Monday, April 14, 2014

Greetings from Belo Horizonte 4/14/2014

Dear All,
It has been a busy week for us here in Pampulha. Since our appointments are spread out across the ward boundaries, we find ourselves using the bus system frequently. Diane assures me that during her first month in Brazil, she has ridden on more buses than during the rest of her life. The other evening, we were very happy and relieved when a member stopped for us at a bus stop to give us a ride home.

Yesterday was the championship soccer game for the state of Minas Gerais (where we are located). The two most popular teams were in the finals. All Sunday afternoon, fans were gathering in the street, in restaurants, and in bars preparing for the game dressed in their team colors. Riding the bus home during the game, the streets were empty. However, fireworks and car horns were heard when the game ended. Cruzeiro (team of half the ward) beat Atletico (team of the other half of the ward). The game itself was played in the stadium near Pampulha that will be the site of World Cup games.
On preparation-day (P-day), we took the bus into the center of the city. We visited some museums and parks. The mission president has encouraged us to visit sites in the area. In order to do this, he has allowed us to have our P-day in the middle of the week.

Our friend, Joao de Fatima Castro, has been returning to church regularly. This past week, he asked us to help him prepare the names of his parents and siblings for the temple.

The members have been helping us with assistance finding people as well as providing us with lunch. Unlike 40 years ago, there are many priesthood holders and returned missionaries in the ward. However, our member and leader support activities are proving to be important as we provide training and example to raise the bar in the work of the gospel here.

Sunday was Fast and Testimony meeting. Diane gave her testimony in Portuguese. (Yes, she is brave!) Many members thanked her and told her how well she had done. She has also started to give a message on gratitude from Pres. Uchdorf's conference talk.

That's all for now.
We love you and pray for you all,

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