Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Balls Keeps Rolling

Today was awesome!  We did service in the morning and ate and shopped at a Japanese market for lunch.  Here we had sushi, crab, fried cheese, salmon sashimi, you name it, they had it and it was fresh! After we went grocery shopping at the accompanying market.  Here I discovered new fruits and vegetables such as the 2 shown below.  I still don’t know what that green fruit it, but the red and yellow one is cashew (caju), the fruit juice I discovered exactly one week ago, and it’s delicious!  I bought some fresh ingredients for the upcoming week.  After a nap we met the afternoon group.  The first call we go to do is an Italian woman who answers the door in a towel.  She invites us in and we sit and talk for at least an hour.  We drink coffee and share our beliefs.  Literally share.  She’s agnostic and a materialist.  After pleasant conversation and a few scriptures, which she read and compared with her bible and the New Word Translation, we parted ways.  But before saying goodbye she gave us her email to help Naomi teach the Italian course because she has years of experience translating from Portuguese to Italian since she has lived in Fortaleza for 24 years.  This woman has also established 2 schools in Farfalas.  I will try to take a picture of this type of area so you can see.  But it is an area that is very poor and snakes back and forth behind properly built storefronts or housing.  It is sort of an unseen world that is very dangerous and I would not even be permitted to speak English inside of, much less take a picture.  We’ll see what I can manage.  Since it became dark we did one closer visit and then ended for the day.  We received a phone call that Vera and Thiago were waiting for us at our home.  Naomi helped Thiago with his pronunciation since he has to do the reading of the Watchtower tomorrow.  We went out for Gelato after, yum!

Today has been nice and relaxing.  A brother from Bologna gave the talk about God’s eye’s seeing everything.  Very deep!  After we had a festa at Marcia and Dima’s house.  I made my secret punch to share.  Any in my home congregation knows what that entails.  Of course this one was Brazilian style and featured fresh young coconut water, mango pulp and coconut gelato…  We talked and laughed over tons of Brazilian treats, sausage, red meat, rice and beans with cheese, salad, white rice and 2 delicious homemade desserts.  I don’t know all that ate; I just know that I was very satisfied afterward!

Later, in my poor Portuguese I made plans with a delightful couple that is visiting from Sao Paolo to go out to dinner with some in the Portuguese congregation after the meeting.  Here I got to try a Pastel, a Brazilian “fast food” that is like a fried hot pocket that you can fill with all sorts of treats.  For about $3.50 USD you can have a Pastel filled with 3 items, I choose Carne de Sol and cheese only, and a natural fruit juice, I got my Caju! 

Finally a day off! A pioneer sister we worked out in service with on Friday, picked us up at 7am and brought us to the house of a sister who drove us to Beach Park, a famous water-park in Fortaleza.  But we didn’t go to Beach Park; we were right NEXT TO it.  We hung out at a 4 star resort, sun bathed, tested out the strong waves of the ocean, participated in a water-aerobics class and basically chilled ALL DAY.  It was great!  After we went to Tapioca Land, (that’s not really what it’s called).  But it’s a place where there are 20 Tapioca Restaurants all in one area.  I got shrimp and cheese tapioca, Naomi, chocolate and the sister, Tuna. Yum!

Later, we went to dinner at a bible study’s home who is married to an ITALIAN! This was huge because the sister who studies with her has never even met the husband before!  So we were friendly and ended the night on a nice pleasant note!

Back to the hit the street!  Today we had a nice group of Italians out!  We canceled a ton of business addresses and did return visits in the afternoon.  Italian class was at 7:30pm.  Naomi did an awesome job and everyone was so engaged that when the English meeting finished with prayer at 9:15pm- we were still going!  We played a game where we used our homework assignment to find theocratic words for each letter of the alphabet to compete with each other to see who found the most unique words.  My last minute attempt to find words using the Watchtower Library did not help us win. L   Man, did it get competitive!  Also we learned Italian definite and indefinite articles.  Not as easy as in English, I can assure you that!

Today we did Portuguese service and I started a study, this time with a girl!  I used the Good News Brochure and we did the first question about God’s Purpose for the Earth- she chose the topic herself!  Let’s hope I am able to communicate with her as the study goes on!  We ended up at an elder’s home to wash clothes and were treated to a surprise anti-typical Brazilian dinner- SASHIMI!  It was soooooo good and so simple!  We had Salmon and Tilapia! 

