One thing that isn't said enough in our Church, is how much fun missions are! Yeah, yeah, yeah, we always hear about the work and the growth and the wearing down of Doc Martins and the reward of bring souls to Christ. For some reason, though, the incredible amount of fun that can be had on a mission is downplayed or overlooked. Maybe people are afraid of saying something or telling some story that is unbecoming a missionary. Maybe? I don't know. I just know that not one person told me before I went that I was going to have the time of my life.
And, no... the hundreds of returned missionaries I heard during my adolescence saying, "It was the best two years of my life", (followed by the 'one uppers' who feel it necessary to clarify that it was, "Two of the best years." or "The best two years, so far") does not constitute describing the mission as a "good time". I honestly went out thinking that it was going to be all work and no play.
Common sense does scream that there would be boundless opportunity for fun on LDS missions simply because of the high concentration of 19-21 year old boys. Really how long can 20 year old males go with out cracking some jokes or getting into some mischief? Don't simply assign the word "mischief" to disobedience either. I am talking about good, clean fun.
Examples of this could fill the the pages of a million blogs. My mission was fun. I laughed everyday. We worked hard... sure. But we played constantly too. (sigh)
I bring this up because something happened today that (I think) is a direct result of some mischief I engaged in on my mission. First I should tell you that I served with a Danish Elder who loved pranks. Loved them. He went home while I was in my first month, but he passed a legacy prank onto me that I used to the fullest of my ability and then passed on when I left.
WARNING: if you are not a male between the age of 13-30 you may not find the following paragraph funny, entertaining, or of any merit. In fact you may find it disgusting and wish all manner of plagues upon me.
The prank went as follows: We would buy a can of Pringles. Luckily, once you pop a can of Pringles you can't stop and the potato chips would be consumed leaving a sturdy tube that could be perfect for shipping certain items to friends or loved ones. Then one of us (or both of us, if the serendipitous occurs and we both have to go) carefully poops into the empty Pringle can. It is a good idea to spray a little bit of water with a mist sprayer to keep it just a bit moist. The can is then sealed and wrapped in a thick layer of packing paper. We would then fake our best girl hand writing and address it to one of our mission buddies. It is important to send it to someone you know and love as you will be more likely to hear his/her account of opening the special present, which is far more fun than just imagining the experience.
In Ireland they refer to mail as "post", we called these Pringle packages (guaranteed to brighten even the the sourest of sourpusses days), "poost." The post in Ireland puts our mail system here to shame. Regular mail would get our poost to it's destination the next day. Which would ensure the contents freshness.
Listening to missionaries explain how they opened the can expecting love notes and candy inside only to find human defecation has got to be one of the most hilarious things I've seen in my short life. I have seen it a few times.
Well, today, the UPS man came by.
It was obvious to me what it was, but I found myself thinking, "This can't be poost. Not in America. Not so long after my mission." I decided to shake it. Poost has very distinct "shake properties" if the weight is on one side and shifts slowly or not at all one can be sure they are holding poost. I shook it, and there was no mistake, I was holding a can of poost.
Poost addressed to me? Who could it be? A recent returnee? An angry sister missionary? (Whoopsie. Oh my, oh me. Everythingy is rhymie.) I had to open the package, in case, as there often is, a note was inside the can. Usually something would be taped to the lid, because when sending poost if you need to send a message you need to understand that no one will go sifting through poop for much anything. A very healthy... very human poop lie inside. No corn or anything to identify it specifically could be seen. I didn't spend much time looking at it.
Hopefully, this was one of my friends who will be looking for an explanation so that this mystery doesn't have to last long.
Ha ha, doesn't really matter to me. It is incredibly funny, and I am flattered that not only did someone go to the effort to send it, but that I can be sure my legacy lives on in Dublin.