|Rio de Janeiro|
|This is way over my head!|
|Say that again|
We were greeted at the airport by several members of the church in Natal. Actually they weren´t there to greet us, but another missionary that was returning.
Our host in Natal was Martins. He took us from the airport to the hotel. On the way we met his wife, Leticia, at a mall for dinner.
Saturday was our tourist day in Natal. We started by visiting the market across the street from the hotel.
|Airport greeting party|
|Leticia and Martins|
|Market full of goodies|
|Our hotel from the beach. The one with the yellow horizontal stripe.|
|Beach at Natal|
|Paul, sea-horsing around|
|The coconut cutter|
|The beach from our hotel room|
Martins picked us up at the hotel then took us to Leticia´s school where she teaches. She has a young student named Sofie who is autistic. She told her that we were Santa´s friends and came to visit her. Sofie showed us her classroom. It was a lot of fun.
|Sofie with Santa´s friends|
|Brazilian rocket museum|
From there we went to a fruit market to see and taste new kinds of fruits.
Our training meeting was scheduled for Sunday night. We were supposed to train a Council Technology Specialist (CTS), but Natal didn´t have one so we arranged for a meeting with the Stake Technology Specialists (STS). On Saturday we were notified that a CTS had been identified, but needed to be called and set apart. I was able to be present for the setting apart which took place in time for the training meeting.
On Monday we went with Roberto, the FM, to look at some chapels. We stopped by his house and met his family.
We really enjoyed Natal. It was a beautiful, clean city with very little pixeição.
|Have a taste of coconut water|
|Green beans Brazilian style|
|Caju (Cashew), The curled stem is where the nut is. Caju juice is popular here.|
They then took us to see the world´s largest cajueira (caju tree) that stretches out like a forest. It is a genetic aboration that makes the tree branch out and go along the ground.
|Biggest Caju tree in the world|
|It´s bigger than you see here. The green is all one tree.|
|Now that´s a big caju|
|Spreads like a forest|
We went to lunch at Paçoca de Pilhão which means meat pounded with large mortal and pestle.
We then went to Fortaleza dos Reis Magos (fort of the three wise men). It was an old Portuguese fort taken by the Dutch and returned to the Portuguese.
We then walked along the beach to look at a large sand dune that went right into the ocean. There are a lot of sand dunes around Natal.
Traditional food from the interior is cooked in large wood-burning ovens.
We had a nice time at church. It was the primary program. There were just a few primary children, but they sang their hearts out. The ward that followed had a large group of primary children.
We met Rayane at the church where we were having our training meeting. She recently returned from the São Paulo East mission and served under President Andrew. She was happy to find out he was my cousin.
|What a grind|
|Bridge over the river|
|Martins and Leticia|
|Natal from the fort|
|The cannon couple|
|Boats on the beach|
|Morro do Careca sand dune|
|Typical oven of the Sertão|
|Going to church|
One of the first STSs to contact us after after we started this calling was Shane Allred, an American from Ogden, Utah. He had been released and we wondered what had happened to him. We were able to meet him and his wife at church. She was the Gospel Doctrine teacher.
Shane Allred and his family
After church we passed the "Biggest Berimbau in the World". We stopped to take a picture and got more than we expected. It was a capoeira (Brazilian martial arts) school for boys in the neighborhood. It was also a museum for capoeira. Eber, A young boy, showed us around the museum. Mestre Arrepio came along and we were able to see a demonstration in capoeira.
|Largest berimbau in the world|
|the gourd is a cement mixer|
|History of capoeira|
|The capoeira crew|
|Chair made of recycled automobile tires|
|Rayane with us at church|
|Roberto with his wife Danielle|
|Tower designed by Oscar Niemeyer|
|One of the chapels visited|
|Setting up webcast|
|Sunrise in Natal|