Monday, January 30, 2017

Mission 2 - Week 17

Hello all, another week of fun and adventure here in Brazil.
We started out the week working on Monday, it was quite busy.  Then we had FHE with the couples and the Harts gave the lesson - it was their last week with us, they flew back home on Friday.  We made a casserole for the pot luck dinner, which was a good thing because everyone else brought desserts!
Tuesday - pretty normal.
Wednesday - not normal at all.  It was a São Paulo holiday and we went downtown to a big shopping area called Rua 25 de Março.  Wednesday afternoon we had the sister missionaries from our Perdizes ward come to lunch since they had to come for a missionary training broadcast anyway.  We fed them french toast, which is an all-time favorite, then we all went over to the broadcast - it was fantastic training, led by the church missionary committee.  The committee is chaired by Dallin H. Oaks.  A couple new changes came out - in Latin America the schedule for missionaries shifted an hour later, 7:30 to 11:30 instead of the long-time 6:30 to 10:30 schedule.  There was also a change simplifying the key indicators for missions throughout the world.  The brethren are very inspired and very much in the know.
Wednesday night we made our way out to the Perdizes ward for a night of building cleaning.  We brought glue and tape and repaired the old hymnals that were in pretty bad shape, it was quite a fun evening with the ward members.
Thursday was a rush at work, trying to get everything done to go out to Ric Davids' fazenda - which is a farm (but really more of a nice getaway from the city life).  Ric picked us up just after lunch and drove us out to Santa Rita, where the family farm is.  It's been in his family for about 150 years!  Their maid on the farm is the third generation that has worked for them (her mom was their maid and so was her grandmother!).  The next two days were just wonderful - fresh air, still a lot of rain, and farm-fresh food and clear clean water.  We just had a blast and it was so relaxing.  I can't possibly include all the fun things we saw and did - but I'll jam in as many here as I can.  We got to see their dairy process in operation, they milk about 60 cows a day.  They have about 90+ peacocks on the farm and a lot of wild birds, including parrots.  There were two new calves born while we were there!  We saw a huge frog, a cool lizard, and a ton of new flowers and plants that they have on the farm.  We went for walks and walked through their corn fields (they use the silage corn to feed the livestock).  I played some chess with Ric's Dad, we ate amazingly good food, saw a waterfall and a beautiful church in town.  Mom got to make some cheese which we brought home.  And, I got to take some sweet pictures - below:

I don't even remember taking this shot, but it's cool!

Inside the courtyard at the Fazenda with pool, we stayed in the upper room to the right - no, not the really tiny one, the big one on the second story.

This is an old abandoned house on the property - I doctored the photo a little...

They had several horses, very pretty

This is the old family home on the property - Ric's Dad has restored it

When he had the white overcoat removed, they found this underneath
It is hand-painted patterns and looks like wallpaper, but it's all done by hand!

They have a lot of antiques in the home, it looks like a museum.

I'll only add a caption on this flower, not the others - there were lots.

This is one of the baby calves that was born while we were there.

This is one of my favorites -
taken out the window as we were passing in the car

This is one of the stained glass windows in the church
at the center of town

I just thought this bird was cool, and
since it was posing for me...

I counted 15 little ducklings being chaperoned
by their parents on the pond.

I think this is a peacock game of king of the hill

They also had white peacocks.

Part of an old warehouse, I put this in because the hole in
the steel door was made my Ric's cousin who was playing
around with some gunpowder - true story.

One of the many birds we saw on our little walkabout

It rained a lot - more than they had seen in over 50 years!

This was the view from the highest hill in Santa Rita

This is their version of the Cristo Redentor - also
on the top of the highest hill

This is us by one of the ponds on the property

I told you the frog was huge!  While we were watching,
it snagged a huge beetle with it's tongue - pretty cool.

More birds along the hike.

We came back Saturday late afternoon, did some cleaning and shopping in preparation for Sunday.  Sunday was a treat because the Sondereggers had a car and drove us out to our ward in Perdizes.  He had served there 45 years ago (almost to the day!) and wanted to visit.  It was fun to have them there and there were some fun connections made, as always seems to be the case in the church.  We also got a ride home, so that saved us a bunch of time and we had the Sondereggers over for lunch that afternoon.  Later we got to Skype with the kids - great day!

Love you all,
The Church is True
Dad and Mom

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