Sunday, August 9, 2015

Week of August 3-9, 2015

  Change has been an inevitable part of our life since we were married almost 36 years ago. Since that time, we have lived in 7 apartments and owned 8 homes in 5 states.  When we arrived in Brasil, it was our understanding that we would be assigned to the two branches in Teófilo Otoni for the two years of our mission.  However, during our last zone meeting in Nanuque, President and Sister Young invited us to have breakfast with them and suggested that we consider going into Vitória to serve as the mission office staff.  They asked us to fast and pray about the assignment, which we did, and then responded that we would do whatever they needed us to do.  Last Monday afternoon, August 3, he called us and asked us to come to Vitória to find an apartment and begin transitioning with Elders Carvalho and McDown who are the mission financial and executive secretaries respectively.  So we hurriedly arranged to leave Tuesday evening for the all-night bus ride to Vitória and on Wednesday afternoon we went into the office to start the transition.

Mission office sign for the Missão Brasil Vitória.
   Normally, they would not change both callings at the same time and would allow 6 weeks training time.  However, President Young would like us to be moved to Vitória (which includes moving our apartment furnishings (bed, desk, sofa, chairs, refrigerator, stove, washing machine, dryer, etc.) and take over by the next transfer on Tuesday, August 25. Fortunately, we found a nice apartment near the office that will be available the week of August 17 and we think we have lined up a mover to load us on that Teófilo Otoni.  We'll go back on Thursday night (another all night bus ride) to pack and get things ready to load on Monday.  Another bus ride back to Vitória and we're done.  This whirlwind schedule will give us about 9-10 days of overlap time.  And while most missions have a staff of 4-5, our mission operates with a staff of two.  In addition to our work in the office, we will be assigned to the Maruípe Ward for evening and weekend missionary work so we expect to keep quite busy!
  The office is near the Terçeio Ponte (Third Bridge) which connects Vitória (an island) with Vila Velha, a mainland city which is a part of the greater Vitória area.  Here's a view of the mission office building and the bridge from the mission office with our apartment building and the Shopping Vitória mall.

The Brazil Vitória Mission Office is on the 15th floor of the Enseada Office.
Terçeiro Ponte (Third Bridge) Vitória to Vila Velha from the Mission Office.  Our apartment will be in the high rise on the far left.  The Shopping Vitória mall is also visible right of center with the red CINEMARK lettering.
  This will be quite a change from the rural city of Teófilo Otoni and we will very definitely miss the dear members of the two branches there.  Fortunately we have completed our training for the Branch, Elders Quorum and Relief Society presidencies.  We have also been teaching the young men preparing to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and go into the mission field.  Here's the Portuguese and the English PDF versions (the originals were in PowerPoint) of training on the Oath and Covenant of the Melchizedek Priesthood that we prepared.
   We will particularly miss the Ipiranga Branch Presidente Marcio Costa and his family who have been very kind and helpful to us.  We had them over to our home for Family Home Evening last week and shared with them our latest presentation for the youth - a fireside on dating and morality.  Here's a PDF copy (the original was in PowerPoint) of that presentation in both Portuguese and English.  
   Based on the statistics from the Apple Health app on our phones, during the past four months, we have walked 1,250 miles (10.5 miles per day average), 2.5 million steps (21,000 steps per day average) and 6,000 floors or 13.6 miles vertical climb (50 floors per day average).  Since most of Vitória is near the beach and therefore flat, this will be quite a bit easier physically for which we are appreciative.  However, during this time we have been able to eat with "reckless abandon" and that will now have to moderate :-).  However, while we are still running a high metabolism, we took advantage to have dinner a couple of evenings at the Domino's pizza near our hotel.

Dominos is a favorite spot of the missionaries.  Here's Elder Burkinshaw ordering an "Americana" which has pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers and onions! 
Elder Carvalho, the current financial secretary, is from São Paulo and has been a great help in the transition.  He's a great missionary and after his mission he plans to study law.
Elder McDown, the current mission executive secretary, is from Flower Mound, TX.  He speaks excellent Portuguese, in part, because his mother is a Brazilian.
Elder Burkinshaw in a very familiar pose behind a computer keyboard and monitor.
  We worked Wednesday through Saturday and attended Sunday morning meetings in a ward near our hotel.  Today is Fathers Day in Brazil and they had a special gift (chocolates) for each of the fathers, which were great.  The lessons and speakers were excellent and very uplifting.  The topic of father's day reminds us of a great Mormon Messages video called Earthly Father, Heavenly Father which you might enjoy.
   Sunday evening we took a walk along the beach just across the street from our hotel.  It's still winter here in Brasil, so the temperatures during the day ranges from the 60's in the morning to the 80's in the afternoon, so it's quite pleasant.  Here's a selfie we took along the beach.

Walking along the beach in Victória.  We walked a couple of miles but turned around when we felt the garoa (drizzle) and got back to the hotel just as the heavy rain began.
Early morning picture outside our hotel window. The shore is beautiful.
    In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the week we are grateful that the Lord continues to bless our family at home. We do miss being there for our ever changing and growing family. So grateful for the safe arrival of Adelaide Hannah Burkinshaw, Paul and Molly's latest addition, this week on tuesday, August 4,2015. We miss not being able to hold this beautiful little girl and realize that we won't get to until she is 20 months old, but we know we are where the Lord needs us to be--it is a little hard though!
Adelaide Hannah Burkinshaw our 21st grandchild.
Ewan and Adelaide (Molly says she is most like Ewan was as a baby--a good sleeper!!
We have several busy weeks ahead of us as we make a very challenging transition is an extremely short timeframe, but after our fast last week, we have confidence that this will all work out in the end.  Moroni reminds us:

"And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." (Ether 12:6)

Avante Vitória!

Elder and Sister Burkinshaw


  1. 1250 miles is like Nauvoo to Salt Lake City. They did that journey in about 4 months as well. You are now literally a pioneer.

  2. Que legal :)
    Estou seguindo vocês agui no Blog, rsrsr