Thursday, July 10, 2014

     Well, what a great week it has been.  Last Friday the MTC employees threw us a Thanksgiving Feast for the fourth of July.  The cafeteria was really festive.  I hadn't seen anything so patriotic sinceOur Favorite Son and we're not even in the country.
     Friday was also the day we walked down to the university to go contacting!  It was really hard.  So hard.  I feel confident in the language in the MTC, and then we go outside and realize that they aren't speaking Spanish, they're speaking Dominican.  Seriously.  No entiendo nada.  But next week we're getting a bunch of native Spanish speakers so I can speak with them.  (They speak even faster in Puerto Rico so I definitely have something to look forward to).  But we handed out some pamphlets and a Book of Mormon.
     Every day we have time to exercise from 3:45 to 4:45 (and WOW is it hot and humid).  We mostly play ultimate frisbee (although mostly I just run up and down the field) but usually we walk around the temple a couple times first.  On Saturday there was a wedding, which means a bunch of kids running around the temple grounds, and our first time around a little boy yelled at us, "Son hermosas!"  We kind of giggled and waved, so then the next time around he shouted, "SON HERMOSAS!  ENTIENDEN?" and we yelled back, "Si!  Gracias!"  We verified with Hermano Nunez that hermosa is like a step above beautiful.  It was funny and sweet.
     Yesterday my companion came up with the funniest practical joke.  We got some tape from Hermano Rodriguez in the office while one of the other companionships in our district was practicing teaching and then made up a reason for the other companionship to leave our classroom, and then we taped "Gullible" to the ceiling.  So the assisstants to the president come back from their wild goose chase and we tell them that gullible is on the ceiling.  One hesitantly looks up and smiles, but the other refuses for a while.  Then the other companionship comes back, and we tell them that gullible is on the ceiling, and the same thing happens.  Then our teacher (Hermano Fernandez) comes back, and we have a grammar lesson, and then we tell him that gullible is on the ceiling.  And he refuses to look up.  And we all promise that it's there, but he won't look up.  We're all pointing to the same location, so he points to another spot and tells us that gullible is written there.  We do this for almost five minutes, just telling him to just look up.  Probably it was how Moses felt when the people could have been healed by just looking at a snake on a pole.  So finally he says he'll look up, and if there's nothing there, we get no break.  We tell him okay, fine, sure, no problem.  He looks up, his face drops, and we cheer, and three people just started heading for the door.
     So five minutes later Hermano Rodriguez comes in, and Hermano Fernandez says that gullible is on the ceiling, and immediately he looks at the floor and puts his hood on, saying, "I'm not going to look!"  I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life.
     So my district and the district that arrived with us are definitely the best of all time.  Sometimes, when it's kind of slow we'll open the accordion door between our classrooms and start singing hymns in parts.  All the teachers like to come join us.  It's a lot of fun.
     I've been reading lately in Alma (I'm 300 pages through the Book of Mormon, and I just started when I got here) and I really have been enjoying the missionary stories, especially since I feel I can really apply them right now.  The verse I enjoyed this morning was in Alma 28, I believe, where Ammon is talking about all the great things the sons of Mosiah have done, and his older brother Aaron goes, "hey, watch it, you shouldn't boast," and Ammon says something like "I do not boast of myself, for in my strength I am weak, but I will boast of my God."  I feel that way when I'm contacting.  I am weak, but with God's help I can do all things.
    I love you all!  Do some good in the world!

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