March 2008 Training ReportWell, it has been far too long since I have posted an update on our fantastic website. I have many excuses, but the main problem is that it appears that all blogging responsibility has been laid upon my shoulders. Wes apparently has sworn off blogging. So this means that all our loyal readers (Mom and Dad) are going to get to be blessed henceforth with my flowery language and over-the-top descriptions. I am still plea bargaining with Wes so we will see what happens.
Since our last post, SO MUCH has happened! March 7-24th we took our first trip to Brazil! Thankfully, we absolutely loved it! See our attached report from March for more details…But here are a few random fun memories from the trip. God blessed us so much. We really enjoyed getting to practice our Portuguese. The Brazilians were really patient with us, but still seemed interested in talking, even with our limited vocabulary. We had a fun taxi ride one evening in Rio where 4 of us had to try to describe how to get back to the home we were staying in with very limited directions. Thankfully, we were blessed with the nicest driver who didn’t take advantage of the naive Americans. We loved meeting all the missionaries and getting to hear their fun stories…they all have some great stories of Portuguese word mix ups! I am sure we will have a lot of those ourselves very soon. We loved the food–so rich and wonderful! There is so much wonderful fruit. Wes and I found a fruit that we absolutely love called acai. It is dark purple and is served as sort-of a frozen smoothie. It was a great treat and break from the intense heat. Getting to Niteroi was so exciting–it is the most beautiful city! I can’t describe it. We loved getting to explore the city and get a taste of life there. As most of you reading know, Wes has a wonderful way of striking up conversations with strangers. This made our trip a lot more fun and God definitely used Wes’ outgoing nature to bring us some contacts on the trip. At a soccer game in Rio, Wes had some interesting conversations with some inebriated locals. They were anxious to practice their very limited English vocabulary which most consisted of foul words. Once they heard we were coming to work for a church, they toned things down. We met a precious waiter at a restaurant in Niteroi who wants to help us when we move there. When we When we arrived in Brazil, Wes began talking with a gentleman in line. He was from the Rio area and was really friendly. The evening we left Brazil, we were back in line getting our boarding passes, and there was the same man, Nico. He was taking his daughter to the states for schooling and shared a lot with us. His family was there seeing them off and we got to meet them. It turns out that they all live around Niteroi. We got Nico’s contact info. and look forward to getting in touch with him in October.
Our trip was so wonderful, but it did end in a difficult way for us. Wes’ Grandpa Petty passed away on Wednesday, March 19th. We are thankful for his wonderful life and that he did not have to suffer. We ended up coming home 48 hours early from our trip and got to be with our Gotcher family for the memorial service. It was a great blessing to be with family and remember such a precious man. All the guys spoke at the funeral (Wes, Nic, Austin and Greg). Their stories and the emotions they shared were really touching.
We have a really big weekend coming up! All of the guys on our team are running in the OKC Memorial Marathon! Wes, Brent and Nathan are running the full marathon and Ben and Zane are running the half marathon. We are so proud of our guys for their hard training for this. Please pray for God to bless them with strength and endurance.
Hopefully I will get more up here soon! It shouldn’t be another 2 months!