June 30, 2014
What a busy week! It doesn't seem that it should be so busy, but the time flies by. The Branch President, President Tedjamulia, is warm and welcoming. He has made us feel needed and wanted. He gave us assignments that were meaningful and should be helpful to the Branch. Here is a picture of him and his wife:
He was born in Indonesia, but raised in Brazil. We find this Branch is like the United Nations. They are an amazing group of people from all sorts of places.
We will be moving into our apartment this week. This is the complex and I didn't photoshop it:
We will also get to meet the new Mission President this week. We look forward to his insights in our service. We only got to meet President Wolfert for a short time when we arrived, but we feel that he has greatly influenced our Mission in wonderful ways.
We are trying to be helpful to a Branch of wonderful people who are stretched thin. They just lost their Primary Chorister, so I volunteered. They had already called a new Chorister, the ward clerk will be serving in both capacities. I am working with the Relief Society Presidency as they get ready for a Visiting Teaching conference. The Relief Society President is also a kind and warm person who has welcomed me and is willing to use me as "a third counselor." I love that.
We are just beginning to work with the Ward Missionaries, the Young Women and the High Priests. Many of the organizations are led by newer members and people who have not had similar responsibilities before. They have the challenge of people who speak only Portuguese, people who speak only English and people who speak both. They also have people who have to travel great distances to attend church and meetings.
Despite the challenges, these people are amazing. They have increased the Branch from about 20 members to around 80 in three years. They had a Branch Temple night a few days ago and over 20 people attended. How cool is that!
Elder Dixon and I are going to start some language training through the Missionary Training Center, hopefully this week.
For anyone who was wondering, our little granddaughter's name is Ilana. Pretty name for our sweet baby.