Sunday, November 29, 2015


Brazil Day 10 
Saturday 11-28-15

This morning we had breakfast at the temple cafeteria and then Mom and I were able to attend a morning endowment session! What an incredible blessing! The temple is such a beautiful place and once again I am overwhelmed with gratitude and awe of the many blessings in my life because of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
After our session we went and packed up the car and then went back to have a really yummy lunch before we hit the road again. 

So. Much. Driving!
8 hours yesterday – and another 4 hours today
Good thing I like driving and good thing this country is BEAUTIFUL!

We arrived in Itai and were reunited with our good friend Adriana! 

Adriana is from Brazil! And she is who originally invited my mom to come to Brazil with her for this trip. I was added on as a later addendum – and I am SO THANKFUL too!

Of course the first thing that we needed to do when we arrived was eat! Cause Brazilian hospitality says, “You must sit and I will make you food!”

I’m not mad! I love food! I especially love trying new foods!

We got to meet some of Adriana’s family and friends. It was so beautiful outside so we went on a little walk over to Adriana’s Moms house. 

Her mom was so very sweet! And she made us tea! My friend Israel told me about this tea and how much he loves it- so I was excited to finally get to try it! 

You are right Israel- It is very good! 

We were sitting around talking and a little boy came into the room. He walked straight up to me and offered me his hands (in a prayer like position). In my experience this is the beginning of a hand game- haha 

I learned that this is how children will great adults. They offer their hands to show respect and say hello. It was the sweetest gesture that I have experienced in a long time. Gabriel and I became quick friends! He would go to his dad or to Adriana and ask how to say words in English and come back to say them to me. My heart melted when he said, “I love you!”

We spoke with one another (through Adriana) and played tic-tac-toe together:

and he asked me if I wanted to go into the living room and watch a movie with him. 

Tonight I also got to experience a Brazilian version of an ice-cream truck! You know the ones that drive around the neighborhood in the middle of the summer with the annoying music and you begged mom and dad for some money so you could run out into the street to catch him before he drive away? 

Well little Gabriel came into the kitchen so excited asking his grandma for some money! We all rushed outside and there was a man in a little car that had this set up in the back: 

He was making fresh churros! (Beau Dunn I thought of you! You would absolutely love these!)


One of my favorite things about traveling is being in places like this. In peoples homes and seeing how other people live and their culture and lives. What a blessing to be welcomed into people’s homes. Brazilians are so warm and welcoming! It is such a pleasure to be here! 

Adriana's Mom is very talented at hand crafting kitchen towels and crocheting. So mom bought some rugs from her to bring home with her. 

It started to rain while we were at Adriana’s mothers house. So we stayed for a while talking, but it was getting late, so we borrowed some umbrellas and walked home.

We came back over to Adriana’s friends house and arrived home the same time as her friends and sister and sons. Today was Phillipe's birthday!

 He turns 18 today! So we got to be here to celebrate with them. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Heart Full

Brazil Day 9 
Friday 11-27-15 

Today we said good bye to Rio. These were our wonderful hosts that we stayed with! 

 Julianna and Lucio are the BEST! I will miss them and their lovely home! 

We had a 5ish hour drive to Sao Paulo today - with a few stops and a LOT of traffic - especially once we hit Sao Paulo it took us about 7 hours. But that ok! We made it! THIS is where we get to stay tonight:

Yep thats right! we are at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Temple in Sao Paulo Brazil!

There is a guest house here on the temple grounds. This way members who have to travel a ways to come to the temple have a nice place to stay! We are going to go do a session tomorrow morning! I am excited! I LOVE the temple! I love being able to travel around to different places and attend sessions wherever I can!

Thanks to my friend Marylis who helped us by calling and making our reservation! We arrived on the temple grounds and got checked into our room and then mom and I went to have dinner in the temple cafeteria.

I am SO THANKFUL for the church and for the gospel of Jesus Christ! These temple grounds are  truly a piece of heaven in the middle of this big crazy city!

Honestly all that I have really heard about Sao Paulo is that it is a dangerous place and that traffic is crazy. Well I have experienced the traffic and THAT is the truth! As far as how dangerous it can be... Im going to skip experiencing that part of it and enjoy staying here at the temple! Here there is a safe haven. And a place to feel and call home!

I am so blessed to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! I know that we have the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and I am extremely thankful to be a part of it! I am so grateful that I can go anywhere in the world and have the gospel, peace, love, family! What an incredible blessing it is!

My heart is full! 

Brazilian Thanksgiving

Brazil Day 8
Thursday 11-27-15

This morning we went down to the Lagona - a big lake in the middle of Rio. We wanted to rent a paddleboat to go out on the water. We had about an hour to hang out before they opened so we walked around and took some photos and found a little playground.

I loved this message that was on the peer: 

it says: 
"Stop here, 
Appreciate the view 
for a moment 
and smile."

We found a nice place to sit and have some water and a snack and then 
around 10:30 went to the paddleboats.

We had so much fun!

Towards the end of our ride 3 men came paddling by us. 
Well... Actually they came paddling over to us.

The one in the Yellow kayaks name is Kyle, he speaks perfect English- turns out that he even used to live in NYC! He is training the other 2 for the Olympics next year! Ahhhh! So exciting!!!

I would love to come back next summer for the Olympics!

After our paddleboat ride mom and I went to the beach. Cause of COURSE that is how we wanted to spend thanksgiving in Brazil!

In this moment my friends were in NYC at the Macys Thanksgiving day Parade! I tried to FaceTime Mike Brown - so I could be a part of it. Thats what I did for him last year when he was stuck out of the country.

