August 22, 2013

Life as an RM.

Ever since I got home, whenever I see someone I haven't seen in a long time they normally ask at least one of the following questions, if not all of them:
  1. How was your mission?
  2. How is it being back?
  3. What are your plans now?
  4. So, are you dating anyone?!/Can I set you up with "so-and-so?" (Ps. Did you know that "so-and-so" is actually found in the Merriam-Webster dictionary? #FactoftheDay.)
Question #1-How was your mission?
I’m sorry. That question can not really be answered in a word or a sentence. Nor can it be summed up in a sacrament talk in church. It's indescribable. Serving a mission is….. Look. I’m trying and I can’t even explain it. No hay palabras. It is the most all-in-one-experience you could ever have. It’s wonderful. Hard. Life changing. Challenging. Demanding. Intense. Unexpected. Joyous. Unforgettable. Incredible. Wonderful. Rewarding. All of that and more. And on some days, it wasn't uncommon to feel all of that in just one hour. 

So how can you explain all of that in one word?! I think it's a gift from God that you can't, because it makes it even more special.

Question #2-How is it being back?
 How is it being back? ha's the same kind of a concept. It's a mix of emotion. Most of the time it's really great! And then there's those days when you realize just how awkward of an RM (Returned Missionary) you are because you feel like:
  • you have to say Hola/Buen dia/Buenas Tardes to everyone that walks by.
  • Or how you naturally feel like sharing a scripture after eating a meal.
  • Or wondering why you don't have to call your district leader at 9:30pm to pass on the datos.
  • Or feeling like you need to give everyone a beso or a handshake.
  • Or how you still think in Spanish--which makes you stutter as you try to figure out how to say it in English.
  • Or walking outside on a windy day and out of habit slapping your leg to keep your skirt from flying up...and then remembering that you're wearing jeans.
  • Or how light switches here in the US generally flip up and down rather than from side to side.
  • Or feeling like you need to call a Remis (taxi) to get home when it starts getting dark.
  • Or you turn the knob on the sink that says "C" expecting hot water to come out...
  • Or realizing that you're actually at the point where you feel like you can express yourself better in Spanish rather than in English.
It's weird. But there's fun things too, like:
  • carpet!
  • dishwashers, washers & dryers
  • not having to wear flip flops in the shower
  • being able to drive a car
  • air conditioning
  • ovens with temperature control
  • streets that don't flood over when it rains
  • unlimited email time
  • TECHNOLOGY! Please. It's changed so much. 
  • or being able to talk to someone of the opposite sex for more than 5 minutes and not feeling bad for it
  • peanut butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, Ranch dressing, cheese that isn't queso cremoso, Mom's cooking, & milk that actually takes good!
  • sleeping in past 6:30am, or staying up later than 10:30pm
  • being able to hold babies!
  • running water. And hot running water that doesn't run out
Question #3-What are your plans now?
School and work, people. That's what you should do when you're twenty-something. Luckily it was easy for me because I already finished a chunk of my major before my mission, so now it's back to the books, the classrooms, and the sewing lab! 

Question #4-So, are you dating anyone?!/Can I set you up with "so-and-so?" 
That's always a funny question. But to answer: No, and yes.

When I look back at my mission and the rules I had to live by, or the sacrifices I had to make to go without the simple day-to-day things we take for granted here in the United States--I'm happy. I loved every minute of it. 

It's just good to be back.

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