Everyone has been asking me how my Portuguese is coming along. It is coming and I can see that I am being blessed each day. I've improved quite a bit in these past 3 months. I have gone from smiling and nodding to....what I call "Cave Man Portuguese". I put sentences together but it's pretty choppy and my conjugations are generally wrong....it's like...."I go store....or....let read scripture". I know this sounds weird but I am pretty happy with this because I'm now slightly communicating with these wonderful people that I love so much. The people here are so encouraging and thrilled for any word I try to say. It is easy to learn when people are so excepting. I have to admit that not only have I improved in my "Cave Man Portuguese" but I do it in combination with "charades". I am pretty good at acting things out to express what I want or feel. I will challenge anyone one to a game of charades right now....I think I'd win ...hahaha ;)
This is a picture of my many Portuguese books...
I spoke in 4 Stake Conferences in the past 5 weeks (Stake conference is a meeting where 8 or 9 congregations meet together with about 1000 people in attendance). I have been doing all my talks in Portuguese! They are short and far from perfect but I think the people here appreciate that I am trying to learn their language. After the 2nd stake conference we were invited over to the Stake President's house for dinner. They gave me a cooking cap and apron to wear and put me to work. Their kitchen really unique and I now want a kitchen like this. It was located outside the main part of the house under the roof but still open to the outside. It was the coolest kitchen with a chimney like barbecue and brick oven built in to it. They had a normal oven as well. They had the most amazing lettuce wraps and grilled meat. I'm definitely getting the recipe.
They let me keep the cap and apron.
Here are some unique things I've seen in Brazil this month....
YES....you are seeing right ....they are riding COWS not horses. I didn't know you could ride cows except at a Rodeo. This was on the way to our district about 3 hours from Campinas.
We found a theatre in walking distance from our house that has english movies with Portuguese subtitles. (Yes we are allowed to go to movies on Pdays:) It's pretty fancy they bring you your food on a tray. Your water is served in a glass goblet and these plush seats recline. I love the subtitles in Portuguese...I kind of get caught up in them. Disney and Pixar here we come!
I just had to put this in here. This is a mannequin in a typical store. Notice the body shape that is preferred. I love it.
After a busy week Bruce surprised me with this beautiful arrangement. The roses were so big.
This weekend we spent out in our District.
The District is at the farthest end of our mission. We have 3 branches there, one in Pouso Alegre, Itajuba, and Oro Fino. The members in these districts are so faithful and wonderful. They are small in numbers but great in spirit.
In Oro Fino they have an outside baptismal font and we were able to go to a baptism of a dear sister.
This is a picture of some of the great people in the Ouro Fino branch just before the baptism.
These are some of my favorite missionaries in Ouro Fino....Elder Amancia and Elder Alves
These are 2 more of my favorite missionaries in Ouro Fino. Elder Cochran and Elder Viana. I brought them a little taste of home "no bake cookies (messy cookies)"
More wonderful members in Oro Fino!
This weekend Bruce spoke at a Priesthood Leadership, a stake young adult mission prep course, a talked in the Branch sacrament meeting. Our weekends are sometimes busier than our weeks. We love sharing our love of missionary work with others. This picture below is of the young adults in the mission prep course.
Yesterday we got an invite to a "Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner" put on by our ward ....just for "US". It was one of the kindest gestures I have ever received! They are putting on a special Thanksgiving party just for us to make us feel welcomed and at home. This melted my heart. The Brazilian people are some of the BEST people on the planet.
We also had a mission tour with Elder Aidukitis this month. It was a 3 day tour and all the missionaries attended. It was highly motivational. It was a privilege to have him here and to help strengthen our missionaries. We were grateful for the time we got to spend with him too and for his loving counsel.
We are SO looking forward to the general conference coming up this weekend. (October 3rd and 4th) General Conference happens 2 times a year. It is a time when over 15 million members and millions of friends have the privilege of listening to a modern day prophet and apostles. Their messages are for our time and are so motivating and inspirational. Please watch....you will come away recharged and motivated to live better :)