Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Beginning of Spring in Gramado

While Cordell and Laura were here we didn't have enough time to take them to Florybal, the Magical Land.  So we ended up taking another young couple from our branch, Ricardo and Vanessa Nacarado.  They were just married in January of this year and are a lot of fun to do things with.  Florybal is a chocolate factory in Gramado, and the owner decided he wanted to make an amusement park.  Following are some of the sights we saw at the Terra Magical (Magical Land) Florybal Park.

There was a group of little kids there that were all dressed up and looking cute.

We were able to do a virtual roller coster with a face mask and ear phones.  It felt like you were on a real roller coaster.
We next went on a tube slide where you sit in a sack with a helmet on and go down a tube like a big water slide.  They have a sign saying no one over 60 could go, but they didn't stop us.

There was one area where there were religious paintings and statues,

 The next area was the Greek mythology area.

 They have lots of dinasour replicas in the park.

We came to a wizard's house where we could put on costumes and take pictures. 

 This was the wizard.
At the end we attended a little play they put on (no pictures allowed).  Then we exited.
We had a missionary Zone Conference where President and Sister Costa came to interview all the missionaries.  We had them and the Sister missionaries over to our condo for a big lunch after the conference.
 The two Sisters on the right are the ones assigned to our Gramado Branch, and the other two are Trainers that were here for a couple of days working with our Sisters.
We managed to get a picture of all of us together.
 We put up a few fresh hydrangias that are starting to come out all over now that Spring has arrived. We love having fresh hydrangias in our condo.

 Sister Copa took Sister Vera and Sister Lorenzo to the LugAno chocolate factory for a tour, while they were looking for an investigator who works there.

 On P-day we took the Sisters to Lago Negro and treated them to the paddle boats.

 We then went with them to a hotel claiming to be the most environmental friendly hotel in Brazil.
They have an exotic bird collection that is fun to see.

They also have some cows.
There are beautiful walkways to hike on.
 This waterwheel actually generates electricity for the hotel.
 They have a tall tower for taking panoramic pictures.  You can see their solar panels also.

 We drove past the two different main entrances to the city of Gramado.

There were two members of the church from way up north in Brazil who came to Gramado for a vacation.  Below we are having lunch with them and Janete, a member of the Petropolis Branch, at "Holiday," our favorite burger place in Gramado.
 We then took them around to see the sights, including the Buddhist Temple.

We have a couple in our branch that had to move to Torres to find work.  We drove them over there, about a three hour drive from Gramado.  Torres is a beach town, much bigger than Gramado.  When we first arrived, our Mission President said we could be transferred to Torres after a few months in Gramado, but we chose to stay in Gramado.  It was fun to go there and see the place we could have worked in if we had wanted to.

On the drive back we took a few pictures of the mountain scenery we drove through.

 The sunset on the way back was pretty.

In one of the stores downtown we thought these manequins were very interesting, with the furry leg coverings and raggedy shorts.

 The construction of the condominium next door is progressing.

 We had a family home evening with the extended Santos family from our branch.
 The hydrangeas are getting more beautiful as spring progresses.

 The missionaries wanted to have a lunch on the last day before transfers, so we purchased all the food and set it up in the Canela chapel. There weren't as many as expected, so we had a lot of food left over.

 Ricardo Nacarado got a new job as a ticket writer for the paid parking area in downtown Gramado. 

 One of the chocolate stores downtown has this yummy looking chocolate fountain.
 We went to a family home evening with a family from the San Francisco de Paula Branch.  Their little boy wanted to show us how he could climb the door frame.
 For our next district meeting we drove to Canela in a tropical downpour, and when we got to the chapel the Elders were trying to push out the water that flowed into the building from the storm.
We went up to our bedroom the other night and found this great big spider on the wall.  We figured he must have eaten lots of bugs and mosquitoes to get so big, so we captured him in a big jar and threw him outside to catch more bugs.
 The construction continues at the condo next door, with the first floor pillars going up.