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”

The Bridge Between Here and There

The man has been home from his mission for a month. Thanksgiving was yesterday, and Lauren Elliott is staying in the guest bedroom upstairs. They knew each other as missionaries, and she offered to come to his homecoming talk, which happens to be Thanksgiving weekend. So he invited her for the holiday. They are notContinue reading “The Bridge Between Here and There”

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 ingl├ęs” 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”

If You Still Believe in God

The young man has been in the mission field for slightly more than two weeks. He has learned how to talk to people at doors and in the street. He has helped teach a handful of lessons, and he is progressing in the missionary study program. It is a mild day in November in Whittier,Continue reading “If You Still Believe in God”

We Should Not Have Come Here

They have been tracting for a couple of hours in Armenian apartments in Glendale, CA. Mostly, they have heard, “No speak English,” or “We are first Christian. We know the God. We know the Jesus. We know everything.” They are close to lunch when they knock a door that probably has no one home–the shadesContinue reading “We Should Not Have Come Here”

That’s What They Expect You to Do in the Church

The young man has been fasting today. He wants to confirm that he should marry Lauren Elliott of Massachusetts, a sister he knew from his mission and has been dating since coming home. The day has not gone as he expected. He and Lauren got in an argument at church. He has had a splittingContinue reading “That’s What They Expect You to Do in the Church”