Well, this week was a struggle. We did get Woo's residency permit, but for reasons I don't care to detail here, the rest of us did not get a family reunification visa. It's been tough, mostly because we don't know where to go from here.

At the same time--problems with the house in Utah, problems with the house here, problems in the branch and problems with customs feel like a lot at the moment.

We got a call midweek that I was off the hook for Sunday School and Woo was off the hook for his talk due to the District President teaching and speaking. It seemed like a blessing at the time, but now I'm not so sure. I almost always feel uplifted and strengthened after I teach.

The kids were actually incredibly patient during the four hour wait at the visa office. The only hiccup was near the end when it was clear they didn't need us and I took the kids outside. Someone threw a paper airplane straight into the large hair concoction of someone who had also clearly run into some frustrations. Whoops.

Our town was a stop on the pro-surfing world tour, but we didn't get to see any of it because of time and appointments and invitations we had already accepted. This was the biggest disappointment to Woo and Herbie, although, I think it would've been fun for all of us to watch.

The weather has been beautiful. Clearer and more consistently warm than all summer, actually. I've taken Herbie and Archie to the beach a few afternoons to play and watch Woo surf. Woo is getting quite a bit better (and has also toned up), but his new board often feels like learning all over again.

We did spend a pleasant evening gathered around my phone, reading old emails. Boy, am I glad we have those. The kids were so little and cute. There's no way I would've been able to remember so many ridiculous and funny things they did otherwise, and they love to read them too.

I taught Herbie to extract names from the Czech archives, just like I'm doing. I was thinking he could watch me for a month or so, and then pick a branch to do himself. I severely underestimated him. He was doing it all on his own, remembering all the steps and reading the Czech as well as I am, in half an hour. He has a few names reserved on his own account now.

Ruby continues to really enjoy her dinner chore and my load at home has definitely been lightened. Not only is she doing most of the work, things are planned and started earlier, so almost all the stress of that time of day is gone. Ruby continues to enjoy school and her new friends. She appears to be coming to critical decisions of who is good or bad for her to hangout with and what she needs to be doing to succeed in her classes here.

The old Moses is back. The one who tries to do everything right. He had one really exceptional day towards the beginning of the week and pretty good ones since then, which has been a big help.
Me: What happened, Mose?
Moses: I read about Nephi. And how he said, "Let us be strong like unto Moses."
That has to be his favorite scripture.

Linus also read about Nephi the morning before we went in for visas. He smiled at me and pointed out, "thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured." Then he smiled again when he showed me Laman and Lemuel (the "bad" guys) were the ones that were murmuring. He smiled because those scriptures were for him that morning, and his decision to follow them certainly were a help to us. The wait at the SEF office would of been a million times worse if Linus had been the cranky, whiny mess he sometimes is when waiting. Because there was definitely a lot of waiting.

If we ask Penelope or Archie how to say specific things in Portuguese, they never know, but they're learning it. Penelope started off our lunch date with a surprising, "Eu gosto de pão." And more than once I've caught them arguing about who knows the most Portuguese. "Oh yeah? Do you know what pato is? I do!"

Then to finish the week off we went to the district primary activity--a halloween party--which started off with... waiting in line!
Woo: They wait in line to celebrate.

Hope your week was great!