Hello all, another wonderful week in paradise. Of course, the highlight of the week was Thanksgiving. We hope you all had a wonderful holiday with family and friends. We missed the family, as always on events like this, but we do have friends that we were able to share the joy with. The couples we serve with in the area office are the following: Anderson, Passey, Sonderegger, Salisbury, Hart, Burke, Wilkinson, Shumway, and McAllister, and two Brazilian couples - Shoiser, and Correa. This whole group had Thanksgiving dinner at the McAllister`s apartment and it was awesome. The food was wonderful (kind of pot luck, with everyone bringing something - we brought a Turkey with dressing and gravy, two fruit bowls, and sweet potatoes). The McAllisters are actually church employees and not serving a mission. Brother McAllister is the lead counsel for the church here in Brazil, and oversees all the legal issues that come up. He can`t practice law here but directs all the Brazilian and American lawyers on what needs to be done. He is on assignment for 3-5 years and has done this in other areas as well. He said he will likely be here 4 years and then get reassigned to another country. He and his wife are super nice and I guess they hosted Thanksgiving last year as well. We had great turkey, pumpkin, apple, and other pies, mashed potatoes, salads, sweet potatoes, orange rolls, cheesecake, and lots more that I can't remember right now! We had to ask for Thanksgiving off work in the office because it's not a holiday here - I think I sealed the deal by offering left over turkey sandwiches, which we brought on Friday.
|This was just a small table with appetizers!|
|This was the Thanksgiving setup (24 people, I think)|
|Nativity in our Apartment Complex (and Christmas lights!)|
We made it to the temple on Wednesday afternoon, it was the ward temple day. Oh, we got assigned by President Thomas (São Paulo West mission) to attend a ward out of our area to help strengthen the leadership, etc. I think they want us to teach a Family Relations class, so that should be interesting! We'll see what's up when we attend the ward starting next Sunday. It was hard to say goodbye to our friends that we've made here in this ward, of course they'll miss Mom more than me - pretty much goes without saying, I know. She is always bringing joy and happiness wherever she goes. Her Portuguese is constantly improving, and she attends a Portguguese class twice a week taught by a native Brazilian. This weeks class included a guy (the teacher's father) who came a played the guitar and sang Roberto Carlos songs - most of you would know that he's one of my favorite Brazilian singers (and, yes, he's old!).
Friday we went to a fund-raiser for camp for the youth of one of the wards in the Stake, It was an "all you can eat pizza night", which turned out to be a lot less than you can eat because they didn't plan on as many people as showed up so they ran out of pizza early on! It was all good, Mom and I came home with a couple of the sisters (who didn't want to wait for more pizza), and I supplemented my dinner with a bowl of cereal. :) We did go over to the mall to see if Black Friday was a real thing here - it's not. We also got a picture in the Nativity that's on the front lawn of our ward building (what used to be our ward!).
|Nativity on Church Lawn|
On Saturday, Mom and I went to a big warehouse store (kind of like Costco) and spent a bunch of money on longer-term supplies like sugar, flour, beans, rice, etc. It was nice because the Anderson's had checked out a car for the weekend so they drove us over there and we didn't have to try to haul groceries on the bus. We may have overdone it a little, but having a ride was compelling. After we got home and put everything away we made our way up to a different mall and walked around the Christmas sales, etc. We finally got some Mexican food here, which was a bit of a mixed result. The quesadilla was terrible, the guacamole was fantastic, and the burrito (with filet mignon inside) was pretty darn good. Then we went and watched the new Jack Reacher movie - the movies here are almost all in English with Portuguese subtitles, so that's awesome!
You can see that Christmas is already in full swing here!
|Christmas "Slide" in the mall|
|One Mall Entrance with Gift Shops|
|Merry Christmas! (see the Black Friday in the background?)|
|Mom with the Fantastic Beasts sign at the Theater|
|View of just a small part of São Paulo - from the Apt Window (McAllister)|
Dad and Mom