Thursday, March 24, 2011

finding truth at last

About 1976-77, I applied for a night cleaning job so with both of us working we could pay the bills. We already moved from the ghetto place to a big house-803 Farnum st.  the other side of Palmer but still in walking distance.  There was an ad posted at school and I went at night to. O. Cecil Wright's upstairs appartment and filled out the standard office max type of employment application.  Strange thing:  he wrote in pencil at the top two sententences. 1. Do you partake of alcoholic beverages; and 2. Do you partake of tobacco?  Must be importantant to him and I checked, "no."  It wasn't till several months later he called me and asked if I wanted the job.  Seems one of his workers, D. Craig Campbell bought a foaming, commercial rug shampooer and was getting so many business accounts, that he decided to go on his own.  He was to train me for a few nights as his replacement. There were about 7 employees and almost all the cleaning work started around 10-11 PM to 4 AM. Mostly restaurants.  Strange:  I discovered that they were all "Mormons."
 I was trained at Jumer's Castle Lodge-the food part-the kitchen was so dirty I would not let my dog eat there-a chef spilled some greese by a fryer and instead of cleaning it, just poured 2 lbs of salt on it.  The inside of the fryer door was green from old fats.  Hard to believe.  Even today, if we go out to eat, I peak inside the kitchen and check out the bathroom.  If they are filthy, we leave.  Years before this time, in PA., I stopped in Isialy's- a restaurant chain that also serve ice cream like Baskin Robbin's. I ordered a club sandwich and could also see into the kitchen,  The cook was scraping the grill, and to see if it was hot enough, spit on it to see if it would sizzle. I got up and left.
Anyway, the 2nd, and last day of my traing, Glen dropped me off at 4AM in front of our house-never expecting to see me again.  He was a student and his way was being paid by his uncle and dad, who were chiropractor in Utah. Having a family member or a military loan was about the only way to have enough money to pay for school.
Befire I got out of his van, I looked at him and said,"Glen would you come over and explain the Book of Mormon to me."  He about had a stroke and said, "yes."  When I awoke, I asked Sharon if it was OK. She readily agreed.  Being around 3 little kids 24/7, she welcomed adult company.  That night, Glen and Kathy(his wife) came over and our discussion ended with whether or not we would like the missionaries to come over.  Yes. A couple of "funnies:"  I was drinking a cup of coffee and had a cigarette lit. I politely asked if it bothered them and he said,It's your house," to which I replied, " Yes, but you are my guests."  And promply got rid of both. A year or so before, Glen, a newly returned missionary, was trying to get an Institote(of religion) program started at Palmer and also was talking about the church to other students.  Got nothing but, "no's."  So he made up his mind not to talk about the church to anyone anymore.  THEN I CAME ALONG, AND asked HIM!  Rarely happens and it renewed his determination and probably he asked forgiveness.
We had the Elders come and teach us everyweek for 3 months.  Now they got it down to about 3 weeks!
We stunned them because at one point, we told THEM that when we are baptized...  The normal way is for the missionaries to challenge investigators to set a date.  In any case, on June 25, 1977. we were baptised, then confirmed and recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost the folowing Sunday.  On the day of our baptism, Sharon said that this was it-no more looking for the truth,  We found it. And we promised one another we would never quit or become inactive.
One of the misionaries was brand new: O. Glen Taylor(what's with all these middle name guys?) he had a number of companions, but remained as one of our instructors the entire three months. About 20 years later and now married with kids, he gave me a surprise visit here in washington, IL.  He wanted to show his family where he served in Davenport and then "The Valencic's.  It was a sweet visit.. Then a number of years after than, having our missionaries over for dinner(a regular custom of memebers is to feed them) I asked them where home was and one said,"Snowflake, AZ."  This is where Glen was from and I asked if he knew him.  The elder got all excited and said Glen was his Bishop and Scoutmaster and now was the Stake president.  It choked me up. I said,"Elder, 25 years ago, Glen was sitting here as a misioary, teaching us the Gosple of Jesus Christ."  Small world. Side Note:  everyone wears white when they are baptised by imerssion. The males, white shirt/pants or a white "jump suit."  Ladies wear a long white dress.  But Sharon was very much pregnant with Abram and a white dress just wasn't enough-her belly made it rise up. So, besides the dress, she also wore a pair of slacks-kinda maternity style, because, just a dress would float up on top of the water. Abram was born August 21, 1977, to give you an idea of how close she was to delivery-our first home delivery of five. Tom & Aaron and Ariana, our last, were delivered in a hospital, It was our bad hospital experience with Aaron that swayed us to have a home birth: Mom,me, and a Labor Coach..

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