"Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of concision." - Philippians 3:2, proof that missionary work is still the same 2,000 years later
It has been a week of flashbacks and surprises...
For two semesters in high school, I went to released-time seminary with a kid named Kason, who was one year below me. In Pineville last February, Elder Shumway and I walked into a member home for a meal with the Zone Leaders and, lo and behold, there was Kason sitting there with them. I stopped in mid-step, completely surprised. My first response was to say "What are you doing here?" but I settled instead for "Hey?"
It turned out that Kason was waiting for his visa to go to
I remember mentioning in my email that week how incredible it was that out of
400 missions in the world and 100 companionships in my mission, he had gotten
assigned to the pair that lived in the same apartment as I did. That's 40,000
to 1 odds.
Well, Kason got sent to
and got sick and got sent home and then got sent back here to North Carolina permanently.
The Saturday before transfers President had told E. Mejia that I would be getting "a senior missionary at the very end of his mission." So imagine my shock when, at transfers, President assigned me to be with Elder Kason Kendall and a brand new missionary, Elder Eggett. That was definitely not expected.
Right after he announced the companionship, President Craven told the audience that "neither of them had any idea that this was going to happen," referring to E. Kendall and I getting a trainee. So along with getting my 11th companion at transfers, I got companion #12, too!
So we went home and I slept on the floor until we got ahold of a third bed and I gave up my desk so that they could use it. The three of us have been doing just fine. Elder Egget is serving a 12-week trial mission, so at the end of that time he will either be honorably released or will be assigned to go serve somewhere for the full two years.
There was another pleasant surprise at transfers. The Pineville sister missionaries found me and told me that they were working in an apartment complex a few months ago when all of a sudden a little woman came running after them, shouting to get their attention. It was Rosita, the lady from
Saipan who I taught wayyy back
in November 2012. She had been praying yet again for God to send angels her way
and again missionaries came into her path. She's been coming to church every
week for the last two months. That totally made my day!
Another fact about
Sauron lives here. I kid you not. At night you can see his dark tower of Barad-Dur
rising high above the other buildings in Greensboro,
with the entire city resting under the awful gaze of the great glowing Eye at
the top. One does not simply walk there, however, because it is out of our
area. Barely. Photos will be forthcoming...
The three of us went to go contact a less-active member on Saturday. When we pulled up at the house, we saw a pit bull on a chain sitting on the porch, guarding the front door. The second it saw us it jumped up and starting barking. My companions heroically took cover in the car. I spoke to the raging mad dog as it barked at me, drool and spittle falling from its frothing mouth. Eventually I got it to stop barking and sit down, and I sidled past it to knock on the door and, when no one answered, sidled past it again to leave.
In stake conference last November President Craven told the members a bit about his role. He said that he holds the keys for themissionaries, not for missionary work. The bishops of a ward hold the keys for the missionary work in their ward.
I see this to mean that, as missionaries, we do what our mission president tells us. And our mission president has told us to do what the bishop tells us. So we do what the bishop wants, but only because President tells us to. Which means that at any moment...
(Elders sitting in ward council meeting)
Elder: "Hello, this is the missionaries."
President: "Execute Order 66."
Elder, brightly: "Alrighty, President!"
These are the sort of random things that come into my brain these days...
This past week has been one of fun and fulfillment. I love being a missionary. Sad to think that I'm running out of time, but I'm glad to be here while it lasts. The Church is true. Hurrah for