Sunday, February 12, 2017

Mission 2 - Week 19

Hello all, best wishes to each of you this new week!
This is kind of trunky, but we just realized that we've passed 1/4 of our mission already and in 5 weeks we will hit the 1/3 mark.
Ok, so this week (awesome, as usual):
Monday I got my "Carteira de Identidade de Estrangeiro" or CIE card.  This is kind of a big deal because it makes me legal in Brazil.  The card had mistakenly been sent to Cuiabá (I guess because we lived there before), so we had to jump through a few hoops to get it back here in São Paulo - but it all worked, and now we are both legal until October of this year.  Our FHE lesson was on miracles and it was good.  It was pouring rain on the way home afterward and we had our umbrellas but still got pretty wet.  Mom even took off her shoes and walked barefoot so as not to ruin her good sandals!  Too fun.
Tuesday we had a big strategic planning meeting at work, with our whole team.  It was a great meeting, but I ended up with some more work (reconciling payments to one of our notary providers) - pretty much at my limit for now...  Today the Passeys decided to bail on our trip to the Pantanal, which leaves things in kind of a mess - trying to figure out cancellations, etc.  But I'm sure it will all work out just fine.  We are going back there in just a week's time, it will be nice to see old friends in Cuiabá a week from Sunday.  I am also working on trip plans for the Cuiabá mission reunions in May - they will be in Recife, São Paulo, and Porto Alegre (with a side trip to Gramado).
We were also supposed to teach an English class tonight, but no one showed up.  We found out the next day that 10 people showed up for the class but they were about a half-hour late!
Wednesday we went to the temple.
Thursday afternoon, we got everything together (now that I had my CIE card) and went to SP Trans and got approved for a combined Bus and Metro (subway) pass that allows us to ride free.  The pass gets us through the gates and by the collector on the buses - so we won't have to show IDs or ask for assistance in riding free.  It's going to be awesome - I only knew to look into it because of our experience in Cuiabá where they had a free bus pass card also.  Afterward, we went shopping at MAKRO (kind of like Costco) and Mom took this picture of me walking down a hill with our drag-along shopping bag/roller/thing.

The hill was steep, but it saved us walking an extra block.
Saturday (yes, I skipped Friday altogether!) we had a great "food" experience.  Elder Sonderegger had read about a restaurant with a famous chef here in São Paulo and had been dying to go, so Saturday afternoon we picked up an UBER ride and went to "Templo de Carne", which means "Temple of Meat", I know, kind of sacrilegious, isn't it?!  Anyway, when Elder Sonderegger started talking to the waiter about the famous chef that started the restaurant, he lit up, went into talk with the chefs and they invited the four of us into the kitchen (we had to put on hair nets, of course).  They showed us how they did the cooking, etc. and then allowed us to eat some palmito (palm heart) that was just off the grill - it was fantastic!  We had a kind of steak - Fraldinha - that was excellent, along with a couple appetizers.  The main chef liked us so much that he brought out a free plate of another meat to try out.  The whole experience was spectacular.

They let us act like we were cooking - it was hot!

Us with the Sondereggers and a huge slab of meat.

Inside the restaurant

Outside the restaurant with two of the chefs (main chef in black)

This was the Palm Heart right off the grill - it was soooo good!

In the kitchen with the cooks behind.

Today, Sunday, we went to Perdizes ward and the meetings were great, as always.  A family was visiting from Porto Alegre and I showed them one of my old mission pictures (standing in front of the ward in Porto Alegre) and it was the ward where he grew up - he was a member his whole life (unusual here in Brazil).  He was only about 5 years old when I was there, so no connection that way but he knew some of the people I knew there.  He was super nice and gave me his card and said if have any trouble in May (Reber Reunion Trip) with hotels or transportation or anything to give him a call.  Skype with the kids - awesome also.
I wanted to put in a couple more flower pictures (better than dead trees, right?), and a couple other pictures of interest:

Both on the same plant!  We discovered the next day
that the flower blooms white then turns to purple! Cool!

Many of the trees here have lovely flowers on them.
This is one we saw on our walk home from MAKRO.

Another perfectly lovely flower on our walk home.
Don't you love the tips of the petals?

Just took this out the UBER car window to show
one of the many skyscrapers here in São Paulo

This was also out the window - it's a "sculpture" at a park
not too far away from our house - a giant shopping cart.
(It's about 12-13 feet tall!!)
Love to all.
Church is true.  Keep the faith.
Dad and Mom

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