19 December 2010

Thanksgiving in Brazil

Our national holiday, Thanksgiving, is not widely celebrated in Brazil. However, in 1966, Brazil established a holiday referred to as O Dia de Ação de Graças, that is commemorated on the fourth Thursday in November. I don't recall that anyone stopped working on the day, however.

Since the missionary couples here in São Paulo wanted to have a Thanksgiving Feast together, we got together at the residence of Elder and Sister Woffinden, because they offered to let us use their home. Also, it is the only residence large enough to accommodate all of us.

Elder Woffinden serves as legal counsel here in Brazil. He and his wife previously served together when he was called as a Mission President here several years ago.  He also serves as a Branch President at the Centro de Treinamento dos Missionários (MTC), and Sister Woffinden serves in the São Paulo Temple.  They are a great couple, a wonderful example of those who have consecrated their lives to serve the Lord wherever and whenever called.

I have attached several photos taken at our get-together, and will attempt to identify those present, since if I do not do it now, I may not remember their names at a later date.  I never have been very good with names, and as I age my ability to recall continues to fade.

From left to right, Sister Christopherson (with her back to us), Sister Urry, Elder Don Andrew, Elder and Sister Jeppsen (looking over their left shoulder), Sister Lavinia Alldredge (behind the lamp), Elder Dennis Alldredge, Sister Zaza Clark (wife of President Donald Clark, President of the CTM), Elder Larry Clark, Elder Tom and Sister Ruth Pratt,  Elder Larry Dille, Elder Richard Hill, Sister Debbie Woffinden (green apron) Sister Ketma Hill, Elder Arlen Woffinden (red shirt), and Sister Janet Dawson.

Above, from left to right are Elder Vernon Christopherson, Sister Urry, Sister Lynette Clark, Sister, Claudia Andrew, and Sister Jerry Christopherson.

                                  Sister Sandi Dille and Carlie smiling for the camera

                          Above are Elder Arlen Woffinden and Elder Steve Dawson

                                            Elder Bryce ans Sister Karen Jeppsen

          Elder Richard Hill, MD, and Elder Larry Dille (Medical Advisor at  the CTM)

                                   Elder Vernon Christopherson and Elder Jim Urry

                                            Elder Tom Pratt and Elder Larry Dille

Seated from left to right, Sister Claudia Andrew, Elder Tom Pratt, Elder Larry Dille, Sister Claudia Dille, President Don Clark (CTM), Sister Zaza Clark, Sister Lavinia Alldredge, Elder Dennis Alldredge, and Sister Debbie Woffinden (back to the camera).

                                 President Stanley Neeleman, São Paulo Temple President

                                A View of São Paulo from the Woffindens' Condo.

                                      Above is another view of São Paulo,

The condominium complex where the Woffindens live contains one hundred condos in a gated, exclusive park area.  It is one of the nicer bairros (neighborhoods) in São Paulo.

After our huge Thanksgiving meal, several of us decided to make room for desert by making the trip to the Activity Center.  Below are several pictures of the pathway leading from the Woffindens' condo building to the Activity Center (gym, pool, restaurant, meeting rooms, etc.) in their complex, where gift items, jewelry, linens, etc. were on sale for the holidays.


Directly to the right of this pathway is a soccer field,  and park area for the residents of the condominium complex.

While we certainly missed being surrounded by our children and grandchildren on Thanksgiving Day, we really appreciated the opportunity to gather with dear friends we have made while serving here in Brazil.