Who Let The Dogs Out?

IMG_0152IMG_0142IMG_0124Hola, familia y todos…

I´m going to try something new and actually write this first. More or less. Yeah, I did some other things first actually. And I´m doing other things as I write this. Anyways, this email has a title I wanted to use a while ago. If you have a good memory, you´ll remember why I had occasion to use it…and can guess why I´m using it now. The bullets will tell all:
  • So I got bit by a dog on Tuesday. (“Your car is parked on a dog.” “My car…is parked…on a dog?!?” “Yes, ma´am. On the tail area, to be more specific.” :)) We were walking back a normal-looking back street after doing a baptismal interview for the hermanas in our district, and we arrived at the corner right next to the chapel. It was well-lighted and everything. And then suddenly, a pack of angry dogs comes up and start getting up in my grill. (I don´t know if that´s a very missionary-y phrase, but it fits well. “Can I say that to a woman, jerking your chain?” :)) One of them was particularly angry, I think my companion was trying to do something, I was trying to do something, but in all the confusion, I probably freaked out a bit and the dogs sensed that, I don´t know, and one of them tried to bite me, then bit me on my upper left leg. Miraculously, it didn´t make even a mark in my pants nor in my…underclothing. (Trying to think of a classy way to say that. :)) We went into the chapel, luckily, the wife of our ward mission leader, who is a trained nurse, was there (she couldn´t look at the bite because it was…well, pretty high up on my leg…but she told me to wash it and put some antiseptic on it, which I did). It´s healed a bit, but wow, that dog must have hit me hard, because it´s pretty darn bruised around the bite. Such an angry creature. But I´m fine. It doesn´t hurt as much, it´s all good…don´t worry about me. 🙂 (Sadly, this incident brought an end to my perfect dog bite-free record in Augusto Freyre.)
  • We did end up going go-karting on Monday. It was pretty fun. I started off really slow…my first run, in addition to being pretty darn cautious when I drive (I´m so not used to it now…), I didn´t realize until about 3/4 of the way through the first run that I was accidentally pressing on the brake as well as the accelerator. I fixed this, and afterwards I was still a bit slow, but faster, and it was more fun. 🙂 We got to about 6 runs or so, and the track wasn´t too bad. A missionary in our zone crashed into the tires on the sides (he was perfectly fine…it was pretty funny), and someone who must have been a taxi or bus driver (they drive crazy here), not a missionary, was showing off and driving crazy fast and making a lot of close turns. (This is when we were watching a group go out on the track.) Also, my companion´s go-kart got a flat tire (seeing as he´s a bit larger fellow, the friendly jokes from the zone just wrote themselves… :)), and then afterwards he went extremely, extremely slow on the track. 🙂 It was definitely a very unique P-day activity, and we all really enjoyed it. Also, before we went out, I BEAT SOMEONE IN AIR HOCKEY! I felt very accomplished. 🙂
  • We had a power outage yesterday. It lasted surprisingly long (from like 6 to midnight, or at least that´s when they told us it ended, we were asleep…), and was pretty much all of our zone. It started when we were in the chapel doing a ward missionary training (it went very well…it was great), and then we went to an appointment we had with one of the ward missionaries, but it was crazy dark, but we were OK, and I was also able to get my backpack fixed. So yeah, that…my backpack zipper has been broken for a bit, and I wasn´t able to get it fixed, and it´s been taking forever to close my backpack, and yesterday it didn´t want to close. A ward missionary (coincidentally, the sister of the ward missionary that went with us to the appointment) noticed this, and offered to fix it. That she did while we were at the appointment…it was kind of a miracle, I think. My backpack´s like new (well, as new as an 18-month-old backpack can look… :)), and it´s awesome. I´m very thankful for tender mercies like that. Also, in the evening, when it was all dark, we listened to music for a bit before we went to sleep (we´re allowed to now, as I told you before), and it was a nice, quiet, reflective moment for me. I also sang along a lot with the MoTab Christmas songs we were listening to.
  • We gave talks this Sunday (we give them every 3rd Sunday), and for Elder Quilcat, it was his first talk. Ever. He got baptized 3 years ago or so, but he had never given a talk, because he was inactive for a bit of that time. He did pretty darn well. I was proud of him. 🙂 As for me, I ended up changing my subject the night before…I was going to talk about prayer, but I felt like I should talk about something else instead…the Sabbath Day. The talk I was writing about prayer was good, but was getting very, very long-winded. I was able to write a new talk, and it went very well…I felt much better the way it turned out. Thank goodness for small spiritual promptings like that.
  • We helped the Primary kids this week…well, first in their practices for the Primary program next month, because I can play piano and all that. That was fun. Then on Saturday, we brought a 9-year-old investigator (the daughter of the cool hermana I mentioned last week) to a Primary activity where they were making pancakes. We ended up staying and helping out…my companion fried the pancakes. Sadly, we didn´t bring anything to make our own, so we didn´t get to eat them, but it was still a nice experience, and our investigator had lots of fun, so it´s all good. 🙂
  • I, um, kind of resisted the bishop this week. I was already up on the stand to play the piano for the closing hymn, but we were short on time and for some reason, he thought that singing it without piano would save time, so the bishopric signaled to me to not play piano. I was already there and ready, so I played anyway. They weren´t really mad afterwards…we have a really good relationship with the bishop…but yeah. Playing the piano with a hymn is not a burden. (Yeah, I probably need to repent about this. :)) Also, a question for all…what is your opinion on the following situation: Here, the people that are waiting outside the doors during the Sacrament, they don´t have someone go out to pass the Sacrament to them, because they fear that it will be an incentive for people to come later, because they have a huge issue with punctuality here. I think that´s unfair to make it a punishment…there´s lots of different reasons that people might come late…we shouldn´t keep them from getting to take part in this important ordenance. But what do you all think? I´d like some ideas.
  • The sister missionaries in our zone work in the office 3 times a week now (because one is the nurse, and the other might be the nurse in the future, when her companion leaves in March), and thus we have a bit of connections. 🙂 I was able to get a new D&C DVD with the new version of the Joseph Smith movie. It was cool. They also found some old extra DVDs in the office and gave them out at planning on Thursday, and the ones I was able to get were the Presidents of the Church DVD I think I mentioned, and one called “Labor of Love.” Have any of you seen it? It´s this really cheesy but very nice video from like….1989?…about a missionary that serves in Colorado and changes lives. Y´know, what missionaries do. 🙂 I found it funny, among other things, in the video that at that time, there were only 30,000 missionaries. Now, there´s kind of something close to 80,000. Heck yes. 🙂
  • I don´t know much yet, nor can I tell you all much, but this week, a very, very special visit should be happening. I´m getting excited. More to come next week.

Wow, I still have like 5 minutes, and I think I got pretty much out all I wanted to talk about. With detail. Cool. 🙂 Hope you enjoyed this larger email for a change. I´d still love to hear from you all. Mom and Ariel, something else to put in the package when it comes (no rush on that): My “Christmas Chains for Piano” sheet music book. It would be nice for Christmas. 🙂 I love you all so much. I´m doing well. Things are improving. The Church, as always, is quite true. 🙂

Love,
Elder Randall
P.S.: I´ve attached a few pics of go-karting, and one of my companion carrying a very small elder in our zone. 🙂
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