Thursday, September 1, 2011

And Thus My Face Became a Facuet

Well, here I am, ready to give the people what they want (which is always, well, me). 

So, this has been quite a week, and what a week it’s been.  Apparently, there was some sort of “storm” or what not, Miss Hurricane Irene.  I don’t have time to talk about it, but how they name these storms is beyond me. I hope that is my job someday. That’s why they’ll pay me the big bucks.

So the most exciting thing by far was that we got to leave the compound and go the the local university and to the store (on separate days). It was last Friday that we went to the University, which is not a very far walk, but believe me, it was enough that my entire head started leaking liquid. I am the perfect living proof that humans really are made up of about 90 percent water. But besides that, my experience was fantastic. We were supposed to go “practice” our Spanish with unsuspecting college natives.  And if we happened to slip them a church pamphlet or a Book of Mormon, well, what could it hurt?

Well, it didn’t, as it turned out. Pain free. I really hate the idea of forcing my religion on others, which is why I was so reluctant to serve a mission to begin with, but I’m not really forcing anything. If people don’t want to hear it, I’m sure they’ll tell me. But a lot of the people mostly were God blessing us left and right for what we’re doing. We talked to a man who just got back from preaching in Haiti and he wanted a couple of our pamphlets. The first person we talked to was studying to be a lawyer and she was super smart. She told us that the University is “el primer universidad en America,” which made no sense to me until I talked to a couple young gents who were completely fascinated by mine and my companions ‘ blue eyes. P.S., I have never felt so out-of-place as walking down the streets in a big white herd. In America, we’re used to having a bit of a mix. Here, it’s just different shades of dark. So I get to feel like a bit of a weirdo. But you should see one of my roommates. She’s 6’2” and here it is not against the code of Political Correctness to come up to someone and say, “wow, you’re big.” I’m just hoping no one says that to me or I may Kung Fu Panda them. And then I’d get sent home, and well, that just wouldn’t be ok. Especially to my parents who helped by all the stuff I needed for the next year and a half.  And God too. He might not be down with it.

Anyways, the best experience my companion and I had was when we talked to our “investigador de oro” or golden investigator. When we first approached her, she seemed really tired, but she let us talk with her. I honestly just wanted to practice my Espanol, but she actually asked us questions because she saw our pamphlet. So we practiced all the good stuff we’ve been learning to do here at the MTC and tried to let the spirit do the talking. It went really well and we gave her the Book of Mormon.  She gave us her number and we gave her a pamphlet with the local church numbers in case she had any questions. The best was when I told her that The Book of Mormon doesn’t replace the Bible; it actually supports it, and that the main reason for the it is to foretell of Christ coming to the Americas. She said, “oh, I didn’t know that.” Exactly. It’s interesting because if you read the Bible, him coming to America makes sense. Other sheep and what have you (John 10:16).  But a lot of people haven’t heard about it. I just loved that even though she had a religion, she was open to hearing more about  one different than her own. There may just be a lesson in there somewhere, but all let you all figure out for yourselves.
The next best thing was our district trip to the store (which was pretty much a super Walmart. It was great, except the part where all 40 of us almost died because the bus driver has the most intense case of road rage I've ever seen. So much rage, he almost sideswiped a man in a wheelchair who for some reason and decided to take a stroll down the middle of the street. But for some reason, the white lines they have here (you know, the ones to separate lanes?) don't get used a whole lot. The cars just kinda go wherever there's room. Luckily, I was sitting right behind the bus driver, so I got to watch my life flash before my eyes multiple times. But when we finally got to the store, it was all worth it. My comp and I had our pesos, and we were ready for some serious dulces. I bought some knock off oreos and some little strawberry taffies and some serious chocolate bars. My favorite is the one called Mas Y Mas (More and More) and it was full of raisins and peanuts. Oh yeah! But I bought all the little things I'd been missing like more nail polish, lotion (I had to throw my other one away in Provo because my bags weighted too much), and of course, woodsticks (qtips). I also bought a necklace that apparently doesn't match anything I have, but it looked cool, and the pesos were burning holes in my figurative pockets. But the big fear was... will I have enough to pay for all this crap? I know there are 38 pesos in a buck, which makes it seem like you suddenly have a lot of money once you get it converted, but when you see that your lotion costs almost 200 pesos, well, you stop feeling so rich. And when my comp and I got up to pay for our spoils, we just handed the lady a whole mess of pesos and I tried to tell her in my gringa spanish that yes, I do in fact want that paper you're trying to put back, and no, I don't understand anything else you're trying to tell me. I'm pretty sure she missed the training seminar on customer service, but esta bien. I'm just glad I got most of the stuff I needed, and then it was back on the suicide bus for round two. Note to self: never insult American drivers ever again.
As for the food, well... I've officially reached my limit. I CRAVE rice and beans but everything else is best described as no me gusta. No me gusta pretend American Hamburgers or chicken burgers. The condiments are trying hard to be like mayonnaise and ketchup but not quite living up to their potential. On such nights, I make good use of the bread and bananas. We have bananas at every meal and all time in between. 
There are literally buckets of bananas.
I call them banana checkpoints. In case you didn't want one at the beginning of the food line you might want one by the middle of the line. Or at the end. Or something...
But it's weird to think I'm only here another few weeks (four, four, four!!!!) and then I'm outta here! Off to inflict myself of the world. I don't know how many more blog entries I'll be able to concoct but at least there's pics now. For anyone who has missed my smokin' good looks, never fear. I've got you covered! Well... until next time...
Haz chevere!
Hermana Sweeney

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