Sunday, January 22, 2012

Video Example

Well yesterday and today have been interesting. We are going to do the family home evening lesson on Monday night for the Senior Couples and we decide to teach them how to do some things with their pictures both on and off the internet. We also want to show them some of the resources the Church has available and also some ways to use your mission experiences as a missionary tool on the internet.

We decided to make our bbq sauce base and video it and then make a video combination video and add it to our blog. So we made the sauce and videoed it and tried to upload it to YouTube. Wouldn't you nnow we had major difficulties. Because I have a 4 hour meeting on Monday and can't spend all day on it, I wanted to get it done on Saturday but Youtube did not cooperate. It said that my video had already been uploaded (somewhere). However, I don't remember uploading it and it did not land in my uploaded videos and I don't have time to re edit another movie, so I am putting up Darwin's whole wheat sour dough pancake recipe and giving them a basic tour or the internet stuff and a quick, how to on picasa. If anyone, wants of needs more, I will do a class. So this post is just a way to get the video of the pancake recipe up on this blog. It should be below.

Know that we are healthy and happy. The work here seems to be never ending but I have decided that I can only do what I can do and that I am going to start looking for more resources in each mission. Dad is doing really well with Portuguese and when I have to talk to a mission president he is right at my side coaching me with the vocabulary that I don't know. His pronunciation is a lot better than mine and he has a handle on the grammar just like he does in Spanish. (I should have had another year of spanish under my belt and maybe it would be so confusing). Buy for now. We will try to get the bbq lesson up later.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Well today is Jan 2, 2012. I can tell you it has been an exciting and exhausting week. We had couple of firsts yesterday. Darwin drove us (yes in São Paulo Brazil) to church. The senior couples have several cars checked out to them so we can get to the MTC (across the city) without taking a taxi (costs about $60.00 round trip) or the bus (which means 4 transfers). We have been riding with one of the other couples but everyone here has to learn how to drive in the city so yesterday was Darwin's first day behind the wheel. We made it, no accidents. Sunday is a slow traffic day but we have to go to the MTC one day for me to observe the teaching of the stress management material to the new missionaries. I can't wait to drive through this city on a regular traffic day.

It is interesting here. They have cameras at various places along the way and they take pictures of you and figure your speed. If you are speeding they send you a ticket through the mail but usually it takes 4 months to get to you.

The second first was that Darwin was called to be a counselor in the Branch Presidency of the 4th branch. The 4th Branch is an English speaking Branch with all American Elders and Sisters. He also played the piano for Sacrament meeting (that was a first here because he has been having trouble seeing the notes with the macular tear he has in one eye).

I thought you might like to see some pictures of where we are. I hope you read the rests of the posts, no pictures but alot going on here.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

For those of you who follow our blog especially those of you who are not members of our church, I hope this post will help you understand some things about us and our dedication to people of the world who come from cultures different than our own. Let me say that we love diversity and have many friends from many different cultures both in the church and out of the church. Today as part of our Celebration of Christmas we went to Church at the Missionary Training Center here in São Paulo. There are 197 missionaries here all learning the basics of missionary services and some learning Portuguese for the first time.

They come from Brazil already speaking Portuguese and will serve in various parts of Brazil away from there home area. Many are in a big city for the first time (like an Idaho or Montana farm kid coming to São Paulo, it is different and scary even thought they know the language). We also have both Elders and Sister from several Spanish speaking countries in South America, including Chile, Argentina, Peru, and Uruguay who speak Spanish and are learning Portuguese in order to serve throughout Brazil. There is also a contingent from the United States many of whom have come straight from home to São Paulo to begin their missions and learn the Language that they will be speaking for the next 2 years. We also have a contingent from Africa who will be working in Mozambique (also in Africa) and speaking Portuguese but who now speak a combination of Portuguese and Creol, and we just sent out a group who came from various parts of Germany speaking German and learning Portuguese and who are now spread out in various of the 27 missions here in Brazil. Brazil has both a large German population and a large Japanese population.

This diverse group is attended to by equally diverse group of instructors and leaders. The MTC (Missionary Training Center) president is an American who has lived and served in Brazil more than once, his wife is an immigrant to Brazil as a young child from Czechoslovakia and speaks Portugese, Czech, and English natively as well as some German (She was a great help with the German speakers, especially one who was experiencing some significant adjustment issues). One of President Clark's counselors (assistants) is Japanese and speaks Portuguese, Japanese, and Engish, has a beautiful Tenor voice and sang "Requiem" in Latin for the Staff and Leader Christmas Party. The other Counselor is Brazilian. The instructors here are all Brazilian but many speak more than one language and have had experience in different cultures.

