Monday, March 27, 2017

Mission 2 - Week 24

Another fun week in paradise.
Monday - Ricardo was still out of the office (he's our supervisor), did a lot of visa renewal things.  We presented the lesson at FHE, it was on the Proclamation on the Family.  We showed Mary's video and had groups summarize parts of the proclamation - in English and Portuguese.  It was nice and went well, thanks to Mom's good preparation (she even made a Prezi presentation on the computer!)
Tuesday - Office work, Ricardo is back but Cristina and Daniel left today to oversee trips by Elder Christofferson and Robbins (of the 70).  We weren't able to teach our English class because they shut down the church building for security purposes as Elder Christofferson was going to speak later at a Fireside.  We watched the Fireside for the stake (on-line at the Salisbury apt so as not to take up space in the very crowded stake center) and it was wonderful.  All the talks were excellent - we heard from Br. and Sis. Robbins and Elder and Sister Christofferson.  Br. Robbins had a son and a daughter that served in Recife, Brazil.
Wednesday - today's highlight was a special devotional with Elder Christofferson, for all the employees and volunteers in the Area Office.  It was also fantastic.  One of the talks was on the two important verbs, "To Do" and "To Be", how both are very important in the church, but "To Be" is far more important as we need to change ourselves to become more Christlike in all our doing.  Elder Christofferson talked about how scripture study teaches children to hear the voice of the Lord.  He also talked about taking up your cross - every day.  No temple because it's closed this week.
Thursday - Before we went to the office, we found out it was Jouber's birthday.  He's probably the one we work with the most and he's a super nice guy.  I help him with his math study for the GRE every week.  I took him my new Van Heusen shirt, which was exactly his size so he was pretty excited as it's very hard to get those shirts here in Brazil.  After work we met with Elder Freire (from Cuiabá) and his girlfriend and had dinner over at Spoletos (Italian) in the mall.  It was a lot of fun getting to know them even better.
Friday - Saint Patrick's Day!  I wore a green tie and mom wore a green blouse... just so you know.  After work we went to dinner and a movie with the Sondereggers and Sister Cox.  We saw King Kong and ate at Manias Churrasco, both were very good.  Burkes, the couple that lived next to us, left to go home today and we will miss having them around.  They left us a ton of stuff, a lot of kitchen things, and other fun stuff as well.
Saturday - Up a little early to cook French Toast for the mission office Elders of the West mission.  We invited Sondereggers over because we had so much food, then went with them to Embu to pick up a painting that they had commissioned painted - it was of an old train station in downtown São Paulo, back at the time before Elder Sonderegger was here on his mission as a young man.  After that we went to the "Sacred Art" museum here (which happens to be by the same old train station!).  The museum has a collection of religious items salvaged from churches throughout Brazil.  Most of them are Catholic art works, since it's the predominant religion here.

Breakfast with the São Paulo West Mission Elders

Sacred Art Museum 1

Sacred Art Museum 2

Sacred Art Museum 3

Sacred Art Museum 4

I loved this one, using the tongue to support the bar...

This was out in the garden area of the museum

"Our Lady of Pain" - no wonder, right?
Sunday - went to our assignment in the Perdizes Ward, where there are still some people calling me "President"!  After church we went to Hélio and Nora's place for lunch.  He is the High Priest group leader.  The food was good, but the ride to their house was awesome!  An older brother in the ward that usually falls asleep in High Priests, gave us a ride to their house.  He's about 80 years old (no kidding), but he drives like... well, like me sometimes.  He was zipping in and out of traffic, just missing other cars, it was just kind of laughable because he was driving a bright red little sports car.

30-Yr-Old Turtle, Pet where we ate dinner on Sunday

This "Pie" was quite good - crumb crust, chocolate, strawberries & cream

Hélio and Nora, who hosted us for lunch.
Love to all,
The Church is True
Dad and Mom

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mission 2 - Week 23

Hello to all, we hope that you are enjoying life as much as we are (or more would also be OK)...

The weeks seem to be shorter, perhaps because we are not wondering in the Pantanal, perhaps because we are aging, or perhaps because in the US you just lost an hour to Daylight Savings!!

Sunday - We went to our ward in Perdizes as usual, but ended up taking another bus with a member - it meant walking quite a ways to the building, but we still made it on time.  The HP group leader asked me to teach the lesson in Priesthood at the last minute - but it all went well and there was good participation.  It was on teaching in the church so I used the new Inservice manual.  Then we were invited over to the Burkes for dinner since they are leaving, their mission ends next week.  They have been giving us a bunch of stuff from the US, and a bunch of pots and pans, etc. that we can use.  Oh, they also gave us a prized possession here - a crock pot!  It was a very nice dinner and we will miss them, they are our next door neighbors in our apartment building.  I finished up the Pantanal pictures (previous blogs) and we Skyped with the older kids.

Monday - Office, then FHE.  Andersons "taught" the lesson, but actually we just sang several songs and it was fun.  The meal afterward was good, as usual.