Today I did Portuguese in the morning and English service in the afternoon.  Both were great!  In Portuguese we did a lot of businesses and Naomi started her first Portuguese study with a shop-keeper.  Later in English I met a sister from Holland who speaks Dutch and helps out with the English congregation here.  (See there’s need for all language in English because they cover ALL the foreigners.)  A funny story from English service was that the brother asked me if I could speak with a guard in Portuguese to ask for this Dutch guy, and I assured him that I could.  I get to the complex and ask to see Joao Walter.  I ask him several times in fact.  

As I started to get a little frustrated because I’m pretty sure that my pronunciation is pretty good, I find out that Joao Walter is the STREET that we’re on!  Pretty embarrassing, then to make things worse, when he asks what apartment number, I keep repeating 2200, but guess what? That’s the # of the building that we’re at!  I was a hot mess but he took the territory from me and figured out who we were trying to reach.  Whew, just when you think you know a language, the rug gets snatched out from under you!
Tonight at the meeting, I commented for the first time in Portuguese.  Since we only have the Jeremiah Book in Italian I refuse to keep silent for the remainder of the meeting for I got myself together a simple bible-highlights comment and I said it! Ironically it was on 2 Corinthians 10:13, which I’m not exactly applying since we’re preaching in Italian, Portuguese and English lol. J

2 new changes have occurred to allow us to have our own meeting for field service in Italian…Francisco a brother from Napoli arrived and Alex, has moved 13 blocks from the Kingdom Hall, a far cry from the 40 minutes away he used to live.  So we did our own thing today. We did census at 2 shopping malls and found Italians! It was a bit different but fun and productive none the less.  Later we did our usual beach witnessing at night and afterwards got to experience Brazilian Pizza!  Way different than Italian style.  The Brazilians like to heap tons of toppings on their pizza which requires you to eat it with a knife and fork.  Some toppings were egg, ham and cheese, while another pizza had potatoes, broccoli and cheese.  Very tasty!

Italian Homework
Sushi Dinner at Dima's house
Tapioca Place
Resort we hung out at FOR FREE
Festa after brother gave talk
Thiago praticing WT reading
Unknown fruit
Eating at Japanese market
Woman making Tapioca

