Yes, I did shamelessly use the word naked in my blog title to pique interest. I am both sneaky and horrible. And still ok with it. But yes, I don´t know how I´ve managed to get this far into my mission blogging without bringing up this tasty tidbit. Which must mean I´m getting used to it, and that´s almost worse than seeing the nudity itself.
Ok, so essentially, people are sin verguenza here (without shame). I have seen more male child parts and even some teenagers than there is trash in the street or rats in my house. And if you´ve been reading this blog at all, you know that´s really saying, well, something. But I feel a bit like Mulan when she said “I never want to see another naked man again.” But don´t think the women are exempt in the slightest. I think my personal favorite is when I´m in the middle of teaching one of the discussions and one of our nursing investigators just whips one of her breasts right out of the shirt and starts doing her thing. I just want to be like, “uh, do you need a moment?” Don´t worry, they don´t. I feel like an unintentional perve because it´s hard to look away. It´s just so real and in-my-face, sometimes literally. But being as I know that the body isn´t a bad or evil thing, I guess I just don´t feel that awkward about it. But during lessons, we do ask the men to put on shirts “just for grins,” as my Papa Bird would say.
But speaking of nudity, I can´t believe I´ve also forgotten to talk about one of my new favorite people in the world. Get ready, get set, introducing Hermana ROSA BLANCA! She is the very model of propriety and dignity and favors wearing long skirts and shirts (let´s just say skin is not in with her). She is one of those people you have to meet to believe. Until recently, she wore white constantly, from head to toe. She is twice widowed, and used to wear all black, until she had some dream (everyone has dreams that means something here). Well, before she converted, her female preacher told her this dream meant she needed to change to wearing all white. So she did, even after she converted to the LDS church. She just "didn´t feel the time was right." I´ll never forget when I first saw her wear a blue blouse for the first time, I thought I would have a heart attack. But even more than her choice of wardrobe, I love her world view. Everything is literally as black and white as her wardrobe used to be. I remember her going on an appointment with us and telling the lady we were teaching (another Rosa, there are rather a lot of them), that her daughter was probably in a coma because she was in the wrong religion. Uh... how do you come back from that one? But according to my companion, Hermana Brown, they love hearing stuff like that here. The people, some of them at least, are a tad on the superstitious side. If you need further proof, I will direct you to the lunch appointment my companion and I had with her where she showed us on her wall the water mark image of her late husband. I was trying not to laugh and I think at one point, I may have even seen him. Hermana Rosa- a truly delightful human being.
And to all those who were wondering, yes, we had Thanksgiving at the house of Hermano Matos, our Ward Mission leader. Hermana Brown and I made homemade rolls, gravy, and a pumpkin cheesecake. We´re pretty awesome. Though I´m so used to eating like a pig during the lunch hour that I just felt like I wasn´t able to do the meal justice (we ate about 6:30 at night.) But it was still great to have a traditional, dry turkey and be around people I like so much. In addition to Hermano Matos, his daughters and wife we´re their, as well as Elder MacMahn and Fererras, who are the other two members of our district, (my comp and I compose the rest of the district). The other thing that was strange and funny was that Hermano Matos didn´t understand the customs of the meal, such as stating something you´re grateful for or waiting to eat dessert until a reasonable amount of time has passed. Minutes after the meal had ended, he came outside on the patio where the rest of us were, munching a piece of the pumpkin cheesecake. Oh, well. Thus commenced my second major holiday in a foreign country.
And I feel like as usual, I´m running way out of time so I will just say, I failed to mention the baptisms of Priscilla and Isabela also. They were the week before Rosa. Priscilla is a middle aged woman who is very calm and simple and easy to please. Isabella is a shy yet hyper 10 year old who is clever and freaked out a little when she was dunked in the water at her baptism. Well, that is the pastiche of a blog I have for you this week. Stay tuned.
Abrazos and such,