Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Off-Key and What-In-The-Blue-Berry-Mother-of-Muffins-Was-That? Nov 24, 2014

Hello, people!

My merciful goodness. It seems impossible that it was three weeks ago that I hit the field. It feels like just yesterday me and the rest of Mosiah were rocking the MTC. But it's good to finally be working! It's been fantastic out here.

One of the things I miss from the MTC is the food. It was a little repetitive, but all things considered, it was some good stuff. Out here, not quiiite so much. There are two main problems. The first is that it's hard to find ingredients. This may actually be untrue, but if they're there, we can't read the labels. The second is the skill of the cooks involved. I'm not great. And my companion, though awesome, ain't exactly Gordon Ramsay. The other day, we had spaghetti. Spaghetti is a loose term here. The ingredients were as follows- water, noodles, tomato paste, diced onion, salt, carrots, peppers, all-purpose steak seasoning, chili powder, celery, and potatoes. I'll be honest here. Was it pretty bad? Yes. Am I upset about it? No. Am I gonna fire my personal chef and nutritionist? Maybe?

This last week, we had a morning where we had to wait ten extra minutes to leave the house. We couldn't open our front bars because a guagua sideswiped several boxes of chickens that our neighbor had stacked in front of the house and we're tired of chickens getting into our things. #thirdworldproblems

So here in the Dominican Republic, I have moments when I'm like. Huh? What's tha- wait... What in the- what? For example. The other day, I went on a companionship exchange with Elder Pawn-Kalilikane. He's an energetic fellow from Hawai'i who thank-everything-good-in-this-world goes by Elder Pawn. We were walking along a busy street when it started to rain. This didn't bother me, because I, like all good missionaries, know that every time you proselyte in the rain, your future wife gets hotter- er, becomes an even more beautiful daughter of God. However, it started to come down harder and harder until it was an absolute deluge. The gutters were overflowing and little rivulets of water were spilling down the sidewalk. Elder Pawn and I decided to take shelter under an overhanging roof by the side of the road. We'd waited for about ten minutes when I noticed a rather chubby gentleman wearing a pair of screaming lime green shorts and no shirt standing in front of a nearby colmado. He was staring up at a pvc pipe sticking out of the wall. Rain was still pouring, and the pipe was gushing out a heavy stream of water. The man looked one way. He looked the other. He gave a Cheshire smile. And then he popped open his shorts and started dancing. I'm sure I would have noticed it was inappropriate if I hadn't been laughing so hard. He wiggled, he woggled, he pulled out a bar of soap, and as hundreds of people looked on in utter shock, awe, and what-in-the-name-of-John-F.-Kennedy-is-he-doing, that man showerdanced like there was no tomorrow.

Yesterday, I discovered that our ward has a choir.  They're just starting out, and they're improving. But at the same time. Hmmm. How should I say this? They make scout camp sound like Pentatonix.

Something else about my ward though- They are focused and ready to work. I'm really blessed to be able to serve with these people. Yesterday, we had what's called a consejo de barrio. It's basically a monthly ward council. It was nothing short of inspiring to see these people working together to figure out how to push the missionary work to new heights. Every single member there was a convert. There were sixteen people there, and the two companionships of missionaries assigned to the ward have more time in the church than that entire group combined. It was a fantastic reminder of one of my favorite things about the gospel- whether you're born in the church or you're a recent convert or you come from whatever other background doesn't matter. It's what you're doing NOW that matters. And the conviction of the people here is breathtaking. God loves everyone, and I love the heart of a convert.

Anyhow, I hope you're all doing good things wherever you are! Have fun, laugh it up, and don't take yourself too seriously. I'll try to do the same :)

Much Love,
Dallin Johnson

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