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!#
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
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.