Saturday, August 2, 2014

Missionary Misadventures

I must admit that although my intentions to keep up the blog have been good, my execution has been really poor.  I usually think about it late at night, and then realize that I have to get up early the next day, and won't have time to add much.  And then I think of all the pictures and things I would like to report, and know that I'll never catch up, so here's a little story to reward you for checking back on my page.

Several months ago we rented another flat for an additional pair of missionaries.  Due to other circumstances, we had to move two companionships into this new flat while one of the older flats was being refurbished.  We soon discovered that locking the bathroom door was a no-no.  One of our branch missionaries locked the door and spent several hours inside before I could devise a way to get him out.  We told all the missionaries not to lock the door, and they have been good about passing that on.

However, on the last transfer, someone forgot to tell the brand-new missionary about the no door lock policy, and sure enough he locked himself in.  The other missionaries called for me and I showed up to see if we could extract him.  Unfortunately he had twisted the head off the key, and after much wiggling and jiggling, he finally managed to remove the key and shove it under the door.  The outside missionaries had tried to open the lock, and succeeded in totally jamming the mechanism.

I arrived with my toolbox, and spent 30 minutes or so trying to remove the key from the lock, but to no avail. By now, the new missionary has been in the bathroom for more than two hours.  We leaned on the door, tried to pry it away from the jamb, worked on the wood with a chisel, all to no avail.  It was time to use a bigger hammer.

Elder P. is Tongan, a football linesman, at that.  He has lost almost 40kg since coming on his mission, but still weighs over 125kg.  I said, "Elder O. get away from the door so you won't be in the way when it opens."

Then I said "Elder P. I want you to hit that door."

He said, "Really, Elder Reynolds?!!!"


He took two steps, and the door blew open and crashed against the wall inside.  I got a glimpse of Elder O. and his eyes were really big at that point.

Elder P., "Man, that felt good, just like being on the field again."  The smile on his face was absolutely ear to ear, and he was still grinning 6 hours later.  His last remark was, "This is going to go in my journal!"

My only regret was that we didn't get a picture!!  A new door lockset, several nails and some paint, and the door is operational again, not much the worse for wear.  We will miss Elder P., who is being transferred this week.  I told him the reason he was assigned to Blantyre was to open that door for us.