Things to do on a Day of Rest (Part 1)

I have tried to take a day of rest once a week this past month.  It has not been easy for me to rest.  However, this past week I decided to do some projects at my house on my day of rest.  I began the morning by getting everything out to do the construction projects.


All set for a Day of Wood Projects

One of the most important parts of working on construction projects around the house is the fuel needed to complete the project.  This day I decided to make a bacon onion pizza to fuel my projects.

Rest 1

Good food is important for good work

Doing wood projects in my apartment is an experience because I don’t have a garage or shop to do the project in.  Instead I use my kitchen table and family room as my wood shop.

Rest 2

Work in Progress

This is the first time that I made a drawer myself.  As I test fitted the drawer cabinet into the space in the kitchen cabinets I found that when they installed the kitchen cabinet they didn’t make the cabinet square so I had to actually had to take apart my drawer cabinet and modify parts to make it fit.

Rest 3

Fitting the drawer

After modifying the original design to fit the odd shaped opening I am thankful that everything fit and looks good.  I am unsure of how I want to finish this project but I am thankful that I remembered that this might tip once I fill the drawer with stuff.  Because I did not secure the cabinet insert to the rest of the kitchen cabinets I had to build two braces to keep a full drawer from tipping the drawer insert.

Rest 4

Finished Product Installed

The braces work very well and the full drawer fully extended does not cause the insert to move.  I am thankful for the opportunity that I have had to take a day of rest and complete this project along with a few others.  I am looking forward to the next day of rest now.

Rest 5

Finished Product at Work



The Strike has Ended

I have learned lots from this 11 day truckers strike which ended a couple of days ago.  The first thing that I learned is that the entire economy of Brazil is dependent upon truckers and does not function without them.  The second thing is that Brazilians reacted to the strike by stocking up on the goods that they need or think that they need.  The third thing is that when Brazilians see another get something an advantage they will do what they can to get an advantage for themselves.  Other things have been learned but I am thankful for getting to experience the strike and to have lived safely through it.

Strike 2

Long Lines for Gas

The gas lines during the strike and shortly after the strike were very long.  I know people who waited 2+ hours for the opportunity to fill up or top off their tank.  Above is a picture of a line that was almost 3/4 of a mile long that I saw while driving last Tuesday at the height of the strike.


Protesters for Other Causes

During the strike other people thought that they should get into the action so they blocked the main highway near Ivoti.  The group above was protesting trying to get better funding for education.  They did not say that they were supporting the truckers but all of the signs were asking for better education.  Another group that blocked the road further down the road is pictured below.  This group was asking for military intervention.  They believed that the military should intervene in the conflict and remove the president and settle the strike.  It is the perception of Brazilians that the military is less corrupt than the politicians who are running the government.  I am thankful that the military did not intervene but there is still lots of speculation and uncertainty in Brazil due to this strike and other issues.

Strike 1

Protesters Calling for Military Intervention


Game 1 of the NBA Finals Party

The first game of the NBA finals provided an opportunity for me to have friends over to watch the game.  It was great to have lots of friends over and I think that they really enjoyed not only the food but also the game.


Game Time Meal

To watch the game I had friends sitting all over the entire family room area.  I am thankful for the time that I got to spend with my friends.

Basketball 1

Watching the Basketball Game

At times the game was not that interesting and so some of the people would be answering messages on their phone.  I am not surprised these days by people using their cell phones all the time and I am guilty of the same many times.

Basketball 3

Sometimes a message is more interesting than the Game

One of the things that I enjoy doing is preparing a meal for people when they come over.  For game one I made a riff on baked Ziti using tortellini instead of ziti pasta.  I think that it turned out very well and everyone enjoyed the dish.

Basketball 2

Normally a Meal is an important part of each game


Missionary Fellowship

It is important for missionaries to have some fellowship time with other missionaries.  Our team is in Rio Grande do Sul is separated and currently does not have anyone who is working in even the same city as each other.  It was at the suggestion of one missionaries wife that we get together to celebrate his Birthday.

Birthday 3

Homemade Pizza

It is always important to sare food when getting together but this time was special with Mandy making great pizza and a wonderful birthday cake for Maicol.


