Sunday, August 30, 2015


It has been a busy week this week. On Monday, Diane was in charge of the 8 am devotional (and did very well, as normal). We then had our daily half-hour Leadership Pattern session (in English) at 9 am. Since we didn't have a chance to do our extended Leadership Pattern session (in Portuguese) during our alignment training we did it for an hour today at 1 pm. We had our regular Family Home Evening with the senior couples at 5:30 pm then another Family Home Evening with the Krafts at 8 pm. After the lesson, Brother Kraft asked Diane to bear her testimony which she did (in Portuguese). It was a busy day!
The Krafts
Several of the missionary sisters have been asking for the opportunity to study Portuguese. I told them if they really wanted I would be willing to give a Portuguese class. Since no one else stepped up to offer, We now have two English classes (Tuesday and Thursday) and two Portuguese classes (Wednesday and Friday) each week. On Tuesday we went to ElDorado Shopping (in case you haven't figured it out by now - shopping means mall) to find some text books for the Portuguese class. We wanted to use the same text we got for Diane a while back. They didn't have any, but the Zauggs were able to find some at another bookstore Tuesday night.
Our Portuguese textbook
On Wednesday, Diane decided to go out with Sister Zaugg to learn about stores that are close by our apartment. While she was gone, I needed some information she keeps. She is organized enough for me to find the information by myself.

Bird of Paridise
 As we were crossing the parking lot we noticed it was transfer day. We were very involved with transfers in Canada, but not here.
Missionaries waiting for transfers
 It did give us a chance to see some of the missionaries we have met.
Not being transferred 
Thursday was a rainy day. Badu had to pick up some electronic supplies on Santa Ifigenia Street. There were store after store of electronic products. It took two hours to drive downtown, an hour to find what he needed and an hour to return. We got back right at 5 pm, just in time for our English class. Diane stayed in the office and was getting worried she would have to do the class by herself.

Friday evening we went to see "Little Prince" at the Jardim Sul Shopping. We had never been there before so we saw some new areas of the city. The show was sold out so we went to a Middle Eastern restaurant then came back home and watched "Pure Country 2 - The Gift" on Netflix.

Reflection on a van on the way to Jardim Sul

On Saturday we had two church activities. The first was a high priest party for the Morumbi Ward. Since all of the other senior couples attend that ward we were invited. It was a churrasco (barbecue) at the home of the high priest group leader.
Waiting in the courtyard
In front of our condo prison
 Elder Hale had a car so he shuttled us to the home where we had the party - pretty nice!
The courtyard where we had the churrasco
The kitchen area
The churrasco
 It gave us a good chance to get to know the Hart's. He is the area doctor who will take the place of the Swensen's. She is a nurse. Neither speak Portuguese, but she speaks Spanish. It will be a challenge for them.
Lunch with the Hart's
We decided to walk home after the party. In the evening the São Paulo 5th Ward had a soup night with three types of soup: Bean, mandioca, and caldo verde. Each was very good. We also tried some black guaraná which is spiked with açaí, a fruit from the Amazons (as is guaraná).

Heating up the soup
We don't see the Kwai family very often since he is a branch president at the CTM (MTC).
With the Kwai's
 We had a mixture of Brazilian and American music (very loud, of course).
The Music Man
 Many started to dance. When they played the Forró (typical of northeast Brazil) we had to give it a try, even though we had never danced it before. We did OK after watching a few of the others dance.
Our dance instructors
It has been a good week and we seem to be doing a lot, but we need to get started training the new Council Technology Specialists. 

Yes, she loves the piano!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Piano

We found out that the Swensons have a piano in their apartment and don't even play it so we made arrangements for it to be moved to our apartment on Monday. It came with a piano tuner and everything, which was good because it had been left for a long time and was about a whole step flat.
Our new piano
(in this picture it looks a little squat. It is between a spinet and an upright)
 Monday evening we had the Schioser's tell us about their mission in Public Relations. they travel to each stake in Brazil to give training.
Our FHE lesson
We really can't complain about our apartment. We have some new neighbors on the corner.

