Here are free resources about the Brazil Brasilia Mission:
- Mission address and phone number
- Mission map
- Missionary blogs
- Facebook groups
- LDS Mission t-shirts and gifts
- List of past mission presidents
- Cultural articles written by returned missionaries
- Survey with RMs
*Other Mission Pages: Brazil LDS Missions.
Brazil Brasilia Mission Address
Here’s a recent address for the Brasilia Mission. We try our best to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the mission address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.
Brazil Brasilia Mission Map
Here’s a link to the mission map for the Brazil Brasilia Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the Brasilia Mission, simply
Brazil Brasilia Missionary Blogs
Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Brasilia Mission. This list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their blog was updated.
Brazil Brasilia Mission Groups
Here are Brazil Brasilia Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the Brasilia Mission.
- Brasilia Brasil Mission Facebook Group (572 members)
- Ex. Missionarios da Brasilia- Pres. Stanicia Group (340 members)
- Missao Brasilia Pizzirani Facebook Group (333 members)
- Missao Brasilia (Stanicia, Grahl, Knudson…) Group (260 members)
- Missao Brasil Brasilia Facebook Group (153 members)
- Missionarios da Missao Brasilia Facebook Group (144 members)
- Missao Brasil Brasilia Facebook Group (99 members)
- Ex-Missionarios da Missao Brasilia- Pres. Ghahl Group (81 members)
- Missao Brasil Brasilia Facebook Group (40 members)
- Brasilia Mission Moms and Friends (LDS) Group (10 members)
Brazil Brasilia Mission T-Shirts
Here are T-shirts for the Brazil Brasilia Mission!
Shirt designs include Brazil Brasilia Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL. The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.
*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: Brazil Brasilia missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.
Brazil Brasilia Mission Presidents
Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Brasilia LDS Mission.
- 2017-2020, Flávio A. Cooper
- 2014-2017, Mark Cameron Lundgren
- 2011-2014, Hélcio L. Gaertner
- 2008-2011, Gelson Pizzirani
- 2005-2008, Marcos A. Aidukaitis
- 2002-2005, David Frederick Babbel
- 2000-2002, George Mavromatis
- 1997-2000, Scott Wright Hadley
- 1994-1997, Larry Berkley Hanks
- 1991-1994, Richard Knudson
- 1988-1991, Paulo Renato Grahl
- 1985-1988, Demar Staniscia
Brazil LDS Statistics (2016)
- Church Membership: 1,326,738
- Missions: 34
- Temples: 6
- Congregations: 2,038
- Family History Centers: 341
Helpful Articles about Brazil
Brazil Brasilia Missionary Survey
Here are survey responses from Brazil Brasilia RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.
When did you serve?
- 2012-2014 (Nate)
- 2003-2005 (Creed)
- 1999-2001 (Brian)
- 1990-1992 (Brett)
- 1988-1990 (Glen)
- 1988-1989 (Shelly)
- 1987-1989 (Joel)
- 1987-1989 (Maria)
- 1987-1988 (Mark)
- 1985-1987 (Samuel)
Which areas did you serve in?
- Ceilandia, Planaltina de Goias, Itapua, Sobradinho, Gama, Paranoa, and Cristalina. (Nate)
- Palmas Tocantins, Jardin Inga, Occidental. (Creed)
- Gurará 1, Mapim (Mato Grosso), Miracema do Tocantins, Lago Asul (DF), Lago Sul (DF). (Brian)
- Manaus. Gioania. Cuiba. Gama. Ceilandia. Rio Verde. (Glen)
- Brasília, Manaus, Anápolis and Rio Branco. (Shelly)
- Contagem (Belo Horizonte), Manaus, Ceilandia, Cuiaba, Goiania, and Brasilia. (Joel)
- Anápolis, Brasília, Manaus, Goiânia. (Maria)
- Nucleo Bandeirante, DF, Goiania, Planaltina, Novo Gama, Ipatinga, MG, Contagem, and MG. (Mark)
- Gama 1 / Belém Marítima / Manaus Alvorada e Colônia Oliveira Machado / Núcleo Bandeirantes/ Novo Gama Uberlandia e Uberaba. (Samuel)
What were some favorite foods?
