Ten Ton Mose

Moses turned 10. I think the Friday before, I picked him up from school and he collapsed into my arms, crying that he didn't have any friends. I think it was just the end of a long week because he felt very loved by his class on his birthday, many of them giving him little trinkets like a balloon and a pencil and cards and drawings they'd done at home.

He felt loved by his family too, putting his arm around everyone nearest him while we sang "Happy Birthday" and letting Penelope hug him and hold his hand to and from school.

The kids are very kind to me on their birthdays, usually asking for the easiest dinners in the world. Moses wanted chorizo (a type of pork sausage) sandwiches with melon and two donuts he's been dying to try for everyone for dessert. He pretended to blow out candles and made a wish.

We went on a Sunday walk out on a dirt road. At one point a polícia marítima drove by in a truck, lifting one corner of his mouth and a finger as he passed, thanks to Moses.
Moses: I had to wave to him; he looked so angry!

We passed this "press the bell" sign that was just too tempting. All the kids pretended to ring it, and then Moses actually did. We thought it was a shop, but a man poked his head out.
Woo: The sign was a temptation for the kids!
I'm not sure if I've written this before, but I've yet to see a Portuguese get mad or annoyed with a kid. This man laughed and closed the door. We might've made his day.

It rained a ton on Friday. Streets and the park were flooded. After the rain, Herbie, Linus, Archie and I went to play soccer and we had to take our shoes and socks off to wade into the court. Herbie spent some time finding the drains with his feet and cleaning them out. He felt he made a big difference.

Linus and Herbie played soccer with me, but Archie spent almost the entire time, out wading in the water (after kicking his little soccer ball out the door of the court on purpose, so he could get into the water). He started out with his pants pulled up past his knees, but ended up with his pants and half his shirt totally soaked. I briefly considered stopping him, but really didn't care that much. In fact, I was happy this water escapade didn't involve any sand!

After the park, Herbie and Woo walked over to the beach to checkout the super high swell and tide. Waves were breaking over the divider(?) into the harbor and pushing water upstream.

Penelope is just a really good girl. She does her best in school, loves to come home and read some more. She loves everyone, and helps new people feel comfortable with her hugs. She loves to write nice notes for her family and her friends. She works on memorizing the Living Christ on her own and also reads the Friend herself and to Archie. She's Archie's best friend. In fact, when she left with Woo for her Daddy Day this week, Archie came to me crying because "Nellpea is gone!"

The only complaint I have about her, is that at times she's super sensitive and kind of a baby. But... she is only six... so I guess I can't complain.

We're kind of confused about Linus' new teacher. Probably because Linus is. It's either a man or C--a, his old substitute. Either way, no one is speaking English to him anymore, and Linus told us that the man teacher "didn't even know I was American." I don't know about that... Linus' class is going on a fieldtrip to Lisbon to visit the planetarium, which he called "the plant place" for a long time, and we assumed was some botanical garden or greenhouse, until Ruby was like, "You mean the planetarium?" The release sheet shows she was right.

Ruby and Herbie were arguing at the table when Herbie said, "Like when you talked to D-- in the library?! You were really red. And he was really red."

Ruby stopped arguing to laugh and that's how we learned that she'd talked to her crush for the first time. Sounds just about as awkward as I expected. And luckily for us all, Herbie was there to witness it.

I did the kids yearly interviews Saturday and Ruby was actually pleasant and amiable in hers. She even complimented me once in the middle... (what?!)

Ruby has taken it upon herself to help me with my pronunciation, and she's actually a pretty good teacher. Not that I'm making amazing gains, but that she understands her student and explains things well. She passes on all sorts of little tricks that she's used to help herself remember things. "Mas: say it like mush, like a command for a dog, that's what I always think."

It reminds me of one of her blessings before we came that said... the things she would learn while learning another language would help her entire life: in college, as a missionary, as a mother and as a future leader in His church.

Primary has been a different challenge than Sunday School. I'm learning and speaking less Portuguese, but the preparation is so much easier because the lesson and sharing time outlines are so great. It's the actual teaching that takes more work. Kids are less forgiving; they react the second the lesson loses their interest. And like a typical day with the family, there are times that are almost always a struggle (like returning to Sharing Time after their break). But, I'm plugging along and figuring things out. I'd say that every week has gotten progressively better and this week was really enjoyable.

In a lot of ways, Woo has become a better person in the last couple of months and weeks. He's way happier, for one. (Which was really nice earlier in the week when I was overworked and grouchy.) Also, he's actively trying to be a better person. He's facing up to his weaknesses and getting rid of them. Overall, he's definitely more humble, patient, generous, understanding, charitable, kind, and receiving more revelation. He was super tired yesterday, and other than being really quiet, that was all.

At times he doesn't really enjoy having to pick up someone a half hour away for church, teach Elders Quorum, teach Sunday School, prepare and bless the Sacrament, bear his testimony, and drop someone off. But most of the time he really enjoys working in the branch and with the missionaries. And he's way better with the inactive members of the branch than I am.

And taking pictures of the kids in front of "this house is booby trapped" signs.

Also, bringing home new fruits. Unfortunately, this dragon fruit was a dud.

Alright, that's about it. Hope you had a great week!

Testimony Below:

Eu sei que Jesus Cristo é nosso Redentor. Ele é o Filho de Deus.
Eu sei que o temple é sua casa. Ele é um lugar especial para aprender sobre ele é sentir Seu Espírito.
Eu sei que as escrituras tém as palavras de Jesus Cristo e instruções para ser como Ele.
Eu sei que nosso profeta novo, Presidente Nelson, fala por Cristo.
E digo isto, no nome de Jesus Cristo, amém.

I know that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer. He is the Son of God.
I know that the temple is His house. It is a special place to learn of Him and feel His Spirit.
I know that the scriptures have the words of Jesus Christ and instructions to be like Him.
I know that our new prophet, President Nelson, speaks for Christ.
And I say this, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Ich weiß, dass Jesus Christus ist unser Erlöser. Er ist der Sohn Gottes.
Ich weiß, dass der Tempel ist sein Haus. Es ist ein besonderer Platz von ihm zu lernen und zu fühlen seinen Geist.
Ich weiß, dass die heiligen Schriften haben die Wörter Jesu Christi und die Anleitung wie er sein.
Ich weiß, dass unser neuer Prophet, Präsident Nelson, spricht für Christus.
Und ich sage das, im Namen de Jesu Christi, amen.

(Phew, that German one was hard. I keep throwing in Portuguese :(.