There are Other Things I would Rather do.

Why God? Why did you let me say “Yes”???

You know when someone asks you to do something that you really don’t want to do and you 100 percent KNOW that you don’t want to do it but for whatever reason – whatever stupid lame idiotic reason – you say “ok”? And then you do the thing, whatever thing, but you hate yourself the whole time because you were too dumb/weak/scared/desperate/stupid/stupid/stupid to just say “No”?

Yeah. Me too.

So in the beginning of December one of my co-workers asked me to do something. Something terrible. And I said yes. I agreed to this act and then immediately regretted it. Immediately.

Well, then I thought. Oh obviously he’s had a brain aneurysm. And after he recovers and realizes what he has asked me to do he’ll gracefully renege. He’ll take it back, and then we’ll have an awkward chuckle, and that will be that. Everything will go back to normal.

So you can only imagine my horror when this happened:

Him: Hey, Jamie, remember that thing I asked if you wanted to do, and you said “Yes”?

Me (lying through my teeth): Uh…No.

Him: I asked you in December? You said it would be great… Remember?

Me (still lying): Sure don’t. Sorry.

Him: Ok. Well. I asked if you’d be willing to share your testimony in front of Cultura Vertical?…in spanish?….in January?….And you said “Sure thing. That would be great!” And now it’s January and I was hoping you could tell me which Sunday you’d like to do it so that we can plan around you. So when do you want to do it?

Me: Sorry. What? I wasn’t listening.

Him: *sigh* Will you please share your testimony at Cultura this month?!

Ok, now this is REALLY really important because my mouth pulls this kind of crap over on my brain all the time! Here, in this moment, I have a chance – one chance – to get out of doing this… Watch how this goes down:

My brain said: Um, Hell no. I will not share my testimony in front of a bunch of teenagers who will inevitably make fun of my mispronunciations, my lack of proper conjugation, my accent, my hair, my toenail polish and my scandalous youth. And I don’t have a reason, except that I don’t know the words for “knocked-up”… or “minor emancipation” …or “7 lines of blow” and, basically, there are OTHER things I would RATHER do. Like;

Gouge out my eyes with a fork.

Jump on a cactus….naked.

Take a nap in a mud hole with pigs.

Have my hair put in cornrows.

Root canal.

Shovel elephant poop.

Give an elephant a root canal.

Snake pit.

Play cards with the creepy, trani, murderer from Silence of the Lambs.

Kiss a drunk homeless guy full on the mouth.

Kiss an elephant full on the mouth.

Kiss the Silence of the Lambs guy full on the mouth while riding an elephant through a snake pit with cornrows in my hair and forks in my eyes.

But my mouth said: Oooh yeeeah., that. Sure I’ll do that. It will be great. I’ll take the last Sunday, the very last Sunday in January. Mmkay?

And now I hate myself. But mostly I hate my stinkin’ mouth for betraying me. Again.

So anyway, I wanted to ask you to please please please pray for me. Because now I have to plan and prepare and speak a whole bunch of Spanish to a whole bunch of high school students, whom I sincerely LOVE, and who are going to playfully and endearingly laugh at me. Which in all seriousness I don’t mind. I’m way more concerned with my bad Spanish being a major distraction from the incredible story of God’s hand in my life. So pray that God would grant me fluidity, if only for those 15 minutes, on the last Sunday in January, and that they would hear the story flowing from my heart and not the Spanish spilling from my rotten treacherous mouth. Oh, and that my brain would lighten up. So Yeah. Pray for those things.

Cool. Thanks. It’s appreciated.



  1. Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary on January 14, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    ps. I know that NOT blogging about Haiti makes me kind of a heartless douchebag. but the truth is… I am broken over it..and I just don't know what to say. Except that I'm sorry. So very very sorry…

  2. Anonymous on January 14, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    no es un problema, yo aqui he aprendido y los jovenes han aprendido que mi pronunciación no es perfecta, Y jamie cueltura vertical no es nada.
    Yo dije los anuncios en la iglesia grande ferente a 600 personas cada vez hahahahahahahahaha
    but dont worry I will pray for you 🙂

  3. Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary on January 14, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    gracias manu!! yo he hablado en frente de miles pero el español me da miedo grandisimo!!! me ha animado amigo! que Dios le bendiga!!!! 🙂

  4. Liz on January 14, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Jamie! I LOVE your blog, I found it through someone on Twitter. Thanks for posting, it makes me laugh and it's so refreshing. I appreciate your honesty… it's hard to be honest, be a blogger, and be a missionary.

