On Tuesday we called the APs to see where the new sister missionaries
in our ward would be staying. They rattled off an address that didn’t
mean anything to them but meant all too much for us. They would be
living in the same apartment that the Elders abandoned because of a
cockroach infestation. The APs asked us if we would go over and see if
it needed any kitchen or bathroom supplies before the sisters got
there. We went first thing the next morning. It was absolutely
disgusting. For some reason nobody imagined that a cockroach
infested-5 week abandoned apartment wouldn’t just improve with time.
We decided that there was no way the sisters would ever live here if
they walked into layers of dead cockroaches and pools of bug feces
coating the inside of the bathtubs, fridge, and dishwasher to name a
few. We enlisted reinforcements and cleaned for 4 hours straight until
they arrived. The fridge looked pearly white. Knowing what it looked
like before ensured that I would NEVER put food in there but we were
hoping that they wouldn’t notice that.
Church leaders often recommend saints to be “in the world, but not of
the world.” This fridge illustrates this point accurately. The inside
you could lick and walk away with a minty fresh feeling. The outside
you could touch and be in the hospital for a few days. Like the fridge
we may be in an environment of sin and filth. But that doesn’t mean we
have to contribute or even participate in these activities. We just
need to keep ourselves pure in an ever complicating society.
For a few hours this was the cleanest apartment in the mission for
sure. We almost had the sisters fooled. Overnight however the bugs
came back with a vengeance and soon undid all our labor. Some
cockroaches even got into the fridge ruining my analogy. We knew that
the sisters would just complain immediately and get a new apartment.
To our surprise though they were ready to battle the bugs even if it
took all transfer. Major respect. We took pity on them and complained
for them. Only to leave the infamous cockroach apartment abandoned
The highlight of this week didn’t come until the weekend with General
Conference. I watched 2 out of the 5 sessions in Spanish so I am still
catching up. So many of the speakers talked about member missionary
work. I loved Elder Holland’s talk on home teaching in priesthood
session. His talk (which could easily be applied to visiting teaching)
outlined how we should all approach home teaching. If everyone in the
church applied his teaching there would be no need for missionaries at
all, because everyone would be engaged in finding, teaching and
retention in their own home wards.
Thank you for your prayers and thoughts. I love getting all of your
emails. I can’t wait to let you know what adventures this week brings.