Checking in with Elder Stern

Quick reminder: I'm Elder Stern, I'm from Wisconsin, and I'm currently on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the San Fernando Valley of California -- speaking Spanish.

So, for the first time in my mission, I get to train a new missionary! My companion's name is Elder Jager, he's from Utah, and he's one of the funniest people I've ever met.

Elder Stern and Elder Jager

So, as a grand experiment, President Henrie (our "Mission President") decided to put four missionaries in one apartment this transfer. I and Elder Coles (one of my good English-missionary friends from Santa Clarita) are both training new missionaries -- Elder Jager and Elder Clark. This is groundbreaking, because it has been about a year and half since they had multiple sets of missionaries stay in the same dwelling, due mostly to foolish/dangerous things missionaries would do. Ours is the first apartment they are trying this in...

Elder Jager has made it his goal to make life miserable for the others (in an amusing and fun way). This morning he walked into the bedroom with a pot full of cold ravioli (after we had already eaten lunch) and asked if I wanted some... I was like, "what?" and suddenly a pen goes flying past his head and almost hits me. Turns out he had just swiped Elder Clark's ravioli off of the burner when he wasn't looking. With Elder Jager (who has a HUGE sweet tooth) it's only a question of when the next thing will disappear -- your apple pie, or your Oreos. The one thing that is safe is my lettuce. He refuses to touch veggies.

But Elder Coles and Elder Clark are not ones to take all of that abuse without a word. Elder Jager has made himself the subject of many practical jokes and abuse. Some of it is undeserved, but the vast majority of it is very deserved :)

In the last few weeks, he's found his bicycle hidden in the shower, been tickle-attacked, and been bombarded with everything from small change to water bottles to "Little Debbie" pastries. He isn't even safe when he's doing his sit-ups in the morning.

Our apartment has also become the setting of choice for a game called, "Whammy". It's pretty simple. You sneak up on someone/hide and scream, "whammy!" to make them jump. Through this I have learned that I am often a very oblivious and easily startled person.

Back in the Missionary Training Center, an Elder shared with us a quote from his mom: "One boy: one brain. Two boys: half-a-brain. Three boys: no brain."

But what about four? Is there any truth to her theory? Only twelve weeks with Elder Coles, Elder Clark, Elder Jager, and Elder Stern, will tell...

Until next time!

Elder Stern

Posted in: Gap Year Blogs