Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Together At Last

Life is so interesting. Who would have known five years ago that serving a mission in brazil would open SO many wonderful doors for me... So many surprises. 
Who would have known that the boy from my mission, who I never talked to once, would one day become my husband? Two and a half years later, 600 or so emails later, many fights, doubts, fears, anxieties, joys and funny moments together we finally decided to make virtual a reality. 
For some reason, satan does not want us together. He doesn't want any happy righteous, LDS couple to succeed. I swear he tried everything to make it so that Jorge and I wouldn't be together. Through our two and a half years of struggle and email communication, up until the day of my travels, he never stopped working against us. But thankfully, the Lord is much more powerful, more wise and can bless us so much more. He has a plan and nothing will interfere with it if we don't let it. 

The morning I left, I received a blessing from my stepdad. I was already tired from getting no sleep the night before, exhausted from packing, nervous about traveling alone, full of anxiety to see Jorge, scared of the unknown my future would hold... I was just a big ball of Blah and Blur and wasnt really paying attention as I received this blessing at five thirty in the morning . But as I sat there, sort of listening, soft of not, I was horrified to hear the words ..." as you and jorge talk and open the lines of communication, you will come to know that this is NOT the path for you to take".  *GASP* WHAT????????? After all this planning, these years we dedicated to each other, the planning of our future our love we shared, it wasn't going to work out??? Well, that was of course engrained into my mind the REST of the day. And there started my emotional train wreck of everything i was feeling. I cried from the time  I heard those words until I reached atlanta georgia. I cried for four hours straight. I kid you not. From home, to the airport, through checking my bags,  saying goodbye to my family, through security through the plane rides, in the airport at SLc...  the tears would not stop.  I think I made it harder on myself and my poor family too. They were there on the phone or texting me the whole time to make sure I was ok.  My mom tried consoling me by telling me that I had missed all the GOOD things that the blessing had said. I must have been so out of it that I didn't hear the other part of the blessing which said, " As you and jorge talk and open the lines of communication either your bond will grow all the more close, OR you will come to know that this is not the path to take."... okay, so I missed that part. hahaha.... 7 hours of complete torture for nothing.  But it was horrible, and I have absolute certainty that it was satan who engrained those words in my head.  

So that was the first bad thing... and the worst too.  Next, my suitcases that I was checking were too heavy! Either I'd have to pay a fine, or get rid of some of the things inside. So Kelsey and I found an open empty space and just emptied out the suticases, got rid of all the heavy stuff and weighed them over and over again until they were exactly 50 pounds.  AI AI AI! What a headache. That took awhile, and time was slipping away. I needed to hurry and catch my plane.  So, still bawling, I tearfully said goodbye to my family, and especially my mom seeing as I don't know when I'll see her again. (I get to see Holly and Kelsey in one week!). Then headed into security. There, of course, they had to pick on me some more and went through ALL of my carry-on stuff. ALL of it. And of course, me bawling, could hardly answer their questions through my lack of tear control.  Everyone kept asking me if I was ok, but I could never answer. Anyway, finally when they finished checking all my stuff, (By the way they threw out my brand new mary-kay face wash!! They said it was too big...grrrrrrrrrr!) That pissed me off even more and didn't help me calm down one bit. I tried to get all my stuff packed in to my carry on again. (Kelsey somehow managed to stuff SO much in there, that I wasn't able to get it all back in after the security dumped it all out).  Trying to get it all to fit and then OH how it was HEAVYYYYY, dragging it down the corridor to my gate, I come to find out that I had, indeed, missed my flight. Man I just wanted to die!! Everything was going so WRONG! 

I explained to the gate lady that I missed the flight because security had held me up. All she said was "You weren't here when we boarded, you missed it"... grrr...  More and more tears... haha. It was a miracle, seriously only the hand of the Lord that I didn't leave the airport in that second and go right back home again. I continued on... sad, helpless, hopeless... I repeat again, only the hand of the Lord himself was able to keep  me  going. The gate lady found another flight for me but of course charged me fifty dollars. It was only another hour wait so there i sat and just cried. 

On the plane ride to SLC, I was numb. I seriously don't remember the take off, the time in the air, or the landing. I remember boarding, and then getting off the plane. There in SLC I found my other gate that would take me to GA and there I sat. I re-arranged stuff in my carry-on to make it less heavy, tried to calm myself down by having something to do and texted holly and alysa. Thankgoodness for friends and family.  From there on, things were much better.  Although i couldn't eat or sleep, I felt much more at peace which was more comforting than sleep or food or anything else. I was thankful for the chance to calm down a little more by being with an old companion of mine in Sao Paulo for a day or two. That would be a good opportunity for me to re-remember brazilian life.

