Friday, September 18, 2015

August Happenings

Gramado's economy is based totally on tourism.  There is always some activity or event going on in town to draw in the tourists.  We see people dressed up all the time in costumes walking around town.  Here are some examples of recent sigtings.

When Heidi goes for her moring walk/jog she picks up Kassandra's little dog Pimentinho to give him some exercise.  Here is his picture.

There is a big empty lot right next to our condominium that was just an overgrown jungle.  The owners decided to start construction of a 12 unit condominium with two buildings on the lot.  They came in and cut down most of the trees and started the construction.  We miss the forest next door but hope the construction will get rid of the swampy ground that bred a lot of mosquitos. Here are some pictures before and after construction began.

One of the many things we love about Gramado is the beautiful flowers.  All year round since we have been here there are flowers blooming on the trees and bushes.  During the summer we enjoyed the beautiful hydrangias everywhere.  We are able to continue to pick a few during the fall and winter, so we always have fresh flowers in our condo.  

Now at the end of winter the azelhas come out everywhere.  Here are a few pictures of what it looked like around town and around Lago Negro (Black Lake).

We have a bush right in front of our condo.  

 On our front door you can see our Copacabana sign that one of the sister missionaries had made for us.
A boy in our branch turned 8, and his parents had a big party for him in the cultural hall.  They decorated big time and had lots of food for everyone.

Brazilians like to celebrate birthdays.  Here is another party we had a a member's house for a recent convert's birthday.

We were also invited to another member's home for a birthday party for our former branch president, who has become inactive since he was released.  The members wanted to show him we still love him and hope he will come back and join us at church.

We have some beautiful sunsets here in Gramado.

We get some lovely full moons also.

A lot of people here don't see the need for marriage.  When the missionaries start teaching these people, they have to get them married before they can get baptized.  We recently had a young couple that wanted to be baptized but had to get married first.  Here are pictures of their wedding day.  They first line up in front of a table with their witnesses.

A justice of the peace stands in front of the table and reads the word of the wedding ceremony.

The couple then sign the marriage certificate.

They then take pictures with their certificate and with family and friends.

If the bride looks young in these picture it's because she is only 16.  After the wedding ceremony they threw a big party for family and friends.

 The following picture is the bride with her mother.  The mother is only 32.

 The day after the wedding was their baptism.

We have meetings each week with our missionary district and sometimes with the whole zone.

We visited a beautiful park where they grow a lot of lavender (Lavanda).  Here are some pictures of the park.