Let the Good Times Roll

Today I saw a new Mormon movie, The Errand of Angels, with my friend Joni. The movie is about a sister missionary (who wears blue and pink tights) serving in Austria. Since I served in Germany (over two and a half years ago!) the movie made me especially sentimental and reflective. So I wanted to share a few of the funny stories from my mission.
First Street Preach
We met up with other missionaries from the Frankfurt area to hold a street preach on the corner of one of the shopping districts. I sang and preached on the Kiste (a box) but didn't really get a chance to contact. When I did, I tried to talk to an older Muslim lady whom I really couldn't understand, but she made a machine gun motion and sound, and I took the hint that she wasn't interested. 
The Poopy Leaf
My companion was walking in front of me talking to an elder. I noticed a leaf stuck to my shoe and bent down to remove it, coming up with brown, mushy stuff of my hand. Poop! So I attempted to get it off thanks to an obliging bush -- a thorn bush. So I was bleeding and poopy and my companion and the elder kept walking, oblivious. His companions noticed my dilemma and awkwardly offered me so water from his bottle. My companion never noticed.
I felt good that morning. The birds were singing, the weather was perfect, and I was in a good mood. As we left out apartment a short, Arab man in a suit was ringing doorbells, selling stuff for Deutsche Telecom (aka T-mobile). Being nice I said to him, "You look good." When we came home that evening and checked our mail we found two Deutsche Telecom brochures in our box. One read, "Interested in a date with a man who always looks good?" And the second read, "Oh, I almost forgot my number 555-5555 Ahmet." There are so many reasons why it wouldn't have worked.
I loved and hated my mission. I remember the stress, the frustration, the futility, the doubting. And I also remember the special times, the good times, the moments when things worked out, and the sweet friends I have because of it. 


Beijing Olympics

I looked forward to the Opening Ceremonies on 8/8/08 all day. I got some lettuce wraps and sat down to watch. They were amazing. I mean the ceremonies (although the wraps were great too.) Indescribable. Astounding. I freaked out. I was "trippin'." The drummers. The boxes. The boxes! And the people running in air literally all over the world. Then when the torch bearer flew up and ran around the length of the arena. For those of you who did not see it, you will be very confused by my words.
Most people find the march of countries boring. I enjoyed it. Especially watching the smaller countries. Some of those Olympians had no chance of winning, represented  thousands, if not millions of people at home per athlete (as compared to USA's nearly 700 athletes), or came from a country in turmoil. Like Iraq or like Georgia. That was the night that Russia invaded Georgia. 
The Olympics are such a positive experience. We can cheer for all countries. It is when the worlds puts aside economics and diplomacy and suits and missiles and oil. We concentrate on people who are trying to be their best, who are real role models, and who are accomplishing tasks we all dream of.
I've enjoyed watching swimming (who cannot enjoy watching Michael Phelps) and the women's gymnastics team. It's the one time I really enjoy sports because it's about hard core athletics and now about what the athletes do when they aren't sporting. Go Team USA!