Birthday Cake

I had the privilege of taking pictures of the Birthday boy and his family.

Birthday 1

Family Picture

We were able to play games with the entire family, including the kids.  Once the kids went to bed we were able to play some more complex games with just the adults.  I am thankful for the time that I was able to spend with these other missionaries and strengthen the friendships that I am building with them.

Birthday 2

Adult time after the kids bedtime


Cooking Hamburgers for a Retreat

I had the privilege of cooking hamburgers for a church plant that fellow ABWE missionaries started and are working at.  Logos is the same church plant that I had the privilege of discipling some of the young men and also baptizing two of them last year.


Kitchen Help mixed and prepared the burgers

This year they asked me to come and cook hamburger’s for the retreat.  With the help of the kitchen ladies it was easy to make all 52 hamburger patties.

burger 1

Formed Hamburger Patties

My main responsibility was to provide the recipe and to cook the burgers for everyone.  Cooking the burgers was fun but with everyone’s help we were able to have all of the burgers cooked on time.

burger 3

Cooking the Hamburgers

I was so encouraged to hear Richter’s testimony at the sito da esperansa. It was cold during the part of the retreat that everyone was bundled up but even with the cold they were able to hear the testimony of an engineer.

burger 2

Listening to Richter’s testimony

The messages at the retreat were given by my pastor Andreu.  Andrew preached from Romans 8 during the part of the retreat that I attended and it sounds like everyone was encouraged.

burger 4

Pastor Andreu preaching at the retreat on Romans 8

It was clear that everyone was having fun at the retreat.  I liked this picture of some of the ladies helping set up the burger bar for dinner.

burger 6

Having fun setting up the burger line

Once the burger bar started the people liked up and enjoyed the hamburgers.  They smelled the hamburgers cooking during the message and enjoyed eating all but 6 of the hamburgers we made.  There was about 30 people who were at the retreat and It seemed like each and everyone enjoyed the food.

burger 5

Burgers are served

After cooking the burgers I joined the people in playing games until I left later that night.  I am so glad that I could be a part of this retreat and enjoy a good meal with them.

burger 7

Playing games at the retreat


Local Pastors Meeting

I go to a monthly pastors meeting every month.  This meeting is normally is the first Thursday of each month and is hosted by one of the pastors at their church or retreat center.  We had about 10 churches and two local retreat centers represented at the meeting this month in Ivoti.


Conversations before and after the event

The fellowship is a very important part of these meetings.  I have talked with the pastors and each of them feels like this meeting is very important.  With only about 15 like minded churches located in a city the size of Los Angeles it is common to have these pastors feel very isolated and lonely.  The conversations that happen over the meals and before and after the meeting are vital to the local pastors.

Pastors 1

Fellowship over breakfast

Following breakfast we have a time were the host pastor shares an encouraging devotional and then we get down to business updates and prayer requests.  Typically after prayer requests we break up into smaller groups to pray.  I am so thankful for all of these men and the opportunities that I have had to practice my Portuguese with them and build relationships over the past year plus.

Pastors 2

Spiritual Encouragement and Prayer 

Ivoti was the host church and my contribution was making an egg, onion, bell pepper, bacon, cheese, and potato casserole.  I think that it turned out well and the guys liked it also because there was none left over. 


Guest Book

Every time someone comes over to my house I have them sign the guest book before they leave.  The guest book idea began with visiting my Uncle and Aunt in Austria when I was 18 and signing their guest book.  I was so honored to sign a guest book that had been signed by kings and foreign dignitaries. When I first signed the guest book I was about 2 years old and my parents traced my hand on the page.  When I visited while I was 18 I traced my 18 year old handprint over my 2 year old handprint.

Guest Book

My Guest Book

I never started one until I became a missionary and I knew that now was the time.  I got my guest book before I left for the missions field as a gift from my sending church.  During the going away party many of my friends signed the book.  During some rough lonely times the first few months in Brazil I would read what my friends wrote for encouragement.

Guest Book 3

Encouraging words from my going away party

At times I will go back through the guest book to read what people have written and it is interesting to see how some of the Brazilian’s wrote very complex difficult sentences that I am only now able to really understand what they wrote without using google translator. I am so thankful for the reminders of who has come over and how they enjoyed their time.

