Aleluia! Eu posso falar com vocês! (translation: Hallelujah! I can talk to you!)
I am really animated that I can finally write you guys! It has been two weeks since I could write! I need to explain what happened.
A few days after we talked on Mother’s Day, about Wednesday, I started to get sick. I finally got to the point where I was running a fever of 103.4 and couldn’t leave the house. The members took me to the hospital because I had all the symptoms of dengue fever and more. They put me on an IV and took my blood and did all sorts of examinations. Yummy!
They came back with the results that I had an intestinal infection and needed to start a specific diet, take antibiotics, and stay in the house for at least three days. How annoying. Don’t worry; I got better on Sunday, and I left the house to work again. Yeesh. I have never eaten so many limes in one week in my life.
That night something else happened.
On Sunday, May 17th, I received a call from the mission president. He told me that I was going to be transferred on the following day (emergency transfer; this is normal in the mission). So I started packing. Monday I didn’t have time to talk to you guys because I had a long way to travel—it was a four-hour trip.
I was transferred to Sorocaba, Arvore Grande area, towards the interior area of Brazil. My companion is Elder Paulino. So that is what happened last Monday and why I couldn’t email.
Sorocaba is super humid and hot! I am going to melt here! It is completely different. There is nobody in the streets, everyone is rich or living well, and very few people want to listen to us. It is like I am starting a completely different mission. I talked with Elder Cerantonio again, who has already been stationed here in Sorocaba a long time. He said that I can forget everything I learned about how to teach and start over. . . . The poor are much more humble. It is clear to see.
I had an interesting experience the other day to kickstart my time here. We were knocking on doors and this rather cute woman opened the door. We talked with her like normal and after she said that she was catholic and that we would waste our time with her, we asked her if she would give us a cup of water. She brought enough water for my companion. My companion drank and then she went to get more water for me. When she was getting more water, my companion said: “The water tastes horrible…prepare yourself!” So I readied myself. She came back with water for me. I started drinking . . . and it was bad, even worse than city water in DC. While I was choking down the misery, my companion asked what her name was. She hesitated, then in a very deep and unnatural voice said: “Barbara.” That was when I finished drinking. We threw each other a glance and then we said goodbye and left. We continued to knock on the doors on that street and we started to notice that for the next half hour, this Barbara kept looking out her door at us. It was then at that same moment that we had the same realization that possibly she—or he—had drugged the water. It then all made sense to us both at the same time. (She was he and now is a she.) This is typical here, and it can be a “normal” thing here for some people to do such types of things to trap people in their homes.
After about an hour she/he stopped watching us. I believe that Heavenly Father is so full of grace that He protected us in that we were not affected by whatever was in that water. It was made apparent to us that she/he was watching to see if we would fall in the street unconscious.
As a confirmation of our suspicions, we both had stomach pain shortly thereafter and for the next three days, among other things. We are both fine now, but it is incredible to see how much our Heavenly Father actually protects us. We are much more careful now, I might add.
God is with us.
A little note on the language. My language is starting to take root completely. It is getting harder and harder to speak English. In fact, it is annoying to speak English. I don’t speak any English here anymore—with anyone. That’s why it was so difficult to talk when we Skyped with you on Mother’s Day. I am thinking, sleeping, dreaming, speaking and writing in my journal all in Portuguese. . . . For that reason it was so hard to talk. I still understand everything though.
I love all of you!
P.S. We knocked on 706 doors this week, setting a new record in the mission!