Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mission 2 - Week 3

It's always so hard to condense a wonderful week of events into a single blog entry, but one must make sacrifices :)

Monday evening our FHE was exercising with the Oldies, which was fun.  We left the couples' FHE early (not because we couldn't keep up!) to meet Ric Davids (our foreign exchange student) at a mall not too far away (5 bus stops).  He said to meet him outback, so we were asking people where the back of the mall was and really no one could tell us.  Then we saw the Outback restaurant!  We sat inside waiting because we had arrived early.  Finally twenty minutes later I sent him a message and he said he was already inside!  The food was delicious (better than USA) but not as good as the gelato that we had afterwards - possibly the best we've tasted, except maybe for Italy.

Tuesday evening we went to the temple with one of the Elders that served in the office in Cuiabá, and we got to meet his parents.  It was a lovely experience.  Each time we go to the temple we understand a little more (that might go for everyone!).  Elder Freire has wonderful, kind parents and it was fun to tell them what a great missionary he was.
Us with E. Freire and his Parents
Wednesday was so fun for me, I went on a field trip with my Portuguese Class.  Dad stayed and tried to do all that was needed in the office - including my work!  We rode the bus to the subway where we took the yellow line to the red line then to the Center of town to the Metropolitan Theater. While there we listened to the Metropolitan Choir perform.  The acoustics were awesome and the choir was pretty good as well.  Video:

The area is neat because several of the streets are now sidewalks where people set up and sell different things, sing songs, and attempt to entertain. 
One of the artist street vendors that we saw
Then Wednesday afternoon Dad and I taught the intermediate English Class for one of the Sisters who was out of town, it was such a great experience!  We have way to much fun when we teach together. Dad invited a person he met on "Hello Talk" (an app where to can talk to others in their language) and he came to the class.  I think he really enjoyed it and will come again with his fiancée.  We had about eight students and only two of them were members.  I need to tell you the story of an older blind lady in the class who is not a member.  She was so grateful for the help as I sat next to her on occasion.  After class I got her walking stick which she called her Pole-e-Anna.  I asked if that was what a walking stick was called in Portuguese, and she smiled.  She said no, then asked if I had ever seen the Disney movie, Pollyanna, and I said it was one of my favorite movies.  She then explained that she had not always been blind, and when she realized she had a disease and would lose her sight she lost hope for a time.  But then when she learned to use her walking stick it gave her freedom to get around, something that she never thought she would have again.  She named her stick Pole-e-Anna to remind her of all the good she is still able to experience (if we look for the good we will find it).  I am hoping that through this class and other experiences with the church she will be able to have her spiritual eyes open and find the gospel.  Right after class we went to the mall to get a few things, and unfortunately Dad left his nice Eddie Bauer shoulder pack, with his prescription sunglasses, so we think they are gone forever.  The blessing is that we didn't have any of our documents, any money, or other important things that we would normally have in his pack.

Thursday we spent the day at the Federal Police department trying to get our legalization papers (called our first registration, required of foreigners within 30 days of arrival).  Nada é fácil (nothing is easy) here with the government.  We were there five hours from 8:00am to 1:00pm, then you have to add the hour driving each direction... Anyway, Dad will be legal in a couple months but not me- they wouldn't let me register because I didn't have a scheduled appointment...  (thanks for the experience).  Bottom line is that we have to go back again through the whole mess again.
This is what it looked like in all four directions
 I knew it was going to be bad when this showed up on the monitor:

It was a pretty unlucky day for us :)
Friday night the ward had a wonderful high priest dinner and dance. I wish we would have had our phone or camera so we could have shown you the tables of food - it was beautiful and yummy.  I cannot say enough about the wonderful feeling we get as we interact with the beautiful people here. As dad and I walked around the room to meet and greet everyone (the custom here), hugging (Mom) and kissing (Mom), laughing and conversing, everyone was so sincere and kind and they all tell me I am speaking well, which is pretty fun I will admit.
Stake High Priest Social (we are right front)(yes, we did dance!)
Oh, we also had a huge storm Thursday night and the power was out 9 or 10 hours - which was "fun".  We had flashlights, and our power packs for our phones, etc. but of course the phone service itself was out too.  I am including a video clip of the water running down the street outside our apartment, it was taken from our window.
You can see how hard the wind was blowing.
And here's a video of the water running down the street:

We sure love you all, we are having a wonderful experience already where it took awhile in Cuiabá to adjust.  We think the mission president is going to assign us to a different ward or brand outside the city, so that should be interesting.  
Here they don't try to hide which products are better than others! :)
We also found out that we can only legally drive here for 6 months on our US drivers license.  A Brazilian license costs over a $1,000 reais (about $300) with all the taxes.  Mom still doesn't have a phone and I'm trying to convince her to just let me get a chip like I did - you just pay $3 for a chip and load it with money when it starts to get low.  I put $15 (US) on mine when we got here and I still have nearly half of it left after three weeks, not bad.  On the good news side - Mom loves it that they start Christmas even earlier here because there is no Halloween and no Thanksgiving.  We have already bought a bunch of stuff for the apartment, etc. (This tree isn't one of them!)
Mom with a Christmas Tree in the Mall
Today at church we saw this sign commemorating 50 years that our stake here has been in existence.  That's pretty awesome - the first stake in São Paulo, first in Brazil, and first in South America!  I taught the priesthood lesson in High Priests today and it went pretty well.  There were only 7 high priests in attendance (usually about 15-20), so I started by saying "I guess everyone heard that I was teaching today!" - which shows that I am funny (and they weren't family or friends [yet]).
Celebrating 50 Years as a stake
The church is true.  Stay faithful.  We are grateful for your wonderful examples as you face challenges, we always wonder why we don't have any. :)

1 comment:

  1. I love the story of Pole-e-Anna! And the Snobby toilet paper....can toilet paper be snobby? Or is it just for snobs?
    And Dad, I hate to break it to you, but in the eternal scheme of things we are all I don't think the lesson comment proves anything ;)