- Suco de maracuja, vitamina de abacate, pao de queijo, leite con toddy, feijao con bacon, and feijoada. (Nate)
- Rice, beans, steak, chicken, maracuja, pao de quejo. (Creed)
- Pão de queijo, pizza com frango e catupiry, churrasco (picaña com alô, sonhos (em Mato Grosso), coxinha de frango, musse de maracujá. (Brian)
- Churrasco, pamonha, arroz e feijao. (Brett)
- Feijoada. Bananas fritas. Pao de queijo. (Glen)
- Feijão, sucos, as frutas, requeijão. (Shelly)
- Feijoada, Cupuacu, and Pao de queijo. (Joel)
- Suco-no-saco, qualquer comida fácil de fazer. (Maria)
- Feijoada Brasileira, and Pizzaria – Pizza de Banana com acucar e canela. (Mark)
- Peixe doce de cupuacu. (Samuel)
What was a funny experience?
- It really rains a ton and every car that passed me driving by would hit that puddle right by me and would soak my pants, but not my companion’s. (Nate)
- To many to pass on. The Brazilian people are amazing and so loving! Some of the funny situations where when I said something in Portuguese the wrong way. (Creed)
- Having my house flooded in Miracema do Tocantins and all the giant spiders trying to get in our house to avoid drowning. (Brian)
- Na minha primeira area, my great companions told me after lunch I should tell the dona de casa that I was gravida. It would be a sign of respect instead of saying estou cheio that I remembered from the Mission Training Center. They said I shouldn’t say “estou cheio” but couldn’t remember “estou satisfeito”. It was hilarious for them. Not for me. (Brett)
- Andndo no pe no Manaus durante um “thunderstorm’ e quase precusando nadar ate o apartemento. (Glen)
- My zone leader (an American) kept insisting that the American sister (me) needed to make a banana cream pie. I resisted for awhile and then gave in. I made two pies – one went in his face, the other we enjoyed. I also had a pet monkey named Miko in Manaus – I had to save him from being turned into a scripture case by one of the elders. (Shelly)
- Teaching an investigator on his front porch in Manaus during rainy season. A monkey grabbed my umbrella and bit holes in it, rendering it useless. (Joel)
- Uma vez os Lz’s estavam sem almoço e sem dinheiro. Eram americanos e totalmente loucos…. fizeram uma oração pedindo ao Senhor que os ajudassem e logo depois do amém escutaram uma galinha entrando em sua casa daí eles pegaram a coitada mataram cozinharam e comeram. E na reunião de zona ainda deram testemunho. (Maria)
- Foi quando meu companheiro Elder Franklin abriu minha carta azul. (Samuel)
What was a crazy experience?
- In my second week, in a city called Ceilandia, we were robbed by a teenager on his bike and I didn’t understand anything. Thankfully he only took our cell phone, and not our wallets. That kid was a harmless punk that only made us mad. (Nate)
- I had a gun pulled on me, but felt calm and collected and we went right on our way. Honestly, there are some dangerous areas, but I never felt worried or scared. (Creed)
- Opening new areas in rural areas was always fun and dangerous. Northern Tocantins and Mato Grosso. (Brian)
- Running to the bottom of the veu Das noivas cachoeira no Pantanal em Mato Grosso. Swinging out over thin air on vines on the way. (Brett)
- Ceilandia. (Glen)
- I had snakes crawling up through floorboards in a house in Manaus during discussions. We had a stalker issue in Anápolis. Elders were shot at in Ceilandia while I was serving in Guara in Brasilia. No one was hurt. (Shelly)
- Mugged by two escaped convicts at gunpoint in Ceilandia. They discovered we were missionaries and said, “don’t curse us, we’re good Catholics.” They took a passalong card and we invited them to church. They also took our money amd watches… (Joel)
- Uma vez logo que cheguei em Manaus fui visitar uma família que minha companheira que já estava em Manaus há mais tempo havia é ensinado É o chefe tinha problemas mentais e ficou bravo sobre a lei do dízimo. Então ele correu com uma faca enorme atrás de nós duas. (Maria)
- Thankful the Lord protects his servants. (Mark)
- Foi uma experiência quando na cidade de Manaus entramos em um igreja Pentecostes e eles estavam gritando. (Samuel)
What was a spiritual experience?
