A Templo....in....MANAUS!!!!!!!

Well, everyone, the day finally arrived. I visited my Mission President over the weekend in Riberao Preto, and the first thing he told me was, "Elder Vogeler, I have great news--they just announced the temple in Manaus!" I don't know if everyone remembers this or not, but perhaps I've never prayed for something so often or fervently as I did and do for a temple in Manaus. The members of the church used to have to travel from their homes in the Amazon Basin of Northern Brazil three days by boat to the port town of Porto Velho and then another 2-3 day bus ride to Sao Paulo. After spending about a week doing genealogy and vicarious work for their ancestors, these lovely people would have to return the same way they came. (For you working stiffs, a three week vacation is often difficult, if not impossible--especially when you're trying to just feed your family). I met men and women who would sacrifice their time, their money (minimum wage=approximately 180 dollars....a month), and sometimes even their homes just to visit the Sao Paulo temple once in their lives. Well, finally, that sacrifice is being rewarded.

Below is a satellite photo of Manaus, the river with its origin in the top left corner is the Rio Negro and the river coming up from the bottom left-ish is the Rio Solimoes--together, these rivers form the mighty Amazon. Manaus is the little fluff of cotton, right near where the two rivers meet up. (Tidbit: the rivers flow side by side for about 200 miles before finally mixing, due to their different PH levels and temperatures. Their confluence is called the Meeting of the Waters, or Encontro das Aguas--see 2nd photo below)

Aside: Guess who's working in the law firm who's taking care of all the legal matters concerning Temple construction in Brazil?! You got it! ERIC BOYD--in case you didn't get it. We'll see if I can't get my hands on some of the proceedings, and maybe even take part in the negotiating/wrangling/fenagling. HA! I LOVE IT! I can't tell you how exciting this has been, and how serendipitous it was that I got to meet with President Parrella the very weekend the Temple was announced. I guess the best way to sum it all up is the Lord works in mysterious ways--and extends his tender mercies at the most unexpected times.

This temple will be constructed on the banks of the Rio Negro (above), on a stretch of beach called the Ponta Negra. Some of my family (minus Timmy--bum) and I have visited the Ponta Negra and can attest to its beauty--the water seems like more an inland sea than a flowing river, and the waves stirred up by the wind can capsize overloaded boats. This happens to be about the only place in Manaus that isn't insufferably hot. Additionally, and this might be the coolest thing I've heard in a very long time, this will be the first temple to include a port entrance, for those members of the church who arrive by boat, rather than by car or bus. (Note, more people in the Amazon own and use boats than those who use any other mode of transportation). Well, before I start slipping into cliches and get super stuffy, I'll make an end. Viva Brasil, Viva Manaus, Viva o Senhor!!! Um GRANDE Abraco,


1 comment:

Barb said...

How exciting that you can be there as this all unfolds! What a blessing this will be for so many deserving people!