Jun. 7, 2016

The Day They Called Me Brittany: Saturday, June 4, 2016

I have never appreciated sleeping in as much as I did this morning. Today marks three weeks here. I feel like I have been here forever but I also feel like the time has flown by. We’ve been so busy! But that’s what Missionary life is like here. Today we worked on cleaning and more painting.

Tonight there was a youth gathering that was just for the youth. Which meant that Mark and Serena weren’t going to go with me. Which meant that I would be left alone with 20+ youth and no way to efficiently communicate with them. Honestly I had been dreading tonight since Monday when Lili first invited me. I mean I wanted to go because I want to bond with people my age here. But I wanted the cushion of a translator. I was terrified, so I prayed all morning for God to get me through what I was sure would be a disaster. But throughout this trip God has provided me with many comforts to give me peace, and He didn’t stop tonight.

I was still mildly terrified as I watched Serena leave. But then they asked me to jump on their trampoline with them. As a kid, jumping on our trampoline was one of my favorite things. Comfort #1 of the night. I mentally thanked God that for some reason earlier I had put on shorts underneath my dress, and climbed onto the trampoline. First they made me sit in the center while they bounced me around. I think it was some kind of welcome because they made everyone that got on the trampoline do it too.

So there we were, me and five other people all in our early twenties, jumping around on the trampoline like a bunch of little kids. We didn’t have to be able to understand one another to be able to laugh at each other and ourselves when we fell or failed a trick. It was a great time. However, we jumped for over an hour so I’m definitely going to be sore the next couple days.

There is one boy in the group, Joseph, who knows the most English, so everyone kept asking him to translate. The poor guy was so nervous. At one time he was trying to get my attention and kept calling me Brittany. You tell me how this always happens. I even left the country and am surrounded by people who don’t speak English and have no idea what my siblings names are and I STILL get called Brittany. Maybe that was a comfort of home because it happens a lot there. I don’t know I guess I’ll count it. Comfort #2.

Then they asked me if I liked pizza. Oh I was pumped because as Garret has pointed out, I love pizza like no other. They brought the pizza out and it was none other than Little Caesar’s Hot ‘N Ready’s. Comfort #3.

After pizza some of them wanted me to play a board game with them. I couldn’t understand what they were calling it but I think it was like Chinese Checkers. Still yet I had never played it before so they tried to explain the rules to me by switching back and forth between Spanish and English. I was beyond confused. But through my extreme confusion and their failed attempts to talk to me we were all still able to laugh the entire time. There was a ridiculous amount of nervous and awkward laughter on both sides. Or they were just laughing at me. Either way it’s alright because we were having fun and in some way we bonded.

When the gathering was over Karen and Sergio took me home. They remind me of my siblings, except Dexter, because they’re young, and married, and have a young daughter, and still like to act like kids (ex: jumping on the trampoline). Comfort #4.

Tonight was great and I really loved spending time with people my age. Tonight is also full of examples of how God is taking such good care of me and providing for me above and beyond any expectation I could’ve had. God has been so so good to me through this whole experience and He blesses me more and more each day!