Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pura Vida

We've had an amazing first two weeks! We have participated in three workshops, and have another one, along with a trip to Panama with the specialist set up for this coming week. The workshop is amazing...we have really enjoyed teaching it, and really feel the spirit as we do it. We feel like the manager and specialist really have things under control around here, but they are so busy, and it is nice to be able to help them have a little more time on their hands by taking over the teaching. The last few days have been wonderful adventures. On Friday we went on a day trip to a town called Zarcero that is up in the mountains, and has an amazing topiary park. We also went to the beach in Puntarenas, which is a tiny peninsula that is pretty much all beach. It was beautiful. We jumped in on a little game of beach soccer and Allie scored a goal! We were pretty excited about that. It has all been "pura vida" as they say around here. We are in love with the people (in worries!) and with the country. Saturday was a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky, which is really uncommon around here (turns out its the rainy season) and we went to the park near our house and went on a series of zip lines that are super high in the eucalyptus trees. It was amazing! We were practicing so we'll be ready when we go do it in the rain forrest. We are happy and healthy and have made lot of friends here already. Today we spoke at a fireside for young adults about self-sufficiency and the importance of getting an education. It was a great experince, and we were so glad to be able to do it. Last week we also got to do a bit of resource development at a bilingual job fair. It was pretty fun for me because I got two on-the-spot interviews. Too bad I wasn't actually looking for a job! We hope that you are all having great experiences, and to hear from you soon!

Sarah and Allison

Monday, May 21, 2007

Going to La Paz via Miami

So, we were delayed in Dallas due to weather so we arrived in Bolivia a day late. We got to spend the day in Miami though. That was fun. We took a bus to Miami Beach, had a romantic walk on the beach. Andrew´s feet hurt though because he was wearing his boots...(we didn´t have any access to our luggage!)

Well, we arrived in La Paz and I was happy that my aunt, uncle, cousin and another friend came to get us. That was cool to see them again. Our apartment is so nice. We have 4 bathrooms. Our place is right in the center of the city. Andrew was excited to see his first protest outside the window. But things aren´t too crazy. Nothing to worry about.

So the first week we observed the workshop, that was...interesting. We´re going to change a few things for sure. Like we aren´t going to talk about what color or animal you should identify yourself with in case you´re asked in an interview. Besides that bit of false doctrine, things were pretty good. (According to the teacher, it´s good to identify yourself with an eagle, because they live to be 60 years old. At 30 years of age, they have the choice to either die or live another 30 years, but if they want to live they have to go far away from other eagles, and they hit their beak and talons against rocks until they fall off, then they grow back, allowing them to live 30 more years... just to be sure, I double checked this on a zoology website, and it´s a myth. I thought it was funny.) Anyways, we begin teaching this week, we´re looking forward to it.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Our First Adventure

Today Brian and I went on an adventure. We decided to head on over to the center of Manaus. There we discovered, I think, at least 20 new and different smells we have never smelled before. Some just clung to us all day long. We ended up in a fishing shop and saw a catfish, swordfish (one sword was 4ft long, it was awesome), piranha, and a few new species. Later we entered the colonial era and caught up on some history by visiting some historical sites, and if anybody is wondering if those student isic cards come in handy, they do. We got a 50% discount on our concert tickets for the Amazon Theater. It was great, and with the extra dough we ate out. The côco gelado was perfect on such a warm day.

This first week has been exciting. We taught four missionaries the workshop and they passed; Fwhew. They had us worried; ) It's been a blast. We are looking forward to next week.

Brian and Rich

Ps. Brian wants to know if anybody knows how to put a weeks worth of laundry on 8ft of line.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

¡Frase de gol!

I am resourceful. For example, when the toilet overflowed in our apartment, and we had nothing to soak up the inch-deep water in the bathroom, I found a plastic grocery bag and used the toilet brush to "sweep" the water into it, removing the water one bag-full at a time. As a result, I was able to get the water off the floor, and have the apartment clean, and sanitary once again in less than two hours, which exceeded the rate of evaporation by 1,000%. I am sure that I can use these same skills to confront whatever problems arise in your company.

For details see my blog. We're having a great time (other than our bathroom adventure) and we've already taught/observed a complete workshop with 15 graduates. Looking forward to hearing from all of you!



Oi, Friends! Rich and I arrived in São Paulo Sunday morning in time to wait in some long lines, take a few wild bus rides and make it to sacrament meeting in Rich's first area. We spent some time with the members, who fed us our first Brazilian meal in several years. Just to make us feel at home, Helosie (at right) adopted us as older brothers. Wandering around the streets of Guarulhos at night seemed less inviting, so we went back to the airport for our midnight flight up to the land of a trillion bugs.
In Manaus, we found ourselves comfortably lodged in a twenty-story hotel. From our eighth-floor, air-conditioned pad, we have a beautiful view of the city down to the Rio Negro. The SRE is in the same complex, so we don't need our umbrellas to make it to work despite the regular tropical rainfall.
We spent the first two days watching and participating in classes taught by local volunteers. Irmão Ariel had the air conditioning working so hard even Rich and I walked out with frozen hands. Sure didn't expect that in the Amazon! Today our bishop and specialist pulled us out of class to tell us we would be teaching a class for the missionaries on their way home. The class was to begin in 15 minutes. If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear. The class was absolutely wonderful. We relied on the Spirit, and certainly felt divine help.
After concluding the class, performing an evaluation of our teaching, and cleaning up the room, we went to the kitchen for lunch. As we were getting our food, we were informed that the teacher for the afternoon class had not shown up. Would we teach that group, too?
Gird up your loins! There's work to do! That class went not so smoothly, as we had not been able to attend the second day and were not sure exactly what had been taught. But, we learn something from every contact and from every class, no?

Rich and Brian

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

¡Costa Rica!

Hey friends! I hope you have all received your invites to be authors! Let us know how it's going! Allie and I have arrived safely in Costa Rica, and we love it already! We have a great apartment, and today we helped teach the first half of the workshop. Very exciting. There were 19 wonderful participants! I just wanted to drop a quick post, and solicit the same from you! We'll put some pics up soon. Also, feel free to visit my personal blog if you want, at
Con cariño costarricense,

Saturday, May 12, 2007


So, it has definitely only been one day....and I miss you guys already! Thanks for your awesome examples and the friendships we formed this week! Best of luck to all in travel and such! Be safe and make sure to "let your light so shine."


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Here goes...

May 10th. University Guest House. Room 220. We are officially trained, and graduation looms before us. In a few days, we'll be flying out all over the world to make a difference, but the last four days have certainly made a difference for us. A few highlights...
  • Renn Patch, assistant to Bishop McMullin, "Employment is one of the best and most important programs that exists in the Church today."
  • Ron Mortensen's kids showing everyone up on the piano.
  • B-ball and dancing during 45 minute long "breaks".
  • That sinking feeling after lunch.
  • Companion piggy-back race across the street.
  • Women's restroom at Bucca di Beppos.
  • Hairy scary ball flying across the room.
  • Cafe Limonada.
  • Catch phrase truth or dare.
  • Reggaeton marketing song.
  • Cody's laugh.
  • Youtube, anyone?
  • Not crossing the line to #2 during dinner.
  • Elder Rudd, "A willing spirit is greater than talent- don't use your talent begrudgingly."

So, ready or not, here goes! Let's keep in touch, and share our talents. :)