Monday, April 26, 2010

Latinas vs. Norteamericanas

The big news this week is that we had a baptism!  Her name is Claudia Viana and we have been teaching her for a long time.  We just had to wait a long time for her to keep the law of chastity.  But she finally dropped her boyfriend and was baptized on Friday.  It was especially exciting because she wanted to have Hermana Cash at her baptism so I got to see Hermana Cash again.  It has only been two weeks but it feels like it´s been months.  It felt like Christmas.

So it is different to be with a Latina companion and sometimes I really want to speak English.  Luckily for me we are neighbors with other Hermanas and one of them is from Utah so when I want to say something in English I have someone I can talk to.  My companion never corrects my Spanish or maybe I just say everything correctly:)  I have learned a lot these last two weeks and it is just a little bit easier to say things that I want to say.  But still, I have a long way to go.  Our cultures are also different.  For some reason the Latinas like to put stickers on everything.  All the hymn books of the members are covered with stickers of Hello Kitty or Disney Princesses or something else like that.  So, this morning I woke up and my companion had taped a picture of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane on the bathroom door.  I thought it was an odd placement for a picture of the atonement, but whatever floats her boat.

This week we were walking down the street and a drunk kindly noted about us ¨Ella es latina y ella es norteamericana.¨ We thought it was a very profound statement.  She is latin and she is North American.  We hadn´t noticed before!  This week we also had a very long conversation with a contact.  He talked to my companion for a half an hour about how great the US is.  He said that we put our trash out and separate it with paper and plastic and that our sidewalks are wheel chair accesible and that we have clothes for each season.  Here they wear the same clothes all year round.  Well he mentioned a lot of things about the US and I just sat there and thought ¨Yeah, the US is pretty great.¨ But I didn´t want to participate in the conversation.
Now that Hermana Cash is gone I have come to realize that I have made friends with the members.  I feel so popular now because the members want to talk to me.  We went to a stake activity the other day and all the youth performed dances from different countries.  One ward did a square dance and our ward mission leader asked if we all dance that way.

Also this week I have come to know the emotional drains of being on a mission. Mauricio was our convert from February and he hasn´t gone to church in a month and we always knock on him door but he is never home.  This weekend we were walking to his house and he was sitting outside with some friends and he saw us, got on his bike and rode away.  The next day we were trying again and he was sitting outside with some friends, saw us and ran the other direction.  When we went to church, I was telling his friend what happened and I started to cry.  Inactivity is huge here and it is hard to see someone so faithful drop the church and want nothing to do with us just after a month after his baptism.  It´s a sad situation and it is too bad that he has his agency.

I got the letter from Eli the other day.  I was really excited but I don´t know any of the people he mentioned.  He did mention Omar who I wrote about weeks ago who was inactive and then is living with the gang member.  I thought it was pretty funny.

Well, I am happy to be here and that I can focus all my energy on the church and improving myself and others.  I hope that I am a different person than I was 5 months ago.  I am trying hard to be more and more Christ-like.  My goal is to be perfect by the end of my mission:)

Thanks for all your prayers.

I love you all very much.

Hermana Bush

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