Once I got to Sao Paulo, and felt the humidity and smelled that Brazilian air, I was so thrilled. All scared feelings and doubts about Jorge vanished. I couldn't wait to see Lilian, an old missionary companion of mine.  Our time together was awesome. It was like we hadn't been seperated at all! We picked up right where we left off on our missions and it was amazing. We drove around Sao Paulo, we went to church at her ward (YAY! I love church in brazil!) I met her family and her awesome friends, we went to a church activity, hung out... I love Lilian so much. She is definantely my best brazilian friend (after Jorge of course) and was my best missionary companion. I loved our time together, but my priority was Jorge, so I had to continue on.

I had a few more travel complications from Sao Paulo to Salvador to meet meu amor. For some reason I couldn't buy my plane ticket online, prices were SKY high, and I was having a hard time getting in contact with Jorge to let him know when I would be arriving exactly. Lilian had to drive me to the airport to be able to buy the ticket and once I bought it, I realized that I was at the wrong airport and would have to take a bus all the way across town to the OTHER airport! Keep in mind Sao Paulo is one of the largest cities in the WORLD (like fifth of something)... so, again afraid that I would miss  my flight, I just went on faith. It only took an hour to get from one airport to the other, although it felt like an ETERNITY,  and I was able to do all the check-in stuff and even had time to go to the bathroom to pretty myself up. haha. 
WOW... but what an adventure. Sitting there waiting to board the plane to Salvador, I wanted to throw up. I was sooo nervous. But, another tender mercy of the Lord happened. As soon as I boarded the plane, sat down, and prayed... all of a sudden all feelings of fright left me. I was in complete tranquility! I felt like I was just going home or something. Peace and tranquility... oh those feelings are so underestimated. There's nothing better. Two hours I felt so peaceful. Once the plane landed I still felt peace. When I was entering the gate where you meet your loved ones---still calmness and peace. I snuck into the bathroom really fast, fixed my hair, makeup, brushed my teeth, put on some smell good stuff, said another quick prayer and just went for it. I started talking to everyone around me to try and take away some nerves. But being midnight in Salvador,  no one really felt like talking. haha...awkward! so, I took a deep breath, told myself I could do it, and walked through the doors expecting to see Jorge right away,  but... didn't recognize anybody. hahaha.. I looked around, surveyed everyone's face... wow it was crowded there, even being 12 at night on a monday. I kept wondering, I look so different, wouldn't he recongnize me right away? haha. I didn't want to look stupid just standing there, so I asked a airport worker where I pick up my other bags and he pointed me in the other direction. Right as I was about to turn around to leave, BAM, I saw him! haha... Wow, just remembering it gives me goosebumps. hahaha... I stopped right in my tracks. I left my bags where they were and just headed straight for him, CALM AS COULD BE, haha. We walked up to eachother and Huuuuugggggeeeed. All I could say was, Jorge.... jorge... i can't believe it, i can't believe it. haha.. He is sooo beatiful. SO much taller than I imagined, beatiful eyes, skin... soo handsome. He had a basket of flowers for me too. White daisys. SOOO beatiful and soo sweet! I couldn't believe how calm I was still. VERY antsy, ya know? But calm. I told him I had to go get my other bags. He took my carry ons and waited for me to come back. of COURSE my suitcases were one of the last ones to arrive at the baggage claim. That wait was complete torture! I kept pacing back and fourth, back and fourth, giddy as a school girl! haha. Finally they came and I went back to meet Jorge. He took one of my suitcases and Fabio took the other. Fabio is his neice's fiance. It was so funny, the second I saw Fabio I knew it was him! I just blurted out "FABIO!" and gave him a huge hug. He laughed. haha. Jorge introduced me to his family who had come to meet me at the airport...His sister Mira who is soo awesome, her husband Manuel, Jorge's neice/sister, Bruna and her fiance Fabio,  and his neighbors Joseane and her husband Nil. They all took care of my bags, and Jorge took care of me. He held my hand  and didn't let it go. His sister Mira asked, "sooo... and how about a wedding?" Jorge responded, " Tomorrow!" haha... man, from that minute I knew it was going to just be wonderful. That first meeting together felt so natural, like we were always together in person. 
It became a little akward for me once I got to his sister's house (where I am living now.) There were soo many people there. I think it was just overwhelming, everyone there wanting to talk to me, get to know me, soo many people, I was tired, and it was awkward because I felt like I was talking to everyone else more than Jorge, and I didn't want it to be that way. haha... I wanted to be with just him, connect with him, be comfortable with him before I met all his family and friends. haha... But the brazilian way is exactly like this. haha... no privacy! just kidding. 

