Monday, December 7, 2015

Oizumi Missionaries‏ Part II

It's that time of the year again. I will describe all the amazing
missionaries I'm going to spend Christmas 2015 with.
There has been a new rule enforced in the mission which basically
says: "Sisters don't talk to elders and elders don't talk to sisters.
If there is absolutely anybody else to talk to, they take first
priority. Just don't talk to missionaries." It's way weird but it
makes these emails more fun because a lot of my conclusions are drawn
out of the clear blue sky.

If you, dear reader, happen to be one of
these missionaries I'm describing months down the road, I'm sorry.
Sister Goldsberry- I have never given you all a description of myself
my whole mission! As I approach a year of living in Japan I would like
to try to put my current behavior to words. I'm Sister Goldsberry. I'm
still loud. The only difference is now I can be loud in Japanese and
Portuguese. While I hold a strong belief in the phrase: "If you
are prepared you shall not fear" it is only reflected in my large bag.
While I'm prepared for a wardrobe malfunction as I carry around an
emergency sewing kit, an unexpected event in the day can turn my mood
on a dime. I will laugh at anything just because I wasn't expecting to
laugh. It's like a jerk reaction. I can somehow find the patience and
tolerance to help out a friend with their problems. I will never
complain during a planned service activity. I will befriend the
notorious "tough member" of the ward. But if a missionary hits me with
some sass during the first encounter, if a stranger compliments me, if
someone calls demanding to meet that day, I lose it. I scream when I'm
scared, I cry when someone tells me something suddenly. Like today I
got on the train to make it to a zone preparation day and when I
stepped on a young Japanese kid about my age just said out loud to his
friends-possibly purposefully for me too-"Wow. She's cute." Quicker
than I could think I narrowed my gaze and said: "やだ" for my Japanese
speaking friends. If you don't speak Japanese and you really want to
know just look it up. But this small encounter put me in a bad mood
for the rest of the day. I snapped at everyone. I'm pretty sure I bit
fingers. If I am on my way to a spiritual meeting, I already have the
mindset that it has the capacity to make me cry, so I go in with the
determination not to. But I can cry on the spot at the same time. I
actually believe that I have he reputation for being a crier. I think
this malfunction of mine is the seed for why I am so creatively
dramatic. I can think up 1,000 scenarios on the spot and I think I do
it so that I don't have to face the unexpected and be left to the
automatic, unflinching, jerk that I am when I'm hit with something
Sister J- Was with me at the MTC. She has baptized the world
since coming onto her mission. She's had a ton of experience, but this
is her first countryside area. She's used up something like four bikes
on her mission, and right now she's riding the bike of a returned
elder. She was born in Mexico, but moved to Las Vegas when she was
six. She is number two of a family of seven kids. Yesterday she missed
her third nephew being born. Yes she's still ten years older than me.
No I don't think about it as much anymore. We can get lost for days in
conversation, and she can do that with anybody. At the beginning of
our time together she apologized unnecessarily for the person she was
in the MTC. She's had tons of rough companions since me and she said 
she's a better person now. I know in my mind and heart that if she wasn't my companion I would be spending Christmas in America this year. She saved my mission. She saved
Elder A- Is my best friend in the mission. He's the only one who
knows just how fluent my Spanish is because he's the only one I feel
comfortable speaking with, even though he teaches me more all the
time. We've been somewhat near each other from the beginning of our
missions. He is the grandpa. He's twenty seven now, but he just walks
around with this Peruvian pride that lets everyone know he is 100%
comfortable with himself. He gives us advice, he never helps us with a
problem without teaching us how to fix it next time, and he's always
interrogating us. He has once given me a brief thirty second training
on how to correctly wear a bike helmet. Elder A is a convert
himself, converted half because of his humility and half by his
girlfriend who's waiting for him right now. When we went with the
members of Oizumi to the temple, it was his first time performing
baptisms for the dead. He thought it was way cool. The doctrine that
those who reach the Celestial Kingdom will become Gods themselves was
introduced to him on the mission and he's still grappling with the
idea. He can never pronounce words that start with an "s" without
putting an "eh" sound in front of it. For example, he doesn't speak
English, he espeaks English. He will call us night and day just about
random English questions.
Elder B- I know what you're thinking. What's with this weird
elder calling the sisters about English for? Why doesn't he ask his
companion? Well because his companion, Elder B is Brazilian and
doesn't natively speak English either. He really is Luke's father. Do
you remember Elder Skywalker? Elder B trained Elder Skywalker.
How Elder B learned English isn't as crazy as how Elder
Skywalker learned, but it's as unbelievable. He just spent his senior
year of high school in Lehi, Utah. Just like that. Whether there's
more to it or not, I don't know because now it's against the rules to
ask. But man is he fluent. It's fun because you can tell the phrases
he's practiced the most because his accent disappears. But if you get
into some unknown territory the accent comes out to play. His
greetings on the phone leave me wondering if I'm actually speaking to
an American. When he tells stories though, he uses phrases that only
make sense in Portuguese. In February he finishes his mission. My
favorite quote out of his mouth has got to be a conversation we had on
the phone.
Him: How are you?
Us: Tired..!
Him: That's good. That's my favorite feeling! I love being tired.
Us: ...Is this a language barrier issue? We said we're TIRED.
Everyone loves Elder B. 

This is not everyone in my district but these are the missionaries of
Oizumi! I love them loads, I'm lucky to known them, to hear their
testimonies in their native tongues and understand them. I pray every
day that this time I have with them on the mission will not be the
last time I see them.
Love you! See you soon,
Sister Goldsberry

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