Sometimes I see people who I haven't seen since my first area in the mission and we hug and smile and as we talk I think, "Oh yeah, my Português is SO much better now!" Then the person steps back and says, "Wow, I just can't believe it. You were so much prettier before. What happened to you?"
Sometimes as I'm navigating my new greenie companion through the favelas, walking the quick and purposful pace of a missionary, I explain to my companion where we're going and what we're going to do there so she'll be well-informed and not feel too lost. Then my companion says, "We're going to meet with who?? Sister Whitaker, she doesn't live over here, she lives on the other side of the city. Remember?"
Sometimes, you learn to be humble, whether you want to or not.
As I write this email, I am sitting in the safety of a member's home (a member who lives in the same complex right across the hall from us) because all the internet cafés are closed. That can only mean one thing in Bahia: it's a holiday.
Actually, the holiday was yesterday, but Bahianos like to drag things out for as long as possible. It's been a war zone here for the past week with all the fireworks. Elder Ray said he feels like he's in a WWII video game, and when Elder Leite (District Leader) calls at night, it really sounds like that, too as he yells over the sound of exploding bombs. As nothing is illegal here in Brasil,just imagine the havoc that is reeked when 6-year-old boys are buying fireworks and lighting them in the streets 24-7. The firework favorite of children here is a dreadful thing that does nothing but make an ear-splitting, heart-stopping pop that sounds like a gunshot right next to your ear. These the kids like to throw in our path as we're walking because they scare the wits out of my companion. They aslo burn holes in cats and dogs. Worry. It's more dangerous than it sounds.
This holiday is called São João. I don't know what fireworks have to do with the death of John the Baptists, but Brasilians LOVE them.
Last night as we dodged through a bomb war (yes, kids really through fireworks at each other, and their parents let them), I kept hearing the voice of Rhett Butler in my head "Has the war started?" and "The rebels aren't wasting any time!" Sister Mártit kept screaming and throwing her arms over her head crying,"Sheeshter! Sheeshter!" (that's 'Sister' with a Cabo Verdian accent).
Now're about to do it again, this time with a cake in our hands, to get to our Family Night appointment with our recent convert, Irla, and her family. Pray for us!
I love you all and I am LOVING the mission!