I sort of got out of hand writing a letter to marissa and now I don’t have much time, so I’m just forwarding it to you. She asked me about all the things that have changed about me. At first I started freaking out, but then I remembered all the things I like about myself here in Iquitos.
My dearest Marissa,
I’m glad to report that this week I’m feeling swimmingly stable. Emotionally, that is. I’ve had a change of companions. Her name is Hermana Crosby. She’s a basketball fan from Northern California. We’re about as opposite as we could get, but she’s wonderful. We worked so, so hard this week, and I really haven’t even had time to feel moody, broody, or any variations of the two. It’s going to be a marvelous six weeks by her side.
Funny, how things have changed.
Change. Let’s talk about change.
You’ve adjusted to changing—changing stresses me out more. So little stays the same, I cling to the little that doesn’t, and when it does, I hurt. I ache. There’s not a word for ache in Spanish.
But in ways that I’ve changed. . . I don’t know. I’m so far out of my natural habitat that I don’t know how much is me and how much is the foreign background playing on me. I know I can talk to people without being stressed or disinterested. I can be around people all day every day, and I don’t feel the need to go sleep in a closet for a day or two.
Spiritually I’ve grown in leaps in bounds. I understand the Atonement so much better. A deeper part of me values Him. I suppose I finally really figured out how to love Christ here in the mission. I sort of always knew he loved me, because that’s what I’ve always known. But now I love Him. And that’s made a world of a difference. I love the old apostles of Christ. They’re cool and super flawed and human and then they kind of knocked it off when Christ died and had to do all the big kid things and were super awesome and powerful and didn’t break under the weight of prosecution not even unto death. (Apostle Feelings coming in.)
This is actually sort of scary. I’ve been taken so far out of my culture and languages and commodities, twisted and molded in new ways that I don’t really know how to answer this question.
But! I think I could tell you the things that I still love. I still love adoring things, and being excited about things, and loving people. I’ve figured out how to love people, even people that I normally wouldn’t be able to stand. I’ve learned to love them despite that. I still like trying new foods and I’ve found a new love for chopping at things with a rusty machete. I love being in the stake center Sunday nights because it’s a beehive of bustling people completing callings, and it just gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside of me seeing people working purely for their own will in the work of the Lord. I like making my bed and planning out my day and singing as loud as I can when I’m tucked away in my house. (I think I’m learning how to harmonize. It’s scary and wonderful all at the same time. When done, I feel like a Disney Princess.) I still like stories and ideas and I totally still mentally write about people I meet. I can walk around under the blazing sun for hours on end and I don’t freak out about the copious amounts of sweat that runs down my back. Sweat marks—ha!—hardly even faze me now. Oh! I’ve probably gotten a bit sassier. Any and all weight insecurity problems got flushed down the toilet like two months in when I got used to people referring to me as La Gordita. (Translation: The Fatty) I am The Fatty. It’s hilarious. I’m now less pessimistic. Everything goes bad, and I’m that super annoying person that I hated before whose like, ‘Don’t worry! Everything’s going to be okay! Because I’ll buy you chocolate!’ and then I would probably buy you chocolate. Also still make really corny jokes, and I haven’t gotten rid of the whole sarcasm bit of me either.
You know, there really are a lot of things that I like about me a lot more—still me, just a bit better. (Sister Cliché strikes again!) I just don’t want to lose that when I come home. That’s sort of why the whole Going Home Change thing is sort of freaking me out, but I’m prepping myself up so I don’t totally blow a fuse.
That was actually a bit longer and self-centered than I’d planned.
I’m sorry you got a B in your class. Save the k-drama for me, but only the really good stuff. Don’t want to wade through the low grade murk.
Hey, I like you
sort of a lot
p.s. use exclamation marks more than I used to, but never two at a time. Never.
Okay, letter over. Also, really weird that Dad’s still having kids. This week at church I got there early to practice the piano, and the bishop was all excited because he got a letter from Utah. But he opened it and it was in English so we read it, and it turns out that that Jeffery Warren guy who’s the FLDS prophet sends monthly letters to all the capillas around the world with his ‘revealed’ scriptures. They were really weird. I read a bit. It wasn’t understandable. The words were sometimes jumbled up and it was just talking about war. That world is just so strange to me. . .
but in other news! New companion. I’d send photos, but my camera’s offically wigged out. Almost a year and a half, and I bought it for 70 dollars at wal-mart. Sort of understandable, I guess.
Love you all, Chao
ps tell joan wooley hi for me, and that I think about her every once and a while.