- Every time you feel the Spirit in a lesson, you almost always see in their eyes that they too are feeling the Spirit. You know that this feeling is the greatest feeling of peace, success, love, and hope. (Nate)
- Every day there were little miracles, and seeing people make the decision to be baptized and follow Christ was amazing. (Creed)
- Having people find us on a regular basis that asked to be taught and baptized. (Brian)
- Over and over having the Spirit testify of the Savior’s love for people. (Brett)
- Cada cinferncia de zona com Pres e Irma Grahl. (Glen)
- Just getting to know the Brazilian people was a spiritual experience. They were ready to hear the gospel and warmly accepted us into their homes. They had powerful spiritual experiences and it was great to be a witness to them. (Shelly)
- A new companion arrived on a Thursday evening when I was new on the mission. He asked me what our weekly goals were for contacts, discussions, and baptisms. He then asked where we were on them. Because of travel arrangements and saying goodbye to members, we had not completed any discussions that week nor did we have anyone ready for baptism. That evening we began knocking doors and finding people to teach, and we were working steadily toward reaching our goal. Saturday evening we had gotten many discussions completed and all our contacts, but clearly no baptism yet. My companion was teaching me about praying in faith, however. Saturday night we met a young man (about 12) from the branch and I introduced my companion. He asked when the young man was baptized, to which he replied that he was sick the day his family was baptized and had never had the ordinance. He had been active for months and no one had noticed. That evening we reviewed the lessons with him and he was baptized the next day. That week we met all of our goals, and did so thereafter. A prayer in faith availeth much, and the Lord will help you reach your goals. (Joel)
- Uma vez em um domingo a noite vi um grupo de rock gótico e como precisava fechar minha meta de duzentos contatos semanais fui falar com eles. Um deles que era um dos chefes do grupo aceitou as palestras se batizou e fez missão. Para mim foi muito importante pq aprendi neste dia que não devemos julgar ninguém pela aparência ou qualquer outra coisa, estava lá para ensinar a qualquer um. Missão dada tem que ser cumprida. (Maria)
- Reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese. It helped with the gift of tongues and adquiring the language. Soon I was dreaming in Portuguese and spoke fluently. The Lord helped me gain the ability to speak Portuguese made sharing the gospel a pleasant experience and serving with love. (Mark)
- Quando recebi minha resposta do livro de mórmon na Missão. (Samuel)
What are some interesting facts about the Brasilia Mission?
- It is a melting pot culture of Brazil because the city was constructed in the 1960s. So the capital is “new” and has many, many people from all over the world. (Nate)
- It was the biggest geographically. Shaped like an airplane and not as humid as most parts of Brazil. (Creed)
- When I served, we did transfers by bus and they routinely took up to three days straight on bus. (Brian)
- Was largest geographic mission in world. (Brett)
- I was in Manaus when Elder Haight came to form the first stake. I was part of the first set of sister missionaries to serve in Rio Branco, Acre. We had a very small branch and met in a home. We were the largest mission in the Church, geographically, at the time. I served in two areas that were more than 1500 miles from the mission home. (Shelly)
- My mission was divided twice while I was out in the field, and every area I served in is now a mission. Manaus was a district and now has a temple. (Joel)
- Tenho muitas coisas especiais que aconteceram durante minha missão. Ñ dá para enumerar ou escolher somente algumas. (Maria)
- At the time I served, The Brasil Brasilian Mission was the largest land mass mission in the world (1987). The mission split twice during my mission and I ended my mission in the newly created mission: Missao Brasil Belo Horizonte (1988), while serving in Ipitinga, MG. (Mark)
- Os locais que servir foram marcantes cada um deles. (Samuel)
What was the weather like?
