Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mom and Dad Come to Santa Maria!

(written by Mom)
It was tricky business getting from the airport in Santa Maria all the way to Livramento without knowing any Portuguese!  But we did it.  Then we had to talk on the phone to find each other on the street and I couldn’t help but cry from joy at seeing my boy.  
Right away he took us to go eat churrasco with some members.  Then we went to the church building where we got to watch him teach an English class.
  We checked out the ‘missionary pad ‘ which was about as bad as you would expect it to be.  

 (not sure how many days this had been left sitting on the stove)
And then we went with him and his companion to teach a family.
We left Elder Poulsen with his companion at his apartment for his last night on his mission

And we stayed in our hotel.

Sunday morning we went to church and got to meet some of the people that Elder Poulsen had been working with.  We were invited to dinner at one of the member's house.

We stopped for a picture and a view:

And then we took our boy and drove to Santa Maria.

We went to the Mission office and were able to see where Alex worked while he was AP.  We had lunch with a whole bunch of enthusiastic missionaries and walked around Santa Maria.  

In the evening, we were able to go the Mission Home and meet President and Sister Ribeiro.  They took us out to a fabulous Churrasco dinner and then we had a special testimony meeting with all the missionaries that were going home and the parents that had come.  About half of the missionaries had parents there. 

This was a very memorable experience and definitely one of the high points of our trip.  We were so grateful that the Ribeiros allowed us to be a part of it.  

In the morning we drove to Santo Angelo to have lunch with Gelsom and Judite.  What a wonderful family!  So much peace and love in their simple home.

Next we stopped and visited the Jesuit ruins of Sao Miguel.  They were beautiful and fascinating. 

Then we drove to Cruz Alta and had dinner at Patricia’s house with lots of ward members.  They were so happy to see our son.  It made us proud. 

In the morning we stopped by the Cruz Alta district meeting then we went to visit the Erico Verissimo Museum.

Then we drove back to Santa Maria 

to visit with Alex's converts there.  We saw Laura:
and Victor and Rafael:

Then we went to have Churrasco at Alexandre and Luciano's House.  What a treat!  And what sweet people.  Alex was able to be such a blessing in their lives.  I'm sure they will always stay in touch.

Next we traveled from Santa Maria to Iguacu Falls.  We had to actually get on a plane and fly there - driving would have taken too long in our limited time frame.  When we got there we checked into our hotel, had some dinner and wandered around a bit.

We spent a beautiful day at Iguacu Falls as well as the neighboring Bird Park.  I finally got Alex to put on some non-missionary clothes (he felt strange).  It is impossible to show how truly amazing, vast and huge these falls are with pictures.  

We flew home!
Where there were some unique driveway illustrations to greet the newly arrived missionary!

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