Today we attended our first Sunday meetings here in Brazil. The temple president, stopped by our apt. to pick us up (he lives on the fourth floor and we live on the second) and go to church. The commute is quite easy. This picture shows it best. It was taken looking out of our living room window. See the cone shaped tree in the middle? The temple is to the left of that tree and the church is to the right of the tree. I think we have to walk all of about 50 yards.
The sacrament meeting was a fast and testimony meeting which is a good thing. Part of my language training focused on testimony. Many people used phrases that I knew. Yea! Then we moved onto Sunday School. Not so many known phrases there. Boo!
In Relief Society the meeting began with the usual announcements (I think) when I saw several sisters pointing at me. I figured it was stand and introduce yourself time. So I stood and said in Portuguese "My name is Sister Stephenson. I am a temple missionary." Now it wasn't very smooth. Several pauses were included. I noticed the sisters leaning forward and hoping for the best. When I finished and sat down a sister near me applauded softly. That made me laugh. They so want me to succeed. I didn't get a whole lot out of the lesson but I knew what the topic was. I had a sister sitting next to me who could speak some English and she kept me up to speed as to what was going on.
After church Pres. Neeleman (the temple president) asked if we would like to go see the temple. Since temples are closed on Sunday we had our own private tour. I wish I could take pictures to share how lovely it is. Anyway there are some wonderful stained glass panels and beautiful mahogany woodwork throughout.
The flow is really nice and I don't think I will get lost like I did when I started working in the Provo temple.
It was very special being there.
All in all it was a great beginning for our Brazilian service.