So missionaries aren't actually encouraged to use slang. We're actually told not to use slang. Ever. But, for some crazy reason (read: Satan is probably trying to eat my soul), I like using slang even more now than I did before coming on a mission. Sometimes I feel like I should be sorry about it, and other times (read: mostly all of the time....) I feel like I'm a bear and I just don't care.
Mostly I just find myself using slang in English -- when I'm talking to myself or with my companion. But sometimes I also have the urge to speak French like a cool kid - and let me tell you something, French slang is just as fun as English slang. And I know missionaries have rules for a reason - and I totally understand the motivations behind the injunction to avoid slang. But I also recognize that in order to appeal to a wider audience - including angsty Quebecois wannabe gangstas - I'mma have to perfect my French slang. Would you want to talk to sister missionaries who didn't use slang? Exactly. I wouldn't either. So, I actually didn't really plan on going off on this tangent, but I did it anyway. Probably because I didn't really gather my thoughts before sitting down at the computer today.
Aaaanyway, this week has been good.
Remember Carol? I love Carol. I've always loved Carol. She's always kind of been my favorite person here (or one of my favorite people here). OK. So, I *can* speak French now, and I can understand others when they speak. But sometimes (read: almost always) I don't catch everything. But sometimes that comes in handy. And sometimes that makes my companion dislike me.
Example: The elders came to give Carol a blessing (she asks for 1 per week to help her stop smoking). One of the elders questioned whether she really needed the blessing. Carol was wounded. She scolded him, and we thought that was the end of the encounter. But the next time we saw her she was clearly still upset. I knew she was upset because she was saying she was upset and because she looked upset, and I guess CCC trained me to be very expressive with my face because - between just a few words and looking sympathetic - Carol decided that I was the only one who really understood and loved her. She felt that while my companion was nice, she just didn't comprehend all of the things that Carol was dealing with - also that the elders were bad missionaries, unholy, etc.. The irony is I really do love Carol more than the other missionaries. They all know it's true. BECAUSE SHE'S CRAZY AND SHE DRIVES THEM CRAZY BUT SHE JUST REMINDS ME OF THE CRAZY PEOPLE I LOVE AT HOME ;-) But I actually didn't understand much of what she was saying that day. I was tired and Carol speaks real, reeeeal Quebecois. Sometimes I'm just too exhausted to pay close enough attention to understand everything (even when I do have the energy I can't understand everything). Little lessons: sometimes God blesses us when we're tired. Sometimes people get mad at other people for no good reason - for not understanding even when they're the ones who really do understand! And sometimes (maybe always?) love can make up for any lack of comprehension we may experience. That was supposed to sound both humble and profound, but I think it was mostly just incoherent.
I sang "Michelle, My Belle" at the old folks home this week. I say "I sang" because even though there were about 30+ other people, I was the only one who knew the verses. So I sang the verses, and the sweet, senile old folks sang with me on the chorus. And it was pretty darling. And it's really heartwarming when old people start to remember you from week to week. Even though they don't remember who or where they are....
Je vous aime