May 06, 2013

Finger to the Face - Week 37

Hey you kids (another tribute to the 48th),

If the rhyme holds true, we should be getting millions and millions of May flowers, because there sure was a ridiculous amount of April showers.

We visit a less-active member in the branch every week whose house is filled with a thick cloud of cigarette smoke every time we go over. We usually share a scripture or a short spiritual thought and are in and out of the door in 10 minutes, so that we don't smell like cigarette smoke for a few hours afterward. Usually, the member's wife stays in the corner of the room when we come over and watches TV and smokes. She's really old and sits in a wheelchair.

A few weeks ago, however, she decided to wheel herself over and listen to the lesson we were having at the kitchen table. We told her she was welcome to join and made some space in the corner for her to sit next to me. Their little three-legged dog decided to hop over and hang out too. I'm not sure why there are so many of those here.

Since the wife can't hear very well, I'm pretty sure she thinks that other people can't hear her either, so she feels the need to yell all of her sentences. We decided to say a prayer to start the mini-lesson, and she took the opportunity during the prayer to yell questions out to us: "How old are you?! Are you married?! Are you Mormons?! Where are you from?!" And then we said "Amen" to finish the prayer that was only partially heard. We continued on with the lesson and, seeing that she was being partially-mostly-almost-completely ignored, she had to find a way to get our attention. As a last resort, she put down her cigarette, reached out her hand, and slid her finger down my face.

Wait ... what just happened? Yeah, it was as uncomfortable as it sounds.

Well, we'll move on. Later in the week, we called a few old investigators from the missionaries before us, which is always a fun risk. Elder Meissner called up a lady who wasn't too happy to hear his voice. She said something along the lines of, "I told you to stop calling me! Jesus is dead for me." To which Elder Meissner quickly responded, "Yes, you're right. Jesus DID die for you. Would you like us to come and explain to you why?" She didn't find it amusing, and she hung up.

For the last time, we went into a forest and helped our branch president cut and move wood. On the way there, we found a guy on the side of the road whose car had slid into a ditch, and we stopped to help him. We tied a rope between his car and our branch president's car and tried to get it out with no success. Luckily, we're serving in an area where two-thirds of the houses have tractors parked in the garage, so our branch president left to find a bigger vehicle to come and help.

Meanwhile, Elder Meissner and I stayed with the guy we were helping, and he asked us why in the world an American and a German would be wandering around in a forest together in the middle of nowhere in France. A plausible question. We talked to him for a while, then helped him with his wood ... using a big machete-knife-thing to cut off branches. After we got his car out of the ditch, he told us he wants to invite us over for dinner sometime next week. It seems that investigators can even be found in the middle of the forest.

Have a fantastic week! See you in seven.

Elder Wilson