Ah, the 4th of July, a holiday that will forever remind me of my time as a Mormon missionary in the Dominican Republic. I officially became a missionary on July 5th (Three years yesterday!) but went to Utah to go to the Missionary Training Center on the 4th. So that 4th as well as the following pair of 4ths were all spent as a missionary away from my family.
How about a little recount of my past four 4ths?
Tuesday, July 4th, 2006
Half of this day was spent on an airplane (which is among my least favorite ways to pass the time) and the rest at a friend of mine's family reunion. I hadn't met any of those people before, nor have I seen any of them since. It took place in a place called Payson reached its pinnacle with the "Col-de-Sac of Fire!" extravaganza. It consisted of what I'm guessing was $2000 worth of Wal-Mart firecrackers that didn't leave the ground, but were still kinda neat.
Wednesday, July 4th, 2007
In my mission, Wednesdays are days known as Preparation Day to missionaries. It's the day that missionaries do things like go shopping, email the family, play sports, and (in my case) take a few naps. This particular P-day fell on the 4th, so I decided that I was going to grill up some steak for my companion Elder Aquino, a Dominican who had never had steak before. It was amazing, but turns out the reason he had been feeling so bad the past several days was because he had Dengue Fever. So the rest of the day and every day until Monday were spent at the hospital or the Mission President's house.
At one point that evening I asked President Thomas if he needed anything done and he told me that I could wash the mission van. Washing that nappy van was one of the greatest experiences of my mission. It was incredibly soothing. I think the only thing that could have beat it was mowing the lawn. I also spent some time talking to Prez about future career ideas, he had a lot to say about it. Good times.
Friday, July 4th, 2008 (leap year threw the day off)
This was 6 days before I went home. I was burned out. Like...meat that fell into the fire and comes back looking like a hockey puck burned out. I don't recall most of that day, but I do remember that I did a baptismal interview that had been very poorly planned by some guys in my district so Elder Williams and I ended up getting home very late. However, in the interest of being festive, we made a stop at my favorite hot dog place from the year before. And I'm sure that night before bed we spent some time listening to Williams' Kenny G cd. So Good.
Saturday, July 5th, 2009
Getting to sleep in
Missing the parade
Having tasty food and hanging out with my family
Whipping up a replacement black bean and corn salsa super-fast
GH letting me light the firecrackers he bought
Contributing to Savvy's coin collection so she could get her first-ever Cotton Candy
Kicking trash at a card game I hadn't played since I was 10
Seeing fireworks for the first time in 3 years
Missing the Hot Air Balloon festival
Nemesis forgetting the awesome bean and corn salsa she spent all morning on at home.
Accidently elbowing Savvy in the mouth, hard causing her to bite her tongue really hard, shriek horribly, and bleed a lot. Turns out I jump when I get a wet willy.
The Stadium of Fire fireworks that we saw from the park were actually pretty weak
It's amazing how not-alike these four days are. Hopefully I can keep it up!
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