Well, here I am, another week wiser. What have I learned? Well, quizás most importantly, how to find my way around my area. As most people who have spent a quality amount of time with me know, I can´t find my way out of a plastic bag. So, the first day I get my new companion, Hma. Rodriguez, I find out that it´s here birthday, with no advance warning. That... sucked. I wanted to make it special, but really, the only thing I could think of was Krispy Kreme. So I got her a tasty donut, and we spent the rest of the day getting failed by all the citas we´d put for the day (failed= how we say people weren´t home, they failed us. Cita is Spanish for appointment. Now you also are a little wiser). "Happy Birthday to yoooooooou......"
But don´t worry, the next day, I managed to get us COMPLETELY and rather hopelessly lost while trying to meet up with the Elders in our district so that they could give us some much-needed pass-along cards and booklets about the Restoration of the church. There´s something interesting about knowing you´re going in the wrong direction and yet letting the newbie convince you that "it could be this next turn." No, it´s not. It never is. That´s a moral lesson for you. If a person has less time than you in an area and you know you need to go the other way, well guess what? GO THE OTHER WAY!!!!! This is sound and proven advice. I also love to ask various people along my path to Mordor, o sea, my desired destination that seems impossible to reach, for help. I will get help, but not the kind that will get me where I need to be any faster. More like the kind that is a completely different set of directions from what the last person I asked just told me. You´ve got to love the D.R. Do or DIE! I am very CAPS friendly today. But I know, thankfully, got my groove back (thanks, Stella), and am leading us fearlessly through the street and callejones and Diagon Alleys of Quisqueya. There may be hope for me yet.
But speaking of my new comp. and Krispy Kreme, I really enjoy the idea of both. I can actually understand the Spanish of Hermana Rodriguez, and because she has stolen my trainer, my trainee AND all my areas, we have a lot to talk about. She knows how all my old investigators are doing and progressing and what is new and exciting with all the members of my old ward. Sadly, Hma. Rosa, the one who wore all white and lived in La Yuca, moved away. I heard from Hma. Rodriguez that when she and another Yuca member learned I left, they cried. Somehow, that shouldn´t make me feel good and yet... I know, I know. I´m a beast. But a beast with a heart of gold.
And as for Krispy Kreme, well, I shall share with you all how said donut joint will be playing a rather large role in my life. This Friday. The 27th. WHEN I HAVE A YEAR ON THE MISSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now that one definitely deserved all caps. I can´t believe it. Ok, yes I can. In some ways, I still remember the Missionary Training Center (MTC) and the Yuca with vivid clarity, as though it wasn´t too long ago. In other ways, I have definitely felt all those days, weeks, months, and transfers that have brought me to this point. Hma. Rodriguez wanted to know how it feels. I said "like I earned it." Amen. But anyway, to celebrate the rapture of me, I am buying a whole, gluttonous box of Krispy Kremes. They have Spiderman donuts, cheesecake donuts, and even Guayabana flavored (a fruit that grows here and is oh-so-tasty). But yes, a box contains a dozen, a donut for every hot, delicious month I´ve lived here. But who knows how long they´ll last; I guess I better savor each one. Now I don´t know if I´m talking about donuts or months left to me on the mission. Oh well, enjoy the simile.
And know, going BACK to Hma. Rodriguez (hey, she´s my mission sister, we have history), I have to admit, I feel bad that she´s literally been in my shadow the whole mission. If there´s something more frustrating than being in a new area, it´s people reminding you about it every few paces. "Hey Hermana Sweeney. Oh, what happened to the other one?" Hma. (insert name of former comp.) This is especially prevalent with recent converts who are none to happy to have to say goodbye to the missionary who taught them the gospel. I have also been on the receiving end of this greeting, and it´s never fun. You just want to say, "My name is Hermana (insert name of new missionary), and I´m going to rock your world and practically beat you up with the spirit. Prepare yourself." And I have to give Hma. Rodriguez her props, she introduces herself magnificently. We have a really great teaching style together. I´m excited to experience the craziness that no doubt awaits us this transfer.
Especially since we have a lot of good investigators progressing, and some references (potentially interested people) from other members. I love references, but being a member, I know it can be hard to give them because sharing your personal beliefs can be intimidating, especially in America. Here, people have no problem telling you how they feel about, well, ANYTHING, so I don´t have to be so shy about it. Plus, it´s my job for the moment, so I gots to tell you about it. But besides Robbinson, I am also sharing said beliefs with Eoudy, another really clever teenager. He´s 13 but looks to be 17, so I didn´t believe him at first when he told me his age. Both of them are the only people we have with baptism dates, but we have a lot of other investigators with a boatload of potencial. We shall see. I´m just glad all the youth finally got back from the first EVER Dominican Republic Especially for Youth (EFY) camp. Apparently, it was a great experience for them, but it was a little lonely not to take them out with us on citas or harass them in the street when we pass. But they´re back and all is right with the world.
And as a final parting thought, I would like to point out that I find it comical that people will try to talk to me when there is a ridiculous amount of noise surrounding us. First of all, did you know you´re speaking Spanish to me? Strike one. Second...in America, we call this thing in front of which we´re standing A GIGANTIC STEREO SPEAKER! I couldn´t understand you even if I could read lips because the sound waves are pulling back all the skin from my face and I can´t see a thing. I don´t get how people do it. It´s cultural adaption, and I still have a lot to learn, I suppose. Oh well. I have another six months, don´t you know. It´ll come.
Well, that outta do it. I shall leave you with nothing more than my new signature. As I have been taught by various missionaries, it is very distinguished to have a title. So I have thought it through, and finally, a year later, I have mine. Maybe I´ll even explain it... one day.
12 months, 1 year, who´s counting,....
Hermana Sweeney "The Fearless" (Except on Sundays)