Things have been going very well here. We had the great privilege of going to Campinas earlier this week to attend the temple. That area was so beautiful. It sits about two hours north of São Paulo and has all sorts of rolling hills and beautifully colorful houses. I didn´t see any favelas there either. Everything was very clean as well. The temple was BEAUTIFUL. It reminded me of the Timpanogos temple with the architecture. There were six girls who were baptized by José in our group, who sacrificed doing the session to baptize us. While I was waiting for the other girls to be ready to leave, I began talking with a boy in the baptistry chapel. It was his first time at the temple ever. He went for 14 hours in a caravan to come to the temple. He was a recent convert to the Church and is planning on serving a mission in December. I am so amazed at the dedication of people here. They are truly incredible.
After we left the temple, we went to a churrascuria, which is basically an eat all the meat you want while we bring it around on giant skewers. It was SO good. Everyone ate so much, some people ate a little bit too much and they felt it the next day in the form of a meat headache.
Friday Farina and I went with our friend Talita to the Japanese part of town called Liberdade. We went with her sister Thalmydes, her brother, Zeno, and their friends Victor and Marcel. Farina tried a bean popsicle, which actually had beans in it. Needless to say, she didn´t like it. Everyone was really cool and I enjoyed hanging out with them. The radio in the car was all American music and I asked if they have Brasilian music on the radio. Zeno tried to find some, but got frustrated and just whipped out his iPod. Most of his music was American, but at least he speaks English so he can understand what they are saying.
Yesterday we went down to the Mercado Municipal, which is basically a huge indoor market for food. I found a Pastel de Nata and ate one for you, Jen. It was really good. Yum. (Oh, we also had caldo verde again, and pudim again. Ick. My gag reflex finally reacted. I´m going to not have to eat that anymore.) Then Heidi and I split a huge slice of watermelon, which we bought for R$1.50. It was tão bom! There were no seats to be found here, but we ended up finding a little table attached to a group that was vacant. The group happened to be American and they were SOOO excited to find English speakers. They didn´t speak a word of Portuguese. Then we wandered over to 25 de Março, which is a street that has the cheapest shopping in São Paulo. It was so crowded and I felt like I was in NYC again.
After we went and I bought the new Harry Potter book. Luckily, I live in a Portuguese speaking country and the English copies weren´t sold out yet. The portuguese ones don´t come out until September. We saw Transformers, which was really long, but the boys liked it. The cheesy parts were certainly appreciated as well. Something I ate didn´t settle right so I was a bit ill. However later, when my body emptied out my stomach, I felt a LOT better.
Today we sang in church. Ryan Farina AJ and I sang together and Brady played the piano. AJ and Brady were nice enough to come to our ward and help us out. We wang Mais Perto Quero Estar (Nearer My God to Thee). Don´t worry, just forgot the name in English. I think it went well. It was so inspiring to see the members mouthing the words along with us. So many people came up afterword to tell us that that was their favorite hymn. I will really miss the ward here. I ended up staying afterword talking to Zeno, Thalmydes and Marcel for about an hour after church. They all want to practice their English. Tomorrow they want me to try açaí, which is a seed of some sort they mash up into...something.
Right now the family here is making pancakes for the first time. Ryan and Rebecca are teaching them how. They tried syrup for the first time too. Guillerme had THE funniest expression on his face like, `` what is this stuff you are trying to force on me...oh wait...it´s sugar!´´
Life is good here. We leave for our huge trip on Tuesday at 6:00am for our first leg of a mere 18 hours. Wish me luck!