We started out the week a bit fater than usual - let me explain.
Monday morning we had an area devotional in our office, followed by a big spread of food for breakfast - lots of goodies, etc. Then after working in the office, we had our FHE with the other couples followed by more food. For Tuesday lunch we went to a Churrascaria (all you can eat Brazilian BBQ) and it was awesome.
|Our work team at the Churrasco (I'm taking the picture!)|
Our boss is in the red skirt next to Mom...
We stuffed ourselves and the food was great. Then we had an area office devotional that afternoon with all three of the area presidency speaking to us. It was very nice, and all of them are great. Elder Bassett speaks Spanish well, so his talk in Portuguese had some words a little mixed up but he did a good job. The Elder Aidukaites and Elder Costa spoke. Elder Costa's talk was on following the Savior and about His life and why it's so special that we celebrate His birth. After the devotional there was a huge spread of food for everyone in the recreation hall - I mean a lot of food!
|This was a little game that Mom was in, where they passed around gifts.|
|Fruit containers in the shape of a tree!|
We kept eating some more, but not as much as we might have if we weren't already full! We waddled back to the apartment and basically laid around for awhile...
I got to tell my "patriarchal blessing" story to Elder Aidukaites, who was the stake president that helped fulfill the blessing that says people would raise up in later years (after my mission) and thank me for the work that I had done. It was awesome to finally relate what happened to him and he enjoyed it and thanked me for sharing it with him. Even better that I got to tell it in English - he's also got an MBA from BYU.
Wednesday we finished cleaning up all the expired notices in our visa management system, and that felt good. I think they thought it would take us a lot longer, but it's done now. In the afternoon I went with Elder Sonderegger to the "Home Depot" of Brazil and it was fun to walk around and see all the stuff they have, it really was a lot like Home Depot! After work, Mom and I walked up to a bread store not far from our apartment and bought some really good bread and a couple pastries. We also stopped at a new meat store and picked up some meat to cook on our new grill - I bought it for Mom for Christmas! (Yes, you know what that means - I wanted it! :)
I don't think we actually ate anything except a few of the pastries all day Wednesday because we were so full from Tuesday. OK, one of my weaknesses showed itself on Thursday. I don't like to be wrong... I know, I know, none of you would have guessed it because I've done such a great job of hiding it all these years. Well, Cristina (a lady we work with - she pays all the bills) came by my desk and said that when I order notary services I need to do it "without value" and not "with value" (I won't get into all the details of explaining what that means) because "with value" is more expensive. I said that I always select "without value" on the form when I submit it, and asked if she was sure it wasn't someone else. I thought that she was just accusing me because I was the new kid on the block, but I don't miss little details like that in training. Anyway, she pulls a trump card and shows me a report of the billing from the notary service and it says "with value" and has as a note "Legal Entities" - well, I'm the only one doing Legal Entities, so that kind of sealed the deal. I told her I had a hard time believing that I had done that, so I got a copy of the report and started looking into it ("anal" is how some would describe this!). So, as I dug into it I went and found the original request and discovered that I had requested "without value", but it had been changed and the bill returned to us "with value", so I showed my discovery (trying not to gloat...as much as possible) to Cristina. She quickly called the Notary service on the phone and told them about what was happening. The employee there said, "Yes, we've been changing all of your orders that come 'without value' to 'with value' because the service you're requesting can't be done 'without value'! So Cristina told me what had happened and in my humble way I said (in Portuguese of course), "I Won!!" and she said, "Yes, Elder Harris, you won." So, for the next day (or two), I practiced my humility by telling Mom somewhat regularly, "I was right." I don't know why, but she tired of it pretty quickly. :)
On Friday night we went to see a movie with the other couples, called Arrival. It was interesting, but nothing I would see again. Then we split up with them and went and got pizza at Pizza Hut. It was great, and they even had real pepperoni. Then home on the bus. Christmas is definitely in full swing down here...
|Saw these guys on our way to pick up the bus!|
|No, that's not a real person...|
|Since there's no snow here, Santa is laying out on the beach...|
Saturday, Mom made Christmas goodies most of the day and I looked through Pantanal pictures for our FHE lesson coming up on Monday. In the afternoon, we took an Uber ride over to our new ward for their Christmas dinner and activity. When we got there one of the sisters asked if I would be willing to be Santa Clause! I said sure, so I got to give all the kids gift bags from Santa, it was too much fun. I got a picture with Mom on my lap - totally worth sweating in that suit!
|I told them I needed a beard, but oh well...|
|Santa with some of the kids from the Perdizes Ward|
|Of course, Mom found an investigator's cute little tiny baby.|
|Like I said, Christmas is in full swing!|
We took the bus back home and that ended a very nice week... Oh, I was right!
Love you all,
The Church is True
Dad and Mom