It seems like every country I go to wants to kick me out at some point. Last monday we went to the Federal Police to get my identity card but there was a problem. I went back on Tuesday with the secretaries to figure out what was going on. We got there and the guy talked with us and he went to look into the system.
When he opened up my record and looked at it, he said quite seriously "From what I'm seeing here, you are here in Brazil illegally, you have 8 days to return to the U.S. and you're going to pay a fine of 800 reais (aproximately $600)." I looked at him and didn't quite believe him, so we asked but he was dead serious.
At first, I didn't understand because it didn't make sense. He explained why. In the system, it was saying that I didn't renew my visa. So we were telling him that I didn renew it, because I went to the Federal Police 7ish months ago to do just that but he said "No, it's not in the system, so you didn't do it." I showed him my temporary identity and he said, "This is just a temporary identity before you get your official one, this doesn't prove that you renewed your visa."
At that point I was starting to get a little scared. But the entire time I felt that there's no way that this could be happening because I really did go to renew my visa. However, he was unwilling to accept that fact. Elder Paz, the office secretary that I went with, made a few calls, while the man at the Federal Police worked on another case with another Elder. I looked through some papers we had, and I remembered a few things I learned about the process and saw that there was a paper that proved that I had renewed my visa.
So I talked to the guy and said, no, this paper proves that I renewed my visa and it was approved. That's when he said "Ah... that changes things." But he was still trying to squeeze money out of us to make us pay a fine. But I knew at that point, that we had sufficient proof that I was here legally and that it was an error in the system.
But I was definitely scared for a second. I thought that I was going to finish my mission in the U.S! Anyway, it was a good thing that I remembered that paper! If I hadn't remembered that paper, it could have been a completely different story.
Why doesn everyone want to kick me out of their country!
I'm still here though, no worries anymore!