When first I was called to serve I had but two goals in mind:
1.) Get baptisms.
2.) Don’t gain weight.
And the Lord sent me to Canada to first reside in a suburb of the uber-euro town
which is Quebec City.
And the Lord sent me a first companion who was
(warning! hyperbole rampage!)
in the whole-wide mission.
And the Lord gave us a twenty-something investigator named Denis.
(Except in French you pronounce it “Denny”)
(which happened to be my family’s nickname for special body parts.)
(I’d blush a little when we’d go over to teach the discussions.)
On one very hot day,
outside his very hot apartment,
Denis accepted our invitation to be baptized.
And as we walked home,
I encountered my first run-in with public nudity,
(or shall I say I saw an un-welcomed denny?)
But that Sunday at church Denis shyly handed my companion a letter,
(which had a picture of faded red roses in the background)
rolled up with ribbon.
On the car ride home,
she had me sl-ow-ly translate.
Denis could no longer continue the discussions with us.
Because he was in love.
So it was that we “passed-off” our Denis to the Elders.
And consoled ourselves in an ice cream shop (called “Bunny.”)
Which is when I decided that it would be ok to gain weight.
I let the Lord make me over.
Less blushy, more serious.
(Maybe my first goal was possible . . .
. . . if I let go of the second.)
So it was that I put on the Ugly Mantle.
And stopped sending pictures home.
Because of this: “Are you feeling okay? You look . . . sick? Should I call your Mission President?”
I was transfered.
A year passed and I found myself back in Quebec City.
Where I ran into Denis
(with newly bleach-tipped hair.)
He didn’t really recognize me.
(I was heavy with mission.)
And he was baptized.
The only one I ever taught.