- Dry and hot from May to November, and super rainy from December to April. (Nate)
- Awesome weather. Warm with crazy rain storms. (Creed)
- Hot, hot, hot….oh and humid. Don’t need long sleeve shirts and you’ll rarely wear a suit. Bring only one. (Brian)
- Hot. (Brett)
- Quente. (Glen)
- For the most part, very pleasant. I wore sweaters in Brasilia, but that was it. In Manaus, in December, it was hot and humid. It was the rainy season and I never thought I would see the sun again. (Shelly)
- Hot in Manaus, warm to temperate everywhere else. (Joel)
- Wonderfully summer year round. (Mark)
- Muito quente. (Samuel)
Any things you really like about the area/people?
- The people treat you so well. They are so warm, loving, and accepting. (Nate)
- They are fun, kind, giving, humble and sensitive to the Spirit. (Creed)
- People were all awesome. My favorite place was in Gurará. Great members and people. (Brian)
- I loved their warmth and acceptance. Loved their love for soccer. Loved their humility. (Brett)
- A amor da gente. Na cada cidade sempre ha pessoas que nunca encotrei antes da missao, mas quando a tempo a voltar a casa chego. Nao podia esquecer ou lembrar um tempo antes de conhecer. (Glen)
- Absolutely everything! They are warm and generous. They were poor in worldly goods, but rich in Spirit. Whatever they had, they were willing to give. They lifted each other up and didn’t tear each other down, for the most part. (Shelly)
- Loving, open people who wanted to serve the Lord. (Joel)
- Eu amei todos os lugares aonde servi. Principalmente Manaus. Tive dez companheiras que muito me ensinaram e até hoje mantenho contato com alguns. (Maria)
- Warm and friendly. (Mark)
- Adriana pessoas em Manaus e Belém foram muito amáveis e atenciosas. (Samuel)
Any packing/clothing advice?
- One suit and lots and lots of short-sleeve shirts. (Nate)
- Short sleeve shirts. (Creed)
- Thin shirts and pants that don’t fade. Expect to go through lots of shoes. Bring good ones with thick soles. (Brian)
- Don’t take a rain coat. It won’t help in the rainy season. (Brett)
- Pack light. Tudo que precissa voce pode comprar. So “pack” as essentias e deixa espaco pelas lembrances. (Glen)
- Light weight everything! (Shelly)
- I resoled my shoes with truck tires while on my mission … we walked everywhere! Big and tall guys will have a harder time finding replacement clothing in the interior. (Joel)
- Bring some “shorts”. (Mark)
What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?
- I have been blessed with more confidence in myself to accomplish hard and seemingly impossible challenges. Of course spiritually, I have been eternally strengthened and know for myself now that the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored. (Nate)
- Best two years for my life! (Creed)
- An experience I’ll never forget and a love for a country that rivals my own. (Brian)
- An incredible family. Perspective. Appreciation for what I have in America. Opportunities to serve others. (Brett)
- Entendi o que amor e. Amor por um povo. Amor por amigos. Amor do Senhor. (Glen)
- My life was changed. I grew to know my Savior and trust Him as I never had before. I realized just how far my heart could open. (Shelly)
- Strengthened testimony. Built lifelong friendships. Felt like I helped Zion roll forward. (Joel)
- Casei com um rapaz que eu mesma havia dado a referência quando fiz missão de curto prazo. Tive três lindos filhos…. Tive muitas bênçãos. (Maria)
- I love the gospel, the Savior, the Portuguese language, and the people of Brasil. (Mark)
- Muitas honesto tenho uma família e tenho uma empresa que tenho a plena certeza que é fruto de ter servido a missao. (Samuel)
What are some skills you gained?
