Giving baptismal interviews is one of my favorite things to do. When I met Maria for her interview, along with her husband George, I knew this one would be no exception. George and Maria met and lived for a number of years in Santa Cruz. I sensed that could be the case, even before they told me. They had a bit of a "Santa Cruz feel" to them.
Maria was nervous about the interview. After showing them the baptismal font, she asked that George accompany her to the interview. They each told me a bit about their life story as we sat in a classroom in the church building. As the interview went on, it was obvious that she was well prepared, and ready to be a member of the church.
George and Maria are both in their 50's and like to make jokes about each other. At the times he made a joke that would make Maria scowl, he would kiss her 3 or 4 times on the hand, cheek, or shoulder. This happened frequently throughout the interview. With all their jokes, story-telling, and me having to gather myself after bursting into laughter several times, the interview ended up taking about an hour. She passed with flying colors.
One of the rules in the Missionary Handbook says to avoid holding children, or having them sit on your lap. This isn't usually an issue, but occasionally their are kids that influence you to go by the spirit, and not so much the letter of the law. Connor Eves is one of those kids.
We arrived for dinner at the Eves house. We took a seat on their couch. Connor ran into the room, and shook each of our hands. He grabbed onto my hand and started walking up my leg. After I got him down, he would them run full speed toward me as I sat on the couch, and then jump onto me. Each time I would get ahold of him and lift him off. His mom began shouting to him from the kitchen to leave the missionaries alone.
The pattern would continue. He'd jump on me. I'd lift him off. His mom would tell him to stop. But at some point, even the most patient of missionaries say "No more." The next time Connor jumped on me, I grabbed him, and hoisted him onto my shoulder. I flipped him around so that his back was on my shoulder. I began bouncing up and down.
Turning to my companion I said, "I call this one 'the backbreaker'."
Connor began yelling louder.
We heard his mom's voice from the kitchen, "Connor! I thought I told you to leave the missionaries alone!"
She walked into the room and saw me doing "the backbreaker" on Connor.
But hilarious too.
The work goes on as usual. The Malala family is doing great, and love coming to church. Mele is still shooting to be baptized at the end of the month. Awesome.
Thanks for all the emails. Happy birthday to Becky and Weston!