And how. Now, I know this goes against all reason, but hear me out. Let´s imagine there´s a place called Pizza Hut. It´s pretty good pizza, but I´m easy to please. Anyway, Pizza Hut exists here, and it´s still tasty. But if you want to sit and eat in the dining room with the air conditioning, you have to pay extra. The wonders never cease. Anyway, for those of us not rich enough to pay for pizza AND A.C. (a.k.a. EVERY missionary out here), sometimes you have to look for... alternatives. One such available to us here in the D.R. is an establishment called Pizza House. "Well, that sounds o.k.," you might reason with yourself. Sometimes intuition is stronger than reason. Just looking at the place, I couldn´t help but think "I think gross and cheap have to be at least two of the ingredients in this pizza." This place had no shame. They keep their already made crusts in the fridge with the drinks. With the drinks! Pizza House has no shame, and you can taste it. When it came to our table, one of the other missionaries said, "this doesn´t look so bad." And it didn´t. It´s not till you pick up a piece and bite into it that there are any obvious problems. The sauce is far too sweet. I don´t remember ordering a dessert pizza. It would be better if it were glue, because then at least the cheese would stay on it. Sick. Gross. Get it? I did, and now I regret it. At least we didn´t pay for the A.C., which was probably for the best, considering the light went out half way through the meal. Next time... Pizza Hut to go, please.
And there will surely be a next time, cuz... I am still here in the Capital. With the same companion. 3 transfers. What? But yeah, even though I was sorta hoping for a new adventure, there is something comforting in already knowing my companion and area pretty well. And yet, there will still be surprises. Did I mention wonders never cease?
One of said wonders, I will mention here and now. O sea, this is more of a test. A personal test. A reciprocal question (the only kind I can form using a blog I don´t personally maintain). Anyway, I´m sure we´ve all heard the popular assurance that "there´s no such thing as a stupid question." This is a stupid comment. I have encountered many a stupid question, more than I think should be my fair share. "How," you might wonder, "does one know if they are asking (or about to ask), a stupid question?" Well, let´s start with the personal test: 1). Are you asking the question more or less already knowing the answer? 2). Have you already posed the same or similar question to the same person without positive results? 3). Is it a comment disguised as a question? 4). Are you asking with the intent of causing offense?
If the answer to any of these is yes, you are probably wandering through the midst of the fog that emanates from stupid questions. The following are some questions that, are without doubt, STUPID:
*"Why don´t you like long hair?" (somehow, because I cut my hair short, this indicates I have a general disdain for long hair.)
*Why did you do it like THAT? (implying that the way of the questioner is far superior to the way of the doer.)
*So why did you decide to go on a mission? (only a dumb question when asked after people find out I´m 25).
*Why can´t you be more like your... mother, brother, sister, cousin, friend, Britney Spears (uhhhhhh? Cuz I´m not?)
* "Why aren´t you more physically developed? (ok, to be fair, this one was asked by a boy in my 7th grade science class. But it´s still a stupid question).
And yes, to those who would say, "well, I´m sure you´ve asked a stupid question before, so what´s your point?" I would say, "that´s true... but bringing the subject to light might help us all think twice before asking one of our burning questions, that might burn more if asked then in kept deep deep inside....
Whew. Well, that was therapeutic. Anywho, I feel like I owe an ending to the story of the incident with Arnold and Millie. So, we DID go back to visit them, in spite of our rather cool reception the last time. We learned some interesting things. First, the reason Millie was arguing with the police officer was because someone was stealing bananas from her banana plant in her back yard. Secondly, it was the POLICE themselves that were stealing the fruit. Ha! But I fear Millie will get the last laugh, cuz she be armed and dangerous. Apparently, until 5 years ago, she was a member of the militia here. She has a gun and she knows how to use it. She said as much to the police man and told them to keep their fat mitts off her property. I think my favorite part is the officers tried justifying their actions by saying they were cutting down the plant because it was attracting mosquitoes and was a hazard. Uh... no. Go take your 5 pesos like the rest of us do and BUY YOUR BANANAS LEGALLY! Should we really need to tell this to men and women of the law? Oh, well. I´ve seen enough actions flicks to know you can´t automatically trust people in power. But it is still frustrating. And in this case, somewhat amusing.
Oh, and we had General Conference this week. I believe I´ve explained it before, but once more won´t kill anyone. I think. It´s when God´s prophet and apostles speak to us about the thinks the Lord himself wants us to hear and apply in our lives. One of my favorites was given by Elder Neil A. Anderson, an apostle. He mentioned how some people leave the church when confronted with a hardship or trial in their lives. He then said doing that is like leaving the refuge in the middle of the tornado. Life will be hard with or without the church. But knowing we have an eternal destiny and purpose and that we can be with those we love forever makes the crappy times easier to deal with. Although this is of course easier said than done when passing through the actual challenge. But staying true to the end means just that: to the end. You don´t get awarded the "I tried" ribbon unless you pass the finish line. And luckily in the race of life, we are only competing against ourselves (and the forces of evil, I suppose) to gain salvation.
Well, that´s about it. I have to go home to a house jam packed full of girls (I live in the transfer house) who are all waiting to either go home, go to a new area, or be trained. Mad house doesn´t even begin to describe it. To the hut! 8 girls minus water is an equation that equals S.O.S! Wish me water.
Hna. Sweeney "The Fearless" (except on Sundays)