Sunday, October 9, 2016

Mission 2 - Week 1

Well, we made it to Brazil, as you probably already know by now.  It was an interesting trip - meaning we wouldn't want to do it again!  And all our jokes about them not knowing we were even coming turned out to be more reality than we would have imagined.  Aparently the area office found out Monday morning that we were going to arrive on Tuesday!  There was then a bit of a battle over which department we would be assigned to, and it turns out that the travel department either won or lost, we're not sure which, but that's where we're assigned!  Kind of ironic, right?!

This is the office building where we work, security guards, access keys, etc.

The apartment we have is very nice.  It's funny because everyone let us know that they only had one day to fix everything, paint the whole apartment and bring in all the furniture - I think they were up quite late on Monday night preparing.  Here are some of the pictures (random order), sorry if some rooms are messy, we were still moving in.
Kitchen (we have a dryer and hot water this time!)
Study (spare single bed)
Front room (notice TV and DVD player on left)
Dining table and chairs

Our apartment building, we're on the third floor
This is a pretty gazebo in our courtyard area (enclosed)
We have been receiving training this last week, and it's really been nice.  Everyone in our department speaks English, and all but one speak it very well - some having spent time in the US.  Our supervisor, Deborah, is very nice and eager to make sure we're happy here.  She had a special meeting to introduce everyone and explain what they are responsible for, then asked us how much we'd like to work - like how many days a week, and what hours each day - and I really think that any answer we gave would have been acceptable.  But "you know your mom", she said every day and 9-5 (actually she said 8-5 and I talked her back to 9-5 so we could try and get some "study" in the morning).  Since we're in the travel department we have a fleet of about 20 cars that we oversee and we can check them out for use whenever we need/want them.

Us with Elder William from the Cuiabá mission.
One of our elders from Cuiabá came by the office to visit so we took him to lunch with us.  It was great to see Elder William again, he teaches at the MTC and the missionaries come over to the temple once a week, I think.

When we arrived, we also got a tour of the area office and it's pretty impressive what all they do here, including making garments for members throughout Brazil.  We got a tour of the factory, and the distribution center for Brazil.
In the Area Distribution Warehouse

The senior couples here are all very nice, there must be 10 senior couples in various areas - we're the only ones in travel currently.  Others are auditors, preparedness, health, IT, etc.  They are very active and we do a lot (will do a lot) together.  They have FHE on Mondays, go to the temple, have Portuguese classes twice a week, and visit areas around São Paulo.  

Most of them eat over at the temple every day for lunch, but we are avoiding it a little since we are trying to keep our weight down.  This last Saturday, we went to a feira (open market) with some of them, then I went to a tourist artsy (yes, I was going to say fartsy, but I resisted!) area with some, while mom went shopping with others.  
Mom at the open market
The "Artsy" place, very fun - got to hear Simon and Garfunkel played live.

A good time was had by all.

Our current ward building
Today we attended church at the stake center next to the temple and it was very nice.  
Their wards are super strong and well led.  After church, I met up with mom and she had no less than 5 of the sisters come up afterward to tell her that her Portuguese was "excellent", "well-spoken", "very good", etc.  She is doing a good job learning and our office staff is also very helpful, trying to speak Portuguese first then resorting to English if necessary.  We ran into the mission president's wife this week and she said that he will likely assign us to a more remote ward or branch to attend and watch over on Sundays.  I did get a couple nice temple shots this week.
Day Shot of the São Paulo Temple
Night Shot of the São Paulo Temple

That's about all the news across the nation(s).  We had almost forgotten what wonderful blessings come in serving the Lord as a full-time missionary.  We ask the Lord's wonderful blessings upon each of you and love you very much.  The church is true.
Love, Mom and Dad

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