Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ordering Pizza and Alternate Plans


I'll be listening to General Conference at Brother Moon's house -- the same one where I've gone for grilled dinner a couple of times.  We'll be watching the Saturday morning session live, (at 6 p.m. our time), then watch 3 sessions Sunday.  I guess I'll have to read the last Sunday session when it comes in the Ensign (church magazine).

I'm feeling much better.  I'm going to include a few journal entries here today, since yesterday (Tuesday March 31) was so...different. (?!)

FOLLOW-UP DOCTOR VISIT.  We started in the hospital with a follow-up visit about the pneumonia.  We went to the "International" office, where we went last time, since we have Aetna International coverage.  We never paid last time; they gave us the medicine under-the-table and let us walk out.  So I couldn't make an appointment until we got the insurance company on the line.  The hospital staff didn't trust them until they faxed a payment guarantee to the hospital.  Then we went to get an X-ray appointment.  Fine, no problem.  Then a doctor to interpret the X-ray... "Can you do it in 6 months? No? 3 months?"  To get an appointment this week, they wanted me to pay $90 under the table, and make me do the reimbursement with the insurance.  Um, how about No?

The initial thought was, "We can just ask for a printout and read it ourselves."  Then we called Sister Dibb (mission president's wife, she handles medical stuff).  She said to take the printout and send it to Milan.  They have a mission doctor who can read it for free.  Well, there's that problem solved!

Overall, I feel much better.  Not perfect, but I've been doing just normal stuff for the past 2 weeks.

Next strange thing:
ORDERING PIZZA.  We were tired when we got back home, from being in the hospital all morning.  So we decided to order pizza.  It got there, we opened them, and Anziano Lindsey noticed something weird about mine...what is that?  There's a cell phone under my pizza, in the box.  A Samsung, just sitting there under the pizza.  So we call the pizza place and say, "Somebody's left their phone with the pizza.  How they managed to get a phone stuck under the pizza is beyond me, but we ordered a pizza and got someone's phone.  A Muslim guy, by the pictures on it.

So we take a selfie with it, and wait for him to come and get it.  (Incidentally, the pizza took a shorter time to arrive than the guy did to get his phone.)  So when he gets there and sees Anziano Lindsey with his phone, he says (in Italian), "Oh, thank goodness you're not Italians."  Nope, honest, hardworking American missionaries.  How lucky for him!

AMERICAN TOURISTS.  Then in the evening, we ran into some American members of the church on vacation.  The husband had served here for 6 months on his mission...17 years ago!  So while his Italian was a bit rusty, they were making their way to some tourist sights, and some places he'd served.  It was cool for them to come out here; he remembered the place a bit differently -- there were 4 missionaries here when he served here.  And I think it was part of a different mission, too.

And some things we've tried to work a bit differently, and maybe have some more success: we brainstormed what we could do to overcome the barrier that comes up when people see us and think, "Oh no, it's the missionaries."

PLAN A. We baked brownies and walked around offering them to people.  "We're American missionaries, just trying to make people smile."  As we found (and thought might occur when we planned it), there is NO UNCREEPY WAY to ask people if they want brownies.  "Heyyy...want some...BROWNIES?"  "Excuse us, we'd like to offer you brownies."  "Hey kids, we made you brownies!"  Nope, Nope, Nope.  Everyone we offered them to thought they had drugs in them.  "Hash brownies, anyone?"  We got rid of a box of them, mostly to teens our age who probably wouldn't have cared if they did have drugs in them.  So we ate the other box ourselves.

PLAN B.  We have a lot of pass-along cards related to Easter.  So we taped them up to streetlights around town.  The missionaries are going around tagging poles!  We did the same thing with English class flyers/leaflets (we teach an English class as a finding technique).  It's more of a conversation course, since they don't get an official certificate or anything, but it interests some people who might not talk to us otherwise.  We'll see how that works out.

And, a funny thing that happens to us every now and again: we're walking down the street, and we see a lady 50 feet away notice us, stop for a second, then turn around and walk the other way.  Now, normally when this happens, they're casual about it.  They cross the street, or tie their shoe, or pretend to use the phone.  But this lady?  "Oh, no, it's those JWs. Freak. Can I cross the street? No--traffic's coming. Quick, what do I do? BAIL!  Walk away quickly!"

That's my news and happenings for this week.  I hope you enjoyed them.

Anziano Whitesell

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