Guest Book 2

Some of my first guests

It is also very interesting to see the look on peoples faces when I tell them that they need to sign the guest book before they leave.  The very concept of a guest book is as common in Brazil as it is in the United States, that is to say it is not very popular.  I look forward to the time when I can look back at the book years later and see all of the different people who visited and their comments.

Guest Book 1

Favorite Note: “I was here again, thank you” or “Eu estive aqui novamente, obrigado”

Futeball Americano Practice and Going Away Galeto

This past Sunday futebal practice was special as it was the last practice for the other missionary who got me into helping coach the Canoas Bulls.  It is very clear that Lucas Bair had an impact on many of these guys who are on the team.  


Football Practice

It was Lucas’s involvement with the Bulls that got me involved in the first place.  Through his encouragement I started to come to football practice and have continued to become more involved over time.

Football 1

Lucas addressing the team after Practice

After practice Lucas addressed the team and said goodbye to them.  Lucas is heading back to the states for furlough. To celebrate (mourn) his leaving the guys barbequed chicken and Lucas brought hot sauce and blue cheese ranch sauce.

Football 2

Eating BBQ chicken with some spicy sauce

It was great to be able to eat with the guys after practice.  I was greatly encouraged by the comradery and conversations that happened during the meal.

Football 3

One Last time to say goodbye



Time with Friends

I am so thankful for all of the time that I have had with friends recently.  I am so thankful for my friends who have patience with me as I practice Portuguese.  It is also very nice when I don’t have to cook for myself.  I am so thankful to have such great friends.


BBQ Rib dinner at Marcos house

I enjoy spending time with my friends but it has also revealed another of many weaknesses in my Portuguese.  That weakness is that I am struggling with being a part of group conversations.  Group conversations are difficult because Brazilians talk over each other all the time, I struggle to understand multiple voices talking at the same time, and normally multiple conversations talk place in the same group.  When I speak Portuguese unless it is a simple phrase or a topic that I know the vocabulary well I struggle with forming sentences quickly enough to be an active part of the conversation.  However,  I have seen growth in this are and know that the more time I spend in these environments the better my Portuguese will become.

Friend 1

Grilled Chicken Dinner at Johns house


Coxinha da Asa

I had the privilege of having 10 friends over to my house for coxinha da asa, chicken wings, the other night.  It all started with one friend asking if I had seen a video of a guy trying 30 different hot wing sauces and asking if we could do something like it.  I said send me the video and I will see if we can do it.


Barbeque the chicken wings

We finally decided that about 10 people would be the max and that 5-6 sauces would be a good number because then everyone could try one of each and then eat more of the sauces that they prefer.  The death sauce which I made was good but I wanted it to be hotter,  I went and purchased 5 different peppers that I found in Brazil and then blended them together to make the sauce.  I purchased the sweet pepper sauce and Frank’s hot sauce and the sweet pepper sauce was probably my second favorite sauce of the day.  I also made teriyaki, barbeque, and garlic parmesan sauce from scratch, I think that the barbeque was my favorite sauce of the day.

Coxinha 1

Franks, Garlic Parmesan, Barbeque, Sweet Pepper, Teriyaki, and Death Sauces (rt to lt)

Along with the chicken wings I also made ranch dipping sauce from scratch to dip the wings into.  It is important when you have wings that you also have a couple of sides.  The sides for the night were carrot sticks, a classic pairing, and homemade macaroni and cheese with candied bacon topping.

Coxinha 2

Full Table of Food

I am so thankful that my friends were able to come over and enjoy the food.  It is pretty clear that they were all comfortable with the events of the night.

Coxinha 5

Enjoying the meal

My churrasceira did not hold all of the chicken wings so I had to cook them in 3 batches in the grill.  The first batch seemed to just wet the appetite of the people for more wings.  I am glad that between everyone there was one or two sauces which they liked and they were all different.

Coxinha 3

Everyone was able to eat their fill

One of my favorite part’s of the night was seeing cemetery full at the end of the night.  Seeing the bones of about 7 kilos of chicken wings in one bowl was a sight to see.

Coxinha 4

The Cemetery