The Branch had a fun activity yesterday. They prepared homemade pizzas and had invited everyone they could find to attend. The attendance was not what we hoped but it was a great event. One of the members told me that if something is edible, it could be put on a pizza. In Brazil they have this party and bring different pizzas to the tables like Rodizio's does meat. I had so much fun trying different pizzas. They had one with cream cheese in the crust (yummy), several with cream cheese on top. There was one that I would call a "sloppy-joe pizza" I because the meat on the top reminded me of my mother's sloppy joes. To top it off, they had "sweet pizzas", ones made with mozzarella cheese and chunks of chocolate, some with peaches and chocolate. The Sisters worked very hard for many hours to make it a success. This time, Elder Dixon and I did very little. This Branch is growing and getting lots of great people to strengthen the Branch. They are also great about cleaning up!
The Sisters then presented a message. They had one of the Elders sit on a chair and asked our sweet young woman to lift him up. She could not. The Sisters invited someone else up to help her and they could lift the Elder a little. They then brought up our tiny new convert and together they were able to lift him. Finally, they invited our sister who does military training (everyone laughed). Of course, with her help, they lifted him very high. The message was about how it takes everyone together to lift him. The Sisters also tied it to the things that we need to be doing in the gospel in order for us to reach high. It was such a great analogy.
We had one of those "the Lord is preparing His people" moments. Out Sisters were out tracting and a man pulled over and gave them the information to contact his wife. They did, and she loved the message. She agreed to come to the party. She had some roadblocks that nearly prevented her from attending. When she arrived, she had an amazing experience. Years ago, she lived across the street from the LDS church in Brazil. Every Sunday, she would see a sweet family all walk to church. One day she didn't see them and she found out they had moved to the United States. When she walked into the party, that family was there.
My week in the office was spent trying to find housing for these new missionaries. One of the areas is many miles away (I drove 170 miles round trip that day) but I haven't been able to find anything so I drove there in hope of finding something. I asked at the County offices and they referred me to the Chamber of Commerce. On the way, I stopped at a Family Dollar store. When the clerk asked me if there was anything else she could do for me, I answered "Not unless you know of some place to rent". She said that it is sort of a hobby of hers to keep on top of such things and she was aware of something so call her back. Then I stopped at the Chamber of Commerce. That lady was a sweetheart. She tried hard to help me, and then just before I left, she asked me if there was some way she could do genealogy without having to pay. I left her the information for Family Search, and my name if she has questions. The trip did not result in anywhere to rent, but those two ladies made it feel like there was a purpose.
I have met some wonderful neighbors lately. There are so many good people in this world.
I was released today from teaching Primary. It is hard to leave those children. They are so wonderful. When I first started teaching them, they were pretty naughty, but we have learned together and I really enjoy them now. Today, they asked why I was released and I explained that the Branch is growing and that I already have a call as a missionary so they need to let someone else teach their class. They are so smart and have listened so well. I teared up as I told them I loved them and one of them said "Do I need to go get some paper for you to wipe your eyes?" How can you not love that!
We also went to the Temple this week to do baptisms for the dead. Our two new converts, a mother and daughter, each were baptized. That mother positively glows. She has found a family in the Branch. Love them!
I don't think I blogged about Elder Cruz being a trainer. He is in an English-speaking assignment and is training a new missionary.
Elder Castro wrote the sweetest note to Elder Dixon for his birthday. We really love these Brazilian missionaries.