Monday, August 06, 2007
Ode to the Tahitian Machine
My trainer on the mish hailed from the exotic land of French Polynesia, only people could never remember where she was from and usually thought she said "Haiti" instead of "Tahiti." I've been thinking about her this week as she got hitched last Friday, turned the big 26 on Saturday, and is a measly 4700 miles away from here. Her wish: to marry a fellow Tahitian with a strong testimony who doesn't stress and speaks English. And it just came true! Wowza!
A few tidbits about my Tahitian:
1. In French, "salad" is said almost exactly the same as in English but with an emphasis on the "lad." She was scared she'd say it weird, so everytime someone said "Would you like salad or applesauce?" she'd say applesauce even though she hates it.
2. She enjoyed saying RESTORE-ation and thought it made more sense than REST-oration, since the gospel was, after all, REstored.
3. People often (I am not making this up) asked her if she lived in a tree.
4. She mixed up the difference between "would" and "will" and just thinks they are both future, so often said cute things like "I would go get that later..." and it killed me.
5. She has the longest hair I have ever seen on any human being.
6. She has an incredible powerhouse testimony and is one of the most gentle, peaceful souls around (must be the island living...)
6. She is one of my all-time favorite people on earth.
As an ode to the Tahitian Wonder, I therefore include a pseudo-poem I wrote on the mission about our six hilarious weeks together. Heart you, Sinj.
In Tahiti, We Don’t Stress
So we can crack each other up – you practice your English and I’ll practice my French and since you like the way it sounds when we say, “I’m in trouble” and “salad” you’ll say it over and over again, and when you figure out the word for traffic light you’ll say it all day.
And when the man shoveling his driveway stopped to talk to us and my hat was red and yours was black and we couldn’t feel our toes and after 20 minutes of talking and praying my brains out he said no thank you and I wanted to cry and you put your hand on my shoulder and said his heart was closed so we raced up the next abnormally steep driveway, me first since my boots were bigger so I could be like a snowplow.
That might’ve been when we met Nate who was in a Christian rock band and said he had a heart for Jesus and that the doctor told him he was 20 pounds underweight and he explained his sideburns to us and we talked about his dog named Oreo, an island called Raiatea and a man named Moroni he didn’t believe in but we wanted him to. His brother pretended he wasn’t listening but we knew he was and one day he’ll knock doors too I bet.
And balding Becky said she could never get baptized because her ear hurts when it gets wet and also she wanted to know how we could live on the sun because wouldn’t it be really hot, and she lived kind of by this family whose house I could never find in the dark and they knew about Mormons from a radio show. Pete the dad had a dream when his own dad died that actually boosted his faith for when the dog (that was bigger than their kids) died too. We laughed when they showed us their wedding pictures and even explained the refreshments there and for the first time I felt God’s love for someone else and you smiled and we brought them hot chocolate.
Which is understandable since we had tons, given to us by the same people who gave us matching pajamas, frozen meatloaf and many pep talks when it was cold and later we played dodgeball with Pat who is probably still waiting for an answer and if I hit him it meant he had to read which happened rarely but at least he went to seminary and we think he understood priesthood.
Or when that Indian family repeated our prayer and we ate no joke the best meal of our lives with a couple that had a cartoon hanging up of when they eloped and we watched the Avery kids beg their parents to please just try this church once so they could see what it was like – and all that snow!
You loved the snow and hated the cold but hey who doesn’t, so we ate one more cheeseburger and tried (unsuccessfully) one more random recipe, then I put on two skirts and three sweaters and you wrapped multiple scarves around your face and some angry man took our picture and we prayed for warmth and rang the doorbell.