Saturday, January 08, 2011

Petrópolis with the Mattos Family

During my 9 months in the mission office I worked and lived with this elder, Rafael Mattos. We became great friends and he represents such a memorable time in my life, I have fond memories of living with and serving with him. He lives in Petrópolis which is about an hour from Rio high up in the mountains, and at 28 he serves on the Stake High Council. He's a rock. Mattos picked us up in Rio and took us up the spectacularly twisty road to Petrópolis to spend the day with his family. On a clear day you'd be able to see all the way to Rio from this scenic lookout. Once again, the clouds had other plans.
Mattos and Me
Even shrouded in the rain and clouds, Petrópolis felt like a breath of fresh air because it was a slower paced, smaller city high up in the mountains where it was quite a bit cooler. The clouds were so low and thick that you could see the tiny droplets of water hanging motionless in the air, it was like walking through a spray of mist. You can certainly see the German influence in this Quitandinha Palace Hotel.
Mattos and his wife, Debora, spent the day showing us around Petrópolis. It is such a beautiful city and felt like many cities Gina and I have been to in Europe, just a little more tropical. Here's the famous cathedral San Pedro of Alcantara where Dom Pedro II, the last ruler of the Empire of Brazil is buried with his wife, Teresa Christina.
We also went through the Imperial Museum of Brazil (the old royal family palace) and saw Dom Pedro's crown, complete with 91,000+ carats of precious stones including 639 white diamonds, 77 pearls, and nearly 5 lbs worth of 18k gold. I had to wipe the drool off Gina's chin.
Palácio Imperial
After our private guided tour around the old Royal city Mattos took us back to Debora's parents' house. Debora's brothers speak very good English and the younger one is currently attending LDS Business College and lives in Provo but was home for the holidays. Believe it or not, this was the best picture of several attempts with the camera timer. Thank you very much Mattos and Recordon families for making our day wonderful! It was hard for me to say goodbye to Mattos at the bus station that evening, I loved being able to meet his wife and two beautiful children. Gina even tried to smuggle little Lívia home with us.
Mattos, Recordon, and Duncan Families


Anonymous said...

That fourth picture is a great shot. It looks like it was an amazing vacation.

marci said...

I have loved looking at all of these spectacular pictures & thinking that this trip couldn't have happened to a more responsible & deserving pair! You two take traveling to the highest level! I'm so glad that you were able to have this experience & get the feeling that it is preparing you for great things down the road :)