We were so happy. It was Sunday night. We just had a wonderful Dinner appointment at the Mbelasis home in Umtata.
We lived in the community of Northcrest in Umtata amid a well-off group of Xhosa speaking citizens.
It is a friendly neighborhood and the people generally respected and accepted us. We couldn't wait to get home to plan our P-Day--We celebrated P-Day eve as if it really existed. We planned out our whole day (including the proselytizing) and rested our heads with dreams of our perfect p-day.
I arose feeling a bit grouchy and irritable. For some reason, we all slept a little longer than usual. I went about aimlessly before my morning prayer, which I slept through mostly. I felt so unusually tired.
I looked at my companion, Elder Thompson, and winched at him for not waking up to wake me up on time. I then proceeded to the restroom. I passed the other Elders' room, Elders Streadbeck and Danisa surprised to see them still in bed.
It was about 8:30 am. As I went past their room, and the spare room something seemed out of place. I went to the living room window after leaving the restroom and gazed out at such a beautiful day. Still something felt out of place. The day was too perfect outside. The sun, the birds, and the breeze--all too...well, great.
I looked off to the left, still gazing out of the window and noticed that I did not see the end of the mission car. I thought for a moment that the car was parked far in the driveway, so I went in the room where my companion still slept, Elder Thompson. I looked out the window and still saw no car. I started to worry. I then went in the spare room and looked. There was no way I could miss the car from that room, but I did. Oddly, enough it never occurred to me the car could have been missing.
I decided then to wake every one with "The car is gone."
The Elders jumped out of bed. "What did you say," asked Elder Streadbeck.
"The car is not in the drive way. Did you leave it outside because the gate is open," I returned.
"No, I wouldn't do that."
"The car is there," argued Elder Danisa. "It is not gone."
"Go look for yourself," I answered.
"What Happen," says Elder Thompson stumbling as he walked toward us--all of us straining to awaken fully.
"The car is gone," I said.
"You are not serious," questioned Elder Thompson.
"Yes, look for yourself."
"Elder Johnson if this is a joke you're playing it's not funny," Elder Thompson accuses.
"I don't even have a Cert to drive or know how to drive a stick," I returned angrily.
Finally, Elder Danisa and Elder Streadbeck went outside to see. To their dread, of course, it was not there.
We all sat around thinking what could have happened to it when Elder Danisa wisely stated, "It is stolen."
He then went into an angry spill about the totsis (gangsters) coming to our house to see how to get our things instead of seeking the gospel (we had several different groups of people to visit us during the course of the month).
To make a long story short, we called the Police and the Mission Office and received instructions. The Policeman, who came two hours late and uniformed, told us that the thieves might have put something called monkey's tail in our open window as we slept so as not to awake us. This would explain how they clipped the chain on the gate and opened the squeaky gate without Elder Thompson or me hearing it.
It also explained why we all felt so extremely tired in when we awoke. We never retrieved the car and our P-day was ruined. Elder Danisa said the car was probably in Durban being sold by the time the policeman came. I wondered why we were a target for theft.
I don't think it has anything to do with us being the only house in the neighborhood that didn't have a cage or garage for our car. That was just the beginning.
Transportation Issues. P-Day Eve. Missionary Stories:
Posted by Rodric Johnson
Labels: black, church, companion, elder, missionary, Mormon, south africa, stolen, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, umtata
Rodric Anthony Johnson was born in the bustling city of Rochester, New York in the wintry month of November. Being migrant by nature, his family uprooted and moved to the Southeast. He now lives in the Southwest in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and kids. He is looking to make sure his family is stable in on spot for a while.