Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas in Brazil

What a special time of year - and how fun it is to experience it in a new way! 

Our "neighbor" Christmas party was held last night. This included the four sets of temple missionaries, the temple presidency, and temple recorder - with some family members who live nearby. 

Mormons do it a bit differently than the rest of Brazil but, basically, this is how it works:
We gathered at 8:00 pm to meet and greet each other. When everyone arrived we enjoyed a wonderful Christmas program put on by the President's family. 

Dinner began around 10:00. This is a lot like our Thanksgiving - a real feast! Favorite Christmas foods include pork, ham, and roasted Chester, (Think of a super-sized chicken. Most ovens in Brazil are too small to roast a turkey so they developed a big chicken-like poultry that will feed more than just a regular chicken would. BTY, Chesters are very tender and moist and have a lot of white meat on them - hence the name chester.)

Also served, cold potato salad, fresh and dried fruits, cooked vegetables that have then been refrigerated, tomatoes and cucumbers. Everything is served with rice cooked with raisins and a good spoonful of "Farofa" which is seasoned manioc flour. 

The most popular Christmas dessert seems to be chocolate cake with coconut filling and ice cream.
And always, there is the ever popular Panettone which is a sweet bread filled with dried fruits or chocolate. Since Kay and I were new to this, we were assigned this item. I guess they figured we could buy them and cut them up without much damage!

Then, at midnight, the tradition is that everyone makes a toast to a happy Christmas and exchange presents. You can hear fireworks going off all over the city. By that time I was ready for bed!

In Brazil, Santa Claus is called Papai Noel. He looks a lot like our Santa but his outfit is of a lighter weight because of the summer season. Ha. The kids leave out their shoes so that Papai Noel will fill them with gifts and sweets. It is also a tradition to hide wrapped presents around the house for the children to hunt for and open. They actually only get a couple of things for Christmas.

The most popular Christmas song in Brazil? "Silent Night"

Today, after Church, we enjoyed Christmas Day dinner with the Browns.

P.S. Yesterday we actually had our first company. Don's tutor from the MTC (Arthur Silva) with his wife and aunt came by. 

Once again, Feliz Natal, and may all your Christmases be white. (Ours was 88 degrees with a 70% chance of showers. Welcome to Curitiba!)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Deck the Halls in the Malls

So far we have made it to two of Curitiba's shopping malls. Both have radiated the Christmas spirit with their decorations and music (all American, as far as we can tell). We are so lucky to have another American couple serving in the temple with us - Kay and Larry Brown from Roy, Utah. They beat us here by two weeks so we have taken advantage of their superior knowledge of the area! It has been fun having someone so share our adventures with. 

Bariqui Mall

Estação Mall

Don keeps telling me that this is not the Brazil of 50+ years ago. Haha. 
I am really liking this new Brazil. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Home Sweet Home

Thought you might like to take a tour of our home for the next 18 months. It is really quite nice. We live in an apartment building on the temple grounds just left of the temple itself. Our home is on the second floor, left side, in the back. There are sitting areas on both floors for visitors. We even have a little balcony.
There are seven apartments - for the temple presidency, two American couples, and two Brazilian couples.

This is the living room, dining room, and bedroom. 
(Note the family pictures above the TV!)

The tiny kitchen and bathroom. There is no real stove and, besides, all the instructions are in a foreign language! And in Celsius as well!!!

And lastly, this is our apartment from the back of the building, our view from our balcony, and the laundry room. (Again, all instructions are in Portuguese! Who knew?!)

Hope you enjoyed your little 'Home Tour'. We are feeling quite 'at home' in our little palace and are enjoying all of our wonderful new neighbors, all of whom we work with every day.

Monday, December 19, 2016

We EMBARK on our adventure!

We said Goodbye to friends and family on December 12th and spent three fabulous days in the Salt Lake Temple training for our service in the Curitiba Temple. And then, on Friday the 16th, we said Goodbye to Utah, the United States, and everything familiar for the next 18 months.

And just 6,082 miles later (it seemed much longer in hours!!)  we arrived in Curitiba. What a beautiful city! We haven't been inside the temple yet but here are some pictures around the grounds. The temple is surrounded by very tall and very expensive apartment buildings. 

And yes, it is summer down here.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

"You are called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, assigned to the Curitiba Brazil Temple as a temple missionary. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months."

"Your purpose will be to assist in the redeeming work accomplished in the temple, and through your example, invite others to come unto Christ and receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. As you serve with all your heart, might, and strength, the Lord will bless you to fulfill the purpose of your mission."