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CAlloo! CAllay! he chorltled in his joy!

 - Joe

Hola, fools! As Brian mentioned, he and I recently attended MegaMission '06 in Sacramento, CA! I succeeded in raising him up from his laziness long enough to get us to the Seattle-Tacoma international airport. Then we acomplished the miracle of getting through security at the said airport. Two hours later, after a small oxygen-related delay (if thirty minutes is your idea of small), we were in the air. Landing in SMF, we noticed that something was very different from the place we had just left. There was no urban sprawl covering half the country in every direction. It had been replaced by wall-to-wall farms and other agricultural land-hoggers.

After we collected our luggage and were found by our picker-upper, we went to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, played some B-ball, and got hungry. Our picker-upper, Pablo, had mentioned that there was basically no fast food in that area of Sacramento, and that he'd be happy to drive us to a restaurant, but he mysteriously disappeared when we came back from our b-ball binge. So we decided to walk for some food. One of the girls doing registration for the mission warned us that this was gang country, but we were undeterred. When we came back with the results of our sacking of the local back-alley barely legal grocery store, the registration girls were surprised to see me only with a nicked ear and a slug in the leg, and Brian cradling his arm and sobbing. heh heh.

After the commissioning mass, we got shoved into a car full of spanish speaking people for about an hour. Occasionally one of them would say something while looking at us, and the whole carload would erupt in laughter. Brian and I would grin ignorantly and more laughter would ensue. Once we got to the thriving city of Maxwell (population: 25 counting us) we had a really fun time, missionizing, playing soccer and basketball, and chilling with the cool kids that showed up along with us.

One house in particular stands out in my memory. We arrived at the door with smiles on our faces, shirts tucked in, and skin burning in the sun. A knock on the door brought out a young man man looking slightly Hispanic. He greeted us: "Hey, What's up?" A flurry of spanish from Giovanni, a member of my team left him looking slightly confused: "uh, do you speak English?" Brian took over and mastered the conversation. The guy apparently had a few questions for us, such as not eating meat on fridays and the like. As we were explaining Catholic beliefs the conversation shifted to confession. At this point his mom looked out at us from behind the door, then literally shoved him out of the way and began chewing us out. During this conversation, she repeated herself about five times. We offered to pray the Our Father with her, but she "doesn't pray that way." She also doesn't make "the cross sign" because "I have Jesus in my heart" which apparently stops her from making the cross sign. When we got to confession, we read to her from John 20, starting at verse 19, where Jesus gave His apostles the power to forgive sins. She retorted expertly with "You're not going to confuse me!" Meanwhile her son behind her has a bible and says "Hey, what was that verse again?"

Then we came back changed, both in our souls and skin color. And that's my story.


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