Sunday, May 24, 2009

The One With the House Elves

So, if you will remember, Saturday I was catering. I cooked in a big hurry, ran off to dip strawberries, and then back for just long enough to get ready to go to the catering job. I left my kitchen in a huge mess… garlic, bits of parsley everywhere, dirty skillets, dishes… and just hoped that the house elves would have it magically clean before I got home. I knew the odds were against that, since my family was going to a Memorial Day barbecue in my absence. I dragged through the door a little after 10:30 Saturday night, and found the kitchen just as I had left it. Actually… it was worse. I was so tired, though, I couldn’t stay up to clean it. I took some aspirin and went to bed.

At 8:00 Sunday morning I woke up and remem- bered I had the nasty kitchen waiting for me, so I combed my hair, found some shoes and headed, bleary-eyed, down the stairs. Walked into the kitchen just in time to find Elder Felkner wiping the last counter and Elder Murray starting the dishwasher he had just filled. They cleaned my kitchen while I slept! Elder Murray always says his dream is to do something that earns him a place in my blog (the guy is a dreamer, you know... being a famous singer, having a pirate-themed wedding cake... ah, yes... he and Elder Felkner both think big). I am afraid he was hoping for some outrageous prank or dangerous heroic feat to win him blog glory, but he will have to take what he gets, because as of today, they are both officially blog heroes. Of course, they don’t actually get to read the blog... heh heh... but it’s the thought that counts, right?

We don’t get to have the mission- aries for much longer. Cambria is twelve, and the bishops of both the congreg-ations that share our missionaries are looking for a new host family. *sniff* As the search is underway, I find myself surprised, and not for the first time, by how difficult it is to find them a home. Even in such an affluent area as ours, people are very reluctant to leave their comfort zone to make a place for them. We are not the typical host family. The ideal would be a retired couple, not a family with a houseful of kids. I am pretty sure that heaven and earth moved to bend the requirements a little so that we could have them for most of the last four years.

Despite the require-ments, there are plenty of people here in our area who qualify to host the mission- aries, but they all seem to have various reasons why they don’t feel comfortable doing it. One of the main ones is a loss of privacy. And okay...having two people live in your home who are not members of your family is undeniably less private. But do you know what I have decided? Privacy is highly overrated. Or maybe that isn’t even the right way to think about it. I don’t feel that our home life is less private… just that we have increased our family circle to include some amazing young men. And not only have they never breached the family’s privacy, but I have heard about how they have flatly refused to enter into gossip about our family, and have even defended family members on occasion, just as you would hope brothers would do. Elder Felkner and Elder Murray are the just the last in a long line of missionaries who have loved and served our family in countless ways.

I could make this a monster post, telling you all the ways that having the missionaries has been a blessing for my family. It would still not reflect how much I love, love, love them. There isn’t a downside, except maybe that eventually they all move on. But every missionary who has passed through our home has become a lifelong friend and beloved family member. And you tell me… who cannot use more of those?

P.S. You might notice that, left to their own devices, missionaries tend to take a lot of pictures of themselves driving. Why? I don’t know. It is one of the great mysteries.


Carolyn said...

When I was a child living on the island of Guam the missionaries lived with us. I remember how much fun we had playing with them. They were from other near-by islands, so we were fascinated to hear stories of their homes.

Before they left they both made my sister and I a necklace of shells and beads. I still have it and every time I move I find it and remember.

It's nice to hear others treasure the missionaries. Especially now that I have sons that will one day wear dark suites and white shirts.

Jamie said...

What good little elves! I can tell from this post, & previous ones, how much you love them. It sounds like they truly have been a blessing to you & your family. And I'm pretty sure that the blessings go the other way too.

with love, r said...

I was telling the Owens' last night that you are pretty much one of the most amazing people I know. You know how to do everything, are good at everything,are super intelligent, and extremely funny to boot. We all concurred.
Taking in the missionaries is just another thing that makes you an amazing woman...all that have passed through your house will come out even better people...can I come stay for a while?

Fawn said...

That is seriously one of the best stories ever! House elves. Sigh. Sigh. Makes me smile as I think about it!!!

Lisa--aka The Gardenweasel said...

I wish they missionaries could live here. Allie is the same age as Cambria..and I have one other..big problem...but.......sigh.

Lisa--aka The Gardenweasel said...

any chance you could help us at band practice tomorrow, 3:15? They need some vocal coaching

Debbie said...

What an awesome opportunity to host the missionaries. I hope that someday my family can participate in that as well.

I think it's hilarious that the boys have been trying to get on your blog and for something probably a lot cooler than cleaning. :) Love it!

Oh and I finished Austenland. I really enjoyed it. I'm interested to hear the why's of your opinion. I wonder if I thought the same in a few parts.

JUST ME, THE MOM said...

Bless their hearts - they ARE the best kinds of house elves:) I wish you could send them my way, I think it would be wonderful to host missionaries. I've been longing for a missionary ever since my last one returned, I'd be happy to adopt one:)