I now understand why it's a bad idea to do pranks on new missionaries.
I met Elder Smith on Tuesday at the mission office in San Jose on Tuesday. He's from Gilbert, Arizona, enjoys playing the guitar, and is distantly related to Joseph Smith.
We arrived in Salinas, and he was wide-eyed and commented often on how "ghetto" it was. He also asked several times "Is this legit?" Having been isolated from the teenage lingo for a year, I had no idea what he meant. I reassured him often that Salinas is perfectly safe, but just to never go on the east side of town after dark.
Around 8:30 pm, we were just finishing up for the day, and getting ready to head home when we got a phone call. I answered, and the voice on the other end told us to meet on Soledad street. Elder Smith asked what was going on. I told him that it was three guys I met the other day, and that they wanted to talk to us on Soledad street - deep in the heart of eastside Salinas.
We drove to Soledad street, got out of the car and started walking around the dark sidewalks. Some guys came up to us and we started talking to them. They seemed alright, but not all there mentally. I could tell that Elder Smith was a little nervous. I told the guys that we had just been put together as missionaries, and if they could take our picture. I got out my camera and handed it to them. I then told Elder Smith to give them his camera too, which he reluctantly did. We posed for about three pictures. Without warning, the guys bolted off, with both our cameras. I chased them for a little, and yelled, but to no avail.
Our cameras had been stolen.
I apologized to Elder Smith, and he suggested that we get home right away. I agreed. In the car ride home, I told him how some people just do bad things, and you never know who you can trust. He was pretty quiet.
We got to our apartment, carrying his luggage up the stairs. We opened the door to our apartment, and saw two figures sitting in the kitchen. I turned on the light, to discover that the two guys who stole our cameras were IN OUR APARTMENT!!
I walked into the kitchen towards them. One of them walked right at me. We paused a second in front of each other. I gave each of them a big hug, and we started laughing.
"Elder Smith, I'd like you to meet Elder Thompson and Elder Fox, the Salinas 3rd ward missionaries." Classic.
Elder Smith took the joke well, but I think the emotional damage is still there. For instance, he insisted on buying several locks for his bike, and is suspicious of everyone he meets that they are a "thug."
So this week has been fun. There's way too much to teach Elder Smith, but luckily he is a quick learner.
Me: "And now, Elder Smith, I'd like to show you how this magic box works. You put food in it, push some buttons, and it magically heats it up."
Elder Smith: "I'm not an idiot, you know."
Me: "That's the spirit!"
I'm glad everyone had a great Halloween. I hope to see a picture of Aunt Rachel dressing up as Mom. We didn't have much success proselyting on Halloween. For instance, at about 11am, we saw a guy walking down the street wearing a hockey mask.
"Hey, how's it going?"
I love Halloween.