Saturday, April 3, 2010

And now... An April Fool's Day Message from Germany

On April first, I received a phone call from an unknown number. Here is how it went:

Ring ring!

Me: Hello?

Josh: Hi, this is Josh...

(Pause)

Me: Josh who?

Josh: Josh!

Me: Josh Hall? Brother Josh? Elder? You're not supposed to be calling me, you're on a mission and April Fool's Day is not a holiday you can call your family on and..."

Josh: Stop! Listen. I'm running out of money and I'm lost in Germany. Your number was the only one I could remember, just give me the home phone number!

Me: Okay (gave phone number)

Josh: Bye.



Five minutes later...

Ring ring!

Josh: They don't accept unsolicited calls! Give me dad's number.

Me: But aren't you supposed to be in Ukraine?

Josh: Stop! Just give me the number.

Me: But you don't speak any German!

Josh: The number! Now!

Me: (Gave number)

Click.


I then realized I didn't know if I had given him my dad's work or office number. So I called the number I hadn't given him and it was my dad's cell phone. Here's how it went.

Ring ring.

Me: Dad! Listen carefully. Josh is lost in Germany and he is about to call you on your work phone. If you get a call, PICK UP THE PHONE!

Dad: Hahaha.

Me: What?

Dad: April Fool's!

Me: No! I'm serious!!!


I tried for the next seven or so minutes trying to persuade him that I was not joking.

In his defense, I play a joke on them every year. He said he would be "certain to pick up the call from Zach" (thinking I had concocted a plan with my other brother to PRETEND to be Josh lost in Germany).

He had his first doubt when our call was interrupted by a call with no local i.d. on it. He hung up with me, and it was Josh. Stranded, alone, at a train station, not speaking a word of German, calling from a pay phone, losing money by the second, with very little money left. He had no phone numbers on him to call the Mission President or the Elders and didn't know where he was located even if he could reach them. He had just arrived that day to have a surgery, and then go back to Ukraine.

What happened is that he was accidentally left on a train in Germany. The two elders he was with and who are supposed to be watching out for him got off the train, thinking Josh was behind them, without realizing Josh was teaching a Russian speaking man on the train! By the time the two elders realized Josh wasn't with them the train had left the station.

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