We hope that you are all well. We are healthy, enjoying the cooler weather here in Belo Horizonte. People here do not believe us when we tell them that their cold winter weather is actually like our summer inWashington.
This past Sunday was stake conference. We received an area-wide satellite transmission from Salt Lake City. All stakes in the states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Espirito Santo participated in the conference. The conference consisted of messages from the area presidency of the Church here in Brazil followed by talks by Elder Scott (topic: Prayer) and Elder Ballard (topic: family). Elder Scott gave his talk in Portuguese while Elder Ballard’s talk was translated live into Portuguese.
Monday, we spent another day riding buses to visit the houses of missionaries in our zone. We left home at 6:30 AM and did not arrive home until 4:30 PM. The good news is that we are done for now. Tuesday, we had zone meeting back in Riberão das Neves, requiring another 2 hours on the bus. We will be happy to stay in our corner of Pamulha for the coming weeks.
Wednesday (preparation day), we did some shopping in the center ofBelo Horizonte and visited an art museum. We were able to shop in a store dedicated to selling arts and crafts of Minas Gerais. The people here are very proud of their heritage and culture. Speaking of which, the food here is delicious and different than I experienced in São Paulo. Diane’s Brazilian cookbooks tend to overlook the cuisine of this region, so we need to find one here to be able to share with you when we return.
Yesterday was the start of the World Cup. After all the construction and turmoil leading up to the tournament, we are happy to see the excitement here. We were invited to a World Cup party at the home of the ward mission leader to watch the opening game between Brazil and Croatia(Brazil won!). This is one of the advantages of serving a senior mission. In addition, we had a teaching opportunity during the half time interval.
We continue to have busy days teaching the gospel to investigators as well as less-active members and recent converts. We are grateful for the help of the ward members. There are always opportunities for service and spiritual experiences. It is a blessing to be able to teach and to bear my testimony in Portuguese.
We love you all,