The home of our new neighbors
 We have a nice courtyard where the children gather to play.
Jump rope
On Tuesday we were returning to the office after lunch and a car passed by. The driver was Brother Lagermann who was the Elder's Quorum President in the Mountain Shadows Ward in Salt Lake. He's now in the bishopric. It was good to see him.
Memories of Mountain Shadows
We have been teaching English classes on Tuesday and Thursday which ends up being a lot of fun (though they are wearing). How do you get Brazilians to pronounce those English short vowels?
That's a bat, not a bet!
We have been getting ready for a visit by Elder Neil A. Anderson, which means extra technology, security, and cleaning of the chapel.
Benches up
 We were able to attend the missionary conference and everyone was able to pass by and shake his hand.
Welcome to Brazil
 His wife spoke in beautiful Portuguese and he gave much of his training in Portnhol (mixed Spanish and Portuguese). He did very well. Most of his message was on taking advantage of the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Elder Andersen
Friday night we went to Eldorado shopping to see Mission Impossible. Maybe our mission in Brazil is not quite so impossible. After the movie we went to a Mexican restaurant in the shopping. It was really noisy, but had good food.
The seniors waiting for dinner
One almost senior eating Mexican
This has been a nice week. We really enjoy having the piano. We need to get some piano music (Diane brought some organ music, but there are no organs around to play). 
Part of the beauty in Brazil

Sunday, August 16, 2015


We spent the week getting ready for our "alignment" meeting. It was a day-long activity for the whole ICS department on Friday. We needed a presentation on what we accomplished and what we would accomplish this next half year. We also gave a presentation about our family - focusing on the grandchildren. We were to have an hour-long session for leadership training in place of the half hour each morning. We started the day with a breakfast - thank goodness for pão de quejo.

Breakfast time
 We had exercise, as usual.
Our exercise czar
 In our morning meeting, Emerson gave new assignments then we had the alignment where everyone gave the goals they accomplished and the new ones they were working on. By the time everyone else was finished it was time for lunch, so our part was postponed until after lunch. We had lunch at the Feijão de Corda, a restaurant close to our apartment. They specialize in food from the northeast. It was delicious.
Our department at lunch
 In the afternoon everyone gave an introduction to their families. We were the last and sure enough, we ran out of time. Diane talked about our family and I presented our accomplishments for the time we have been here then we all left, skipping the leadership training we had planned.
Paulo introducing his family
 With Evanir retiring we lost our expertise on Webcast. On Monday we had a Webcast test with Badu learning how to do it. A Tuesday meeting was webcast to various locations in Brazil. It worked fine until it suddenly stopped broadcasting just before the end of the meeting.

Some of the other senior couples teach English classes in the evening. Elder DePaula has had the beginning class. It ended up too big so he asked if I could teach half the class. It looks like we will be teaching on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

All the other senior couples attend the Morunbi Ward, but we attend the São Paulo 5th Ward (which is the ward we live in). The Morumbi ward had a missionary activity on Saturday night and asked the senior couples to sing. The bishop of that ward informed us that they will have a Sunday School class in English for the senior couples and invited us to attend. We decided to continue attending our own class in Portuguese.

Our women's section
Our accompaniment section (minus the harmonica)
Our men's section
On Saturday we decided to see the Higienópolis neighborhood of São Paulo. We took a bus to Paulista Avenue then walked to Higienópolis. This is the artistic and intellectual area of São Paulo. It is also the Jewish quarter. Being Saturday we saw quite a few going to and coming from the synagogue.  We also saw a lot of nice houses.
Not a typical house for the area
A hot sale going on at this house
If you end up in the dog house you might as well be in style
Now this looks more artistic
We passed one of the big stadiums in town.
The stadium
 Several groups of drummers were practicing in the praça.
Bass drum section
 they had a typical feira there offering "the Best Pasteis in São Paulo"

At least that's what the sign says
They make them on the spot.
Cooking pasteis
 This one has carne seca [dried meat] and cheese in it.
No, I can't eat them :-(
 Somebody decorated their car with wooden items for sale

Just married?
 We took a stroll through Buenos Aires Park. A lot of families were there for a leisurely Saturday.

Big sister is watching
It takes two to tango
We went to the Higienópolis shopping where we got some paninis for lunch. They made special ones with pão de queijo. They were small, but good.
Bookstore in the round
Dome in the round
Missionary in the round
We passed by the Museu de Arte Brasilia in the morning and found out it didn't open until 1 pm. We went back after lunch and found out that all of the exhibits were closed except for one with strange dresses. Pictures weren't allowed so I found some on the web.
Museu de Arte Brasileira
Chose your dress
Well, we will see what next week brings.