Tuesday - Office, then we taught our English class.  We have a bunch of people coming now, this week we had 10 people and 5 of them were new to the class.  I still have people coming that I've met on the Hello Talk app on my phone, which is cool.

Wednesday - Office, then went to the temple (which will be closed for 2 weeks!), always enjoyable.  Oh, today we got approval (officially) to travel to Rio in a couple weeks with the Sondereggers since they will be leaving in a month.  We also got approval to travel with the Rebers when they come down for mission reunions in the North (Recife), Central (São Paulo), and South (Porto Alegre).  We've made all the travel arrangements and reservations, etc. so it's going to be a blast seeing them and the Cuiabá missionaries again!

Thursday - Office, had to rescue 3 Elders from the Rio mission who almost had their visas expire.  It's funny (not Ha Ha) that in the 5 months we've been here we've had to bring in five Elders from missions throughout Brazil... oh wait, ALL 5 that we have brought in were from the Rio de Janeiro Mission, no others!  Sad when a mission president gets trunky... (home in June).  After work on Thursdays I help Jouber (guy in our department) with GRE study and it's been fun - mostly Math and Algebra review.  Then after study we walked down to a bank to pay for one of our Rio tours and I got a couple good sunset shots - not like John's, but really who does get shots like John's anyway?!

I couldn't get it without the light post - so I put it in the middle!
Just grabbed this on our way back from the bank - very
pretty purple sky
Friday - Office, after work it was really raining hard.  When we got to the exit doors at the back of the Area Office, everyone was just waiting for the rain to die down.  So, what did we do?  We got out our umbrellas and proceeded out the door - to their astonishment, and we got soaked!  It was really fun, but we did get pretty wet in the three blocks to our apartment.  Here is a picture at the side of the area office - look at the water running down the steps, it was a river.

The rain was crazy, we had to walk through a couple
rivers on the way home!
Saturday - We stayed in most of the day, didn't need to shop, and we did need to clean.  Later in the afternoon we took Burkes for their last dinner at Outback (last dinner here in Brazil, that is).  We were all supposed to split their bill and pay for them, but it ended up being Mom and I that payed for them - thanks for the experience!

Elder Burke, Us, Sondereggers, Sister Cox at Outback
Love to all,
The Church is True
Dad and Mom

Monday, March 6, 2017

Mission 2 - Week 22

Well, we`re baaaaccck from the awesome Pantanal trip.
Sunday we went to church in Cuiabá and saw all our friends and it was so nice to visit with them and renew friendships.  President and Sister Oliveira were also at church and invited us over for lunch after the block, so we went over with the Burkes and Sister Cox and it was very nice.
Our Group at the "Center of South America" (I'm taking the picture)

Mom with Vera Cavalcante and Morgana with Marco,
he was about 3 months old when we left Cuiabá!

President and Sister Oliveira with us in their home.
We flew back into São Paulo Sunday evening, getting home pretty late.  But it was OK because Monday and Tuesday were holidays and the office was closed for Carnaval.  Monday we did some cleaning around the house and put everything away from the trip and did wash.
Tuesday we did some shopping and then went to the temple since it was open during the holiday - it was packed with people.  Mom decided to start a diet so... we went out to eat before she started!  We went with the Sondereggers, Passeys, and Sister Cox to a Japanese restaurant close by (not the same as a couple weeks ago), it was very good.
Wednesday was back to the office and we were swamped with work, trying to catch up after being away for a few days.  Our work group went to lunch because it was the last day of missionary service for another casal - the Leals, they are a Brazilian couple that worked from home, helping out the travel department.  We ate at a restaurant known for its Feijoada, a typical Brazilian dish, it was very good also.
Thursday was another busy day at work, but I wasn't feeling well.  When we got home I worked on Pantanal pictures, we studied and went to bed.
Friday, still not well, we went to the temple after work with several of the other couples and it was nice.  Today I had both a head ache and an ear ache - unusual for me.  Mom and I were both pretty worn out.
Saturday, we went downtown (to look for a job!) to a feira (open market) and bought some souveniers, etc.  Then we went up on top of the Hotel Itália, one of the tallest in São Paulo, to look around and take some pictures.  We ate at a nice Padaria (bakery) with the Sondereggers then went home.  After we got home we were invited to go to Sam's Club!  So we went with the Passeys and it was really fun - the store looked amazingly like a US Sam's.
These are the tents at the park where the feira was.

Many of the police downtown use horses - kind of like NY

The building in the middle is the Hotel Itália

This was taken in the Praça Republica - the Park downtown

Mom and Elder Sonderegger in the Subway station (could
also be New York, except for the Portuguese signs!)

The one on the left is a lemon pie, but they didn't sell it
by the slice so I had to pass on buying the whole thing.

These were in the Padaria where we ate - they are little
candies made up like Finding Nemo characters

Cool São Paulo suspension bridge

These pictures give a little idea of how big the city is.

More city shots from the Hotel Itália.
Love to all,
The Church is True
Dad and Mom