We have had a busy week here in Belo Horizonte. However, we were blessed to be able to watch the General Conference of the church here in our ward chapel. I was able to watch the Portuguese transmission while Diane watched the English version via the internet. The Conference had many reminders of the importance of family and its eternal potential.
We have spent many hours visiting different neighborhoods in search of church members. Unfortunately, when some of the poorer areas have been torn down, families left without any forwarding information (I do not know if this is even possible here). We have met many people who have opened their doors to us. I have been reminded of how open the people are here in Brazil.
Monday, we stopped to ask a member (Jorge Faria) the location of some streets that no longer exist on our map. After offering us lunch, he and his wife took off with us on our search. It turned out to be one of our most productive days yet. Afterwards, he took us on a short tour of the area, including a neighboring ward that is not so developed. He was excited to show us monkeys and a variety of birds (he was unable to locate a toucan for us). If you do a Google search on Pampulha, you will find information on a famous lake in our area that is know for it plants and animals as well as its surrounding architecture.
Today, we attended Zone meeting with all of the missionaries in our area. We traveled 1 hour by bus to the nearby town of Riberao das Neves, It gave us the opportunity to leave our urban area and travel through a more wild environment.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. We are grateful to be here. Many couples that we know are still awaiting visas (>1 year). We may have been the last to successfully receive our visas.