Well Hola there. Sometimes my Hawaiian companion will accidentally say Ahola instead of Aloha or Hola. Its pretty funny. This week went by much faster than last week, but thats probably just becuase we are getting used to the way things work here. Every two weeks, the latinos/as leave to go to their missions and the CCM receives a new flood of them. Most of them are super friendly and really wanted to help us learn Spanish, so it will be hard to see them go. A lot of them are going to Panama and Honduras, which is pretty dang cool!
I forgot to mention that last week I gave a lesson AND a talk. Each Sunday we have to have a talk and lesson prepared about an assigned topic. Then they choose a companionship for a district lesson and about 5-6 missionaries to give talks in Sacrament meeting, randomly and on the spot! Luckily the lessons can be in English, but the talks have to be in Spanish, since our Branch (Rama, in spanish) has both Norteamericanos and Latinos. Most of us `Mericans just copy phrases and sentences from Predicad Mi Evangelio (Preach My Gospel). It works out.
Like I said last time, there is still a lot of construction. So much that we will be sitting in the cafeteria (our temporary classroom) and inadvertantly getting high off the paint fumes in the next room. Its a blast! (not) But hopefully as more missionaries are leaving, we will gain a classroom of our OWN! FOR JOB! (Job is the name of our district…maybe because we are suffering? haha)
In Relief Society meeting, we were talking about Health and Safety – but mainly about the fact that we cant flush toilet paper (outside the CCM). The teacher was kinda complaining about this, and said “I dont know WHY it can take my big poop but not my disintegrating toilet paper!” Then one of the older hispanic women responded, “Well some toilet paper here is like John Wayne. Its rough and tough, and it dont take no crap.” It was hilarious! Later that night we were talking even more about health, and I was feeling kinda scared and stressed about all the various diseases and sicknesses that someone could get if they arent extremely careful (dont worry, ma). Then, as if completely inspired for me, the following devotional talked about how we as missionaries are safer in the Lords hands than those classmates working on school at home. So watch out Sam and Corynn 😉 But fo real it did console me.
Theres a lot of flirting that goes on here at the CCM, even when they claim they dont. They probably dont realize it, but its easy to see the difference from an elder who spends his time telling a girl hes going to beat her in basketball, and an elder who spends his time memorizing el Primero Visión (the first vision) while hordes of other elders and sisters jovially converse in the cafeteria. I really admire the focus of most of the elders in our district. We lucked out.
Sometimes I feel awkward because I know so much more Spanish than everyone else in my district. You are probably like, “Oh sure thats a REAL problem you got there…”(sarcasm). But it actually has been hard on me because we were told when we arrived, “Those who know more Spanish can help out the others who know less.” Asi que, Ive tried to help people with pronounciation and conjugation – yet I can feel some are getting annoyed with me. Suddenly Im that know-it-all kid you knew in high school and wanted to beat up because s/he was so irritating. I would say to myself, “Well its not my fault I took four years of Spanish and youre not even trying!” Later that night, I wrote this in my journal, “The Spirit does not strive with men when they are disobedient and prideful. And so it is with me, I dont have the Spirit when I am disobedient and prideful. I feel like I dont have el don de lenguas (the gift of tongues) when Im holding a grudge or when I feel like Im better than everyone else. Its true that I have more Spanish knowledge, but that doesnt make me any better or more prepared to teach Gods children the restored gospel. We are all learning together.”
I dont relate this experience to boast – trust me. Rather I want to remind us all how sneaky pride is, and how we need to have the Spirit with us at all times to we can make good judgment. I was mad when they got annoyed with me for “no reason”, when I shouldve seen things from their perspective and understood how difficult it can be to see someone progressing further than you. Ive felt that, too.
Change is always an option through our Savior, Jesus Christ. You can still live a fulfilling life of happiness.
PS – I still beatbox, make sarcastic remarks, burp, and dance in the shower (the only place I can). Same ole me, I guess!