Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Banana Grove, A Broken Sandal, A Cave, And A Harrowing Experience

I was reminded of this story at dinner tonight.

Early on in my mission, I was informed that our district was having a special P-Day. This was no ordinary P-Day. I'll just quote from my journal again:

" Today was P-Day. We went on an activity with all of the Young Adults, about 35 of them, and about 10 missionaries. First we went strawberry picking. Then we went to a banana forest." (I think they are called groves). "My sandal broke and I had it held around my foot with an elastic band and an orange ribbon-cute. Then we went to pick some more fruit and I traveled through the woods again- in a skirt." (I remember this banana grove, it was very big. I remember not being able to walk well because of the broken sandal).

"Then we went to a park that had a mountain. We decided to start climbing it." (I'm sure that was not my decision, I can tell you now. I'm sure it was the decision of all the people who had on good shoes.) "It didn't look too bad-until we got half way up and realized that there was no turning back, you had to go all the way to the top! Well here I was in a black skirt and sandals (one of them broken) climbing up the side of a mountain. There was at times almost nothing to hold on to and it was steep and straight up. All the way up I prayed that I would be a dress no less."
"So then we got to the top-great! They said the way down was different but was supposed to be much easier. We crawled through these caves THROUGH the mountain that the Japanese had built (during the war.) These things were crawl space caves and I had a skirt on!! We had a couple of candles and they kept going out and then we also found out that there were forks in the cave." (I remember how scared I was. We were in a long line, one person following the other, sometimes in total darkness. The elders had a a job to do just keeping me from freaking out. They kept calling from somewhere in front of me that we were OK and to keep going). "So I crawled up and down on my bottom in a skirt in the dark." (That was the only way to crawl, it was very difficult).
Somewhere along the trail.

"FINALLY, we found our way out and there was a steep downhill to climb down, almost all dirt. One time somebody said, "Just swing on the bamboo." Great, now I was Tarzan!" (I remember being terrified. My sandal was broken. You are not supposed to climb mountains in sandals anyway. I had on a skirt. I am not adventurous to begin with and that is an understatement. The elders had on pants and good shoes and they were always up for an adventure. But I was stuck, frozen in time on the top of the mountain with everybody on the bottom constantly telling me to just slide down. Can I just say that I still cringe when I think of this.)

"So I managed to slide down the mountain with the help of an elder and a Chinese man, in a skirt." (Needless to say, it was the least modest time in my life). "But it was either die on the mountain and be modest , or go for it and live...Well, I came down and I was covered with dirt from head to toe, FILTHY-a great representative of the Church. Everybody had a good laugh and once I was down I decided that it was fun..." (No doubt delirium had set in by then.)
This was almost at the bottom.

That sure was a new meaning for the word different. :) 


  1. Hi, My name is Robin and I just recently found your blog! I gave a talk in church today about preparing your child for a mission. I have three young children and am a convert to the church.So I am finding ways to prepare them and myself. I really have been enjoying your posts and I shared your post "Tough good bye" in my talk today. It was very emotional. Thank you so much!

  2. Wow. I don't know what to say. I am quite touched by your comment. This has been a quiet labor of love. I think when I am done, I will always be grateful that I took the time to write this blog.

    Enjoy every minute with your kids. One day you turn around and they are gone. But it is so sweet to know you gave your heart and soul to make a difference in their lives while you had them.

    Welcome aboard!