Saturday, May 15, 2010

Adventures in a Chinese Restaurant

Hola Hola!!
I just loved talking to everyone on Mother´s Day!! The only bad thing is that we were so wrapped up in other things that I forgot to tell mom Happy Mother´s Day. How embarrassing!! So mom, Feliz Día de la Madre!! I have a picture that I want to send you, but I forgot my cable, so I´ll send it later. That´s hilarious also that you think I speak English with Spanish inflections. At least you could understand, I guess that´s what matters.

So we have a baptism TODAY!!! TWO baptisms, actually!! Linda and Andrea Sanchez are finally going to take the plunge (pun intended) at 4:30 this afternoon. Andrea finally came to church like she was supposed to, which was the only thing keeping her from getting baptized, and so everything´s all good. Their mom signed the permission slip and is even going to come, and their grandparents, whom they live with, are very excited. So are we!! Not a bad way to start off the new change, huh??

So the time has come. I was hoping it never would, I´ve been dreading it ever since I came to the office, but it finally came. Hermana Foster gave me . . . . . THE CELL PHONE. Which means I have to answer it when it rings and tell people what to do for their medical problems. To be honest, so far it hasn´t been to bad but I´m sure it will get more stressful. I´ve found that a lot of stuff has been shoved so far in the back of my mind for so long that I need help recalling it to memory. Hopefully when I get home they don´t make me take the NCLEX again. I would just cry. But the cell isn´t terrible, just that sometimes it´s hard to understand the Latins over the phone. Hermana Foster said that even for her at the beginning it was tough, and sometimes they had to give the phone to Hermana Montenegro to translate. But so far I´ve been doing okay, I feel. But I am really glad that Hermana Foster will still be here when President and Hermana Johns leave and the new president comes, because from then on we´ll be taking ALL the calls-there won´t be any Hermana Johns to take the other half. That will be stressful. But it will be fine.

Speaking of difficult to understand, we had a HILARIOUS experience on Wednesday. We were walking home and Hermana Foster says, hey I want some chifa (chinese food). I know, chinese food in Ecuador is a very strange concept, but all the chifa I´ve tried here has been REALLY good. Anyway, so we started looking for a chifa and finally found one and went in. So this chinese lady comes out and Hermana Foster asks to see the menu in Spanish. Chinese lady: Blank stare. She had NO idea what we were talking about. So finally this Ecuadorian lady who was eating there gets up and shows us the menu. So Hermana Foster looks at it and decides she wants shrimp lo mein. So this other Chinese guy comes out and Hermana Foster tells him that she wants tallarin con camaron, which is shrimp lo mein. The guy goes, pero es camaron PEQUEÑO!! ES CAMARON PEQUEÑO!!!! (It´s little shrimp!! LITTLE SHRIMP!!!) He keeps on saying that in Spanish, and Hermana Foster is like I KNOW!!! I STILL WANT IT!!! So then the guy tells her that she doesn´t speak Spanish very well!! We're like what!!!! YOU don´t speak Spanish!!! So finally Hermana Foster´s like, fine, if you won´t let me have shrimp lo mein, I´ll get something else!! So she pointed to something else on the menu and they guy goes, CAMARON!!! CON POLLO!!! Y CARNE!!!! (shrimp with chicken and beef!!!) He kept repeating that over and over but finally went back to make her food. So we´re sitting there waiting and laughing at what had just happened, and the lady comes back out and starts putting aji sauce in these little bags from a squirt bottle. Some of the aji dripped out of the top, and she wiped it up with her FINGER and scraped it back into the bottle. So I told Hermana Foster not to get the aji because . . . . eww!! So the guy comes back out with the food and opens it for Hermana Foster to see and says look!!! Shrimp with chicken and beef!!! Then he grabs her hand, pulls her index finger out in a pointing motion and STICKS IT INTO HER FOOD!!!! I was DYING, I was laughing so hard. So then in his broken Spanish he asks us how long we´ve been here, and Hermana Foster says, I´ve been here more than a year. So then he goes, ohhhh . . . . poco tiempo . . . . y poco español!! (Little time, and little spanish!!) So then we asked him how long he´d been here in Ecuador and he says, very proudly, 15 years!!! I´m from Hong Kong!!! We were like, I cannot believe you´ve been here for 15 years and you STILL can´t speak or understand Spanish, but you have the audacity to tell us that WE can´t speak Spanish!!! So then he says, you came in airplane (and he made his hand fly up into the air with a vrooooom noise so it was even more hilarious) and then said where are you from?? We said we were from the united states and his whole attitude changed!! His face darkened, he shoved the food into Hermana Foster´s hands and said, CHAO!!!, making a "go away" motion with his hands. It was the absolute funniest thing EVER!!!! Definitely a mission highlight. Seriously, who thinks that they´re going to go to Ecuador and have to talk to Chinese people . . . . in Spanish?? Now I want to go to all the chifas to see if they all have issues with the language!!!

But at the same time, I have been able to see and appreciate the gift of tongues. I learned how to speak pretty good Spanish within 6 months of coming here. It´s not perfect but it´s pretty good and I feel a lot more comfortable in conversations and lessons. That guy had been living here for 15 years and still hasn´t learned the language, and there are people from spanish speaking countries in the united states that never learn it. I´m very grateful to the Lord for blessing me with this gift so that I can take His gospel to the people in Ecuador. It´s still a little difficult sometimes but it gets easier every day to speak and to understand. Just one more evidence that this is the true church!!!

Anyway, that´s about it for me. I LOVE Craig´s pants and I forwarded the pictures to everyone in the mission. What are you gonna do Craig?? I´m in a different country!!!! MUAHAHAHAHA. Just kidding, I didn´t really forward them but I did love them and I´m glad he finally got them. Until next week, be good and don´t do anything stupid!!!


Hermana Chamberlain

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