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Getting settled in

Friday we ended up having the unexpected privilege of helping out with the public witnessing trolley.  We jazzed out up a little but by adding Italian, English, Spanish and and Arabic magazines.  We had an awesome few hours at the beach.  While people strolled and exercised we displayed the Suffering poster and attracted many different possibilities to the trolley.  We placed 2 Bible Teach books, over 30 magazines and potentially started 2 Bible studies.  We even met some.Italians!  At 7:30 pm we were joined by the Italian group and they walked the promenade while Marcia and I held down the trolley too know each other better. 
Today I got to try two new foods. One was simply a young green coconut that is sold for $1 and the vendor chops off the top and sticks a straw in for you enjoy the sweet water.  Then you can bring the coconut back and they cut it in half with a machetti.  I took mine home, scrapped out the coconut meat and added sugar , milk and ice and blender it..yummy!
The other tasty treat was called..
Saturday was another service oriented day.  At 8:45 we met and split into 2 car groups and covered the known Italian addresses.  We didn't find anyone in my car group but were able to add new names thanks to friendly doormen.
after the morning we ate typical Carea food. Bbq beef that is brought on a still lit grill with onions and cheese, rice, yucca fries, beans, shredded beef and pico di gallo.  It was delicious! after that we needed a nap.  Then it was back to the hall at 3 pm for evening witnessing at the beach.  We stayed out until 7 pm.  My feet hurt but we had 2 very nice conversations with nice Italians. On the way back to home, we stopped for a snack of fried cheese balls and cashew and apple juice.. sounds like a weird combination nut its actually quite tasty.  Then we said goodbye to Priscilla and Aldehelando since they had up to an hour commute back home on the bus.
Sunday we had the meeting all in Italian and did phone witnessing in the back while English had their meeting.  I take back English needing They had like 50 people whereas we had 15.
After service we were invited to a friends house for a cookout/ pool party.  There I had so much meat that I'm actually taking a meat break for a  It sure was good though...
One of the sisters who really had helped us get set up is actually a newscaster so we accompanied her to a fashion gig she had to cover.  We browsed through designer booths and Naomi found some "killer" shoes she couldn't resist.  You know cheap ol me didn't buy I just looked. I was mad when the $5 bathing suits were dental style.  If you don't know what that means, it refers to the style of the bottom of the floss.nuff said , that ain't gonna work for a Christian lol.
We ended the night with a MPS fashion show. MPS stands for Miss Plus Size...interesting.
Monday I over slept and missed the 8am group..told you it was gonna be hard... But I meet the 3 pm group for phone witnessing.  The sister how invited me however failed to inform me that the preaching was in a Portuguese!! Lol I did my best but eventually defaulted to letter writing after several episodes of having to pass the phone over. But the other sisters had nice long extended conversations.  We had endless territory due to all the gated buildings.
Tuesday after Portuguese service Naomi and I started making Italian Business territory by searching on the internet for Italian restaurants.  So far we found 80 but I know there are many more since there are over 2 million people in Fortaleza.  At the Gelato place where we used the wifi I tried Tapioca for the first time.  Its a snack here made into a sort of crepe that you can fill with many toppings.  I tried the simple one with just butter.  There was some green sauce on the side, sadly I found out that is was mayo after I asked for more..gross!
Later Naomi taught her first Italian class! It lasted 2 hours and comprised of 3 parts.  Grammar, culture and Italian for the ministry.  Interestingly it was held during the English meeting so we couldn't clap but we laughed ALOT!!
Wednesday we did more service and after getting desperate for internet Naomi asked a neighbor for a password for their wifi, and surprisingly they gave it to us!  So now the 2 American girls, (us) look even crazier because we sit outside at night in our courtyard on our laptops.  Lol 
Thursday we were invited to a sisters house for lunch!  Everything is here house that is related to art was hand painted by her, even the plates we ate on!  She's good!! Now she pioneers and closed her studio where she used to teach.  What sacrifice!  Later we had our Italian meeting and Naomi gave her first part! 
Friday I started my first Portuguese Bible study!  I was with another sister and as we approached a man working as a guard for an apartment building he was reading his Bible.  She receives a phone call and then I'm left speaking with this man about Psalms 37:29.  So
I turned to chapter 3 of the Bible Teach Book and we did the first paragraph together and i asked him to respond in his own words, and he did
!  After service, we searched for tapioca and found some at
Pao De
Acuzar, a grocery store.
This time I was more adventurous and tried
Romeo and Juliet which is
Guayana fruit with cheese.  It was a sweet and filling combo.

I did telephone witnessing again in Portuguese and this time people understood me
! :
)  After we did beach witnessing and after enjoyed.
Q on the beach.  What a satisfying day
Naomi's designer shoes
Vera's sweet parents!
The yummy meat Vera's dad cooked
Adhlelando and Priscilla after service
Phone witnessing and letter writing in Italian
Phone witnessing and Letter writing in Portuguese
A plate that MArcia hand-painted
My first tapioca
Portugues Service (the brother on R baptized 3 yrs, in his 80s and pioneering)
Marcia's Portuguese bible tudy
Romeo and Juliet Tapioca
Italian Class-Rosa teaching Culture
Italian Class

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Hello everyone back at home! My first post from Brazil! So I've decided to post once per week!  Lets rewind to last week when I arrived on Thursday morning at 6:30 am.  I was greeted by a gracious couple that I had never meet before, Sheila and Dom Gonzales.  They were so cute holding a plain white sign with my name printed on it.  Quickly I discovered that Sheila does not speak English and clearly I don't speak Portuguese.  But through google translate she told me how she was an auxiliary pioneer and is a stay at home mom.  She has 2 children a 15 yr son and a 12 yr old daughter who would get baptized the upcoming Saturday.  As we snaked through the streets of Sao Paolo I started to succumb to motion sickness and gave in to much needed sleep.  I woke up in an unknown Barrio and followed the couple inside a rather nice home.  Here in S.P. is where I met my first Brazilian friends, pictured below.  They taught me many new words through gestures, pointing and lots of laughter.  The 2 on the left are twins and serve in a sign language congregation and the one next to me is an engaged pioneer serving in the Portuguese.  Later in the day Naomi, my travel companion and  future roommate from London, and Priscilla, the ex-model Brazil native who has been learning Italian over the past 2 years, arrived.  We sat down to a delicious hand prepared meal of stew with generous portions of beef.

