Sunday, September 8, 2013
Well I'm not sure if you knew I'd get to email before I left, but I do! I hope you check this soon! Right now I'm trying to figure out all my flight stuff, because I leave the CCM tomorrow morning at 5! So weird to be going out into the "real" mission after what seems like such a short time. Imagine if this were like the MTC only a year ago, I'd be barely hitting the halfway point of my training experience right now... something to think about! But I can't wait to get out in the field tomorrow! Wow!
So here's some stories, but give me feedback. Am I saying interesting things? Do you want me to be more descriptive? Less descriptive? Let me know! I'm taking copious notes in my (now mostly destroyed) planner. Why's it destroyed? Read further!
First though, a funny story: so, the phrase "look for it" in Español is "Buscalo!" We've taken to shouting it in our district whenever someone asks for the definition of a word. So, the other day, Elder J is pretty mad because he can't find his English-Spanish dictionary. So he starts going, "Where the heck is my Buscalo? I can't find my Buscalo!" It turns out he was under the impression that "buscalo" was the name of the dictionary itself.
So I got my hair cut on Thursday in preparation for my leaving. The lady (who was literally five feet tall, tops, I had to slouch as much as possible in my barber chair) gave me a good cut, though she did also cut my ear during it. We were talking in Spanish about the difficulties of learning the language, and she tells me the trick trolling your r's right is to practice talking with a pencil in your mouth. So before I can do anything, she grabs a pen off the counter (the one that every single missionary uses to sign in) and sticks it under her tongue in her mouth, and just starts mumbling incoherently at me. I was trying not to crack up, but also really glad that I had already signed in and would not have to use that pen again. Felt badly for the missionaries behind me though.
On Friday we had “in field” orientation. Really really great. It tied in all the concepts about effective teaching that we've learned so far, and helped me to get super psyched about getting out and spreading the gospel! Whoo! It was broken up into sections with all the missionaries leaving this week, where we watched a PowerPoint and answered questions, then we'd have breakout sessions with just a few other districts, where we'd work on specific skills and have object lessons. There was this one thing about retaining investigators, and to illustrate I got called up to hold a big tube over a bucket, and then someone else dumped beans in, where they would go through the tube into a bucket. beans=people or investigators, tube= missionary work and fellowshipping, bucket was baptism. And there were holes cut in the tube so that if you help it a certain way, you could get the beans in the tub, but otherwise they would fall out. Afterwards, as I was walking back, I said, "i guess we're all just human frijoles." Absolutely zero people got it. I guess Spanish puns are still above a lot of people's levels right now.
Terrible accident happened that day though. Very embarrassing. So we were leaving the seminario building to go to the auditorium and it was pounding rain. For some stupid reason i didn't have my umbrella on me, so Elder J and I were going to run it. We made the dash, and I was running, and all of a sudden an elder right in front of me just stops. So I slam into his back, carom off, skid forward for a few frantic footsteps, and then just eat it. I tripped forward, tucked my head under, and did a forward somersault roll off my left shoulder. Don't worry; the star of your life is fine. And my black pinstripe suit didn't rip either. But it did get soaked and dirty, and now that it's dried smells like a wet dog. And I wasn't able to get it dry cleaned because I'm leaving tomorrow, so I'll just have to get it done in Pittsburgh. Oh and my agenda planner flew out of my pocket and landed in a puddle. So it got soaked. And everyone saw it- in the auditorium elders would come up to me and say, "Was that you who totally crashed and burned in the rain on the way here?" Yup, that was me.
Other things- big old tie trade on Saturday, and I made out like a bandit. Walked over to casa 44 with five ties, came back with 8. And I'm stoked on 'em. Plus I now have two paisleys (the most coveted pattern of any missionary tie) and when I came here I had none. THAT'S called social climbing for you. Elder Kl traded 3 of the most hideous ties I have ever seen and a bag of skittles and jolly ranchers for a super cool red one, so he came out ahead that night too. I made sure I got out before curfew hit though, because our teacher Hermano S was telling us a few days before he cleared out another tie trade that was going strong at 11:15 pm. He looked out his window and saw missionaries’ running by with ties just strung around their collars, so he knew something was up. He asked them where they were going, and they ran away. So he walked down the street and saw some truly moronic elders had put a sign on their front door saying, USE THE BACK DOOR. So he went in there, and in a process that I'm sure was reminiscent of Christ clearing the moneylenders from the temple, cleared the tie traders from the casa. As he fled, one of the elders who knew some guys in our district said, "You're Carlos, right? You're that impossible investigator!" So he was truly majestic in his wrath, from all accounts. And now Hermano S has the rep of being both the CCM policeman and the meanest investigator to work with.
Today in church, our district sang our arrangement of God Be With You Till We Meet Again. It was really spiritual though luckily no one cried. So sad that we're all leaving now, despite some bumps our district really has been close for the past four weeks.
And there are a bunch of Missionaries coming to the Ventura mission tomorrow. Those that I know of include:
Plus a couple of hermanas. Cool!
I really do hope you get some new missionaries that I know. Be sure to have them over for dinner. I am so excited to leave! There's a whole host of emotions running through me right now but excitement is the dominant one. I'm so glad for the time that I ve spent here in the CCM. I know that I've grown so much, matured so much, and come that much closer to God. I am spiritually fired up! Takeaway quote from Elder Holland in the devotional: "Now, the deal is. if we can, with the Lord, get you converted, then you MUST go and 'Preach My Gospel' by the Spirit. And you must preach it His way!" And in the words of Joseph Smith, I am fired with heavenly and joyful anticipation.
Love, Elder Wright