(Emily here...I've been swamped with work/life changes, so I apologize for the very lateness of this update!!)
I think it has been a while since I have written. I think I get out of the habit since I talk to each of you (our kids) and Mom every Sunday. Things have been a little crazy the last 3 1/2 weeks! Dad mentioned in one of his letters that I didn't go to the temple one week. That's correct. I was just a bit out of sorts and decided that I needed to stay home and relax. Around I received a phone call from the Area President's office saying that we had an appointment with Elder Bassett the following Tuesday. So I was kind of a nervous wreck for four days!
On the 31st of Jan. we met with Elder Bassett and he asked us to transfer our assignment out to the MTC. We were shocked to say the least! We had a lot of different emotions running through our heads. We said that we would do it and then we began the not-so-fun task of cleaning out our desks and our computer files. It is amazing how much stuff gets saved over time. We felt really bad to have to say good bye to our friends in the office.
There really wasn't a place for us to live at the MTC so we were provided a car to drive back and forth. It takes anywhere from 45 min. - 1 hour to get there depending on the traffic. Well after five days out there it was very plain to see that there just wasn't enough work for three couples. One couple finished there mission this past Friday and he was the Dr. but he had trained two other people to do his work so Dad didn't have anything to do.
We went back to Elder Bassett last Tuesday and told him that we just couldn't go back as we had a lot of work to do now with our projects and there wasn't anything to do out there. He was really nice about it. Everyone back at our office was really happy to see us. We had lots to do for the rest of the week and it will continue through the rest of our mission I think. We have more people to add to our garden projects and our Petrolina quail project is just getting started and we will probably have to go up there one more time to check to see if it is working for everyone.
In the meantime, we have done a couple of fun things lately. The one that stands out was on Sat. 11th. The Harris' and us went to a restaurant called Templo da Carne which means Meat Temple! The only way we could get to it was to take a taxi as there are no bus stops nearby. It is located in the Italian section of the city and it was a neat area.
Dad had found some videos on YouTube a few years ago about how to cook meat the Brazilian way. He found videos of Marcos Brassi who was the owner of the restaurant and then he started cooking tri-tip roasts/steaks that way. Well Dad mentioned that to the waiter and the next thing we knew was that he invited us to go back into the kitchen and take a tour. It was awesome! About half-way through our meal the waiter came out with a big platter of meat and roasted onions. It was "on the house" and was it ever good! It was lamb and it was delicious and I'm not a fan of lamb.
One other thing we did a couple of weeks ago was to go bike riding in Ibirapuera Park. There were three couples who went and we had a blast! The is beautiful. This week we a leaving on Wed. and going to central Brazil to an area called the Pantanal. It sounds like there are more alligators there than Yellowstone has buffalo! We will return late on Sunday night.
I am very glad that we are able to work at the temple. I have been on the session each week. We usually have several English speaking missionaries in that session. Last Friday there were 10 English speaking sisters in my session. There was a Brazilian sister who had the English card at the veil so that I wouldn't have to do them all alone. As it turned out, it went about every other sister was English speaking so I had to jump from Portuguese to English and that is a challenge! At one time during an English one I started to say one word in Portuguese!
I have attached some photos from our Templo da Carne experience and maybe some others that I haven't sent yet. I sure love you all very much and appreciate your prayers in our behalf. Hope you all have a great week. We love you tons!
# 3 and 4 is Palm Heart. Yes, it is the inside of a special kind of palm tree and it is delicious!
#5 is the meat cutting table! The wood is so dense that the knives do not make marks on it.