Monday, November 24, 2014

One Year Down, One Half to Go!

 One Year! 

I'm in denial! Can someone please explain to me how it's been a full year. ONE YEAR. How?? How is it possible??

It's weird to think that I'm closer to ending my mission when I've only just started a new one. There are so many things that I've learned on my mission thus far, but now it seems like I'm learning a whole new set of things. In a way it feels like I've done a 180 degree flip and now I'm looking at everything upside down!

Ok it's not that dramatic haha, BUT let me just share some of the differences between Georgia and Brazil. 

1. Animals

In Georgia you'll see lots of birds and cats. Also we had plenty of cockroaches and insects I never knew existed! Here I see lizards everywhere (and I have nightmares that I'll find them in my bed) and tons of stray dogs. We even see capivaras... ok I've only seen one but they're so gross and weird looking. Like a mix of a really large rat and small pig. God is so interestingly creative to me. 

 So weird! 

2. Smells

Georgia smells like trees for the most part. Really it depends on where you are... Atlanta smells more like cars. Just a few smells here are bread (which kills me everyday... my family knows I'd die for bread), meat from the street vendors and dogs and more that are best left unmentioned...

3. Sounds

Georgia is quiet. Actually the USA is quiet. Quiet neighborhoods, quiet people. Maybe traffic is the only noise you hear all the time. Where to even start with Brasil?! People have music playing all the time in stores or apartments or homes. Everywhere! And It's a mix between American pop and Brasilian music. 

Also I hear propaganda everyday! People strap massive speakers to the back of their motorcycles or open trunks and drive around playing these recordings at an earsplitting level. It scared me the first morning I was here. I was quietly studying my scriptures and a car drove down our street with it on full blast. I just about fell out of my chair. I also hear lots of barking dogs and fireworks. Actually that same morning we were having companion study and lots of dogs were barking outside. All of a sudden we hear BAM BAM  BAM and all the dogs quieted. I sat there horrified that someone had just shot a dog until my companion reassured me they were fireworks. It was better when the dogs started barking again.

4. Neighborhoods

Georgia is divided into towns and within the towns, everything you need is a drive away. Here everything is divided into towns but within the towns you have neighborhoods or bairros. Each neighborhood is stacked with all you need at a walking distance; local markets, barber, church, etc. Also when you give an address, you first say the name of the bairro, then the street name and number. The whole set up of this place is completely different from the US. Although I will say that the winding roads here look a lot similar to the winding roads in GA... just a little hillier here. I do miss nicely paved roads though. 

5. Church

GA had church services every Wednesdays and Sundays. And for the Adventists it was Saturdays. Here there's a service every. single. night. Most play lots of loud music and have their doors open for passers-by. And there I was thinking Georgia was the bible belt....

6. Wearing the tag

Well in GA, most people avoided me.. probably because I'm a missionary.... I don't know. Maybe I have a scary face haha. Here in Muriae I sometimes feel like a celebrity. It's not normal that people come up and talk to us but there's been a few occasions of people coming up to me on the street because I'm American. Usually they're just people asking about US and all. One day we walked into a bread shop and when our server learned that I was from the States she went and told the whole shop. Next thing I know there's a crowd of Brasilians around my stool, questioning me about the US while I tried to eat my bread. Luckily it was a perfect opportunity to share the Gospel so we got a few potentials from that! 

There's a whole lot more I could tell but I think that's good for now! Love you all! If you have questions let me know and I'll answer them in a post! 

Sister Hawkins

A couple more pics for the week!

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