We started this week helping our new senior missionaries get settled with the technology they need to carry out their mission.
|Sister and Elder Burke - new Area Medical advisors|
|Nice pink balloons|
Wednesday morning we had a new worker so they had us give our normal 1/2-hour Leadership Training in English followed by 1-hour training in Portuguese. In the afternoon we walked around the neighborhood trying to find a birthday cake. We found a Black Forest cake for Diane and ended up ordering a gluten-free apple cake for me (it ended up being very dry). We then went to Shopping El Dorado for a Fifties-style burger. We invited the senior couples over to our apartment in the evening to help us eat the birthday cakes.
Instead of candles they use a sparkler on the top of birthday cakes.
While we were at the Shopping we got a call from Paulo saying, "Where are you?". They had a surprise for Diane. We couldn´t get back before time to go home so the surprise was postponed until Thursday morning. The custom is for the birthday girl to cut the cake and give the first piece to the one she likes the most.
|Birthday girl with her Black Forest cake|
|You light up my life|
|Birthday cake in the office|
|Cutting the cake|
|Giving the first piece to Emerson|
Friday morning we headed to the airport and flew to Manaus, in the Amazon. We were greeted at the airport by Ednei (the FM for Manaus) who took us to the Tropical Hotel. There was a long line checking in so we had to wait for awhile. By the time we got to the desk all the rooms of the type we requested were gone so they upgraded our room (same cost).
|Our living room|
After checking in we went to a 5pm session at the Manaus Temple (which actually started at 4:30 pm) so we had to wait for the 6:30 pm session.
We were hungry and decided to take a bus to Shopping Ponta Negra for a bite to eat. I got on the bus, Diane didn´t and the bus took off. I got off at the next stop and walked back to try it again. We found a small shop that served Tacacá, a local dish we had heard about.
On Saturday morning we went on a City Tour.
|Waiting for the City tour|
|holding the world|
|Robert, our guide, pointing to the future|
|Manaus Opera House|
|Gourd bowls for Tacacá|
|Paintings of Manaus|
|River boats on the Rio Negro|
Saturday afternoon we had our first training session with Marivaldo, the Council Technology Specialist for Manaus. He is responsible for 11 stakes and 2 districts.
Sunday morning we went to church with Ednei and his family at the Novo Esperança Ward. It was good to meet with the members there.
|Ednai and his family|
|Feeding the turtle|
|This big fellow wasn´t even in a cage|
|Look at that!|
|Stake leaders from Manaus stakes|
|Marivaldo (CTS) helping with the training|