Sunday, February 12, 2012

What to Expect When You're Not Expecting

Good heavens, has it really been another week? I feel like I should be done with the mission right now. I can literally not remember a time before this week started. But that's the beginning of a new transfer for you. With a new companion. In a new area. You never know what to expect. So you learn to live your life by the oft repeated phrase by people like my dad who like to pretend they know Spanish, and just say, "Que Sera, Sera." And no, there are not properly placed accents on those words because I have no idea how to command the key board to do what I say. So when I write my mission president his weekly letter, he also gets to believe I have crappy grammar. But I digress. Where were we? Oh, yes, "que sera sera," or Whatever will be, will be. And I say that whether I truly believe it or not.

Ok, well, I sorta have to. The mission scripture I picked, Proverbs 3:5-6, talks about "trusting in the Lord with all your heart," and "not leaning on your own understanding." And there's a heck of a lot I don't understand. Like my new companion, Hermana Amaya. And that's because she's my first Latin and speaks very rapid Spanish. I am happy to report that at this very moment, she stopped me to ask me a long-winded question, and I understood it all. So that's something. She's a very nice girl, but they don't call it a culture clash for nothing. In America, we think of pointing out cultural differences as racist. But they are real things and they can create real problems if you're not careful. So I just end up repeating myself a lot, and she does the same. Which means at some point, we're going to know each other super well. And luckily, she's already had an American companion, so she knows all our oddities, like how some of us purposely let the cancerous rays of the sun touch us to toast our skin. In Latin culture, the whiter you are, the more attractive you are. I'm down with that, because I feel so utterly pasty compared to everyone else (side note, comparison equals disaster. Don't do it. I may get to that subject another time...) Anywho, I'm thinking of writing a children's book called "My First Latin," just like how there's "My First Day of School," or "My first Little Brother/Sister." I think these are things people need to teach there kids from the get-go. Of course, then I'd probably have to write a series, and since I've never had my very own Asian or Russian, or Australian, I'd have to become a world traveler. I'm thinking this is a career with potential...

Anyway, so despite our differences in background, we have both discovered that we're actually willing to work hard. And since we're completely new to the area, hard work is not hard to come by. But fortunately, we still have at least one of the investigators from the other area, our reference Pavel. He is ENORMOUS, and pretty wealthy. And I like him a lot because he's quite and thoughtful, and actually reads the assignments we read for him in the scriptures and pamphlets. He has yet to come to church, so we're just gonna come by his house and give him a lift, o sea, we'll walk him there. Here, they call it a vola de pie, or foot ride, when you walk someone to there destination. I think a foot ride is better than no ride at all. But anyway, Pavel was a reference from his girlfriend, who is a member. They've been dating for almost four years. My hope is that he's not just doing it for her, because that's just not gonna last. You actually have to want to know for yourself if something's true, or it won't mean anything to you. That's what we try to tell the people teach. We're only here as bringers of information. What you choose to do with it is up to you. We all have that freedom to choose. I'm not here to force anything on anyone. But I think that's another part of the reason I like Pavel. He's more like I think I would be as an investigator. The stuff we teach him makes lots of sense, but he's cautious. He has a lot of questions, and doesn't want to just take our word for it. Good. That's sure a better response than we get from some guys who claim they'll go to church if it means they can go to America. Because, as Hermana Lund and I tried to make abundantly clear last transfer when men made suggestive comments in reference to "getting their visa," there's just not a snowball's chance in hell that that will ever happen.

But going back to the idea of trust and God and other relative topics, I feel I should end by sharing a delightful bit of hypocrisy with you all. So once upon a time this last Friday, I decided we needed another bucket in the house. The giant tank on our roof that gives us the water we use throughout the week (it gets filled Tuesdays and Saturdays), has been seriously leaking water. Into our room. So I decided having something to catch it would be useful. Anyway, we went to this place called the Baratillo, which translates to little cheap store, so we could buy one. Well, I found a decent one, but felt like I should wait. Well, me being me, I told myself that I had no intention of doing anything of the sort, and went ahead and bought it, to get it out of the way and off my mind. Well, on the way home, Hermana Amaya

Well, I know I started my series "How to Do in the D.R., but frankly, I'm feeling lazy. Well, if you can call preaching your butt off every day lazy. But suffice it to say, you all have something to look forward to next week. I don't want anyone getting greedy. So until next time, just remember to pre-order your personal copy of "My First Latin." It's gonna be a classic.

Amor sin reservaciones,

Hermana Sweeney

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