Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July

We are in the middle of winter here in Gramado, so it is hard to get the spirit of the 4th of July.  We did dress in red, white and blue today in remembrance of the day.  But we are mostly just trying to stay warm.

We had a surprise visit from one of the former missionaries that worked here in Gramado, Sister Alves.  She came from Brazilian with her parents and her sister.  They arrived on a Saturday night while we were having a branch party for couples.  We invited them to spend the night with us, and they spent two nights.  We played Qwirkle with them and on Monday showed them our tourist places of Lago Negro and Caracol falls.

 While at Lago Negro they rented paddle boats and had a great time.

 We took this picture in front of our chapel with Sister Alves
 There are still some beautiful fall colors on some trees in the area.

 After touring the falls they treated us to a fondue lunch that was delicious. 

For one of our recent integration nights we had a talent night.  Many of Heidi's piano students performed as well as others.

We are still amazed by the housing here.  No matter how poor the house, they always have a TV and a big satellite dish outside.

We like how the street curbs are all painted white, as you can see below.
Our former District President had a birthday recently and we went to celebrate with them.
When Sister Alves was here, she took a picture from the back.  You can see that Heidi is trying to catch up to me in the gray hair look.

Our mission president and his wife, President and Sister Wright, finished their mission on June 30th.  We will miss them greatly. 
On July 2nd we went to Porto Alegre to meet our new president and his wife, President and Sister Campos from Natal Brazil.
 We went to the conference in a small bus with all the Elders from our district.

The Hortencias Branch in the neighboring town of Canela had a party last night to celebrate the Junina festival, even though it was in July.  We were asked to bring some of the youth from our branch to their party, so we stayed and enjoyed the fun.  They played musical chairs a couple of times and just had fun dancing and talking.  This is the party where they dress like hillbillies. 

 We thought at one point one of the Elders was going to win the musical chairs, but it came down to these two girls, and the one in the costume dress was the winner.
Hats are a big part of the costumes, and this sister had a very large hat.

 This is the branch president of the Hortencias branch.
We are having a wonderful time on our mission and love the people.  We are having some success with reactivation.  We are getting people out that have been inactive for many years.

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