Thursday, November 9, 2017

Mission 2 - Week 49 (Aug 28, 2017)

Monday was another good day at the office.  Mom stayed home because the FM group was installing a new air conditioning unit in our apartment.  This was a big issue with several of the senior couples - where they were putting it, etc. - but not with us, we love it!  We had our staff meeting in the afternoon, then worked until FHE, which was presented by the Moores.  They gave us their farewell talks, and it was nice.  We had a pot luck meal afterward and the two pies were totally awesome, apple and pumpkin (with whipped cream)!
On Tuesday we stayed in a bit to watch over the workmen doing the patching up of the ceilings in the apartment.  Then I went in to work and Mom and I both went it later that afternoon.  We went to a Japanese restaurant with Ray and Marilyn Anderson, a new couple here.  It was the "Nikata" by our apartment.  We caught up on the Hurricane and the boys and families are all fine.
Wednesday we walked over to the hospital to get Mom's tests done, then worked and then went to the temple after work.
Thursday we worked all morning in the office, then went to 25 Março with the Sharmahds and Sister Whiting.  It really took a lot longer than planned, so we didn't make it back into work this afternoon - which was fine because all of our work was caught up.  Tonight I was asked by Kawai, a friend here, to help at the CTM.  He picked me up and as we were arriving he said I would be teaching a two-hour class while he and his counselor interviewed all the new missionaries!  I had no idea until that moment.  But all went well and I was very blessed.  It was a nice experience in several ways - especially since it was all in Portuguese as they had no Americans in this district.  Kawai was very grateful because they had 22 new missionaries and didn't have any way of getting all the interviews done without my help.  My lesson was on acquiring the attributes of Christ and adjusting to missionary life.
--missing pictures!

On Friday (September already!) we went over to the Thacker's apartment with the Passeys to help them plan their upcoming trip to Manaus.
Saturday we did some cleaning and preparing for the next week.  At lunch time, Ric and his mom picked us up and we "took them" (they drove us) to lunch at El Mariachi, the Mexican restaurant we really like.  The food and company were very good.  

After dropping off his mom, Ric took us to a couple houses that had belonged to famous people here in São Paulo.  The first was the house of a famous woman architect who designed the Museum of Art of São Paulo (MASP), which is quite famous and we have been there a couple times.

The second house was of Oscar Americano, a famous industrialist from the mid to late 1900s.

Oscar Americano's House (rear) - next one is a front view

Sunday we made it to church on time... again.  The meetings were very good, but still no sound system - it was stolen last week so we haven't had a microphone for two weeks now.  We Skyped with the older kids and called Matt to wish him a Happy Birthday.

Love to all,
The Church is True
Dad and Mom

Monday, October 23, 2017

Mission 2 - Week 48 (Aug 21, 2017)

Monday morning we took a half-day boat tour, saw the two rivers meet and fished for 200 lb fish at one stop.  We saw some monkeys where we stopped for lunch, then came back to the hotel and met up with Shirley Cox and her daughter, Cathryn, and two friends, Dean and Tyler.  We went and ate at the same fish restaurant and it didn't disappoint the second time around, it was excellent.
Tuesday we took a full-day boat tour arranged by our cab driver since the tours we had signed up for never materialized - the new tours were cheaper anyway.  We saw where the rivers combined again, and when we stopped for lunch we took some fruit over to find the monkeys - but they found us!  They came running down the wooden ramp to get the fruit we brought.  I only had my telephoto lens on the camera (thinking I would change it if we saw them close up, but didn't have time!), so I didn't get a shot of all of them - there must have been a dozen or more.

We stopped at an Indian village where the indians live on an island as they have for hundreds of years.  They did some native dances for us and we got to try fried ants, which they said tasted kind of like popcorn... not!  We bought some trinkets and a small doll, mostly to help them out.  

These were the fried ants!

Mom got to hold their pet sloth.
Our last stop was at a spot where they have pink dolphins and Mom got into her suit to "swim" with them.  Since it was later in the day, there were only a couple dolphins still interested in eating the fish they used to lure them to the spot.

Tonight we walked over to the outdoor market, but most of the booths take Tuesdays off and work the other six days.  Who knew?
Wednesday Mom and I had arranged for a cab driver to take us on a personal tour of downtown Manaus.  It was great.  He showed us things like the first house in Manaus, and told us stories of neighborhoods and how things got their names, etc.  

First House build in Manaus.

Interesting city park - no buildings were allowed to be built
here because it was an Indian burial ground.  So, they built
a park on it instead.  The cement mound you see in the fore-
ground marks one of the old graves.
Then he dropped us at the Manaus theater and opera house, and we took a tour of the building.  It was very cool, built in 1896, with much of the original structure in tact.

