I’ve been home for one year today!! For those of you who don’t know…
- No, I wasn't in prison.
- No, I wasn't in the armed forces.
- No, I was not camped near NASA Headquarters to try to catch a ride on a shuttle flight.
- No, I hadn't run away from home.
- Sí, era misionero de mi iglesia por dos años!
“What? Translation please!”
I left on an LDS Church mission on August 1, 2001 and got home October 4th, 2004 after touring the mission a bit with my parents who came to pick me up. As LDS missionaries you can call home twice a year (Mother’s day and Christmas), write letters and e-mail (on public library computers) once a week, work a minimum of 63 hours a week (we’d usually work much more than that), cannot date, have another missionary as your “companion” every day all day, and a number of other things. All without getting paid! It’s completely voluntary. Each missionary has to pay his or her own way. Families and other people can and most often do help pay, especially for those without the ability to pay for it on their own. No one in the church HAS to go. It is strongly recommended for young men, and lightly suggested for young women. No matter how much I don’t like to admit it, girls are born with most everything guys learn on missions. Which is why I think it’s not as strong of a recommendation for them. :-D
Some think 2 years sounds like a long time to leave home and not get paid a single penny, but it really hardly seemed like 2 years to me. I served in the Cincinnati, Ohio mission. Which covers northern Ohio, a small part of Indiana, and a lot of Eastern Kentucky. I was one of the 20+ Spanish speaking missionaries in the mission. I spent about 1 year in Ohio and the other year in Kentucky. These are the cities I lived in:
- Cincinnati, OH
- West Chester, OH
- Hamilton, OH
- Newport, KY
- Winchester, KY
No, I did not know Spanish before August 1st, 2001. :) Well, I did know agua, casa, and yo quiero taco bell, but that was it. I learned Spanish starting in the Provo, Utah MTC for the first 2 months, and then in Cincinnati from people and books! Studying for an hour each morning, reading the Book of Mormon and Bible in Spanish, and talking with people all day long really does a lot! No he tenido muchas oportunidades de hablar Español aquí en Utah durante el año pasado, pero todavía leo el Libro de Mormón y la Biblia en Español… lo cual me ha ayudado recordar casi todo lo que había aprendido en la misión. También llamo por teléfono o escribo correos electrónicos a los que conocí en Ohio y Kentucky. Voy a tratar de escribir en este blog en Español de vez en cuando. A ver como me va. :)
Anyway, I can’t believe I’ve been home for a whole year! Time flies so fast! I used to think old people were weird to say it feels like their marriage of 40+ years has felt like nothing. After all, 3 months of summer seemed like an eternity with endless possibilities for fun! :-P I’m only beginning to understand, but at least I’m understanding, right? Right.