Super Bowl and Portuguese Progress

In past years I would go to the city which hosted the Super Bowl and do some street preaching to share the gospel with all of the people who were there for this cultural event in the United States.  This year was different because I am living in Brazil and did not go to the host city.


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Super Bowl Party 


I had 9 friends come over to my house for a Super Bowl party this year.  This year the kickoff was at 9:30 pm my time which was different than on the west coast when the game typically beings in the afternoon.  I wanted to make this party as typically American as I could so that my friends could experience some American culture.  I made some really typical American Super Bowl food (Hamburgers, different chips and different dips).

It was great fun to have friends come over and enjoy the game this year.  It was great to cheer for the Eagles to win their first Super Bowl this year.

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Enjoying Food and Cheering for the Eagles


One major change for me this year was that I watched the Super Bowl in Portuguese.  I could not imaging that in the span of a year I would feel comfortable enough to watch an entire football game in Portuguese.  I have to admit that I did not understand everything but I was pleased with the progress that I have made at over the past year.


Purchasing a Car

Buying a car in Brazil is a great exercise in patience and bureaucracy.  The first issue with purchasing a car is finding one that I fit in.  Car’s here are very small in comparison to car’s in the United States.  I tried to sit in many different cars to see about the fit and that narrowed the possibilities to only a few cars like the Chevy S-10, Toyota Corolla, and the  Volkswagen Jetta.  I also narrowed the cars down by what my mechanic said is easy to fix and also the size of the engine (In Brazil they value economy over power, while in the US they want power and economy, so a large engine here is a 2.0 liter as opposed to the US where a normal car could have a standard 3.6 liter engine.)



Exchanging Key’s



After looking at many car prices and uses I finally determined that the best car for me to purchase would be the Jetta after weighing the price, fit, functionality, and economy of the car.  I finally found the correct Jetta for the price and began the process of purchasing the car.  The process includes exchanging money and getting all of the documents in order to exchange cars.


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2015 Volkswagen Jetta


I finally got everything together thanks to the help of many different Brazilian friends who helped with the translation of documents, conversations beyond my Portuguese abilities, and other difficulties.  It was also encouraging to be able to talk with the salesman during this process.


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Adam the car salesman


The final day I was supposed to purchase the car I ran into more difficulties than I expected.  The first came with registering the car because the Brazilian department of transportation (DTRAN) did not accept the documents provided by the Federal Police saying that I am legally allowed to live in Brazil.  This turned out to be fairly easy as I was able to go to the local DTRAN office, explain the situation in Portuguese, and get the registration resolved.  The second situation that came up was the lack of a clean title.  To clean up the title I had to go and pay a ticket, which I am currently disputing.  To pay the ticket I had to go to a bank but the bank closed about 1 minute before I could enter to pay the ticket.  I went back to the car lot and explained that I would need to come back another day but they figured out how to pay the ticket online for me.  Well after resolving the second issue of the day I was finally able to pick up my new car and take it home.

Youth Retreat

The past weekend I was able to attend a youth retreat with my church.  It seems like it is normal for each youth retreat to happen at a beach.  It was great to have a car full of people driving to the retreat at the beach at Imbe, Rio Grande do Sul.


Driving to the Retreat

The housing at the youth retreat was very cool and many people slept in tents outside the main rental house.

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Hanging out with People

Youth retreats can be very tiring and many people including me took a naps whenever we were able to.

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Youth Retreats can be tiring

I was thankful for all of the conversations in English and Portuguese which I was able to have with the people on the retreat.  I think that the picture below really shows how much fun we had.

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Fun Times

We had a party the last night at the beach and I think that many people had lots of fun.

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Party Night

The drive home from the retreat was great and we had some great conversations and even had one fall sleep during the trip.

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Driving Home from the Retreat


Year in Review: Missionary Family

When I left the US to become a missionary I knew that I was leaving my family behind and hoped that I would get a new family with the other missionaries on the field.  I am thankful for the missions team because I am able to spend time with them during the different holidays that come up throughout the year.

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Holiday Celebrations

I got to meet all of the missionaries who were on the field in Brazil at the all Brazil conference this year.  It was great to be able to meet and talk with all of the other missionaries from all over the country.

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All Brazilian Missionaries

One of the things that I enjoyed this year was being able to pray with the missionary team in Rio Grande do Sul.  We get together quarterly to give updates on the different ministries, have fellowship and pray for one another.

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Team Meetings


Year in Review: Great Opportunities

When I thought of the experiences that I would have in Brasil this year I never thought that I would experience all of the great opportunities that I have had.  One of the great opportunities was to get to know all of the possible future ministry partners that I have met with over the years.

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Talking with Possible Ministry Partners

I have been able to preach in Portuguese once this year.  It was more difficult than I ever thought it would be but I am so thankful for being able to do it and I am looking forward to preaching in Portuguese again.

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Preaching in Portuguese

Being able to baptize two people during this year was awesome.

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Baptizing People

I was very thankful for the opportunity to join the church in Ivoti earlier this year.