- I learned how to talk with people and motivate them to do hard things. (Nate)
- Discipline, hard work, unconditional love, service, follow the Spirit, work hard, play hard. The Brazilians love to have fun. (Creed)
- Ability to talk to strangers. Memorization. Scripture knowledge. Teaching. Language skills. Self confidence. (Brett)
- Comi falar com qualquer pessoa sem medo. (Glen)
- Leadership skills – speaking in front of a group, motivating a group, etc. (Shelly)
- Patience. How to speak the Portuguese language. Empathy and understanding. More patience. (Joel)
- De falar em público relacionamentos e logisticas. (Samuel)
What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?
- I wish I knew how treat my teaching pool. The secret is FIND A TON. The more you find, the more likely you are to be teaching someone who will accept. Unfortunately you can’t ever force anyone to do anything. I wish I knew that by dropping investigators that weren’t progressing was not a bad thing, but the best thing you can do. (Nate)
- Had a great trainer who helped me get off to a great start. (Creed)
- The language more fully. How fast the time would go. (Brett)
- See the comment about what to bring. (Glen)
- I wouldn’t change anything – I needed the growth that came from not knowing and learning as I went. (Shelly)
- When members trust the missionaries, referrals follow. When with members, that’s not a time to relax and talk about home … that’s an incredibly important time to build relationships of trust as an emissary from God. I wish I knew that from day one instead of learning it along the way. (Joel)
- Teve uma família em Manaus que eu é minha companheira ensinamos e por motivos diversos eles ñ se batizaram. Voltei, casei tive minha primeira filha e meu marido era Bispo aqui em Fortaleza quando a missão Manaus foi criada algumas sisteres que almoçaram aqui em casa foram transferidas para Manaus e fazendo contatos conheceram a esposa dessa família que eu ensinei, eles pediram para serem enfim batizados e perguntaram se as sisteres me conheciam ao saber que sim escreveram e me fizeram muito feliz por ñ terem esquecido e se batizaram. Depois de quase dois anos. (Maria)
- I kept a journal, but wish I had kept an even more detailed journal and recorded daily daily events that may have seemed insignificant, but now wishing I had addresses and records of branch presidents, ward members, investigators whether or not at the time were baptized, …. keep a good journal. (Mark)
- Ter feito seminário. (Samuel)
Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Brasilia?
- Don’t let anyone set your limits. You can always find more, you can always teach more, you can always bring more to church, you can always baptize more. Serve with more heart, more might, more mind, and more strength. (Nate)
- I’m a firm believer that you go where you are supposed to go. That there are people waiting for you to bring the gospel to them. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and that missionary work gives you the opportunity to share the happy message. (Creed)
- Don’t hold back from giving your whole self over to the Lord. (Brett)
- Prepara-se por uma experience da mudanca da vida. Abrir seu coracao pelo tudo o Senhor tem preparada a voce. (Glen)
- Be willing to just love the people and you’ll be successful. (Shelly)
- Read the Book of Mormon and New Testament especially cover to cover. Know that you are going to serve and be prepared to give 100 percent, 100 percent of the time. It flies by. (Joel)
- Trabalhem, sirvam com o coração e saibam que vcs ensinam mas quem mais aprende são vocês. (Maria)
- Open your mouth and the Lord will fill it. We talked at bus stops, on the bus, walking to appointments, be not ashamed of the gospel of Christ and love those you serve. It shows and everything else is added once you love them, – the language comes because you read the Book of Mormon and obey mission rules and pray in Portuguese… perservere through the first few months of frustration with the language and feeling inadequate… it will come. (Mark)
- Guardem as regras da missão vivam cada dia. (Samuel)
What was a funny language mistake?
