Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Finishing February

Short little February sure went fast!
But, lest we forget, these activities completed our month...

We had this great adventure planned last week for our Monday P-Day but the rain prevented it. Not to be deterred, we had our picnic upstairs in our apartment building. A good time was had by all.

Ward members Nephi and Elizangela Martin (Miguel and Ester) invited us to Sunday dinner.

Birthdays are always so special.😏
Anyway, mine was celebrated with wonderful friends.

But wait, there's more! We celebrated again in FHE. Happy Birthday Presidente and me!

We welcomed Elder and Sister (Luiz and Shirley) Kulchetscki to our missionary circle. They are from Ponta Grossa, Brazil - by way of Canada. 

What better way to welcome them to the "family" than with homemade strawberry ice cream?!
(After our Friday date-night to Subway)

Puzzle update 
 2 more have been completed.

Last Sunday it was dinner with Daniele (our temple secretary and her family). 
Little Helena and Ester don't think that Linda is a real name. They think Camila is a much more Brazilian name for me.😃 Who knew?!

This week's FHE was with the Marques and Rezende families.

And, lastly...Pastel night at the Freides.
Sister Freide made them all - chicken and cheese, meat, egg, and palm, banana, and Romeo & Juliet (which is guava paste and cheese). All were very delicious!

My dear friend Kathy Rees passed away on the 18th. She fought a valiant fight, but, in the end, the cancer won. She leaves behind Scott, 10 wonderful children and 40+ grandchildren. 
till we meet again, dear friend...

Friday, February 9, 2018

Odds & Ends

Some things just don't deserve their own post. They're not that "news worthy" but they are "memory worthy" to me, anyway.
So, today, things I want to remember from the last few weeks.

 All the rain caused a lot of damage to some of the streets in Curitiba. This is what happened to the street/sidewalk on the jungle side of the temple block. (That one hole goes all the way to China!)

The city is now in the process of fixing the problems. 

There's never a dull moment when waiting for the street light to change. Red lights bring out the talent! They just don't have this kind of stuff in Utah!

The youth had a "Noite de Hambúrguer" event to earn money for youth conference. For a mere R$20 we were served a hamburger, drink and a dessert of our choice. They weren't bad. 
We later invited the Freides to go to Maderos for "the world's best hamburger." They had to admit that Madero's burgers were truly superior to the ones from Barigui Ward. 😋

We had dinner with the Rasera family and friends on Sunday. Good friends. Good food. 

On Monday we made our last trip to the Federal Building to renew our IDs. We are now "legal" for our final months in Brazil.

Kansas City may have their Cow Parade but here in Curitiba we have the Capi Parade.

Ya gotta love the GIANT insect display at the Palladium Mall. (The fly is in honor of Wayne.)

We got a new missionary couple last week - Vicente and Margereth Camargo from Ponta Grosse. 
Bem Vinda!

Carnival is being celebrated throughout Brazil today through Wednesday. After that, it's back to school for the kids in public schools. (The private schools generally use the September-June calendar with a break for Carnival.) 
This is also the week for Youth Conference throughout the Church in Brazil. It keeps the youth away from the not-so-good influences that result from 24/7 parties, parades, and general permissiveness of Carnival.

Our faithful red onibus. Our temple tube. Our mangy dog at the terminal.

And - last but not least - we finished another puzzle. Mona was really a challenge! But we persevered and - wallah! - success!!! 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Don't Forget the Umbrella!

Curitiba has an average of 116 rainy days per year. The rainy days are well distributed in every month but summer tends to have more. In total they get around 65-70 inches of rain each year. In the summer that rain tends to be accompanied by thunder and lightening. 
These last 30 days have been super wet. It's even been raining when the sun is out. Good thing we have a lot of umbrellas (guarda-chuvas) on hand! 

So...what's a fella' to do when it's raining cats and dogs?!
Well, if you're a kid, you can go to the mall and do this - 

Or you can stay home and do this - 
(This darn puzzle ended up only having 998 pieces!)

I know what you're thinking - These people need to get a LIFE. That may be true, but in our defense, Nathan and Kristy sent us a puzzle (quebra-cabeça) for Christmas and it just kind of opened up a Pandora's box. Anyway, we just keep buying them. This has got-to-stop!

