April 10, 2017

Brazil Curitiba South Mission

LDS Church & Missionary Work

Allysa (Brazil Curitiba South Mission)

–Paraphrased from Allysa’s mission interview–

Curitiba South Mission Geography

My mission covered the south half of Parana, which is a state in Brazil. The state is split into two halves between the missions.

Curitiba is one of the first places where the church started in Brazil. In many places in Brazil, members are very new converts. However, many members in Curitiba are very old and the church has strong roots there. In the summer it gets super hot, but in the winter it can get very cold. If you are a sister, you will want to bring tights for sure. It rains a lot as well. It’s colder and rainier there because it’s in the southern part of Brazil.

Curitiba is a very Americanized and up to date city. It has a really great bus system. The city is very clean, and you won’t see a lot of Green unless you’re in the countryside.

The LDS Church in Curitiba today.

There is a temple in Curitiba, but it was in the Curitiba North mission. The rules vary on whether or not we could attend.

In the city, the church had well established wards which helped a lot with missionary work. In the countryside, there were more branches. I saw one branch that only had 12 members. About one third of the missionaries were Americans and two thirds were Brazilian or other nationalities.

For Future Missionaries

You’ll love the people, you’ll love the experience you’ll have, and I know the Lord called you to this mission specifically for you. Let the Lord build you and shape you and guide you, and He will make you into something great. He wants you to build lasting habits that will help you for your life, you just have to be willing to listen. Know that the Lord loves you and that the gospel is true. Keep reading your scriptures, keep praying, and love those around you.

Culture, Language, and Travel

Allysa (Brazil Curitiba South Mission)

–Paraphrased from Allysa’s mission interview–

Gralha Azul, Brazil

The people in Gralha Azul (and most of Brazil) were so loving. Gralha Azul was a suburban city, so the church wasn’t quite as strong there. I loved it there, but I wish I had gotten to know more. It was hard because at this point I was still learning Portuguese.

Derosso, Brazil

Derosso is about a 5 minute drive from Gralha Azul. The members and residents there were really friendly and always helped us. It was amazing to be able to help and serve the people there.

Curitiba, Brazil

Curitiba was my favorite area, it was a great place. Church members would help out so much in missionary work. In Brazil it’s really expensive to get a marriage license, and one member helped pay for it and the whole ward helped put on a wedding party for them.

Prudentopolis, Brazil

Prudentopolis is in rural Brazil, so it’s very different from the big cities and the suburbs. People there are a lot more open than in the city. They keep their door open and are always willing to stop and have a conversation. The city of Prudentopolis was settled by Ukranians, so there were actually quite a few white people there. Catholic religion and culture was widespread because of the Ukranian heritage.

Brazilian Food

I love Brazilian food! Every lunch we had rice, beans, some kind of meat, a salad, and sometimes a pasta. Lunch is always huge there. Brazilians have a special way of making rice. First, they sauté garlic in vegetable oil, then they fry the rice, then cook the rice in water. Beans are made in a pressure cooker. The most commonly served meats were steak or chicken. Salad was just lettuce and tomato served with vegetable oil.

A few other common dishes are pão de queijo, which is ball-shaped cheese bread. They also have coxinhas, which are tear-dropped shaped pastries stuffed with meat. Brazilians love to serve natural fruit juice. My favorites were lime juice or passion fruit juice. Some restaurants offer an all you can eat buffet for 5 to 10 reais, which is great cause you can get that much food for the equivalent of 2-3 dollars.

Brazilian People

Brazilians are a lot warmer than American people. For example, to say hi or bye to someone you give them a hug and a cheek to cheek kiss. You could also go up to anyone on the street and have a great conversation, and then they’ll say goodbye to you with a hug. The people are so loving to each other and do anything to help you out. Brazilians also know how to party -they have fun together and just laugh. I love the Brazilian people!