|(Some of your missionary companions will be your life’s dearest friends. Be the kind of companion you would like to be with. - James E. Faust)|
Sooooo … yes I was transferred! : ( And so was Elder Meireles!! We were both needed in other locations so we both left and two Elders went there without knowing ANYTHING of the area. Not even knowing where they were going to live. Haha Oh, man … Tuesday was crazy! We found out Monday night. I already started packing a little on Monday. It‘s funny how easy packing is after a while on the mission. I remember at first it was so stressful trying to round everything up and make it all fit. This time it was really fast.
Tuesday, we had a District Meeting and then we set out to say goodbye to everyone. It was nuts, but we managed to say goodbye to everyone except one family. I was pretty bummed I didn’t get to say goodbye to them. Tuesday night I spent finishing packing, made sure everything in the area book was up to date, and then started writing a letter to the two Elders that were taking our spot. Thankfully they were two Americans so I was able to write in English. I can write in Portuguêse but English obviously is a lot faster and easier since it’s my native language. I wrote a ton about all the investigators and the plans the members of the ward have … appointments that are marked for the week … who are the principal investigators and who to try and contact first … basically I was up really late doing all that. I couldn’t leave that area without trying to help them out as much as I could. It’s like in a relay race in track … when the runner is coming in, the second runner takes off running before he gets the baton so they don’t lose a second on the transition. It‘s supposed to be like the change didn’t even happen. It just keeps going. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be quite as smooth as a baton pass because they don’t know anything about the area. I tried my best to make the transition as smooth as possible. It was hard leaving, but at the same time easy, because I was able to leave without a single regret. It was just sad leaving there because I really loved that area and the people … the members … the investigators … everyone.
I am now with Elder Jubette. He's from a city called Natal (which means Christmas.) Man is it beautiful there!!!! I think it tops where Elder O L Costa came from. It’s so gorgeous!! The area I’m now serving in is called Progresso (translated is progress). It’s the neighboring area to my last area. It‘s in another stake, but on the other side of a road from my last area. There’s a big supermarket in the division, so we go shopping there just like I did when I was in Trujillo. The trip to my new area was funny too. Transfers happen in São Paulo. I was in another city, so for transfers the mission rents a bus for all the missionaries here in the interior that are being transferred. The bus takes us all to São Paulo. The morning of transfers, I got a ride from the Stake President and his family (Such an awesome family!!! I miss them lots.) to where the bus picks us up. I loaded all my stuff up in their car, got to the bus stop, and then loaded it all into the bus. From there I went all the way to São Paulo, got off, talked with some other elders, loaded back into the bus, and took off on the trip to the city I’m in called Sorocaba. On the trip, I talked with one of the Elders that was going to my last area, to try and help him out a bit more. I tried to explain to him how to get to the house, but he was having trouble grasping the directions. I decided to try and get a ride for them. I called up one of my favorite families … the Stake President … and asked for a ride for them. They said, “Yes”. Elder Jubette and I had no way back to our new area. We were going to have to take a bus and walk (which sucks with bags and stuff) so I asked for a ride for us. We got off the bus, I unloaded my stuff and loaded it back into the same car I put it in that morning. Haha Sister Daniela (the Stake President’s wife) said that I should have just left my bag in the car. Basically, I went all the way to São Paulo just to return and get into the same car I was in that morning … to go to an area that was right next to mine. Ya, quite the trip!
Elder Jubette is really cool. He reminds me a lot of Steven Tolboe just a tiny bit more serious. I like him and he’s a hard worker!! The house is really small but it’s clean so that’s wonderful!! Our place is cool too because we live in a closed condominium. It‘s like a bunch of apartment buildings but with a gate and a guard. Everything is so open inside. In Brazil, every house has a gate with spikes on it in front. It‘s all really closed off and not too friendly. Where we live, once you’re inside, it’s really open so there’s kids playing in the road and on the grass. It’s really nice. It kind of reminds me of home. My second night here a member, who lives here in another building, made this really delicious thick hot chocolate and sandwiches and brought it over to our house. It is cool living in an area where people just go over to someone’s house and knock on the door. Not clap at a spiky, electric wired fence or shouting your name. Hint hint … it’s a really nice surprise when you’re an Elder, and someone comes over to your house to leave some kind of treat for you. You feel really good after. Just an idea if you guys want to do something nice for the Elders.
As for food … make American food. Anything that’s really American … burgers, dogs, a Sunday pot roast (because that’s something they don’t have here … not even gravy!!), or a barbecue would be good too. Dad could make up his famous steak and barbecue chicken. I try and explain to people how our barbecues are but they don’t get the concept. They think burgers and hot dogs on a barbecue are weird and chicken with barbecue sauce … they can’t understand. I try and explain how we prepare steak but that also seems strange to them. Homemade pizza is awesome. Mexican food is very American. Haha Buffalo wings too! They don’t have them here. The food is way different so you can’t go wrong. Just remember, they think we only eat burgers, hot dogs and French fries so if that’s all you give them … Brazilians will continue to think that.
I had so much more to say but I have to go. I‘ll try and write a letter to you guys, but I don’t know if I’ll have time. I love you guys. I really really hope the pictures work. My memory card is full and I had to delete some to take more. I’m praying you’ll get the pictures downloaded! Love you guys!