The time difference between most areas of the Ribeirao Preto mission and Utah is between 3 and 5 hours depending on the time of year.
I was confused when I was a missionary how the time would fluctuate so greatly from the time I called on Mother's day, to the time I would call at Christmas... and there wasn't anyone around who could explain to me why. I figured that no brazilians could explain it to me since I might not understand the portuguese words that have to do with time zones and daylight savings, but I was also afraid that one of my companions would think I was trunky and collect a Chokito candy bar from me!
By the time I had been in Brazil for a while, I didn't care or think much about it, there was plenty to think about without thinking about home. But now, with the luxury of the Internet to figure out what crazy solar and political forces could be causing such wild variations, I figured it out pretty quick:
Brazil turns its clocks forward in the fall on October 16, 2005 to start their daylight savings time for the summer, but the USA sets its clocks back to finish its summer DST (not necessarily on the same day that brazil changes its clocks).
The reverse happens in the Spring... and so we have fluctuations of 2 hours. Ribeirao Preto will set their clocks back on February 20th, 2005 to end their daylight savings time.
I've preset this world clock to include Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo, and various places around the USA to show you what the time differences currently are:
To see daylight savings time information about Ribeirao Preto, Goto this link.
Tres Lagoas in Mato Grosso do Sul is the one city in the Brazil Ribeirao Preto mission that is an hour behind the rest of the mission.
In next weeks lesson, we will chart out how the earth treks around the sun and how it might cause politicians such as Benjamin Franklin to suggest that we should change our clocks to have nicer summer-time day hours to sweat through.
Until then, fica firme e feliz! -- Daniel