Friday, May 7, 2010
Because He lives...
Because He rose in mighty triumph from the grave
I put my trust in Him and seek to follow Him in Faith
Because He lives
My heart is filled with peace amid a world of fear
And through the darkness of the night I rest in Him secure
Because He lives
Those are some of the lyrics of the song Elder McTernan and I are auditioning with on Thursday. It's so beautiful. Some of the notes are really high for me, but the elder that recuited (actually, it's more like he drafted) us is an amazing music teacher, and worked with me. He made me turn my back as we did an excercise-- turn my back so that I couldn't see the piano. As we finished, he asked what note I thought that last one (the highest one) was. And I said "Uhhh... E E flat?" He smiled. My companion (his partner in the excercise crime) and said-- "Acutally, High F sharp. So don't you tell me you can't do a D sharp anymore. Because you can." That was really really cool. Because here's the nub and gist of my week:
It was like Hell.
I knew the amazingness of last week wouldn't last forever. But I never thought it would only be a week. Saturday was sooo difficult, and I can't even pin it down to a single event. But I couldn't reach a happy moment. Then Elder McTernan (who is a convert, and really amazing, but SERIOUSLY??) said that the entire Mormon Culture is intolerant and ignorant of other religions. HONNETMENT?? I got on him for that, saying that many people in the church are soooo busy learning their OWN religion as a child, that you can't expect them to be scholars on other religions as well! (Again, his mother has a doctrate in theology. Remember where he is coming from-- a home where everyone knows a lot about many religions.) Then he looked at me like I was ten years old and said "Look, I'm not trying to argue with you, so don't get mad at me." Then I said I would love to continue this conversation another time (not-- because he totally had his opinion, and if I've learned anything about this elder, it's that he doesn't change his mind very easily), but the spirit wasn't there. And I said "I refuse to discuss this without the spirit." So here's what I would say if I ever actually did talk to him about this: "Every institute of religion, every church school, and anywhere else you find an organized church education system, offers a 'Religions of the World' class. I've taken it. I loved it. I developed a love and admiration for all types of relations. not to mention the fact that my father was raised by a catholic father, and a christian mother, and none of my dad's side of the family are Mormon. Another fact is that I was a minority at my high school where only 10 of my 700 people graduating class were Mormon. So yeah, what was it you said about our ignorance and intolerance of other religions?"
Oh it gets better. Then I had another missionary grill me and my companion right before we taught a lesson, and I broke down crying. THEN at Milestone, Elder McTernan was paired up to teach with me. We were supposed to take five minutes each. he taught first, and then left me with two minutes. Seriously?
And then the rest of the week can be summarized in one word: Discouraged. I felt so discouraged all week. The day arrived where we were taught the last thing I learned at school in French. I've reached my wall. I now sit in class, conjugating tense after tense before I get to the one I want. Seriously. I was trying to say "We will be better" and I said "Nous sommes-- serions--- soyons---- SERONS." This is no exaggeration. It makes me sick every time it happens. It doesn't help that we've had a new teacher. And he's a guy. And he's quiet. And everything he says is in french. i understand every word he says *when it's not mumbled*, but not the connotation, which blew up in both of our faces one day. He came in and wrote down the morning's schedule as usuall, but added "les soucis de Frere Welch". The worries of Frere welch? What's that all about? Well. The first thing he brought up as a worry was "mes pantalones." Crap. Crap crap crap. He wears his pants waaaaayyyy too low, and Soeur wood and I thought it was inappropriate. So we vented about it to our female teacher and his old class. And all we could think was "The other elders told him the soeurs think his pants are too low." He stared right at us, and I started to blush. He asked the class "pensez-vous que...(my pants are too low in French)". And i just had to say it. "OUI! ILS SONT!" And I blushed. Because then he started, uhm,m, jostling them about? I can't think of a good english adjective for that. But that made it even more awkward. Then I blushed some more, and then I cried. Silently at first, but he later asked me to read out loud and I couldn't because I was crying to hard. So yeah. That was my day.
But things got better at least once a day. And that made it all worth it. I don't really have time for much else to write.
Wow, that was a way french sentence.
But just know, that something happened today that made me cry. I sat in the chapel of the temple because we missed the only session we could make, and i sat there and bawled. So my companion and I did something else, and guess what? I saw someone I'd had an issue with that morning, and they apologized to me. If I hadn't missed that session, even though I wanted so badly to go, I wouldn't have had that apology given to me, and my day would be worse. And I would be worse for it.
So I can't tell now, but I know all these hard things are here for a reason. I have lessons to learn from them. And I'll be someone I couldn't be without them. And that gives me comfort, and hope, and excitment.
I love this gospel. And even though I really wanted to be home like 27 times this week, I love being here.
Soeur Kacey Barros