Monday, June 6, 2011

Tornados and shootings ... a dinner to die for...‏

Dear Siblings,

I'll bet Mom will love this email...

Junk food and frozen dinners, huh? Sounds pretty much like a missionary diet. (except for the times when the members invite us to dinner, which is generally delicious, and sometimes even ... to die for...

So guess what? There was a tornado that touched down in our area this week! It was awesome! The sky was all inky-green-black, the rain, thunder, and lightning came down in torrents, the tornado warning sirens went off and everything! It was intense! I didn't see the tornado, though, which is probably a good thing. I thought I was going to die, though. A member was driving us home from a teaching appointment to our apartment during the terrible tempests that day. We got soaked to the bone running the 20 feet from the house we were in to his car. The windshield wipers were nowhere near keeping up with the deluge of water coming down from the ominous obscurity of the clouds. The visibility was terrible. As we were driving, the windows started to fog up. I asked if his defroster was on and he assured me that it was. It most assuredly wasn't, so I turned it on for him when he wasn't looking. By that time, he was using his hand to wipe portholes in the windshield (which quickly fogged up again) to see as we raced down the road. As I did my best to peer through the mostly opaque windshield, a parked car zoomed by us, inches from the side of our car, that I hadn't been able to see until moments before we passed it. Later, as we were stopped at an intersection, I looked out the passenger window and saw a double yellow line - we were on the wrong side of the road. I think he must have been driving by Faith and not by sight or something, because we got home safely.

We also witnessed two shootings this week! It was a double homicide (or, more appropriately, a double pesticide). We were at dinner with a member family, eating around their dining room table, which had windows and a glass door to their backyard. As we ate, on of the teenage children cried out, "There he is, Dad!", pointing to someone walking through their backyard, heading for the vegetable patch. The father jumped up from the table and ran upstairs, quickly returning with a .22 rifle. He opened the glass door just a crack, took careful and steady aim, and fired, hitting the target in the middle of his body. The culprit fell to the ground, writhing. The father then walked outside and shot him again from point blank range, finishing the deed. The victim was a big, fat groundhog that had been plagueing the family all fall and winter long, digging holes in the yard and under their deck, and being a general nuisance. They had been waiting for an opportune moment like this for some time. You can doubtless imagine how excited they were when another groundhog was sighted and shot only minutes later. What was really funny about it was that, after the first one was killed, the mother of the family we were eating with was protesting how gross it was and how it wasn't appropriate to be shooting animals while the missionaries were over for dinner, but when the second groundhog came out of hiding, she was the first one to say, "Quick! Go get some more ammo!".

The shooting was on Sunday afternoon, so when Sunday night came around and it was time to call the zone leaders to tell them about our statistics that week, I dressed up the story something like this:

"Hi Elder Bills, we may have to be quick with our numbers tonight - I'm waiting for President to call me back - he said he'd probably call at about 9:30 once he gets off the phone with the police. We actually witnessed a shooting in our area today, but I can't really talk about it right now...

He took it hook, line, and sinker. I told him the grisly truth eventually, though.

So, did anything exciting happen back home this week?
What's going on in San Rafael? Rafting? Your swim meet sounds exciting - I'm prettyy impressed that you can swim a 200 free. What did you do for memorial day?
So now that you have no more math homework or calculus flashcards, what comes next in your life, Delaney? Just start studying for next year? Yes, we try to take the youth out with us as much as we can. We regularly go on splits with the priests, but we can't really take young women teaching with us. Sister missionaries take the mia maids out with them all the time, though.

We've started teaching a couple new people, including a guy who moved from Arizona and had investigated the church a little bit there and gone to church a few times. Nobody came to church this week, though. You know that if Peyton gets a bunny for her birthday, it is going to be the butt of all the "target" and "lets go rabbit hunting" jokes instead of marshmallow, right?


Elder Matthew Smith