To arrive to Congreso (the convention) we left at 6:30 am and waited for a bus full of happy witnesses that took us to the Assembly Hall in Vargem Grande in 90 minutes.  The convention was beautiful and up to 5000 attended on Sunday.  Over 30 were baptized in Portuguese, including our new friend Esther.  The Italian was located in the B hall and almost 200 attended. Speakers came from Rio, Marceo, Fortaleza, Sao Paolo and various parts of a Italy.  We exchanged.information with to many new friends to count. 
Sunday evening I rode with a newly wed Bethelite couple to a hotel directly across from Bethel.  There I enjoyed the "best" Brazilian meal yet, microwaved cheeseburgers with friends from Fortaleza, my future home.  Lol The next morning we toured Bethel and enjoyed close association with brothers from Marceo.  After the tour, the Fortaleza group set out to catch our flights. After a harrowing experience being apart from our luggage, including my passport and money, we happily reunited at the airport and parted ways.  There we met an awesome Bethelite couple who were in transit to Chile to check in on kingdom hall.building work in that country.  They lovingly treated us to dinner, which truly was my best Brazilian meal so far, a buffet with everything you could dream of on it! After sharing encouraging words of wisdom and amusing stories not only did we exchange information, but the coupe invited Naomi and I to STAY AT BETHEL for 2 days!!!!! We were elated for the invitation because w had foregone lunch at Bethel in order to make it to the airport on time.  We'll see if we get to accept this wonderful invitation.  This dinner was pivotal because Carla planted in my mind the need that Brazil Bethel has for English teachers, hmmmmmmm :)

In Fortaleza, we were welcomed by Brother Mauricio and he drove us to our new home!  Its cute and very small yet practical.  He also endowed us when a care package from his wife with tons of treats from a coffee maker to new pillows.  How thoughtful and loving!  The next day we explored, visited the beach and attended an English meeting by accident.  There we realized that the need in Fortaleza is not just in Italian.  So any who have the circumstances can consider helping the English! The next day we went in service with the English and guess where the first return visit was?  The Mormon headquarters!  Mama mia!  Elder whatever his name was, accepted the pornography magazine and was very respectful, although he wasn't the English speaker we were searching for.  Later while preparing for the meeting, we for a surprise visit from a young couple in the Italian who have been learning for 6 months.  They took us shopping!  At the mall we encountered Mauricio, his wife and an elderly sister who was staying with them.  Turns out she attended Gilead in 1957 and had been serving Jehovah full time ever since as a single woman! You go head girl!  Now she's a Bethelite.  She was so cute! Today we went out in service with the Portuguese and I did my first presentation.  I didn't do too badly if I say so myself.  The group meet at 8am, whew, and we stopped at 1030am, go figure... This service schedule us going to take some getting used to.

We had a meeting last night.  Most of the meeting was in Portuguese.  In fact the only part in Italian was the Jeremiah book.  The theocratic ministry school is only every other week.  I got my first talk assignment for October yay!

Today we did service again in Portuguese.  We preached in high rise buildings close to the sea.  Most of them were inaccessible so we preached to the guards.  I found a lovely couple from far away in Brazil that have come here to get kidney transplants.  They invited me to sit down and share the message with them.  In my horrible Portuguese I was able to share Revelation 21:3,4 and offer the Suffering Watchtower.   Then I shared Isaiah 33:24. My companion wrote down all the information so we can back.  Also the man couldn't read, so were going to bring back the Listen to God brochure.

Tonight we preach at the beach with the Italians at 7 pm!! Fun times ahead!#
Portugues service
Mall Day (older sister with headwrap is Missionary who attended Gilead as a single woman in 1957)
New friends in Sao Paolo
Girl in red got baptized, 12 yr old daughter of our host familiy
Italian group
Our KH
The beach we can walk to near our house
Our group to ride the bus with in the morning(I know Im looking crazy, it's because it was SO COLD, I have to last minute come up with an outfit.)
Sheila- our gracious host provided homemade lasgna.
Posusada we stayed- It's like a hotel.
Sao Paolo