Still not adjusted to the time change and the 30 hour trip, we got up early for the 5 hour drive to Sousa to see the area where we will be spending the next 18 months. The exciting ride kept our knuckles white and our eyes wide awake as we saw President Hall deal with the chaotic race through the countryside to Sousa.
Sousa is in the Brazilian Sertão – the semi-arid area of the far Northeast of the country. No jungle, but plenty of heat. This part of the country is completely different from the south of the country. The standard of living is much lower, the infrastructure less developed and the cities and towns are more like Mexico than the European-like south. After checking into a hotel, we spent the day without success looking for a suitable house or apartment to rent. We went to the church – a beautiful modern chapel as nice as any in the US. Two branches meet here and it is the office of the Sousa District that includes two branches – one about an hour west in Cajazeiras and one about an hour east in Pombal.
|View of Sousa countryside from our hotel room|
On Sunday we left early for another town – Pau do Ferros – where President Hall organized a group, designating a member as the group leader. The group is supervised by a branch in Sousa and can hold Sacrament meetings and administer the sacrament. About 40 people attended, even though there are only about 10 members there. There are a lot of interested people and the expectation is the church will grow quickly there and soon be an independent branch.
|Some members at organization of Pau do Ferros Group|
|Wrong turn! We ended up way off the highway on the way back.|
We raced back to João Pessoa after the meeting so President Hall could attend a leadership meeting there. Two hectic but exciting days.