Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Truth About Scranton, Pennsylvania

When George Burns was asked if he was afraid to die, Burns replied, "No, I already died in Scranton.  

If you want to go to an entertaining ward, go to Scranton or even better, Wilkes Barre (Wilkes Barre and Scranton are like Orem and Provo, pretty much the same city.)  

"Life moves a little slower in Scranton, Pa., and that's the way we like it"

I am not sure what it is about this place, but it just spews wackiness.   Maybe it is the chemicals in the water from all the chemicals.  I remember it was the one place in PA that I had to buy bottled water.

Scranton/Wilkes Barre was my absolute favorite area of my mission.  Since living there for 6 months, my life has never been the same. It is the perfect place for a TV show about eccentric, bubbling oddballs to take place.  Here are some of my favorite memories:
  • "The twins".  Two inactive, extremely overweight twin women that were so large they could not get off the couch.  Every time we went to visit them, they would ask us to come sit on their laps or dance for them.
  • Tracting for 3 hours and getting in every door.  Finally, someone was brave enough to tell us that we were tracting an apartment complex for the mentally handicapped.  We honestly could not tell this complex from every other complex we had ever tracted in Scranton.   The only difference was that we where getting into every door.  
  • The "two liter guy".  He was a member that collected full, 2 liter bottles of soda.  Mostly Mt. Dew.  In his apartment, he had 2 liters everywhere except a trail to his bed and to the bathroom.  And they where all in nicely organized rows with no gaps.
  • The bishop.  The bishop was a nice enough man, but he had this nervous tick that he would go "booop" in a high pitched voice every 10 seconds or so.  And he would do it in mid sentence.  "You elders need to go - booop - see Sister Bott". 
  • The Catholic Priest.  There was a very kind Catholic Priest that would take us to dinner once a week at a an eating establishment I still could never afford.  I am still not sure why he did this.
  • The countless number of people that just sat on their porch all day long.
  • Going to dinner with a crazy member and saying "this looks like a place the mafia would own."  And the member getting very nervous and upset.  "SHHHHH!!!  You can not say stuff like that here!  We better leave...NOW!".  Luckily, we talked him into staying.
  • The wrestling investigator.  There was an investigator that wanted to wrestle us every time we came over.  It was all in good fun until he "accidentally" grabbed my companion in an undisclosed area.  He was not baptized.  
  • The mustache man.  There was a crazy member that would wear a fake mustache to church every Sunday.  It was the only time he would wear it all week. 
  • Tracting into an insane anti-abortion woman.  She had pictures of aborted fetuses all over her wall and a giant picture of Jesus in the middle of her living room crying.  When we where invited in, I am not sure of I was more disgusted or scared.  
  • Taking a tour of the Lackawanna coal mine.  The tour guide told us that it was one of the top ten tourist sites in the entire Northwest???
  • Laughing so hard at church each week and trying my best to hide it.  (Just ask my parents about these wards.  When they came to pick me up they went to one.)
God Bless Scranton, PA!

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