- I once tried to say that God wants the best for us, but it came out, God wants the woman for us. (Nate)
- Better not say. (Creed)
- Asked a member how long it took to charge his cell phone and accidentally asked him how long it took to crap it out. (Brian)
- See gravida comment above. (Brett)
- Quando comenci a missao nao pronuncia Senhora correctamente. Aparacia cenoura. (Glen)
- Nothing in particular. It was just frustrating when I would work so hard on a discussion, pass it off with my companion, teach someone and have them listen and nod their heads and then turn to my companion and say, “What did she just say?” But that passed. (Shelly)
- “E tenho outras orelhas que não são desse aprisco “. ( isso foi uma companheira americana trocando as palavras ovelha por orelha). (Maria)
- I arrived in June 1987, my very first companion showed up to take me to Nucleo Bandeirante, DF, upon arrival on transfer day, there were three other Brasilian Elders in the little apartment, my new companion, his old companion and his new companion – whom were leaving for their new area. It was hot and I didn’t have appropriate clothing for a P-day and wanted to ask where to buy some shorts. Being new, I knew that pants were – Calcas, and to make things small ( for “short pants” we learned you add “inha” to the end of the word. So I asked the three brasilian elders, “Where can I buy some calcinhas?” Next thing, all three were laughing so hard and falling on the floor. I learned what that word was and also learned to be careful of guessing. I learned that shorts is “shorts”. (Mark)
- Não me lembro. (Samuel)
LDS Church & Missionary Work
Daniel (Brazil Brasilia Mission)
–Paraphrased from Daniel’s mission interview–
Geography of the Brazil Brasilia Mission
Brasilia is pretty centralized, I’d say center-south. The Brasilia mission covers the state of Tocantins, which opened its first stake in Palmas while I was there. The mission also included parts of Goias, and also one city called Unai in Minas Gerais. The Church owns a huge agricultural farm there. Finally, the mission was based in Brasilia, Brasil’s federal district. The mission is long and skinny from North to South. The mission has split recently too, creating a new mission in Goiania. In the cities
Culture, Language, and Travel
Daniel (Brazil Brasilia Mission)
–Paraphrased from Daniel’s mission interview–
For the majority of Brazil’s history, most of the population was along the coast. The inland territories were largely undeveloped. In the 1950’s, the government decided to colonize this area and to build a new capital. Cement trucks constructed roads out into the middle of nowhere, and Brasilia was born.
Brasilia itself is shaped like an airplane, with the northern and southern wings being primarily residential. The body of the plane contains most government ministries and homes for the government officials. There are also satellite cities within the federal district, which were founded primarily to house the original workers.
For Breakfast, Brazilians like going to the bakery every morning. They’ll go to the local breadstore every morning and buy 10 loaves of french bread, a quarter pound of ham, a quarter pound of cheese, and they’ll go home and enjoy a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Sometimes they’ll have a “vitamina” or shake.
There is an herb that Brazilians drink called Cha Matte, which they like to drink hot in the south. Normally they’ll pack a cup full with this glass like herb. You’ll drink it through a straw with a filter like spoon at the end so that the hot water can come in and the herb stays out. It was very popular in the southern most state of Brazil, known as Rio Grande do Sul. The people there are called Gauchos, and they will drink this Cha Matte every morning, during the day, and they’ll pass it around to friends. In northern Brazil, they tend to drink the same herb cold. Instead of adding hot water, they’ll add cold fruit juice, including mango juice, lime juice, and cashew juice. Yes, in Brazil they take the fruit part of the cashew and turn it into juice.
In the U.S. Brazilian steakhouses like Tucanos and Rodizio have been on the rise, and many people think that Brazilians eat that way. They do eat those kinds of foods, but that’s normally only for special occasions. In realitiy, Brazilians eat rice and beans every day… it’s not a meal if there’s no rice or beans. Normally, this will be served with salad and some sort of meat. Chicken is common among poor families, while the richer ones will serve beef.
My favorite Brazilian foods are hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza. They really took hot dogs and hamburgers and ran with it. They put crumbled potato chips, peas, carrots, mashed potatoes, and even more. Their pizza is to die for as well, with pizza buffets very common. You can find any topping on a pizza that you can imagine.
