Super Cool Week; feeling useful

Super cool week!

Super cool week for various reasons.

Reason Number 1:

Friday Morning

This Friday I started the day marrying a family. It was chaos all this week running from one end of this blasted island to the other for all the paperwork we had to do. At eleven o´clock the couple signed papers, kissed, and were declared legally married.

Reason Number 2:

Friday Afternoon

My Zone Leader called me and told me I had to be in the Iquitos General Hospital at two o´clock sharp to translate. I was like, ‘Translate? Translate what? I don’t speak Spanish or English anymore. You can’t put me in a hospital to translate because what if I mess up and somebody dies?

Obviously this was an overly dramatic response and I arrived at the hospital to find a bus full of The Gringos. They were second year medical students from Michigan State, and they’d put up a free medical clinic to help the good people of Iquitos. The only problem was, was that only three or four of them actually spoke Spanish. That was where we suddenly became important.

Two by twos, all the missionaries that spoke English—be they from the U.S. or Latinos who studied it—glued ourselves to a Doctor and went around roughly translating everything. I got stuck in the general part of the clinic which consisted of really old ladies coming in saying that their bones hurt or that their eyesight is bad. There were various whom we had to just tell that, ‘Well. These things are really normal for people of your age. Here’s a multivitamin and some TUMS.’

But it was mostly cool because I got to look at white people all day, and while I do realize that sounds really, really strange, it’s true. I looked at their hair—various red-heads—and their eyes—beautiful—and I listened and sympathized with their blunt, clumsy Spanish.

And if I’m being really, really, really honest, I just felt useful. I’d completely forgotten what it feels like to have people appreciate so much something I do. But that would be a really egotistical part of me talking, so I’m going to change the subject now.

Reason Number 3:

Saturday Night

We baptized at family. A mom and a dad and three of the six children. We baptized them and everything was really hard but also really worth it. If I’ve been walking around like a zombie for the last twenty-four hours, it’s because I’m exhausted.

Apart from all those cool things, everything is going well with the training. I’m learning a lot, and she’s pretty capable. She was a life saver when we did the papers for the wedding because legal terms just aren’t part of my daily vocabulary, you know? But as for what we do all day. . . well that would be a good question. I don’t really know. I wake up and I eat and I study and then I go from house to house, place to place, teaching and organizing and meetings and papers and other things. Missionary things. I don’t know. I have ten months out here and I really have no idea where the time is going. That’s actually one of the goals this month—figure out How to Slow Time Down or How to Manage My Time Better. I’ll let you guys know how it goes.

Lima Norte, eh? Iquitos was part of Lima Norte antes, but now it’s separated. I only know that they’re big on numbers—good numbers, bad numbers, things like that. There are tons still going out in the mission, right? Sometimes I forget the world is still going on over there.

Well. Until next Monday

Hermana Compton


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