Saturday, February 26, 2011

Verae and the Banannas

A few days ago we went for one of our walks. Still on the temple property.  This picture was taken at the bottom of the temple hill and looks opposite direction from the temple.

 I always seem to catch Verae with her eyes closed, but you get the idea of the size of the tree.  There are quite a few of them in this area.  I bet you can't find the bananas in this photo.  They are just above the big leaf hanging down.  This is why I didn't see them the first time I went down to this area to take pictures.

This picture is a close up of another tree and as you can see there big stem hangs down with a purple bulb/ flower at the bottom.  You need to click on the picture to enlarge it and then you can see the bananas grow curling up from this stem.

Verae was so fascinated with this little flower/ bulb she took some pictures of just this part of the tree.

One more final picture of the temple on our way back up the hill.  It is about a ten minute walk to the bottom of the hill, but about twenty five minutes to climb back up it.  It is a pretty good work out for our hearts.
The Portuguese language is coming along pretty well, a bit faster than I thought it would. Verae can't see her progress yet, but I can see here becoming more at ease with it.  She can read and pronounce all the ordinances she is supposed to do and goes alone on sessions as a worker and helps at the veil.  I am being trained as a coordinator.  One difference I notice at this temple, from the other temples I have worked at, is that  buses arrive with officiators and patrons in the caravan.  We help those who come to do all the ordinances.  These caravans come and stay up to a week and then return home again.  For many it is a 2 day trip to get here and for others, it is longer.  There is housing for them here on the temple grounds.
The temple here in Campinas server members from 94 stakes and districts from 10 of the 27 states and the federal district.  They are:
São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Federal District (Brazilia), Espírito Santo, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Acre and Tocantins.

The distance from Acre to Campinas is about 2000 miles or the same as from San Francisco to Chicago.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Settling in Here

Well we have been here for a week and a half now.  We love it here in the Campinas area, and our apartment is just great.  We had a good rain storm yesterday in the late afternoon and the temperature dropped to 69 degrees.  The power went out twice but came back on after a few seconds each time.  We have been shopping here at Wal-mart and Sams Club and have been to 2 large shopping malls.  In a way it feels more like home than Manhattan.  We have a Magic Jack phone connected to our computer with a Logan, UT phone number.  The internet connection here is faster than in our home in Utah, so the quality of the phone connection is great.
Other missionaries who have cars, or sweet members, have taken us shopping when needed.  We haven't used the buses yet.  We went for a walk with some of the Brazillian senior couples around the temple grounds which are grand and had a fun time visiting with them on an informal basis.  The church owns the whole mountain on which the temple stands.  The temple hill is just across the street from the Notre Dame college and the area had that name because of the school.  Since the temple has been built, the area is now called Mt. Zion and not just by the members.  The address is  Rua James Esdras Foust 400.  It is really quite a bit of exercise to walk up that road on the left.

Our schedule is 8:00 to 3:00 Tues and Wed. and 2:30 to 9:30 on Thurs and Fri.  Saturday is 6:00 to Noon.  We have one meal in the temple at the cafeteria and breakfast at home each day.  Verae went on a session yesterday with the headphones in English but finished the session in Portuguese.  I am picking up the Portuguese faster than I expected.  President Oakes asked me how our first week was and I told him, much better than I expected.
Some of the Brazilian couples have asked us to teach an English class which we will be setting up.  We have been welcomed so warmly here.  I hope to be able to serve these wonderful people here and learn to have more generosity in my service.
We love you all
Elder and Sister Hansen

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Arriving in Brazil


Well the day of getting on the plane to go to Brazil finally arrived.  President Garff the Manhattan Temple President and his wife were so kind as to take us to the airport about 5:30 PM.  It took about an 1 1/2 in route through the traffic.  We did curb side check in and waited for about 2 hours at the gate.

The Trip was  about 16 hours from beginning to end, but when we arrived at the apartment we were relieved that we had made it through immigration and customs.  This is the picture of the temple I took as the sun was going down behind it. I still haven't unpacked but I got the computers hooked up.
  We went to church today and I bore my testimony.  It felt so wonderful feeling the spirit and hearing the testimonies of these wonderful Brazilian members.  After church we were invited to dinner at the  home of the Temple Recorder with 2 members of the presidency and their wives along with the brother from the temple committee who is here for a few days.   It has been a wonderful day.