Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Greetings from Brazil 7/22/2014

Dear Family,

We are happy to send you the latest news from Pampulha. We continue to be busy here. We are enjoying the cooler weather while our local friends are suffering form the cold winter.

This past Saturday, our ward held a Festa Junina party (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festa_Junina). In June, this is a typical Brazilian festival that originally celebrated the feast of Saint John. However, due to the World Cup, many organizations postponed their festivities to July. Here in Minas Gerais, the celebration is more elaborate than I experienced in São Paulo. There are many traditions involving food, music, and dance. The ward members decorated the outdoor soccer court with banners and areas for food and games. Many dressed for the occasion with country-style clothes and make-up. Relief Society sisters spent the afternoon preparing large vats of traditional bean and manioc broths. Corn bread, chocolate, peanuts, popcorn, coconut, candies apples were also among the treats. The favorite treat of the evening was canjica, which I can best describe as a rice pudding in which the rice is replaced by hominy corn. In Belo Horizonte, they are holding a 2-week long competition for groups based on music, dancing, and costumes. As for us, we were very happy that many of the people that we are teaching joined in the fun.

Yesterday was a bus adventure for us. We started the day with a 90 minute bus ride to the far side of our Stake to inspect a missionary apartment. Next, we took an hour bus ride into Belo Horizonte so that we could go to the Federal Police office to pick up our identity cards. We are happy to know that we are legal residents until March, when we have to go through a renewal process. It also gave us a chance to pick up materials at the Mission Office.

Our best to all,

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