This week has been madness. Pretty sure I have the weirdest mission ever. It was relatively normal and then the whole Brazil thing came back into play and now nothing's normal and everything is crazy and I'll spend less time in my original mission than I have in California. I still DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE THIS PLACE. This has become home. This is going to be a harder goodbye than it was from my real home. I just love these people so much and I've learned so much and I just want to keep doing it all here. I know the Lord has a plan for me and that there are even grander things waiting for me in Brazil, but it's still so hard. I'm excited. No I'm not. I'm trying to get excited. I should be. I will be.
BY THE WAY. Since I've been out here speakin' da english for so long, they're sending me to the BRAZIL MISSIONARY TRAINING CENTER for two weeks. I'm going to Sao Paulo before I get to Florianopolis. I'm a little bit excited for that, I can't lie... I'm also going to turn 20 and hit my 10 month mark on the mission while I'm there. WHO TURNS 10 MONTHS IN THE MTC? This girl. It's fine.
I leave in like 6 hours for the mission home. I'm staying with President and Sister Lewis. I haven't packed yet. What's new. One day maybe I'll learn. Eh, or maybe not. My companion is going to be all by her lonesome self for 2 days :( Not really... She's gonna trio it up with the Spanish speaking sisters. HA.
Speaking of Spanish. Manteca is filled with spanish speaking people. I think more people speak spanish than english, legitimately. It's nice. Problem- I've picked up on it. I can say just as much or more in Spanish than I can in portuguese now. THAT'S why I'm going to the MTC haha. WE'VE HELD SO MANY CONVERSATIONS IN SPANISH THIS TRANSFER. Half of our investigators speak spanish. I don't even know spanish. I hardly even know portuguese. I don't know how it keeps happening. I'm just tired and confused and I don't really know what I'm doing but I keep doing it anyways and somehow it works and we see tons of blessings from it. I don't get it. That's my mission in a nutshell.
The Stotts, my favorite family everrrr/Ward Mission Leader (in Manteca) surprised me last night. They were being all secretive and stuff with Sister Johnson and pulled up to the house, and Sister Poole pulled out a cake and they decided to celebrate my birthday before I left :) I'll be surrounded by Brazilians that I won't understand on my birthday, soooo it made my night. This area is the best. I love it here. I don't want to leave them!
Here's a story.
There's this rehab housing across the street from one our investigators. I think I told you about them before? Well we were out knocking on doors to find a member of our ward a few nights ago, and it was in this sketchy-sketch motel looking complex thing. Total DIVE. We talked to this shirtless Oklahoma cowboy who was passing through and asked if he knew the lady we were looking for.. or if he heard about the church before.... Doin' missionary stuff. Ya know. When out of no where this drunk guy pops out across the complex, sees us, looks at Sister Johnson and yells "ERICA!" as he stumbles around the parking lot. We're all super confused. Meanwhile the shirtless cowboy looks at him and just says "Dude, I don't think you have a clue who that girl is!" Sister Johnson pops in "uh.. We're from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.........I'm Sister Johson" Drunk guy makes his way over to us. "Oh. I thought you were Elizabeth." No, no. We are not Erica or Elizabeth. But it turns out his name is Shane.. We met him at Rehab like a week earlier... He just got kicked out of rehab. But he remembered us talking to him about Jesus, even though he was plastered. That's cool. Sister Johnson thought it would be a good idea to give him a mormon.org card WITH OUR NUMBER ON THE BACK before we left. So I mean best case scenario he sobers up and calls us to be baptized, worst case we get a drunk phone call at 3 AM. We can't lose.
We started teaching this AWESOME guy named Sam. Sam agreed to be baptized as he learns more. I like Sam. I'm leaving Sam tomorrow :( I am sad. This week has been incredible. We've found THREE new investigators this week! We've needed it! I won't be here to teach them all but I'm so excited for the area. These people have so much potential, I can't wait to hear how things go. I'm proud to say that we busted it all the way to the end, this area is going to explode soon. There are SO MANY prepared people. We've been through heck trying to find them, but they are coming. I'm so thankful for the past 2 months here. I've learned so much here, even when I didn't want to. Especially when I didn't want to, ha.
Well we need to get going and pack, but I love you all a lot and I'll talk to you next week from BRAZIL. Tchau tchau!