That night was akward also because his sisters house only has two bedrooms. (Houses are small in Brazil.) And since we all had plans the very next day to go get everything registered in the city hall (cartorio) everyone slept over. Jorge and Fabio in bruna's room, me bruna and celina in celinas room. haha.. I remember thinking and almost laughing out loud at how awkward it was. I just barely met these people 2 hours ago and was sleeping in the same bed with them. I am so American. haha. Well, WAS so american. Now I am completely used to it.  But it was so strange to me to sleep in a bed with a lady I had barely met. Yet she has become a very loved and important person in my life. 

The second day was still a little awkward between jorge and I... well, at least it was for me. He said he felt totaly normal.  It's funny because our feelings must have switched. The night before at the airport, everyone kept telling me how he couldn't stop trembling with so much nervousness, and I was as calm as could be. But, on TUESDAY, it was me who was more hesitant and reserved, and him that was completely normal.  But it was a great day. Everything went as planned in relation to the engagement registration.  We were all able to set the wedding date for the 28th of november(Fabio and Bruna as well) done by the hand of the Lord only because it's impossible to acheive a wedding date that close once you register it.  It usually takes 2 months, but with the help of a church member, faith and prayer, it was done.  Thank Heaven! I wanted my sisters at my wedding so badly. I don't know what I would have done if it hadn't worked out. And this day was the only day they could have been there to see me get married.  Thank goodness it worked out. The brother from the ward who was helping us kept saying, "Is not this the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? Are we not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? Is God not a god of miracles? I have faith!!" haha... I love brazilian faith. It is so strong.  

That day, Jorge held my hand wherever we went,  did that cute stare that makes a girl feel cute.. ya know? hugged me... tried to kiss me a few times. hahaha.. but I only let him kiss me on the cheek or forehead.  He is sweet and full of compliments. It was soooooooo hot and humid though, that it was quite hard to feel cute. haha I was always sweating, red face, fanning myself with whatever I could find.  Man, but he loves me however I am.  Sweaty and all. haha.
That night the four of us (Jorge, me, Bruna and Fabio who are also getting married on the 28th with us) decided to go out to celebrate our official engagement. Fabio kept pestering us by saying stuff like, " Wow, almost a whole day together and still no kiss?" "Officially engaged and yet no kiss?" "we're not going home tonight until you two kiss" stuff like that... he's so funny ... But in my mind I wasn't going to kiss Jorge for a few more days. We walked around a little bit, took pictures in front of a fountain, laughed, talked and I asked him "Does it bother you that we havn't kissed yet?" and he responded, " Well, I respect you completely, you decide when the kissing will happen." haha... well, he looked at me, I looked at him and FIREWORKS,  it just happened. Our first kiss!! It was WOW! We sat on a bench and took care of 2 and a half years worth of "business", walked home taking care of business... on the front porch took care of more business... hahhahhahahahaha... wow, and boy is my man LATINO. We both agree that a 24 day engagement is ALMOST too long, but it will do. :) Only 16 days now. haha! yay!

The rest man.. is history. This is our love story. We are together finally. Our lives are just beginning. I'll have to blog more another time, I've already spent an hour or more on this one post... plus, Jorge will be home soon. TIME TO GO!! hehe.

Here are the flowers he gave me at the airport and the chocolate was hiding inside.

This is Lilian Rodrigues, one of my best friends and my favorite missionary companion!

Celebrating our official engagement!
"I like him!!" 
"I like her!!"

This is the picture we chose to put on our wedding announcement here in brazil. I think we'll use a different one for the United States announcements. Neither one of us is very photogenic! haha.. We ended up taking about 25 pictures or so, and this was the least horrible. :)

With meu bem in the park celebrating our engagement.
(don't mind the cleaveage please)

See how hot and sweaty I am? My hair all crazy. Yes, blame it on the Brazilian Humidity!