Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dancing Pickles, Serving Missions, and Other Things I didn't Want to Do.

Well, it had to happen sooner or later; inevitable, like a bad ABC Family summer sitcom or the resurgence of leggings. What is this great Event (not to be confused with the wannabe 'Lost' T.V. show), you might ask? I am now blogging. Why? Well, dear anybody-who's-reading-this, simply put, I'm going through cha cha cha CHANGES! and because this is the easiest way for people to stay updated, we now find ourselves here.

So as some people might know, I am serving the Master and Commander upstairs on an LDS mission in the Capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo (West Mission). Yes, yes thank you, I know, I am wonderful. I've also determined that this means God loves me more than people serving stateside. It's a logical conclusion. I mean, I'm practically going on vacation! [Note: if you are offended by my humor, I will only cheerfully encourage you to purchase a of sense of one at a local convenience store near you].

But I have a confession, World Wide Web: I didn't hope "they'd" call me on a mission. Not really. About a year ago, I had just completed an amazing internship at a travel magazine in Washington D.C. Then in mid-August, I graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. I was on top of the world. A so-called useless Humanities degree and a sagging economy weren't enough to bring this girl down. I was going places. Like back home. But only temporarily. I really, truly believed I would easily get a job in either Utah, D.C. or by my B.F. in Los Angeles. Instead, weeks, then months passed by, and I began to get nervous. And then I realized all hope wasn't lost. My brother worked at a sandwich shop called Mr. Pickles in our hometown. Surely, he would be able to hook me up. And he did. In a matter of months, I went from this:
July 2010

To this:
January 2011

A pickle who's also a college graduate? Scoreboardicus! Surprisingly, I actually didn't hate my life during my period as a pickle. I got to dance around and make people smile (bonus points: exercise), and on top of getting paid, I got free sandwiches to boot. This experience taught me two things: Always look for the positive and dance like everyone's watching. Cuz they are.

Now comes the part where I describe how this and other dead ends helped push me down the mission path. Has anyone ever felt nothing is working out? No, just me? Ok, well I'll describe it to you: it sucks. Job applications, contests, educational programs, you name it, I didn't get it. Now I've learned that life comes with it's share of wins and losses, but this was just ridiculous. Sometime around the middle of February, with a little prodding from Sister B., a member of my church ward, I decided to heed my B.F.'s suggestion that I stay with her for a couple of weeks and look for a job. I could live with her, if things worked out. Brilliant. Finally, some sort of direction. So I went down to Alhambra, which is pretty much in L.A., and started to sorta look for jobs with the enthusiastic encouraging of mi amiga.

The only problem? I felt wrong, all wrong. How could this be? Why was nothing clear? I'd prayed about going on a mission, but more the type of prayer that goes, "I'll go if you want me to, but please don't want me to." While my friend was at work and I was alone with my troubled feelings, I felt like I should call my Noni (Italian for young grandmother). So I did. I mentioned I was feeling strange, we talked for awhile and she mentioned a mission. I rolled my eyes, but then, it seemed to make sense. The more we talked, the more I felt she had a point. So I asked God myself. And FINALLY got a response. I needed to go.

So why did it take God a month of Sundays to answer me? Because I didn't really want an answer. I wanted to meander along hoping Lady Luck would direct me to a perfect job because that's what I thought I wanted. I didn't see a mission being in the cards for me. But apparently, someone with a bit more knowledge than me felt differently. So now, in about a week, I will be reporting to the Provo MTC to get this party started. I'm terrified. I'm unsure. But tonight, while attending a recently returned missionary's homecoming, I felt the first true feelings of another emotion: excitement. It's coming, inevitable, like this blog.

Now I won't lie, sometimes a year and a half seems like a lot to give up. Sometimes it seems like it'll pass me by in a blink. But I know now that I'm doing what's best, for me and hopefully for the people I meet. And I'll be documenting it all here, on this blog, co-named by my D.C. friend Mandy. Thanks Mandy! And after my mission, it can become a 'normal' person's blog. Because if nothing else, I am the epitome of normal.

Oh, and one more thing: Fortunately for me, the final Harry Potter movie came out before I left. It would have royally sucked to have seen the other seven movies in the theater only to miss out on the most epic one. I mean, this is the end of an era we're talking about here! I had to see it! Otherwise, I would have had to abort this whole mission thing. Ha, ha, just kidding. Sorta.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, this photo is of a crappy quality because it was taken with my camera phone and because my mom didn't want to spend more than 2 seconds taking it.


  1. The fist thing I thought of when I saw that picture of you next to the Harry Potter poster was that time you wore that monster shirt into the mall and that little girl yelled "AH! Monster!" and hit you! haha. I love this post, and I'm so excited for your mission! You are going to be such a great missionary, and I'm jealous of your location... have fun and take lots of pictures! :)

  2. Sweeney, I am so excited for you. You will honestly be the best missionary ever.

  3. I am so very proud of you cousin. I'm excited to hear about your experience of letting go and letting God. Just know I will be thinking of you all the time and sending love and good vibes your way. I love you very much...Está en contacto y cuidate!