Sunday, February 28, 2016

Weeks of February 15 - February 28, 2016

We have enjoyed a busy, but productive couple of weeks. The February transfer went well, the missionaries have settled well into their areas and the work continues to move forward. We are losing 7 missionaries this next transfer (2 elders and 5 sisters), but we are getting a group of 17 missionaries (7 Elders and 10 Sisters) which will provide five more companionships for the mission. So things have been busy, but the busy of doing things we have reported on in the past and will have other opportunities to report SO we thought we would share some recent pictures, you will probably wonder if we are still in Brazil or if we have been transferred to.....


A little history lesson of the church in Brazil from the July 2014 Liahona.  

"In both physical size and population, Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world. But 100 years ago, its population was sparse, and few took advantage of its natural abundance: a tropical climate, rich land, and a wealth of minerals and water. 

Max and Amalie Zapf were intrigued with Brazil and decided to make it their home. They had joined the Church in Germany in 1908 and immigrated to Brazil in March 1913. As the first known members of the Church to live in Brazil, they were excited to be in a country with so much promise. Yet the Church was not established in South America, and Max and Amalie soon realized how lonely they felt without the privilege of attending church and interacting with other members.

After 10 years in Brazil, Max and Amalie Zapf learned of another faithful Church member, Augusta Lippelt, who had emigrated in 1923 from Germany with her four children and nonmember husband to the Brazilian southern state of Santa Catarina. The Zapfs moved to Santa Catarina to be close to the Lippelts.

Two years later the Souther American Mission opened in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The second mission president, K. B. Reinhold Stoof, also from Germany, was inspired to establish the church among the large German immigrant population in southern Brazil. In 1928 he assigned tow missionaries, William Fred Heinz and Emil A. J. Schindler, to Joinville, a city with a large population of German immigrants. In 1930, President Stoof visited the Zapfs and Lippelts and established a branch, where both families could finall attend church together and partake of the sacrament.

What a difference 100 years has made. Before the Zapfs arrived in 1913, Brazil had no members, no missionaries, and no Church organization. Today more than a million members live in Brazil, making it the country with the third-largest population of Church members (after the United States and Mexico). The Church now has congregations in all of Brazil's states and major cities. Max and Amalie's descendants enjoy the benefits of a strong and vibrant Church with a unique and fascinating history.

A prophecy given in Argentina in 1926 by Elder Melvin J. Ballard (1873-1939) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles suggested that the region would initially have slow growth but that it would one day be mighty. He prophesied: "The work of the Lord will grow slowly for a time here just as an oak grows slowly from an acorn. It will not shoot up in a day as does the sunflower that grows quickly and then dies." Definitely a prophecy fulfilled!!

Domingos Martins is a town founded by Germans more than a hundred years ago and still has a very German look to it. We bought a loaf of bread, some spices which Elder Burkinshaw mixed with olive oil when we got home, ate on the bread we bought and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was loaded with garlic so the mosquitoes won´t be biting him for a couple of weeks, no ZIKA worry here.
A city street that might look like old Germany in Domingos Martins.
Our tour guides for the day, Bishop Jocimar and his wife Renilsa.

COLORADO?? maybe...

We now know where the "Pedra Azul Água Mineral" or blue rock mineral water, for which we are very grateful, comes from...
The headquarters of Pedra Azul, the supplier of mineral water to many in the Brasilian state of Espirito Santo. 
We go through 20 liters of Pedra Azul mineral water every week in our apartment and probably another 20 liters in the office.

Cachoeiro (water-fall) near the Pedra Azul mineral water bottling facilities.
The granite outcropping on the right is the Pedra Azul (blue rock).  
Normally, the granite is dark gray but this rock is unique and can look green or gray or blue depending on the angle of the sun.
The Pedra Azul (blue rock) from close up.
We actually felt like we were on the mountain. Sister Burkinshaw was wishing she had put on the sweater she brought. We have had our warmest week yet in Brazil (high 90´s all week).  We loved  this cool break!!
Pedra Azul from a different angle.

On this map, you can see Vitória on the coast at the right and just left of center you can see the picture of Pedra Azul, in the blue area highlighting the town of Domingos Martins.
These are vacation homes in the mountains. We actually were approached about a time share,on the other side of Pedra Azul but decided Brazil was a little too far from home.

IDAHO...  sprinklers??, but not potatoes and most farming is done on the side of the hills or mountains as you will see in the rest of the pictures of the beautiful Brazilian farmland.  However, you won`t see many palm trees in Idaho :-)

Coffe is the crop on the hillside to the left.
A grove of young eucalyptus trees which are raised for the paper and pulp industries.
More mature eucalyptus groves with sweet potato and coffee in the foreground.
This is definitely COLORADO, right??  Only the purple Jacaranda trees belie the location.
Among the purple Jacaranda trees, you have also noticed white trees.  An interesting fact is that they are not white - the leaves are green.  The shape and shiny surface of the tree`s leaf make it look white in the sunlight. Had we not seen it close up, we wouldn`t have believed it when Bishop Jocimar told us it was the reflection of the sun.
Maybe Elder and Sister Burkinshaw are still in Brazil, the flowers were beautiful. 
Sister Burkinshaw couldn't resist taking pictures of these flowers as everytime she saw them she heard her Aunt Helen's voice and what she called them (Some of her siblings may remember).

We spent some time at the home of Bishop Jocimar's cousin who owns a farm. Angela, his wife, was a wonderful hostess.  She had ridden her bike to their farm which is their weekend getaway from the city of Vitória, about an hour away.  We picked and ate some delicious oranges there.  We came home with fresh fruit and as always an appreciation for the "Law of the Harvest".

Angela, our hostess, actually speaks some English and she made Sister Burkinshaw feel better when she talked about how much easier it is to learn English than Portuguese.
The view from the front of the farm house. We heard a couple of cars drive by on the road, but it was very difficult to see where the road was, we finally found it at the truck of the three purple trees. 
This is part of the farm. We climbed a small hill to the edge of the house
 to get this view, Amazing!!
More of the farm crops!!
Here Bishop Jocimar and Renilsa are purchasing German bread from the woman who makes it in ovens similar to how it was made in the old country.
The ovens were outside (a great idea in Brazil) because heat is not necessarily a good thing inside. We did not see any bread mixers but we did see metal bowls so we surmise the dough is mixed by hand.
What an amazing trip and all in one day and yes we are still in Brazil. This area is just an hour outside Vitória in the "Interior" and we so appreciated the Bishop and his wife taking us out for the day - an opportunity we would not have had without their kindness. The Gospel is true and the members who live by it´s teachings are truly amazing people!!

Love to all, and yes we are still in BRAZIL and grateful everyday for this opportunity to serve in such a beautiful place. We took a couple of pictures last week of our morning walk before we changed from daylight savings this past Sunday. It is light now when we walk.

The Terçeiro Ponte (Third Bridge) during our 5:30am walk prior to the "Fall back" from daylight savings to standard time.
A beautiful sunrise during our morning walk out to the point on Praia do Camburi.
Avante Vitória!!

Elder and Sister Burkinshaw

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