You’re a Red Dot Now

The young man and Elder Smith have been together for nearly three weeks. Elder Smith is about six feet with dishwater blond hair; he’s skinnier than the young man, soft spoken, and hardworking. He is from Montana and speaks slowly and deliberately. After a week of being together, the young man jokes that Smith mightContinue reading “You’re a Red Dot Now”

Upon This Rock

The day begins with Elder Stone’s mirror routine. After starching and ironing his shirt, he stands in front of the mirror in the front room, puts his belt on, then his shirt, and then spends a couple of minutes fluffing the shirt around the waist to get it just so. When he’s finished fluffing it,Continue reading “Upon This Rock”

Remember the Massacre!

They have just finished the spiritual thought in ward council. The man looks down at the agenda, then up at the group in front of him. He’s about to ask Rachel, the Relief Society president, to discuss her organization when Katie, the Primary president, says, “Have you all watched the PBS documentaries on the Church?”Continue reading “Remember the Massacre!”

Just Saw an Alien Saucer

The young man and Stephen are staying at the night at the Hatfields’ house. MC is the young man’s age, and Japheth is Stephen’s age. The young man is the teachers quorum president at church, and MC is the counselor in their presidency. Stephen and Japheth played on a baseball team together and often hangContinue reading “Just Saw an Alien Saucer”

A Lot of Time to Think

The man shows up to the Massachusetts Treatment Center in a white shirt and tie. “Treatment Center” is a misnomer in most people’s minds–this is a medium security prison for sex offenders. The man is here because a stake president from the North Shore has told him of a resident named TG who grew upContinue reading “A Lot of Time to Think”

The Primary Program

The boy has the biggest part of any kid in the primary sacrament meeting program. The primary president gives him the script weeks ahead of time, and he spends hours each week memorizing his lines and learning his cues. They have two Sundays of rehearsals, and he delivers all of his dialogue without looking atContinue reading “The Primary Program”

Medflight

Dusk in Glendale, California, and they stand on an old wooden porch. The door is partially open, and the young man knocks hard on the screen door. Traffic flies by at the intersection to their right, but there is traffic everywhere in California–it is the background noise to life out here. A tall Latina womanContinue reading “Medflight”

Know When to Run

In East LA, many of the houses are triple deckers, and if you keep following the driveway, you’ll find another triple decker behind it, and if you go further, you’ll find a third. It’s 8:30 pm, and the young man and Elder Stone have encountered nothing but “No hablo inglĂ©s” for the last hour. TheyContinue reading “Know When to Run”

We Met the Other Night

Darkness has fallen around Pasadena when they emerge from a public housing complex on Colorado Boulevard. The streetlights are bright, and traffic is heavy as people head home from work. Their car is parked on the street just around the corner. The young missionary is headed that way when they pass a black man standingContinue reading “We Met the Other Night”

Turn the Other Cheek

Elder Duncan rides a purple girl bike. The Schwinn he brought into the mission was stolen by El Monte Flores a year ago, and he salvaged a girl mountain bike from a church member who let him take it for free. The young man still has the Schwinn he brought to the field; he’s beenContinue reading “Turn the Other Cheek”