Thursday, September 29, 2005

Letter dated September 26, 2005

Dear World,

The districts just ahead of us are going to leave tomorrow, which means we'll be the "oldest" French-speaking missionaries at the MTC (I think; at least in our branch). That means there are just a few more weeks before I leave for France! Crazy.

When I'm learning French, I feel like I'm not learning much, but when I take a step back and realize that I understood an entire Sacrament meeting talk, or that I just explained God's Plan of Salvation, entirely in French, I can't help but be amazed at how quickly I've learned as much as I have.

I've finished reading the Pearl of Great Price, and I'll probably start reading the Doctrine & Covenants soon. I'm also trying to memorize a bunch of scripture locations; that's proving to be more difficult than anything else I do here.

I'm also having some difficulty getting along with my mission companion. We never exactly "clicked," but up until now, we've gotten along alright. We're opposites in just about every way. We're from opposite sides of the globe; I'm a computer geek, while he's always been very sporty; I've got a build that you might call "wiry," whereas he's got the pecs of Arnold Schwarzenegger; I'm cheery and full of smiles, while he's more . . . I think "surly" is the word, but I don't have a dictionary . . .; I constantly feel the need to be doing something constructive, and he sometimes just wants to chill; our communication styles are totally different. In short, the only thing we both have in common is our mission call. Considering all that, it's really nothing shor of miracuous that we've been able to get along with each other as constant compaions for over a month! But last night he told me that I'm really starting to bug hi. That's not so bad, in an of itself, but he then refused to say anymore. FYI Girls: guys hate it when you pull this, "If you don't know, I'm not going to tell you" stunt. It's ridiculous. So I was really surprised when my tough guy companion suddenly clammed up and wouldn't talk bluntly about what I was doing to get on his nerves. I asked him about it again today, and he still wouldn't talk about it. (He said, "You're clueless!" I said, "Yeah, I am. You've probably noticed by now that I'm clueless about a lot of things. I'd appreciate it if you'd be patient enough to help me know wha tI'm doing wrong.") "Don't worry; we're only here for three more weeks," he said. I replied, "Three weeks is a long time at the MTC: besides, if something bugs you, it''ll probably bug my next companion too." He agreed that it probably will. "So you're not doing anybody any favors," I said, "by not telling me."

"I don't have to do anyone any favors," he said. I told him yes, he does--he's a missionary; if he didn't come here to serve others then why is he here? He still hasn't answered.
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