Monday, February 27, 2012

The Thing Across The Street In Santa Clara



by Bradly Baird (bio)

An Internet Confession, a Missionary Discussion, and Mexican Food

I've been trapped for two weeks in Santa Clara, California. For those of you who are not familiar with this charming little joint, Santa Clara is adjacent to San Jose and Palo Alto, and is located in the heart of Silicon Valley. To make the geography more challenging, my little hotel is in the center of the high-tech business district. Each morning, I look out my window and see corporate complexes for Yahoo!, IBM, Citrix, EMC, McAFee, Cisco, Solix, Dell, and the San Franciso 49ers. Problem is, apart from my hotel, a couple of really sad restaurants, and the Silicon Valley monstrosities, I am isolated from humanity.

This isolation rang true this afternoon. After I spent the entire day in a small conference room with people who definitely do not share my value system, after I returned to my hotel room, and consumed a really sad BBQ Pork sandwich from TOGO's(plus a really disgusting cheesecake dessert from IHOP), I was hit hard by the loneliness. I knew that I couldn't call my family because they were running around to the usual evening activities of YM/YW and sporting events. So, I sat with nothing to do and real pain in my heart.

Out of desperation, I logged onto the internet, accessed Mormon.org, and clicked on a pink-colored link that said "Chat With Us." Within about ten seconds I was talking to two missionaries from the church: Luiza and Luliia. I was very vague about things - careful to tell no falsehoods - and talked with them for five minutes or so. They struggled to answer my basic questions - English is definitely not their first language - and when we wrapped things up, I thanked them for their time and the chat session ended.

You may want to call me on the carpet for wasting the missionaries' time, and that's ok (I know that I probably shouldn't have logged on to the site at all). During the course of my short discussion with them, the pain lifted from my heart and was replaced by the warmth of the Spirit. Those missionaries were there tonight to help. I felt their spirit and received their testimony warmly.

Now, I am not suggesting that the next time you are in a hotel, far from your families and feeling severe loneliness, you should do as I did tonight. Rather, I am suggesting you turn to a far better source that can truly bear the burden you may feel. I was driven to my knees afterwards and the Spirit that I felt generated by the missionary discusison was only strengthened by a real conversation with my Father in Heaven.

As a side note, there is some absolutely spectacular Mexican-style foods to be had at a wonderful restaurant here called Pedro's. The restaurant is located in - what looks like - an old spanish-style home that is situated behind the massive corporate centers of the business district. I do not know whether the building was built as a home or as a restaurant; but Pedro's is distinctly out-of-place amongst the gleaming glass towers all around.

I snacked on chips-and-salsa and, for the main course, enjoyed a wonderful dish called Las Enchiladas Hadas. This was a mouth-watering masterpiece of seafood wrapped in home-made tortillas and smothered in a fanstastic white cream sauce. Just the writing of this description makes me want to rush out the door and hail a cab; probably because my own dinner this evening was so lame. So, if you are passing by Great America Parkway in Santa Clara, Pedro's is only a mile or two out of your road and well worth the drive.

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