Greetings from Avenida Paulista!

I'm in the Manhattan of São Paulo while my companion does some sort of job training before she goes home for her Great and Final Transfer. This means that we woke up at 4 a.m., took a bus to São Paulo, meandered our way through a labyrinth of various Metró, and eventually came out on Avenida Paulista. The only thing it's missing is a McDonalds and a Toys R Us with a ferris wheel, and it could be Times Square!

We're here because my companion is doing a course with the SRE, a required class for all Brazilians as they prepare to leave their missions. My companion is taking the class because she is going home... not that you can tell or anything.

Fun with Portuguese:
  • "Onde Judas perdeu a bota"--literally defined as "Where Judas lost the boot." Means somewhere really far away, nobody knows where. Derived from the Easter tradition of making a Judas doll, carrying him through the city beating the daylights out of him, taking him to some square or remote place, and setting him on fire. Eventually he loses a boot, and nobody really knows where it is.
  • "Vai tomar banho!"--liternally defined as "Go take a shower." Means "go away."
  • "Falando abobrinhas"--literally defined as "talking squash," means talking nonsense. Example: Aquela professora do Principilos do Evangelho estava falando abobrinhas quando ela falou sobre se animais têm almas. (Translated: That Gospel Doctrine teacher started talking nonsense when she talked about whether animals have souls.) (Note: This really happened.)
  • "Viajando na maionese."--literally defined as "traveling in mayonaise." Means staring off into space.
  • "Briblia"--a holy book that only exists in the Interior.
  • "Eu amo a sogra de minha esposa." Written on the back of a moving truck. (Translated: I love my wife's mother-in-law)
  • "Você tem que ajoelhar e orar por perdão por que você estava bagunsando durante a oração!" (Translated: You have to kneel and ask for forgiveness because you were making noise during the prayer!) This is our recent convert, Haury. He's 10.
  • "Burrisimo"--something that is really, REALLY stupid, the epitome of all that is stupid. My companion swears to this day that she didn't teach me this word, but I couldn't have figured this one out on my own if I tried. I would know--I use words like this and I haven't repented of this one yet.
  • "This life is Candy" a little girl's shirt. Has a strawberry responding, "Yes, Wonderful." I think they were going for This life is Sweet. Fail.
  • "Barf girls"--Sweatshirt of a girl who passed us at the bus station, written in sequins. I think they were going for Sick Girls or something like that. Double fail. When I explained this one to my companion, she said she was never buying anything in English again.

Fun with Tatuí
  • A herd of goats passed us Sunday night in the street. They were on their way to eat the garbage on the curb.
  • Purple leopard print jacket. Red sweater. Green plaid short shorts. Black high heels. Where, pray tell, is she going?
  • There was a man making motorcycle noises at us as we passed him in the street in Itapetininga. I think he was trying to say that we walk really fast.
  • It's a common occurrence to find shoes dangling from power lines here. What was new was the mangled remnants of a stroller. I still don't know how they managed to do that.
  • My trainer goes home this transfer, poor thing. She doesn't know what Angry Birds is.
  • SOMEone taught my companion that obnoxious game of punching people every time she saw a Volkswagen Beetle (fusca). This game is NOT fun in Brazil because those cars are EVERYWHERE! So in order to take control of the situation, I told her we would pick a color and only hit each other for that color.
  • Green was a bad idea because that color is open to interpretation. We actually knocked on someone's door to ask them what color their car was. Even after they said verde (green) she still refused to believe me.
  • I told her that pink would be our Holy Grail and would be worth three shots right in the arm.

These things are great, but they aren't the mission. The mission is watching the 10 year old boy be baptized, so happy he looks like he's going to cry. He waited two years to be baptized, and because of his own prayers, he brought about his own miracle. As a missionary, I could take credit for this, but it wasn't me. None of the great things that happen during the mission are me. They're all the Lord--from the 10 year old boy who was baptized, to the less active member we found when we got lost on our way here. None of it is an accident. All of it is a miracle.

Jesus Christ lives and He loves us. He died for our sins so we could be forgiven, be baptized, and live a better life than we would ever manage on our own. I love Him. I do my best to serve Him, and every day I can more honestly say that I would do anything for Him. I leave that testimony in His holy name, even Jesus Christ. Amém.

I am, as ever, your humble servant and never-deviating friend,
Sister Doyle

Tatuí: 10 months in the mission, 6 months in Brazil, 3 weeks in the middle of Nowhere

I have been transferred to Tatuí. Does it even exist on Google Map? I have no idea, but it should. It's absolutely gorgeous. Green rolling hills, cows, horses, tons of trees, and cobblestoned streets. The key to my front door is something out of the 19th century, and my companion tells me I constantly look like an American as I'm walking because I'm always looking around and never where I'm going.

But I can't help it. When I picture heaven in my mind, it looks like Tatuí.

By form of briefest update:

  • Hot adj 1. the temperature at which your shoes melt and stick to the pavement 
  • Cold adj 1. the temperature of the water every time my companion uses my blow dryer while I'm in the shower. 
  • The last time I saw a Mercedes, it was a dump truck. 
  • Somebody decided that I was his "namolada" (girlfriend) yesterday. His name is Samuel. He's 3. Two minutes later he said he was the Hulk and he didn't love me anymore. 
  • Lesson learned from the shoe strap mark on my foot--underneath all of this tan, I am really, REALLY white.
  • With a prayer, some ingenuity, and a piece of an old coat rack, you too can repair the flood in your bathroom.

I wrapped my hand in a plastic bag to pull that out... Jussayin... In case y'all think I actually touched that.

I am, as ever, your humble servant and never-deviating friend,
Sister Doyle

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