Monday, March 9, 2015

One Continuous Moment


It's all coming. 
The faintly Paraguayan accent. 
The keen sense of smell. 
The stunning shoe strap tan line. 
Muddy Shoes
Last night we passed by Javier. He was on a foldout chair on his porch, just sipping tererè and smiling. He had his day off and he´d just been meditating all day tranquiiiiiiilo. He always reads and thinks about the things we give him-- a rare and valuable attribute. Wanted to chat about it but it would have to wait; we had to run to Antonela Cano's house because it was her son's 3rd birthday. The importance and extravagance of Argentine birthday parties does not bear mentioning; please google it. We were caught up and almost carried away by the swarm of kids and blow up slides and dancing. Anto found us in the crowd long enough to say hi, make a long-anticipated appointment for later in the week, and pile up a plate of sandwiches to send us with.

We walked away kind of dazed with this huge plate of sandwiches and several handfuls of alfajores, and decided we should stop by Hugo and Mabel's since we hadn't seen them for a while. We got there and clapped, and Mabel came out.
"Ya llegaron las hermanas!" she exclaimed--"The sisters are here!".
She whicked us through to the back yard, where a table was set up with empanadas and refrescos. Everyone came out. The 20-something daughter who we had only seen twice came out. 15-year old Ari came out.
"Finally we can start our family home evening." Hugo said, coming out wearing a very nice shirt and spectacles and holding a set of scriptures, "We were afraid you wouldn't make it."

At this point Hermana Beecher and I looked at each other and realized how good it was we had decided to stop by...We looked down at the plate of sandwiches in her hands, and said "Yeah so sorry we're late. But we brought sandwiches!!"

And we all sat down around the table on this breezy moonlit night. This family that never in all their years together had ever sat down together and talked about religion, they had this strange, beautiful family night. Hugo and Mabel got talking about their faith, their joys, their sorrows. Herm. Beecher and I said very little. I think Hugo just needed our presence there. To set the tone. With foreign missionaries there, Ari and Agustina felt obliged to leave their phones behind and come be with their parents. And that was enough. We didn't need to share some elaborate sermon; we were all there for Hugo. He'd long since told us it was his dream to have his family all seated together, and to share his faith.

Yesterday was also El día de la mujer trabajadora! [Day of the Working Woman] Shout out to all you hard-working ladies in my life!

This week was kind of one continuous moment. It happened all at once. Wednesday night was the most brain-slamming rainstorm this place has seen in several years--the streets were like 4 AM, nobody out-- for one brief moment the world belonged to us. And to the storm; Herm Beecher and I may have had an instant where we were Janie and Teacake in Their eyes were watching God.

These people have devoured my heart. Waking up and being more concerned for them than for what we're going to have for lunch or how we're going to fit it all into 12 hours is a life that takes a lot of self trust and a lot of prayer.

Hermana Beecher has crossed several items off her mission bucket list this week, so she's pretty hyped about that. After enough studying together and living the ups and downs of life together in this mission companion quasi-marriage-of-convenience, I'm starting to see her vision. Things I couldn't understand at first. I continue to scramble to keep up and glory in the hot, hot, inferno sunshine.

Love you all, have a great week!

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