Tuesday, March 6, 2012

You Can Do More than You Think

Don't you just love it? So inspirational. So uplifting. Maybe so unlike past blogs? I couldn't tell you for beans; it's not like I read my own works of art. I guess you'll have to be the judges of that. But let me explain what I mean, because well, if I don't, you won't have the foggiest idea of what I'm talking about.

Anyway, it has come to my attention lately that I'm pretty good at doing a lot of things. Sound like I'm bragging? I sure am! It finally made sense to me a couple weeks ago why some people come home from their missions depressed. It's because we're mere children out here, with not a clue what the frick we're doing and yet, all these people are dumping all this responsibility on us like we're professionals. So, you better learn to play the part or you're gonna look like a dern fool. Some examples coming your way just around the riverbend.

I've already mentioned that I have somehow found myself in the position of helping start a choir and teaching English classes. Now English may or may not be my best subject. I feel like I have made it my footstool and conquered it with both pen and sword. Music however... well, ask anyone who was in band with me. I can give you the lyrics (words, mind you), to almost any song, but until I came on the mission, I didn't realize I knew so much. That's because the people here can't sing their way out of paper bag. They wouldn't know what an A flat looked like if it came and joined them in the shower. So me and my trusty pitch pipe (thank you brother), are doing are best to knock some notes into these pitch less people. And we actually performed our first song the Sunday before this last Sunday (if you can't tell, the days are all sorta of becoming one, endless day. Except for P-day, that is). And to my endless surprise, we sounded good. The Mormon Tabernacle we are not, but we all were singing the same notes, and we even taught the director how to divide into parts, so the men where singing the complementary counter-melody. What the what? A real choir we certainly are/were. But none of it would have been possible had I just sat on my hindquarters and thought, "man, I know next to Jack squat about directing. I guess I'll just wait for someone else to take the lead." I mean, that is option A of course. Maybe your hind parts need a rest. But if I've learned anything (boy have I ever), on the mission, it's that you can do more than you think. A lot more, usually. I used to really minimize my abilities, at least, in my mind. That's because we all know there's someone who has our same skill and can do donuts around our abilities. But that's not the point. We weren't given talents so that we could be the best; we were given them to enjoy and to show-off, a.k.a. serve other people. And so if you can play the flute better than me, bully for you. If you can make a mouth-watering lemon torte, I applaud you, mostly if you're willing to bring it over to my house. By if I feel like playing my flute and having my torte (and eating it too) I'll be durned if I'll let your talent take away from the joy I get from doing the same, regardless of who is better than who. So you make the Torte. I'll make a killer lemonade. And we'll use four arms, which mathematically are better than two, to kidnap whichever pop artist is popular at the moment (not that I'd know; in case anyone forgot, I'm on a mission), and they can utilize their gift of song for us. And then, everyone wins.

Another brief example involves yesterday during church, when the Relief Society President asked me to read a scripture out loud. So I obliged. And then she looks at me and asked "can you explain to everyone what that means?" And I looked inside of myself for all of two seconds, since that was all the time I had, and thought, "good question." Could I? Well, guess I'd better find out. So I got going, and out popped the explanation. Not perfect, but pretty complete and intelligent-sounding. And everyone looked satisfied, so I'm calling it scoreboardacis. But it's like the scripture in the Doctrine and Covenant says, (if I was an on-the-ball missionary, I'd have the verse and chapter for you, but you get what you get), you open you're mouth and then it's filled with what you need to say. You know, that faith word people like to use so much. You act knowing that if you trust and believe, that God will have your back. It's worked thus far. We'll see if we can keep it going.

However, there are some things that I just can't do, no matter how I try. Like avoid my special, crazy friend. You know, the one who first tried to kiss me, then throw various objects at me? Well, last week, I had just been thinking about him, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but... him. But in my thoughts I was like, "I'm with the Relief Society, her counselor, and my companion. There's no way he's going to try anything." Well, that was faulty logic apparently, because he somehow slithered through all my lines of defense, wound up his hand, and made like he was gonna slap my butt. I was just like, "uhhhh...." My brain doesn't tend to work too well in these situations. So I only had time to move a mere inch away by the time his hand was nearing my rear. But somehow, he magically missed me. I don't know how this keeps happening. Just like in the other two instances, he should have been able to touch me. But there seemed to be some sort of a wall blocking his progress. I can't really explain it, even to myself, but for some reason, much like my good friend M.C. Hammer, this guy can't seem to touch this. And it's either because he can't hit the broad side of a toaster strudel or because I, like Harry Potter, have a magical cloak, but mine is of unmolestability. Before anyone freaks out, remember that in Spanish, molest only means to bother. So essentially, we get molested on a constant basis. Anyway, I call this shield my God wall. Although I have to say, next time, I'm not going to wait to see if said wall holds up another time. I'm going to beat this guy down with my umbrella. An Hermana can only take so much. It's part of that whole acting with faith thing again... around and around we go.

But to avoid the utterly obnoxious man situations we as Hermanas face on a minute-to-minute basis, I went back to basics and my old companion, Hermana Lund and I, invented me a pretty solid fiancee. So I'm totally engaged, in case anyone was curious. Yeah, me. His name is Stephen Joyce. Hermana Lund invented all the details, but all I really cared about is that he wears the thick-rimmed black glasses I find so attractive. So let's see, a good chunk of my friends are either married or engaged, and I'm still in the fifth grade, inventing boyfriends. I can't even pretend to be ashamed. Stephen is saving me a whole lot of real annoyance. Anytime a Dominican hisses us over, pretending they care to learn more about Jesus, I introduce them to Stephen instead. It may be a dirty lie, but it's a white lie, so it's pure. And who's to say I won't end up with a Stephen. Only time will tell. But if I tell them that I don't have anyone back in the states, they take this as an invitation. I had a large baker dude tell me he'd wait for me. Thanks. If Stephen's moved on by the time I get back, we'll see. I do love me some bread.

Well, well, well, I do believe we have run out time, much like I have run out of energy to type. But I'll keep keeping on if you will. Oh, and to all of you who write to me, you have or will get a letter back, and I appreciate your words. But knowing the postal system here, you may not get it until after you get Stephen and mine's announcement. So, sorry about that... But just remember, you all have access to Tina's frozen burritos and Jack-in-the-Box and I don't. So cheer up.

Con amor y more in store,

Hermana Sweeney

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