Monday, June 3, 2013

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure a year in the life? In the last 365 days I have measured my time different than ever before. In the last five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes (and 2 days) I have learned and continue to learn a new language. I have become professional at opening a tin can with only a knife. I have memorized nearly all of the efy songs ever written. My time has been measured in small scabs on my hands each week from doing laundry by hand; in falling in love with the invention of the rice cooker and in endless amounts of rice. Time has been measured in 4 pairs of rubber shoes with holes; in countless conversations started by explaining how I can speak Tagalog. It has been measured in scrambled moments of filling baptismal fonts. Measured in marked up scriptures and preach my gospel; moments of sitting on cold cement floors singing hymns and talking about the gospel, candle light lessons and fire flies in the coconut trees. I can hardly believe that so much time has passed, but yet it seems so long ago that my life wasn’t measured by such things as cups of rice. I am so grateful for the time I have been given here, and so excited for what is to come.

So we rarely go entire days that the water doesn’t go out and we are no strangers to rationing 2 gallon water jugs for all of our showers. But because water has been on my mind this week, a great deal because of the lack we have but also partially because every day we are trying to find people to invite into the water. I was thinking how Christ is the “living water.” We need water to live, to survive. When we don’t have water, to drink or to shower we would do nearly anything to get it. I think that as I have come to better understand how literally Christ is our living water I have realized how when we are without the gospel we are thirsting in the same way.

Some time ago we found these rotisserie chickens in Centro and bought them because we didn’t want to cook…. So now I officially eat bananas regularly AND chicken on a chicken! And yes, my fellow sisters all make fun of me for calling it chicken on a chicken.

We have been really working with the Loma family and Sister Karin and they are doing very well. I love sitting on sister Karin’s bamboo seats and watching her son learn to walk. It is so fun to be a part of their lives. I think that is one of my favorite parts of my life here; meeting such a wide range of wonderful people and being able to share parts of their lives with them.

In Megs’ last email she talked about how everyone is Christian in the Dominican Republic and a lot of the graffiti mentions God. Here all of the jeepneys and tricies have god in some form written on them, things like “God’s Gift.” We have a lot of the same problems that people think as long as they believe in God it doesn’t matter what their religion is. I have been working through figuring out my clear and understandable answer to the question, “what is different between your church and the Catholics?”

Well my mother’s day accolades are extending…. Yesterday in sacrament meeting we were helping Sister Karin with her kids. Mom, I have NO IDEA how you handled us all in sacrament meeting when we were young. I spent the hour pouring my water bottle into her saved sacrament cup and left with pen, candy and the noted water above all over my skirt haha.

Well, happy 1 year anniversary to me… Weird! Love you all!

Sister Christensen


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