Turns out Ellie gets a lot more out of church than we realized.
In the car after church on Sunday, she announced that as soon as we got home she was going over to Mavis’s house. Mavis, which is not her real name but sounds good on my blog, is our next-door neighbor. She and her sister LaVern moved in right after we did, so Ellie’s known them all her life. We fondly refer to them as our cat-lady neighbors, not because they’re crazy like cat ladies (because they’re not) but simply because they do have a lot of cats.
However, we don’t normally just go visit them at random, so we knew something was up.
Apparently in Ellie’s class at church they talked about being missionaries. I can only guess that her wonderful teachers probably suggested that friends and neighbors would be the perfect starting place for these little budding missionaries, not even expecting anything beyond the word missionary to make it out the door (and thinking they’d be lucky to even get that.) But Ellie is a funny little duck. The things you’d really like her to remember are gone in a second, and anything you assume she’ll forget will probably be remembered for eternity.
And she was one determined little duck. Not wanting to crush her missionary hopes, but slightly fearful of causing awkwardness in our otherwise comfortable neighborly relationship, we tried to discourage her from running over straightaway. We said we’d discuss at dinner how our family could best be missionaries. We made other, less awkward suggestions.
We thought we'd redirected her fervor, but we were fools.
After dinner the girls went outside to enjoy the rare sunshine. Chris and I holed up with books in an unusually quiet house. We learned later that Ellie marched herself right up to Mavis and LaVern’s door, knocked, and when LaVern opened up, said, “Hi! Do you need any help learning more about the Gospel?”
LaVern said, thank you, no, she was just fine, but would Ellie like to pet the cat?
At some point I will have to go next door myself and explain, but I think no harm was done. Even so-called cat ladies have a sense of humor.