Well, it might as well be truth. Logically, if only sometimes the right thing and the hard thing are the same, SOMETIMES the right thing can also simultaneously be the easy thing. In my case, this week at least, it was.
Remember a lovable place called The Yuca? I can take you back to a time when I was young and innocent and didn´t actually like the taste of the Yuca root. That all has changed. I now enjoy eating all sorts of oddities, and I also really enjoyed getting a call at 7:00 a.m. this last Wednesday saying, "Hermana Sweeney, we will be having intercambios today. You will go to the Yuca with Hermana Garcia and Hermana Lopez (the Assistant Hermana to the President, more or less), will come to Quisqueya. We will meet at noon in front of La Sirena and, much like all the crappy Cinderella stories, the fairytale will end at the 12:00 hour the following day, (in the noon, not at night, however). On your mark, get set... GO!" Ok, somewhere along the way, I started paraphrasing, but the essentials are all there. I had to admit, I was ecstatic. How would it be to see the people I´d left a mere few months before? And with all my newly acquired "wisdom," I was anxious to return to where it all began for me. And truly, it was a fabulous experience. Granted, I didn´t have time to see everyone I wanted, but I saw many of the members in the street or in passing and they actually remembered me and seemed very delighted to see me. The only convert of mine I saw was Rosa, the young and intelligent girl that lives close to the church. Since I left, her best friend Melissa was also baptized, which has made it easier for them both to stay active. The hardest part for me was to see how some people had made some not-so-brilliant choices and were facing the consequences. It reminded me of the saying that we are free to choose the choices, but not the consequences. I don´t really like that saying, but the point being, sometimes things we choose to do can really screw up the lives of others. So, as I feel like I´m always saying, MAKE GOOD CHOICES! As apostle Jeffery R. Holland advised, we don´t need to reinvent the moral wheel and experience every hardship of life firsthand. If it looks like a bad choice and smells like a bad choice, well... I´ll let you do the math. It always was my least favorite subject.
But anyway, for those who don´t know, and intercambio is just when one person from two companionship's switch areas and companions for a day to experience different investigators and teaching styles of other missionaries. Until now, the Hermanas haven´t gotten to have one, because there just aren´t a lot of us to go around. But I did make a request to the mission president, and I think a couple other Hermanas did too. It´s already hard being a minority within a minority. A girl missionary and Americana. The more missionary experiences I can have that the Elders enjoy (well, the good ones, at least :) The better. And when Hermana Garcia (my intercambio comp.) and I ended the intercambio that night at the chapel where a lot of the members happened to be, it was the best reunion ever. It reminded me of how it must be in the next life when we´ll be reunited, and it´ll feel so good. I had a jolly good mobbing and hug session (with the women members of course), and hearty handshakes and smiles with the rest. Did I mention I love the Yuca? It felt like being home, which is weird, since I don´t live in this country. But yeah, thanks Yuca, for giving me my second wind. Or third, or fourth... I´ve lost count.
But speaking of Hermanas or Sisters being in the minority, I have a thought for all future Elders: Don´t be a tool! If you are lucky enough to have Hermanas in you district/zone, treat them nicely. I´ve met so many Elders who are super cool and thoughtful. I´ve also met a few who seem to think girls have come on the mission to rob their virtue. So, yeah, be cool. We are more or less human too, after all.
And to close, I will explain cheerfully why I have chosen my new title of Hermana Sweeney "the fearless" (except on Sundays). Sundays are not my favorite day on the mission. As just a normal member, Sunday is a really tranquil, relaxing day. On the mission, it means a couple things: Stressing that your investigators come to church or that people who were baptized the day before come on time so that they can be confirmed and receive the Holy Ghost. If not... stresssssssss. And every sixth Sunday, we receive a little call to tell us what will be happening in the upcoming transfer... stressssssss. I will eat whatever food you give me, I will pass by whatever group of strange people, I will teach any lesson, an hey, I´ll even talk in Spanish. But on Sunday, do not expect any valor, because my courage will fail me. That and when I´m out contacting and the dogs practically squish themselves through the fences of their respective houses to get at us. Although here, how the house are built, some or the roofs are indented. This is cool if you want to have an awesome rooftop garden, like some people do. It´s less cool when you keep your dogs on the roof. It is very confusing to be barked at from an upward location. It throws off all sense of direction. But such is life. And as usual, the part of my life that involves technology draws to a close. But just remember to look up. The view is usually better that way. And who knows what you´ll see, in they sky... on the roof...
With much conviction,
Hermana Sweeney "The Fearless" (except on Sundays)