Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Road Goes Ever On -- September 28, 2015

Holy mackerel! Yeah, so not that anyone would remember (except for my parents. Parents are quite awesome, I've decided) but I left for the DR on September 24, 2014. In other words, I've officially been a missionary for OVER A YEAR. The mission is more than fifty percent gone. I will never see another September in the mission field. My. Great. Lozzy.

Seated Sashaying (on the way to BK)
To celebrate this venerable and salient occasion, the entire house went for broke on fanciness and after district meeting, we sashayed off to Burger King to enjoy some nuggets and sauce. This then led to us enjoying a sandwich. Or two. And some fries. And a drink. And then a shake. And by the time we'd finished, we were exceedingly full. 

Later that night (like three hours later) we had a dinner appointment. It was super good, but the lady of the house kept dishing out more and more against our helpless protests, cackling, "No, no, lads, I won't let you leave until it's all gone!" When we finally got out, we were full to the rafters. And to make things even better, we'd double-booked dinner appointments that night. Our lessons have a tendency to fall, you see. But in accordance with the Mameic Law of "Screw Vasquez and Johnson", we got the green light on both. And we couldn't flake out, either, because the second appointment was with Yefri, our best investigator with a baptismal date. Normally the prospect of supping with Yefri would be very cheery, but then, my stomach isn't normally about to explode into bloody confetti. Yefri's grandma is an excellent cook and the food was all exquisite, but we left feeling 103% dead anyway. We waddled home, planned, and slept on our backs.

So here we are, a year later, and what more appropriate thing could have happened this last week than a LANGUAGE GAFFE OF THE WEEK!!! Yes, it's true. Haha a full year of speaking this thrice-baked everloving language and I'm still saying embarrassing things. I'll spare you the details. Just let it be known that in front of a crowd of thirty to forty members and investigators, I informed my companion that Americans put a lot of "preservativos" in their food. Contrary to all appearances, "preservativo" does not mean "preservative." It means. Goll. It means. Ugh. Diache. Agh. Fiddlesticks. Fine. Itmeanscondomokayisaidit. One year. One yeeeaar.....

I had yet another moment where the bishop called me over in the middle of church and was like, "Hey, can you give a talk? I need someone to give a talk." And I was like, "Uh." And then he stood up and announced, "Hey everyone, Elder Johnson's gonna give a talk." It was. Well. Bad. Blast.

The ocean is still a wonder to me. I may have some time in the mission (did I mention I've finished a year?) but I also have nineteen years living in Northern Utah, and as breathtaking as First Dam is, it ain't quite the Carribean. Anyway, I was walking along the shoreline on the way home one day, when. Hold on. Here. Kids under the age of 13 and crab-lovers everywhere, please just skip the next paragraph for your own mental health. I witnessed a crab commit suicide. There I was. Calmly walking along the rocky shore. All of a sudden, a crab just popped up out of a hole, skittered off to the side, and threw himself off a cliff. Wha- Holy. Well. Alright then. Just dash yourself to pieces before my innocent eyes. No, really, it's fine. I wanted to have a chat with my therapist anyway.

Anyhow, to cut to the chase, IT'S MY MISSION BIRTHDAY!!! One year! Pop a cork! Drinks all around! Wow. I never, ever thought I would live to see this day. I remember that first day in the MTC when we had yuca for the first time and Spanish was like a foreign language to us. The year mark was such a distant dream. Now? Here we are. It's gone so fast. It's flown.

It may not be obvious, but this throne
has no bottom to sit upon
And yet it hasn't. It's not so much that I feel like I left an eternity ago as I feel like it was an entirely different person whose memories I happen to share that boarded that plane all those months ago. It's crazy how unreal that old life feels to me. Like. The things I did and people I knew were something I saw in a movie. I fully recognize that there are many nice people who email me and write me letters and send me packages and do all sorts of things that make my days absolutely light up and I honestly love and appreciate every one of them for it. But there's this unshakable feeling of unreality about it all. Like it's someone else's mom and friends writing me from some other dimension. I don't know any better. All my friends in this dimension are missionaries or Dominicans. Then, just to mess with me, we have wackos like Elder Barlow who I knew as missionaries but are writing me from that same other dimension where you can "kiss girls" and "buy Panda Express." And then I have to accept the fact that most of you must also experience Dallin Johnson with some degree of unreality as well! It's quite disconcerting.

Nevertheless! I'm more grateful for the year I've had than I can express. Life changes, but that's nothing to be afraid of. We can change too. It's been a good Year One.

Here's to the Two.

Ciao for now,
Elder Dallin Johnson
Saw this out a window and about messed my pants
until I realized it wasn't real

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