Thursday, January 28, 2010

Let's all enjoy a moment of silence...

... in celebration of the anniversary of our arrival in Brasil!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Looking back... January 28 to February 2

After a bem vindo lunch at the Galleria Gourmet, Presidente Bezerra, Sister Bezerra, and the assistants dropped us off at the chic but expensive Hotel Entremares, where we stayed until we found a place to live.

I found these pictures on their internet site. The bedroom is pretty much a duplicate of the one we had.

This picture can't begin to give you an idea of the wonderful free breakfasts. We ate the most delicious fresh fruits -- pineapple, mango, watermelon... with tiny fresh french bread sandwiches and fresh orange juice every morning-- not a waffle or scrambled egg in sight.

The hotel was perfect for the R&R we needed
after a long day of training at the office. Dad would turn the air conditioner on high, and we would read and visit and prepare for the next day.

Meanwhile, negotiations were going on for the rental of the apartment we found, thanks to Elder Brayner and Elder Hill!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Celebrating Whitney...

Twenty-seven years ago today, Whitney was born into our family.
At this moment there is nothing I want more than to put my arms around my girl and tell her happy birthday. Sometimes being six thousand miles away really stinks.

I wish I had my pictures here in Brasil, but since they are all sitting in a box in Nevada, mere words will have to do. These are just highlights, and by no means a complete list of my favorite Whitney moments.

She was the most perfect and beautiful baby I have ever seen. Seriously.

I loved how she looked in the morning, standing up in her little white nightgown, one hand holding her bottle and one hanging on to her crib.

and the way she used to crawl in her Sunday dresses, feet and hands only-- she hated the feel of the carpet on her knees!

and the way she stretched her arms out and clenched her fists whenever she was happy or excited. If you look at her wedding pictures you will see her doing that very thing as she comes out of the temple doors with Brad.

**about age 2: standing in the corner with Stuart (she didn't want him to be lonely)

**teasing Dad by running to sit in his chair if he left it for any reason

**telling me I was her best friend when she was three

**"going to school" (almost 4) with her backpack and ballet clothes on

**carrying her Cabbage Patch doll (Amanda) by one foot. When I protested that she would hurt her baby if she let it drag on the ground like that, she responded, "Mom, it's a doll."

**telling my obgyn (who had just said the baby's heartbeat sounded like a boy) that's not a boy, that's my sister Kristen!

There are a million more -- and someday I will write them all down! --but I hope it shows what we all knew from the very first: there is only one Whitney, and we celebrate the day she was born into our family.

Happy Birthday, Whitney! Ours is a better and happier family because you are in it.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It all started early Monday morning...

Not sure why, but I woke up at about three in the morning on Monday. I went into the other room so as to not disturb Dad:) For some reason I became very concerned about whether or not the refrigerator was working, and began messing with the buttons.

Then I went back to bed.

Apparently, if you push in the button on the left, it starts your freezer de-frosting.

All in all, it was a productive morning--I also washed Dad's white shirts and put a roast in the crockpot. That freezer needed de-frosting, anyway:)

Remember these plants on the right?

A few weeks ago, we noticed that one of them, closer to the entrance of our building,
began to look different from all the others.

Suddenly this cool column started to rise up from inside the plant. Fascinated, we have watched it grow from day to day until it reached this height.

You can't see very well from this picture, but the tips of the leaves were gold.

Back to Monday...
This is how the sidewalk looked when I walked
to the bus Monday morning...

And this is how it looked when we came home!

Saturday (this morning) it looked like this...

"Localized Earthquake Hits Rio Sidewalk?"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's the rainy season...

We thought the spring months in Brasil would be like at home, and that it would just keep getting hotter and hotter until it became unbearably hot :), but it hasn't been like that at all. It rains almost every day, and actually feels cooler some days than it did in July (the dead of winter).

In Rio, there is rain and then again, there is rain. One morning Dad put on his older pair of shoes, and the puddles of water were deeper than usual crossing the street....

If you had looked into the office a little later that day, this is the sight that would have greeted your eyes!

Take a good look; it gets funnier the longer you look at it!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Do you feel safe on the streets?

My friend MaryLee emailed with the above question; this was my answer: Absolutely. They say there is lots of crime in Rio but we don't ever see any sign of trouble; I think we're at home in bed when it happens.

So you can imagine my shock the other night when we heard the sound of a single gunshot right here in the office. I didn't know if we should all stop, drop, and roll ( no, that's if you are on fire:) or run, or what. Elder Lemos came out of his small office; Elder Novello rushed in from the other office and we all stared at each other, wondering, what in the world? Next we all started calling for the other office missionary, Elder Edvalson, but got no response.

We searched the office: no gun, no gunman, no Elder Edvalson! Maybe something had exploded in the microwave, and Elder Edvalson was the victim, was our next thought. Elder Lemos went into the little bitty kitchen, and said, hace que não.... Approaching the refrigerator as if it were a wild dog or a bomb that might go off, he carefully opened the door...

About this time Elder Edvalson strolled out of the bathroom, which is right next to the frig,
having heard nothing--

For days the Elders had been trying to perfect a homemade rootbeer recipe, and he had put a 2 liter bottle of agua com gás in the frig to get cold. Unfortunately for the experiment, the temperature in the refrigerator was just a little too low. The carbonated water began to freeze and expand and freeze and expand
until it couldn't expand any more!

I thought that bottle looked like it was getting bigger..."
Elder Edvalson

So apparently my answer to MaryLee should have been yes, we feel perfectly safe on the streets; it's in the office that we have to watch out!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Nine Months later...

It is one of those inexplicable things in life that time gets away from a person the way it does. Exactly nine months ago today Elder Humes and I walked through the doors of the Provo MTC. I was about to say, where we started this journey, but on reflection I have to say it was only the start of the latest leg of our journey together! Dad was pondering the other morning and asking himself-- how did I get here? It's a good question to ask. And the answer is: by putting one foot in front of the other.

So what do we do with the next eight months, two weeks, and three days of our mission? The best answer to that one is: leave it all on the court. That means nothing left undone. Serve with every ounce of faith, good cheer, and trust in the Lord you've got. Make every minute count. Serve, in short, with your whole heart.

That is what we intend to do.