Wednesday, December 9, 2009


This morning as I felt the cold air and smelled a familiar aroma, I was brought back to a time not too long ago when I was living in Virginia as a missionary. Its weird and exciting when something triggers a great memory.

The one in particular that came to my head was Nelly. She was an older lady from, well I don't remember, and she was one of the meanest people I have ever met. She had become a member years earlier, even though she was a chain smoker, and now insisted that the church take care of her. So, every week my companion and I headed to the old folks home to clean her tiny apartment.

I was ALWAYS in charge of the bathroom, no matter how much I wanted to switch my companion for the bedroom. I don't think she trusted me, because she would stand with her front touching my back as I scrubbed the shower and diarrhea covered toilet, and she would scream "Scrub faster! Scrub harder!" at the top of her lungs. With every ounce of restraint I had, I kept my mouth shut and worked faster and harder than I knew my poor body could. I would usually leave soaking wet in sweat.

To top it off, she refused to listen to our churchy lessons. If we even attempted to talk to her about anything, she would yell. She told me she "knew it all already."

Then one day, determined to get some benefit out of cleaning Nelly's apartment, we decided that instead of trying to teach her, we would get through to her by singing. We chose "In Our Lovely Deseret" (because tobacco we despise...haha)

On our way to the appointment my companion and I strengthened our courage by making up our own silly, anti-Nelly words to the song (missionaries have to get cleaver when TV and radio are not an option).

When we got there, cleaned and sweat sufficiently, we told her about the song. She ok-ed the notion. As we began to sing, I lost it. I just thought of how crazy this lady was, about her yelling, about why we chose the song and its hidden but not so hidden message, and laughed so hard that tears rolled down my cheeks. I couldn't stop, and because I couldn't neither could my companion. We started up the song at least 5 times before we abandoned the idea completely. I just couldn't keep a straight face.

At first Nelly was surprised, then annoyed, and before I knew it she was laughing too. Although, she had no clue why. After that, she never yelled at us again, but she did always request that we sing.

Oh cold weather, thank you for that treasure of remembrance. It has made my day.


DaNiEl & ShAnDi

hahahaha..What a great story! Thanks for sharing. You are a trooper to be that nice to her. =0) sounds like it payed off. BTW that's my ultimate favorite church song!


I also Love the smell triggered memories.

I LOVE Virginia!!! Living there was Awesome I miss it and hope to go back!

Thanks for sharing your story.

A & J Johnson: A Family Co

Remind me to tell you about the time I had to wash the ladies pantyhose... it wasn't pretty... and she was NOT nice ever. God bless the crochety old woman who think the sister missionaries are their personal slaves. =)