When missionaries need a yummy treat, they would stop and get a Pastel. A pastel is basically a piece of fried dough filled with chicken, meat, cheese, or other savory foods. I would often get it with a cup of sugar cane juice. They would grind the cane right in front of you in a machine and out would come a very sweet, green colored juice.
Lunch is the big meal in Brazil. It’s a much bigger meal than breakfast and dinner. Even the Church won’t schedule meetings during the lunch hour. Church members would prepare amazing meals for the missionaries to eat lunch with them almost every day.
Brazilian Flip Flops
Brazilians love their flip flops. The Havaianas brand is very popular there, and it is actually becoming more common in the U.S. as well. Brazilians will wear flip flops everywhere- in the shower, in the street, at home. The only time they take them off is for church or work.
Climate and Wildlife in Brasilia
I didn’t see to many animals. I saw a monkey and an anteater, and that was about it. Sometimes we would see Tucans flying overhead, but we never got a close look. I think the lack of wildlife was due to the fact that we were basically in a desert. Some animals that I did see a lot of were horses that people would ride, and a lot of chickens in poor communities.
You would wake up in a sweat, it was so hot. Then you’d go outside and you’d be wet again. Then we’d go home, shower, get our clothes moist and sleep with a fan on. Even so, we’d wake up wet again the next morning. The heat is inescapable almost year round.
Brazilians have a hard time saying no. Even if they really don’t want to do something, they’ll still tell you yes. You’ll have to really pin them down to help them really commit.
Brazilians are very emotional people, and they’re not afraid to wear their emotions on their sleeve. Americans tend to be more isolated and standoffish, but Brazilians are really open. They end every letter with the word “abraço” which means hug, so as to say “wishing you the best” or “a hug from a friend.”
Religion in Brazil
A lot of Brazil is Catholic because of Portuguese colonization. In recent years, protestant religions have sprung up to rival the strength of Catholics. Priests and Pastors are very vocal about their churches, as are many others. Brazilians in general are very religious and will talk about their faith more openly. We visited one lady who offered us water who would thank the Lord for her cups, her water, and for our visit. They’re very conscientious of God, and I hope they don’t become more secular like other developed and developing nations.
Corruption in Brazil
People will often joke that Brazil is so perfect, and the one challenge that God gave them was a difficult political system. They sometimes struggle with corrupt politicians. For awhile, this has been fueled by the disparity between the upper and lower classes, however, this is changing and the middle class is growing every day. The culture is changing now too… it has become less socially acceptable to accept bribes or circumvent the law. I think Brazil really is improving.
Culture and Social Class
There’s a lot of German influence in Southern Brazil. Some people there speak both German and Portuguese. Italians and Germans would often settle in the cooler, more mountainous regions and use a lot of European architecture.
Mix is common in Brazil. Many people are descendants of African slaves, others of Portuguese as other European descent, and even some people came from Japan. In the same neighborhood, you’ll find people from all different cultures. Some claim that this leaves Brazil without an identity, but I think this diversity is what makes Brazil so great.
Economic status comes in a wide range. I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of poverty like in Africa, but generally the government helps the poor so they don’t starve. But you’ll meet people down from the most poor up to the richest. The upper class in Brazil gets paid a lot -even a lot more than the upper class in the U.S. does. The lower classes often suffer because of this wide income discrepancy.
My advice is to embrace Brazil as it is. Don’t try to compare it to America, because it’s like comparing apples to oranges. Accept the culture and you will come to love it.
Riots and Safety
Currently in Brazil there’s been a public outcry. This is largely due to taxes over 50% and government spending millions of dollars on World Cup stadiums. I was impressed by the unity and activeness of the Brazilian people in taking a stand against corruption. Hopefully they will continue to grow in awareness and stand up for their rights.
In some parts of Brazil, riots and big parties (such as Carnival) would require that missionaries stay home. These gatherings could get a little crazy or even dangerous. In Brasilia, however, the parties never were too bad, and we could always work normally.