Monday, July 27, 2015

Wise---Well, Words from Los Mameyes July 27, 2015

Hello! It's a Monday.

So in lieu of a mostly story-based epistle this week, I thought I would just share just a small portion of the things that get said in our house. Some names have been changed to protect identities.

Barlow was translating for Sister Corbitt at the Trainee-Trainer meeting. It went a little something like this:

Sister Corbitt: If you get bit by a dog, you'll have to keep an eye on it for at least ten days to check for irregular behavior. If you see anything, you may have to get some shots.
Elder Barlow: Yeah, if you get bit by a dog, you're getting shots.
Sister Corbitt: Also, don't draw on your apartment walls. The landlords frown upon that.
Elder Barlow: Graffiti pisses the owners off.

Haha that's our Elder Barlow- de-euphemizing things since 1995.

Other out-of-context quotes:

Barlow: All the members we were gonna go out with left us planted.
Lopez: What does that mean?
Brockbank: You know what that is? We's been shafted.

Mayonnaise Face: Don't even think about it.
Rugged Rogue: Don't even think about what?
Mayonnaise Face: Buying a bra.
Rugged Rogue: What? What would I do with a bra?
Mayonnaise Face:.....put it in the freezer....

Johnson: Life is like a banana. On the outside, it looks like a tough, bitter place, but once you peel that layer back, someone comes along and eats you.

Mayonnaise Face: What?! Why am I Mayonnaise Face??!?!

Johnson: I was always a fan of ramen noodling, myself. I'm a cheap sort of vandal.
Brockbank: Then you have Palmyra, Utah, where when your neighbors are mad at you, they weld your gate shut.

Iron Rod: Every time me and [name redacted] do something in this building, we end up with women in skimpy clothing.

Barlow: Can you hand me the area book?
Brockbank: Here in Ozama, we only use that to cut pineapple.

Johnson: I don't mean to ask stupid questions, but, uh, who put oil in the toilet?
Brockbank: We had to figure out which one of like twenty tanks was ours. Luckily, someone had spraypainted it green and written "Mormones" on it.

Barlow: I hate this. My talks have good doctrine, but you
always have the good stories.
Johnson: I know. It's like you're Dallin H. Oaks and I'm Last-Conference-Thomas-S.-Monson.
Barlow: Don't compare yourself with the prophet..... Why are you wiggling your ears like that?

Brockbank: As you can plainly see, before the mission, I was black.  

Johnson: Yeah, 'cause Eagle Scouts always know what they're doing.
Barlow: Hey, that's how I got this far in the mission.
Brockbank: By tying a heck of a lot of bowlines.

Broke Guy at an otter pop vendor: Hey, can you buy me one of these?
Johnson: No. Sorry. We're out of money.
Broke Guy: But I have a family to feed. I need money.
Barlow: You know what you need? Y'all need Jesus.
Johnson: Yes, come to church. And really, we're out of money.
Barlow (as we're walking away): Johnson, you're such a jerk. Although to be fair, he was trying to feed his family by bumming an otter pop.

Lopez: They might skip us in line.
Brockbank: Yeah, and we could pay with passalong cards and Monopoly money. Whaddya think about that?

Johnson: Yeah, me and Elder Rodriguez were up until about 4 AM.
Rodriguez: Please. It was only like...3:30.

Barlow: I always cuddled with Tanner's dog. See, I didn't have a girlfriend, and frankly I didn't have a dog.

Johnson: I think we can all agree that Kola Real is the worst soda in our solar system.
Brockbank: Then there's Country Club, which takes like cough syrup and gives you weirdly-colored poo.
Barlow (from out of the room): Are you guys talking about Country Club?

Johnson: Huh. We have a quote wall. We're practically women.
Barlow: Why?
Johnson: Quote walls are feminine.
Barlow: What? I don't know any girls who keep a quote wall. They're all guys. Wait..... Are we talking like a Pinterest quote wall?
Johnson: That's going on the quote wall.

So there you have it! We're contacting like animals and having a good time. I love you all and hope you all have a good week. 

In the wise words of Elder Rodriguez (one last quote), 

"Two men can do anything, as long as one of them is the Lord."

Elder Dallin Johnson

P.S. The attached photos are Elders Barlow, Brockbank, and me in varying levels of dignity. I would've taken one of Elder Lopez, but he's apparently not about that life.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Contacting in the Caribbean July 21, 2015

Happy Tuesday! It's P-DAY!!....? Yeah, so for P-Day, Barlow wanted to go to the zoo. Only problem was that the zoo is in the West mission. And it's closed on P-Day. Yeah, asking to not only leave the mission (I split my infinitives if I want, ye grammar Nazis), but to change your P-Day just for fun is sort of like going to DI and asking for a discount. It's simply not done. So what did Elder Barlow do? He asked. For permission. AND GOT IT. This is my life in Los Mameyes.

My ever-fluent and most excellent Aunt Tonya tells me that a "Mamey" in Mexico is a dude with a hot bod. Since it doesn't mean anything here, we'll use that translation. I don't know if anyone has been using a translator, but that means that the last few areas I've been working in (Los Mameyes, La Toronja, and Los Solares) in English are "The Dudes with Hot Bods", "The Grapefruit", and "The Plots of Dirt." They better give the guy in charge of naming these things a raise- he's a special sort of creative. 

