Well, it´s true. We all have our moments, and right now, my life is one. Long. Moment. I guess it happens to the best of us. But my companion said it best while walking stiffly with pus oozing from her hideous leg: "this is my life right now." They always say the things that are true are funniest. Add to that the fact that she actually said it in English and you have wet-your-pants hilarea.
But my life right now is an extension of last week, when I didn´t get a change to write. Why didn´t I? Well, at the risk of repeating myself, "THIS IS MY LIFE RIGHT NOW!" We came into the Internet center, sat down, got down to business, and five minutes later... bye bye sweet electricity of mine. So we played that game where you keep sitting at your computer, hoping the power will come back. It doesn´t but you keep a-sitting and a-hoping. And then you´ve found you´ve sat for so much time that it seems silly to leave because we all know as soon as we do, who will come back? Why, the electricity of course, and he will be laughing at us for wasting so much time. But in honesty, the time was not wasted, because as it so happens, this country has no shame of God. Didn´t when I started the mission, and continues the tradition, 14 months later. And to be honest, I don´t remember myself as Hna. Sweeney every blessed second of the day. Sometimes, I just think of myself as Sweeney. Or, like everyone else, "Sweezni" or "sweety." Close enough. But I have to remember that no one else forgets. So during mine and my companion´s 45 minute waiting session, we were asked a lot of questions about the church from other people playing the waiting game. The guys who works here and control our computer usage (but sadly, not the power), was really intrigued by the idea of a living prophet. Because I already believe these things, sometimes I forget, "well, yeah, we say that there´s a prophet on the earth again, like Moses and Isiah. That´s kind of a big deal." One of the guys we were talking with made the comment that he believes everyone will be judged according to your own conscience. So Muslims will be judged for how good of Muslims they were, Baptists for Baptists, and so on and so forth. Interesting idea, but that would be a pretty screwed up God, not to mention inconsistent. So if some religions believe you only have to say you believe in God to be saved, heck, everyone wold join that church if this guy´s theory was true because that´s sooooooooo easy. But there is one God, one faith, and one baptism. (Ephesians 4:5) The scriptures state that pretty clearly. And when God says he is the same yesterday, today and forever and that he expects us to be perfect like he is, then that means that we have to do it his way and not ours. A consistent God would not give us inconsistency as the basis for our beliefs, nor would he make it a free-for-all. When he says "ask and you´ll receive (Matthew 7), I don´t think he meant it as a riddle or a turn-of-phrase. He meant "do it, already! (said in the voice of Dr. Phil or some other inspirationalist ). But I think the whole little situation was God´s little way of saying "I know it´s your Preparation day, but you´ve practically had the week off. Get back to work (do it, already!) So, we did, and we gave a Book of Mormon to one of the guys who was listening and wanted one. Scoreboardicus. The next time we passed him on the street he said he was reading it, so good for him. And after that whole crazy experience, we rushed off to the help with a wedding reception of sorts for a lady in our church ward who got remarried. Hardly a dull moment.
Well, except last week when I learned the true meaning of the word boredom. When I said my companion´s leg was hideous, I said it not in jest. Poor Hna. Rodriguez. She fell a couple weeks ago, and scrapped her knee. Rub some dirt in it and move on. But this scrap went from wound to worse, eventually covering her whole knee and leaking liquid whenever she took more than a few steps. Well, when we FINALLY got to see the doctor, he said that it was a bacteria or fungus (update: we now know it´s a bacteria). So she was prescribed various medications, and now, 2 weeks after the incident, it´s finally starting to look a little better. But we had to stay in the house a few days because walking caused her a good deal of discomfort. I only left when there was a female church member who could stay with here and another who could leave with me. So, I was pretty much sequestered. And on the night of my birthday, we spent the time I had designated to eat tres leches and soak my feet getting her leg examined, swabbed, and tested. I didn´t mind, but it took from 9:00 p.m. to midnight. Part of this time was spent driving around the entire city with the Mission President´s assistants, looking for a pharmacy that was open that late at night. And may I say, one of these Elders drives as though he´s mad that he´s never been in an accident. There were not many pharmacies open, and the few that were didn´t have any or all of the many prescriptions on the list the doctor had given my companion. The interesting question many people pose is "where do you want to be in your life when you turn 25?" or "where do you see yourself?" Well, I´m pretty sure my answer to this youthful and fanciful question was never, "The D.R. Duh." But well, I have come to accept that this is my life right now. And lest anyone worry about what happened to the tres leches, when we got back, we stuck candles in it, I gave about half to Hna. Rodriguez, and stuck my face in the rest. I blame it on a childhood of watching Nickelodeon. But if someone would have asked me if I´d seen my face in a cake at the age of 25, my answer would have just been "duh."
And now.... good news. General Conference is coming up. My last one on the mission. I will definitely be a little trunkee (homesick, English sick) cuz it´s hard to have to listen to the prophet and apostles that I´m used to hearing speak English being translated into pure Spanish. But it´s better than nothing. And what´s more, Robbinson should FINALLY be getting baptized the same weekend as the conference. Yes, we are still teaching him. And Charlin. What happens with some people is that we teach them all the lessons they need to be prepared for baptism but sometimes they need more time to feel ready or we feel they need more time. Or both. But just so you don´t think these people just drop off our radar cuz I don´t mention them as much, they´re still there. We still visit them all the time. Poor Robbinson just has to experience the typical hell fire before baptism, a.k.a. the increase in trials and problems that always seem to come when someone is making a good decision. But neither fire nor ice can stop this guy cuz, well, he´s ON fire. I hope to see his baptism. I really, really REALLY (really?) do.
Oh, and some really important extra info: Added to the list of interesting places I´ve taught, we can add art gallery. Can you say Hna. Sweeney Kryptonite? I´m already highly dis tractable; don´t make me sit in a room with fantastic art. Studying this stuff was part of my major for peet´s sake. Where are they gonna make me teach next, a bakery? Ok, no one makes us teach anywhere, but this guy, Máximo Garcia, was a reference from a member of my beloved La Yuca. He seems really slick and smooth, and just looks like someone who sells art. His main concern is knowing more about the Bible. Well, hopefully we can help him out with that. And another really good book too...
Also, remember how once upon a blog, I mentioned that there was a soap opera that is always on in peoples´ houses here? Well, I FINALLY know the name of it. You ready for this? It´s "Cuidado con el Angel." O sea, "Be careful with the Angel." Oh, I will. I will. I only catch tender glimpses of this horrible excuse of a way to fill time between good commercials, but I must admit, the lead character, played by the actor my companion tells me is William Levy, is a little too attractive for missionary eyes. I might have a future addiction in the making for when I get home.
And finally, Denia, one of the ladies we´ve been teaching for forever and a day, has the papers she needs to get married! We got them sent to us through the Elders who work in Elias Piña, o sea, where this woman´s papers (birth certificate, etc.) were. She was so happy to get them, as she´s what we call a dry member (someone who isn´t baptized but always goes to church and has all the lessons.) But now she can get baptized. I´m pretty positive that, as is forever common in the life of us missionaries, I won´t get to see her wedding or her baptism, but it still rocks pretty good to get the see the smile on her face and be a small step in the process.
Well, that´s about all of the good and the weird that I can stand to inform the cyberworld of for now. But don´t worry... this IS my life (right now), so there will be plenty more information (and probably too much of it) to share in the forthcoming weeks. Until then, the next time you see a cake, don´t hesitate to stick your face in it. You´ll thank yourself later.
1, 2, 3.. LECHES,
Hermana Sweeney "The Fearless"
(except those blasted Sundays)