Tuesday, June 9, 2009

more adventures with mormons in latin america

I think I'm onto a series here. The LDS church is way more exciting in Latin America. I love this culture.

Even though we've lived here three months now, we still haven't figured out everyone's names in our little branch. I was sitting next to Jonathan in Preisthood/Relief Society on Sunday, trying not get too distracted by the trail of ants crawling out of an old lady's purse on the row in front of us. I noticed that Jonathan seemed to be taking notes. I looked at his notebook:

Brother Colostomy Bag (yeah, he showed it to us)

Brother "de igual forma" (a frase he uses as least 100 times in every lesson)

Brother Ponytail

Elder Mexico (missionary from Mexico... creative)

Elder Braid (missionary that's allowed to keep his hair long because his culture is so awesome)

Sister Teenager with twins

Sister Cries-at-the-drop-of-a-hat

Sister Sounds-like-Alvin(andthechipmunks)-when-she-sings

Sounds really rude, huh? Well it is pretty rude I guess, but how else are we supposed to refer to them if we can't figure out their names? Granted, we have figured out a lot of their names, but those nicknames just stick.

Later on, during Sunday school, the lesson turned to a discussion about home teaching. Brother Ponytail raised his hand and said that Brother Colostomy Bag hadn't been to visit him in over five weeks. Brother Colostomy Bag turned to look at him, a little disgruntled, and said with his booming voice that Brother Teaches-Every-Class hasn't been to see him in over 5 years!

You see? Things like this just never happen in the Valley View 8th Ward.

Later still, in Sacrament Meeting, a little girl came and started pounding on the upper keys of the piano while I was playing the sacrament hymn. Then she started pushing on my fingers and talking to me. It sounded really beautiful. A couple verses later, after my futile attempts to tell her to stop, her mom finally came over to take her back to their seat. Man! That was the third time that's happened. Usually Jonathan comes up to get the little girl when she does that, but this time he was on the stand getting the sacrament ready. It's a good thing she's cute.

There's more! We just have the best time at church. Last Sunday, Jonathan was called to be the Young Men's president in our ward. So in Sacrament meeting, as they presented him for approval of the congregation, the Branch President said, "We'd like to present Jonathan Amand Grace as...." Jonathan Amand Grace? haha.... Well I'll help, I guess, if you want me too...

Just this past Sunday, Sister Has-the-cutest-baby-in-the-world was giving the lesson in Relief Society. It was about loving communication in the home. Patience, kindness, and what not. Her 4-year-old son came barging into the room in the middle of the lesson and went directly up to his mom and asked, "Mamá, ¿Qué significa SIÉNTATE!!!!!?" (Translation: Mom, What does "SIT DOWN!!!" mean?)

She said something to him in Quichua (native language). He replied with, "OOOOoooohhhh."

Hilarious. I wonder if his primary teachers know he's not understanding half of what they say to him. He came in another four times to ask her questions while she was teaching. Good thing she was teaching a lesson about patience.

In Sacrament meeting, it was announced that church next week will only be one hour. This is the second time since we've been here they've done this. The first time was so people could vote. I wonder what it is this time...


Halie said...

Ha Ha I wish my ward was that eventful, we have kind of the same thing going with the whole name thing we just haven't gotten to know hardly anyone yet. Anyway I don't know if you knew I have a blog now, it is not near as exciting as yours but I guess you are in a way more exciting place then Rexburg Id. right?brettandhalie.blogspot.com is the address. Hope you guys are doing great!

Lindsay said...

I love your blogs, Amanda. Very informative and funny. You should become a columnist, if the whole saving the world-one-country-at-a-time thing doesn't work out for you... hm, which one is a better cause? ;) I love Latin wards too! Everyone is so great and sincere and sincerely... I don't know, funny, but not on purpose. How do you describe that? Real human beings? There is no big hair, lots of makeup, just the ants crawling out of the purse real human beings.

amanda said...

Halie, I will totally check out your blog! I didn't know you had one. I'm excited.

Linds, you are so right about the people being real. I love it. Sincerely funny but not on purpose. So true. I don't think I'm a good enough writer to be a columnist, but I'm trying to get better. Thanks for the compliment. :)

I miss you girls!

cathy said...

I totally wish we could have an airing of grievances during Sunday School like that. You know we're all thinking it.
So in Russia we had old grandmas (babushkas) get up in testimony meeting and talk about their visions of God. Really.

Jessica said...

That is so great. I wish church were that exciting here, at least as long as I could just sit in the back and watch and laugh. Not so much if I had to be in any of the leadership!

amanda said...

Cathy: I know! I was totally cracking up in Sunday School... I could have said, "Oh yeah? Well we don't even HAVE home teachers." haha... It seems like other cultures (like Russians and Latin Americans) just have wider limits than we United Statesians. :)

Jessica: I feel bad for the leaders... but sometimes they're just as crazy as the rest of the branch. I imagine in the early days of the Church in the U.S. similar things might have happened.

Sarah Williams said...

This post made my day...