Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Ox (Tongue) In The Mire

There's a lot of old (and I mean super old, not old like you think you are mom) single ladies in the ward.  Occasionally we're lucky enough to be fed by them.  This week we arrived to this tiny lady's home, which is about an hour bus ride from our house and on the hill 
where I think Heidi lived with her mountain goats.
She introduced the meal by telling us that she cooked chicken but didn't like the smell of it and proceeded to offer us three choices of tinned meat:
Ox Tongue
MmmmHMM.  Sister N thankfully got straight to the point and just said, "please anything but the ox tongue."  
The lady laid out some meat straight from a tin, (think spam style) and went back into the kitchen to pull out the overcooked cauliflower.  Sister K and I bravely put pieces of meat on our tray* but Sister N took one look at the cold meat, complete with weird bits of jelly on top and put them straight into the hidden compartment on her water bottle.
Mum - on an entirely unrelated note: can I get a new waterbottle?  One with hidden compartment maybe?
By this point in time we couldn't look at each other without busting up so we spent the rest of the meal concentrating very hard on the stories this sweet old lady was telling about her life.  
Moral of story: if you're going to endure meals like that, I hope you have a companion with a good sense of humor.
I'm pretty sure I ate cat food.
*why were we eating on trays?  because she brought out the trays and all the food and didn't remember until halfway through the meal that we needed plates too.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dramatizations, Dispensations, and Disco Dreams

A Wedding, The Four Sisters Flat, and A Few Apostles

Today!  Right at this very moment possibly, my favorite older brother is getting married to the lovely Haley for time and for eternity.  Congratulations to them both.  I was laying in bed last night picturing how things will go.  In fact, I even dreamed about it.  In my dream I came home just as my recorded toast was playing and then I gave the real thing.  Lest that makes you tear up (Papa Jim) or anything, let me tell you that I also dreamed it was inside a mansion (possibly it was Hogwarts) I had to be smuggled into and I think I used a rug to fashion myself a dress.  And there was a disco ball. 

The way it goes tonight will be much better I hope.
I've talked a lot about sharing the flat with 3 other missionaries, and so that you might get a handle on the dynamic, I've come up with a few comparisons.

1. The Little Women Comparison.
Sister Clawson is Meg, Sister Klemm is Beth (pre-death obviously.  Nothing morbid here).  Sister Nemec is Amy (towards the end when she's grown up and charming).  And I, of course, am Jo.

2.  The High School Comparison
Sister Clawson is the SBO, Sister Klemm is the older, wiser, and very trusted best friend.  Sister Nemec is the exciting foreign exchange student.  And I'm the hipster.  (In my defense, the other Sisters gave me that nickname.  I did NOT come up with it myself.  I don't even know where they get that vibe.  I've only mocked their music like 6 times.)

There will be other examples, don't you worry.  I don't know how it works so perfectly, I really think it must have been inspired.  I'm attaching a photo of the 4 of us.  I'm scared for transfers (Sept. 4) a little because we get along so perfectly.

I finally hit that point where time is going quickly.  

The first month or two Sister Clawson would exclaim things like, "Oh my life!  It's already been three weeks!  Where did June go? I can't believe it!" And I would be over at my study desk mentally hitting my head against the wall thinking, "are you kidding me? it's only been 3 weeks?  Sweet lanta."  It feels like August is already over, and then it's transfers, general conference, Christmas...

The pace at which time is going makes Elder Holland's advice all the more important. 
"Create today the mission stories you are going to tell your children."

Why am I quoting Elder Holland you might ask?  Oh, only because I SAW HIM.  Sat in chapel on the second row and he looked ME, Sheester Geesh, in the eyes. Elder Nelson presided and we had 2 area authorities as well.  They and each of their wives spoke to us.  Really spoke to US.  I sat at the feet of apostles, special witness of Christ.

As they and their wives walked in, they looked not so different.  They were just men.  Just women.  They're not as imposing as they look on the TV screen during general conference.  Yet...
There was a difference.  These were people who have chosen to follow Christ.  And it showed. 

We were there early and had some time to reflect before they came in.  I'd say they were late but Apostles are like wizards - they never arrive late or early.  They always arrive exactly when they mean to.  I'd gone with a few specific questions prepared but our mission president urged us to use the time to ponder over those questions.  So I wrote a few more down and as each person spoke, each question was answered, almost in the exact order I wrote them down. 

Yeah.  It was incredible.

Then we went to the pageant for the 2nd time, but we didn't actually get to see it.  There was quite a standby queue so people were asked to give up their seats if they'd already seen the show.  Naturally we did.  But that was alright. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Picture Perfect

In Which Sister Gish Eats Her Words
This is shameful.  Shameful shameful shameful.  I always swore I wouldn't be one of those missionaries who take glam shots with the Book of Mormon.  (Apologies to anyone who did.  They're great!  You look great!  They're spiritual and amazing.  But really not for me.  That's all.)

Insert quote about the bigger they are and the harder the fall and all that.
This week my companion informed me of a tradition she'd started with her trainer.  The goal is to find the most random places possible to read the Book of Mormon and take photos of it.  So I caved.  Congratulations Sister Gish, you are now one of those people that takes those kinds of pictures.  Welcome to the club.  (Is there a club?  Do you have meetings and things?  Will you send me letters?)

This week was not so creative - just the beach and puddles of water.  I'll get better don't you fret.  

We had a tea appointment at a members home on Saturday.  I'll say nothing about the food (lest I come off as ungrateful) but I will say the whole thing was about as classy as the cups.  I figured I'd better take a picture with them because it's about as close to menfolk as I'm going to get for awhile.

 Till next week