Yeah, so Los Mameyes is basically the shiz. I tell you what, when I got the call that I was being transferred to Ozama with Elder Barlow, it was like I'd been sent to the Celestial Kingdom and was rooming with Jesus. The area is beautiful. The streets are calm. The houses are fit for human life. The apartment buildings have the most inefficient design ever, but I reckon it makes sense- they were built by the government. But the best part is that Los Mameyes lies right along the ocean, making it a wonderful place for a morning run if we ever wake up feeling particularly masochistic. It's also a great place for a bored Evangelical to work out while her bleeding laryx recovers from her morning spiritual thought (I'll send that picture next week when we're in a slightly nicer cyber cafe). I really can't complain, although we do have a slight cockroach problem and my fan sucks more than it blows.

In the house, we have four American missionaries and are redefining the term "whitewashing." Elder Lopez, despite having a Latino name, is whiter than white and fresh out of the MTC last week. Although he doesn't know very much about Spanish, he's pretty dang handy with a skillet and a quart of frying oil. If my heart gives out this transfer, just know I died happy. Elder Barlow and Brockbank are our resident geezers, which is actually good, although I may have to start wearing earplugs while we contact on account of Elder Barlow's creaking joints.

So today in the zoo, we were walking past the bison exhibit and we had a conversation that went more or less like this:

Me: Hey, look at the bison.
Brockbank: Yeah, it's crazy how many people mix up buffalo and bison.
Barlow: Wait, those aren't buffalo?
Me: Naw, the buffalo is actually an Asian animal. What did you think the difference was?
Barlow: I dunno. I kinda always thought bison was the plural of buffalo. Like, 'Oh, look, there's a buffalo. Oh look, there are some bison.' "

Haha we also passed Sambil, which had a huge display in front of a well-tanned lass in a skimpy bathing suit. I caught Elder Barlow staring at it and was about to reprend him when I suddenly realized he was actually staring down the giant poster with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge beside it. In the words of a questionably wise man, "there's regular porn, and then there's mobile programmer porn." Haha Elder Barlow, I have missed your cachetes.

As we're whitewashing (Just so you all know, whitewashing is when neither of the elders have been in an area before. The comment a paragraph or two ago may or may not have had racial implications, but it's all good.) we're contacting a lot. Like. A lot. Like. We've been spending seven to nine hours a day walking along hot streets knocking on doors and getting rejected. We had moments in which we tried to contact a mute, a dog nearly made us pee our pants because it scared us so bad, Barlow got hit on by a 65-year-old with a neck like a Confederate flag, and a guy told us our church was false because a meteor hit Russia and destroyed the Alps. Well, we finally decided to go down along the houses by the ocean to contact. These houses are rich. There was little hope of getting let in. This community was gated. Walled. But one of the walls was like two feet tall, so we figured what the heck and did what any bored missionaries would do. We jumped it. We went in. Predictably enough, these people were entirely too good for us, so after getting rejected five more times (and discovering that all of them have very big dogs. I'm starting to see an unfortunate trend) we walked out the front gate. The security there called us over and furiously demanded to know how we got in. And we were like. "That wall. Yeah. That one over there. It's two feet tall. And it says 'Bienvenidos' on it. What?" And then we contacted them. Yeah. It's been that sort of week.

That's all for this week. Things are going smooth and we're working hard. Hope all's well and stand by for pictures next week.

Hot dogs and hot dang,
Dallin Johnson

Monday, July 13, 2015

Ode to Los Solares July 13, 2015

It's transfer time and after six months, I'm OUT OF HERE!! With ELDER FLIPPIN' BARLOW!!! 

Johnson and Barlow

In commemoration of the event, I did what any sane soul would do; I wrote a poem about it. Enjoy :)

Ode to Los Solares (a poem)
by Elder Dallin Johnson

O Los Solares! My foxy, fickle friend!
With mixed emotions, we reach our long-awaited end.

You wanna know how I got this haircut?
You took my hair, my dignity,
But still I'll say, "Not you, it's me."
That much is obvious; you can't go.
You're an inanimate location, you curmudgeonly dope!

Don't. Say. A word.

Although we weathered much, you and me
We passed through things together, the perfect team.
Through thick and thin, through song and dance,
And on one occasion, nearly soiled pants.

We frolicked and baptized drinkers of Scotch.
We laughed and we cried. Well, you cried--I watched.
With friends and small children, and roaches besides,
The last, I assure you, was fully despised. 

But now I'm off to Los Mameyes,
A grassy land where calm bachata plays.
A land where dreams and leprechauns
Can don their kilts and dance 'til dawn.

What? What was that, eh?
Kilts are for Scots, you say?
The nether breeze is not for the Emerald Isle?
You wanna bet? You make me smile!
Who cares about kilts or leprechauns?
The point is, Los Mameyes is the bomb.

So off I go, it's time at last, 

As always,
Elder Dallin Johnson

Shorn, but undefeated