Behind the Badge


I remember that day as if it were only yesterday. The gentle tapping of the rain on the windowpane had woken me early, and I lay staring into the dark shadows of the room, wondering how much longer I could remain there before feelings of guilt would urge me to move.

The sound of heavy breathing filled the air, and I turned my head for a moment to look at my companion who was still fast asleep and oblivious to the world. We had been together for three weeks, and yet we were still strangers, and I could not see any possibility, nor feel any desire for it to be otherwise. Mission life was not what I’d expected it to be, and I was hoping the days would pass by quickly, so I could soon be back, secure and safe again in the familiar surroundings of home, family, and friends.

I frowned and wondered why Heavenly Father chose me to serve a mission. I’d thought about serving when I was younger but had never wanted to go. But I hadn’t been able to deny the witness which I’d felt in my heart that day the Bishop called me into his office and recommended I send in my papers to Salt Lake City. And now here I was, in a foreign country, with a girl I didn’t know, and barely making it through each day.

The hum of the alarm rudely interrupted my thoughts, and my hand reached out to kill the sound. The figure across the room groaned as Sister Smith pulled the covers further over her head.

In the shadowed darkness, I stepped quietly out of my comfortable bed and tiptoed to the kitchen. Without turning on the light, I pulled one of the wooden stools out from under the sturdy oak table and sat down facing the cooker. My attention was immediately drawn to the illuminated clock which boldly proclaimed it was 5.30 am. The world, I thought to myself, was still asleep.