Monday, October 6, 2014

More from paradise

It's actually true - when the mission starts winding down, time goes faster. What a blessing I'm experiencing.

Elder V and I had a fun week, as usual. We're still struggling to find interested people, but that doesn't bug me. I think that's why President is keeping me here for so long. He knows that I'm totally fine with just working hard and doing my best - I don't need to see "results" to be happy.  I have been able to love the members and get to know them in such a great way because I have been here so long, and that is such a great blessing to me.  I absolutely love this ward and the families I have been able to fellowship and serve during my stay here.  I am a happy person.  I am in Xalapa, Mexico and that is something to be happy about.

One member got quite offended this past week. The second time something like this has happened on the mission. Elder V and I were talking together in ''tú,'' as we always do. She told us to stop doing that and to talk in ''usted'' because that's what the rule is. She had never told us that in the 5 months I've been in Xalapa. We told her quite jokingly (because we always joke around with that sister) that the rule we actually have is to use ''usted'' when it is culturally appropriate (because that is the actual rule) and that talking to another person of one's own age in ''usted'' is actually culturally inappropriate. Elder V and I continued conversing in ''tú.'' We have no idea what happened in her brain that night, but now she's extremely angry at us and won't talk to us or let us into her house. It caught us totally off guard because we always joke around with her like that and she jokes around back. Last Friday I guess she was fighting some kind of internal battle and our innocent comments pushed her over the edge. I'm so sad about the misunderstanding, but that's alright. Hopefully she will realize there was no harm intended at all. Don't worry. Las cositas así ni sueño me dan. (Things like that don't affect me at all.) Just thought I'd share a random story with you about how people can choose to be offended. (See Elder Bednar's ''And Nothing Shall Offend Them'')

Speaking of Elder Bednar, General Conference was a blast. I love watching it in English, so I set up the Gringo room again and we starting watching in English. When it was announced that there was going to be a talk in Chinese we were all totally surprised. When the translation dub began, one Elder commented, ''So this is what the rest of the world feels like...'' I agree with you, I think the 70 who gave those talks in other languages did it to show the other cultures that they are important and to show that the gospel is the same worldwide. The 70 who spoke in Spanish do have excellent English skills. Elder Gavarret visited the MTC while I was there and that awesome Puerto Rican doctor is basically American.

For the two Spanish talks we simply pulled up Canal Mormón and started watching the talks in Spanish. I wanted to do the same for the Portuguese talk, so we tried it, but the other 4 gringos didn't understand any of it and we changed back to the dubbed translation. Spanish and Portuguese are so similar! It makes me laugh how similar they are. I guess I'm just able to hear through the accent or something. I understood about 95% of the talk in Portuguese. The translation for the Chinese talk was super cool. In any case, I loved the fun addition to conference.

Thanks for the yummy treats with French packaging!
 My little friend showing me Los Voladores in her school workbook.
 I found the greatest América souvenir of all time at the market.
 The best haircut place in all of Mexico.  Well worth the $3.70.  It is the most I have paid for a haircut in Mexico, but nobody does a better job.

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