For the Family Night lesson this week Eric, Chad and I each told a story from our missions. This was an impromptu assignment as we were not prepared with a lesson. When Eric suggested this my immediate thought was about something that happened to me in Alessandria, a town between Turin and Genoa. I told it as I remembered it but then had to go back to my journal to see what I had written, I told it right but reading my entry made me realize what a kind soul I was as a missionary. Not that I'm evil now, but then I was trying so much harder to be as good as I could be whereas right now I'm not doing that, I feel like I'm still in survival mode and going through the motions. But I could go on forever about that so... I prefaced the story by saying that it is a funny mission story. Chad rounded out the night with something spiritual.
My companion and I rode our bikes out to our appointment where we were supposed to be teaching the Tesei family a discussion. We had one previous lesson with them and then scheduled other appointments but they "bunged" (stood us up) 3 times, this was to be our 4th try. I was the jr. companion in this situation, and thinking back on it I know that it was just silly on our part to expect them to be there, no, I'm sure they were there, they just didn't answer their buzzer. I'm sure we called to confirm the appointment but I don't remember that part of the day. I remember standing outside this aparment building, on the outskirts of town, which meant that we had ridden for a while [in skirts!] and realizing that we had been stood up for the 4th time. My companion was so upset -- mad, sad, annoyed -- and she didn't try at all to show anything different on her face.
So we're standing by our bikes, trying to figure out what to do. Oh, I'm sure she was also upset with me by this point because I had been suggesting that we should do "casa in casa" or door to door, which is really buzzing the appartments and hoping that someone will let you in and talk to you, and she never wanted to do that and here I was, piping up again about it. So we're having this discussion, she is incredibly grumpy, and a group of youngish girls walks up to us. They were probably between 8 and 10 years old and I remember 3 of them. We had a bit of small talk, the girls and I, then one of them looked both of us over and said to me,
"you're prettier than her."
It was brutal. But the worst part is that I started to laugh and then tried my best to pretend I wasn't really laughing. The thing was that my companion did look pretty awful with her mean face on and I wasn't feeling sympathy for her. We knew it was going to happen. Her feelings were hurt, I think she shed some tears and I felt appropriately chastized though she didn't get mad at me then. And I just remembered that after that we did do "casa in casa" at the appartment building across the street. The door was open so we were able to knock instead of buzzing but she made me do all the door approaches. It was probably a good thing that we didn't get invited in any of the houses because she wouldn't have been good company.
In my journal I read that we later had a dinner and Family Night appointment with a member family who lived in the same building as the Elders in our district. After this appointment we came out and the Elders had double-locked our bikes and put shaving cream all over the seats. I laughed while my comp fumed.
Ahh, the mission.