Visiting Paranapiacaba

Hi Everyone,
There are a lot of cool things about my area (Rio Grande da Serra.) In the little road side shops you can usually find an assortment of dehydrated leaves, sculptures, fabric dolls, decorated boxes, ornaments, jewelry, paintings, and in general lots of cool and quirky things. The people here all know eachother becuase the town is small.

At the southeast side of the town there is a long road decorated with old destroyed cars, a chemical powerplant, a rock quarry and hundreds of train tracks. After about 20 minutes of travel by bus down this road, you arive at the village-city of Paranapiacaba. The town was founded when a British company built a railway line to export coffee beans from the area to the sea port at Santos beach. The village-city prospered for 30 years, until automated machinery replaced the need for the trains´s compliacted travel systems.

When the village’s population suddenly declined and many of its buildings were abandoned, the city was left untouched with a lot of cool history sites and camping areas… (see the end for photos, I visited Paranapiacaba today)

In order to preserve the heritage status of Paranapiacaba as a well preserved railway town, the government of Brazil decreed it to be a historic district and initiated further steps to preserve its heritage status and encourage its development as a suburb of São Paulo and to promote tourism. The objective of the project was to preserve the natural, cultural, and industrial heritage and ensure economic progress of the town in particular and the region as a whole.

(I learned all this from the assorted signs throughout the town)

As far as missionary work this week, I taught a ton of cool people and found two really good families that my companion and I are now preparing for baptism. The highlight of this week, though, was when I went to the temple and got to baptise my recent convert Julio for his deceased father and confirm him as well.

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The assorted photos I attached are the cemetery,

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Me jumping off of a rock bacause it looked cool,

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Me sitting in the jungle rocks,

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Me drinking water from a fountain at Paranapiacaba,

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Me on a bridge

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Me with elder McGary (who was another missionary from the Interlagos mission who I met in the mtc),

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A church in my city,

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and some water I found.

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I think this upcoming week I’ll probably have a few baptisms as well!! 🙂

Godspeed and until next time,

Elder Westenhaver

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