Thursday, October 10, 2013
So, here's one of my favorite moments:
When you serve a LDS mission you are always with someone else, who is called "your companion." (Or "Escapee from the insane asylum"...oh wait, this isn't a story about that.) At the time of this story I was companion with one of my best friends, Katie McBride. McBride knew about twenty words of Mongolian more than I did and could tap dance, which I sort of made her do whenever the chance arose. Yes, it was a beautiful partnership. One day we found ourselves teaching inside this Mongolian tent, or ger, to...and the details are getting slighty fuzzy here, but I think a family. Anyway, while we were teaching the man offered us some cheese. Now before I go any further I should explain that food in Mongolian is pretty awful. It's...no I think that sentence actually covered it...it's awful and this cheese was no exception. I think if I remember correctly, it was from camel's milk. Didn't know camels made milk? Well they do and someone in the world is making cheese out of it.
Anyway, McBride and I had this stupid rule that whatever the one ate the other companion had to match it. The rule was going really well until one day McBride threw out a bowl of mare's milk, which tastes exactly like baby throw-up, out the window before the person, who gave it to us, returned to the room. Unfortunately, I was still holding my bowl and since hers was empty I was forced to actually drink mine so we didn't offend our host. To say this caused some friction to the rule would be a slight understatement.
Back to the cheese. So, there we were trying to bite and chew through this forsaken camel cheese, when I realized the small stool I was sitting on allowed me to discretely lower my cheese, without anyone seeing me, and hide it in my shoe. Which I did....without telling McBride. So, there I sat with no cheese in sight, a satisfied look on my face, and then I did the unthinkable - I asked for some more. Immediately, McBride shot me a look and realized she was going to have to finish her piece of cheese and then get an additional piece! Quietly, she asked me if I had eaten the cheese, and I told her, like any honest missionary, "Yes." This continued through a couple more pieces, until one fateful pencil rolled off the table, and as McBride reached down to retrieve it, she saw my shoe lined with pieces of cheese I had claimed to enjoy.
Folks, I saw lives changed in Mongolia because of the work I was blessed to be a part of. However, the moment McBride's eyes widened in disbelief at my cheese deception was the true time my life changed for the better.
I can't remember what exactly happened afterwards, but I think we started throwing the cheese at each other once we got outside, and then some kids came by and started eating our discarded cheese. Oh, Mongolia, how I miss you.