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 random.
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 Oizumi.
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,