Monday, May 25, 2015

Rainy Days and Change May 25, 2015

Welp. I officially turned eight months old yesterday. So yeah, that happened. In other news, I counted some steps, thought about life, and kneaded some dough. The excitement never ceases out here in Los Solares. Haha that sounds sarcastic, but seriously, it was a good week :)

Some short highlights. We saw a guy eat it hardcore on a motorcycle, and I'm not talking about a tostada. We hurried over, lifted up the guy's motorcycle, and did. Well. Literally nothing else. The guy was fine and really didn't need any help. But like a couple of givers, we picked up his motorcycle anyway. I'm not saying we should be beatified or anything, but I mean, if you can win the Nobel Peace Prize for someone else electing you president.... Haha sorry-we-shouldn't-make-political-jokes. We also had a dumpling dinner with investigators in which I was in charge of kneading the dough. It reminded me that of all the muscles in my body, I'm most proud of my forearms. If that strikes you as odd, it's probably because a) you are not a pianist b) you are not big on being a dumpling kneader or c) you are a normal human being. Thank heaven, I suffer from none of these maladies. 

We also currently have ten baptismal dates. Yes. Ten. Diez. 10.
One of our investigators, Rayni, in the rain. We love Rayni.
Out here, we do it like we do.

Speaking of which, Ventura wasn’t terribly happy about me announcing his 6-3 Five Crowns loss, and this whole week, he’s been a man with a purpose. He challenged me night after night, growing so frustrated he wanted to punch a hole in the wall. He never actually did, though, because, well, the walls are solid cinderblock and he weighs in at a whopping 110 lbs. But it’s true. I can’t deny it. Saturday night, in a contest that wouldn’t have been inappropriate in the Roman Colosseum, I got hosed in the round of queen, where I got dealt almost exclusively doubles and Ventura laid out on the second opportunity. I fell, 101-93, on stakes of an empanada and public shaming. And that’s not a bet, that’s a justified exchange. Yes. I lost. Only took him eleven tries. Nyahaha.

Anyway, as Elder Ventura and I were walking home from the gym this morning, I found myself thinking about how transient we-and the lives we live-are. And what a blessing that is.

Allow me to expound. People do this thing. We have a tendency to think that we're some end product, the result of all of our life experiences added up, and now, we're us. Whether or not we are consciously aware of the fact that hey, EVERYONE changes, we always see ourselves in the moment, like we've walked a long road and here we are at the end, cheerfully (or not-so-cheerfully) being us. 

More specifically, there's this mindset that what we've done up to whatever point we're at right now has set or is currently setting the course of our lives. I remember in high school, everyone was always like, oh, you better get good grades and always be in class because if not, it'll go on your "permanent record", whatever that means (as if the mortician is gonna carve a dunce cap on my headstone when he finds out I sluffed 11th grade English!) and those things are gonna decide the course of your life. And now they're telling you to be very careful of where and what you study because those things are going to decide the course of your life. You already know that when you graduate college, they'll keep telling you to be careful of where you start your career and how you start to build your family, because those things are going to decide the course of your life. They make it out like every choice and its grandma are gonna determine the course of your life.

Well I call baloney. Maybe they'll affect the path you take, but they will not decide your ultimate destination. The course of your life is not a constant, unchanging thing any more than you as a person are some fixed point at the end of a straight line. The person you are right now is not the person you have to be, nor is it the person you WILL be. It's silly when people act like things are always gonna be the way they are now because they aren't. Life is full of beginnings and ends, and as long as you are alive, the course of your life isn't ever fixed.

The application? There is a power inside every one of us, and it doesn't matter how far down the road of life you are, you still have it. This power is the power to change. Whether you're fifteen or fifty, the sum of your past actions will never be something you can't rise above. If you've lived poorly and want to live better, you can. If you think you've lived well enough and can't really get better, you're wrong. We will be able to change the course of our lives as long as we live. However we've lived. Good or bad. We can do better. Always. And that. That is a great hope.

P.S. It rained a smidge.

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