Friday, June 21, 2013

Guest Post: Tales from Cuyahoga 4 - What's My Whitebread



Reed Soper was born and raised in southern California. He considered attending the Lord's University but opted for BYU instead where he met Kathryn Lynard doing his home teaching. They married in 1992 and have seven children. Friends and loved ones often describe Reed as "difficult" or "a slow learner." In his spare time, he likes (virgin) pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. Don't miss Reed's previous guest posts.

There are two types of mission stories – inspirational and funny. I like to save the inspirational ones for church talks.
- Reed Soper


Do you know what happens when products at the "day old" bakery get to be two days old? They get donated. In Toledo, Ohio, in the winter of 1986, a ward member worked at the bakery and got the products donated to the missionaries. This is a story of gluttony, greed and stale donuts.

The Toledo Zone was comprised of eight areas and sixteen companionships, and Elder W-R and I were called to be Zone Leaders. We had known each other for more than a year and looked forward to our service together. One of our tasks each Saturday was to pick up the sorted bags of baked goods to distribute to the missionaries the following day. The member had painstakingly gone through the effort of ensuring that each of the eight bags contained essentially the same thing. The same amount of white bread, wheat bread, and baked treats. A sort of day old law of consecration, if you will.

With equal amounts of sweet tooth and desire for the well-being of the missionaries under our stewardship, Elder W-R and I would weekly examine the bags. We'd make decisions like "that cake certainly won't help Elder So and So to lose the weight he wants to lose." So, we'd remove the cake from the bag and put it in our own bag, and replace the cake with a loaf of the whitest of white bread known to man. We figured that if all but one of the bags had a cake in it, word would get out and there might be dissension in the ranks, so we'd remove all the cakes and replace them with the stuff we didn't want.

I can clearly remember going through this exercise one Sunday morning parked in the back of the Toledo Stake Center parking lot. It wasn't cake this time; it was powdered mini-donuts. And not little packs of six donettes, these were big bags of them. Elder W-R and I thought we'd have a little taste of them before church started. We needed our strength. One became three and three became five and then ten and then the bag was empty. We both had powdered sugar all over our faces, suits, etc. and we were barely able to clean up before the other elders came to get their sacks of white bread. Some might say that what we did was wrong. If it was wrong, then I don't want to be right.

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