Saurday, December 17
We know about the snow and cold temperatures in Idaho and Utah. Our girls have sent us pictures. I'd like to brag about the wonderful hot weather here but I know when you are all warm and enjoying summer temperatures, we are going to be very, very cold. It won't get down as low as 0 degrees but it will be very rainy and humid.
Saturday we went with the Elders James and Marinho to lunch at the home of a young family, Alesandro and Michelle (pronounced Mee-shelley). They are members of the Church and have been sealed in the temple. For some reason they have stopped coming to Church even though they are so very gracious and have a testimony. They are so needed in the Branch. We are praying that we will find a way to ease their path to returning. We took the bus (Wild Toad Ride in Disneyland has nothing on riding the buses here!) close to Alesandro and Michelle's home and then walked the rest of the way. It was very, very hot. By the time Elder Barrus and I had lunch, walked back to the bus stop, took the bus and walked back to our home, we were soaked from head to toe!
That night was the Tatui Branch Christmas Party. Brazilians love to celebrate. The festivities were supposed to start at 7 p.m. We got to the Church at 6 p.m. so we could help set up. Presidente Vagner had brought a bunch of fruit that needed to be cut up for a fruit salad so several of us just helped do that. I was cutting the papaya, apples and peaches into chunks when I noticed the Brazilian sisters were cutting them into little tiny pieces so I had to go through it all again and redo. The party didn't really get started until a little after 8. Unlike our home ward, when everyone had eaten, they didn't start cleaning up. They like to visit, eat some more, visit some more. The clean up didn't start until after 10. We didn't get home until almost 11. And we were soaked from head to toe again!
In January I will start teaching a class on learning to speak English. I thought I would have maybe 5 or 6 people that would be interested. One of the members of the Branch put it on Facebook and they think about 40 or 50 will show up that first night. So, picture this, someone who hardly speaks any Portuguese teaching that many people who speak only Portuguese to speak English. Is this where faith comes in? I guess I'll know the second week how successful or unsuccessful I was.