When we got back, we headed to the airport and met up with Shirley and her group and saw her off - heading home from her two-year mission.  She did a wonderful job helping the young missionaries throughout Brazil.  When we got on our plane, we thought we must be in the wrong place because our seats were like first-class, tons of room and fully reclining!  But, apparently the $10 I paid the upgrade each seat was well worth it.  We really enjoyed the comfortable 4+ hour flight home.

Thursday we got back to the office and got caught up on almost everything that needed to be done.  The staff loved the candy and gifts that we brought back for them.  We went to dinner with the new couple, the Andersons, who arrived while we were gone.  They are very nice.  They will be taking the place of the Sondereggers.
Friday we finished catching up at the office and went to the Area Presidency fireside - introducing the new member of the presidency, Elder Costa from Argentina.  We then went over to the Moores to play games - the new Andersons were also there, so it was a lot of fun.

Saturday we went to a town called Holambra (like Holland), where they grow a majority of the flowers sold throughout Brazil.  But instead of seeing fields and fields of flowers, it was mostly like an amusement park with attractions, booths, and a lot of food - which we ate as much of as we could 😊.  We got to see a high-school marching band that was very good, and they all marched with typical Dutch shoes!  We got home about 7:00pm and did some grocery shopping.

Mom and I with an old friend :)

Check their shoes - they all wear wooden Dutch shoes!

At the end of the day, they shoot flower petals out
of a big blower-thing to the waiting crowd below.

It's pretty cool...

Sunday we went to the Perdizes ward, arriving early.  The meetings were good, and they were happy to have us back from our trip.  We came home and Skyped with the younger kids - but talked to David and James because Houston was being hit by a big Hurricane.
Love to all,
Dad and Mom

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Mission 2 - Week 47 (Aug 14, 2017)

Trying to get caught up... again!
Monday we went with Sharmahd's to the transit office to apply for their bus/subway passes.  All the couples that have gone with us have now received their passes - the passes actually got sent to them (we had to go to the main office to get ours!).  I spent a lot of the day doing Sister Cox's travel arrangements for her trip home with family and friends (I'm pretty good at it already!).  FHE was the Shoiser's, the Brazilian couple that works in church publicity.  There are a lot of things being done with "Helping Hands" - which started here in Brazil!
Tuesday we took the travel folks to lunch over at the food court at the mall.  After work we went over to a new hamburger joint across the street from our apartments, called Charlie Burger, with a bunch of the couples.  It was good, but overpriced.

Work group - Us, Mirian, Jouber, Daniel (Passeys in background)

Charlie Burger has a "skateboard" motif - maybe their
grandson helped decorate??

Wednesday was another productive day in the office.  Spent time getting ready for the big trip tomorrow to Belém and Manaus.
Thursday marked the beginning of our trip - we left after work and flew to Belém, a city that sits at the mouth of the Amazon river in the far north of Brazil.  We arrived late and checked in at the Grand Mercure Hotel (just down the street from the Mission Office).  Went right to bed.

Friday we checked out, but left our suitcases at the hotel while we visited places of interest in the city.  We walked down to the docks and took an Uber to Mangas das Garças, a cool park in the city.  
The lighthouse at the park was closed so we couldn't go up into it, but we got a lot of good pictures.

We visited the cathedral, then walked through the docs back over to the big marketplace.  It was a little "dicey"...

We had some awesome ice cream at Cairu, then took a sunset boat tour of the river.  The only tour we could book, was a "dance cruise", so it had a lot of music and dancing!

Afterward, we ate at one of the restaurants at the docks, the picked up our bags and went to the airport for our 2AM flight to Manaus!

We arrived in Manaus about 4AM, and we were dead tired so we went to our hotel and asked to check in a day early.  Totally worth it to rest up.  Then we went to the Manaus Temple, took some pictures and went through the 1PM session.  We thought that since the temple is a big one, it would have clothes to rent... Wrong!  Luckily, we were missionaries so they got permission to accommodate us with temple clothing they keep on hand (the sizes were "fairly" close!).

Tonight we went to an awesome fish restaurant, recommended by our taxi driver when the restaurant we had chosen on the internet didn't pan out.  It was probably the best fish we have ever eaten.

Sorry, no picture of the fish - this time...
Sunday we went to church at the ward where the missionaries attend, so I could pass along one of the Sister's documents (and a bunch of candy for the Elders!).  Church was great, then we rested up at the hotel and Skyped with the kids - after walking around the hotel zoo.  Yes, they had their own little zoo.

Started with the Monkeys!

Cool Parrots (we have some wild ones later!)

I think this is a Peccary, or something like that.

And, of course, the Alligator
We also saw a beautiful sunset, along with wild parrots:

These are wild parrots that were way up in a tree, but
I had my telephoto lens... :)

I love the coloring under their wings - caught
this one in flight.

More on the trip in the next week's report.
The Church is true everywhere.
Love to you all
Dad and Mom