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Brasilia is the capital of Brazil and is located in the center of Brazil. It is a fairly new city, founded in 1960 and, interestingly enough, it’s shaped like an airplane. Brasilia is located on a plateau and therefore isn’t extremely humid. You get rain every afternoon about 4 months of the year and the rest of the year there isn’t a cloud in the sky.
Snapshot of Brazil – The official language of Brazil is Portuguese, making it distinct from the rest of South America. The Brazilian people are mostly descended from a mix of European, African, and indigenous ancestry, though this varies from region to region. The Roman Catholic Church is Brazil’s dominant religion, particularly in areas such as Teresina, Florianópolis, and Fortaleza. However, the Roman Catholic church has been decreasing in popularity in recent years as various Protestant and Evangelical churches have been growing rapidly. Other religious traditions are also practiced in various parts of the country, such as traditional indigenous beliefs in the north of the country, or Afro-Brazilian religions such as Candomblé and Umbanda that are concentrated in Salvador, Recife, and Rio de Janeiro. There has been some conflict between these different religious groups. While Brazil’s culture as a whole is influenced by Portuguese, African, indigenous, and Roman Catholic traditions, there is great variation from region to region. The south of the country is more strongly influenced by German and Italian culture. Brazil has a strong history in literature, architecture, and film. Brazil is also home to many unique musical styles, such as samba, pagode, and funk (especially popular in Rio de Janeiro and Bahia), forró and frevo (popular in the northeast), and sertanejo (popular in Mato Grosso and Paraná). The yearly festival Carnaval (held each year forty-six days before Easter) is a major event, celebrated by parades, dancing, and music contests. The holiday is especially popular in Rio de Janeiro and Bahia, to the point that missionary work is sometimes restricted during the week of Carnaval. Television is especially popular in modern Brazilian culture, especially novelas (Brazilian soap operas). Soccer is by far the most popular sport in Brazil, though volleyball, basketball, and several forms of martial arts (such as Capoeira and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) are also popular. Food in Brazil also varies from region to region, but there are some similarities throughout the country. Lunch is generally the main meal of the day, and rice and beans are eaten at almost every meal. The meals usually involve some type of meat as well as a small salad. Popular dishes include feijoada (a thick stew typically made with black beans and pork), pasta, and potatoes. Southern Brazil is famous for its churrascos (Brazilian-style grilled meat) and chimmarrão (a hot drink made using herba mate). Salgados (fried snacks similar to Spanish tapas) and the pastel (pastry envelopes filled with meat or cheese) are popular snack items. Pizza buffets are also popular, with many different types of pizza available, though Brazilian pizza generally does not have sauce. Rather, people add either ketchup or mustard to their pizza. Other restaurants sell meals buffet-style where the consumer pays for food by weight (per kilo). Many types of tropical fruit are also available in Brazil, and drinks made from fruit such as açai and guaraná are quite popular.
There are currently 6 stakes in Brasilia as well and an additional District. The church has been progressing steadily there since it first arrived.
Rice and beans are staple foods in Brazilian cuisine, and many people eat rice and beans for every mean. Guarana is also a very common drink.
This is a public transportation mission. You will walk and take buses everywhere. Public transportation is fast and can feel a little wild, but it easily gets where you need to go. It generally costs around 2 reais a trip.
Brasilia is generally a safe area, mission rules and safety guidelines will help missionaries remain safe. Use common sense and avoid rough areas at night or carrying valuables to stay out of trouble.
Soccer is very important to Brazil! Also they have a big holiday on the 9th September to celebrate their independence as well as a holiday call Festa Junina which includes a lot of dancing and food! Food and dancing are very significant in Brazilian culture!
Que chique! That means it’s cool or fancy.
rain jacket can be very helpful. Some missionaries also recommend ensuring that you have two pairs of shoes so one can dry while you wear the other during the rainy season.
There are restrictions to the content of packages that customs will be likely to remove from the package or even to confiscate it. These restrictions include things like food stuffs with animal bases (like beef jerky) and cash. Visit the USPS website here, http://pe.usps.com/text/imm/ab_028.htm, for a complete list of restrictions and regulations.
SHIN CA 05
LOTE B1 Salas 304/307, Brasilia
71503-505 DF, CEP – DF
Straight from the Brazil Brasília Mission:
*What items were hard to get or not available?
“tacos, peanut butter, stick deodorant”
“Peanut butter, deodorant stick, Mexican food, chocolate chip cookies, good basketball shorts.”
“Normal American foods (most cold cereals, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese), cold milk, and sunscreen (well, it was available but was super expensive).”
*What did you eat the most of?
“rice and beans”
“Rice and beans, brazilian bbq”
“Rice and beans”
*What is the craziest thing you ate?
“chicken feet and some weird fruit with spines in the inside”
“Piqui, a fruit with a bunch of spikes that get in your mouth if you bite too hard.”
*What was most surprising about the culture?
“The buses. The drivers were crazy. The passengers were often packed in like sardines, even spilling outside the bus by hanging on the handrails outside the doors. I swear we went up on two wheels doing 50 mph while rounding a corner near Brasilia.”
“The quality of the cities, ie infrastructure, economics, not a lot of jungle.”
“how open Brazilians can be”
*What advice would you give to someone going to the Brazil Brasília Mission?
“Have a close relationship with your Heavenly Father and Savior so that you can put aside relationships with family and friends for two years. Dive into the work and be obedient.”
“Understood how to apply myself 100%”
“Love the people. Focus on helping people–be they your companion, other missionaries, the members in your area, investigators or non-members.”
*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“I have referred to experiences and knowledge gained from my mission throughout my life, and I cannot begin to detail the growth I experienced as a young man while serving the Lord full-time.”
“That baptisms are not the be-all end-all of missions. It will be hard but that’s okay.”