We had such a wonderful time with David and Jessica and Eli. We loved every minute of their visit. We saw all kinds of animals. Dad will include pictures. When we were at the park we saw little monkeys and an iguana. In the Pantanal, we saw a river otter, all kinds of birds, rodents of unusual size, monkeys and a ton of alligators. We hiked in the Chapada and shopped and ate at the windy hill restaurant. David and Jessica made chicken pot pie for some of the members and they loved it. We went to the center of South America twice, once in Cuiabá and once in the Chapadas. We went on a couple of boat rides on two different rivers. David and Jessica visited Rio and the falls at Iguazu and I kissed Eli as often as he would let me. David and Jessica learned a few new Portuguese words and are miss-using them, sorry to say! We had such a splendid visit and now they are gone and we are missing them and are back in the thick of mission work. We fed a bunch of elders and sisters lunch today because dad is a softy. It was fun we had tacos, then cinnamon rolls for dessert.
A few pictures from their visit:
|We saw this guy along the road to the hotel in the Pantanal|
|Iguana hiding in the bushes|
|I got this sweet shot of a very peculiar bird at our hotel|
|There were a lot more where these came from, luckly not too close!|
|We had an awesome dinner on this floating restaurant, yes, we tried some fried alligator.|
|Mom's favorite bird, the tuiuiu (pronounced two-U-U)|
|Cachoeira (waterfall) in the Chapadas|
|David, Jessica, and naked Eli playing in the water in the Chapadas|
|Does this look dangerous to anyone? ... Anyone?|
|Not near as dangerous. This was in town|
|This is one of the monkeys Mom was feeding apples to.|
|One of the many beautiful sunsets when they were here.|
We had a wonderful mission tour with Elder Mazzgardi, he was great. He is a first generation Mormon, as is President Oliveira, and their conversion stories are wonderful. I so love meetings that remind me to keep trying. And I especially appreciate Elder Harris for translating little words here and there that keep me on the right wave length. Remember how that feels to get some things and then be completely lost for others. Here are a couple of the thoughts that I think I understood and even if they're wrong they were fun thoughts for me. "We often admire Nephi but behave like Laman and Lemuel." "If you want to make the Lord laugh just tell him 'your plan'."-Jeffery R. Holland. "If you think you can or you think you can´t, you are right."-Henry Ford. Then this cool story about Elder Mazzgardi's conversion and feelings about the first vision. He was confused about why there was so much religious unrest in a small place like Palmyra, NY, as after six years of study, he went to Palmyra to find out about the restoration and see if he could get answers to his nagging questions that had bothered him for so long. While at the Peter Whitmer farm (the day before he had to come home) the senior missionary guide - who was a history buff - answered his questions and opened his understanding (without being asked the questions). His question was about the huge contention over religion at that particular time and especially in Palmyra. Answer: in New York at that time the Eire canal was being built. They needed experts in many fields. People were brought in from Canada, Germany, England and all parts of the United States bringing with them their strong religious beliefs, so the contention became very heated and that contention was needed to help Joseph Smith ask of God. The headquarters for the Erie Canal construction was in Palmyra. He then told of the Smiths plight and all that happened to get them to Palmyra so Joseph could be there at this time of great confusion. We often have challenges so the Lord can help us stay on the path we previously covenanted to be on. Anyway, you can see the meeting was wonderful. We feel the wonderful workings of the spirit often and are so grateful to all of you for you support. We love the mission and the beautiful people of Brazil and we love you all very much. The church is true.
Com Amor Dad and Mom