Possibility: "If only I hadn´t" as one of the most used phrases known to humankind.
Fact: Said by everyone who has ever lived more than once in their lifetime.
I (like everyone else in the world) have had many of these experiences. It ain´t called hindsight for nothing. It´s because, like Pumba used to tell me, "you gotta put your past in your behind." But you can´t do that until you´ve moved on and have somewhere behind you to put the past. Anyway, the only good thing about this experience is that I can relate it to a gospel principle. Score! Topic:repentance
So, in the apartment I now live in, I find myself without a blender and without a working oven. Pain in the butt, I tell you what. But in my first transfer here, I thought, "eh, well, I´ll get it fixed soon enough." And then I just worked around not having an oven. Pretty ingenious. And I guess I didn´t figure on spending much time in this area (joke on me) for some reason, so I thought someone else could take care of it if they wanted to. And every time I got a package from my mom containing a brownie or cookie mix, my heart would twinge with regret over not getting to eat them. When I got Hermana Rodriguez as a companion, we talked about fixing the oven. We even tried to tinker with it a little bit. But not much. And we discussed co-purchasing a blender, but we really didn´t want to spend the money. What if one of us left and didn´t get to enjoy it for more than a few measly weeks?
Well, 1 transfer became 2, and 2 became 4, and I realized how dumb I´ve been. If i´d just taken care of these issues from the start, I would have been enjoying delicious brownies and papaya smoothies for the last 5 or so months. And then it hit me: This is soooooooo a parallel to repentance! As a Latter-Day Saint, Mormon, you know the drill, we live certain standards that many people think are weird and/or hard. And sometimes, many times, they are. I think it would be rare to find faithful member among us who hasn´t at least WONDERED what a sip of sherry would be like, or to let go of what you believe in and join the fun "just this once..." And then some people get frustrated when they see people "breaking the rules" and it seems like they get to have their fun, but then, when they see that they´re not as happy as they maybe thought they´d be, they begin the often steep climb of repentance to turn their life around.
"Well, that´s not fair," we might say. "So they get to experience the world AND have the blessings of coming back into the fold? Why can´t I just do the same?" Well, comparing it with my The Allegory of the Abandoned Appliances, we can choose to put off repentance and making our lives at one with God´s will- But just how I have gone months and months without very enjoyable edibles, so those who procrastinate repentance are actually procrastinating blessings that they can have RIGHT NOW! We humans are a little peculiar sometimes. But we figure it out, one ridiculous mistake at a time. And hopefully someone can learn from mine. Fix your ovens! By your Blenders! Oh, yeah, and repent.
Anyway, one thing we got rid of this week that we didn´t need in our house: All the other Hermanas that were being trained, transferred, etc. Hey, that sounds mean. But it be true. It´s not their fault they have to be there, nor is it mine. And I´m actually friends with a lot of these girls, but it´s just stressful having 8 people in a house meant for 2 or 4. But interestingly enough, the trainees of two of the Hermanas (Clark and Bullock) didn´t show up when they were assigned to (they had to go back to the Provo MTC and wait and extra day). Which meant that Hermana Clark went to work with me on Tuesday, and Hna. Bullock went out with my companion. It was really strange. Hermana Clark was technically my first companion in the Provo MTC and back then, we struggled to know what to say to our fake investigators, (in Spanish, no less), how to adjust to the mission schedule, and to always, constantly having another person at your side. Now, we got to do the real thing together, and it was pretty cool. And I got to speak English in the streets, which I haven´t gotten to do in about 6 months. Although the first appointment we had was super difficult. We had the lesson outside on the lady´s patio, and her neighbor was blasting my favorite Romeo Santos/Usher song ("Forever") and inside the house of the lady we were trying to teach, what should be playing but the beloved classic "Cuidado con el Ánglel." I don´t know how I cut through all of these distractions, especially when the baby of the main character was being kidnapped by another character with a duel personality, but so help me, I did it. And we have another visit scheduled with this lady for tomorrow, so I guess Team Gringa did ok. I forgot walking around with another American usually means more craziness and catcalls. But to have a chance to really teach and preach with the Hermana I only got to pretend to do these things with since the beginning of this crazy journey, well, I´d say it was worth it.
But now, it´s just my beloved Dominican Companion and I again, all alone once more. With another 5 weeks ahead of us. 5 weeks that hopefully include a blender, because, as of a couple days ago, we finally overcome our debilitating stupidity and fixed the oven. And celebrated with a homemade pizza. Forgiveness tastes GOOD! When you spend every moment with the same person, sometimes spending extended time with them seems daunting, especially if you don´t get along. Fortunately, my companion and I get along. But we´re still human. And you wonder, "what more am I gonna learn about this person that I don´t yet know? What other lessons need I learn?" I have never spent 3 transfers with one companion until now, so I´m intrigued to view the outcome. The best part is not having to learn all the quirks and weirdnesses of another person, nor having to explain mine. And Rodriguez and I are planning a pretty sweet Halloween celebration. If we´re together more than this transfer... we might just become the same person. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Not even married people spend this much time together.
Well, I hope everyone in the states is enjoying fall and the cooler weather and the delicious pumpkin-flavored delicacies. I will enjoy not really knowing which season it is. Such is the tropics.
Hermana Sweeney "The Fearless" (except on Sundays)