    – Liz

  5. Anne Jackson on January 14, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    and you are pretty much one of my favorite bloggers in the world. thanks for always being grittyreal. where i say "cuss!" you say "hell no!"
    love it.

  6. Alex Green on January 14, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Pumpkin, I hate to be vulgar in my honesty but have you seen you? You're going to talk to teenagers and you have a sexy accent. The girls will want to be you, the boys will want to… be with you and we should be praying that they're not distracted by your coolness so that they can get what you're saying to them.

    He's bigger than your (supposedly) effed up conjugation, too. But still, I'll pray.

  7. Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary on January 14, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Liz, thanks for reading! You are so right – it can be hard…. you should read what I edit out! it's positively scandalous!! 😉

    Thanks Anne! I'm humbled…and ecstatic… *grinning*

  8. Martin Frost on January 14, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    1 Cor 2: 1-3"When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling."

    Jamie, you're in good company.

  9. Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary on January 14, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Alex – you are HILARIOUS!!! Thanks for your prayers!

    Thanks, Martin, I totally needed that reminder! 🙂

  10. Emily. :) on January 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Hahahaha! I'm so glad we're in the same boat!! Except mine is in english, and for 30 minutes.

    I suppose that is one way to say "I feel your pain and empathize greatly." But with much more mockery.

    So, I shall pray for you and me. k? Good.

  11. Vicki on January 14, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Speaking as one who is petrified of speaking to groups of people, even in English, I have found it helpful to remind myself that when I'm sharing my testimony it's just that – I'm just sharing my testimony. What God wants to do with that is up to Him. That part's not really your responsibility, so don't sweat it.

  12. Anonymous on January 14, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Well said all of ya'll. God will bless you and the words and the Holy Spirit will make sure of that and really, you have the easy part. We just make it so damn hard sometimes. I am talking to myself too. He will give you the words, just like he did when you said "yes" to sharing. He is faithful. Love Dawn in VA

  13. Zac on January 15, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Just pretend you are writing a blog post. It seems that words come so naturally to you, well… in English. I am sure your Spanish is better than you let on. Plus, what Alex said 🙂

    I'll definitely pray for you though.

  14. kathy on January 15, 2010 at 10:58 am

    You are an amazing speaker. You have an amazing story.
    I am thankful beyond words to have been changed and seen others changed on so many levels by your words.
    I am confident that the last Sunday of January 2010 will be amazing!
    The Author and Perfecter of your story will be fluently translating at the heart level!
    …. you are loved & I am praying

    ps Have I told you that YOU ARE AMAZING!

  15. Dad on January 15, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    If anyone gets a funny look on their face, just tell them you're enhancing their religious experience by talking in "tongues"!

    Luvya, Dad

  16. Jeff on January 15, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Hello…I'm right here!! Way to talk about me like I'm not in the room. Anyway, you screwed yourself Jamie. You could have just told me no and that would have been then end of it. Even if you would have backed out 5 minutes before it was time for you to speak I could have said no worries and quickly made up something else to say, or simply thrown the monkeys a soccer ball and told them to go have fun, and nobody else would have known. But no…you had to tell your thousands of adoring fans and now you have no choice but to go through with it, otherwise that would make for a really disappointy and sucky blog. So yeah, you get no sympathy from me.

    Having said that, I think that your story is a great one and that it will make a difference in the lives of students….otherwise I wouldn't have asked. Trust me when I say that I'm about the most insecure person there is, and that I constantly have to just get over myself and allow God's spirit to do the work, because on my own I would just be a dorky gringo speaking bad spanish. He wants you to become weak so that He can become strong. I will totally be praying that His redemptive story in your life will shine through and offer hope to someone whose story might be similar to yours. Thanks for putting yourself out there…even if it's not comfortable.

  17. Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary on January 16, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Yes, Jeff, I know I screwed myself. That's why I wrote this. Duh. No, but really, I WANT to do this. Ok. That was a lie. But, I feel like God wants me to do this, and I am all about doing what God wants.

    So I promise to do my best, and to not cry and throw myself on the floor in a fit when I screw it up. ok? Thanks for your prayers, they are superdeeduper appreciated.

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