It is a week before I travel to Brazil to take classes in Portuguese. I will be staying with our Brothers in Marilia until the middle of December. Thanks to all who have offered support through prayers and resources. Though I don't know exactly the specific needs in Amatongas just yet, you can be sure they will be great. From day one we will be putting up a new roof, repairing electrical and plumbing infrastructure and such, as well as preparing the school with desks, beds and many other needs. I have included at the bottom of this blog where to send donations for those who would like to help, just make sure to include "Amatongas Mission" in the notes section.
I have been using Rosetta Stone for a little over a month. Many people have seen the advertisements all over the place and have asked me about my experience. As you may know Rosetta Stone is very expensive, but is worth the cost. It's as close to immersion as you can get. However, I think you need to spend 2-3 hours a day for it to be effective and some days I have spent the time, but many others I have not. Also, there is no translation at all in the program, so I went out and bought a good dictionary. It was just so frustrating at times not picking up the word. I think I at least have a good head start.
Finally, last week I went camping and hiking in the Smoky Mountains with Br. Frank Fleming. We went to Cataloochee Valley, a rather remote area of the park where many people don't go. The temperatures were cool and the beauty of the place was awesome. The highlight though was the experience of seeing many Elk which were reintroduced to the park in 2001. The time in the valley reminded me of the beauty and grandness of God's creation, something I often take for granted. Please enjoy the picture of the buck below, and yes we got this close.