The missionaries are divided into Church Units called branches and the branch leadership for each of the branches comes from here in São Paulo, native Brazilians or from the Senior Couples who are serving here in other capacities. As we have compared our experiences and that of our children we can see the real diversity that becomes a part of you as you grow and serve in the Church. We have people who have served in or were raised in Japan, Hong Kong , many of the countries of Europe and Eastern Europe, all over South America, and Africa. At the moment we don't have anybody here that has served in India (although Darwin and I have a friend who served his mission in India and married a girl from India).

It is fun to compare stories about driving in various places in the world. How you navigate in Africa is entirely different than how you navigate in Russia.

The following poem was shared today in Sacrament meeting. It was written for an Elder who served in Russia from the ward (home church congregation) of the sister who gave the talk.

I know this post is long, but I hope you can feel this as much as we did today as we Sat with 19 to 23 year old young men and women (the simple things of the earth) who are about to go out into Brazil and Mozambique to serve people as representatives of Jesus Christ.

Who are you boy?
You are a boy who journeyed to this land of ours.
This land where I've endured my days and felt oppression kill my soul
And fit me into some tight mold.
And teach me that I should not hope
Unless I care to smell the smoke of the dreams that the Red Army tamed.

Who are you Boy?
From a land of plenty, teaching of God,if there is any,
You have all, we have none.
Do you know what that feels like,son?
And yet, you ask me to believe in something that I cannot see.
Some force you say will bring me joy.
Do you know what that feels like boy?

Where you're from, faith is free,
But it has a price for me.
When I have pain, I have my bottle.
Hurt kills quickly, when you drown it in vodka.
That's enough to warm my soul.

I work, I sleep, the days go by.
I'm waiting for the day I die.
You don't understand this place.
You talk and give.
Here in Russia, we just live.

Who are you boy?
Why do you come?
To save a soul who once was numb?
To teach a wretched hateful man who cursed your help,
Refused you hand.
I thought that we were worlds apart.

So how is it that you knew my heart?
A fraction of my age, you calmed my rage;
Mercy paid my generous wage.
I should have been left behind.
It is hard to love my kind.

Hope in your heart,
Power in your hands.
Why did you come to this distant land?
I know now, it was for me.
The Red Curtain fell, but I was still not free.
Until a boy from nations away, brought me my Lord.
I bless the day!

He led me to weep at my Master's feet,
The American boy I met on the street-
New and naive, still in his teens,
With a message to bring the world to its knees.
I thought that truth would come from another-
I did not know, this boy was my "brother".

Saturday, December 10, 2011

First Post from São Paulo

Well here we are again on foreign soil and getting settled in for another 18 months as mental health advisers to the area presidency and 27 mission presidents and one MTC president. Since we were on visa hold for so long we actually started working while we were still in the US. I was consulting with presidents and talking to missionaries starting in early Sept.

We touched down here on Nov 29th and immediately began to understand that there is a big difference between Portuguese and Spanish. (Native speakers here can understand Spanish pretty well but it is difficult for Spanish speakers, native or otherwise to understand spoken Portuguese. The pronunciation is significantly different (More like French -- our son-in-law Anthony will be happy to hear that). We are making progress -- Darwin especially, since his Spanish is so good. We had our first really successful experience with a neighbor last night. She came to our door to talk to us about some plans for Christmas in the Apartment complex and with lots of patience on her part and good cheer we were finally able to understand what was going on. It was really pretty cool. She invited us down to get better acquainted later.

Will post more later. I need to see if this works. Bye for now. Vicki

Monday, January 24, 2011

Directing the Lord's Work

I found this from Elder Bednar today. I think it has been up for a while but I hadn't seen it before. I thought it was really good and thought you all might enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Merry Christmas

Since we are home and will be for a while, I have changed the design of our blog. This post is to let you know that we are still around and wish you a Merry Christmas. Below is a link to a great resource for families wishing to simplify their Christmas in focus on the birth of our Savior.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


It is now October and we have been back in the US since May. I can't believe that I have not updated things on this blog. I have been incredably busy learning to design in the new dreamweaver CS4 package and getting a new website prepared. Unfortunately, I broke my leg along the way and all things became a little more difficult. I really am working hard to get up a new website called DarVicDoings but it is still in the redesign phase so it may be until Christmas before you actually see it. In the mean time I have a new Video below with some of the Bogota pictures added at the end. I updated our original from the last post, so the front part looks the same but it is shorter and with more pictures. Hope you enjoy and I will try to keep you posted on our new website. In the new website I hope to point out good free or inexpensive spanish language learning resources, share some of our pictures, teach engish phonetics, keep you posted on Darwins experiments with sourdough and yogart making and whatever other "doings" happen our way. Vicki