Last week Facebook let me know that I should look into ‘friending’ someone with whom I shared a “mutual friend”. It was an old Brazilian mission buddy who I not seen since I left Brazil 30 years ago last month.
I quickly invited him and he accepted with a very nice note indicating that he was so excited to catch up with me after all of these years — and that if I were ever in São Paulo, to look him up.
I wrote back, “Coincidentally, I find myself in São Paulo right now….”
While not able to physically see each other, we did ultimately catch up via an hour-long phone call that he made to my hotel room on the other side of the city.
“…heavily urbanized São Paulo metropolitan area, with an estimated 19,889,559 people in 2009 over 7,944 square kilometers (3,067.2 sq mi), is the largest metropolitan area in the nation.”.
He caught me up with his life, career and family and then asked what I had been up to the preceding 30 years. I referred him to my Facebook profile, which clearly lays out my life, relationship and career. I figured I would let technology do the vetting so I didn’t have to deal with the uncomfortable “so, what is your church calling”-type questions).
He is a really great guy with lots of enthusiasm still. He currently works for the church’s real estate arm and was literally on his way the next morning to “close on the large, beautiful piece of land for the temple in Fortaleza”.
That said, he barely spoke of the church, except in the context of his job, and did not make me feel uncomfortable in the least.
Welcome back into my life, Elder Rocha.