Hola, adoring public. Ok, sorry, I’m letting my fame go to my head. Well, that’s what my companion (soon-to-be previous companion, that is), compared it to. Everyone staring all the time and people sometimes giving you preferential treatment because of your race. It’s definitely awkward sometimes, but it’s only problematic when you have an investigator who is only interested in the church because they hope it will somehow fulfill their dream of being an American. We have recently discovered this problem in our 60 something investigator named Manuel. He’s a security guard and usually we just bring a member with us and teach him outside in the open air because he doesn’t live in our area, but yet, he’s never home and he’s been going to church in our area. He just called us over one day as we were walking down the street and inquired into what exactly it means to be Mormon. So we invited him to come and see for himself (that is our job). But the one time we taught him without a member, he was trying to get us to go with him and get ice cream and other weirdness. We politely declined. And apparently he’s been sharing the good word with his work buddies… that he has some ladies around these parts. Hmmmm… yeah, he’s going to the Elders. They can teach him, and if he still has interest, bully for him. If not, well… that blows. But that’s something I’m coming to terms with. I can’t make people not do stupid things. All my life I’ve wanted to do just that but It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. I can only do my part and hope it’s enough.
Another idea I’m getting used to is the fact that I’m getting transferred. Yeah, I’m officially done with the training phase and moving on to another area, Azua, to be exact. This area is know for being inhumanely hot and for having people throw rocks at the missionaries. I signed up voluntarily for all this, right?
I’m really just very surprised and super bummed. I was really starting to love The Yuca, and the People here are just fantastic. Everyone in my district had just assumed I’d be the one staying because my trainer, Hermana Brown, has been here seven months, which is a good long amount of time. I’d already been planning in my head how I was going to utilize my knowledge of the area and my new relationship with the people. Then when we got the call last night, I realized how presumptuous I’d been. I’d only been thinking about what I wanted and not necessarily what was best for the ward. Hermana Brown is in the middle of teaching a lot of the kids piano, which would be a great skill for them, as no one in the church really knows how to play the hymns for church. But I won’t deny, I’d rather be the one staying. And being as it’s right before Christmas, I am less than thrilled to leave behind my makeshift Christmas tree and countdown paper chain. The sacrifices of being a missionary. Oh, well. We’ll have to see where life with Hermana Lund takes me. She is also white and blond. I just can’t catch a Latin American break around here. I need someone to force me to speak this language 24/7 so I can learn it! I feel like a poser right not, and by Pedro if I don’t obviously look like one.
Well, as usual, there’s not time for nada. So I will leave you all with these tidbits of holiday job. Yes, Llego’ Papa. He’s one of the Presidential candidates for this country and no, I don’t know his real name because he only refers to himself as Papa’. But it sure is fun to say “Llego’ Papa’! every now and again, just for grins.
And here is a poem one of our recent converts, Rosa, showed to us. I feel like it would be criminal not to pass it on
“Pan es pan, queso es queso,
No hay amor sin un beso.”
Agreed. And with that, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and all that good holiday jazz.
Love and then some,
OH, and p.s. This is my family photo. Hermana Brown is my trainer, and hence, my “mom.” My “dad” is Elder Ferraras, and he earned the title because he is the elder with the most amount of time on the mission. In fact, he just left this last Sunday. He was released from the mission and is now being unleashed on the world. And thus I became and Orphan…