In the "Who Knew" department, when Don was here on his first mission, there was a little pizza place that they would frequent on their way to and from the mission home. They would always get a slice of pizza and a vitamina. Well, we found that place last week!
They loved stopping there because pizza reminded them of home and vitaminas were as close to a shake as they could find. And they were just as good 50+ years later!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


President Monson's passing and funeral brought several questions and concerns to the members of the Church in Brazil. 

"What do they do with the body for that long?"
"Is this normal?"
How come?"

Fortunately, Don has had some experience with funerals so he was able to put their minds at ease regarding our customs up north.  

Funeral traditions in Brazil are different. 
Brazilian custom is to get the deceased (the defunto) into the ground within 24-48 hours. Embalming is not a standard practice down here, and, being a tropical country, the body decomposes very quickly.

Brazilians believe the funeral is a time for feeling sadness and pain, not celebrating. It's common for family and friends to express their grief through wailing, loud crying, or even kissing and hugging the deceased. This is especially common among the older generation. 
(This doesn't really apply to LDS funerals. Ours are more celebratory because of our knowledge of the Plan of Salvation.)
Funerals are typically held in velórios, which are buildings that are specifically used for mourning deceased family or friends. While some of the places have concession stands nearby, in most cases, food is not welcome at funerals, because it takes the mind away from the beloved person who has been lost. (That's right - no ham, funeral potatoes, jello salads, and multiple cake choices down here!)

The cemeteries are something else. 

The North Morgan Cemetery is looking better all the time!

(Anyone who has the annual fee in arrears may lose the lot of the drawer. Avoid disorders. Regulate your urgent debts!!!)

It is not uncommon to find quotes throughout the cemetery. 
This one says:
"As soon as the man is old enough to live he is old enough to die."

A Room With a View
If those cemeteries don't impress you that much, Brazil is the home of the world’s tallest cemetery - a 32-story high rise where tombs are rented by the year and private memorial rooms go for about $105,000. Because of the hot Brazilian climate, bodies must be interred within 24 hours, so the MCE, as it’s known, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The building also contains a chapel, lagoon, peacock garden, waterfalls, an aviary full of parrots and toucans and even a small restaurant.

So, now you know!


I love and sustain these men chosen by our Lord and Savior to lead His Church here on the earth.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Feliz Ano Novo

And, just like that, it's a brand new year!
One thing that you've gotta love about the Brazilians is that they do love a good party. 
New Year's Eve was no exception.

Curitiba's fireworks 

Our temple residents' festa was a bit less grand. 😃
Don and Presidente Oliveira made a trip across town to get the "very best" fireworks for our celebration. Don was in 7th Heaven. You just can't find this stuff in the states! 
 With those preparations made, we were then ready to "party on..."

The Freires had four of their six kids here from Moringa and the Oliveiras had one of theirs, so we had a lot of little people for New Year's Eve. We enjoyed another great program and delicious dinner. was time...for the fireworks!
 These pictures don't do it justice. The noise was incredibly loud. I feared for Angel Moroni - but he stood his ground. He seemed to be looking down on the proceedings with a smile on his face. 
The kids had a blast. As well as some of the big ones.
Some of the fireworks had to be secured with weights.
We finally ended our party at 1:00, but you could still hear fireworks for another couple of hours after that. 

On a quieter note - Nathan's family gave us this puzzle for Christmas. We really enjoyed putting it together. Our friend Raquel came up to our apartment, saw the puzzle, said how much they enjoyed quebra-cabeças (which translated means head smashers), so we gave it to her family.

And, since we had so much fun with that puzzle, we decided to get another one. We went to the mall to find a good Brazilian puzzle. We found one of the stamps of Brazil. It wasn't until we got home that we discovered that all puzzles are not created equal! The picture on the front of the box is not of the entire puzzle - just a portion. The whole picture is found on the side as a 2x3 inch image. The box contained 1,000 semi-interlocking pieces. Honestly, who knew?!
Long story short - this is a bear to put together. Maybe one day you will see the completed puzzle. Not any time soon, however. 

And what would the Holidays be without taking in a movie.
This is what we saw.
(The Greatest Showman)

On a more solemn note, the passing of our beloved President Monson came as a surprise but not a shock. We will miss this dear man so much. 
"We thank thee, O God, for a prophet"

Excited to look ahead.
Grateful for what's behind.
So hopeful.
New trials, opportunities, and changes await us.
May we be equal to them.