Becoming a Member of at the church in Ivoti

Getting to see Carlos get baptized was amazing.  I can remember praying for him ever sense I first met him towards the end of 2015.

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Being Part of Other Baptisms


Year in Review: Fellowship Required

Throughout the year I tried to have people over to get to know them.  I am so thankful for the people who came over early because it was very difficult for me to communicate with them.  I would spend 2-3 hours preparing to try and say 2-3 phrases when I first had people come over.

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Dinner with Friends

One of the basic things that is required is having meat at meals.  I really enjoyed the Rio Grande do Sul culture of BBQed meat.  This was a staple of every meal that I served.


Dinner always includes meat

While the beginning of fellowship time at my place was difficult as the year progressed so did my Portuguese abilities.  Towards the end of the year I was able to enjoy many more and longer conversations during the fellowship times.

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Great Opportunities for Conversations

At times I would have multiple families over at the same time.  I am so thankful for everyone who was able to come over and have fellowship during the year.  Next year I hope to have many more people come over for more fellowship.

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Sometimes Groups Came

Visiting Gramado for Christmas

I visited Gramado with some other missionaries last week.  It was great to get into the Christmas spirit by visiting the well decorated vacation destination.

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Picture with a Nutcracker


One of the cool things to see was the Christmas light show that was put on.  I enjoyed seeing the face of the missionary kids who were with us when they saw the different parts of the show.



Light Show in Gramado


The light show ended with them lighting up the street and making “snow” fall from some machines.  The “snow” was actually soapy bubbles and it was great to the awe on the faces of the kids as they saw it falling.


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“Snow” in Gramado


Cultural Learning: Traffic Tickets

I have received my first two traffic tickets in Brazil this year.  After driving for 20+ years in the United States and receiving only one ticket I have gotten two in the last year.  The first ticket that I got was well deserved as I was speeding on a surface street.



Mailed all the documents to challenge the ticket.


Tickets are a little different here because you just get them in the mail and have to pay them.  I received the ticket and then was told that I just had to wait until I received the actual bill to pay the fine.  Soon after I received the actual bill to pay I received a second ticket for driving without a license.  It turns out that as a non-national living in Brazil you automatically get a second ticket if you do not fill out the first.  It is a very difficult process for challenging tickets in Brazil also.  Thankfully I have a friend who is helping me with proving that I actually have a valid drivers license.

Two New Unique Experiences

This past weekend I had two unique experiences.  The first was that of driving on a car ferry and then crossing the mouth of a large lagoon.  It was really a bitter sweet time for me because I had to drive a girl who got sick to the local hospital.  It was very interesting because when we arrived at the hospital we found out that the doctors had gone on strike so that they were not receiving any patients who were not going to die.  So we simply returned over the ferry again.

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Car Ferry accross the inlet at the lagoon near Laguna, Santa Catarina

The second unique experience was that of riding inside of a car on top of a tow truck.  While on the way back to the rental property I noticed that my car was overheating very quickly.  When I got out of the car I could hear a hissing sound but could not find the leak.  I messaged my mechanic and he said to try and get the car back so that he could take a look at what was wrong.  Other guys at the retreat also looked at the car and could not find the source of the hissing. (It turns out that there was a leak in a hose to the radiator and that was fixed.)

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Friends Looking at the Car

Therefore I topped off the water in the radiator and tried to limp the car back to Ivoti which was about 380 km away.  I got about 2 km down the road when the engine over heated again and I had to shut it down.  We called the insurance company at about 8 pm and it was 10:15 pm before the tow truck arrived to take me home.


Waiting for the Tow Truck to come

Being as there was 3  people in the car and only two could fit in the cab of the tow truck the driver allowed us to illegally keep two in the cab of the car on the back of the two truck.  It turned out to take about 7 hours to get us back to my house on the back of the tow truck.  That meant that we arrived home at 5 am on Monday morning.

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Arriving at 5 am Monday morning


Youth Retreat in Santa Catarina

I had the privilege of preaching at a youth retreat this past weekend.  I was so thankful for the opportunity which was presented to me.  I prepared to preach 4 different messages on Evangelism over the weekend.  The three messages were 1) Our Great Salvation, 2) The Gospel Messenger, 3) Preaching the Gospel, 4) Examples of Gospel Proclamation in the Scriptures.


Awesome Retreat Housing

The youth message was well received by the majority of the youth at the retreat.  I heard that one of the non-Christians repented during the retreat and that many of the Christians were challenged by the different messages.

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Breakfast at the Beach

I enjoyed the various beaches we were able to visit while at the retreat.  I had a wonderful time at the great beaches with the youth group.  One of the cultural takeaways for me from the weekend was how much Brazilians enjoy their beaches.

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Beach Day

I also enjoyed talking with all of the youth at the retreat.  I was reminded of how much progress I have made in my Portuguese language skills and also how much farther I still need to grow.  It was frustrating to not be able to communicate at times and how I could only understand some of the general conversation topics and not all of the specifics.  One of the encouraging parts was listening to the translation and being able to understand most of the translation.

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Bonfire Preaching Opportunities

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Beautiful Beaches in Santa Catarina