The State of the Branch

Pedro (in our branch) gives us a sack of stuff every week. Usually it's stuff he's collected from outside the garbage cans outside his apartment. But last week, perhaps because he only found a purse, he bought some candy, divided it up for the kids, and some hand sanitizer, and stuffed the purse with it.

Ruby used her candy wisely. She'd challenged her youth group to memorized the new proclamation, and she spent Sunday afternoon doing just that. She allowed herself to eat a piece only after she'd mastered a paragraph. She finished within an hour. It helped that she already had it memorized in English.

This week Pedro gave us a new pair of church shoes that will fit Woo or Herbie.

Ruby and I also visited the sister we minister to. Her sister from Lisbon was there, and I spent some time listening to her also. I didn't get everything, but I did understand that she was very worried about Dolores, and didn't think she could live alone anymore.

When we went by later as a family to deliver some brownies, and she confirmed that Dolores would be living with her in Lisbon at the end of the month.

The Elders from Caldas visited. They wouldn't come in, but stood outside our door in their face masks, looking so bright and cheerful, I'd wished I'd taken a picture. They gave us ingredients to make brownies, which we promptly handed off to Herbie and Moses, who made us some delicious brownies.

Brownies have been Herbie's favorite baked good for quite a while. He enjoyed making them for branch activities back when we still had them. One activity a little member of our branch had eaten brownie after brownie, against her better judgement. She'd begged us for the recipe.

Herbie had started writing it out, but never got it to her before she'd gone back to Italy for the winter. However, being re-motivated by the Elders, we saved a couple brownies for her and Herbie finished writing out the recipe, which he delivered to her husband at church today.

Woo and I got ready to grocery shop on Monday, but the battery was dead. Mario (branch president) came by, but his little car didn't have what it took to recharge our battery. Plus, it was probably time. Woo went to the auto body store, bought and installed a new battery. He took the van in to replace two tires later in the week. Mario is coming again to help Woo change the oil.

Moses is excellent at finding appropriate Sabbath day activities or finding something to do when he's bored. His secret is to pray about what he can do when he has time he doesn't know what to do with.

I bought all the kids a small thing or two at the grocery store. Moses got a paper airplane book, which he has been generous to share with his siblings, and paper airplanes have been very popular this week. When we went to the park, all their arms were loaded down with paper airplanes (even Woo's), and they spent most of their time there throwing planes into the wind.

When Linus loses his temper, he has a hard time gaining it back. It can ruin his whole afternoon, evening, whatever. He always makes a sincere effort to repent every night, and he's gotten revelation for many ways to help him. These usually help him if he does them right away, but if he gets to a really angry point, Woo or I have to step in.

This week I heard him getting more and more angry. I was just about to get up and go talk to him, but then all of a sudden he was quiet, completely silent. He'd stopped himself in the middle of a rage, gone upstairs to pray and came back down calm. Yay!

Penelope is reading Heidi this week and she loooooves it. She keeps telling me she loves Heidi and wants her to be her sister. Woo took us to a new (to us) beach near Dolores' house. There were many interesting rocks and even little fossils. Penelope loved feeling like she was a scientist on an expedition. She always talks to me a lot about what she's going to do when she grows up in these situations.

Archie got a new t-shirt and shorts, but he was so unruly that night at scriptures I had to take them away, with the promise that he could have them back when he was more reverent at scriptures AND went to sleep right away at night (apparently, he'd been staying up late playing with cars and keeping his siblings up too).

The next night he was good at scriptures (which he almost always is), but he'd not gone right to sleep. He got it right the second night and got his new clothes back.


The last poetry/proclamation recital

And that's our week! Hope yours was great!