Sunday, August 21, 2011

Missionaries at Last

We wondered if there would be any pictures to show this week. One day seems to blend into another without much new happening - or so we thought. At least Monday was a normal day, laundry, going to the supply room, picking up some groceries, and Diane's Portuguese lesson (which included a rainbow).
Rainbow over Toronto
Tuesday was also non-eventful. We called all of the less active members on the phone to see if we could make appointments with no success (except for Maria Costa whom we visited on Wednesday). We tried to drop by some houses in the afternoon, also without success. We were able to talk to one Portuguese man (normally we encounter Italians and Greeks) who had no interest in the church. Since there is not much to write about (or to show) we took the camera out for walks so we would have a few pictures. These scenes of small front yards are the exceptions, not typical of all houses.

Toronto Rain
Hidden Garden
Guardian Cranes
Then there is the custom of leaving any unwanted furniture on the lawn which mysteriously disappears.
Lawn Furniture
On Wednesday we had our zone and district meetings in the morning. We then visited Maria who likes reading the Book of Mormon with us, but refuses to go to church because of a stolen necklace four years ago. She gave us a 1946 red-lettered bible. She said since she can't read English, we might as well have it.

We went to the mission home this afternoon for a farewell picnic for President and Sister Brower. It was good to meet with many of the senior couples, though some of them couldn't make it.
The Browers and their "farewell" quilt with senior couples

Here we are with the Browers
We got a call about a "Spanish Conference" on Friday so we had our P-Day on Thursday. We decided to go to the Gardiner ceramic museum. The library has a special grant to give away free tickets for admission to various museums, so we took advantage of it. Believe it or not, we didn't even get a parking ticket.

Sister Wheeler in front of the Gardner Museum
A monkey orchestra in the museum
Two lovers from the Comede de Belle'arts collection
Man playing the duda, or goat bagpipe
King Edward in Queen's Park

All of the Spanish missionaries met at the mission home for a special conference on Friday. For some reason they also invited us. We would be alone, except Elder Woodruff and Elder Lima are now working in the mission office for the time being, so we had two other Portuguese missionaries. It actually was a good conference. They even had gluten-free tortillas on hand so Elder Wheeler could eat the burritos. After we returned to the apartment and settled down we got a phone call from the district leader asking if we could attend a baptism that evening. What they really wanted was for Sister Wheeler to play the piano.

The Spanish sisters at the conference

 We had ESL again on Saturday with Elder Wheeler scrambling English, Portuguese, and Mandarin again. Joao (from Brazil) said he would like to learn more about the church so we set up a lesson for Sunday before church. We finally had a lesson on our own. In times past we would let the elders teach investigators, but since there are no longer Portuguese elders in Toronto, we taught Joao the first lesson (the restoration). Elder Wheeler managed with his Portuguese and Sister Wheeler was able to introduce the family (showing a picture of Andrea and her family), give her testimony, and introduce prayer in Portuguese. We have a second lesson scheduled for next week.

We have been trying to visit Amanda and her son Mateus for awhile without success. We got a call from her while at the Spanish conference requesting help to move a bed and dresser out of the house on Saturday. With the help of a couple of elders we were able to help her and visit her in her house at the same time. Mateus is 8 years old and needs to prepare for baptism.

Amanda and Mateus

We are excited about beginning the institute class in September. While we were at church today we talked to Victor Aguilar who has been asked to teach institute in Spanish. It will be nice to work together on the lessons.

The new institute teachers
We ended up with more activities (and pictures) than expected for the week. We now officially have two investigators (Joao and his brother Fabio). We also had two activities at the mission home we hadn't expected. It make us wonder what next week will bring. I guess we will see.

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