This past weekend not only did I score a 99% on Rock Band vocals, I saw come and go the 2 year anniversary of my MTC REPORT DATE. I remember opening my mission call all alone in our garden, with eyes averted, my shaky hand feeling around inside that infamous white envelope, locating the single sheet of paper, and then locating the booklet which I knew would contain pages and pages of wardrobe ideas (i.e. depressing jumpers and loafers). I thought the neighbors would hear my heart pound while pulling out both so I could cover the letter with the booklet and read line by line. I knew if I didn't, my disobedient eyes would dart straight to the location, and I wanted the proper crescendo of anticipation. As I did this, however, my eyes' willpower faltered and I saw somewhere in the 2nd paragraph, "October 4th". As it was JUNE, I groaned within myself, but then excitedly allowed myself to read about how I was thereby called to serve in Costa Rica.
I thought this occasion warranted a mission story, and not one that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. I spent enough time with RMs before becoming one to know that those should only be told upon request, or you start and then you don’t stop, and it’s a great way to ruin a good friendship.
In my last area, I was as far south as they’ll allow the sisters to go. It was rural with so much lush greenery it almost seemed unfair. The attitude is a bit more “que sera sera” in the “campo,” which I loved, and which also made me seem even more high strung than I already did to those chillaxed Ticos.
There is one pista, or highway, that runs through the entire country. We spent a lot of time walking up and down the pista, as all our neighborhoods branched off from it. With the cars whizzing past us, conversation was usually dealt with in yells. If it were raining as well, conversation was futile. We would walk in silence with the rain beating holes in our umbrellas.
We often saw an old, skinny hobo, who would always pass us and yell, “Que Dios les bendiga!” or “God bless you!” We’d always smile and say “Igualmente!”
One afternoon we were walking/swimming down the pista, and I looked off in the distance ahead and saw our old hobo amigo coming toward us at a soggy run. I didn’t think much of it, and made a comment to my companion, who was looking at the ground. I looked up again and old hobo amigo was getting closer. I could see he was barefooted, wearing an open trench coat, and….huh? I felt it was like watching a bad car accident, there wasn’t enough time to react, (and how would I react?) as the otherwise buck naked old hobo amigo ran right in between my companion and I, yelling as usual, and for what would be the last time, “Que Dios les bendiga!”