Thursday, November 10, 2011

Unfortunatlely, It IS Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

I can't even take it. Halloween was but a week ago (which isn't really celebrated here) and now, there are Christmas lights and trees and all sort of decorations exploding out of people's homes. As if every house here wasn't already an homage to Jesus, now it's just even more ridiculous. I am not ready for this. I need my turkey and gravy to be on its way to digestion before I see any crazy blinking lights or listen to "Silent Night" a thousand times.  And as one of my companions from the MTC in the D.R. said, I should just make a Christmas card to send out that says "Merry Christmas, it's blazing hot down here!"

But in my regards to my earlier comment about Jesus and his apparent visitation to every house here in the D.R., I'm really not exaggerating. Everything is so God right now. Even the taxi cabs go around proclaiming "Cristo ya viene," or "Si Dios esta conmigo, ?Quien contra mi? And yes, I know, that the first question mark should be upside down, but this keyboard is not cooperating with me, so what you see is what you get. And all you fair readers with access to Google translator can use it to figure out what those phrases mean. Think of it as and early Christmas gift. Or treasure hunt. You're welcome. But anyway, it's just interesting that here, I can walk into someones place of business and start talking about the church with them, and this is not considered inappropriate (I have done this on more than one occasion, by the way). It was odd at first, but everyone here is so crazy about the idea of God, that they like to hear about him, regardless if they go to your church or not. As a matter of fact, a little girl stopped my companion and I the other night and asked to hear a message about God. Uh.... what?  In the states, I feel like most people try to flee when they see missionaries coming. But we're like mini celebrities here. In some ways, that makes my job tan fantastico. In other ways, it's frustrating, because people promise to do a lot of things like read the pamphlets we leave them or go to church, and then they don't do it. But they're all so friendly and interesting, it's hard to be too mad at anyone.

Case in point: Meet Davey. Davey used to live in New York, but then he was deported. He enjoys calling me Cali (as in California) and my companion Utah (I'm sure you can figure out why for yourselves by this point). He does not like living here. In the middle of some choice expletives, he explained to us why the people here are straight up savages (thankfully, he did this in English). He then proceeded to greet one of his street homies, then turned back to us and was like, "yeah, man, straight up SAVAGES!" It was too much. I don't know how I kept from splitting a gut right there in front of him. The next time we saw him, he insisted on running up to his apartment to bring us a really "deep" forward about how we have more medicine, less health, we've conquered inner space, but not outer space... cheesy fun stuff like that. It was about as deep as a tear drop, and I'd heard it all before, but he was so into it, that I couldn't bear to break his good spirits. He claims he wants to go to church, change his life, all that jazz... we shall see. He's just too ridiculous and fantastic for me not to want to visit with him more. And he's so unhappy about so many things, that I think he could really benefit from what the Gospel teaches.

Well, as usual, I am low on time, high on tired, and hoping that today will be enough to get me through the week. My companion and I have been teaching upwards of 30 lessons a week, which is a TON. One moment I'm on a high because someone agrees to come to church, the next minute I'm bummed because someone says they're Catholic and they wouldn't change churches if God himself came down and told them to. I'm learning to live life on a rollercoaster, and to enjoy the ride. Now that's cheesey! I just might need to send it to Davey...

Well, until next time, all I have to say is that if any of you have the opportunity to try dulce de coco, I would highly recommend it . It's like an Almond Joy minus the chocolate, and it's fabulous. I am really also fond of Tamarindo, if it's made right (a drink made from some sort of fruit named tamarindo. It looks like a root), and sugar cane. You just bite down on the cane, suck out the sugar, and spit out the fibery outsides. It's the simple things in life that bring the most joy... ok, I really need to stop with the cheesiness, cuz now we have enough to make nachos. Vaya con Dios! (The farewell of every living person here).

Abrazos and stuff,

Hermana Sweeney

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