Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving in Brazil

December 4, 2013

It was so fun to talk with everyone on Thanksgiving Day.  No one celebrates here.  But that was ok.  Just being able to see family via Skype made me feel so good.  It´s so good to see that all is well and you are all taking care of and loving each other!  It made my birthday!  Thanks for all the good wishes and cards. And the letters sent to the mtc caught up to us.  Thanks so much!  What fun to read them!  I wondered if it would make me feel more homesick, but it just made me feel so good to see you carrying out all of the old traditions!  Love you all for that!

We aren´t moved into our new apartment yet, but getting closer.  They have delivered and are putting things together and setting up.  It takes a while when you are starting from scratch.  We are anxious to get moved in and let the sisters have their place back.  Most of our contact is with the sister missionaries.  They are really amazing.  I think we have said that before.  I think we told you before that one set of them fasted on Thanksgiving Day for an investigator.  They actually shed tears when things didn´t go as they had hoped.  They care a lot.  They like to stop by our place for sandwiches and treats and a drink of water.  We have a good time with them.  We go with them quite often for FHE and visits at investigator homes.  We are scheduled again to go tonight.  We spent the afternoon with a member who is a former missionary.  He took us around to several of the homes of inactive members.  It was a good afternoon.  It was really hot and our feet hurt because we walked and walked and walked!  But it was good.  We had some good visits.  We stopped afterwards for sorvette.  (ice cream).  There are little shops in almost every block.  They make a vanilla/chocolate twist cone that is really good, especially on such a hot day.

We made the 2 1/2 hour bus trip to Porto Alegre yesterday to get police clearance per Pres. Castro´s request.  The Elders met us at the bus station with big smiles and treated us like royalty.  They are so funny.  They took us everywhere and did everything for us.  All we had to do was provide the face for the photo and the fingers for fingerprints.  They whipped out their umbrellas to hold over us when it started to rain.  We walked a lot there too.  It really poured.  There was even hail.  They took us to a restaurant where all the other Elders joined us.  Since there was a zone leader conference going on, there was around 40 elders.....a big festa! The rain caused the power to go out in the restaurant, but everyone just kept on eating.  I can´t identify most of what we eat anyway...except rice and beans.  They even had ice in the glass for water.  It´s the first ice that we have had here in Brazil.   I have missed that.  Neal got to see Alceu, his friend from 45 years ago.  That was a fun reunion for him.  We returned to Cachoeira about 8 pm last night.

We have been doing so much walking that we have about decided that we need to buy a car, used, but dependable  There are lots of places that we should visit that are just too far to walk and buses can´t always be depended on, especially on Sundays.  Rain has also made it hard.  When it rains, it is usually such a downpour that an umbrella is not much use.  They usually get turned inside out.   So we have been doing some car shopping by ourselves and some with Pres. Torres.  We will see how that goes.

We have a branch meeting for the Uniao Ramo in a bit, so I guess we had better go.  We are so thankful for all of you.  We love to show pictures of all of you to everyone!  Thanks for the letters!  Love you all!

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