Sunday, March 15, 2015

Transfer Day

We missed Pi Day (3.142015). It was a mixed up week. Normally the younger missionaries have their P-Day on Monday and District Meeting on Tuesday, but this week was temple week so they reversed it and had District Meeting on Monday and went to the temple on Tuesday (their preparation day).

We had a nice District Meeting with all of the other missionaries using their new iPads. We even had a role play on safe use of iPads.
On the white board for district meeting
Since we hold district meeting close to Sprouts, a good health food market, we resupplied with everything we needed for the next week or two. After putting all the food away we got a phone call from the missionary department OUR VISAS ARRIVED!!! We then talked to the Missionary Travel Office about travel plans. Within four days we were on a plane headed for Brazil.

We were so excited we didn't know what to do next to get ready, so we went for a long walk to sort things out. It helped a lot. We had two lessons scheduled with the elders for the evening. At the first family the father was working (at home we think) and the mother in the bath so we talked to the 8-year-old daughter for while. No one was home at the second family either so we went with the elders to Iceberg for shakes (too big to eat). We tried the family again with the same results. We stopped by to say goodbye to the bishop and his family then went back home.

Celestino family
As I mentioned we went to the temple with the district on Tuesday, at least with the sisters because the elders arrived late and made it to the next session. We warned them at district meeting that they needed to arrive at 12:30 for a 1:00 pm session. We were the witness couple for the session. In the evening we had our missionary coordination meeting and were able to say our goodbyes to the members of the committee.

Wednesday was packing and errand-running day. We had our exit interview with President Chambers then had a FHE with the Francisco family who had several non-member friends and family visiting from Brazil. It was a good opportunity to show them the importance of family and what FHE is all about.

Thursday we went to Logan to drop off all of our kitchen utensils we are not taking to Brazil. It was a trunk load. It was good to see the family again. We took them all to Chick-Fil-A for our last dinner with them.
The last supper
With kids
We said goodbye to the Dishman family whose basement we have been living in. We have really enjoyed it.
Dishman family
When we first met Jacob he had a blue shirt on (see above) with a JA on it. Next time we saw him he wore a different shirt so I teased him about his name - James, Jason, etc. As we left he gave me a t-shirt he designed. I thought it was very clever.

We got to the airport at about 9am for an 11:15 flight to Atlanta. the family came to see us off.
Who's this crazy bunch?
Family at the airport
Andrea's turn to send us off on a mission
After a brief layover in Atlanta we were on our way to Brazil. It was a long overnight flight. I couldn't sleep and passed the time watching movies. My feet are just too big. At least they had some gluten-free food for me.

We arrived about 6:15 am São Paulo time (3 hours ahead of Salt Lake).We were met at the airport by Elder Zaugg and Elder Hall. Paulo (from the ICS office) came later and took our luggage. 
Our welcoming committee
We had an interesting drive across São Paulo to our apartment, which is very nice.
Apartment playground
Dining area
From there we walked over to the area offices with Paulo. 
Brazil area office building
Paulo and Sister Wheeler on top of the building
São Paulo countryside
The temple and stake center are on the same property. They are currently remodeling the temple.
São Paulo Temple
São Paulo Stake Center
We then went shopping to get some groceries for the weekend. Actually the senior couples supplied us with some essential food, but we wanted to see what was available. There is a supermarket (Pão de Açucar) a short block away, a Walmart beyond that and a mall across the street from the Temple. There are also some small stores along the street. While we were in Pão de Açucar there was a man singing Bossa Nova music for background music. He told me he had a nephew who served a mission.
Fish department of the supermarket
Background music for the supermarket
 The São Paul Stake had stake conference this weekend. We went to the Saturday night session. It was hard staying awake. We went to the main session Sunday morning. After the conference we were greeted by Paulo and Zuleika Grahl whom I knew in Alegrete as a young missionary. Paulo is the stake patriarch and we worked with their grandson (Elder Grahl Baptista) in the Portuguese ward in Salt Lake.

The Grahls and us
Last Sunday evening we were looking forward to four lessons we marked for the week and going to the temple with the missionaries. Little did we know we would get our visas, fulfill our missionary effort in Salt Lake, pack, make a trip to Logan, and be in Brazil all during this week. Tomorrow we start our mission as Area Technology Specialists in Brasil.

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