We had some absolutely great views today! 

One thing that I really wanted to do it ride the subway here in Rio. What can I say- I'm a New York girl! So I like to compare and contrast public transportation! haha- silly I know! We have been riding the bus everywhere cause the subway system here is VERY small - there are only 2 lines! But it was luckily on of way to our next destination!

Rio's subway was VERY nice!

Mom and I went to a Brazilian Barbecuse Resturaunt for our Thanksgiving dinner! IT was SO good!
It is a lot like Rodizios Grill where there is a big open salad bar and then they bring around large skewers of different kinds of meat.

After dinner we went up Corcovado Mountain where the Christo Redentor Statue is.
The Christ Statue has been hiding in the clouds almost the WHOLE time that we have been in Rio de Janeiro. But today was finally giving us partly cloudy skies - instead of all gray. So we were very hopeful that the clouds would part long enough for us to be able to see them!

We took a bus over to the train that takes you up to the statue and got our tickets

some interesting info: 

And we got to see Him! 
I was Ecstatic!

Plus the views from up there were AMAZING! 
In this one you can see the Logona where were were in our paddle boat 
and also the beaches we went to earlier in the day! 

We stayed up there til sunset. 

Well actually until the last train that went back down the mountain! 

We wanted to see the view with the city lights- plus every night they light up the statue! 

I am so happy that the weather was in our favor today! Sometimes you just have to join Jesus up in the clouds to be able to see him! 

Actually that is something that I thought a LOT about as I was standing up on the mountain today! 
One minute it would be clear and beautiful and then a few seconds later a cloud would roll in and make it inpossible to see the view- you looks out to a sea of white and grey. Then a gust of wind would come and clear parts of it.  

I stood and watched the billowing clouds for a long time - I saw them cover and uncover the mountain, the lagona, the beaches and the Christ statue. 

We noticed that we couldn't see sugar loaf mountain at all- it was covered in clouds! It was all about having the right timing AND the right vantage point! Being in the right place at the right time is vital! I have a lot more thoughts on this - but I need to sit with them for a while. Again my gospel doctrine/institute teacher is coming up with all sorts of analogies and lessons! 

What a blessing to have spent this thanksgiving with my mom in such a beautiful incredible place! 


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Beautiful Brazil

Brazil day 7 
Wednesday 11-25-15

So you may not notice the difference between this before and after photo... The first is a picture of my feet in the sand before I went stand up paddle boarding. The second is my feet after I went!

Do you see it!? ITS GONE! My toe ring! The ocean stole it from me! I am SO SAD! I posted this photo on Facebook this morning. It was actually really nice and comforting to see the kind of responses that I got from my friends saying that they understood. Cause it seems like such an insignificant thing - but I have had that toe ring for over 15 years and I am sad that it is gone.

I didn't cry when I lost my toe ring... I actually didn't notice til this morning.  Yes I was really sad about losing it cause I have had it for so long. 

But this text message that my dad sent my mom made me tear up a little: 

Thanks for caring dad!
And everyone else - it makes me realize that I have good friends that care about things I care about cause they love me!


We had a pretty lazy morning today. I don’t know why but we didn’t leave the apartment til noon. It was overcast but warm outside – so we decided to go to the Botanical Gardens.

What a BEAUTIFUL time we had!

We spent about 3.5 hours there and took some great photos!

 this one I LOVE! #nofilter 

AND WE SAW A MONKEY TODAY!!! Multiple monkeys! It's funny cause earlier I had said to mom, "Do you think there are monkeys that live here? If I were a monkey I would live in these gardens"

Well guess WHAT! not only did we see a few monkeys - but there was a baby one! I was very excited. They were all so cute!

The Christ Redeemer statue was covered most of the day – but he would peek out every once in a while: 

All day today my Gospel Doctrine/Institute teacher brain was composing lesson, analogies, and talk ideas about looking to Christ! 

On the way out of the gardens we saw a little art exhibit - guess where it was from!? YEP! NYC! a little piece of home here in Brazil:

After the Gardens we went for a walk on Ipanema beach! 

Loved this! 
We should all do it more often in many places!

Then we went and found some dinner. 

After we ate we went back to the beach and caught the last bit of the sunset - that was mostly covered because of the coulds - BUT the city was lighting up- that that was still beautiful! 

We walked along the beach and sat on some huge rocks. We watched men throw their nets into the water for fishing. 

It was another beautiful day! 

I am well versed in public transportation. (thanks for that New York City) Yet tonight was not my night. We walked to where we could catch a bus home and waited for the number we needed. Eventually another bus came along and I said, "Oh I think we can take this one too!" So we hopped on! I then realized that it was not going the right way. So we got back off the bus and walked a few blocks down to catch the same number bus that was going in the RIGHT direction. When we go to the bus stop we waited a few minutes - the bus pulled up and it was the EXACT same bus that we had just gotten off of. Apparently it WAS the right bus, and it just looped around a few blocks. We recognized the money changer- she also recognized us as well and was confused as so why we were getting BACK ON the same bus that we had just gotten off of- but a few blocks later. I communicated with her that I didn't understand the route that the bus was going to take. We had to pay again to get back on. Thankfully it is only 3.40 Reias to ride which is the equivalent of 75cents in the U.S. 

THEN we accidentally passed our stop. I caught it before too long but it added a few extra blocks that we had to walk to get home. Mom was making me laugh about the whole thing, being a bit overdramatic about my public transportation mistakes. 

Oh well- I think we have done pretty well so far all things considered.