Monday, May 21, 2018

Back Where He Belongs

Moroni returned to the top of the temple on Friday. It was no quick and easy task. But he looks fantastic. I'm glad we were able to be here and cheer him on!
 ↓These are the leaves of gold that they used.
 Up, up and away.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Last Hurrah

I know that there are some people out there who think we are serving on a 'mission-cation', but, hey, when the temple closes for its two week's of maintenance, what are Don and Linda to do?!
Take a trip!

First Stop - Porto Alegre
Porto Alegre, which means “happy port” in Portuguese, has the distinction of being ranked 43rd among the world's 50 most violent cities. 
That wasn't the reason we chose to go there! 😟
Sitting on a hill overlooking Porto Alegre from the east is the Porto Alegre Brazil Temple, the third temple built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil.
 And for us, it completed our tour of the six operating temples in Brazil.

 It's a beautiful little temple.

Not wanting to spend a lot of time in such a scary place, we scheduled a mere 24 hours for this visit. Our Uber driver was LDS and took us on a quick tour of the city on the way back to the airport. 

 The best place for a panoramic view of the city was at the top of 'cemetery hill' - and through a favela. The police at the lookout told us to take a quick look and then hippity-hop out of there. We looked. We left. (You don't have to tell us twice!!)

Next, it was on to Fortaleza. 
 Located in northeastern Brazil, Fortaleza is Portuguese for fortress. It is a city of 3,000,000 people and lots and lots of beaches. 
They had a great breakfast.
 We enjoyed our ★★★★★ hotel.

(I enjoyed my Mother's Day gift from my Donald!)

So much to see and do!!!

We took in a day at the dunes.

One of the regional dishes is Baião de Dois (rice, black eyed peas, cheese and herbs).
                                  We liked it ↓                                 

Our grandsons Seth and Alex have a friend serving in Fortaleza. We just  couldn't pass the opportunity to look up Elder Connor Eliason and bring 'grandma' goodie bags to these two cute Elders!
Hope they know how much we love them!

Bishop Cleto arranged for us to spend Sunday (Mother's Day) with the Nogeiras - his daughter-in-law's parents. They were so very gracious! And what a meal!!

Plans for the Fortaleza Brazil Temple were announced October 3, 2009, by President Monson. The original design of the temple had two spires but the city denied it and a new design was finally approved. They have been waiting for this temple to be completed for a loooong time. It's getting close! 

Next, on to
Rio de Janeiro
Rio, located between the mountain and sea, was worthy of a second visit.
This time we stayed at the beach and visited the temple site.
This hotel wasn't a 5-star (we couldn't afford that!) But we did enjoy the Copacabana Beach right out our front door.

 The Rio de Janeiro Temple was announce on April 6, 2013, during the Saturday morning session of General Conference. It's located in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood on the Atlantic Ocean. (About an hour from downtown Rio.)
Work began in March 2017.

Meanwhile, back in Curitiba, the big news is the Angel Moroni's 'makeover'. 
After 10 years atop the temple, he was getting a bit hairy-scary. So down he came to be cleaned and 're-golded'. 

Now you see him. Now you don't.

And what a difference a week makes.

 He returns to his perch tomorrow - all shiny and bright.

Now, not that anyone's counting, but we only have 13 more days left in Brazil.
We return home May 30th.
My heart is full. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Finishing April

This weekend took us back down to  Florianópolis.
No...not for this...

 for a YSA Retreat with President and Sister Oliveira.
This weekend was Brazil's Labor Day and that gave most people a four day holiday. A perfect opportunity for a retreat - workshops, dances, games, and, of course, lots of good food. 
 It was fun to see Michelle and Luana 'on their home turf'↑

 Except for having to be a part of the program, the experience was lovely! 😁

Then on Monday, Brother and Sister Gonçalvez invited President and Sister Stadler and us to their home for lunch. We were joined by their cook and daughter Cibele and Baby Benjamin.
Maria cooked up a fine onion torte, Brazilian chili with rice,  maionese (Brazilian potato salad), and, for dessert, a frozen banana fluffy thing. 

With the completion of April, that just gives us just one more month in Brazil.
I bet you can't wait to see what we do in the remaining days!!

Friday, April 27, 2018


It all began in Ipoméia. 
Ipoméia, or Morning Glory, is a plant, whose flowers are in the form of a trumpet. 
It is also the name of a little settlement far, far away from Curitiba. 

And, so, the story begins...
In 1920, Robert and Auguste Lippelt and their seven children were living in Germany, when their fourth child became gravely ill. This child who was dying, looked at his sister who was 12 years his senior and said, "Here in this room. . . just a bit ago were our grandparents, who said to me that next Thursday, at this hour, they will come get me and I will be dying. . . And on the Sunday after my death, when you are going to church, a woman will invite you to attend her church with her. And this other church is the one to which our grandparents want you to belong."
Exactly as he had said, on the specified day and at the specified hour, he died. On the following Sunday, the Lippelt children were going to their Protestant church, when on the road they encountered a Sister Demmel, who invited them to accompany her to the church of which she was a member, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They remembered the words of their deceased brother, and on July 20, 1920, the mother and the children who were old enough were baptized members of the Church. They immigrated to Brazil in 1923, and settled in an area in southern Brazil called Ipoméia. 
Auguste wrote to President Heber J. Grant, asking that he send missionaries to Ipoméia. President Grant asked her to contact the president of the South American Mission, in Argentina, Elder Reinhold Stoof, who the family had previously known in Germany. Soon, President Stoof visited the Lippelt family in Ipoméia and held the first sacrament meeting in 1927. From there, other pioneer families were discovered, such as the Max Richard Zapf family, or were baptized, such as the Blinds, the Bauers, the Hacks and the Kirstens, all of whom had come from Germany.
The first Church-built chapel in Brazil was in Ipoméia. It was dedicated by Elder Spencer W. Kimball. 
(After traveling there on 'good' roads, I can only imagine what the trip was like for Elder Kimball.)

This little blue chapel is truly out in the middle of nowhere.

The plaque says, "Fayette, NY, USA. April 6, 1830. The light of the restored Gospel illuminates the world. Ipoméia Santa Catarina, Sept. 23, 1923. The light of the restored Gospel illuminates Brazil."
The pictures on the wall in the hall document the history of the Church in Ipoméia.

And, since Presidente knows everyone, we were able to visit with some of the posterity those early pioneers. They were so gracious. They showed us around their farm, shared their pine nuts (pinhãos), refreshed us with a very tart homemade pink grape juice, and made us feel super welcomed. 

It is important to not confuse the Chapel in Ipoméia with the Girl from Ipanema. They are two entirely different things!!
Just saying.😎