|The Zauggs, Hales, and Sister Wheeler|
At lunchtime the senior couples had a song practice for a special activity coming up next month. We only had half an hour to go to the mall for some lunch. It didn't give time to find some gluten-free food before we had to get back for another meeting. We did find some rice cakes, however, to take back to the office. The power went out at the mall as we were leaving. Shortly after the meeting started the phones started to ring. The Internet was down so everyone jumped up and started working on it. It seems that a truck hit a pole and took down a fiberoptic Internet cable. Later in the afternoon we met with Emerson, the director of ICS for Brazil.
|Emerson - ICS director|
On Tuesday Diane translated some documents. She does a good job in both languages, only needing a few corrections. We worked on a presentation for a meeting with the Area Presidency. Elder Costa is our Area President. The meeting was postponed from tomorrow to next Tuesday. They are still working on visa issues for missionaries. We were able to go back to the mall and find some gluten-free food (we hope) with the help of some of those we work with. We left the office a little early so we could go to Walmart and pick up some things we needed for the apartment.
Wednesday was a big meeting for Church employees across Brazil. We went early and helped set up the Webcast equipment. Brazil is in real financial difficulties because of mismanagement and corruption in the government. This affects salaries for the church workers here. Since we had another song practice we brought our own lunch to eat. We did go over to the mall with other couples to see where we could get cash from a teller.
|The parade of senior missionaries going to the mall|
After work we went by Pão de Açucar (a grocery store) to pick up some food. It's hard to get the basic supplies to get started, but we actually found some gluten-free items, such as frozen pizza. The Halls (Area legal counsel) paid us a visit in the evening.
Sometimes we gat random visitors in the office. Thursday morning Ana, who works in travel, brought her daughter, Daniela to visit us. Daniela served a mission on Temple Square. Another visitor was President Mazzagardi from the Area Presidency. We had a delightful chat.
|Ana and Daniela|
|The flood is almost gone by this time|
|Our view from the living room|
|Now this tree has roots!|
|Our music - very nice!|
|Los dos señores|
Saturday was our preparation day (or in other words our play day). We met the Halls in our courtyard so they could take us (they had a car) to the fruit market followed by the candy store so we could stock up.
We then went on a bus with them to Embu das Artes, an arts and crafts city about 45 minutes out of town. We are "old" people and get to ride the buses free. There are a lot of shops, restaurants, and booths set up. It's a nice change from the city. The Halls have their son Randy also serving a mission with them. After lunch we had a "tapioca" which was ground tapioca fried in a pan and filled with chocolate.
|And she didn't even buy anything|
|Lunchtime in the square|
|Our musical entertainment|
|A typical crafts gallery|
|Street in Embu|
|The Stake Center where we go to church|
We walked around the building and looked at the flowers while waiting for church to start. We enjoyed meeting with the members. Diane found a new friend, Isabela, a young girl who wanted to try out her English. A family in front of us was using the pew in front of them as a quiet book, taping flannel board cutouts to the back of the pew. During the meeting a sister took a small child up to her husband (a member of the bishopric) to tend while she went out to change another child. We both gave prayers in Sunday School.
We decided to take a little walk and find some of the chapels in the stake. We made it to one chapel, but decided the other was too far so we returned home.
|Old man along the way|
|Our apartment building|
Yes, it has been a busy first week in Brazil, but we are happy to be here.