Preparados, listos, ya! Ok, so I decided that not only do I have friends in many an interesting place, but I have been teaching in some strange places as well. Recently, we got a reference for a man who lives and works at a funeral home. It was hard to hear him over the roar of the ceiling fan and the drilling of the mosquitoes into our flesh, but other than that, a pretty normal appointment. Naturally, he had a lot of questions about life and death (don´t we all?), so we set up another appointment with him for this coming week. He seems like a sincere enough guy, and I don´t even have the willies that should naturally overcome me because of the locale. I hate death, and especially dead bodies, but I´ve learned to tune out a lot of things, and so this is yet another one to add to the list. This man (his name is Manuel), seems to think his biggest obstacle in coming to the church meetings will be surprise emergency calls for a funeral. More or less understandable, and as he explained it, "you can´t prepare for death." Interesting. Yes and no. We may not know when it will hit us or how hard, but we can prepare ourselves now to live a life worthy for a reward after death. Why some people are comforted by the fact that there´s nothing after this life, I don´t quite comprehend, other than that it makes us less accountable for our actions. But when I die, I fully expect to be greeted by loved ones and two Jack-in-the-Box tacos, and the peace that comes from knowing I did my best to better myself and serve others. That´s how I see it, anyways. What´s heaven without the ones you love best? Or the food you crave? If God hasn´t tried a Jack-in-the-Box taco, then we´re all in trouble.
We were also for a time teaching a guy who is a medical supply driver for a hospital that is only a street south from the church. The hospital is only open during the mornings, though, and seems to be for people who are super poor. I will call this guy we were teaching Ames, although I don´t know why I bother, since most of you will never meet him. But regardless, Ames had us meet him a couple times in the more or less deserted hospital, and even the member we´d brought with us felt creeped out. She´d witnessed a guy coming out of one of the bathrooms there bloody and holding a gun as a young girl, so that´s understandable. But I think I might hate hospitals more than funeral homes, so it definitely took some focus not to think about the creepy wall mural of a woman breastfeeding, or the fact that I was teaching Ames (why did I pick an American name for him?) on waiting room chairs. Ugh. But Ames´s interest was piqued, so that´s what counts. The things we do to help people learn about Jesus. But when people actually take what we teach them and apply it for themselves, I could care less if I was teaching in a castle or out of a boxcar. Tomato, potato. In this case, it´s literally the thought (and action behind the thought) that count.
Other than that, it´s just been your typical week. Trying to teach a lesson to a less-active member and having some crazy guy with beer-stained teeth sit down in the middle of it all and start talking about New York. Later on, he might whip out some weird electrical device and a screw driver, and you might wonder if he´s going to stab you with it. Then he will tell anyone who good naturally stops to chat (if it´s a male at least), that "the white one´s mine." Later, as you wrap up said visit, he will shake your hand in the most pervy way possible and then tell your companion, "I´m really sorry, but I prefer her. She´s the one I want." I tell you, I never knew what it was like to win the lottery, but now...
Oh, but that´s not even my favorite. We´d have to travel to this last Thursday during English class, when my companion and I taught about nature. This other less active member decided to come. He actually teaches English himself at one of the schools here in Azua. I´ve seen him off and on over the last couple of transfers here, and I even lured him to church by promising to bring him some cool English phrases. What a deal! But before we started the class and while Hermana Bryant was talking to someone else, this sorta member told me he didn´t care who else was sent after me, it wouldn´t be the same. He even offered to get me a job here. If the economy still blows in America, it´s nice to know I have options. But then after the class was over, he hands me a note. I tuck it away, and read it when I get home, only to find this little ditty: "I hope it won´t break up the friendship if I tell you that since we met, I only think of you." Uh, come again? What did he want me to do, check yes or no? Maybe instead of wearing a missionary name tag, I need to have a tee-shirt made. "ON MISSION, NOT FOR SALE." This is supposed to be stuff that happens to other people. I feel like I´m gonna have to bust out with Stephen Price again, and yes, I changed his last name, for his protection, and because I like it better than Joyce. Plus, you can´t put a Price on fake love. And I don´t plan to.
So, I guess I need to stop being so attractive. I thought I was sweating enough, but I guess not. These things always seem to happen when I feel I´m looking like crap, so maybe I´m on to something. Less effort equals more attractive? Why didn´t someone explain this before? But regardless, apparently, I need to lock it up. Or people need to get a clue. Either or.
Anyway, now I will fill you all in on tidbits I keep referring to in other entries but never concluding. First, in all the excitement about the real lock down, I forgot to mention who won. It doesn´t seem to even be important, but it was Danilo, from the purple party. Adios, Papá. Oh, well, sorry Hermana Carmén. There´s always next... four years.
As for mother´s day, my mom did do most of the phone hogging, which it being her day, is pretty understandable. I did get to talk to everyone, which was great. Yesterday was the Mother´s Day here in this country. The colmado downstairs kept playing a song about treating your mom right and asking her forgiveness for past stupidities. Sounds like the perfect Mom´s Day gift. Look it up on itunes and save it for next year. Heaven forbid I should give you a freebie and tell you the name of it (I couldn´t even if I wanted to).
And finally, Olga did indeed get confirmed, and there was much rejoicing. She is currently going to classes twice a week to learn how to read. Some people have to lock it down, and some people have to open up. I´m glad Olga has started doing the latter.
Well, that´s pretty much all you need (and probably want) to know for the moment. Except for the fact that yesterday, I turned 10 months, officially. Seems like just a year ago I turned 9. But Hermana Bryant and I celebrated by eating delicious smurf colored ice cream that we bought from some lady´s house. Welcome to the D.R. And now that you´ve been welcomed, I´ll be signing off. Enjoy your stay, and remember, no matter what, don´t eat the fried street intestines. Trust me. If you can´t trust someone´s word of honor on their blog these days, well, what is this world coming too?
Neither a little bit country nor a little bit Rock ´n Roll,