(Her Companion, Sister Barbosa, Is Next To Her - They Call Her A Brazilian Barbie)
This has been the motto of my mission experience thus far.
Greetings from Eat-Eye-By-Yana!
This week I learned I love the people here. Well i guess i already knew that but i really learned it. i feel like the grinch a lot of the time because i can just feel my heart growing in capacity every time we have a lesson with someone or talk to someone on the street who says they needed someone to talk to that day.
i made it through my first transfer! We didn’t get word until 11;30 at night last night but all 4 of us are staying here for now so we were screaming and shouting for joy. our neighbors probably appreciate us a little less now. but everyone says that the sisters that serve in this area stay here a lonnng time. at least 4 months, some sisters are here 8 and the longest ive heard is 10. holy cow. so im gettin comfortable.
But i feel like i should be a little more clear on my area that im in. Im in a little city, its not like im in the jungle usually. There’s nicer parts and more humble parts, depending on where you’re at. our house is in the nicer parts, i mean its all brazil so its all different to start with, but our house i think is considered nicer. There’s one part of our area called Rio das Pedras which is where i helped build a bathroom and where i cant drink the water at all. Thats where the real magic is, people. the people there are sooo ready for the gospel, so in tune with the spirit and the lord is preparing people there. but its far from the chapel so presidente doesnt technically like us working there that much... ugh. but there’s this one guy there named irmao louis, who is the oldest most kind and smallest and wrinkliest old man who just melts my heart every time we visit him. he was baptized a year ago and likes to hold your hand as you walk up the road to his house. When he says the closing prayer for us he always says ´´thank you for sending these sisters here to visit me even though they always have to go so soon´´ and if that didnt break your heart then i dont think you had one to begin with. sorry that was abrupt. but its true! the people that we just adore are the ones who dont need us as much. the people that need us, are the more stubborn ones. i feel a lot like my alter ego Nanny McPhee in these moments because ´´when you need me but do not want me i must stay but when you want me but no longer need me i must go´´ (*cue all the sad overused Nanny McPhee jokes*)
I’m realizing that adjusting to mission life here doesn’t just mean adjusting to always being tired and sweaty, but a harder part is adjusting to the culture. its one thing to appreciate and admire the culture from afar, but its another to be thrown right into it. and brazilians are very very different. for one thing they’re very loud, whenever we go somewhere its super loud and you have little to no personal space. which i can deal with except when you’re on the bus and don’t really want to snuggle with a stranger who smells like old barn. but that’ll come with time i guess.
one night i was having a hard time and just feeling very isolated from everyone and everything. so i was just praying and praying and talking with heavenly father that he would remind me why I’m here, remind me that im loved and that i can do this. then we got to Rio das Pedras and it was honestly the greatest answer to my prayers because one after another all these little kids were just sprinting towards us to hug us and talk to us. kids that i didn’t even know would hug me. and when they left and we went to the next street, more would come. i know heavenly father knew that’s what i needed right then, that those kids would just touch my heart and remind me that this is my home, this is what i was called to do, to love and serve these people.
i also had a funny experience this week when a man we had invited to church asked me to talk to him in english. he said to invite him to church in english and tell him why it was important to go so i said sure what the heck. and i tried to start talking in english and the words honestly wouldn’t come out. in my head i had everything i wanted to say but my mouth couldn’t speak them, it kept getting jumbled up with portuguese words. it was the weirdest thing. other random fun fact, the funny thing about teaching the first vision here is that we have to explain what a forest is, because there’s no such thing as forests here nor has anyone ever seen one.
but that’s about it from me, I’m so ready to start my second transfer here and get the lords work movin faster!
i love you guys so much!