Monday, August 22, 2016

Every Day I'm Shu-Shufflin'

This week was certainly filled with mix-ups, plot twists, exchanges, and absolutely hilarious happenings. 

One classical comedic idea is the idea of mistaken identity, in which someone is mistaken for someone else and it causes a whole slew of mishaps, problems, and ultimately, comedy. We can easily think of a few movies involving this or some aspects of it, such as "Hot Lead and Cold Feet" and "The Court Jester", among many others. We can even go back to Shakespeare and see this comedic concept portrayed in "A Comedy Of Errors" (Which is a fine comedy, if I do say so myself)>
However, I must admit that I have never seen such a situation play out in real life... until this week. Boy oh boy, I was having a hoot and a holler. Allow me to set the stage...

This week we were scheduled to have dinner with some of the Ward Missionaries in our ward, the Swensens. I should also mention that on this day we were on exchanges, so I (still new to the area) was the only one who knew what was going on at all. Now, the Swensens had been on vacation for quite a while, and were thus a little bit out of the loop on who we were teaching and had baptized recently, etc. Anyway, we had planned to have one of our recent converts, Vick (an older gentleman with a fine sense of humor), attend dinner with us as well so he could feel more welcomed in to the ward. As we were knocking on the Swensens door at the appointed time, we heard a car coming up behind us. Naturally, I assumed it was Brother Swensen returning after having picked up Vick for dinner. I was right, but I was also somewhat wrong. You see, Brother Swensen was driving the car, and he definitely thought  he had picked up Vick, but let me tell you: It was not Vick. It was some random guy I had never seen before. I wasn't sure what was going on until Brother Swensen got out of the car and said, "Welcome to our house, Vick!".  The supposed 'Vick' then promptly walked up to me with a confused and desperate look in his eye and said "Hello, I'm John". Right then and there, I knew dinner was going to be awesome. 
"Hello, John! Nice to meet you!" I responded, hoping Brother Swensen would get the hint. He didn't. and he escorted the bewildered John into his house, and started introducing him to his family as "Vick". After each introduction, John would great his new acquaintance with an increasingly exasperated and desperate cry of "Hello! I'm John." Nobody seemed to catch on. At this point, I couldn't hold it in and I hurriedly went into the bathroom where I started laughing out of both nerves and humor. Yeah, it was a funny situation, but it might also end badly if I didn't figure out how to remedy the situation. I quickly waved Elder Seegmiller (from Layton, Utah, by the way) in to the room and explained the situation to him. This whole time we keep hearing John hopelessly trying to correct the error with even more fervency after each subsequent introduction, while still trying to be as polite as possible. "Hello! I am JOHN." 
Anyway, as we came in to the room, it was still clear that no one had any idea as to the true identity of this stranger, and everyone still seemed unworried and totally convinced that he was Vick. Finally, Brother Swensen, sensing some disturbance in the force, pulled out a business card John had apparently handed to him earlier and looked at the name on it. Then he nudged me and leaned over. "I don't think this guy is Vick." He whispered conspicuously, pointing at the name. Way to go, Sherlock Swensen. I hastily and emphatically shook my head, indicating my relief and verifying his suspicions. After that, it all cleared up, and we had a wonderful dinner with John. (Apparently, Brother Swensen had picked him up for church a few months ago and couldn't remember his name, but thought it was John. It seems John had no qualms about jumping unexpectedly into a car to go to an unscheduled dinner with the Mormons. Meanwhile, poor Vick is sitting at home bewildered, wondering where his dinner we up with him was)
Anyway, we called Vick, and everything ended up good. I almost started busting up laughing in the middle of dinner several times as I imagined Brother Swensen knocking on John's door and saying. "You ready for dinner?" 
To which John, though almost certainly befuddled then responded trustingly "Yeah, sure."
Maybe he has people randomly pick him up for dinner all the time. Who knows?
Anyway, it was a great experience, and there is a gospel application behind it. Our identity is very important because our identity determines our potential. Most people do not understand our identity in this world. In Acts 17:28-29, Paul teaches that we are the offspring of God. Still, most people do not understand what it really means to be a child of God. Have you thought about it recently? That should be our first and foremost identifying thought about ourselves. I urge you all to remember what it means to truly be a child of God. You have the spark of divinity within you. God loves you and wants what is best for you. He has a plan to bring you to your fullest potential, and to a fullness of joy. Anyway, that is all I have for you, but remember that. As it says in Lion King, (insert majestic Sky-Lion Mufasa voice) "Remember who you are..."
Psalm 82:6

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. We also got transfer calls this week. I will be staying and getting Elder Miller. Hathaway will be leaving to Tacoma! Have a great week, dear friends and family!

Elder Benge

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