I think all too often we overlook the good parts about having a trunky, going home in two weeks, companion. For one thing, anything that he doesn't have room in his luggage for, you get first dibs on. Also, now all the friends he's made throughout his mission want to come up here and take us out to eat. He has to worry about adjusting to regular life, and I'm reaping all the benefits!
This week we helped out one of our...hmmm, how can I put this delicately...crazy investigators. Something in her mind prevents her from ever throwing anything away. This includes garbage and rotting food. Our first task was to throw away all the rotting fruit laying around. I picked up a basket of rotting fruit, and immediately a swarm of fruit flies flew into my face. At this same time, our investigator asked me if that fruit was still good or not.
This was only the beginning.
Her refrigerator had broken down about a week before we came over. I opened it up and saw that she had not thrown anything away, and now all the food, ALL the food, was moldy. And not just a little moldy - for example, a mushy tomato in there was halfway covered in fuzz. SICK! Some dark brownish-red liquid was pooling at the bottom of the fridge.
After emptying out the fridge and gagging several times, I started to work on the clutter in the kitchen. The whole apartment had clutter of junk about 4 or 5 feet tall. There was one about 3 foot-wide path through the apartment. The investigator wouldn't let me throw anything away - used napkins, empty yogurt containers, milk cartons, etc - so I had Elder Uelese distract her while I at least tried to uncover the floor a little bit in the kitchen. I found that the deeper I dug, the wetter and smellier the pile of filth became. That bottom inch of the junk was soaked in garbage juice.
We ended up filling about 10 garbage bags before she wouldn't let us clean anything else up. Well, at least the rotting food won't be a problem for a little while. As Elder Uelese and I left, we pondered how a person can get to the point where their apartment is a health hazard - also, how we could get the garbage juice smell out of our hands.
On another day, we helped some members move out of their apartment. They decided to move out about a week earlier than they told the ward, so we ended up being the only ones to help them. No one we called to help answered their phones. Yeah, we were moving furniture and lots of unboxed stuff for 10 hours that day.
"Wherefore, whose believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world..."
Elder Uelese will go home on July 6, and I think I will stay in Los Altos for another 6 weeks. Elder Uelese along with 16 other missionaries had their outgoing fireside on Sunday. Each said a 2 or 3 minute testimony. Elder Uelese's was mostly about food that he will miss, and missing getting so much free food. I felt the Spirit.
Despite the difficult and sometimes disgusting work we did this week, we still had a lot of fun. Our teaching pool is slowly growing, and we are grateful. I'm going to miss having a huge Kiwi for a companion when he goes home.
Happy Father's Day, fathers!