she ate) so she came to our apartment to rest where she wouldn't be out in members homes.

Friday we had another preparation day, which means "see the city". We drove downtown and parked in what we thought was a safe place (we got a parking ticket for not having a permit that was posted way down the street). We walked through Chinatown and went to the Art Museum of Ontario. We really enjoyed some of the works of Canadian artists. We stopped in a Korean restaurant for a late lunch.
Fruit stand in Chinatown

The Art Museum of Ontario

How is this for art?
Saturday was ESL again with a special class in Mandarin. Who ever thought we would be teaching English in Mandarin? We had a father and his daughter from Sao Tome and Principe, off the coast of Central Africa, attend ESL. This is a small Portuguese-speaking nation.