Sunday, October 25, 2015

Week of October 19-25, 2015

  We mentioned last week that daylight savings time started last week in Brasil so now, when we first begin our walk in the morning, it is still somewhat dark as shown below:

Our "morning" walk has gotten darker with the transition to daylight savings time.
   By the time we are at the end of our walk, the sun has appeared and it becomes warm very quickly.

Sunrise during our morning walk - a beautiful physical analogy of our life

We regularly pass these small boats along the beach on our early-morning walk.

Circuit training is a popular beach activity - unfortunately it is just starting as we are finishing out morning walk.
   We regularly include pictures of our morning walk because it provides the most variety and most tranquility of our days.  Our work in the mission office is obviously important but it is also routine.  We support the physical needs (President Young gets the spiritual and emotional needs) for 120+ young adult missionaries, some quite mature and experienced in living on their own and some for whom this is a new experience.  The mission is spread over three Brazilian states (Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais) and includes two mission districts and four stakes.
   As the executive secretary for the mission, Sister Burkinshaw prepares the weekly roll-up statistics for the mission, preparing membership records for all new converts, visa renewals with the Federal Police, international travel arrangements for missionaries who have completed their missions, preparing letters to family and church leaders of the missionaries, scheduling interviews, managing referrals received for our mission and sending referrals from our mission to other missions and preparing the orientation materials for new missionaries and answering the office phone.
   Elder Burkinshaw serves as the financial secretary of the mission which includes the semi-monthly disbursements to missionaries including one-time reimbursements and charges, monthly rent payments for about 50 missionary homes and apartments, utility payments for the homes and apartments, tracking and monthly reporting for all mission credit card charges including a petty cash fund, ordering necessary new appliances for missionary apartments, working with landlords to close old home and apartment contracts including repairs and painting, preparing contracts for new apartments and homes and a variety of other projects.  And, like Sister Burkinshaw, there are phone calls all day long.
   While many missions have an office staff of 4 or 5 people, there are just the two of us.  We arrive in the office about 8:00am and leave at about 8:00pm and often, there are just not enough hours in the day to complete everything we need to do.  We go home tired but after a good night´s sleep and an early morning walk along the beautiful Vitória beach, we return renewed and ready for another day!

A panoramic shot of Praia do Camburi with Sister Burkinshaw on either side!
   Saturday morning (our preparation day) we finally took time to find the bike rental shop. We rented bikes for an hour and enjoyed a nice ride along the Praia do Camburi, about 3½ miles up and 3½ miles back.  It was a little later in the morning and by the time we rode for an hour and stopped to pick up a few groceries on our walk home we had had more sun than we realized.  We are used to early morning walks so we didn't think about what a couple of hours might do later in the day, so we both got a little burnt, but nothing too serious. With the bikes we were easily able to cover the 7+ mile path. The breeze off the ocean was very cool and comfortable even providing a little extra resistance at times. It provided some nice variety to our exercise routine.

Introducing William Jeffrey Wright born on October 20, 2015.  This handsome little boy has more hair than his Grandpa Jeff and the difference will only increase in Will's favor.
   The highlight of our week was the safe arrival of our grandson, William Jeffrey Wright.  Will (as he will be called) and Kathleen are doing great.  We miss not being there for the birth of Will and his cousin Adelaide.  They will both be in nursery by the time we get home from Brazil but as W.W.Phelps penned, "Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven" and we know that we are where we are most needed at this time.  As we work to bring a bit more organization to the mission office, we have confidence our family will be well-cared-for and all will be well.  
   We attended a funeral service today for a good member of the Church here in Vitória who had been active and healthy but passed away within 3 months of being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, the same illness that claimed Grandpa Robert Beck Burkinshaw. Adelaide is our 9th granddaughter and Will is our 13th grandson and hopefully they will look back at our absence as an example of our family's commitment to help change the world by sharing the most important thing we have - the gospel of Jesus Christ - the Great Plan of Happiness.    We are reminded that we should serve while we can and it will all work out for our good in the end.  Of this we have confidence.

Avante Vitória!

Elder and Sister Burkinshaw 

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