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

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